American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
September 8th, 2009
10:17 AM ET

War zone ER: Soldiers and children in surgery

Program Note: Watch "American Morning" all week for more reports from Dr. Gupta in Afghanistan. And don't miss 'Inside the Battle Zone' tonight on "AC360," 10 p.m. ET.

Think you know what it's like inside a hospital emergency room? You've never seen anything like this.

This one's busier, grittier – possibly the most intense ER on Earth.

Our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is inside an Afghan battlefield trauma center where soldiers' and children's lives are on the line.

Related: Video: Dr. Gupta arrives in Afghanistan

Filed under: Afghanistan
September 8th, 2009
10:04 AM ET

Schools banning the president's pep talk

When the president gives his back-to-school pep talk today at noon, students all over America will be listening.

The text of the speech has been posted online for parents to read, but some schools still don't want their children to hear it. CNN's Gary Tuchman went out to find out why.

Program Note: Watch President Obama's back-to-school speech live on CNN at noon.

Filed under: Controversy • Education
September 8th, 2009
09:50 AM ET

Grassley: Most don't want 'Obama-care'

Looking for a compromise on health care reform, the Senate's so-called Gang of Six, three Republicans and three Democrats will be meeting today. The six negotiators, who are also members of the Senate Finance Committee, will be considering a plan by the committee’s chairman to drop the public option and tax the priciest insurance plans.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Charles Grassley says the bipartisan approach to health care reform is the best."]

One member of the Gang of Six is Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley. He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: During the August recess, you said of the efforts to craft a bipartisan bill in the Senate, “I don't think it's going to be possible to work it out with the administration because they're all over the field.” Now that you're back there on Capitol Hill, are you going to walk away from this or are you going to stick with the Gang of Six and try to come up with a plan?

Grassley: Well, we won't know until we meet this afternoon at 2:30. … The good and bad of the president speaking this week is we’ve had to speed up the work of our group to have something ready. … And that's bad because we should have probably taken a little more time than just over this weekend. And then the other issue is that the president, if he does come out with specifics, probably would make up for that criticism that I gave during August that they were all over the ballpark. And they were all over the ballpark.


Filed under: Politics
September 8th, 2009
08:09 AM ET

Will the 'trigger' end public option showdown?

We are getting down to the wire on health care reform with President Obama set to address a joint session of Congress tomorrow. It's make-or-break time as the White House scrambles to find a compromise.

Our Jim Acosta takes a look at one possibility, the so-called "trigger" option.

Filed under: Politics
September 8th, 2009
07:33 AM ET

Laura Bush has praise for new first family

From Zain Verjee

PARIS, France (CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush praised the performance of her husband's successor Monday, breaking with many Republicans in telling CNN that she thinks President Obama is doing a good job under tough circumstances.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Former first lady Laura Bush defended President Obama's decision to address the nation's schoolchildren."]

She also criticized Washington's sharp political divide during an interview covering a range of topics including her thoughts on first lady Michelle Obama, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the situation in Afghanistan and Myanmar, and life after eight tumultuous years in the White House.

Bush sat down with CNN on Monday during a United Nations meeting in Paris, France, where she was promoting global literacy, a cause she trumpeted during her husband's administration.

The typically reserved former first lady defended Obama's decision to deliver a back-to-school speech to students, putting her at odds with many conservatives afraid that the president will use the opportunity to advance his political agenda.

"I think he is [doing a good job]," Bush said when asked to assess Obama's job performance. "I think he has got a lot on his plate, and he has tackled a lot to start with, and that has probably made it more difficult."

Michelle Obama is also "doing great," she said, in part by turning the White House into a comfortable home for her family. Watch the interview Video

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Politics
September 8th, 2009
06:05 AM ET

Obama to students: Education key to future

(CNN) – The White House released the text Monday of a controversial back-to-school speech to students from President Obama. Many conservatives have expressed a fear that the address would be used to push a partisan political agenda.

In the text of the speech, however, Obama avoids any mention of controversial political initiatives. He repeatedly urges students to work hard and stay in school. Full Story »

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The uproar over President Obama's back-to-school speech led the White House to release the transcript Monday."]

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.


Filed under: Education • Politics
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