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September 4th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 09/04/09

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

We have breaking developments in the mass killing in Georgia. One man is accused of killing eight people. He's also the one who called 911 pleading for help.  Plus, presidential lesson or pure propaganda? More uproar over Pres. Obama's speech to school children next week.

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 (268 Responses)
  1. Arshan, AZ

    The president needs to go hardball on keeping the public option – the bill isn't worth it with out it. If he does not, I believe he wont get a 2nd term.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  2. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Mike, Syracuse...What do you think of regulating healthcare costs, at SOME level? Not all, but some levels.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  3. Deb

    On Health Care: I wish the plan would include something that "depowers" the insurance companies>>>My husband pays high premiums for our health coverage, our doctors work 9 months out of every year for malpractice insurance, any my disablity claim said they'd drop me if I didn't apply for Social Security Disability–pushing me off onto the government's expense so they wouldn't have to pay as much. Insurance companies are rulling, and ruining, the world.

    Can we get the government to support "co-ops" rather than get into the health insurnace business...use that money to support and promote co-ops that would have the financial strength and backing of the US Government to compete with the insurance companies.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  4. Lori, IL

    Sorry - I disagree with David Gergen tonight. I think we need to give President Obama and the WH staff a chance, instead of saying what they won't be able to do. The town hall outrage is be a very noisy few. Nothing has been said about the work of the OFA and the work they have been doing to gather support for President Obama and health care reform. Please let's try to work for the better of our country rather than espousing so much negativity.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  5. Randy,Woodstock

    @Mike

    Going accross state lines may allow more compettion, but it doesn't help if you cant afford insurance now

    September 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  6. Dodie - California

    The only reason I am not retired is because of the health care insurance companies. I thought with Obama, I might be able to retire. I guess I will have to move to Canada and retire or continue working until I am 70 years of age. I can not even believe this.

    I am really upset!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  7. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Gady Mayen – Canada
    Yes.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  8. Stacy

    The trigger option is an insult. We're just supposed to wait and see if the insurance companies make changes on their own? Yeah, because private companies are known for reforming themselves like that. Are they kidding?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  9. Jilly in South Carolina

    I work in medical billing. It is horrifying to advise folks how much it cost to save their life and have them advise you "you should have let me die, a funeral would have been cheaper"

    September 4, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  10. Carolyn

    I love that the president has prompted the country to become politically engaged again, but the level and quality of engagment is akin to a Twilight Zone episode – the lady crying about her child, the refusal to send a child to school, etc. I'm just hoping someday we'll be able to look back and laugh at "How far we've come from the rudimentary era."

    September 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  11. Ali

    If a parent doesn't want the government involved in the school system, they need to send their child to a parochial school. I will have Obama on in my classroom this Tuesday.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  12. Linda-Portland, OR

    just push it through already!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  13. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Another part of Obama's lesson plan: Whoever wrote that suggested that the students "participate in schoolwide contests" for whoever can reach their goals first.

    Many children do not respond well to contests with others. Not everyone in the world is created competitive. However, those who don't like to compete against others on an individual basis can like working on a team or can enjoy competing against their own best efforts and marking their own improvement.

    But if the teacher who takes Obama's suggestions seriously and only chooses the competition angle because that's what she likes too, then all those other kids who don't like contests will be left out.

    But whoever wrote Obama's plan didn't express any of that, did they? The plan doesn't address the needs of all learners. It's really a crappy lesson plan!

    (I'm also a teacher.)

    September 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  14. Wanda Hatfield

    @Mike, Syracuse
    I wonder if all past presidents have had to sumit their speeches for approval beforehand. Certainly none were judged (and vilified) prior to their speech.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  15. rebecca

    I really don't see what's wrong with Obama speaking to school children. It isnt in any way a bad thing for a president to be encouraging the children of the nation to do their best, to stay in school, and ultimately, to make the United States of America a better place.
    Apparantly the lady who was crying in protest to Obama's plan doesn't really want her child to be motivated in school to be the best they can. Seriously, what better place is there than IN SCHOOL to be motivated to do well IN SCHOOL? Obviously if she's so against the speech happening in school, it doesnt happen at home. She's not setting that child up for any good... neither educational nor intellectual success. More can be done. Obama wants to do it. Leave him be.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  16. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    There are plenty of things that can be done to reduce heath care costs without the government running it. Allowing more competition by insurance companies across state lines and tort reform would both cut health care costs.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  17. starr, formerly known as vincent

    I thought that Pres. Obama's town hall meetings did express what his principles for health care insurance reform.

    But, given the ongoing debate, i do think that he should establish his "own" bill with particular emphasis on how it will be paid for.

    I think that most Americans want reform, but the issue has been so clouded by mis-information and fear mongering that many of us are confused.

    I personally do not believe that a step by step bill would have worked.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  18. Dodie - California

    Why is everyone afraid of public option. Its an option!!! not a must!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  19. David Simon, M.D., J.D.

    I propose a compromise position on a public option for health care reform. The main source of opposition is fear (real or imaginary) that a federal payer will be forced upon citizens against their will by employers who opt for a less expensive government health insurance plan. This source of opposition to a public option essentially goes away if the plan is only offered to individuals and not employers. Therefore, President Obama should put forth the position that he will hold out for, and accept, a public option that individuals can purchase, which would not be available as an employer based healthcare plan. While this is suboptimal because it does not give small business owners and others the option of purchasing the public (federal) healthcare plan, it removes the angst and consternation that has been expressed at town hall meeting across the country. Therefore, this proposal would be accepted by the majority of Americans and should bring along ‘blue dog’ Democrats and moderate Republicans. It is better than no public option at all, and it would offer more affordable healthcare insurance for individual Americans currently without any health insurance.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  20. Shelby

    The public education system in this country is charged with educating all students...those with strong parental influence and those without. Any opportunity to positively influence young people and let them know "we" care is a win-win opportunity, and may just be what the "parentless" child needs to succeed.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  21. Randy,Woodstock

    @David G.

    Why cant he just say I want a bill with a public option, ready on day one, and remove the pre-existing conditions. Anything else I will veto it. Do it in reconsilation. If he gets tough maybe he can wake up those Dems

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Lori

    in my opinion the people with the tears should do there home work over the school issue and stop their ridiculous drama!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  23. Dodie - California

    I would like to see how much the Senators (who are supposed to be for us) have been paid off by the Insurance Companies! ~sigh~

    I am going to have to retire in another country!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  24. Theresa

    And, so what are we teaching our children? To disregard and disrespect the leadership of this country, the highest office of this country? Hmm, interesting. So parents, when they disregard and disrespect those in authority and even you because they didn't agree, remember, you are the one who didn't require them to listen to the President of the United States.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  25. Diane

    Hey Anderson, last nite Debby Halverson, our congress woman from Illinois held a 2 1/2 hour town hall telephone inhformation meeting on the health care issues in the proposed bill. I would suggest that all of congress do the same for they're constituents. She not only dispelled the myths but advised us to where in this legislation these health care reforms are explained in detail. We are so proud of her. It was a great nite! We need more like her in addressing this issue to our nation.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  26. Renee

    Thanks Gergen! Once again the Dems are holding back health care reform. What is taking the Dems so long?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  27. Samuel M'boro, TN

    @ Megan Dresslar

    I understand now. The report on AC360 laid it out. I was just confused on how authorities go about investigating an arson. I pray for the families of the firemen and all those who have been affected by these fires.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  28. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I have to say with so much hatred being tossed around, I truly fear for the lives of the President, the First Lady and their children. I am really, really worried. I would be so utterly angry if anyone tried to harm any of them.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  29. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    The damage that an arson causes is out of this world, it kills so much life, so sad to see.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  30. David, Indiana

    @Isabel it is a wonderful chance for kids in school to have direct access to the someone in public service.

    Good evening Tom Foreman.

    Good intvw by Brian Todd with Tom Fee, interesting how they close in on the small area where the fire started. The video that had the sound of fire gives a sense of how much of a force of nature a wildfire is.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Dodie - California

    There is No health care reform with out public option.

    So the insurance companies win again ~sigh~

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  32. gail

    @ Mike
    Exactly, you had no idea what the speech was about so why in the world was that carazy Republican Greer on tv saying that the President of the United States was trying to brainwash kids? He gave an interview in which he previewed the speech was to be about staying in school and studying hard. If you watched Wolf Blitzer's show you would have seen the interview it was with kid reporter Damon Weaver This is as made up and as silly and damaging to relations in this country as all of the other right wing , crazy , irrational , made up crap that the Republicans have been putting out there.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  33. Linda - Lansing, MI

    First of all he has not been found guilty of the crime, he has been arrested and we don't know the new evidence that lead to his arrest. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting him, I just think a trial should take place before we judge.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  34. Wanda Hatfield

    @Renee
    Presidents since Dwight Eisenhiower, and even further back, have spoken to school children as Pres. O'bama is going to do. Why is it bringing politics into the classroom now? I am old enough to remember when Presidents of the USA were respected, and to have him address school children would have been considered an honor...democrat or republican.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  35. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Stacy: I think it's only fitting to throw back at the naysayers the same thing they threw to begin with–I see a lot of hypocrisy here. BUT, if you can hide behind your children, then you can get away with it, I guess.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  36. Natalie Hargrove

    I can not believe the controversy about OUR President speaking to OUR children about education. Keeping children home from school in this economy is ridiculas! Schools depend on children's attendance finacially. This also sends a terrible message to children that if you disagree with something you do not have to go to school.
    President Obama is not going to brain wash your children, perhaps by some stroke of luck he may just inspire them....

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  37. Anthonia-California

    I cant believe someone would start a fire just to cover up evidence from a murder.. pathetic! now all of the wild life and natural resources are destoryed!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  38. jane

    If the media features obviously destructive people such as these parents, then what does that say about CNN? Eica, you should refuse to cover stories like this. You seem way above such incendiary tactics.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  39. Rita G.

    If President Obama really wants to talk about Education then he should mention it on Wednesday and not talk to the schools on Tuesday and not make a lession plan. I know I don't want him talking to my children, He is by passing the parents and I don't think this is right.

    Rita

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  40. Shirzee

    Cassandra,
    You, all of us have reason for concern! I fear for our President. I really really do!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  41. Renee'

    This speech that Presisdent Obama is going to give to the children of the nation would not be such a big deal if he were white. People of color have listened to white presidents forever, no one complained. As a matter of fact, the only people complaining and whinning are white. We who are non-white are eagerly awaiting to hear that speech on Tuesday by President Obama. Thank you.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  42. Terri

    After reading these blogs, it is apparent that most people support the President and his efforts to touch students in a positive way. Why did we only see parents (term used loosely) who disagree with our President. Where are the interviews with parents and teachers who are excited to have their children and students listen to our President.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  43. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Samuel M'boro, TN,
    Yes, it was arson by someone did something wrong to do.They are right now looking the killer.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  44. Dana Duggins

    I want to comment on the story about President Obama talking to school children.

    I am appauled at what I am watching. I have never seen such hysteria in my life, but have heard of similar reactions when public debate to consider the cessation of segregation! I believe it is the same fear and prejudices that are driving this debate and opposition to the President.

    It is ironic that those who are jumping up and down and threatening to pull their kids out of school are the same as those who hailed George W. Bush a hero for sitting petrified in the presence of school children on 9/11/01. If he were a hero, he would have had the presence of mind to advise that class room to immediately evacuate to insure the safety of the children since our country and our president was under attack.

    I am sick to death of the fear mongering and conspiracy theories that are constantly forced upon public in the name of "breaking news." Let's go back to the day that sure statements and action actually required valid proof and/or sources.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  45. Rose

    I feel that there is no problem with President Obama speaking to our children. It is disrespectful of any school that has declined President Obama's speech to be view by our children!! Where is the respect for the Commander and Chief of our country?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  46. Lori

    nobody made a fuss about GW sitting in class room 9/11 forty+ mins after he was informed USA was under attack!!! & folks r upset about Pres 0 & school issue!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  47. Vlad, Canada

    They cannot let their children listen to their own president? Was he not elected by the American people?
    People should be able to analyze changes around them and not try to lock themselves up in an enclave hoping that no air from the outside will get in. It looks that many people have trouble thinking and discussing things rationally. This is why they are so affected by ridiculous misinformation they are being fed with.
    It is time for educational programs to replace soap operas and criminal shows on American TV!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  48. Robin in Tampa, FL

    If you can't trust the President of the United States of America who is also Commander and Chief of our armed forces to give a pep-talk to your kids, then why are you even keeping your kids in school?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  49. starr, formerly known as vincent

    How could anyone (or more) start a fire that gew in such magnitude that we lost two fireman (possibly other people who did not leave their homes)!

    I pray that they find the culprit(s) and punish them severly.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  50. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    The forensic side of the fires is really quite fascinating. I can see why people would make a career out of it.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
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