It's before sunrise, and the janitor at Burns High School has already been down the length of a hallway, cleaning and sweeping classrooms before the day begins.
This particular janitor is painstakingly methodical, even as she administers a mental quiz on an upcoming test. Her name is Dawn Loggins, a straight-A senior at the very school she cleans.
On this day, she maneuvers a long-handled push broom between rows of desks. She stops to pick up a hardened, chewed piece of gum. "This annoys me, because there's a trash can right here," she says.
The worst, she says, is snuff cans in urinals. "It's just rude and pointless."
With her long, straight dark blonde hair and black-rimmed glasses, Dawn looks a bit like Avril Lavigne. But her life is a far cry from that of a privileged pop star.
She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in - donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program.
What everyone’s talking about:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survived Tuesday’s recall election sparked by Walker’s decision last year to cut union rights and benefits in the midst of a state budget crisis. But his victory leaves many asking if money from donors outside the state influenced the race. Anderson spoke with CNN’s John King, Republican Consultant Alex Castellanos and Bill Burton, the former White House Deputy Press Secretary for President Obama, about what the recall vote could mean for the November general election.
We’ve been reporting on a Massachusetts school that uses electric shocks to try to control the behavior of special needs students. The Judge Rotenberg Center claims “aversive therapy” is successful and spares students from debilitating medications. As calls to ban the practice grow, questions remain about the FDA’s stance on the device the school uses to deliver the shocks. We’re Keeping Them Honest.
Senator John McCain calls leaks of highly classified counterterrorism operations "one of the most egregious breaches of national security in recent memory." In a statement he blasts President Obama for risking the nation's security to benefit his campaign.
"These leaks clearly were not done in the interest of national security or to reveal corrupt or illegal actions about which the public has a right to know, as in the case of legitimate whistle-blowers," McCain said. "It is difficult to escape the conclusion that these recent leaks of highly classified information, all of which have the effect of making the president look strong and decisive on national security in the middle of his re-election campaign, have a deeper political motivation."
Watch a preview of Anderson's interview with the Senator and see the full conversation at 8 and 10 p.m. ET. They discuss how to control the leaks, who's to blame, and also the mounting death toll in Syria.
Reporter's Note: President Obama can expect a letter from me every single day. Just as I, apparently, can expect no response.
Dear Mr. President,
Ever since the election dust cleared, pundits have been prattling on about the vote in Wisconsin. Of course you know that the incumbent Republican governor beat back a recall vote and effort by a Democratic challenger to take the top office in state government. You also know that political analysts have worked themselves into a froth with speculation about what it means: Are voters rejecting Democrats? Do they want less government? Is this bad news for the president’s re-election hopes?
I think the answer is yes. And no. And maybe.
After perusing some of the exit polls I am not convinced that this vote means much of anything to this fall. Some people voted for the incumbent because they liked his policies, but say they’ll vote for you. Some people voted for the challenger, because they hated the governor’s attack on organized labor, but say they’ll vote for Romney. Some people voted against the recall because they thought it was an embarrassment to their state and didn’t want those who sparked it to win. And on and on it goes.
The numbers and trends cut across each other, collide, and contradict with such frequency that I think the whole contest can be seen only as a political outlier. About all you can say with surety is that it was a confidence builder for Republicans, and a blow to Democrats; and both parties got a look at the effectiveness of their political machinery in that state. None of which comes even remotely close to telling you how the vote will go there in the autumn.
I’ve come to think that this was sort of like a junior varsity basketball game that is played on a Friday afternoon before the varsity game that night. Sure, if the home team wins it is encouraging, and it may indicate that the coaches are strong, but it actually has precious little bearing on the bigger clash to come in the evening.
I think you could win Wisconsin in November. I think you could lose Wisconsin in November. Which way it goes will be determined by the race you run and how much faith people have in your leadership, not some governor’s race back in June.
Call if you get a moment.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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