- - Thursday, June 2, 2011


Senators’ letter demands tighter sunscreen regulations

Some Senate Democrats are pressing the federal government to adopt new sunscreen regulations they say will prevent misleading labeling of sunscreen products.

In a letter dated Thursday to the heads of the Food and Drug Administration and Office of Management and Budget, six senators said they “continue to be disappointed that the FDA has not prioritized the implementation of meaningful, enforceable standards for sunscreen products that includes standards for both UVA and UVB protection.”

The FDA only requires sunscreen testing and labeling for “sun protection factors” (SPF), which mostly measures UVB rays, known for causing sunburns. But the senators say there is no consistency in the SPF number and its UVB ray protection, and there are no standards that apply to protection from UVA rays - a major cause of skin cancer and premature aging.

“This is a public health issue and a consumer-rights issue,” said Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who spearheaded the letter. “Sunscreen manufacturers should be required to back up their claims with scientific evidence.”


Paul email outlines Romney’s past

That didn’t take long.

Right around the time former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was officially announcing his second bid for the White House, Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 camp sent out email outlining perceived Romney shortcomings.

“With Gov. Romney officially announcing his run for the GOP presidential nomination today, I’m sure we’ll be seeing many mentions of his record on health care - which are warranted,” said Gary Howard, Mr. Paul’s spokesman, in the email. “But [there are] other parts of his record, that probably also warrants some highlighting.”
Mr. Howard goes on to say that Mr. Romney’s campaign website from his 2002 gubernatorial run highlights his questionable stances on gun control and abortion. According to Mr. Howard, the website said: “On Gun Control: Mitt Romney supports the strict enforcement of gun laws. He is a supporter of the federal weapons ban. Mitt also believes in the rights of those who hunt to responsibly own and use firearms.”

“On Abortion Rights: As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change. The choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government’s.”


C-SPAN2 marks 25 years of coverage

C-SPAN2 began live TV coverage of the U.S. Senate 25 years ago Thursday.

On launch day - June 2, 1986 - C-SPAN2 was available in 6.7 million households. Today, the channel can be seen in more than 89 million households.

C-SPAN began live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the House in March 1979. More than seven years passed before the cable network’s sister channel, C-SPAN2, was launched and began Senate coverage. The delay was caused in part because of opposition from some senators.

On C-SPAN2’s first day, then-Sen. Robert Dole, Kansas Republican, was majority leader, and the now-deceased Sen. Robert Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, was minority leader. The now-deceased Sen. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina Republican, served then as the Senate’s president pro tempore. C-SPAN3, which features uninterrupted live public affairs events, began in 2001.


O’Donnell says FEC complaint tossed

DOVER, Del. | Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell says the Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint filed against her during last year’s campaign by the Delaware Republican Party.

The state GOP accused Ms. O’Donnell and the Tea Party Express of violating FEC rules that restrict coordination between candidates and outside political organizations.
The complaint alleged that the Tea Party Express solicited donors to contribute to Ms. O’Donnell and that Ms. O’Donnell and the group worked jointly on advertising, a breach of federal rules.

In a post on her Twitter account Thursday, Ms. O’Donnell said the FEC had dismissed the complaint, which she described as frivolous and politically motivated. Ms. O’Donnell’s campaign lawyer also said the complaint has been dismissed.<


Holder vows clarification on medical-marijuana probes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. | U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. promised Thursday to clarify the Justice Department’s position on state medical marijuana laws after federal prosecutors warned they might prosecute everyone from licensed growers to regulators.

“We’re going to bring clarity so that people understand what this policy means and how this policy will be implemented,” Mr. Holder said during a visit here.
Mr. Holder didn’t go into detail about plans for clarification. But he said the department was wary of medical marijuana dispensaries being seen as a form of de facto marijuana legalization.

Several states have started reassessing their medical marijuana laws after U.S. attorneys recently sent stern warnings that everyone from licensed medical marijuana growers to regulators could be subjected to prosecution.

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