FROM Martha Joynt Kumar
Obama and Public Accountability After yesterday’s withdrawal of Tom Daschle as point man on healthcare reform, this was damage-control day at the Obama White House. But the big question was what went wrong. It wasn’t just Daschle who withdrew his nomination from the cabinet but also Nancy Killifer, who would have been the first chief compliance officer. Both failed to pay federal taxes, he a much larger amount than she. On this rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, we get an unusual perspective from a college professor who has a desk in the White House basement.
Obama and Public Accountability With top-level appointees admitting they didn't pay federal taxes, President Obama told TV interviewers last night, “ I screwed up .” The promise of tough standards to “change the culture” of Washington has created expectations that are hard to meet. The New York Times called it his “ rockiest day .” The Los Angeles Times said he was “ punching the restart button on his presidency .” Did the vetting process go wrong? Was there poor political judgment? Has the President's major asset, his popularity with the public, been put at risk? Will his personal efforts at damage control get his health reform and economic rescue programs back on track?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?