The head of the Food and Drug Administration doesn't like a proposal to make his agency regulate cigarettes. His reasoning is sensible: The FDA is set up to oversee things that make you healthier. Cigarettes do the opposite. Smoking's rationale, trading pleasure for the risk of cancer, doesn't compute by the agency's usual reckoning. Under that, the FDA would probably just ban tobacco utterly. One wonders if that's the real aim of the proposal.
- Patrick McIlheran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Republicans who say Hillary Rodham Clinton is their foe of choice for president because she's so polarizing should take a closer look at their front-runner, Rudolph W. Giuliani. The mean-spirited, race-baiting, hotheaded former mayor of New York deserves a Ph.D. in polarization. With religious conservatives threatening to back a third-party bid if he gets the Republican nod, Mr. Giuliani has even managed to pit Republicans against Republicans. Go Rudy.
- Alvin Bessent, Newsday
No one can accuse Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of being an exponent of big government, but he realizes that the children's health insurance program he co-sponsored in 1997 needs to be expanded. Because of Republicans like him, the bill that would cover an additional 3.8 million youngsters has enough support in the Senate to override President Bush's indefensible veto. With a push by the bill's coalition of backers, it will also get the 15 to 20 votes needed to override the veto in the House.
If the House fails to override the veto, Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to send the bill through again. But the first override vote isn't until Oct. 18, plenty of time for the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the association of America's Health Insurance Plans, and all the other groups supporting SCHIP to persuade 15 to 20 representatives to join the 265 who have already voted for the bill. As Mr. Hatch said last week, it's "the morally right thing to do."
- The Boston Globe