March 17th, 2009
03:50 PM ET

My new assignment: Inside AC360°

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David Puente
AC360° Producer

I started working at AC360° just days ago, after almost 10 years at ABC News. Most of my friends – whether in TV news or not – have not been at one job for as long as I was at my previous one. But hey, I had good reason to like it at ABC. I worked with the late Peter Jennings, traveled to Cuba with Barbara Walters to interview Fidel Castro and ended up with my own show on the network’s digital platform. Then after all those good times, CNN made me an offer to work on what I consider to be the most cutting edge news program on TV. So, now, the rubber hits the road. How will it go for me at AC360°? I’ll tell you right here, one day at a time, as I find out myself…also follow me on twitter – puenteAC360.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes • David Puente
March 17th, 2009
02:39 PM ET

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Editor’s Note:You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

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St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal if you live in New York or Boston or any other city with a large Irish American population. Here in New York City the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is 248 years old today. It goes back generations.

Of course Irish immigrants, together with immigrants from other foreign lands, practically built the bedrock of this city. So it’s not a surprise that on March 17th, the Empire State Building is green, the beer is green, even the bagels are green! Over at NBC, the “Today Show,” which usually broadcasts out of Rockefeller Center is instead coming at you from the Emerald Isle. And the St. Patrick’s Day parade is in full-swing.

We are big into our ethnic parades here in the Big Apple. Some people don’t like it. But I’m okay with it because our population is the most diverse in the world and we are stronger for it, with St. Patrick’s Day, Puerto Rican Day, Chinese New Year, Columbus Day, West Indian American Day and more.

It’s all good. As long we can all celebrate — without exclusivity or nationalism. You know the old saying: Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s the way it should be.

Filed under: Jami Floyd
March 17th, 2009
01:07 PM ET

AIG needs to be taught who's boss

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David Gewirtz | BIO
Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

It's time for the White House to "man up" and put AIG out of our misery. Over the past six months, the U.S. government has given or loaned AIG more than $173 billion taxpayer dollars as compensation for an incredible inability to run a company properly.

And now, due to "contractual obligations", AIG wants to give its oh-so-talented management staff more than $165 million in bonuses. This is after taking billions from the U.S. government and spending it on lavish retreats at California spas and English hunting lodges. Oh, and they also gave more than $30 billion (yes, with a "b") of our money to foreign banks.

In the words of Nancy Reagan, it's time to "Just say no".


Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • David Gewirtz • Economy • Finance • Raw Politics
March 17th, 2009
12:13 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: A second Great Depression?

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Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The number of Americans who think another Great Depression will occur within the next year is on the rise, a poll released today shows.

Forty-five percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey said another depression like the one the U.S. experienced in the 1930s is likely. Last December, 38% said a depression was likely in the next year.

The poll described the Great Depression of the 1930s as a time in which roughly one out of four workers was unemployed, banks failed across the country and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Bailout Turmoil • Economy • Finance • Gas Prices • Oil • Wall St.
March 17th, 2009
12:10 PM ET

Senate committee to explore taxing AIG bonuses

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Senate Democrats want to tax the controversial bonuses doled out to AIG employees who work for the division that led to the company's downfall.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor Tuesday that the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee will pursue a legislative fix in such a way that the "recipients of those bonuses will not be able to keep all their money - and that's an understatement."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, will propose a special tax within the next 24 hours, Reid said.

"I don't think those bonuses should be paid," Baucus said Tuesday.


March 17th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

Stimulus $ for gang prevention

Anderson visits an L.A. neighborhood to speak with a local gang prevention group called Kush.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Road to Rescue
March 17th, 2009
10:38 AM ET

Losing sleep over the economy?

CNN's Randi Kaye talks to one man who is coping with his economic stress by taking more prescription medications.

Filed under: Economy • Randi Kaye • Road to Rescue • Unemployment
March 17th, 2009
10:37 AM ET

Is the economy hurting volunteerism?

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the project and the situation in the region as Anderson reports live from New Orleans on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Kay Jones
AC360° Coordinating Editorial Producer

Is the economy hurting volunteerism? Not in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. I spent yesterday afternoon touring the business offices of the St. Bernard Project and was amazed at how much co-founders Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg have going on. Right now, they have 35 houses in some phase of rebuilding. By Wednesday, they will have completed their 200th home in this parish that was so devastated by Katrina.

When I talked to them about donations to the organization, they said while they can always use more, they haven’t seen any significant drop off in donations so far, and that is helping more and more families move back to the homes they love.


Filed under: Economy • Hurricane Katrina • Kay Jones • New Orleans • Road to Rescue
March 17th, 2009
10:32 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Anderson in NOLA

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Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Anderson travels to 5 cities in 5 days to report on the money meltdown that’s changing your life. He’ll tell you what the numbers really mean, where the jobs are, and explain how the President’s proposals affect YOU.

Last night many of you caught him in LA, and tonight he reports from New Orleans. Anderson has a story cooking that we are titling ‘Return to Volunteerism.’ He profiles a woman who is working with the St. Bernard Project, which is tasked with rebuilding homes for Katrina victims. This woman, despite financial issues of her own, helps with this project multiple times a year. She believes that in times of hardship, it is more important than ever to give back.


Filed under: Penny Manis • Road to Rescue • The Buzz
March 17th, 2009
10:20 AM ET

Dear President Obama #57: Will St. Patrick save America?

Reporter's Note: President Obama has asked Americans for ideas to improve America. Being largely of Irish descent, I’m never short of opinions nor shy about offering them. So I’m writing a letter every day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We have our shamrock flag flying in front of our house, and I cooked up an excellent shepherd’s pie this past weekend, which we enjoyed with soda bread. Then we sat before the fire to watch “Waking Ned Devine,” and “The Secret of Roan Inish.” Unfortunately, I’m working in New York all week, so the family and I do not get to share the precise day, (and as you know we are very big on holidays!) but no complaints. Like all our Irish ancestors, we relish hard work as much as hard play, and when I get back to DC on Friday night my wife has promised to dish up her spectacular corned beef and potatoes. We’ll have plenty, so give me a call if you’d like to come over, and of course Michelle and the girls are welcome, too.


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