National Journal Online

Boucher Looks Into His Crystal Ball On Privacy Legislation

Former Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., a key player on tech and telecom issues for more than two decades, made some bold and not-so-bold predictions on Wednesday about the fate of privacy and data security legislation this Congress.

The not-so-bold prediction is that lawmakers will not pass broad comprehensive privacy legislation this Congress, a view echoed by both privacy advocates and industry critics of such proposals.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 3:40pm

Cantaloupe Food Poisoning Spread at Dirty Facility, FDA Says

Twenty-five people have been killed by listeria-contaminated cantaloupe, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday, and a dirty food-packing facility may have helped spread it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 123 people have been made seriously ill in the outbreak. Far more were likely infected, but listeria doesn’t always cause serious symptoms, and doctors do not always test people for listeria when they are sick.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Perry Calls for Replacing Income Tax With Flat Tax

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for replacing the federal income tax with a flat tax, a conservative idea long condemned by liberals as a regressive burden on lower- and middle-income taxpayers.

The Republican presidential hopeful previewed his economic plan for the country at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, but offered few details. He said he would unveil a proposal next week calling for creation of a flat tax, which would replace the present system of graduated tax rates based on income with a single rate for all taxpayers, regardless of income.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Hospital Infection Rates Drop, CDC Says

Patients were less likely to get certain infections in U.S. hospitals last year thanks to a concerted campaign to prevent them, federal officials announced on Wednesday.

They found a 33 percent reduction in central-line infections – caused when a thin tube is inserted into a patient’s neck or chest to deliver medication and check blood. Infections caused by catheters used to collect urine from bed-bound patients fell by 7 percent in 2010; surgical-site infections fell 10 percent; and dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections dropped 18 percent.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Clinton in Afghanistan to Push Reconciliation

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday on an unannounced visit to urge leaders there to continue reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, the Associated Press reported.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Economist Behind Cain's '9-9-9' Plan Says It's Time to Drop a Nine

One of the economists behind Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s "9-9-9" tax plan thinks it's time for Cain to drop one of those nines—the proposed 9 percent sales tax.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Super Committee Meets Gang of Six

Members of the bipartisan “Gang of Six” met behind closed doors on Wednesday with the super committee to explain their plan from earlier this year to cut about $3.7 trillion from the nation’s deficit over 10 years.

Afterward, it remained unclear exactly how interested the 12 Republicans and Democrats on the new panel were in that earlier plan – or specific elements of it – as they continue to race against a Nov. 23 deadline to come up with their own strategy for at least $1.2 trillion in savings.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Feingold's Liberal Picks To Click

Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., made his second Senate endorsement of the cycle Wednesday, throwing his support behind Rep. Tammy Baldwin's candidacy.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm

Obama and First Lady Announce New Jobs for Veterans

President Obama and the first lady, together for the last leg of his latest bus tour, announced on Wednesday a commitment by the American Logistics Association to hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013.

The association represents 270 companies, including Coca Cola, Tyson Foods, and ConAgra, with the primary focus of placing veterans at those companies. The group was a logical first step for Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces” initiative to hire 100,000 veterans in the private sector by the same deadline.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:40pm