Obama Decisions Received Positively, Negatively: President-elect Barack Obama spent yesterday on Capitol Hill working to garner support for his economic stimulus plan worth hundreds of billions of dollars, The Washington Post reports. Obama promised to consult Republican leaders, who until yesterday had been left out of negotiations between the president-elect's advisers and congressional Democratic staff. While he has received praise for seeking bipartisan involvement in the plan, another of the president-elect's recent moves has sparked some grumblings in the Senate. Politico reports that Obama's pick for CIA director Leon Panetta, a former congressman from California and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, has disappointed some key Senate Democrats who say Panetta does not have an intelligence background.
President Bush, Environmentalist: President George W. Bush will create three marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean today to help preserve sea and island ecosystems, The Washington Post reports. The move would be an odd one for a president often criticized for opening protected land to oil drilling and resisting efforts to curb greenhouse gases. But by the end of his term, Bush will have protected more ocean than any person in history.
Madoff's Jewelry Disposal: Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to revoke bail for Bernard Madoff, who has been accused of running one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history, saying he has sent at least a million dollars worth of jewelry as gifts to family members and friends during the past month, The New York Times reports. U.S.attorney Marc Litt asked for Madoff’s bail to be revoked, arguing that the gifts violated conditions that barred him from disposing his assets.
Our Bad: Bank of America and Citibank could have to pay Heller Ehrman $51 million in bankruptcy court as a result of a "clerical error," The Recorder reports via Law.com. Bank of America, acting for itself and as an agent of Citibank, terminated both institutions' security interests in Heller on Aug. 3, 2007. If the court rejects the correction, the banks would have to return money received from Heller within the 90 days preceding the firm's bankruptcy.