September 12th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
September 12th, 2009
10:41 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 9/11/09

Editor's Note: After Friday night's program, we continued to receive thanks from family and friends of Marines stationed in Afghanistan. We also received comments on the story of the South African runner, Caster Semanaya. And many of you felt that the outburst from Congressman Joe Wilson during President Obama's speech to Congress Wednesday night was “disrespectful conduct." What do you think?


Will Anderson be visiting the Kandahar Nato Air Base? That base has been there for 8 years and there is still no sewer system. There are thousands of soldiers at this base and no one seems to be talking about how unhealthy, beyond the fighting and rocketing part, it is to work there. The conditions at this base should be better then what is in the FOBs but it's not. Why are there no stories about the southern base itself? When political visitor come they are taken to Bagraham, the US base. It's almost as if Kandahar Air Base has become the forgotten base. I guess I'm asking for more info. It's bad enough that our soldiers place themselves in harm’s way, the base they go home to should at least have breathable air.

Thank you for the live reports from the battlefield. This is what news should be. Not just opposing opinions for advertising dollars, but showing us the truth, so we can make informed decisions. Be careful and take care.

You spent the past week with my brother and I can't thank you enough for giving me the chance to see him and hear what he is doing over there, Thanks for the in depth coverage of what is really happening and the progress our troops are making! Great story...very insightful.

Eight years and no one is saying we're winning in Afghanistan and what is more, no one will say it CAN be won, not unless we send in more troops. This drain . . . if it was a finite thing then you could support it. But it's not. The only thing we can look forward to is a bigger drain, without end. It's discouraging and frightening. No way out. The knowledge that we'll have to go further in and no promise that doing so will help at all. FULL POST

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
September 12th, 2009
07:36 AM ET

Dear President Obama #236: S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Fight!

Reporter's Note: President Obama continues to keep Health Care Reform on the front burner of his very crowded political stove. I continue to keep my hands on the keyboard, writing a letter a day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Happy Saturday! Quite a week. I’m sure you can use a break, so I’ll keep it relatively light. I was thinking about this question of a Public Option for health care reform, and several things came to mind. For starters, you certainly need a better name for this. Marketing matters. I mean, how do you think Coca Cola would be doing today if they called it “brown fizzy stuff in a bottle”? Think back to your campaign. Your slogan was not, “I suppose if we generally all try perhaps something moderately decent might result.” No. It was “Yes, we can!”

Anything is better than “Public Option.” You could try “Mr. Obama’s Better Bargain Bio-Drome.” Or “The White House Wonder Cure!” Or “Dr. Government’s House of Good Health.” I don’t know. Those don’t seem to get it done either, but it’s something to work on. How is Biden with this sort of thing? (I can’t even remember his campaign slogan, so I guess the answer is “Not so hot.”)

Beyond that, I liked your speech well enough this week. I forgot to mention it amid all the kerfuffle over the heckler. Which brings me to another suggestion. Presuming that you’re going to keep speaking on this issue, I was thinking you should have some snappy retorts in case some wise guy starts sounding off again. How about, “Excuse me, but I don’t appreciate interruptions while I’m being the Leader of the Free World!” Or “Oh yeah, I remember how loopy I got when I wrote my first legislation too!” Or maybe “If I needed to hear from someone who wants my job I’d call the Secretary of State.”