NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Washington's so-called "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg cautioned lawmakers against extending his authority to the hundreds of other companies that accepted government bailout money.
Speaking before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday, Feinberg said his recent review of executive pay packages at the seven biggest bailout firms was "justified" given the government's massive stake in these companies.
Appointed by President Obama in June, Feinberg has spent the past five months carefully reviewing pay practices at those companies in order to both protect American taxpayers' investment and position the firms to pay back bailout money as soon as possible.
Still, he indicated that intervening in how banks and other companies that accepted money under the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, would amount to nothing more than "micromanaging."
(CNN) - With only five days until Election Day, Virginia is has become ground zero for the political glitterati.
First, President Obama paid a visit to the state Tuesday on behalf of Democrat Creigh Deeds. The two held a rally at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Now Republican Bob McDonnell is bringing in the GOP star power: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is campaigning for the former state attorney general in Democratic-leaning Fairfax County, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will join McDonnell for events in Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and Richmond.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama plans to name a maverick Republican, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, to co-chair a powerful board that will oversee the work of the intelligence community at a time when CIA officials are facing investigations into whether the agency's enhanced interrogation program violated the law during the Bush administration.
Two senior administration officials told CNN that Hagel and former Sen. David Boren (D), will be unveiled as co-chairs of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board Wednesday afternoon at a White House event. CIA Director Leon Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair will also attend the event.
The prestigious post has been previously held by foreign policy luminaries like Brent Scowcroft, who ran the board during the George W. Bush administration, when it was known as the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Hagel, who served as an informal foreign policy adviser to Obama during the presidential campaign, was rumored to be a possible Secretary of Defense or Ambassador but ended up running a Washington think tank, the Atlantic Council, instead.
(CNN) - With six days until Election Day, a new poll suggests that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine leads his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, by 5 points.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday morning, 43 percent of likely New Jersey voters back Corzine, the Democratic incumbent fighting for a second term, 38 percent support Christie, the former federal prosecutor in the Garden State, and 13 percent back Independent candidate Chris Daggett.
Corzine's 5 point lead is just with in the poll's sampling error. The race between Corzine and Christie was tied up in Quinnipiac's last poll, which came out two weeks ago. Most surveys in New Jersey over the past month have suggested that Corzine and Christie were deadlocked, with Daggett in the mid teens.
The following is a commentary from Sen. John McCain:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time since September 11, 2001, America is having a vigorous national debate about how to succeed in Afghanistan. This debate is entirely worth having. Whenever America sends its citizens into harm's way, it must do so with eyes wide open.
Though no veteran would ever think of himself as "pro-war," I believe that the fight in Afghanistan is critical to our national security. Our goals there are achievable and success is worth the continued sacrifice.
We must succeed in Afghanistan for many reasons, but one stands above all: the world walked away from Afghanistan once, and it descended into a cauldron of violence, hatred and human rights atrocities that served as the base for the worst terrorist attack in history against our homeland.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Florida Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson issued a written apology Tuesday evening for a comment for a month-old comment that has stirred controversy on Capitol Hill in recent days.
During a September radio interview, Grayson called Linda Robertson, an aide to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who has also worked as a lobbyist, a "K Street whore."
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Grayson said his comment was inappropriate.
"I offer my sincere apology," Grayson said in the statement, "I did not intend to use a term that is often, and correctly, seen as disrespectful of women.
"This characterization of Ms. Robertson, made during a radio interview last month in the context of the debate over whether the Federal Reserve should be independently audited, was inappropriate, and I apologize."
Just hours earlier, a spokesman for Grayson had defended the comment in a statement to CNN.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
CNN: Public option would lead him to filibuster, key senator says
Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday he would join a Republican filibuster to block the final vote on any health care bill that has a government-run public health insurance option.
CNN: U.N. staff killed in Taliban attack in Kabul
Taliban militants attacked a private guesthouse in central Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least six U.N. staff members and wounding nine more, according to a U.N. spokesman.
CNN: Powerful car bomb kills at least 57 in Peshawar market
A powerful car bomb ripped through a bustling marketplace in Peshawar, killing at least 57 people on Wednesday, officials said.
New York Times: Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
CNN: Obama to meet with Joint Chiefs on Afghanistan
President Obama is scheduled to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday as part of his reassessment of the military strategy in Afghanistan, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
New York Times: U.S. to Protect Populous Afghan Areas, Officials Say
President Obama’s advisers are focusing on a strategy for Afghanistan aimed at protecting about 10 top population centers, administration officials said Tuesday, describing an approach that would stop short of an all-out assault on the Taliban while still seeking to nurture long-term stability.
CNN: Afghanistan haunted by ghost of Vietnam
While President Obama's war council deliberates its strategy toward Afghanistan, the ghost of Vietnam is often invoked as a warning.