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July 27th, 2009
03:01 PM ET

Video: Michael Jackson's 'Wonderland'

Program note: Tune in to AC360° at 10pm ET tonight for all of the latest information in the Michael Jackson death investigation.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
July 27th, 2009
01:52 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Fed Chief feared a “Second Depression”

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Sunday that the central bank took the controversial actions it did over the past year because he "was not going to be the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over The Second Great Depression."

Speaking in Kansas City at a town hall meeting to be shown on PBS this week, Bernanke pushed back against audience members’ suggestions he and other government officials were all too eager to help big financial institutions before small businesses and everyday Americans.

He also said that the lessons learned from the recession and the financial crisis will help make the economy stronger than it was before the crisis.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Andrew Torgan • Economy • Wall St.
July 27th, 2009
01:15 PM ET

How we said goodbye to Sarah

Sarah Palin told a crowd in Fairbanks that she accomplished what she had promised as governor.

Sarah Palin told a crowd in Fairbanks that she accomplished what she had promised as governor.

Lynne Snifka
Alaska Dispatch

At 1 p.m. at the governor's picnic at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, about 40 people stood in line to get a hotdog and a bag of potato chips from then-Lt. Governor Sean Parnell. At the next tent over, the one where Sarah Palin plopped wieners into buns, the line snaked past the barbecue stand, past the Alaska Railroad car, and down the row of pioneer cabins that had been converted into gift shops.

"There's not a lot that happens in Fairbanks in the summertime," said a man who drove the 120 miles from Minto for the event. "We came to soak in the vibes."

Alongside Palin's tent, dozens crushed against a double barricade snapping photos. One man held a handmade sign up as though he was outside the studio of the Today show trying to get in the outgoing governor's line of sight. "Texans Love You," it read. About an hour later, another sign popped up in the crowd: "Texas Can Have Her."

The outgoing governor looked camera ready - coiffed, makeuped and clad in jeans, a black T-shirt and a light blue jacket. Flanked by state troopers and assorted commissioners, she mugged for cameras and took breaks from serving hot dogs to sign autographs.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Sarah Palin
July 27th, 2009
12:22 PM ET

Why GOP senators misfired on judge

Judge Sonia Sotomayor answers questions from senators during confirmation hearings last week.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor answers questions from senators during confirmation hearings last week.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Judge Sonia Sotomayor cruised through her confirmation hearings without a scratch.

Too bad we can't say the same about the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who tried to dent her credibility and wound up demolishing their own.

The problem wasn't that Republican senators challenged Sotomayor. That's their job. The problem was that they did their job in such an obsessive and boorish way so as to make clear to the entire country that they had no idea how to deal with someone like Sotomayor. Like when Tom Coburn of Oklahoma tried to be funny by pulling out his Ricky Ricardo accent and informing Sotomayor that she had "some 'splaining to do." All this talk about whether the nominee was ready for the senators, and the senators clearly weren't ready for the likes of her.

Keep reading...


Filed under: Republicans • Sonia Sotomayor
July 27th, 2009
12:16 PM ET

Mary Jo Buttafuoco: Joey’s a “sociopath”






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Mary Jo Buttafuoco in a 2000 photograph with her husband, Joey, outside Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco in a 2000 photograph with her husband, Joey, outside Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA.

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Mary Jo Buttafuoco never thought it was funny. “I was furious for a long time,” she told CNN. “I’m an almost murder victim, and jokes are being made? It was unbelievable.”

Unbelievable, but true. How and why her husband’s teenage mistress put a bullet in her head became fodder for the tabloids and a running gag for late night comics. Now, close to two decades after her near fatal encounter with Amy Fisher, the so-called “Long Island Lolita,” Buttafuoco has found peace. “My life is good, it’s calm,” she said.

That tranquility didn’t happen overnight. And it wasn’t easy. She admits to years of soul-searching, an addiction to pain killers and denial about the high school sweetheart she married and defended. As she tells it, Joey Buttafuoco is much more than a punch-line or a cheating spouse. In her words, “he’s a sociopath.”

Buttafuoco is putting her ordeal on paper. In her new book “Getting It Through My Thick Skull” she details how she reclaimed her life after almost losing it. “This story is not about Joey and Amy,” she explained. “It’s more to me about learning lessons and moving forward and inspiring people.”

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
July 27th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
July 27th, 2009
12:15 PM ET

Why be afraid of government?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts a health care reform bill will go the House floor and pass.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts a health care reform bill will go the House floor and pass.

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Health care reform has gotten off track. The president's news conference fell flat. Polls show growing unease with the proposals currently in play. And Congress will not meet the deadline that President Obama imposed.

The status quo, as the president correctly explained to reporters, is not sustainable. Our health care system is not working. Millions of people lack insurance, costs are out of control, businesses and workers are struggling to keep up with premiums, and there are tremendous inefficiencies plaguing many parts of the system.

Conditions will only become worse in coming years. Our health care system brings to mind the economist Herbert Stein's famous maxim: "When something can't go on forever, it will stop."

When Congress returns in September, Obama will only be able to revitalize the prospects for health care reform if he offers Americans a stronger argument about what government can do to improve this situation.

Keep reading...


Filed under: Health Care
July 27th, 2009
12:13 PM ET

Video: Sarah Palin's swan song

Sarah Palin addresses a crowd in Fairbanks, Alaska, for the last time as governor.


Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
July 27th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

The Gates opening: Times have changed

Gregory Rodriguez
Los Angeles Times

About the only thing as disappointing as the frivolous arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was the loud, almost gleeful chorus of "I told you so's" coming from his defenders. You've heard of schadenfreude - taking pleasure in the suffering of others? Well, this was the peculiar political version. It's not that commentators were happy that Gates had allegedly been mistreated. But they seemed inordinately pleased that some aggrieved yet righteous person had come along to help them prove a point they've been hankering to make since Barack Obama clinched the presidency last November:

"Racism is alive and well in the United States," one woman wrote in the comments section of the Root, the black-oriented online magazine that Gates edits. "It does not matter that we have an African American in the White House."

"We can put all that kumbaya, we're post-racial crap in the toilet," wrote one contributor to the Daily Beast. And according to Gates' friend and fellow tenured Harvard professor, Lawrence Bobo, the arrest proves that there "ain't nothing post-racial about the United States of America."

But the breathlessness and outsized outrage of some of the comments make me think not only that these critics are protesting too much but that they have much more at stake than Gates' four hours in the Cambridge clink.

Read more...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Race in America
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