August 25th, 2009
10:03 AM ET

Morning Buzz: The Pres and his golf buddies

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

President Obama took a break from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard this morning to nominate Ben Bernanke to a second term as head of the Federal Reserve. Obama said Bernanke’s “background, temperament, his courage, and his creativity” helped prevent another Great Depression. Do you agree?

Was the timing of this announcement choreographed to lessen the impact of today’s release of budget deficit estimates? The Congressional Budget Office and the White House are set to release separate updates of their 10-year deficit estimates. The U.S. deficit is expected to reach $9 trillion over the next 10 years – that’s $2 trillion more than they predicted at the beginning of the year. But in the short term the numbers looks better – showing a $1.58 trillion deficit for this fiscal year, which is slightly smaller than previously thought.

One of Pres. Obama’s golfing buddies yesterday was Robert Wolf, a top donor to his campaign and the president of UBS Americas – a bank at the center of a U.S. investigation into illegal tax shelters. The two men, who met about three years ago, are described as “friends.” Wolf’s firm was caught up last year in a Senate investigation of financial firms that attempted to shield millions of dollars in offshore accounts from U.S. taxes. Who decides who gets to play golf with the President? And who do you think will be out on the course today?

We’re in New Orleans this week four years after Hurricane Katrina wiped out so much of the city’s neighborhoods. People in the The Big Easy have spent the past four years rebuilding their lives from the ground up. Dr. Sanjay Gupta rode along with the New Orleans Police Department’s mental health crisis unit. He met one patient and tracks his path through a fractured mental health system that has been described by local officials as “in shambles and getting worse ever year.” More from Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight.

And we’ll also be talking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about a new report that suggests 60 million to 120 million Americans – that’s 20 to 40 percent of the U.S. population – could contract H1N1 swine flu this fall and winter. The report also estimates that 30,000 to 90,000 people could die of the disease – mainly children and young adults. Although this report was not a prediction but rather a “planning scenario,” are we prepared for this outbreak? Do you have questions? Let us know!

Afghanistan election officials announced today that partial election results put incumbent President Hamid Karzai ahead of his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, by a slim margin. So far this is only a partial count of last week’s presidential election and the margins may change. More as the vote count develops tonight.

A preliminary report by the Los Angeles coroner indicates that Michael Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative he was given to help him sleep. In court documents released yesterday, Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, allegedly gave him Valium, Ativan and Versed before propofol. Murray’s lawyer denies accuracy of the police timeline. Randi Kaye is in Los Angeles to dig deeper tonight.

What else are you following? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Isabel Siaba, Brazil

    The swine flu is ravaging my country, this winter. There was already more than 500 deaths and almost 6000 confirmed cases across the country. The return to school vacation were delayed in 3 weeks as a way to lessen the contagion. Pregnant women are licensed preventive because they are more susceptible to flu.

    It's scary to see people delivered and unable to defend this disease.

    My question is: will the Americans have the vaccine for this flu?

    August 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  2. KIm

    Is he going to ride the horses on the beach next or just play golf ? Has he gone sailing yet or is he reading all those books ? Try to clarify if there is a new hemagglutinin and new neuraminidose protein that's been found of which causes a pandemic virus.Do they know ? Reporting up to half of the US will catch this H1N1.Haven't the subtypes of this virus been around since 1977 ? Why the delay and how fast can we ship in two shots for prevention ? Find any arrow heads around the shore line yet ?

    August 25, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  3. Renee

    Question for Dr Gupta: How can parents best prepare child for the prevention of swine flu? Can he gives up the top 3 tips.

    August 25, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  4. Debbie Hibbs

    My Dad was not a Pop Icon or a bathing suit model. The only recognition my father recieved was an obit in the Syracuse Ny Paper and a freezing cold morgue. Yet this is one of the Men who proudly served this country for 31 years and defended the very ones who denied him the right to live. Syracuse VA Hospital decided his fate! Dad never knew what hit him or maybe he did. A medical device that reads information 24 hours later? Yep, thats it a HEALTH BUDDY . Everyone is pretending NOT to see what I am saying. No one will address the fact that this is true. Its getting shoved aside and I refuse to go away! How many unsuspecting Veterans are issued this machine in NY State and dont know why? Well you want to know? If "they" consider you to be "end of life" or "high cost." I have a 44 page report! I will say never be afraid to be honest and tell the truth especially if you have all the facts because you cant argue with truth and facts! You have to stand up for what is right and just. Or be a coward and walk away. I am not a coward. I am an ARMY BRAT and we seek the truth I am a retired Master Chiefs wife and we seek JUSTICE!

    August 25, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  5. Debbie Hibbs

    Wish I could take a vacation and Im sure my husband would love to play a round of golf. A retired 30 year Master Chief now in Law enforcement and I have to continue my quest to get JUSTICE for my father SGM Arthur C Pine a 31 year ARMY Veteran who was murdered in his home. Think I could get a vacation and enjoy it, NO, not until I get JUSTICE for my Dad who is buried in Arlington.
    There is absolutely no way if I were President I could enjoy a vacation at a time when America is at a brink of a civil war. I would never shove it in the faces of so many tormented people, "laughing on vacation playing golf!" Its a slap in the face.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  6. RLWellman

    If this recession is turning around according to the whitehouse and only 40-50 billion of the 787 billion dollar stimulis package has been spent, does this mean the taxpayers will get the 737-748 billion dollars back?

    What's going to happen when the trillion dollar Health Care Reform Bill and the Cap and Trade Bill are approved? Taxes are going to be raised to help pay for the Health Care Reform Bill and all the Cap and Trade is going to be is an increase in taxes with what benefits?

    August 25, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  7. Joanne P.

    The swine flu is a serious possibility. We hear that the vaccine is in production; however, will there be enough?

    Also valium is versed.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:09 am |