Washington Extra – Special Day

October 22, 2010

CHINA/Before heading off to enjoy your weekend, I would encourage you to take a look at Emily Kaiser’s special report on income inequality in the United States, and a growing body of opinion that links high levels of income inequality with financial crises.

It may not be a coincidence, many economists believe, that income inequality in 2007, just before the latest crisis hit, reached its highest level since before the Great Depression. Read on.

And in other news, as they say in the business, Dan Quayle’s son can spell potato.  Ben is vying to represent the Third Congressional District in Arizona, where he has come under fire for being too young and inexperienced to hold office. But as our blog reports, at least he passed the spell test. 

And on that note, I am off to enjoy the rest of my birthday. Have a great weekend.

Here are our top stories from Washington today…

No surprises seen in WikiLeaks Iraq war data-Pentagon

The Pentagon does not expect big surprises from an imminent release of up to 500,000 Iraq war files by WikiLeaks, but warned that U.S. troops and Iraqis could be endangered by the file dump. The leak would be much larger than the group’s publication of more than 70,000 documents in July, the largest security breach of its kind in U.S. military history.

For more of this story by Phil Stewart, read here.

Money flows into Nevada’s tight U.S. Senate race

The Senate race in Nevada, which late polling suggests is a dead heat, has become a central battlefield, with backers of both parties pouring money into last-minute barrages of television attack ads. A Republican victory would not only boost the party’s drive for control of the Senate but let conservatives boast that they toppled one of the most powerful Democrats in America.

For more of this story by Mark Hosenball, read here.


Delays seen this year for SEC plan to revamp market

Any more changes to U.S. stock markets are on hold at least until December, sources said, as the Wall Street reform bill preoccupies regulators dealing with fallout from the May “flash crash.”

For more of this story by Jonathan Spicer and Rachelle Younglai, read here.

For-profit schools cannot deter scrutiny

For-profit schools are trying to lift their standards, but it may be too little too late. Changes that schools have made — scrapping open admissions and offering free orientation periods — will not deter the Education Department from tightening regulations that could cost some schools federal dollars. And they will not head off even tougher legislation promised by Sen. Tom Harkin. 

For more of this story by Diane Bartz, read here.


Jobless rate down in most U.S. states in September

The unemployment rate dropped from the prior month in 23 states and the District of Columbia in September. Still, the number of workers dropped in a significant number of states, and only 16 states gained jobs. Nevada again had the highest unemployment rate. 

For more of this story, read here.

First oil permit sought since US drill ban ended

The Interior Department has received its first application for a permit to drill a new deepwater well since its temporary ban ended. 

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

Policy impact if Democrats win US election

Politicians and pollsters predict a big Republican win on Nov. 2. But sometimes elections do not turn out quite the way the experts predict.

For scenarios on what might happen if Democrats win, by Richard Cowan, read here

How tough will U.S. CFTC be on speculators?

Companies that trade energy, metals and agricultural futures and swaps are closely watching how severe of a stance the U.S. futures regulator takes against speculators in new position limits for commodities.

For a Q+A on what happens next, by Roberta Rampton, read here.

American pleads guilty to trying to spy for China

Glenn Shriver, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to communicate national defense information, and will receive a sentence of 48 months in prison. Shriver had faced up to 10 years in prison. 

For more of this story by Jeremy Pelofsky, read here.

What we are blogging…

No more Mr. Nice Guy, Republican sets sights on Obama’s energy czar

Michigan Republican Fred Upton is known as a moderate who disappointed many conservatives by voting with the majority on some major issues, including the taxpayer bailout of U.S. automobile manufacturers. But expect no more Mr. Nice Guy if Republicans win big and he becomes chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Upton has a hit list of White House policy czars he plans to investigate, starting with White House energy adviser Carol Browner. 

For Donna Smith’s full post, read here. 

From elsewhere 

Top 10 places to celebrate Halloween

If encounters with ghosts, ghouls or vampires are your idea of fun, then Halloween is probably a favorite time. Places across the globe are getting ready to scare people out of their wits — and their money.

For more on Halloween hotspots from New York to Romania, read here. 

Photo credit: Reuters/stringer (panda eats her birthday cake)

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Yesterday, Congress approved the Americans With No Abilities Act, sweeping new legislation that provides benefits and protection for more than 135 million talentless Americans. Opponents questioned whether the Act unfairly favored politicians, lawyers and news reporters. Supporters responded saying, “yup”.

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