Overheard on CNN.com: GOP race vs. Trump's 'Apprentice'
Donald Trump will be moderating a December 27 presidential forum, just days before the Iowa caucuses.
December 5th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: GOP race vs. Trump's 'Apprentice'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Some of the most interesting comments today came from a story about Donald Trump calling Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul "joke candidates" after they opted not to attend the presidential forum he's moderating in December. Readers thought the whole situation seemed pretty bizarre.

Trump hits 'joke candidates' Paul and Huntsman

"This is absurd," wrote commenter mdn. "A real estate mogul, who has been bankrupt more than once, is hosting a presidential debate? Only the Republicans could think of this. This sort of thing diminishes the Republicans and the electoral process. Thankfully Paul and Hunstman recognize that and have stepped back. True that they don't have a real chance of becoming president, but they do elevate the discussion. How does Don Thump, who endorsed Obama in '08, get this kind of street cred with the Republicans?"

Many made reality TV allusions. Rudy NYC wrote:

"I wonder if everyone will sit around a big board room sized conference table with Trump at the head. You know, sort of like they do on Trump's reality show. (I never watch it. I think four people trying make 4-foot-tall cakes is more interesting.) This debate could secretly be a model for an upcoming new reality show of his, 'The Candidate.' "

tigerakabj also lampooned Trump's projects: "With Cain out, it's time to name the GOP primary into 'The Presidential Apprentice Show,' starring Donald 'Where's your birth certificate?' Trump with the supporting cast Uncle Rush 'Oxycontin' Limbaugh, Sarah 'Mama Grizzly' Palin, and Cousin Sean 'I Never Lie' Hannity. The candidates can win the game if they can placate the hosts' egos and provide an extra path for them to make a quick buck at everybody's expense. If they can't pull their weight, 'They're fired!' "

But of course, Trump had some defenders who said that maybe this guy has a point after all.

Jason: "Like him or not, Trump is another guy telling it like it is. Paul and Huntsman have no chance of winning. Paul is somewhat of a wack-job and could never be elected as president. While he has some solid positions, they are marginalized by his crazy opinions on so many other issues. Huntsman has a great grasp of foreign policy, but his opinions differ too much from the Republican base to win a national election. Frankly the fact that McCain was the Republican candidate is probably the reason Obama won. McMain was too far off the Republicans' base positions to get them interested. I think Gingrich, while not perfect on every issue, has solutions to a number of our nations problems."

This story really had people chatting, but there were other topics people wanted to discuss. We spotted interesting comments on stories about technology and space.

Tech firm wants to ban office e-mail

We posted earlier today about planned cuts at the U.S. Postal Service due in large part to changing technology and Internet innovations such as e-mail. But it turns out e-mail isn't immune from change, either. One company seeks to ban all e-mail in the office, asking employees to use phone calls, instant messaging and face-to-face communication instead. Our commenters were eager to discuss their love-hate relationships with their inbox. Some would be eager to ditch their e-mails.

"I fully approve," said Blackadder23. "The fewer ways people have to contact me at work, the less work I have to do.  I wish I could create a total news blackout and catch up on some sleep."

There were also a lot of readers who said they actually really like all the e-mails they get.

"While the volume of frivolous e-mail gets a little ridiculous, banning it is even more ridiculous," said james1095. "I far prefer to get an email from someone over a phone call or cubicle visit. With the e-mail, I have an instant record of the information I can sort and refer back to. With other methods, I have to take the time to write it down elsewhere or it risks getting buried and forgotten. " JoeySz agreed:

"Sounds like maybe they need a spam filter and a new CEO.  E-mail is an invaluable asynchronous queue for human workflow tasks, with built-in audit trails, prioritization, mass distribution, etc.  It is fully complementary to face-to-face or telephone contact, as well as instant messaging.  All have their purpose, and all were adopted for their unique value.  I see approximately 0% of companies following in these footsteps."

Many readers weren't fans of instant messaging:

citizen782: "I don't see the value in keeping an IM client open all day for others to interrupt me through.  That would result in much greater productivity loss than interoffice e-mail.  It's like someone coming through the office door and demanding attention while I'm in the middle of something more important."

Planet confirmed that could have water

NASA scientists say the Kepler mission has uncovered its first confirmed planet in the "habitable zone" around a star. In other words, it could have water, sparking a great series of discussions about what that might mean for humanity.

We featured some of the conversations on the Light Years blog, including this exchange about whether water really means life:

Edward: "The whole point of this is not whether we are going to get there. It is so people know that mathematically we are most likely not alone. So the more planets with possible water gets closer to proving that point."

nsr007: "You assume that other life forms need water to survive just because the ones on Earth do."

What do you think about all these stories? Got any comments of your own? Share your opinion below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. If you're up for getting on camera, be sure to sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (61 Responses)

    Trump said he has never filed for bankruptcy. Then what is this?

    ABC News reports that Trump businesses have actually gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times – in 1991, 1992, 2004 and most recently in 2009. So like many other companies, Trump's businesses have had their ups and downs over the past couple decades.

    The first time a Donald Trump business declared bankruptcy was in 1991 when his Atlantic City casino, the Taj Mahal, was in billions of dollars of debt. After a trip to bankruptcy court, Trump was eventually able to reorganize the company's debts and make a financial comeback after developing a budget.

    The three other bankruptcies also involved the reorganization of debts and complying with a court-approved reorganization plan. Bankers stepped in and even put Trump on a monthly budget for a while.

    Perhaps the Trump bankruptcies can be seen as a strategic business decision and not necessarily a financial failure. As Trump said to ABC News, "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. ... We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal."

    Some people may even say that Trump is an inspiration to businesses that are currently struggling with debt as a result of the economic recession. His bankruptcies show that even when a business is in debt, it can still become a success after reorganization.

    December 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bruce

    wolf blitzers questions to trump were softball!. regarding blitzes Q , say something positive about obama`s presidency was rediculous, you new he was going to spout crap and lies. tramp is from the 1%, and he hates the thought of paying $50,000 more a year when obama cancels the bush tax cuts. here is my fuzzy math, 10 years x 400,000.000.000 a year= 4,000,000,000,000 ! now you tell me who caused the deficit?

    December 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JL Solis

    This don "ass-wipe" Trump has nothing better to do than trying to get some free publicity for his stupid boring shows. He should be using his money to get some hair transplants or join The Hair Club and do some plucking on his forehead!
    Get a real job Donaldo, you ain't getting the PRESIDENCY.... NEVER!

    December 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mrme51

    i do not understand why the cnn newscasters make a point of showing gingrich and his statement newsworthy. how dare he be allowed to call the palestinians invented. his comment is disrespectful and racist. i do not understand why anyone would want him to the president. in the event he his, this will no longer be the united states of america, this country will be the united states of gingrich. another disturbing point i would like to make is, when a snipet of OBAMA, cnn cuts off every single statement. i have not seen nothing about the gov't shutdown because the gop could not come to an agreement on the payroll tax cut. i have been unemployed for two years and soon or later, i will be cut off. the more individuals unemployed benefits the gop and the millionaires. why won't you cnn newscasters focus on that and not ALL THE SO-CALLED MISTAKES OBAMA HAS MADE?

    December 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
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    Visit http://www.rafatnet.wordpress.com

    December 12, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Debbie in Washington`

    I do not get why ANY news organizations, let alone the highly respected CNN, would give ANY time to the "annointed one" - Donald Trump. He is nothing but an arrogant, self-serving buffoon. He has no credibility whatsoever. I applaud all the Republican candidates who have thought wiser than to participate in The Donald's presidential debate...I will be forever disappointed and stunned in CNN airs the Trump debate...OMG that would be SOOOOO low! I also find it absolutely comical that many of the republican candidates find it necessary to kiss his ring...And these are the folks who would unseat President Obama? I seriously think not.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MikeSanMateo

    Why doesn't someone ask Donald to name those people who want him to host a debate? Heard lots of people, need to see those people willing to be named.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linda in the other Washington

    I believe Donald Trump is nothing more than a carnival barker trying to sell his own snake oil cure all. It is all dollars to him, there is no way he could win the presidentcy, BUY it maybe but how did that work out of R Blagoyovich? I know that's not spelled right, so no spellcheck retorts! I threw up a little in my mouth this morning listening to Barbara Walters saying she just LOVED Donald Trump and felt badly for Whoopi Goldberg choking a little herself. Barbara Walters is no longer credible and loves money as much as she loves Trump.

    December 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert Adel

    The world knows full well that Trump is a egotistical blowhard. He would never truly run for office – especially the Presidency – because he would have to bare all and, that's not going to happen. He's also a Bigot – otherwise he would not have questioned President Obama's place of birth. In point of fact, it's about time he faded away into obscurity before that thing on his head tkes on a life of its own and bites his head off!

    December 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fernando sanchez

    in my opinion donald trump is so full of himself and all one needs to see to know that is to check out the way he combs himself. this person cheated on him wife for so long who knows and then he leaves her for a woman who is young enogh to be his daughter. a while back he was being interviewed on tv and he was pretty much shoving a younger woman into the camera as is to say " yea and what about it ". what he aught to do is let his hair grow longer till it reaches his mouth and then stuff it in his mouth.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. okosun

    Simply put, Donald Chump Trump has MORE MONEY THAN COMMON SENSE.He should be IGNORED. PERIOD.

    December 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
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