November 24th, 2009
09:48 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 11/24/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Pres. Obama and the First Lady hold their first state dinner at the White House. We'll go up close and look at the raw politics of the visit. Plus, nip, tuck and tax. Could a so-called "botax" on plastic surgery help pay for health care reform. We're keeping them honest.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Good night Erica and David (Indiana)!

    See you tomorrow!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  2. Brandon

    No he's getting a nun's purse in his stocking...

    November 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  3. Rohan

    Your story on Mr. Jorge was incredible. He really is a true hero. I would love to donate some money to his cause!

    Thank you!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Alex Valiao (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    Good evening! 🙂 Great show as always. RNC seems to be alienating more people away with their so-called "purity test". Can they just go out and say what they stand for?? Troops surge in Afghanistan is much awaited. I hope the strategy is great as it feels when rolled out.

    Happy Thanksgiving!! 🙂

    November 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  5. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    The bus driver feeding the hungry is inspiring.

    There is so much we each can do to help others even if it's just something small, like helping your neighbors with babysitting, or having a dinner at your home and inviting neighbors and aquaintances that you Know are having a rough time.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  6. Nate

    About botax:
    Why can't we make sacrifices anymore? We are in a crisis. There are millions of people in our country without adequate health care. I think the Botax is a small sacrifice to make, to insure more Americans.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  7. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Incredible example of a true hero!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  8. Brandon

    A Viag tax is hardly the same thing. You're comparing something that changes the way you function to something that makes you more appealing.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  9. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    I forgot to add that it was really wonderful to see Dr Gupta was invited.

    Perhaps Anderson was there too??

    November 24, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  10. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    Wow! What a great sight to see at the White House.

    The 1st Lady looked fantastic. The President's toast was excellent. And the guest list was awesome.

    It's nice to see some "class" and yet within reason from the White House. (Reminds me of the Kennedy days).

    November 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  11. Sharon Hastings

    Great show Erica. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and if you're traveling, please be safe. I'll continue searching for my pie recipes that I put somewhere. Looks like great fun at the White House tonight.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  12. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Adryan, i like the way you think. Let's get both sexes paying taxes. I bet there are more Viag purchases than there are cosmentic surgeries!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  13. jane - Vt

    I wish all the wars would end. Then the $1million/soldier could be used for health care and the other things this county needs.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  14. David, Indiana

    Erica, a important pt to note, two events quite different, and yet closely connected. Those juxtapositions, always food for thought.

    Good evening Randi Kaye. A great report on the proposed botax as it is called. Is there any tax at all on medical services already? Why did the tax on cosmetic procedures not generate the projected revenue in NJ?

    I would say the Democratic party and the Republican party are both stubbornly sticking to the middle ground. I didn't know though that the Republican party did not recognize photosynthesis.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  15. ericacnn

    Ha! @Steve – me, too!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  16. steve- virginia beach, va

    @Erica, that sounds incredibly good. I'm hungry again.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Brandon

    @Dulcie they are talking about a procedure that people get done to have their teeth whitened...not a product they go out and buy...so no I don't think it would add an extra federal tax on top of the state tax...

    November 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Rachel

    The failure in NJ is all relative... $50M is still a lot of money. Sure, it didn't reach their forecast of $120M, but at the federal level people couldn't travel across state lines to get the unnecessary procedures.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  19. Ricky in NJ

    @Dulcie I would hope at home kits wouldn't count as a procedure, but considering how desperate we are becoming I wouldn't be surprised.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Chuck in Thailand

    With even Sarah Palin gaining in popularity on Obama, it would seem the Democratic Party is losing support from the Independent voters. Even Paul Begala cannot change the facts.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Kathy Chicago, welcome to the dark side.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  22. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Paul Begala, what is 'dark ages' about smaller government, lower taxes, less spending? It sounds like being responsible to me.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  23. Richard

    You already pay a sales tax on teeth whitening strips according to where you live. (They don't really work anyway)

    November 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  24. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    I can't believe the "new" criteria for being a Republican.

    I am an Independent and Not particularly "impressed" with this "new" Republican criteria.

    I am also not thrilled with Democrate either.

    We need a 3rd Party of Centrists (which is what the majority of Americans are).

    November 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  25. Dulcie - Denver

    @El James

    Any teeth whitening stuff you buy in the store would already be taxed by your state or locality. Would there be an additional federal tax tacked on? Dunno, but I don't think it'll amount to much on a $20 package.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  26. Brandon

    @Ricky you're right...It may effect the middle class the most but...don't get unnecessary surgery then I guess you're good to go then? It effects them because they choose to allow it to do so.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  27. Kathy Chicago

    I've been a Dem all my life, but I don't agree with much that Obama has done. I am slipping to the right on many issues.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  28. Kathy, Andover

    I will say you @ least explained where the 'plastic surgery tax' money went, ie to the next state. So obviously, this would be different on a federal level.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  29. Adryan

    Erica & Anderson...

    If we're going to have a Botax, why not also a ViagTax? That should even things out, shouldn't it?


    November 24, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  30. El James

    Plus, the sales tax affects teeth whitening strips... doesn't it?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  31. Dulcie - Denver

    I'm with a number of people here – I don't think a tax on cosmetic procedures will net us much revenue. People already go to Mexico and Costa Rica for less expensive cosmetic procedures. Might as well fit in a vacation while you're there.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  32. Ricky in NJ

    Brandon I would agree with you about this being the best idea out of all the things they've thought of taxing but when you look to see that it mostly effects the middle class it gave me a double take. That bit of information was hard for me to take (seeing all the shows where you see "real housewives' with their bleached teeth, and implants).

    November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  33. DA Trav

    Taxing cosmetic surgery that is not medically necessary seems logical to me since whenever one of those surgeries goes bad it winds up as a medical case that has to be solved by the family doctor or a an emergency clinic. The tax would offset the cost of dealing with those complications.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  34. Rachel

    We Americans are the most vain people on earth. Hopefully the "botax" will make people rethink their priorities. This is a no brainer.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  35. Brandon

    You'd be surprised how many people get these procedures...I mean they are including things like whitening teeth. It may not completely fund it, but it would help. I don't see how this is a hit on women...Maybe society can make a change on emphasising the importance of the way a woman looks based off the covers of magazines, movies, or models. You'd think women would want a reason to get away from this image. In the end these procedures are not necessary ...

    November 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  36. El James

    I do support the tax on elective cosmetic procedures. How are these procedures different from purchases made in stores, which are affected by a sales tax?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  37. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Sharon Hastings, you are exactly right. There are Not enough of these procedures being done to even make a dent towards paying for healthcare reform.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  38. Nate

    I can't believe Obama is sending 34,000 troops to Afghanistan. What is our mission? Al Qaeda isn't in Afghanistan anymore Are we going to occupy every country that doesn't have a stable government? . How are we going to pay for escalating this war?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  39. Dr. David Foss

    I'm against the "Botax". Why – because it opens the door to a federal sales tax!

    Dr. Foss

    November 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  40. jane - Vt

    Botax away.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  41. ericacnn

    I am amazed at the outcome in NJ and really wonder whether the Senate took a serious look at how the tax turned out in that state.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
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