NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama's "pay czar" will soon decide whether top executives at firms that received the most assistance from the government during last year's financial crisis are making too much money.
By month's end, Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington attorney who up until six months ago was known by few on Wall Street, is expected to rule on pay packages for the 5 most senior executives at Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) and AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) as well as 20 other highly compensated executives at those firms.
Feinberg is also expected to weigh in on plans for senior executives at Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, General Motors and GMAC, the former financing arm of GM, before moving onto the next 75 highest paid employees at those seven companies.
Here's a glimpse of what we can expect:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new political effort is afoot to reform to the NCAA Bowl Championship Series. Playoff PAC, a federal political action committee, was launched Monday by six men bound together by law school ties or work on Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
The new organization is "dedicated to establishing a competitive post-season championship for college football," according to a statement posted on the PAC's Web site www.playoffpac.com.
"To that end, Playoff PAC helps elect pro-reform political candidates, mobilizes public support, and provides a centralized source of pro-reform news, thought, and scholarship," organizers said in the statement.
Bentley Peay, who helped create the PAC and is one of its six board members, said in a phone interview Tuesday that the group's goal is to ratchet up political pressure in support of getting a playoff instituted in the BCS.
In past years, Peay said, other efforts to pressure the BCS to change, like petition drives and boycotts, had been "unorganized and ineffective." The PAC was created to support and defend candidates who are petitioning or arguing for a playoff.
(CNN) – After his words attracted national attention and drew condemnation from a Jewish state senator, a South Carolina Republican official is now apologizing for co-writing a newspaper op-ed that described Jews as penny-pinchers.
James Ulmer, chairman of the Orangeburg County GOP, said he made a "great error" in the op-ed, which he penned along with Bamberg County GOP chairman Edwin Merwin.
The piece, which ran Sunday in the Orangeburg Times & Democrat, was meant to defend South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's position against congressional earmarks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee raised just over $8 million last month, according to a party source - a total that would put the DNC behind the Republican National Committee for the month, which reported earlier Tuesday that they brought in $8.74 million in September.
But the for the entire third quarter of the year, the DNC edged out the RNC by around $1.3 million, the first time the Democratic Party has topped the GOP in fundraising for a quarter since the spring of 2004.
The RNC reports they now have have $18.9 million cash on hand with no debt. No word yet from the DNC on how much money they have in the bank or how much they owe in debt.
The party figures come as President Barack Obama headlines a fundraiser for the DNC in New York City Tuesday. A party source says the event is expected to rake in $2 to 3 million. Obama was the main attraction at a similar event for the DNC last Thursday in San Francisco, which a party source says brought in around $3 million.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top Democrats ramped up their effort Tuesday to reverse $247 billion in projected Medicare reimbursement cuts to doctors over the next decade.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, argued at a Capitol Hill news conference that the move is necessary to create more stability for health care providers in a current climate of uncertainty.
Conservative critics have slammed the move as a fiscally reckless attempt by health care reform advocates to win the support of groups such as the influential American Medical Association at taxpayer expense.
Stabenow was joined by representatives of the AMA, AARP, and the Military Officers Association of America.
"It's important to invest in quality care," Stabenow said. "Now is the time, before we move forward with a new (health care) system, to get this right."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time since he took over in the White House, Americans don't see eye to eye with President Barack Obama on the important issues, according to a new national poll. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey does indicate that a majority approve of how Obama's handling his duties as president.
According to the poll, which was released Tuesday, 48 percent of people questioned say that they agree with Obama on the issues that matter most to them, with 51 percent saying no. That's a switch from April, when 57 percent said they agreed with the president on important issues, with 41 percent disagreeing.
"Obama is facing crunch time on a number of controversial issues, from health care to financial regulation to cap and trade to Afghanistan," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The fact that most Americans no longer agree with him on important issues makes his task harder."
Fifty-five percent of those questioned say they approve of how Obama's handling his duties, with 43 percent disapproving. The 55 percent approval rating is down 3 points from September. Most recent national polls place the president's approval rating in the low to mid 50's.
"Obama continues to do poorly among senior citizens," says Holland. "Most Americans over the age of 65 disapprove of how he is handling his job as president."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Creating and saving jobs while boosting investment in the future are among the top goals of the Obama administration's $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
And according to a preliminary report on stimulus funding for schools by the Department of Education and the Domestic Policy Council, the stimulus plan has created jobs.
State governments have created and saved at least 250,000 education jobs - and restored nearly all their projected education budget shortfalls for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 - according to preliminary findings released Monday by the White House.
But some states that used the funds to fill existing budget gaps could face a crisis when the money runs out after 2010. And the Department of Education has chastised certain states for their stimulus funding programs and warned them that they risk their chances at getting other DOE grants down the road.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Call him the party guy. President Barack Obama is in the middle of a two-week period full of fundraisers and campaign events to help out fellow Democrats as campaign season enters the home stretch this year.
The president headlines a major fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee Tuesday in New York City. The dinner and the rally at the Mandarin Hotel in Columbus Circle is expected to rake in somewhere between $2 to 3 million, according to a Democratic source. Obama was the main attraction at a similar event for the DNC last Thursday in San Francisco, which a party source says brought in around $3 million.
The two events could help out the national party, which is trailing the Republicans in the fundraising race. As of the beginning of September, the DNC reported $15 million cash on hand, with debt of more than $5 million. The Republican National Committee reported $21 million in the bank, as of September 1, with no debt. On Tuesday, the RNC reported bringing in $8.74 million in September. The DNC has yet to release its September fundraising numbers.
"The White House has already made it clear that it will take an active role in the midterm elections," CNN Political Editor Mark Preston said. "Over the next year, expect to see the president crisscrossing the country to raise money for the Democratic Party and individual House and Senate candidates. There is a lot on the line for the president. He will shoulder some of the blame if Democrats suffer great losses in 2010."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is denouncing remarks by two Republican officials in his state that were published in a controversial weekend op-ed which included a Jewish stereotype.
The piece, written by South Carolina County GOP chairmen James Ulmer and Edwin Merwin, was intended to defend DeMint's position against congressional earmarks, but it included a line describing Jews as penny-pinchers. Democrats have called on DeMint to denounce the comments.
"I just read the op-ed last night and the comments were thoughtless and hurtful," DeMint said in a statement to CNN Tuesday. "The chairmen have apologized as they should have."
The op-ed was published Sunday in the Orangeburg Times & Democrat.
"There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves," the piece read. "By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation's pennies and trying to preserve our country's wealth and our economy's viability to give all an opportunity to succeed."
(CNN) - It was an oft-repeated anecdote on the 2008 campaign trail: then-Sen. Joe Biden accepted the request to be the No. 2 on the Democratic presidential ticket at a Delaware dentist office as his wife was undergoing a root canal.
Less discussed however was how Biden first said no to the post when then-Sen. Obama raised the subject months before the final announcement was made.
"I initially said no, that I wasn't interested," Biden told a Pennsylvania crowd Monday night at the annual Allegheny County Democratic Committee dinner. "He asked me to think about it."
Biden said he finally accepted the job "a couple months later" not in a dentist office but in a hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The vice president said he asked the then-Democratic presidential nominee, "Are you really committed to changing the course of this county?"
"He reached out, shook my hand, and said 'I am,'" Biden said.
Of course, according to Biden's wife Jill, the vice president actually had a choice between the No. 2 post and being the Secretary of State.
During an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show last January, Mrs. Biden accidentally let slip that piece of information - though the vice president's office later took issue with that contention.
"To be clear, President-elect Obama offered Vice President-elect Biden one job only – to be his running mate," Elizabeth Alexander, a spokeswoman for Biden, said then. "And the vice president-elect was thrilled to accept the offer."