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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")
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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. Sharon Hastings

    Surely there isn't enough nipping and tucking and whitening to help us very much with health care or our debts.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  2. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    Yet Another "hit" on women under this proposed healthcare reform bill!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Kathy Chicago

    Well, havn't had any surgery yet, but will have to weigh the costs in the future. Why are they throwing women under the bus? Obama doesn't need the women's vote?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. Brandon

    Good health and exersise is out the window I suppose? I'm sure there are plenty of women out there that compete just fine without adjustments to the way they look that comes from an unatural source.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  5. Brandon

    Tax away...out of everything they've thought of taxing for this reform bill this is probably the best idea.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  6. ericacnn

    @steve – virginia beach the menu is not totally vegetarian – green curry prawns are being served

    November 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  7. David, Indiana

    No I think Afghanistan has it's own set of circumstances.

    It does give one pause to think India's 9-11 was a year ago this week. Am I wrong though to think Pakistan and India are moving closer on issues between them?

    Thanks for a taste of the musical entertainment from the State Dinner this evening.

    Boomerang kids, yes, I have had a boomerang moment or two in my life.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  8. Dan in WV

    @Mike – Syracuse, , Might be different but no easier to obtain.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  9. JD , Milwaukee

    Michael Ware has the analysis of Afghanistan down pat......sounds like this war is not about winning .....but helping Afghans via Pakistan/India

    November 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  10. Murli

    There is so much discussion on the subject of AFPak and India's role in Afghanistan. What does America really want from India or the role it would like India to play in America's success in Afghanistan?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  11. niwat, chicago

    Michelle Obama did look majestic.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  12. Brandon

    @Diana there are plenty of people who have served who don't understand why they are there. Infact it's a big issue throughout the troops....I was in the Navy and worked with many Marines. I was onboard two amphibious ship's that transport Marines...and I have to say a lot of them don't really feel great about this war.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  13. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    Erica, excellent panel discussion.

    Michael Ware always cuts to the chase and tells it like it is!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  14. David Hovland

    I have been a solid supporter of Obama a year before his election as President. But now, I cannot support his decision to send more of our boys and girls to a slaughter field for which we will never win. It will just be another Viet Nam. I am very sad tonight.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Gregg - - Fla.

    So 49% of Americans do not support sending more troops to Afganistan, so what they are saying is, the 3500 troops that have already gave there lives for there country and America's freedom died in vein?? all should remember the 90s when the Soviets finally left battered and broken, we should all support the President, and him send these troops to get the job done..

    November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Ben Blades

    Looking good and telling everyone what they want to hear is all obama ever dose. If the generals say we need more troops...... we need more troops.... and every second you wait... You are killing solders. I wonder how many he has killed so far.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  17. Rajat

    Perhaps the military bases on the island Diego Garcia play a certain role in determining India's Afghanistan policy....

    November 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  18. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Dan, the Russian's 'job' was to install a puppet regime in Afghanistan. Our 'job' is to defeat the Taliban and establish a peaceful society. Big difference.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  19. Will Myers

    I have been behind Obama 100% the whole time before he was elected and since he has been our President. This is the first most dissapointing decision he has made in my oppinion. I think every day we are in Afganistan is is another day of wasted American tax dollors, or should I say borrowed Chineese debt. The Afganies need jobs??? We need Jobs, its crazy for us to be over there, as if we are ever going to make them change who they are. We are doing what we have seen other countries try to do, and we don't learn. We don't learn from wasting American $$$ and American lives over and over and over and don't ever seem to learn. We have enough to deal with here at home. Bring the focus back here. Wake UP President Obama, don't just tow the line. President Obama has changed from who he was when he was running for President.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  20. vic nashville, tn

    Recently India indirectly participate to destroy L.T.T.E terrorist group in Sri Lanka

    No 1 terrorist group in the world

    If Pakistan work with U.S.A and India we can destroy Al-Qaida

    I totally agree with Freed and Michele

    November 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  21. Jerry

    We do not need to send more troops. What is the plan and strategy? We need to let these Countries run their own Country. We were supposed to teach Iraq to govern themselves what happened to this? We need to start bringing back our troops in increments. Where is the common sense?

    November 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  22. Diana

    If everyone has problems with the war, talk to someone who has been their. My husband(USMC) is currently serving in the Southern Hemland Province. And I asked him if he believes he is doing a great thing, and he replied "I know we need to be here. When I got to this outpost, we never saw kids playing in the streets, now we see them outside, enjoying childhood".
    So, please next time, ask out troops what their views are, and stop looking at people who haven't served. Thanks.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  23. karen

    well i votd for obama, and back him in what ever he does. i dont sgree with the troop dedployment for afganistan, my son is a marine, but he has not let me down yet. hopefully he wont now. we need to be there but we need to be there for the right reasons

    November 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  24. Terry from Canada

    Michelle Obama's dress is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Can't think of any style or colour that would have been more beautiful or appropriate for the occasion.

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

    Good evening Erica, Isabel, everyone. It seems like the US presence needs to be in there, in Afghanstan alongside the public, ensuring that the people of Afghanistan can move toward progress begin improving their lives and towns and cities. That strategy needs to get down on the ground as far as builidng helpful alliances Michael Ware is say, and must address the pressing issues faced by the public as Atia Abawi is saying, and both these pts of vw fill in what Fareed Zakaria is saying about increasing troops alone won't be the only thing needed to help the country of Afghanistan.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  26. Dan in WV

    I wonder if we ever could finish "The Job" in Afganistan when the Russians never could.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Good evening Erica, David in Indiana, friends and bloggers!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. Sharon Hastings

    Good evening Erica and bloggers. I'm so worried about Afghanistan. It's going to take alot of explanation before I'm going to feel comfortable with troop increases. It seems like we will be there forever. Look what it's already doing to our troops. And what will we have when we're done? Hopefully the President can answer this.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  29. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Kedhar, Hindu's (most of India) and Muslims (most of Afghanistan) don't get along very well. Hindu troops deployed to a Muslim country would be a lightning rod.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  30. Dulcie - Denver

    I know this might sound very ignorant, but I tend to trust our leaders regarding things like troop levels. I can't possibly even begin to second guess that kind of decision. I don't have the information or expertise to form an intelligent argument either way. Sure, personally I don't care for war, but since we're there, it needs to be addressed.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  31. Shruti

    India does not want any intervention of foreign powers in Kashmir. Pakistan is playing games in asking that if India move their troops away from the border, they will use those troops in Afghanistan. On the record, India has never attacked Pakistan, it has always been the other way round. End the terrorism in Pakistan, world will be terror free.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  32. Cessy, Chicago IL

    Hello everyone and good evening!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  33. Brett

    If 34,000 new troops means a faster exit strategy, I wish President Obama the best of luck.

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

    I still support the war in Afganistan IF there is a clearly defined mission and IF we can find a way to afford to continue our assistance in both military and civilian people and money for providing basic infrastructure to pull the Afgan people together and get them participating in their own country & government.

    It is a highly complex set of problems, but does affect our national security in a very profound way.

    I hope that India is willing to provide both manpower and money as well as all of the countries in NATO!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  35. Ashok

    USA and India have the ability to transform the world with strategic cooperation.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  36. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    If Obama gives McCrystal the troops he needs it will be the first correct thing he's done as President.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  37. John

    what I want to know is what is "the job"? President Obama stated he is going to "finish the job". At this point what is the actual definition of "the job"

    November 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  38. Dulcie - Denver

    @Steve & @Clay:

    On LKL the menu was revealed to be a vegetarian option and Green Curry Prawns as a meat entree. Should be acceptable to most.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  39. jorge Arevalo

    This investigation must be harder if you give them what they need.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  40. Nancy

    Michelle Obama looks amazing.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  41. ericacnn

    Evening, everyone. Interesting juxtaposition tonight – the first state dinner honoring a major ally and word we will finally get an answer on troops for Afghanistan. Two events closely connected yet so very different

    November 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  42. jane - Vt

    Good evening everyone

    November 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  43. Kit

    We need to stop the madness in Afganistan. We should not send more troops!!! Please President Obama. Stop the madness!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  44. Kedhar

    Why can't the Obama administration ask India for Military help as India have a 30 odd years of experience of Insurgency and experience in terrain like that which exist in Afghanistan. This could extremely useful as sending more troops doesnt seem to be very popular in the US.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  45. Dulcie - Denver

    I really enjoyed both the President's and PM Singh's toasts. Made me feel very proud and hopeful.

    Thanks to CNN for bringing us this coverage.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  46. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    Hi Erica & Team 360.

    Hello fellow bloggers.

    Did everyone see the First Lady's dress? Exquisite!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  47. Brandon

    I'm interested in what the President is going to say about our Goals and purpose in this war.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  48. steve- virginia beach, va

    I heard it's a vegetarian dinner

    November 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  49. Christine

    Larry King said on his show that he did not think he would have any controversy on tonight's show and on the topic of Obama's first state dinner. Oh really?!? Well, you do know that the fist thing you will hear from the Republicans' side in tomorrow's news will be something to the effect whether the White House is setting the right tone by having invited such a big crowd when the economy is down and people in this country are struggling. Just out of spite and just so they can put down the president yet again. You can bet on this!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  50. Clay in San Antonio

    Anderson, Is the White House hosting a State dinner or a steak dinner? I thought the Hindu did not consume beef..

    November 24, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
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