West Miami, Florida (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio's selection to speak right after the president's State of the Union address marks another milestone in the swift rise of the political star.
Rubio became Florida's speaker of the House at just 35, he pulled off an upset victory over Gov. Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race in 2010, he was seen prominently campaigning with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney last year, and he is already talked about as a future contender for the presidency.
(CNN) - As soon as next week, a new market may open, where anyone can place bets on the outcome of upcoming political contests.
A small trading exchange in Chicago, the North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex), has asked federal regulators for permission to sell options tied to the results of various 2012 elections - including the U.S. presidency, control of the Senate, and control of the House of Representatives.
Millsboro, Delaware (CNN) - The Republican party's candidate in Delaware says he won't be caught off guard by the Tea Party in the final days before Tuesday's primary.
Mike Castle, the moderate Republican congressman whose Senate bid has the support of the state GOP, is trying to avoid becoming the next Lisa Murkowski.
Sen. Murkowski, the Republican incumbent in Alaska, was ousted by a Tea Party challenger last month. Soon after her defeat, she phoned Castle with a warning, the congressman tells CNN.
"I actually received a call after the election saying, 'Mike, you need to be prepared, they'll come at you hard,' " Castle said after a campaign stop in Millsboro, Delaware. "It was part of a broader wake-up call that's been going on for several months now."
Washington (CNN) - It hasn't even been a week since President Barack Obama signed sweeping health care legislation, but several companies already have warned shareholders they expect to take a hit.
Manufacturer John Deere announced Thursday that it expected the company's expenses to be about $150 million higher than last year. That came a day after Caterpillar predicted a new cost of $100 million, and two days after AK Steel predicted a charge of $31 million.
"Having an additional cost like this is not great timing," said Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan.
As a deep recession spread last year, revenue for the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment declined 37 percent over the previous year, and 19,000 workers were laid off worldwide. But in the last three months, the company has recalled 750 or so employees, and projected higher sales in 2010.
Washington (CNN) - The health care law signed Tuesday by President Obama is projected to extend insurance coverage to roughly 32 million additional Americans, but what happens to those who don't get themselves covered by health insurance?
The new law creates penalties in the tax code as an incentive.
An adult who does not have health insurance by 2014 would be penalized $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater, so long as the amount does not exceed the price tag of a basic health plan. But by 2016, the penalty increases to $695 for an uninsured adult, and up to $2,085 per household, or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater.
A person would also be penalized only if he or she went more than three months of the year without insurance.
The shuttered Zion Nuclear Power Station sits along the shore of Lake Michigan. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's announcement Tuesday of loan guarantees for nuclear power plants may encourage new construction, but a problem still remains that has plagued atomic energy for decades: what to do with the nuclear waste?
On the left, opponents of nuclear power say the president should not be using taxpayer money to help build more power plants that will produce even more radioactive material, so long as the government has not figured out where to put it all.
"We haven't found a solution for the 100 nuclear power plants operating," said Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. "And waste is building up on-site, with no solution."
On the right, critics fault the president for leaving the country without a plan for disposing of the waste, when he decided to pull the plug on the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada. The government had spent billions of dollars studying the location.
Washington (CNN) – During Hillary Clinton's first year as secretary of state, some foreign governments again gave generously to the foundation of her husband, former President Bill Clinton - but others have not.
Norway gave again last year, with a cumulative total exceeding $10 million, as did Oman, whose total is between $1 and $5 million. But according to the list made public by the Clinton Foundation, other past foreign donors - including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Dubai Foundation and Brunei - did not give in 2009.
During Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearings to head the State Department, some lawmakers pressed her on whether she might face a conflict of interest if foreign governments or companies gave to her husband's foundation with an eye toward currying favor with her or influencing American foreign policy.
In the end, the Clintons agreed to make public their donor lists, and to have government ethics lawyers review new donations by foreign governments.
The Clinton Foundation's mission is to fight disease and poverty around the world.
Among companies receiving government bailout money, Bank of America again donated in 2009, but prior donors AIG, Citigroup, General Motors and Freddie Mac did not give in 2009.
One interesting entry on the list: Christopher Ruddy, who wrote some of the most scathing criticisms of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 1990s on ethics matters, and founded the conservative news agency Newsmax.
Richard Mellon Scaife, who bankrolled some of the Clintons' toughest adversaries in the 1990s, has also given to the Clinton Foundation in the past, but was not listed as a donor for 2009.
(CNN) - In the face of mounting controversy over headline-grabbing statements from Pastor John Hagee, CNN has learned presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has decided to reject his endorsement.
The Huffington Post had published a recording of Hagee saying that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.
“Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them. I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well,” McCain said in a statement to CNN Thursday.
He added that his relationship with Hagee did not compare with Obama’s lengthy association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright's extreme views. But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years. I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today,” said McCain.
The Arizona senator had earlier renounced comments from Hagee that termed the Catholic church "the great whore" and "an apostate church."
Update after the jump: Hagee rescinds McCain endorsement