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• The leaders of a bipartisan congressional committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings apparently understand the importance of their mission, with Sen. Patty Murray saying, “I don’t see this as a party issue. I see success as bringing some confidence back to the American people that despite our differences, we can find some ways to move forward.” Indeed, about four in five Americans say they have no confidence in Congress. Committee members of both parties have an opportunity to make a difference; let’s hope they will take their duties seriously rather than hewing to a rigid party line.

• News stories indicate that some Americans can’t bear the process of going through the mortgage loan application process, which has been tightened in most places because of the real estate collapse and subsequent foreclosure hurricane. While tighter home loan credit isn’t doing anything to help the economic recovery, it’s moving the nation back to a point where it used to be, one in which people must have equity in their homes from the start and must not count on rising home values to supply that equity. For decades, that system worked well. Americans must get used to it again. The simple fact is that the lax loan environment of the past few years led to massive problems and cannot be used again.

• We’ll award points for agility to 87-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who slid down an emergency chute after her United Airlines flight developed smoke in an engine at Washington’s Dulles Airport. Officials said Ginsburg, who has battled cancer, was not hurt, and we say, “You go, girl!”

• All Americans can identify with and applaud a feel-good moment that occurred last week when about 10 men and women rushed to help a motorcyclist who was trapped underneath a car after an accident in Utah; they teamed together to lift the automobile and pull him to safety.  Brandon Wright’s life was literally saved by the quick action of the bystanders, who risked their lives as Wright’s motorcycle burned and he struggled to escape.