The blame for the alleged fraud conducted by investor Bernie Madoff should go beyond Madoff himself, according to bloggers on both sides. Reports that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was an informant for federal investigators may help him clear his name, liberal bloggers note. Bloggers on the left find problems with the selection of former Iowa Gov. Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE (D) as the next Agriculture secretary.

Federal regulators may not have investigated Madoff closely because he was a big contributor to Democrats, notes Blue Crab Boulevard. Madoff also had a niece who was married to a Securities and Exchange Commission official, writes TalkingPointsMemo's Josh Marshall. The government shouldn't bailout those who invested in Madoff since they were sophisticated investors themselves, writes Townhall's Carol Platt Liebau.

Jackson in 2006 told federal investigators that he rebuffed a request by Blagojevich for a $25,000 campaign donation, reports the CNN Political Ticker. It seems that Jackson was offended that someone was going to bribe him and that Jackson wasn't a rat looking to save himself, writes TalkLeft's Jeralyn.

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Vilsack as secretary of Agriculture is bad news for organic consumer activists, who have been railing against environmental practices of Monsanto, a firm that Vilsack has ties to, writes MyDD's Natasha Chart. President-elect Obama's appointment of Vilsack, who would have been a strong Senate candidate, makes it tougher for Democrats to defeat Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2010, according to Daily Kos's brownsox.

FROM THE BLOGS:
Paying Customer - Blue Crab Boulevard
Death of Personal Responsibility - C.P. Liebau, Townhall
Word From The SEC - Josh Marshall, TalkingPointsMemo
Jackson Jr. An Informant on Blago - CNN Political Ticker
Jackson, Informant or Tattler? - Jeralyn, TalkLeft
Junior Reportedly An Informant - Ian Welsh, Firedoglake
Vilsack for Agriculture - Natasha Chart, MyDD
Obama Selects Vilsack - brownsox, Daily Kos
Salazar's Replacement - Jeralyn, TalkLeft

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
Bush Prepares Crisis Briefings to Aid Obama - New York Times
More Americans Hurt By Recession, Poll Finds - Washington Post
White House Pressured by Lawmakers on Auto Bailout - AP
Obama's Charm Offensive Sways Republicans - The Hill