By day's end, some history is expected to have been made: The Senate is due to begin voting around 3 p.m. ET on the nomination of federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She's almost sure to be confirmed and then would become the High Court's first Hispanic justice and only its third woman.
Also today, the Senate is expected to OK adding another $2 billion to the "cash for clunkers" auto rebate program that's designed to stimulate car sales and get gas guzzlers off the roads. As the Detroit Free Press writes, in the meantime "consumers continued to snap up the offer of $3,500 or $4,500 vouchers on new vehicles for trading in older gas-guzzlers, as new data showed Detroit automakers mostly holding their own against foreign brands among buyers."
Politico, says that "cows, clunkers and the courts capture these last hot days of the Senate's summer session." Cows are in the news because of a $350 million effort to help farmers hurt by lower dairy prices.
As for other stories making headlines, they include:
— Morning Edition — "Town Hall Tradition Backfires For Some Democrats": As NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports, conservative opponents of Democratic plans for health care reform "are crashing lawmakers public appearances and making headlines for it." She looks back at how the tactic has worked in the past to block lawmakers' plans.
Related story by The Washington Post: "Protests At Democrats' Health-Care Events Spark Political Tug Of War."
— The New York Times — "U.S. To Reform Policy On Detention For Immigrants": "The Obama administration intends to announce an ambitious plan on Thursday to overhaul the much-criticized way the nation detains immigration violators, trying to transform it from a patchwork of jail and prison cells to what its new chief called a 'truly civil detention system.' "
— The Wall Street Journal — Fed Reviews Two Programs That Helped Stabilize Markets: "Federal Reserve officials could move in the coming weeks to extend the life of a program aimed at reviving consumer and business lending markets. ... They also will consider whether to extend a program due to expire in September to purchase $300 billion worth of long- and medium-term U.S. Treasury securities."
— Los Angeles Times — "Bratton's Exit Poses A Major Challenge For L.A.": "William J. Bratton's announcement Wednesday that he would resign as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department caught Angelenos by surprise, including the mayor and police leaders who suddenly found themselves confronted with the daunting task of replacing one of the nation's most influential law enforcement figures."
Related story on Morning Edition — Chief's Resignation Stuns City. NPR's Ina Jaffe reports:
— Morning Editon — "What Else Will Clinton Deliver From N. Korea Trip?" "At the least, analysts say, former president Bill Clinton gathered useful insights into the outward appearance of the 'Dear Leader' — ailing North Korean President Kim Jong Il — and the posture of his shadowy regime." NPR's Corey Flintoff reports:
— BBC News — "Clinton To Hold Key Somalia Talks": "Secretary of State Hillary (Rodham) Clinton is due to hold talks today with Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. She is expected to endorse Somalia's beleaguered transitional government amid fears the country is becoming a haven for Islamist militants."