Lowlights of the week: A war by any other name 

A war by any other name
1| New engagement euphemism

The details: White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes claimed the bombing campaign in Libya is not a war at all, but a “kinetic military action.” So, we’re not really fighting a war in Libya?
Japan crisis worsens
2| More containment vessel leaks?

The details: Japanese officials acknowledged that the containment vessel of one of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant reactors appeared to have leaked. Water inside the reactor had 10,000 times the normal amount of radiation.
Socrates outta there
3| Leader quits in budget crisis

The details: Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned and said, “I am convinced the country is lost” after his parliament failed to pass an austerity package. The European country could be the next to require a bailout.
Rent-seeker supreme
4| General Electric paid no taxes

The details: For the second year in a row, General Electric not only paid no taxes, it claimed a $3.2 billion tax benefit. GE made $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, with $5.2 billion of that coming stateside.
 Not neutral
5| FCC chairman mocks Issa
The details: Federal Communications Commission head Julius Genachowski “ignored” a request for “net neutrality” documents from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to its chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Next come the subpoenas.

6| Air controller snores on job

The details: Two passenger jets were forced to land without clearance at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as the lone air traffic controller on duty snored away. The FAA employee was subsequently suspended.
7| BRAC gridlock forecast

The details: In just six months, about 30,000 defense workers will move to new workplaces around Washington. But state, local and federal officials concede needed transportation improvements aren’t in place and won’t be before the move.
8| Principal in hot water at McKinley

The details: McKinley Technical High School Principal David Pinder has been suspended over allegations that he doctored grades and assigned seniors phony credits to bolster the school’s graduation rate. A probe has also been started into possible misappropriation of a $100,000 academic award.
Empty chair
9| Board member absent but paid

The details: Metro board member Marcell Solomon, whose contract was terminated in December, earned $36,000 — the highest of any board member — despite missing 63 percent of Metro board meetings.
No surprise here
10| Worst cell phone service

The details: The Washington-Baltimore region ranked as the worst for cell phone reception, with 18 problems — including static, echoes and dropped calls — reported for every 100 users. Reception was best in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh among the 27 ranked nationwide.

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