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Morning Bulletin – Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A roundup of news, schedules, and key stories from CBS News:

(AP)
KENNEDY PUBLIC SERVICE ACT: President Obama will give remarks and sign the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at Washington's SEED School this afternoon. Joining him are Senator Kennedy, the first lady, Vice President Biden, former President Clinton and former First Lady Rosalyn Carter.

New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Clinton and Kennedy, Together Again"

KING ABDULLAH: President Obama will also meet with Jordanian King Abdullah in the Oval Office today.

AFP, "Obama Set To Meet Jordan's Kind Abdullah"

ECONOMY/BAILOUTS

(AP)
"In the first major disclosure of corruption in the $750-billion financial bailout program, federal investigators said Monday they have opened 20 criminal probes into possible securities fraud, tax violations, insider trading and other crimes," the LA Times' Ralph Vartabedian and Tom Hamburger report.

"The cases represent only the first wave of investigations, and the total fraud could ultimately reach into the tens of billions of dollars, according to Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the bailout program."

CBS News' Mark Knoller, "Is $100 Million Much Of A Budget Cut? Ask Obama"

The Hill's Silla Brush, "Bailout's Top Cop Probes Twenty TARP Fraud Cases"

Wall Street Journal, "Obama Tells Cabinet To Trim Spending"

Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy, "Policy Makers Take Aim At Credit Card Practices"

Washington Post's David Cho, Peter Whoriskey and Amit R. Paley, "Pay Rule Led Chrsyler To Spur Loan, Agency Says"

New York Daily News, "President Obama Eyeing 'Credit Card Abuses"

TORTURE MEMOS:

4697423"Former Vice President Dick Cheney last month formally asked the Central Intelligence Agency to de-classify top secret documents he believes show harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding helped prevent terrorist attacks against U.S. targets, according to source familiar with the effort," Politico's Mike Allen and Josh Gerstein report.

"On Monday, Cheney disclosed the request to Sean Hannity of Fox News' "Hannity." The request was made in late March, before President Barack Obama unsealed top-secret memos about past interrogation techniques last week."

"Although President Obama received a warm welcome—including extended cheers—in a meeting Monday with employees at CIA headquarters, current and former intelligence officials say that some of the agency's undercover operatives remain anxious and angry about Obama's recent decision to declassify and release Justice Department documents detailing "enhanced" interrogation techniques the agency used on terrorist suspects during the Bush Administration," Newsweek's Mark Hosenball writes.

New York Times' Peter Baker and Scott Shane, "Pressure Grows To Investigate Interrogations"

100 DAYS/OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

"If it seems arbitrary -- even unfair -- to take the measure of a new president after just 100 days in office, you can blame Franklin D. Roosevelt," the LA Times' Doyle McManus writes.

"The private-equity firm formerly run by Steven Rattner, who is leading President Obama's auto-industry bailout, paid finders fees to the firm of now-indicted political adviser Hank Morris on investments in more pension funds than previously reported, according to a lawyer for Mr. Morris's former firm," the Wall Street Journal's Peter Lattman and Craig Karmin write.

"The new disclosures concern investments by Quadrangle Group, Mr. Rattner's former firm, in funds in New York City and Los Angeles. Mr. Rattner left the firm earlier this year to take the post at the Treasury Department. Until now, only investments with New York State's fund, and a New Mexico fund, had been disclosed."

Politico's David S. Cloud, "Can GOP Paint Obama As Apologist?"

CONGRESS

(AP)
One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say," the New York Times' Neal A. Lewis and Mark Mazetti write.

"The lawmaker, Representative Jane Harman of California, became the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee after the 2002 election and had ambitions to be its chairwoman when the party gained control of the House in 2006. One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post."

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms, the Washington Times' Chuch Neubauer writes.

"Mrs. Feinstein's intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn't a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments - not direct federal dollars."

New York Times' Peter Baker, "Nonprofits Seek Lobby Rule Exceptions"

HEALTH CARE

Washington Post's Ceci Connolly, "Healthcare Dialogue Alarms Obama's Allies"

Wall Street Journal's Jacob Goldstein, "Big Challenges Awai Health-Records Transition"

MINNESOTA SENATE RECOUNT

CBS News' Brian Montopoli writes, "Former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota today filed a notice indicating that he is appealing his apparent election loss to the Minnesota Supreme Court."

Star Tribune, "Coleman Files Appeal To Supreme Court,"

FUTURE RACES

2010 CT Senate: Boston Globe's Andrew Miga, "Dodd Taps Wall Street Money For Re-Election"

2010 PA Senate: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, "Toomey's Challenge, Senator Specter In The Fight Of His Career"

ETC.

Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman, August Cole and Yochi Dreazen, "Computer Spies Breach Fighter Jet Project"

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