- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2010


Obama: Referendum bad case for party

President Obama conceded Thursday that if the midterm elections turn out to be mostly a referendum on the sluggish economy, his fellow Democrats are “not going to do well.”

In an interview with ABC News aired Thursday, Mr. Obama said the party should be able to maintain control of the House and Senate if the electorate takes a look at what the stances of Democrats and Republicans. But he said Democrats won’t do well if it amounts to a referendum on “the economy as it currently is.”

Mr. Obama said he thinks “everybody feels like this economy needs to do better than it’s been doing.”

The president rolled out a trio of new plans this week to help spur job growth and invigorate the lethargic national economic recovery. They would expand and permanently extend a research and development tax credit that lapsed in 2009, allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their investments in equipment and plants through 2011 and pump $50 billion into highway, rail, airport and other infrastructure projects.


Palin backs GOP outsider in Delaware

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Thursday endorsed Christine O’Donnell’s Senate bid in Delaware, hoping to give another “tea party”-backed candidate a final push to defeat an establishment favorite.

The former Alaska governor announced the endorsement on radio host Sean Hannity’s program and on her Facebook page.

“Please support Christine O’Donnell in Delaware,” Mrs. Palin wrote to her supporters on Facebook. “She will support efforts for America’s energy security, patient-centered health care reform, cutting government waste and letting the private sector thrive and prosper!”

The endorsement could provide a major boost for Ms. O’Donnell, who is locked in a bitter primary against Rep. Michael N. Castle but short on campaign cash. While the Tea Party Express has pledged $250,000 to help Ms. O’Donnell, her campaign financial reports filed on Aug. 25 show that she raised about $260,000 total for her bid and had about $20,000 in the campaign bank account.

Mr. Castle, a nine-term member of Congress and a two-term governor, raised $3.2 million and had $2.6 million cash on hand.


Angle courts wary Hispanics

LAS VEGAS | Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s conservative views on illegal immigration and her limited outreach to Hispanics have done little to endear her to Nevada’s largest minority group.

But Mrs. Angle’s campaign said it is not conceding the Hispanic vote in her race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat. Mrs. Angle, a “tea party” favorite, is courting endorsements from Hispanic leaders and has plans to air Spanish-language ads.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval also could prompt some Hispanics in Nevada to vote for Mrs. Angle. Mr. Sandoval appears poised to become the state’s first Hispanic governor.


Obama sends out Muslim greetings

President Obama is sending best wishes to Muslims worldwide as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of fasting and prayer known as Ramadan.

Mr. Obama also appealed for donations for victims of the floods in Pakistan.

This year’s holiday falls on Saturday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks carried out by Islamic extremists.

Mr. Obama said the Muslim holiday is a time to reflect on the importance of religious tolerance and to honor the positive role all religions have played in American life.


Haley’s business was late on taxes

COLUMBIA | Records show that the business owned by the family of South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has been penalized for failing to pay taxes three times since 2003.

Mrs. Haley has frequently cited her experience as an accountant for her family’s clothing store, saying the state needs such business knowledge at its helm.

Records obtained by the Associated Press show two of the tax liens were for failing to pay corporate income taxes and one was for not turning over taxes withheld from employee checks. All have been resolved.

In a statement Thursday, Mrs. Haley’s campaign said she is running in part because she wants to cut red tape and taxes that are too burdensome.

Last month, a review of Mrs. Haley’s personal income taxes showed that she has paid fines for failing to pay them on time.


Clinton appears in anti-Brown ad

SACRAMENTO | Former President Bill Clinton is the unwitting star of a new TV ad in the California governor’s race in which he is shown criticizing the record of fellow Democrat Jerry Brown.

The ad, released Thursday by Republican candidate Meg Whitman, uses footage from a 1992 Democratic presidential primary debate in which Mr. Clinton and Mr. Brown squared off.

Mr. Clinton calls Mr. Brown’s assertion about his tax record “just plain wrong” and says he took credit for voter approval of Proposition 13, which cut property taxes. He also said Mr. Brown ran up a deficit as governor from 1975 to 1983 and “doesn’t tell people the truth.”

Mr. Clinton endorsed Mr. Brown’s primary opponent, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, before Mr. Newsom dropped out of the race.

Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford called Mrs. Whitman’s ad a “nasty and cynical attack” that distorted his record.


Warning issued for MRI drug

Federal health regulators are warning that a class of injectable drugs used in medical imaging scans such as MRIs can cause a rare and sometimes fatal condition in patients with kidney disease.

The Food and Drug Administration is adding warning labels to imaging agents that contain the chemical gadolinium, saying they should not be used in patients with kidney problems.

The agency says the drugs can lead to a rare syndrome that causes hardening of the skin and tissue growth along joints, eyes and internal organs. The ailment is called nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy and can be fatal. It is most common among patients with kidney failure.

Products subject to the warnings include Bayer Healthcare’s Magnevist and GE Healthcare’s Omniscan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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