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February 3rd, 2009
04:13 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/3/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama talk to second grade students at the Capital City Public Charter School in Washington February 3, 2009.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!

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Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 3rd, 2009
03:02 PM ET

Gone since '59

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

On its sad and growing list of missing persons, the F. B.I. has posted an unusual open case.

It’s not the circumstances that make it so strange. It’s when the victim vanished. The date? June 18. The year? 1959. Eisenhower was President. Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. “Mack the Knife” was playing on the radio. And a boy named Daniel Barter vanished without a trace.

Daniel Barter was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 12, 1954. A little more than four years later, the toddler was with his family on a Gulf Coast camping trip along the border of Florida and Alabama.

FULL POST

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
February 3rd, 2009
02:57 PM ET

Daschle pushed?

Candy Crowley | BIO
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

From a Democratic source familiar with Daschle’s thinking… (this is a pro-Daschle person)

Was Daschle pushed? “Things don’t work that cleanly.” (eg: source “doesn’t think” there was direct White House pressure, but couldn’t say absolutely not. Source couldn’t say but knows of no one else who urged Daschle to pull out-say a fellow Senator...as opposed to the White House)

This was “not about whether he (Daschle) could survive but what the (confirmation) process would do to Obama and (health care reform and economic agenda) ”… It’s a question of the “price of that confirmation.”

Did The New York Times editorial calling on Daschle to withdraw from his nomination as HHS Secretary play a part? “He read it.”

“Tom has been a politician for a very long time. He understands this town. He made a mistake, he apologized, but timing matters. There was a critical mass building.” (Questions about the meaning of President Obama’s stated ethics standards).

Daschle going through a messy confirmation would put the President on the defensive and grab unneeded headlines. The (NYT) editorial "re-inforced that this might be a difficult and certainly a distracting confirmation process for a White House that doesn’t have that kind of time.”

Daschle mood? “He wanted to do this. He wanted to move health care. He has spent a good deal of his life, wrote a book on the issue. He wanted to help Obama. They’ve been together since the beginning. This is tough, tough, tough on him."


Filed under: Candy Crowley • Raw Politics
February 3rd, 2009
01:21 PM ET

They're registered Democrats, but they didn't support Obama

Most people in King County, Texas are registered Democrats, but 93.2 percent voted for Sen. John McCain.

Most people in King County, Texas are registered Democrats, but 93.2 percent voted for Sen. John McCain.
A small church in King County, Texas.

A small church in King County, Texas.

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

King County, Texas is a place for quail hunting, ranching, and beautiful countryside. It’s the kind of place where the residents know everyone in town–a place where people here feel so safe that they leave their homes and car doors unlocked.

It’s also where John McCain received the highest voter support in the country. 93.2 percent of King County voted for the Arizona senator and only 8 voters cast a ballot for Barack Obama. What’s most interesting is most people here are registered democrats.

Now that President Obama has taken over the reigns, we wanted to come to King County to find out how these voters feel about our new President.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Ismael Estrada • President Barack Obama
February 3rd, 2009
12:04 PM ET

Michelle Obama's role

AC360°'s Erica Hill examines the role the first lady may have during the Obama presidency.


Filed under: Erica Hill • Michelle Obama
February 3rd, 2009
11:36 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: Tuesday’s tally – 8,300 jobs gone

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Thousands more workers got bad news today as companies in fields ranging from financial services to retail announced job cuts. All told, five companies said they would eliminate more than 8,300 positions.

-PNC Financial Services Group plans to cut 5,800 jobs, or nearly 10% of its workforce, following its acquisition of National City last year.

-Liz Claiborne is cutting 725 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, in response to what it called a "challenging retail and economic environment."

-King Pharmaceuticals will reduce its workforce by 22%, or 760 jobs.

-Rockwell Collins, a maker of aviation electronics, plans to eliminate 600 jobs

-Huntington Bank says it will eliminate approximately 500 positions, or approximately 4 percent of its workforce, throughout 6 states by March 1.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Citigroup • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Housing Market • Oil • Wall St.
February 3rd, 2009
10:42 AM ET

Democrats are hypocrites when it comes to paying taxes

Jonah Goldberg
The Los Angeles Times

During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden insisted that paying your taxes is a patriotic duty. No, scratch that. He said that supporting a tax hike was the American thing to do. "It's time to be patriotic," he told America's putative tax slackers. When asked whether he might be questioning the patriotism of people who don't want higher taxes, Biden, as is his wont, took things to the next rhetorical level. Forget patriotism, insisted Joe, paying higher taxes is a religious obligation.

The man who gave an average of $369 a year to charity over the previous decade fulfills his religious obligations by cutting a tax check - a check he's required to cut by law.

Now it's always perilous to take Biden's statements too seriously, but it does seem eminently fair to say that his comments reflect a common, if not universal, attitude among Democrats. Taxes aren't a "necessary evil" so much as a joyous affirmation of the possibilities of government and the lifeblood of a more hopeful society. "Taxes are what you pay to be an American" - like "membership fees," says Democratic language guru George Lakoff.

Read More...


Filed under: Democrats • Economy • Finance • Raw Politics • Republicans
February 3rd, 2009
10:15 AM ET

The Michelle Obama hair challenge

Erin Aubry Kaplan
Salon.com

Nappy or relaxed, African-American hair has always been a loaded subject. So what does it mean to have a black do in the White House?

Are we moving toward a "black hair" moment?

It might sound like one of those media-created, racially overwrought questions meant to boost ratings and Internet chatter. But with Obama in the White House and a black family center stage - not to mention a first lady whose appearance and fashion choices are already being endlessly dissected - the question suddenly becomes almost reasonable.

Read more...


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Race in America • Women's Issues
February 3rd, 2009
09:51 AM ET

The CIA scandals: how bad a blow?

Robert Baer
Time

The last thing the CIA needs right now is another scandal, let alone two.

Allegations that the CIA chief in Algiers (identified in the press, though not by the government, as Andrew Warren) drugged and raped two women is going to badly hurt. The accusations that Harold Nicholson, a former CIA operative in federal prison convicted of spying for the KGB, continued his work from behind bars isn't nearly as serious, but it won't exactly help the agency's reputation. Nicholson, who allegedly enlisted his son to collect his KGB "pension" and to pass on whatever secrets dad still knows, is pretty much stale history. But even so, the news is an unwanted reminder that the KGB was eating the CIA's lunch in the '90s — along with the National Security Agency's and the Department of Defense's. (See the top 10 Secret Service code names.)

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