National Press Club

FDIC chairman blames “short-termism” for nation’s financial crisis

June 27, 2011 | By By Terry Hill |

Outgoing Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair, making her final public appearance as head of the banking oversight agency, told a National Press Club luncheon on June 24 that pervasive short-term thinking led to the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

“‘Short-termism’ is a serious and growing problem for both business and government,” she said, noting the tendency of humans to discount potential problems that could occur far into the future.

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Johnston: To counter Jihadists, put religion at center of foreign policy

June 27, 2011 | By Arshad Mahmud |

The best way to address Jihadist terrorism is to make religion a central component of American foreign policy, according to Douglas Johnston, an expert on foreign policy and religion, who spoke at the National Press Club on June 23.

“We’re dealing with symptoms and not the real cause," Johnston said in a critique of current U.S. policy. "And that’s the problem."

The International Correspondents Committee hosted the event to coincide with the launch of Johnston's new book, "Religion, Terror, and Error: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Challenge of Spiritual Engagement."

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A rarity: Gaiman signs books for sold-out Club audience

June 27, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman drew more than 500 people to a National Press Club Book Rap June 23. After Gaiman spoke, he signed copies of his recently released “American Gods Tenth Anniversary Edition.”

Gaiman normally does not personalize books, so the book signing at the Club event, organized by Emily Whitten of the Book and Author and Young Members Committees, was a rare opportunity for the enthusiastic crowd.

“American Gods” was originally published in 2001. Gaiman’s first event promoting the book was at the Borders in the World Trade Center in New York City, he said.

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Panelist calls counterfeit medicines 'heinous crime'

June 27, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Industry experts described threats to health and safety from counterfeit electrical and pharmaceutical products at a June 23 Newsmaker.

"This is a heinous crime," said Patrick Ford, senior director, American Region at Pfizer Inc.

He said that counterfeit Alzheimer medicines could result in faster deterioration of patients while counterfeit blood pressure medicines could threaten lives. He cited the danger to children from fake vaccines.

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Former FEMA Director urges Book Rap audience to be prepared

June 23, 2011 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

“FEMA will not save you,” said Michael Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Brown, who served as the first undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA director from 2003 to 2005, was forced to resign in the wake the federal government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina. He presented his book, “Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House and Beyond,” at a National Press Club Book Rap June 21.

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House Republican says growing deficits will have "dire" consequences

June 22, 2011 | By Herb Jackson

A leading House budget hawk says continuing massive budget deficits are just as serious as the “scare tactics” coming from the Obama administration about a possible default on the national debt.

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Journalist Bahari: "I am free now, but others are not."

June 20, 2011 | By Peter Hickman |

Journalist Maziar Bahari, who spent almost four months in a six-by 12 foot cell in Tehran's Evin prison on what he says were unspecified espionage charges, urged journalists to remember others who are imprisoned and work for their release.

"I am free now, but others are not," the Iranian-born Bahari told a Newsmaker audience June 16.

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Scowcroft: Globalization erodes power of individual countries

June 14, 2011 | By Ken Dalecki |

Globalization is "reducing freedom of action of the nation state," former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft told a National Press Club luncheon audience June 14 during the annual Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation journalism awards presentations.

Scowcroft, the top security aide to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, said that globalization in communications, economics and other fields is "eroding the power of nation states" that have been the framework for international relations since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

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Ag Secy: Global food security requires innovation, accurate information

June 13, 2011 | By Lorna Aldrich |

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called for innovation and accurate market information to meet global food needs at a National Press Club luncheon June 13.

"We must ensure that food makes it from farms to mouths," he said. "The solution to global food security lies in innovation, arising from research and development."

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 925 million people were undernourished last year. Although an improvement over 2009, the number is still "unacceptably high," Vilsack said.

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Club 5K participants beat heat; race draws record number of entrants

June 13, 2011 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

Hundreds of participants in the National Press Club Beat the Deadline 5K endured hot, humid conditions on June 11, despite the race's 7:30 a.m. start time.

The event drew a record number of entrants -- more than 800 -- and likely will produce the highest fundraising total in six years for the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library.

But the cohort of runners and walkers was fewer than the total registered -- probably due to the warm temperature.

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