Printed on: September 25, 2013

Washington briefly


Regulation urged by AGs for e-cigarettes

BOSTON (AP) -- Forty attorneys general, including Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday urging the agency to meet its own deadline and regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way it regulates tobacco products.

The letter, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Attorney Martha Coakley and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, says e-cigarettes are being marketed to children through cartoonlike advertising characters and by offering fruit and candy flavors, much like cigarettes were once marketed to hook new smokers.

At the same time, e-cigarettes are becoming more affordable and more widely available as the use of regular cigarettes decline as they become more expensive and less socially acceptable.

Study: Pentagon could cut thousands

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Defense Department could shed 60,000 more troops than planned and 50,000 civilian employees without hurting U.S. fighting power, four former members of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a new report on military strategy and spending.

Nearly $50 billion in budget cuts are recommended in the report released Tuesday and authored by a 17-member panel including two former vice chairmen of the joint chiefs, a former Air Force chief and former Navy chief. Writing for the Stimson Center think tank, the authors suggested cuts they said would replace future rounds of automatic, across-the-board cuts in the Pentagon's budget called for in a deficit reduction deal two years ago.

Obama, Bill Clinton tout health care law

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton took to the same stage Tues-

day to promote the new health care law that Obama championed after Clinton's own efforts to reform

health care years earlier fell flat.

Joining forces under dimmed lights in a hotel ballroom in New York, Obama and Clinton laid out the law's benefits and its connection to the economy while dispelling what they called disinformation about its downsides. Clinton, acting as host, lobbed the questions; Obama answered with the eagerness of a guest on a daytime TV talk show.