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September 12th, 2009
04:39 AM ET

Ahead in the CNN Newsroom...

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is calling for an additional increase in troop levels in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama is headed to Minneapolis today to push his plan for overhauling the nation's health care system.

The Tea Party Express stops in Washington, to protest big government spending and what it calls "Obama care."

TJ Holmes sits down with Jeanne Ashe, widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe.

Betty Nguyen revisits Galveston, Texas, a year after Hurricane Ike devastated the island city.

And Reynolds Wolf gets a workout with the Texas Longhorns' head athletic trainer.

Join us in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 6am ET/ 3am PT.

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Filed under: Reynolds Wolf
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Mary

    I was wondering about the last eight years when Bush was in office
    was there a tea party protesting big goverment spending?

    sending more men to afghanistan I pray for these brave men to come home soon not to be sent out.

    September 12, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  2. ALEX BEATTY

    Divorce is a necessary evil for a domesticated society. To ban ending a marriage is to require women/ men in a variety of mental and physical abuses to remain subjected to these things. We cannot legislate religous beliefs into our structure of society, Countries like Iran, Israel,Afganistan and many other countries have integrated religous laws on their citizens and look at the total disruption of life,Goverment and happiness in general. Seperation is only logical.

    September 12, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  3. Rebecca Sapp

    On the air you guys referred to the Tea Party participants as
    those protesting health care. I don't think that's an accurate
    description. They are protesting government take-over of
    our health care and our lives. I haven't been to a tea party
    but I agree with them on this issue.

    September 12, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  4. Mary-Christy

    T.J. and Betty,
    I am appalled that two, apparently healthy and young, NEWS??? people would make fun of, give out incorrect information, and po-po the flu shot . HA HA , very funny – 36,000 people died last year of the flu. Why don't you make fun of Katrina or a plane crash? I will no longer be watching CNN and will encourage all of my family and friends to do the same. Opinions and jokes from uninfomed NEWS???people throughout the day are totally inappropriate. You are no longer the news channel – you are SNL (not nearly as funny) and FOX (getting close to pure ignorance).
    Mary C. Mahon, RN,MS

    September 12, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  5. Valorie, Russellville, TN

    I would like to see the CNN reporters at the protest ask all those people who get Medicare and Social Security if they are willing to give up those socialised government programs.

    September 12, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  6. Anitra

    During your 9/12 report this morning, it was mentioned that many of the residents of Galveston did not have Flood Insurance. Is it required or optional? I am required to have flood insurance on my home in South Florida. Galveston is as much, if not more, of a risk of hurricanes as Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Why didn't all the residents of Galveston, TX have Flood Insurance, if not self enrolled but forced enrolled by the mortgage companies? Is America having the burden of much of Galveston's cost due to uninsured.

    As a separate issue I would like a comparison report on the cost of insurance verses damage throughout the nation. I don't think anyone is forced to pay as much insurance as South Florida. Over the last 50 years there have only been a few damaging hurricanes as opposed to fires in California every year, floods in Kentucky seemingly at least every other year, and damaging tornadoes or earthquakes in many other regions.

    September 12, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  7. Jerry in Texas

    I have an idea. My parents survived the Great Depression, won WWII, and built the richest nation on earth. My Republican friends have now convinced me that all this social security and medicare they receive is not only undeserved but is just making them soft an lazy. Since we are running out of poor kids to send to war, lets round up all the old people and send them to Afghanistan. I mean, they are old anyway so you know. ...Its a win, win, win: they get jobs, we get soldiers, and we get them off the gravy train.

    September 12, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  8. John, Lake Charles, La.

    I wonder how many of the tea party protesters voted for Obama. Or are they an ex-majority now a minority making a major noise. Also, If I could afford a ticket on that tea party express, I probably could afford health care.

    September 12, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  9. Gina

    Please ask the tea party spokespeople what solutions they propose for the problems we are now facing. If they are against government spending then what do they propose we do?

    September 12, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  10. E. Gregor

    Would you be donating so much air time to the Tea Party Train if they were not an advertiser? I find this so called reporting outrageous.

    September 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  11. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This war is changing into a fiasco thats stuck in a stale mate if our government really wants to end this war then we need to grossly over power the enemy with artillary and troops.

    September 12, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  12. William

    Hello Naysayers and Tea Partiers

    I am the responsible small business owner who actually pays for your health insurance. Small business owners are tired of being fleeced by the health insurance industry that bases premiums on the health of our individual workforces. Each small business employee is required to complete an invasive health questionnaire before a commercial insurance company will give the small business a rate quote. They raise rates with impunity if the health status of an employee changes because they know no other insurance company will give a reasonable quote. Large employers are given favorable community rated group premiums that small businesses are denied. Large groups have stable inexpensive rates based on employee count only. All group plans should be charged premiums based on employee count to provide a fair and predictable premium cost even for small businesses. No special deals for big business groups any more!

    I am tired of competing against irresponsible businesses that do not insure their employees and I am tired of paying extra so their employees can use the Emergency Room on my dime. Since small business employs many of the uninsured making it possible for them to purchase insurance at fair rates by requiring community rating would do much to solve the problem of the uninsured. There should be no exemptions for small business because insuring yourself and your workers is the right thing to do. Caring for your employees’ well being demonstrates that you have real Christian values. Unfortunately, many Christian business owners do not have these values and will have to be coerced into responsibility.

    You should be protesting to force the health insurance industry to give small business fair rates so that we can afford to insure you even if you do become ill. Community rating, not health based rating, for premiums is the key to access for all because it ensures affordability regardless of your circumstances. This simple change along with banning pre existing condition restrictions are the real keys to reform and access for all. You do not need a public option if insurance companies are forced to take all comers at the same rate for a given policy. They will be forced to compete based on volume to be able to create a large enough pool of customers to spread the costs.

    And Yes! You do not get to keep your doctor, if we use your plan, when I can not afford the premiums any more because you refuse to allow any reform. If you want to keep your doctor; Don’t Stop Reform. Fight for It!

    September 12, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  13. Paula

    Why isn't more being made of how the interest rate on loans China holds on US government borrowing and how it will effect US citizens taxes when interest is due?? I for one, would like to know more.

    September 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  14. ron williams

    I can understand what the tea party people are protesting against.
    I can understand the Nazi, Socialists, Communists statements about
    the President. I can even understand the posters protesting the
    President with Hitler mustaches, Joker makeup, etc...but I can not
    understand how or why the CNN newsroom staff, both non white
    Americans, could sit on their hands and say nothing when a picture
    of the President dressed up as an African aborigine, an obvious racial slur, was shown on the news. I have not witnessed anything this sick in politics since the monkeys on a stick during the
    campaign. To think, from Pa. again and just think about the CNN staff who said nothing. I find this disgusting and more disgusting that you would show this and say nothing!
    ,

    September 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  15. Nancy from New Jersey

    Why isn't the Tea Party being covered by CNN?
    Democacy at Work.

    CNN covered one woman who camped outside Bush's ranch and ignore thousands protesting in D.C.

    Are the liberals afraid of another point of view??

    September 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  16. dennis

    I normally watch Fox because they present both sides of an issue better than others. But i do also flip to CNN and MSNBC just to see what they are saying. I am impressed with the reporting from CNN over the last few weeks. Much more fair and balanced. Thats the CNN i used to watch. Kepp it going. I will be watching!!

    September 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  17. Martha Bloch

    There is a huge grass roots movement of American Citizens mobilized to take back their government. On the Mall now. And WHERE is CNN coverage??? Hmmm
    No wonder I have to force myself to tune to you anymore, just to see what you are doing. Too bad, you started out, years ago as a fore leader. Now you follow the rest of the pandering 'owned' media. No news there.

    September 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  18. cardog

    This Tea party Protest going on in Washington today is only another example of a cover for those individuals that color their distain for our President for reasons other then Gov't spending or Health Care. Watching the Bill Mahr show last night, I finally heard someone with an avenue to the general public call this insanity what it really is: Racism.
    When the President of the United States cannot speak to the children of this nation about staying in school causing panic in the homes of these nut cases, what else can you call it. When elected leaders, along with The Rush Limpbutts and Glen Butheads can continue to give validity to another nut case,Sarah Palin's claim that President Obama wants to create "Death Panels" if a Nat'l Health Care program is created, what else can you call this idiotsey? When a southern elected congressman can yell out "You Lie" to the President in the halls of Congress, what else do you call it?
    60% plus of the voting public put Barak Obama in the White House along with the same for Congress. When will the President and the Majority in Congress tell these nut cases to simply go to hell and move on to do the right thing?
    The Republicans had 8 years to do whatever it is they are proposing to be the "Right Thing", yet nothing was done. Now they want the people of the country to believe they have the answers?
    Fox News seems to me to be on board with this craziness as well. Why can't CNN be the balancing act for this nut-case news net-work?
    Finally, I want to somehow tell our President that he should move on because these people are "NEVER" going to like you or "AGREE" with you and your efforts to be bi-partisan with them are futile. As a now Registered Republican who now see these people for what they really are, the President has my full support and will have my support for his 2nd. term

    September 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  19. Randy N

    Yep I live in a country that will pick money over everything else. I see it in your news cast all the time. Our goverment public officals are mostly crooks and theives, you can not trust what comes down from the hill cause it reek of injustice and control. You at CNN though stick up for them, and their ways, you give reporting on the crimes in our goverment but yet you do not help the people of this country to get rid of them Why? I watch CNN and have enjoyed this service but it is time to help and everyone needs to be involed So Vote Tea Vote Randy.

    September 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  20. kent carmona

    Your report on joe wilson is terrible,
    your network dont do any background on this man,
    his affillation with the sons of confederacy soldiers
    and yes that might be a honorable organization,
    there is two fringe groups in this organization
    one who believe in there roots and that okay,
    and the other that just plain racist and joe wilson belongs to that group.
    now your idea is to stay neutral,
    that not good anymore that is how the war was able to proceed.
    I don't care weather it a democrat or republican present the facts.
    When you leed into a story sayin here a little fact about the man joe wilson-tell the whole story not just some but all.
    thank you

    September 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  21. cardog

    To Jerry in Texas and Rebecca: With opinions voiced by the likes of you it's no wonder we have the divide we do. People like you have supported this fear being placed in the minds of our senior citizens either about losing their Medicare as it is today or being brought before a death panel to determine if they receive further health care.

    September 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  22. Wendy Middleton

    Watching the Tea Party protests shows just how upset some of my fellow Caucasian-Americans are about becoming a minority. The status quo of C-A's being in charge is now over. The shoe is on the other foot and they are discovering that it pinches a lot more than they thought! To stretch the metaphor even further – They are now being forced to walk a mile in shoes that they made others wear!!

    I did not see a single Asian-, -Hispanic, or African-American in attendance at these protests. I have, however, seen many highly offensive racist posters against President Obama. If they are worried about money why the racist attacks? Where were these people when Bush was digging us into this deficit hole??

    September 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  23. ann wingo

    You know, I looked at NEWSROOM today to see what was being said about the Tea Parties (really liked that Phil guy) and you all speak in terms of "who they are". We are AMERICAN PATRIOTS. Shouldn't you be?? I am not part of a fringe. I am an American and don't you forget it. We have been awakened to the corruption and you should listen to us. We are organized as AMERICANS, yet you speak of us as "they". That is so very telling of your position and you are COWARDS. You really are biased and not worth watching. LONG LIVE AMERICA, and don't tread on us, we're fed up.
    BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION AND SPEAK/SHOW THE TRUTH.

    September 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  24. Jeri Casciano

    I have been watching your news station for hours to hear something about the largest news story in America today, the rally in DC. The only information I have seen is a small caption on the bottom of my TV. instead you have been covering less news worthy stories.
    I have watched CNN through the years and have respected their reporters, I can not believe as reporters you people can sit back and not cover THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWS HAPPENING IN THE US TODAY. The voices of America????
    How can you justify calling your news station " A leader in world news"????

    September 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  25. sue sloane

    On CNN Live, right now you are discussing "Cyber Threats" and once again ANOTHER Czar...

    You should be concerned about the "vetting" process right now. With this Administrations track record of lousy choices and "over the top" spending, I suggest Obama just drops this dead fish.

    And I suggest as true reporters of news, you drop the flippant attitude about "what the American people fuss over". We, I will remind you, do pay their salaries. Maybe Obama should foot the bill out of his own paycheck, as that's what we would have to do in private business: i.e. a CONSULTANT.

    September 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  26. vic nashville tn

    The person who is in the rally getting all the benefit from the Government talking about personal responsibility

    What a joke !!!!!!!!!

    Now They can come forward say this rally all about Obama

    They hate Obama

    We understand their frustration

    But we will raise our voice on election day

    September 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  27. Edward

    People need to understand that WE THE PEOPLE not the government.We need to stand up an take back our country. The Media seems not doing there job.Like the big ACORN scandals...what is next for this group?They are spending our money! Iam really tired of both parties not doing what we sent them there to do..We need to take it back. Now the media, what is going on? What do they have to gain to back a party? Where is fare an balance,or investigation on hot topics. Is this we have to look forward .I dont want this for me ,my family an for the country .Take back our country!!(WE THE PEOPLE)

    September 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  28. James of Houston

    Will President Obama now include “tort reform” as a cost savings measure in his national health care plan?

    I hope so because, recently, a Harvard Medical School study has concluded, "Medical liability in Massachusetts has become an extraordinary burden on our health care system. It produces years of litigation, financial inefficiencies, a culture of secrecy and a “blame game” mentality, plus unaffordable premiums for physicians. It is dysfunctional for physicians and patients".

    Harvard School of Public Health Professor Michelle Mello has described it aptly: “For compensation, deterrence, corrective justice, efficiency and collateral effects, the system gets low or failing grades.”

    The latest indication of the system’s failings comes from a survey of Massachusetts physicians about the practice of defensive medicine: tests, imaging, referrals, consultations and hospitalizations ordered by physicians out of the fear of being sued.

    The survey is the first of its kind to quantify defensive practices across a wide spectrum and among a number of specialties, as well as the first to link such data directly with Medicare cost data. The study, conducted by the Massachusetts Medical Society, found that 83 percent of physicians reported practicing defensive medicine and that an average of 18-28 percent of tests, procedures, referrals and consultations and 13 percent of hospitalizations were ordered for defensive reasons. The costs of these practices, in part, were conservatively estimated at $1.4 billion."

    But that number falls short of the real costs: the survey queried physicians in just eight specialties, accounting for only 46 percent of the physicians in the state. The estimate doesn’t include tests and procedures ordered by physicians in other specialties and it doesn’t account for observation admissions to hospitals, specialty referrals and consultations or unnecessary prescriptions.

    And this is also a very important consideration ....

    Reduced access to care, through the avoidance of high-risk procedures and high-risk patients, is another concern. The survey found that 38 percent of physicians reduced the number of high-risk services they perform and that 28 percent reduced the number of high-risk patients they serve. These findings are similar to previous studies. Over a five-year period, MMS workforce studies have found an average of 44-48 percent of physicians saying they alter or limit services due to the fear of litigation.”

    Conclusion: We need to control “medical liability” costs and reduce the expensive practice of "defensive medicine" before we go with and implement a new, “one-size-fits-all” Government Health Care plan!

    September 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  29. Ray Nichols

    Your report on the Tea Party Express in Washington DC was described as a conservative rally. That was a very misleading statement. It was NOT a conservative rally. It was a group of US citizens that are not pleased with the direction our government is going and our politicians.

    The people who formed at this gathering were from all walks of live and covered all political parties. The American people are not happy with what is going on.

    Please do not make a statement on your newscast that it's a group of conservatives. The news is supposed to report the news and the facts.

    Ray Nichols
    American Citizen

    September 12, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  30. April Blackman

    Blinded by hatred is what this is all about. These sad, lost Goobers, fooled by Freedom Works, fueled by racism, will vote against their interest every time. Sad, sad, droolers. They really don't deserve the air time they are given. They are a pathetic minority, created and promoted by FOX. Showing up today, somehow trying to tie our President to 9/11. Where is the connection?

    September 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  31. Freddi

    My husband and I are African Americans and just watched Don Lemon's interview with an author and the FL GOP President. We were astounded at this interview. Is anyone at CNN actually interested in the truth? Or, is it all about personal and political agenda. Watching your coverage of the 9/12 March on Washington would lead one to believe that those tens of thousands of people are on the fringe and racists. First of all, there are actually black people and other minorities who vehemently disagree with President Obama and his intended direction for the country. Am I a racist? Earlier, I watched the coverage on FOX and saw person after person talk about the SIZE of government and the extent of its SPENDING. That's what this is about... cleaning up Washington after decades of allowing it to become a cesspool of corruption. My 8 year old watched the coverage with me this afternoon. I asked him "what were the people in D.C. protesting?" He said, "the government spending too much money." Even he got it. Why is all of it coming to head right now you ask?? Contrary to what you are trying to convince people, it is not about Obama's race. He and the Congress have just managed to take the spending and rapid transformation of our country to a level never attempted by a modern president and Congress. That's what this is about. There actually were conservative talk show hosts and radio hosts speaking out against out of control spending among other issues when Bush and the Republicans were in office. The 2006 change in Congress could not have taken place unless a number of Republicans and Independents determined there needed to be a change. So, it is quite disingenuous to state that no one was complaining when Bush was spending. Besides, is that really the best defense for what is going on right now? Do we really want to defend the bankrupting of our country by saying that "Bush did it too"... is that the best we can do? This is nonsense and must stop. Mr. Lemon's interview was so biased I could barely stand to watch it. Continuous interruptions and frankly not a very good spokesperson for the conservative viewpoint. I don't know what CNN's agenda is trying to make this a race issue, but my husband and I are extremely insulted by it. Watching Mr. Lemon's interview reminded me why my TV stays on FOX to get a balanced picture of what is going on.

    September 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  32. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This is the perfect plan to end this war assemble 300'000 troops in a line heavely armourd and make a strait line march from Afganistan all the way into Pakistan and if this dont work then nukem .

    September 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  33. C. D.

    Tea Party- Can someone tell me why when a White person is asked if racism plays a factor in a situation and they say, "No." is that a conversation- ender?? Trust me Black people know a LYNCH MOB when we see one. It is the elephant in the room when in one breath you acknowledge that racism exists but when it's pointed out to you deny that it's right in front of you.

    September 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  34. Misty

    I find it upsetting that the election of a good man whom is trying to help everyone by making life a little easier for everyone is having such a hard time doing it. People were against Kennedy's ideas as well but if he had'nt we would'nt have a variety of different programs today. Medicare/Medicaid is a government run healthcare and that seems to be doing well. I seriously doubt that a man who lost his mother to cancer and witnessed first hand how the healthcare system we currently have denied his mother life saving meds and procedures, would inflict that type of pain and heartache on americans. Wise up people, our president is just as human as you and I regardless of what the hatemongers may say. There's no hidden agenda on the part of the president, but our republican and even some democratic officials just what are they hiding?

    September 13, 2009 at 1:27 am |