The Obama administration put off a plan to collect a fee on Christmas trees. An industry group asked for the fee, 15 cents per tree. Conservatives denounced what they labeled a tax on Christmas trees. The White House defended the fee, saying it's not a tax at all. All the same, the administration says it will delay collecting the money.
Had Wednesday's first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System been a real alert, some may have been left in the dark. Instead of that irritating tone interrupting television and radio programming, some TV viewers heard Lady Gaga singing "Paparazzi." Others had their programming switched to QVC, a home shopping channel.
Presidential hopefuls and voters alike sometimes get upset about so-called gotcha questions from reporters that seem designed to embarrass contenders. But Wednesday night's Republican debate outside Detroit demonstrated how some candidates have done a perfectly good job of "getting" themselves.
The debate had some dramatic moments — including one excruciating moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would probably like to forget. The comments focused on the economy and jobs, but there were also questions about the sexual harassment allegations against front-runner Herman Cain.
The Obama administration's first attempt to try a Guantanamo detainee in a military commission began Wednesday with the arraignment of the man accused of masterminding the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. The incident killed 17 servicemen and women in Yemen in 2000. Human rights groups object to trying terrorists in a parallel justice system hundreds of miles off U.S. shores.
Alabama's most populous county has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Jefferson County commissioners voted to declare bankruptcy after years of squabbling with creditors over $4 billion in debt.
House Republicans have released emails related to solar panel maker Solyndra which got $535 million in government loan guarantees and then went bankrupt. Republicans say the emails show an Obama campaign bundler used his influence at the White House to make the loan happen.