September 8th, 2008
10:04 PM ET

Tuesday Buzz: hunting in Alaska

Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

ON THE TRAIL: McCain and Palin are campaigning together starting the day in Lebanon, Ohio and finishing up in Pennsylvania.  Obama first event is in Ohio as well then he’ll make his way to Virginia.  Biden has events in Columbia and St. Louis, MO. 

DIGGING DEEPER: Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been hunting since she was a little girl. How has her upbringing in a hunting community and family affected her environmental policies? Palin was against putting polar bears on the endangered species list and is in favor of the aerial hunting of wolves.  Randi Kaye is in Alaska hunting with Sarah Palin’s friend to see what she does in the wild, and speaks with a Scientist from the University of Alaska who says "A particularly worrisome aspect of the Palin candidacy is her abysmal record on the environment during her 2 years as Alaska governor." 

GEORGIA HEARING: The Senate Committee on Armed Services holds a hearing on “the current situation in Georgia and implications for U.S. policy.”

DMX ANIMAL AND DRUG CHARGES: A court date is scheduled for rapper DMX, aka Earl Simmons, on animal cruelty and drug charges.

Filed under: The Buzz
September 8th, 2008
09:38 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 9/8/08

For what’s in the program take a look at tonight’s Evening Buzz.

For what’s going on during the commercials check out Erica Hill’s webcast. LINK TO THE WEBCAST

And don’t forget to watch Anderson and Erica 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 comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
September 8th, 2008
09:18 PM ET

Obama questioned community organizing, too

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.obama.cu.jpg]Editor’s Note: Amy Holmes is an independent conservative who has not endorsed any candidate for president.

Amy Holmes | Bio
CNN Political Analyst

Republicans have been getting heat for knocking Obama's community organizing. It turns out that back in the day Obama knocked it, too. In a lengthy investigative piece in the New Republic, John Judis reveals that, "[w]hen Obama came to South Chicago, he believed in community organizing; within two-and-a-half years... he was clearly growing disillusioned."

For the whole story - what Barack Obama won't tell you about his community organizing past and why Obama actually agrees with Republicans - click here.

Filed under: Amy Holmes • Barack Obama • Raw Politics
September 8th, 2008
08:55 PM ET

Monday buzz: McCain’s surge

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/mccainpalinpost.jpg]
Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

In the newsroom, we’re as stunned as everyone else. What a difference a week has made. Who would have guessed that “field dressing a moose” and “champion snow machine racer” would become part of the election narrative so late in the game?

With 57 days to go, the presidential race couldn’t be closer – or frankly more interesting. New polls, including CNN’s, show Barack Obama and John McCain in a dead heat tonight, with virtually every analyst attributing McCain’s bump in the polls to the Palin factor. Alaska’s governor has certainly shaken things up, but she’s yet to field any questions from reporters.

And there are many questions.

Tonight we’ll be taking a close look at Governor Palin’s religious beliefs. Barack Obama and John McCain have come under similar scrutiny – Obama for his ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and McCain for his ties to Pastor John Hagee. The McCain campaign so far has refused to discuss the years that Sarah Palin spent worshipping at a Pentecostal church where speaking in tongues is a practice and a literal interpretation of the bible is taught. Tonight, in an exclusive interview with Palin’s former pastor, we’ll hear how he thinks her world view has been shaped by her religious beliefs. Palin no longer worships at that Pentecostal church. But her new church in Wasilla, which recently hosted a speaker representing Jews for Jesus, also raises concerns for some people. Now that Palin is officially on the ticket, these questions seem fair, considering Obama and McCain have endured similar scrutiny.

There’s much more in the program as well, including the latest on the O.J. Simpson trial. You hadn’t forgotten he was back in court, had you?

We’d love to hear what you think about Gov. Palin’s reluctance so far to go face-to-face with reporters. We’ll see you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: The Buzz
September 8th, 2008
07:42 PM ET

O.J. in court: Weeding out the jury pool

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.simpson1.jpg caption="O.J. Simpson and his lawyers arrive at court today."]
Editor’s Note: O.J. Simpson arrived Monday for the start of his trial on robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial:

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

3:52pm PT:
Judge Jackie Glass sent a few dozen potential jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial off to an afternoon break, but not before she excused two more members of the pool.

Glass dismissed a cook at Caesar's Palace who said Spanish is his first language and added he could not understand much of the legal terms being used in court.

Glass also removed a young man whose voice quivered when he told the court ten years ago his father was robbed and severely beaten while delivering pizza.

"His head was caved in he has metal plates in his head, he can't breathe right, he was disfigured," the young man reported.

He went on to say the suspects were never caught and this would make him impartial when it came to his view of law enforcement.

It was a serious moment during a jury selection process that has had it's moments of levity.

Judge Glass even got Simpson to smile when she jokingly admonished potential jurors saying "you don't want to get in trouble with me do you?"

Prosecutor Chris Owen put general questions to the jury pool and seemed intent in finding out if anyone believed celebrities deserved special status.

Owen also stressed that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law and asked "what if it is someone you don't like?."

Many witnesses and one of the alleged victims in the case have crimminal records.

Gabe Grasso for the defense asked general questions about whether or not potential jurors understood fully the presumption of innocence.

Grasso also wanted to make sure no one would "jump up" or give more weight to a police officer's testimony.

September 8th, 2008
07:01 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Searching

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Puppy mills make me ill. Many of these dog breeding facilities have been found to house animals as cheaply as possible - in cruel and horrible conditions - to make the most money. I can literally feel the disgust in the pit of my stomach. I will never understand how people can be so cruel to another living being.

Dozens of beagle puppies are recovering in Arizona, today, saved from a Missouri puppy mill where officials say they would have been shot or drowned if they hadn’t been rescued. The animals were reportedly kept in wire cages at the Missouri breeder, and arrived with a host of problems including damaged ears, bloody nails and paws in pain. Several dogs also required surgeries.

When I read stories like this, I rejoice that the animals are safe but the thought of what they went through makes me angry and sick.

My parents have a beagle. Bailey is one of the most loyal dogs I’ve ever known. He was a rescue dog, adopted by my family when he was eight months old because his original family couldn’t take care of him. I can only hope he didn’t begin life in a puppy mill.


What a frightening ordeal. Fifteen hours in shark-infested waters – some of that time in the far too dark night – treading water, hoping for someone to save this father and son. Rescuers call their survival in the Atlantic a miracle.

In one short decade, Google FULL POST

Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
September 8th, 2008
06:18 PM ET

...look at that same hammock now!

Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

So yesterday I sent in a snapshot of my location in Florida awaiting the possible arrival of Hurricane Ike. This is on the beach in Islamorada... and the quiet before the storm. It was just another day in paradise.

... look at that same hammock now!!

Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Susan Roesgen
September 8th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Beat 360° 09/08/08

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, pauses while speaking to supporters at a town hall meeting, Monday, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

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

Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Read more here….

Good luck to all!

Update: Check out today's winner!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 8th, 2008
05:53 PM ET

Judge to Jurors: Don’t eat the O.J. special

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.ojsimpson.jpg]

Editor’s Note: O.J. Simpson arrived Monday for the start of his trial on robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial:

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

7:38am PT:
O.J. Simpson entered the Clark County Regional Justice Center at 7 30 a.m. Las Vegas time. Simpson dressed in a black blazer, gray pants, white shirt and tie. Offered a wave and smiles to onlookers as he walked through a gauntlet of cattle guards with his attorneys and sheriff's deputies.

11:25am PT:
Judge Jackie Glass has begun whittling away at the jury pool in the O.J. Simpson trial, dismissing 14 potential panelists so far.
Most were excused for medical reasons, including a doctor scheduled to perform surgery and several potential jurors scheduled to have surgery.
One man with a bad knee limped out of the courtroom.
Glass greeted the pool with a friendly ‘good morning’ at 9:40 Las Vegas Time.
Glass, much like a school teacher addressing her class, had the jurors repeat "good morning" in unison when she felt the original salutation lacked gusto.

1:49pm PT:
Judge Jackie Glass recessed for lunch but not before warning her prospective jurors to ignore anything that might pertain to the O.J. Simpson case.

The warning from Glass included an allusion to lunch specials.

Across the street at "The Courthouse and Bar Grill" they are offering an O.J. Special which includes Orange Chicken over rice with two cuffs (onion rings) and a shot of O.J.

September 8th, 2008
04:01 PM ET

GOP shouldn't knock community organizers

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.rnc1.jpg]
Roland S. Martin | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Political Analyst

The Republicans have made it clear where their focus was last week with their convention slogan, "Country First."

With the abundance of flags, chants of "U.S.A., U.S.A." and tributes to those in the military, they have been laying it on thick.

Sen. John McCain has often talked about the need for Americans to dedicate themselves to service, namely military, and he is on the money.

But a line of attack that was used consistently by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and later by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, tried to call into question whether community organizers put their country first.

Palin focused on the issue, mainly to criticize the Obama campaign for offering up his community organizing work opposite her experience as mayor.

But when you examine Giuliani's dismissive tone - and the subsequent laughter by the Republicans in the XCel Energy Center - regarding the community organizer jabs, the Democrats could have an opening.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
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