American Morning

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August 16th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

Soul food and success: A story from the kitchen of Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans

Almost six years after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, parts of New Orleans are riddled with crime and violence.

But there's one very special place serving up hope for young people. It's a restaurant called "Cafe Reconcile." It's a popular restaurant with a kitchen comprised of crime victims and ex-convicts looking for a chance to change their lives. It also prepares its students for the work force and a brighter future.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has the story of this incredible restaurant in part one above. You can see part two below, focusing on one man's incredible journey.

Filed under: New Orleans
August 16th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

Sec. Vilsack on President Obama's plan to spur economic growth

President Obama embarked on a 3-day "listening tour" yesterday aimed at talking about job growth and the effects of national economic policy with the American public. He is hitting the Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois and putting a focus on the rural community.

Along with members of the White House Rural Council, Obama will spend much of his day today at a rural economic forum in Peosta, Iowa. The forum will bring together farmers, small business owners, rural organizations and others to "discuss ideas and initiatives to promote economic growth, accelerate hiring, and spur innovation in rural communities and small towns across the nation," the White House said.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa, joins Christine Romans on American Morning today to weigh in on what innovative solutions the White House has for restoring jobs in the Midwest and to respond to critics who are claiming that the tour is nothing more than a tax-funded campaign event.

Filed under: 2012 • Agriculture • Iowa
August 16th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Atlantis crew discusses what it was like to fly NASA's final shuttle mission

After more than 30 years, NASA's shuttle era came to a close when Atlantis landed at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21st, concluding the final 13 day mission aimed at stocking up the International Space Station.

This week, the crew from the last shuttle mission are in New York to host a free science & space exhibition open to the public taking place on Aug 17th from 10am to 7pm at the Eventi Hotel's plaza.

Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim join Ali Velshi on American Morning today to discuss their mission and to weigh in on what life is like now that they're back on planet Earth.

Filed under: Shuttle • Space
August 16th, 2011
10:06 AM ET

Bishops filing suit claiming Alabama's immigration law violates freedom of religion

Christian leaders in Alabama are fighting back against a tough new immigration law set to take effect in a few weeks.

The new law makes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for any work. School districts will have to report on their students' immigration status. It will also be a crime to give rides to illegal immigrants or harbor them.

It's the last part that has four bishops from three Christian denominations in court. They have filed suit to block the law, saying it prevents them from freely practicing their religion.

This morning on American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello speaks with Bishop Henry Parsley, who helped file the suit. Carol also talks with Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immmigration Studies, on why he supports the bill.

Filed under: Free speech • Immigration • Religion
August 16th, 2011
09:55 AM ET

Warren Buffett isn't the only millionare calling for tax increases

Warren Buffett, who called for Congress to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in an op-ed published in the New York Times yesterday, isn't the only mega-rich person asking to be taxed to help improve the economy.

In July, the organization Patriotic Millionaires wrote a letter to Congress urging them to raise taxes on Americans with incomes of over $1 million a year. Garrett Gruener, co-founder and director of Alta Partners, also wrote an op-ed, published in the Los Angeles Times, calling for lawmakers to let the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans.

Gruener joins Christine Romans on American Morning today to explain why he thinks top earners should pay more and to respond to critics who claim that raising taxes will deter businesses from hiring.

Filed under: Budget • Taxes
August 16th, 2011
05:45 AM ET

Talk Back: Is Warren Buffett's tax compromise good - or is it just politics?

Warren Buffett's op-ed "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich," published yesterday in the New York Times, calls on Congress to stop protecting the mega-rich and to immediately raise taxes on the very wealthiest Americans  in the interest of the U.S. economy.

Buffett argues that the U.S. needs to cut the budget deficit by "far more" than the $1.5 trillion proposed in the debt-ceiling bill,  asserting that while the government needs to cut spending, it also needs to increase tax revenue, a measure most Republicans staunchly oppose.

The op-ed has generated a lot of buzz online. Many Twitter users are praising Buffett, hailing him as a hero, while conservative blogs and politicians are arguing that he is just a shill for President Obama.

Talk Back: Is Warren Buffett's tax compromise good - or is it just politics?

Let us know what you think. Your answer may be read on today's broadcast.

Filed under: AM Asks