American Morning

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March 12th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

"Great Sex, God's Way"

The pastor of a rural Alabama church is preaching the gospel of "great sex"... And as you might imagine not everyone in the community is saying "amen."

He's using billboards with the message "Great Sex: God's Way" to promote his sermons. Jerry Lawson, pastor of the "Daystar" church in Good Hope, Alabama joined us live from Birmingham.

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Filed under: Religion
March 12th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

Steel Town Trying to Rebound From Decades at the Bottom

 Braddock, Pennsylvania, has suffered since the steel mills went out of business in the 1970s and 1980s.

Braddock, Pennsylvania, has suffered since the steel mills went out of business in the 1970s and 1980s.

What happens when business and government turn their collective back on a town and just walk away? Braddock, Pennsylvania, is what happens. Braddock, Pennsylvania, has suffered since the steel mills went out of business in the 1970s and 1980s.

When steel was king, the population of Braddock surged to more than 20,000 people. With its proximity to Pittsburgh and its location on the Monongahela River, it was an ideal location for a steel town.

When steel mills began closing in the 1970s and 1980s, Braddock was not immune. In 1982, Braddock's main mill, the Carrie Furnace, closed its doors, putting thousands of people out of work.

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Filed under: Economy
March 12th, 2009
10:00 AM ET

Madoff: Where's the Money?

Madoff: Where's the money?
Madoff: Where's the money?

CNN's Allan Chernoff reports.

Bernard Madoff is expected to plead guilty today to running the biggest investment fraud in history, which could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

He's charged with robbing investors of billions of dollars. For many of them - their entire life savings. But if Madoff thought pleading guilty would end the investigation... he thought wrong.

Right now federal investigators are ripping apart 25 years of fraud inside Madoff's firm to find out where all the money went.

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Filed under: Crime • Economy
March 12th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Hard queries for CNBC's Cramer

Hard queries for CNBC's Cramer.
Hard queries for CNBC's Cramer.

It's been a "must Tivo" – all week long.

The ongoing grudge match between Daily Show host John Stewart, and CNBC's Jim Cramer. All the buzz is only encouraging the folks at Comedy Central.

Some people have some serious questions for Jim Cramer – about things he said – the advice he gave – and the role he might have played in manipulating the markets.

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Filed under: Economy • Pop Culture
March 12th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Minding Your Business

You know the Sesame Street song: "Can you tell me how to get... how to get to the UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE?"

First Wall Street, then Main Street, now Sesame Street. The children's tv icon will lay off 20 percent of its workers - 67 people - and the pain will be shared across all departments. The week has brought job cuts not only for children's television, but also United Technologies, McClatchy newspapers, 616 lawyers at two major law firms (yes, inviting all sorts of tasteless lawyer jokes) and Dell confirms it is cutting positions worldwide but won't say how many or where. (Why the mystery, Dell?)

Government data show four states now have unemployment rates topping 10 percent. Long-suffering Michigan tops the list with an incredible 11.6 percent. Many economists expect these numbers to keep rising. Here's the bright spot for the morning: A little more than a dozen states have jobless rates 6 percent or less (WY, ND, IA,UT, OK to name a few) and Texas' jobless rate is 6.4 percent, much better than the 8.1 percent average for the rest of the country. If you are living in any of these places, we can only hope that you're feeling a little better about things than the national statistics suggest.

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Minding Your Business
March 12th, 2009
07:00 AM ET

Fast Forward

The stories that will be making news later today:

Former President Bill Clinton's Mp3 player is up for grabs online through Tonic dot-com. Just over seven hours left in the auction. Bids have topped 12-hundred bucks. All proceeds go to help music programs in areas hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005

First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first official trip outside of Washington today traveling to North Carolina. At about 12:45 pm eastern she'll tour the Fort Bragg military base and meet with families. At 4:30 eastern she speaks to community groups in Fayetteville that provide support to the soldiers and their families.

The three American hostages held for more than five years in Colombia's jungles will receive the civilian equivalent of the purple heart. The Defense of Freedom Medal honors Defense Department employees and contractors injured or killed in the line of duty.

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Filed under: Fast Forward
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