Afghanistan commanders wants more troops; cash for clunkers runs out of cash.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
July 31 2009 6:45 AM

No Cash Left for Clunkers

(Continued from Page 1)

All the papers front a picture of the hotly anticipated "beer summit" with President Obama, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley. At the last minute, the White House decided to include Vice President Joe Biden, which, as the NYT points out, allowed the administration to "add balance to the photo op that the White House presented: two black guys, two white guys, sitting around a table." Obama and Biden were dressed "in exaggerated casual attire," as the WSJ puts it, in order to highlight that this was supposed to be a friendly, happy hour conversation. But the two guests wore ties and dark jackets, despite the heat. A small group of reporters and photographers were allowed to watch the exciting action for only 30 seconds from about 50 feet away. What happened? Not surprisingly, nothing really. They talked, exchanged pleasantries, and no one apologized. But Gates and Crowley did apparently agree to have lunch together soon.

In the Post's op-ed page, Slate founder Michael Kinsley writes that Obama's "rhetorical goofs" are different from the standard political "gaffe," which usually involves a politician accidentally telling the truth. Obama's "goofs" usually are a result of talking before he thinks through everything he wants to say. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't say it. "The more concerned you are to avoid saying anything wrong or offensive," writes Kinsley, "the less likely you are to say anything inspiring or true."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.