Oct 2, 2011, 7:45 p.m.

Christie White House bid talk spurs obesity debate

(Reuters) Speculation that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will enter the presidential race has led to a feverish debate about the possibility of having the fattest man in the White House since the corpulent William Howard Taft squeezed behind the big desk in the Oval Office. Of course Taft, who reportedly weighed nearly 340 pounds during his presidency, ran for the highest office in 1908 when there wasn't the same focus on image and no need to worry about how a candidate looked on television.

Senators court 2012 voters with China currency bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For lawmakers eyeing their re-election prospects next year, this week provides a chance to show they mean business about cracking down on China's currency practices and returning jobs to America. Critics say the legislation that looks set to pass Senate this week is more likely to help a factory worker in Hanoi than in Ohio, and could expose the United States to a damaging trade row with its fastest-growing export market.

Cain scolds Obama, calls Perry "very insensitive"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain scolded President Barack Obama on Sunday for making "insulting" remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus and called fellow Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry's handling of a race matter "very insensitive." Cain -- a black businessman who has risen in opinion polls in the last week after a surprise win over leaders Perry and Mitt Romney in a Florida straw poll -- has challenged rivals over their attitudes toward black voters.

Obama's healthcare law tops new Supreme Court term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul will top the agenda in the new Supreme Court term that opens on Monday and could be the most momentous in decades. Returning from its three-month recess, the nation's highest court will confront legal challenges seeking to strike down Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and a host of other charged issues in its 2011-12 term.

Pride may be a problem when Bloomberg testifies in court

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Defense lawyers are hoping New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's famous self-confidence will be his downfall when he testifies on Monday against the political consultant accused of stealing more than $1 million from him, legal and political experts say. John Haggerty is charged with promising to provide a high-priced poll-watching operation for the 2009 election but, instead, using most of money to buy a house. Haggerty convinced the billionaire mayor to give the state Independence Party the money to finance "ballot security" during his reelection campaign.

Exclusive: Democrats push tax hikes first in deficit talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats want tax hikes to be the first item negotiated in "super committee" deficit-reduction talks, trying to force Republicans to confront an issue at the heart of this year's budget fights, sources told Reuters. The tough stance by Democratic members of the powerful 12-member congressional panel reflects the party's wariness that Republicans might try to sideline the issue of revenue increases in the negotiations.

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