Monday, December 10, 2007
360 Family
They called it the Oprah-bama
--From Candy Crowley


Barack Obama campaigned this weekend with THE woman of daytime TV, selling out tickets in South Carolina, and lighting up gray wintry New Hampshire and Iowa. Oprah Winfrey speaks daily to almost 9 million viewers, turns books into best sellers, experts into household names. Can she boost Barack?

Women are the crux of the '08 election. Oprah's audience is 75% female. Nearly half make less than 40-thousand dollars. More than half are women over 50. A quarter have no more than a high school education.

This also happens to be a profile of the female Clinton voter. And the Oprah-bama was a pitch for that demographic.

By the way, does anyone think it's a coincidence that as Barack hauled Oprah across the country, Hillary brought her mother AND daughter to Iowa?

Message: Hillary Clinton, member of the sandwich generation.




Michael Vick: Bad move
--From Jeffrey Toobin


Michael Vick did everything wrong. For starters, of course, he became involved with dog-fighting, a hideous and illegal "sport." But he compounded his error by waiting to cut his deal with the government.

Prosecutors (and judges) always reward the first defendants to plead guilty, and Vick waited until everyone else in his case had pleaded out. That guaranteed that Vick would lose most of the benefits of cooperating, and he compounded his problems by testing positive for marijuana while he was awaiting sentence.

Vick's guidelines called for 12 to 18 months, but a co-defendant had already been sentenced to 21 months. As the big fish in the case, Vick could hardly have expected less, so his 23 months looks pretty predictable.

And his legal troubles aren't over. Vick’s trial on state dog-fighting charge is supposed to start next year in Virginia.



Gunshots in a Place of Enlightenment: Why?
--From Sanjay Gupta

There will no doubt be a lot of discussion about mass shootings this morning with the recent events in Nebraska and Colorado. There will be press conferences and more details divulged.

A couple of psychological details may not get mentioned. One is that the number of these types of shootings has gone up steadily over the past six years, since just before Sept. 11, 2001. Do you think there is a relationship?

Also, school shootings have become a distinctly American phenomenon. Why is it that someone at the end of the line would choose a place of learning or enlightenment, as in Colorado, to cause so much misery?

Of course, we will never really know the answers and some will say it is futile and useless to even discuss, yet I am still curious what you think.


New York: Pre and Post Rudy Giuliani
--From Jami Floyd

A twenty-something asked me the other day if New York City was very different when I was growing up here in the 70's and early 80's. Was it ever. I told him about the then-burned out Bronx, the street gangs, and the serial killer who hunted young women with long, dark hair.

There was no South Street Seaport. No Chelsea Piers sports complex. And it seemed like homeless people were camped out on every corner. Now, New York has been cleaned up. And most people seem to credit Rudy Giuliani, even if some do it grudgingly.

After all, crime is down. The West Side crack houses are gone, replaced by some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The homeless on the corners have been replaced by Starbucks.

With Giuliani running for president, New Yorkers of all ages have been reflecting on this dichotomy -- the 2 New Yorks. Then and now. In fact, today's New York Times headlines with a young Giuliani as "A Crime Buster, with an Eye on the Future." Perhaps more to the point, the Metro Section carries this sidebar: "No Longer the City of 'Bonfire' in Flames."

So, when this kid asked me, with eyes that were, at once, filled with doubt and hope, "Isn't it better to be a New Yorker now?" I had to tell him the truth:

Back in the day, the city was gritty, arty, idiosyncratic and even a little scary. But I loved it.

Now the City is cleaner, safer. It's been sanitized. The mother in me is thankful that my children don't have to step over condoms and crack pipes on the way to school or negotiate with panhandlers at every turn. I am grateful for a safe Central Park and the easy access to espresso. As a Mother, this City is much better now.

But if I were the one growing up, I'd take the old New York back in a New York minute.


Gunshots in a church and a mall
--From Gary Tuchman

Shots ring out in two Colorado churches over the weekend. The same thing happens at a Nebraska mall filled with holiday shoppers a few days earlier. The stories are tragic; but also sad for all of us as a society. After all, is there really anything we can practically do to protect ourselves from people like these?
Posted By CNN: 10:53 AM ET
  4 Comments
Gary,
It really seems to me that we aren't safe anywhere that we go anymore!! I mean unless we barricade ourselves in our houses!! But really that still wouldn't keep people out if they really wanted in!!

What is this country coming to!? Are we going to have to become a police state to stay safe!? Unfortunately it looks that way!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 11:08 AM ET
Jami Floyd's post does make a good point, but wasn't it unsafe in the '60s, '70s, and '80s to even go into Central Park for fear of getting mugged. It is a little disappointing to see a Starbucks on every corner, but Guiliani managed the city so well, crime is down to a very low rate in NY. Isn't that a good thing?
Posted By aj huntington ,ny. : 12:25 PM ET
Well, I'm happy with Vick's sentencing. I just hope he doesn't get out early for good behavior. Now that he has been sentenced, it would be interesting to know what the fate of the 50+ dogs that were seized back in April will now be. Keeping my fingers crossed that some can be put up for adoption.
Posted By Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 12:55 PM ET
Gary/AC360:
I really don't think there is anyway to protect ourselves from an individual seeking 15-minutes of fame by killing others or if someone has fallen through the cracks in the mental health system.

It may sound crazy but I think schools, malls, stadiums, etc. should invest in metal detectors. Some will say this is going too far. Oh, really, I wonder if the families at the Nebraska mall or Colorado churches would say it would be going too far.

Dr. Gupta:
Shootings in schools as an American phenomenon? After 911? Is there really a correlation? Maybe. I understand that during the holiday season, individual(s) stress increases because of financial and family issues, therefore, it may cause more violence. But the recent shooting fest is just plain bizarre.

What does it say about our society (American) when the Wild West mentality of owning and shooting guns results in slayings of so many innocent people?
Posted By Sharon from Indy : 1:18 PM ET
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