April 4th, 2008
12:17 PM ET

360 tonight: Shudders in the economy, Congress and the presidential race

Good afternoon, friends... How will the newest economic data play in the presidential race?

The unemployment rate shot up to 5.1% last month from 4.8%. That's a big jump, and the highest rate since 2005. The economy lost 80,000 jobs–the most in a single month in five years. Plus, a NYT/CBS poll finds 81% say the country is on the wrong track.

Against that backdrop, Joe Johns is keeping them honest, revealing Congress's most egregious earmarks - millions of your tax dollars spent on pet projects that many call a waste of money. As investigative journalist David Cay Johnston reports in his bestselling book, "Free Lunch," $98,000 goes to develop a walking tour of Boydton, Va., a town of less than one square mile with a population of 474.  Is that how you'd like your hard earnings spent?

Also on 360 tonight, Clinton, Obama and McCain honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 40 years after he was shot and killed on a motel balcony. Later, Clinton and Obama address the North Dakota Democratic convention. Obama holds a Town Hall in Indiana. Bill Clinton works North Carolina.

Drew Griffin monitors a congressional hearing on a wave of airline safety issues, with four under investigation for allegedly violating safety directives, and accusations the FAA is too cozy with industry to protect travelers, plus cockpit windshields and landing gear failing. What's going on here?

Continuing coverage of our Planet in Peril, Harris Whitbeck reports on the mysterious Dengue Fever ripping through Rio de Janeiro, with at least 54 deaths and nearly 30,000 illnesses already this year.  Could the fever threaten the U.S.?

Thank you for joining us at 10pm.

-Barclay Palmer, 360° Senior Producer


Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • Drew Griffin • Earmarks • Raw Politics
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Jeff


    You gave no attribution for that quote, so I don't know where it came from, but it's not the quote I was referring to. I saw the story on Doug Coe and his mysterious, secretive "Fellowship" on NBC Nightly News, on April 3rd. Look it up, since your "researching," it's on their website, in their archive. So, now that you have found that quote, with Doug Coe talking about Hitler, it's only another example of his strange fixation with the one of the worst human beings who's ever lived. They had a video of Coe, on NBC, praising Hitler, Goebbels and Himler as powerful men who rose from obscurity. So, your wrong, I coudn't have taken that quote out of context, I'd never seen that quote before you looked it up. No, I don't have anything against a covenant to end world poverty, and yes I ceraintly agree, using Mao, Hitler and Lenin as examples is a bad idea. What can we read into his using these awful men as an example, as he preaches to many our most influential elected leaders? Is he advocating autocracy and fascism? Considering the secretive nature of these "prayer meetings," his remarks from the NBC video tape are more than a little ominous, as is his close relationship with the Clinton's. Not to mention his ties to shady third world dictators, is it their leadership style he advocates? Yes, Hitler did make the trains run on time, through fanatical autocratic, totalitarian rule, and what did that later lead to.? We should all be at least a little concerned to find our elected officials are being told to lead like Hitler. This is why Coe is worse than Wright.

    April 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  2. FJB

    Hi Anderson and others, What is all the fuss about Hillary, she talks about alot of issues just like any other politician. What really matters is what she has accomplished as senator for NY( her current job).
    This might be a good indicator of what we might expect if she were elected president. I am a life long resident of upstate NY. I have watched corporations move out of this state for years and the job loss is staggering. When Hillary became senator, she was going to create jobs...Where are they? I don't think she can fix the economy of the nation. A working nation is a healthy nation.

    April 4, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  3. Carla Ontario Canada

    I think that its great to honor MLK and his dream for the America people. We have come a long way from that era, but at the same time we are at war, hard economic times and still have prejudices. I wish we could focus on the present and the fact that everyone wants the same for ourselves and our children, good jobs, education, safe neighborhoods, health care for all, good wages, and live in harmony with each other. We need to stop bad mouthing each other and the dem candiates. They both have positive messages and can do great things for USA. I really believe that the media likes to stir up the pot by continuing to cover all the so called negatives. Why not report the positives!
    I personally think that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld should be run out of town, they have done great damage to the USA.
    Bill Clinton was by far the greatest Prez in my life time and he created jobs, good economy and left office with a surplus. I am sure that Hillary could do the same however, it may take longer as Bush has dug a tremendous hole.
    Remember Nafta is between US/MEX/CAN. We rely on each other
    for trade/jobs. Under Bush's watch jobs have gone to China/India and they continue to borrow from China. There is something very wrong with this. Wall Street/Banks/Mortgage Lenders need to be held accountable for the unfair lending practices, they should have to forfeit their shares/profits as they deceived people aan caused the mortgage crisis.
    Sorry if this is long but just had to get some things off my mind.
    Lastly, give Hillary a break she has a strong message but no one is listening.

    April 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  4. Annie Kate


    Thanks for the summation of what will be on tonight. I'm especially looking forward to the planet in peril piece. I'm really glad 360 is continuing with this series.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Bill

    Hi Anderson.
    Well today is the day. I am going Independent. I have had it with both parties being always right and the other wrong. That is the problem with our government. Washington D.C and the rest of the capitals through out the US are ran by poiticians who are more worried about their party than they are the people who voted them in. The people come first. Not the party. Just had to get that off of my chest.

    April 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  6. Terry

    Barclay – I hope you're planning to cover Mark Penn's meeting with the Colombian government re: the free trade deal (the same deal that Clinton says is against). Isn't this is the same guy who called for Obama's head over the Canadian NAFTA situation? I seem to remember Senator Clinton saying at the time "if the roles were reversed and it was a member of MY staff ..." I see a HUGE conflict of interest here and I really want more detail ... there's a lot of chatter on most of the blogs today ... but what is the REAL story here?

    April 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  7. Claude Major

    I am a Canadian who follows with interest your presidential electoral process, for when the USA coughs, we catch pneumonia. With all the talk about Dr M.L. King and Sen. Obama’s remarkable speech on race relations, I find it particularly dishonest, provocative and counterproductive for the betterment of rece relations, for CNN, and especially in AC 360, to constantly show the famous clips of rev. Wright’s sermons, with or without sound. It’s all very well to say “we don’t take sides, we just bring you the facts”, there is a certain way of presenting facts so as to push people to take a particular side. As Sen. Clinton would say, “Shame on you, CNN”!

    April 4, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  8. Megan Dresslar

    I also agree with guys! I love this show film Planet in Peril....... Big problem with economics going down stock wall all month...... I hope that will going up this week, who knows? I wish they will going up in the future.......... Thanks for information from Stock Wall.
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    April 4, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  9. Tammy

    If we all end up with a dengue fever pandemic, who cares about the economy or the presidential race? We really are worried about the wrong stuff. If our physical environment is damaged beyond repair, the rest of it doesn't matter. Look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I'm looking at saving the environment as our number one issue, and not just this election year. BTW, is Dr. Gupta going to talk about how we can prevent dengue from happening here in America?

    April 4, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  10. andy

    I wish a person who does know what is happing to me in my life would come forward and say it honestly ! I am hurting and Obama ,Clinton or McCain can stop that pain so stop saying they can I need help now not later! I live in an area that has become so dirty and it discuss me from drugs and gangs and I cant even get out because there is no equity in my house and all i do is make the intrest payment and it seems as if the more i try the harder it becomes and so stop saying this to me that these people will stop it why do you continue to give false hope maybe you dont have the problems like most AMERICANS !!! Iam so tired of not having but just paying day in and day out ! I wish i could get and not have to pay all the time like it seems I see everyday more and more in my community and yes I will say it race has alot to do with it !

    April 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  11. lee from Treasure Island Fl

    People: Obama is going to LOWER TAXES for 98% of the people
    its only the rich...I mean super rich.
    There was a poll today...how many people were better off than 5 years ago 4%.
    Okay... Obama is going to Tax 2% of those people... the super rich... like the Clintons... who made 110 million.
    Not if you made 75K
    so chill out. you get a tax credit, money back, healthcare, better schools, better goverment, minimum pay raise hike, our roads and bridges get fixed which gives people jobs-which gets more tax revenue. We create green jobs...which produces alternative fuels...which should of been started 15 years ago!!!!! We stop the GD war and save millions a day! Chill out. Use your head. Or just open your ears. Or look at the mess you are in now.

    April 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  12. Jacob

    Hi Anderson and Others...

    I just wanted to let you know that I'm very hopeful that you will give attention to Senator Clinton's speech today in Memphis. Is is so very powerful, heartfelt, and abundantly impressive.
    Please devote attention to this speech tonight. I found it to be extraordinary, and a great display of her genuine and personal passion for these issues. It's not fair to say that it was "better" or "worse" than the speech that Senator Obama gave recently, but I personally believe that it is just as important and just as groundbreaking.
    Thank you.

    April 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  13. Joanne

    Is there anyone brave enough to speculate what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would think of the current squabble that the Clintons and the media keep rehashing about Reverend Wright's controversial sermons?

    Since Hillary Clinton has passed judgement on Reverend Wright as being being the type of pastor she would have chosen - which in turn suggests that she chose and likes her current pastor, has her pastor commented about Reverend Wright in any of his sermons?

    April 4, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  14. bernice

    Got to wonder how true her story is about shaking Dr. King's hand after all the B.S. she's showered on the USA.

    April 4, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Lesli


    I did a little research on Doug Coe and the Christian Fellowship. It didn't take long to find the reference to Hitler and you have taken it out of context.

    I have added it below.

    "Unity," I said. "Agreement means unity."

    Doug didn't smile. "Yes," he said. "Total unity. Two, or three, become one. Do you know," he asked, "that there's another word for that?"

    No one spoke.

    "It's called a covenant. Two, or three, agree? They can do anything. A covenant is . . . powerful. Can you think of anyone who made a covenant with his friends?"

    We all knew the answer to this, having heard his name invoked numerous times in this context. Andrew from Australia, sitting beside Doug, cleared his throat: "Hitler."

    "Yes," Doug said. "Yes, Hitler made a covenant. The Mafia makes a covenant. It is such a very powerful thing. Two, or three, agree." He took another bite from his plate, planted his fork on its tines. "Well, guys," he said, "I gotta go."

    As Doug Coe left, my brothers' hearts were beating hard: for the poor, for a covenant.

    Doug Coe refers to a covenant. In the bible a covenant is an agreement to strive to do something. Yes Hitler did have a covenant and so as he says do Mafia's. These are examples of covenenants with bad influence. I agree poor examples and the discussion before that is based on some of the teachings of the bible. Agreed it would have been better to use biblical references of Covenants.

    From the discussion in the whole reference I found that the discussion was for a group of men to form a covenant to fight poverty.

    Personally Jeff, I can't think of anything better to form a covenant for. Perhaps you have a problem with people banding together to form a strong bond to fight world poverty.

    April 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  16. Lisa

    @ Brian from CA - ummm, if I recall correctly, Bush inherited a surplus ... and 6 of the last 7 years have been a Republican President with a Republican-controlled Congress - and we have a rather large deficit now, not to mention a tanking economy. And we're on our second Economic Stimulus package in 5 years. Just curious how the Dems could be worse ...

    April 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  17. anne nfld.,canada


    With regards to Planet in Peril,are there going to be any segments with Anderson/Jeff/Sanjay this time around,like in the original one?

    Do they have plans to make a similiar program as the first one ,going to different places like before?

    All at CNN are to be congratulated for that program,it was amazing.

    I was hoping that the new segments would be like those of the first program.

    April 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    Glad I'm not the only one who thinks you are picking on Hillary. Everything she says you try to make something bad out of it. When it comes to Obama he does no wrong, and if he does you try and make it wright. You are causing her to lose votes. WHY!!!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  19. Lisa

    I honestly don't think any of the candidates have a clue about the economy. At this point, none have to worry about losing their homes, or are unable to afford health insurance or need to worry about losing their jobs (they get a pretty healthy "retirement" plan) – they are what some would say, "set for life". I'm not sure they can comprehend what it's like to have your job off-shored to someone who will work for about 1/4 of what you did or what it's like to be one medical castrophe away from losing everything.

    If we have enough money to create a walking path in some little berg, then stimulate the economy by giving it back to us. Keep enough on hand to maintain infrastructure and a standing military. If the town wants a walking path, build it themselves, charge a buck or $2 and recoup the money. If Maine wants to do a study on lobsters, let them fund it - I'm sure the price of lobster will go up and again, costs can be recouped. Meanwhile, Congress has no problem voting themselves raises while doing little but doling out pork here and there. Yet our wages remain fairly stagnant while everything else goes up around us. But don't even think about doing away with corporate welfare (like we're really going to take the tax breaks away from the oil companies but it was a nice show).

    Meanwhile over in Iraq, apparently they really don't want to fight (and who can blame them when we'll do it for them). If they're not willing to fight for the democracy we gave them, then why are we?

    Does anyone else notice the trend we've created of rewarding failure? Congress does little and gets raises. CEOs drive their companies into or near bankruptcy and get healthy severance packages and/or bonuses. And how much are we spending monthly in Iraq for them to lay down their arms and walk away? And we still spend more.

    No, no frustration on our part. And yet, we really do not have anyone to blame - we keep putting these same people back in office. Something about the "experience factor" ...

    April 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  20. Brian from California

    By and far the worst thing we can do whenever there is an economic slowdown (which by the way is normal, economies can't grow indefinitely, there has to be slowdown eventually despite the nearly six months of continued job growth though Q4 2007. Read any Economics 101 textbook.);





    NOBAMA '08





    McCAIN '08

    April 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Anderson Cooper should do a story on the contraversial, secretive, powerful Washington prayer group called "the Fellowship." Their leader who has been praised by President Clinton has advised his powerful followers to mimic the leadership style of Hitler, Mao and Lenin. This group has shady connections to third world leaders and Coe has praised everyone from Mao to Hitler, Goebbels and Himler. Hillary Clinton called Coe and close friend and spiritual mentor, in her book. She has used this prayer group to strengthen her connnections with conservatives. The Amercian public should be informed as to the teachings of this guy Coe, who isn't an ordained minister, and as to why our elected officials put so much stock in the guy. Hillary Clinton has said, talking about Rev. Wright, "you get to choose your spiritual leaders." Well, this guy was a very poor choice for her. In many ways what he said is worse than anything Wright said, given his enormous influence and the nature of his message. Wright was unpatriotic yes, but he didn't advocate dictatorship, or fascism. Why not talk about Coe instead of another story about Wright, who we've seen a thousand times now. Cooper just can't stop showing the Wright videos, why not show the Coe videos, they are equally shocking. This story could gain AC360 some viewers.

    April 4, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  22. Debby - MD

    Good Morning Anderson,
    A few nights ago, one of your affliates I think had a show about the economy and Hillary was being interviewed. I was quite surprised at the depth of thought she put out there on how to solve our economic woes. I wish you all could get her on 360 to discuss this in depth. Even better, get Obama on as well and go back and forth about their concrete plans for solving jobs loss, the housing mortgage crisis and plans to revitalize the economy. This morn I woke up to an in depth analysis on CNN about the race and for once, there was some positive comments for Hillary. Yea! I was getting really tired of the obvious bias towards Obama. Keep it up!

    April 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  23. Lesli

    I just finished listening to Hillary Clinton's speech at noon and was very impressed.

    Once again on your CNN coverage Roland Martin was asked to comment on part of her speech, and as I expected he doged the issue and turned it away from Clinton's speech.

    I thought it was a great speech! Her delivery was stilted as usual, but the words and the message were absolutely fantastic. And she brought up the gender card too – wonder if she'll be chastised for that too.

    Play fair tonight. Give credit where credit is due. She has been a supporter of women and blacks since the get go. Continuing to try to tie her to racism is ridiculous.

    Once again I ask AC360 and CNN to move on.

    April 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  24. Taj

    Barcllay: The US Govt (or any) is a joke. Most of the politicians, Senetors & Congressmen are there for power, politics, pet projects, easy money (get paid + perks) & do very little to help the public interests. Certainly there are a few good lawmakers with integrity, want to serve the public & the country. The Govt collects Trillions & Trillions of dollors from public & Corporations in the form of taxes, squeeze them as much as possible & squander it and get away with it. Top to bottom, look at the Republican party ,GW & his chronies have done during the past 5 years. "God bless America?" Do these politicians understand God ? When are we going to do well?

    April 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  25. Russ

    While watching Senator Clinton's Memphis speech honoring Martin Luther King Jr, I was interested in her description of shaking Dr King's hand and with King personally thanking her for being there (a la Bill Clinton's President Kennedy moment) after she heard his Chicago speech at Orchestra Hall in '62 or '63

    In her autobiography, she writes of hearing the speech but there was no mention of shaking his hand and having a brief conversation with him.

    I was just wondering if anyone else noticed this in today's speech.

    April 4, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  26. Michelle

    I hope the presidential candidates show leadership today and
    have insightful comments about their vision for America. The
    world is very different now. The euro is quickly becoming the
    choice over the dollar. There is now India, China, the EU and
    Russia becoming more powerful. Historically, Superpowers
    eventually slip up (usually militarily). I hope we are not
    witnessing the downfall of America right before our eyes.

    April 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  27. Marcia

    Living in a state where unemployment is very high and the economy is n tanking I can say yes things are really bad. What I don't understand though is why the candidates don't seem to understand that, here in MI we want to hear what the candidates think, but they don't seem to want to talk. so the Dems here messed up with the Primary, but the Primary isn't the end of process, the election which is 7 month from today is what really counts. So if the candidates want to get my vote they better start talking issues the economy to be specific.

    April 4, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  28. Cindy

    I like your little daily what's up on 360 tonight. It's a great addition! I think the economy is the worst ever. I can't see how they still think that we are not in a recession!! That just doesn't make sense at all if you look at what is going on. I think the economy will be one of the major issues in the presidential race. The one with the best plan to get us out of this mess may just get the White House! People are really suffering and need the help badly!!

    So they are at it again wasting our tax dollars! What's new about that!? It is ridiculous to spend $98,000 on a walk around a plot of land! LOL Now I wonder who asked for that earmark! I hope Joe can tell us!

    Looking forward to the PIP report also. Love them!

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    April 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm |