American Morning

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March 5th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Iraq vet overcomes PTSD to run for office

(CNN) – After coming home from war, it can be hard for soldiers to adjust to normal life again, especially when dealing with post traumatic stress disorder.

That was the case for Army Captain Shannon Meehan. He's moved on from Army life, but still says he wants to serve his country. He talked exclusively with our Barbara Starr for this AM original report.

Filed under: AM Original • Military • Politics
March 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Do Dems have enough votes to pass health care reform?

(CNN) – While Democrats are trying to put a happy face on health care reform, the truth is they may not even have enough votes to get a bill to the president's desk.

As our senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash tells us, you don't take anything for granted these days in Washington.

Read more: What's next for health care reform?

Filed under: Politics
March 5th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnuts' reinforce partisan stereotypes

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is a senior political columnist for The Daily Beast and author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America." 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="The RNC presentation, discovered by, encourages fundraisers to stoke the fires of "fear." "]

By John Avlon, Special to CNN

Washington’s partisan stereotypes got reinforced this week by a dean of the liberal House leadership and a stunningly cynical PowerPoint presentation to RNC fundraisers.

Congressman Charles Rangel has been a fixture on the Democratic scene for four decades, finally rising to the powerful chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, overseeing U.S. tax policy. Nothing grates Americans more than hypocrisy from politicians. Months ago, Rangel came under scrutiny for failing to disclose income in excess of $500,000 and failing to pay taxes. Allegations included paying below market rate for four apartments in Harlem and not disclosing rental income off a cottage in the Dominican Republic.

This week, the Ethics Committee found that Rangel had accepted gifts of travel to the Caribbean for conferences without appropriate reimbursement and Rangel offered to temporarily step down from his chairmanship. It wasn’t just the ethical lapse that elevates this to wingnut levels, it’s the way it confirms the worst stereotypes of big city Democrats – Rangel’s predecessor in his congressional seat, the pioneering Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was laid low by a scandal involving misappropriation of funds.

This new round of charges also increased heat on Democratic congressional leaders – especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had previously stood by Rangel. After a series of Republican congressional scandals, she had famously promised to preside over “the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.” When even the man in charge of the tax code has trouble with its compliance, Rangel’s troubles reinforced the feeling that government is broken.


Filed under: Opinion • Politics • Wingnuts of the week
March 5th, 2010
05:00 AM ET

Sunday offering: Surgery for the needy

By Leslie Askew, CNN

Lexington, Kentucky (CNN) - In the 1950s, when Dr. Andy Moore's father was the first plastic surgeon in town, many residents didn't have health insurance. But Dr. Andrew Moore Sr. believed that medicine was about service.

"He would accept all kinds of things in payment. People would bring chickens or a bushel of apples or a piece of furniture that they'd made," his son recalled. "He wanted them to be able to maintain their dignity."

Moore says he inherited his father's conviction, as well as his love of medicine.

Moore, who shares a plastic surgery practice with two of his four brothers, started a program that provides outpatient surgical care to Kentucky's uninsured - for free.

On the third Sunday of each month, Surgery on Sunday opens its doors at the Lexington Surgery Center. Since 2005, when Moore persuaded a hospital to donate space and recruited volunteer staff members from across the state, SOS has treated more than 3,100 patients.

Do you know a hero? Nominations are open for 2010 CNN Heroes

Filed under: CNN Heroes
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