With President Obama in London for the G-20 Economic Summit, I'm reminded of a saying I heard often when I traveled overseas a couple weeks ago: "When the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a flu." It's a cliche, but the phrase came up every time talk turned to the U.S. economy and its huge global reach.
Pres. Obama has said he hopes Britain, France, Germany and other European countries will stimulate their economies to help reverse the financial meltdown. Jobs aren't disappearing just here in the U.S. They're vanishing all over the world.
But some people are taking extraordinary steps to save their jobs, and it's remarkable to see. Take Waterford Crystal, for example, in Waterford, Ireland. The famed china and glassware maker collapsed in January after lenders led by Bank of America called in their loans. Rather than accept the closing and the loss of all jobs, about 200 current and former workers staged a sit-in at the company's Visitor Centre, trying to block the company's receiver from liquidation.
Program Note: For more on the President Obama's trip to London and the G20 Summit, tune in tonight for Anderson's live report on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Anderson will anchor from London tonight, where the G-20 Summit will officially take place tomorrow.
There is pressure on world leaders to come up with an economic cure – and many are blaming the U.S. for leading the global economy into this mess. Is this fair? And even though Pres. Obama enjoys some popularity overseas, will it make a difference when it comes to dealing with the economy?
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have already made public their dissatisfaction with the G-20’s draft statement on solving the crisis. They want the U.S. to adopt more regulations. The U.S. wants them to pledge more capital to stimulate the economy. Failure to find consensus could deal a blow to the summit. Should we really be concerned or is the bark stronger than the bite on this?
But more importantly, just how crucial is this summit to improving the global economy?
And Pres. Obama talks with Russian Pres Medvedev and Chinese leaders today. What kind of message does this send and what can we expect from these meetings?
The Washington Post
Some friends who are loyal alumni of Notre Dame are distressed that God's alma mater is hosting a pro-choice president at commencement. For decades, they argue, Notre Dame has accommodated, legitimated and enabled pro-choice views, compromising its identity as a Catholic institution. They question the wisdom of the Obama invitation, which they believe adds to that confusion.
But some critics go further, calling President Obama's appearance "an outrage and a scandal." And that goes too far.
The office of the president has meaning and importance that transcend the views of its occupant. Though elected by a part of America, the president becomes a symbol of its whole. The respect we accord him does not imply agreement or endorsement. It reflects our appreciation for constitutional processes. So a presidential visit is always an honor. The televised arrival of Air Force One, the motorcade, the playing of "Hail to the Chief," the audience standing as the president enters - all these express a proper respect for democratic legitimacy.
CNN Financial News Producer
We’ve got some mixed news today on the employment front ahead of Friday’s big jobs report for March.
The private sector lost more than 700,000 jobs in March, according to payroll-processing firm ADP, but a separate report suggests that the pace of job cuts may be slowing.
The ADP report said the private sector eliminated 742,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in March. That up 36,000 from last month's revised figure of 706,000.
Separately, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that the number of planned job cuts announced in March fell for the second straight month.
The number of existing homes put under contract ticked up in February after hitting historic lows the previous month.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/03/19/wtja.economy.jobs/art.census.taker.jpg caption="On April 1, census employees around the country – like this one - will take begin the federal roll call."]
CNN Senior National Editor
There are a lot of reasons you should care about the U.S. Census.
It’s your tax dollars at work, some 300 billion of them allocated based on Census data.
It’s your voice in Congress, as House seats are apportioned based on Census data.
It’s your voice locally, as Census data is used to draw legislative districts and school boundaries.
For the next year, it may appear that the Census Bureau is stalking you.
Okay, maybe stalking is too strong a term for a branch of the government, but the Census Bureau wants to make sure everyone understands the importance of the Census.
April 1, 2010, is the day the federal government will obey the Constitution and attempt to count every American.
So, a year in advance, the Census Bureau is starting its campaign to convince Americans to fill out that form when the time comes.
Good luck. The first time the Census was taken was 1790 by federal agents on horseback. The population then was counted at 3.9 million people. In 2000, the Census recorded more than 281 million Americans. As of this writing the Census estimates the population at 306 million.
Special to CNN
Counterintuitive action makes a fellow feel smart. When I first got my driver's license, I took my old Ford Falcon into the Greenfield Public High School parking lot when it was freshly covered with fresh powder on top of wet slippery Western Massachusetts snow and ice. I turned fast, gunned it and lost control of the car in a skid.
I turned into the skid and instantly gained control of my car. Telling someone to turn into a skid, that's crazy talk. It seems so wrong, but my Dad knew it worked. Dad suggested I do it over and over in the parking lot, so I would conquer my intuition to be ready when a real emergency arose on a real road. Counterintuitive actions prove we can trust real knowledge and do the opposite of what we feel makes sense.
I'm a fire-eater. There is some technique to fire-eating, but most of the practice goes into learning that one's mouth is wet enough, most of the heat goes up enough, and cutting the oxygen leg off the fire triangle (it's now a fire tetrahedron, but I learned fire-eating a long time ago) with one's mouth really does put the fire out.
AC360° Senior Producer
Anderson will anchor from London, England where the G-20 Summit will take place. The G-20 consists of finance ministers and central bank governors from the European Union and 19 countries. They represent 90% of the world’s gross domestic product.
There is pressure for world leaders to come up with an economic cure, asap. President Obama and other world leaders get down to business when the summit officially begins tomorrow.
Some critics around the world are blaming American capitalism for this economic crisis, President Obama said we can only recover if we all work together. Tom Foreman tackles the subject of ‘blaming America’- he’ll explain who is pointing fingers and why.
Reporter's Note: From the White House, President Obama has called out to his country for ideas on how to run the country, how to fix the economy, how to make things better. And I am answering that call with a letter a day. I’m not sure if this is what he had in mind, but until I receive further instructions, I’ll press on.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
The War on Terror is over? Hooray!
Oh…so it’s not really over? We’re just calling it something else? Uh, excuse me, I’d like to take my cheer back.
Your Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, says your administration will no longer use the phrase “the global war on terrorism,” and she adds, “I think that speaks for itself.” I’m not so sure it does. Does she mean this change in our lexicon signals a new, safer age when we don’t have to wage war on terrorists? Or worry about them? Does she mean we won? We lost? Or is this a TV timeout?
I suspect what she means is that the phrase “war on terrorism” is poorly chosen, because it implies that we are trying to beat a tactic versus an enemy. On top of which, if you are at war, presumably one day someone might win and someone else might lose, but this whole terror war doesn’t seem to work that way. Our definition of winning would conceivably be something like “they quit attacking us,” and their definition might be “ok, you guys cease to exist.” See? Neither one of those outcomes appears likely in the near future. There is also the notion that this troublesome phrase in some parts of the world is really seen as just a code for “war on Islam,” and frankly it’s not making us a lot of friends.