American Morning

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April 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Swine flu remained top of the mind for most American Morning viewers. Many were wondering “at what point would the border with Mexico be closed” due to the pandemic, while uninsured viewers were concerned about access to healthcare in the event they contract the virus.

  • Richard: Realistically at what point would the border with Mexico be closed if the U.S. won't close it during a Pandemic that can potentially kill a lot of Americans?
  • Unknown: There are a mess of individuals who are concerned about the H1N1 Flu not only due to its potential fatality, but really because we are uninsured. For instance, I am a grad student, cannot afford health insurance, and am very poor. Will the US allow the flu to spread simply because poor individuals do not have the money to seek treatment? What are people like me to do if we suspect contamination? Is there protection for us to (and believe me, I'm washing my hands like never before).
  • Edna: Will the governments provide Tamiflu to people who can't afford it? Why don't we just close all U.S. schools for the summer give the kids an extra month of summer break and help stop the spread of the virus?

Should President Obama close the borders to prevent further spread of the H1N1 Flu? Do you believe that such an action would help stop spread of the virus? How would such an action affect you and your family?

With President Obama’s First 100 days behind him, response to Republicans’ grading of Mr. Obama was negatively received. Others were angry that Mr. Obama continued to place budget blame on former President G.W. Bush.

  • Isieis: The C- rating given by the GOP did not surprise me, but the B- rating given by the American people did surprise me. No doubt, negative media influence over the last 100 days was a factor. CNN’s guests and so-called experts who give their opinion or assessment have definitely influenced Americans, but it does not mean that they are RIGHT about President Obama and his Administration. I gave President Obama an 'A.’ The reason: I took into consideration his SINCERITY, his GENUINESS, and his WILLINGNESS to accept blame. No other President in history has had so much on his plate coming into office. The GOP has no right to even criticize him based on their performance over the last 8 years during the Bush Administration.
  • Gina: Obama was in Senate since 2006; sorry but, it was a DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS & SENATE that FORMED this Budget. This idiotic conclusion is OBAMA’s; he voted for it when he was still a Senator! We are not stupid! It is Pelosi that is stupid!

Do you believe, as viewer one states that media influence is to blame for President Obama’s B- rating by the American public? Is President Obama incorrect in placing blame on former President G.W. Bush for the budget crisis? Give us your thoughts on these issues.

FULL POST


Filed under: We Listen
April 30th, 2009
02:57 PM ET

GOP at 100 days

From Bob Ruff, CNN

As the nation focuses this week on the president’s record during his first 100 days in office, Obama’s out-of-the-gate performance seemingly is being analyzed by every major media outlet in the nation. He’s even being compared to the man who virtually invented 100 days, Franklin Roosevelt.

But what about the Republicans? How’ve they done and what have they done since Barack Obama became president on January 20th?

Despite their minority status, they’ve certainly tried to be pro-active.

–In January House Republicans united to vote unanimously against the president’s stimulus package. But it didn’t work. Democrats passed the legislation anyway.

–That next month Rush Limbaugh, the radio host widely popular with conservatives, energized a Republican conference by saying he hopes “Obama fails.” Even some Republicans thought that was over the top.

–Dick Cheney on March 19th appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union”, launching a series of TV appearances that defended former President Bush’s eight years while criticizing President Obama’s performance. At one point he told CNN’s John King that the nation is less safe under the Obama administration. Some critics wondered why Cheney hadn’t been more visible when he was vice president.

–Later in March House Republicans led by Minority Leader John Boehner offered up “The Republican Road to Recovery” as an alternative to the president’s recovery plan. It went no where.

–And on April 15 a series of anti-tax rallies, advertised as non-partisan but attended overwhelmingly by conservatives, fizzled after just one day.

We decided to ask GOP pollster, Whit Ayres, why Republicans are reeling. “This is a center right country,” says Ayres, “and remains so despite President Obama’s election.”

But if that’s the case, what explains low support for Republicans in public opinion polls? And what about the announcement just this week by veteran Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter that he has defected to the Democratic party?

Ayers says Republican woes can be explained by a party leadership that has veered too far to the political right. To get back on track they have to “be a center right party, not just a right party.” They need to adopt Ronald Reagan’s approach, says Ayers, by appealing to groups not currently on the GOP’s radar.

Will it work? Ayres says eventually it will because public support for the parties ebbs and flows over time. He reminds people that Republicans were in the dumps after Watergate, and that the party rebounded nicely to elect Ronald Reagan and eventually majorities in the House and the Senate.


Filed under: National Report Card • Politics
April 30th, 2009
11:22 AM ET
April 30th, 2009
11:20 AM ET

Fun with Numbers – Obama's 100 day marker

So is the "100 days" mark for measuring the president a media-made Hallmark holiday? Or a valuable tool for sizing up a new leader? Here’s what you told me. (These are viewer responses from iReport, Facebook and Twitter. It’s unscientific, I know, but some of you are just so darn clever I wanted to share.)

Luis spoke for the majority, who said the media makes too much of it. “100 days = less than 7% of a 4-year term. Would you like to get graded on 7% of your work?”

From Chris: “Anyone who thinks you can size up a new President's performance in 100 days simply does not understand how the wheels of our government turn.”

From Azeem: “Media-hype...it takes a while to settle into a new job...let alone the presidency. A person should be judged by the body of their entire work...at least that's what I hope for myself!”

From Bill: “Its like Pre Season NCAA football polls.... the end never is what the beginning predicts.”

From Carlos A.: “Media hype definitely...first 365 days would be more valuable...I still love watching it though.”

Amy disagrees: “I think it's useful as a broad gauge of how similar or different policy will be for the next four years.”

What do you think of the 100 day mark?


Filed under: Politics
April 30th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

How GOP plans to bounce back

Rep. Kevin McCarthy says the Republican Party needs to grow and welcome new people.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy says the Republican Party needs to grow and welcome new people.

President Obama has continually promised to reach across the aisle to pass legislation. But the first 100 days of his presidency were spent mostly at odds with Republicans. The president delivered a bipartisan appeal at a news conference last night marking his first 100 days in office.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a deputy minority whip in the House, says the Republican Party needs to grow and welcome new people. He also blames President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not living up to their bipartisan promises. Rep. McCarthy joined Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday.

Kiran Chetry: The president said again last night that his bipartisan efforts have been genuine. Do you think he has lived up to the bipartisan pledge over the past 100 days?

Kevin McCarthy: Unfortunately, no... We invited this president early on when he first got elected to our conference to have a bipartisan talk and work on the stimulus bill. Where Republicans actually put together a working group, gave him a list of ideas, even scored and measured it based upon his economic drivers, which has created twice as many jobs with half the money and not one idea was taken.

FULL POST


Filed under: Politics
April 30th, 2009
09:21 AM ET

Bush-era memos vindicate Abu Ghraib soldiers?

Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski says the Bush-era interrogation memos cast doubt on convicted Abu Ghraib soldiers.

Former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski says the Bush-era interrogation memos cast doubt on convicted Abu Ghraib soldiers.

Interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and forced nudity did not violate laws against torture when there was no intent to cause severe pain, according to the Bush-era memos on the tactics released by the Obama administration April 16th.

A Senate report declassified last week says senior Bush administration officials authorized the aggressive interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, despite concerns from military psychologists and attorneys.

But when the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke in 2004, it was soldiers and officers who took the blame, including the prison’s commander, former Brigadier General Janis Karpinski. She was demoted to colonel over the scandal. Karpinski joined John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday.

John Roberts: You read these memos, I assume, when they were released by the Obama administration. What did you think when you were reading them?

Janis Karpinski: I was shocked. And then I felt this sense of exhilaration or relief. Finally, finally, finally - I did a lot of talking back to my computer screen as I was reading them. And I immediately felt sympathy again for the soldiers who were blamed and accused and imprisoned. Remember, they were all packaged up as seven bad apples out of control on the night shift. Where were the people who were defending these decisions, these memorandums then? Why weren't they intervening? They let these soldiers go to prison for these accusations.

FULL POST


Filed under: Iraq • Military
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