April 12th, 2011
09:45 PM ET

Who's Helping Japan's Dogs?: Join the Live Chat

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You asked for it and we're got it. We'll give you an update on the effort to help Japan's dogs. Plus, Congressman Michele Bachmann's headline-grabbing comment about Planned Parenthood. We're Keeping Them Honest. And, we'll have tonight's other headlines.

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
April 12th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Rep. Michele Bachmann Calls Planned Parenthood the "LensCrafter of big abortion"

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight we're Keeping Them Honest on a message from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who may run for president in 2012.

Yesterday in Iowa, Bachmann called Planned Parenthood the "LensCrafter of big abortion" in a speech before more than 100 social conservatives. She said the organization should lose its nonprofit status. You may recall last week during the budget battle, Republican lawmakers wanted to abolish federal funding for Planned Parenthood. That didn't happen.

Bachmann claimed that "LensCrafter" information came from the director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois.

But she twisted his words. We'll show you what he really said.

You'll also see it's not the first time she's attacked Planned Parenthood and she's not alone.

Planned Parenthood released this statement:

"The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control."

We'll also have an update on the budget compromise on Capitol Hill to keep the government running through the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

There are several riders, including one that would remove wolves from the Endangered Species List out West. We'll talk about the budget negotiations with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Also tonight, we'll have an update on that dog we showed you last night that was chained up and starving near Japan's crippled nuclear power plant.

We've received a lot of e-mails and tweets asking for more information. CNN’s Kyung Lah joins us live from Japan.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 12th, 2011
06:30 PM ET

Senate leaders spar over upcoming fiscal debate

CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - The top Senate Republican on Tuesday laid out a hard-line negotiating stance on upcoming budget battles, rejecting any tax increases and demanding "significant" reforms in exchange for his vote to raise the debt ceiling.

"We're going to require as a condition for raising the debt ceiling something really important about the debt," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters.

Without providing specifics, McConnell said it would take "something the markets would view as significant, something the American people would view as significant, something foreign countries would view as significant" in order for him to vote to increase how much the United States can borrow.

Congress must reach an agreement on the debt ceiling before the United States reaches its legal borrowing limit of $14.29 trillion.

McConnell said the Treasury Department has indicated the nation would reach its debt ceiling "sometime between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July."

He called for "something real, something measurable" that will begin to reduce the national debt.

McConnell also made clear that he opposes generating more revenue through higher taxes to tackle the deficit and debt problems.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 12th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/12/11

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:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), pictured right, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) stand during a press conference about consumer privacy on Capitol Hill April 12, 2011 in Washington, DC. Kerry and McCain held the press conference to speak about the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, legislation they wrote to protect people on the Internet. (Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Sam Meyer
“We’re waiting for Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, and Walter Mondale before we can start.”


John-Thomas Kobos
“Where's Hear No Evil?”

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360°
April 12th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

2011 budget cuts revealed

Charles Riley
CNNMoney.com Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Lawmakers lifted the curtain Tuesday on a 2011 spending plan that will slash nearly $40 billion - cutting back on a wide range of programs and services including high-speed rail, emergency first responders and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The measure represents the single biggest cut ever made to the federal budget in one year.

It also offered the first look at the $28 billion in spending cuts lawmakers and President Obama agreed to on Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress had already used a series of stopgap spending bills to target $12 billion in reductions for fiscal year 2011, which started in October and is already halfway over.

Overall, the measure cuts across a wide swath of government agencies and programs, including some favored by the president.

Especially hard hit are the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Justice, Labor and Health and Human Services. They all lose billions of dollars in funding.

Full story on CNNMoney.com

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Charles Riley
April 12th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

Letters to the President: #813 'Bad to the bone'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The latest news from Japan is that the nuclear disaster is worse than thought.

Dear Mr. President,

Is the bad news ever going to stop over in Japan? I mean seriously. I was just reading about this upgrading (or downgrading, depending on how you see it) of their nuclear problems, and I feel as if those folks just can’t catch a break.

On a much smaller scale I’ve had bad times occasionally in my life which have seemed endless. I don’t believe in fate, or luck, I suppose, but now and then you certainly feel as if you get more than your fair share of hard times, huh?

Now, in Japan’s case, they were undeniably hit by a massive series of terrible events. But in other cases, there are times when I think that we just have too many systems operating too close to the breakdown level anyway. Then it only takes a tiny thing to make them collapse.

April 12th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Bachmann heckled at Iowa appearance

Laura Klairmont

(CNN)– Rep. Michele Bachmann was heckled by a handful of University of Iowa students at an appearance in the Hawkeye state on Monday.

The Minnesota Republican spoke for under thirty minutes about her opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and concerns with national debt, at the university memorial union in Iowa City, according to the Des Moines Register.

Bachmann was interrupted by the students who held a sign reading, "Homosexuality Desensitization" and shouted questions.

In addition, senior Jenny Watkins, grilled the congresswoman after the speech during the questions and answers portion. The student asked Bachmann about her views on homosexuality and abortion. Bachmann condemned both, according to the Des Moines Register.

The congresswoman, who is eyeing the Republican presidential nomination, addressed other socially heated topics at an earlier speech on Monday, in Pella, Iowa.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 12th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

CNN Poll: Trump tied for first in GOP horserace

CNN Political Unit

Washington (CNN) – Donald Trump is now tied with Mike Huckabee for first place when Republicans are asked who they support for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, according to a new national poll.

But while a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that the real estate mogul and reality TV star has nearly doubled his support since mid-March, it doesn't mean he has smooth sailing ahead.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 12th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Obama's sister criticizes birthers

Gabriella Schwarz
CNN Associate Producer

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's sister thinks the birther movement is "unfortunate."

"I think it's unfortunate. He was born in Hawaii, there is a tremendous amount of proof that has already been presented," Maya Soetoro-Ng told CNN's Piers Morgan in an interview scheduled to air Tuesday. "I think that it is time for people to put that to bed, put it to rest completely."

And what about real estate mogul Donald Trump's repeated calls for the president to produce his birth certificate?

"Well, I think it's a shame and I think that my brother should definitely be president for a second term," Soetoro-Ng said. "And that's really all I have to say about it."

Trump, star of "Celebrity Apprentice," has made a second career out of questioning the president's birthplace, most recently on CNN's "State of the Union."

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow