When I'm not writing novels I spend most of my time editing magazines. On days like today I'm glad not to be a daily journalist trying to cover breaking news. Let's see: Senator Robert Byrd dies, which has the unforeseen effect of endangering financial reform, just as the death of Ted Kennedy seemed to doom health care reform; the Elena Kagan hearings begin; the Supreme Court rules that cities can't restrict handgun ownership while it upholds the power of the government to regulate the accounting industry and agrees to hear a challenge to Arizona's notorious new immigration law. Plus the Netherlands (my sentimental favorite of the remaining teams) eliminates Slovakia from World Cup contention. And it's only just past noon.