American Morning

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July 23rd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 7/23/2009

The morning after President Obama’s speech about his health care reform plan, Thursday’s American Morning audience enthusiastically responded with mixed reviews. Many had additional questions about the plan and believed his explanation was too vague, while those who strongly supported reform offered alternate options.

For the plan

  • Suzeq: I am 100% behind health care reform. I would prefer a single-payer system; however, I understand (but do not accept) that insurance companies and pharmaceuticals will not allow that to happen. I would like someone to explain to me how people with 100% fully paid coverage (Congress) can debate whether or not we need health insurance reform. I would also like to understand how Congress people can be bought off so easily by insurance and pharmaceuticals. Are they that insulated and desperate to be re-elected that they give up their souls?
  • Sandy: The ones who are against the Pres.; what are they doing about health care. They are just criticizing him. At least he is trying to do something. I was denied ins. and I was doing a $8000. Deductible. I have to wait another 4 yrs. to go on Medicare and then it may not be there. My husband has be laid of work and can't get a job. He' 61 and they won't hire him. He is a veteran and gets his care through them, But I' m screwed. I need help now before I have to go to the hospital and then lose every thing we work so hard for.
  • Susan: I wish people would quit playing politics. Obama is no fool. I go along with Obama health care plan. Most of these people are playing politics with other people's lives. I don't appreciate it. People keep lying about Obama's health care plan. We can spend millions and millions of dollars on other things, but when it comes to human beings we don't want to spend money on health care. I trust Obama. Most people don't read or even listen to what Obama is saying. it's pitiful. There shouldn't be anyone wanting to put this off. We need it done, NOW. Obama is right we have to have a dead line to get this done or it won't get done. People are suffering and no one cares but Obama. Obama really cares about people. You can tell this. Let Obama do his job and get things done.

Against the plan

  • Stephanie: Obama is being dishonest with the American people...how are we going to keep our private insurance plans, when they will be driven out of business by the government plan...I have officially joined the ranks of Americans who regret voting for Obama...he is a such a disappointment to us all.
  • Joe: Why can't Obama wait on a vote to implementing his government health care till all Democrat Congressman have a chance to read the whole Bill in Congress? Are the American People being served when Congress isn't allowed to represent the People?

What do you think of President Obama’s heath care plan? How do you think reform will affect your life? What alternative options would you prefer? What questions do you have about the plan that you want answered before any reform takes place?


Filed under: We Listen
July 23rd, 2009
12:13 PM ET

How is Dr. Gupta doing in his quest to get fit?

Editor's Note: CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta began his "Four Months to Fitness" initiative on June 23, 2009 – 4 months before his 40th birthday.

From Barbara, Chicago:

“I’ve lost 5 pounds since jumping on board with your fitness forum. How are you doing so far? Have you noticed changes in the last month?”

Answer:

Barbara, thanks for joining the forum and congratulations on losing 5 pounds! Keep up the great work.

It’s been three weeks since we started the #1023 trending topic group on Twitter. (Read the tips, join the conversation, by typing in #1023 Twitter’s search browser) People are already starting to write in about their own progress. I really encourage you to read all the comments coming in – witty, inspiring, proactive and most of all, helpful.

Follow Dr. Gupta and his "Four Months to Fitness" initiative on Twitter @SanjayGuptaCNN.

Keep reading this story »

July 23rd, 2009
11:24 AM ET

Schwarzenegger wields knife, talks budget cuts in video

(CNN) - California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ruffled feathers this week by posting a video on Twitter, in which he brandishes a large knife while talking about the state's recent budget cuts.

Schwarzenegger announced a major plan Monday to eliminate California's $26 billion deficit, with state agencies looking at billions of dollars in cuts as part of the plan.

On Tuesday, the Hollywood actor turned governor posted a video, in which he handles a 2-foot-long knife before thanking Californians for providing him with creative ideas for slashing the budget.

By Wednesday, critics had emerged, some wondering how Schwarzenegger could post a lighthearted video about a proposed budget plan that could slash services for needy people.

he governor addressed the critics at a news conference, saying that though the budget process was tough he had not lost his sense of humor.

"You sent a governor to Sacramento - not El Stiffo, like some in the past were," Schwarzennegger said. "[I am] someone a little bit more entertaining, and who has a little bit more fun with the whole thing, not have fun making the cuts - they sadden me - but fun with the job itself."

California lawmakers will have to make about $15 billion in cuts in Schwarzenegger's new plan to balance the state budget.


Filed under: Politics
July 23rd, 2009
10:13 AM ET

Obama: Police who arrested professor 'acted stupidly'

(CNN) - President Obama said that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor last week after a confrontation at the man's home.

"I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played," Obama said Wednesday night while taking questions after a White House news conference.

Cambridge authorities dropped disorderly conduct charges against Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Tuesday.

Obama defended Gates on Wednesday night, while admitting that he may be "a little biased," because Gates is a friend. Obama: Police acted 'stupidly' Video

The mayor of Cambridge said she is going to meet with the city's police chief to make sure the scenario that caused Gates' arrest does not happen again.

"This suggests that something happened that should not have happened," Mayor E. Denise Simmons said on CNN's "American Morning." "The situation is certainly unfortunate. This can't happen again in Cambridge."

Watch: 'It was terrifying,' Gates recalls Video

Keep reading this story »


Filed under: Controversy
July 23rd, 2009
09:36 AM ET

Lawyer: Jackson case now manslaughter probe

Paul Callan calls the search at Dr. Conrad Murray's office a 'major development.'

Paul Callan calls the search at Dr. Conrad Murray's office a 'major development.'

Detectives searched the Houston, Texas, medical office of one of Michael Jackson's doctors on Wednesday for "evidence of the offense of manslaughter," the doctor's lawyer said.

The search warrant at Dr. Conrad Murray's office "services part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Michael Jackson," Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Gus Villanueva said.

Murray was the doctor who was at Jackson's home when the pop star died on June 25.

Paul Callan is a former New York City homicide prosecutor and is currently a criminal defense attorney. He joined Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday.

Kiran Chetry: Again, this was confirmed by the attorney for Conrad Murray and they're saying that they raided the clinic looking for evidence of manslaughter. How significant is this?

Paul Callan: This is a major development in the case. I mean here we have Conrad Murray’s attorney admitting that there's an ongoing manslaughter investigation. And we know that a Los Angeles judge has issued a search warrant. Now judges can only issue a search warrant where there's probable cause to believe a crime has been committed – in this case, manslaughter – and there's probable cause to believe that evidence of that crime is at Dr. Conrad Murray's office. So I think we can safely say that authorities are looking at him probably as a suspect. They're certainly hostile to his position at this point.

Chetry: What's the difference between looking for evidence of an accidental overdose – if you're dealing with drugs or if you're dealing with prescription medication that was given – what is the difference in terms of whether or not it crosses that line and turns criminal?

Callan: Well there's a major difference here because we know from the attorney's statement that they're looking at this as a manslaughter. So we would have to assume that if a doctor – and in this case if it were Conrad Murray – prescribed the drug, he prescribed it in a reckless or grossly reckless manner, knowing that it might cause the death of the patient. That's where it crosses the line. I mean you can have ordinary negligence where a prescription drug is given to a patient and the patient gets hurt. That's a medical malpractice case. But where it's gross or reckless conduct it crosses the line into criminality.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Entertainment
July 23rd, 2009
06:59 AM ET

Too much Obama TV?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on health care during a prime-time press conference from the East Room of the White House July 22, 2009, in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on health care during a prime-time press conference from the East Room of the White House July 22, 2009, in Washington, DC.
By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

Stagecraft.

Since the dawn of the mass media era, presidents have used it to remain popular and move the masses.

FDR’s fireside chats soothed and moved a battered nation.

President Reagan and media guru Mike Deaver transformed the White House into a virtual Hollywood set. Camera angles and lighting were key allies in showing Reagan at his best.

President Bush (43) used stagecraft brilliantly—and not so brilliantly. He’ll forever be remembered for speaking into that bullhorn at Ground Zero to focus the country on the mission at hand.

The aircraft carrier backdrop with “Mission Accomplished,” of course, is remembered for other reasons.

What about President Obama?

There was a Jim Carrey movie a few years ago called “The Truman Show.” Carrey played a character whose life, ENTIRE life, was a TV show. Every word, every facial expression, every move was broadcast.

The president hasn’t gone that far, of course. But a lot of people in Washington say by getting so much media exposure, Obama is risking that the public will respond with one giant collective yawn. There are televised news conferences (last night was his 4th already); NCAA bracketology discussions; burgers with the media; an All Star ceremonial first pitch; “exclusive” interviews over and over and over with network anchors; and of course date night.

Comedian Bill Maher, who supports Obama, recently told his HBO audience, “you don’t have to be on television every minute of every day. You’re the president, not a rerun of ‘Law and Order.’”

Hold on, says the Marketplace’s Jonathan Friedman.

“I think he’s keeping people calm,” says Friedman, “and he’s reassuring people that he’s in control.”

Cornell’s Professor Theodore Lowi adds, “it’s ridiculous to talk about being overexposed ... given the choices that he has, he’s better off being exposed 24 hours a day. He has to vary his appeal, but he’s very good at that.”

When Teddy Roosevelt famously used the “bully pulpit” to advance his agenda, most Americans never heard a word of it. Everything went straight to print. Nowadays, of course, nary a day goes by without every citizen having the opportunity to catch every presidential word. Words matter. Now some say, too many words matter too.


Filed under: Politics
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