Health care protests are influencing independents; Fed ends one piece of intervention.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 13 2009 6:11 AM

Fed Steps Back (Slowly)

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The NYT's Guy Trebay notices that, this summer the "unvarying male uniform in the precincts of Brooklyn cool" has added an unexpected element: "a burgeoning potbelly one might term the Ralph Kramden." Too big to simply be blamed on the T-shirt's cut but too small to be called a beer gut, the "Ralph Kramden" is seemingly everywhere the perpetually hip hang out. Why? No one knows, really. Some think it's a pushback from the years of obsession with perfectly sculpted abs. Others say Obama might be to blame as contrarian hipsters are eager to refuse to follow the lead from a man who hits the gym every morning. "If we had a slob in the White House," said the editor of Details, "all the hipsters would turn into some walking Chippendales calendar."

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.