Today's Papers

Work It Out

The New York Times leads with businesses banding together to fight new state-level illegal immigrant employment measures. The Los Angeles Times leads with a series of bleak predictions for GOP candidates in Senate races this fall. The Washington Post leads locally, with a piece on D.C. efforts to limit the number of cars commuters bring into the city.

Frustrated by Congress’ inability to pass sweeping immigration legislation, many states are looking to instead punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, says the NYT. Now business owners are fighting back, banding together to make the case for more temporary work visas and other programs they say are necessary to keep their companies fully staffed.

Senate seats that have gone to Republicans for a quarter century or more are in play for the Democrats this fall, according to the LAT. The paper says that even National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman  Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., feels his party will be doing well if it  loses only three or four seats. The paper ascribes the electoral shift to a combination of GOP scandals and unexpected retirements, along with the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., which is expected to boost turnout among Democrats.

The WP’s commuter story doesn’t have wide national appeal, but it is a decent snapshot of a community trying to deal with transportation issues that many cities face. For TP’s money, the WP’s style section piece on thieves stealing gas right out of other people’s cars holds broader appeal.

The NYT covers Sen. John McCain’s troubles with public speaking. McCain, R-Ariz., freely admits he feels more comfortable speaking off the cuff than reading from a teleprompter. The paper reports that this can lead to some awkward moments when McCain is reading a prepared speech. The campaign’s response to this is three-pronged. First, play up town-hall meetings and other unscripted appearances; second, coach him to develop a more natural speaking style when reading prepared material; and last, frequently compliment Obama’s speaking style in a way that downplays the importance of eloquence.

The WP fronts a pretty forgettable piece on Obama talking religion on the campaign trail. Obama is trying to appeal to religious voters by playing up his own faith in a way that McCain does not. Obama says he doesn’t necessary expect to win a majority of evangelical voters, but hopes to make a dent in what has traditionally been a conservative leaning voter bloc.

Meanwhile, the NYT fronts a piece on an ancient stone tablet that may shed light on pre-Christian attitudes about the role of the Messiah. The tablet, which was painted with lines from an apocalyptic vision sometime in the decades leading up to the birth of Jesus, may say that Messiah will die and be raised from the dead. Or maybe it doesn’t say that—the paper admits very late in the piece that much of the text is hard to decipher, and there is some debate about what key passages really mean.

For-profit fundraising organizations are eating more and more of the dollars they collect for various charities says the LAT. Some organizations lose more than 90 percent of funds raised to professional cash finders. The paper’s Web site includes a database of charities and the percentage of each dollar raised they get to keep.

The NYT reports that more and more vehicles are crossing the $100 barrier for a full tank of gas. The paper admits it’s a little late to the party on $100 fill up stories and it does waste much of the piece on anecdotal evidence from SUV fan-club members, but there are still a few hard numbers to be found. The paper uses survey data to extrapolate that 11 percent of drivers would average triple digits for an entire tank of gas.

An explosion of autism diagnoses has insurers, parents, and schools arguing over who is responsible for providing autistic children with behavioral therapy, according to the LAT. The paper says the therapy, while not a cure, can help autistic kids reach a higher level of independence and sociability.

Would you pay $100,000 a year to possibly add few more months to your life? The NYT discusses the ethical dilemmas posed by the most expensive cancer drugs.

The WP provides an update on the situation in Burma, where locals are banding together to meet basic needs even as international relief efforts are complicated by the ruling junta and the logistical challenges of reaching the people who need help most.

The LAT profiles a jewelry thief.