Washington Daybook: Are You in Good Hands?

President Barack Obama, Congress and Washington regulators take stock of the damage cause from disasters both natural and man-made today.

Obama travels to New York City to assess the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the progress of recovery. The “superstorm” and a subsequent snowstorm on Nov. 7 knocked out power to 8.66 million utility customers, including about 2 million in New York, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Three congressional panels are holding hearings on the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, while a meningitis outbreak that has led to 438 infections and 32 deaths this year is the subject of a House subcommittee hearing into the practice of drug compounding at pharmacies.

The fallout from financial disasters also gets scrutiny in Washington today. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is scheduled to announce an update to a market-manipulation case involving JPMorgan Chase’s energy-trading unit after the agency suspended its electrical-trading authority yesterday, saying the business had filed false information to regulators. And Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer, chairman of House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, holds a news conference to anounce the results of year-long staff investigation into collapse of MF Global.

Republicans governors are also assessing the damage. State leaders meeting today in Las Vegas said the party’s loss of White House and seats in Congress should lead to a discussion on how the GOP can better appeal to Hispanics and younger voters.

And the U.S. Postal Service announces what’s expected to be disastrous fourth-quarter results. The service has said it may have lost $15 billion in the year ended Sept. 30 as costs rose and mailings fell.

Mayhem really is everywhere.

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