October 21st, 2008
06:30 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/21/08

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 tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!
Here is the 'Beat 360°’ pic:

Cindy McCain offers Halloween candy to members of the traveling press on board the 'Straight Talk Express' campaign plane.

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.

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Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 21st, 2008
04:50 PM ET

A TWO HOUR WAIT to vote early

Editor's Note: CNN has establish a national voter hotline for individuals to report potential voting problems and irregularities on Election Day. On air, viewers will see a map that highlights irregularities across the country. In addition, CNN.com users can zero in on specific counties in each state experiencing the largest number of Election Day complaints, as well as the most commonly occurring type of problems. The toll-free voter hotline number will be



David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Election day is two weeks away...TWO WEEKS.

Imagine my surprise to find a TWO HOUR WAIT to vote early (see photo...that's me on the lower right). My home precinct is just outside Atlanta and in previous elections there had been a line on occasion but nothing like this.

Filed under: David Mattingly • Raw Politics • TV
October 21st, 2008
04:38 PM ET

Are men to blame for our economic crisis?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.nyse2.1021.jpg
caption="New York Stock Exchange today"]
Shahreen Abedin
Sr. Producer, CNN Medical News Unit

In my house, my husband pays the bills and I am usually the one who’s spending the dough. But when it comes to making investments, we usually put our heads together and try to figure out the smartest way to make the "Benjamins" multiply. It’s a system that works for us, and based on a new Harvard study, we’re probably saving ourselves from the riskier investments that we could be making were my husband to be the unilateral decision-maker on how to make our money grow.

The small study of 98 men found that those who had the highest amounts of testosterone in their systems than the group average were likely to invest 10% more money than the average. Basically, the researchers used saliva samples to gauge testosterone levels beforehand, and then they gave participants the opportunity to invest as much of their money as they wanted on a coin toss. They could gain a 250% return on their investment if they won, or lose the entire investment if they lost the toss.

So the researchers conclude that financial decision-making and risk-taking aren't necessarily based entirely on rational thinking; some of it is just something men naturally tend to do, even driving them to make irrational decisions, which may lead to lower profits, and possibly could explain why the stock market is in the doldrums these days.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
October 21st, 2008
04:10 PM ET

Is it 1929 all over again?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.nyse.1021.jpg caption="New York Stock Exchange today"]
Maury Klein
Professor emeritus of history, University of Rhode Island

Friday marks the 79th anniversary of the day that launched the stock market crash of 1929.

As an unprecedented wave of selling threw the floor of the New York Stock Exchange into pandemonium on a day that became known as Black Thursday, a show of organized support by a coterie of leading bankers halted the panic. But on the following Monday, the market collapsed in a tsunami of selling.

Every intense convulsion of the stock market raises primal fears spawned by the Great Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, which dragged on for a full decade and has haunted Americans ever since.

The Panic of 2008 is no exception.

In the past year, the market's fall has at times rivaled that of 1929. Are there connections or similarities between those earlier national traumas and our current crisis?

First some facts about that earlier experience. The Great Crash and the Great Depression were two separate events. The Crash was a financial panic, the Depression an economic downturn. The one does not necessarily lead to the other; the market has collapsed several times in American history without bringing on a depression.

Editor's note: Maury Klein is professor emeritus of history at the University of Rhode Island. He is the author of 15 books, including "Rainbow's End: The Crash of 1929" and most recently "The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Made Modern America."

Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
October 21st, 2008
02:31 PM ET

Conservatives can't handle the truth

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/colin.powell.close.jpg]
Roland S. Martin | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Political Analyst

"It's because he's black."

That is such an easy – and weak – answer to give when it comes to former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.

Radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh made it clear that's what he thinks; Pat Buchanan, who would be a leader of the White Citizens Council if this was the 1950s, said as much; and even conservative columnist George Will tried to pin that on Powell.

All are wrong.

But what is so fascinating to watch these GOP-lovin' folks, and the others who blindly follow their every word, is that they have lavished Powell with effusive praise for years because they saw him as race neutral!

Powell, and his successor as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, have been portrayed as their kind of Republicans because they aren't seen as black. They sort of occupy the rareified space reserved by whites for Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey – African Americans who are not about their color (well, maybe not Oprah, who has been tagged for being a traitor for supporting Obama. Why, they say? Because he's black!).

Their reaction to Powell's endorsement is the reality of being black in America: if you do everything the way the Limbaughs, Buchanans and Wills want, you're perfectly acceptable in their world. But the moment you actually use that clear and independent mind they said they love to support the person that you think is right for the job, then it's because they are black.

I know the feeling. I get the emails from white viewers who question my skills, integrity and credibility by assigning race as the sole reason I'm on CNN. Forget the fact that I've put 17 years into this line of work.

Powell is a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; national security adviser; and has served on the ground with our troops. He has served directly with four presidents and knows presidential timber when he sees it.

To Limbaugh, Will and Buchanan, put your fake race analysis away and give this accomplished man his due. He made a thoughtful, careful and meticulous decision over the course of several months, and gave one of the most compelling endorsements I have ever seen. He used his intellect and knowledge of the office and tried to convey that to the nation.

Powell wasn't a black man supporting Obama. He is an American hero who has always, and will continue, to put country first.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Colin Powell • Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
October 21st, 2008
12:46 PM ET

"Real America" = "Two Americas"

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John Avlon
Author, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics

Back when this presidential election began, John Edwards was criticized by many conservatives for using the slogan "Two Americas." It was a vision of America divided between the haves and the have-nots – evidence, many said, of Democrats' instincts toward divisive class warfare.

But recently Republican surrogates have begun using their own equally divisive framing device: "real America".

A McCain adviser argued for their electoral edge in Virginia by saying their candidate would do well in "real Virginia" rather than northern parts of the state – unconsciously echoing former Virginia senator George Allen's infamous "Macaca" moment captured on YouTube when he invited a dark-skinned volunteer for the Webb campaign to visit the "real world of Virginia."

Then Sarah Palin got in the act: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation." So if real America is pro-American, than there is an unreal America – by implication, the urban areas where most Americans now live – which is somehow inherently anti-American.


Filed under: John P. Avlon • Raw Politics
October 21st, 2008
11:48 AM ET

Don’t go wobbly, Dems

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.obamarally.jpg]

Editor's Note: In addition to being a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign and the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Robert M. Shrum's writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. The author of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner (Simon and Schuster), he is currently a Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.

Robert M. Shrum
Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.

Two weeks to go—time enough for one last case of Democratic wobbles and one last resort fueled by Republican desperation.

Democrats, scarred by the stolen election of 2000 and the near miss of 2004, privately worry, wring their hands and, traveling cyberspace’s vast expanse, trip over a discouraging word, poll, or prediction. Generally, they needn’t look farther than the Drudge Report, which shamelessly selects information—and disinformation—in order to stereotype Barack Obama and denigrate his prospects.

With genuine anguish, one Democrat said to me Sunday, “Did you see Drudge has Obama only 2.7 percent ahead?”

It wasn’t actually Drudge, but a poll by Zogby, which Drudge had cherry picked for its pessimism. (Unlike Drudge, Zogby isn’t biased; he famously elected Kerry in 2004.) Rasmussen’s poll used to be Drudge’s favorite, but on Sunday it showed Obama leading by six, so Drudge swept it under the rug.

Perhaps for Democrats, the dark night of doubt is inevitable before victory dawns. But a study of the election state by state reveals McCain has a virtually impossible tight rope walk to victory while Obama has five or six different avenues to win—some of which are veritable boulevards. Not a single one of the states won by John Kerry in 2004 is even close.

In addition, Obama leads, in the Real Clear Politics average of the latest polls, in nine states won by George W. Bush in 2004, including Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Nevada. Even in Missouri Obama has a small advantage, and he’s only slightly behind in three other Bush states. As former Reagan and Huckabee campaign manager Ed Rollins puts it, McCain has to “draw an inside straight” to win this game.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Democrats • Raw Politics
October 21st, 2008
11:07 AM ET

Culprits of the Collapse – #3 James Cayne

Program Note:
Every night we add a new name to our list... Watch AC360° tonight 10p ET.

So who is to blame for this financial fiasco?
That’s the question we’ve begun investigating.
We’ve put together a list of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits of the Collapse.
#3 on our list: Former CEO of Bear Sterns, James Cayne. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

October 21st, 2008
10:56 AM ET

Why we need Joe the plumber's dream

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.vert.joeplumber.jpg width=292 height=320]
Editor's Note: Carl Schramm is president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on the training and education of entrepreneurs and on promoting an environment that lowers the hurdles for their success. Schramm is the co-author of "Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism."

Carl Schramm
CEO, Kauffman Foundation

What appeals to me most about Joe Wurzelbacher of Ohio - better known today as "Joe the plumber" - is his dream. He speaks for men and women we all know, who want to own their own business, who want to make a job, not take a job.

Joe wants to join the nearly 600,000 other Americans who launch their own companies each year. The proposed solutions to our current economic crisis (and it seems there's a new one almost every day) inevitably tilt toward the government as the answer.

Yet, today, more than ever, government is not the answer, and a recent telephone survey of 816 registered voters, sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, shows that a majority of Americans agree.

In the survey, which was conducted late last month, 70 percent of respondents said the success and health of the U.S. economy depends on the success of entrepreneurs. More than 60 percent said they had the most faith and confidence in the American people and the small business owner to guide the U.S. economy.

None of what America has achieved, or what we have given the world, could have happened had we not been first and foremost a nation that believed in entrepreneurs, a nation that could create wealth faster and with more predictability than any other place on Earth.

We create wealth by inventing - automobiles, airplanes, air conditioners, personal computers and their operating systems, and, most recently, many of the leading Internet-based business models - and then turning these inventions into viable products sold by American companies.


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Raw Politics
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