August 6th, 2009
04:50 PM ET

Proud to be a 'wise Latina'

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/28/sotomayor.panel.vote/art.sotomayor.afp.gi.jpg" caption="After being confirmed by the Senate today, Sonia Sotomayor will be the first latino on the U.S. Supreme Court."]

Maria Hinojosa
Special to CNN

It's a question I never thought I would ask my daughter. But I loved being able to ask it.


"Yes, Mom," my 11-year-old daughter said.

"Tell me what T-shirt you would most like to wear: one that says 'I am a Wise Latina,' 'My Mother is a Wise Latina' or 'Sonia is a Wise Latina'?"

She cocked her head slightly and then quickly said, "I am a Wise Latina."

Eleven years old, and this is the vision she already has of herself. It's a pretty wonderful thing to watch that certain something blossom in a girl ... one of those often fleeting moments when a girl owns her own power.

For me, the decision to wear my own "Wise Latina" T-shirt raises all kinds of issues.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Hispanic • Sonia Sotomayor
August 6th, 2009
04:31 PM ET

Laura Ling and Euna Lee Freed!

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/05/nkorea.journalists/art.journalist.arv.ktla.jpg" caption="The journalists share an emotional reunion with their families Wednesday at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank."]


Visit their website: http://www.lauraandeuna.com/ for more coverage, information and photographs of Laura and Euna.

Filed under: 360º Follow • North Korea
August 6th, 2009
04:28 PM ET

Summary: President Obama's first 200 days

Program Note: Watch Tom Foreman's report on President Obama's second 100 days in office tonight on AC360° at 10p ET. Also, don't forget to grade the Obama Administration and Congress on how they have handled their second 100 days in office.

Robert Yoon
CNN Sr. Research Analyst

Here are some stats on President Obama as we examine his first 200 days in office. He completes his 200th day on Friday, August 7.

Signed 21 executive orders (1st 100 days: 19; 2nd 100 days: 2)

Signed 42 bills into law (1st 100 days: 14; 2nd 100 days: 28)

Visited 18 states (1st 100 days: 12; 2nd 100 days: 14) FULL POST

Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama
August 6th, 2009
04:06 PM ET

Barack Obama so far

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/06/art.rollingstone0809.jpg]

Program note:For President Obama's 200 day mark, we'll be talking to senior political analyst David Gergen on AC360° tonight at 10pm ET.

Rolling Stone

During Franklin Roosevelt's first 100 days in office, congress granted every request the new president made. Barack Obama, despite enjoying a decisive majority in both houses of Congress, hasn't been so fortunate. His economic stimulus package failed to win a single Republican vote in the House, and conservative members of his own party are trying to block his ambitious plans to provide universal health care and curb global warming. What's more, Obama himself has alarmed supporters by compromising on key issues, and he has yet to flex his political muscle by mobilizing the tech-savvy network of grass-roots activists he assembled during last year's campaign. All of which raises the question: Is Obama raising false hopes? Or does he have what it takes to deliver real change?

To assess Obama's performance during his first six months in office, we sat down in our New York offices with three of America's leading political observers. David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, served in the White Houses of Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University, won the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics. Michael Moore is the Academy Award-winning director of Bowling for Columbine and Sicko; his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, will premiere on October 2nd.


Filed under: President Barack Obama
August 6th, 2009
03:23 PM ET
August 6th, 2009
02:44 PM ET

Obama’s first 200 days “reckless”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/05/obama.day.200/art.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="President Obama still enjoys broad support, but his approval rating has dropped some."]

Michael Steele
Special to CNN

Friday marks President Obama's 200th day in office, and in most respects, his second hundred days as president have been worse than the first 100.

Obama campaigned on bringing "change" to America, and during his first 200 days as president, his real definition of change is becoming absolutely clear to Americans.

Obama and congressional Democrats are determined to conduct their reckless and costly liberal experiments on the American people without any regard to the consequences.

Whether a $787 billion stimulus bill, a "cap-and-trade" scheme that is nothing more than a huge national energy tax on every American family and business, or a $1.6 trillion government-run health care plan, more and more Americans are rightfully concerned about Obama's change for this country.

Since Obama and Democrats rushed through Congress a $787 billion stimulus package, unemployment in America has risen close to 9.5 percent, and every indication is that it will climb even higher when July's unemployment report is released Friday.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama
August 6th, 2009
02:40 PM ET

Free At Last – Welcome Home, Laura and Euna!

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/05/nkorea.journalists.background/art.descend.wed.gi.jpg caption="Freed journalist Euna Lee is followed by Ling as they step off their plane Wednesday in California."]

Mallika Chopra

Watching Laura Ling and Euna Lee step off the plane this morning seemed like a scene from a movie. It had all the drama – two young girls, after 140 days in captivity in the rogue nation of North Korea, rescued by President Clinton, running into the warm embraces and tears of their families. Two women looking at their husbands with soulful gratitude and endearing love, holding their tearful parents, a little girl hugging her mom to welcome her home.

In mid March, when my brother called me to say that it seemed that Laura, one of his dearest friends, had been captured in N. Korea while shooting a documentary, he sounded despondent. There were very few details, but Lisa Ling, Laura’s sister and also a close friend of Gotham’s, had a dreaded sense of panic. Days, weeks, then months passed with little news and no contact. Then a meeting with the Swedish Ambassador, a letter, a phone call – an agonizing and painful process that tortured the girl’s families.

Despite my blogs about them, I have to admit that I am personally not close to Laura Ling or Euna Lee. However, my brother’s deep-rooted friendship with Laura has seen each other through work, weddings, and life changes. Through the years, whenever I have met either Laura or Lisa, and as I have watched their stories and heard about their passion and compassion from my brother, I have developed a sense of respect for the Ling sisters, two girls who have the heart, the brains and the courage to tell hard stories.


Filed under: North Korea
August 6th, 2009
01:57 PM ET
August 6th, 2009
12:59 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Half of mortgage borrowers will be 'underwater'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/06/senate.clunkers/art.clunkers.gi.jpg caption="Senators will decide Thursday whether they want to spend $2 billion to keep the Cash for Clunkers program going."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Nearly half the nation's mortgage borrowers will soon be “underwater,” meaning they will owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

A new analysis of the battered housing and mortgage markets by Deutsche Bank estimates that 25 million borrowers, representing 48% of all Americans with mortgage loans, will be underwater before home prices are expected to stabilize in the beginning of 2011.

The twin centers of “underwaterworld” are the so-called "sand states" and the rust belt. The worst hit metro areas are Merced and El Centro, CA, where 85% of mortgage borrowers are underwater.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Andrew Torgan • Economy
August 6th, 2009
12:51 PM ET

Learning from tragedy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/08/06/gym.shooting.video/art.sodini.02.jpg caption="Shooter George Sodini visited the LA Fitness gym three times Tuesday, police say."]

Daniel Gross
PAX Co-founder and CEO

On Tuesday evening, 48-year-old George Sodini opened fire at a local health club in Pittsburgh and killed three innocent bystanders before eventually turning the gun on himself. FBI agents are reporting that Sodini kept an online diary of his intended actions and even listed Tuesday’s date as the day he would carry out the shooting. Local law enforcement believes that “nobody could have stopped him.” Still, as details continue to emerge, we must at least ask ourselves what we can learn from this tragedy to prevent others.

Sodini began keeping a diary in November 2008. His Monday entry foreshadows Tuesday’s nightmare: “I took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished.”

While it is rare for adults to give such vivid warning of violent acts, the opposite could be said about youth violence and school shootings. According to a joint study between the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education, in over 80 percent of school shootings, the attackers tell other students about their plans beforehand.


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