American Morning

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August 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 8/10/2009

Editor's Note: Monday’s American Morning generated heated opinion on both sides of the health care debate. Most believed town hall disruptions were orchestrated by Republicans, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies. Others suggested that the U.S. democracy was founded on civil disobedience and Americans should be heard.

  • Carole: The loud protests at the town meetings, are due to people wanting answers as to that is in the health care reform bill. People are scared that interests are not being taken into consideration. They want their questions answered. The majority of people I talk to do not want the government involved in telling them what medication or medical procedures they can and cannot have. The seniors in this country are the backbone of its structure and need to be taken care of and not just given end of life consultation.
  • Allan: Your stories on the heated healthcare discussions at town hall meetings this morning advanced the idea that the anger was "organized" and implied in the interview with Sen. Brad Miller that it is not legitimate. Why not? Our elected President started his career as a "community organizer". His job was to organize events, just like the town hall meetings, for the Democrats. Why are today’s events different than Obama's events? It seems that in the CNN world, organized protest is only ok and legitimate if the Democrat Party is doing it.
  • Aljoy2: The whole problem with healthcare reform is this in a nutshell. The media has given huge coverage to the Republican talking points that are designed to kill healthcare reform and destroy the President of the United States. The Insurance companies are backing their efforts to continue their billions of profit. The undercurrent that is showing up primarily at the town halls began with extreme conservatives who are fundamentally racist against the Obama administration. They were clueless in terms of any facts. They did not even know Medicare was a government run organization that they hugely benefiting from while there are people like me who have nothing. Now it has all turned into true chaos with no one benefiting. Every time a Republican talks, put a truth o meter on what they have to say. Especially put one on dangerous Sarah Palin who exploits her family every humanly way possible for attention, power and political gain. She incites and she is dangerous and she is without knowledge and truth. She is just popular among the extreme right.
  • Larry: These orchestrated disruptions aren't protests. The Republican Brown Shirts are intentionally trying to suppress truth and democratic processes, spreading lies in service of their masters at insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Barbara: I believe both sides deserve to have their questions asked and answered at the town hall meetings. One side is making sure that no questions are asked or answered. This is not fair to the health care debate. These people should not be allowed to disrupt the town hall meetings.
  • Sylvia: People and CNN need to start reminding ourselves that Obama was elected on a platform of HealthCare Reform!! Loosen up and do your homework. He is trying to do what he promised and those Blue Dogs should do likewise!!


Filed under: We Listen
August 10th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
August 10th, 2009
11:06 AM ET

2 still missing after Hudson River collision

NEW YORK (CNN) – Divers went back into the Hudson River on Monday morning, resuming their search for two victims from a weekend air collision that killed a total of nine.

A small plane and a sightseeing helicopter collided Saturday and plunged into the river, as people on both the New York and New Jersey sides of the river watched in horror.

The wreckage of the chopper was pulled up Sunday. "Almost all of it was intact," National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman told CNN's "American Morning" Monday.

Seven bodies have been pulled from waters up to 50 feet deep by divers working in near-zero visibility. But two victims from the plane remain missing.

Early Monday, divers said they believe the plane has been located as well. "We are very hopeful they might be able to pull that up today," said Hersman. "Deep water, fast currents - there is a lot of challenges for the divers. We'll have to see what they can accomplish today."

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Transportation
August 10th, 2009
10:38 AM ET

Little Maine town has big heroin problem

When you think of the war on drugs you often think of cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. But coastal Maine?

You may be surprised to hear in a tiny area of New England, heroin has become a massive problem; too big to contain.

"It's very available out here. It's scary," says recovering drug addict Leeanne Lariviere.

Thousands of miles from the drug cartels of Mexico – Kittery, Maine in bucolic New England is a new Mecca for heroin use.

Detective Steve Hamel of the Kittery Police Department has been working narcotics for two decades. He says he's seen it all, but never this.


Filed under: Drugs
August 10th, 2009
10:08 AM ET

Lawmaker gets health care death threat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Brad Miller says he received a death threat over his support of health care reform."]

Some people in health care town hall meetings are mad as hell. Many are starting shouting matches, pushing to get in the doors.

Tempers and passions over health care reform are getting so heated one lawmaker got a death threat phoned into his office. It happened to Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC). He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.

John Roberts: What was this death threat all about?

Brad Miller: It was last Monday. We’d gotten a lot of calls. I don't think that many offices have gotten fewer calls than we have. I think a lot of offices have gotten threats that were as specific and as credible as the one I got. A caller said that if I supported the health care plan, it could cost me my life.

My staff member who took the call was taken aback and asked them to repeat it and he did. And then he said, “Is that a threat?” And he said there are a lot of angry people. So it’s probably equivocal enough that it won't result in criminal prosecution. But you've seen what has happened in the last week or two. And then there's a lot that hasn't been publicized. Week before last, the Longworth building was shut down for hours because of a bomb threat. They have identified that person. That person probably will be criminally prosecuted.

Roberts: You've decided as a result of the rancor we've been seeing at these town hall meetings not to hold any? You’re going to have health care discussions over teleconference?

Miller: No. I have done a few town hall meetings. I think they are kind of an acquired taste. Most people want to have access to their member of Congress to talk about a specific issue and they really think a one-on-one meeting is more access than a town hall meeting and that's what I've done. So we were puzzled when we started getting calls in the last two weeks demanding a town hall meeting. And my staff would say, “Wouldn't you just like to sit and have a private conversation with the congressman, explain your position and ask him about his?” And they didn't want that. They wanted a town hall meeting. And I think we’ve seen why.


Filed under: Controversy • Health • Politics
August 10th, 2009
06:33 AM ET

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Political scorecard

Editor's Note: is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

Paul Krugman claims protests in 2005 weren't as raucous as health care protests

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Dr. Paul Krugman, 2008 Nobel Laureate, speaks at a press conference held by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong on May 22, 2009."]

During the 2005 fight over Social Security, "there were noisy demonstrations — but they were outside the events,” and opponents were “not disruptive — crowds booed lines they didn’t like, but that was about it."

-Paul Krugman on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 in a blog posting.

Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: They were raucous in 2005, inside and out

Club for Growth's health care ad campaign is misleading

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="This Club for Growth TV ad posted on YouTube compares the health care reform plan to the system in Britain."]

The health care reform plan would set limits similar to the "socialized" system in Britain, where people are allowed to die if their treatment would cost more than $22,000.

-Club for Growth on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 in a TV ad

Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: There's no proposal to put a price on life

Boehner says Democrats' health care plan would lead to taxpayers subsidizing abortions

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) speaks on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2009 in Washington, DC. "]

The Democrat-backed health care reform plan "will require (Americans) to subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars."

-John Boehner on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 in an op-ed for National Review

Truth-O-Meter says: FALSE


Read more: Amendment would prohibit use of federal funds for abortions

Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
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