- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 22, 2009

WHITE HOUSE

Translation offered for ‘wee-weed’

President Obama puzzled people when he said Washington “gets all wee-weed up,” so the White House offered a translation Friday: Folks are wetting the bed over the health care debate.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked during his daily on-camera briefing what Mr. Obama meant on Thursday when he decried the way his push for an ambitious health care overhaul had been played in the media.

“There’s something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up,” Mr. Obama told an audience at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. “I don’t know what it is, but that’s what happens.”

The “wee-weed” comment had reporters looking for a translation from Mr. Gibbs, who is from Alabama and known for his colorful Southern idioms.

“Let’s do this in a way that is family-friendly,” Mr. Gibbs said. “I think wee-weed up is when people just get all nervous for no particular reason. Bed-wetting would be probably the more consumer-friendly term.”

KENNEDY

Son: Senator Kennedy ‘frustrated’ by absence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. | Rep. Patrick Kennedy said Friday that his father, Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, has been “very frustrated” to be absent from Washington during the debate over health care reform.

Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat, told the Associated Press that his father, who has made health care a core issue during his 47 years in the Senate, has a unique ability to read his colleagues and negotiate compromises.

“Every other senator in that Senate knows that there have been very few senators like Ted Kennedy over the years that can bring both sides together and hammer out a deal that can then go to the president,” said the younger Kennedy, who called his father a “master legislator” and statesman.

NUCLEAR

U.S. says Iran not cooperating on nukes

Iran is still not fulfilling its obligations related to its nuclear activities, despite allowing U.N. inspectors access to a reactor and allowing an upgrade to monitoring at a uranium enrichment plant, a senior Obama administration official said Friday.

“Iran is still not in compliance with its IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) obligations and is not providing what has been called for, and that is full and comprehensive cooperation,” the official said.

FDA

First drug for infantile spasms OK’d

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first drug to treat infantile spasms, a rare disorder that can cause hundreds of seizures per day in children less than a year old.

Sabril is an oral solution from Deerfield, Ill.-based Lundbeck Inc., approved for children between the ages of 1 month and 2 years. Infantile spasms usually occur while babies are eating or waking up, and often come in clusters of up to 100.

“Infantile spasms in children this young are very serious, and this approval provides these patients and their parents a treatment option,” said the FDA’s director of neurology products, Russell Katz.

The agency also approved a Sabril tablet to treat epileptic seizures in adults who have not responded to previous treatments. Specifically, the drug is approved for complex partial seizures, which affect about 3 million adults in the U.S.

FLORIDA

Is God protecting at governor’s behest?

ORLANDO, Fla. | Could it be divine intervention that’s kept Florida safe from hurricanes since Gov. Charlie Crist took office?

Mr. Crist said he isn’t trying to take credit, but he told a group of real estate agents Friday that he’s had prayer notes placed in the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year, and no major storms have hit Florida.

Mr. Crist noted that just before his election in 2006, Florida had been affected by a total of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

“Do you know the last time it was we had a hurricane in Florida? It’s been awhile. In 2007, I took my first trade mission. Do you know where I went?” said Mr. Crist, a Methodist, referring to a trip to Israel.

He then told of going to the Western Wall and inserting a note with a prayer. He said it read, “Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie.”

FLU

Antiviral drugs not always appropriate

The flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza may not be worthwhile to treat seasonal influenza in healthy adults, British researchers reported Friday.

“Recommending the use of antiviral drugs for the treatment of people presenting with symptoms is unlikely to be the most appropriate course of action,” wrote Jane Burch of the University of York and colleagues.

Their study, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, supports an advisory from the World Health Organization that says healthy patients who get H1N1 swine flu without suffering complications do not need to be treated with antivirals.

Tamiflu, made by Switzerland’s Roche under license from Gilead Sciences Inc., is a pill that can both treat and prevent influenza A viruses of all kinds. Zanamivir, made by GlaxoSmithKline under license from Australia’s Biota and sold under the brand name Relenza, is an inhaled drug in the same class.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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