I can't really understand why the messages aren't on a pop up on an F key instead of taking up map space on the screen all the time. OK, the same window is used for unit selection, but again, this would be so much better as a popup too.
Would reduce screen clutter also, as well as being more readable. In fact, I'd get rid of the frame at the bottom of the screen completely and only have it appear as and when units are selected.
Maybe everyone else is using bigger screens than me? (17" widescreen laptop)