The White House is now taking your questions on the economy in a site where users can post questions, vote on others' submissions, and even send in videos asking their questions- to be answered by President Obama himself.
Take a look and tune in to AC360° tonight at 10p ET for more coverage of the President's press conference.
Programming note: Anderson Cooper will be reporting live from the U.S./Mexico Border with an up-close look at drug-trade violence, kidnappings and HOW this violence is threatening the U.S. Watch The War Next Door Wednesday and Thursday night at 10p ET.
Ken Robinson | BIO
Former Special Operations and Intelligence Officer
I lived in Colombia for three years, chasing the Pablo Escobar and lessor know drug cartel leaders. What I learned:
Law of unintended consequences is always in play.
– When you capture or kill a drug lord, you create a vacuum, and typically a civil war, for new leadership, because so much money is involved.
Devil you know vs. devil you don't.
– Makes it harder to defeat the new organization, as you often start at the bottom, all over again. The decision to capture or kill the leadership, is also the decision to poke your own eyes out, for a considerable time, while a new bad guy, sets up shop.
Also, we will never defeat drug lords, until we curb our own DEMAND. We in the U.S. - our CONSUMPTION - drives the drug lords' production.
Many of these drug lords have power, money, technology, and weapons as good as or better than many NATIONS.
I learned while in Pakistan of a novel program in Iran, very successful, to get their poppy growers to crop substitute and transition to pistachio nuts.
The significance of this is important for Afghanistan, where heroin now supplies 80 percent of the global demand.
The problem is: We don't talk to Iran, and won't let a delegation from Iran interact with poppy growers.
Instead, their product comes in to the U.S. via - say it with me, now - Mexico.
Life is like a Seinfeld episode - everything is related to everything else.
At 8 p.m. eastern, President Obama will give his second prime-time news conference since taking office. His aides are calling it a progress report on the economy. Mister Obama will also use the time to pitch his $3.6 trillion budget, which he released last month.
CNN will have full live coverage of the press conference, and afterward on AC360, we’ll dig deeper with the best political and financial team on television.
We’ll also have more reporting on Mexico’s escalating battle against drug cartels. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today unveiled a $700 million plan to help Mexico in its fight to stop drug cartel violence. The plan includes a U.S. crackdown on the flow of weapons and money into Mexico. Hundreds of additional agents from the U.S. departments of Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security will be assigned to the border with Mexico.
The new plan comes on the eve of a series of visits to Mexico by three Obama administration cabinet members, starting tomorrow with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Drug-related violence is already spilling over into the United States. Tomorrow and Thursday, Anderson will report live from the front lines of the battle - in south Texas near the border.
Tonight, Michael Ware brings us another update on Mexico. He’s recently returned from Juarez, a city caught in the cross-fire of the drug cartel wars.
See you at 10 p.m. eastern.
Here's your chance to weigh in President Obama's speech. What would you ask our panel?? We want to know. Please tell us in the comment section below. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment posted if you follow the rules: 1) Please keep it short 2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (no need to yell) 3) Use your real name 4) No links 5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated, PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)
Editor's note: There will be a special AC360° Live Blog tonight at 8p during President Obama's press conference. Please join us!
CNN Senior White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON - Look for the hopeful President Obama to be back in the East Room tonight for his second prime time news conference at the White House since taking office.
"We will recover from this recession," the President will say in his opening statement, according to excerpts released by the White House. "But it will take time, it will take patience, and it will take an understanding that when we all work together; when each of us looks beyond our own short-term interests to the wider set of obligations we have to each other - that's when we succeed. That's when we prosper. And that's what is needed right now."
Before taking questions from the White House press corps for nearly an hour, the President will try and make the case that his plans - ranging from the stimulus plan to the financial stability plan now being pushed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - are "designed to attack this crisis on all fronts" right now.
"It's a strategy to create jobs, to help responsible homeowners, to re-start lending, and to grow our economy over the long-term," the President will say, according to the excerpts. "And we are beginning to see signs of progress."
Top aides say the President will also make a strong pitch for his budget plan, which is in trouble right now because some senior Democrats are raising questions about how he can pay for all of his key initiatives with the nation already deep in debt.
Obama will declare that his budget "lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity" by making key investments in education, energy and health care.
"The budget I submitted to Congress will build our economic recovery on a stronger foundation, so that we do not face another crisis like this ten or twenty years from now," Obama will say, according to his prepared remarks. "We invest in the renewable sources of energy that will lead to new jobs, new businesses, and less dependence on foreign oil. We invest in our schools and our teachers so that our children have the skills they need to compete with any workers in the world. We invest in reform that will bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and our government."
Despite the lofty rhetoric, the President knows the budget is in trouble within his own party. That's why within hours of the news conference he will be heading straight to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to step up the lobbying effort.
Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session.”
In Session Anchor
Marty Tankleff, imprisoned for nearly two decades for the murders of his mother and father — crimes he did not commit — will file a lawsuit today against Suffolk County, Long Island for his wrongful imprisonment.
Marty spent what should have been the best years of his life behind bars, from age 17, until his release at age 36. For 6,338 days, from the day he was arrested to the day he was freed, at the end of 2007, Marty maintained his innocence and fought to prove his innocence. No doubt, Marty Tankelff is owed great compensation for those lost years, especially because it is more than likely that Marty’s wrongful conviction was due not to negligence, but to malfeasance.
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:
A panda eats bamboo at Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China.
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.
But wait!… There’s more! When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!
Editor’s note: Tune in to our special coverage on Wednesday as Anderson reports live from Mexico on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
The U.S. Border Patrol plans to poison the plant life along a 1.1-mile stretch of the Rio Grande riverbank as soon as Wednesday to get rid of the hiding places used by smugglers, robbers and illegal immigrants.
If successful, the $2.1 million pilot project could later be duplicated along as many as 130 miles of river in the patrol’s Laredo Sector, as well as other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Although Border Patrol and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say the chemical is safe for animals, detractors say the experiment is reminiscent of the Vietnam War-era Agent Orange chemical program and raises questions about long-term effects.