It somehow corrected itself last night. Would have been nice to know that the short description was truncated inside admin panel. I thought I was going CRAZY! In the end after spending an inordinate amount of time changing and testing on both sides of the admin interface I realized that what an end user sees looks correct. It's just doing the weird stuff in the admin interface as you stated.
Don't know what happen with the button. It appears to be working now. Just that one instance during my fit of confusion that it appeared and I grabbed a screen shot of it so I could explain.
think this has been cleared up now...at least I hope! I'll look at the code and possible extend the field you pointed to so I don't notice the discrepancy between the real interface and the admin interface. Thanks for the pointers!!