(CNNMoney.com) - More than four out of 10 Americans say the economy is in a serious recession, a belief that has grown stronger within the past few weeks, according to a poll released Thursday.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll of 1,096 Americans conducted earlier this week found the percentage of people who believe the economy is in a serious recession has grown to 42 percent from 32 percent in mid-October.
Overall, 89 percent of those polled believe the nation is in some form of recession – serious, moderate or mild. That's up from 76 percent in mid-October, a few weeks before the election.
On Monday, the first of the two days in which the survey was conducted, private economists making up the National Bureau of Economic Research stated the economy has been in recession since December 2007. Only 10 percent of those polled said the nation is not in recession.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/04/art.mall.gi.jpg caption="The National Mall, above, will be open on Inauguration Day."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Thursday that the entire length of the National Mall will be open on Inauguration Day — the first time in history that expanse has been open to the public.
With anywhere from one to four million visitors expected to descend on the nation’s capital to view President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing in, authorities have wrestled with the task of finding enough viewing space. Just 240,000 tickets were expected to be issued for the event.
The National Mall, which has traditionally been a staging ground for the inaugural parade, can hold an estimated one million. The parade staging area has been moved elsewhere.
Space is still limited on Capitol grounds, site of the actual swearing in - Mall spectators will be able to view the proceedings on large TV screens set up by the PIC.
The PIC, which said further details would be released soon, did not say how admission to the Mall would be handled. Those hoping to camp out early to get a prime viewing spot are out of luck — the Secret Service has said they will need the Mall clear early on the morning of the inauguration in order to do a security sweep.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/04/art.cars.gi.jpg caption="As sales plunge, the Big Three are back to plead for a bailout."](CNNMoney.com) - The CEOs of the leading automakers were back before Congress Thursday, arguing for a larger bailout than they asked for just two weeks ago, and hoping to undo the damage they did to their case at the earlier hearings.
The three automakers are now asking for up to $34 billion in federal loans, up from their earlier request for $25 billion in assistance. Two of them, General Motors and Chrysler LLC, are warning that without immediate help, they could run out of the money they need to operate before the end of the year.
This time GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli drove fuel-efficient hybrids to Washington, rather than flying in on corporate jets as they did two weeks ago.
Ford and GM have since announced they will sell their jets. And all three CEOs have agreed to cut their pay to $1 a year if they get the federal help they are seeking.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/03/art.obamacall.gi.jpg caption="Above: Pre-election Obama makes a slightly smoother call."]WASHINGTON (CNN) -A Florida congresswoman – convinced she was being prank-called by a Barack Obama sound-alike – hung up on the actual president-elect Wednesday.
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was told by an aide that Obama wanted to speak with her. According to a statement released by her office, the Republican congresswoman cut off the caller, telling him she thought “this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks.” She then hung up.
Obama’s future White House chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel – a fellow congressman – then called her to let her know she’d actually been speaking with the future commander-in-chief. Ros-Lehtinen, convinced the call was another hoax, hung up on him, too.
Finally, an aide told Ros-Lehtinen she had an urgent call from Chairman Howard Berman, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Still suspicious, Ros-Lehtinen urged the California Democrat to recount a story only both of them would know.
Berman passed the test - and told her she had, in fact, hung up on President-elect Obama.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/video/news/2008/12/03/news.120308.lookahead.cnnmoney.216×164.jpg caption="The heads of the Big Three are back in Washington."]NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Can anyone rescue the U.S. automakers?
General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler LLC each unveiled plans Tuesday that detailed how they would return to profitability if they get federal loans.
Still, even with President-elect Obama and the outgoing Bush administration saying they support providing assistance to the automakers, it's not clear that they will get the help they need.
The CEOs of the three firms are due to appear in front of Congress Thursday and Friday to make their case for what's now a $34 billion loan package. They had originally been requesting $25 billion.
CNN: Bill Gates presses Obama on stimulus package, foreign aid
Microsoft founder Bill Gates told CNN on Wednesday that he hopes President-elect Barack Obama and Congress immediately craft a wide-ranging stimulus package, to help jump-start the nation's sputtering economy, and double the United States' commitment to foreign aid.
CNN: Six in 10 oppose auto bailout, poll shows
A national poll suggests that six in 10 Americans oppose using taxpayer money to help the ailing major U.S. auto companies.
CNN: GOP congresswoman hangs up on Obama — twice
A Florida congresswoman – convinced she was being prank-called by a Barack Obama sound-alike – hung up on the actual president-elect Wednesday.
CNN: Oprah filming in DC for inauguration week
Oprah Winfrey is heading to Washington.
CNN: RNC chair Duncan to decide future this weekend
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan told CNN he will spend the coming weekend deciding whether to run for another term at the helm of the GOP, and could announce his decision Monday.
CNN: Obama 'deeply disappointed' Richardson shaved beard
Gov. Bill Richardson showed up to his press conference with President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday morning without the beard he has been sporting since dropping out of the presidential race in January, sparking his new boss to tell reporters he is "deeply disappointed with the loss of the beard."