.
December 15th, 2010
10:10 PM ET

Lieberman: Senate should take up DADT repeal before considering START

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – One of the Senate’s most outspoken proponents of repealing the military’s policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly said Wednesday that he has more than enough votes to roll back the Clinton-era policy even in the face of a filibuster.

Related: House passes 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

And, sounding a note of the harsh political realities as Republicans prepare to take over the majority in the House and increase their numbers in the Senate, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, also said that repeal of the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” policy should be considered before the New START agreement on nuclear arms reduction because if repeal legislation is not passed now, it stands no chance of passage in the upcoming 112th Congress.

On Wednesday evening, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine became the fourth Republican senator to publicly declare her support for a repeal. With Snowe’s backing, supporters of a repeal appeared to have 61 votes, one vote more than the 60-vote threshold necessary in the Senate for putting an end to a filibuster and allowing a vote.

In an interview that aired Wednesday night on Anderson Cooper 360°, Lieberman said he believes there are actually 62 votes in favor of a repeal.

“We’ve got 61 votes,” the independent senator told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I’ve been saying this. People thought I was puffing, but I knew I had those votes, and I know I’ve got at least one more Republican who will come with me. In the Senate, you don’t need 51, you need 60. We’ve now got 61, and I believe 62.”

Later in the interview, Lieberman also told Cooper that he thought the remainder of the lame-duck session presented the best opportunity for a repeal to be passed.

Related: Senate votes to take up START pact

“I really believe . . . this is the next most important and urgent thing to do” after passage of a bill extending the Bush tax cuts and a spending bill necessary to keep the government functioning, Lieberman said. “I think it’s more important than passing the START treaty right now which can be done in January or February.”
FULL POST

December 2nd, 2010
08:39 PM ET

Lieberman suggests McCain changing his standards for supporting repeal of DADT

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

Editor's note: To watch Sen. Lieberman discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" click here.

(CNN) – A longtime personal friend and political ally of Sen. John McCain implied Thursday that the former GOP presidential nominee is moving the goalposts when it comes to his support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

McCain’s past comments suggested he might support repeal of the federal law that prevents gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military if a repeal was supported by military leadership. But the Arizona Republican has recently taken issue with results of a Pentagon survey of troops that supports a repeal and with the positions of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, both of whom also support a repeal.

Asked about McCain’s position, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, said in an interview that airs Thursday night on Anderson Cooper 360° that he disagrees with his longtime friend who, he said, appears to be changing his standards for supporting a repeal of the controversial law.

“John is my good friend,” Lieberman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “but I disagree with him on this. The tapes you’ve played [of McCain’s past and recent comments] suggest changing standards here.”
FULL POST

November 3rd, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Bachmann sounds off on spending, won't identify specific cuts

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Fresh off a victory Tuesday in her hotly contested and closely watched re-election bid, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, refused to identify specific cuts to the federal budget while, at the same time, criticizing what she called “over-the-top” spending for an upcoming presidential trip.

When asked in an interview that aired Wednesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° whether she would support cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Bachmann slammed the White House for the costs of President Obama’s forthcoming trip to India.

The Minnesota Republican called the trip’s costs “over-the-top.”

She added, “We have never seen this sort of an entourage going with the president before. And I think this is an example the massive overspending that we’ve seen – not only just in the last 2 years, really in the last four.”

Pressed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about whether she would support cuts to Social Security and Medicare proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, Bachmann said those entitlement programs need to be given a closer look.
FULL POST


Filed under: Martina Stewart • Raw Politics
October 29th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Dr. Phil slams Arkansas official for 'non-apology apology'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Outspoken anti-bullying advocate and TV talk show host Dr. Phil is far from satisfied with the apology offered Thursday by an embattled local Arkansas school district official.

Related: Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post

“This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology I’ve heard,” Phil McGraw says about Clint McCance in an interview that airs Friday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “He did not apologize for what he said. He didn’t apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he’s sorry for that he said that.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

After his postings sparked national attention, McCance apologized for his comments Thursday in an exclusive interview on Anderson Cooper 360°.
FULL POST

October 28th, 2010
08:13 PM ET

DeGeneres to straight community: 'We need your help now'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Ellen DeGeneres is making a rare plea for help in the wake of Facebook postings by an elected Arkansas school board official laced with the terms “queer” and “fag” and celebrating the deaths of gay people.

Related: Arkansas schools chief condemns anti-gay posts by school board member

The openly lesbian daytime talk show host calls on heterosexuals to condemn such hatred and bigotry in much the same way that some whites stood in solidarity with African-Americans during the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century.

“It would not be acceptable if someone used the n-word,” DeGeneres says in an interview that airs Thursday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “When the civil rights movement happened, it took not just the community of blacks to make a change, but white people needed to step in and say this is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this and treat any citizen with lesser value. And, I think, as a gay person, I would like to personally ask every heterosexual person out there who is appalled by this to – we need your help now. This is absurd and he should resign.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

In the interview, DeGeneres also tells Cooper she does not think McCance’s views are justified by his Christian faith, which he referenced in his controversial Facebook postings.
FULL POST

October 26th, 2010
10:37 AM ET

Sean Penn says quick action needed to fight cholera in Haiti

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) - One of the key aspects to gaining control of the fast-moving cholera outbreak in Haiti is the simplest of human necessities, actor and activist Sean Penn told CNN's "AC360°."

People must stop using contaminated water, he said, noting that they will only do that if clean water is provided.

"So, whether that's through filtration systems or trucked in water, this is going to be the essential element - water, water, water," Penn said in an interview that aired Monday.

Penn, a co-founder of Haitian relief organization J/P HRO, visited Haiti over the weekend - days after news broke about the cholera outbreak in the earthquake-ravaged country.

"It's bad," Penn said of the conditions in the Caribbean nation, devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on January 12 which killed nearly a quarter million people, left more than 1.6 million people homeless and destroyed homes, commercial buildings and basic infrastructure.

And the cholera outbreak has made a bad situation worse, he said.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Big Interview • Haiti • Martina Stewart
October 25th, 2010
08:45 PM ET

Penn on dealing with cholera in Haiti: 'Water, water, water'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Actor and activist Sean Penn says one of the key aspects to gaining control of the fast-moving cholera outbreak in Haiti is the simplest of human necessities.

Related: Health organizations worry that Haiti's cholera outbreak could spread

“One of the things that people have to understand,” Penn tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “ - they say, well, don’t use the water; the water is contaminated. The only way that people will pay attention to that is if clean water is provided. So, whether that’s through filtration systems or trucked in water, this is going to be the essential element – water, water, water.”

Penn, a co-founder of Haitian relief organization J/P HRO, visited Haiti over the weekend, just days after news broke about the cholera outbreak in the earthquake-ravaged country.

“It’s bad,” Penn says of the conditions in the Caribbean nation, devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on January 12. Nearly a quarter million people died and more than 1.6 million were left homeless as tens of thousands of homes and commercial buildings, as well as basic infrastructure, were destroyed.

“What we know about it at this point,” Penn says of the outbreak, “is that it is affecting a very regional area, in particular the epicenter of it, but it’s spreading very fast.”
FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Haiti • Martina Stewart
October 11th, 2010
08:55 PM ET

Mayor to Angle: Come to Dearborn

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

Editor’s Note: Watch Anderson's interview with Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilly.

(CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle will soon receive a personal invitation to visit Dearborn, Michigan – and a bit of the history lesson in the process.

Last week at a rally of Tea Party movement supporters, Angle said Dearborn and Frankford, Texas are subject to Sharia, or Islamic law.

“We're talking about a militant terrorist situation, which I believe isn't a widespread thing, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it,” Angle said according to audio of the rally obtained by the Washington Post. “My thoughts are these. First of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas, are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States.”

In a letter sent to Angle Monday, Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr. fired back at the Nevada Republican.

Read O'Reilly's letter to Angle

“I am deeply distressed that you have been misled about our community and the way that we conduct our affairs,” O’Reilly writes.
FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Islam • Martina Stewart
October 6th, 2010
08:30 PM ET

Targeted student: Given recent suicides, 'it's hard not to say something'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

New York (CNN) – In an exclusive interview that will air Wednesday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, college student Chris Armstrong said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide has motivated him to break his silence about his own experience of being targeted online.

For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch” which is published by Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general’s office; Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is a personal project of Shirvell’s done during non-work hours and without any official resources.

Armstrong, a college senior, is University of Michigan’s first openly gay student body president, and Shirvell is an alum of the university who has taken issue with what Shirvell calls Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.”

After his blog garnered national media attention in the past week, Shirvell placed it behind a privacy firewall, making it only available to invited readers. The lawyer, who is an assistant Michigan attorney general, has also taken a voluntary leave of absence from his state job, according to the Michigan AG’s office. Shirvell has also been barred from University of Michigan’s campus, and Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell.

In his first national interview about the situation, the college student told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he did not ask to be the subject of Shirvell’s attention on- and offline. But Armstrong said he has decided to use the spotlight to try to reach other gay teens who may be going through something similar.

“Given what’s happened in the past week, and given the suicides that have happened in the past few weeks, it’s been, it’s been – it’s hard not to say something,” Armstrong explained.
FULL POST

October 4th, 2010
03:49 PM ET

New CNN poll: 1/3 of teens have been personally bullied, 2/3 report that friends have been bullied

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

New York (CNN) – A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday indicates that slightly more than a third of teens personally have been subjected to bullying behavior. In the poll, more than two-thirds of teens also said their friends about been bullied. Yet a majority of adults believe bullying is a minor problem or not a problem at all, according to the poll.

Slightly more than a third – 37 percent – of teens have been ridiculed, humiliated, or verbally or physically threatened by another child, either in person or online, according to the poll.

A total of 68 percent of teens polled said their friends had been subjected to such treatment with 13 percent of teens saying most of their friends have been ridiculed, humiliated, or verbally or physically threatened by another child, either in person or online, another 13 percent saying some of their friends had been subjected to such treatment and 42 percent saying only a few of their friends about being on the receiving end of bullying behavior.

Twenty-nine percent of teens said none of their friends had been subjected to bullying behavior.

Related: In a wired world, children unable to escape cyberbullying

And when asked how most of the children they know react when a fight breaks out at school or at a social event, 19 percent of teens said their acquaintances try to stop the fight and 23 percent said other kids try to find an adult. Another 34 percent of teens responded that their acquaintances take no steps to stop the fight and 19 percent said the children they know encourage a fight to continue.

While the new poll indicates that bullying is a problem in the lives of teens, it also suggests that adults have conflicting views about bullying.
FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Bullying • Martina Stewart
« older posts