The road to nowhere…and other stories on our radar:
ON THE TRAIL: Obama spends the day in Tampa. McCain tours a factory in Middleburg Heights, OH before heading to another factory in Freeland, MI. Biden delivers a speech in the evening in DC. Palin is in New York City where she’ll meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
RAW POLITICS:The “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska became a lightning rod for federal waste and abuse. Governor Palin says she said “no thanks” to federal money for it but what about the road that was supposed to connect that bridge to an airport? Gravina Island Highway runs about three miles long and Governor Sarah Palin did not stop building the $26 million road even after the bridge was stopped. Abbie Boudreau visited what many locals call the "road to nowhere."
63rd UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY GENERAL DEBATES BEGIN: Leaders from around the world are scheduled address the General Assembly during opening debates.
HEALTH CARE FOR THE UNINSURED DEBATE: Experts and lawmakers debate the need for health coverage for uninsured Americans at the National Press Club.
NEW MICHAEL MOORE FILM RELEASED ON THE INTERNET: Filmmaker Michael Moore’s new documentary “Slacker Uprising” will be released for free on the internet. The film follows Moore as he traveled to 62 cities during the run-up to the 2004 election in an attempt to remove President Bush from office. Moore is releasing the film for free on the internet as a gift to his fans and hopes it will inspire “the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November."
For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.
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$700,000,000,000. There's a lot of debate over all those zeros. The Bush administration and congressional leaders are trying to hash out details of the proposed $700 billion bailout for America's financial firms.
"This is the mother of all bailouts", said Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama.
Democrats are demanding some changes. They want more government ownership of the companies the government would rescue, more congressional oversight of the Treasury Department and help for Americans facing foreclosure. There's also disagreement between Democrats and the Treasury over so-called "golden parachutes", the fat cat payouts to company executives when they are let go.
There's also this big question: Is the crisis so urgent there is no time to read the fine print?
Tonight, we'll talk in-depth about the proposal.
In the meantime, share your thoughts. Do you think this is the right step?
Tonight, we'll also look at John McCain and Barack Obama's financial ties. Remember Fannie Mae and Freddic Mac? Well, both campaigns have their connections to the mortgage lenders. We're keeping them honest.
And, we'll also give you an up close look at the man of the hour: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. He's the one asking all of us to take a tremendous leap of faith and basically trust him and his successors with nearly a trillion dollars in taxpayer money.
All that and more tonight on 360 at 10pm ET.
Hope you can join us.
O.J. Simpson is on trial for robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.
CNN Senior Producer
The first of four witnesses who made plea deals with the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson robbery and kidnapping case took the witness stand Monday afternoon.
The friend of Simpson was part of the entourage of men who entered the Palace Station Hotel in a sting to get sports memorabilia.
Erlich testified that he has said he heard Simpson say during the incident "put the guns away."
Erlich also said after the showdown in the room, "he (Simpson) was in denial" about guns being used.
Erlich will retake the stand for cross examination Tuesday morning.
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Both hanging upside down above Central Park's Wollman Rink in New York, Kelly Ripa, right, interviews magician David Blaine for "Live with Regis and Kelly" as Blaine begins his latest endurance challenge "David Blaine: Dive of Death" Monday morning. Blaine plans to hang upside without a net for 60 hours concluding his challenge with a plunge.
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Much to my Dad’s chagrin, I have been to Fenway more than a few times, but I never made it to Yankee Stadium. When we moved to NY this year, it seemed like we would have a tough time not making it to the House that Ruth Built before the final game was played. I couldn’t have been more wrong! But so many of you *did* make it to the original Yankee Stadium this season and last night; I’m living that experience through your iReports. They are fantastic! Thank you all for sharing them with us.
I loved some of the color in the paper this morning – the extra 1,600 security guards brought in for yesterday’s game, the memo sent to players reminding them they, too, were forbidden from taking a souvenir. Just like the 54,000-plus fans in attendance on Sunday – and the countless others cheering on the Yankees elsewhere – they’ll have to pay for any memento they’d like.
Healing, huh? Apparently, that’s what Stonehenge was for, according to two British scientists. They liken it to Lourdes, the French town which draws the Catholic faithful from around the globe. How do they all of a sudden know pilgrims came here thousands of years ago for healing, when the rock formation has puzzled people for centuries? Credit the blue rocks.
And a quick programming note: a few of our regular bloggers have noticed me moonlighting on the Saturday edition of The Early Show on CBS. I’m very happy to report I am now the co-anchor of that broadcast.
I’m not going anywhere, though, so for those of you who are sick of me – too bad! My CBS duties are in addition to those at CNN, so I will still be with you weeknights right here on AC360.
Editor's Note: Jeffrey Toobin will be on AC360° tonight to discuss the billions of dollars Leona Helmsley left to her dog and the many other pet owners adding their animals to their wills. Watch at 10p ET.
Jeffrey Toobin | Bio
CNN Senior Legal Analyst
New Yorker Columnist
The life of Leona Helmsley presents an object lesson in the truism that money does not buy happiness. Born in 1920, she overcame a hardscrabble youth in Brooklyn to become a successful condominium broker in Manhattan, eventually alighting, in the nineteen-sixties, at a firm owned by Harry B. Helmsley, one of the city’s biggest real-estate developers. The two married in 1972, and Leona became the public face of their empire, the self-styled “queen” of the Helmsley chain of hotels. In a series of ads that ran in the Times Magazine and elsewhere, Helmsley’s visage became a symbol of the celebration of wealth in the nineteen-eighties. She wouldn’t settle for skimpy towels, the ads proclaimed—“Why should you?”
There seems to be a rare harmonic convergence on the op-ed page of the New York Times today, both Paul Krugman and William Kristol–the alpha and omega of the Times' columnist corps–are opposed to the Bush Administration gargantuan Wall Street bailout.
Krugman obviously knows a lot more about economics than Kristol. Indeed, Krugman has written early and often about the disastrous potential of the housing bubble. And I would trust him here–the taxpayers' stake in this bailout is best protected by the government taking an equity stake in the affected firms:
And if the government is going to provide capital to financial firms, it should get what people who provide capital are entitled to — a share in ownership, so that all the gains if the rescue plan works don’t go to the people who made the mess in the first place.
That’s what happened in the savings and loan crisis: the feds took over ownership of the bad banks, not just their bad assets. It’s also what happened with Fannie and Freddie. (And by the way, that rescue has done what it was supposed to. Mortgage interest rates have come down sharply since the federal takeover.)
Editor-at-large & Senior Political Analyst, TIME Magazine
The Page, TIME Magazine
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