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Archive: January 2009

Enterprising Boy Scouts, Small Banks Bust and Child-Care Scams

The editors at Post Investigations have scoured the nation's top in-depth and investigative reports from this past week and selected their most interesting finds.

By Derek Kravitz | January 30, 2009; 6:22 PM ET | Comments (2)

Court Revives Lawsuits Against Pfizer by Nigerian Families

Updated at 4:57 p.m. Jan. 30 By Joe Stephens Washington Post staff writer A federal appeals court on Friday revived two lawsuits brought against Pfizer by Nigerian families who claim the giant drugmaker used their children in an illegal test of an experimental antibiotic. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of...

By The Editors | January 30, 2009; 5:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ex-Interior Official Admits Kickback Scheme

A former Interior Department official charged with accepting kickbacks from business leaders in exchange for arranging meetings with government officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands pleaded guilty today.

By Derek Kravitz | January 30, 2009; 4:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blagojevich is Out, Obama Calls Bonuses 'Shameful' and More Spy Stories

See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter.

By Derek Kravitz | January 30, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Another Ex-Abramoff Aide Charged

It once appeared that despite his unseemly role in the bribery scandal surrounding disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Todd Boulanger had weathered the proverbial storm.

By Derek Kravitz | January 29, 2009; 6:37 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blagojevich: I 'Followed Every Law'

Offering up his last-ditch defense on why he should stay in office, scandal-ridden Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he "never, ever intended to violate the law."

By Derek Kravitz | January 29, 2009; 1:53 PM ET | Comments (2)

Unsanitary Conditions Found in Peanut Plant

Inspection reports of a Georgia peanut processing plant at the center of a massive, nationwide salmonella outbreak show the company operated in unsanitary conditions and knowingly shipped products contaminated with strains of salmonella.

By Derek Kravitz | January 29, 2009; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (5)

Bad Peanuts, New Copter Rules and a Problem at the CIA

See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter.

By Derek Kravitz | January 29, 2009; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)

Interior Department Tarnished, New Chief Says

Calling for a thorough review of past ethical problems at the Interior Department, new secretary Ken Salazar pledged today a "long term-effort to enact comprehensive, top-to-bottom reforms."

By Derek Kravitz | January 28, 2009; 5:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

Treasury Chief Responds to Bailout Critics

In a move designed to to stem criticism of the government's $700 bailout program, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to meet today with members of a congressional oversight panel that has been especially critical of the plan.

By Derek Kravitz | January 28, 2009; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Peanut Plant Aware of Salmonella, The Blagojevich Tapes, Timothy Geithner's Two-Step

Peanut Plant Aware of Salmonella » The Georgia peanut plant linked to a salmonella outbreak that has killed eight people and sickened 500 more across the country knowingly shipped out contaminated peanut butter 12 times in the past two years, federal officials said yesterday. — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 28, 2009; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

'Mini-Madoffs' Nabbed in Alleged Ponzi Schemes

Before Bernard Madoff, hedge-fund managers and lenders such as Nicholas Cosmo and Arthur Nadel would have been the leading poster boys for authorities on how to con investors through Ponzi schemes. Now, they are just one of many "mini-Madoffs."

By Derek Kravitz | January 27, 2009; 6:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blagojevich Caught on Tape

The first listen of the infamous secret phone recordings of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich were played this afternoon to a packed state capitol in Springfield, Ill.

By Derek Kravitz | January 27, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Report: Ex-Surgeon General Used Employees as Chauffeurs

A former U.S. surgeon general who later served as New York's health commissioner ordered state employees to act as her personal chauffeurs on shopping trips and personal errands, a report released today by New York's inspector general shows.

By Derek Kravitz | January 27, 2009; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

Geithner Moves on New TARP Rules, Rove Ordered to Testify, Revisiting D.C. Lead Levels

Geithner Vows Swift Action » Under orders to move quickly on the faltering economy, newly-confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is expected to unveil new rules today to limit special-interest influence involving the $700 billion financial rescue program. Meanwhile, records show that despite the economic downturn, lobbying spending reached a record $3.3 billion last year, up from $2.9 billion in 2007. — Washington Post, Associated Press, USA Today

By Amanda Zamora | January 27, 2009; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mystery Behind the $100 Florida Mansion

For sale: a three-acre, seaside mansion on Florida's Jupiter Island. Sold: Nov. 10. Cost: $100. No, it's not a bargain-basement price for a foreclosed home or a loony charity raffle. The home at 265 S. Beach Road belonged to Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chairman and CEO of the now-defunct Lehman Brothers. And the buyer was his wife, Kathleen Fuld.

By Derek Kravitz | January 27, 2009; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Video: Blagojevich Impeachment Trial Begins

The state impeachment trial of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich began this afternoon while the governor continued his media tour along the East Coast.

By Derek Kravitz | January 26, 2009; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Murtha's 'Big-Game' Link

A big-game ranch in western Pennsylvania, where longtime Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) threw a lavish $100,000 fundraiser last year, is now at the center of a federal investigation.

By Derek Kravitz | January 26, 2009; 4:16 PM ET | Comments (1)

Ex-Wall Street Boss Offers $1.2 Million Refund For Sprucing Up His Office

Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain -- ousted as head of the Wall Street firm after its merger with Bank of America -- says he was "completely transparent" about his spending but has offered to reimburse Bank of America $1.2 million for office renovations.

By Derek Kravitz | January 26, 2009; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Governor's Last-Ditch Media Blitz

Instead of attending his impeachment trial at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield, Ill., embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich is trying to sway the court of public opinion, waging an aggressive media campaign to tell his side of the story. He's hired a Tampa-based public-relations firm to handle his "media blitz" (the firm specializes in "high-profile clients") and has offered a series of bizarre statements and revelations on the talk-show circuit.

By Derek Kravitz | January 26, 2009; 12:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Fed May Gain More Oversight, Fuld Sells Mansion for $10, Blago Boycotts Impeachment Trial

Fed May Gain More Oversight » A Congressional initiative to give the Federal Reserve new authority to examine the workings of a wide range of companies in response to the financial crisis is raising concerns about whether it would concentrate too much power in a single federal body. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden acknowledges the possibility of the Treasury requesting additional bailout funds. — Washington Post, New York Times

By Amanda Zamora | January 26, 2009; 9:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Former NY GOP Leader Indicted

The former majority leader of the New York State Senate was indicted today, charged with taking $3.2 million in kickbacks from business that he steered contracts to.

By Derek Kravitz | January 23, 2009; 6:33 PM ET | Comments (2)

A Mysterious Blagojevich Insider Revealed and One Executive's $1M Office

The editors at Post Investigations have scoured the nation's top in-depth and investigative reports from this past week and selected their most interesting finds.

By Derek Kravitz | January 23, 2009; 5:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Nominee Runs Into New Lobby Rules

President Barack Obama's strict new lobbying rules for cabinet members have put his administration in a difficult spot as it tries to hold onto one of its top nominees. William J. Lynn III, a former Pentagon official under President Bill Clinton and Obama's choice for deputy secretary of the Defense Department, spent the better part of the past two years lobbying for defense contractor Raytheon, federal records show.

By Derek Kravitz | January 23, 2009; 1:03 PM ET | Comments (4)

'War' on Terror's Sudden End, Following the TARP Money, Senators Call for Fraud Probes

'War' on Terror's Sudden End » President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the "war on terror," as President George W. Bush had defined it. Meanwhile, Obama's new intelligence chief vows there will "not be waterboarding on my watch." — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 23, 2009; 9:38 AM ET | Comments (0)

'Nanny' Issue Still Vexes Candidates

The immigration status and tax issues involving nannies and in-home caretakers has dogged candidates dating back to at least former President Bill Clinton's tenure.

By Derek Kravitz | January 23, 2009; 7:30 AM ET | Comments (14)

Death on Wall Street, Fact and Rumor

Back in 1929, the collapse of the financial markets on Wall Street led some bankers and speculators to drastic measures. Nearly 80 years later, with the same dim financial outlook spreading panic among investors and exacerbated by a host of recently-uncovered get-rich-quick schemes, some Wall Street mavens have similarly gone to their own personal last resorts.

By Derek Kravitz | January 22, 2009; 5:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

The End of the 'Black' Prisons

In the three years since Post reporter Dana Priest revealed the existence of an international system of "black" prisons set up by the CIA after the 9/11 attacks, the roiling worldwide debate over how to treat suspected terrorists has grown to overshadow most other aspects of U.S. counterterrorism. President Barack...

By The Editors | January 22, 2009; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

GAO Pegs Top Government Challenges of '09

A Government Accountability Office report on 2009's "high-risk" areas in government. The bi-annual report card noted 30 issues, including three new concerns: the nation's financial regulatory system, including the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program; the oversight of medical products by the Food and Drug Administration; and the Environmental Protection Agency's assessment and control of toxic chemicals.

By Derek Kravitz | January 22, 2009; 2:33 PM ET | Comments (0)

Adding Up the White House Pay Freeze

President Barack Obama has pledged to freeze the salaries of about 120 staffers in his administration who make more than $100,000 per year, saving the government about $454,200 per year, a data analysis shows.

By Derek Kravitz | January 22, 2009; 12:06 PM ET | Comments (31)

Battle Over Bailout Rules, Banks Skirt Supervision, New Era of Openness?

The Battle Over Bailout Rules » In a symbolic measure aimed at pressuring the Obama administration, the House yesterday overwhelmingly approved a plan to place strict new requirements on financial institutions that accept TARP funds. The Obama administration is set to revise the $700 billion financial rescue program, which has been the subject of widespread dissatisfaction as some powerful politicians have used their leverage to try to direct federal millions toward banks in their home states. — Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

By Amanda Zamora | January 22, 2009; 9:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Orders Could Open Records

strong>Barack Obama's first acts as president included signing three orders today that could open public access to documents and records that had been closed off during the Bush administration.

By The Editors | January 21, 2009; 6:55 PM ET | Comments (1)

A $350 Million Hole in a Hedge Fund

Arthur G. Nadel didn't look or act like Bernard Madoff, the glamorous and once-heralded Wall Street titan who authorities say is behind a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

By Derek Kravitz | January 21, 2009; 4:42 PM ET | Comments (4)

The Trials of Guantanamo Bay

In one of his first official acts, newly-minted President Barack Obama instituted a 120-day suspension of military tribunals held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base.

By Derek Kravitz | January 21, 2009; 2:38 PM ET | Comments (4)

Questions Over Clinton Nomination, Obama Halts Federal Regulators, Failed Bid for Stevens Pardon

Questions Linger Over Clinton Nomination » The Senate approved seven of President Obama's Cabinet-level appointees yesterday, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is still awaiting a confirmation vote after fresh objections raised by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). Meanwhile, Treasury nominee Timothy F. Geithner faces more questions today about his taxes. — Washington Post, Politico

By Amanda Zamora | January 21, 2009; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bush Grants Commutations to Border Agents

In one of his last acts as commander-in-chief, President Bush commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents yesterday who were convicted of shooting a fleeing Mexican drug dealer in 2005.

By Derek Kravitz | January 20, 2009; 1:08 PM ET | Comments (3)

Border Agents Win Early Release, Cheney Records Dispute, Facebook Mafiosi?

See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. Bush Commutes Terms of Ex-Agents » The president commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents who were convicted in 2006 for shooting a Mexican drug dealer, saying the verdicts were...

By Amanda Zamora | January 20, 2009; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bush's Legacy: Financial Crisis

A final bookend to President Bush's two terms in office is the nation's financial crisis, a mammoth recession on Wall Street that began with a nationwide mortgage meltdown and has erupted into the worst recession in the United States in more than 80 years.

By Derek Kravitz | January 16, 2009; 8:14 PM ET | Comments (7)

Political Meddling in the FDA, Unhealthy Mining, More Blagojevich Scandal

The editors at Post Investigations have scoured the nation's top in-depth and investigative reports from this past week and selected their most interesting finds.

By Derek Kravitz | January 16, 2009; 7:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Winds of Change for Cape Cod?

The federal government has given its OK to the massive Cape Wind energy project off the Massachusetts coast, calling the $1 billion, privately-run wind farm environmentally safe and clearing the way for the long-debated project to move forward.

By Derek Kravitz | January 16, 2009; 4:29 PM ET | Comments (5)

Warrantless Wiretapping Upheld, 'Conscience Rights' Challenged, Scathing Report on Immigrant Death

Ruling Backs Warrantless Wiretapping » A special federal appeals court yesterday released a rare declassified opinion that backed the government's authority to intercept international phone conversations and e-mails from U.S. soil without a judicial warrant, even those involving Americans, if a significant purpose is to collect foreign intelligence. — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 16, 2009; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hurricane Katrina and Bush's Legacy

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people and leaving the city of New Orleans a shell of its former self. The deadly natural disaster also damaged President Bush's administration, with critics hammering the slow government response and sending Bush's poll numbers falling.

By Derek Kravitz | January 15, 2009; 5:55 PM ET | Comments (4)

Geithner Offered Early Notice on Tax Troubles

Tax problems have plagued presidential cabinet picks before. But revelations that Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick to run the Treasury Department, failed to pay parts of his income taxes has not drawn much ire of lawmakers and a public in the midst of an economic downturn.

By Derek Kravitz | January 15, 2009; 3:04 PM ET | Comments (3)

White House E-Mails Lost and Found, Charges Filed Against 'Daredevil' Pilot, FBI's Blago Watch

In the Nick of Time » It only took $10 million, but a Justice Department official says that the Bush administration will meet its legal requirement to transfer to the National Archives 14 million e-mails reported missing four years ago from White House computer files. The plaintiff's lawyer in the lawsuit responds with: "I'll believe it when I see it." — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 15, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

$20K Inaugural Tickets for Sale as Congress Debates Ban

Selling tickets to President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony next Tuesday isn't a crime. At least not yet. On Tuesday night, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to criminalize the scalping of inaugural tickets. The bill, which would make it a misdemeanor to sell or try to sell tickets to the swearing-in ceremony or create fake tickets, now heads to the House for approval.

By Derek Kravitz | January 14, 2009; 5:32 PM ET | Comments (6)

How 9/11 Changed the Quest for Intelligence

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "believed another attack was very likely imminent," says Barton Gellman, the author of the Cheney book, "Angler." Intelligence gathering and the use of wiretaps and torture to glean information about suspected terrorists has become a dominant, running theme over the course of Bush's presidency.

By Derek Kravitz | January 14, 2009; 2:51 PM ET | Comments (1)

Official Cites Detainee Torture, New Bias Alleged at Justice Dept., Geithner Grilled on Taxes

Official: Detainee Was Tortured » Susan J. Crawford, a retired judge who was named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured. Meanwhile, a former military prosecutor has filed a declaration in support of an Afghan detainee, citing chaos in the handling of Gitmo terror cases. — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 14, 2009; 9:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bush's Legacy in Iraq

More than any other single incident -- foreign intelligence gathering, secret prisons, wiretapping, the treatment of suspected terrorists, Hurricane Katrina or the economy -- President Bush will be defined by the five-year-old Iraq War, experts and historians contend.

By Derek Kravitz | January 13, 2009; 7:01 PM ET | Comments (4)

How a U.S. Attorney Went After 'Crazy Libs'

In Justice Department attorney Bradley Schlozman's world, "real Americans" were "right-thinking" conservatives and he sought to "gerrymander all of those crazy libs" out of the department's civil-rights division he headed, according to an exhaustive report released today by the department's inspector general into alleged politicization in hiring processes.

By Derek Kravitz | January 13, 2009; 4:14 PM ET | Comments (4)

Trying to Blow The Whistle on Madoff

Long before the name Bernard Madoff became synonomous with the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history, two people -- a reporter and an accountant -- had caught some red flags in Madoff's numbers.

By Derek Kravitz | January 13, 2009; 1:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Push for Bailout Bucks, Gitmo Closure Considered, Clinton's Donor Interventions?

The Push for Bailout Bucks » President-elect Barack Obama is launching a full-court press today for Congressional approval to spend another $350 billion to stabilize the still-fragile U.S. financial system, with economic adviser Larry Summers trying to sway skeptical lawmakers with pledges of improved oversight (PDF). — Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | January 13, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)

Report: Financial Adviser Tried to Fake Own Death

The bizarre case of an Indiana financial adviser who authorities say faked his own death by parachuting out of his plane as it crashed into a swampy area of north Florida just keeps getting weirder.

By Derek Kravitz | January 12, 2009; 7:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Bush Legacy Debate Begins

With only eight days left in office, George W. Bush is looking back. And so is The Post. All week, Post Investigations will examine the president's eight years in office, from the Iraq war to Katrina, from intelligence gathering after Sept. 11 to the financial meltdown. Expert opinion from The Post's Bob Woodward and Bart Gellman, along with relevant links to past coverage and commentary, will be included.

By Derek Kravitz | January 12, 2009; 2:55 PM ET | Comments (3)

Madoff Remains Free, Surreal Scene in Illinois Senate, Obama on Bush Inquiry

Madoff to Remain Free » A judge has rejected requests by federal prosecutors to revoke bail for Bernard Madoff, who is accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. — AP

By Amanda Zamora | January 12, 2009; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (1)

U.S. Marshals Lawyer Criticized for Sports Trips

A lawyer for the U.S. Marshals Service improperly used government vehicles and agents to escort himself and TV broadcasters to and from high-profile sporting events, including the 2007 World Series, last year's Super Bowl and the NCAA college football championship.

By Derek Kravitz | January 12, 2009; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dating Defense Doomed; Baltimore Mayor Indicted

Sheila A. Dixon, a Democrat and and the basis for the shrewd and calculating character Naresse Campbell on HBO's "The Wire," was indicted by a grand jury on 12 counts, including four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500. She was also charged with theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office.

By Derek Kravitz | January 9, 2009; 3:37 PM ET | Comments (3)

Panel Releases Scathing Report on Federal Bailout

An oversight panel charged with monitoring the federal government's $700 billion bailout program released a scathing report today, accusing the Treasury Department of failing to live up to taxpayer concerns about disclosure and fixing the foreclosure crisis.

By Derek Kravitz | January 9, 2009; 2:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Pitfalls of Private Health, Deadly Police Force and a Donor's Gift

The editors at Post Investigations have scoured the nation's top in-depth and investigative reports from mid-December through the New Year and selected their most interesting finds for the past few weeks.

By Derek Kravitz | January 9, 2009; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

TARP Report Slams Treasury, China's Net Users Take Aim Online, More Ponzi Schemes

TARP Report Slams Treasury » As President-elect Barack Obama's team prepares to overhaul the U.S. Treasury's $700 billion financial-rescue package, a draft report by a five-member congressional oversight panel faults the department for failing to reveal its strategy for stabilizing the financial system, not answering questions asked by a government watchdog, and doing nothing to help struggling homeowners. — Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

By Amanda Zamora | January 9, 2009; 9:43 AM ET | Comments (0)

Flushing Out Interior's Bathroom Spending

Outgoing Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne spent roughly $235,000 in taxpayer funds renovating his office bathroom last fall, installing a new shower, a refrigerator and freezer and wainscot wood panelling, department officials say. An initial investigation by the department's inspector general, sparked by questions from The Washington Post, soon followed. Today, Inspector General Earl Devaney said his office has launched a full-scale probe into the spending and "still have plenty of facts to flush out." (Pun intended.)

By Derek Kravitz | January 8, 2009; 6:06 PM ET | Comments (2)

The Fallout From 'India's Enron'

He's not Bernard Madoff, but Ramalinga Raju has some explaining of his own to do. Raju, the founder of one of India's largest outsourcing companies, Satyam, revealed in an emotional, 4-1/2-page letter to investors that he basically made up his firm's finances -- about $1 billion -- and falsified his company's books.

By Derek Kravitz | January 8, 2009; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

College Sports, Inc.

When Florida and Oklahoma meet in the Bowl Championship Series title game tonight, they not only will be battling for a national title but also for bragging rights as two of the biggest and richest football programs in the land.

By Amanda Zamora | January 8, 2009; 1:25 PM ET | Comments (1)

How To Find The 'French Connection'

It was 1974 and Marcel Francisci was the heroin kingpin of Europe. Francisci, a Corsican mobster, controlled a sometimes-deadly network of drugs moving through Europe to United States, dubbed the "French Connection."

By Derek Kravitz | January 8, 2009; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Government Calls Madoff a 'Danger', Satyam Scandle Rattles India, SEC Reopens Pequot Probe

Prosecutors: Madoff Poses 'Danger' » According to a court motion made public yesterday, prosecutors are arguing that money manager Bernard Madoff poses a "danger to the community" and should go to jail pending his trial for allegedly running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. — Wall Street Journal

By Amanda Zamora | January 8, 2009; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)

Two Richardson Aides Are Focus of Probe

The ongoing probe into New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's potential "quid pro quo" deal with a campaign contributor is focusing on two former aides to the one-time Commerce Secretary nominee.

By Derek Kravitz | January 7, 2009; 5:49 PM ET | Comments (3)

What a Week for Burris

It's been a whirlwind week for Roland W. Burris, the ex-attorney general from Illinois who appointed by embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill the president-elect's vacant Senate seat.

By Derek Kravitz | January 7, 2009; 12:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

Transparency and the 9/11 Trials, Coal Ash Dump Regulations, Delhi Firm Admits Major Fraud

Good morning, and welcome Wednesday's Daily Read. As we wait to see whether the Senate will back Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to Barack Obama's seat, the Post's Dana Milbank sketches a colorful scene of Burris's trip to the Hill yesterday. Meanwhile, we've got a mix of accountability news today, with Madoff headlines after the jump. See something we missed? Post your suggested must-read items in the comments below.

By Amanda Zamora | January 7, 2009; 9:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

Blackwater Guards Head to Court

Five Blackwater security contractors facing lengthy prison terms for their alleged involvement in a deadly shooting in Baghdad in 2007 that left 17 dead appeared in court today, pleading not guilty to manslaughter and assault charges.

By Derek Kravitz | January 6, 2009; 4:56 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Long Recount is Over

After nearly seven weeks of counting nearly 2.9 million votes, bitter legal challenges and a barrage of campaign rhetoric, the Minnesota recount is over.

By Derek Kravitz | January 6, 2009; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Madoff Roundup, Richardson Fallout, Burris Takes to the Hill

Good morning, and welcome Tuesday's Daily Read. President-elect Barack Obama's proposed economic stimulus package and his surprise pick for CIA chief are leading this morning's headlines, but we're kicking things off with a roundup on the head-turning Bernard Madoff. See something we missed? Post your suggested must-read items in the comments below.

By Amanda Zamora | January 6, 2009; 9:48 AM ET | Comments (0)

Madoff Gets Break As Lawmakers Hammer SEC

Bernard Madoff, the alleged Ponzi scheme operator behind one of the largest Wall Street scams in American history, got some Capitol Hill treatment today.

By Derek Kravitz | January 5, 2009; 4:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

How Much Does Madoff Still Have?

The Securities and Exchange Commission was given a list of disgraced businessman Bernard L. Madoff's personal assets last week, as government regulators try to size up how much the alleged Ponzi scheme operator has.

By Derek Kravitz | January 5, 2009; 3:24 PM ET | Comments (11)

Si Se Puede! The Richardson Probe

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says a federal probe into campaign contributions he received from a financial services firm that later got a state contract will find no wrongdoing.

By Derek Kravitz | January 5, 2009; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Richardson Probe, Md. Police Spying, Madoff Investigators Chased in Vain

Richardson Probe » New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's withdrawal from consideration for commerce secretary because of an ongoing federal "pay-to-play" investigation is dominating headlines this morning. As The Washington Post reports, the probe focuses on "whether Richardson's office urged a state agency to hire a California firm as a result of generous contributions from the company and its president to political action committees established by the governor." See key events related to Richardson probe and more from the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and Politico.

By Amanda Zamora | January 5, 2009; 9:29 AM ET | Comments (1)


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