Tonight, there are signs that the race for the democratic nomination could be over soon. The Obama campaign announced new support from seven superdelegates today - including one who had been backing Clinton. Clinton still has the superdelegate lead but only by a small, and shrinking, margin.
After years of doors slamming in his face, Gary Tuchman is invited inside an FLDS home. Check out Gary’s blog about this rare look at family values in Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect.
Erica Hill reports on the growing food crisis here in this country. Food prices are rising fast and with more and more people in need, food banks just can’t keep up with the demand. Take a look at Erica’s blog for a sneak peek.
Anderson is off tonight. Wolf Blitzer is filling in. Erica will be posting comments throughout the show and be sure to watch her on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
We’ll start posting your comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Does your neighbor have enough to eat? Can they afford milk, fresh vegetables for their kids?
Yes, the people next door who look just like you...they have a mortgage, one - maybe two - cars, and a mounting pile of bills they can't pay.
There are 35 million Americans at risk of going hungry tonight, and they're not all homeless or unemployed. The "new" hungry Americans are educated, middle-class folks - many have full-time jobs - and their cupboards are bare.
Here in NYC, the main food bank for the five boroughs has seen a 73 percent increase in people with full-time jobs coming in for help. Food pantries are their last resort, but many are too proud or to embarrassed to let anyone know they need the help.
As the old saying goes, getting there is half the fun. And getting to the old Manson Family hide out in Death Valley National Park is certainly interesting. Anticipating the news of a renewed search for bodies by law enforcement, we decided to try and go live from the Barker Ranch.
To access the ranch you must have a four wheel drive vehicle. The ranch is off a dirt trail called the Goler Wash road. It's basically a dry stream bed that cuts through granite canyons. The road is steep and narrow and full of boulders. Our problem, to go live you need a satellite transmitter. And there is no way a satellite truck can get near the site. So we packed up a satellite kit in three rented SUVs and a pick up truck. Like most four wheel drive SUVs on American roads, these had never been off road, so we weren't sure how well this would work. But we tackled the rough terrain with no serious problems. As soon as we reached the ranch, our field engineers got things set up and we had long hot day of live shots.
The hardest part came after packing up and leaving. We had to navigate the wash road in the pitch black night, dodging boulders and wild donkeys (yes, I did say WILD DONKEYS...a reminder of the areas gold rush days). We managed the ride relatively unscathed. Our fearless correspondent Ted Rowlands was behind the wheel of one truck and had the ONLY casualty of the journey, a tire!! It was punctured by a jagged rock. Thankfully it was after getting through the worst part of the road. While waiting for help I lay on the roof of my SUV and watched falling stars. There was No cell service, no civilization for miles. Producer Sara Weisfeldt finally got through to a 24 hour tow service on our satellite phone. And few hours later he picked up the truck. We would have left it until morning but it was loaded with large and expensive generators. After a day at Barker Ranch it was easy to see it was a great place to hide out indeed.
360° Editorial Producer
I’ve been speaking with several aid groups about the relief efforts (or lack of right now) in Myanmar. Here’s the latest info from AmeriCares:
"A plane holding 15 tons of emergency medical supplies is loaded and ready to take off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as soon as it receives clearance to land in Myanmar. AmeriCares – a nonprofit international relief organization – is sending the aid to help bring relief and comfort to the victims of Cyclone Nargis. The shipment contains medicines such as antibiotics, analgesics, ointments and multivitamins as well as medical equipment and supplies to treat the immediate needs of those injured and to help prevent the anticipated spread of illness and disease throughout the region."
Hopefully, with word of a US cargo plane being allowed to bring aid into the country, the governing military junta in Myanmar will be more open to other aid groups. We’ll keep on it and keep you updated here and on 360°.
If you’d like to help, you can check out Impact Your World at CNN.com.
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Here is today’s 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, carries boxes of pizza which he brought to fire fighters, while visiting the Engine 54 Ladder 4 fire house in New York.
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CNN Senior assignment editor
Here’s a little comparison of Hillary on the stump this week compared to Mike Huckabee in his final days.
Just wanted to share:
Please debate me
Huckabee in Cleveland February 26th:
“I wish Senator McCain was debating me this weekend. I wish we were going to be in Cleveland tonight on stage or in Dallas or in Houston or San Antonio or ustin or somewhere between now and Tuesday having a debate. I think Republicans deserve that across the country, I think certainly Republicans in these states that are voting deserve that.”
Hillary in Central Point, OR late Thursday:
“They asked would we be willing to debate. I said absolutely, anytime, anywhere. I heard that my opponent just changed his schedule. He’s going to be in Portland tomorrow. I’m going to be in Portland tomorrow. I’ll meet him anywhere for a debate. There should be a debate about Oregon’s issues. I think that all of you deserve to have a debate particularly about these specifically Oregonian issues."
What’s the rush?
Mike Huckabee in Houston on March 2nd:
“All of these people who for the last two or three weeks have been saying, let’s hurry and get ours over with. Well, what’s the hurry? It’s March. It’s barely March. The convention isn’t until September.
Clinton at the women’s fundraiser Wednesday in Washington:
“There is no cause for alarm, sometimes you got to calm people down a little bit. My husband did not get the nomination until June 2nd.”
Editor's note: WARNING!!! This is not just a little tongue & cheek...it is A LOT of cheek!!! While the news events described did occur...Tanya Acker took little creative liberty with the dialogue...
Attorney, political analyst and Obama supporter
John McCain must be very depressed. What do people in the public service live for, except a little attention from those they “serve”? (Oh, and the chance to “serve” in the first instance, of course. Silly me).
In any event, he can’t get a second look from the press if he tried.
Case in point: during a Middle East tour, he makes the claim that al Qaeda, a Sunni terrorist group, is getting funding from Shiite Iran. (Just a little footnote here – Sunnis and Shiites don’t get along so well, see... e.g., the current civil war in Iraq). Hearing the stumble and eager to get things back on track, Joe Lieberman whispers a correction in his ear.
(Thank God for that trusty old Joe.)
“Oops,” the senator says, acknowledging his mistake. “Of course I didn’t mean that . . .”
Or did he? Remember, this is John “master of foreign policy” McCain, he who knows all about all things off-shore. Might this slip-up have been a ploy to direct some attention in this frenetic election season back to himself? A desperate cry for help (or at least news coverage) from the media masters? A passionate plea: “pay attention to me! Enough of the lady and the black guy!”
Good morning folks...TGIF!!!
In politics this morning....Barack Obama won two more superdelegate endorsements late Thursday, narrowing his superdelegate deficit with Hillary Clinton to seven. NorthCarolina Rep. Brad Miller and Washington Rep. Rick Larsen both announced they will cast their superdelegate votes for the Illinois senator ...BUT it appears several superdelegates from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio are bucking the will of the people by withholding endorsements from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton....not publicly endorsing her even though she overwhelmingly won their districts. BUT this hasn't stopped Hillary Clinton...she hopscotched across the country yesterday...speaking to packed crowds in three states, raspy voice and all, yet determined to continue the fight... She urged her supporters Thursday to ignore the political pundits who have declared her toast.... BOTH Clinton and Obama spend most of the day in Oregon...Candy Crowley will have the latest....
We will also look ahead to West Virginia...the next stop along this democratic campaign train.... Joe Johns looks at the coal vote...a big issue in several states, but perhaps no where is it more so than in WV where the candidates are working hard to woo the coal vote. WV exports more coal than anywhere else in the US. Coal permeates every aspect of life in WV, from politics to the economy. The industry employs 18,000 people in some of the highest paying jobs in the state, far less than the peak its peak in 1940 of 130,000, but many remember those days and have watched their children leave because there were no jobs to keep them there....
In other news we are looking at tornadoes in North Carolina....after a reported tornado killed one person and injured three others in central part of the state on Thursday night. Strong winds overturned tractor-trailers and cars on Interstate 40, collapsed parts of several commercial buildings and damaged numerous single-family homes on the western edge of Greensboro...this after ripping across several other southern states...
PLUS Myanmar is still making headlines...The United Nations blasted Myanmar'smilitary junta on Friday, calling its refusal to let in foreign aid workers "unprecedented" as survivors of a devastating cyclone waited for food, shelter and medicine. The junta said in a statement Friday it was grateful to the international community for its assistance — which has included 11 chartered planes loaded with aid supplies — but the best way to help was just to send in material rather than personnel....Anderson continues to try and secure a visa, so we can figure out what is really going on on the ground there...
ALSO tonight... an EXCLUSIVE we bumped from last night's show...In the wake of the polygamist ranch raid in Texas, some FLDS members have gone on camera despite previous orders to not ever talk to reporters. But now, for the first time, Gary Tuchman introduces us to a family of Warren Jeffs' devotees that allow us into their home, and into their lives. Chris Wylermarried his wife when they were both16. They now have six children with a seventh on the way. Both husband and wife hope to someday welcome another wife or two in their home. They say the FLDS church and Warren Jeffs are misunderstood and discriminated against.
AND if we have time tonight...Sanjay Gupta will introduce us to Brad Williams...March 30th, 1978, July 18th, 1987, October 21st 1999. Ask Brad Williams a date and he can recall not only what happened on that day in history but what he did that day. Williams is one of only three documented cases of hyperthymestic syndrome, a condition of near-perfect autobiographical memory that scientists say may totally rewrite what we know about how memories are stored. We follow Williams as he gets an MRI and visit him in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where the radio newsman has a weekly call-in show called related to his memory. Dr. SanjayGupta sits down with Williams, who had no idea his abilities were off the charts until he read about a woman who possessed the same type of recall....
That is ALL for now....we will see what other news the day brings....