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February 10th, 2009
02:25 PM ET

That Beagle just robbed a Starbucks

Old English Sheepdogs wait in the judging ring during the 2009 133rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Old English Sheepdogs wait in the judging ring during the 2009 133rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

Move over, Sully.  The Westminster Dog Show is in town.  It’s like a canine version of Fleet Week, only with fewer one night stands.  In fact it’s the one week of the year when Manhattan’s fanciest hotels can be trashed by long-haired creatures roaming the hallways on all fours and management can’t automatically blame Mickey Rourke.

Like all visitors to New York, the Westminster participants try to strike a balance of business and pleasure.  The Poodle window shopping at Cartier.  The Bichon having his picture taken in front of the Seinfeld diner.  The Schnauzer trotting into a Times Square massage parlor.

But if you think an influx of dogs into one of the world’s most populated cities might cause problems, think again.  In fact, one of the reasons why I like dog tourists better than regular tourists is that they’re much less disruptive.  You’ll never come across a Welsh Corgi blocking a busy sidewalk, digging around in his fanny pack for misplaced tickets to Mamma Mia.

And you don’t have to worry about a posse of Great Danes strutting through SoHo, clad in leather pants, pestering you for directions to Dolce and Gabbana.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Westminster Dog Show
February 10th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Capt. Sully and crew talk

Larry King talks with Capt.Sullenberger and his crew about the "Miracle on the Hudson."

February 10th, 2009
01:23 PM ET

From Six Figures to Broke!

Chris and Linda Metzger in Sedona, Arizona.

Chris and Linda Metzger in Sedona, Arizona.
Chris and Linda Metzger at home.

Chris and Linda Metzger at home.
On their wedding day.

On their wedding day.

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

Just watching newlyweds Chris and Linda Metzger, you know they were meant for each other. They have a world of stress on their shoulders, yet they find a way to smile.

They have been sucker-punched not once, not twice, but three times by this sagging economy. Linda was laid off in March of 2008 from her job at Lehman Brothers. She was pulling in well over 6 figures in total compensation and living a good life in Queens, NY. The couple was about to get married in a few months, but rather than sulking, they decided it would be a great time to dust themselves off and create a new life in Arizona.

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Filed under: Economy • Ismael Estrada • Ripple Effect • Unemployment
February 10th, 2009
01:06 PM ET

Democrats want monopolies

Alex Castellanos
CNN Contributor

Two Congressmen walk into a bar to watch President Obama's first prime-time press conference. The Democrat says to the Republican....

D: Just watch the president tonight and you'll see how to get this economy back on track. Monopolies.

R: Monopolies?

D: Monopolies so big they will shame Parker Brothers and make them put the board game in a bigger box. Monopolies so huge, they'll make railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt look like a push-cart operator.

R: Why monopolies?

D: In these desperate times, we can't afford to let Americans choose inefficient cars or wasteful health care. We can't let innovation run wild on Wall Street or Main Street. We have to make sure Americans are secure in their health care and jobs, their incomes and energy.

To serve the greater good, we have to organize America's economy so it achieves the best possible ends for all Americans. We can't leave that to chance. Who knows what might happen if individual Americans make those choices in a free market and organize themselves?

R: A little less freedom, a lot more organization, all for the collective good?

Read more...


Filed under: Democrats • Raw Politics • Republicans
February 10th, 2009
12:30 PM ET

Begala: GOP strategy of deny, delay, do nothing

Paul Begala
CNN Contributor

As the fight over President Obama's economic recovery package heats up, the two sides are beginning to define themselves with admirable clarity.

The president says we have a crisis that is heading toward a catastrophe.

In announcing his new Economic Recovery Advisory Board, President Obama declared, "The situation could not be more serious. These [new unemployment] numbers demand action. It is inexcusable and irresponsible for any of us to get bogged down in distraction, delay, or politics as usual, while millions of Americans are being put out of work."

The Republicans, on the other hand, have honed their economic message: Denial, Delay, Do Nothing.

Read more...


Filed under: Economy • Paul Begala • Raw Politics • Republicans
February 10th, 2009
12:17 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Bailout gets a reboot

Treasury Secretary Geithner announced the Obama administration's new financial stability plan Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Geithner announced the Obama administration's new financial stability plan Tuesday.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Call it “TARP II.” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner sketched out the broad strokes of the latest government attempt to stabilize the financial sector this morning.

Speaking appropriately in the Cash Room at the Treasury Department, Geithner introduced a four-point plan that aims to restart the flow of credit to businesses and consumers. The Obama Administration didn't put a price tag on the new plan – but said it won't ask Congress for more money, at least not right away.

The key points in the administration's new plan include:

FULL POST


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil
February 10th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Why global warming may be fueling Australia's fires

Bryan Walsh
Time


The raging infernos that have left more than 160 people dead in southern Australia burned with such speed that they resembled less a wildfire than a massive aerial bombing. Many victims caught in the blazes had no time to escape; their houses disintegrated around them and they burned to death. As firefighters battle the flames and police begin to investigate possible cases of arson around some of the fires, there will surely be debates over the wisdom of Australia's standard policy of advising residents either to flee a fire early or stay in their homes and wait it out. John Brumby, the premier of the fire-hit Australian state of Victoria, told a local radio station on Monday that "people will want to review that...There is no question that there were people who did everything right, put in place their fire plan and it [didn't] matter, their house was just incinerated."

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Filed under: Environmental issues • Global 360°
February 10th, 2009
11:44 AM ET

Starting public-sector jobs with parting gifts in hand

Tomoeh Murakami Tse
The Washington Post

As part of his battle against excessive pay packages, President Obama has taken aim at golden parachutes - those hefty lump sums that top executives cart away when they leave a job. But the practice is so entrenched that many of the president's own top recruits for White House positions are receiving generous severance packages from their previous employers.

While the lump sums pale in comparison to the startling amounts awarded to Wall Street executives in recent years, the payouts highlight the pervasiveness of the practice and further illustrate the growing pay disparity between ordinary citizens and the nation's elite.

Consider the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mary L. Schapiro reported that she is getting a lump-sum payment of $5 million to $25 million from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the brokerage industry's self-regulating body she headed before joining the SEC last month. An SEC spokesman Friday said the package was worth $7.2 million.

Read more...


Filed under: Economy • First 100 Days
February 10th, 2009
11:31 AM ET

The Stimulus Bills: House vs. Senate

President Obama pushed for stimulus plan support Monday night during a national news conference.

President Obama pushed for stimulus plan support Monday night during a national news conference.

Michael Grabell
ProPublica.org

If all goes as expected today, the Senate will pass an $838 billion economic stimulus plan that follows a compromise reached over the weekend. But before the package can go to President Obama’s desk, the Senate will have to resolve differences with the House and its $819 billion version. Most predict a bruising battle that won’t wrap up until week’s end, in part because of fiery differences over tax cuts and spending on food stamps and education, a critical issue for Democrats who control the House.

So how do the two versions stack up? We’ve put together this chart so you can easily spot the differences.

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Filed under: Democrats • Economy • Raw Politics • Republicans
February 10th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

How not to look old

John Cloud
Time


It's a question surely as old as vanity itself: how can you look young forever? A forthcoming study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers one surprising idea: as you age, don't be afraid to put on a few pounds. Fat, it turns out, can significantly smooth out wrinkles and give you a younger-looking face.

The authors of the new study, a team led by Dr. Bahman Guyuron of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, are plastic surgeons who study faces for a living. They analyzed photographs of the faces of 186 pairs of identical twins taken at the Twins Days Festival, a sort of twins' pride event held every summer in (naturally) Twinsburg, Ohio. Because the pairs had identical genetic material, differences in how old they looked could be attributed entirely to their behavioral choices and environment. Guyuron's team had the twins fill out extensive questionnaires about their lives — everything from how many times they had married to whether they had regularly used sunscreen. Then a panel of four judges independently estimated the twins' ages by looking at photos taken in Twinsburg.

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Filed under: Nutrition • The Buzz
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