September 15th, 2008
10:11 PM ET

Gilchrist, Texas: Before & After Ike

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

I came across a series of photos from photographer David J. Phillip, showing the devastation to Gilchrist, Texas from a helicopter tour.

From the air, you can really see the impact; with the Gulf of Mexico seen at right, one beachfront home stands among the debris. Ike was the first major storm to directly hit a major U.S. metro area since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

I decided to find that home using Google Earth. Take a look at what the region looked like before Hurricane Ike struck, and what we now see today…

Filed under: David M. Reisner • Hurricane Ike
September 15th, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 9/15/08

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

Don’t forget to watch Erica Hill’s webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST

And take a look at 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

Wondering why some comments are posted while others aren’t? Here’s a post that may help: LINK TO COMMENTS POST

We’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
September 15th, 2008
09:06 PM ET


Lisa Ort
AC360° Producer

The candidates, O.J. Simpson and Gen. David Petraeus…all on the 360° radar:

ON THE TRAIL:Sen. John McCain begins his day alone in Florida before joining his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, at a rally in Vienna, OH. Sen. Barack Obama has an event in Golden, CO and Sen. Joe Biden hosts a town hall meeting in Media, PA.

RAW POLITICS:Wevley Shea is a Republican and an admirer of Gov. Sarah Palin. He says he warned Palin back in July that the probe into whether or not she used the power of the Governor’s office to carry out a personal vendetta against her former brother-in-law was turning into a serious problem for her and told her how to handle it. Shea says she didn’t listen and now her husband and a dozen aides are under subpoena. Could things have turned out differently if Gov. Palin took his advice? Randi Kaye will have that report.

TOUMA MURDER CASE: A hearing is scheduled for Edgar Patino who is accused of the murder of Army Spc. Megan Touma in June 2008.

EMPEROR'S CLUB SENTENCING: Mark Brener, who pled guilty to prostitution and money laundering conspiracy, is scheduled to be sentenced. Allegedly, former NY governor Eliot Spitzer was a client of the Emperor's Club.

PETRAEUS BECOMES COMMANDER OF U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Gen. David Petraeus takes over as Commander of U.S. Central Command. Lt General Raymond T. Odierno will take over command of the forces in Iraq.

O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL CONTINUES:Today the jury heard an audiotape of the confrontation in the hotel room where the alleged robbery occurred. And an alleged victim in the case, Bruce Fromong, became ill after several hours of testimony. Fromong is 54 years old and says he has had four heart attacks. Will he be back on the stand? You can find out by watching the live gavel to gavel coverage on cnn.com.

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 15th, 2008
09:02 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Market Meltdown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/nyse9.15post.jpg caption="Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

How's your stock portfolio or 401K doing? My advice: don't look.  And, the experts say don't do a thing.  They say just sit this out.  Remember, you should be in the markets for the "long haul".  

That still may be a tough thing for some of you to do after the brutal day on Wall Street. The Dow had its biggest one-day decline since September 17, 2001, when the markets reopened after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Today blue chips lost more than 500 points after Lehman Brothers filed for the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Bank of America said it would buy Merrill Lynch and AIG lost a huge chunk of its value on fears that it can't raise cash.

Tonight on 360, we'll look at what the market meltdown means for you. How could this impact your wallet? We'll also look at how the troubles on Wall Street are impacting the race for the White House. You'll hear what Senators John McCain and Barack Obama say they'll do to boost the economy. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you think the crisis is only just beginning? And can McCain and/or Obama improve the U.S. markets?

Tonight, we're also on the Texas coast with the latest on the destruction from Hurricane Ike. We found a startling photo of the damage left behind in one beachfront community along the Gulf coast that we will share with you tonight.  When you see what the area looked like before the storm hit it's extraordinary to see the comparison of before and after.  It's a stark reminder of the power of Mother Nature.

All that and more tonight at 10pm ET on 360. Hope you can join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
September 15th, 2008
08:48 PM ET

Heart trouble in the O.J. courtroom

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/art.oj.fromong.jpg caption="Prosecution witness Bruce Fromong is helped out of the courtroom after complaining of chest pains."]
Editor’s Note: O.J. Simpson is on trial for 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

5:14pm PT

One of the prosecution's star witnesses in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery trial was suddenly excused from testimony as he rubbed his chest.

Sports memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong, who testified before he suffered four heart attacks, was being cross examined by the defense when he suggested he was ill, suddenly halting the trial.

Judge Jackie Glass called a break and the 54-year-old Fromong went outside the courtroom, sat down and was tended to by his wife and court officers.

Fromong was the first witness for the prosecution and is considered a key to the trial because the other alleged victim in the case, Alfred Beardsley. has said he thinks Simpson did nothing wrong.

5:36pm PT

Court Spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said key prosecution witness Bruce Fromong walked out of the Regional Justice Center without any assistance.

Fromong's testimony halted under cross examination from Simpson's defense lawyer Gabe Grasso when the first prosecution witness seemed to be suffering from chest pains.

September 15th, 2008
06:54 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Checking In

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

A little over a year after the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed, the faces of the nine miners killed in the tragedy now grace a public memorial. Six miners were trapped when the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed on Aug 6, 2007. Ten days later, three of their colleagues who were trying to save the trapped men were killed when the mine rumbled again.

Miner’s Memorial Park was dedicated on Sunday. The monument – featuring the faces of the nine men lost in the mine – Is cast in bronze.


Oprah – an open supporter of Barack Obama for President – said recently she would not have Sarah Palin on her show until after the election. In a statement released earlier this month, Winfrey said she thinks Sarah Palin would be a “fantastic interview”, but reiterated her decision not to use her show “as a platform for any of the candidates”. Obama has been on the show twice to promote his books. The statement on Oprah’s website points out both appearances occurred before she endorsed his candidacy.


Filed under: Erica Hill • Erica's News Note
September 15th, 2008
06:03 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/15/08

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:

The Rachael Ray Show host, Rachael Ray, talks with Republican presidential candidate John McCain, during the taping of "The Rachael Ray Show" in New York on Friday.

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!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 15th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Oddballs and O.J. Specials

Editor’s Note:
O.J. Simpson is on trial for 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

The Las Vegas temperature rose to 1O4 on the thermometer on the Satellite truck run by CNN engineer David Conwell.
By then Santa and barrel man disappeared, and only a handful of media members could be seen outside the courthouse, all of them seeking shade under wide brimmed hats and tents.

12:40PM PT

Courthouse Grill has two O.J. Simpson specials today..
Orange Chicken with White Rice and Vegetables..
And Orange Roughy with Mashed Potato and Grilled Carrots..

The thermometer on engineer Dave Conwell's CNN Satellite truck reads 99

It's so oppressive that the only survivors of the O.J. Simpson sideshow still trying to get on camera are the sequined Santa and Grandpa Munster in full make up.
Grandpa wanted us to know that he used to be the naked man in the barrel at past Simpson court appearances and the caped character says he will strip and change later.

September 15th, 2008
05:28 PM ET

Obama, McCain big beneficiaries of Wall Street

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/art.wallstreet.9.15.08.jpg caption="Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, in New York."]Alexander Mooney
CNN Producer

Both Barack Obama and John McCain have strongly benefited from Wall Street this election cycle, an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

According to the non-partisan research organization, employees of security and investment firms have donated nearly $10 million to Barack Obama this year and close to $7 million to McCain's presidential bid.

McCain has particularly benefited from Merrill Lynch, the global financial services firm whose sale to Bank of America shook Wall Street Monday morning. He has raised nearly $300,000 from Merrill employees this year — more than any other firm.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, has strongly benefited from employees of Lehman Brothers, the financial firm that filed for bankruptcy Monday morning.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
September 15th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

Attack ads hit an all-time low

[cnn-photo-caption image=
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/15/art.mccain.obama.jpg%5DEditor's note: Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and the author of "Air Wars: Television Advertising in Election Campaigns, 1952-2004."

Darrell M. West
Vice President/Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution

Negative attacks are as American as apple pie. Since the early days of the republic, candidates attacked with a vigor that contemporary strategists would admire.

In the 1800 presidential election, for example, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams criticized one another with a stunning ferocity on everything from foreign and domestic policy to private character and personal behavior.

Later campaigns weren't much better. Critics of Andrew Jackson in 1836 accused him of murdering Indians. In 1884, Grover Cleveland was ridiculed for fathering an illegitimate child. William Jennings Bryan was characterized as a dangerous radical in 1896 who would ruin the economy.

Despite these historical precedents, the 2008 campaign has reached all-time lows in the use of misleading and inaccurate political appeals. Even Karl Rove, the architect of negative ads in previous campaigns, has complained about the tenor of this year's campaign.

John McCain broadcast an ad taking Barack Obama's words out of context and suggesting Democrats were trying to compare GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to a pig. The McCain campaign ran another spot erroneously claiming Obama favored comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
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