In the grand scheme of things, Social Security isn't the nation's biggest fiscal problem. That's not my view. That's the assessment of Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Bush political appointee before he became head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, who says that looming financial calamities in Medicare and Medicaid are larger and more immediate worries in a strictly budgetary sense.
How the Nats Brought Me Home
By Steve Hendrix, Page B01
The oddest thing happened to me on Metro a few weeks ago. I had a conversation with a complete stranger.
A Gallery of Might-Have-Beens
There's More Than One Way to Fail the Senate Confirmation Test
By Sarah A. Binder, Page B01
Pity John Bolton. As a rule of thumb, senators give the president the benefit of the doubt when he chooses people for the executive branch or his diplomatic team. Although the Constitution gives the Senate responsibility for reviewing and confirming presidential appointments (the famous "advise and consent" provision), nominees for executive branch jobs are rarely subjected to the sort of intense scrutiny Bolton has endured.
Still Searching For Airport Security
Wasn't TSA Going to Be the Solution?
By Paul C. Light, Page B02
It was created to shield the nation's airports and transportation systems from attack after Sept. 11, 2001. But lately, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) itself has come under more scrutiny than a cigarette lighter at a passenger screening station.
How Malpractice Suits Keep My Profession Honest
By Bernard Sussman, Page B02
Most medical malpractice litigation is frivolous. That's what defense attorneys, insurance companies and even the U.S. president would have you believe. Some 80 percent of cases are, after all, resolved in favor of the defendant doctor.
Our Role in The Church
By Pia de Solenni, Page B03
Before I went to Rome to do my doctoral work in theology in the mid-1990s, I was inclined to believe, like many American women, that the Catholic Church's teaching on women was a bit skewed, if not flawed. At times, it seemed to me that there was no unique place for women in the church. In fact, they seemed subordinated to men in almost every way, beyond their ineligibility for ordination.
Harvard's President, Tackling Another Great Mystery
On Tuesday, a puff of white smoke at the Vatican signaled the election of a new pope. On Thursday, the following memo appeared in Outlook's e-mail. We don't know the source, but the memo looked real, so we made absolutely no effort to verify it. We reprint it here in full:
Same Issue, From George W. to George W.
Ever since the Constitution's adoption, the Senate has exercised its advise and consent role by occasionally withholding its consent. Here are some landmark battles over the president's power to appoint judges and executive branch officials.
Don't Tell Me Again
By Richard Morin, Page B05
You might remember Hitler's Big Lie Theory: Tell people something is true often enough and they'll come to believe it.
FAIR or Unfair Game?
By Michael Getler, Page B06
I was inundated with e-mails and phone messages last week from 700 or so faithful followers of FAIR, short for Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. One of several self-described media watchdog operations on both sides of the political divide, FAIR labels itself "progressive" and comes at things from a liberal position. Its targets are usually on the right.
Unread and Unsubscribing
By George F. Will, Page B07
If you awake before dawn you probably hear a daily sound that may become as anachronistic as the clatter of horses' hooves on urban cobblestones. The sound is the slap of the morning paper on the sidewalk.
Influence, and Irony, for Sale
By Michael Kinsley, Page B07
You can't entirely blame Tom DeLay for being annoyed and feeling abused. He is trapped in a Washington kabuki drama not of his own devising.
A Shifting Focus on Terrorism
By Jim Hoagland, Page B07
A new look for President Bush's global war on terrorism sits atop Condoleezza Rice's early to-do list at the State Department. Expect fairly soon some useful new handles on the problem and a more coherent overall strategy to guide the struggle that the bureaucracy abbreviates as GWOT.
Blunt but Effective
By Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Page B07
President Bush's nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has generated a bad case of dyspepsia among a number of senators, who keep putting off a confirmation vote. That hesitation is now portrayed as a consequence of Bolton's purported "mistreatment" of several State Department intelligence analysts. But this is a smoke screen. The real reasons Bolton's opponents want to derail his nomination are his oft-repeated criticism of the United Nations and other international organizations, his rejection of the arguments of those who ignore or excuse the inexcusable (i.e., the election of Sudan to the U.N. Human Rights Commission) and his willingness to express himself with the bark off.
A Judicious Compromise
Democrats Should Take the First Step to End the Filibuster Fracas
By David S. Broder, Page B07
It is not too late to avoid a Senate-splitting rules fight over President Bush's embattled judicial nominees and achieve something positive for both the public and the cause of good government, if only Democrats and Republicans can free themselves for a moment from the death grip of the opposing outside interest groups.
In Need Of a Little Credit
Each of Maryland's three levels of government -- city, county and state -- should enact a homestead tax credit similar to the one the District has. Such a tax credit would provide meaningful property tax relief to homeowners and make property taxes progressive without depleting government coffers.
Black, White and the Sterling Grays
I was 15 on April 10, 1945, when I took a seat in the front of a segregated Virginia bus to ride to Washington. At the bus terminal downtown, I then caught an integrated trolley to Griffith Stadium to see a game between the Homestead Grays and the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues.
Fishing for Votes at the Shad Planking
By Gordon C. Morse, Page B08
Bony fish. Pine trees. Signs. Pols. Hacks. Dust. Beer. More signs. Speeches. More beer. Press. A thousand or so assorted Virginians.
Taking the Measure of a New Pope
When the bells rang at the Basilica of the National Shrine by the Catholic University campus Tuesday, signaling that a new pope had been selected, students in a journalism course wrote down their thoughts about Pope Benedict XVI and about what his selection may mean for their generation and the church in general.
Darfur's Real Death Toll
THE BUSH administration's challenge on Darfur is to persuade the world to wake up to the severity of the crisis. On his recent visit to Sudan, Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick took a step in the opposite direction. He said that the State Department's estimate of deaths in Darfur was 60,000 to 160,000, a range that dramatically understates the true scale of the killing. If Mr. Zoellick wants to galvanize action on Darfur, he must take a fresh look at the numbers.
The Senate's Hypocrisy
CONGRESS IS spitting fire about China's allegedly unfair trade practices, which it blames for the enormous U.S. trade deficit. But that deficit is as much a reflection of Congress's habit of spending more than it raises in taxes, which contributes to the dearth of national savings. For the latest example of shameless congressional pork, consider a bill recently marked up in the Senate to lavish at least $10 billion on the Army Corps of Engineers.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT has become a cynical fact of modern life. When you see a store logo in a movie or a character with a brand-name beverage, you can be pretty sure it didn't get there by chance: Money changed hands. What you might not know is that a similar but more insidious transaction takes place in television news.
The April 19 Metro story about the hit-and-run death of James Brian Doherty, a D.C. man who feared being hit by a car, resonated with me.
A New Pope Who Defends the Old Truths
The Post's coverage of the passing of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI generally has been respectful, fair and informative. I cannot say the same for the April 20 editorial on the new pope.
Whose Space Center?
In an April 18 letter, Bobby R. Burchfield, outside counsel to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), wrote that his client "toured a Russian space center because his congressional district includes NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston."