American Morning

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August 8th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Rick Perry holds religious gathering, leads prayer for United States

Over the weekend, 30,000 people attended a prayer event hosted in Houston by Texas governor Rick Perry, dubbed "The Response."

Perry called on both Christians and politicians to attend his religious gathering, during which he read passages of scripture and led the audience in a prayer for the United States' economy and political system.

Kasie Hunt, national political reporter with Politico, and Paul Burka, senior executive editor for Texas Monthly, join Carol Costello on American Morning today to discuss the event and to weigh in on whether or not Perry is likely to announce a run for President.

Filed under: Politics • Religion
August 8th, 2011
01:37 PM ET

How will the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating impact your personal finances?

Days after Standard & Poor's dropped the U.S. debt rating, stocks plunged sharply this morning as investors had their first opportunity to react to the historic downgrade.

In the midst of the uncertainty in the global markets, many Americans are left wondering how, and if, the move by S&P will affect their personal finances.

Today on American Morning, Sarat Sethi, Partner and Portfolio Manager for Douglas C. Lane & Associates, breaks down the ways that the credit downgrade could impact investments, bonds and retirement funds.

Filed under: Credit rating • Downgrade • Money
August 8th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Is your child's packed lunch the right temperature to be safe? Elizabeth Cohen explains new study

A new study in the medical journal Pediatrics has found that 98% of perishable foods in sack lunches are kept at unsafe temperatures even when the food is packed in an insulated lunch box or stored in a hot thermos.

Texas researchers found that on average, kids' packed lunches were approximately 22 degrees warmer than they should be, putting children at risk for foodborne illnesses.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen discusses the study on American Morning today, explaining what parents can do to ensure that the lunches they pack for their kids stay at safe temperatures throughout the school day.

Filed under: Health
August 8th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

How can the government spur job growth? Two top economists weigh in

According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday, the economy added 117,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.1 percent.

While these figures were better than expected, many Americans, particularly those 14 million who are out of work, continue to wonder when progress will be made in creating jobs.

Today on American Morning, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, and Christian Weller, senior fellow for the Center for American Progress, join Christine Romans to discuss what could spur job growth and to weigh in on how the White House is proposing to tackle unemployment.

Filed under: Finance • Jobs
August 8th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

'Poverty tour' aims to give poor Americans a voice

The Great Recession has left 1 in 7 Americans living in households with income below than the poverty level and unemployment is still on the rise in many communities as America's middle class continues to shrink.

In order to bring attention to poverty in the U.S., Princeton professor Cornel West andĀ PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley are on a 15-city "Poverty Tour" aimed at giving poor Americans a voice. The tour is the latest effort by the two to highlight what they see as deficiencies in the Obama administration.

Today on American Morning, West and Smiley join Carol Costello to discuss their criticism of the President and to describe what they have learned during their "Poverty Tour," which kicked off on Saturday.

For more information on Smiley and West's poverty tour, visit

Filed under: Poverty
August 8th, 2011
10:32 AM ET

Standard & Poor's Beers: 'We stand by our decisions' to downgrade U.S. debt

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) - Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency that lowered the grade on the federal government's credit worthiness, continued its defense of its move Monday, calling Washington criticism a "smoke screen."

"This idea that we made a $2 trillion error is simply a smoke screen for the unhappiness, in our view, about our decision," said David Beers, S&P's global head of sovereign ratings, in an interview with Ali Velshi and Christine Romans on CNN's "America Morning."

In talking to CNN, Beers took particular issue with criticisms made by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Sunday, when he told NBC that the agency they "drew exactly the wrong conclusion."

Beers pointed out that even Geithner acknowledged the harm done to the U.S. reputation, when leaders took until the last possible minute to come to a deal, and that the U.S. remains on an unsustainable path.

"So it seems that the Treasury isn't challenging the analysis both on the political side and on the fiscal side. They're just unhappy with the downgrade, but we stand by our decision," Beers said.

Beers talked to CNN about further downgrade possibilities, saying there is a 1-in-3 chance the United States could be downgraded again in the next six to 24 months.

See the rest of the interview here.

Filed under: Budget • Credit rating • Debt • Deficit • Downgrade
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