May 13th, 2009
11:01 AM ET

Americans not concerned with diversity on Supreme Court, poll shows

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Mark Silva
The Los Angeles Times

There is but one woman on the nine-member Supreme Court, in a nation where women outnumber men at polling places; one black justice, in a nation that shed legalized racial discrimination only decades ago; and there never has been a Hispanic on the high court, in a nation whose fastest growing minority population is Latino.

Yet, with President Obama weighing his first appointment for the high court and promising to pick a nominee with "diversity of experience," Americans apparently are in no rush to even the score for women or minorities on the court.

"There is simply no large groundswell," reports Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, in a survey released this morning by the independent polling institute.

Nearly two-thirds - 64% - of Americans surveyed say it "doesn't matter" to them if the president appoints a woman, according to the results of a Gallup poll conducted last week.

Slightly more of those surveyed - 68% - said it doesn't matter whether Obama names a Hispanic justice. And even more - 74% - said it doesn't matter whether the first African American president appoints a black justice.

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May 13th, 2009
10:40 AM ET

A hard look at education

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Cory Booker
Mayor of Newark, N.J.
The Huffington Post

This week, I became a more active tweeter (@CoryBooker)! I was encouraged by the dialogue that came from one of my tweets regarding education reform. There is no doubt that America faces severe educational challenges.

We are a nation that proclaims unalienable rights and "that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These are not some ethereal principles - they are tangible and worthy ideals for which to struggle. Our children call to us daily from schools across the nation that we are "one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all." Justice, liberty, life, happiness - critical to all of these ideals are wide universally accessible avenues for our youth to obtain a high quality education.

Few can argue with this and few would argue that the long-term success of our nation, in an increasingly competitive global knowledge-based economy, relies squarely on what is happening in American classrooms every day. In the United States, a highly educated populace would result in a GDP trillions of dollars higher than our present GDP - more jobs and more opportunities for so many Americans.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Education
May 13th, 2009
10:08 AM ET

Twitter clamps down on open conversation

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John D. Sutter
CNN.com Writer/Producer

Twitter is all abuzz this morning with re-posts of this ReadWriteWeb blog, which says the micro-blogging site is clamping down on the way people converse.

From Twitter’s blog:

Based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.

Twitter calls the change a “small settings update,” but Twitter users seem upset about the move, saying that it cuts down on a common way to find new, interesting people on the site.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Technology
May 13th, 2009
09:48 AM ET

NASA astronaut first to 'tweet' from space

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It's not quite the achievement of a lunar landing, but astronaut Mike Massimino made Twitter history with a 139-character post to the micro-blogging site - the first person to do so from space.

"From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!" he wrote at 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.

With the tweet, Massimino kept his promise to file updates from the space shuttle Atlantis as it readies to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Massimino began tweeting in early April as he prepared for the mission. By early Wednesday, his Twitter feed, astro_mike, had more than 241,000 followers.

Atlantis launched Monday afternoon with Massimino and six other crew members. It is NASA's fifth and final repair visit to the Hubble. The crew was expected to arrive at the space telescope on Wednesday.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Space
May 13th, 2009
09:24 AM ET

We don’t need more doctors

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Clayton Christensen, Jason Hwang and Vineeta Vijayaraghavan
Special to CNN

Vowing not to "continue down the same dangerous road" of rising health care costs, President Obama announced on Monday a coalition for reform that included some of health care's most powerful stakeholders.

But what is not yet clear is whether this latest attempt to fix the health care system will in fact introduce fundamental change, or simply proceed down another well-trodden road that delivers more of the same.

For example, the urgent need for more doctors, particularly primary care providers, has been raised by the president and other administration officials.

The Association of American Medical Colleges advocates a 30 percent increase in medical school enrollment to produce 5,000 more doctors a year, and one provision in the White House plan would redistribute payments from specialists to primary care doctors to improve pay equity.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
May 13th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

Dear President Obama #114: Everything in moderation ... except politics

Reporter's Note: President Barack Obama says he really wants to hear from all of us with our suggestions on how to run the country. Considering that I nearly wrecked my car eating Oreos on the way to work this morning, I’m not sure my ideas should be trusted. At least not today. Still, I continue with a letter a day.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

The ever-quotable author Robert Heinlein once wrote, “Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” That strikes me as a wildly entertaining philosophy, and in New Orleans, it could even be considered a relatively chaste approach.

Humor aside, when it comes to politics, I am startled by the contempt that traditional DC has for moderate voters and leaders. During the election, a friend of rather esteemed political chops unleashed her fury about moderates, saying “I’m sick of them. They should stop being wishy-washy, and choose either the Democrats or Republicans. They need to make up their minds.”

What my pal does not want to accept, is that they have made up their minds: These voters think both parties have significant problems, and that intelligent voting requires taking the best ideas from each and ditching the worst…in other words, moderation. Sure that infuriates the hard left and the hard right, because both believe in their philosophies. But polls say most voters, left, right and center, consider themselves moderates first.


May 13th, 2009
08:18 AM ET

Video: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rule reconsidered?

President Obama vowed to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell rule on gays in the military. Why hasn't it happened? Joe Johns reports.

Filed under: Gay & Lesbian Issues • Joe Johns • Military
May 13th, 2009
07:13 AM ET

The Shot: Beauty queen stumped

A Miss Panama 2009 contestant is stumped by a question about philosopher Confucius. Hear her answer.

Filed under: T1 • The Shot
May 13th, 2009
07:06 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 5/12/09

Editor's Note: AC360° viewers wrote in with comments about Lt. Daniel Choi/“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” PTSD and Elizabeth Edwards. They thanked Anderson for the interview with Lt. Daniel Choi and feel that he is a role model even if the government doesn’t think so. A few wrote in hoping that the help for soldiers with PTSD gets looked at closer as what help they are getting right now doesn’t seem to be working. A few also gave their opinion on Elizabeth Edwards’ book saying that the critics should “walk a mile in her shoes.” The viewers feel that she is a role model.


Anderson: Your interview tonight with Daniel Choi was excellent. Daniel is my hero, and he stands up to the world for what he believes in, which thrills me. What a fine role model he is. Thank you.

In 1987 I trained as a 91G, Behavioral Science Specialist in the US Army. Basically a social worker with a lot less training. We were taught if soldiers came in with combat stress to feed them, let them shower and sleep and then if they were capable of pulling the trigger to send them back out to the field. There was really no mechanism for any sort of long term care unless someone was so psychotic that they could be sent out. It seemed the preferred course of action was to get them back to the field at almost all cost. It doesn't appear to have changed much but the level of stress the soldiers are under with multiple tours and such has increased. Our soldiers are human; being in war, under a constant state of alert, long periods of dullness punctuated by intense periods of danger does not make a mentally healthy person. Our soldiers are humans not machines and must be treated as such. My heart goes out to the victims, the alleged perpetrator and all their families. This part of the system is broken!


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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