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Off the News

For Wednesday, September 29, 2010


POSTED:

'Christmas creep' is creeping us out

Stunned to see Christmas decorations already on sale at Macy's, and elsewhere in the islands? That's nothing. The Consumerist, an online offshoot of Consumer Reports, has been tracking what it calls "Christmas creep" for some time.

Shutterbugs from across the country have been submitting evidence of yuletide decor elbowing out the Halloween merchandise. All this, and many of us still leave all the holiday prep for the last minute.

Check it out at consumerist.com, and do a search for "Christmas creep." Better yet, send your own snapshots to tips@consumerist.com.

Plain language, government style

The U.S. Senate on Monday passed and sent to the U.S. House the Plain Writing Act, which requires the federal government to write public documents in language most citizens can understand. It's an idea that seems smart, sensible and simple.

Of course, where federal law is concerned, nothing is simple, even in the six short pages of H.R. 946. The bill specifies what kinds of documents are covered -- "a letter, publication, form, notice or instruction," but not those with regulations -- and a few other rules, like implementation procedures, website requirements, reports to Congress, and perhaps most important, how government agencies will determine what constitutes "plain writing."

We can hardly wait.






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