February 16th, 2009
11:08 PM ET

On the Radar: The CNN Money Summit

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tuesday in Denver President Obama will sign the economic stimulus bill into law. Hours later on 360°, we'll bring you the CNN Money Summit. Anderson, Ali Velshi and the sharpest money minds will dissect the hefty piece of legislation. It's full of big numbers that raise even bigger questions about what it all means to you. Our experts will have the answers.

Tuesday is also the deadline for General Motors and Chrysler to give the government their restructuring plans. Sales are at a 26-year low. Both companies are staying afloat on government loans. If government officials decide the companies' plans don't pass muster, the loans get called back. All sides will have to make concessions. What will it take to for GM and Chrysler to convince the government they can become viable? A senior administration official said today the White House is creating a Presidential Task Force on autos to oversee the restructuring of the industry. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and NEC Director Larry Summers will oversee the effort. Joe Johns digs deeper Tuesday night.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Cate Vojdik
February 16th, 2009
10:20 PM ET

Pakistan’s dangerous deal

Editor's Note: Pakistani government officials announced Monday an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province. It marks a major concession by the Pakistani government in its attempt to hold off Taliban militants and analysts warn that Pakistan's previous dealings with the Taliban have only given the fundamentalist Islamic militia time to regroup and gain more ground. The deal with the Taliban comes on the heels of a visit by U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who is now meeting with leaders in neighboring India. He said he is awaiting more details of Monday's agreement, but said it underlines the challenge of dealing with the rise of the Taliban.

CNN’s Campbell Brown talked about the deal with Chief International correspondent Christiane Amanpour and asked her what, if any, influence the U.S. now has in Pakistan.

Filed under: Christiane Amanpour • Pakistan
February 16th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 2/16/09

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Want to share your thoughts on the stories we're covering tonight? You're in the right location. Just scroll down and post your comments.

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We're so tech savvy here at AC360°. At least, we like to think we are these days. So, we've got more goodies for you.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
February 16th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Burris on the Defensive... Again

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/16/blagojevich.burris/art.roland.burris.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Roland Burris says he never made an inconsistent statement to lawmakers about Illinois' former governor."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

There's an interesting new twist to tell you about regarding Pres. Obama's old Senate seat. As you likely remember, Sen. Roland Burris got Mr. Obama's former job on Capitol Hill after a grilling from Illinois lawmakers over his ties to now former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Well, some of his answers are being questioned and there are calls for Mr. Burris to resign.

Tonight we've got the raw politics on the Senate scandal.

Here's the critical question Burris faced last month from the Illinois legislature: Did you have conversations with Blagojevich's brother or other close aides of the Governor about the vacant senate seat?

"Give us a moment," said Burris' lawyer.
"I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed. Yes.," said Burris.

Fast-forward to today and Illinois Republican leaders are calling for a perjury investigation into whether Burris deceived the public with that statement. They say Burris failed to tell state lawmakers that Blagojevich's brother solicited him for campaign cash at the same time that the governor himself was considering whether to appoint him to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Burris has filed a new affidavit declaring, "I recall that Gov. Blagojevich's brother, Rob Blagojevich, called me three times to seek my assistance in fundraising for Gov. Blagojevich."

Of course, the affidavit was filed after Burris had the Senate seat.

The question many people are asking is if he shared what he mentioned in the affidavit during the impeachment hearing would he now be a senator?

Burris says he's done nothing wrong.

What do you think? Should the Illinois lawmakers followed up on that answer? Share your thoughts below.

Join us for this story and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
February 16th, 2009
06:18 PM ET

Kansas budget crisis: State tax refunds on hold

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David Klepper
The Kansas City Star

State tax refunds, Medicaid reimbursements and payments to local schools are all on hold because of a political showdown between Kansas legislative leaders and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The Kansas Finance Council was to meet at 1 p.m. today to vote on whether to borrow $225 million from healthy state funds to cover expected payments to schools, state workers and taxpayers. The state did the same thing last December when it ran into a cash-flow problem.

But Republican leaders said they wouldn’t authorize the new loans until Sebelius, a Democrat, signs legislation designed to erase the state’s current year budget deficit. That bill, passed Thursday, cuts statewide school funding by $32 million and makes millions more in cuts to other state agencies.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Economy • Raw Politics
February 16th, 2009
05:39 PM ET

African-Americans could see stimulus

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Editor's Note: Tune in to see Pamela Gentry tonight on AC360 at 10 P.M. ET

Pamela Gentry

When President Obama signs the $787 billion stimulus package into law Tuesday, Black Americans could see the impact in their communities — sooner rather than later. But it’s not a magic bullet; some things take more time.

Last week Black lawmakers made a point to express their pleasure with the spirit of the final bill even with some minor cuts to favored programs. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said, the package remains “the largest economic stimulant in history.”

And the dollars in it will be welcome back home. “We lined up the initial package with the needs of the people we represent then we measured it along with what we were able to give them. The people we represent can feel comfortable with this package. What we wanted in this package is what made it.”


February 16th, 2009
04:30 PM ET

Beat 360° 2/16/09

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:

Nicky Hilton and Paris Hilton at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park on February 16, 2009 in New York City.

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.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!


Beat 360° Challenge

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Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
February 16th, 2009
04:15 PM ET

Republicans' fatal attraction

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Editor’s Note: Robert Zimmerman has been a Democratic National Committee member since 2000. He is a partner at Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., a marketing, advertising and public relations firm based in New York.
Robert Zimmerman
AC360° Contributor and CNN Political Analyst

Perhaps it is the result of Valentine's Day and President's Day falling on the same weekend. But I cannot help wondering if President Obama's bipartisan game plan will lead to a very smart strategy, unrequited love or a fatal attraction. It is certainly not an affair to remember. Sorry for that but the Oscars are coming up.

While the media and pundit community obsess about whether the Obama Administration's strategy for bipartisanship is smart or successful, it is just as critical to explore the partisan strategy of Republican Congressional leaders and their members.


February 16th, 2009
03:36 PM ET

Burris says statements were consistent

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Illinois Sen. Roland Burris reiterated Monday that his sworn testimony regarding his contacts with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not inconsistent with what he later said in an affidavit.

The Democratic senator's comments come a day after Illinois Republican leaders called for a perjury investigation into whether Burris deceived the public last month when he failed to tell state lawmakers that Blagojevich's brother solicited him for campaign cash at the same time that the governor himself was considering whether to appoint him to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

"We said in our testimony before the impeachment committee, my lawyer stated, that we will have to file additional information in our report because there were some questions asked where we had to get sufficient information for the committee," Burris said outside Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side before a five-day statewide "listening tour" of his new constituents.

"We also stated that we might be incomplete in our report," he said.


February 16th, 2009
03:28 PM ET

Obama confronts a choice on copters

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Peter Baker
The New York Times

President Obama has slammed high-flying executives traveling in cushy jets at a time of economic turmoil. But soon he will have to decide whether to proceed with some of the priciest aircraft in the world — a new fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters that will each cost more than the last Air Force One.

A six-year-old project to build state-of-the-art presidential helicopters has bogged down in a contracting quagmire that will challenge Mr. Obama’s desire to rein in military contracting expenses. The price tag has nearly doubled, production has fallen years behind schedule and much of the program has been frozen until the new administration figures out what to do about it.


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