Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Take Five

October 21, 2010

Washington Extra is going to let our correspondents do the talking today. So instead of listening to my meanderings, check out these five stories:  SWITZERLAND/

-          Mark Hosenball’s special report on Christine O’Donnell and her money problems. Her tense relationship with mainstream Republicans and her floundering campaign have led big-time donors to shun her, albeit quietly. Read here.

-          John Whitesides’ story on how big Republican gains in the governors’ races on November 2 could dramatically reshape the U.S. political landscape for a decade, giving the party an edge on next year’s redrawing of congressional district boundaries and in the 2012 presidential race. Here.

-          Kim Dixon’s analysis of how Republican gains and a sour post-election mood could spoil the chances of a deal on the Bush-era tax cuts, which might just end up expiring. Here

-          Jon Hurdle’s report from Philadelphia on how Democrats have found a new bogeyman in the congressional elections: China. The China-bashing, though, isn’t going down well with firms like Caterpillar, which has seen demand for its heavy machinery jump in China, and appealed today for U.S. policymakers not to fuel trade tensions. Here.

-          Tim Gaynor’s report from Las Vegas on the importance of the Hispanic vote in the Nevada Senate race, where President Barack Obama heads on Friday in an attempt to energize Harry Reid’s lackluster campaign. Here. 

Enjoy.

Here are some of our other top stories today…

 Obama courts women voters on West Coast tour

President Obama aimed his economic message at women voters as he campaigned on the West Coast for women candidates crucial to his Democrats’ chances of keeping control of the Senate.

For more of this story by Caren Bohan, read here.

States group OKs tough health insurance rules

State insurance commissioners unanimously backed tough rules requiring health insurance companies to direct more of the premiums they collect to medical care, rather than corporate salaries and profits.

For more of this story by Susan Heavey, read here.

US data shows small gains, monetary stimulus seen

A batch of new data painted a picture of an economy stuck in slow-growth mode, reinforcing views the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy further next month.

For more of this story by Lucia Mutikani, read here.

U.S. plan hits opposition at G20, FX accord remote

G20 officials are unlikely to reach an accord rejecting currency devaluations and capping current account balances, an informed source said on Thursday, after U.S. proposals ran into stiff opposition.

For more of this story, read here.

CFTC to oversee foreign banks dealing swaps: Gensler

The futures regulator’s broad new powers over swaps markets will apply to foreign banks dealing swaps in the United States, Chairman Gary Gensler told international bankers.

For more of this story, read here.

Senator presses State Department on oil sands pipeline

Senator Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican, criticized Hillary Clinton for remarks that led him to believe the State Department would not give a fair hearing to critics of a proposed $7 billion pipeline to carry crude from Canada’s oil sands to U.S. refineries.

For more of this story by Ayesha Rascoe, read here.

Drought risks hide in US utility bond market-report

Many investors are oblivious to growing water scarcity in the U.S. West and Southeast that pose risks to municipal bonds issued by water and power utilities, according to a new report.

For more of this story by Timothy Gardner, read here

La Nina to build, dictate US winter weather-NOAA

A strengthening La Nina will grip the U.S. this winter, bringing warmer, drier weather across the South and cooler, moist conditions in the far northern and western parts of the country.

For more of this story by Christopher Doering, read here.

New strain of swine flu emerges – report

The H1N1 swine flu virus may be starting to mutate, and a slightly new form has begun to predominate in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, researchers reported.
 
For more of this story by Maggie Fox, read here.

What we are blogging…

 

Midterm election enthusiasm being lost on the young

In the end, it’s all about turnout. President Obama has been trying to rev up young voters, who played a strong role in his own election, to encourage them show up at the polls on Election Day. But a Harvard University poll of voters under age 30 finds midterm enthusiasm waning as the election approaches.

For Tabassum Zakaria’s full post, click here.

From elsewhere…

UK lawmaker’s wife accused of kitten theft

The wife of a British MP appeared in court charged with breaking into the house of her husband’s lover and stealing a tabby kitten worth 20 pounds. The 52-year-old was released on bail. On his blog, lawmaker John Hemming published a picture of the missing kitten, Beauty, and asked for anyone who had seen her to contact him at the House of Commons. 

For more of this story, read here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse (Christie’s jewelry specialist displays rings during auction preview in Geneva in 2007)

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