American Morning

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August 17th, 2010
05:58 AM ET

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Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).

Plumes of Gulf oil spreading east on sea floor

(CNN) - A new report set to be released Tuesday renews concerns about the long-term environmental impact of the Gulf Coast oil disaster, and efforts to permanently plug the ruptured BP oil well have been delayed again.

Researchers at the University of South Florida have concluded that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill may have settled to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico further east than previously suspected - and at levels toxic to marine life.

Initial findings from a new survey of the Gulf conclude that dispersants may have sent droplets of crude to the ocean floor, where it has turned up at the bottom of an undersea canyon within 40 miles of the Florida Panhandle. The results are scheduled to be released Tuesday, but CNN obtained a summary of the initial conclusions Monday night.

Plankton and other organisms at the base of the food chain showed a "strong toxic response" to the crude, and the oil could well up onto the continental shelf and resurface later, according to researchers.

"The dispersant is moving the oil down out of the surface and into the deeper waters, where it can affect phytoplankton and other marine life," said John Paul, a marine microbiologist at USF. Read More

A world without overdraft

NEW YORK ( - Say goodbye to those nasty surprise overdraft fees.

Federal Reserve rules that took effect on Sun., Aug. 15, prevent banks from automatically enrolling customers in overdraft protection when making debit purchases or withdrawing money from ATMs.

While banks worried about losing revenue have been aggressively promoting "opt-in" overdraft plans, many customers are choosing to risk having their card declined rather than face a $35 overdraft fee.

But being unable to pay for your purchases can not only be embarrassing, it can sometimes deprive you of basic needs.

There are several ways to avoid getting declined. The simplest one: Don't overdraft your account in the first place.

But that's easier said than done in today's world of electronic banking. With direct deposit, debit cards, check writing and automatic payment plans for monthly bills, keeping track of your balance is harder than ever.

"The best thing you can do is focus on the available balance rather than the overall balance," said Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at "But even then not everything clears at the same time so you've got to try to keep track of your transactions on your own to be safe."

So if you're not entirely certain how much money you have available, how can you avoid getting turned away at the cash register? Read More

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: American Morning • LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. J Kess

    According to his website, Dr Perry has 2000 applicants for 30 available setas in his school. How can anyone compare thilde results of schools like his (that hand-pick their students) with those of a public school (who are legally required to educate any student, including those who hate school). I do agree with most of what Dr Perry says, but until all schools (including public) are allowed to select their students, we can't apply his model to improving public schools.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  2. chuck

    We've all seen the pictures of the wellhead and the oil gushing out. Are there any pictures of the Deep Water Horizon itself? It must be on the ocean floor near the well. Has it been crushed under all the pressure or is it in a recognizable state? BP has talked about recovering the blow-out preventer to see why it didn't work properly. Are there any plans to analyze the Deep Water Horizon itself?? Thanks.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  3. Joshua Wertheim

    Comment on the story about what the class of 2014 thinks and knows:

    Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News ran the following fictional story on a similar subject about the Class of 1972. Turns out children who are turning 18 in 1972 don't remember a time when there wasn't color TV with 12 channels; don't remember a time when you couldn't buy a 45-RPM record; don't remember a time when you couldn't wear your Nehru jacket to school; can't believe that their parents don't know what streaking is; prefer a Datsun 240Z to a Chevy Vega; hate paying 29 cents a gallon for gas but don't mind spending 19 cents on a MacDonalds hamburger; prefer writing out their school papers to using typewriters; and think that Tom Seaver's $50,000 a year salary is way too high.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  4. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Somehow, we need to get national attention and focus on the topics discussed today. That is these cost issues. Medical care, financial, insurances...clearly these are out of control. These excessive markups make the United States look like it's corrupt in many different ways. Simple 'Rules of Commerce' could solve the problem with minimal cost with properly implimented legislation. The way things are now, big business is going to ruin everything for everybody if they are allowed to continue.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  5. pfriday

    1) take away overcdraft charges (overdraft = use of someone elses money) fees go up somewhere else. (think charges for savings or checking accounts)

    2) Hospital costs are just not those incurred by patient, it includes the costs of those services where payment does not cover costs, admin costs and liability costs (lawsuits)

    3) the depth of reporting is embarrasing, almost like theres an agenda

    August 17, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  6. Ralph Beach

    I need heart valve replacement and every where I checked it is over $50,000 as a starting price... I did however find a place in CA that is close to $10,000...I would also have to pay my way there and back.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  7. Don Straub-Euclid, Ohio

    It is reprehensible for hospitals to mark up prices on equipment and services used in operations. It's a shame and a real burden on those affected. Thanks to Elizabeth Cohen for bringing this problem to light. It seems to be somewhat pervasive. Perhaps legislation to prohibit such excessive pricing is necessary, if possible.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  8. Pauly

    This study concluded oil "may have" fallen to the ocean floor & that it "could" well up on the continental shelf? Doesn't sound very scientific. Nor does the claim that "it can affect' marine life. So why is the media taking this study as proof of anything?

    Are these droplets more toxic than the chemical weapons, mines & ammunition that were dumped in the Gulf? Or the sludge that is legally dumped on a daily basis? If the scientists actually find these droplets, then they can test them to see if they are even from this leak. Tar balls that have washed ashore on the TX & FL coasts have been from other sources.

    The shrimp from the 1st day of the shrimping season have been oil free. This should be given more credence than this study.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:57 am |
  9. Larry

    Americans have donated so generously and unconditionally to the plight of so many countries that have needed help such as Haiti, tsunami devistated areas and so many more. Yet the same countries continue to support terrorism and corruption. This is a major influencing factor in determining whether or not I will continue my aid. And right now I do not see any evidence to change my mind that these same countries do want to kill me!

    August 17, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  10. Jay

    Excessive and unconscienable mark-ups in health care services and in death services are shameful. Check out the mark ups on caskets.

    In the case of or health care system, it is the insurance companies that are responsibly for this fiasco. A system based on false pricing for the sole purpose of profit because insurance companies dictate the actual price that will be paide for services. Since many of these formula's are based on percentages, excessive mark-ups are necessary to the bottom line. It is why a single payer system was rejected by corporate America.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  11. Michael

    Re: hospital charges

    At the Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West FL, if you are paying cash, they give you a 50% discount automatically. This is from ER to outpatient to inpatient services.

    August 17, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  12. Ralph Beach

    @ Muslim... You may be right about what you said but I do have a few questions for you...
    1) How would banks make money off of Lending so they can pay their bills?
    2) If the Central Banks are gone where can borrowers go to pay the high rates attached to the loans?
    3) I agree with this one but why not have the currency be of the same kind?

    Oh...God bless America!

    August 17, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  13. Muslim

    Better than a world without overdraft fees:

    A world without borrowing and lending at interest, commonly called usury.

    A world without Central Banks.

    A world without FIAT money.

    A world without these 3 things, would be a happy and healthy world, insha'Allah.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:32 am |
  14. Ralph Beach

    If I ran and became President of the US I would take out the Overdraft charges and would help American get back on it's feet!

    August 17, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  15. Ralph Beach

    Bank overdrafts are a waste of time and costly. Soon people will begin keeping the money in matresses. Some overdrafts are sometimes giving when there is no need to.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:19 am |
  16. Ralph Beach

    People should have contained the spill and not put blame on others

    August 17, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  17. Ronny

    Good Morning CNN!

    Can the oil be "collected" off the Gulf floor? Is there technology to do that?

    To solve the controversy of the Mosque in NYC – the US should outlaw all religions in the country. That should make everyone that's opposed to it happy.

    August 17, 2010 at 6:05 am |