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September 10th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
September 10th, 2010
10:55 AM ET

Letters to the President: #599 'Not so scary anymore…'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/09/09/poll.terrorism/story.bin.laden.afp.gi.jpg caption="A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll says 67 percent believe it is unlikely the U.S. ever will capture or kill Osama bin Laden." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: President Obama pretty much put the “war on terrorism” to bed, at least in terms of the words we use to describe our security efforts. But in my daily letter to the White House, I’m addressing what may be a more important change among all of us.

Dear Mr. President,

Reading through one of our latest polls I was struck by the fact that most Americans now think we will never catch Osama bin Laden. Who would have imagined that in the days immediately after 9/11?

I supposed, like I guess many did, that we’d scoop him up like a tadpole in a stream. Then the years started grinding by and we all learned a lot more about the geography of Afghanistan, the socio-political landscape of Pakistan, and the overall murky nature of this al Qaeda crowd. And gradually it became clear that this was going to be a good bit more complex than we expected. Kind of like the plot of “Lost.”
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September 10th, 2010
10:30 AM ET

What's weighing on Obama as he makes economic pitch

Ed Hornick
CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Obama, looking to assure the country that he's the man with an economic plan, is taking his message to the media, and ultimately, the American public.

His Friday press conference at the White House undoubtedly will focus on the economy, but other controversial topics more than likely will come up: from the Florida pastor who had threatened to burn Qurans on September 11 to the building of an Islamic center near ground zero to the possibility that chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will leave his post to run for mayor of Chicago, Illinois.

CNN takes a look at the top issues Obama is facing on the economic front before the critical midterm elections in November.

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Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
September 10th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

No deal made to halt Quran burning, Muslim leader says

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A Florida Muslim leader is disputing claims by the Rev. Terry Jones that he brokered a deal to get the Islamic center project near New York's ground zero moved if the pastor called off his Quran burning event.

Imam Muhammad Musri said Jones may have hatched the story about the Islamic center moving to "give himself a reason to call this off."

Jones "was trying to save face," Musri said Thursday night on CNN's "AC360."

Musri said he did not tell Jones that the Islamic center project would be moved away from ground zero.

'He's accusing me of lying to him, which I did not. I was very explicit with him." said Musri, who is with the Islamic Society of Central Florida.

The disagreement between the two religious figures is the latest twist in the saga about the proposed Quran burning event.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Islam
September 10th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

Democrat target of Tea Party speaks his mind

Randi Kaye | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

(CNN) - Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson from Orlando, Florida, is known for speaking his mind.

It was Grayson who barreled onto the House floor last year to summarize the Republican health care plan as: "If you get sick, die quickly." It was Grayson who compared former Vice President Dick Cheney to a vampire. It was Grayson who called a lobbyist-turned-federal-reserve employee a "K Street whore."

When we asked Grayson about being referred to as "one fry short of a happy meal" he assured us he was not crazy in the truest sense of the word.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion but I can tell you that if working hard and delivering for people is better, then that may make me crazy. If that's what it takes to call somebody crazy ... then I'm guilty as charged."

Lost in all the headlines about Grayson may be his softer side. This Bronx-born 6-foot-4-inch congressman chokes up often, especially when talking about his family.

Full story

Updated: 3:35 p.m.


Filed under: Randi Kaye • Raw Politics
September 10th, 2010
09:15 AM ET
September 10th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

'Don't ask, don't tell' policy ruled unconstitutional

CNN Wires Staff

(CNN) - A federal court in Riverside, California, ruled Thursday that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy - which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly - is unconstitutional.

"Plaintiff has demonstrated it is entitled to the relief sought on behalf of its members, a judicial declaration that the don't ask, don't tell act violates the Fifth and First Amendments, and a permanent injunction barring its enforcement," concluded U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, a 1999 Clinton appointee.

The 85-page ruling came in a case filed by the group Log Cabin Republicans against the government and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

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Filed under: 360º Follow
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