American Morning

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July 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 7/27/2009

Editor's Note: The arrest last week of Harvard Professor H.L. Gates, Jr., remained at the forefront for American Morning’s Monday audience. Most debated the significance of the event; others asked for an end to the discussions. Still, some wanted more in-depth coverage of the dash cam tapes and any audio available from the arrest, suggesting that the full story has not yet been disclosed.

  • Mr. John: Race is still definitely a problem in this country in a big way. If there was not still a problem the current discussion would not be taking place. Until we get RATIONAL instead EMOTIONAL about race this problem will remain with us.
  • Doug: If you would check Prof. Gates' background and speeches he has given, you would see he is an angry racist. Please give blacks and Dumbocrats the same treatment you give Sarah. it is about the content of their character, not politics and or color of the skin. I know this will not be seen by your viewers, but I believe this is the way most Americans believe (not feel).
  • Psdgwd: PLEASE let the Gates arrest issue drop.
  • Linda R.: I turned on my TV, tuned to your show, as I do every day, and what do we see?? MORE of this junk about "Gatesgate"! With all our other problems (rogue Democrats undermining health care reform, N. Korea, 2 wars, A supreme court vote on the way, the economy, pending investigations of former Bush officials by Conyers, adventures of the "C street boys" and many, many, more things that REALLY matter), and you guys want to emulate the "fake" news channel FOX, by pounding this non-story to death!! Please stop this nonsense, or eventually you'll lose ALL your viewers to the internet.
  • Dan: What possible reason would you have to ask what Lucia Whalen thinks of Obama's comments on the Gates/Crowley incident? Or, even worse, what her lawyer thinks? No reason, except to further fan the flames of this story. You people are the worst.
  • Michael: Why can't you guys let the Henry Louis Gates-"Gate" go? Anybody that has taken the time to look beyond corporate news, already knows that Off. Crowley's arrest of Gates had no basis in Mass. law. But CNN is going to suck on this bone until it's burping marrow! Obama was right when he suggested that cable news is nothing but the WWF of punditry! You guys are as much the part of the problem within the body politic as anything else, where conflict has been reduced to a commodity.
  • W72street: It really simple. Just invert Gates and the police officers race. Would Obama had called a black officer arresting a white professor stupid? If a white professor was insulting the black officer and was disturbing the peace, would Obama call the black officer doing his job a racist? Too many black people keep telling the rest of the country that we just don't understand being black. About the history etc. No, we do. We've heard it enough, we've seen it too. But maybe we expect too much from black people. There are many wealth black people. There are many famous black people. There are movie stars, rock stars, athletes, etc. There are CEO's and now a Black President. So when is enough. I'm jewfish. We were slaves too at one point. We were put to death by the millions in many wars. We move on, we just don't forget. Its time you do the same and stop hiding behind what was bad and focus on what is good
  • Eric: Concerning the Gates arrest, what happened to the training from the much viewed dash cam tape of the irate motorist in a traffic stop swearing at the officer and tearing up the ticket in front of the officer? Is that tape still used for training and has the Cambridge police department viewed the tape?

What do you think of the continuing debate regarding the incident with Professor Gates? Is it time to move to another topic, or is this still relevant, as the first viewer states, remarking that “Until we get RATIONAL instead EMOTIONAL about race this problem will remain with us”? Is there more to this story than has been disclosed, as some viewers feel who are asking for release of the audio and video of the arrest? Is there a cover-up?

Most urged Congress, especially the GOP, to take action on the health care bill from the Obama Administration, remarking “that if health care and retirement were taken away from the House and Senate, they would get on the ball and get something done.”

  • Jerry: Health Care. I bet that if health care and retirement were taken away from the house and senate, they would get on the ball and get something done. I feel that they are thinking that if they give something to the people, there will no be enough left over for themselves. Why not take a poll of the people and ask what they want.
  • Larry: Why is it that the media are not putting a "full court press" on the Republicans who have not come forth with their plan for Health Care Reform? They are full of negative remarks, but offer the people nothing.
  • Ramon: Before we there is a vote on healthcare there needs to be a national conversation about how much money each senator and congressman has received from the healthcare industry. I just bet you do not have the guts to start this conversation.
  • Edna: I am sincerely surprised at the lack of sensibility of the Republicans and other affluent folks towards Americans who are losing their homes and jobs and can't receive healthcare. My son's cousin was denied a medical plan because she was 20 lbs. overweight. This is totally ridiculous. There is a big FOR PROFIT mindset in the healthcare business. In this U.S. Territory where I live, the same private medical plans provide coverage for people under the health reform plan instituted by former Gov. Rossello, who is a doctor. I hope President Obama is successful in attaining his goal. I also hope that those loud mouths who combat this law that have coverage today have it when they get older and sick. Life is a wheel, sometimes you're on the top and sometimes you hit the bottom!

As health care continues to be batted between the two parties, what questions remain for you? Do you believe, as the first viewer states, that if Congress had its heath care taken away, they would act sooner? How do you feel about the delay in the debate? Is it better to wait than to choose something that may be wrong for the country? Who will be blamed for the failure of health care, if it doesn’t get passed?

With Governor Sarah Palin’s resignation from the Alaska office on Sunday, many speculated on her next steps, from a talk show on a rival network to beginning her 2012 campaign for president.

  • Linda R.: It would seem that "private citizen" Sarah, is a perfect candidate for a new show on FOX. What a great team Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin could be, on their own "unreality" show. Don't be surprised if they don't make her an offer! They could call it "Parallel Universe".
  • Halfpint: you guys do not get it, Sarah Palin did not quit as governor to help Alaska, she wants to be president. she is officially on the campaign trail now...lol

What do you think is next for former Alaska Governor Palin? What role would you like to see her play in the GOP, if any? Do you think she would make a good television host for a talk show? What would that look like to you?


Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Deborah Higgins

    Please tell me why Michael Vick can't be allowed to resume his life after he has payed the penalty given by the legal system, thats just crazy! There has to be A CHANCE FOR PEOPLE TO CHANGE. I'm a dog lover, but Ithink if there are people that want to picket something PICKET GETTING OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OUT OF AFGANASTAN AND IRAQ .
    Picket the bankers and wall street crooks that almost destroyed our economic stability, not one of these creeps have spent a day in jail They are getting bonuses and holding on to their jobs, and I bet those theives robbed more supporters of animal shelters and the funding allocated to such facilities, that caused more animals to be abandoned or euthenized than Michael Vick ever did, but PETA IS STRANGELY SILENT.
    Mr. VICK IS AN EASY TARGET, He deserves the chance to move on with his life, I heard one commentor come up with a remarkable idea ,if you don't want to see Mr. Vick play don't put him on your tv, or go to his games that ought to settle it, because if there is any other action taken in my opinion it's jealousy OF HIS ABILITY TO MAKE A SUBSTANIAL LIVING after his incarceration, "lets just punish him for life" under the guise of self righteuosness. . And to the off the wall comment that was made on tv by the Peta representative THAT SAID Mike needed a nuerological exam, he' WAS A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE OF THIS COMPASSIONATE NATURE FOR LIVING BEINGS THAT PETA CLAIMS THEY BELIEVE!

    July 29, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  2. Deborah Higgins

    Please tell me why Michael Vick can't be allowed to resume his life after he has payed the penalty given by the legal system, thats just crazy! There has to be A CHANCE FOR PEOPLE TO CHANGE. I'm a dog lover
    , but Ithink if there are people that want to picket something PICKET GETTING OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OUT OF AFGANASTAN AND IRAQ.
    Picket the bankers and wall street crooks that almost destroyed our economic stability, not one of these creeps have spent a day in jail They are getting bonuses and holding on to their jobs, and I bet those theives robbed more supporters of animal shelters and the funding allocated to such facilities, that caused more animals to be abandoned or euthenized than Michael Vick ever did but PETA IS STRANGLY SILENT
    Mr. VICK IS AN EASY TARGET, He deserves the chance to move on with his life, I heard one commentor come up with a remarkable idea ,if you don't want to see Mr. Vick play don't put him on your tv or go to his games that ought to settle it, because if there is any other action taken it's jealousy OF HIS ABILITY TO MAKE A SUBSTANIAL LIVING, under the guise of self righteuosness. . And to the nut case that was representing PETA THAT SAID mike needed a nuerological exam, he'll get one after we see the results of yours broadcast on tv as entertainment, you were a terrible representative for PETA!

    July 29, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  3. Steve Fox

    For starters, I believe racial profiling exists.

    My only beef about the initial CNN coverage of the Gates contretemps was not NO ONE seemed to be willing to consider the possibility that Dr. Gates had been arrested simply because he was obnoxious, uncooperative and acting like a jerk. Instead, the default narrative, before facts proved otherwise, was that this Had To Be another instance of racial profiling and could be nothing else, thank you Soledad O'Brien et al.

    We now know it is a lot more than that, but NO ONE at the time simply asked "Could this be Dr. Gates fault?" No one was willing to judge him as an individual or on the content of his character, much less judge him in any way that would hold him to the standards of an adult who is responsible for his actions. Black prof plus rogue cop equals Racial Profiling, period.

    Very early it should have been obvious that, for some reason Dr. Gates was not thinking straight. If Harvard has provided you with housing and you discover you forget your key, why not simply call the Housing and Maintenance of Harvard U., explain your dilemma and ask them to send over someone with a key? (I find it interesting that his story changed to "the door was jammed" after consulting with a black faculty friend who was a Harvard attorney.)

    But no. Dr. Gates was obviously not quite in his right mind at the time, who knows why and proceeded to behave very badly, enough so that he managed to persuade an officier who had taught courses in how to deal with minorities in racially sensitive, professional manner to actually make an arrest that probably was not legal at all. If I believe what I heard from a female attorney who specializes in sueing cops for false arrest, then under Massachusetts law simply being verbally insulting and provoctive is NOT the legal basis for an arrest under disturbing the peace.

    That the charge was immediately dropped indicates that Dr. Gates' arrest was legally indefensible. But the illegality of his arrest does not make it a matter of racial profiling, regardless of his skin color or that of his arresting officers. Instead, he was probably arrested because he asked for it, by being irrational, uncooperative, paranoid, meanspirited and self righeous, insulting, loud and hostile. He very skillfully created his own illegal arrest – and then had the nerve to demand an apology on CNN!

    Why? So he could be lionized by the Racial Guilt Experts at CNN and every other news channel, except Fox News? If he was trying to confirm his own existential validy, he certainly got validation from all of those quarters, whose initial reaction was to turn him into a Racial Profiling Icon. Here is a quote from Eric Michael Dyson (if I have his name right) who is Dr. Gates professorial counterpart in another black studies program at another university, while on the Today Show: Dyson called Dr. Gates the "Rosa Parks of racial profiling." How surreal.

    So here is another point of view. I suspect that black parents all over the United States are telling their own sons and daughters, while the family sits together in front of the television set that "When you grow up, you do not ever want to act like that when a police man comes over to your house to investigate a possible burglary." To compare Gates to Rosa Parks is an insult to her memory and her place in history as a great American. Getting free housing courtesy of Harvard is not the same thing as being asked to sit in the back of the bus.

    The only good thing that I can see from this is that the Main Stream Media stepped right into it and was forced, by the gradual revelation of more facts and an avalanche of viewer feedback, to rewrite their narrative that this was yet another Morality Play with a blameless black victim whose unhappy plight showed us all that Amerika is, despite any signs of progress, still a Racist Country. Instead, this stale, warmed over 1960s countercultural narrative, although still beloved by some self-appointed Racial Guilt Experts within the MSM, has been shown to be what it truly is, a Welstanschaung so old that it belongs literally in the last century. True, there are still racist Americans; this is the flip side of having a country founded on individual liberty, which includes the liberty to buy into really bad ideas. But America the country has moved on, even if Amerika is still alive and well in the minds of Dr. Gates, and his morally myopic enablers in the television news. Did they learn anything from this? Was this a teachable moment for them? Not that I can see.

    Final thought. As a classical Liberal, I believe that the responsible, socially aware and well informed individual is the essential unit of the whole Anglo-American tradition of Liberal democracy. But within the MSM today, the responsible individual no longer seems to count for much or even enter into their political discourse at all. Instead, we have a collectivist narrative from the MSM where the individual counts only as an icon for some politically defined interest group. Joe the Plumber equals Working Class White Guy. Sarah Palin equals Christian Conservative + gun owners + female swing voters. Dr. Henry L. Gates equals Black Elite + racial profiling victim. This is an brutallly dumbed down narrative that undermines the very Liberal tradition of free political discourse that makes representative democracy work in the first place. Dr. King warned us, decades ago, that we should judge people on the content of their character and we have yet to heed his warning. I wonder what Dr. King would have had to say about the whole Gates affair? I personally think he would be apalled that our political discourse has been dumbed down to this level, thanks to efforts of our Main Steam Media and especially television news. What can they possibly do for an encore? Wait and see.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  4. Deborah Higgins

    I am very much concerned about balanced coverage of issues on CNN. I notice that there is not an ongoing running of the Powell comment that the police officer could also have acted differently in the Gates incident.It is disturbing that it continues to be rushed by and glossed over that according to Mass. law, Prof. Gates did not commit a crime or break the law. Did he react in the best way considering the situation, the answer is a definate no. However, nor did that officer who is dicharged to react in a sensible way since HE represents the law, shouldn't he have known there was no basis for arrest, and should not the other officers present;have assisted to racet down the bruised egos of both of these obviously head strong men. Mr. Powell indictes that both men should have reacted differently, but CNN HAS ONLY BEEN SHOWING THE COMMENTS ON PROF. GATES. CNN WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT BTTER THAN THIS AS VIEWERS IF YOU ARE TO CONTINUE TO BE THE MOST TRUSTED NEWS NETWORK.

    What the Gates /Crowley situation shows,us as a nation is there is a racial divide and ugly racial under current that is too prevalent in our country. There is still much work to be done to address these festering resentments, that erupt to over blown proprtions when bad situations occur in our society. There regretably are two sets of justice in America one for Whites and one for Blacks, could a feisty arrogant WHITE PROFESSOR IN THE SAME SITUATION HAVE BEEN ARRESTED? THE REAL UNPOLITICALLY CORECT ANSWER IS NO.

    I also want to make it clear that we no matter what our ethnicty should respect the law, but not be abused by the law. bUT WE SHOULD AT LEAST EXPECT TO BE RESPECTED IN OUR OWN HOME WHEN WE ARE BREAKING NO LAWS.

    July 29, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  5. Chris - Seattle

    Why do some dipsticks on these blogs seem to think that a black man(preacher or scholar) speaking out about the systemic problems that still persist in this country today, is "a racist"! I find it very difficult to define a black person as racist! Racism from a black person would have to indicate that they have no reason to dislike someone different from them and I would have to say that black people have plenty reasons to dislike the treatment from 400 years and even to this day that still persist. And last I checked there's a myriad of cultures here in America and they all seem to have some sort of distaste for one another! Speaking out as a representative of all cultures is what this country needs and sorry we don't speak pleasantly about it! Idiots!

    July 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  6. Chris - Seattle

    For those that seem to question this situation based on the merit that if the cop was black and the professor was white/black would it still be considered "stupid"? Yes, it would still be considered stupid! Peoples personal biases make them look very bigoted on these blogs. There doesn't seem to be a lot of common sense either from some of the things I see typed on these pages. It scares the hell out of me to read some of this stuff from people that seem to have a vendetta against blacks, crying that reverse racism BS or not supporting anything this administration has accomplished. And I'm sorry but it took 8 years and two elections to determine who one of the worst Presidents this country has ever had was and only 6 mos. into his tenure some are saying Obama is worse than Bush, gimme a break! The idiot truck has lost some of it's load and they seem to have found their way to the internet! May God Help Us!

    July 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  7. Joan Broadbent

    I am a 78 year old senior. I am so very tired of the talking heads or screaming heads and all of the talk about a better health care system .Where were these people for the last 8 years ? They had a chance to do right by the people of this country. I would like to have the same HEALTH CARE COVERAGE THAT OUR SENATORS AND CONGRESS HAVE. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  8. Gary Wade

    Andy Warhol's great comment about "15 minutes of fame" is no longer true. It's more like 15 days - provided there are substantive issues and stories that bosses of the New Media don't want covered. Is it good for the US that celebrity deaths and patrolman-professor trump investigation into and reportage of (1) the inflationary effects of all that bailout cash dumped into the US and planetary economies, (2) changing natures and goals of the wars that we are currently fighting, (3) the overwhelming evidence that the WTC attacks were about politics and private profits as much as terrorist punishment of the US, (4) the similarities of West Bank and Gaza events to those of the Warsaw ghetto during WWII? A century from now, will Michael Jackson be better known for his music or his being used as a screen behind which important historical events were hidden? If I hated the US, I would be applauding the Foxification of CNN.

    July 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Darlene Livingston

    What happened to Prof Gates reminds me of the 2004 movie "Crash"

    July 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  10. Darlene Livingston

    We all know that Police just doing their job means it is not enforced fairly and often at their discretion. I was driving back with a member of the police review board who used the shoulder to pass by a traffic back up. The police that stopped him were very indignant, rightly so of what he had done, however when he showed them who he was they took him in the patrol car so I couldn't hear and didn't give him a ticket or a warning. I know any one else who passed on the right shoulder would have had the book thrown at them.
    I a white women also know that they lie. Thank God for technology.

    July 28, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  11. Chrissy

    I think its time to move past this issue, as to continue in making it headline news will only deepen the wounds. Hopefully Thursday these 3 can enjoy their beers, have a few laughs, and move forward and count it as a lesson learned. More so for President Obama than the other parties involved. I personally do not agree with Obama's unprofessional behavior all the way around, and by his last stance by inviting both Gates and Crowley over for beer is proof in my opinion that he is just not altogether ready to lead this country properly and professionally. Time will tell I suppose.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  12. Myron Fendall

    About healthcare, since we have turned into a country of greed.

    has anyone asked about the people who die every year from lack of insurance. One quote was 400 a year and in Time stated 1600. Don't give me that it's thier decision. Some people just can't afford it period. Don't make excuses to cleanse your consious.

    What do we tell them? Sorry, money, power and politics are more inportant than lives?

    Yeah, we are a compassionate people when it suits us.

    Shame on conservatives.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  13. TONY FULCHER

    Debate over health care reform shouldn't be contentious by any thinking American. How best to accomplish it should field debate. The problem seems to be that we have developed a segment of society that act more like a pack of rabid dogs and will attack anyone or anything that gets in their path. It has no bearing on common sense, practically, helping humanity or improving this country. They will savagely tear you to pieces using any means from A to Z in order to gain or maintain their hold on power. Just look at the performance of the Fox celebrity Glenn Beck and his antics to a lady on the phone about a week ago! There is just too much of that kind of childish antics in the media. Is it possible and/or reasonable to think we, as a culture need to work on creating a more sane and reasoned mentality in this country? Can those in positions of stature put forth enough effort to educate and/or shame these extremists' into ceasing the routinely embarrassing of the citizens and hurting this country both at home and though out the world? We don't need all this negatively! Let's work on being more positive.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  14. Myron Fendall

    Lt. Rogers lied!

    If you had played the next dispatch, you would have heard the officer identify Mr. Gates, say he was being uncoroperative and it was after that he asked him to step outside.

    He knew who Mr. Gates was and that it was his house. If he thought it might be burgulars in the house, why didn't he just tell him. Why didn't he just ask to search the house?

    In fact, why didn't they search the house after the arrest if they thought someone was in there?

    It seems to me that they knew it was his house (evidence from the police calls prove it), they knew no one else was in the house, they did not show the man respect in his own house by asking him out without an explaination.

    To top it off, they arrest him on a disorderly charge and let him go. Any black man would tell you what that is, it's to teach the black man to respect the police. It's happend to me and my friends many of times.

    The police acted stupidly as they have done for years and that show this morning, will only show black men they can't trust the police any more today that in the past.

    Lousy job on interviewing and reporting. You should have gotten al lthe facts before the interview. I'm very disappointed in CNN.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  15. Bobby Clemmons

    Why is it so hard for those in power to admit their human side? Whether you are for him, or against him, this was clearly a lapse in judgment on the President's part. He made a decision without knowing the facts and took a seemingly isolated event and stretched it into national and racist arenas. It's not the time to sit down and drank a beer, it's time to apologize. It will make him feel better, and it will only enhance his leadership abilities. Sometimes saying I was wrong can really rally the troops.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  16. TONY FULCHER

    So many issues, and this issue between Harvard Professor H.L. Gates, Jr. and Crowley’s arrest of Gates had no basis in Mass. law. There are many ways to look at this incident but has anyone looked at the human side? Forget race. A man returns home from a long trip, his front door won't open and he's forced to enter through the back and then breaks the door in an attempt to open it. That's enough to get an already tired person upset. America takes pride in "a man's home is his castle". Who wouldn't get upset if on top of all this, now, a man in uniform comes into your home and after you've explained who you are and shown your I.D. are manhandled and hauled off to jail. Given the information at this point, I think it's pretty easy to understand what probably took place that day. Sgt. Crowley is no doubt a quality officer but if Mr. Gates didn't threaten physical harm to anyone in the neighborhood, why drag an obviously senior citizen from his home?

    July 28, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  17. Bernice

    You may like to re look that legal issue. MA law said....they DID have the right to arrest! His childish behavior was completely out of control where the neighbors had to listen to it! That's an illegal act, my friend. That's the problem, some just think that they are above the law and seem to have no respect. Maybe the next time, they should just wait for a black police officer....and let his home get robbed! He would deserve it. Crying wolf only works once or twice! Thier limit is up......way up!

    July 28, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  18. Jenna

    I just think that the Professor is a disrespectful person, this officer was there to help him… The professor has a chip on his shoulder and friends in high places…

    So because of his class, and the fact that the Mayor and the police chief of Cambridge spoke, who are both Black Americans, the professor was given special privileges unlike anyone else would receive…

    Oh, did I mention he knows the president too, it would not have mattered what he did….

    I did not like my president speaking regarding this matter, somehow it just did not seem appropriate, I am disappointed in this whole matter…

    The professor chose the wrong police office to accuse of race discrimination the police officers credentials defy that very premise… The professor needs to be a better leader, and the president needs to realize how he has hurt people because of this incident…

    Jenna

    July 28, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  19. Mike

    Regarding the obesity problem as it concerns the healthcare debate, I recently went to Europe and it's amazing how few people over there have weight problems. As I spent time in the different countries, I saw that they do not really eat that differently, rather they eat in much smaller portions, so a large coke is 12 or 16 oz versus 50. Our portions in the US need to be reduced.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  20. Ken Williamson

    Just heard the piece my Dr. Gupta on what will be covered. He got the Medicare piece COMPLETELY wrong. Part B coveres most of the cost.
    Patient pays 25% of Medicare approved amount for the facility portion if done in outpatient center. Patient pays nothing if they have a Medigap policy. Below is paste from the Medicare site. Premimum is $96.40 per month.

    Fecal Occult Blood Test – Once every 12 months
    Flexible Sigmoidoscopy – Once every 48 months
    Screening Colonoscopy – Once every 24 months (if you're at high risk); once every 10 years, but not within 48 months of a screening sigmoidoscopy (if you're not at high risk)

    The health care issue is too important not to get the facts straight.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  21. Keith

    The following news report indicates that there is a vested interest in delaying or revamping the health care industry. I have concerns that "conflict of interest" is not discussed heavily enough in the presentation of what the real problem is.

    It seems reasonable the very few individuals are inclined to bite the hand that feeds them.

    Can this aspect be explored when we are discussing what's going on in terms of Health Care reform because I definitely believe that it is a major faction in the desicion making process.

    WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - A new analysis of campaign contributions to members of key congressional committees handling health reform legislation found that members of three committees who voted against reform have received significantly more in campaign contributions from the health and insurance industries than those who voted for reform. In addition, the legislation appears to have been slowed in two final committees whose members received much more from the health and insurance industries than their colleagues on the three committees that have passed legislation, the study reported.

    "These numbers tell a story that Americans already know to be true: committee members who voted in the interests of the health and insurance industries have received more money, on average, than those who didn't," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund, the organization that conducted the study.

    "The blocs of lawmakers on both the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance Committees who are slowing the pace and scope of reform are also huge recipients of health and insurance money."

    The report, entitled "Five Committees, Three Votes: Advancing Health Care Reform Through the Swamp of $187 Million in Interested Political Money," reviewed the lifetime campaign contributions from health and insurance interests, as coded by the Center for Responsive Politics, to members of Congress currently serving on the following committees: House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; House Energy and Commerce; Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); and Senate Finance. Comprehensive health reform legislation has passed three of the committees – House Ways and Means; House Education and Labor; and Senate HELP.

    The research found that members on three congressional committees who voted against health care reform received, on average, $353,105 more from the health and insurance industries, or 65% more, than their colleagues who voted for reform.

    Other findings included:

    The seven Blue Dog House members who are negotiating with the Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman have received significantly more money from the industries than their Democratic colleagues on the committee.
    The 82 members of the two committees that have yet to vote on legislation - the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee - took nearly $100 million from health and insurance interests over their career.

    "These findings point to the need for Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act, which would free elected officials from the pressures of fundraising," commented Donnelly.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  22. Mike

    I am an African American male in my early thirties. The recent Gates misfortune has shed light on a larger deeply rooted issue in our country, race. While it is less blatant and not as socially accepted in today's age it nonetheless exists. I’d like to share my story with you. I too have experienced incidents where I was pitted against the system. One such incident occurred 2 years ago while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was on the phone with s senior director discussing a work assignment, I was a consultant at one of the Big 4 IT firms.

    Police officers knocked on my apartment door and asked me to come outside to speak with them – guns drawn. I explained that I had no idea why they were at my door. The officers of which there were approximately 10 of them were white and told me not to question them. Anyone in this situation would want to know what they were being questioned for but this information was not to be had by me.

    As soon as they left I immediately called 911 and asked what was going on. The operator asked me if I was black and I said yes but what did that have to do with anything. She told me that I must have fit the description of a bank robbery suspect then a knock came at my side entrance. It was the police again! I went to the door then closed it back, still on the phone with the 911 operator. I asked the operator what to do. She said cooperate. So I yelled through the door that I was coming outside feeling safer that the operator was on the phone to record the entire thing.

    This time the officers threw me against the wall and asked where my ID was and what my whereabouts were a half an hour prior. I told them that they had just knocked on my other door and that I hadn't done anything wrong. I told them that I knew what this was about since they hadn't told me before but the 911 operator explained it to me. They told me they did the questioning NOT me. Anyway, when I told them that my ID was in the apartment and provided them my name, social security number, and birth date they escorted me to the police car for "my safety”. Needless to say, I was being held against my will. When you get into that car, you can not exit until they let you go. They held me there until a witness from the scene could come and identify me. She was a white teller and was brought to the car where they were keeping me safe. The officer then opened the door asked me to turn around and not speak then get back into the car. After several minutes the officer came back and told me that I was being released and to leave the area for my safety.

    There was a helicopter overhead, cops everywhere, the area was sealed off, and traffic was being rerouted. This was one of the worst days of my life. All this with no apology. The media attention was aimed at the actual suspect. I tried calling the news stations to tell them what happened to me and they took my name and number but I never received a call back. While this all may seem like an ordinary day to them it further cemented in mind how different I was. The college education, the good job, it didn't mean anything. All they saw was a young black man who looked like any other black man and who must have done the crime. After all why else would I be at home sitting in my apartment with a white tee shirt, shorts, and no ID in my pocket?

    You see racism and racial profiling is very alive in our country. I have been called the N word by an employer, I have been on the receiving end of aunt Jemima caricatures, been racially profiled on more than one occasion and believe that everyday I need to have more certificates and more education than my white counterparts just to get my foot in the door at mediocre jobs. Never mind that I graduated with a 3.87 GPA while both working and going to school fulltime.

    Growing up I thought how it would be just to be white for a few days to trade places with a white person. I was ashamed of who I was and where I came from, a poor household where no one was expected to get ahead. I could have sold drugs like the other people my age and on my block but instead got out of that situation and became the first person in my family to graduate college. I am reminded everyday when I look in the mirror that I am different and will never forget where I come from. I just wish I could be treated equal truly equal without stereotypes, preconceived notions, or bigotry just equal.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  23. Lisa Prewitt

    I have been watching this news show for years and don't know which one I will start watching now but I am tired of Mr. Roberts going after police. I was offended by his comments about Birmingham police after a chase that ended in a wreck and now I am offended by his dogged pursuit in every interview about the Gates fiasco to show the culpability of all white people and especially police. I wish you all would just present the facts as you know them. Being a police man is a hard job and I hope we don't make it so much harder that no one wants to do it. We already live in a world growing more and more violent and criminal.
    I expect both news reporters and Presidents to remember to serve all the people not just the ones currently glamorized as the victims. By the way, I am a Latino woman and my grandchildren are brown. I wish reference to race could disappear from the vernacular and I blame people like the professor for fanning the flames.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  24. Del Salt lake

    As for Vick being reinstated,
    why would the nfl reinstate someone
    who abuses animals, the man was
    the idol of how many kids? Is this the
    kind of person we want our kids to
    idolize/

    July 28, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  25. Harris

    The only people who think race is never a problem is the police officers themselves. Race will always play apart of how police officers treat potential suspects. With people that are economically challenged the police will throw out their training, the constitution, and their so called professionalism. It is the job of a police officer to arrest a suspect, if the arrest is illegal who is going to argue with a police officers report.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  26. Nora

    Anyone who believes that Dr. Gates was not being profiled is not in touch with reality!!

    I wish that you all could live for an african american for just one day!!

    July 28, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  27. PAT DALTON

    MICHAEL VIC HAS NO BUSINESS PLAYING FOOTBALL AGAIN. HE SHOWED THAT HE CANNOT ACT LIKE A HUMAN BEING, NOT TO MENTION BEING TRUSTWORTHY. ANYONE WHO TREATS ANIMALS LIKE HE DID, LIED LIKE HE DID, SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN A 2ND CHANCE. WE CALL IT, "MAKING YOUR BED". HE MADE HIS. NOW HE NEEDS TO SLEEP IN IT. TWO YEARS IN JAIL DOES NOT CHANGE A PERSON'S HEART. IT IS A WELL KNOWN FACT, THAT ANYONE WHO CAN MISTREAT AN ANIMAL, IS CAPABLE OF MISTREATING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. WHY WOULD ANYONE RESPECT HIM ENOUGH TO GIVE HIM A JOB PLAYING FOOTBALL AGAIN UNLESS IT WAS TO SELL TICKETS. HE IS A DESPICABLE HUMAN BEING.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  28. Greg Wood

    It is so nice to see the journalistic integrity of CNN.
    How the reporters do their homework on the Sean Goldman case.
    How CNN wants to put on both sides of a child abduction case, and it is not custody case but abduction, giving abductors an outlet for their lies as proven in court. You looked at the court records and asked the Brazilian family the hard questions. CNN found in the court documents the fact that after years of David Goldman, the father, not being allowed to visit his son by this Brazilian family and when the court orders visitation the family hides Sean. How they will not let them have time alone when no court has said they have to have supervised visitation. How they will not let David take his son to a park. How they fought Judge Pinto’s new visitation order, but they wanted David to visit his son so they said.
    How they lied to Sean telling him that David abandoned him, as is documented from the interview of 3 court appointed psychologist.
    How he suffers from parental alienation as evident in court documents and the open letter from both grandmothers. The one in New Jersey did not demine the Brazilian family and the crying grandmother on the CNN Video did. How the grandmother admitted that no one knew that Bruna was going to kidnap her son but her. How the crying grandmother took part in the abduction, so someone knew and not like was reported that no one knew, and the then boyfriend helped her fight Sean’s return and is still doing that. But you looked up all of that and asked the abductors the hard questions.
    You covered the New Jersey family and how they have been hurt and crying all of these years. You covered the fact of what Sean said to his father when they first meet after all of these years and that he did remember things. You covered the fact that the family says many times that Sean does not speak English but he does, not good but he does.
    You coved the fact that this family has connections in Brazil with the media and political parties. You covered the fact that they have made multiple lies and have done many disturbing acts and violate court orders as easily as breathing and yet nothing is done to them. You covered the fact that the family and Bruna returned David’s gifts to his son all of these years!
    How in Bruna’s own words, recordings, she states David is a good father for Sean and how she did it for she knew David would fight for custody of his son and so much more and up till her death not one mention of any kind of abuse but now after her death the family does make some claims that David was not a good father in other interviews, CBS.
    How the Hague specifically puts forth a 6 week time frame to return the abducted child to the country of residents, USA, and custody is decided there and not the country they were abducted to and it has now been 5 years.
    How over two thousand American children have been abducted in 2008 data from H.R. 3240.
    How CNN interviewed a nine year old boy against the standing court orders to the family who were not to allow Sean access to the news media and how this court order was based on standing Brazilian law, court orders, and the psychologist report to the court which did tell the judge Sean’s wish to stay after intimidation from the families representative. How CNN did this without consent of his father David who has custody in the USA. At least you did not air that and do more damage to him.
    How David gets asked hard questions and CBS and CNN do not ask the family, abductors, the hard questions.
    Yes CNN’s integrity is intact. Now put David and the other left behind parents on a special show for an hour and let all of them speak including one dead child who was not returned and if she would have been she would be alive today as her family killed her. You can find much information on bringseanhome.org.
    Again 2008 figures from HR 3240 over 2,000 in 2008 from State Department figures and multiple countries.
    Good Work CNN!

    July 28, 2009 at 12:08 am |