Brian writes, about Robert Pear's article on SCHIP:
Step 1: Have a high tolerance for boredom.
Step 2: Obtain remedial knowledge of specific policy landscape.
Step 3: Know how to write a paragraph like this one:
House Democrats hope to portray the [SCHIP] issue as a fight pitting the interests of children and older Americans against tobacco and insurance companies. The White House says the Democratic proposals would distort the original intent of the children’s program, cause a big increase in federal spending and adversely affect older Americans who are happy with the extra benefits they receive from private health plans.
What mustn't be written explicitly (both in this case and more generally) is that the weight of all evidence and argument suggests strongly that the Democrats portray the issue basically correctly while Republicans are completely full of s---.