July 28th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

The all-powerful August break

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/27/health.care.house/art.hoyer.pelosi.gi.jpg" caption="Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, Rep. John Larson and Speaker Nancy Pelosi address the news media Monday."]

John Feehery
Special to CNN

The issue was: Should they stay or should they go?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thought the House should stay and work until Democrats pass health care reform.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thought the Senate should adjourn for the summer break and come back after the senators have a chance to meet with their constituents.

Pelosi lost, and House Democratic leaders now concede there won't be a vote before the traditional August recess.

Both paths came with big risks. Had Pelosi's brigade marched off a cliff, taken a difficult vote on a potentially unpopular bill and faced hordes of angry constituents, she would have faced an unruly and upset Democratic caucus come September.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Health Care • Nancy Pelosi
July 28th, 2009
10:18 AM ET
July 28th, 2009
10:18 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The worst environmental disaster in history?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/14/tva.ruling/art.house.wvlt.jpg caption="Properties near ground zero of the December 22 Tennessee spill are covered in sludge."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Choking on ash? Dr. Sanjay Gupta traveled to eastern Tennessee where a barrier broke and toxic sludge – including coal ash – spread across 300 acres of a small town. It is considered the worst environmental disaster in the country and Erin Brokovich is now trying to bring attention to the town’s plight. Now, a new report shows that the Tennessee Valley Authority ignored red flags and ignored some of the concerns of people in the community. Sanjay went there to see the impact of the sludge on the community – he’ll tell us more about the ramifications tonight.

Scott Roeder, the man accused of killing one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers, is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing today. Roeder allegedly killed abortion provider Dr. George Tiller while he was at church. This week Roeder gets his first look at the evidence against him, even as he called the shooting of Tiller “justified.” Gary Tuchman is in Kansas today where he speaks with Lindsay Roeder, the ex-wife of Scott Roeder. Gary talks to her about the trauma she and her son have experienced.

California is facing a major budget crisis this year and today Gov. Schwarzenegger signs the new revised budget today in Sacramento. But some towns and cities have come up with alternative plans to deal with the shortfalls. The city of Oakland just made big headlines when it became the first city in the country to directly tax medical marijuana. But the revenue that it could generate is small compared to what the state could get if California were to make marijuana legal. In a state that has been progressive on so many issues this idea may be gaining traction - thanks in no small part to the state's disastrous budget. Dan Simon reports from California.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
July 28th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Birthers back Hawaii-Obama resolution

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/27/obama.savings/art.obama.speech.afp.gi.jpg"%5D

Glenn Thrush

It's symbolic, but Democrats have scored a victory [of sorts] over nine House Republicans who signed on to the so-called "Birther" bill - getting them on the record in support of a resolution that explicitly states that President Obama was born in Hawaii.

None of the nine - Reps. Marsha Blackburn [R-Tenn.], Dan Burton [R-Ind.], John Campbell [R-Calif.] John Carter [R-Tex.], John Culberson [R-Tex.], Robert Goodlatte [R-Va.], Kenny Marchant [R-Tex.], Randy Neugebauer [R-Tex.] and Rep. Ted Poe [R-Tex.] - objected to the unanimous approval of a resolution honoring the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's Statehood last night.

The key clause, cleverly inserted by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii): "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii;"

Keep reading...

Filed under: Democrats • President Barack Obama • Republicans
July 28th, 2009
08:35 AM ET
July 28th, 2009
08:25 AM ET

Dear President Obama #190: Cash for clunkers? Sure, I'll take some

Reporter's Note: President Obama is trying quite hard to get the economy rolling again, and amid some promising news this week, he has launched what is being called the Cash for Clunkers program. Oddly enough, that’s what my wife and I have always called our retirement account. And on that note, here is my daily letter to the president.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/27/cash.clunkers/art.ford.focus.gi.jpg caption="Cars bought through the program must get at least 22 mpg, like this Ford Focus. Rules are different for trucks."]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So your Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood came to see us today and talked up your Cash for Clunkers program. He made a strong (or at least strongly stated) case for the idea: Give people a government funded rebate to trade in their old gas guzzlers, they’ll buy more cars, car makers, car dealers, and people who sell things related to cars will all benefit. Fair enough.

No doubt, however, you’ve also seen the statements of critics about this program: While it will make cars more affordable for people who are already planning to buy one, it will not spur enough additional sales to make a difference. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill, and when the money runs out, we’ll be back where we started.

I suppose both sides have good points, but the center of this debate is really not about selling cars, anymore than the movie Titanic was about trans-Atlantic shipping trends.


July 28th, 2009
07:10 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 7/27/09

Editor's Note: Last night many of you had a lot to say about Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson and Prof. Gates. Some of you said you've heard enough about Palin and Jackson, and we received a variety of comments about Prof. Gates’ arrest too. Kudos were given to Anderson for comments to Candy Crowley, “Candy, thanks very much. I love the ending of your piece. Great writing. Thank you.” What about you? What did you think?

I was enjoying your program and then - just as with every other CNN program– Sarah Palin. Again! How many times do we have to listen to her stupid resignation? Why are you so obsessed with this woman?

The discussion on Henry Gates tonight was outrageous-Professor Gates, like some other prominent blacks, has a history of racial bias and does everything possible to make everything about race. Everything is not about race; sometimes a jerk is just a jerk -just like Henry Gates!


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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