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August 16th, 2009
04:44 AM ET

What We Are Working On This Morning....

A lot going on in the CNN newsroom this morning. A 7.0-magnitude quake struck off the western coast of Indonesia's Sumatra Island. There's no word of injuries or damage yet. Plus, we are also following the developing story of John Yettaw, the American who had been sentenced to seven years of hard labor in Myanmar. He has left Myanmar with Senator Jim Webb. We are awaiting remarks from Senator Webb and we will bring them to you live starting at 5:30am ET/2:30am PT.

Birmingham's mayor offered a blanket pardon Tuesday to thousands of demonstrators who were charged during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Many Blacks say they carry their misdemeanor record with them as a badge of honor. Mayor Larry Langford said he expects many will reject the mass pardon for that reason, but he felt it was important to offer. Gwendolyn Happling-Webb is rejecting the pardon. We’ll speak with her live as well as the mayor of Birmingham.

This Wednesday President Obama will participate in a call-in and audio webcast with 25 faith leaders to encourage their congregations to support health care reform. Religious organizations are joining the President in an effort to emphasize the moral argument for his reform plan. They kicked off a 40 day campaign and held prayer vigils and rallies in 45 cities. We will speak with two faith leaders about this campaign in our Faces of Faith segment with T.J. Holmes.

Plus, Reynolds Wolf is tracking two tropical storms. Watch for these stories and more this morning on CNN Newsroom with T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen starting at 6am ET/3am PT.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Robert

    I am afraid that involving the clergy has little or no effect; the doctors in the church will only pray that they can continue their "billing" practises!!
    All these actions are "evasive" actions to "fool" the people about the real issue and that is "COST"!!!!!!
    COST is generated by the industry and "protected" by the industry.
    Since the lobby is very strong Obama refuses to tackle the source of the COST which is the medical industry and only partly the insurance industry. Do not forget that this country is at least 60 years behind in having a decent healthcare system; a lot of people do not want to hear that, because they have no clue on how other countries have done so. I do not think by pumping in a trillion, unless the basic COST is reduced by means of efficiency and reduction in "greed" by a lot of doctors, will have any effect on your insurance cost, other than that your tax money ends up in the pockets of the already rich doctors and medical CEO"s.

    August 16, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  2. purple

    Bob Dylan was looking in a "home for Sale".
    Nobody recognized him so they called the police.
    He had no idea on him when the police arrived
    Is Bob Dylan and the Office going to a beer with the President over this incident or is that for special people?

    August 16, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  3. Pat

    I'm watching State of the Union this morning and saw the story on the Vietnam vet Native American who lives in poverty. This story is not isolated to the Dakotas, veterans, or to tribal members. Throughout every state there are individuals and families who are living in poverty in rural America. Even the most beautiful locations in recreation States are rife with rural poverty. What breaks my heart is seeing these "Cash for Clunker" trade-ins being destroyed when many of them are well maintained and have many thousands of miles of life in them still. Why can't these be given to people in rural areas where there is no mass transportation so they can have reliable transport to work or to get their children to school? These people are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, and reliable transportation can be a make or break issue in keeping their job and paying their rent or mortgage. It seems we are sinfully wasting valuable resources in this country for a political agenda.

    August 16, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  4. Betty Phillips

    I agree with Pat., cash for clunkers was a very stupid gimmick, there are cars turned in that had many good miles left, what a waste, but, not for the Automotive business. My heart hurts for so many people who are struggling just to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, but, are we going to see a "brand new car in the driveway? I am sure so many people could have used a fridge, or a household item much worse, what has happened to our country, we are becoming the laughing subjects for other countries. I am appalled at the stupidity from Obama and his radical so called friends, I prayed the day Obama got in there and I am praying much harder and asking for the good Lords help in putting him out of our beloved white house, Please, please someone out there tell me what kind of a trance has Obama put our country in????? I may be able to understand it just a little bit more if he (Obama) was an American citizen, we know he is a citizen of Kenya, so that alone is a disgrace that will remain with him through out history, wake up America and do not give Obama any credit for anything, he just isn't that smart to do anything that is going to help our country thru the mess he helped create. Betty

    August 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  5. Dr. E. Wilson

    Hi Betty: Thank you for the focus on SIDS and sleeping. However, the photograph Elizabeth displayed featured the infant in a crib with bumper pads around the crib. Bumper Pads are a definite NO NO for infants during sleep. They can wiggle over and get caught between the bumper pads and the crib slats. I have worked in SIDS research for over 20 years and can tell you that SIDS researchers would all object to this display of safe sleeping. Cheers, Dr. Wilson, Ontario Canada.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  6. Vann Turner

    As I understand it, the goals of health care reform are these:
    1. Make health care accessible to all Americans.
    2. Keep the insurance companies in the mix.
    3. Add nothing to the national debt in doing so.

    1. Extend Medicare to all, but on a a sliding scale of coverage.
    65 and up at 80%
    55 – 65 at 70%
    45 – 55 at 60 %
    2 – 45 at 50%
    0-2 at 100%

    2. Medicare has almost 100% approval rate among seniors. It works. Just cover the age groups at a lesser rate, so the insurance companies can sell the supplement policies.

    3. Funding for this could come from a sales tax on stocks sold. A sales tax of one-half of one percent (0.5%) would generate 500 billion a year. Need a Trillion, a sales tax of 1% would generate a trillion.

    Sounds workable and fair.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  7. Blake Green

    So many people are afraid of the government getting in between them and their doctors. Do people really prefer having insurance companies between them and their doctors? These companies make more profits by denying care to their "customers." What motive would government officials have in denying care? If I had to make a choice between the two I would be very happy to see the government option and remove the profit motive in the decision making.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  8. Blake Green


    August 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm |