The story that a blend of incompetence, corruption, stupidity and blind ideology have killed meaningful healthcare reform dominates. And Tiger Woods' woes increase: his doctor is investigated over doping allegations.

It's a sad day if you were hoping that the combined might of President Obama and Democratic majorities in both houses might sneak some form of accountability for the insurance industry into the healthcare reform bill. The incompetents, charlatans and shills in American politics have won the day, and it's looking increasingly likely there will be no medicare expansion or public option. Which makes us feel like this. Meanwhile Tiger Woods is watching his life fall apart — even his doctor is under investigation. And the President is trying to get big banks to look away from the gleaming piles of bonus that will completely preoccupy them until next spring and start lending again.

Other stories that are interesting to read and process, and contain nice information include:

  • The New York Times say it's not just you who hates Joe Lieberman. Everyone does.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports, as do others, that Guantanamo prisoners will be moved to a jail in Illinois.
  • And the Wall Street Journal says that China is a leader in the field of green technology. A day after the New Yorker said exactly the same thing.

Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The New York Times: leads with a poll on the trauma of joblessness. Obama features in three of the above-the-fold stories; he's pressing big banks to lend more, is being defied by Pakistan and has reached a "strident impasse" (which makes no sense as a phrase — can an impasse be strident?) on climate talks with China. Below the fold it looks momentarily like sci-fi character Dr. Who treated top athletes, but in fact it's a story about a doping enquiry for a Canadian medic who treated Tiger Woods among others. And finally, a great piece on how infuriating Joe Lieberman is.

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The Washington Post: leads with two wars of attrition — between the two halves of Palestine and between the two halves of congress over healthcare reform. Obama's call to banks to stop worrying about their bonuses and start lending is here, next to piece on mounting evidence that Iran has nuclear arms expertise. And there's a local feature about the holidays and a picture of a little person in a big coat.

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The LA Times: leads with news that Guantanamo detainees will be moved to a prison in Illinois, and the sad tale of the death of meaningful healthcare reform. Obama's call to banks to get off their fat-cat asses and lend some money is reported, next to a local story about the unexpected death of a teenager at a party. The paper also says that Libyan militants are turning their backs on Al Qaeda, and that the founder of Guess Jeans may go bankrupt.

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The Wall Street Journal: says that Citigroup and Wells Fargo paying back their bailout money is a milestone in the rescue of the financial sector. The paper has almost precisely the same China-is-green story as written by Evan Osnos in this week's New Yorker, which must have caused some consternation when they saw the magazine yesterday. A report that the public option is dead appears above news of a more civilised-sounding battle to clear pigs from the streets of Corsica.

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The New York Post: outlines precisely the ways in which Tiger Woods is in the doghouse, and says he's on the edge after his career and life came crashing down. Hell hath no fury, etc. At least nothing else could go wrong...

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

The Examiner: has many interesting stories in it. But is here because it is printed using "soy inks," and is thus a delicious San Francisco cliche come true. And also a creepy example of the freakish versatility of soy. What's next, soy cars? Soy televisions? (UPDATE: a tipster says most papers are printed with soy ink these days. It's a conspiracy!)

The Public Option Is Actually, Really Dead This Time

Winnipeg Sun (Canada): reports that a lady, who did not know she was pregnant, gave birth accidentally into her toilet.