January 9th, 2009
09:40 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 1/8/09

Following Thursday night’s AC360°, many of you wrote in to offer opinions on how the economy can be helped. A lot of you believe it should start with the tax payers and trickle up, instead of all the bailouts and trickling down. Some also expressed thanks to Anderson and his team for making complex headlines easier to understand. Lastly, many of you commented on the conflict in Gaza. Here’s some of what you had to saythey said:

Taxpayers should be angry that the cost of the Addam's hotel bill during these economical times. The Blair House is booked for one single night and we are to look the other way at this Bush snub to the new first family -shame on America for allowing a FORMER foreign prime minister to stay here at taxpayer cost and at a security rick to OUR new president – it is unbelievable!

Please discuss why the government can't give this bail out money to every US citizen that's registered to vote? That would make Obama an instant hero, jump start the economy from the "ground up" and take away all the special interest groups. Please try to get this movement going!! We all need the money and we need it now.

Why is NO ONE proposing help for everyone with a loan, toxic or not? Fix the loans first for heaven’s sake!


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
January 9th, 2009
09:35 AM ET

Obama camp 'prepared to talk to Hamas'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/08/gaza.security.council/art.israeli.soldiers2.idf.gi.jpg caption="A photo provided by the Israel Defense Forces shows Israeli paratroopers in Gaza on Thursday."]

Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three ­people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start ­contacts through Hamas and the US intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Palestine
January 9th, 2009
08:32 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Your Job, Your Money

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/09/t1home.jobs2.gi.jpg caption="Job seekers line up for a career fair in Concord, California. (Getty Images)"]

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Check out the first line of Candy Crowley’s reporting on P-E Obama’s plan: “his inspirational campaign rhetoric has turned into an apocalyptic sales job.”

I guess she meant the part when P-E Obama said “for every day we wait or point fingers or drag our feet, more Americans will lose their jobs, more families will lose their savings, more dreams will be deferred and denied. And our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

Hey Barack, Happy Friday to you too dude. I’ll just go crawl under my rock and die now. He wants Congress to move fast on his stimulus package, describing the situation in dire and urgent tones.

Today we found out the unemployment rate has risen to 7.2% EEK. (thank goodness Anderson still likes us and we have a job, gotta keep the good man happy! gulp)

Enter Suze Orman to the stage! (cheers in audience). Suze will join us tonight to answer YOUR questions about what you should do w/your finances to ride through this vulnerable economy. How do you keep your job? Where do you put your money? She'll have answers.

P-E Obama will announce that former Clinton chief of Staff Leon Panetta will serve as CIA director and retired Admiral Dennis Blair will be Director of National Intelligence. What are your thoughts on this important team tasked with protecting the country from internal and external threats?

Some critics say Panetta specifically doesn't have enough intel experience for the job. Not enough access to Area 51 for Leon, hmmm?

We’ll also have the latest from the Israel/Gaza conflict. Israel says the military offensive continues despite a UN Security council resolution last night calling for an immediate ceasefire over concern for the humanitarian crisis.

Israel says it's taking mortar fire from Gaza and responding with fire of its own, hitting suspected Hamas targets identified as terrorist sites. Hamas also reportedly rejected this UN resolution, stating it did not serve the interests of the Palestinian people by taking into account their “principle objectives.”

Meanwhile, as the conflict stretches into its 14th day, roughly 778 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed. The fighting continues as black smoke hangs over Gaza. Why can't we all just get along? Chief Int’l Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and Senior Correspondent Nic Robertson will have the latest.

See you tonight everyone.

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Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
January 9th, 2009
08:21 AM ET

Obama Economics

Anderson talks with his panel about President-elect Obama's economic plan, which he outlined in a speech Thursday.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Barack Obama • Economy
January 9th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

How to be stupid . . .

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/08/gaza.security.council/art.israeli.soldiers2.idf.gi.jpg caption="A photo provided by the Israel Defense Forces shows Israeli paratroopers in Gaza on Thursday."]
Rosa Brooks
The Los Angeles Times

How to be stupid Hamas style:

Refuse to recognize Israel. Remind the world that the establishment of Israel in 1948 was accompanied by the often violent displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, but ignore the fact that more than 60 years have gone by, making it a bit late for a do-over. Ignore the fact that most Israelis weren't even born in 1948, and that Israel is recognized as legitimate by an overwhelming majority of the world's states. Keep insisting on its destruction.

Use suicide bombings and rocket attacks on civilian targets as a method of warfare. Don't stick to military targets. Instead, blow up civilians on buses and in cafes. Adopting a deliberate policy of war crimes and crimes against humanity helps ensure that few of the world's governments will want to go anywhere near you.

Get into vicious factional battles with fellow Palestinians. Why present a united front when you can fight with each other? Constant infighting gives the Israelis yet another reason to consider you a worthless interlocutor. And by driving rival party Fatah out of town, you can drive a wedge between Palestinians and give many Arab governments another reason to hope you fail.

Keep that cycle of violence going! The Israelis killed a Palestinian? Quick, fire a barrage of rockets toward Israel. You know they'll respond with even greater force. Be stubborn and keep up those rocket attacks! Israeli bombs can't tell the difference between your fighters and Gaza's schoolchildren. Let the civilians pay the price for your "brave" resistance.

How to be stupid Israel style:

Never pass up a chance to rub salt in open wounds. Keep on building settlements in occupied territory. Stuff like that. Ya know?

Undermine and isolate potential interlocutors who might be able to represent the Palestinians. First, destroy Palestinian Authority infrastructure and withhold funds and supplies needed for critical social services, thus helping to push ordinary Palestinians into the arms of Hamas, with its ample social services programs funded by Iran and private Arab donors. Then, when Hamas wins Palestinian elections, isolate Gaza and undermine Hamas.


Filed under: Hamas • Israel • Rosa Brooks
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