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May 7th, 2009
03:43 PM ET

Carville Declares A 40 Year Victory

CNN political pundit James Carville ~guarantees~ Democrats will be America's dominant party for the next 40 years. Carville's so sure of that, it's the premise of his new book, "40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation."

Why? According to Carville, the Democratic party appeals to young voters. But are young voters the most likely to go to the polls? Weekend AM has done its homework and invited Carville to talk with T.J. Holmes Saturday morning. We've got plenty of questions. Let's see if Carville has answers. Our guarantee, count on a colorful conversation.

Here's just one excerpt from Carville's book:
"Republicans' spin is old, and their politics have failed. The shaky logic of the policies that got us into the current situation-an unprecedented financial crisis, record foreclosures, rising income inequality, growing debt, billions more dollars flowing into Iraq, and thousands of Americans dead-is wearing thin.

"The Republican Party is so divorced from reality it may take years for them to recover. They are profoundly deluded."

Watch the interview live, Saturday at 10 am EDT


Filed under: CNN Newsroom
May 7th, 2009
02:05 PM ET

CNN Producer's Husband Deploys

[Ed. Note: CNN is not immune to the effects of military deployment. Bonnie Gass Turner, an associate producer on the Don Lemon show team, recently said good-bye to her husband, Specialist Clark Turner, as he deployed to Afghanistan. This is his second deployment. He served in Iraq for 18 months in 2005-06. This is Bonnie's latest blog entry.]

From CNN Associate Producer Bonnie Gass Turner:

“How Long Until He Comes Home?”

Clark's unit trained for six weeks at Camp Shelby in Mississippi and many of the families drove down to spend a week with their soldier at the end of their training. Although it wasn't exactly a vacation, Clark and I had a good time. We had tickle fights. We bickered about whether the oysters we had on our last summer vacation were baked or steamed. He insisted on having complete control of the radio in the car. I guess you could say we were like peas and carrots again.

My army wife friend Kelly and I left before daylight for the six-hour drive to Hattiesburg so we would arrive in time for the guys to be dismissed for their four-day pass. As it turned out, they were dismissed early. The drive was long (I didn't think we'd ever get out of Alabama). We finally arrived in Hattiesburg and as we drove down Highway 49 in search of Camp Shelby, I was startled by someone honking at me as I was stopped at a red light. I looked over and it was Clark driving a military van. He waved and smiled. After not seeing my husband for six weeks, it was pretty funny seeing him stopped next to me in a van, honking at me. I couldn't stop laughing.

The next day we headed to Biloxi. I got to know a few of the other wives and the guys enjoyed every bite of steak and every beer (or every shot as the case may be).

After living it up at the casinos for four days, we headed back to Hattiesburg where we spent the next four days relaxing and eating out. (The fact that the Army had the guys training in the most boring town in the U.S. didn't help much for finding things to do). We all dreaded Sunday when we would have to say our goodbyes. Sunday came fast. It was raining. We were all sad-faced. We checked out of our hotel and the guys reported for formation. Many of the guys, including Clark, were given an award for outstanding achievement in their deployment training. They were then told that because everyone was well-behaved on the four-day pass, they would be allowed to spend one more night at the hotels with their wives. Just as we all had a pit in our stomachs dreading the final goodbye, hearing the news threw us all for a loop. (Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!). We were happy and frustrated at the same time. The wives all scrambled to find another hotel room. Some wives had to return to work the next day and couldn't stay another night. I was one of the lucky ones.

The one thing I've learned from the Army so far is that things aren't very organized and don't think or plan too far in advance because something always changes at the last minute. But as Clark would say, that’s just the way it is.

Monday came and we said our goodbyes. There were lots of hugs and kisses and not a dry eye in the house. I continued to ask Clark for one more hug and one more kiss until he finally said, "Will you let me go already? I have to get to the barracks." Clark isn't one for drawn-out good-byes.

The reality that Clark is officially deployed has really set in now. They arrived in Afghanistan more than two weeks ago. The army has given them some time to adjust to the country and get settled before they leave for their final destination. Communication has been difficult. I was spoiled and got used to being able to call his cell phone and talk to him just about every day during the months he was training. I'm trying not to get too depressed when I don't hear from him, but knowing he isn't in the thick of it yet is a little worrisome. I also didn't expect our conversations to be so difficult. At first I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of all the things I wanted to ask or tell him so I wouldn't forget when I talked to him. "So-and-so's wife said that you might not get a 15-day pass to come home" or "I had a roofer come to the house to give me an estimate on getting the roof fixed" or "I sent your mother a birthday gift." I rattled off each item on my list as the phone card minutes ticked away. But then I felt like I was worrying him too much with things going on at home. Then I thought about asking what he needed or wanted me to send him. After telling me to send baby wipes and his Playstation, he told me to quit worrying about the deployment and to go do something enjoyable. (Not think about the deployment...how do I do that? That's just about impossible). We will soon coordinate setting up Skype and where to get the best phone cards, but we're taking it one day at a time for now.

After talking to other army wives, I think we have all had a meltdown at some point since they've been gone. Some have had multiple meltdowns. It makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one. It's hard going on Facebook and seeing happy postings from other wives who have talked to their husbands when I haven't heard from mine. Or I'll be having a good day and have a wife call me for support because she missed the call from her husband and her day isn't going well. I wish we could all have a meltdown on the same day. I'm so thankful to have my other army wife friends. I don't think I could get through this without them. I keep asking myself, "How long is it until he comes home?"


Filed under: Don Lemon
May 7th, 2009
11:32 AM ET

Huzzah! (DOH!)

Sure, today's "Odd Day"... but more importantly, it's Simpsons Stamp Release Day.

USPS.com
USPS.com

As a longtime Simpsons dork, I have mixed emotions. I'm thrilled the clan will grace my outgoing birthday cards. But no sneering Mr. Burns stamp to affix to bills?! Shoot – one of his best lines ever was to a postal clerk!

It hurts, USPS. It hurts.

(Any other Springfieldians you'd hoped to see? Feel free to leave comments - and fave show quotes! - below.)


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
May 7th, 2009
10:58 AM ET
May 7th, 2009
09:44 AM ET

Federal Budget

President Obama unveils the federal budget. The administration is trimming $17 billion out of the $3.4 trillion budget Congress has approved for next year. What do you think of the proposed cuts? What would you cut? Send us your thoughts!


Filed under: Anchors • Tony Harris
May 7th, 2009
08:22 AM ET

IMPACT YOUR WORLD

Orphans perform at the opening ceremony for their new home in Mutungo, Uganda.

Orphans perform at the opening ceremony for their new home in Mutungo, Uganda.
Brittany Merrill was 19 when she first visited Uganda and dedicated herself to the creation of the orphan home.

Brittany Merrill was 19 when she first visited Uganda and dedicated herself to the creation of the orphan home.

Every week here in the Newsroom with Tony Harris, we’ll take a closer look at the people and organizations working to make a positive change in the world and how YOU can make a difference. We are doing this in partnership with CNN’s Impact Your World.

American Brittany Merrill was visiting one of Uganda’s shantytowns of mud huts and wooden shacks, when she found her purpose in life. She was inspired by the faith and determination of one woman who cared for 24 street children that ran about with bare feet, torn clothes and unstoppable spirit. After building wells in villages and an orphanage that can accommodate 180 street children, Brittany and her partners can not be stopped either, with five more projects underway. They are making a difference, one heart and village at a time.

Here are a few of the organizations making a difference for the children in Uganda:

Ugandan American Partnership Organization

Children of Uganda

To find out more ways to help children around the world and how you can make a difference, visit CNN’s IMPACT YOUR WORLD


Filed under: Tony Harris
May 7th, 2009
07:38 AM ET

What's so odd about today??

It's Odd Day.
Check your calendars to find out what I'm talking about.
It's one of only six days this century that the date lines up with three consecutive odd numbers.
Today is May 7th, 2009, or 5-7-9.
Get it?
This is just ONE of the days mathematicians have been excited about this year.
We had the rare Square Root Day.
That was 3-3-09.
There was also Pi day, 3-14.
But enough about those, we're talking about Odd Day today.
Like I said, there are only 6 of these every century, with the next one coming in 2 years, 2 months and 2 days.
I'll leave it to you to figure out the others.

From writer Doug Furnad


Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
May 7th, 2009
07:34 AM ET

And now ... back to drugs

Finally, back to drugs again.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking a closer look at marijuana.
He says he's open to a debate on legalizing it for recreational use - and, of course, taxing it.
The tax revenue could only help the struggling state, and a new poll says people are in favor.
But is it a step he really wants to take?
Do you think it should be legalized and taxed in California, or in your state?
Let us know.

From writer Doug Furnad


Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
May 7th, 2009
07:33 AM ET

More Sex

Miss California strikes again.
Another one of those topless pictures surfaced.
Carrie Prejean says she was just 17 when she posed for the topless shots.
Now, you can't actually see anything except her bare back, and pink panties.
But the controversy could cost her the runner-up spot in the Miss USA pageant.
This seems like a lot of hubbub over someone who didn't even win.
And as it was pointed out in our morning meeting, it's not like she went full frontal, like Vanessa Williams.
So should we really care?
I ask you.

From writer Doug Furnad


Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
May 7th, 2009
07:31 AM ET

Virginia isn't for Viagra

Democratic Congressman Jim Moran wants to get Viagra ads off the air, when kids might be watching.
He's proposed a bill to keep erectile dysfunction commercials from airing between 6am and 10pm.
Pfizer, the company that makes Viagra, says they run the ads when they think people who might need it, are watching.
That, it seems, is during every sporting event I watch.

From writer Doug Furnad


Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
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