August 19th, 2009
09:40 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 8/19/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight, security remains a top concern as Afghanistan holds its second-ever presidential election against a backdrop of escalating violence. President Hamid Karzai is competing with more than three dozen challengers–including two women– for the votes of 17 million registered Afghans. The polls open just hours from now, at 10:30 p.m. eastern.

Health care reform is also a major storm on our radar. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today denied reports that the Obama administration is considering pushing health care reform through Congress without any Republican support—the so-called nuclear option. Tonight, we’ll try to get a firm handle on a simple question: Is there any chance, at this point in the bitter debate, of bi-partisanship?

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    Don Hewitt I learned about him today, sounds like quite an amazing man. Sorry to hear of his passing.

    Good night Isabel, good night everyone.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Nancy, maybe we should call Bill Murray.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  3. Don, WA

    Squirrel's – yuh either hate'em or yuh lov'em – my dad is the squirrel whisperer – they luv him!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Lisa, my DNA is on record with the military anyway. I don't worry about it. The actual sample isn't kept, just the printout of results. there's nothing to 'plant'. But I guess I shouldn't commit any crimes or I'll be easy to catch.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  5. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Have a good evening everyone! Sleep well!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  6. Anthonia-(Bay Area)California

    goodnight everyone!!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  7. LisaL - Canada

    ok – the squirrel shot was pretty good. the raccoon ... not bad – like the raccoon.... ?seen any squirrels in togas recently? now THAT would be pretty funny...

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  8. Alex (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    Not employing someone because he doesn't fit the job description or his performance is below par is acceptable. However, not hiring them because they smoke can open a lot of can of worms. One can choose not to hire because they are female or they are of this race or they have this disease. It is like an insurance company refusing a client due to pre-existing condition. There goes the "equal opportunity" concept.

    Good night!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  9. Jennifer - Michigan

    Goodnite all.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  10. Sandra Robertson, GA

    Thanks for lots of great squirrel shots. They are really cute...good night all.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  11. Isabel • Brazil

    Good night Anderson, Erica, David (Indiana) and friends!

    See you tomorrow!


    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  12. Lori, IL

    Love the dancing squirrels -

    Good show tonight, Anderson and team 360

    Good night all....peace

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  13. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Thank God they get to vote...I hope they don't lose any digits due to it.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  14. Ashley H, Canada

    Hi Anderson, Hey Erica, and Hello 360 bloggers!

    OMG, the Shot is hilarious! I saw that on the Today Show!

    Oh, the squirrel is attacking Anderson Cooper!

    Good night everyone! 🙂

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  15. Heather - Spokane, WA

    You gotta love squirrels, they are so gutsy. have a good night all

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  16. gayle mccauley malden,mass.

    Goodnight everyone. Peace to all of you and yours.Squirrels dancing to MJ love it!! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  17. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Thank you & good night Anderson, Erica & Team 360.

    Good night fellow bloggers, terrific conversation as always.
    Today is my BD, and i'm glad that i could share part of it with you.

    The shot: Very, very funny. I really appreciate that you try to lighten up at the end of the show. It makes it a little easier to go to sleep.

    You two are really funny.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  18. Nancy

    The squirrel reminds me of "Caddyshack"

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  19. Jennifer - Michigan

    That shot is similar to the hamster dance.
    The racoon is cute.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  20. Isabel • Brazil

    Great animation! The squirrels are cute!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  21. Lisa A. Philadelphia, PA

    Good night all! As always, interesting show & blog – love the squirrel all over the place, and dancing to MJ!!! 😀

    August 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  22. Al Bezirkan

    Anderson i hope Democracy will get stronger in Afghanistan i hope U.S forces will wipe out All Terrorist element @ Afghanistan

    August 19, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  23. betty little

    @David- I plan to join on Friday night, healthcare is very important to me since my brother is a pediatrician and a solo practitioner who's been squezed by insurance company to the point that he is thinking about retiring

    August 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  24. Jillonne, Largo, Florida

    I missed alot of the show tonight due to business calls but I will watch the repeat at 11pm EST – goodnight Anderson, Erica and everyone! Sleep the sleep of angels and sweet dreams all 😉

    August 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  25. Kevin

    Shouldn't your health and life be incentive enough to lose weight or stop smoking? Excuses people always want something for nothing. Maybe instead of driving to work wake up 15mins earlier and bike, you might actually enjoy it.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  26. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Good night Anderson, Erica, Ed Henry, David Gergen and my friends Twitter/Facebook Bloggers!!!!!
    Have a great night and sleep tight everyone!!!! 😀
    See you tomorrow night!
    Have a great night, good sleep at home after work!!!! See you tomorrow night!!! Have a plenty sleep! 😀

    August 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  27. Sandra Robertson, GA

    My thoughts and prayers are with family, friends and colleagues of Don Hewitt.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  28. jacqueline, NY

    @LisaL – Canada

    Good question.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  29. Max

    Dear David....we need to dig soooo deep to find out that we have a corrupt system controlled by major insurance companies....We as americans should give everyone the right to health care....and lead the world on this issue, not asking how much it would cost....I am ashamed that we have the most expensive health care in the globe yet we rank 33rd....and 50th in life expectancy....thank you for bringing out the truth.....keep up the good work.....maybe we can make a difference.....Max

    August 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  30. Alex (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    Good evening! 🙂 I agree that forensic science is limited. Crime scene fraud? I don't think so unless it is deliberately done. Learning is infinite and technology evolves. What may be true then as parameters might not be true now as dictated by the current technology at hand. Scary? Yes, but one can only hope and one can always choose to stay out of trouble as much as they can help it.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  31. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Why are all the good newspeople passing?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  32. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I think a better way for companies to handle personal choice issues is to provide financial incentives for good behavior (e.g. not smoking) rather than penalties for bad.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  33. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Very sad news about Mr Hewett and Mr. Novack yesterday. We are beginning to lose the legends of the news business.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  34. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Rest in peace Don Hewitt...... Good bye Don.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  35. Dee E

    Yes I believe companies have a right refuse employment to smokers
    Iwish that would happen all over the US..it's time we get a handle on this for the health of everyone..... not to mention the cost
    Enjoy your programs and specials ..always watch..Thank you..keep up the good work....

    August 19, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  36. Isabel • Brazil

    It’s very sad when people so special and with the gift of clarify, advertise and teach, let us.

    Journalists are special people. They always have stories to tell. I miss my dad too, he was journalist. He had the world at your fingertips!

    First Walter Cronkite. Today Don Hewitt! Sad!

    RIP Don Hewitt!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  37. Janine from PA.

    If the government would make the health reform bill simple to read and uncomplicated and make sure they are not setting the stage for loopholes in the future maybe they could get somewhere. They are always making everything more complicated the it needs to be. And really examine what they are doing so they don't have to go back later and fix any mess they make.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  38. Andre, Lauderhill, FL

    Afghan democracy baby! Feels so good, the Taliban is tossing and turning right now

    August 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  39. joel

    Smokers suffer more illness on account of something that is totally in their control. If people choose to smoke then they must the social and employment consequences as well as health consequences.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  40. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Thank you for taking us to Afganistan Live! I am very anxious to see how this election turns out. It is important for our global future.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  41. Denise Potvin

    Frankly I am shocked re the piece of not hiring smokers and thinking of not hiring heavy set people. this a slippery slope. what is next, hair colour, perfect vision. this is starting to sound like Gattaca. Just saying, Denise.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  42. Lori, IL

    @David Gergen - looking forward to the special on health reform and do hope you "dig deeper" - I'm not convinced the health insurance co-ops are the answer vs. a government option. I think for the co-op to be effective it would have to be nationwide and include a huge number of people, otherwise they will pick away, just like the insurnace companies do about who and what to cover -

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  43. Tony Thornton

    It's a sad day for the family members of the swim suit model. my heart
    prayers go out to them

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  44. Lisa A. Philadelphia, PA

    @Mike, Syracuse, NY – if corrupt people can "plant" evidence, do you want these same corrupt people to have access to your DNA? I don't.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  45. David, Indiana

    @Isabel, it is worrying to think of people going to polls under threat of violence. Hopefully the Afghan govt can assure the safety of the public. Maybe this is a not a great question, but how involved will US troops be in election security?

    Anderson, you're going to Afghanistan? Stay safe.

    I hope things can get on track there and in Iraq.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  46. Anthonia-(Bay Area)California

    @Karen- But you are still considered healthy because you are excerising and eating healthy regularly.. right? so why wouldnt they want to hire you? i just think the weight issue shouldnt be a problem at the cleveland clinic!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  47. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Smoking is 100% choice. Weight is at least 50% genetics. That's a reason to treat them differently.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  48. Isabel • Brazil

    @ David Gergen

    Anderson’s special on health reform will be tomorrow or on Friday or both?

    Mr. Gergen was moderate?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  49. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    That is so horrible crime I have seen..... My heart goes to swimmer/model's family....... I know she is here our heart. My thought and prayers with them.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
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