There are shocking new details today about the criminal past of sex offender Philip Garrido, the man charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years in his backyard prison.
This story becomes more outrageous by the minute. Police now reveal that Garrido was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old in 1972, but charges were dropped when the teen refused to testify.
Don Clark is a former FBI special agent in charge of the Houston, Texas office. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN's "American Morning" Friday.
Related: Aunt: 'Jaycee remembers all of us'
(CNN) - A Mississippi high school quarterback is being hailed as a hero for saving a school bus full of elementary and high school students from a gun-wielding girl.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/09/03/mississippi.bus.hero/art.gun.on.bus.wlbt.jpg caption="Kaleb Eulls, 18, says he acted because he 'couldn't let anything happen' to the children on the bus."]
Surveillance camera footage on the Yazoo County school bus on Tuesday captured 18-year-old Kaleb Eulls tackling the 14-year-old girl while the children evacuated the bus.
He managed to wrestle the .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun from her, Yazoo County Sheriff Thomas Vaughan told CNN.
"Things could've got real ugly and there would've been a lot of grieving families in Yazoo County right now," Thomas said. "I'm just extremely glad this young man took the bull by horns and stopped a potentially deadly situation."
Twenty-two children ages 5 to 18 were on the bus to Linwood Elementary School, Yazoo County Junior High and High School when the unidentified girl drew a gun from her bag, Vaughan said. Watch the confrontation unfold on camera »
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= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/04/wingnuts.stark.greer2.art.jpg caption="Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R)."]
As a heated wingnut summer heads to a close, we look at a new GOP “socialist” attack on President Obama for speaking to school children, a ‘brain dead’ attack on Democratic centrists and, in a bonus round, a callous conspiracy theory just in time for the 8th anniversary of 9/11.
President Obama is slated to give a speech to America’s school children next Tuesday on the subject of taking personal responsibility for their success in school.
Last time I checked, personal responsibility and socialism were opposite concepts, but that didn’t stop Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer from firing off an unhinged press release. Here’s an excerpt:
“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology … I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates…Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."
Greer accused the president of using the speech to promote his political agenda – though the speech was never slated to cover policy. The Department of Education did change language in a lesson plan that suggested students write a letter about how they would help the president after hearing him speak. PolitiFact’s Truth-o-Meter did a rundown on the ‘controversy’ and published its results with a “Pants on Fire” ruling.
This knee-jerk name-calling and hyper-partisan hysteria is the latest sign that things have become completely unhinged inside the hotbox of the GOP. Accusing the president of having a “socialist ideology” and spreading “liberal lies” and “propaganda” don’t even raise common sense – or common decency – concerns.
Wingnuts live in a world without perspective, and those on the right are trying to turn the President of the United States into a fearful figure in order to score partisan points with their base. Only the far, far left fringe would have accused President Bush of having a ‘fascist ideology” – and they would have rightly been laughed off the stage. These statements are coming from GOP party officials – politicizing a talk to school kids by the President of the United States. Stay classy, GOP.
Here are the big stories on the agenda today: