Archive: The Daily Read
The Deepwater Horizon well has most likely spewed 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day, more than previously estimated, according to a group of scientists appointed by the federal government to study video of the dark geyser at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
By Jennifer Jenkins | June 10, 2010; 04:31 PM ET | Comments (0)
Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials.
By Jennifer Jenkins | June 4, 2010; 03:11 PM ET | Comments (1)
The March 30 drive-by shootings that claimed the lives of at least three -- a fourth remains unconscious -- in Southeast D.C. can be traced back to a gathering at which a man lost track of a bracelet. The confusion over the whereabouts of that bracelet, Post reporting and court filings shows, led to more mayhem, some of it deadly, in the following nine days.
By Jennifer Jenkins | June 3, 2010; 01:15 PM ET | Comments (0)
Wyofile and ProPublica look at the long-running link between the Minerals Management Service's leaders and the oil industry in the former vice president's home state. The agency is now under scrutiny for its close ties with the industry.
By Jennifer Jenkins | June 2, 2010; 06:11 PM ET | Comments (0)
Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters; New records show some lobbyists are top fundraisers for candidates
About 10 percent of the 240 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when President Obama took office were "leaders, operatives and facilitators involved in plots against the United States," but the majority were low-level fighters, according to a previously undisclosed government report.
By Jennifer Jenkins | June 1, 2010; 06:54 PM ET | Comments (0)
Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding Motrin recall from public; FDA says it urged company to respond to complaints
The company at the center of a massive recall of children's Tylenol and other popular over-the-counter products tried to perform a "phantom recall" of defective Motrin by sending contractors around the country to buy up the medicine from stores without alerting regulators or the public, according to the chairman of a Congressional committee investigating the company.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 28, 2010; 05:42 PM ET | Comments (2)
Ethics office requests investigation of lobbying firm PMA Group over no-bid contracts; Renewed questions about U.S. lobbying firm's role in Jamaican extradition case
A congressional ethics office asked the Justice Department on Thursday to review evidence it found suggesting that companies are providing campaign cash to lawmakers for no-bid contracts, and consider a criminal probe. The investigation focused on companies that were clients of the once powerful lobby firm the PMA Group and sought earmarked contracts from lawmakers who sat on the House Appropriations committee.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 27, 2010; 05:59 PM ET | Comments (0)
D.C. child abuse and neglect investigations improve, but problems persist; CDC politics affected investigation into lead levels
Child abuse and neglect investigations in the District are improving but often take too long to locate alleged victims and frequently fail to include interviews with teachers, relatives and others likely to have vital insight into the family, according to a report by the federal court monitor who tracks the city's child welfare agency.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 27, 2010; 05:47 PM ET | Comments (0)
Ethics rules give Congress leeway in investments; Pentagon tries to steer Iraq media coverage; Rig inspectors took gifts from oil industry
Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was a stockbroker before he became a politician and continued to play the markets during his rise through Congress. At times, his investing became so busy it verged on what later came to be known as day trading.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 25, 2010; 05:36 PM ET | Comments (1)
The Conservancy gave BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 24, 2010; 04:26 PM ET | Comments (2)
CDC misled District residents about lead levels in water; FBI investigated leaks to Robert Novak in '80s; WikiLeaks' sources remain a mystery
The nation's premier public health agency knowingly used flawed data to claim that high lead levels in the District's drinking water did not pose a health risk to the public, a congressional investigation has found.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 20, 2010; 04:57 PM ET | Comments (2)
Border security proposals in Congress could be costly; Bush-era memo could complicate challenge of Arizona immigration law
In the legal battle over Arizona's new immigration law, an ironic subtext has emerged: whether a Bush-era legal opinion authorizing state police to arrest undocumented immigrants for violating federal law complicates a potential Obama administration lawsuit against Arizona.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 18, 2010; 04:58 PM ET | Comments (2)
FBI considered moving to Prince George's, court papers reveal; Virginia nonviolent felons left in limbo on restoration of civil rights
More than 200 nonviolent felons received a notice from the secretary of the commonwealth requiring that they write a letter explaining why their civil rights should be restored to the governor by April 1.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 17, 2010; 06:06 PM ET | Comments (0)
White house, BP unprepared for relationship in wake of oil spill The Washington Post The success or failure of the Obama administration's current response -- involving about 13,000 workers and 460 vessels, along with 1.4 million feet of boom laid against the spreading slick -- depends in large part on...
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 13, 2010; 02:36 PM ET | Comments (1)
U.S. funds group against Internet censorship; Soldiers report problems in Warrior Transition Units; Georgia foster care system scrutinzed
The State Department has decided to fund the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, run mainly by practitioners of Falun Gong, a Buddhist-like sect long considered an enemy by the Chinese government, to provide software to skirt Internet censorship.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 12, 2010; 06:44 PM ET | Comments (1)
Payday lenders fight finance reform; Banks hire former government employees as lobbyists; 27 waivers given to oil companies in Gulf
The country's largest banks and trade groups have hired more than 240 former government officials and legislative staffers to lobby on their behalf in Congress, part of a broader campaign by to limit the impact of proposed financial reforms, according to a report issued Tuesday by liberal groups.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 11, 2010; 05:39 PM ET | Comments (0)
Gulf rig owner had history of accidents; New questions arise over Ford Explorers; California inmates report abuse
Since 2008, nearly three of every four incidents on deepwater drilling rigs that triggered federal safety investigations in the Gulf of Mexico have been on rigs operated by Transocean, according to the Wall Street Journal's analysis of federal data.
By Jennifer Jenkins | May 10, 2010; 04:02 PM ET | Comments (0)
Senate Probes Banks for Meltdown Fraud; Earmarks of Committee Members Probing Murtha Questioned; Immigration Detention Centers Failed to Meet Standards
Senate Probes Banks for Meltdown Fraud Wall Street Journal
A Senate panel has subpoenaed financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, seeking evidence of fraud in last year's mortgage-market meltdown, according to people familiar with the situation.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 30, 2009; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)
Ex-Countrywide Executive Testifies on Senators' Mortgages; U.S. Citizens Wrongly Detained, Deported by ICE; Sharp Rise in Violent Crimes Cited Among Returning Veterans in Colo. Unit
Ex-Countrywide Executive Testifies on Senators' Mortgages Washington Post
The Senate ethics committee has interviewed a former Countrywide Financial executive who testified under oath that Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) were aware that they were accessing a special program to give below-market-rate mortgages to the powerful and famous when he arranged their loans.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 28, 2009; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (0)
Iraqi Jobs Program Suspended Amid Scrutiny; Secrets of CIA 'Ghost Flights' to be Revealed; Infectious Diseases Study Site Questioned
Iraqi Jobs Program Suspended Amid Scrutiny USA Today
The top U.S. aid agency has suspended a $644 million Iraq jobs program after two outside reviews raised concerns about misspending, including an inspector general's audit that found evidence of phantom jobs and money siphoned to insurgents
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 27, 2009; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)
U.S. Declines U.N. Requests for Guantanamo Visits; Murtha, 12 Colleagues Back a Murky $160 Million Request; S.E.C. Seeks to Curb 'Pay to Play' for Pension Money
U.S. Declines U.N. Requests for Guantanamo Visits, Data on CIA Prisons Washington Post
The Obama administration has declined requests from U.N. human rights investigators for information on secret prisons and for private interviews with inmates at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, U.N. officials said, dampening their hopes of greater U.S. cooperation on human rights issues.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 23, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)
Palin Legal Donations May Have Violated Ethics Law; Lawmakers Rebuke Treasury Dept. For Lack of Transparency; White House Declines to Disclose Visits by Health Industry Executives
Today's Daily Read powered by Publish2. See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. Palin Legal Donations May Have Violated Ethics Law Washington PostAn independent investigator has determined that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may have violated state ethics laws by soliciting...
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 22, 2009; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (0)
CIA Committed Fraud, Judge Writes in Ruling; U.S. Criticized on TARP Spending Transparency; Industry Cash Flowed to Drafters of Reform
CIA Committed Fraud, Judge Writes in Ruling Washington Post
A federal judge has ruled that government officials committed fraud while defending a lawsuit brought by a former DEA agent who accused a CIA operative of illegally bugging his home.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 21, 2009; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (0)
Bailout Overseer Says Banks Misused TARP Funds; U.S. Expected to Miss Deadline on Detainee Policy; New Orleans Wants Ex-Residents Counted
Bailout Overseer Says Banks Misused TARP Funds Washington Post
Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks, according to a new report from the special inspector general overseeing the government's financial rescue program.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 20, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)
Committee Asks for CIA Program Records; Florida Project Under Investigation Is Linked to Murtha; Quadrangle Probe Intensifies in New York
Committee Asks for CIA Program Records AP
The House Intelligence Committee has asked the CIA to provide documents about a now-canceled program to kill al-Qaeda leaders, congressional officials said.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 15, 2009; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (0)
CIA Program Targeted Al-Qaeda Leaders; Chief Auto Adviser Resigns Amid Probe; Metro Crash Prompts Safety Warning
CIA Had Program to Kill Al-Qaeda Leaders Washington Post
The CIA ran a secret program for nearly eight years that aspired to kill top al-Qaeda leaders with specially trained assassins, but the agency declined to tell Congress because the initiative never came close to bringing Osama bin Laden and his deputies into U.S. cross hairs.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 14, 2009; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
Cheney Linked to Concealment of CIA Program; WH to Revisit Bush Anti-Terror Policies; Problem Nurses Stay on the Job in Calif.
Feinstein Says CIA May Have Been Broken Law New York Times
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that the Bush administration may have broken the law if the Central Intelligence Agency concealed a covert spy program from Congress.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 13, 2009; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (10)
Mexico Accused of Torture; CIA Accused of Misleading Intel Panel; 'Double Failure' at American Hospitals
Mexico Accused of Torture in Drug War Washington Post
The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 9, 2009; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (0)
Bribery Plea for Firm With Murtha Ties; Indefinite Detentions Are Backed; Report Questions States on Stimulus Spending
Bribery Plea in Probe of Firm With Murtha Ties Washington Post
A former executive of a Pennsylvania defense firm with close ties to Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) has agreed to plead guilty to taking bribes from a partner defense company and is cooperating in a federal investigation of Pentagon contracting, records show.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 8, 2009; 09:56 AM ET | Comments (0)
Key Senator Backs Telecom Probe; Fla. Regulators Aided Allen Stanford; Former Gitmo Inmate Says Photos Show Abuse
Former Inmate Says Photos Show Abuse at Gitmo New York Times
In an affidavit filed in June with United States District Court, a former Guantanamo inmate, Binyam Mohamed, said that video and still cameras had documented his abuse, and that he had seen some of the images, which he said were in the possession of his lawyers.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 7, 2009; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (0)
Familiar Players in Health Bill Lobbying; Report Faults Contractor Bonuses; FBI: Palin Not Under Investigation
Familiar Players in Health Bill Lobbying Washington Post
The nation's largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 6, 2009; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (0)
Congress's Travel Tab Swells; Group Says Government Used False Confessions;Staffer at SEC Had Warned of Madoff
Congress's Travel Tab Swells Wall Street Journal($)
The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That's a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 2, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)
CIA Report on Interrogation Expected Today; After Call From Senator's Office, Small Hawaii Bank Got U.S. Aid; Social Security Audit Finds Dead People Getting Checks
CIA Report on Interrogation Expected Today Washington Post
The Justice Department is expected to release an internal CIA report on the agency's secret detention and interrogation program during the Bush administration.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | July 1, 2009; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (0)
Supreme Court to Review Campaign Finance Laws; States Can Challenge Banks; Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison
Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years Washington Post
Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind behind one of the biggest and longest-running financial frauds in history, on Monday was ordered to serve 150 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 30, 2009; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (0)
Stiff Sentence Urged for Madoff; GE Benefit From Bailout Loophole; Corruption Plays Key Role in Iraqi Justice
Stiff Sentence Urged for Madoff Associated Press
Victims who lost millions of dollars in the multibillion-dollar fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff described their ruined lives Monday to the judge sentencing the 71-year-old former Nasdaq stock market chairman.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 29, 2009; 09:40 AM ET | Comments (0)
Senate Panel Hears of Health Insurers' Wrongs; Republicans: Fed Shielded Facts of Merrill Sale; 53 Indicted in Medicare Fraud Sting
Study Finds Database Overcharged Patients Billions New York Times
Congressional investigators said that two-thirds of the nation's health insurance industry used a faulty database that overcharged patients for seeing doctors outside their insurance network, costing them billions of dollars in inflated bills.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 25, 2009; 09:50 AM ET | Comments (0)
Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists; Rise in Native Contracts Eyed; DHS to Curb Spy-Satellite Program
Documents Back Saudi Link to Extremists New York Times
Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 24, 2009; 09:40 AM ET | Comments (0)
New Details in Madoff Case; White House to Nix Spy-Satellite Program; An Earmark-Stuffed War Funding Bill
Madoff Suits Add Details About Fraud The New York Times
Federal regulators contend that a prominent investor and a small brokerage firm both helped Mr. Madoff sustain the Ponzi scheme by steering billions of dollars into it, in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and profits.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 23, 2009; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (0)
Iran's Spying Aided by Western Technology; Blair Under Fire Over War Inquiry; V.A. Hospital's Rogue Cancer Unit
Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
The Wall Street Journal
The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 22, 2009; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (0)
Bailout CEOs Flew to Resorts on Firms' Jets; Obama's Pledge on Donations Faces Reality; Report to Detail CIA Secret Prison Program
Bailout CEOs Flew to Resorts on Firms' Jets The Wall Street Journal ($)
Flight records show numerous occasions when banks receiving federal money have flown their planes to destinations near resorts or executives' vacation homes, including spots in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, south Florida and Aspen, Colo.
By Amanda Zamora | June 19, 2009; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (0)
Insurance Fraud By N. Korea Outlined; U.S. Power Grid Scanned for Spies; DOJ Corruption Unit in Disarray
Global Insurance Fraud By North Korea Outlined
The Washington Post
The North Korean government has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the world's largest insurance companies on large and suspicious claims.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 18, 2009; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (0)
Concern Over E-Mail Surveillance Grows; CIA Fights Full Release of Detainee Docs; White House Withholds Visitor Logs
Concern over E-Mail Surveillance New York Times
The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 17, 2009; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (1)
Gov. Audit Finds U.S. Overpaid Blackwater; IG Report: Regulators Failed Banks; CIA Mistaken on 'High-Value' Detainee, Document Shows
Gov. Audit: U.S. Overpaid Blackwater The Wall Street Journal
A government audit found that the State Department overpaid the contract-security firm once known as Blackwater Worldwide by tens of millions of dollars because the company failed to properly staff its teams in Iraq.
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 16, 2009; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (0)
Lawmakers Reveal Health-Care Investments; CIA Fired Firms Aiding Interrogations; Financial Regulation Plan Detailed
Lawmakers Reveal Health-Care Investments Washington Post
Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer's debate.
By Amanda Zamora | June 15, 2009; 09:06 AM ET | Comments (0)
House Ethics Panel to Probe PMA Capitol Briefing
The House ethics committee is conducting a preliminary inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA Group's ability to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for clients while steering millions of dollars in donations to key Democrats.
By Amanda Zamora | June 12, 2009; 11:02 AM ET | Comments (0)
Pentagon Travel Policies Criticized by Watchdogs » Pentagon personnel took more than 22,000 trips paid for by foreign countries, private companies and other nongovernmental sources over the past decade, according to watchdog groups. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | June 11, 2009; 11:11 AM ET | Comments (0)
See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. Stimulus spending spawns requests » As Democrats have defended the $787 billion stimulus package against accusations of pork-barrel spending, agency records show lawmakers working behind the scenes to try to influence how the money...
By Amanda Zamora | June 10, 2009; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0)
CIA Urges Judge To Keep Interrogation Documents Sealed; U.S. Troop Errors Resulted in Deaths of Afghan Civilians; Shell Settles Nigerian Human Rights Case
U.S. Troop Errors Resulted in Deaths of Afghan Civilians » The findings of a military investigation, presented yesterday to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, concluded that U.S. Marine troops violated or poorly followed military policies in Afghanistan that lead to the deaths of dozens of Afghan civilians. — Washington Post
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 9, 2009; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (0)
Tainted Syringes Slip FDA's Watch; Lobbyists Spend Millions Honoring Lawmakers; FEMA's Preparedness Gaps
Iraqi Security Forces Arrest Five American Contractors » Iraqi security forces have arrested five Americans in connection with the killing of a contractor last month in Baghdad's Green Zone. It could be the first case in which Americans face local justice under a security pact signed last year. — Washington Post
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 8, 2009; 09:54 AM ET | Comments (1)
Firms Tied to Murtha Have Troubled Past; Mortgage Pioneer Accused of Fraud; Banks Show Powerful Hand
Firms Tied to Murtha Have Troubled Past » Defense firm owner Bill Kuchera has won tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts with the help of Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha. Now he faces a federal inquiry into allegations of improper billing. But newly obtained documents show that the current probe is only the latest chapter in the troubled history of Kuchera business ventures. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | June 5, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)
Telecoms Win Dismissal of Wiretap Suits; Google Executive's Ties to White House Questioned; Faulted Firm Gets Afghan Aid Work
Telecoms Win Dismissal of Wiretap Suits » A federal judge threw out more than three dozen lawsuits claiming that the nation's major telecommunications companies had illegally assisted in the wiretapping without warrants program approved by President George W. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks. — New York Times
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 4, 2009; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)
Federal Antitrust Probe Targets Tech Giants » The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether some of the nation's largest technology companies — including Google, Yahoo and Apple — violated antitrust laws by negotiating the recruiting and hiring of one another's employees. — Washington Post
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 3, 2009; 09:59 AM ET | Comments (0)
Judge: Gitmo Docs Must Be Public » A federal judge ordered the United States on Monday to publicly reveal unclassified versions of its allegations and evidence justifying the continued imprisonment of more than 100 detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. — Associated Press
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | June 2, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)
White House Pushes to Block Abuse Photos; NY Immigration Fraud Probe Expands; When Clout Goes to College
White House Pushes to Block Abuse Photos » The Obama administration asked a federal court of appeals in New York on Thursday to recall its order requiring the release of photographs held by the Pentagon that depict the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. — Washington Post
By Sarah Fitzpatrick | May 29, 2009; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (1)
Burris: 'No Pay-to-Play' » A day after the release of audiotapes revealing promises made to Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund, Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) yesterday denied any wrongdoing related to his pursuit of Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 28, 2009; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)
Burris Tape: 'Keep Me in Mind'; Report: Interior Botches Officials' Passports; G.M. as 'Government Motors'
Burris Tape: 'Keep Me in Mind' » According to a newly-released audiotape, Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) promised to make a campaign contribution to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) at the same time he was pressing the governor for a Senate appointment. The FBI recording contradicts a Jan. 5 Burris affidavit in which he swore he hadn't discussed the Senate seat with Blagojevich. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 27, 2009; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (0)
'State Secrets' Showdown Looms; Intrigue, Discord at Parole Commission; Crackdown on Corporate Bribes
'State Secrets' Showdown Looms » President Obama vowed last week to rein in the use of a legal privilege that allows the administration to discard lawsuits involving "state secrets." But hours his pledge, a federal judge criticized Justice Department officials in a case that has delved deeper than any other into one of the government's most highly classified data-gathering programs. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 26, 2009; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (0)
Obama Curtails 'Preemption' Policy;Mortgage Lending Oversight Faulted; Citizen Spies Target North Korea
Obama Curtails 'Preemption' Policy » President Obama continued to reverse his predecessor's policies this week by undoing a controversial Bush administration rule known as "preemption" that used federal regulations to override state laws on the environment, health, public safety and other issues. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 22, 2009; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (0)
Group Seeks Sway Over E-Records; Abuse at Irish Schools Detailed; Lawyer's Ways Spelled Murder, Feds Say
Group Seeks Sway Over E-Records Oversight » A health technology trade association has asked the Obama administration to require that any electronic health-record equipment receiving stimulus funding be certified by a group the association helped to start and run, documents show. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 21, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)
U.S. Weights Financial Watchdog » The Obama administration is actively discussing the creation of a regulatory commission that would have broad authority to protect consumers who use financial products as varied as mortgages, credit cards and mutual funds, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved new curbs on the credit card industry, putting the landmark legislation closer to the president's desk. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 20, 2009; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (0)
Mortgage Fraud Bill Passes » Congress on Monday sent to President Obama a bill to clamp down on mortgage fraud and set up a $5 million independent commission to investigate the cause of the worldwide financial meltdown. Also this week, Democratic leaders hope to send Obama legislation on credit cards that would protect consumers from arbitrary rate hikes. — Associated Press, USA Today
By Amanda Zamora | May 19, 2009; 10:24 AM ET | Comments (0)
Watchdog Digs Into SEC Conduct » Inquiries into potential misconduct by Securities and Exchange Commission employees come as the agency is trying to lift its image out of a morass created by its failure to stop Bernard L. Madoff's massive fraud or prevent the collapse of major Wall Street banks the agency regulated. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 18, 2009; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (1)
A Power Broker's Web Revealed » The case against Hank Morris, who stands accused of positioning himself to extract $15 million in kickbacks from fund managers seeking public pension business in New York, has reignited perennial questions about a nationwide network of pension investment brokers -- many of them from the world of political operatives. — New York Times
By Amanda Zamora | May 14, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)
Officials Knew of AIG Bonuses » Documents show that senior officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York received details about the bonuses more than five months before the firestorm erupted and were deeply engaged with AIG as well as outside lawyers, auditors and public relations firms about the potential controversy. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 13, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)
U.N. Struggles With Infighting » As an October 2006 bombing goes unsolved -- a former U.N. weapons specialist accused of attempting to murder his colleague -- hundreds of pages of confidential U.N. documents reviewed by The Washington Post, as well as interviews with those involved in the incident, demonstrate how U.N. agencies turned against each other as they struggled to determine who was responsible for the explosion. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 12, 2009; 10:07 AM ET | Comments (0)
Health Groups Pledge Cost Control; Obama to Bolster Antitrust Rules; Ex-Reporter Made Chevron Look Good
Health Groups Pledge Cost Control » Healthcare industry leaders are expected to announce $2 trillion in voluntary savings over the next decade, according to White House officials, who also said the implicit threat of public embarrassment will be the only mechanism to ensure that the groups live up to their offer. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 11, 2009; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (0)
Pelosi Briefed on Interrogation Methods; NY Fed Chairman Steps Down; Resignations Amid Pension Inquiry
Pelosi Was Briefed on Interrogations » Intelligence officials released documents yesterday saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda suspects, seeming to contradict her repeated statements that she was never told the techniques were actually being used. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 8, 2009; 09:14 AM ET | Comments (7)
DOJ Cites Terror Watch List Lapses » The FBI has retained almost 24,000 names on the nation's terrorist watch list without current or proper justification, while failing to include people who are subjects of terrorist investigations, according to a Justice Department report (pdf) issued yesterday. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 7, 2009; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (0)
Bush Officials Seek to Sway Probe; Pentagon IG Withdraws Report; SEC Sues First Fund to 'Break the Buck'
Ex-Officials Seek to Sway Ethics Probe » Former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften an ethics report criticizing lawyers who blessed harsh detainee interrogation tactics, according to two sources familiar with the efforts. Meanwhile, sources suggest Justice Department investigators will not seek criminal charges against the lawyers. — Washington Post, Associated Press
By Amanda Zamora | May 6, 2009; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)
Murtha's Nephew Got Defense Contracts » The most striking feature about the quiet Glen Burnie, Md., headquarters of Murtech Inc. is its owner -- Robert C. Murtha Jr., nephew of Rep. John P. Murtha. Last year, Murtech received $4 million in Pentagon work, all of it without competition, for a variety of warehousing and engineering services. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 5, 2009; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (1)
NY Fed's Goldman Ties at Issue » New York Fed chairman Stephen Friedman's Goldman Sachs connections illustrate what a tangle of overlapping interests can arise at a hybrid institution, especially as the U.S. government grows more deeply enmeshed in American business and banking.— Wall Street Journal ($)
By Amanda Zamora | May 4, 2009; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Scapegoats of Abu Ghraib?; Report: Contractors Behind Waterboarding Program; One Town's Take on Big Banks
The Scapegoats of Abu Ghraib? » When the photos of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in 2004, U.S. officials portrayed Army Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr. as the ringleader of a few low-ranking "bad apples." But Graner's lawyer contends that recently-released Justice Department memos show how guards were made scapegoats for policies approved at high levels. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | May 1, 2009; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (0)
The 'Fort Murtha' Debate; Kennedy Is Key in Voting Rights Ruling; Immigration Focus Shifts to Employers
The 'Fort Murtha' Debate » The Pentagon has spent about $30 million on upgrades at a little-used airport named for Rep. John P. Murtha (D), though most of the improvements have not been used for their intended military purpose. Critics complain that the projects, funded through appropriations approved by Murtha's panel, are a waste of taxpayer dollars. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 30, 2009; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)
NYC Flyover Fallout » White House press secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday said the administration is conducting an internal review of the Air Force One flyover that caused panic Monday in New York City. "It was a mistake," Obama said of the photo-op flight, which reportedly cost taxpayers $328,835. Meanwhile, documents suggest federal officials knew the Air Force mission would cause alarm, but proceeded anyway. — Washington Post, Bloomberg, WCBS-TV
By Amanda Zamora | April 29, 2009; 09:03 AM ET | Comments (0)
Gauging Swine Flu Response » As the White House works to confront the growing threat of swine flu to U.S. citizens, dozens of key public health and emergency response jobs in the administration remain vacant. Meanwhile, Mexico is facing criticism for its slow and confused response to the gathering epidemic, as families of victims await medicine two weeks after the country confirmed its first death from the virus. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 28, 2009; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (0)
Effectiveness of Harsh Tactics Unclear » Whether harsh tactics were decisive in Khalid Sheik Mohammed's interrogation may never be conclusively known, in large part because the CIA appears not to have tried traditional tactics for much time, if at all. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 27, 2009; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)
Obama Rebuffs Truth Panel » President Obama appeared to back away from an earlier suggestion that he could support an independent commission on detainee treatment, telling congressional leaders that he wants to look forward instead of litigating the past. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also rejected calls for an independent panel, saying he preferred to await the findings of an ongoing investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee. — Washington Post, Wall Street Journal ($)
By Amanda Zamora | April 24, 2009; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (1)
Rice Greenlighted CIA Methods in '02; Freddie Disclosures Examined; Lewis: U.S. Urged Silence on Merrill Deal
Rice Greenlighted CIA Methods in '02 » Condoleezza Rice, John D. Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials approved as early as the summer of 2002 the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, according to a newly declassified chronology prepared by the Senate intelligence committee. Rice's approval came months before the Justice Department provided a legal rationale for such tactics. — Washington Post, USA Today
By Amanda Zamora | April 23, 2009; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)
Pay Limits Rebuffed? » Top officials at Chrysler Financial turned away a government loan because executives didn't want to abide by new federal limits on pay, according to new findings by a federal watchdog agency. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department's inspector general is expected to report today that firms participating in a $1 trillion program to relieve banks of toxic assets may be subject to executive pay limits, contrary to the Obama administration's previous public position. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 21, 2009; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
Murtha's Earmarks Keep Airport Aloft; Memos Reveal Extent of Waterboarding; Report: Harman Heard on NSA Tap
Murtha's Earmarks Keep Airport Aloft » The newly-renamed John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, which sees few travelers on a given weekday, is a testament to Rep. John P. Murtha's ability to tap streams of federal money for pricey, state-of-the-art projects that are rare among regional airports of comparable size. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 20, 2009; 09:29 AM ET | Comments (0)
NSA Intercepts Violate Limits; Report Questions Pentagon's Brain-Trauma Focus; Passport Probe Reveals Flaws
NSA Intercepts Violate Limits » The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, though Justice Department officials say steps have been taken to rectify compliance issues with the surveillance program. — New York Times, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 16, 2009; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hedge Fund Exec Aids Pension Probe » A hedge fund executive has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and is cooperating with New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo's investigation of corruption at the state pension fund, according to court records unsealed in Manhattan on Tuesday. — New York Times, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 15, 2009; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)
SEC Reviewing Merrill Bonuses »The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing whether Bank of America broke the law by failing to disclose bonuses it was planning to pay Merrill Lynch employees before buying the Wall Street investment bank last year. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 14, 2009; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)
Shortfalls Unraveled Stevens's Case; TARP Panel Probes Fee Hikes; State Cuts Delay Disability Benefits
Shortfalls Unraveled Stevens's Case » The Justice Department team charged with prosecuting former senator Ted Stevens miscalculated by not seeking more time to prepare high for the-stakes corruption trial and fell victim to inexperience and thin staffing, which contributed to its alleged mishandling of witnesses and evidence, according to interviews with more than a dozen lawyers who followed the case. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 13, 2009; 09:34 AM ET | Comments (0)
Holder Appoints New Ethics Chief » Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. began a series of personnel moves yesterday in one of the most sensitive and secretive sections of the Justice Department, including naming a longtime prosecutor to lead the department's internal ethics unit.— Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 9, 2009; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Stevens Six » A closer look at the six U.S. attorneys facing possible criminal charges for their handling of the corruption case against former Sen. Ted Stevens. A federal judge yesterday dismissed Stevens' conviction and appointed an outside lawyer to investigate allegations of misconduct by the Justice Department lawyers. — AP, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 8, 2009; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)
Stanford's Tearful Interview; Report: Detainee Treatment 'Inhuman'; Merkin Faces Charges in Madoff Scam
Report: Detainee Treatment 'Inhuman' » Medical officers who oversaw interrogations of terrorism suspects in CIA secret prisons committed gross violations of medical ethics and in some cases essentially participated in torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a confidential report that labeled the CIA program "inhuman." — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 7, 2009; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (0)
Summers Earned $5.2M From Hedge Fund; Madoff Complaint Implicates Aide; Pfizer Settles Drug-Trial Case
Summers Earned $5.2M From Hedge Fund » Lawrence H. Summers, one of President Obama's top economic advisers, collected roughly $5.2 million in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw over the past year and was paid more than $2.7 million in speaking fees by several troubled Wall Street firms and other organizations. — Washington Post, New York Times
By Amanda Zamora | April 6, 2009; 09:21 AM ET | Comments (1)
Blagojevich, Brothers Indicted » Federal prosecutors expanded their case against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday in an indictment that drew more of his closest aides into the scandal and adds new schemes to the list of charges against him: Pocketing money funneled through his wife through a phony real estate job. Shaking down a powerful congressman. Running the state as a racket. Reaction to the indictment — Chicago Tribune
By Amanda Zamora | April 3, 2009; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (0)
Ex-AIG Chief: Bailout Failed » Former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg says the bailout has "failed" and is expected to propose an alternative plan to breaking up the mega-insurer during a hearing this morning before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. AIG launched a pre-emptive strike ahead of today's hearing, putting out a four-page dossier attacking Greenberg's credibility. — Politico, ProPublica
By Amanda Zamora | April 2, 2009; 09:53 AM ET | Comments (0)
U.S. to Drop Stevens Case » Attorney General Eric Holder announced this morning that he is dropping all the charges against former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who was convicted last year on corruption charges. Holder had reviewed the case because of charges of prosecutorial misconduct that were being examined by the federal judge presiding over the case. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | April 1, 2009; 09:57 AM ET | Comments (1)
Are Bank Execs Next? » The Obama administration's display of authority in ousting GM chief executive Rick Wagoner (who reportedly will receive a $20 million retirement package) sent U.S. stocks tumbling and raised questions about whether the government would take similar steps against top executives at U.S. banks that are also receiving government bailout funds. — ABC News, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 31, 2009; 09:44 AM ET | Comments (0)
Star Lobbyist Closes Shop Amid Probe » As Paul Magliocchetti prepares to shut down PMA Group, many on Capitol Hill are wondering who else will be ensnared in the investigation as prosecutors pore over the financial records and computer files of one of K Street's most influential lobbyists. And though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains opposed to an ethics investigation on the Hill, other Democrats worry that momentum for a congressional probe will grow. — New York Times, Politico
By Amanda Zamora | March 30, 2009; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (0)
More Departures at AIG? » Several more employees are quitting the financial products unit that brought American International Group to its knees last year, according a Reuters source. Executive Jake DeSantis announced his resignation in a letter printed in Wednesday's New York Times, arguing that the employees still working are not the ones who caused the large losses and "are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials." — Reuters
By Amanda Zamora | March 26, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)
AIG's London Execs 'Hold Out' » Aides for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo have confirmed that many, if not all, of those who have held on to their bonuses are based in London, where AIG's financial products division has been held responsible for a large portion of the insurer's spectacular losses. — The Times
By Amanda Zamora | March 25, 2009; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (1)
$50M in AIG Bonuses Returned » As the Senate delays action on a punitive tax aimed at AIG bonuses, 18 of the 25 most senior Financial Products executives at insurance firm have agreed to return their retention payments, amounting to more than $50 million of the $165 million in bonuses originally issued. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenus Service is probing the same AIG unit at the center of the bonus controversy. — Washington Post, Reuters
By Amanda Zamora | March 24, 2009; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (0)
Obama Plans Exec Pay Overhaul » The Obama administration this week will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said. — International Herald Tribune
By Amanda Zamora | March 23, 2009; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)
Under the Radar » The money managers who helped ignite the world financial crisis didn't operate in a gleaming corporate penthouse overlooking New York Harbor, but on a trading floor in a two-story brick office building with a view of a Mobil station. At AIG Financial Products here, the riskiest of business was conducted in the blandest of settings. — USA Today
By Amanda Zamora | March 20, 2009; 09:56 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Fed's 'Stunning' Silence» Federal Reserve officials knew for months about bonuses at American International Group but failed to tell the Obama administration, according to government and company officials, exposing problems in a relationship that is vital to addressing the financial crisis. —Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 19, 2009; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
Wall Street's Refusal to Learn » Steve Pearlstein: You have to wonder what else has to go wrong, how much more wealth will need to be destroyed, before the people on Wall Street get the message that it's no longer business as usual. The latest outrage, of course, is over the $400 million in retention bonuses promised to those financial geniuses at AIG's Financial Products unit last year, months before the insurance giant was essentially taken over by the government in a bailout that already has required an injection of $170 billion in taxpayer money. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 18, 2009; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (1)
AIG Rage » A tidal wave of public outrage over bonus payments swamped American International Group yesterday. Hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products as death threats and angry letters flooded e-mail inboxes inside. More on the AIG bonus fallout: Politico: Grassley Tells Execs: Quite or Suicide, Wall Street Journal: Political Heat Sears AIG; New York Times: Obama Seeks to Undo Bonuses; Los Angeles Times: Bonuses Won't Be Easy to Recover. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 17, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (0)
AIG Pays Millions in Bonuses, Asbestos Allegations at Smithsonian, Red Cross: 'Torture' at CIA Jails
AIG to Pay Millions in Bonuses» American International Group will award hundreds of millions of dollars in employee bonuses and retention pay, despite sharp criticism from Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. Meanwhile, the insurance giant unexpectedly released the names of dozens of trading partners it has paid using more than $75 billion in bailout funds. — Washington Post, New York Times
By Amanda Zamora | March 16, 2009; 10:38 AM ET | Comments (0)
See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. Quotable As I engaged in my fraud, I knew what I was doing was wrong, indeed criminal. When I began the Ponzi scheme, I believed it would end shortly and I would be able...
By Amanda Zamora | March 13, 2009; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (0)
Madoff's Day in Court » As Bernard Madoff prepares to plead guilty to 11 felony charges related to his role in a massive Ponzi scheme, at least 50 of his victims are expected to be in court, awaiting a chance to speak after the disgraced financier enters his plea. — USA Today
By Amanda Zamora | March 12, 2009; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)
By Derek Kravitz | March 11, 2009; 12:57 PM ET | Comments (0)
See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. First Round of Madoff Relief » As 12 victims prepare to receive the first payouts from the trustee in the criminal case against Bernard Madoff, the disgraced financier is expected to appear in court...
By Amanda Zamora | March 10, 2009; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)
Pegging Pentagon Earmarks » As President Obama pushes for defense procurement reform, it is becoming clear that he is picking a fight with some members of his own party: Democrats secured an estimated $524 million in defense earmarks that the Pentagon did not request into the 2008 appropriations bill, about $220 million more than Republicans did, according to an independent estimate. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 9, 2009; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (0)
By Derek Kravitz | March 6, 2009; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)
Rove, Miers to Testify » Attorneys for former president George W. Bush, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Obama administration reached agreement yesterday to resolve a long-running dispute over the scope of executive power, a move that will allow lawmakers to question Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers about their roles in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 5, 2009; 09:47 AM ET | Comments (1)
UBS Memo at Issue in Senate Hearing » The 2000 memo, to be discussed during a Senate hearing today, focuses on legal advice UBS got from Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie as the bank grappled with how it could keep its clients without violating federal laws that require disclosure of the investments for tax purposes. — USA Today
By Amanda Zamora | March 4, 2009; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (0)
$30 Billion More for AIG » As the New York-based insurer announces the biggest quarterly corporate loss in U.S. history, the Treasury Department is approving $30 billion more in taxpayer funds for AIG under a revamped bailout package. The government's move acknowledges that AIG's strategy of selling two-thirds of its assets to pay back the government within two years was not working. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | March 2, 2009; 08:52 AM ET | Comments (0)
Senate Panel to Probe CIA » The Senate intelligence committee is planning an unprecedented review of the CIA's handling of captured terrorist suspects, drawing back the curtain for the first time on the agency's use of waterboarding and other interrogation tactics inside secret CIA prisons, congressional sources said yesterday. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 27, 2009; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (0)
Unpacking the Pork » The House on Wednesday passed a $410 billion omnibus spending bill packed with pet projects requested by Democrats and Republicans alike, including $1.7 million for a honey bee laboratory in Weslaco, Tex.; $346,000 for research on apple fire blight in Michigan and New York; and $1.5 million for work on grapes and grape products, including wine. — New York Times
By Amanda Zamora | February 26, 2009; 09:53 AM ET | Comments (0)
We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election."
— President Barack Obama, on the roots of economic crisis during address before Congress
Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, [Democrats] passed the largest government spending bill in history - with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending."
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), offering the Republican response to Obama's presidential address
By Amanda Zamora | February 25, 2009; 09:22 AM ET | Comments (0)
House to Vote on Earmark Ethics Probe » As lawmakers prepare to consider a $410 billion spending bill carrying pet projects for clients of The PMA Group, a lobbying firm under FBI investigation, the House will vote as early as Tuesday on whether to start an ethics investigation into the relationship between earmarks and campaign contributions. — CQ Politics
By Amanda Zamora | February 24, 2009; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)
— Patrik Runald, security specialist at F-Secure, the Internet security firm Internet Threat: Hackers Swarm Bank Accounts
Soldiers Still Waiting for Tour Bonuses » The Pentagon has not started complying with a law requiring the payment of monthly bonuses of up to $500 to soldiers forced to remain on active duty beyond their enlistment period, military officials said. — USA Today
Opinion Could Dampen Zeal To Classify Government Information » If it is ultimately upheld, a memorandum opinion written by a federal judge in Virginia and released last week may limit the overclassification of information on national security grounds and prevent future prosecutions for leaking such information. — Washington Post
D.C. Police Believed Close to Arrest in Levy Case » Over the weekend, D.C. police said they were seeking an arrest warrant against a Salvadoran immigrant in connection with the eight-year-old slaying of federal intern Chandra Levy, one of the most famous unsolved homicide cases in Washington history. Back in "Condit Country," as the midsection of the Central Valley in California came to be known over the 14 years during which the man once thought to be involved in Levy's slaying, former Rep. Gary Condit, represented it in Congress, the scandal clings to the name even as the details recede. — Washington Post
U.S. Unit Secretly in Pakistan Lends Ally Support » More than 70 United States military advisers and technical specialists are secretly working in Pakistan to help its armed forces battle Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the country's lawless tribal areas, American military officials said. — New York Times
SEC Chief Pursues Tougher Enforcement » Less than a month after becoming the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary L. Schapiro is moving swiftly to reverse major decisions by her predecessor and to strengthen an enforcement program that missed several major frauds that cost investors billions of dollars. — New York Times
By Derek Kravitz | February 23, 2009; 11:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
IRS Wants More UBS Names » One day after the Justice Department claimed to have struck a blow against Swiss bank secrecy, it is clear how limited that blow was: UBS says it surrendered the identities of up to 300 clients to the U.S. government. Seeking more names, the IRS has filed a fresh lawsuit alleging that as many as 52,000 U.S. taxpayers used secret accounts at UBS to hide money from the tax agency. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 20, 2009; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)
PMA's Friends in High Places » More than 100 House members secured earmarks in a major spending bill for clients of a single lobbying firm -- The PMA Group -- known for its close ties to John P. Murtha , the congressman in charge of Pentagon appropriations. — CQ Politics
By Amanda Zamora | February 19, 2009; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)
Burris Probes Begin » The United States Senate Ethics Committee and a local Illinois prosecutor have begun investigations into Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.), who admitted yesterday to attempting to raise money for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the same time he was asking Blagojevich to appoint him to the Senate. — New York Times, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 18, 2009; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)
Questions Over Burris Affidavit » Barely a month after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was ousted from office for allegedly trying to auction off a U.S. Senate seat, the man he appointed to that seat is fighting calls for his resignation amid assertions that he misled Illinois legislators. Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) is insisting that an affidavit released over the weekend detailing his contact with Blagojevich's brother prior to his Senate appointment does not contradict earlier testimony before the ousted governor's impeachment committee. — Wall Street Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 17, 2009; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)
Despite Pledges, Package Has Pork; D.C. Agency Probed in Water Report; Judges Guilty in Pa. Kickback Scheme
Despite Pledges, Package Has Pork » The compromise stimulus bill adopted by House and Senate negotiators this week is not free of spending that benefits specific communities, industries or groups, despite vows by President Obama that the legislation would be kept clear of pet projects. Meanwhile, according to a White House directive issued Feb. 9, federal agencies receiving stimulus funds are expected to have chosen a senior-level official to manage oversight of those funds by today. — Washington Post, Government Executive
By Amanda Zamora | February 13, 2009; 09:23 AM ET | Comments (0)
See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. Quotable I want to see people prosecuted. — Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Justice Department Putting New Focus on Combating Corporate Fraud Bank Execs Work the Congressional Hot Seat » During a seven-hour House hearing...
By Amanda Zamora | February 12, 2009; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (0)
Banks on Offense Before House Hearing, FBI Probes Firms' Murtha Ties, Agent: Stevens Evidence Concealed
Facing Oversight, Banks Go on Offense » The chieftains of eight of the nation's largest banks (several of whom are ditching corporate jets in favor of commercial transit en route to Washington) could receive a tongue-lashing when they testify before a House committee today, but some have moved to preempt the withering criticism over lavish spending with their own solutions to the economic meltdown. Meanwhile, Las Vegas wants President Obama to apologize for warning companies against planning trips to Sin City on the taxpayer's dime. — ABC News, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP
By Amanda Zamora | February 11, 2009; 09:18 AM ET | Comments (0)
See what else we're reading by subscribing to our GoogleReader feed, or following us on Twitter. DOJ Backs 'State Secrets' Defense » The Obama administration invoked the same "state secrets" privilege as its predecessor in federal court in San Francisco yesterday in opposing the reinstatement of a lawsuit that alleges...
By Amanda Zamora | February 10, 2009; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (0)
Swift Spending May Undercut Oversight » The $827 billion stimulus legislation under debate in Congress presents a stark choice: The government can spend unprecedented amounts of money quickly in an effort to jump-start the economy or it can move more deliberately to thwart the cost overruns common to federal contracts in recent years. — Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 9, 2009; 08:54 AM ET | Comments (0)
Treasury Overpaid for Bank Assets » The Bush administration received assets that were worth $78 billion less than the amount it invested as part of the massive infusion of capital into the country's banks, congressional investigators have found. Meanwhile, two top watchdogs over the government's financial rescue programs told senators Thursday they would examine how two troubled banks, Citigroup and Bank of America, were included in the first round of the bailout intended for "healthy banks." — Washington Post, ProPublica
By Amanda Zamora | February 6, 2009; 09:25 AM ET | Comments (0)
Executive Pay Limits Outlined» The Obama administration is imposing a $500,000 pay cap on senior officers at companies that need special government assistance. But the new rules (PDF) do not apply to the more than 350 institutions that have already received bailout funds, and experts caution that abundant loopholes could undermine any lasting effect. Meanwhile, demand is growing in Congress for an independent investigation of the causes of the nation's financial crisis. — Washington Post, New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal
By Amanda Zamora | February 5, 2009; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (0)
Obama: 'I Screwed Up' » On the defensive after tax woes derailed Tom Daschle's nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary, President Obama admits to his mistakes as "part of the era of responsibility." In an interview with NBC News, Obama said, "Ultimately it's important for this administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules. You know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes." — Washington Post, Wall Street Journal
By Amanda Zamora | February 4, 2009; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (1)
Weighing Obama's Promises* » During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a "new era of responsibility." What he did not talk much about were the asterisks. Meanwhile, as he battles to save his nomination to be secretary of health and human services, one thing is certain: No one in Washington has a better-positioned network of allies in the Obama administration than Thomas A. Daschle. — New York Times, Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | February 3, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)
By Derek Kravitz | February 2, 2009; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (1)
By Derek Kravitz | January 30, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0)
By Derek Kravitz | January 29, 2009; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)
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)
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; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)
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; 09:23 AM ET | Comments (0)
'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; 09:38 AM ET | Comments (0)
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; 09:40 AM ET | Comments (0)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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; 09:56 AM ET | Comments (0)
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)
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)
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; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (0)
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)
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; 09:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
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; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (0)
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; 09:29 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Tuesday. Please feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. The Daily Read will be taking a break for the holidays starting tomorrow until Jan. 5. Catch up with us in the New Year!
By Derek Kravitz | December 23, 2008; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (1)
Secret FBI Wiretaps, Immunity in Blagojevich Case, A Bailout for Developers and Bush's Secret E-Mails
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Monday. Please feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything.
By Derek Kravitz | December 22, 2008; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Friday. Please feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. Blagojevich Allegations Are Expanded» The Illinois House impeachment committee questioned witnesses Thursday about allegations that Gov. Rod Blagojevich had trampled over the state's system of checks and...
By Chris Matthews | December 19, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Thursday's Daily Read. As always, feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. Madoff Misled SEC in '06» SEC investigators discovered in 2006 that Bernard Madoff had misled the agency about how he managed customer money, according to documents, yet the...
By Chris Matthews | December 18, 2008; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. As always, feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. HUD Chief: Mortgage Aid a Failure» Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston said the centerpiece of the federal government's effort to help struggling homeowners has been...
By Chris Matthews | December 17, 2008; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday's Daily Read. Please feel free to leave your comments and let us know if we missed any good stories. Richardson Donor Investigated» A federal grand jury is investigating how an investment company won more than $1.5 million in work advising the state of New...
By Chris Matthews | December 16, 2008; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Monday. Feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. Emanuel Talked to Blagojevich Aides» Barack Obama dispatched Rahm Emanuel days after the presidential election to contact aides of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to begin talking up Mr....
By Chris Matthews | December 15, 2008; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (0)
Senate Kills Auto Bailout, Jackson Supporters Sought Cash for Blago, Senators Blame Rumsfeld for Detainee Abuse
Hello, and welcome to the Daily Read for Friday. Feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. Senate Drops Plan to Bailout Automakers » The Senate deadlocked on a proposed $14 billion auto bailout bill last night, stymied by debates over cuts in pay and benefits...
By Derek Kravitz | December 12, 2008; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Thursday. Making headlines this morning -- The House passed a bailout for the auto industry and the legislation now goes to the Senate. Feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything. Jackson Denies Wrongdoing» Rep. Jesse L....
By Chris Matthews | December 11, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. The Blagojevich Indictment » Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brazenness -- captured on two bugs in his campaign office and one on his home telephone -- has the FBI (and plenty others) shaking their heads in shock. — Washington Post Rangel Investigation Expanded...
By Chris Matthews | December 10, 2008; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Tuesday. Revealing Freddie Mac Documents» Internal Freddie Mac documents show that senior executives were warned years ago that they were offering mortgages that could pose dangers to the firm, hurt borrowers and generate more risky loans throughout the industry... and Internal...
By Chris Matthews | December 9, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Monday. Panel Wants Wiretapping Scholar Investigation » A Congressional oversight panel plans to ask the NSA to investigate new evidence that the agency illegally wiretapped a Muslim scholar in Northern Virginia and concealed the eavesdropping during a 2005 trial in which...
By Chris Matthews | December 8, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read.... Rep. Rangel's Tangled Web » Between 2004 and 2007, Rep. Charles Rangel steered nearly $80,000 in campaign cash to an Internet company run by his son - paying lavishly for a pair of political Web sites so poorly designed an expert estimated...
By Amanda Zamora | December 5, 2008; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Thursday's Daily Read. Please let us know if we missed any good stories and feel free to comment. Emanuel Used Contacts to Make Millions » After leaving the Clinton White House, Rahm Emanuel went on to make more than $18 million in just two-and-a-half...
By Chris Matthews | December 4, 2008; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to today's Daily Read. As always, feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. Bush Eases Mining Waste Rules » The new rules will make it easier for mountaintop mining companies to dump their waste near rivers and streams,...
By Chris Matthews | December 3, 2008; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (0)
Nuclear or Bio Attack Called Likely, U.S. to Expand Tax Inquiry, Former Detroit Mayor's Aide Pleads Guilty
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Tuesday. Please leave comments and let us know if we missed any good stories. Nuclear or Biological Attack Called Likely» The odds that terrorists will soon strike a major city with weapons of mass destruction are now better than even,...
By Chris Matthews | December 2, 2008; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Monday's Daily Read. Feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. Retracing Attackers Steps » Retracing the steps of the Mumbai attackers offers clues as to how a posse of just 10 gunmen brought India's largest city to...
By Chris Matthews | December 1, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (0)
Melamine Found in U.S. Baby Formula, California to Investigate Mormon Aid for Prop. 8, Bailout Problems
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Wednesday. Please note, we'll be taking off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving -- but we'll be back in action first thing Monday morning. Feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. Melamine Found in...
By Chris Matthews | November 26, 2008; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good Morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. Please write comments and let us know if we missed any good stories. GAO: Labor Dept. Misled Congress » The Labor Department gave Congress inaccurate and unreliable numbers that understated the expense of contracting out its employees' work to private firms,...
By Chris Matthews | November 25, 2008; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to Monday's Daily Read. Feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. UBS Clients Seek Tax Amnesty » Wealthy clients of Swiss bank UBS AG are coming forward to make amends with tax authorities, a sign that U.S. efforts...
By Chris Matthews | November 24, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
Happy Friday, and welcome to today's Daily Read. Apart from the litany of grim economic news and continued focus on Obama's transition (will Hillary be our next Secretary of State or not??), we've got plenty of interesting investigative news to keep us busy. Please send us your tips, headlines, and...
By Amanda Zamora | November 21, 2008; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good Morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. Feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. NYPD Feuds with DOJ Over Surveillance » An effort by the NYPD to get broader latitude to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects has run into sharp resistance from...
By Chris Matthews | November 20, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. Please let us know if we missed any stories and, as always, feel free to comment. DOJ May Have Ended BP Investigation Prematurely » The former head of an EPA criminal probe into pipeline spills at a BP PLC oil field in...
By Chris Matthews | November 19, 2008; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)
Welcome to Today's Daily Read. Feel free to leave comments and let us know if we missed anything. Political Appointees Burrowing In » Between March 1 and Nov. 3 the Bush administration allowed 20 political appointees to become career civil servants, depriving the Obama administration of the chance to...
By Chris Matthews | November 18, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to Monday's Daily Read. Feel free to leave comments and please let us know if we missed anything. U.S. Held 12 Juveniles at Gitmo » The U.S. has revised its count of juveniles held at Guantanamo Bay to 12, up from the eight it reported...
By Chris Matthews | November 17, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to Friday's edition of the Daily Read. With 67 days left until the inauguration, Barack Obama's transition into the presidency continues to dominate the news, along with the financial crisis. We're keeping tabs on the accountability issues that arise in both. See anything we missed? Post your...
By Amanda Zamora | November 14, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. Did we miss anything? Please let us know and feel free to leave comments. Bailout Lacks Oversight » No formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout, nor has the...
By Chris Matthews | November 13, 2008; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0)
Welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. Moderates are battling to roll back many of the harsh interrogation techniques pushed through by the Bush administration and the Obama team plans to keep lobbyists at arm's length. Feel free to leave comments and let us know if we missed anything. The Transition...
By Chris Matthews | November 12, 2008; 11:16 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. President-elect Obama considers closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and Goldman Sachs urged its investors to bet against California bonds it was paid to help sell. Obama to Consider Closing Gitmo » President-elect Barack Obama's advisers are crafting plans to close the...
By Chris Matthews | November 11, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (2)
Welcome to Monday's Daily Read. AIG received a new $40 billion bailout this morning and the U.S. military has been conducting secret raids targeting Al Qaeda in a number of countries since 2004. Feel free to leave comments and let us know if we missed anything. U.S. to Expand...
By Chris Matthews | November 10, 2008; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to the Daily Read for Friday, as we wind down from the high-voltage presidential campaign. See something we missed? Drop us a line or post your suggested stories in the comments below. Emanuel's Role at Freddie Mac » President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff,...
By Amanda Zamora | November 7, 2008; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to Thursday's Daily Read. President-Elect Obama has shifted his focus to his transition into the White House. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is reducing the requirements attached to its security grants and the Iowa meatpacking plant that was recently raided by immigration officials has...
By Chris Matthews | November 6, 2008; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (0)
Welcome to today's Daily Read. Barack Obama was elected the nation's 44th president last night in decisive fashion. The president-elect faces hard choices and challenges in his first term. Meanwhile, the state of Michigan is losing $10 million a year because people are redeeming containers bought in other states...
By Chris Matthews | November 5, 2008; 11:23 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to a special Election Day edition of the Daily Read. You can monitor the election all day at the Post's Politics page. Check out our Vote Monitor 2008 which lets you share your experience at the polls and gives you the latest on voting news...
By Chris Matthews | November 4, 2008; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (2)
Welcome to Monday's Daily Read. With Election Day less than 24 hours away, the Fix gives its final electoral map Still undecided? Take a look at the Post's guide to the candidates' positions on the issues. Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons was cleared in a federal investigation into his ties...
By Chris Matthews | November 3, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello, and welcome to the Daily Read for Friday, the 5-days-left-until-the-election edition. Our own Mary Pat Flaherty got us started this morning with a great primer on potential Election Day voting issues, with Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, D.C., and Virginia making our watch list. Stay tuned for more details on...
By Amanda Zamora | October 31, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. Lots of election news today as the campaigns race to the finish line. Meanwhile, the Treasury and FDIC appear close to a mortgage bailout for distressed homeowners. Anything out there we missed? Please let us know. Election Coverage » The number...
By Chris Matthews | October 30, 2008; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)
Welcome to Today's Daily Read. Sen. Ted Stevens is calling for an investigation into the federal prosecutors who tried him and Obama's campaign appears to have accepted donations from prepaid credit cards. Please leave your comments and lets us know if we missed anything. Election Coverage » Barack Obama's...
By Chris Matthews | October 29, 2008; 10:17 AM ET | Comments (1)
Welcome to Tuesday's Daily Read. The ATF says it stopped a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and the Bush Administration may extend the bailout's coverage to the auto industry. Please let us know if there is anything out there that we missed. Election Coverage » More than 50,000 registered...
By Chris Matthews | October 28, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to the Daily Read for Monday. See something we missed? Post your stories in the comments below. Campaign Trail Mix » Sen. Barack Obama's record-breaking $150 million fundraising performance in September prompts new questions about campaign donations over the Internet ... Sen. John McCain defends his running...
By Amanda Zamora | October 27, 2008; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to the Friday edition of the Daily Read. First, an important housekeeping note: Our tech folks have scheduled a site-wide blog outage this Sunday, Oct. 26, from 8 to 10 a.m. This means that Post Investigations will not be accessible during that period. Now, on to...
By Amanda Zamora | October 24, 2008; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to Thursday's Daily Read. The jury in the trial of Senator Ted Stevens is still deliberating and the U.S. government announced that it will take over the process of vetting airline passengers. Feel free to leave your comments and please let us know if we...
By Chris Matthews | October 23, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)
Welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. Obama's fundraising techniques are again garnering the headlines. Meanwhile, federal regulators are looking into baby crib safety regulations and investigators are subpoenaing securities firms in their investigation of Lehman Bros. Please send us your comments and any stories we may have missed. Election Coverage...
By Chris Matthews | October 22, 2008; 10:57 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. Another busy day for investigative journalism with plenty of stories on the federal bailout and the fund raising practices of the presidential campaigns. Feel free to comment, and please send us any stories we missed. Federal Bailout » A turf war...
By Chris Matthews | October 21, 2008; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to today's Daily Read. It's a busy day today packed with finance and election news. Please comment and let us know if we missed anything. Financial Crisis » Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and...
By Chris Matthews | October 20, 2008; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (1)
Good morning, and welcome to the Daily Read for Friday. We'll be waiting to hear more testimony today from Sen. Ted Steven, the Alaska Republican facing federal corruption charges even as he runs for reelection. In the meantime, there's plenty here to keep us busy. See something we missed? Post...
By Amanda Zamora | October 17, 2008; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to Thursday's Daily Read. Before we get to today's news, The Fix has a recap of the final presidential debate last night. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. Financial Crisis » Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the government appears...
By Chris Matthews | October 16, 2008; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (1)
Federal Bailout » Smaller banks are reluctant to accept the federal cash infusions prescribed by the Treasury ... the Bank of New York Mellon has been selected as the lead contractor in the government's efforts to buy up toxic securities ... John McCain unveiled his plan to deal with the...
By Chris Matthews | October 15, 2008; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (3)
Federal Bailout » Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson announced yesterday that the government would invest $250 billion in the country's banks, forcing nine of the largest to accept a treasury stake in what amounts to a partial nationalization ... Paulson invoked bank executives' patriotism in his plea to them to sell...
By Chris Matthews | October 14, 2008; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (75)
Global Financial Crisis » The head of the government's $700 billion financial rescue plan said that officials are assembling a "toolkit" of methods to implement the program, including investing money directly into banks and buying individual mortgages from them ... meanwhile, Europe's major economic powers presented a unified response to...
By Chris Matthews | October 13, 2008; 01:36 PM ET | Comments (1)
It's a light Friday morning for the Daily Read as we await details on Alaska's investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin. See something else we're missing? Post your story recommendations in the comments below. Palin Ethics Probe » Alaska state lawmakers have begun reviewing the long-awaited results of an investigation into...
By Amanda Zamora | October 10, 2008; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (9)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. See something we missed? Post your suggested stories in the comments below. More Missteps in Stevens Trial » A federal judge in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens ruled that jurors should ignore two pieces of evidence that he said were...
By Amanda Zamora | October 9, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (1)
Hello and welcome to the Daily Read for Wednesday -- there's a LOT going on between the ramp-up toward the presidential election and the ongoing Wall Street crisis. Please let us know what else you're seeing by posting your stories in the comments below. Here we go... Nevada Nonprofit Raided...
By Amanda Zamora | October 8, 2008; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to the Daily Read for Tuesday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. Tobacco Ad Debate » The Supreme Court waded yesterday into a complicated legal debate over whether tobacco companies can be sued in state courts for deceptive advertising of "light" cigarettes,...
By Amanda Zamora | October 7, 2008; 09:41 AM ET | Comments (0)
Good morning, and welcome to Monday's Daily Read, the post-$700 billion bailout edition. See something we missed? Post your story suggestions in the comments below. Inside the Wachovia Fight » A sworn affidavit filed this weekend in federal court suggests that Wachovia, the nation's eighth-largest bank, came close to failing...
By Amanda Zamora | October 6, 2008; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (3)
Good morning and welcome to today's Daily Read. First things first -- check out The Fix for a recap of last night's vice presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden. Next, here are a couple of ways you can track today's House vote on the financial rescue...
By Amanda Zamora | October 3, 2008; 09:59 AM ET | Comments (2)
Federal Bailout » The Senate has passed a revised version of the $700 billion bailout plan, sending the legislation to the House for a vote tomorrow ... markets fell this morning, while Wall Street overwhelmingly expects the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates ... meanwhile, regulators are trying to prevent...
By Chris Matthews | October 2, 2008; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (2)
Federal Bailout » Pressured by waves of angry phone calls from constituents, congressional leaders are dialing back the political rhetoric in an attempt to advance a revised version of the $700 billion bailout, which the Senate is poised to vote on tonight ... meanwhile, the Bush administration attempts to stanch...
By Chris Matthews | October 1, 2008; 12:49 PM ET | Comments (1)
Bailout Failure » A $700 billion economic rescue package failed to pass in the House yesterday after an uprising among rank-and-file Republicans ... news of the House's rejection sent the market into a freefall, with the Dow setting a single-day point drop record ... presidential candidates John McCain and Barack...
By Chris Matthews | September 30, 2008; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Bailout Deal » The House is set to vote today on the financial system bailout plan hammered out over the weekend, with a Senate vote expected Wednesday (the Sunlight Foundation has a full comment version of the bill) ... as President Bush urged swift approval, John McCain and Barack...
By Amanda Zamora | September 29, 2008; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (8)
Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Friday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. Financial Crisis » The White House encounters new resistance to its $700 billion bailout package from a bloc of renegade Republicans pushing for alternatives ... Democrats blame...
By Amanda Zamora | September 26, 2008; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Big Bailout » Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urges Congress to approve plan in midst of "grave threat" ... lawmakers look to presidential candidates for an indication of who might inherit Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson's role managing the bailout ... meanwhile, crisis turns into a Capitol Hill camp-out for lobbyists ... and it looks like the FBI has been investigating AIG since March. -- The Washington Post
By Amanda Zamora | September 25, 2008; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (1)
Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Wednesday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » The U.S. financial crisis continues to dominate the news: the White House meets Congressional resistance to its $700 billion bailout plan ... meanwhile,...
By Amanda Zamora | September 24, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (100)
Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Tuesday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » Democratic leaders and the White House continue to negotiate the terms of a $700 billion economic rescue plan as rank-and-file lawmakers returned to...
By Amanda Zamora | September 23, 2008; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (1)
Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for this morning. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » As Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urges Congress to take action on the Bush administration's $700 billion economic rescue package, Democratic lawmakers are...
By Amanda Zamora | September 22, 2008; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (37)
Hello, and welcome to the "readers' choice" edition of The Daily Read -- also known as, the "TDR editor is en route to Houston to see if the lights have come on yet for her family after Hurricane Ike" edition. Since I'll be away, I leave it to you, our...
By Amanda Zamora | September 19, 2008; 07:47 AM ET | Comments (0)
Here are our must-read items of the morning. See something we missed? Post your suggestions for required reading in the comments below. Live Hearing: Interior Dept. Scandal » The House Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing today at 10 a.m. ET on the recent scandal involving employees of...
By Amanda Zamora | September 18, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (4)
The Campaign Trail » John McCain's use of campaign finance loopholes blunts the impact of record-breaking fundraising by Barack Obama ... both candidates continue the tradition of exclusive, high-dollar fundraising events that undermine their reform platforms ... meanwhile, five Republican lawmakers have filed suit in Alaska to halt the ethics...
By Amanda Zamora | September 17, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (3)
Rangel Watch » Facing fresh questions about his financial dealings, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) is hiring a forensic accountant to evaluate his error-prone records ... meanwhile, House Ways and Means Democrats are backing Rangel as pressure mounts from Republicans for Rangel to step down as chairman of the powerful...
By Amanda Zamora | September 16, 2008; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (2)
The Campaign Trail » Defense contractors and financial services firms are making the most political contributions this campaign ... Alaska state records show that Sarah Palin has made $453 million in earmark requests as governor, contrary to earlier claims by the McCain campaign ... as the campaign heats up, so...
By Amanda Zamora | September 15, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (1)
Inside Cindy McCain's Addiction Story » While Cindy McCain has been very vocal about her addiction to painkillers in the early 1990s — "I don't want anyone to wind up in the shoes that I did at the time," she has said — her journey through the crisis has been...
By Amanda Zamora | September 12, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (2)
The Campaign Trail » The McCain campaign is using "hybrid" television ads that take shots at Congressional Democrats and are funded in part by the GOP ... Gov. Sarah Palin's lawyer claims a conflict of interest by the Alaska investigator leading the probe into potential ethics violations by Palin ......
By Amanda Zamora | September 11, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (2)
Palin Scrutiny Continues » A Republican activist in Wasilla, Alaska, is pushing for Gov. Sarah Palin to release more than 1,100 e-mails she withheld from a public records request ... unraveling fact from fiction ... Palin aides defend the governor's practice of "per diem" billing. — Washington Post, New York...
By Amanda Zamora | September 10, 2008; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (2)
Palin's Per Diem » According to travel documents, Gov. Sarah Palin billed the state of Alaska $16,951 in "per diem" money for time spent at home in Wasilla; officials say the allowance was permissable because her official "duty station" is Juneau. — Washington Post C Is For Counterterrorism » A...
By Amanda Zamora | September 9, 2008; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (0)
Cheney Documents » A group of open-government advocates and historians is filing suit to prevent Dick Cheney from destroying or withholding key documents from his two terms as vice president. — Washington Post Subpoenas for Palin Staffers? » Alaska lawmakers investigating Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of the state's public safety...
By Amanda Zamora | September 8, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
This morning's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Iraq War » The fact that the Bush administration has spied on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is among several revalations about the White House's handling of the Iraq war, as told...
By Amanda Zamora | September 5, 2008; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (1)
Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » As Gov. Sarah Palin makes an electrifying GOP convention debut, questions continue regarding the dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner (The Washington Post) ... Palin has asked for a separate...
By Amanda Zamora | September 4, 2008; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hours before Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is set to take the stage and speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, questions are still swirling for Sen. John McCain's new running mate.
By Derek Kravitz | September 3, 2008; 04:32 PM ET | Comments (87)
Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » The trail is still focused very much on the candidacy of Sarah Palin: Campaign aides confirm Palin was not interviewed at length until the day before she was picked (The...
By Amanda Zamora | September 3, 2008; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (0)
Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » A day into the Republican National Convention, questions arise over the vetting of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (The Washington Post, New York Times) ... Palin has obtained a private...
By Amanda Zamora | September 2, 2008; 09:41 AM ET | Comments (1)
A look at some of the major investigative news we're seeing across the Web this morning. See something we've missed? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » As Denver packs up the convention, a legal controversy is brewing over an attack ad linking Barack Obama to the radical Bill...
By Amanda Zamora | August 29, 2008; 09:53 AM ET | Comments (0)
The Campaign Trail » Some delegates of Sen. John Edwards happy to kick him to the curb (The Post) ... ABC News producer arrested while trying to film corporate donors in Denver (The Post) ... another look at Sen. Joe Biden's business ties (Los Angeles Times) ... Sen. Pat Leahy...
By Amanda Zamora | August 28, 2008; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (4)
The Campaign Trail » Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in earmarks for clients of his running mate's lobbyist son, The Washington Post reports; meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal examines vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden's efforts to protect Delaware's sizable share of bankruptcy filings; and...
By Amanda Zamora | August 27, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (1)
Mortgage Fraud Spikes » The Mortgage Asset Research Institute reports that mortgage fraud cases jumped 42 percent nationwide this year, with nearly a quarter of all incidents occurring in Florida. — The Associated Press States to EPA: Regulate » New York and 11 other states have filed suit against the...
By Amanda Zamora | August 26, 2008; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (0)
Hello and welcome to The Daily Read from Post Investigations. Each day we'll scan the Web for the latest in accountability journalism. We'll wrap up on Fridays with our picks of the top stories and investigations of the week. If you have a comment or suggestion, or see a great...
By Amanda Zamora | August 25, 2008; 11:53 AM ET | Comments (1)