Clean Water Act rules that "could require expensive new construction at power plants to lower fish deaths." Other regulations would affect coal ash, farm dust, oil and gasoline spill prevention, and more.
"This report is a wake-up call on the economic pain that the 'abusive' Obama-EPA plans to inflict next year," said Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking member on the committee.
"It reveals a president who is more concerned about saving his own job than the millions of Americans who are looking for one today."
2. Campaigns Spend Megabucks in Key State Ohio
Both political parties and their supporters have pegged Ohio as likely the key state in November's election and are pouring dizzying amounts of money into advertising in the Buckeye State.
No Republican candidate has won the presidency without winning Ohio, but "a key difference between 2012 and previous elections is that strategists decided early in the year the race would likely come down to Ohio and a few other states," Broadcasting & Cable magazine reported.
Cincinnati stands to receive $50 million in political advertising this year, up from $34 million in 2008. Cleveland could see as much as $100 million in advertising compared to $42 million four years ago, and spending is up this year in Columbus and Youngstown as well.
In addition to the presidential race, incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is facing a tough challenge from Republican Josh Mandel and that battle will likely see at least $56 million spent on TV ads.
Political ad revenues have reached these stunning levels despite the fact that Mitt Romney's campaign was late in joining the fray in Ohio, holding off on spending there until very recently.
The Romney campaign did not go on the air in Youngstown, for example, until late September.
"In my opinion, it's a huge tactical mistake on his part," Jack Grdic, general manager at WFMJ Youngstown, told Broadcasting & Cable. "I'm a little shocked he waited too long to start here."
But station managers in Ohio expect the heavy spending by the campaigns to continue right up to the Nov. 6 election.
"They can't afford to stop spending because of the investment they've made to date," said Tom Griesdorn, president and general manager of WBNS Columbus. "The loser goes home."
3. Investors Say Romney Better for Economy
Investors believe Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has the better plan for the U.S. economy — and will probably lose to incumbent Barack Obama.
Asked who will win the November election, 64 percent of global investors said President Obama and just 28 percent chose Romney. American investors were less bullish on Obama — 54 percent said the president will be re-elected, and 37 percent said Romney will win, while the rest had no opinion, according to the poll by Bloomberg Markets.
But 42 percent of respondents said Romney has a better vision for the economic future of the country, versus 40 percent for Obama. Back in May, global investors favored Obama over Romney on the economy, 45 percent to 34 percent.
Nearly half of the Bloomberg Professional service subscribers polled said a Romney win would be good for U.S. markets, versus 30 percent who believe it would be bad for the markets.
Romney's tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC "will give him the needed background to make the U.S. a much more business-friendly environment, and that in turn will help the economy grow at a faster clip," Matt Kennedy, a senior financial associate at Oppenheimer & Co., told Bloomberg.
Only 11 percent of global investors polled said they are confident that if Romney is elected, he will follow through on a pledge to designate China a currency manipulator, while 82 percent are skeptical and the rest had no opinion.
Also, just 26 percent of respondents said that if Obama is re-elected, he will fulfill his vow not to allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapon, and 65 percent are skeptical.
4. Jewish Group Outraged Over Egyptian's Call for 'Jihad'
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights group, has called on President Obama to sever all ties with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood after its top leader called for "holy war" against Israel.
"The Zionists only know the method of force," the Brotherhood's "Supreme Guide" Mohammed Badie said in a statement published in Egypt's Al-Ahram daily.
"They will not step back from transgression, unless they are forced to. This will only be by holy jihad, and enormous sacrifices and all forms of resistance."
Badie called on Muslims to "unite for the sake of Jerusalem and Palestine after the Jews have increased corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and in their actions profane holy places."
The Brotherhood dominated recent parliamentary elections and produced the winning presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi. He announced he was resigning from the Islamist group after his election, but essentially he heads a Muslim Brotherhood administration.
"Badie's rant confirms our long-held view that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous anti-Semitic organization in the world today," Wiesenthal Center (SWC) dean Marvin Hier and associate dean Abraham Cooper said in a statement the day after Badie's remarks were published.
"We are not dealing with a YouTube video or a lone extremist imam, but a call to anti-Semitic violence by a man who has tens of millions of followers and leads the organization that controls Egypt's future. It cannot be business as usual in Washington when such an assault is launched against the Jewish people."
The SWC urged Obama to condemn the statements and "cut off all official and unofficial U.S. contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood until they desist from their hate and war mongering."
The SWC also called on the European Union, "endowed as the guardian of peace and security in Europe" by virtue of the 2012 Nobel peace prize, to bar entry to Badie. SWC international relations director Shimon Samuels wrote to E.U. Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, describing Badie's statement as an "outrageous incitement to murder by the religious authority of a movement of millions."
Three days after Badie's remarks were published, the Muslim Brotherhood denied that he had called for a "holy jihad" against Israel, according to Egypt's Daily News.
The SWC responded on its website: "The Simon Wiesenthal Center rejects the laughable denial by the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman that its Supreme Guide never made such statements.
"The Wiesenthal Center has been following the Muslim Brotherhood for many years and we are not surprised that they would heap such a bald-faced lie upon the Supreme Guide's hateful and shameful anti-Semitic attack. We reiterate our call to President Obama to publicly condemn Badie's attack and order the cutoff of all official and unofficial contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 members.
5. Report: Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago
The Earth stopped getting warmer nearly 16 years ago, according to newly released data — from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in global temperatures.
This pause or "plateau" in warming has now persisted for about the same length of time as the previous period when temperatures rose, from 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years, The Daily Mail reported.
The new figures were compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea by Hadcrut 4, a joint effort involving the British weather service's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain.
They found that since 1880, "when worldwide industrialization began to gather pace and reliable statistics were first collected on a global scale," according to the Mail, the planet has warmed by only about 1.3 degrees F.
Prof. Jones downplayed the significance of the "plateau," saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period to provide convincing evidence.
But Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech, told the Mail it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were "deeply flawed."
The U.K.'s Parliament has committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050 to combat global warming, which some scientists predict will increase global temperatures by a catastrophic five degrees by the end of this century.
But as the new figures were being released, the government said it would proceed with building new power plants to counter the threat of blackouts.
New Energy Minister John Hayes vowed at a Conservative Party conference that "the high-flown theories of bourgeois left-wing scientists will not override the interests of ordinary people who need fuel for heat, light and transport."
6. Five Democratic Governors Get 'F' Mark on Fiscal Policy
The Cato Institute has issued its 11th biennial Fiscal Report Card on America's Governors and only four get an "A" grade — all of them Republicans.
At the other end of the scale, five governors get an "F" grade — all of them Democrats.
The Report Card examines state budget actions since 2010, using statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records. Governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, and those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades. Scores ranging from 0 to 100 were calculated based on seven tax and spending variables.
"Some governors are pursuing broad-based tax reforms, such as cutting income tax rates and reducing property taxes on businesses," Cato's Chris Edwards observes. "The bad news is that many governors are expanding narrow 'tax initiatives,' which clutter the tax code in an attempt to micromanage the economy."
The four Republican governors who received an "A" rating were led by Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Scott of Florida, who both got a 69 score, followed by Paul LePage of Maine and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, who got a 65 score.
Brownback signed into law "impressive" tax reforms, according to Edwards. Scott has cut spending and reduced taxes on small businesses. LePage cut spending and reduced income taxes and taxes on business investment. Corbett cut spending and sliced a tax on businesses.
The five Democrats who got an "F" grade were Pat Quinn of Illinois (16), Dan Malloy of Connecticut (17), Mark Dayton of Minnesota (21), Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii (32), and Chris Gregoire of Washington (38).
Quinn raised taxes by $1.1 billion in 2009 and $7 billion last year, and raised cigarette taxes this year. Malloy signed a $1.8 billion tax increase on individuals and corporations. Dayton boosted spending and proposed higher taxes that were rejected by the legislature. Abercrombie increased spending and raised income taxes. Gregoire raised business taxes and sales taxes.
Of the 17 governors who received a "B" grade, 15 are Republicans. The top Democrat is John Lynch of New Hampshire, who earned a "B" with his 62 score.
Of the 11 governors who received a "D" grade, only three are Republicans.
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