May 20th, 2009
11:53 AM ET

Democrats on defense

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/22/art.capitol.dome.cnn.jpg]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

President Obama has been struggling to get things right on national security. The president has not displayed the same kind of poise and confidence as he has with domestic issues.

In contrast to the economic stimulus and health care reform, there have been a number of missteps, reversals and intra-party tensions over national security since Obama took office.

Obama, who in February 2008 said the trials of Guantanamo detainees were "too important to be held in a flawed military commission system," now says that he will continue to use that system, though in slightly modified fashion. When Obama announced that he would not release photographs of mistreated detainees, many of his supporters could not help but be disappointed.

The most recent controversy has been the battle over a briefing about the CIA's interrogation methods. The battle has been damaging to Democrats because it pits House Speaker Nancy Pelosi against the CIA. The controversy has inspired Republicans to argue that Democrats were complicit in the interrogation methods they have been criticizing.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Democrats • Julian E. Zelizer
May 20th, 2009
10:36 AM ET

Video: Pres. Obama's foreign policy challenges

Check out a preview of the AC360° Special "Extreme Challenges: the Next 100 Days." The full special airs this Thursday at 11p.m. ET.

May 20th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Let Michael Vick play football

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/05/20/michael.vick/art.02.vick.gi.jpg caption="Michael Vick, left, arrives at federal court with attorney Billy Martin in Richmond, Viriginia, in 2007."]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

When Michael Vick completes home confinement in July, he will have served the 23-month prison sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges.

After his release from a Kansas prison Wednesday, he headed to his home in Virginia to serve the final two months under home confinement, because all the beds at halfway houses in the area are taken.

But that hasn't deterred the Vick haters who are still in an uproar over the heinous details of his dogfighting kennel. Yes, reading the details of the treatment of the dogs, including the killing of some of them, could make anyone sick. Yet what's the point of sentencing someone to jail, then having them serve their time and be released if we still want to imprison them for the rest of their lives?

Frankly, I'm sick of Americans who talk all day about "do the crime, then do the time," then still want to treat a man like a criminal when he gets out of prison.

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Filed under: Michael Vick • Roland S. Martin
May 20th, 2009
09:59 AM ET

When parents refuse treatment for children: A legal and ethical Q&A

Editor's Note: A Minnesota judge issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for the mother of Daniel Hauser, a 13-year-old boy who is refusing treatment for his cancer, after neither she nor the boy showed up for a court appearance.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/05/19/minnesota.forced.chemo/art.chemo.boy.kare.jpg caption="Doctors say Daniel Hauser's lymphoma responded well to a first round of chemotherapy in February."]

Anderson Cooper spoke with CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Arthur Caplan, Chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cooper: Dr. Caplan, is this a tough call for you?

Dr. Caplan: It's not a tough call for me, Anderson. When you compel treatment, it has to be something that's well established and proven. This is. The chemotherapy success rate for the cancer that this boy has, if we can get it going soon, is about 95%. It's very, very good. You wouldn't push as hard if you had an experimental treatment or something that was iffy. Other facts, if you look at the situation with the chemotherapy, the alternative the parents proposed is well known to have a success rate of zero. So sometimes you can say, well, you know, the parents prefer surgery. We prefer chemo. Let's go with what they want first. you've got to move to save this child's life. Parental rights are strong, but they do have a limit when you're basically sacrificing your child for a religious belief that they themselves can't articulate.

Cooper: Dr. Caplan, though, it may be tough to actually give this boy treatment. He's saying he's going to kick and refuse, you know, and make it difficult for doctors to put any needles in him. How do you deal with that?

Dr. Caplan: Well, I'll tell you, I've seen these cases. What happens is, you've got the dad who's already started to come around and say maybe chemo. They'll work with a psychologist. They will try very hard to bring the boy around. And I will tell you, Anderson, there's a lot of success in sort of swaying people once they understand and see one of their parents start to waver. I've never seen a case where you actually had to strap a child down and sedate them and administer chemotherapy that way. Could happen, but most of the time when parents begin to sort of change their minds and the dad is here, you get the kid to come on, too.

Cooper: Art, are you surprised to hear that maybe the dad is starting to change his mind, or you say that's what often happens in these cases?

Dr. Caplan: It often happens that way. When you're really up against it and you start to realize the doctors are saying this is the cure and you've got to go with it, pretty soon, or you're going to miss the opportunity, one or both parents usually begin to waver. One other point, Anderson, you can sometimes get a parent who holds out to work with you, saying you pray, you do the ceremonies, healing ceremonies you want, we'll do the chemo, we can work together. That sometimes brings them around, too.


Filed under: 360° Q & A • 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Ethics • Health Care • Jeffrey Toobin
May 20th, 2009
09:34 AM ET

Dear President Obama #121: Lost in Space

Reporter's Note: I was never a particularly enthusiastic letter writer until President Obama asked the citizens of this country to give him ideas. Since his inauguration, I have penned a letter a day to the White House. I suspect this may be a form of mental illness.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/space/05/19/space.shuttle/art.shuttle.arm.nasa.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So you are stepping up the fuel efficiency standards for cars, are you? Good for you.. Whether gas prices are high or low, making natural resources go farther always seems like a smart move. That’s why I keep an extra sandwich in my computer bag; you never know when the jelly wells might run dry. On the other hand, what good is better mileage going to do for us if we don’t know where we are? I was floored today when I read about this government report warning that Global Positioning Systems could start failing next year if the Air Force does not step up its support for the satellites that make these systems work.

How will I navigate to the 7-11 for a newspaper if I can’t get instructions from space on where to turn? The stars? How will I get to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant without the soothing tones of Sasha (that’s what we call the disembodied GPS voice in the dashboard of our Mazda) calmly describing every bend in the road?


May 20th, 2009
08:50 AM ET

Video: Hauser case and implications

CNN's Anderson Cooper asks Arthur Caplan and Jeffrey Toobin about the legal and ethical implications of the Daniel Hauser case.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Jeffrey Toobin • Medical News
May 20th, 2009
08:45 AM ET

Michael Vick gets a second chance, but what about his dogs?

Editor's Note: The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed Michael Vick back into the National Football League on Friday after the quarterback spent almost two years in federal prison on a felony dogfighting conviction. John Polis, of the Best Friends Animal Society, blogged about the fate of the dogs a few months ago when Vick was released from prison.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/20/art.georgia.dog.jpg caption="Lucas’ deeply imbedded physical and emotional scares are healing, and his best years are ahead of him"]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/20/art.vick6.dog.jpg caption="Best Friends trainer John Garcia and Georgia, one of the dogs living at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/20/art.vick5.dog.jpg caption="Former grand champion fighter Lucas has found a new life at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary."]

John Polis
Best Friends Animal Society

When Michael Vick emerges from Leavenworth today after a two-year sentence for dog fighting, all eyes will be on the former Virginia Tech college star, who went on to quarterback the Atlanta Falcons for seven seasons. Will he play again? At 29-years-old, will they switch him to wide receiver? Will his return to the game help or hinder ticket sales?

But amid all the hoopla about Vick’s future in football, what about the victims, the dogs that were mistreated, tortured, and, eventually, killed when they were no longer profitable as fighters? What happened to them? Does anyone really care?

At Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in the pristine high desert county of southern Utah, 22 of the toughest cases from the Vick fiasco are rewriting history when it comes to the reputation of fighting dogs. Prior to their coming to Best Friends, it was a widely held opinion – by the most highly-respected animal welfare groups in the country – that any dog rescued from a fighting situation should immediately be put down.

After the Vick bust back in 2007, Best Friends and other groups that advocate for the pit bull breed, contacted the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia with an alternative. Would it consider allowing groups who knew pit bulls to take the dogs instead of euthanizing them? Thankfully the answer was yes, and today, the dogs at Best Friends are making terrific progress.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Michael Vick
May 20th, 2009
07:39 AM ET

Video: New credit card rules

Anderson talks with his panel about new regulations for credit card companies passed in the Senate.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Anderson Cooper
May 20th, 2009
07:05 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 5/19/09

Editor's Note: Our Tuesday night AC360° viewers had much to say about the story of Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old cancer victim who’s parents have refused further chemo treatments. We heard from those who agreed with the parents’ decision, and from those who regarded it as irresponsible and reckless. We also heard from some who felt the story did not fully portray the hazards of chemo and the serious after-effects patients must deal with. The story drew strong response from a divided audience. After reading some of the comments we received, we’d love to hear what you have to say:


I was diagnosed with Cancer; my doctors gave me 1 – 1 1/2 years to live. At the same time, two of my friends were also diagnosed. I refused to take chemo or radiation, and I am still alive where my two friends died a year ago. I feel that I survived 2 years longer and am still going strong. I saw both my parents die after receiving the poison and I won’t let anyone touch me.

The type of cancer you have factors into the success rate of chemo treatment. My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and after chemo has lived a productive life with no return of the cancer. Had she not made the decision to take the treatment we would likely be visiting her grave each year to remember her.

I have a daughter who has rhabdomyosarcoma. We did the first round of treatment. Some of it was under pressure. We were threatened before we had even stated any objections. Doctors feel over empowered to treat our children like science projects. If her cancer returns, I intend to make them prove it has benefit to continue this torture…She has autism too and this treatment further isolated her. Her chances were 50/50 "at best" first round…..this is a very personal issue for people who are faced with this horrible reality….we have watched children with zero percent chance of survival continue treatment because their parents can't let go. Is that any better?


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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