AC360º Panel Debates The New ‘Reactionary Republic Of Arizona’

In light of the recent passing of Arizona’s illegal immigration bill giving police permission to request identification when reasonable doubt that a person is legal exists, Anderson Cooper brought on Arizona State Representative John Cavanaugh to convince CNN contributor Miguel Perez that his bill will not result in the latter’s arrest.

Perez, a longtime Latin American political commentator who honed his skills alongside CNN host Rick Sanchez at New York’s hispanophone Radio WADO station, attacked the law viciously, claiming that he would certainly be a victim of it just for standing on a street corner in shabby clothes and having an accent, and renaming the state the “Reactionary Republic of Arizona.” Rep. Cavanaugh, who helped draft the bill, responded that Perez was “completely wrong” because suspicious behavior is just as– if not more important– than appearance in determining who gets asked for identification. Perez’ retort was that that law-abiding illegal immigrants will now be afraid to report crimes, fires, or otherwise interact with the government.

Watch the debate below:


President Screens David Axelrod’s Call On The Tonight Show

Senior Adviser to President Obama David Axelrod was in California last night chatting about his youth and life with the President on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. Axelrod was not his usual political self, but instead was cheerfully self-deprecating about his teenage style, his basketball skills, and how close he really is to the President.

The interview, conducted in two parts, takes us to Axelrod’s childhood as the son of immigrants, his first political experience, and that awful ’70s hair. He also confesses that, while he does play basketball with the President, he’s not all that good, and does take advice from his boss on fitness.

 

Part 1 mostly centers on Axelrod’s personal life: his early life, how he met the President, and Barack Obama’s diet tips. The highlight in part 2 is Axelrod’s improptu phone call to the president, though learning about his knack for destroying Blackberries is pretty great, too. Both clips are below:


Senate Releases Damaging Goldman Sachs Emails From 2007 Mortgage Crisis

The Senate investigation into Goldman Sachs’ economic successes during the 2007 subprime mortgage crises has now resulted in the release of emails late in that year that prove Sachs was deliberately betting against the housing market to make money while the rest of the market fell.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein is quoted in a November 2007 email related to a New York Times story as stating “we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts. Also, it’s not over, so who knows how it will turn out ultimately.” Other executives make several references to shorts, which at one point made them $50 million in one day while the rest of the market was crashing, as well as what CFO David Viniar called “the big short,” which the NYT reports made the company $373 million. There are also some miscellaneous unflattering quotes, like openly stating “looks like we will make some serious money,” “looks like we are in a good position,” and a “good news/bad news” email that makes it clear that they were aware that betting against clients was both hurting the clients and helping the business.

Below is a PDF of all the emails currently released. The Senate investigations subcommittee has promised the release of several more on Monday; we’ll have them for you as they come in.

Goldman Sachs Emails


Bill Maher Puts On His ‘Tea Bagger Hat’ To Solve The Debt Crisis

For a brief moment last night, Bill Maher was a tea partier. Armed with a creatively-designed “teabagger hat” and a powerful desire to cut spending, Maher agreed with the economically conservative group that the current national debt is unsustainable. He just wants to reduce it by cutting down “our empire.”

Maher’s monologue begins with a simple premise: if we can’t cut spending on NASA, which is almost completely useless, we don’t have the moral authority to cut spending on any other frivolous program, in which he included all sorts of entitlements in addition to the “drug war” and the “war war.”

Then Maher put on his “teabagger hat,” and all of the sudden cutting spending on the space program becomes irrelevant, because “we have an empire” that we have to reduce and protecting the nation from outward attack is not the most important function of a state but a “giant welfare program—a jobs program for defense workers to build crap we don’t need.”

Watch the clip below:


The Most Important News Story Of The Day: Buddy The Dog

Here is the story that every cable news outlet wants you to know is the biggest story of the day and absolutely necessary for you to follow in detail: an Alaskan German Shepard named Buddy ran down a highway, notified state troopers of a large fire, and led them back in time to save his family. Everyone loves dogs, and everyone loves happy endings—here’s a story that delivers both!

Between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, there have been somewhere between ten and 35 reports done on Buddy the Dog since 9 AM. That comes out to at least 2 reports on Buddy the Dog an hour per channel, which sounds about right. So here you are, cable news, you win: a post on Buddy the Dog, the most important person (sort of) in America today. If he keeps it up, Buddy is going to earn his place as the second Alaskan on the Power Grid.

Below is Fox News’ coverage of Buddy receiving a special award from troopers, an engraved silver-plated dog bowl:


Sarah Palin Discusses ‘Seekin’ Some Justice’ Against Email Hacker

Sarah Palin was out and about in the conventional 48 states this week, “seekin’ some justice” from a 22-year-old accused of hacking into her personal email account and distributing personal information. In describing the affair with Greta van Susteren for the first time, Palin’s genuine concern and vulnerability came through in a way that her attempts to talk about politics rarely allow.

Palin’s experience on the witness stand this week was her first, and she admitted that, while she did feel nervous in the morning before arriving in court, she was treated well and “it wasn’t an unpleasant experience.” She also did a good job of selling just how obtrusive having her private emails read really was, mostly because she was genuine about it:

“This was the equivalent of somebody going into your home and rummaging through your letters or your mail in your mailbox, opening everything up, stealing it, and then go exposing it to the rest of the world– absolutely a violation”

She also made a fairly astute point on the defendent’s lawyers, who are going through with a “not guilty” plea despite their client already confessing to the crime.

Most of the interview is a reminder that when Sarah Palin is talking about things she knows about, she suddenly becomes charming and pleasant. It’s a Palin we rarely get to see, because, as van Susteren does at the end of this interview, people keep mistaking her for a politician. Video below:


Former MLB Manager Subdues Passenger Threatening To Blow Up Plane

Former Boston Red Sox manager and current Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster Kevin Kennedy helped subdue a crazed passenger on an early morning Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Florida on Friday.

Kennedy was one of a group of passengers who had to tackle and restrain Stanley Dwayne Sheffield, 46, after Sheffield threatened to blow up the plane and attempted to open up the cabin’s main door, mid-flight.

Things began to get weird about 90 minutes into the flight when attendants asked Sheffield, who was seated in first class, if he needed anything. He didn’t respond. He then went into a bathroom, came out, and this happened:

Sheffield then went to a lavatory and, while returning, grabbed a 2-liter water bottle from a drink cart and sprayed other passengers.

“Get behind me, Satan,” Sheffield told the flight attendant.

When flight attendants asked Sheffield to return to his seat, he refused, then tried to open the aircraft’s main door while making threats about blowing up the airplane.

That’s when the former manager and seven other passengers sprang into action:


And, in case you’re wondering, Kennedy posted a .531 winning percentage in four seasons managing the Red Sox and Rangers. Although those aren’t the greatest numbers, he boasts a 1.000 winning percentage in subduing crazed airline passengers.