American Morning

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January 27th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 1/27/10

Editor's Note: With the president’s first State of the Union speech slated for this evening, Wednesday’s American Morning audience debated the results of Mr. Obama’s first year in office.

  • Marilyn: The American people, like those in Youngstown and Pittsburgh that you referenced this morning, keep waiting for manufacturing jobs to return to our country because they recognize that those industries provide jobs that have made our country strong and vibrant. When our so-called leaders provide American based companies with tax breaks and other incentives to move their manufacturing to other countries it was the beginning of the end. President Obama addressed this issue during his campaign and promised to change this situation. That hasn't happened, as we well know. I consider what these American based businesses have done as treasonous. That their executives benefit financially from gross profits made at our expense is also treasonous and until Obama addresses this issue, which is at the root of our employment problem, I can only classify anything he says as lip service.
  • Donald: Where is the change, Pelosi and Reid are still "dealing". Congress voted itself an increase and no veto. Seniors on SSA were "froze" and all we got was excuses. Where are the vetoes?
  • Henry: The president may as well figure losing more seats. First of all Pelosi and Reid need to go; they are a disgrace to our country. […] It's not good to have one party rule the whole thing. The President said he gets the message; we’ll see. […] I'm tired of giving our work to other countries; what about us. […]. There is absolutely no excuse to pay these people [ politicians] and get treated like this. […]
  • RP: OMG! Saying "Obama...and...fiscal responsibility" in the same sentence?.....That's got too make you choke on every syllable? Hey you tell Obama if he wants to impress me and the Nation try "Entitlement cuts" and start with that smug sense of "entitlement" all federal employees seem to possess....freeze their wages, benefits, COLA entitlements, travel, private use of military jets........In other words.....I'm sick of all the appearances and lip-service! Show Me Your Teeth...sissy!
  • Dear CNN, Do you really believe that the general public has forgotten how we got here?? To listen to your political spin, (not news), one would think that Obama's election lost all the jobs, and is responsible for the present state of our economy. Wrong. What we are now experiencing is a "domino effect", an "aftershock" of 8 long miserable years of incompetence and mismanagement. The fact that no mere mortal (the president) could possibly reverse ALL these problems, and fix health care in one year is not important to those now busily engaged in "framing" the Democratic agenda. As far as the "waste", and voter "anger" that you tout daily....there is no mention of all the billions of our precious dollars that went missing, down a "black hole" in Iraq. No mention of the fact that Bush/Cheney handed Obama the worst economy since the stone age, and "wasted" the surplus they inherited from 8 years under a Democratic president. Start telling it like it is, not like your corporate bosses would like it to seem. Perhaps we can begin to respect journalism again.

How do you feel about the president’s first year? What do you want to hear from the president in his first State of the Union address tonight?

Filed under: We Listen
January 27th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Haiti's future doctors face tough choices

It has become painfully clear in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake just how desperate the country is for doctors.

For every physician in Haiti there are more than 4,500 potential patients. And to make matters worse, many medical schools have been destroyed.

Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked with two Haitian medical students who are facing tough choices and an uncertain future.

Related: Gupta: Calm, dignity inspire in Haiti

Filed under: Haiti • Health
January 27th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Trapped violinist finds music amid quake ruins

By Chuck Johnston, CNN

(CNN) - Blind violinist Romel Joseph laid in what he called his "grave" for 18 hours.

The concrete support beams of his music school in Haiti pinned his legs and feet. Buried in the rubble of the five-story building, Romel realized he was trapped and would not be able to get out on his own.

He was overwhelmed by the hot air. He began to have a conversation with God.

"I said, 'I would like to know if you are here. I'm really hot ... and don't have much time to live so if you are here, I'm really hot and I need some cool air.' And believe it or not, the next thing I know, there's cool air that got in."

He began to pray every hour, for 20 minutes or so, and then came his music.

First he pictured himself playing a Tchaikovsky concerto. And then every hour another concerto.

"I know I picked the Brahms, the Franz, the Sibelius. I picked several," Romel remembers. "I know a lot of concertos for violins. And I picked the longer ones."

Read the full story

Filed under: Haiti
January 27th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Resort town's stimulus boon

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Today, can a $5.5 million resort town restoration project be a good use of stimulus aid? Our Christine Romans finds out why one woman is grateful for the stimulus. And tomorrow on American Morning, we find out why a bridge that was built to make residents safe is now being called a waste of their money.

By Christine Romans and Sara Lane, CNN

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (CNN) – It's the dead of winter and Rehoboth Beach is hopping...with construction workers rebuilding a mile of old boardwalk with $5.5 million stimulus dollars.

City Commissioner Stan Mills shows off the project to CNN, thrilled that the boardwalk will be finished for the start of the season. It's frigid here now, but more than a dozen workers are dumping sand, laying boards, and maneuvering heavy equipment. All thanks to the massive federal stimulus.

"There would be no workers here. There would be no workers potentially getting paychecks," Mills says, saying that parts of the boardwalk were crumbling and more than 50 years old.

But stimulus for a resort town? The project landed on a Republican list of wasteful stimulus projects. Even a local Democrat, Angel Clark,staged a small protest against it. She's worried America is spending money it doesn't have on projects it doesn't need.

"Five and a half million dollars is an extremely large amount of money," Clark says. "It doesn't make sense to me the concept of using money to build this boardwalk when it was already functional."

But don't tell Stan Mills it's waste and not stimulus. Anything that attracts tourists, he says, helps the restaurants, shops and hotels, who in turn hire workers.


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Angry voters sound off on stimulus

By Bob Ruff and Carol Costello, CNN

How angry are some voters in Youngstown, Ohio?

Here's a clue. Remember that NY Daily news headline, "Ford to New York: Drop Dead"?

It was October of 1975. President Ford was refusing to bail out financially struggling New York City. Voters were furious when the president said he'd veto any bill that aimed to help out the city with its budget woes. He suggested bankruptcy as a better option for the nation's largest city.

Flash forward to 2010. Youngstown, Ohio, a much smaller city, is also struggling mightily with its economy. So we couldn't help but recall the Daily News when we saw this headline recently from the online edition of the Vindicator, a newspaper based in Youngstown: "HUD to Mahoning Valley: Drop Dead"

What's it all about?

Youngstown's once thriving manufacturing base has disintegrated. The city has been in an economic black hole for decades. It's hard to miss the abandoned buildings and foreclosed homes. So, when the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill, was signed by President Obama, cities like Youngstown were hopeful that they'd get a big enough piece of the pie to help them through their financial troubles.


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
January 27th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Obama faces tough sell, analysts say

President Obama needs to reassure the nation and members of his own party with his speech, analysts said.

President Obama needs to reassure the nation and members of his own party with his speech, analysts said.

By Ed Hornick, CNN

Washington (CNN) - President Obama's State of the Union speech Wednesday will be a tough sell for millions of Americans struggling under the weight of an economic recession, political analysts said.

"The president will respond as he always does to emergencies: with a speech. In this case, it's his State of the Union address," said David Frum, a CNN contributor and former speechwriter to President George W. Bush. "The Obama team always assumes the best remedy for any Obama difficulty is more Obama."

Frum said Obama's new populist tone, which he said emerged after the Democrats' surprising loss in the Massachusetts special Senate election, might work short-term if he uses it in Wednesday's speech, but it won't work over the long haul.

"If so, it would be a big mistake. It may win the president an immediate bounce in the polls by exciting downcast liberals and progressives," Frum said in a commentary. "But that bounce will prove limited and short-lived, and it will come at the expense of more trouble not very far down the road."

Read the full story

What do you hope to hear in President Obama's State of the Union? Sound off below.

Filed under: Politics