Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
By Christopher Doering
Five weeks: It may not be a lot of time for many people, but with the pivotal mid-term elections looming on Nov. 2 Delaware Senator Tom Carper said five weeks is an eternity for Democrats to use to turn the tide in their favor.
“Today, five weeks a lot happens. A lot of minds change in five weeks,” Carper, a self-proclaimed “optimist”, told the Reuters Washington Summit.
“What we have to do is to be able to remind people if there is some good news here in the next five weeks of what that is and get people to focus on the future.”
Carper, a former Delaware governor, said there is a slew of economic data coming out between now and the election that Democrats could embrace. He pointed to another unemployment report next week, and several more weekly jobless claims.
After spending 16-plus hours each day running the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, American General David Petraeus tries to thumb through a few pages of a book each night before his eyes close and it falls to the ground. The most recent topic? Afghanistan of course.
The four-star general told Reuters that currently on his nightstand is a book by a leading expert on the country: Thomas Barfield, Afghanistan: a Cultural and Political History, a book ranked 21,047 on Amazon.com (as this blog was being published).
If Republicans are able to capture either chamber of the U.S. Congress in the November election, they will use that power to try to block any further expansion of the federal government by the Obama administration, Republican Senator Judd Gregg said on Wednesday.
“I think clearly going into the next Congress, if you have one or the other houses controlled by the Republican party, you’re going to have much more financial discipline, there’s no question of that,” Gregg, who is from New Hampshire and is retiring after the election, told the Reuters Washington Summit.
While the much maligned $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has officially ended, not everything has wrapped up — auditors are just starting to hit their stride investigating scores of cases of possible malfeasance.
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the program, nicknamed SIGTARP, said his office has more than 120 criminal investigations underway. They are looking into whether the money loaned to financial institutions and automakers was used properly or not, if there was fraud in applications for TARP financial backing and other wrongdoing.
If Democrats are able to hang on to the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2 elections, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will likely be able to concentrate her power because there will be fewer conservative Democrats giving her a hard time on critical votes, according to top senior lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Political prognosticators have said that Republicans are within striking distance of taking control of the House in November, with Republicans needing a net gain of 40 seats and polls showing them closing in on that target.
The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs hasn’t lost his sense of humor…yet.
Representative Howard Berman said he has been struggling for 24 years to get Congress to ease up on travel restrictions for Americans who want to go to Cuba. He’s determined to get it through his committee this year, even if it doesn’t happen until after the November election when the lawmakers are in “lame duck” session.