Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell (left) talks with Republican Rep. Tom Latham on May 7, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa. Redistricting is now pitting the longtime Iowa congressmen in a general election battle.
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
One of the candidates is House Speaker John Boehner's close friend and golfing buddy.
The other is an ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Both have their roots in rural Iowa, have long served together in the U.S. House, and are pretty darn well-liked by their constituents.
But Iowa, the focus of the political world this week, lost a House seat in congressional redistricting that came after the 2010 census.
There was a 0.8 percent increase in retail sales in July from June, the Census Bureau says, thanks in part to gains in purchases of cars, furniture and appliances.
Overall, The Associated Press says, "all major categories showed increases, a sign that consumers may be gaining confidence." If that is indeed the case, it's good news for the economy. Consumers purchase about 70 percent of all goods and services.
Wholesale prices fell 1 percent in May from April thanks to an 8.9 percent plunge in the price of gasoline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The overall decrease is the largest in one month since July 2009.
Excluding the energy and sectors, prices at the wholesale level ticked up 0.2 percent.
The word from the Census Bureau that orders for manufactured goods fell 0.6 percent in April from March — the second straight monthly decline — is in line with other reports that signal the economy "may suffer a swoon yet not slip into a recession," Bloomberg News writes.