American Morning

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August 28th, 2009
11:36 AM ET

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin responds to criticism

In the final part of our special series "After the Storm," CNN's Sean Callebs takes a look at New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who is facing his last hurricane season as mayor. He talks about his failures and successes, what he would do differently and what kind of shape he is leaving the city in.

Filed under: After the Storm
August 28th, 2009
11:30 AM ET

Nude NY portraits: Art or pornography?

Zach Hyman has been photographing nude portraits all over New York recently without any problems. But in an ironic twist, he had one of his models arrested when she posed for a picture nude inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our Jason Carroll talked to the photographer and the model to discuss if their work is art or if it crosses a line.

Filed under: Controversy
August 28th, 2009
10:04 AM ET

The quieter side to Ted Kennedy

Every week, Senator Kennedy used to read to a student at a DC elementary school as part of the mentoring program, “Everybody Wins.” CNN's Jim Acosta visits one school, where he talked to the little girl Senator Kennedy mentored before his illness. Her mother was there as well and credits Kennedy for her child’s improved reading.

Filed under: Politics
August 28th, 2009
06:34 AM ET

Avlon: 'Porker of the month' honoree & civil war accusations

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. Neil Abercrombie-D (L) Jon Voight (R)"]

This Week’s Wingnuts include congresses’ biggest spender of your money on the left and questions about whether President Obama is provoking a civil war from a celebrity turned conservative commentator. It’s capped off by a Profile in Courage award for John McCain’s honorable defense of President Obama in front of an angry town hall crowd. Let’s begin.

Independent voters disapproval rate for Congress stands at 70% – that’s largely because of the out-of-control spending coming out of Washington. The latest numbers from the OMB estimate a cumulative $9 trillion deficit over the next decade. Of all the unhinged appropriators in the House of Representatives, one name stands out: Hawaii’s Neil Abercrombie, who just claimed the coveted "Porker of the Month" award from Citizens Against Government Waste

Last year, Abercrombie appropriated more taxpayer money than any other member of the House – earmarking a quarter of a billion dollars for 44 projects in fiscal year 2009 alone.

Abercombie’s latest caper was to insist on US prevailing wage for construction costs of a US base in Guam – rates that are 250% higher than local wages. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Abercrombie’s amendment would inflate the cost of the building project by $10 billion. And that’s not all – one of the primary construction companies on the project are among Abercrombie's top 5 donors.

Abercrombie is also a defender of developing an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – which has been opposed by both President Obama and the Pentagon. This year, the project has received appropriations in excess of $500 million in both the House and Senate and President Obama has threatened to veto any bill that contains its funding. For his part, Abercombie’s already aiming for higher office – the 71-year-old is running for governor of Hawaii.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
August 27th, 2009
02:44 PM ET

Yettaw: 'I had a vision they were going to murder her'

American John Yettaw made headlines around the world back in May when he swam to the lakeside home of Myanmar's detained pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi – sneaking in to see her.

The stunt got Yettaw sentenced to seven years hard labor and Aung San Suu Kyi an extra 18 months under house arrest. Yettaw was released earlier this month during a trip to Myanmar by Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

In an exclusive two-part interview, CNN's Kiran Chetry asked Yettaw what drove him to leave his wife and children and risk his life to travel halfway around the world.

Watch part two of the interview after the jump.


August 27th, 2009
10:54 AM ET

Low-cost health care model

Health care reform. It was Senator Ted Kennedy's cause to the end. But, in this make or break month reform is as uncertain as ever. One puzzle in the debate is how to keep costs down.

CNN's John Roberts went to the Cleveland clinic which provides top notch health care and they do it at a much lower cost than most places.

Filed under: Health
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