July 31, 2008
Posted: 10:28 AM ET
Who’s responsible if you’re an unmotivated couch potato? You’ve GOTTA hear about this new study we reported on the show today. It says… laziness could be in your genes!
Scientists at the University of North Carolina found genetic traits that influence activity levels. But, important to note, the study has only looked at mice so far… not humans.
Some of you have been sounding off about the story:
Brett from Texas sent in this email:
“A ‘laziness gene?’ My grandfather is over 70, still exercises, and has 4 sons who have little or no exercise each day. My sister and I also exercise, but my brother doesn't. It's a personal choice. Stating people have a ‘laziness gene’ just alleviates personal responsibility.”
So… what do you think? Could laziness really be linked to your ancestors, or it is ALL YOU?
Posted: 10:24 AM ET
Robin and I are working hard to bring you another addition of our podcast, "Robin Expressed.”
This week, we go space age. CNN's Miles O'Brien takes Robin–and you–behind the scenes as he straps on a jet pack and prepares to take flight. First Robin taking flying lessons, and now Miles taking off like something out of the Jetsons. Notice a trend here with our anchors hittin’ the skies?
If you live in Los Angeles, your may have felt the earth move a few days ago. A 5.4-magnitude earthquake will do that to you. In our podcast this week, you don’t wanna miss some iReports from viewers like you who had their cameras rolling when the quake hit! You’ll see their reactions. Also, Robin talks with Richard and Rafer about their experiences in earthquakes, when they lived in California.
Speaking of Mother Nature, we’re in the thick of hurricane season… Did you ever wonder how we are able to get so up-close-and-personal… and send back all of those jaw-dropping images… when a storm hits? In this week's podcast, Robin gives you a look at how that’s possible.
And one final note: my birthday was last Sunday. Now that I am two days older than dirt, I may want to take a cue from Robin and Miles and do something totally adventurous like skydiving or bungee jumping. On second thought, I think I just may go to Haagen Dazs.
Remember, keep an eye out for the new edition of our Morning Express podcast every Friday!
Posted: 06:00 AM ET
News Correspondent Richard Lui
“He’s the biggest celebrity in the world,” says Senator John McCain’s recent ad. The ad called “Celeb” interlaces images of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Senator Barack Obama. It's trying to question if Obama’s “rock star” status compromises his ability to lead the country. “But is he ready to lead?” the ad asks. It goes on to say Obama will raise taxes and depend on foreign oil.
McCain is out with a hard-hitting new ad.
Obama’s response to McCain's ad released within 24 hours. It starts: “He’s following the politics of the past." It continues with quotes from news outlets on McCain’s attack ad: “Not true,” “False,” “Baloney” the screen reads. Titled “Low Road TV Ad,” it ends with Obama's call for a $1000 middle class tax cut and lowering dependence of foreign oil.
The attack by McCain is not necessarily new, but the manner in which it was made has fellow Republicans and strategists concerned. CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen says the ad “does diminish John McCain…. He’s a much better person than these attack ads … This is not the John McCain who Americans have come to love and respect.”
A new Obama ad hits back at McCain.
This doesn’t leave Obama out of the fray. Gergen says the charges that Obama is arrogant and presumptuous could stick. “Obama is walking a fine line himself because he wants to remain plausible without being presumptuous.” He adds this has in many ways become a referendum on Obama.
So which is it? Is this a referendum on Obama or McCain? Is Obama a rockstar or not? Either way, does a candidate’s rockstar quality affect his ability to lead? Is McCain right about Obama’s “elitist” attitude or is he taking the “low road” as the Obama camp says? Tell us below what you think and we’ll share your thoughts on Morning Express.
July 30, 2008
Posted: 10:21 AM ET
Here’s some research you might find interesting:
According to USA Today, a study found… young women are more likely to be satisfied with life than men… but by midlife, women are sadder. The scientists who did this study looked at satisfaction based on family like and finances. They believe that older women may be divorced, separated, and less financially secure.
So, what do you think? Are older men really happier than older women? Why?
Roy sent us this email:
“Women get sadder from having to put up with men over the years. Men get happier because they know the women are not going to be around that much longer.”
And from Erica:
“Women are not as happy because they have devoted their time and energy to their family and children… and when they grow up and leave home they don't feel as needed. On top of that, we have to deal with the high expectations society places on appearance. Men are happier because the kids are finally on their own and now the women can devote all their time to them!”
Now it's your turn... Does age play a role in someone's happiness?
Send us your comments!!!
July 29, 2008
Posted: 10:35 AM ET
You thought security lines at the airport were a hassle? Now, listen to this:
The TSA is using special behavior detection officers to try and determine what’s going on in your *mind.*
They’re looking for people who are stressed, afraid, or deceiving… but they won’t give too many details about the program. This screening is apparently going on at 40 airports around the country…
And a lot of you have been emailing us about this story...
David from Florida says:
“I think I was a guinea pig for the ‘emotional’ screening. I was amazed at how astute the TSA agent was that after 25 minutes of additional screening, being asked if I was on medication, having my bag completely emptied onto the table, having all of my cards and cash inspected in my wallet, being asked if I was on medication again, he told I seemed nervous. I told him that I fly out of a small airport to avoid a long wait at security, and that he should not mistake total annoyance for nervousness. Security agents should not play junior psychologist.”
And from Susan in Texas:
“I fly frequently, not for enjoyment, but for necessity. I am terrified of flying and the trembling and sweating starts on the drive as the airport comes into view. With the new TSA watchdogs, people like me will be easy pickings.”
So what do you think about the TSA behavioral screening? A good idea… or going too far? Send us your comments!
Posted: 10:34 AM ET
Senior Writer Jeff
Every Tuesday, I work behind the scenes to help Robin tell you about the new CDs in stores. We call it “New Music Tuesday."
But, this week, the team joked it should be called “Old Music Tuesday.”
The Rolling Stones have a new concert DVD out called “Shine a Light.” (It was directed by the great Martin Scorsese.)
Once upon a time, rock’s motto was “Hope I die before I get old.” But now, when rock stars ask, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?”… the crowds—of all ages–give an emphatic “YES!”
And they don’t care that the artists aren’t coming out with great, new songs. In fact, the crowds want the tried and true. On “Shine a Light,” every song is at least 25 years old. Billy Joel, age 59, hasn’t come out with a new rock album in 15 years. Who cares?! He just sold out the final 2 concerts ever at Shea Stadium.
Here are some numbers to help put it in perspective:
Pete Townshend is 63. Mick Jagger is 65. Paul McCartney is 66.
Besides feeling a bit old myself when I think about their ages, I’m amazed at how they can still thrill crowds. The Who gave a “farewell tour” in 1982. So much for that. Pete and Roger have a tour planned for the fall. I remember seeing the Stones in 1989, and wondering if I had just seen their last tour. Hah!
On our show this morning, Robin talked about how she really wanted to see a Stones concert one of these days before it’s too late. Apparently, there’s no rush. The Stones just might be around forever. Time is totally on their side. And that’s cool by me.
Posted: 10:28 AM ET
Business Correspondent Jennifer Westhoven
So many people tell me that one of their dreams–their life goals—is to have more *power* over their money. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can offer a sense of freedom, security, and give you access to some of your dreams.
So, we’re going to try something new. Instead of me doing all the talking about the money news, let’s get you in on the act. You ask the questions … and I’ll answer them on the air, and on our blog. You’d really be contributing to the show, plus, I’ll get a chance to hear what’s on your mind, and maybe your question will make it on TV.
Leave your money comments and questions below, or better yet, show them to us in an iReport!
Here’s a hint: if you want to get on the air… ask something that lots of people want to know about. And, you know how money works, so remember, you may not always like the answers to your questions. But you can count on me to watch out for you, and your money!
Posted: 07:35 AM ET
News Correspondent Richard Lui
Your credit limit has been increased to $10.6 trillion.
That’s what Congress is saying to the U.S. government. All the House bill needs is the expected John Hancock of President Bush. Add to that the recent estimate that 2009's budget deficit will be $482 billion, and the numbers the next president will have to deal with clearly are huge.
So how much is 10.6 trillion or 10,600,000,000,000?
It's 10 to the 13th power, or ten thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand. As NPR describes it, it makes the Milky Way–with 100 to 400 billion stars–look like a sandbox. It's enough to buy 10,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies for every person in the U.S. No worries on picking between Thin Mints and Samoas here.
To help them with the numbers, the candidates have built up their back bench. The teams helping McCain and Obama craft their economic polices looks like a who’s who in business.
McCain has Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Fred W. Smith, founder and CEO, FedEx; Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay; and others.
Obama’s power list is no weaker. Among them are Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway; Paul Volcker, former Fed Chairman; and Jeffrey Liebman, Public Policy professor, Harvard.
Here’s part of what they came up with for their candidates:
Those are the highlights of their deficit-fighting plans… but by one count, it doesn’t look like Senators John McCain or Barack Obama will help the cause much. The Tax Policy Center’s analysis finds when comparing their plans to current law, which ends tax cuts by 2011, the deficit balloons more.
In this scenario over 10 years, McCain would increase the long-term deficit by $5 trillion, and Obama by $3.4 trillion (more Thin Mints for everyone).
In a second, and more likely, scenario—if the current tax cuts stay unchanged past 2010–then the differences look better. In this second scenario, the Tax Policy Center estimates McCain’s plan would increase the deficit by $600 billion, and Obama’s would instead raise revenue by $800 billion.
There are some caveats. These numbers don't count health care plans, which could cost $1.3 to $1.6 trillion. The estimates also don't count costs for Social Security and Medicare.
So, all that said, who do you think will do better in tackling the budget? What do you think of the specific elements of each of their deficit-fighting measures? And what about their economic strike teams—are they the right folks to lower prices, and shore up the mortgage problems? Who do you trust more? Let us know what you think, and we’ll be sharing your thoughts on Morning Express!
July 28, 2008
Posted: 11:49 AM ET
Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen
I don't know about you, but seldom do people come up to me because they confuse me with someone famous. That changed this week when I was watching TV with my four-year-old. The commercial came on with the cartoon guy tapping on the screen introducing himself as "Mr. Opportunity." Instantly, my son says: "Hey! It's you Daddy!"
I think he is right. It may be time for me to sue the ad agency for stealing my likeness. Look, I know I'm the regular guy and not a pretty boy. What's the old joke? "My kids trick or treat dressed like me"? Yeah, that's about right. But the closest thing that looks like me is a cartoon character? Talk about an ego crusher.
Here's my photo and check out "Mr. Opportunity" here... then tell me what you think. Do you see the resemblance?
Posted: 10:50 AM ET
Everyday, so many of you email us with your thoughts about the stories on our air… or about what’s happening in the world. We don’t always have a chance to read your comments on the air. So, now’s it’s your turn to be heard!
Everyday, we’ll be sorting through our show’s Inbox… picking some of the best, funniest, or most outrageous emails that YOU sent in… then posting them on the blog.
We’ll start today with gas prices—a topic tons of you have been writing in about.
What are the lowest gas prices in your area?
Dale from Toledo, Ohio writes:
And from John in Columbia, South Carolina:
OK, YOUR TURN TO SHARE! Email us with what’s on your mind, and you just might see your comments on our blog!
It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!