Morning News - As Corny as Kansas in August

Mar 20, 2009

Political analysts are having a field day debating the administration's response to the AIG bonuses, which has veered from blaming someone else to accepting responsibility; from saying it was no big deal to saying Americans are right to be really angry about it; from saying their hands were tied to saying they were doing everything in their power to claw them back.

Professor and former Obama political adviser Drew Westen wrote on CNN's web site: "Watching some of the president's chief economic advisers publicly throw up their hands in helplessness, suggesting the government could feed the monster but couldn't control it, was a reminder of what happens when presidential surrogates speak without proper media training, a unified message, and a clear sense of why getting their message right on this really matters."

The New York Times' David Brooks likens the outrage over the bonuses to ignoring a tiger at your throat to worry about dust bunnies under the bed and loose floorboards.

The Washington Post scolds Congress for being shortsighted, opportunistic, and irresponsible in passing the bonus excise tax.

There are some interesting new poll results on another one of the administration's top priorities – health care. A CNN survey indicates that most Americans like their current health care coverage, but are not happy with costs. About 80% of Americans are satisfied with the quality of health care they receive and 75% are happy with their coverage. But satisfaction drops to 52% when it comes to the amount people pay for their health care.

Newly installed Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is putting regulation of a popcorn flavoring ingredient on the front burner. The Chamber is panning the proposal, arguing there's only a kernel of truth to the belief that regulation is needed as nearly all popcorn manufacturers have agreed to stop using it. The U.S. Chamber's Marc Freedman popped off [am I being "corny" with these puns?] in a Wall Street Journal article: "It seems to me that they're pushing ahead without getting solid answers to the key questions that they need to develop a regulation."

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