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On the other hand

   There are no one-armed editorial writers today at The Buffalo News. You know, the ones who can never write, "On the other hand ..."

   The lead editorial in today's Buffalo News, "Keep clear of census," wants elected politicians of both parties to keep their hands off the 2010 federal census.
   That became an issue, briefly, while Republican Sen. Judd Gregg [left, with President Obama] was a Gregg  Censuslogo candidate to be secretary of the Department of Commerce, the department that includes the Census Bureau. Democrats worried he'd cook the books one way. So the White House said he wouldn't, that Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would be watching over him. Which meant that Republicans worried the books would be cooked the other way.
   Finally, Gregg withdrew. And President Obama has a chance to make it all right.

   Picking a commerce secretary with some credentials as a wonk — a scandal-free governor, perhaps, or an academic with some administrative experience along the lines of Energy Secretary Steven Chu — would help.

   On the other hand...
   The second editorial, "Improve health insurance," is happy that an elected politician, in this case New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, has gotten his hands around a part of the huge health insurance business that was operated in a way that constituted a huge -- and, for consumers, very expensive -- conflict of interest.
   One of the businesses whose employees were apparently victimized by the practice happened to be a newspaper, The Syracuse Post-Standard. Ooops. Here are the newspaper's latest story and editorial on the matter.  

- The Dallas Morning News: President Barack Obama now has to make it crystal clear that nobody will put a political thumb on the census scale. Trading out Karl Rove for Rahm Emanuel isn't the kind of change America deserves.
 The San Francisco Chronicle: Putting it in ballot-box terms: An undercount is what the GOP wants since it draws few voters from minority groups. Democrats, in contrast, draw strength from these groups and have always favored an arms-wide census.
 The Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner : The entire Gregg affair was a political soap opera, the kind of blather that many hoped Obama's presidency might avoid. Instead, the new administration has already had its share of "mini-dramas," with stars named Richardson, Geithner, Daschle and now Gregg.

-- George Pyle/Editorial Writer

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