Inside the Beltway

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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STILL ON RADAR

“Context and Consequences: A Conversation with Shirley Sherrod” — Title of a public forum with the former Department of Agriculture official before the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention in San Diego on Thursday

Those who pine for details can examine all 39 points of the new Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “Story of Shirley Sherrod: Reconstruction of a Media Mess” here: www.journalism.org.

ACHY BREAKY

Several cases of painful dengue fever, a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by “urban dwelling” mosquitoes, have recently been reported in the U.S., says the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, primarily in Texas and Florida.

“Despite the threat of further introduction of dengue into the mainland United States, as well as the risk of introduction of additional vector-borne diseases, President Obama’s 2011 fiscal budget reduces to zero the funding to support the vector-borne infectious-disease program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the group says.

“Although we recognize and applaud the need to constantly scan the federal budget to identify outdated or unnecessary programs, eliminating the CDC’s vector-borne infectious-disease program is not one of these areas. The proposed cuts to this program would be shortsighted, and would harm the health of the American people,” says Dr. Edward T. Ryan, president of the 107-year-old medical group.

POLL DU JOUR

77 percent of Americans say people favor tough laws against illegal immigrants because they’re concerned about the effects of that population on economic conditions and law enforcement.

• 20 percent say people favor the laws because they “dislike Latinos.”

• 59 percent are dissatisfied with the way President Obama has handled illegal immigration.

• 55 percent say they favor the new immigration law in Arizona.

• 51 percent are “dissatisfied” and 23 percent are “angry” about the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

• 50 percent say Arizona’s new law will not reduce illegal immigration; 48 percent say it will.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,018 adults conducted July 16-21.

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