November 11th, 2009
11:15 AM ET

50on50: Trial Lawyers v. the 18-49 demo


Michael Schulder
CNN Senior Executive Producer

I bumped into a trial lawyer acquaintance of mine at Starbucks in the CNN Center the other day. Somehow we got into talking about what litigators look for when choosing a jury. That’s when it hit me. How to select a jury can help people in my business choose a target audience. And the lesson from jury selection is: the 18-49 age demo seems to make little sense. Its days are numbered as I approach my 50th birthday.


The name of the trial lawyer who sparked my eureka moment is Stefan Turkheimer. He used to be with the DA’s office prosecuting felonies, including “a lot of meth trafficking.” Now he represents plaintiffs in personal injury and other cases.

Turkheimer explained that, because it’s so hard to get 12 members of a jury to agree on a verdict, attorneys can’t possibly try to pick the right 12.

Instead, they try to pick the right ONE. The ONE who has the potential to – and here’s the key word - INFLUENCE the other 11 jurors. The ONE who can “marshal the troops in the jury room.“ That ONE, you hope, you’ll be able to persuade.

How old does that someone tend to be, I asked Turkheimer. “It’s someone who has reached a certain age,” was his answer.


Filed under: Michael Schulder • Opinion
November 11th, 2009
11:08 AM ET

Palin remains a GOP player

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Candy Crowley
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

She was a high-voltage candidate, lighting a fire in the grass roots of Republican-land - fresh, folksy and fierce.

She famously belittled her party's presidential opponent, Barack Obama, at her coming-out party at the 2008 Republican National Convention:

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."

Sarah Palin remains a force - the most recognizable name in the Republican Party, a headline magnet.

Just over a year after the defeat of the Republican ticket, the Republican No. 2 is Amazon.com's No. 1 in nonfiction presales.

Writer of books, giver of speeches, muser of politics on an unusually active Facebook account. And robo-caller on behalf of a conservative group in this year's Virginia governor's race.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Candy Crowley • Sarah Palin
November 11th, 2009
10:57 AM ET

CNN Poll: Is Obama taking too long on Afghanistan decision?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.bodover1110.gi.jpg caption="President Obama made an unannounced visit to the Dover Air Force Base late last month to honor 18 Americans killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan."]

CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Poll

Americans are split over whether President Barack Obama is taking too long to make a decision on whether to send more U.S. troops to the war in Afghanistan, according to a new national poll.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that by a narrow margin, Americans think that in making his decision, the president should listen to the recommendations of the generals in charge of U.S. troops in Afghanistan rather than taking other matters into account as well.

The poll's Wednesday morning release comes just hours before the president is scheduled to hold another meeting with his national security advisers to discuss policy in Afghanistan.

Go here to see the full results of the poll.

November 11th, 2009
10:49 AM ET

At Fort Hood, day of mourning ends with celebration

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Jim Spellman

The homecoming celebration Tuesday night for soldiers returning from war is like no other ever held here.

A rowdy crowd assembles, as always, the excitement palpable. Teary wives and girlfriends and moms and dads hold the hands of children bearing signs like Zachariah Wolf's: "Welcome home bestest daddy."

But this time the community that gathers to cheer the soliders' safe return from Iraq spent the day mourning the loss of comrades from its midst.

The Grey Wolf Troopers, soldiers of the 3rd Brigade combat team, 1st Cavalry, are coming home after a year in Mosul. They, too, know that in their absence so much here has changed. The post they call home has been under attack; 13 soldiers and a civilian are gone, their alleged killer an Army major.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Fort Hood Shooting
November 11th, 2009
10:31 AM ET
November 11th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Injured eyewitnesses

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

President Obama spoke at yesterday’s memorial service for the victims of last week’s mass shooting at Fort Hood. Thirteen people were killed in the attack and 42 people were wounded. Dr. Sanjay Gupta visits the injured eyewitnesses who are currently being treated at Darnall Army Medical Center. These injured soldiers recreate the scene of the last Thursday’s sniper-style shootings and what they remember from the attack. Dr. Gupta examines their wounds and what they can expect on their road to recovery.

Drew Griffin is following the investigation into the Fort Hood shooting and the motives behind the attack. Media reports say that an hour before yesterday’s memorial service for the victims, four FBI agents showed up at the Killeen mosque, where the suspected shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan prayed, to search a trash bin outside. The FBI would not comment on what the agents were looking for at the mosque but motivation remains the focus. Drew will keep us posted on the latest developments tonight.

Today is Veteran’s Day – a day typically filled with saluting, speeches and a moment to reflect on the Americans who have served our country. But how well are we caring for veterans? The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. According to a study released by the Harvard Medical School, 2,266 veterans under the age of 65 died last year as a result of not having health insurance. Researchers emphasize the figure could be more than 14 times the number of deaths suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan last year.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
November 11th, 2009
10:30 AM ET

Dear President Obama #296: And the veterans come marching

Reporter's Note: President Obama is relatively rare as presidents go, because he is not a military veteran. He is, however, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, which is the subject of my daily letter to Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

A few years ago, when my dad was still living, our whole family had gathered for Thanksgiving and we went to a holiday show. During the middle of it, the announcer said something about honoring our veterans and asked them to stand. So my father and brother rose, along with dozens of others, and we all applauded. I was very proud.

Like you, I never served in the military. I considered it when I was younger and decided it really wasn’t the life for me, despite having grown up in an Air Force family. But my respect for the people who put on uniforms to defend our nation has never wavered, and having spent a lot of time around veterans I understand why we so often consider veterans for our public offices, especially the presidency. I don’t mean that as a slight to you. We’ve had about a dozen presidents with no military service in their background, and a handful more served in only state militias. And by and large I don’t recall any of them allowing the country to be overrun by invading hordes.

Still, I think veterans deserve an extra level of respect every day, because they chose to defend the rest of us; to risk their lives so that we can enjoy ours. It’s as simple as that.


November 11th, 2009
09:34 AM ET

China on $2 a day

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's upcoming book, How To Save Jobs, which will be available in December. Over the next few months, we'll be excerpting the first section of the book, which answers the question, "How did we get here?". Last time, we looked at our changing relationship with work This time, we'll begin our look at how changes China and India will be impacting our workforce for years to come. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

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David Gewirtz | BIO

AC360° Contributor

Editor-in-Chief, ZATZ Publishing

Here's an interesting universal truth: everyone wants a better life. This is as true of the desperate poor in third world nations as it is of middle-class Americans. And while economic downturns are scary to most Americans, even the poorest of Americans live a better life than the shocking level of never-ending squalor experienced by some of the poorest of the poor in developing nations.

Almost five times as many Chinese and Indian citizens live on less than $2 a day than there are people in the United States.

Nations like the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India have vowed to change all that. Together, China and India make up 37 percent of the world's population. By contrast, the United States has only 4 percent of the world's 6.77 billion people and yet our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is almost double that of China and four times that of India.

That means that if you want to understand the current job situation in America, you absolutely, positively have to understand the job situation in China and India.

China's economic overhaul

Both China and India began their long march to first-world status decades ago. Until about 1978, the PRC's economy was barely a blip on the world's radar.

When measured in terms of purchasing power, the economy of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is now the second largest in the world, with a $7.8 trillion GDP in 2008. The European Union's economy is technically larger, but that's for a cluster of countries.

China's economic reforms were gradual, often in response to specific problems or economic circumstances.

Since its inception in 1949, China ran a Soviet-style economy. Consumer spending was virtually non-existent, central planning determined nearly all economic activity, and the nation's industrial growth consisted mainly of building big factories. Entrepreneurship was not only not encouraged, it was actively punished.


Filed under: China • David Gewirtz • Economy
November 11th, 2009
06:29 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 11/10/09

Editor's Note: After last night's AC360° we received comments on the execution of John Allen Muhammad. Many of you wrote in to say that you felt justice was served, while others condemned it. We also received comments on Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan – some of you believe he should be referred to as a terrorist or, at the very least, charged with a hate crime. What do you think?Let us know!


The Home Depot was in fact chilling!! Charles Johnson was in fact chilling!! I was home and on 495 for hours that early morning. What happened in Jarratt was also chilling for a civilized nation. Let’s sit up in church on Sunday and convince ourselves as to how righteous we are.

Justice in this case has been served....unlike others.

Major Hasan is a terrorist... but if the media is unwilling to call him a terrorist, they should at the very least accuse of him of committing a hate crime. If what he did was not a hate crime, then the law is extremely one-sided and biased. It's pretty crystal clear to the public what happened at Fort Hood... the politically correct police (i.e. the media, government, etc...) should get a clue and start telling it like it is. Denial might be fashionable, but it looks like a spandex body suit on a fat man when the media wears it.


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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