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May 14th, 2009
11:13 AM ET

Stop throwing dirt on GOP 'grave'

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Ed Rollins
CNN Contributor

My message to the national media and political pundits on their premature obits on the Republican Party: Quit throwing dirt on our graves!

We may be feeble, but we are not dead and to paraphrase a quote from the Terminator: We'll be back.

Being older than dirt myself, I have a perspective others might not have. I have been amazed recently at all the stories in the media regarding the perceived end of the Republican Party. It might be wishful thinking on some of their parts. This week's Time magazine cover story titled "Endangered Species" is the epitome.

The defection of Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democrats after polls showed he would lose badly in a Republican primary, and the rocky start of new Republican National Chairman Michael Steele has created a feeding frenzy.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Ed Rollins • Republicans
May 14th, 2009
11:02 AM ET

U.S. becoming more diverse

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Les Christie
CNNMoney.com

The nation is becoming even more diverse: More than one third of its population belongs to a minority group, and Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday that the minority population reached an estimated 104.6 million – or 34% of the nation's total population – on July 1, 2008, compared to 31% when the Census was taken in 2000. Nearly one in six residents, or 46.9 million people, are Hispanic, the agency reported.

Even more telling for the future: 44% of children under age 18 and 47% of children under the age of five are now from minority families.

The quickly expanding Latino population is having a healthy impact on the economy, according to Ken Gronbach, author of "The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Growing Demographic Trend."

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
May 14th, 2009
10:15 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Credit card holder's bill of rights?

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Jill Billante
AC360° Senior Producer

Good morning everyone!

Today, President Obama will hold a town hall in New Mexico to discuss credit cards. This is a story that effects everyone, wouldn’t you say?

The Senate is currently debating a “credit card holder's bill of rights” and the president says he wants to sign that bill by Memorial Day.

Yesterday, the Senate stripped the current bill of a provision that would have capped interest-rates at 15% in an effort to push the bill through. But, that seems to be a very important part of the legislation. Are these lawmakers bowing to pressure from credit card companies? Some of them of course took bailout money from the taxpayers.. the very people they are charging additional fees.

That’s right, in anticipation of the bill passing, the credit card companies have added new fees to millions of consumer accounts and they’ve also tripled late fees to nearly 150 dollars in some cases. Let’s hope this Congress and this president stand up to these companies. Tom Foreman will be keeping them honest.

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Filed under: Jill Billante • The Buzz
May 14th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #115: Here's to good losers

Reporter's Note: Our President would like advice from his fellow Americans. I would like to help. Hence, my letter each day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I am sitting on the floor, sweating away the heat from a late run, and watching the Capitols fall like King Kong, finally tumbled from his desperate perch by the whirling assault of his attackers. After playing a brilliant series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they came into the decisive game seven full of fire; then promptly went down by two goals in eight seconds in the first period. Now it is the third and final period and they are still trailing badly; they have roughly the same chance of winning that Bernie Madoff has of becoming Pope.

They played 96 games to fall short of the conference championships by this one. No matter how much you are paid, no matter how many sports magazines put you on the cover, even if you get to go Dancing with the Stars in the off season, this hurts.

I know it makes some people crazy when hockey players fight. They think it demeans the game, teachers a bad lesson to young fans, and runs up dental insurance costs. Or something like that. But when I watch these guys work as hard as they do, battling the ice and each other to push a hard frozen puck through a storm of bodies toward a net that always seems filled with defenders, I think I understand the feeling; how the frustration and fatigue must simply make them want to burst at times.

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May 14th, 2009
09:14 AM ET

Social Security beats your 401(k)

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Alicia H. Munnell
Special to CNN

The nation's financial and economic crisis provided a stress test for the nation's public and private retirement system.

The 2009 Social Security Trustees report released Tuesday provides a basis for assessing how each held up. On the one hand, assets in 401(k) accounts - which are predominantly in stocks - have declined in value by about a third, employers are suspending matching contributions, and millions of unemployed workers have seen their retirement savings efforts disrupted.

On the other hand, the Social Security Administration continues to send out monthly checks to 35 million retirees and their spouses, 9 million disabled workers and their families, and 6 million families whose breadwinner has died. In other words, the government system has proved to be much less fragile than the private system of retirement savings.

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Filed under: Economy • Finance
May 14th, 2009
06:55 AM ET

Video: Notre Dame controversy

Anderson talks with panel members about their views on President Obama's upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame.

May 14th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 5/13/09

Editor's Note: Many of you wrote in to comment on President Obama speaking at Notre Dame and Arizona State University and the torture photos. On the torture photos many of you feel we have seen enough and to let the military try those involved. The controversy over President Obama speaking at Notre Dame had mixed comments. What do you think?

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Americans are great at flogging themselves over issues. We were all inflamed to learn of the tortures that were used against the Iraq prisoners. To release even more photos would do nothing more than to incite and divide. Allow the military to try those involved, we have seen enough.
RE: Obama and abortion – I'm sure he has never had one personally. I do not know if he has made the choice to abort a baby either. The Catholics should allow him to speak. The point is – it's a WOMAN's choice. Those same Catholics may support the death penalty and disvalue life if it isn't in the womb.

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Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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