November 17th, 2008
03:50 PM ET

How ‘Doonesbury’ serves the troops

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Garry Trudeau
Creator of "Doonesbury"

It’s always been a great source of pride to me that Stars and Stripes first subscribed to "Doonesbury" during the height of the Vietnam War. As the strip was unambiguously anti-war in outlook, it was a counterintuitive move on the part of the editors, and there were several campaigns to dump it. Fortunately, there was always a noisy cadre of readers who stood ready to support it, and the strip somehow survived.

Through the years that followed, there’ve been occasional skirmishes in the letters section on the issue of the strip’s continuing presence in the paper. I’ve seen some of those letters and, while they were often tough, I can be pretty tough on people myself, so I was hardly in a position to take offense.

Lately, however, I’ve been struck by the unusually harsh tone taken by some of your writers. I can only guess that they are either occasional readers who have no context for judging the strip, or that they simply can’t get past my open opposition to the war in Iraq. I don’t doubt the sincerity of their belief that I am "anti-military," but it’s possible that what follows may make their eyes spin:


Filed under: Iraq • Raw Politics
November 17th, 2008
02:16 PM ET

Obama and Clinton: Getting past politics to real change

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Robert Zimmerman
CNN Political Analyst

Ask most people who have real lives and do not dwell on political speculation the following question: Who served as Richard Nixon's Secretary of State? You will get one of two answers: I don't know (usually followed by an expression that means stop boring me and go away) or Dr. Henry Kissinger. That answer is instructive as we analyze and speculate about the prospect of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

William P. Rogers served as Richard Nixon's Secretary of State for the entire first term of the Nixon presidency. He was a major figure in the Washington establishment, well known in power and media circles. Rogers had an extensive government resume including serving as President Eisenhower's Attorney General. Henry Kissinger was a relatively unknown professor who was an advisor to then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Nixon's opponent for the Republican nomination. Kissinger was chosen by Nixon to serve as his National Security Advisor, eclipsing Rogers and then went on to serve as Secretary of State.

There are no comparisons between Obama and Clinton with any of these players. However, this shows that Washington politics and Administration power plays are such strong forces that they can defy expectations.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Raw Politics • T1
November 17th, 2008
01:52 PM ET

Mormon church feeling heat over Prop 8

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/11/13/gay.marriage.update.ap/art.flag.temple.ap.jpg caption=" Gay rights activists have been protesting outside Mormon temples since the passage of Proposition 8. "]

Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times

In June, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a fateful decision. They called on California Mormons to donate their time and money to the campaign for Proposition 8, which would overturn a state Supreme Court ruling that permitted gay marriage.

That push helped the initiative win narrow passage on election day. And it has made the Mormon Church, which for years has striven to be seen as part of the American mainstream, a political target.

Keep reading...

November 17th, 2008
01:34 PM ET

360 Blotter: Horse Harassing, Wrong Man

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Compiled by Gabriel Falcon
AC360 Writer

Welcome to the 360 Crime Blotter.

Some of the best crime writing comes from cops on the beat. But it’s not fiction. It’s fact, put down on paper in incident reports. We’re going to bring you their first-hand accounts. Taken from police department web sites, the official submissions run the gamut from mundane misdemeanors to the most serious of felonies. They all show what police officers across the country face 365 days a year. So let’s get started:

Tampa Police Department

Three Arrested After Harassing Police Horse:

Roberts, Trecia, B/F, 02/02/89, 4108 Monocello Garden Place, Tampa
CHARGES: Offenses against police animals, battery on a law enforcement officer

Roberts, Alecia, B/F, 02/02/89, 3522 Jefferson Commons Dr, 301A, Tampa
CHARGES: Offenses against police animals, battery on a law enforcement officer

Garcia, Johathan, W/M, 02/25/88, 7223 Richard Ave. N., Tampa
CHARGES: Offenses against police animals, Opposing or obstructing an officer w/o violence

Sequence, 18-year-old Quarter horse Tennessee Walker mix, 8-year-TPD veteran, Sequence has won gold and silver medals in the Police Olympics, he is a regular at schools and education events

Officer Will Wagner, 1 year mounted patrol officer

17th Street / 7th Avenue

11/16/08, 3:20 a.m.

Details: While patrolling Ybor City, suspect 2 grabbed Sequence's leg. Officer Will Wagner turned the horse around to get the suspect to stop. The suspect ran and the officer told her and suspect
1 to stop. They stopped and began hitting Sequence and Officer Wagner. At the same time, suspect 3 began harassing the horse. FULL POST

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
November 17th, 2008
12:53 PM ET

Diplomatic dollars?

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Program Note: President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton have met to discuss top jobs in the next administration, but what about Bill? Watch Tom Foreman’s report on ‘The Bill Factor,’ AC360° tonight 10p ET.

Tom Foreman
AC360° Correspondent

Maybe, like they say in the old westerns, “this town ain’t big enough” for the two of them.

The former fastest gun in the Democratic party, Bill Clinton, and the newest sharpshooter, Barack Obama, once again appear to be poised at opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. They are not saying anything bad about each other, and in truth they could both say circumstances (as opposed to personal or professional animus) have put them at potential odds this time, but the fact remains: Team Obama is once again wrestling with what role Bill Clinton might play in the next administration.

Specifically, DC is buzzing over whether making Senator Hillary Clinton Secretary of State would open an unwanted diplomatic back door to the White House, via the former president.

The sticking point this time is all the good works Bill Clinton has tried to pursue outside of politics.

The Clinton Foundation, started by the former President in the wake of his White House years, has been widely praised for its efforts to fight AIDS, malaria, and global climate change. It has earned respect and support from many of the world’s poorest nations for promoting economic development, better health care, and improved education.

Problem is, all of that takes money. And when you are in the charity business, that means donors. And when you are a former president, that means donors from many far flung places, including countries which might be interested in palling around with a man whose wife is the U.S. Secretary of State.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
November 17th, 2008
12:29 PM ET

The Shot: White House pets?

We think its safe to say these dogs won't be chosen as the Obamas' First Pet.

Filed under: T1 • The Shot
November 17th, 2008
11:44 AM ET

Meeting of the minds: Why Obama and McCain need each other

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James Carney
Time Magazine

Less than two weeks ago, on election night, John McCain pledged to do "all in my power to help [Barack Obama] lead us through the many challenges we face." On Monday, McCain will travel to Chicago to discuss ways he can fulfill that promise in a private meeting with the President-elect.

There were some who doubted the sincerity of McCain's pledge, coming so soon after the end of a campaign that featured a series of personal attacks on Obama. But it pays to remember that the self-styled maverick was never very comfortable as the standard bearer of a party that he had opposed so many times on so many issues. And the party long felt the same way.

Last Friday brought notice that the relationship between the two would soon be returning to form when South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint became the first high-profile Republican to lay the blame for McCain's loss on McCain himself. "We have to be honest, and there's a lot of blame to go around," DeMint told a GOP gathering in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "But I have to mention George Bush, and I have to mention Ted Stevens, and I'm afraid I even have to mention John McCain." DeMint then offered a list of McCain's anti-conservative apostasies, including his support for campaign finance reform, immigration reform and legislation aimed at combating global warming.

The items on DeMint's list of lament read like talking points to jump-start Monday afternoon's conversation in Chicago between McCain and Obama. According to an Obama aide, the President-elect views McCain as a potential ally on the kind of reform issues for which the two men share broad agreement. "There are areas of general agreement and beliefs — on immigration, earmark reform, energy, climate change, government reform, spending reform," says the aide. "Where there's agreement on both sides, they want to figure out ways they can work together."


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • James Carney • John McCain • Raw Politics
November 17th, 2008
10:55 AM ET

Taliban warns Obama

In a CNN exclusive, a Pakistani Taliban delivers a warning to President-elect Barack Obama. CNN's Reza Sayah reports.
In a CNN exclusive, a Pakistani Taliban delivers a warning to President-elect Barack Obama. CNN's Reza Sayah reports.

Reza Sayah | BIO
CNN Islamabad Correspondent

I’m pretty sure the Taliban didn’t shed tears of joy when America elected Barack Obama as president, but I was curious what they thought. Did the Taliban welcome the change Obama promised in his campaign? What do they think of “America’s evil empire” electing a black man, who shares a middle name with a Muslim prophet, for president?

Getting to the Taliban in Pakistan isn’t easy these days. Sometimes you can reach them by phone but face to face meetings are tough. Two major military offensives in Northwestern Pakistan have Taliban leaders keeping a low profile, and traveling in the region is as dangerous as ever. This week in Peshawar an American aid worker was shot and killed, a Canadian and an Afghan journalist were shot, and an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped. So we had to get creative to get the Taliban on camera.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Global 360° • Raw Politics • War on Terror
November 17th, 2008
09:20 AM ET

Bill, if I become Secretary of State we’ll have to sell our Dairy Queen in Copenhagen

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Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

What a difference two weeks make.  Barack Obama is meeting in Chicago today with John McCain.  I’m sure McCain is looking forward to it.  Because there is nothing at all humiliating about flying halfway across the country to hear the guy who beat you say, “John, don’t forget to have my secretary validate the parking for your Hertz rental.”

Meanwhile, the guessing game continues about whether the president-elect will nominate his longtime ally Hillary “Shame on you Barack Obama” Clinton to be Secretary of State over such vocal critics as John “Barack Obama can help our country turn the page” Kerry and Bill “Barack Obama will be a great and historic president” Richardson.

There is concern among some that there could be conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s leadership of the State Department and her husband’s overseas business dealings.  With that in mind, the Obama transition office is looking into the former president’s fundraising, consulting deals and speaking fees.  And his stint as a greeter at the Riyadh Wal-Mart.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Jack Gray • John McCain • Raw Politics
November 17th, 2008
08:50 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Keep your enemies closer

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Hello everyone:

Is this a case of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Today President-elect Barack Obama and Senator McCain sit down for a meeting at his Chicago transition HQ.

Apparently McCain won’t be getting any job offers, as per guidance from sources, but rather the discussion will focus on how the new WH can work well with the Senate. Or McCain and Obama make nicey nicey after a long and bitter campaign that is now well behind both of them.

Over the weekend there were some announcements of sr staff appointments from the Obama transition team, but we are waiting for the Big Guns, the Cabinet-level announcements.


Filed under: The Buzz
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