American Morning

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April 23rd, 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!

American Morning viewers were adamantly opposed to Bill Bennett’s commentary about the Obama Administration’s first 100 days:

  • Maxwell: Who is this Bill Bennett and who cares about his "opinion" He is out of touch with 2009. We do not care about these old fat angry homo hating jesus freaks Republicans. Its time for a new Republican Party
  • Cox: People like Bill Bennett and all the republicans spend all their time criticizing the president’s methods have only 8 years of failed economic and foreign policy as a track record and have no credibility whatsoever. They are the ones who need to lookout in the coming 100 days.

What do you think? Is the Republican Party out of touch? Is it time for a new Republican Party? What would that look like to you?

Small airport funding received mixed reviews, with pilots and those in rural areas supporting the measure while others “would like to see Mr. Porky Pig justify that to a mother of three that has real struggles!”

  • Tim: Your story about the Murtha Airport was about wasteful spending on airport projects. As a resident of the US territory of Guam and a licensed pilot I can tell you without a doubt the airport money is needed here. Of the two runways, only one is operational due to large cracks and potholes! Please try to report more responsibly and realize some of the stimulus money going to these airports is warranted.
  • Amber: I just finished watching a segment about the little tiny airport getting A LOT of money they obviously do not need. All the while, my husband works 14hr or more EVERY day but Sunday, I work full time myself, and we do good to stay just above the red, so far. I am starting school in the fall, and the pressures and stress we go through on a daily basis are real problems, not repaving a runway that is back up for one that doesn't get used very often. Don't even get me started on the $8M empty tower!! I would like to see Mr. Porky Pig justify that to a mother of three that has real struggles!

Should small airports receive a stimulus, as the first viewer believes, or do you feel more as viewer two states, that “Mr. Porky Pig [needs to] justify that [funding] to a mother of three that has real struggles”?

Senator Jim Webb received kudos for his “courage to question the practices of the US criminal justice system where monetary, career and political rewards are built in such a way that they favor the mass incarceration of the least dangerous…often for decades.”

  • Patricia: Congratulations to Jim Webb, a politician with the courage to question the practices of the US criminal justice system where monetary, career and political rewards are built in such a way that they favor the mass incarceration of the least dangerous (minor drug offenders, wives/girls friends of drug suspects prosecuted as co-conspirators) often for decades. Then once these people return to society they find their past makes it impossible to earn a legal living no matter their education or performance since past records, along with all mistakes therein are available to just about everyone, especially to employers. Let us not mention judicial fines...which cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, do not have an "expiration date" and which a judge cannot "remit". These practices not only send 100,000 of thousands to prison who presented no "threat" but makes them into paupers for life, unable to lead a normal aw abiding , self supporting life
  • Jermayne: I am an ex-offender. I watched your story about what Sen. Webb is trying to do and I think it is about time the broken criminal justice system is addressed. In prison I participated in re-entry into society programs as a condition of making parole. The group discussions I participated in and eventually facilitated benefited me in building my confidence in my success upon returning home. However, upon coming home employers are reluctant to employ ex-offenders on jobs that have an actual livable wage. Most jobs I am able to get are low paying, sometimes unskilled labor jobs. People I know who were incarcerated as well express their frustration with being held back from jobs because employers count from when a person was released from mandatory supervision (parole) instead of from when the offense was committed. In some cases, my own included, a decade or more has passed since the offense. There also are no temporary or effective job placement programs for ex-offenders who want to work and not get involved in crime. Re-entry into society requires assistance in this critical area as well. If there are no jobs for people who have to support themselves after stints of incarceration many people return to the streets and back into the system. Less jobs=more recidivism. Who will help those of us who have changed their lives completely and want to be productive citizens?

What do you think about the ex-offender’s story? Is prison reform a place the government should be spending its funds when so many are out of work? Do you know someone who is incarcerated? What has their experience in the prison system been? How would you like to see the system reformed? Share your ideas with us.

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Glenn Tage Peterson III

    With all the turmoil in the world at present. I would like to share my current blog/poem with you. As a retired Firefighter and Hazmat Operations before and after 9/11 I think it would be a fitting gesture on my part to share with you.. I also have a slide show of the Terrorism Drills as they happened located on Thank you for your time.

    " Silent Code 10/8 Tribute for the fallen on 9/11."

    May we learn with love and wisdom to forgive. We as humanity must never
    ever forget what was lost besides the heavy cost of human life, but
    "our innocence " was shaken to our very core on that fateful ever clear
    sunny day.

    written on 4/22/09 by GTPII

    April 24, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  2. Mike O'Brien

    I have lost all faith in the Republican Party. I think they are out of touch with America and the world. Mike in Montana

    April 24, 2009 at 5:48 am |
  3. Tom from Philly

    As far as the republicans go, they are completely out of touch with the times. I see them as a long term bad marriage, they try to exude unity but they are a coalition of religious freaks and old school conservatives. Each sacrificing some of their positions to keep the other happy hence the republican paradoxes. Jesus fed the poor but rush limbaugh thinks its a waste of money. Religious are anti abortion, but fiscally this makes no sense, welfare recipients should be banned from having more children. Their whole problem is that their true constituency is the top 2% or so of the country, and they use other issues like NRA gun control, abortion, gay bashing, welfare bashing, and so many other things to try to make another 48% of the population to vote against its best self interest in effort to gain a majority.

    This crisis has made me realize whats good for business isnt even good for business let alone the country as a whole. Unfettered greed (jesus would be upset at this) caused the whole economy to self destruct. As much as i believe that people should be able to make money commensurate with their talents, I would bet the national debt that if the idiots at AIG and citicorp needed to work 20 years to build a fortune instead of just a couple, these companies would have never risked everything for short term gains.

    As far as the arguement who knows what to do with your money best you or the government? As long as that top few percent is going to be buying oil futures overpricing oil, and sucking up mortgage derivatives so we need to lend anyone money to create more..... id rather see the government take their money and provide heathcare for the employees they should have been providing healthcare for instead of hording money to buy freaking oil futures.

    Communism was born at a time when the tzar was guilding his billion rubel pallace while the peasants were starving. So go ahead aig bonus yourselves some more and see what happens. Oh and any small business owner upset that they will have to pay $4000 more in tax on their income between $250,000 and $350,000... either give everyone who works for you a raise so u dont fall in that bracket or lay off your best paid employee (so they can open up a rival company and put u out of business charging less for the same services) that is the side of capitalism that the rich dont want, competition, only when it means lower wages are they interested

    April 24, 2009 at 3:45 am |
  4. Tom from Philly

    While the airport spending may seem excessive, please before you pass judgement drive on US 30 between gettysburg and the pa turnpike. PA is rundown poverty stricken and basically hasnt recovered from the last depression (there are actual ruins alongside the road) all the mom/pop restaurants are closed and every 4th house is up for sale. We are starting to lose sight with how our system works, we send reps to congress over and over so they CAN divert funds to our constituencies. I need more than a 2 lane highway into philadelphia, which never seems to get upgraded or built, so im not going to deny someone an airport. Now if the spending is useless and provides no public good or future investment thats another story

    April 24, 2009 at 3:31 am |
  5. Burgan

    As a resident of Johnstown, PA i take offense to the comment made about Johnstown being and itty bitty little city. as far as the aviation aspect of it.

    Of course it going to look like a muesem, the airport is an iconic representation of the first flighing ace of world war one,BUZZ Wagner. So we take aviation to heart.

    Furthermore, the Air National Gaurd is not training anyone because they are little bit busy overseas fighting for our freedom. Our defense needs state of the art training facilities to equip our troops with the tools the needed for sucess.

    If the anchor would have spent one hour in our safe, clean, friendly city we call Johnstown, he could have discovered many things:

    1 The Incline Plane
    2 the first natural disaster "The Johnstown Flood"
    3 Home of the First Flighing Ace Buzz Wagner
    4 Flight 93 Crash Zone
    5 The Nine Trapped Coal Miners
    6 Thunder In the Valley
    7 The Folk Festival
    8 The Ethnic Festival
    9 The Conemaugh Gap
    10 State of the art hospital for trauma
    11 Life Flight
    12 PITT best college value on the east
    13 Presidential footprints
    14 World Class whitewater for kayakers
    15 The Laural Highlands Hiking Trail
    16 The fishing and hunting
    17 Grandview Cementary
    18 Coney Island
    19 The Film and Wine Festival
    20 And yes aviation shows!

    These are just a few of the many things Johnstown has to offer. Not some sound bite reporting of something itty bitty. I would personaly give the anchor the full tour of our city. Who knows you might end up with the key to the city.....Jonstown my home!

    April 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  6. Gerald Baltezore

    John or Kiran:

    Here's a question I've always wondered the why in the State of Louisiana, where they have built some levees, why the levees vs dams like we, in California and Nevada control our water problems. Why build such a cheap and wasteless item when they could easily build a dam and never again have the flooding problem like Katrina nor Floyd, George and Andrew for some names. They'd never flood again and it's an expensive item to build but stronger to control water to the gill. A crack may occur after a long period and it employs people for a year to two and some fulltime to verify there are no problems occurring.

    I worked the phones during Floyd and George during 1998 and 1999 out of California in the state of Maryland. While asking the victims of these floods we asked if they would move to California none of them would due to our earthquakes that is a shake that you barely ever feel in the San Joaquin Valley in the Fresno area. I'd rather shake than to constantly lose my home to water in a second. A lot these victims lived in trailer houses and were told never to use the water from their toilets and go get the water they needed at their fire departments or Red Cross locations.

    Please reply to my question.

    April 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm |