American Morning

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April 27th, 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 emailed numerous questions about Swine Flu. With news of the EU suggesting limited travel to the U.S. and Mexico, some viewers encouraged the U.S. government to close the border with Mexico.

  • Eileen: With the swine flu coming from Mexico, do you think the US gov. can finally close the border?

With a potential worldwide pandemic, should the United States take the drastic measure of closing our borders with Mexico? Do you believe this would be the most effective way to stem the rise in Swine Flu cases in the U.S.? The U.S. has already seen a number of reported cases of Swine Flu, so what do you believe should be the next important action for the new Obama Administration regarding this outbreak? Let us know your thoughts.

Regarding the Obama Administration’s First 100 Days, President Obama’s time in office was given an A+ by viewers, who were concerned that CNN would “nitpick everything he has done or tried to do.”

  • Sandra: I see that you are gearing up to do your check list on President Obama's first 100 days and are probably going to nit pick everything he has done or tried to do in the short time he's been in office. Well in my opinion he's been more active and accessible in 3 months than Bush was in 8 years. I think it would be in the best interest of the country for you reporters to ask yourselves "What have I done in the last 100 days to help my country and fellow man?" rather than look for every small opportunity to make the President look bad just for ratings and your own personal agenda. We finally have an actual "HUMAN BEING" in the White House who is working for the average citizen and I for one grade him an A+ and wish him and his family all the best and much success in the future. Sandy

Tell us how you would grade the President and his administration on their first 100 days in office. Is President Obama living up to your expectations or are you disappointed in his performance so far? Share your opinions with us.

Filed under: We Listen
April 27th, 2009
02:10 PM ET

Swine flu and the death of Pontiac (they are unrelated)

In a drive to survive, GM and Chrysler stay one step ahead of a bankruptcy filing.

GM will scrap the 84-year-old Pontiac brand, close more plants, cut 23,000 workers by 2011 and essentially shrink by a third over the next six years.

If bondholders accept a deal to convert their stake to stock - and the company avoids bankruptcy - the government and the unions would end up owning 89% of GM.

Meanwhile, Chrysler won more concessions from its unions as it races toward a Thursday deadline to restructure or face bankruptcy. The clock ticks for these two companies. Either way, it is bad news for American autoworkers and the towns they live in. There will be more jobs lost.

Swine flu is hammering airline stocks and anything related to travel and leisure. If SARS and bird flu are any indication, here’s how this story plays out: Treasuries rally because they are seen as the global safe haven. Drug stocks rally – especially any company with a flu virus or treatment on the market or in the pipeline.

Stocks in general remain nervous, because a global health threat comes at a time when the global system is fragile and confidence scarce. That said, I am impressed stocks have held up so well. Maybe the cue is from GM and a feeling it might avoid a catastrophic bankruptcy.

Filed under: Business
April 27th, 2009
12:21 PM ET
April 27th, 2009
10:56 AM ET
April 27th, 2009
10:28 AM ET

Is Obama the first 'hip' president?

Author John Leland speaks to CNN's Alina Cho about President Obama being hip as a politician.
Author John Leland speaks to CNN's Alina Cho about President Obama being hip as a politician.

He sits courtside in all black, posts video on YouTube, goes on Leno, and he fought for the right to carry his Blackberry. But does that all make President Obama hip? And does it help the president politically?

John Leland is a reporter for the New York Times and wrote the book "Hip: The History." He joined Alina Cho on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

Alina Cho: You call President Obama the first hip president. You wrote, “He’s white and he’s black. He’s an elitist and he’s regular folk. He’s not pinned down to a perspective.” Why is being hip important? Why is it noteworthy?

John Leland: He is the first president certainly to make this question relevant. Is this guy hip or not? He looks good courtside as you say, looks good in all black. In my book, I talk about where this idea of hip comes from and it seems to come from these western African words hipi or hepi “to see” or “to open your eyes.”

Cho: How is he different from all the others?

Leland: Because he has his eyes open in ways the others do not. He has an awareness of different parts of American culture that we haven't seen from a president before.


Filed under: Pop Culture
April 27th, 2009
09:50 AM ET

CDC: Travel warning to U.S. not warranted

Acting CDC Director Richard Besser speaks to CNN's John Roberts about the swine flu outbreak.
Acting CDC Director Richard Besser speaks to CNN's John Roberts about the swine flu outbreak.

Health officials around the world are working to contain what appears to be a spreading swine flu outbreak. As many as 103 deaths in Mexico are thought to have been caused by swine flu. The United States stepped up preparations for a possible epidemic of the virus after 20 cases were confirmed.

The European Union’s health commissioner Monday called on people to avoid traveling to both Mexico and the United States due to concerns about swine flu. “They should avoid traveling to Mexico or the USA unless it is very urgent for them,” said Andorra Vassiliou.

Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN he disagrees with the warning against traveling to the United States. He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

John Roberts: Dr. Besser, you probably heard the warning from the health commissioner of the European Union warning against all nonessential travel to the United States. Given the fact that we've had 20 mild cases in this country, is that a prudent warning?

Richard Besser: It's very important that people look at travel in a situation where there's an outbreak taking place. We've posted recommendations regarding travel to Mexico and notified people about an outbreak taking place there. And we'll continue to look at those. You know, it would be my recommendation to a family member if they had nonessential travel to Mexico that they really reconsider that at this time.

Roberts: The EU health commissioner is warning against travel to the United States. That could have a huge economic impact. Is that the right warning to send at this time?

Besser: I don't think that's warranted. At this point, we've identified 20 cases of swine influenza in this country. Thankfully all of those people have recovered; only one of those people has required hospitalization. We are looking very hard for cases of swine flu. I expect we're going to find some and we'll find some of increasing severity and more of the mild cases. At this point, I would not put a travel restriction or recommendation against coming to the United States.


Filed under: Health
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