Today's Papers

Almost There

The New York Times, Washington Post, and  Los Angeles Times all lead with a final cross-country push by Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John McCain, R-Ariz., before election night.

Both candidates have returned to their “core arguments,” according to the WP: John McCain implied that Barack Obama doesn’t have faith in America while Barack Obama said John McCain is the same as George Bush. (Obama made his case by citing an ill-timed McCain endorsement from Vice President Cheney. Shoot your candidate in the face much?)

All the papers front state-of-the-race assessments. The WP thinks Obama, and Democrats generally, are poised for a blow-out win. It also fronts a national poll that says 50 percent of voters are “definitely” planning to vote for Obama. The LAT and NYT are more circumspect, emphasizing that McCain’s electoral options are severely limited.

The NYT also provides dispatches from all the swing states, while the LAT—perhaps to conserve money—fronts a thinnish “big think” piece on what the 2008 election will mean for race, ideology, and economics in America. (Spoiler: We don’t know yet.)

The NYT goes up top with a fantastic look at how risky, exotic securities were sold to organizations like New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority and even a Wisconsin school board. Desperate to cover rising health care and pension costs, the employers unknowingly transformed themselves into hedge funds, based on advice from commission-happy investment bankers.

The WP goes up top with a look at the U.N.’s terrorist finance blacklist, which has become increasingly unpopular in Europe because it’s thought to deprive people of their due process rights. If countries stop enforcing the blacklist, the U.N. may lose its ability to freeze terrorists’ assets.

The WP   fronts a look at an upcoming global economic summit and how it will probably fail. In two weeks, world leaders are supposed to hammer out a post-crash regulatory regime to govern international finance. Yet there’s little agreement on what to do and perhaps even less political will to follow through.

The NYT fronts a piece on black voters, who are already turning out in record numbers this year. While many have felt alienated from politics in past elections, Obama’s candidacy has some feeling like “active participants” in history.

The NYT fronts a look at remaining undecided voters, who make up 4 percent to 7 percent of the electorate. “I tend to be a procrastinator,” says one.

All the papers go inside with news that the Department of Homeland Security has launched an internal investigation into Friday’s leak about the immigration status of Barack Obama’s aunt. Disclosing the information may have violated federal law and the Immigration and Customs agency’s privacy rules.

The NYT fronts a look at a tribal militia that is fighting the Taliban in Pakistan. The Bruner district has armed 15,000 regular citizens to fight off insurgents, hoping to deter the Taliban and keep the heavy-handed Pakistani army from intervening.

The LAT fronts news that North Korea is on the brink of another famine, caused by mismanagement and delayed aid shipments from China and South Korea.

And the LAT goes inside with a look at Israelis’ increasing nervousness over Iran. The piece says most Israelis think they will have to unilaterally strike Iran’s nuclear facilities during the next few years. As always, there’s no guarantee that would work.