The Obama administration has announced that the annual federal deficit remained at a whopping $1.29 trillion during the fiscal year that ended October 1, just a fraction under 2009's record of $1.43 trillion.

Time is running out on the Obama administration to pass a value-added tax: The mid-term elections are two weeks away with Democrats anticipating heavy losses, the lame-duck session is due to start on November 15, President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform publishes its report on December 1, and Congress already faces a long list of “must-pass” legislation. A just-released study about the negative impacts of a VAT isn’t going to help.

Debates between candidates for Senate are providing plenty of programming for C-SPAN in these days leading up to the November elections. The dramatis personae are familiar to anyone with even passing interest in the electoral show that comes to the stage in several states in late October.

On October 11, former President Bill Clinton appeared in Binghamton, New York, to campaign for Representative Maurice Hinchey, the Democratic incumbent in New York’s 22nd Congressional District. There, Clinton faced a barrage of heckles after he offensively claimed that half of Republicans today need psychiatric help and that Republicans are guilty of misunderstanding the Democratic agenda.

Marxism and evolution were among the topics raised in a wide-ranging and frequently contentious nationally televised debate in Newark, Delaware, on Wednesday night, October 13, between Senate candidates Chris Coons, a Democrat, and Republican Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell, who once called evolution "a myth," said her beliefs about the origin of the species are irrelevant to her Senate candidacy, while Coons denied he had been a "bearded Marxist" in his college days.