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November 2nd, 2009
01:46 PM ET

Despite Bloomberg's lead, New Yorkers have misgivings

Michael Bloomberg has set a record by spending more personal funds than anyone in U.S. history on bids for public office.

Michael Bloomberg has set a record by spending more personal funds than anyone in U.S. history on bids for public office.

Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer

As Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg campaigns for reelection, some of his steadiest supporters include people like Freddy Batista: a man with mixed feelings.

"I don't like Bloomberg, but I think the city needs him," said Batista, 30, a heavyset sales clerk wearing a Yankees cap. He explained that he finds the mayor cranky and distant, but that he trusts him to fix the ailing economy.

Recent polls have found Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and political independent, leading by double digits over his Democratic rival, the little-known and underfunded William C. Thompson, the city's comptroller.

Yet New Yorkers both for and against the mayor describe conflicting emotions about his record spending on his campaign - likely more than $100 million by Tuesday, which is Election Day - and the way he pushed through legal changes to allow him to run for a third term.

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Filed under: Democrats • Republicans
November 2nd, 2009
01:23 PM ET

Palin, Limbaugh and Beck Unite Moderate Republicans with Democrats and Independents

Editor’s Note: Robert Zimmerman has been a Democratic National Committee member since 2000. He is a partner at Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., a marketing, advertising and public relations firm based in New York.

Robert Zimmerman
CNN Political Analyst

While renowned political pundits, journalists and media stars will try to analyze and spin the "national trends" of the Virginia and New Jersey elections for governor, the controversial and closely watched 23rd Congressional District in upstate New York really does tell a national story, and the results will have a profound impact through the 2010 midterm.

This election began with the Republican candidate, Assemblywoman Dierdre "Dede" Scozzafava, as the strong front runner over the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, and Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman. That certainly was not a shock to anyone knowing this Congressional District, which is larger than the state of Vermont. In fact, the last time this region chose a member of Congress who was not a Republican, they elected a Whig!

Let's face it, we are talking about serious voting traditions in this Congressional District.

Then the radical national right-wing movement arrived. Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin of Alaska led the way, followed by Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota; Dick Armey, the former House majority leader from Texas; former Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee; Glenn Beck; Rush Limbaugh; and many others whose conduct and rhetoric brought historic defeats to the Republican Party in 2006 and 2008.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Opinion • Raw Politics • Robert Zimmerman
November 2nd, 2009
01:00 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360

AC360°

Tonight, the meltdown of a Hollywood fortune. Nicolas Cage is a facing financial crisis – shocking, because he earns millions a year. How did this happen, why does he owe millions in back taxes, and who is the victim? Do you have questions for our panel? Let us know!

Do you have questions for our panel? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!


Filed under: Text 360
November 2nd, 2009
01:00 PM ET

Afternoon Buzz: Breaking into the “Boys Club"

Elise Miller
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we’re talking to four successful women who have at least this much in common; they’ve risen to the very top in traditionally male dominated fields.

Our panel of experts will be tackling issues that working women face and sharing how they’ve overcome obstacles to make a name for themselves. The panelists are financial powerhouse Suze Orman, first female White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, neurosurgeon and author Dr. Katrina Firlik and professional poker player Maria Ho.

We’re also focusing on the Tuesday elections. Many of you will be voting, so we’re breaking down the races and the issues. Members of the best political team on television will also look the changed landscape for Democratic and Republican candidates – exactly one year after the general election.

And Afghan electoral officials have declared incumbent President Hamid Karzai the winner of the 2009 presidential election. The announcement was made after opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah withdrew saying he believed a second round of voting would be fraudulent. We’ll dig deeper tonight on the implications of Karzai’s presidency on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

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


Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • The Buzz • Women's Issues
November 2nd, 2009
11:53 AM ET

Police: Dozens dead in Pakistan explosion

Pakistani policemen secure the site after a suicide bomb blast in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Pakistani policemen secure the site after a suicide bomb blast in Rawalpindi on Monday.

CNN

A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people Monday by detonating explosives outside a bank where people had lined up to pick up their monthly checks, police said.

The blast, in the Cannt area of the city, also wounded more than 65 others, said Imdad Ullah Bosal, a district coordination officer. Two women were among the dead, he said.

Meanwhile, another suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a police checkpoint in Lahore hours after the Rawalpindi attack, a police official told CNN.

The bombers, believed to be wearing suicide vests, blew themselves up as police inspected their vehicle at the Babu Sabu checkpoint, according to Lahore police chief Pervez Rethore. The blast injured at least 17 police and civilians, a local rescue services spokesman said. At least three people sustained serious injuries, Rethore said.

Keep Reading...

CNN's Ivan Watson in Rawalpindi, Samson Desta in Islamabad and journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report.


Filed under: al Qaeda • Pakistan • Taliban
November 2nd, 2009
11:06 AM ET

Karzai declared elected president of Afghanistan

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai had agreed to a presidential runoff against his opposition rival.

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai had agreed to a presidential runoff against his opposition rival.

Jonathan Wald
CNN

Afghan electoral officials declared incumbent President Hamid Karzai the winner of the 2009 presidential election Monday, after canceling this weekend's second round of voting.

Observers say Karzai's real test will be whether he can form a government that is seen as legitimate in the eyes of the Afghan people and the international community.

The Independent Electoral Commission made the announcement after they canceled Saturday's presidential runoff following the withdrawal of opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah.

A runoff could have been held with just one candidate, but commission president Azizullah Lodin said electoral officials decided to cancel the second round of voting for several reasons, including security and money.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Afghanistan • Voting issues
November 2nd, 2009
10:51 AM ET

Ask the right question about gang rape

A 15-year-old girl was gang raped on the campus of Richmond High School in Northern California

A 15-year-old girl was gang raped on the campus of Richmond High School in Northern California

Ron Avi Astor
Special to CNN

The alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old girl on the campus of Richmond High School in Northern California while 10 or more witnesses, most of them students, looked on has sparked familiar questions: "Why are our kids so messed up?" "Why didn't these students try to stop the crime?" "What's happening in our schools?"

These are fair questions, and commentators in the media have provided familiar answers. The purported rape is another sad example of today's self-absorbed and uncaring youth. It was the media's glorification of violence that caused it. The horrific act shows how sociopathic brains develop. But it seems as if the majority of commentators have settled on the idea that the Richmond students did nothing because of the "bystander effect": The more people involved in a criminal incident, the less likely any one of them will intervene to do something about it.

Unfortunately, this "What's wrong with our children?" approach leads to a dead end, because it results in a sweeping moral condemnation of the schools, families and students in this community. These perpetrators committed a heinous act that should be widely condemned. But a discussion that focuses exclusively on the immorality of these deviant young men does not provide solutions that prevent gang rape from happening.

Keep Reading...

November 2nd, 2009
10:46 AM ET

Stop killing the world's oceans

Sam Waterston
Special to CNN

As a native New Englander, I know full and well how much we depend on the oceans. They have often been a solution for our problems.

They've been a highway for goods and people, connecting us to the world, and a barrier against foreign invasion, protecting us from the world; a source of food and wealth, going back to our earliest beginnings, when whale oil lit our houses and when cod were so plentiful that huge specimens were commonly stacked like cordwood on our docks and wharves, and still there were so many that you could almost walk on their backs across some harbors.

Until the recent unrelenting hammering by our technologically impressive, very efficient, very destructive commercial fishing fleets, the seas have seemed an inexhaustible cornucopia of sea life for our sustenance, delight and wonder.

Keep Reading...

November 2nd, 2009
10:39 AM ET
November 2nd, 2009
10:00 AM ET

CIT files for 5th largest U.S. bankruptcy

CNN Money

CIT Group Inc., one of the nation's leading funders of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for the fifth largest bankruptcy by assets in U.S. history Sunday as part of a reorganization plan that has the support of an overwhelming majority of debtholders.

In a statement, the company said it is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for a quick approval of the prepackaged plan. CIT said none of its operating subsidiaries would be affected by the filing, allowing them to continue operations.

"The decision to proceed with our plan of reorganization will allow CIT to continue to provide funding to our small business and middle market customers, two sectors that remain vitally important to the U.S. economy," said CIT (CIT, Fortune 500) chairman Jeffrey M. Peek.

In the bankruptcy filing, CIT said it had $71 billion in assets and $64.9 billion in liabilities. Only Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Worldcom and General Motors had more in assets when they filed for protection.

Keep Reading...

CNNMoney.com assistant managing editor Mark M. Meinero, reporter David Ellis and Fortune senior writer Colin Barr contributed to this report.


Filed under: Economy • Finance • General Motors
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