March 31st, 2008
09:15 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/31/08

Anderson is back in New York tonight.

We're going to launch a new way to take part in the 360° live blog. Tonight we'll debut a live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. 

LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA (sorry – no audio – talk to the lawyers)

As for the live blog, we'll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
March 31st, 2008
07:25 PM ET

When a candidate's background matters–or doesn't

As the Democrats continue their primary battle, John McCain has launched his biography tour as a way to re-introduce himself to voters. It will emphasize his half-century of public service highlighted by his military record and tremendous sacrifice.

But in an op-ed today, conservative commentator Bill Kristol argues biography alone won’t be enough for McCain to win in November. In fact, if you look back at the last four elections the candidates with stronger resumes all lost. And those four candidates, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore and John Kerry, were all war veterans.

But for some Democratic voters biography has played a role in their decision. Many of Obama’s supporters specifically point to his diverse background as a factor for choosing him over Clinton.

So how much does a candidate’s biography matter to you? Does McCain’s provide an edge over either Obama or Clinton in a general election match-up? Will the historic biographies of becoming the first women or African-American give Clinton or Obama an advantage?

Send us your thoughts.

– Eric Bloom, 360° Producer

Filed under: AC360° Staff • Raw Politics
March 31st, 2008
07:08 PM ET

Anderson's view: Back in New York

I know, I know. I haven’t blogged in a while, and yes, my new year’s resolution was to blog everyday. Or was it just to blog more frequently? I forget. Criticize all you want, but how many of you have kept your new year’s resolutions?

I got back from Los Angeles yesterday, and it was great to get home. A lot of people have been sending me notes, wishing me well after my little surgery. As I said, it really was not a big deal, but I appreciate all the kind notes and cards you’ve been sending. Thank you.  My stitches are out and I rarely think about it anymore, except to remember to try and stay out of the sun.

Tonight, we take you out on the campaign trail, to show you the latest on the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We’ll also investigate doctors in rehab. Are they being carefully supervised enough? Randi Kaye has an investigation that may just surprise you. READ HER BLOG

I hope to see you tonight.  Live from New York.

– Anderson Cooper

Filed under: Anderson Cooper
March 31st, 2008
06:24 PM ET

Forget Rev. Wright: Condi talks tough about race in America

Sen. Barack Obama has called for a national discussion on race in America, and one of the folks who sure didn't hold back when asked was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


In a discussion with the editorial board of the Washington Times on Thursday, Rice called racism a "birth defect" of America, and said that black Americans have loved the nation even when it didn't love us.

The Times reported:

“Black Americans were a founding population," she said. "Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That's not a very pretty reality of our founding.”
“As a result, Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that..."


March 31st, 2008
05:30 PM ET

360° Cam: Behind the scenes

360° CAM

What’s on tap for 360° tonight? Check out 360°'s web-only preview, and find what the 360° staff has in store for tonight.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
March 31st, 2008
05:16 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz

A cease-fire is in effect in Iraq between Shiite militas and Iraqi forces.  Here's the big question: Did Iran help make it happen?  Here at home, another push is being made to end the democratic presidential race.  While, on the GOP side, Senator John McCain is sharing his "life story" with voters. And, fear not Jessica Simpson is out of the hospital. But consider yourself warned –  Kathy Lee Gifford is returning to TV.   Here's your afternoon buzz:

Top Stories
Big changes in store for the Fed
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed a set of sweeping changes on Monday aimed at modernizing the nation's financial system in what could herald the biggest regulatory overhaul of Wall Street since the Great Depression.

Sources: Iran helped prod Iraq cease-fire  
Iran was integral in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to halt attacks by his militia on Iraqi security forces, an Iraqi lawmaker said Monday.

Raw Politics
Democratic statesman warns of election disaster 
Another day, another idea to end the remarkable race for the Democratic presidential nomination — this one from...

McCain's 'biography tour' 
Sen. John McCain on Monday recalled his family history and patriotic roots as he kicked off a tour to introduce himself to the general electorate.

Crime & Punishment
Mother of drowned kids: Husband threatened them 
A man who had argued with his estranged wife over the custody of their three children has confessed to drowning them in a hotel bathtub on the night they were to go back with their mother, police said Monday.

Missing pregnant woman found dead 
A missing pregnant woman has been found dead in Texas nearly 60 miles from where she was last seen alive.

What YOU will be TALKING about TONIGHT
Jessica Simpson out of hospital
Jessica Simpson is feeling "much better" after being hospitalized with a...

Death of Anna Nicole Smith's son ruled an...
A Bahamas jury ruled Monday that Anna Nicole Smith's son died from...

Kathie Lee Gifford makes TV comeback
Kathie Lee Gifford, the former co-host of “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” is returning to morning television as the host of...

Filed under: The Buzz
March 31st, 2008
04:41 PM ET

Patients say their surgeon "butchered" them

360 tonight

Becky Anderson says she had no idea that the doctor treating her was being treated for alcoholism. Watch full report tonight on 360° 10p ET. WATCH A PREVIEW

There we were, gathered in a hotel room with about seven or eight patients who say they were “butchered” by their doctor. As they prepared to show us proof, I told myself I was ready. I had seen some of the pictures online and in some of the emails these people had sent us. But I was wrong. (Read the full story)

Nothing could have prepared me for what they revealed.

Most of these women were cut all the way around, from their back to their belly button. Their upper belly hung awkwardly over their lower belly, as if you put a belt around their midsection and tightened it as much as you could. On all of them, a deep black scar circled the abdominal area.

One woman showed me her incisions – still open and bleeding slightly, years after her surgery. That same woman no longer has a belly button.

She said she was told she would heal better from the “inside out,” so he took a scapula and cut her back open after she had complications with incisions.

Another woman showed me her lopsided breasts. One much larger than the other. One woman who couldn’t be there because she’s too sick emailed us a picture of her with a volley-ball sized ‘pouch” attached to her abdomen. She told us it holds her intestines.

As my producer, Catherine Mitchell, worked with the photographer to capture the images, I found myself having to turn away. In part, out of shock, and also out of sadness for how disfigured these people now look. They went in for plastic surgery, in most cases for breast reconstruction following a cancer and a mastectomy, and came out like this. I felt sick. I wanted to cry. They did cry...


Filed under: Randi Kaye
March 31st, 2008
04:10 PM ET

Beat 360° 3/31/08

Hey Bloggers!

Happy Monday... How was your weekend? Relaxing? Productive? None-of-the-above? Don't sweat it, we'll help you get through the work-day with a dose of ‘Beat 360°.’ Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s “Beat 360°” pic of the day: We have Director Martin Scorsese posing with the Rolling Stones (left to right: Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood) at the premiere of "Shine A Light" featuring The Rolling Stones.

Beat 360°

Have fun with it.

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

– David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer

Update: Check out last night's winner!


Filed under: Beat 360°
March 31st, 2008
11:16 AM ET

Did the flood of earmark requests crash Congressional computer?

Hi all... I just want to let you know we're still tracking the flood of Congressional requests to earmark and spend millions of your tax dollars for pet projects.

U.S. Capitol

The silly spending season in Congress opened with a bang, or maybe the more appropriate word is a crash. So many requests for next year’s spending bills flooded the Appropriations Committee that the computer couldn't handle it.

Committee staff says the computer "got very slow" when everyone sent in their requests at once. They insist it wasn't a "crash," just a big slow down. Um, are we parsing a little bit here?
In any case, the "slow down" prompted House leaders to move the deadline later to let members get in all their zillions of earmark requests for next year.

How many are there and what are they?  If you've been following this issue, you know Congress doesn’t trust you and me with that information yet. We've got our sources working it, though...so stand by.  

– Drew Griffin, 360° Correspondent/Special Investigations Unit

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Earmarks
March 31st, 2008
06:40 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks....Happy Monday!!

Fifteen minutes before Treasury Secretary Paulson unveils a new economic plan, HUD Secretary Jackson will allegedly resign...check out Top Stories.  In Raw Politics new poll numbers out showing Obama with a ten point lead, but Hillary is stayin' in the race... AND the NCAA final four is set, it is the first time EVER all FOUR number 1 seeds will play in the FINAL FOUR... OK, OK, if you're not a college hoop fan, there is plenty of other stories to chew over... So grab your coffee and let's go...

Top Stories
HUD secretary to resign...
Housing Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson is expected to resign Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.

Paulson's plan...
A sweeping overhaul of financial regulation that Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. will propose today started out last year as an effort to streamline and deregulate oversight of global markets, but the administration was forced to add elements addressing the mortgage crisis as it escalated this year.

Body found of Ohio soldier...
After nearly four years of hoping, waiting and praying, an Ohio family learned Sunday their missing son died in Iraq.

Al-Sadr calls of fighting in Iraq...
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on followers to stop shooting and cooperate with Iraqi security forces Sunday, a move Iraq's government praised as a step toward ending six days of fighting that has left hundreds dead.

Raw Politics
New POLL: Obama 10 pt lead...
Barack Obama has extended his lead over Hillary Clinton among Democrats nationally to 52% to 42%, the third consecutive Gallup Poll Daily tracking report in which he has held a statistically significant lead, and Obama's largest lead of the year so far.

Obama: Clinton should stay...
Barack Obama refused Saturday to go along with other Democrats who are calling for Hillary Rodham Clinton to step away from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bill Clinton tells superdelegates to "chill"
Former President Clinton urged Democratic Party superdelegates and activists Sunday to be patient in selecting a presidential nominee and let the primary election process play out over the coming months.

Hillary appeals to blue collar...
Hillary Clinton kicked off her North Carolina primary campaign last week at a technical school that bills itself "College for the Real World." After some pleasantries and a stab at a basketball reference, she began to outline what she called "the problems that we face" as a nation

Obama tries to reach PA votes...
 Barack Obama hit the bowling lanes and walked the factory floor, hoisted the local brew and even nursed a calf as he introduced himself over the weekend to the working-class residents of hardscrabble towns in the valleys and mountains of southern Pennsylvania.

Obama, McCain forge alliance...
A year into his tenure on Capital Hill, Sen Barack Obama (D-Ill.) approached John McCain on the Senate floor to propose the two work together on a lobbying and ethics reform bill. The four-term Arizona Republican, 25 years Obama's senior, quickly saw a willing apprentice to help shake up the way business was done on Capitol Hill.

McCain faces test in wooing elite donors...
With attention focused on the Democrats’ infighting for the presidential nomination, Senator John McCain is pressing ahead to the general election but has yet to sign up one critical constituency: the big-money people who powered the Bush fund-raising machine.

Keeping them Honest
Popular cholesterol drug fails...
Leading doctors urged a return to older, tried-and-true treatments for high cholesterol after hearing full results Sunday of a failed trial of Vytorin.

Crime & Punishment
No evidence of murder in Princess death...
The coroner heading the inquest into the death of Princess Diana  says there is no evidence that Prince Philip, the Secret Intelligence Service or any other government agency was involved in her death in 1997.

What YOU will be talking about TODAY
Islam has overtaken Catholicism...
Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, the Vatican said on Sunday.

NCAA basketball: ALL four #1 in final four...
Stephen Curry darted this way, faked that way. Nothing open, and the bright red numbers on the clock getting close to zero.

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