December 4th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Buying health care votes?

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

The cost of just getting the health care bill passed is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu eventually voted yes to debate the bill, but only after the Senate apparently added $300 million dollars in federal spending for her state. And she is a Democrat. It turns out getting support from Republicans may cost billions of dollars. Could one particular tax loophole benefiting one state have anything to do with a potential “yes” vote? Drew Griffin is keeping them honest tonight.

An Italian jury has begun deliberations in the murder trial of American student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Yesterday, Knox took the stand for a third time, telling jurors that she is not an "assassin" who killed her former roommate. Knox and Sollecito are charged with murder and sexual violence in the November 2007 stabbing death of Meredith Kercher. Knox and Kercher, a British exchange student, were roommates. The verdict may come down as early as this afternoon. We’ll have the latest developments tonight.

We’re learning this morning that the U.S. jobs market improved significantly in November, as employers trimmed the fewest jobs of any month since the start of the recession. Approximately 11,000 jobs were lost in November – a striking contrast from the 125,000 jobs that economists forecasted for the month. The unemployment rate, now at 10 percent, posted the biggest one-month decline in more than three years. So where are the jobs and who is most affected? We’ll break it down for you tonight.

Despite this brighter jobs report, President Obama will be in Allentown, PA today to deliver remarks on the economy. The event is the start of what the White House is calling a “Main Street Tour” – a series of visits by the President across the country over the next several months to talk to Americans about the economic challenges they are facing. More than 8 million jobs have been lost during the recession. Do you think this is a good idea? What would you tell the President if you had the chance to speak to him in person?

This morning in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, at least 40 people were killed when gunmen attacked a mosque near the military headquarters. There was apparently one explosion and gunfire soon after morning prayers, according to police. This is the latest in a series of attacks that have rocked the country since the Pakistani government stepped up its offensive against al-Qaeda and the Taliban near the border of Afghanistan.

Earlier today it was announced by the NATO secretary-general that non-U.S. NATO nations will send 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Where will these troops be deployed and will they arrive in the region when the U.S. troops get there?

And could Vladimir Putin become Russia’s President ... again? The Russian Prime Minister told millions of TV viewers that he might consider running for the presidency in 2012. He stepped down in 2008 after serving eight years as president, as the Russian constitution prohibits more than two consecutive terms.

Happy Friday to you all. What are you following? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Objective analysis is needed on the Knox trial, not commentators' opinions as to whether she is innocent or guilty. Young women are capable of, and have committed horrific murders, so it is incorrect to assume Knox is not guilty on the basis of age and gender. This is biased commentary, and gives us no information about the actual trial proceedings and other details of the case. The analyst is not a juror; discuss the viewpoints of the people involved, not your own opinions.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  2. A. Smith, Oregon

    American taxpayers are going to pay for health-care regardless if the House and Senate agree to pass it or not. Meaning, every uninsured patient that is treated rolls up the health-care insurance rates on those that have health-care. Massive fraud cases by a handful of corrupt people and very corrupt American Medical Associated Doctors pour on huge costs to the overall costs of health care insurance.

    If a US Government backed Public Option is not obtainable, the Democrats should wait until the next election for more Democrats to replace their Republican counterparts and try again.

    The Republican super minority is trying to add as many poison pills to the health-care bill as possible to either destroy it outright or make the final version meaningless in terms of viability's.

    Forget any compromises with the Republican's, vote them out of office.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Hi Eliza! Happy Friday!!!!

    World Cup draw is starting now. It's interesting to see a competition of this size in Africa. I am following the party of the draw!

    See you!!

    December 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  4. Jeanette

    The main jobs we are left on the soup bone is low pay and depression era jobs. Big business and our government has given all our jobs to foreign countries and we see no chance of getting them back. Lots of luck big business has in selling us anything we can't afford. They are crying about their profits all the time.

    Everyone is so tired of the CORRUPTION of our government. Why should we pay for the votes they are already paid to give, whether or not they are for or against.
    Senator Landrieu should be voted out on the very first election and so should every other Senator who is using blackmail to the American peoples money. Get rid of the corruption.

    December 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  5. Lori

    Happy Friday!

    December 4, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  6. Tim Gibson

    On a friday when we can say it is not if the cup is half full or half empty, but just being thankful we have a cup, one has to wonder about his lastest celebrity tour of our commander in chief. Flying around the nation speaking to people in a "town hall" meeting will not change the fact that when the people speak the hill does not listen and all the promise of yesterday have vanished in what for all intents and purposes appears to be a bait and switch. Different spokes person, same old game. Hit me luck seven. How much are we down for now and what else can I put up to gamble with?

    As to jobs loss, it is bare bone now, not much meat left to trim off the soup bone is there. The only thing not done yet is throw the bone itself out, having been used to often it no longer flavors the soup.

    Entire middle east, time to pack it up and call it a day. Let it go and move on to securing our own national borders. Is that not homeland security or do I just keep getting confused.

    December 4, 2009 at 10:25 am |