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What New Year's reolutions are being made now?
Block News Alliance


December 30, 2005

WASHINGTON - Most resolutions are not worth much, but as we face what we all hope and pray will be a far better year than nasty 2005 was, it's a near certainty what some resolutions made in Washington will be.

Here's predicting that President Bush will resolve to spend a little more time vetting his next Supreme Court nominee, who won't be named Harriet, and will be careful what he says about what's been accomplished when he gets on board an aircraft carrier. And the next time there's a natural disaster and he's on vacation, he'll be quicker to leave the ranch.

Vice President Cheney is resolving to strip the word "torture" from his vocabulary and will refuse to lobby anyone on Capitol Hill about what methods the CIA needs or doesn't need to get information from detainees. He will never again hire anyone named "Scooter."

Senior White House aide Karl Rove will be extremely careful before he talks with reporters about anyone with the name of "Valerie" or who works or has ever worked for the CIA.

The folks at the National Security Agency, who have been listening in on Americans' conversations with people overseas, will be more assiduous in using that black crayon they're supposed to use in blocking out American names from reports they forward to other agencies.

Defense Chief Donald Rumsfeld, if he remains chief of defense, will not throw around phrases such as "old Europe" so glibly. When his generals tell him they need more troops, he will smile and pat them on the back before he says "no" and fires them.

The next time there is a move to consolidate 22 fractious agencies into one department, such as the unwieldy Department of Homeland Security, members of Congress are resolved to ask more questions.

The next time Tom DeLay tells fellow Republicans that a good way to get the public's ear is to show up in a hospital room of a comatose patient and try to second-guess a bunch of doctors, GOP leaders are resolved to run in the opposite direction.

It's a good bet that the new school board members in Dover, Pa., have resolved never to string together the words "intelligent" and "design."

Samuel Alito Jr. is resolved that during his confirmation hearings on his Supreme Court nomination he will not repeat his impassioned 1985 ridicule of the idea that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy that is used as a legal basis for abortion.

Retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who will be the grand marshal for the 2006 Rose Parade, following Mickey Mouse who reigned in 2005, is resolved not to be a referee in the next heavyweight boxing championship of the world.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is resolved not to "double dog dare" transit workers to strike.

All White House aides are resolved never to tell the president that anything at all about Iraq, Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction is a "slam dunk" case.

Martha Stewart is resolved that if she is ever again confronted by federal officials, she will offer them cookies and milk and nothing more until she talks to her lawyers.

Civil libertarian Democrats resolve never more to permit the word "patriot" to be stamped on the title of a piece of legislation that has anything to do with law and order.

The United Nations undoubtedly is resolved not to get into any more "oil-for-food" scams, after investigations showed its contract with Iraq was mired in abject corruption.

Charismatic Illinois Democrat Barack Obama, is resolved not to peak too soon after a solid first year as a new senator. He also is determined to keep his sense of humor, which he displayed by noting that he was so overexposed he made even Paris Hilton look like a recluse.

And that other Democrat, Hillary of New York, certainly is resolved to keep the guessing game going on whether or not she'll run for president in 2008. Once she declares, the mystery is over and the gloves will come off.

And, finally, after a bad year for the press, we journalists resolve to be more accurate, more balanced, more thoughtful, more insightful and more resolute about finding out the truth.

Who knows? Unlike losing weight, exercising and saving more money, perhaps such resolutions will even be kept.


Ann McFeatters is Washington Bureau chief of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Toledo Blade.
E-mail amcfeatters(at)

Distributed to subscribers by Scripps Howard News Service,

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