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April 28th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

Letters to the President #1195: 'Dinner?'

Reporter's Note: I write to President Obama every day. He does not respond. I have never called, but perhaps I should give that a try.

Dear Mr. President,

So here I was yesterday writing about how the Repubs are ripping you over your “celebrity” lifestyle, and tonight we’ll be rubbing elbows with real celebs! Ha!

This is, of course, the night for one of those big dinners where you, and I, and a couple thousand of our closest friends gather for some chicken, laughs, and to gawk at some of the Hollywood types who’ve started frequenting these affairs. By the way, I always appreciate your discretion during these events. It is good of you not to come over and chat it up with me because, as you know, everyone else would become insanely jealous. “Oh look at that! The president has come down to talk to Tom. That is one lucky Chief Executive!” Ha!

But seriously, even though I must don a tux, wade through the protestors, and try to remember names of people whom I see only at this event each year, it is still a nice function. Kind of hot usually, but nice.

I'm happy to see Jimmy Kimmel as the comedic relief this year. Some years we’ve had folks who were not at all comedic, and the only relief came when they left the stage.

Still, I wonder if you like these events. You always seem to smile and laugh at all the right spots, and you deliver your remarks with a nice, wry smile, but it has to be tough going to all the events which must crowd into your schedule. Sometimes I wonder if you are at the White House straightening your bow tie saying, “Come on, Michelle, do I really have to go tonight? Can’t I just call Tom and have him come over to watch hockey with me?”

Well, the answer... at least tonight... is no– you really have to go. If you want to leave early, I suppose that might be o.k. Just give me a nod from across the room and I’ll walk over with some pretext like, “Excuse me, Mr. President, I think your motorcade is blocking the caterer’s truck.” And you can say, “Oh sorry. Gee, gang, I wish I could stay but since I have to move my car anyway, I guess I’ll just call it a night.”

See you there.

Regards,

Tom

April 28th, 2012
12:12 AM ET

Andrea Yates asks to attend church again

Years after killing her children, Andrea Yates asks to be allowed to attend church again. AC360's Randi Kaye reports.

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Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Randi Kaye
April 27th, 2012
11:47 PM ET

Letters to the President #1194: 'Lord Stanley is back in town!'

Reporter's Note: Every day I write a letter to President Obama. I think he like it. Then again, I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid.

Dear Mr. President,

Did you happen to see the end of the Panthers-Devils game last night? Excellent hockey fun, I must say. You and I have been through a few Stanley Cup playoffs already, and I still don’t know if you are really a fan, but until you call and say otherwise I will continue to assume you are and include you in all my excited ranting.

Speaking of which, go Caps! Nice to see the home town team ripping into the next round, huh?

That said, I guess you had better be careful about how many fun-filled social events (like hockey games) that you wander into from now until November. I noticed that Republican attack ad painting you as a “celebrity” president, and getting caught with a slice of pizza and a cold beer at rink side probably won’t help.

Hey, here’s an idea: You and I can go together in disguise! Sure, we can get some Caps jerseys, some plastic hockey helmets, and black out some of our teeth as if we are members of the team. No one will spot us. Even if we show up on the big screen at the arena, people will just say, “Why look at those dedicated fans. They must really love hockey!” not “Oh my gosh, it’s the leader of the free world once again wallowing in a celebrity lifestyle!”

Let me know your thoughts on the matter, or just give me a call if you want to go. Not sure I can easily get tickets, but maybe you can pull some presidential strings. Ha!

Regards,

Tom

April 27th, 2012
11:24 PM ET

What to make of Zimmerman's finances?

Anderson Cooper investigates how George Zimmerman's previously unknown finances may affect the case. Weighing in, Daryl Parks, a lawyer representing Trayvon Martin's family.

April 27th, 2012
11:21 PM ET

War on women?! Or politics as usual?

Is it fair for Democrats to accuse Republicans of waging a "war on women"? Anderson Cooper is Keeping Them Honest.

April 27th, 2012
11:18 PM ET

Dr. Pinsky: 'Yates had severe psychosis'

HLN's Dr. Drew weighs in during a discussion with Anderson on whether Andrea Yates, who drowned her own five children in the bathtub in 2001, should be allowed to enter public to attend church.

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Filed under: Dr. Drew Pinsky
April 27th, 2012
11:13 PM ET

The Secret Service agent from room 707

AC360's Drew Griffin, on location in Colombia, has tracked down the agent who allegedly tried to haggle with his escort.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Drew Griffin
April 27th, 2012
11:07 PM ET

RidicuList: F-word signs across the globe

What's in a name? The RidicuList tackles foul language vs. fair game.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • The RidicuList
April 27th, 2012
10:48 PM ET

"Stand your ground" double standard in Florida?

Editor's Note: AC360's Gary Tuchman tells the story of Marissa Alexander, a woman who fired a gun in self-defense against her abusive husband. The case provides another example under which to examine Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law. Gary's producer, Chuck Hadad, wrote the companion text piece for CNN.com

Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, pleaded for her freedom as an inmate in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida.

"This is my life I'm fighting for," she said while wiping away tears. She added, "If you do everything to get on the right side of the law, and it is a law that does not apply to you, where do you go from there?"

Alexander is referring to Florida's so-called 'stand your ground' law, a law that has come under scrutiny since the killing of Trayvon Martin. Unlike the Martin case, which involved one stranger killing another, Alexander's case involved her gun and her abusive husband.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar
April 27th, 2012
09:56 PM ET

Keeping Them Honest: War on women?!

Anderson Cooper is keeping Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, honest tonight. House Republicans, with a handful of Democrats, voted Friday to keep interest rates on government-backed student loans from doubling in the not-too-distant future. Most Democrats, including Maloney, opposed the move. They blasted Republicans, accusing them of raiding a preventative care fund in President Obama’s health care law, as a way to pay for their bill. Democrats claim it’s another example of what they call the GOP’s war on women. But when Anderson pointed out that Democrats, including Maloney, dipped into that very same fund to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut earlier this year, things got a little heated. Not only that, but the prevention fund does not appear to specifically target women’s health. As Maloney points out, the preventative measures funded in the health care bill do benefit women and their families. But if Democrats have raided this fund before, and if the fund does not specifically target women’s health programs, can they really call what Republicans did Friday a “war on women”? We’re Keeping Them Honest.

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