American Morning

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June 5th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Friday’s American Morning audience strongly agreed with Carol Costello’s piece that the middle class was headed to extinction, with most believing Washington was to blame.

  • Terrie:  I just wanted to drop a note about the steel worker losing his job.  I agree 100% about the middle class, what is going on in Washington,  we were promised jobs for Joe the Plumber and the working man.  Over 2000 Coal miners have lost their jobs since Obama took office.  And that is just in WV.  West Virginia, Kentucky, Penn., etc. Blue Collar people.  I would love to ask what the UMWA was thinking supporting a Pres that hasn’t even been in office 1 year and he is shutting them down.
  • Raymond:  Miss Costello's report this morning about the middle-class was incomplete.... While she is a first-class reporter, her report failed to reference the fact that 80% of American businesses are owned by non-college graduates, contrasted with her comment that 72% of Americans are not college educated, implicitly inferring that a college degree plays some role in the demise of the American middle-class....
  • Deborah:  Our middle class has been whittled away since the 1980's when our industry was encouraged moved out to developing countries.  Now, American citizens earn less, pay ever higher prices, and receive lower and lower quality products.  The rich have gotten away with ripping us all off.   The middle class' wealth has been funneled into the upper class' bank accounts, Ask any hardware clerk the difference between American made steel and foreign made and determine what has happened to our products!  How many poisoned products coming from China will it take before our government wakes up and realizes the middle class consumer is being poisoned by toys & drywall.  The American public have been ripped off & poisoned by out sourcing and no one  can figure out what happened.  Slow and steady economic funneling into CEO pockets.

Is the middle class in the United States disappearing or is there simply an adjustment taking place that will allow those defined as ‘middle class’ to remain so?  If you believe the middle class is disappearing, what or who is to blame for this?  What do you believe is the solution?  Add your comments here for follow the story here.

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Filed under: We Listen
June 5th, 2009
12:46 PM ET

Meet AM: Graham Flanagan – Associate Producer

You might remember Graham Flanagan from his appearance on air before the Oscars, but he’s not just a movie pundit.

You might remember Graham Flanagan from his appearance on air before the Oscars, but he’s not just a movie pundit.

Each Friday in “Meet AM,” we’ll introduce you to the people who get American Morning to air.

Today, we’d like you to meet Graham Flanagan. Graham is one of our tape APs – he makes sure we have the newest and most relevant video for the stories we’re going to do in the day.

You might know his name from his appearance on air predicting the Oscars, or from the Graham Cam videos he’s posted on our blog. He’s been with AM for over three years.

How did you end up doing what you do?
While I was still in college at Alabama, I found out that an Alabama alumnus happened to be working at AM at the time. While I was in New York visiting some friends and seeing Lou Donaldson at the Village Vanguard, I went to CNN and had a meeting with him. I graduated that December, and then I got the go-ahead to come back to New York and start working as a freelance production assistant. I learned the ropes, got hired full-time after a few months and after a while was lucky enough to be able to move into my current position.

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Filed under: Meet AM
June 5th, 2009
11:46 AM ET
June 5th, 2009
10:48 AM ET
June 5th, 2009
09:32 AM ET

Expert: Investigators blind without wreckage

Fmr. NTSB Managing Director says investigaors are blind without plane's wreckage.

Fmr. NTSB Managing Director says investigaors are blind without plane's wreckage.

The Brazilian air force is now saying that debris picked up Thursday near where officials believe Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean is not from the plane. Officials are saying it's “sea trash” and not part of the jet that apparently went down with 228 people on board.

Peter Goelz is the former Managing Director of the National Transportation Safety Board. He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Friday.

John Roberts: Are you surprised to hear the news that what officials thought was the wreckage of Flight 447 turned out to be just sea trash?

Peter Goelz: Well, I thought the announcement was a little premature. But it's very disappointing because it really sets the investigation back in terms of searching for the flight data recorder and the voice recorder. They don't know where to start.

Roberts: So they’re back to square one again. What about the other pieces of debris they saw floating in the ocean – pieces of metal, bales of wire? Will that give them some idea of where the plane when down?

Goelz: The longer time goes on, the further away from the actual crash site the debris floats. It will be terribly challenging to find where to start the search for the data recorders and the clock is ticking. The batteries on the locator devices attached to the black boxes have a limited life span – just 30 days.

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Filed under: Transportation
June 5th, 2009
08:31 AM ET

Critics: Online imagery of nuclear plants too explicit

By Mike M. Ahlers

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One is a assemblyman in California; the other, a piano tuner in Pennsylvania.

But when they independently looked at online aerial imagery of nuclear power plants and other sites, they had the same reaction: they feared that terrorists might be doing the same thing.

Now, both have launched efforts to try to get Internet map services to remove or blur images of sensitive sites, saying the same technology that allows you to see your neighbor's swimming pool can be used by terrorists to chose targets and plan attacks.

"It is disturbing to me that terrorists can now perform considerable surveillance without visiting the targeted site," piano tuner and nuclear watchdog Scott Portzline wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Portzline is asking the Department of Homeland Security and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to seek voluntary compliance from satellite and aerial imagery companies to blur images of nuclear plants.

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Filed under: Technology
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