Ed Kilgore in The New Republic on Ted Cruz's Texas win With the backing of Tea Party big shots like Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz defeated the more established Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Senate primary Tuesday. "A Cruz victory will have an independent impact on perceptions of the future direction of the GOP and the conservative movement," Kilgore predicts. "And since the closest thing to 'moderation' Dewhurst can be accused of is the occasional willingness to negotiate with Democrats in the Texas legislature, a Cruz win, particularly if it's big, will be widely interpreted as a warning to congressional Republicans against anything other than hard-core, no-compromise, let-the-economy-go-to-hell positioning on all the upcoming fiscal battles."
Sanjay Gupta in The New York Times on medical mistakes Gupta writes that medical mistakes cause an estimated 200,000 American deaths each year. "It is a given that American doctors perform a staggering number of tests and procedures, far more than in other industrialized nations, and far more than we used to," he says. "Defensive medicine is rooted in the goal of avoiding mistakes. But each additional procedure or test, no matter how cautiously performed, injects a fresh possibility of error." Gupta rounds up suggestions for ways to address the problem, including regular meetings at hospitals where doctors air their errors.
David Ignatius in The Washington Post on the Senate's leak legislation The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill aimed at leaks in classified information. "[A]fter 35 years of writing about intelligence matters, I want to confide a journalistic secret: Most damaging leaks don't come from U.S. intelligence agencies. They come from overseas, or they come from the executive branch, or they come, ahem, from Congress. The bill doesn't address the real source of the leaks it seeks to halt," Ignatius writes. He adds that the bill might in fact be harmful in preventing intelligence sources from commenting on classified information that comes from other sources.
Handel Reynolds in Bloomberg View on politics and mammography Reynolds describes how scientific recommendations about rethinking mammograms for women under 50 got wrapped up in politics over the national health care law. "The panel's timing, dictated by the publishing schedule of the medical journal in which the recommendation was announced, could not have been worse. During the last half of 2009, Congress was debating President Barack Obama's health-care-reform legislation, and, over the summer, members of Congress had faced loud and hostile constituents in town-hall meetings," Reynolds writes. "It is unlikely we will ever have another major national controversy on screening mammography in women younger than 50. After all, it has already been studied in excruciating detail."
Steven Rattner in The New York Times on breaking up the banks Sanford Weill, who helped engineer the repeal of the Glass-Steagel Act which kept commercial and investment banking separated, last week called for a reinstatement of that division. "But Mr. Weill's musings are an ill-advised distraction," Rattner argues. "[T]he bank merger frenzy that Mr. Weill set off in the late 1990s was not the proximate cause of the financial crisis ... What brought our financial system to its knees was old-fashioned poor management that expanded the banks' portfolios and activities too aggressively without sufficiently robust risk controls, enabled by lax (or nonexistent) oversight by regulators."