Today's Papers

Tangled Web

USA Today

leads with promising new cancer drugs soon to be tested on humans–a story that got prominent play in Sunday’s New York Times. The Washington Post leads with Democrats’ harsh criticism of Rep. Dan Burton for his release of the Web Hubbell prison tapes. The New York Times leads with Washington state’s anti-affirmative action ballot initiative. And the Los Angeles Times goes with Israel’s rejection of an American proposal for a transfer of more West Bank land to the Palestinians.

The two new cancer drugs work, explains USAT, by cutting off the blood supply to tumors, making it impossible for them to grow. Used together, they have eradicated tumors in mice. Which is why they are scheduled for human trials. But, says the paper, the leap from mouse to man is a huge one.

The WP lead details how Rep. Burton was accused on Sunday by congressional Democrats and White House staffers of doctoring transcripts of Hubbell’s prison phone conversations. The material Burton released appears to describe Hubbell’s decision to continue to protect Bill and Hillary Clinton out of fears that his wife would lose her government job, but, notes the Post, does not include Hubbell’s statement that Hillary Clinton had “no idea” of billing irregularities at their law firm, or his assertion that he was not being paid hush money.

Another dispute centers on Hubbell’s lawyer saying on the tape, “There is some chance that the day after Election Day they will make a move that moots everything. And I don’t want to discourage it.” According to the Post, Burton says this was a reference to a presidential pardon, but Hubbell’s lawyer says it was an immunity deal–eventually granted–with Ken Starr. The NYT hits the pardon issue much higher in its front page Hubbell tape story, not surprising since it went front page on Saturday with a story saying congressional investigators took the “Election Day” comment to signify pardon hopes.

The Times lead points out that referenda rather than legislation may increasingly become the main tool of the anti-affirmative action movement, because while California’s Prop. 209 won decisively, the bills introduced in its wake in 13 states were all defeated. The story also scores how Washington state business heavyweights line up on the ballot initiative: Boeing and Nordstrom are against, and Microsoft is expected to stay neutral.

The LAT front story on Japan’s current economic woes runs under: “Tax Cut May Not Spur Yen to Spend in Japan.” Do we really need to see this “clever” use of “yen” in a headline ever, ever again?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is warning Wall Street analysts that federal and state legal anti-trust suits against the company’s introduction of Windows 98 could have “broad, negative consequences” for the entire personal computer industry if they cause that new software to be delayed.

The Journal’s “The Outlook” piece takes note of recent claims that the Y2K problem will generate a recession of 1974 oil-shock caliber and says that’s not likely: After all, the twenty-two-day-long government shut-down in 1996 didn’t do that, nor did last summer’s UPS strike.

A WP editorial calling on Congress to close more military bases supports the cause with some simple observations: While the number of Navy ships is down nearly 46 percent, its berthing space is down only 18 percent, and while Army troop strength is down 42 percent, training facilities for soldiers are down only 7 percent. Since, Congress will probably keep total military spending flat, the paper notes that not closing bases is equivalent to passing cuts on readiness, weapons procurement and research.

According to the WSJ, representatives of some computer companies and of Microsoft are expected to stage a pro-MS rally Tuesday. All together now: “Hey, Hey, DOJ, how many browsers did you de-couple today?