Daschle Departure Prompts Obama Apology

February 3, 2009 06:00 PM


Snapshot of news and events for today

Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 213.43 points, or 2.7 percent, to 8,038.94.

  • The dollar was at 89.12 yen, down from 89.39.

Tuesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.53, or 1.78 percent, to 8,078.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 21.87, or 1.46 percent, to 1,516.30.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.88 percent from 2.72 percent late Monday. 

  • The dollar was at 89.22 yen from 89.61 yen, while the euro was at $1.3040 from $1.2844 Monday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures closed mostly 8 to 9 cents lower, which was near the middle of the day's trading range.
  • Soybeans: Futures opened lower on spillover from Monday's losses and closed nearer session lows.

  • Wheat: Futures ended mostly around 12 cents lower, which was a low-range close.
  • Cotton: Futures closed with slight losses, which was in the middle of the day's narrow trading range.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures opened lower and sharply extended losses in morning trade, before recovering to close 15 to 50 cents higher in all but the February contract, which closed 35 cents lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures finished slightly lower and in the middle to upper end of the day's trading range.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






Feb. 2

Grain Inspections (A)
Poultry Slaughter (N)



Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
2007 Census of Agriculture (N)
Dairy Products (N)



U.S. Export Sales (F)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Peanut Prices (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Obama on Defense as Daschle Withdraws 'I Screwed Up...My Job Is to Get This Thing Back on Track,' President Says; Performance Chief Nominee Also Quits Because of Taxes The exit of former Sen. Daschle essentially means the search for a new HHS Secretary almost starts from scratch as there had been few names other than Daschle's in the mix prior to his selection. The impact on health care reform is also affected, although some insist that it won't set back work on this Obama initiative.
    Related items:
    Nonprofits Linked to Daschle Spread Cash Around Washington
    Exits Let Obama Cut His Losses Before Storm Worsens
    Tom Daschle's Washington
    Commentary item.
  • Strict Executive-Pay Caps Planned Latest Salvo From Obama Administration Aims to Rein In Firms Receiving Federal Aid New rules for companies receiving aid from the government are expected to include a limit of $500,000 for executives and a prevention of severance packages. Plus, indications are companies receiving aid will also have to detail how their executive compensation packages are structured.
  • Senate Backs Tax Breaks for Car Buyers in Stimulus The plan added to the stimulus package would provide income-tax deduction to car buyers for both sales taxes and interest payments on auto loans. But plans to give tax breaks to movie studios and lowered corporate taxes from overseas income were rejected. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he's working on stripping some $50 billion in spending from the package relative to provisions that don't create jobs and are just additional spending.
    Related items:
    Obama Risks Flap on 'Buy American'
    Emergency Aid May Not Stop Layoffs of Teachers
    Geithner: Speed Is Key to Recovery
    The Stimulus Package Is More Debt We Don't Need
    Opinion item by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
    We Can Do Better Than a 'Bad Bank' Opinion item by George Soros.
    My Economic Wish List Opinion item by Alan Blinder.
    Stimulus Brings Out City Wish Lists: Neon for Vegas, Harleys for Shreveport
  • Obama's Pick for Commodity Post Vows New Era of Regulation. Gary Gensler, nominated to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), pledged in written correspondence with senators to institute position limits on futures trading, oversee the move of over-the-counter derivatives onto exchanges and clearing houses, and bring a new level of scrutiny to hedge funds, electronic markets and foreign exchanges operating in the U.S. He also urged lawmakers to resist merging the CFTC with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • ADM Posts 24% Rise in Profit but Warns Slowdown Is Threat. The company cited ethanol as a problem in its performance, but noted a record performance in the company's agriculture-services business.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Fargo Forum (North Dakota)

  • Ethanol study raises questions While noting he has not seen the U of Minn. study on ethanol, the head of the North Dakota Grain Growers Assn. is wondering if the study takes into account new technologies that have emerged for ethanol.

Wichita Eagle (Kansas)

  • Sky-high fertilizer prices stabilize While fertilizer prices have come down from lofty levels, the item notes growers who booked at the higher prices won't be able to get in on the price decline.

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "And the half brother of Barack Obama, a man named George Obama, has been arrested in Kenya for allegedly having drugs. See, here we go again with the dumb presidential brothers. Remember Billy Carter?" Then "there was Roger Clinton, Bill Clinton's brother. See, we never had that problem with President Bush. He was already the dumb brother."

Jay Leno: "There was a huge scientific breakthrough today. Researchers say they are very close to finding someone from Obama's Cabinet who's actually paid their taxes."

Jay Leno: "Tom Daschle," whom "President Obama wants...as secretary of health and human services, apparently did not pay $128,000 in taxes that he owes the government. Did you realize President Obama hasn't had a cabinet member with an embarrassing tax problem like this since the last guy they appointed?"

David Letterman: "Today is Groundhog Day," and "I don't know why this stuff always goes haywire in Alaska. ... Here is what happened. A little bit of trouble. Groundhog comes out of its hole. Sarah Palin shoots it."

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