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January 27th, 2009
10:33 AM ET

A comedy for some; for us, a horror show

John Kass
The Chicago Tribune

Watching Illinois Gov. Nosferatu (the walking politically undead) continue his media blitz on ABC's "The View" on Monday was like watching an old cheesy horror flick—"The Brides of Dracula."

"Speaking of integrity and intelligence, we're going to break and we'll come back with Gov. Rod Blagojevich," Whoopi Goldberg said.

As he sat with the women of "The View," the Illinois Senate began the final act of the impeachment. Democrats are certain he's become infected and deadly, and so they'll amputate in a matter of days.

But seeing him up there on the comfy couch in New York, I couldn't stop thinking of "The Brides of Dracula," the vampire movie that was a staple on WGN-TV's "Creature Features" series when I was a wee lad, afraid of losing my soul.

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January 27th, 2009
10:27 AM ET

Power, politics, gossip on daily call

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel briefs President Obama in the Oval Office.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel briefs President Obama in the Oval Office.

John F. Harris
Politico.com

The conversations don’t begin with hello. They don’t end with goodbye. Most often they pick up with a low, drawling voice uttering something between a sentence and a grunt.

“Wahzgoanawn?”

For those accustomed to hearing James Carville only when he is trying to enunciate more clearly for television, that translates to: "What's going on?"

So begins another morning in what may count as Washington’s longest-running conversation — a street-corner bull session between four old friends who suddenly find themselves standing once more at the busiest intersection of politics and media in Washington.

Carville calls White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel calls ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

A bit later, CNN commentator Paul Begala, who is not quite the early bird that his friends are, will complete the circle with a rapid set of calls to all three.

Keep Reading...

January 27th, 2009
10:12 AM ET

Madoff's home toilet-papered

Bernard Madoff's Palm Beach mansion was redecorated with toilet paper after ticked off teens took action.

January 27th, 2009
10:06 AM ET

Nay-saying is risky for GOP

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

One of the best Marx Brothers movies, "Horse Feathers," played in movie theaters at the height of the Great Depression in 1932.

In the film, the comedian Groucho Marx played the new president of Huxley College, Quincy Adams Wagstaff.

During one of the most memorable scenes, Groucho introduces himself to faculty and students by singing about his philosophy of governance: "Your proposition may be good/But let's have one thing understood/ Whatever it is, I'm against it!/And even when you've changed it or condensed it, I'm against it/ I'm opposed to it/On general principle. I'm opposed to it."

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Democrats • Raw Politics • Republicans
January 27th, 2009
10:01 AM ET

Blagojevich: 'Give me a chance'

Larry King talks with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about why he is boycotting his own impeachment trial.

January 27th, 2009
09:55 AM ET

Tax Break Tuesday?

Program Note: Tune in for Ali Velshi's full report tonight on AC360 at 10pm ET.

Ali Velshi | Bio
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

It's Tax Break Tuesday...or, what the Administration calls "Supporting America's Working Families." The following is from the Administration's plans:

  • Providing a $1,000 "Making Work Pay" tax cut for 95 of workers and their families.
  • Cutting taxes for more than 16 million children through an expansion of the Child Tax Credit. By expanding the Child Tax Credit, the plan will provide a new tax cut to more than 6 million children and increase the generosity of the existing credit for more than 10 million children.
  • Increasing food stamp benefits for over 30 million Americans who currently receive food stamp benefits. The plan also provides additional support for food banks, school lunch programs and the WIC program. The plan will also replenish the TANF contingency fund, which is expected to run out of funding this fiscal year.
  • Providing 7.5 million blind, disabled and aged Americans an immediate $450 through temporarily increasing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Extending and expanding unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through December 2009, increasing weekly UI benefits by $25, and providing financial incentives for states to modernize their UI systems to expand coverage.

Tonight, we'll also look into the details of extensions to COBRA eligibility. And another important note: There are also business tax cuts, which don't fall under this portion of the plan.


Filed under: Ali Velshi • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance
January 27th, 2009
09:45 AM ET

Dear President Obama #8: Your six-thousand pound beast

The style of the presidential limousine, though President Obama's car is black.

The style of the presidential limousine, though President Obama's car is black.

Reporter's Note: President Obama has solicited public input. There are 300-million Americans. That’s a lot of letters.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Just seven days ago you were standing in the cold taking the big oath, and now you are celebrating your weekiversary! Congratulations. I imagine this has been either the longest or shortest week of your life, and maybe at times it felt like both. But you made it through with no major slips, no scandals, no ill-timed cracks at someone who might take offense. I know that sounds like a modest accomplishment, but in Washington we’re used to watching our politicians stumble around like Boris Yeltsin at an open-bar wedding reception, rest his soul. So again: Good on ya.

I’ve addressed several serious matters of late, so I want to shift gears to something that is not so intense: That new ride of yours. The Cadillac limo. The Beast.

FULL POST

January 27th, 2009
09:37 AM ET

Amid the rubble of Gaza, signs of militant strength

A family sleeps outside their destroyed house in Jabalia's Ezbet Abed Rabbo district in northern Gaza.

A family sleeps outside their destroyed house in Jabalia's Ezbet Abed Rabbo district in northern Gaza.

Karl Penhaul
CNN Correspondent

Huge freshly-printed posters were beginning to appear on billboards around Gaza City. The banners depicted masked fighters firing heavy machine guns or red-tipped rockets.

The war had ended just three or four days before. These were signs Gaza's fighting factions were still very much in business and keen to portray their campaign of the last three weeks as a victory against Israel.

CNN's producer in Gaza had been working his contacts. He's well acquainted with Gaza's underbelly.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crisis in Gaza • Global 360° • Hamas • Karl Penhaul • Palestine
January 27th, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Refugee scandal

CNN has uncovered new evidence in the scandal involving the dumping of refugees out to sea. CNN's Dan Rivers investigates.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Dan Rivers • Global 360°
January 27th, 2009
08:44 AM ET

President Obama speaks to Muslim world

Anderson talks with his panel about the key moments in President Obama's first sit-down interview with Arab media.

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