Comment of the Day:
"I never once thought of it this way. Sarah Palin truly is a political/financial/social genius. I always thought she was an idiot. But she has nearly infinite fame in this nation, and she has hardly accomplished a thing since she resigned from governor. My hat is off to her." – KGColorado
Sarah Palin is charismatic, beautiful and a leader, writes CNN.com columnist LZ Granderson. By deciding not to join the race for the GOP nomination, she can "continue to influence national politics" without having to make a decision or offer solutions. And that, he says, makes her smart. Some CNN.com readers were intrigued by the idea, but most disagreed.
Pseudo said, "No, she's still a fool. But even a broken clock is right twice a day." billybob22 said, "We love you Sarah. ... on Mars."
4sanity said, " 'Palin represented a brand of conservative politics that was Twitterable and ... instrumental in the rise of the tea party.' Emphasis on the Twit part."
dmnewberg said, "I disagree with you, Mr. Granderson, about Sarah Palin's popularity. While wildly popular among T-Party members, polls have shown she has low approval ratings among even Republicans."
Many replied to Jray01, who asked, "If the left had to think of one thing they hate most about Palin what would it be? What makes her so unlikable?"
NoFoolJule said, "Jray, she is a complete idiot. Which of her policies do you like, or are you just into soundbites?"
glynnmack said, "Her 'Christianity' isolates anyone who doesn't share her very specific beliefs. She lacks depth and speaks only in talking points. That this lack of substance can appeal to people is what many dislike about her. The dislike is both for her and the people who idolize her."
AGoodwin said, "When so many were making racial remarks about Obama at some of her events, she never once confronted them to tell them that it is wrong. She would bring her Evangelical pro-life movement to the White House. I also think that she is very divisive in her own party."
BigLebowskii said, "I LOL at Palin, in the heartiest manner possible. Her profound ignorance of all logic and reason is embarrassingly hilarious. I thank Palin for all the laughs! Her running for President was either one of two things, she was either trolling us or suffering from severe dementia. Either way this will make a great premise for a comedy movie titled 'President Palin'."
Editor's note: After this item first appeared in late August, many readers offered to assist the Walker family in various ways. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of San Diego is now connecting the family with sources of assistance. If you would like to contribute, please send checks, gift cards (Albertsons, Target, Walmart) or goods to: Case Management Services, Catholic Charities of San Diego, 349 Cedar St. Room 101, San Diego, CA 92101; include Deborah Walker's name in a note or on the check's memo line. Secure online donations also may be made through the Catholic Charities website. Clothing donations: David wears 38/34 pants, XL shirts and size 13 shoes.
[Original post, published August 24, 2011] Widowed mother Deborah Anne Walker was struggling financially when the economy turned sour in the fall of 2008. She is disabled and couldn't afford school clothes for her 13-year-old son, so she ended up having him wear her jeans, and other children teased him.
"You just have to keep thinking, 'OK, what is the one thing we have left that we can live without the most?' " she told CNN in September 2008. " ... I don't understand why, every time there is a crisis, it's the poor, disabled, children and seniors who end up having to pay for it."
Some kindhearted CNN.com users and members of her church came through with help for the family that fall, but the underlying economic conditions didn't improve, and Walker's situation may be even more dire now than it was then.
Editor's note: Apple admirers and competitors alike are mourning the death of Steve Jobs. The man behind the iPhone, iPad and other wildly popular devices died at age 56 after a long battle with cancer. We're taking a look at the reactions and tributes pouring in from around the world.
[Updated at 8:04 p.m.] Apple Distinguished Educator Mark Dohn speaks about Steve Jobs' impact on education.
[Updated at 7:57 p.m.] The creative tributes continued to ping through cyberspace late Thursday. Next Media Animation produced an interesting video tribute to the tech icon.
[Updated at 7:37 p.m.] Onigun Studio featured a Steve Jobs tribute for its Flickr-based Project 365, which aims to display a different photo every day of the year.
[Updated at 7:23 p.m.] The United Nations released a statement praising Steve Jobs as a "global force" for mankind.
"Steve Jobs was unlike any other," the world body said through a spokesperson. "He saw what others did not. He believed above all else in the power of human ingenuity - to create 'tools' that people could use, that would not only improve our lives but, quite literally, change the world. He was a truly global force.
[Updated at 7:06 p.m.] Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, released a statement Thursday on Steve Jobs’ passing, calling him “a great friend as well as a trusted advisor.”
“Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time,” Iger said.
Disney World and Disney Land started flying flags at half-staff Thursday in remembrance of Jobs, Disney spokeswoman Zoraya Suarez told CNN.
An audio message purportedly from deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi calls on Libyan people to demonstrate against the nation's new leaders.
"I tell them not to be scared from anyone," said the message, aired Thursday on Syrian-based Al-Rai television. "You are protesting peacefully in front of the world. Be brave and go out in the streets."
The message questions the legitimacy of Libya's National Transitional Council.
"Where did it get this official representation from? Did the Libyans elect it?" the speaker asks.
Exchange of the morning:
"Bored and boring kids, professional protesters, entitlements mongers and Unionistas do not represent any significant portion of America." – Steve1o
"That's what they said about the tea party when it first started." – voter51
The Occupy Wall Street rally appeared to pick up steam Wednesday as more protesters joined, including supporters from unions, but many CNN.com readers struggled to define the point of the demonstrations.
stevebr1956 said, "Seems like the left has once again gotten the cart before the horse. When you are angry enough to protest, wouldn't the first thing be about what they are protesting against?"
Bama918 said, "I think a comparison to the tea party movement is more apt than a comparison to the Arab Spring. I find the whole idea of the Occupy (Wherever) very compelling: They are saying things this country has been ignoring and sweeping under the rug too long. My criticism is that the movement needs to evolve a clear message and set of goals."
President Barack Obama urged Congress to act on his jobs plan Thursday, saying it was needed to protect the United States from another economic downturn.
Economic problems in Europe could have a "very real effect" on the U.S. economy, Obama said at a White House news conference.
Any senator who is "thinking of voting" against the jobs bill next week "needs to explain" why he or she would oppose something that would help U.S. families and businesses, he added.FULL STORY
ESPN says it has severed its relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr. following controversy over his remarks comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
"We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years," a statement on ESPN's site said. "The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."
Williams gave a very different statement: "After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It's been a great run."
On Tuesday the singer had apologized Tuesday for his remarks which resulted in "Monday Night Football" pulling his popular musical introduction from this week's game.
"I have always been very passionate about politics and sports and this time it got the best or worst of me.
"The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin' [sic] and high fiven' [sic] on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by, simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone. I would like to thank all my supporters. This was not written by some publicist," Williams wrote.
Williams made the comparison on Fox News this week when he was asked about Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, playing on the same team in a June golf game.
Libyan revolutionary fighters drove out Moammar Gadhafi's forces from strategic posts in the hills of Bani Walid Thursday, as fighting raged in one of the last remaining loyalist strongholds.
The hills lie on the northern front of the fighting in Bani Walid and were infested with snipers, said Abdulla Kenshill, a National Transitional Council spokesman in the city.
The interim council fighters were also able to confiscate much of the heavy weaponry used by the Gadhafi loyalists.
Kenshill said two of the council's fighters were killed in a rocket attack Wednesday night.
Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, is believed to be hiding out in Bani Walid. That city and Sirte, the coastal birthplace of Gadhafi, remain contested even as the National Transitional Council moves forward to form new governance in Libya.FULL STORY
[Update at 10:35 a.m.] The U.S. Capitol Police are preparing to transport the suspicious item into a specialized truck operated by the bomb squad, USCP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Schneider told CNN.
The item will be transported with a Virginia State Police escort to Quantico, Virginia, where it will be rendered safe. FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said the item is being transported because it is dense and law enforcement authorities were having difficulty X-raying it.
Schneider said the area around the Capitol reflecting pool will remain closed until the scene is cleared.
[Posted at 7:56 a.m.] U.S. Capitol Police are responding to a suspicious object Thursday near the Capitol reflecting pool. Police told CNN the object is a pipe with wires and end caps.
This story is developing. We'll bring you more information as soon as we get it.
Thirty-three people were injured - two critically - in a bus accident Thursday morning near Gibbon, Nebraska, the American Bus Association reported.
The driver of the bus was among those critically injured.
Details of the accident were unclear, but it appeared that the bus either struck or was struck by an 18-wheeler, association spokesman Dan Ronan told CNN.
The incident happened on Interstate 80.
The Burlington Trailways bus was heading from Omaha, Nebraska, to Denver, Colorado.FULL STORY
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 struck near San Salvador de Jujuy, in northern Argentina, on Thursday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake hit at a depth of 5.9 miles. It hit near the Argentine borders with Bolivia and Paraguay.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Afghan war briefing - On the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, two House lawmakers call on the deficit "super committee" to consider the costs of defunding the war as it tries to reduce debt.