November 19th, 2008
12:27 PM ET

al Qaeda: Kinship with the Klan?

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Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Ever since I began reporting from Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001, I have never wavered in my conviction that the merry band of Al Qaeda terrorists are among the most cowardly human beings on earth. You have sunk as low as you can go when you kill innocent human beings and claim there is justification for it. That goes for the terrorists who flew on the planes, and the terrorists who ordered them to do so. And that brings me to Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

The number two Al Qaeda leader is at the very least tied for number one in cowardice, and his latest action is symbolic of his style. Today, he came out with his first post American election statement in which he uses an extremely disparaging racial term to describe Barack Obama. What's notable are the similarities between Al-Zawahiri's methods and America's own Ku Klux Klan. For generations, Klan members have used the cloak of their hoods to hide their identities as they spewed their hatred.

And now, Al-Zawahiri is echoing some of the Klan's own racist sentiment and doing it with his own cloak; an audiotape, which is used because he and his minions are way too afraid to give away clues about their lairs. Haters come in different packages, but they share the characteristic of diabolical rationalization, and utter lack of courage.

Filed under: al Qaeda • Barack Obama • Gary Tuchman • Global 360° • Raw Politics • War on Terror
November 19th, 2008
11:54 AM ET

Crime Blotter: Last dance; Serial killer?

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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:


Riverside, California Police Department

On Sunday, November 9th, 2008, at approximately 2:12 am, Riverside Police Officers responded to the parking lot of the 10100 block of Indiana Avenue, in the City of Riverside reference shots being fired and a male adult subject down in the parking lot.

Upon their arrival, police officers located an adult male subject (36) with multiple gunshot wounds. Personnel from American Medical Response and the Riverside City Fire Department responded to the scene. The male subject was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives from the Homicide Unit and personnel from the Forensic Evidence Unit responded to the scene.

Based on the preliminary investigation, consisting of statements and evidence located at the scene, the victim was standing in the parking lot next to the vehicle he came in when he was confronted by an adult male subject who had just exited the nightclub. During a brief conversation between the victim and the suspect, the suspect shot the victim several times. The suspect then fled the parking lot on foot in a westerly direction. A search for the suspect was conducted however he was not located.

Toronto Police Department:

The Toronto Police Service has announced a reward in the homicide investigations of Susan Tice, 45, and Erin Gilmour, 22. These two homicides are linked through DNA. Both women are believed to have been killed by the same man. Susan Tice, 45, a mother of four, had recently separated from her husband, and had moved to Toronto from Calgary on July 9, 1983. She was living alone at the time of her death.
It is reported that: FULL POST

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
November 19th, 2008
11:38 AM ET

The Shot: Good to be King

CNN's John King and his magic map make a guest appearance on 'The Daily Show.'

Filed under: T1 • The Shot
November 19th, 2008
09:13 AM ET

If by warm memories you mean swearing and pipe-smoking

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Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer 

All of this talk about bailing out the domestic auto industry has made me a little nostalgic for the days when I used to go car shopping with my “be American, buy American” grandfather.  We call him “Bumpy.”  Which, apparently in Massachusetts, is a nickname for a grandfather.  As opposed to Manhattan, where it’s a nickname for a drag queen.

Back in those days Bumpy liked to do his car shopping during a Saturday morning’s worth of errands.  Groceries, dog food, new car.  All before noon.  Of course, he goes to bed at 4:00pm.

Anyway, he’d pick me up at my house, offering the obligatory “you don’t mind the pipe, do ya?”  “No, (cough),” I’d say, “it’s (cough) fine,” as I blindly tried to find the window handle through the cloud of tobacco smoke.  Meanwhile, the radio would be set on the smooth rock station.  You know, the one that boasts the largest playlist of Linda Ronstadt ballads and Diana Ross/Lionel Richie duets.  Yeah, that’s Bumpy’s favorite.  And for an added bonus he’d offset the music with frequent strings of expletives leveled at other drivers.  To this day I instinctively blurt out “don’t even f-ing try it, pal” whenever I hear Carole King’s “So Far Away.”


Filed under: 360° Radar • Finance • Jack Gray
November 19th, 2008
09:06 AM ET

Let Detroit go bankrupt

Mitt Romney
Former Governor of Masachusetts 

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course....

Click here to read more

Filed under: Mitt Romney
November 19th, 2008
08:50 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Pirates attack, terrorists talk

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

There are reports that fmr Prez Bill Clinton has agreed to release information related to any future business or charitable activities on his end, apparently to give wife Hilllary a better shot at becoming Secretary of State.

His financial ties became an issue during her presidential run and now he may not want to cramp her style if she does indeed seek the cabinet post of Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, it looks like Eric Holder, (Clinton’s deputy Attorney General at the time of his presidency) is still being vetted but has indicated he will accept the job of Attorney General under an Obama Administraion. He would be America’s 1st African American in this role.

Some critics note that Prez Elect Obama ran a campaign on the message of ‘change’, but his Administration is looking like the Clinton Administration Part 2. More than half the people named to Obama's transition or staff posts have ties to the Clinton Administration, and Rahm Emanuel is another former Clinton adviser, currently Obama’s WH Chief of Staff.

Do you think Obama should widen his search? Or is choosing former dems w/experience in an administration the best way to go?

The CEO’s of the Big 3 automakers are on Capital Hill again today-but it looks like plans for a bailout are stalling. Even though they are begging for billions, blaming the economy, and telling folks the US Economy is at stake if they don’t receive dough, many in Congress blame years of mismanagement and are receiving their testimony with healthy skepticism.

Many of you keep asking: Where is MY bailout? Ali Velshi will have the latest on this story tonight.

A purported message from al Qaeda's deputy leader posted on Islamist Web sites on Wednesday told President-elect Barack Obama that "a heavy legacy of failure and crimes awaits you."

Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's deputy leader called Obama a derogatory racial term and indicatedthat Obama is the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like Malcolm X. We may ask Peter Bergen to offer more on this tonight, or at least to post a blog so you can be on the look out for that.

Some other stories swirling, more pirate attacks on the high seas near the Horn of Africa! Just who are these pirates and what are they after? We may assign a reporter to this story tonight. We are also looking at a law in Nebraska which includes a loophole allowing parents to abandon their kids (some of them teenagers). We’ll tell you why and how.

Joe Johns will take a look at President Bush’s last minute appointments/actions to protect his supporters and/or issues in the last days of his Presidency before Obama takes over. That's where we start- See you at 10pet!

Filed under: The Buzz
November 19th, 2008
08:14 AM ET

What does Russia really think of Obama?

Jill Dougherty | Bio
U.S. Affairs Correspondent

What does the Russian leadership really think about Barack Obama? At the start of a day-long conference in Washington, D.C. on Russia-U.S. relations I pull aside a friend, a Moscow political analyst. Some Russians are intrigued by Obama, he tells me, surprised by his win, but ultimately they think Obama’s policy on Russia won’t be that different from George W. Bush’s. The “Washington establishment,” they believe, is just too strong.

The experts gathered here by the American Enterprise Institute are Russian, American, Western European and Eastern European. They advise presidents, presidential candidates, prime ministers. Many of them have spent significant time in Russia. They live and breathe Russia. Few of them are optimistic.

“Integrating Russia into the West on the West’s terms is dead,” says Thomas Graham of Kissinger Associates. Barack Obama needs a new goal, in Graham’s opinion, but it won’t be easy. The world is now in a “period of great uncertainty of unknown duration,” Graham says. There is a new global equilibrium resulting from the end of the Cold War but it’s notable how little this influences our ideas on Russia, Graham says: “It’s still a “zero-sum, Cold War paradigm.”

How did that happen?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Global 360° • Jill Dougherty • Raw Politics
November 19th, 2008
08:04 AM ET

Maybe you want "redistribution" after all?

Tim Lister
CNN Executive Editor

Why all this fuss about ‘redistribution?’ In the waning days of the election campaign, Senator McCain combined the word with socialism to condemn [now] President-elect Obama’s tax policies. It was always a crowd-pleaser with the faithful. The line of attack sprang from Obama’s legendary encounter with Joe the Plumber, when he said: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.”

My friends and acquaintances back in Europe found it intriguing that a remark like this should be cause for controversy. Many a party and political career in Europe has been built on the principle of redistributing wealth. In Britain, the Labour Party’s constitution includes this vision of society: “a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few.” And that’s the party of Blair and Brown, not exactly socialist firebrands. Even parties of the center-right in Europe embrace redistribution through progressive tax policies.

The English philosopher and godfather of the free market, Adam Smith, wrote in ‘The Wealth of Nations”: "It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue but something more than in that proportion." The year Smith finished his famous book, the American colonists mutinied against the British government’s plan to impose taxes on them, in effect a plan to redistribute their wealth to His Majesty’s Treasury. Maybe that’s the source of the very different attitudes toward redistribution.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • John McCain • Raw Politics
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