November 13th, 2009
03:23 PM ET

Palin book tour takes unconventional path

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/15/art.spalin.0915.gi.jpg caption="Palin will bypass several major cities in her upcoming book tour."]
Alexander Mooney
CNN Ticker Producer

Those living in the country's biggest cities who hope to catch a glimpse of Sarah Palin while she is on her much-anticipated book tour may be disappointed: the former Alaska governor will instead hit a string of mid-size cities, many of which voted for her and John McCain last November.

According to Harper Collins, the publisher of Palin's forthcoming memoir "Going Rogue," Palin will bypass several of the major cities that are often the pillars of any big book tour, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.

Palin's schedule instead takes the former Republican vice presidential candidate to smaller – and in many cases more conservative – cities like Fort Wayne, Indiana, Washington, Pennsylvania, Roanoke, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida.

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Filed under: Sarah Palin
November 13th, 2009
02:47 PM ET

Interactive: Key players in the Manson saga


Members of the Charles Manson's murderous family have been described as model prisoners who accept responsibility for their crimes. Yet many of their parole bids continue to be rejected. See "Then and Now" photos of key figures in the Manson 'family'.

Filed under: Crime
November 13th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

World of black Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/30/rnc.chairman/art.michaelsteelemd.gi.jpg caption="On my show 'he was ripped, called every name in the book and castigated. Why? Largely because he’s a black Republican.'"]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Contributor

If you ask someone who is white to tell you the political party of someone who is pro-life, against gay marriage, believes in a smaller government, is a fiscal conservative and is a consistent critic of the policies of President Barack Obama, chances are they’ll say he’s a Republican.

If you ask someone who’s black and throw in that the individual you’re describing is also an African-American, chances are he’ll be called an Uncle Tom or a sellout.

Welcome to the world of Michael Steele and of other black Republicans.

When I told folks on Facebook and Twitter that I was interviewing Steele last week for my show on TV One Cable Network, “Washington Watch With Roland Martin,” the comments were not surprising. He was ripped, called every name in the book and castigated. Why? Largely because he’s a black Republican.

Yes, African-Americans are loyal to President Barack Obama and fiercely protective of him. Heck, when legendary radio show host Tom Joyner made some comments recently on his show that were perceived as critical of the president, folks called him an Uncle Tom. And Joyner was one of Obama’s biggest supporters doing the campaign!

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November 13th, 2009
01:59 PM ET

Search for missing 5-year-old continues


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/13/art.vert.crime.fayetteville.jpg caption="Mario Andrette McNeill has been charged with first degree kidnapping." width=292 height=320]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

There has been a new development in the search for a missing North Carolina girl.

The Fayetteville Police Department announced the arrest of a second man in connection with the disappearance of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis.

The suspect, Mario Andrette McNeill, has been charged with first degree kidnapping. At the same time, authorities said kidnapping charges against Clarence Coe, who was arrested on Thursday for allegedly abducting Shaniya, have been dropped. He is expected to be released from custody today.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
November 13th, 2009
01:35 PM ET

50on50: Balloon boy – the judge’s surprise


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/13/balloon.boy.heene/story.balloon.kusa.kmghjpg.jpg]

Michael Schulder
CNN Senior Executive Producer

As I approach 50, I must remind myself, despite my “vast” life experience, always be prepared to be surprised. For example, this morning at 10:30am, CNN was covering the “balloon boy” parents’ court appearance - LIVE. What a waste of precious air time I thought. And then, I was surprised.


The defense attorney for the “balloon boy’s” father was explaining politely to the judge why the judge could keep things brief since his client understood the implications of his guilty plea. My eyes were glued to the right side of CNN’s screen which showed video of the great helium balloon flight – speeding through the sky – looking like a giant chef’s hat racing to pluck the father from the court room oven and deliver him to his alleged dream of a reality show.

But this was his reality show. In the courtroom. Pleading guilty. That’s when the surprise hit me. This story was not a waste of precious air time.


Filed under: Michael Schulder • Opinion
November 13th, 2009
01:29 PM ET
November 13th, 2009
01:27 PM ET

King: 'Going Rogue' reignites Palin divide, even in her hometown

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/12/sotu.king.alaska/story.pandemonium.cnn.jpg caption="Store owner Shannon Cullip on Sarah Palin: People either completely ... have her on a pedestal or don't like her." width=300 height=169]
John King
CNN Chief National Correspondent

At Pandemonium Booksellers, the Sarah Palin 2010 calendars are hot sellers, and since the election, the traffic in political books has been decidedly to the right.

"Glenn Beck outsells President Obama at the moment?" is our question as owner Shannon Cullip leads us on a tour of the bookstore.

"Oh yeah," she responds with a laugh. "Big time."

In the window, there is a small Wasilla Chamber of Commerce sticker and an image of the town's famous mayor-turned-governor-turned-GOP vice presidential nominee.

"Going Rogue" is shattering the presale record at Pandemonium Booksellers and reigniting the Palin political divide, even here in her hometown.

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Filed under: John King • Sarah Palin
November 13th, 2009
01:15 PM ET

Gitmo Stats: Detainees to be transferred out of the U.S.

Editor's Note: Five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, including accused mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be transferred to New York to go on trial in civilian court, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.

Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott

A senior administration official spoke with CNN’s Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott about the resettlement of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Here are some stats about Gitmo detainees and their transfers.

1. When President Obama took office there were 242 detainees at Guantanamo. Now there are 215. Of those, 115 have been approved for transfer.


November 13th, 2009
12:02 PM ET

Alice in unemployment land

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

So many different numbers are being tossed about on the subject of unemployment; if you spend even a day trying to sort them out you can wind up feeling like Alice in Wonderland; only this time she’s tumbled down into an unemployment line where nothing makes sense.

Here is the White House crew talking about all the jobs that they’ve “created or saved” with the stimulus. The economy is getting better, but joblessness is getting worse. Initial benefits claims are up, then they are down. The Labor Department is issuing a river of reports on jobs lost, gained, outsourced, insourced, retro-fitted, repainted, fertilized, pruned, poached in a white wine sauce, you name it. Cue the Mad Hatter. It’s no wonder whacky tea parties are breaking out across the land.

Take it easy. Having traveled at great peril through the looking glass into the surreal land of economists, I have emerged with the grail; the only number you really need to know.


Filed under: Opinion • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Tom Foreman • Unemployment
November 13th, 2009
11:30 AM ET

Officials: Top White House lawyer to be pushed out

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/13/obama.staff.shakeup/story.gregcraig.gi.jpg caption="White House Counsel Greg Craig is reportedly leaving his post over his handling of plans to close Guantanamo Bay." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

In the first major shakeup among President Obama's senior staff, White House Counsel Greg Craig announced his resignation Friday.

The resignation will take effect on January 3, according to a letter Craig sent to Obama.

Craig is being pushed out in favor of veteran Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer because of a dispute over plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, CNN learned Thursday.

"I want to tell you how proud I am of all that your legal team has accomplished on your behalf," Craig wrote in the letter. "It has been a busy first year (for the administration), and I feel very lucky to have been part of it."

Obama, in a written statement, called Craig a "close friend and trusted adviser who tackled many tough challenges."

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