September 15th, 2008
01:13 PM ET

O.J. Simpson trial begins

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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

7:57am PT
Simpson gave the thumbs up sign as opening statements are set to begin in his kidnapping and armed robbery trial.

Simpson was flanked by his attorneys and a platoon of law enforcement officers.

8:48am PT
O.J. Simpson ambled into the Clark County Regional Justice Center without the media and public frenzy that followed him for his initial arrest on kidnapping and armed robbery charges.

Outside the courthouse, the customary menagerie of eccentric onlookers for all things O.J. seemed to evaporate in the Las Vegas heat.


September 15th, 2008
12:36 PM ET

How Palin changed the game

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Editor's Note: Ed Rollins, who served as political director for President Reagan, is a Republican strategist who was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

Ed Rollins
CNN Contributor

It seems like just yesterday when Sen. Barack Obama impressed our troops in Kuwait by shooting his flawless three-pointer into the basket without hitting the rim.

Two days later, he spoke to 200,000 Berliners. It looked like he could do no wrong and the campaign was only a formality on his way to inauguration day.

But it wasn't yesterday. It was the third week in July, and that's a lifetime ago in presidential politics.

Obama looked unbeatable then. He looked unbeatable the night of his acceptance speech before 85,000 cheering supporters. If victory went to the guy who could make the best speech or could win the schoolyard basketball game of "horse," he was thought to be unstoppable.

Then his world stopped with Sen. John McCain's shocking selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the vice presidential nomination. And over the last two weeks, the governor of Alaska has deflected the arc of Obama's campaign. She can match his pretty words. The outdoor game has changed from "horse" to "moose," and only one candidate in this race has shot "moose."


Filed under: Ed Rollins • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 15th, 2008
11:59 AM ET

Adviser warned Palin firing raised 'grave' concern

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Program Note: U.S. Attorney General Wev Shea, also a former ethics adviser, warned Gov. Sarah Palin over the trooper firing. He talks exclusively with Randi Kaye. Watch the interview tonight 10p ET.

Randi Kaye
AC360 Correspondent

I’m here in Anchorage, Alaska as I have been for the last week and a half covering all things Palin.

The latest..

A prosecutor for Alaska’s state legislature wants to question Governor Sarah Palin’s husband.

He wants to know if Todd Palin pressured the state’s top police official to fire Trooper Mike Wooten.

Wooten, you may know by now, was Sarah Palin’s ex-brother-in-law. He had been married to her sister Molly and it ended in a bitter divorce including a custody battle. Governor Palin says Wooten had threatened her family, even threatened to kill her father. Wooten denied those threats to CNN. So now the Palins’ possible abuse of power, even perceived abuse of power, are at the center of a state investigation that could really impact the Palin administration. The prosecutor says he wants to find out if Todd Palin put pressure on the man in charge of State Troopers, Walt Monegan, to get Wooten fired. So he wants to interview him, along with 13 staff members who have been refusing to cooperate with the investigation.


Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
September 15th, 2008
11:35 AM ET

Rove: McCain went 'too far' in ads

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Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said Sunday that Sen. John McCain had gone "one step too far" in some of his recent ads attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

Rove has leveled similar criticism against Obama.

"McCain has gone in some of his ads - similarly gone one step too far," he told Fox News, "and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the '100 percent truth' test."

The Obama campaign immediately leaped on the quote.

"In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove - the man who held the previous record - said McCain's ads have gone too far," said campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a statement sent to reporters minutes after Rove's on-air comments. Rove masterminded both of President Bush's successful White House bids.

Rove said both candidates need to "be careful" about their attacks on each other.

"They ought to - there ought to be an adult who says, 'Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don't we make our point and won't we get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don't include that one little last tweak in the ad?' " he said.


Filed under: Raw Politics
September 15th, 2008
11:27 AM ET

Biden to go on the attack

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Sen. Joe Biden will make the case Monday that Sen. John McCain won't bring change to Washington, and Gov. Sarah Palin will step out on her own in her first solo event on the campaign trail.

Aides say Biden will use his unique standing as McCain's decades-long Senate colleague to further accuse the Arizona senator of being a "sequel" to President Bush's two terms.

"We've seen this movie before, folks," Biden will say, according to excerpts provided by the campaign. "But as everyone knows, the sequel is always worse than the original."

"If you're ready for four more years of George Bush, John McCain is your man," he will say, adding that "McCain could easily become known as 'Bush 44,' " a reference to Bush being the 43rd U.S. president.

The speech marks his second visit to Michigan since being selected as Sen. Barack Obama's running mate.

The speech on domestic issues will be one of two framing speeches Biden will deliver before the fall debates. The second will be on foreign policy next week.


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain • Raw Politics
September 15th, 2008
11:25 AM ET

What the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing means to you

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Lehman Brothers announced today it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here’s what that means to you.

1) Your accounts are protected

If you have a brokerage account with Lehman, you will be protected up to $500,000 by the Securities Investors Protection Corp. The Securities and Exchange Commission has strict rules about keeping the brokerage’s money separate from your investments. So even if the firm goes under, your money should still be there.

2) Don’t panic

Granted, over the last few years financials have become one of the most important drivers of the S&P 500 and by extension index funds, which can impact your 401(k). If your portfolio has taken a hit because of the Lehman news, it’s not time to panic and take your money out of the market. It’s too late for that. Remember that anything that brings confidence to this sector is good — but a well-performing financial sector is also critical to something more fundamental – an economic recovery.


Filed under: Finance
September 15th, 2008
11:18 AM ET

Downsizing 101 – When You Have to Do It

Editor's Note: The Ethics Guy, Dr. Bruce Weinstein, writes the ethics column for BusinessWeek.com.

Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D.
AC360° Contributor
The Ethics Guy,

Most discussions about downsizing focus on the legal, economic, or psychological issues raised by this practice. These are essential concerns, but we rarely consider how or why downsizing is also an ethical issue. This is the first of a two-part series that will redress that problem. Today, we'll consider your ethical responsibilities if you are the one charged with giving the bad news. In the second part, we'll look at what you ought and ought not to do if you are the one being downsized.



Filed under: Bruce Weinstein • Ethics
September 15th, 2008
09:46 AM ET

Morning Buzz: War of words and Wall St. woes

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

We had quite a weekend of insults flying back and forth on the campaign trail. It’s getting nasty isn’t it? Barack Obama said that John Mccain is running the sleaziest, most dishonorable campaign in history, and John Mccain chastised Barack Obama right back for showing ‘zero restraint’ in his remarks while the nation was dealing with Hurricane Ike.

Even Karl Rove weighed in, saying both candidates need to ‘be careful’ about their attacks on each other. When Karl Rove thinks that they are both going too far, well, that says it all doesn’t it? We have 50 more days to go, oh boy.

However the candidates’ nasty remarks over the weekend can’t compare to the even more gruesome news this morning on Wall Street...

Filed under: The Buzz
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