May 7th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #838 'The eight percent solution'

Reporter's Note: President Obama suggested many months ago that his stimulus plans for the economy would help tame unemployment. Unemployment, however, seems a little wilder than expected, as I note in today’s letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Eight percent. I can’t put it any more plainly. If you can’t get unemployment under eight percent, I imagine you are going to have one really difficult re-election campaign. And with the latest report at nine percent, it looks like you have some work to do.

I know that there are many different factors to consider. Unemployment is not everything. (Although, to be fair, when you are unemployed it certainly feels like everything.) Housing prices. National security. International trade. Debt. Inflation. The price of filling your tank at the gas station. All of those things could also play a big role in your re-election plans, but I still tend to think that unemployment is the biggest of those numbers.

You and others can explain away the percentages - offering explanations like, the percentage is up because more people are looking for work, meaning they are more optimistic that they’ll find it, and yadda yadda yadda. But I’m not sure that’s going to play in Peoria. Most voters will stick with a simple and reasonable formula: Higher unemployment is bad, lower unemployment is good.

May 7th, 2011
01:31 AM ET

Video: The dogs of war

Editor's note: Tom Foreman reports on how the U.S. military uses dogs, especially in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Osama bin Laden
May 7th, 2011
01:27 AM ET

Video: Rice on Pakistan, Afghanistan

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper speaks with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about two key U.S. allies in the war on terror.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Condoleezza Rice • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan
May 7th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Video: What's next for al Qaeda?

Editor's note: CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen discusses the future of al Qaeda without Osama bin Laden.

Filed under: Osama bin Laden
May 7th, 2011
12:45 AM ET

Video: Understanding facial recognition

Editor's note: CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on facial recognition technology.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden
May 7th, 2011
12:36 AM ET

Video: CIA's surveillance of bin Laden compound

Editor's note: A former director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center speaks to Anderson Cooper about Osama bin Laden.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan