[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/10/madoff.tape/art.madoff.gi.jpg caption="Financier Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term for defrauding thousands of investors."]
CNN New York
How is President Obama’s health care address going over with Americans? Ali Velshi is aboard the CNN Express and will be live at noon in Scranton PA, where the Tea Party Express has a rally scheduled.
Meanwhile, the Census Bureau updated us today on the number of people without health insurance coverage – it stood 46.3 million in 2008, up 600-thousand from the 2007 level – but down from the 47 million reported in 2006. In the same report, the Census announced real median household income fell 3.6 percent to $50,303, and the poverty rate rose by 7-tenths of a percentage point to 13.2.
The jobs picture is still dire, but the latest weekly figures are “moving in the right direction” as economists like to say. The number of people filing first time jobless claims fell by 26-thousand last week to 550-thousand. The number of people continuing to collect unemployment is still above 6-million, but that number fell slightly as well.
Is the stimulus helping create jobs? This afternoon the Obama administration is releasing its first report to Congress about the stimulus, which is formally called the Recovery Act.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/10/afghanistan.reporter/art.farrell.nyt.jpg caption="New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell was abducted Saturday while covering a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan."]
The New York Times
Stephen Farrell, a reporter for The New York Times, and Sultan M. Munadi, an Afghan journalist working with him, were kidnapped by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan on Saturday. In a British raid to free them early Wednesday, Mr. Munadi was killed, as was a British soldier who has not been identified. This is Mr. Farrell’s account of the four-day ordeal.
Mid-to-late morning on Friday, Sept. 4, we in the Kabul bureau began hearing reports of an explosion in a Taliban-controlled area near the northern city of Kunduz.
It was clear that this was going to be a major controversy, involving allegations of civilian deaths against NATO claims that the dead were Taliban. Furthermore, it was in an area that was becoming increasingly newsworthy because it was becoming more troubled by insurgents.
My colleague Rich Oppel and I began discussing the story, and I forewarned the Afghan staff that they should at least begin thinking about logistics for a possible drive north, for a decision to be taken later.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/10/art.afghan.malik.jpg caption="Malik, a 4-year-old boy in Afghanistan suffered a severe head injury earlier this week but is recovering well."]
AC360° Associate Producer
We’re reporting live from Afghanistan, where Anderson has spent the past few days at a Marine base camp in Helmand province, on the front lines of the fight against the Taliban. Yesterday, he went out on an IED patrol with U.S. Marines and just after they returned back to the camp, an IED went off. Anderson reports. Today, Anderson was embedded with the Afghan national army and Marines. More on the dangers and risks these forces face every day.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is following the story of Little Malik, a 4-year-old in who suffered severe head injuries after he fell from a cliff running from fighting in his villages. His life was saved by U.S. military surgeons and now that he’s improved U.S. special forces are returning him to his village. Dr. Gupta has been tracking Malik’s story for the past few days and will accompany the team when the 4-year-old boy returns home.
All week Michael Ware has been reporting on the strength and resiliency of the Taliban. So can Afghan warlords become part of the solution? The U.S. and its allies admit this war in Afghanistan is unwinnable by bombs and bullets alone, so is it time to explore other options with tribal leaders? President Karzai’s brother calls for the creation of tribal militias – similar to some of the strategies used in Iraq. Could this ever work? Ware speaks to one of the most fearsome who, for now, is sitting on the sidelines. Is it possible to negotiate with the Taliban? Michael Ware will dig deeper into whether or not a peaceful future for Afghanistan could be found within its tribes.
Reporter's Note: President Obama spoke last night about his efforts to reform health care. I spoke with my wife last night about my efforts to clean the garage. The thing is, both President Obama and I have other items on our agenda too…for example, me writing a letter to the White House every day and the president, perhaps, reading it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/10/obama.heckled.speech/art.joe.wilson.heckling.gi.jpg caption="Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie" after President Obama denied health reform would cover illegal immigrants."]
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
I had a whole letter written and ready to send, and then that Congressman yelled at you during your speech and well…it’s been on my mind ever since. So I just got home from the office a short while ago, it’s midnight, the whole family is asleep, and I’m sitting here with the dog doing a rewrite. (And btw, she’s not helping much.)
When that Representative barked (out of decorum, I won’t mention his name…although it was South Carolina’s Joe Wilson…uh…I mean, never mind) I wasn’t entirely sure what he’d said. I thought it was “liar” or “you’re lying” or possibly “Does anyone have change for a five?” As I understand it, what he actually said was “You lie.” Odd syntax, don’t you think? Sounds like something you might hear in an ESL class.
Anyway, there are several things that trouble me about this. First, accusing someone on Capitol Hill of a lie is like accusing them of breathing. It is not so much a cheap shot as just a waste of everyone’s time. There are some good and relatively honest folks up there, but politics and truth often hang out on different corners.
Editor's Note: While emails of thanks and gratitude for Anderson’s reports from Afghanistan continued to make their way to us, Wednesday night’s AC360° was dominated by reaction to the Presidential Address to Congress. As Anderson addressed the points from the speech viewers indicated that while the speech seemed to answer some questions around the current proposed reform, it opened the door to new ones. Did you watch the speech? If so what do you have to say? We’d love to hear from you:
President Obama’s health care plan is infeasible, unworkable. American is insolvent. We have no money to pay for this. It is a tragic lie. There is no rush or deadline. Obama looked and sounded insane, tired, insincere and hollow. Americans are not buying it.
If President Obama had walked on water during last night’s address to the Joint Session of Congress, conservatives and republicans would have criticized the president for being unable to swim. There can be no true, meaningful healthcare “reform” until the profit motive is removed from all healthcare insurance programs….
I still support Obama and believe in government health care for those who don't have it. I personally have health care insurance but I want to see everyone have it.