September 27th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Campaign Ads Distorting the Truth: Join the Live Chat

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Tonight, we're showing you who's distorting the truth in hopes of winning your vote. You'll see which politicians are playing fast and loose with the facts and how they selectively edit videotape to do it. We're keeping them honest. Plus, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson talking again about giving scholarships for needy children to her own relatives. Her story is stunning.

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
September 27th, 2010
07:55 PM ET

Tapes describe U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan

Drew Griffin

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Drew Griffin
September 27th, 2010
05:30 PM ET
September 27th, 2010
05:23 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/27/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a Security Council meeting at the United Nations on September 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

Chuck Hadad
"I have GOT to stop partying with Wolf Blitzer."


Rhonda Dollar, Palm Harbor, Florida
"If I could only get Justin Bieber out of my head....."

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 27th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

Political Theater: Veterans' issues in the spotlight

In today's installment of AC360°'s Political Theater, Tom Foreman is looking at two ads that address military service.

Here’s the script for "Warzone," an ad from North Carolina Republican Ilario Pantano:

NBC news clip (Stone Phillips): "Ilario Pantano, described by one superior as having more integrity, dedication, and drive than any Marine he's ever met."

NBC news clip (Ann Curry interviewing Pantano): "You served in Gulf One; you got out. You got a big great job, a beautiful wife and a kid. Then 9/11 happens, you come home, your hair is shaved off, you're ready to head back into the warzone to help America. "

Pantano "I'm Ilario Pantano and I'm ready to head to war a third time except this time it's for the soul of our country. I need your help to take the Congress back."

And here's the script for "Dan Webster - Draft Dodger," an ad from Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson:

Grayson "I'm Congressman Alan Grayson and I approve this message."

Narrator: "Daniel Webster was called to serve our country six times during the Vietnam War.

Narrator: Each time Daniel Webster refused the call to service.

Narrator: It breaks an old soldier's heart to think that Daniel Webster could ever be elected to Congress.

Narrator: "He doesn't love this country the way I do. Daniel Webster doesn't care about us."

Graphic on screen: If Daniel Webster didn't serve America then, why should he serve now?

Take a look at each ad and the claims each makes then render your own verdict in the comments section below. You have 4 choices for each ad: “Right on,” “It’s a stretch,” “Tall tale,” or “Big fat lie.” Be brief but please give us the evidence in support of your verdict. And two more things: CNN’s comment policy applies and be responsive to our request for help; only submit comments that will help us fact check the ad.

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 27th, 2010
01:08 PM ET

Election-year politics confound tax-cut extension plan

Tom Cohen

Washington (CNN) - Democrats and Republicans both say they want Bush-era tax cuts extended this year for most, if not all Americans. Then why has it been so hard to make it happen?

The answer is election-year politics, with each party battling for any advantage in a climate of voter anger about politics-as-usual in Washington.

At issue is who will get credit for what is considered the most likely outcome - the lower tax rates enacted in 2001 and 2003 getting extended permanently for Americans earning up to $250,000 per family or $200,000 as individuals.

Led by President Barack Obama, most Democrats favor that approach, which covers 98 percent of the taxpayers. They argue that including the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans would cost an additional $700 billion over 10 years that the nation cannot afford.

However, Republicans and some moderate Democrats argue the tax cuts should be extended to everyone to help continue the slow recovery from the economic recession. Otherwise, they say, the return of tax rates to higher levels of the 1990s would inhibit investment and growth.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 27th, 2010
12:05 PM ET

What makes a community?

Chris Guillebeau
AC360° Contributor

Every day I get emails from all kinds of fun people who are getting started on the journey of building an online community. Some of them want advice, and I’m happy to help wherever I can.

I always say to take my $0.02 for whatever it’s worth, and ignore me if something works better for you. Also, I’m focusing here on online communities, but they share many of the same characteristics as offline ones.

This post will look more closely at the underlying philosophy of a community. First of all, what makes a community? Definitions abound, but here’s mine:

A community is a group of people united through a common struggle with the same stories.
Let’s look at the definition and related features in more detail.

Filed under: Chris Guillebeau • Opinion
September 27th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Televangelist Eddie Long: 'I'm going to fight' sex allegations

Ashley Fantz

Lithonia, Georgia (CNN) - Baptist televangelist Eddie Long said Sunday he will fight allegations that he coerced young male church members into having sex with him.

"I am not the man that has been portrayed on television," he told his congregation.

Speaking publicly about the accusations for the first time, Long did not address the specific allegations contained in four lawsuits filed against him earlier this week.

"I've been accused, I'm under attack," he said, lowering his head and softening his voice behind the pulpit at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta.

"I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight," he said. "I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet."

With that, the 57-year-old pastor put down his microphone and walked off stage, receiving deafening applause from the thousands who had come to hear him.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 27th, 2010
10:50 AM ET

Passengers capture emergency landing on video from inside plane

CNN Wire Staff

New York (CNN) - Cellphone video captured by two New York-bound Delta Air Lines passengers Saturday night portrays the fear of an impending crash and the relief that followed when the pilot averted a catastrophic landing.

"Brace for impact," a deep voice says on the intercom.

"Heads down! Stay down! Heads down! Stay down!" a woman commands for more than 30 seconds.

Two passengers aboard Flight 4951 from Atlanta, Georgia, to White Plains, New York, taped the dramatic moments of their flight's emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The passengers who shot the footage, Chase Benzenberg and Alessandro Albero, said Monday on CNN's "American Morning" that what first seemed amusing soon turned into a serious situation.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
September 27th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Letters to the President: #616 'The midterm survival plan'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Optimism and good cheer can go a long way even in the face of adversity. And sometimes pen pals can write a lot of letters, even in the face of no response. Ha!

Dear Mr. President,

Rise and shine; it’s Monday again! I can’t tell you how invigorated I feel, and I hope you feel the same. If I were president, I think I’d wake up every morning and just dance around the room a while singing “Hail to the Chief.” Well, maybe not. But still, maybe.

As you know, I took an extra day off this weekend and it worked wonders for me. Spent some extra time with the family, enjoyed the start of fall (which you know that I love) and even slipped in a couple of excellent runs. You should have joined me. I can’t wait until the leaves are ankle deep and crunching beneath every stride. Now, that’s living like a king.

Anyway, as part of my reinvigorated state, I have decided to substantially up the positive vibes in these letters. The truth is, with this big midterm looming ahead, I think we’re all going to need all the positive thinking we can muster just to survive.

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