March 19th, 2009
07:53 PM ET

Evening Buzz: On the Road to Rescue in Hempstead, N.Y.

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Anderson and Team 360 are in Hempstead, New York, on Long Island. We’ll be broadcasting from the campus of Hofstra University as we continue our special Road to Rescue reporting. The economic crisis has created new worries for college students. How will they pay for tuition? Will they get a job after graduation to pay off all their loans? We’ll be taking questions from Hofstra students tonight. Innovation consultant and author Frans Johansson, who wrote “The Medici Effect,” will be in the thick of the crowd with advice.

It’s not just college students feeling under pressure. At a town hall meeting today in California, President Obama listened to concerns about the enormous deficits California schools are facing. Mister Obama said his administration is pushing to spend more on education, but he also told Americans not to expect something for nothing; he said those demanding more money for schools should be willing to embrace reform, too.

What do you think? Is that a fair deal?

Meantime, First Lady Michelle Obama spent part of her day at a high school in one of Washington’s poorest neighborhoods, where she talked to students about the value of a college education and hard work. It was part of an outreach program to celebrate Women’s History Month. Mrs. Obama recruited 21 other prominent women - including celebrity athletes, actresses, Grammy Award-winning singers, and a former astronaut - to fan out to 10 other schools in the area. We’ll have more on Michelle Obama’s outreach efforts tonight.

We’ll also hear from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who sat down today with CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi. Ali asked him about that loophole in the stimulus bill that allowed AIG to dole out billions in bonuses to the very people who nearly sank the company. Those bonuses, of course, are being paid for with your tax dollars. What did Geithner say? Find out in our report.

The nationwide outrage over those bonuses produced some results in Washington today. House lawmakers passed a bill aimed at recouping the money through steep taxes. The measure passed overwhelmingly, in a 328-93 vote. Will the Senate follow suit? Slapping huge taxes on AIG and its fat cats may feel like sweet revenge, but are we losing sight of the forest for the trees in this story? What do you think?

We’ll also take a closer look at Natasha Richardson’s tragic death. The 45-year-old Tony-winning actress died yesterday from head injuries suffered in a freakish skiing accident. How did a fall on a bunny ski slope result in such a devastating outcome? We’ll dig deeper on the medical minutiae of traumatic brain injuries. What do you need to know to avoid a tragedy like Richardson’s?

See you at 10 eastern.

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Janie

    Before we can reform education, we must have the "best and brightest" educators. Give students who are scholarship material loans for college – if they teach in an underserved district for "x" number of years, dismiss the repayment.

    ditto, nurses, doctors, and other professions where we can reasonably forcast a need years down the road.

    March 20, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  2. AG

    There's plenty of financial aid out there. I'm tired of the "Oh how hard things are" from gen-Y. As for AIG... Let's ask about the Dodd amendment that protected bonuses and was inserted into the Stimulus with consultation from Treasury. The Stimulus that had to be passed so quickly to save us. The Stimulus that didn't save the 2400 jobs at Caterpillar. Then the $200K in campaign contributions to Dodd and Obama from AIG. AIG doesn't go into receivership, but instead becomes a laundering operation to get money to foreign banks that are in-eligible for TARP. Today, the FED will pump out an additional $1 Trillion that is pushing us closer to inflation. The bailing out of people who can't afford their houses and will get rewarded by the government for their irresponsibility. This past weekend Rep Pelosi saying its un-American to not support illegal immigration. Barney Frank and his drama queen shock about AIG bonuses. Oh wait, the Attorney General proposes releasing GTMO detainees in the US. These are the issues, not the smoke and mirrors populist message of class warfare. ANDERSON COOPER HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE!!!

    March 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  3. Lori from IL

    On AIG - Quite frankly I'm tired of the AIG bonus issue - think it makes us take our eyes off the bigger picture of our economic problems. Always felt it was easier to lay blame, than to try to solve the problem so it wouldn't be repeated in the future.

    I think it's good that your looking at education/colleges tonight. While this issue isn't of great persosnal concern to me, I can relate to the students facing these issues today. I graduated from college in 1982 - one of the worst years for placing college grads (I'm assuming this year will be equally as bad it not worse.) It took me three months to find a job and it wasn't in my field, but I was happy to find full-time employment. In the end, it ended up to be one of the best things that happened to me. I ended up in a field I truly loved, in a position that I find very rewarding - and never even considered when I was choosing a major! My graduate work was in yet another field - again not on my radar as an undergraduate.

    My advice to current college grads seeking employement - be open to any and all employment opportunities - you have no idea where this might lead you in the future.

    Looking forward to the Geithner interview with Ali.

    Keep up the good work 360!

    March 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  4. Keith Vrabec

    After a 13 hr day at work, riding home worring about bills, the job, college for the kids and retirment saving, it's hard to walk in the door to see Mr Obama's busy going to California to be on the Tonight Show.

    This is not leadership, this is showmanship.

    It is quite disappointing to see the Offfice of the PResident of the United States reduced to this level.

    March 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  5. Whitney, Redlands, CA

    So glad you're talking about education. I'm a college student and used to go to Hofstra, tuition is out of control and there is a lack of merit based financial aid. At Hofstra I paid $45,000 for one year, I received no financial aid despite my 3.8 GPA as well as loads of extra-curriculars. I hope President Obama will encourage an increase in merit based financial aid

    March 19, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  6. kaz

    Why don't you ask them how they feel about the President and his thugs lying to the American People. Geithner , Dodd and Obama
    lied. Case Closed. You can talk around in circles about bonus and AIG , worse that any bonus is lying.

    March 19, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  7. Isabel

    How many news today!
    And very interesting discussion!

    University degree is no guarantee of employment. Often the post-graduate diploma is no guarantee, but what have to be clear to young people is that they have to go out well prepared and with extensive theoretical knowledge and, where possible, practical knowledge too.

    Approved a law that imposes tax of 90% in bonuses paid to AIG executives whose salaries exceed $ 250 thousand per year, a reaction to the scandal – with a speed out of habit, the Board approved this law. Year is coming elections, right? So not worth it to be wrong with the voters!

    Besides the economic crisis, a political crisis
    It seemed it was only an economic crisis, but now it seems that is having a political crisis in government.
    The government had failed to supervise the AIG.
    Of course I had – and have.
    How does the government put all that money in a company and not want to know what is happening there?

    About Natasha Richardson's tragic death
    I was thinking about those falls in home, where children and babies hit their heads. What should we do in these situations?

    Thanks! 🙂

    March 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  8. Manny T

    Anderson, I need you to consider this as a topic for one of your show.
    All these time I hear the Republicans, the ones the created this mess, and kept telling us until the end that "the economy was strong", being critics of what President Obama is doing. In their great wisdom and insight I would Like you to ask them. What in Gods name can they do to fix the mess they created. Nothing is good enough for them. They need to be positive and bring something to table instead of talking all that negative stuff. We need ideas not useless rethoric.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm |
  9. Pati Mc Camp Hill, PA

    Hey Cate,

    Yes, I believe that the education system does need serious reform and it makes sense that should they be the recipients of the money, they need to follow the rules the Adminsitration sets up. it is all about responsibility. Finally.

    On AIG, I say sock it to them however you can.

    Regarding dear Natasha, there are many questions, surely; my hope is however, that she and her family find peace. That is really all that matters.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    Michelle could very well turn out to play as pivotal a role in her husband's Presidency as Eleanor Roosevelt did in hers. I'm happy to see Michelle out there lending her voice to events and causes. I hope she keeps it up and widens what she does as much as she is able without giving up her needed focus on her daughters.

    I have a daughter in college – she's worried about getting enough money for this next year's tuition. I'm worried as well. When I graduated with my Bachelor's the job market was bad, so I went to graduate school and got my Master's. The recession then didn't affect student loans – if it does this time we may see a lot of our young people unable to complete their education. I hope that is not the case as we need our youth to be as well educated as possible.

    March 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm |

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