Speaking at a public forum that will air this week on PBS, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that while he was "disgusted" by the circumstances that led him to push for a rescue of companies that acted recklessly, he had no choice. "I was not going to be the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over the second Great Depression," he said. Although Bernanke really didn't give any new information, answering questions directly from the public was "the latest unusual forum where the Fed chairman has explained his actions in recent months," as the WSJ puts it. His predecessors have usually been much more reluctant to talk in public, but Bernanke wants to send the message that the "central bank is here to help, and it is not as mysterious or menacing as people might think," declares the NYTin a front-page piece. Coincidentally, Bernanke's term expires in January, and it is still not clear whether Obama will reappoint him to serve another four years.
The WP's E.J. Dionne Jr. writes that "senators who regularly express their undying loyalty to the National Rifle Association … should practice what they preach." If they really do believe that the best way to protect Americans against crime is to make sure citizens can carry concealed weapons, then they should take down the metal detectors at the Capitol. "If the NRA's servants in Congress don't take their arguments seriously enough to apply them to their own lives, maybe the rest of us should do more to stop them from imposing their nonsense on our country."
USAT takes a look at how the United States "is becoming a nation of track-a-holics" as more companies allow customers to track the whereabouts of flights, buses, packages, and even pizzas, to name a few. And it's not just products. Parents can use a Web site to keep track of their infant's habits to detect patterns. This obsession may ultimately have to do with people's desire to feel like they have some sense of control. "I'd much rather know if I'm secure in my job," a sociologist tells the paper. "But if I can't know that, at least I can know the status of my pizza."