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August 21st, 2009
05:31 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Friday August 21, 2009

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (L) testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee along with (R) Frances Townsend, former homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush - February 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (L) testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee along with (R) Frances Townsend, former homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush - February 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • Did the Bush White House use the politics of fear during the 2004 election?  There are explosive new allegations that there was political pressure to raise the country's terror threat level, before the 2004 election.  And they come from the man hired after 9/11 to stop another 9/11: the first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.  We’re live from Washington.  We’re also talking to CNN Contributor Fran Townsend, who was a Bush homeland security insider during that time.
  • Hurricane Bill is now a powerful category three storm and it could again become a category four.  It’s expected to bring extremely dangerous rip tides as it heads up the Atlantic – in line with our East Coast.  Rob Marciano's tracking the extreme weather for us this morning.
  • And from town halls to talk radio, President Obama keeps pushing his make or break plan for health care reform.  He says there's still way too much misinformation going around.  Plus, see why the president thinks, quote – "everyone in Washington gets all wee-wee'd up."
  • This weekend only! Across the country, car lots are bracing for a busy, busy weekend.  After a month and nearly three billion bucks, the amazingly popular "cash for clunkers" program expires on Monday.  So just how successful has the rebate program been?  Will some dealers ever see a dime? What will its end mean for Detroit?
  • The tractor pull isn’t in town, so we’re going to them.  Rob’s Road Show is live in “Pull Town” today, for the National Tractor Pull Championships, at the Wood County Fairgrounds in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Filed under: What's On Tap
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Olla

    ell, Well, so the Republicans is stiill dupping the american people. They only 0give you fear no healthcare no tax breaks only for the rich and famous.
    I guess it's important to make you think the. poor, illegals and blacks are
    Going receive benefit not realizing that your hurting yourselves. Think about it
    You are loosing your jobs and homes the same as the rest of us.
    I wish someone explain to me, why Mississippi, Louisiana,
    Georgia and Alabama are red states Republicians have never done
    Anything for the poor.


    August 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  2. jay m

    So the republican scare tactics have been around for many years, it's dirty politics the only kind republicans know.

    August 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  3. Lee

    Rj...Don't you think Mr. Ridge's claim would be more credible if he would have asserted it when it happened rather than when he has a book to sell?

    August 21, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  4. Lee

    Something as agregious as this would be far more credible if Mr. Ridge would've called BS back in 2004, rather than use this as a tool to sell books.

    August 21, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  5. markp

    Obama plans to pay for 2/3rds of this 1.3 trillion dollar entitlement with 500 billion re-allocated from medicare than “prevention” counselling. In his mind he believes that if he can convince people to stop eating m and m’s that will save people from getting there foot amputated from diabetes, seriously this is how he plans to save 400 billion dollars. To not listen to more of a reallity based solution would be ignorance at best..
    Now even though he has not affilliated with a church since the “REV.” Wright’s rooster pen, he is turning to GOD to spread this awfull plan.. Well MR. PRESIDENT, GOD himself couldn’t make your numbers add up to anything but a bankruptcy of our nation…

    August 21, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  6. ronvan

    TOLERANCE: We have become so tolerant, complacive & numb to all of this that we continue to accept it! I cannot understand why we do not put all of these people making accusations in front of a panel, that has the power to proceed to trial, and make these people prove their statements. Same thing goes for the health care debate. To allow everyone to just make accusations without consequences is like blood in the water for sharks.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  7. Linda

    Jack is right. Duh! Where was CNN in 2004? –Drinking the Kool-aid. Many Americans knew the truth long before Tom Ridge revealed it in his book.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  8. Ty

    My father says he gave away his twenties to become a general surgeon. He always talks about the "golden age of medicine" and how different things were for docs financially in the late 80s/ early 90s. Today as a practicing MD you are literally at the mercy of the medical insurance companies to make the determinations on what you can charge on a type of case/type of treatment basis. In essence they put a salary cap on what you can make.
    On top of that he says that about 1 in 5 cases he does end up costing him money because the patient is un-insured and no other docs will take care of them (there is a good bit of overhead involved in surgery don't foget.)
    So I have a slightly different outtake on the whole public healthcare debate than what I've heard because I think that truthfully, private healthcare has been in the process of failing for some time. And with the growing number of illegal immigrants that we seemingly are incapable of doing anything about it seems like SOME other OPTION for health insurance is imperative. The percentage of young people going into medicine is on the decline.. let's not forget the people behind the word ... Healthcare

    August 21, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  9. RJ

    Of course Dan Rather was right, why do you think Bush villified Rather to the point he lost his job! Bush should be in jail!

    August 21, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  10. RJ

    This proves George Bush and Dick Cheney should be on trial for their abuses of the White House! Obama shouuld be fired for not helping out the people he promised, the middle class! We are still hurting and no relief for us! We`ll just keep on bailing out the rich and the poor! I hope Americans wake up before the next election and vote this fraud out! It makes me sick all of the liberals standing in Obamas line waiting for their free handout! It also makes me sick to see the rich bailedout and they turn around like the credit card companies and sqeeze more out of the middle class!

    August 21, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  11. Jack, Montauk, NY

    Why is anyone surprised at Tom Ridge's statements? The republicans have been using fear since 9-11 and it continues to this day with the health care debate. I bet there's a lot more to the Scooter Libby story and for that matter, I'd bet that Dan Rather was right, too!

    August 21, 2009 at 7:06 am |