Kennedy death may prevent sweeping health legislation
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 31, 2009 at 05:27 EST

Sen. Orrin Hatch says Ted Kennedy’s death may prevent broad health reform from being passed. (Bloomberg)

Sen. Jim DeMint is happy to be a detractor of Obama’s health care reform efforts. (NYT)

As it is, the health bill would cut Medicare spending, says Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. (NYT)

Rep. Ron Paul says he has Rep. Barney Frank‘s support for legislation that would subject the Federal Reserve to government audits. (WSJ)

Former Veep Dick Cheney staunchly defends CIA interrogation tactics. (Reuters)

Local news coverage on LittleSis
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 30, 2009 at 12:00 EST

LittleSis got a great piece of press today in The Buffalo News. Business reporter Stephen Watson really “got” our site and explained it in a clear way to readers, too. The story references our Robert Hormats report and our health care project with the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, but also recognizes the larger context of the role of watchdog sites.

Here’s an excerpt:

By bringing these relationships to the public’s attention, LittleSis and other citizen-watchdog Web sites are filling a need, proponents said.

“The fact of the matter is many people in Congress have strong ties to, and relationships with, powerful corporations, lobbyists and special interests. And the public should know about them by whatever means possible,” said Dave Levinthal, a Buffalo native and spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, which operates Open- Secrets.org.

If there are any Buffalonians reading this, sign up to become a LittleSis analyst!

Dems reorganize on health fight
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 28, 2009 at 05:23 EST

After Ted Kennedy‘s death, Senate Democrats scramble to reorganize. (Reuters)

Amid predictions that the economy is on an upswing, FDIC Chair Sheila Bair reports the banking industry lost billions last quarter due to bad loans. (NYT)

Commodity and Futures Trading Commission Chair Gary Gensler says there is now greater support for regulation of the derivatives market. (Bloomberg)

AIG‘s stock shoots up in price. (NYT)

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and wife, Anna, are victims of identity theft. (WSJ)

The search is on for Kennedy replacement
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 27, 2009 at 06:01 EST

The fight begins to name Ted Kennedy‘s successor. (WSJ)

For Democrats, Kennedy’s death has become a rallying point to pass a health bill. (NYT)

AIG CEO Robert Benmosche defends the vacation he took not even a week after starting his new job. (Reuters)

FDIC Chair Sheila Bair has announced tougher restrictions on equity firms looking to buy up troubled financial institutions. (NYT)

John Paulson, a powerful hedge fund manager, is now buying up shares of Citigroup. (Reuters)

Liberal Lion succumbs to brain cancer
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 26, 2009 at 05:02 EST

Senator Ted Kennedy dies overnight at his home in Cape Cod. He was 77. (NYT)

The newest victim of town hall health care attacks is Rep. Jim Moran (WSJ)

Rep. Henry Waxman takes on the drug industry to help pay for Medicare costs. (NYT)

President of the National Economic Council Larry Summers may have been second in line for Ben Bernanke‘s job. (WSJ)

The national debt may double in the next 10 years. (Reuters)

Bernanke reappointed for second term
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 25, 2009 at 06:57 EST

President Obama renews Ben Bernanke‘s chairmanship at the Federal Reserve, praising his calm amid the financial crisis. (NYT)

Republicans come out with a “Medicare manifesto” in an effort to get senior citizens on their side. (WSJ)

Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s health care adviser and brother to Rahm, is under fire for his past writings on health care. (NYT)

Senator Ted Kaufman is calling for a review of certain SEC practices that favor some investors over others. (Reuters)

In response to a Wall Street Journal article on Monday, the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will examine weekly trading tips given by Goldman Sachs research analysts to their biggest clients. (WSJ)

Gang of Six holds on to bipartisan hopes
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 24, 2009 at 07:05 EST

The Gang of Six, also known as the Senate Finance Committee, is the only government body still holding out hope of a bipartisan health bill. (WSJ)

Tom Daschle, once Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, hasn’t been able to keep out of the health debate. (NYT)

Obama has only made 43 percent of possible appointees to his administration. (NYT)

Weekly stock tips from Goldman Sachs end up rewarding their biggest clients. (WSJ)

Recommendations have been made to Attorney General Eric Holder to reopen prisoner abuse cases. (NYT)

Yet Another Goldman Tie to the Federal Government
By kyle  •  Aug 24, 2009 at 06:37 EST

In 2005, another example of questionable ties between lobbyists and government positions drifted into the fore, raising the eyebrows of some political pundits and government watchdogs: James C. Langdon Jr., Chairman of George W. Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, lobbied William Wicker, a high-ranking executive at Goldman Sachs Asia, in order to secure a major lobbying contract with China National Offshore Oil Company [CNOOC] for his law firm:

Langdon met with CNOOC’s investment banking partner, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., in February, marshalling a long friendship with Beijing-based Goldman executive William Wicker to help win his law firm’s lobbying contract, Akin Gump officials confirmed. They say he recused himself in late March from further involvement in the matter, either for Akin Gump or the PFIAB. (Washington Post, 2005).

Read more…

Health care blogs you should be reading
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 21, 2009 at 05:04 EST

In addition to big print media sources, we here at LittleSis have been carefully following what the powerful blog world has to say. With respect to our health care project, there is a lot of quality stuff being written out in the blogosphere. All of you looking up congressional-staffers-turned-healthcare-lobbyists might be interested to see what’s being posted out there.

The New York Times launched a health care reform blog last week named Prescriptions. Although late to the blogging game, the Times staked its claim by identifying the key players in the health care debate. They’re also posting two to three times a day because they have a whole host of contributors.  The blog is aggressively updated by Times political reporter Katharine Seelye and supplemented with smaller items by Washington reporters Andrea Fuller, David Herszenhorn, Robert Pear and unidentified health care “experts.”

NPR also has a blog mostly written by Scott Hensley (former health blogger for the Wall Street Journal, incidentally). It mixes science health news with stories from Washington, but Hensley is clearly well-versed in past reform efforts on the Hill.

Read more…

Elderly fear drop in Medicare coverage in new health plan
By Ellen Przepasniak  •  Aug 21, 2009 at 04:55 EST

The elderly rethink their support of Obama over health care reform. (NYT)

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak today at the Fed annual retreat about the past year and how he sees the future. (AP)

As Citigroup and AIG submit their executive pay scales to Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg, Obama won’t micromanage this one. (Bloomberg)

The Cash for Clunkers program, which just saw a cash infusion from Congress, will end Monday. (WSJ)

Robert Benmosche reportedly turned down the job as AIG chairman three times before he accepted to “restore credibility in our industry.” (Bloomberg)