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December 14th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/14/09

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

We've got breaking news from Capitol Hill on health care reform. There's word of a possible about-face from Senate Democrats on the idea of allowing Americans to buy into Medicare starting at the age of 55. We've got the raw politics. Plus, big banks under fire. President Obama urged banking executives to provide more loans to small businesses. We're keeping them honest. Should banks be doing enough to rebuild the economy?

Want more details on what 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 (256 Responses)
  1. steve- virginia beach, va

    Bad regulations, deregulation, and inadequate oversight is what got us into this mess. Financial institutions need to be regulated but not over-regulated. Just the minimal amount to restore such things as sanity to the definition of credit-worthiness, protection from predators, preventing overly-risky investment, prevent companies from becoming "too big to fail", etc.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  2. jack

    hi anderson cooper my comment is about the bank i am 16 and bening homeschoole in are kenworth truck i am in this truck 24 7 becoues the econme is so bad. we travel all over the united state and i see alot of stores and old old towns that look like gost town and familys with out a home like me and my dad i am tired of hearing about us giving the bank money like they need any more money i can say this help us dont keep saying you will just doooooo it

    December 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  3. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @starr, formerly known as vincent, I agree, Gary is the best! He always seems to get the most interesting stories. Or maybe he just knows how to make them interesting.

    I got in a little late, but did Ms. Martin say why she didn't call the police when Ray refused to let those people out?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  4. David, Indiana

    Well we're learning James Arthur Ray did take precautions, but it sounds like he was pushing the envelop with the safety of the sweat lodge participants, it sounds like a chaotic situation. Do all sweat lodges go that far? Is there a requirement for having someone who knows CPR present?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  5. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Gary T,
    No wonder they kick you out from semiars..... I think you're doing great job reporting there...... You're nice person I have seen. 🙂 Ray James is so bad guy, I hope he will land jail time.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  6. Kris

    If we don't stand up and fight now for reform, how will Healthcare ever change in this country. I'm very disappointed in Senator Lieberman siding with the insurance companies (more than likely paid off) and having the power to stand in the way have change the poeple have requested. This is a failure on hi part and I hope he is voted out office competely. It's a disgrace to our countries progress as a nation.

    Another one paid off by the dollar and talking out of both sides of his moutn. We need to stand up for the changes we voted in to actually make a real change in healtcare in the United States

    December 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  7. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @David Gergen, always glad to see you on the blog. As usual, your post makes total sense.

    Now, let's hope the banks got the message and will really to something about small businesses and mortgage rehab.

    Personally, i'll believe it when i see it.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  8. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    "It's a thin line between love and hate!"

    December 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  9. Karen

    RE: the banks, if I heard a certain bank was operating *fairly* and lending again to small businesses, I would seriously consider switching. I also think they could use it as a *real* marketing tool – "We believe in the people" etc. I see banks *attempting* to use that kind of line all the time in new commercials, but since we hear differently *every*where else, it's just more lying. Why can't they figure out that they could gain by treating people right? I mean, seriously, it's not like we are talking about sub-primes again. Why are people with *stellar* habits being dissed? How do they possibly think this is "good business"?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @ Anderson

    I liked to see you using the Magic Wall. I had not seen it yet! Cool!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  11. Shanny

    Did they ever find the group that died on Mt Hood last year? It's become a bit too well-known for heartbreak in the last few years.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  12. Lori

    It is hard to accept that the hikers are being tried in Iran.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  13. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @David Gergen, a third point to consider is that this recession started with the mortgage crisis caused by excessive lending by banks to those who were poor risks. Why shouldn't banks be more careful in lending?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  14. Ivanka, Croatia

    how come Croatia has, or has had, a publicly financed health care system (we pay only additional charge of approximately $40 a year) when in the Statres there are so many obstacle. what are the real obstacles, people? insurance companies?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  15. Jennifer - AZ

    @ wendy kasta and Anderson

    I second that – a story on who the lobbyists against health care are and where their funding comes from.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  16. eric walker

    I thought the idea of healthcare reform was to bring down the cost for bussinesses? Like GM and the such that could not compete because of the high cost of healthcare? Now we are talking about subsidies. Spending money instead of saving money. They just do not get it

    December 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  17. Emily

    @Erica,

    I think that it would be an awful thing if the Congress passed just anything! (sloppy, etc.).
    Why have they not spoken about the cost of Rx meds?
    If they have, I've missed that.....

    Health care is very detailed, and it sounds like the Congress is will the pass just 'anything'....then who knows what could be exploited.
    Pres. Obama just spoke about the Banking system.
    I think that it's something that has to be thought about!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  18. Keith

    Erica, Do you know what its like to be tied to your employer – with a pre-existing condition?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  19. Henya CA,

    Joe Lieberman is a hypocrite he ran and campaign for Public Option,
    I totally lost respect for him, we have the chance to it and one man can just ruining for everyone,
    Way to go Lieberman,

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  20. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    We live in a world were "Cash is King".

    People don't care about helping others, just making money off of them.

    Look at Wall Street Bankers, and James Arthur Ray.

    (something said in the past that bad guys have 3 names and good ones have 2 names)

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  21. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    @David Gergen,
    I agree with your comment, I think we would have change our policy bill not to drop out our healthcare, I am really shocked that Joe Liberman opposed their health care......

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  22. David Gergen

    Hello everyone - thanks for joining in tonight. Wow, a lot is unfolding this week - and so important to the country's future. I must tell you that while I think these bonus numbers at the banks border on the obscene and that banks ought to be using some of their extraordinary earnings to provide a pool of money for hard-up small businesses, there are a couple of arguments that the banks are making about their loans that bear consideration:

    One of the reasons that lending is down 15% is that borrowing always goes as a result of a recession. Fewer people want to borrow and more borrowers are credit risks. The other point is that some of these big banks didn't want federal money but were forced to take it by the Bush administration fall a year ago. So, they are a little frustrated, too.

    Now, having said this, I think these big banks would be well advised to not pay big bonuses this year to their top people - and to make clear to the Congress and public that they will accept reasonable new regulation, which is so clearly needed.

    Welcome your thoughts - and again, thanks for joining in.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  23. Nancy Delaware

    I just get furious each time I hear about the double standard being used by these large banking firms where our tax dollars were 'loaned' to them, but they will not extend loans to the tax payers. Why are we doing business with these people? Maybe if they start losing significant numbers of customers, they will re-think their business practices. What are your thoughts?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  24. Robert

    Ibelieve it is time to drop Joe Lieberman! I only hope that he will flip flop back to his original position so that all
    Americans will be able to access healthcare.Isn't it nice for those who have insurance to ensure that others do not...outrageous!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  25. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Speaking of excellent reporting, Gary Tuchman's report on Mr. Ray was really, really good.

    Mr. Ray serisouly needs to be investigated, charged and tried for his complete lack of compassion, total greed and complete disregard for human life, much less Any spiritual knowledge!

    Gary Tuchman has done it again! Thanks Gary for keeping us posted on this serious situation.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  26. Gail Duncan

    Follow no Guru or anyone/thing that can harm you. Also, don't look for love in all the wrong places.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  27. Jennifer - AZ

    There's something wrong with this guy.

    Evening Anderson and everyone!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  28. zackman

    its 7 here

    December 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  29. Rodney

    @ Erica,
    I think the Healthcare Bill should be passed. I think they should add a provision to allow members with family members that have served in any war to have access to the VA medical system. If members don't have family members that have served in the military they should be granted access based upon availability. For instance, a Veteran would have priority unless it is a life or death situation.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  30. Shanny

    Gary, Gary, Gary... good thing you don't take things too personally with the number of places you get kicked out of

    You look like the nicest guy. I'd find it hard to kick you out of anywhere

    December 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  31. zackman

    are you watching cnn? because im on the west coast

    December 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  32. Emily

    Great reporting here by Gary Tuchman with Melinda Martin.

    That sounds like a type of personality that Ray has, from the sounds of it....(a sick one)
    I can't think if the exact name of it right now however....

    December 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  33. dawn k

    President Obama is giving an outstanding effort to right the wrong economy, although I think the trillions of dollars should have been given directly to the taxpayer. Take half the money (already spent) and divide it accordingly to the tax payers, requiring them to use designated percentages for current debt in the form of mortgages and credit cards. Any remaining dollars can be used at their discretion such as investment, saving, and spending. It would all eventually get back to the banks who were given the money without any rules, regulations, requirements, or effort.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  34. dominick

    Anderson please understand that free enterprise means free from government interference. Don't be surprised if the President can't make the banks loan money. He is not supposed to have the power to do this. If he did can you imagine where this country would be today. Think hard on this one. Isn't this what socialist countries do?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  35. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    We need to have a public option....not everyone can afford to buy into an insurance plan!

    We pay for the uninsured anyway...called ER visits that go unpaid!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  36. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This health care issue has past the line to sad that our leaders has kept this bill in a stalemate this long this is no more then just like the war were fighting.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  37. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    If the banks were doing what they are to do, there would be lot of people back to work.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  38. Chuck from Thailand

    I'm wondering where all this Presidential outrage was when Senator Chris Dodd and the White House Staffers were approving the AIG bonuses.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  39. David, Indiana

    David Gergen makes an essential pt, even with Medicare buy in as its' called hitting a wall, there's almost universal coverage, or at least as far as I understand it much more or many more people recving health ins coverage and this access to health care.

    The banks are saying they've lended 2 trillion plus since the financial crisis? how does that number compare with the previous year?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  40. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @Keith

    I agree. There is not much (or any) interest to return the money.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  41. Ivanka, Croatia

    Come on, Americans, you got yourself a good President. Seriously.
    Okay, the Nobel Peace Prize was a bit early, but otherwise he's fine.
    I only wish that the Copenhagen Summit was a priority on his list, not just a quick stop.
    The world needs to work together on becoming green. We can't do it by ourselves. So you should join in as a country and sign the protocols. Have you signed the Kyoto protocol?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  42. carla

    mr ray should know about karma being a guru and all......it coming mr.ray and it going to bite ya

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  43. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Hi Erica! I already answered your question on healthcare.

    I defintely agree that Dana Bash & Ed Henry's reports were excellent. But CNN has So Many excellent reporters! (you are definitely included)

    December 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  44. Molly

    I think the medicare option at age 55 will end up being a minus for me instead of a plus. Right now I get to keep my health insurance through my employer when I take early retirement. I get to scramble to find supplemental health insurance at normal medicare age. The early medicare option might end up becoming a requirement. Then I'll be forced to find supplemental insurance earlier than before. This will be difficult for those that have health issues. What supplemental insurance companies will want them?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  45. Rodney

    @ Spence
    Thanks for your comments Spence. I just don't think this adds up. I know of numerous individuals either women or minorities and they have been declined funding even though they had at least 10% collateral. If the regulators are putting that much pressure on the banks then I would think it is because the banks are over-leveraged, specifically in the real estate development.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  46. keith kramlingeri

    Bankers received bonuses of $30 billion.

    Redistributing that "excess" equates to 1 million $30,000 jobs.

    According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data below, this could reduce current unemployment by 20% relative to December 2007 levels.

    In November, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.4 million, and the
    unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, edged down. At the start of the recession
    in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.5 million, and the
    jobless rate was 4.9 percent. (See table A-1.)

    December 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  47. Phyllis Blackburn

    Sen. Lieberman, through his opposition to the early Medicare buy-in, has single-handedly, trashed the hopes of millions of Americans who are struggling with the devastating costs of health care. This was a hopeful alternative to a public option per se. Sen. Lieberman has lost his soul somewhere along the way.....

    December 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  48. Emily

    That smug look on James Arthur Rays face really says alot!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  49. Anthonia-Bay Area

    Good Evening Everyone!

    Oh C'mon! Pres. Obama is not going to fulfil every promise he made during his campagin! There has been a lot of economic issues that has arised this year...and Obama can't tackle all of them at once! He's only human.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  50. wendy Kasta

    ANDERSON..why not do a story on the people who are lobbying against health care reform, who funds them etc/

    December 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
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