August 4th, 2009
10:34 AM ET

Dear President Obama #197: The siren's wail over middle class taxes

Reporter's Note: President Obama seems very interested in the advice of experts. I am no expert. But I am very interested in giving advice, so I write a letter a day anyway.

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Are you not paying attention to me? I can’t really blame you if you are not, because I know you have a great many things on your plate, and frankly I’m not sure I would trust the ramblings of a news reporter either, (especially that snake, Ed Henry) but still…

Just days ago I waved a giant red flag and screamed like a rugby fan at the finals, “Don’t send mixed messages! Don’t frighten people!” And yet here go top members of your money team hoisting the hurricane warning flags over the possibility of new middle class taxes. They may as well run down Daytona beach screaming, “Shark!”

I know…I know…you are now slapping that idea down like a badminton birdie, but the mere fact that you have to is not good. If you take that fancy Presidential limo and back up over your pledge to not raise middle class taxes I suspect your entire administration will wind up in the metaphorical ER.


August 4th, 2009
08:46 AM ET

Why Obama's plans are stalled

President Obama's likeability is key to his leadership, experts say.

President Obama's likeability is key to his leadership, experts say.

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

The second hundred days of Barack Obama's presidency have in many ways been more revealing than the first hundred days.

We have learned a lot, not so much about Obama's governing style or his policy agenda, but about the political environment in which he will have to operate - at least until the 2010 midterm elections.

Obama has experienced some difficult challenges since April. On paper, the administration has clearly not achieved the same kind of sweeping early legislative record as his Democratic predecessors such as Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. We have not witnessed the creation of another New Deal or Great Society.

The economic stimulus bill is the most ambitious legislation to move through Congress thus far. The financial and economic bailout program has proved extremely important as well, but that comes from the Troubled Asset Relief Program begun by President George W. Bush at the height of the financial crisis.

The two big-ticket items for the administration - health care and the environment - are stalled in Congress. There is a potential compromise looming on health care that would fall far short of Obama's campaign promises. At the same time, most of the national security policies that were put into place after September 11 by the Bush administration remain intact.


Filed under: President Barack Obama
August 4th, 2009
08:41 AM ET
August 4th, 2009
07:30 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 8/3/09

Editor's Note: Many of you were happy to see Erica Hill filling in for Anderson last night.  Thanks were heard for our report on malaria, citing that increased awareness can save lives. Finally, a complaint was heard for bringing up the Manson Murders after 40 years. What do you think? Let us know.


I like Erica Hill as host. I also like AC and Randi Kaye

I am a longtime Anderson Cooper Fan and I really, really do think Erica Hill does a terrific job and adds a "fresh approach I have not seen in others.

Thank you so much for your coverage of the spread of malaria and prevention efforts. Recently, a dear friend and a gifted international educator contracted cerebral malaria and died suddenly after spending time in Africa. Her friends and family are still in shock over her demise, but your reporting and program reinforce that, through increased awareness about malaria, the general public can be empowered to take appropriate measures to prevent such fatal consequences.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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