March 11th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 03/11/09

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Tonight on AC360°, recession news flash: the rich are getting poorer. Just hours ago, Forbes magazine published its 2009 list of the world’s top billionaires. The take-away: there are fewer of them, and their fortunes are shrinking. It’s not a story that will generate much sympathy. We get that. But it’s still an interesting look at the recession’s reach. We’ll tell you who has lost the most and who has fallen the furthest. Tonight we want to keep the live blog on this one topic. So, please share your thoughts with us.

And, don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on billionaires during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

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And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (395 Responses)
  1. Corinna

    Good evening Anderson and Erica.... I hate to say it but President Obama...lied about the earmarks...

    It would be nice for someone at the top to have some courage.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  2. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    It doesn’t matter if Obama is signing this “earmark bill” behind closed doors or in front of an audience, he still takes the responsibility for it by signing it.

    Is this a part of his new transparency?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  3. Mary Lou - upstate NY

    I've been thinking the same thing about the earmarks. Maybe this was started with the last administration, but this is a new administration. I think this would have been a good time to look at those earmarks beofre proceeding.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Anderson, the President "went along with it this time" because it's the leftovers from last years' budget process.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  5. Michelle in L.A

    "Mostly written during the Bush Admin". Republicans need to cut out the complaining since they are part of the darn problem...

    March 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  6. Bea

    This Alabama story is as much about the lack of available mental health care in some parts of this country as it is about death. Someone knew this guy had issues but I'll bet that there was nowhere to go. People still have a stigma about recommending that a family member get some help.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  7. Minou, New York City

    The German boy had parents who had lots of weapons in their homes. Gun laws are very strict in Germany, but you can still get licenses under certain circumstances.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  8. Mike Syracuse, NY

    David Gergen, Obama has absolutely not done right signing this bill. The claim it was 'last year's business is bull. Dems have controlled Congress for two years now, so it was written by them, passed by them, and signed by them. It's like a murderer saying I'm going straight right after I kill one more person. Count this as a broken campaign promise. They could have passed a continuing resolution with no earmarks.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  9. Barbara Pacheco, Gaffney, SC

    Hi All

    I totally agree with Lori, most of the billionaires money is not cash. It is in real estate, stocks, etc. I can honestly say that I do not feel sorry for them.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  10. Jacqueline, NY

    Greetings all!

    Too sad. These shootings are happening every day. But it is not mental. It's spiritual. These people aren't crazy. They are evil. Calling them crazy is to give them an excuse. But then again, the body, mind, heart and the spirit are connected. Therefore, if the spirit isn't right, none of these things can be.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Shillie, Sioux Falls, SD

    Good evening Anderson, fellow bloggers and others at CNN....

    I'm curious to know how big the shooter from Alabama his family is? Obviously he did something horrible to his family and I just wonder how many people are there left to suffer through this lose? My heart goes out to them! And even more to the deputies family for the lose of his wife and child. I can't even imagine the pain that he is going through, it's just horrible.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  12. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo David G....
    I think our president Obama is doing right thing to do for earmark to save our money bonuce up......

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  13. Bill

    Wnytime we experience a mass killing, we all don't even discuss gun control anymore. What a shame. We have capitulated to the NRA.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  14. Lothar

    It always rings true, criminals prefer unarmed targets.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  15. Isabel, Brazil

    @ Mike

    Let’s think this American man or this young German. Let’s think that the despair was at the edge of the unbearable, the pain was more intense and live becomes a heavy burden and distressing. His pain has become incommunicado.
    Do these people tried to express the sadness they felt, and nobody heard or understood? Why that life loses direction?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  16. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    @Gary- Yes I am very happy that I voted for POTUS. This wasn't even his bill, this was last years business. Would you rather the focus be on this old bill or on the task at hand which is fixing the economy?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  17. Maren in Oregon

    @David Gergen: The President was correct to sign the bill. It's a balancing act; kill the bill and lose real funding for real things we really need – like Pell grants, etc. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is a tired poitical choice. He kept the baby this time.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  18. starr formerly known as vincent

    David Gergen

    In response to your question...i wrote to my senators and the Pres. re: the earmark issue. I requested that he make a stand and VETO the bill.

    However, i do realize that this was a bill that was constructed by the last Pres. and i think Pres. Obama may be "picking his battle". That is to say that maybe this was a fight he did not want to take on now.

    As he himself remarked...Congress cannot be "bogged down" right now and i'll take him at his word...but i am disappointed he did not take a stand on this bill

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Minou, New York City

    It seems to me that these shooting rampages are a relatively modern occurrence. I mean, that didn't happen in the 50's, or did it? What's up with our society? We've never lived in more comfort than today, and we have the highest amount of suicides and homicides and depression.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  20. Sharon S

    What a sad note to start the night on! Oh well it can only get better from here right?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  21. Bea

    On whether the gunman was "normal," "normalcy" is often assumed from stereotype. Stereotypes are often wrong.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  22. kit

    I knew Michael McLendon my mother and his mothre were friends for years. i am saddeded to learn what he done, yet not surprised. Yes he was depressed, but he had a very bad home life. I know that doesnt defend him, but it explains him. If you only knew what his home life was like you could/would understand. as they say yes he "snapped". He should not have taken innocent lives at all, his family was the root of his issues.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  23. Kassie Wright

    Good evening, Anderson, Erica, 360 crew and best bloggers

    I was so mortified to hear of the shooting in Germany today. Right on the heels of this tragedy in Alabama too.

    I'm troubled about in the Alabama case, how they're talking about how these things never happen in small towns. In the last few years, it's always been in small towns. I understand the disbelief of it happening in *their* small town, but still.

    It will be interesting to see what the German shooter's "motive" will be, when they claim one.

    Why don't people value life anymore?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  24. Bense

    It's all over the media in Germany now, too. Media is lurking for a new "highscore" in that.

    I'm utterly disgusted by how much the media pushed these both stories in the past hours. In both countries.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  25. Isabel, Brazil

    Second time I see First Lady Michelle with a clothing color of eggplant ... I like!

    March 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  26. Rafael

    @ David Gergen I do believe Obama could had fought to not sign this bill like come on 8,500 earmarks that's a lot and aren't we trying to remove earmarks from our government.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  27. Nattada, Houston, TX

    It would be better for all if we can catch the clue of this horrible behavior before the killing happens.

    People are killing people everyday. Please take care of yourself and the one around you. A little caution would not hurt.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  28. Penny, FL

    I hope AC360 makes a point that, yes, while President Obama signed the bill, let's look at who said they didn't want any "pork," but loaded the bill with it themselves.
    I call shenanigans!

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  29. John

    Now, Germany has much stricter laws about firearma. A nuts finds his/her ways with or without the second amendment

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  30. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I honestly don't care how Oprah Winfrey is doing financially. Why is this a story?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  31. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hello bloggers: Not a surprise that the Gates and Buffett's of the world lost some wealth this year, where did Donald Trump land on the list?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  32. Minou, New York City

    thanks Anderson for mentioning Germany.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  33. Gary

    David, your question doesn't surprise me. It is very clear that Obama had no intention from the beginning to end ear marks. This is another example of how he deceives the American people. I hope you are all happy that you voted for him.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  34. Esma

    This isn't normal for Germany, luckily all my friends there are fine, but mein Gott!

    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  35. Maren in Oregon

    Being a police officer or corrections officer is often also driven, not just by the desire to serve and protect, but to direct and control, Many people need the structured environment of a rule-driven daily experience. Thankfully, these individuals are frequently found out and washed out – as McLendon apparently was.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  36. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    @David G.

    I believe that POTUS will try to do earmark reform in the future. This bill is last year's business. Yes he could have vetoed it, but then it would have to go back into the congress and that will create more focus on that bill other than what needs to be done in regards to this economy. So i'm fine with him signing this bill and moving on with what he needs to do.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  37. Isabel, Brazil

    Yesterday much sadness in Alabama. Today more death and despair in Germany.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  38. Linda

    @ Mike

    I agree some people are just crazy, trying to figure out why, well its too late now isn't it.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  39. Glen Up North

    Esma and others appaled at the shooter's decisions... there _are_ people who occasionally only think of themselves. Those who do it all the time are considered psychopaths... and they're not always the ones who act out in public acts like these.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  40. Brandi- bottom of the boot

    hello david gergen!

    i want to know what the earmarks were for before i bash the POTUS for signing it. change takes time, and apparently some compromising.


    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  41. Teresa

    @Mike: i disagree. i think this guys rampage will be quite explainable.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  42. Isabel, Brazil

    The intonation of your voice, sad and tense, represents the feeling of all...

    These deaths frighten us, hurt us, and silence us – the silent empty.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  43. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Good evening everyone!

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  44. Ken in NC

    This is just to depressing Anderson. I will see you guys tomorrow night. To much sadness and violence going on now. I need a break.

    Have a good night all Anderson, Erica, and all Bloggers.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  45. Bea

    @Minou, actually I was at home today all day and the Germany shooting was on a lot. In the evening I presume folks focused upon the domestic shooting which is pretty major.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  46. Anthonia-California

    hello everyone! Hows everyone today?

    WOW, i cant believe that man killed all those innocent lives. what was his motive anyways?

    March 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  47. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    We can dissect this guy's mentality and not being happy with his status in life but we will never really know why this guy did what he did.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  48. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    Kris has it very right. Glad they have a forensic scientist on the show. So many people misunderstand the reasons behind these horrible crimes, and as such have a hard time preventing their recurrence.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  49. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    You cannot deny the reality that each of our personal bad economic situation casts a very big shadow on our behavior (and deperation in some cases).

    March 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  50. Rafael

    Thank God that women saved that baby. She's a hero to that small community and to that baby.

    March 11, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
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