A few resolutions for 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

    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

    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

    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.

    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