Have a great weekend!
There's a new energy in this presidential race, one that is drawing record turnouts and inspiring new groups of people to join the political process. But a story that airs tonight tonight on AC 360 shows another side of that process. There is a group of people, legal immigrants, who were so inspired by the campaign that they applied for U.S. citizenship just so they can be a part of this historic presidential election.
62 year old Julia Moreno is one of those people. She works as a nurse's assistant and lives in a tiny studio apartment in downtown Los Angeles. She studies civics and English on a cassette tape everyday in anticipation of her interview with an Immigration official. 26 year old Jesus Torres, a part time UPS employee, is also studying to become a citizen. He says he's been following this election with the fervor of a fan following their team to the Super Bowl.
Both applied for citizenship last year in hopes of becoming naturalized in time to vote in this election. But because a record 1.4 million other people also applied for citizenship, the government says some applications may not be processed for another 18 months. That's three times longer than usual. It also means their first presidential vote would not be cast until the 2012 election.
– Thelma Gutierrez, CNN Correspondent
I must admit, I am very excited today.
This will be the first full weekend I have off in a month and a half. No plane delays, no interviews, no primaries to cover.
I’m not complaining. I love my work, and compared to most people’s jobs, mine is very easy. But I forget how nice it is to actually get two days off in a row.
Can you imagine what it must be like for the candidates? They have been running nonstop, and the general election hasn’t even begun.
It was interesting last night to hear people’s reactions to Senator Clinton’s closing comments. She got high marks for what she said about wounded warriors from just about everyone we talked to, many saying that’s the side of herself she should be showing more of.
It’s the same thing people said about her getting more personal in New Hampshire – when she said she “found my voice.”
I still don’t quite understand what happened between then and now. Did she lose her voice along the way? Was it drowned out by advisers or policy debates?
Can she get it back, or is it too late?
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, and if you have any recommendations about what to do on a weekend, I wouldn’t mind hearing them. I’m sort of out of practice.
Happy Friday, Bloggers! We're digging out of a snow storm here in NYC. (OK, a confession. We're also making snow angels across the street in Central Park.) If you're headed to the northeast pack your patience. There are fight delays. On the campaign trail, a Dallas police officer died in a Clinton motorcade accident. While, the fallout continues from the John McCain article in the New York Times. On the crime & punishment beat, be careful! Scam artists want your tax rebate. And, are you like the rest of us in the 360 newsroom wondering who will win best picture at this weekend's Academy Awards? Who did you think will be take home the honor? We'd love to hear from you. Grab an afternoon snack and click on the links below for your afternoon buzz.
Keeping them Honest
Crime & Punishment
What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Can you develop caffeine immunity? up at 4 (austin time). 6 and 7am liveshots.
At 7 I finished and tossed back to anchor John Roberts-except I called him Anderson.
Seen one anchor seen'em all.
Tonight I'll even the score and call Anderson...John.
Still in austin (71 Degrees on the street corner. smiley face)
Dissecting goat entrails from the debate. They both had their moments, no?
-HRC on Obama's "plagiarizing " / "borrowing" / "using" some rhetoric from his buddy-Gov. Deval Patrick, and I quote: "it's change you can Xerox." She was booed.
-mentions an Obama surrogate (Texas lawmaker) was on the tube and couldn't name a single Obama legislative accomplishment (true)... The guy was sitting in the second row and is quite popular in Texas. She gets hissed..
-She backed off after that…passed up an opportunity to hit him on experience…now compare and contrast only policy.
-He totally blew one of the final questions about a time in your life that tested you…gave this long rambling non-answer with his life story. hello? introspection please
-On the question he punted, she knocked it out of the park. (My sports knowledge is weak, but I KNOW those are mixed metaphors.) Moving down the court, she gave an affecting answer about a ceremony she went to involving a lot of wounded vets from Iraq and said, basically, No hit I've taken compares to the challenges so many Americans face...
-And at the end, "...no matter what happens in this contest–and I am honored, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored." Incredibly gracious. She then reached out and shook his hand. A standing O. (Comentary-ing today says that last part sounded like the beginnings of a concession speech. Bet the farm that’s not what she was thinking).
-After she punted the opportunity to criticize his experience, he comes back and says, "On what I believe was the single most important foreign policy decision of this generation, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, I believe I showed the judgment of a Commander-in-Chief and I think Senator Clinton was wrong in her judgments."
I'm thinkin’ people came away supporting the same person they did going in. I'm thinkin’ the high noon (literary license) showdown was a draw.
Draw goes to the frontrunner.
I'm thinkin’ you're thinkin’ something different.. Is this a great country or what?
Onward and upward....
Miles to go before I sleep… (I plagiarized that.)
-Candy Crowley, Senior Political Correspondent
Everywhere I go, people tell me "Hey Doc, I got the flu shot and I still got sick!" And, given that I do recommend the flu shot as a physician, they seem to hold me somewhat responsible. Even though I have nothing to do with actually designing the flu vaccine, I get it. And, I do feel bad. I hate seeing people sick. Truth is, this year I may get more of those comments than in years past. The flu season is getting pretty bad with 44 states now reporting widespread flu activity. No surprise given that this year's vaccine is only 40 percent effective. Let me explain.
What you may not know is that developing a flu vaccine is largely guesswork. That's right; it is more speculation than science. Last year sometime, scientists were asked to predict what strains of the flu would be most problematic this year. It's kind of like hitting a moving target, as the virus strains change constantly. The scientists typically choose three strains, two from the type A family and one from the Type B family. The flu shot you get is designed to protect you against those three strains.
For frame of reference, 16 of the last 19 years, the scientists' predictions were good ones. While those vaccines in years past were not perfect, they were between 70 percent and 90 percent effective. This year, though, they missed the mark, most specifically with that B strain, and people are getting sick.
I know it sounds crazy, but there is method behind the madness. The way vaccine production works, it takes about six months to make enough for everyone who needs the shot. If scientists and vaccine-makers waited to learn exactly which strain of virus is circulating, there wouldn't be enough time to produce the vaccine. They're working on better, faster methods, but none are ready to implement.
Plans for next year's flu vaccine have already begun, and the World Health Organization is recommending some big changes. Of course, this is of no comfort to people who are suffering right now.
So, do you have any ideas on how to better protect ourselves against the flu? Given the background on the flu vaccine, are you more or less likely to get the shot?
Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
-Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent
As we were in the throes of dissecting the Democratic debate last night, word crossed that the death of Drew Peterson's third wife had just been ruled a homicide. In case you need a refresher, he is the ex-cop named a person of interest in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. She went missing in late October. Her family says the young mom would never leave her children; Drew Peterson claims his wife left him for another man.
He's an interesting character. Drew Peterson instantly seemed to love the media spotlight when his fourth wife disappeared, while at the same time complaining about the attention. Since his fourth wife went missing, Peterson has hired a publicist, said he's ready to start dating again, and offered up letters and anonymous tips from people claiming to have seen Stacy Peterson.
Now the focus is back on the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning in 2004. She was found in a dry bathtub. When Stacy Peterson went missing, the investigation into her death was reopened; her body was exhumed; a second autopsy performed. Now, we are told her death was actually a homicide. Drew Peterson expressed surprise at the news. Authorities have not identified a suspect.
What makes this guy tick? Why the strange details surrounding his wives? We're digging deeper on that tonight on 360. Let us know what you think. And please join us.
-Erica Hill, 360° Correspondent
Good afternoon 360° bloggers! Since so many of you have already written us with your comments and reactions about last night's CNN/Univision Democratic debate in Austin, TX, we here at 360° thought we'd start a discussion so we can have a debate of our very own.
What did you think of the debate? Do you feel like either candidate won the night, or conveyed a particular point or policy better than the other? What about post-debate analysis in general – do you agree with commentators? Please join in on the conversation!