[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/09/art.getty.leahy.jpg caption="Sen. Patrick Leahy's comments are likely to re-ignite a simmering debate about how actively to focus on past political and legal policy disputes."]
CNN Justice Department Producer
The FBI has now launched 38 major corporate fraud investigations stemming from the nation's financial crisis, and that number could grow sharply, a top FBI official testified Wednesday.
The disclosure by FBI Deputy Director John Pistole (Pis-tul) reveals an increase of at least a dozen newly-opened investigations of large financial institutions since the FBI last year reported it was looking into about two dozen major firms. And the scope of the criminal probes is certain to grow.
"It could potentially rise into the hundreds. It is an exponential potential," Pistole told a Senate panel.
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Executives from the financial institutions that received TARP funds testify before the House Financial Services Committee February 11, 2009 in Washington, DC.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/11/art.pelosi3.gi.jpg caption="Pelosi and Reid are discussing the stimulus compromise."]
Dana Bash and Evan Glass
CNN Congressional Unit
Despite talk of a deal - the stimulus drama isn't over - and a deal has not been reached. CNN can confirm that Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office at this hour - trying to persuade her to agree.
Senate Democratic leadership aides say the holdup concerns the addition of $10 billion for school construction/modernization. In the Senate version, $10 billion was added to the $44 billion allocated toward 'state stabilization' to help school infrastructure.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/02/05/birdflu.virus/art.chickens.gi.jpg caption="Human-to-human transmission of avian flu is rare, but in some cases, the virus has passed from poultry to humans. There's a good chance Jack has confused bird flu with the common cold."]
AC360° Associate Producer
There is nothing worse than a drama queen. A thought that came to me as I lay in bed this morning clinging to life. You see, I am suffering from bird flu. All the signs are there. Headache, sore throat, runny nose. Definitely bird flu.
Have no fear, though, I am getting medical treatment. In fact, I did what anyone with nasal congestion should do: I called my doctor at 3am. Unfortunately, there must have been a problem with the phone line because as soon as I said, “Hi Doc, I’ve been coughing all night, I’ll need you to phone me in a prescription for twenty-five Vicodin,” I heard a dial tone.
Senior Producer, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News
My wife and I are trying to decide if we should sell our stocks.
We’re looking at our portfolio, weighing all the relevant factors, and giving serious thought to putting our money under our bed. We’re also thinking seriously about hiding under the bed ourselves.
Granted, my wife and I aren’t financial geniuses. But we have kids, we have a house, and we need to be responsible about this stuff.
My current panic started yesterday, when I saw this chart on the Planet Money site.
Program Note: To hear more about the stimulus bill tune in to AC360° tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
CNN Contributor and Republican Strategist
Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., says the Democrats have buried a poison pill inside the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package moving through Congress that would jeopardize your ability to get life-saving treatments for cancer, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.
In an article for RedState.com, Shadegg says the $1.1 billion "Comparative Effectiveness Research" study that has been slipped into the stimulus, ostensibly to help the government get the biggest bang for its health care bucks, is actually a leading wedge into a single-payer health care system.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/11/walsh-john-bush-billsign.jpg caption="President Bush shakes the hands with John Walsh before signing the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006."]Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”
In Session Anchor
The fear that sexual predators are hiding under every rock and around every corner has led to a nationwide effort to hunt them down and keep track of them – in most cases for life.
Put aside for the moment the fact that most children are abused by a family member and that in child abductions and murders fewer than one percent of the perpetrators are strangers. The more immediate concern is this: Our national obsession with sexual predators is actually getting in the way of effective law enforcement.
Good intentions have been clouded by bad information perpetuated by those who would gain the most — not the victims, but television talk show hosts hungry for ratings. Don’t take my word for it. Ask the people who know best — the police. Across the country police are pushing back against a federal law that requires all states to adopt stricter sex offender laws.
The Adam Walsh Act was named for the 6-year-old whose 1981 murder changed the way in which law enforcement looks for missing children. Adam’s Law was passed three years ago, after several horrible cases including the abduction and murder of 11-year old Carlie Brucia, and the case of John Couey who buried his 9-year old victim alive.
Of course state officials agree with the intent. But, in many cases their state laws are more effective. In other cases, Adam’s Law isn’t specific enough to each state to be effective. In many cases, it contradicts tough laws already in place.
Even Adam’s father, John Walsh, is calling for Congress to postpone the compliance deadline to give everyone a chance to work out the problems. And he’s right. Because states that fail to comply will lose some of their federal crime prevention funding — the very funding that helps them keep track of the predators that inspired the law in the first place.
Some states, cities and counties that plunged into the immigration debate are having second thoughts. In Texas, Alabama and elsewhere, lawmakers have repealed or modified measures that cracked down on illegal immigrants or made English the official language. In Iowa and Utah, legislators are proposing similar reversals.
They cite various reasons, including the time and expense of fighting legal challenges, the cost of implementing the measures while tightening their budgets and the barrage of publicity and accusations of racism that come with such laws.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/11/stimulus.plan/art.capitoldome.gi.jpg caption="House and Senate negotiators are working to hammer out differences in a roughly $800 billion stimulus package."]
Dana Bash,Ted Barrett and Evan Glass
CNN Capitol Hill Team
House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on an economic recovery bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
Multiple Democratic sources are giving some details of what they’re working out:
Baucus said it is possible the House could take the bill up as early as Thursday and the Senate possibly Friday.
Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Fred, Tom, Andy, Dennis, Eric, John, Stephen, Antonio and Paul ran British banks that lost billions of dollars. So they have been called in for a grilling by Nick, Graham, Colin, Jim, Stephen, Michael, Andrew, George, Mark, Peter, three Johns - and a single, solitary Sally.
The interrogation of the lions of British banking, many of whom have lost their jobs, began on live television Tuesday before the financial overseers of Parliament's Treasury Select Committee. And in line with the usual math of the financial world, 18 of the 19 key people in the room were men.