December 19, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Energized Washington acts on spending, lending and a pending retirement

A flurry of news comes from the nation’s capital, as officials in Washington rush toward a holiday break.

The president is expected to sign into law today an energy bill that, among other things, raises fuel-efficiency expectations for autos. “Congress accelerates new energy policy,” the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal said. “Energy bill promises to change how we live,” said The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which illustrated car mileage, renewable fuels and efficient products. “Auto mpg must rise 40 percent,” said the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, which broke out highlights of the bill. Newspapers in the Detroit, the Motor City, have reported on the legislation, but today’s front pages focused on other auto news: “Ford ready to reward its workers” and “GM offers buyouts to 5,200 workers,” the Free Press said.

In an “Impact on America” package, the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News paired news of the energy bill with new rules on mortgages and lending proposed by the Federal Reserve. “Fed puts skids on dubious lending,” it said. The Chicago Tribune said: “Fed targets risky lending,” while The Seattle Times noted: “Critics say Fed’s plan won’t fix mortgage mess.”

“Senate OKs $70B for war funding,” the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star said. As Congress worked on the budget bill, some newspapers look at projects important in their communities. “Sound, military money survives,” said The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash.

A picture from Washington appeared on front pages in Mississippi, as Trent Lott, the state’s senior U.S. senator, was honored as he ends a 35-year career in elected office. “Session, career drawing to a close,” The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson said.

Shedding light on a problem: Anyone frustrated by putting up holiday lights will find comfort (and joy) in The San Diego Union-Tribune, which explained: “Two UCSD scientists untangle a mystery … on why long strands tend to become knotted.” The reason Christmas lights get tangled: It’s a law of physics. Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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