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)
  1. drap

    I would consider taking Donald Trumps statement seriously..except that hair wont let me... .

    December 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. I didn't have TO PAY

    I know,it's like that curled up corner on a welcome mat.

    December 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Larry

    Donald trump is a joke

    December 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Janssen Waveland

    "Trump Cuts Child Poverty Rate From 16,400,000 to 16,399,990!"
    I took this from corporatemal.com, but it is too funny because it is true. "The Donald" proposes to solve or even make the tiniest dent into the child poverty problem by hiring ten kids? Is trump a genius or am i an idiot?

    December 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    A nice republican even if he's still a comb-over cue ball.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. s kel


    December 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leeintulsa

    Trumps a joke, a company can do what it wants, and of course there's life on other planets. There may be life without water, but other water-based life might be similar to lifeforms here, which would be very exciting.. Feature familiarity, communication.. Someone we may have more in common with..

    December 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Im voting for leeintulsa!

    December 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CNN's Nicole Saidi

    Sorry to be a fuddy-duddy, but I had to remove one of the threads here. I'm also going to take a look at other threads on this blog. Thank you for your comments!

    December 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DJR

    I will ask this again, when someone posts a private number without the
    owner's permission, and the report abuse button is hit, nothing is done. Isn't it illegal to post one's phone number out of spite?
    There have been several instances in the past several weeks where this has happened; why isn't the numbers deleted? Does the report abuse exist only for show?

    December 6, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. CNN's Nicole Checker

    Sorry Nicole, not buying it. 😉

    December 6, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Star gazer

    My number showed in letter form nicole and the blog was time deleted,, by the time that happened my # ended up on facebook and myspace offering services that will go unmentioned, so it will make a difference if it is caught early enough, but by then its ,the # is already posted and put somewhere else

    December 6, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. CNN's Nicole Saidi

    @DJR The report abuse button helps us identify problematic comments, but no one press of it necessarily has the power to remove a comment. (That's to protect you from someone being able to maliciously remove comments.) Unfortunately there are thousands of comments and you guys are going to see trouble before we do in most cases. I am also taking a look at comments not only on this blog but all across CNN.com. The more you can do to let us know what you see, the better.

    @CNN's Nicole Checker - That is hilarious.

    @Star gazer Thanks for letting me know. We will try to be on the lookout to see if stuff like that is happening.

    December 6, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. DJR

    Nicole Saidi:
    So maliciously posting a phone number is fine, is that what you're saying? It's fine for someone to maliciously post a phone number , but not to report refuse on that because you're afraid people might maliciously try to get other people's comments removed? Shall I have to get a law authority involved because if your apathy? It's not one press of abuses. May people who have recognize the numbers have reported it. You have still done nothing. Yes, we see it, we report it, and you ignore it. At least put the box explaining why it's abuse, like you have on your other blogs. Another friend has had untold harm by this practice; he is considering legal action. You do not sound like you mean what you say; I am inclined to think you are not authorized to do except delete the ones that pertain to YOU (trolls).

    December 6, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN's Nicole Saidi

      @DJR No, quite the opposite. We do want you to report abuse and tell us about things to help us find them.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN's Nicole Saidi

      Oh, and I just sent you an e-mail.

      December 6, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. D. williams

    i dont think i can take piers morgan sucking up to that clown donal trump once agin american politics has hit rock bottom when political debates are areality show the world is laughing at you.

    December 6, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
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