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November 10th, 2009
11:41 AM ET

Army gains with Muslim soldiers may be lost

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/11/09/fort.hood.shootings/story.memorial.mon.gi.jpg caption="A memorial to the victims was erected at the apartment complex where suspect Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan lived."]
Mark Thompson
Time

Less than 1% of America's 1.4 million troops are Muslim — and that number is only the military's best guess, since just 4,000 troops have declared their faith in their service records. By all accounts, the percentage of Muslims who are outstanding, competent or misfit soldiers is proportional to that of every other ethnic group. But that logic is increasingly hard to hear in the aftermath of Major Nidal Hasan's killing spree at Fort Hood in Texas.

While the word was merely whispered in the hours following Hasan's rampage, Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, made it close to explicit on Fox News on Sunday. He didn't call Hasan a terrorist, but Lieberman suggested the psychiatrist became "an Islamic extremist" while in the Army and should have been weeded out of the ranks. Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer representing a not-insignificant strain inside the U.S. military, said in the New York Post that Hasan raised all sorts of red flags and that the Army was too timid to address them. "Political correctness killed those patriotic Americans at Fort Hood as surely as the Islamist gunman did," wrote Peters. "Maj. Hasan will be a hero to Islamist terrorists abroad and their sympathizers here."

Determining whether Hasan's actions were inspired by religious fervor (he reportedly said "Allahu akbar" before opening fire), his exposure to the mental trauma of the soldiers he counseled or other unknown factors may be impossible. Hasan is in intensive care at a San Antonio hospital, breathing without a respirator. But given his mental state, even he may not know what caused him to kill.

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Filed under: Fort Hood Shooting
November 10th, 2009
11:33 AM ET

Cops: Dealing drugs out of day care center

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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.vert.crime.engel.jpg caption="Tammy Lewis Engel, the owner of the day care center." width=292 height=320]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

The owner of an Indiana day care center has been arrested for allegedly using methamphetamine inside the facility, authorities in Evansville said Monday.

The owner, Tammy Lewis Engel, 43, was charged with methamphetamine possession, marijuana possession, and drug paraphernalia possession.

A second suspect, Gene Michael Hoover, 32, was charged with dealing methamphetamine out of the day care center. He was also accused of methamphetamine possession and child neglect.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.vert.crime.hoover.jpg caption="Gene Michael Hoover was charged with dealing methamphetamine out of the day care center." width=292 height=320]

According to the Evansville Police Department, patrol officers responded Sunday evening to reports of drug use at Your Day Care, a licensed child care center operating within Engel's home.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
November 10th, 2009
11:12 AM ET

How to get a duplicate U.S. passport

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.chris.passport2.jpg caption="Stamps on one of Chris Guillebeau's passports."]

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

This post is relevant for readers with U.S. passports who travel frequently. If you don’t fit in that group, feel free to skip this one — or just read it for the entertainment value.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I have two U.S. passports, and each time at least one person asks me how that works. Well, I’ll tell you exactly how I got the second passport, and what you need to do if this would help you too.

First, the need for a second passport. Why bother?

U.S. passports are good for a number of reasons: notably, they are valid for 10 years, and when you fill up the pages with lots of stamps and visas, the State Department in Washington, D.C. or any embassy abroad will issue more pages at no charge. I’ve had three passport page extensions so far, and without that option I would have needed at least four passports by this point. No other major country of which I am aware offers a passport that includes both of these important features.

As good as a U.S. passport can be, there are still two problems with having only one passport of any kind. First, when you visit politically sensitive countries (especially in the Middle East), the ensuing stamps can cause delays and other problems for you later.

FULL POST

November 10th, 2009
11:11 AM ET
November 10th, 2009
11:10 AM ET

After the House, can health reform survive the Senate?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/20/art.pelosi0720.gi.jpg caption="Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi"]
Jay Newton-Small
Time

On Saturday morning, about 12 hours before the House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation to expand health care coverage to almost all Americans, President Barack Obama did what he does best: he gave an inspirational speech meant to rally recalcitrant House Democrats. Many in the room credited Obama with swaying the last of the fence sitters. "A few members that were leaning no told me afterward that they'd been moved to vote yes," Representative Rob Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat, told reporters after the meeting.

Obama spoke of doing something greater than yourself. He asked House Dems to join him in "bending the arc of history," a phrase he first invoked in his election-victory speech a year ago before 125,000 people in Chicago's Grant Park. And though there was cheering and chants of "Fired up, ready to go!" this was no easy sell for Obama. The vote came the same week as Democrats lost the Virginia and New Jersey governors' mansions, and a day after the Labor Department reported a 26-year record unemployment rate of 10.2%. Preaching altruism in such a climate to politicians bent on self-preservation is tough. In the end Democrats lost 39 of their own — passing the bill 220-215 with a cushion of just two votes, one of those a Republican in a heavily Democratic Louisiana district.

Democrats on Capitol Hill spent some of the aftermath congratulating themselves on their historic achievement, but they knew as well as anyone that it was far too early to really celebrate. Obama's speech, after all, was strikingly partisan, lambasting the GOP for doing nothing more than "saying no, stopping progress, gumming up the works." That change in tone from his fruitless attempts at outreach 10 months before in the run-up to the stimulus vote made it clear that Democrats are now resigned to going it alone both in the House and the Senate. Majority leader Harry Reid has moved away from the lone Republican still negotiating on health care, Maine's Olympia Snowe, and toward a plan to pass the bill relying solely on Democratic votes, of which he'll need every one in order to overcome the threat of a filibuster by Republicans.

Read More...

November 10th, 2009
11:07 AM ET

Video: Health care battle

Candy Crowley and David Gergen
CNN Senior Political Correspondents


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Candy Crowley • David Gergen • Health Care
November 10th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #295: Dodging the questions

Reporter's Note: President Obama is now pushing into Senate land with his health care reform hopes, and I’m pushing toward the 300th day of my letters to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/t1.gibbs.obama.jpg caption="President Obama and spokesman Robert Gibbs talk at a White House event in June." width=300 height=169]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Aghghhhh! (That’s the sound of me screaming) Your press secretary, Robert Gibbs, today did precisely the kind of thing that drives reporters and voters crazy. He was being pressed on a question: Do you (meaning you, the president… not him, the media flak) expect to sign a health care reform bill into law this year?

His answer, after tap dancing like the late, great Gregory Hines on a boardwalk, was, “The president wants to sign health care before the end of the year.” With all respect, that’s the kind of answer politicians give, not normal human beings. The question was direct and fair. You have made it clear that you see health care reform as an urgent matter. For a reporter to ask if that includes a timetable is reasonable. But when NBC’s Chuck Todd asked for clarity, he was greeted with derision. “How much clearer could I be?” Gibbs responded.

I’m going to go with, “a lot clearer.” The difference is vast between “The president wants to sign” and “The president intends to sign.” Or “expects to sign.” Or “is putting those Capitol Hill feather-weights on notice that he’d better have a bill by December 31st, or the Times Square ball won’t be the only thing being dropped on New Year’s Eve.” Saying the president “wants to sign” is clearly intended to push Congress; but it’s tough talk with a loophole; if you don’t get what you want, you’ll just say, “Well, we never set a deadline.”

FULL POST

November 10th, 2009
10:53 AM ET

Ex-wife of infamous 'D.C. Sniper' felt guilty about shootings


CNN

His shooting spree left at least 10 dead and millions terrified of bullets coming from an unseen sniper.

But Mildred Muhammad believes she was the ultimate target of her ex-husband, John Allan Muhammad, the man dubbed the "D.C. Sniper."

And for some time, Muhammad said she felt extreme guilt for the victims that were gunned down in grocery store parking lots and gas stations. The youngest was a 13-year-old boy who was shot while walking to his Maryland school.

Muhammad spoke about the guilt she felt after the killing spree on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Monday night, the day before her ex-husband was scheduled to be executed.

Keep Reading...

November 10th, 2009
10:52 AM ET

Video: Hoekstra on Fort Hood case

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Crime • Fort Hood Shooting
November 10th, 2009
10:47 AM ET

Are Republicans too giddy?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/mcdonnel.jpg caption="Republicans pulled off a significant victory with Robert McDonnell defeating Creigh Deeds."]
Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Republicans have been downright giddy following the off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. In a swing state and a blue state, Republicans pulled off significant victories with Chris Christie's defeat of Gov. John Corzine and Robert McDonnell defeating Creigh Deeds.

Just two days after the election, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who had boasted of the results as evidence of a "Republican Renaissance," issued a stern warning to his colleagues. Steele said that his message for the 2010 midterm elections was that Republicans should remain loyal to the party principles, or "we'll come after you."

Republicans certainly can take some comfort in this election. It is clear that some of the excitement about the Democratic Party has faded since the beginning of 2009. The so-called jobless recovery, with unemployment now at 10.2 percent, is not sitting well with many Americans.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Democrats • Republicans
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