Obama names first judge
President Obama this week announced his first judicial nomination, tapping federal District Judge David Hamilton to serve on the appeals court in Chicago. Hamilton, who served as counsel to Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh, has the backing of Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar. But conservative groups vowed to oppose his nomination, citing his "extreme'' ruling that Indiana's legislature couldn't open sessions by saying overtly Christian prayers.
Ponzi victims bailout
Victims of Ponzi schemes can immediately deduct up to 95 percent of their losses under new Internal Revenue Service rules. The IRS acted under pressure from victims of recent scams, including Bernard Madoff's. The new policy is far more generous to victims of fraud than earlier rules, which placed sharp limits on such deductions. “It’s a rare day when someone can be happy with the IRS,” said Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.