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* Happy birthday, Pope! Check out his full schedule here … but where do we fit in the 81 spankings? [via WTOP]

* The Politico has the rundown on President Bush‘s Pope preparations. Among them: yellow and white tulips reflecting the Vatican flag, Bavarian cuisine, and a state dinner tonight, which, “curiously, he [The Pope] will not attend.” The Politico also references media preparation for the visit: “When reporters picked up their credentials at a Washington hotel, they were offered a 73-page booklet, “How to Cover the Catholic Church,” published last month by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

* It is the first anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech [via The Post]

* In the first of a two-parter, Slate‘s Jack Shafer explains why he’s (one of the only ones, Bush administration excluded) against the proposed Free Flow of Information Act that aims to protect journalists’ confidential sources:

A federal shield law would reduce this helpful murk by legally codifying the process of subpoenaing journalists. Prosecutors and judges could now say to the press, We have this new law that balances the First Amendment with the government’s need for important and sensitive information that you hold. We’re going to walk through it very slowly, and no bellyaching if we tell you to give up a source. You wrote the goddamn thing and lobbied Congress to pass it!

Photo via ConceptJunkie