Here's what newspapers around the nation are saying:

Chicago Tribune

If you want to find religious warfare, look to Bosnia or India or Northern Ireland - not to America. The reason lies largely in the 1st Amendment, whose purpose is to keep church and state in separate spheres. That shrewd and prudent balance, however, is in danger of being upset by a pair of constitutional amendments drafted by Republicans at the behest of the Religious Right. One, advertised to end discrimination against people based on their religious expression, . . . (actually) would upend decades of jurisprudence that largely settled the boundries between church and state . . . and the other intended to restore prayer to public schools. The two amendments have one thing in common: They are both bad ideas. The purpose is plain: to let those in the religious majority enlist state aid and endorsement for their faith, and never mind the preferences of everyone else.

The Washington Post

The current rules on lobbying are premised on a sensible idea: that where expensive lobbyists are concerned, the public has a right to know who is paid how much to lobby whom, and for what. The problem is that the existing laws are full of loopholes, so a lot of the people who make most or much of their living lobbying don't even have to register. Earlier this year, on a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bill that would close the various loopholes on lobbying law and make the rules mean what they claim they mean. The loopholes ought to be closed.

The New York Times

Rail passenger service is the stepchild of America's transportation policy and the automobile culture Congress serves so slavishly. It took decades for urban transit systems to wrest even a penny of the federal gasoline tax to help localities to make rational the way people get to and from work. Now Amtrak, the intercity people-mover struggling to gain its financial footing, is at the mercy of the highway lobby and its loyal legislators. Congress must provide the financial security Amtrak needs. The passenger company, spun off from railroads that were allowed to concentrate on their viable freight business, deserves a sound financial base from a Capitol trust fund such as highway construction enjoys. It is a sad fact that Amtrak . . . must beg Congress for funding from the same half-penny of the gas tax that now goes to subways and other forms of mass transit. Highway lobbies are so powerful that further inroads seem politically unachievable. But . . . America needs to find a way to save this necessary resource.

The Atlanta Journal

The Atlanta Constitution

After the final installment of "The Beatles Anthology" baby boomers who have spent the week humming Lennon-McCartney classics, return to the 1990s . . . reading their 401K planning brochures and paying the bills. Over the past three decades, other megastars have stirred fans, but none has topped the mass appeal of the Beatles . . . (who) had the great advantage of being able to exploit the media when it was truly mass media. When they appeared in 1964 on "The Ed Sullivan Show," the Beatles instantly became known to Americans of all ages and interests. Today, prime-time variety shows are dead. With so many cable channels and TV sets available, families split up to watch exactly what they want in different rooms. (Now) the sound is better and the musical choices far greater. But it's hard not to get nostalgic for the day when Grandma would join the kids in front of the family television set to watch cutting-edge rock, followed by plate-spinning acts.