Here’s a look at some of the stories on our radar for tomorrow:
RAW POLITICS: Both Sens. McCain and Obama will be hosting town hall meetings. The Republican nominee’s will be in Hudson, WI while the Democrat’s will be in Dayton, OH.
DALIA LAMA VISIT: The Dalia Lama is scheduled to visit Bethlehem, PA and Madison, WI and will be in the United States until July 24th.
DEFENSE DEPT. ESPIONAGE CASE: Scheduled date of sentencing for Gregg Bergersen, former weapons analyst, who pled guilty to conspiracy to disclose national defense information. He sold information to a man working for the Chinese government.
HEDGE FUND MANAGER DISAPPEARANCE: Scheduled date of court hearing for Debra Ryan, girlfriend of hedge fund manager Samuel Israel. Ryan is accused of helping Israel, who was convicted of fraud, fake his death in June to order to avoid serving his 20 year prison term. Israel turned himself in on July 2.
BARRY BONDS HEARING: Scheduled date of court hearing for baseball player Barry Bonds, accused of making false declarations to a grand jury investigating the BALCO controversy.
BASELINE KILLER HEARING: Scheduled date of hearing for Mark Goudeau, charged with nine murders in the Phoenix area in 2005 and 2006.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT ASSAULT CASE: Scheduled date of arraignment for Christina Szele, accused of yelling obscenities and racial slurs at a flight crew after they told her to stop smoking. She also allegedly punched a flight attendant in the face.
For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.
Anderson and Erica are off tonight. Campbell Brown and Randi Kaye are filling in. Be sure to check them out on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Did a McCain adviser go too far? Former Texas senator Phil Gramm is under fire for some comments he made to the Washington Times. Here's what got people fired up: "We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitveness, America is in decline." He went on to say, "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession." Why is he talking up economic issues? Gramm is an economic adviser to McCain. But the GOP presidential candidate isn't too happy with Gramm's comments. McCain says, "Phil Gramm does not speak for me." Now Gramm is trying to clarify his message. He says he was trying to say the nation's leaders, not its people, were "whiners." But he says he stands by his comment the country is in a "mental recession." As you might imagine, Brack Obama didn't let all this slip by him. He seized on the uproar at a campaign stop in Virginia, saying: "America already has one Dr. Phil. We don't need another one when it comes to the economy." Ouch! We'll have all the angles on this tonight on 360. In the meantime, do you think Gramm made a big mistake? Or were his comments taken out of context? Tell us what you think. Blog away.
Also tonight, is Obama talking down to blacks?
Morning Express Anchor, Headline News
I’m in the middle of a whirlwind of live shots and writing about the amazing men we just interviewed today.
You will not believe some of the incredible detail they give in our interview… about their despair, their concerns, the way they were able to get through this and what the reunions were like with their families.
Behind the scenes, I was told they could talk for no more than 60 minutes. That’s a ton of time, right? Well at the 20-minute mark, they were still detailing their rescue, the looks on their faces, the plastic they were bound with before being told they were free and the reactions of the other hostages.
And I was thinking – "Oh my word… I’m going to run out of time before we ever get to the part about their reunions, captivity and concerns now."
Sure, Jesse is an old fool who doesn't know how to act. But his latest gaffe shows how none of us is really ready for this moment.
On one level, it is easy to dismiss the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s crudely worded metaphorical threat to castrate Barack Obama for supposedly talking down to black people as the raving of an increasingly irrelevant, former big shot suffused with resentment at the rising star who pushed him off stage.
That, after all, is the sort of talk we'd expect from a lynch mob, not a civil rights leader who does not seem to realize that the times have passed him by. Even his son and namesake, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., agrees that his dad is doing more harm these days than good. Pronouncing himself outraged and disappointed by his father's ugly words about Obama, Jackson Jr. issued a statement that, in effect, ordered dear old dad to "keep hope alive" and shut up.
Editor's note: Eric Easter writes about politics, culture and technology for ebonyjet.com
Chief of Digital Strategy for Johnson Publishing
Jesse Jackson made a mistake and he has appropriately apologized. His language was unnecessary, his timing off and the venue (Fox News of all places) gave the comment an illegitimate quality that marred the underlying point Jackson was making, though the castration analogy didn’t exactly help either. It’s all about context. In another setting, stated another way to a different group of people, his comment could have had the power to begin a dialogue to address some of the concerns about Obama’s appeal to mainstream voters and what that means.
But of course, it’s not just what you say, it’s where, how, when and to whom that matter as well. He learned a lesson. But according to quite a number of prominent black activists who are strong Obama supporters but “lovingly critical”, Obama should learn a lesson about what he says and to whom as well.
Far from some sign of a rift between Jackson and Obama, what Jackson said was repeated many times in various forms at the recent Rainbow PUSH Coalition by many thoughtful Black activists who, while supportive of Obama, also choose to be “lovingly critical” to ensure that Obama lives up to the promise he presents.
Dana Bash | BIO
CNN Political Correspondent
I just spoke to Phil Gramm by phone (who is about to get on a plane and says he's not available or willing to do TV).
He told me he wanted to try to clarify his comments in the Washington Times.
First of all, he insisted that he was invited to the Washington Times to speak to reporters who used to cover him, and was speaking for himself and not the McCain campaign. "I didn't claim to be representing anyone except myself," he said.
In terms of the substance of what he said:
Gramm told me that what was trying to say was that LEADERS in the country are a bunch of whiners, not the people.
"The whiners are the leaders, hell the American people are victims, but it didn't quite come out that way in the story," Gramm said.
Gramm said he was trying to say the problem is leaders who "blame speculators and oil companies for our problems, instead of presenting concrete programs for using energy more efficiently, or leaders who don't think we can compete with Mexico."
"What we need is more leadership and less whining," Gramm said.
When I asked which leaders he was referring to, he said "there are all kinds of them, congress is full of them, and we have plenty on the national scene."
Gramm stood by his comments on the country being in a "mental recession,"
"I said we are in a mental recession. We keep getting the steady drum beat of bad news...it's become a mental recession. We don't have measured negative growth. That's a fact, that's not a commentary."
I asked Gramm... given the terms he used, given the position he has on the McCain campaign, didn't he realize the kind of political impact what he said could have?
He said this is just part of the "game" where anytime anyone says something, it could be "taken out of context."
Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
There have been two constants in this presidential campaign: Sen. Barack Obama will openly discuss his faith and present some of today’s most troublesome issues through a moral prism. And the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. will say something outlandish and stupid that he will have to apologize for.
First, he told a reporter in South Carolina last year that Obama was “acting white” in his response to the issues in Jena, Louisiana. Then the good Rev wrote an op-ed piece proclaiming that then-Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was the only one speaking to issues of importance to African Americans.
Now, in his most vile and pathetic comments yet, Jackson was overhead telling a fellow panelist prior to an interview on Fox that he was going to cut Obama’s “nuts off” for his speeches on morality and fatherhood in the black community.
Carmen Van Kerckhove
President, New Demographic, a consulting firm that addresses race and racism
Watching news coverage of Jesse Jackson’s remarks about Barack Obama “talking down to black people” reminded me of a conversation I had in 2000.
I was chatting over lunch with a couple of co-workers about celebrity gossip, and the conversation turned to Halle Berry's multiracial identity. My co-workers scoffed at the idea that a person could identify as biracial, declaring: "When it comes down to it, you know what side Halle's on."
At the time I wondered to myself: When it comes down to what? The inevitable great race war? Will we all have to pick a side once and for all and declare our racial allegiance?
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Barack talks with Hillary on Obama's campaign charter jet in Washington, Wednesday, July 9, 2008, prior to departure for New York for a fundraising event.
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