The president gets personally involved in selling health care overhaul to Americans.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
Aug. 12 2009 6:44 AM

Obama Takes on Health Care Critics

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The papers go inside with news that a Burmese court sentenced pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi to an additional 18 months under house arrest for violating the terms of her detention when she hosted an uninvited American in her home. The move ensures that the country's most popular opposition figure will be out of sight as the government prepares for controversial elections next year. Separately, the American, John Yettaw, who swam across a lake to get to Suu Kyi's home, was sentenced to seven years in prison, including four years of hard labor.  The LAT highlights that while Western countries harshly criticized the court's decision to extend Suu Kyi's house arrest, Burma's neighbors, China and India, remained silent.

The papers publish two must-read pieces for John Hughes fans. In the NYT, Molly Ringwald writes about a conversation she had with Anthony Michael Hall shortly after hearing that Hughes had died, where they reminisced about the man who had made them famous. Neither of them had talked to Hughes in more than 20 years. Apparently Hughes "was able to hold a grudge longer than anyone" and never forgave the fact that the actors he once took to concerts and for whom he had made "endless mixed tapes" refused to appear in some of his later work.


In the WP's Style section, Edward McNally, the rumored inspiration behind Ferris Bueller—he attended the same high school as Hughes, where he was "relentlessly pursued by a remarkably humorless" dean and had a best friend named Buehler—writes about how the "Ferris-ian high jinks were the everyday stuff of our boyhood lives." The man who later worked in the White House had 27 absences in his last semester of high school and once took his dad's purple Cadillac El Dorado for a Chicago adventure. And, yes, he apparently did try to erase the extra mileage by putting the car in reverse, but rather than fly backward, the move took off 10,000 miles from the odometer. "[O]ne key lesson from Ferris is his repeated message to his despondent buddy Cameron," writes McNally. "Your current situation doesn't have to be your fate. There's always another way."

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.