Thursday, March 1, 2007

In Case You Missed It

News Highlights for 02/28 from the The Progress Report
a publication of The Center for American Progress Action Fund

Think Fast

“Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media,” the Army Times reports. Soldiers said an official told them “they
must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.”

“In the
most definitive statement in years,” Mike McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said yesterday that “Osama bin laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps.” He also admitted to the Senate that the “term ‘civil war’ accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict.”

The Politico editor John Harris acknowledged “with pride and remorse” that he is the author of the “slow-bleed” phrase that the right wing is using to attack Rep. John Murtha’s (D-PA) Iraq plan. “As happens all the time in journalism, this was a decision — made on the fly and under deadline —
that I would have taken back in the morning.”

With the House expected to vote Thursday on the pro-worker Employee Free Choice Act, “a business coalition
launched a six-figure radio ad campaign late Tuesday in an attempt to convince three Democratic freshmen who represent conservative districts to defy organized labor and vote against the bill.”

Fox News doesn’t report. “While other media outlets, in their coverage of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, have addressed the
longtime evangelical hostility to Romney’s Mormon faith, Fox News has largely avoided the subject and has responded to other media coverage of the issue by alleging media bias or, in the case of one guest, accusing liberals of anti-Mormon bigotry.”

A new
UN Foundation study warns that there is “no more time for delay” on climate change. Without quick action, the Earth could reach a “tipping point that could lead to intolerable impacts on human well-being,” including “the spread of disease, less fresh water, more and worse droughts, more extreme storms and widespread economic damage to farming, fishing and forests.”

“The federal agency that’s been front and center in warning the public about tainted spinach and contaminated peanut butter is conducting just half the food safety inspections it did three years ago. The cuts by the Food and Drug Administration come
despite a barrage of high-profile food recalls.”

And finally: Frank Against Cute or Inane Acronyms for Legislation (FACIAL)? Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has put the House Financial Services Committee “on notice that he
will no longer tolerate cute bill titles.” “The title of this bill is unfortunately an acronym,” Frank said of the National Security FIRST Act. (Short for the National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007). “The chair does not intend to bring forward further legislation in which the title is a word.” “I regret that you won’t allow any more acronyms,” replied the bill’s author, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). “We worked hard on this acronym.” Frank did eventually allow the acronym to stay, “mainly because he supports the bill.”

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