- - Monday, July 16, 2012

The Republican National Committee is airing a television ad that says President Obama tried and failed to fix the economy, and that it’s OK to make a change.

The ad is critical of Mr. Obama, but in milder terms than many other commercials. Instead, it appears designed to persuade voters to back a new president even though Obama’s favorability ratings remain high. It doesn’t mention Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

The ad says Mr. Obama took office with big plans to repair the economy, but the country now has an economic crisis with no end in sight. It concludes: “He tried. You tried. It’s OK to make a change.”

The commercial is airing in Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa at a cost of about $5 million.

SENATE

Report: Bank’s lax control led to money laundering

A Senate investigation has found that Europe’s largest bank had lax controls that allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder money through its U.S. operations for seven years.

The Senate permanent subcommittee on investigation’s extensive report on HSBC Holdings PLC also says U.S. regulators knew that the bank had a poor system to detect problems but failed to take action.

The report also says some bank affiliates skirted U.S. government bans against financial transactions with Iran and other countries.

The panel released the report ahead of a Tuesday hearing on the topic. HSBC says its executives will apologize for the lapses and promise to fix the problems.

The Justice Department says it is conducting a criminal investigation into HSBC’s operations.

SENATE

Democrats ready $272B tax-cut extension bill

Senate Democrats are readying a one-year, $272 billion bill extending income tax cuts for all but the highest earning Americans that would also boost their capital gains and dividends taxes next year to 23.8 percent.

A draft bill being circulated by Democrats would keep income tax rates for families earning less than $250,000 where they are through next year, rather than automatically rising in January when those rates expire. Those earning above $250,000 would face a top rate of 39.6 percent.

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