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A contrary view on the Pulitzers

WASHINGTON — On Monday, my Washington Post colleagues celebrated winning the Pulitzer Prize for public service along with the Guardian newspaper for their reporting on Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency.

The real meaning of Easter: Candy

I love Easter candy. I love biting the ears off chocolate bunnies and picking out all the red jelly beans. I even like marshmallow Peeps. And, when you’re in front of the Easter display at the supermarket — thinking, “Creme-filled eggs for a dollar? Must buy them all!” — it’s sometimes hard to remember that Easter is about family and tradition and, yes, even some religion, too.

Understanding our divisions

WASHINGTON — In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

At HHS, Sebelius wasn’t the problem

Last week brought the news that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is leaving the Obama administration, to be replaced by Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Though we’ve consistently opposed HHS policy during Secretary Sebelius’ tenure, we can’t help but feel some measure of pity for the former Kansas governor, who served as the public face of one of the most spectacular public policy failures in American history. While our sentiments might not quite reach the level of sympathy, we can certainly understand why she wanted out.

Health care nightmares

When it comes to health reform, Republicans suffer from delusions of disaster. They know, just know, that the Affordable Care Act is doomed to utter failure, so failure is what they see, never mind the facts on the ground.

Solution in search of a problem

Is America fundamentally hostile to women? It’s a notion that seems difficult to reconcile with the reality we see around us. In the March jobs report, for instance, women and men had exactly the same unemployment rates. Women substantially outnumber men on American college campuses. And, with 63.7 percent of women voting in the 2012 presidential election (as opposed to 59.7 percent of men), it’s not as if they’re being shut out of the political process.

Bottom dollar

The earned-income tax credit is one of the government’s most effective poverty-fighting, work-encouraging tools. The program pays low-income employees a wage supplement, in the form of a tax credit, that can be worth more than $6,000 a year to a family with three or more children. The EITC has offset higher Social Security taxes and the minimum wage’s erosion by inflation in recent years.

A recourse to budgetary inaction

PHOENIX — From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement’s brain, comes an innovative idea gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates might bring it to at least 35 other states’ legislatures. It would use the Constitution’s Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution’s Framers thought their document guaranteed.