Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTROME -- Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, is not afraid to be unpopular. That is why he was elected pope Tuesday. It is also why he will face excruciating difficulties in holding together the most ethnically, geographically and ideologically diverse religious institution in the world.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTROME -- The words broke like a thunderclap inside St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, addressing the world's cardinals just hours before they sequestered themselves Monday to choose the next leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics, decided to define this conclave.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTBeing Tom DeLay means never having to say you're sorry. So when the embattled House majority leader apologized Wednesday for the "inartful" way in which he attacked the federal judiciary after Terri Schiavo's death, it was the surest indicator that DeLay's days are numbered.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTThe same people who insist that critics of Social Security privatization should offer reform proposals of their own are working feverishly to eliminate alternatives that might reduce the need for benefit cuts or payroll tax increases.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTOutsiders scoff at the claims we Roman Catholics make, that the Holy Spirit guides the cardinals who will be electing a new pope. To those skeptics, I would suggest that divine protection is the only rational explanation for how our magnificent but flawed church has survived all these years.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTThe pope's plane was heading to the Ivory Coast from Togo on a journey that was to end that evening in Cameroon. In the press section, my friend Victor Simpson of the Associated Press had just read through the thick packet of speeches that John Paul II was to give on that long August day.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTIf President Bush is so insistent on the need for his political adversaries to talk to him about fixing Social Security, then why does he keep throwing them out of his campaign rallies -- excuse me, "town meetings" -- on the subject?
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTLiberals have so little respect for conservatives these days that people on the left are genuinely astonished when people on the right have principled disagreements with each other. The left assumes the right marches in lock step under orders from the White House.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTWhat does it mean to be pro-life? Might the one good thing to come out of the rancid politics surrounding the Terri Schiavo case be a serious discussion of the meaning of that term?
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTHarry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, called an urgent meeting last week with leaders of civil rights, civil liberties, environmental and women's groups. His message: The Senate faces a nuclear winter that could engulf them.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTThe sexy issues in budget fights get the headlines, and, Lord knows, drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a big deal. But the budget's most revealing details are hidden in plain sight and thus ignored.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTHouse Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethics troubles threaten more than his own political future. They have the potential to create a much wider scandal over lobbying on the Indian gambling issue and to open a rift among socially conservative Republicans.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTWhy are George W. Bush and his party so skillful in dealing with the abortion issue, and why are Democrats so clumsy?
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTAmerican politics has been so corrupted by concepts such as "positioning" and "message discipline" that citizens don't get credit for their ability to decide issues on the merits. But when the public knows and cares a great deal about what's at stake, it is quite discerning about what's true and what's not.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTWhen the news from abroad is good, what is the political opposition to do? Should Democrats let President Bush crow about favorable developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lebanon and Iraq? Should they crow with him? And how should Democrats deal with Bush's appropriation of what Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) calls "Wilsonian" and "Kennedyesque" rhetoric promoting the spread of democracy? If Bush pushes policies that are both "Democratic with a large D and a small d," Lieberman asks, shouldn't Democrats encourage him?
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTMy late parents, who came of age during the Great Depression, offered my sister and me a couple of simple rules about money: Never take on financial burdens you can't bear, and always pay your bills. Many years later, I still think they were right.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTWhen the going gets tough, Democrats form commissions.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTOf all of the arguments for cutting and privatizing Social Security, the most obnoxious and misleading focus on the alleged "greed" of senior citizens -- present and future.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTI recently reread one of the best political speeches of the 1990s. It was powerful because the leader in question not only discussed his own views but also offered a vision of who we are as Americans.
Sat, 23 Apr 2005 12:27:09 GMTFacing grave new threats from demonic forces, we can't be as exacting as we used to be about our rights and traditions, can we?