In his speech after Tuesday night's election victory, President-elect Barack Obama promised his daughters a puppy to live with them in the White House.
The Obamas will hardly be the only first family to have a pet - George W. Bush's family has three dogs and a cat, and the Clintons had a cat and a dog. Thomas Jefferson even had two pet grizzly bears.
Tonight on AC360°, the bailout surprise. The $700 billion bailout package will no longer include help for banks with troubled mortgage assest. We'll tell you why. Plus, Governor Sarah Palin talks with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Larry King about her future and what life was like on the campaign trail. And, 30 years later, the survivors of the Jonestown massacre. A preview of a CNN presents special.
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Gov. Sarah Palin didn't talk much to the media on the campaign trail. But, she chatting it up now.
Today, McCain's former vice presidential candidate sat down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Larry King. And, she's been all over the TV in recent days.
She told Wolf Blitzer she'd help President-elect Obama if he asked.
"It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration," Palin said.
But she says she's still concerned about Obama's ties to former Weather Underground member Williams Ayers, who is now a college professor in Chicago.
"If anybody still wants to talk about it, I will. Because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol," she said.
"That's an association that still bothers me, and I think it's fair to still talk about it," she continued. "However, the campaign is over. That chapter is closed. Now is the time to move on and make sure all of us are doing all that we can to progress this nation."
Do you agree with Gov. Palin?
Also tonight, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's new strategy or flip-flop (if you prefer) to revive the U.S. economy. Paulson announced today that the government is no longer planning to buy troubled mortgage assets, which were part of the original $700 billion bailout plan. The new strategy: support financial institution that provide credit cards and auto loans.
"I will never apologize for changing an approach or strategy when the facts change," Paulson said.
There's no new approach on Wall Street.
For the third day in a row the Dow took a beating. Blue chips fell 411 points today, and more than 600 points since Monday. Today alone the market lost about $600 billion. Ouch!
The lingering question: Should the government bailout the so-called "Big Three" automakers, General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler?
Join us tonight at 10pm ET for these stories and more.
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Prince Charles meets Robin Williams backstage at the Wimbledon Theatre after a charity performance in aid of the Prince's Trust charity, in London, today.
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Erica Hill | BIO
Food banks across the country have been struggling for months, and as the holidays approach and the economy continues to sink, the outlook for food banks and soup kitchens is increasingly bleak. In Houston, however, there is hope, thanks to Louise Hauser. As the food pantry supervisor at West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM), Hauser knows the struggle first hand. When she recently won $50,000 on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire”, 20 percent – $10,000 – was earmarked for WHAM.
WHAM is an agency of the Houston Food Bank. All told, the Houston Food Bank feeds 80,000 people each week.
Lobster is traditionally one of the luxury items on a dinner menu, but that may be changing. Diners are shying away from the fancy crustaceans because of its equally fancy price tag. Lobster now goes for between $2.80 and $4 a pound in Boston, versus $4.50 to $5 a pound last year. On the Cape, you can find it as low as $2.50 a pound. While that may be good news for lobster lovers, it could be disastrous for the men and women who make their living hauling them in.
Free wedding dresses for military brides. I think that says it all!
A young man, senselessly beaten two years ago and left with a broken jaw, forearm, cracked ribs and bruises is fighting back in court. The civil suit could bring down the KKK, but can it snuff out the hate? We can only hope.
NHIOP Political Director & Harvard IOP Fellow
The main Republican talking point coming out of the shock and awe election last week is that we are a "center-right country." Tell me then, how did Barack Obama get elected by an overwhelming electoral sweep and a decisive popular vote differential? How did the Democrats keep and grow control in Congress?
David Brooks outlined on Tuesday the split between the "reformists" and the "traditionalists" in the Republican party. The center-right tension exists within, not outside, the Republican party. With 51% of people polled saying they want to see a more activist government, the highest number since 1992, surely we are at least a center-center country right now.
A 2007 PEW center poll found that from 1994 till now, 12 percent more Americans feel the "government should care for those who can't care for themselves... even if it means greater debt."
As a political analyst, I like evidence. I like to describe what is, not what is "brandable". The idea that we are a "center-right" country is wishful spin, considering that we voted differently.
Editor's Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session”
In Session Anchor
I am going to go out on a limb here and say this about gay marriage: California got it wrong and Connecticut has it right. And I say this to you as a Christian – one who reads the Bible and goes to church and prays with my children. Because to me Proposition 8, well it just doesn’t seem like the Christian thing to do.
The courts in California gave gay people the right to marry. And now, voters have taken that right away. And that’s downright mean-spirited. Now, my Christian brothers and sisters are quick to tell me that they are okay with civil unions. But that marriage is between a man and a women. My friends say they are tolerant. But is tolerant the best we can do in this country? Doesn’t the Constitution require something more? Isn’t this country about equal protection for all Americans? Not just some of us.
And I know, there have always been those who resist change. They opposed the abolition of slavery. They opposed civil rights. They opposed inter-marriage and now they oppose gay marriage too. But time and time again we do the right thing and time and time again the Constitution prevails. Because the greatness of America is not rooted in intolerance.
This country is great precisely because we recognize the fundamental rights of all Americans — black and white, male and female and yes, gay and straight.
AC360 Associate Producer
Well, it’s about time. Now that the presidential election is over America can return its focus to that which is truly important. For example, perhaps you’ve been so caught up in politics that you didn’t know Jennifer Aniston is on the cover of next month’s Vogue. And inside the magazine she discusses her new Christmas movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life…Until Angelina Jolie Steals Your Husband.”
Then there’s Lindsay “Hey Anderson Cooper, if you think my mother is a trainwreck just wait until you hear my political analysis” Lohan, who offered her take on the election to that venerable chronicler of American history known as Access Hollywood. “It’s an amazing thing,” she said, “it’s our first colored president.” Thanks, Archie Bunker. You can stop talking now.
Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst. His most recent book is "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader." This commentary is based, in part, on an paper Bergen wrote for the New America Foundation, where he is a senior fellow, and an article he wrote for The New Republic in September, "A Man, A Plan, Afghanistan."
Peter Bergen | Bio
CNN National Security Analyst
Sir, during the election campaign, you often said that getting Afghanistan and Pakistan right and ending the threat from al Qaeda were vital for American national interests.
In an effort to have an effective policy to do that, it is important to define the greatest challenges facing the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in order of importance. They are:
To achieve these goals, the following eight steps must be taken within Afghanistan...