December 9th, 2011
11:41 PM ET

Letters to the President #1054: 'The bum's rush'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president with the maniacal regularity of a prisoner. And he seems to ignore my notes with the same intensity. So that is something we share!

Dear Mr. President,

Just in case you missed it, the latest Gallup poll has raised another raucous chorus of that old political drinking song,“Throw the bums out!” Three-quarters of all voters polled say that most members of Congress ought to lose their jobs, presumably in the next election although I’ll bet if pitchforks and torches were offered some of the pollees would have gone for that option this weekend if not sooner.

Apparently this is the worst anti-incumbent sentiment ever recorded by the good folks at Gallup, and that’s saying something. It must send a chill through the hallways here in D.C. After all, it’s not like your political pals have enjoyed a long love fest with the voters in recent years anyway.

I imagine it makes your crew over there a little jumpy, too, because in my experience when voters start beating the drum against incumbents…uh, they’re not too particular about who gets loaded onto the wagon out of town. And to be honest, it seems like this little number has been topping the charts for a while now.

Let’s see…George Bush didn’t run for re-election because..well, he couldn’t, but people seemed more than ready for something different anyway, so they did the next best thing and booted his party to make way for you. Then in the mid-term elections, they turned right around and did the same thing to your party, just to make it clear they were not playing favorites. And ever since then the polls have shown that no matter who is in office, generally the public likes the idea of putting someone else there.

Yes, when I consider it, that ought to make you nervous…and every other politician in this town, too. The reason voters are punishing incumbents is that they are convinced too many of you, as soon as you get power, forget what you wanted it for and start working more for yourselves than for the rest of us. So what to do about it?

I am convinced that the incumbents who will hold their chairs will be the ones who stay on the right side of that equation, by doing what the rest of us our doing to keep our positions: By buckling down and doing your job.

Give me a call if you want to chat this weekend. I’m around.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
December 9th, 2011
11:26 PM ET

Video: Fears of 'massacre' in Syria

Syrian opposition activist Zaidoun gives Anderson Cooper his account of the horror in the streets of Syria.

Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Syria
December 9th, 2011
11:23 PM ET

Video: KTH: Kids caught in crossfire in Syria

YouTube video shows a 10-year-old Syrian boy killed by a sniper through his bedroom window. Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.

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Filed under: Keeping Them Honest
December 9th, 2011
10:50 PM ET

Video: Mystery surrounds drone downed in Iran

CNN's Fareed Zakaria says the drone downed in Iran is evidence of a covert technological war between the U.S and Iran. He and Bob Baer spoke with Anderson Cooper about the consequences of Iran sharing sensitive information from the drone with Russia and China.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Iran
December 9th, 2011
10:44 PM ET

Video: Battle in a Texas border town

CNN's Martin Savidge met a police chief who says he fights corruption and drug cartels on the U.S. side of the border.

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Filed under: Mexico
December 9th, 2011
10:40 PM ET

Video: Study: 50% of young people text, drive

A federal study shows 49% of drivers between 21 and 24-years-old text or read emails while driving a vehicle. CNN's Tom Foreman demonstrates how hazardous it can be to drive while distracted.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
December 9th, 2011
08:05 PM ET

AC360 poll: Texting while driving

Tonight on AC360°, Anderson is covering a new report on the dangers of using a phone while driving. Tom Foreman will demonstrate how hazardous it is to call, text and e-mail.

Filed under: 360° Radar
December 9th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Cops bought on the U.S side of the border?

Editor's Note: Watch the full report from Martin Savidge on AC360° at 8 p.m. ET.

Sullivan City, Texas is unlike other border towns I've visited. It's one of several towns along the Rio Grande Valley on the southernmost tip of Texas.  People here have a close connection with those across the Rio Grande in Mexico. They are cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles, even parents to relatives on both sides of the border. With family members so close, many have spent generations traveling across the tiny border here to visit the other side.

On the American side, the populations are relatively small. The area consists of dusty towns that line Highway 83 along the border. There is a lot of farm land, some small business and a handful of traffic lights in each town.

We did what very few people have done in recent years.  We took the hand-pulled ferry across the border into Mexico to get a better understanding of the relationship between the two sides.


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Filed under: Crime • Martin Savidge • Mexico
December 9th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

Video: Heroes Nate Berkus: Red Cross first sign of help

Designer Nate Berkus shares his experience as a victim of a tsunami and his personal connection to the Red Cross. Watch CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, hosted by Anderson Cooper, live on Sunday, December 11 at 8 p.m. ET.

Filed under: CNN Heroes
December 9th, 2011
12:20 AM ET

Video: Gingrich's marriage 'baggage'

CNN's Tom Foreman looks at Newt Gingrich's marriage history to put recent political attacks in context.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Newt Gingrich
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