American Morning

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April 20th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Here’s your daily recap of the best feedback we got from YOU today. Continue the conversation below. And remember, keep it brief, and keep it clean. Thanks!

Monday’s American Morning viewers were indifferent to the Republican’s response to President Obama’s handshake with President Hugo Chavez.

  • Ralph: I think it's about time we started talking to some of these other leaders. As far as the negative reaction for the [Obama-Chavez] hand shake, I think this is just [a] typical Republican [reaction]. Bush IS the devil and it's time we moved past that crap.

What do you think? Was President Obama right to shake the hand of President Chavez, who is known to have a negative opinion of the U.S.? Do you believe President Obama has been too apologetic about the U.S. in dealing with international leaders? Are we losing our “self-respect” as a nation or does Mr. Obama’s “listening” approach allow us to have greater engagement with the world?

The reaction to the idea of lifting sanctions with Cuba was seen as long overdue. Viewers felt that trading with Cuba would be the same as trading with China, a country not known for allowing “their own people human rights.”

  • Ron: I believe the time has come to lift all sanctions against Cuba! If we allow travel and trade with other countries such as China, whom we cannot trust and do not allow their own people human rights, why should we continue to allow the Cuban people to suffer! Enough is enough already! Cuba is no threat to us but can be if allowed to be taken in by other countries not friendly to the USA. Shame on America for letting this continue for so long!

Is the U.S. overdue in mending relations with Cuba, since we have engaged with China as a trading partner? Do you believe sanctions work or do they simply harm the people of a country more than its leaders? What do you think about the numerous changes Mr. Obama has recently made concerning Cuba? Is it enough or too much? Let us know your thoughts.

The debate over additional charges for overweight flyers received the largest feedback, with most viewers in favor of the fee.

  • Rob: As an aviation expert, I am amazed that it seems not to be understood that this is a safety issue as follows: An aircraft is not a Grey Hound bus!! The weight and balance sheets have to be accurate in order to fly safely. In general an average weight per passenger is calculated including baggage per person also the type of aircraft may influence this figure. Example: If 80 percent would be obese than the plane would be dangerously overloaded!! Not too long ago a plane crashed, likely due to overload and imbalance. My message is: This subject is not at all about seating, but weight on an aircraft!!!
  • John: I have to agree that it should be the airlines responsibility to provide adequate seating for all their passengers. All other business' morph to provide for a changing customer base; why not airlines?

Where do you stand on this issue? Are the airlines responsible for providing “adequate seating” or are they simply following the laws of physics? Do you believe this is discrimination or just a business issue, given the changing situation of America’s obesity issue?

Lastly, drug legalization remained in the spotlight, with viewers weighing in on both sides of the argument.

  • Julie: I am not in favor of the legalization of marijuana. During high school and the years right after, I certainly smoked my share of drugs, and would tell you I was having a wonderful time. But many years later, I will tell you using drugs was probably the biggest mistake of my life. 'Stoned' is not the best way to deal with reality in the years when you are making your most important life shaping decisions. Why fog up the facts? It is hard enough to make the right choices as it is!
  • Gionne: Thank you for the brief discussion of legalizing drugs as a solution to the current drug and violence problem. I personally have never been one to experiment with drugs. I understand that some people fear the availability will cause more people to turn to drugs. While I don't think that is even true, I have to ask myself is that worse than the violence that results from it being illegal? And surely the huge amounts of money we spend fighting the "drug war" could be better spent in prevention, treatment and regulation. I hope CNN does more to create a dialogue to explore legalizing drugs.

With former addicts rejecting the idea of drug legalization, is making illegal drugs available on the open market the most appropriate approach to this problem? Will legalization allow for better “prevention, treatment, and regulation” as the second viewer contends? How will the ease of accessibility change the way Americans use drugs? Is it worth the decrease in violence to risk addition for groups of people who may have never tried the drugs if they remained illegal?

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Arlene

    This comment is not related to a specific topic but has to do with those very annoying temperatures that are featured on the screen during the morning from 7-10 AM. On my HD TV the numbers and names are miniscule and cover almost one quarter of the screen, totally annoying and useless. PLEASE REMOVE THEM!

    April 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Dan Nelson

    To tell you the truth I am a white person and I love Barak Obama not because of his policies which some I disagree with like engaging with Iran when they treat not only the western world with contempt but their own people but because of his love for Christ, family and country. I just think he should be more concerned with the anti-Americanism and hatred for the western world that is embracing the Muslim world! Yes God says love thy enemy but when they support the terrorists and want the destruction of the western way of life you have to stand up for your beliefs in the Christian way of life while many Muslims want to put an end to it! I think the president should show the world that any leaders of any countries that want the destruction of the western way of life and that supports terrorists that is bent on the destruction of the western world with shock and awe tenfold of what president Bush showed in Iraq! This is the only way to stop what I call the anti-Christ which the terrorists are along with many Muslims who follow strict sharia laws that are anti-Christian!

    April 21, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  3. Zeke O Zuela

    George W. Bush Jr. did not win an election, did not have the support of the majority of Americans, and was disliked by most of the world.

    Did this give any other country the right to ignore him or invade and forcibly remove him? No. The problem was ours and ours alone, just as other countries problems are theirs and theirs alone. If Venezuela doesn't want Chavez then they will do something about it, until then the rest of the world has to do business with the person in that position, just like when W. was "president."

    April 21, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  4. Norma Gorham

    As usual a class act by Obama. There is nothing wrong with a handshake and a smile and those people that have a problem with it needs to grow up and for those of you who think that obama is a weak President are week yourselves. For too long America do sneeky things and it's there way or no way at all. Have we stop to think why we are not so liked in some countries ? There will always be a dislike and not so nice comments by the GOP and lack of support by both parties they have not accepted a Black man being in the Whitehouse and those are the ones that will never accept our President because of the color of his skin. Obama can have Americas streets paved with Gold have this country flourishing and the Lou Dobbs the Newt Gingrich and all the other idiots will continue with their negative remarks and yoou know it's mighty strange that since having a black president in the Whitehouse the GOP chose a black man to lead their party something they could have done many years ago now they are looking to get the black votes in the next election and think blacks are stupid and will fall for that.They chose Davis who is jelous of Obama and who is a complete idiot.Back to the hand shake nothing wrong with the handshake and smile you idiots, stop trying to control every move our President makes some of you shake our Presidents hand and smile with him with great dislike. There is a big World out there and it's time we all get along and focus on important issues which are too many to name. It takes more energy to be negative get it together folks and remember Obama is not weak he just does not focus on insignificant matters. If Obama acted like the president of Iran he would be called crazy it appears Obama cannot win for loosing.Keep on being your self President Obama !!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  5. Mike

    What is the big deal? It's just a hand shake people. It looks like it was unexpected even if he was expecting it what was he to do? Should Mr.Obama have just move on tell him that I can't shake your hand or ignore him. Now, what was he to do. He did what was respectful of him. Chavez doesn't hate america or americans he hates those who ran the country in the government system just like some hard core americans.
    Do we really want Venezuela to get very very close to the Russian or the Chinese? Do we real want the Russian to be so close to here? This is a similar case with Cuba we need to get the cubans with us so that the Russian can stay away from here. Chavez knew that the previous administration was after his country's richest and he stood up and said no way.
    Lets face it what does Venezuela have in common with Iran, Iraq or the middle east!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:42 am |
  6. kevin osypowski

    I agree with Ralph. Bush is the DEVIL, and Monday night Sean Hannity had the other criminal on, former(thank God) vice-president Dick Cheney. Why aren't Bush and Cheney on their way to prison? What's so saintly and right about lying to 300 million Americans for 6 years?

    April 20, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  7. Earl S. Worthington

    as far as President Barack Obama's hand shake well I more think that is was the stategy of Hugo Chavez to do it because after the photo was taken the book by Hugo Chavez soared as far as sales on So I think that it was more of a savy business move on Hugo Chavaz part more than anything else.

    I mean the hand shale as far as I know was not pre-meditated and it therefore startled the president and his reaction was a normal human response that you do when someone shakes your hand unexpectly and smile while doing it so you likewise smile back.

    However, if you are the president of the United States? Well you know there will be a media outlet or two whom will publish this picture in some media news source.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |