November 6th, 2008
12:08 PM ET

Creature comforts

Editor's Note: You can read more Lisa Bloom blogs on In Session”

Lisa Bloom
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

In this week of inspiring change, I want to give three cheers for a new California law that’s just been passed on a subject near and dear to my heart.

In what the Humane Society calls the most ambitious ballot measure for animals in this country’s history, California passed Prop 2 with 62 % of the vote. Prop 2 requires factory farmers to give animals a little extra room to stretch their limbs and to move like animals should. It’s cruel to force a hen to be confined with a half-dozen other birds in a tiny cage for her whole life.

It’s cruel to force a sow to live in a crate so small she can’t turn around. It’s cruel to chain a calf tightly inside a pen. Any pet owner knows that animals experience fear and suffering. This measure will provide them with some minimal creature comforts.

I’ve been a vegetarian nearly all my life because I can’t support an industry that causes so much suffering to animals. But you don’t have to be vegetarian to take a stand against cruelty, as millions of California voters demonstrated. Conditions in factory farms have to change, and it’s in our power to make it happen. Cruelty is out; compassion is in. Let’s hope this is a start of a nationwide trend.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Lisa Bloom
November 6th, 2008
11:51 AM ET

Stimulus package II. Why?

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

I just paid less than 2 bucks a gallon for gas. In my world, that's about 20 bucks a week or 80 bucks a month. No government involvement, no government workers mailing government printed checks, no government wasted time deciding who gets and doesn't get the government printed checks.

And after I filled up, hopped in my car and flipped on CNN (yes on satellite radio. I'm a news junkie) I hear about another push for another stimulus package we can't afford.


Isn't the drop in gas prices giving us a market driven stimulus package? Didn't the last stimulus package do little, if anything, to stimulate the economy? Didn't voters make clear that run-away spending is one reason we wanted change?

I'd be more stimulated if congress actually stopped handing out money it will eventually have to take back.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Gas Prices • Oil • Raw Politics
November 6th, 2008
11:44 AM ET

Five steps to getting a second opinion online

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/HEALTH/11/06/ep.online.second.opinions/art.online.second.opinion.jpg]
Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Medical Correspondent

In August, just days before her daughter was to start her sophomore year of college, Dr. Lucy Sauer faced a troubling choice: Should her daughter have a device surgically implanted in her chest to control her heart rhythm?

One doctor, a cardiologist, told Sauer that her daughter, Hannah Remmel, "absolutely" needed a defibrillator. He said an MRI of Remmel's heart showed a rare congenital deformity, and he feared that she might die without the device.

But Remmel's primary care physician wasn't so sure. He doubted Remmel even had the deformity. Sauer, a family physician in Little Rock, Arkansas, needed clarity.

"I didn't want to drag Hannah home from her college in Florida to get a second opinion here. But I also didn't know any doctors in Florida she could go to," Sauer says. "So I went online."

Two weeks and $565 later, Sauer had her answer from the Cleveland Clinic's online second opinion service: Her daughter's heart was just fine. She had no deformity and no need for heart surgery.

Remmel never actually saw Cleveland Clinic doctors; they examined her MRI images and test results from the Little Rock cardiologists.

"I was so relieved," Sauer says. "It was fabulous."

"I'm really impressed with these services," says Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "They provide access to some of the most knowledgeable specialty physicians in the world."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Medical News
November 6th, 2008
11:40 AM ET

Men accused of plotting to kill Obama indicted

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/CRIME/11/05/obama.plot.indictment/art.obama.suspects.jpg caption= "Paul Schlesselman, left, and Daniel Cowart are accused of planning to kill more than 100 African-Americans."]

Two men accused of plotting to kill Barack Obama and other African-Americans have been indicted on charges including making threats against a presidential candidate, federal officials said Wednesday.

A federal grand jury in Tennessee indicted Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, on the threat charges and with illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a federally licensed gun dealer.

According to court documents, Cowart and Schlesselman - who authorities said are self-described white supremacists - planned to kill more than 100 African-Americans, including 14 who would be beheaded.

They planned to cap the killing spree by charging at Obama with a car, firing from the windows as they went, dressed in white tuxedoes and top hats, the documents said.

The two were arrested last month. According to an affidavit from a federal agent who questioned them, they backed out of an October 21 attempt to rob a gun dealer after spotting two cars and a dog.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Crime & Punishment
November 6th, 2008
11:26 AM ET

Dejected McCain supporters wary of Obama

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As Sen. John McCain bowed out of the historic presidential election Tuesday night, he urged his supporters to bridge their differences with Sen. Barack Obama and unite for the good of the country.
"Sen. Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face," he said.

Just the mention of the Democrat's name elicited boos from the sea of teary-eyed McCain supporters at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.

Members of the dejected crowd shouted "no way!" when McCain promised to work with Obama.

As McCain graciously acknowledged defeat, it was clear that not all of his supporters were ready to rally behind the president-elect.

Kevin Neugebauer of Katy, Texas, said he was "really disappointed " and "distraught" about his party's loss.


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
November 6th, 2008
08:40 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Down to Business

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

President-elect Barack Obama has 77 days to put together a government and we await word of cabinet appointments today onwards. He is in Chicago for the foreseeable future, but he is not alone. Our own reporters will be camped out there with him in the Windy City for the rest of the year to cover his next moves.

The priority cabinet appointment would be White House Chief of Staff, to help shepherd the Transition to Power, and given our current financial situation, the Treasury Secretary would be another key appointment. Who do you think should take the top posts in the new administration? Weigh in!

Today, Obama is expected to get his first top secret intelligence briefing. Does that mean he finds out what is in Area 51? Apart from the aliens, that is. As this is the first wartime transition in 40 years, he is likely to hear much about Al Qaeda, Iraq, and Iran.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell leads this first briefing, as he and other senior national security officiers brief Bush each morning, 6 days a week, on the most sensitive info affecting US security, and will start bringing Prez-elect Obama into that loop.

President Bush has promised to keep Obama abreast of critical decisions to ensure a smooth transition to power, and he offers remarks today in the 11amet hour following a meeting with his Cabinet re/transition and the months ahead.

The GOP is soul searching, working out the best road to rebuilding the party. Joe Johns will have a story on what is next for this party. Of course, speculation is already swirling over Palin’s next step. In fact, in her hometown of Wasilla you can already find Palin 2012 tee-shirts.

Our guy Gary Tuchman is in Wasilla, Alaska and caught up with Palin today as she attempts to go back to her former life. He will spend some time with her and we’ll hear all about it later tonight.

In other news, we are keeping an eye on California, some counties there are already stopping gay marriages in light of the ballot against them apparently passing. Randi Kaye has a great story on what it’s like to grow up as a kid in the White House. And we’ll see how the markets fare on the heels of the Election, yesterday there was nearly a 500 point drop, what will happen today? See you tonight!

Filed under: The Buzz
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