September 23rd, 2009
10:01 AM ET

Dear President Obama #247: Tom DeLay: The forbidden dance

Reporter's Note: There was an inordinate amount of dancing during the presidential campaign by lots of candidates, including now President Obama. Now, there is an inordinate amount of letter writing from people like me, especially when we see a pol strapping on the tap shoes…

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/22/art.delay.dancing.jpg]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I have spent the day checking for fever, feeling periodic chills run like rats down my spine, and calling my wife to see if I’ve been exhibiting early symptoms of dementia. The cause of my concern is not swine flu, but a recurring and horrific hallucination. Every time I look at the TV, I see former Republic House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Dancing With the Stars.

At first I thought I was mistaken. The video popped up after a story on police chases (yes, insert your joke here…) and I wanted to turn the sound up for confirmation of his identity, but I was so transfixed by his leering smile and toreador pants I just sat at my desk gaping like a carp. It’s surreal. His butt wiggling. His mouthing the words to Wild Thing. And even his partner, whoever the heck she is. Altogether it looked like an outtake from the final episode of Twin Peaks. Or what you’d dream if you cooked up the wrong mushrooms in your spaghetti sauce, or were conked in the head with a copy of the Congressional Record by a crazed lobbyists. And I thought that video of Karl Rove dancing was disturbing.


September 23rd, 2009
08:33 AM ET
September 23rd, 2009
08:20 AM ET

Administration scrambling to come up with alternatives to McChrystal Afghanistan recommendations

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/21/afghanistan.mcchrystal/art.mcchrystal.afp.gi.jpg caption="Gen. Stanley McChrystal, right, arrives at a U.S. base in Logar Province, Afghanistan, last month."]
Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

President Obama’s national security team is now intensively looking at alternative strategies for the war in Afghanistan they hope to present to the President within the next three weeks, a senior U.S. official familiar with the highly confidential discussions told CNN Wednesday.

The alternatives would not require the tens of thousands of additional troops General Stanley McChrystal says would be needed to carry out the counterinsurgency called for by the President back in March. Several sources tell CNN McChrystal’s assessment—which only offered the single option of a full counterinsurgency effort—essentially put the President in the position of all or nothing acceptance. Officials privately describe the situation as the president being ‘in a box,” and the situation as messy.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Barbara Starr
September 23rd, 2009
08:16 AM ET

Let Elton John and his partner adopt

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/09/23/behar.gay.adoption/art.joy.behar.jpg caption="Joy Behar says Ukranian officials are wrong to try to block Elton John from adopting a 14-month-old boy."]
Joy Behar

On a recent tour of a Ukrainian orphanage, Elton John and his partner met Lev, a 14-month old HIV-positive boy.

They immediately fell in love with the child, but their possible bid to adopt the adorable tiny dancer was rejected by Yuriy Pavlenko, Ukraine's Family, Youth and Sports Minister.

Mr. Pavlenko, here are some tips about family, youth and sports. Family doesn't mean a huddle of orphans sharing a few soiled mattresses, it's not youth if you die of AIDS before you reach kindergarten, and wrestling over dinner scraps is not a sport.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: AIDS
September 23rd, 2009
06:18 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 9/22/09

Editor's Note: Tuesday night’s AC360° brought response from viewers who commented on Libyan leader Moammar Ghadafi's visit to the US, and taking temporary residence on land owned by Donald Trump. We also heard from viewers regarding the floods in the southeast. Here’s some of what we heard, and we’d love to hear from you too:

I'm not outraged about Gaddafi's visit and don't think it implies that he is welcome in NY or in America. I am surprised that Trump would open himself up to this kind of public relations controversy though. I don't think much of him, but he seems to think a lot about himself and his "image" and he has ambitions for now and the future. I don't think he'd want to compromise his opportunities by doing something that he, his employees and representatives knew would invite such criticism and public censure.

Regarding the reports on the floods in the southeast, I think it is highly irresponsible to have reporters standing in water, making reports. It conveys the idea that standing in water is safe. Among other things, there could be downed electric lines, and flood waters could reach energized circuitry in houses. If you want to dramatize the water, get a small inflatable rubber boat

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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