Friday, September 01, 2006
The Cafferty File: Space Spending
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Should returning to the moon be a national priority at this time?

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, our space program was good for the future of this country... but to pay the price tag just to go back to the moon or even to Mars at this time is unnecessary.
Michael, Columbus, Ohio

Yes, I think we should be spending all of our resources on getting to the moon. We need an exit strategy. Our debts are mounting, and we may need to sneak off this planet without paying our bills.
Jeff, San Diego, California

Our PCs and cell phones are direct results of investments made in NASA. Just think of the economic implications of these and you will realize that money spent on NASA will add so much more to our infrastructure.
Jean, Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

$300 millon to go to the moon? $300 million spent in Iraq? I'll take the moon.
David, Cream Ridge, New Jersey

Is combing through thousands of government databases the most effective means of fighting terror?

Perhaps if we had been sifting through the government databases before 9/11, we would have found all the e-mails and files warning us of the threat of disaster in New York on that day.
Jim, Toledo, Ohio

If all those databases were integrated, going through them would probably be productive. Wasn't that one of the original reasons to create the lumbering behemoth called the Department of Homeland Security?
Greg, Buffalo, New York

Jack, everyone knows terrorism cannot be stopped on the day of the terror. Ground work, police work and investigating must be done in advance.
John, Douglasville, Georgia

What's the biggest challence facing America's labor force today?

Corporate Greed is the enemy. There is no long range concern for the working class, or small businesses. All the benefits gained from years of negotiation and mediation are being stripped away one by one: Health care, pensions, job security, social security. Maybe the American Dream was really just a dream?
Del, Brea, Kentucky

We need good quality jobs. People who have worked hard to get an education are tired of being told they are overqualified. Get our jobs back here in the states and pay us a living wage.
Jan, Clute, Texas

The biggest challenge facing today's labor force is the disgraceful minimum wage, and the lack of health care.
Jason, Overland Park, Kansas

The biggest challenge to all workers is employers hiring illegal aliens, having us train them, then shipping our jobs overseas. They do this with no fear of reprisals from our government. In fact, our government helps them do it.
Craig, Tampa, Florida
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 9/01/2006 07:28:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, August 31, 2006
The Cafferty File: Election Countdown
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

What would it take for you to change your mind about the way you plan to vote in the midterm elections?

For me to vote Republican in this election, Iran would have to renounce violence, Iraq would have to become a flourishing democracy, North Korea would have to give up its nukes, and a sincere peace that could last would have to be agreed to between Israel and its adversaries, all in the next 68 days.

The only thing that could make me change my mind in November would be a full frontal lobotomy...barring that happening, I plan to vote as many of these bums out of office as I legally can.
Meryl, Brooklyn, New York

Nothing, Jack. There is nothing that can prevent me from voting against every incumbent. Out citizens need to send a message to these overpaid, partisan, lying representatives who do nothing to make things better for the whole. They need to understand here and now that when they take office they are in it for their constituents, not for themselves.
Steve, Atlanta, Georgia

Do you think the Bush Administration plans to attack Iran?

Yes. But they will use the unofficial 51st state of the union, Israel, to do it for them. For the US to directly invade Iran on the heels of the defiant invasion of Iraq would be too blatant an affront to world opinion.
Jim Chilliwack, British Columbia

There are powerful forces in the administration that want to use the US military to achieve regime change in Iran. They equate Iran with Hitler and argue that we must attack Iran. They may well do it.
Bill, Macungie, Pennsylvania

It's always amusing to watch those who bellow and brag about how "morally-superior" they are to the rest of us, become strident and defensive, when their views are questioned or challenged! Only true cowards and the insecure resort to name-calling and fear-tactics, when their failures are inventoried for public consumption.
Paula, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Bush administration says if you object to the war in Iraq you're guilty of appeasing fascism. Do you agree?

Absolutely not! The irony is that the very people who invoke "Islamic Fascist" rhetoric are appeasing the neo-conservative fascists who have been running the United States since 2000.
Ryan, Nova Scotia

The Bush administration has said a lot about the war in Iraq, most of it wrong. They're wrong this time too.
C., Fresno, California

No. I believe just the opposite: anyone who supports the war is appeasing fascism.
KB, San Diego, California

Jack, in a democracy, if you object to someone voicing their opinion, aren't you the fascist? Too bad the leader of the world's longest running democracy, doesn't understand what he's leading.
Curtis, Portland, Maine
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/31/2006 06:09:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The Cafferty File: Civil War in Iraq?
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Whom do you believe when it comes to whether Iraq has descended into civil war?

In the last 3 months, in a country of 28 million people, 6 to 7 thousand Iraqis have died. In the United States, with a population of 280 million, if 60 or 70 thousand Americans killed each other, what would you say?
Hugh, Stanhope, New Jersey

I believe President Bush's recent switch to brittle language regarding Iraq; I believe Rumsfeld's decision to squeeze more time out of spent troops; I believe Iraqi President Talabani's evasion of civil war questions. In short, I believe my eyes, ears, and especially my nose.
Dave, Vancouver, Canada

The appallingly negative news reports, broadcast daily from Iraq, are a strong indicator that things are degenerating at a swift pace. Iraq will become a litmus-test for other nations yearning for "democracy"...If it "hurts" this much to achieve it, perhaps it's safer to forego it!
Paula, Albuquerque, New Mexico

We need to examine the evidence ourselves and see if Iraqis are fighting against Iraqis. Um, yes. The definition of a civil war from states "a war between political factions within the same country". So how can the media ask whether this is or isn't a civil war. It is. Just look at the facts, Jack.
Chris, Parker, Colorado

What has to be done to improve conditions for the nation's poor?

Are you referring to the working class poor? The homeless poor? The stuck in the welfare hamster wheel poor? The uninsured medical poor? The unwed, teenaged, high school dropout mothers poor? The Military poor? The minimum wage poor? Or the people left behind with no pension plans or 401k retirement funds?
K., Tacoma, Washington

In order to improve the situation of the poor and the so-called middle class...we need jobs for everyone. Stop sending everything overseas and let's have America make things like the old days.
Edie, Bowie, Maryland

The answer is simple: stop outsourcing American jobs to cheaper foreign markets, increase the minimum wage and lower credit and loan interest rates across the aboard for lower-paid Americans.
Martin, Chesapeake, Virginia

What will a sharp drop in gasoline prices mean to you?

It means a major savings. I am a field service tech, and the price of gas has taken a large chunk of what my employer allows me for car expenses.
Grover, Fairfield, Ohio

A sharp drop in gasoline prices right now would mean that we have a Republican controlled House and Senate and mid-term elections are just coincidentally around the corner. These issues seem to magically present themselves to the American people on election years. Last time it was exploiting 9/11 and the gay-marriage issue. I only wonder who would have been elected to public office if the botched handling of Katrina had occurred in 2004.
Reuben, Philadelphia

It will mean nothing because it's just going to rise again.
Steven, Waco, Texas

[I'd] have something in my wallet other than bits of paper with phone numbers, old faded photographs of family members and friends, and last month's unpaid gasoline credit card bill. It would be nice to have some good ole U.S. currency in there for a change.
Norman, Elizabethtown, Tennessee
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/30/2006 06:18:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Cafferty File: Iran's Nuclear Future
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Who do you think would win in a debate between President George Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Having heard the president of Iran speak before, a debate between him and President Bush would be no contest at all... Whenever Bush shares the stage with a foreign dignitary, the comparison is an embarrassment to America.
Patricia, Gig Harbor, Washington

That's a tough question. The members of the Flat Earth Society used to regularly win debates against the scientific world who insisted that the earth was round... Winning a debate isn't about being right or wrong, it's about the skill of the debater and the bias of the audience. Of course, both George Bush and President Ahmadinejad claim to get their directions from God, so that should level the playing field a bit. Maybe a sword fight would be a better option. It would make better TV.
Michael, Redwood City, California

It would be a draw, between stupidity and ignorance. See if you can guess which is which.
Richard, Largo, Florida

The president of Iran has a far greater grasp of world affairs. All one needs to do is watch the recent Mike Wallace interview on 60 Minutes to realize that Ahmadinejad has a far greater grasp of the value of diplomacy.
Gerard, Furlong, Pennsylvania

One year later, what's the lasting legacy of Hurricane Katrina?

The legacy of Katrina is forever knowing we failed so many people in the stricken areas in their time of need... while we continue to "quickly" help rebuild areas outside of the United States within months.
Sandra, Elko, Nevada

It seems to me that the federal government, especially Congress, has not learned anything from the Katrina disaster. Despite the fact that it is the year anniversary of this tragedy, not long ago Congress was wasting time and money voting on pointless issues such as gay marriage and flag burning. I wish the representatives we elect would use our tax dollars to fix the bureaucratic problems of this country instead of trying to fire up their bases with hot button issues.
Laura, Newark, Delaware

The lasting legacy: Don't rely on government at any level to help you with anything.
Johnny, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

What a difference a year makes. No more people standing on roof tops waiting to be saved. FEMA trailers on standby in Arkansas. Some of the best excuses waiting to be used. A contingency plan, outlining how to blame someone else and look sincere doing it.
David, Natchez, Mississippi

Does a single senator have the right to keep 2.5 trillion dollars in government contracts secret from the public?

If there were ever a line in the sand over Senate rules of procedure, this has to be it. Unfortunately, if the American people don't rise up in indignation, this kind of thing will continue.

This is not democracy nor is it senatorial courtesy; it is dictatorship. The Senate leaders of both parties should jointly sponsor an immediate vote to change the rules to prevent such obstructionism.
William, Alexandria, Virginia

My vote is for Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. He probably wanted another bridge to nowhere.
Walter Slaven, Arlington, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/29/2006 07:15:00 PM ET | Permalink
Senate Democrats pledge assistance to Lamont
By Mark Preston
CNN Political Editor

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ned Lamont will be offered financial and political assistance from national Democratic leaders in his bid to defeat Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) in November, a senior Democrat announced Tuesday.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who is charged with helping direct Senate Democrat's campaign efforts, said he plans to meet with Lamont to discuss how the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee can assist his campaign.

"I will be meeting with Ned Lamont next week to discuss what kinds of help he needs and we intend to help him financially and otherwise," Schumer said at an afternoon news briefing with reporters.

Lamont defeated Lieberman in the Democratic primary earlier this month, but the incumbent vowed to continue his bid for re-election as an independent Democrat.

Schumer said he "will take" Lieberman at his word to run as an independent Democrat, but emphasized the party would still be backing Lamont in the midterm elections. And Schumer noted that he would tell Democratic donors to contribute to Lamont instead of Lieberman if asked.

"We are supporting Ned Lamont and we are encouraging Democrats to support Ned Lamont," Schumer said.

Dan Gerstein, a spokesman for Lieberman, told CNN the Connecticut senator considers Schumer "a friend and understands the situation he is in as head of the DSCC." As for Schumer's decision to help Lamont financially, Gerstein said they have anticipated all along that Lamont would be well funded whether it was from outside sources or by dipping into his own personal fortune as he did in the primary.

And Gerstein noted that Lieberman will be able to raise the money he needs for his campaign for a fourth term, because he has a "strong base of support that transcends partisan politics."
Posted By CNN's Washington Bureau: 8/29/2006 04:39:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, August 28, 2006
The Cafferty File: Church & State
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

What does it mean when Florida Congresswoman Katherine Harris says that separation of church and state is "a lie"?

I believe that it means that she is ignorant enough to have no understanding of what the founding fathers said, and fanatical enough to have fixed the vote in Florida.
Gene, Houston

I think she proved the point she was trying to refute: religious people shouldn’t be in government!
Kathleen, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

It means that the people who wrap themselves in the symbols of the founders of this country are full of something, but if I wrote that I would not get my e-mail read.
Michael, Lynchburg, Virginia

Katherine Harris is right. The only separation of church and state is at tax time and that needs to be changed. If a church decides to engage in politics, its tax-free status should be revoked immediately without any discussion.
T., Omaha, Nebrasksa

Should the U.S. freeze $230 million in aid to Lebanon until the government prevents arms smuggling to Hezbollah?

Aid to Lebanon must be unconditional. We must do something to present a humane image to the world.
Tom, Wilton, Maine

Sure, why not give Hezbollah the opportunity to score another public relations win by handing out aid while US aid is frozen? Neocon thinking at its best.
Michael, Redwood City, California

Not one penny to Lebanon until the government takes charge of the country and disarms Hezbollah! Otherwise, the U.S. winds up in the terrorist funding business. What's next, sending a check to Al-Qaeda? Jeez!
John, Goodyear, Arizona

Have you considered a career in stand up comedy? Anyone aware of the U.S./Mexico border problem would guffaw over the notion a fledgling democracy can do it better than the world's role model.
Alan, San Angelo, Texas

What should the media learn from the dropping of the case against John Karr in the JonBenet Ramsey murder?

The media should learn that America is better served by reporters who care about REAL news and REAL issues. If they had spent 1/10th this much energy to discover why Bush wanted to invade Iraq, we might have had an extra $300 Billion to help clean up after Katrina!
Woody, Fairfax, California

What the media should (but won't) learn, Jack, is that they should learn to just report the news rather than hyping and creating the news. You are like sharks drawn to scrum when a story like the Karr "confession" happens. Then you spend 90% of your time continually "reporting" the same thing over and over and over until it becomes fact.
Kirk, Apple Valley, Minnesota

Maybe the media should wait to find out what's really happening before jumping into a story when the facts aren't known. Everyone was running around chasing information that didn't exist. With everything that is happening in the world and the country today, all that was heard was Karr. Very, very sad commentary on the media as a whole.
Judd, Cathedral City, California

So the media got it wrong. That wasn't the point. The point was the ratings and the ratings soared! Media execs must be salivating now anticipating the ratings from all of the aftermath coverage.
Roy, New York

If a low life like Karr can twist your focus around, what can Rove, Bush, Rummy do to your reporting priorities? Focus on what is important, not what is sensational. If I want sensational, I'll go to Kroger's checkout line.
J.D., Houston, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/28/2006 06:13:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Room blog is a running log of dispatches, quotes, links and behind-the-scenes notes filed by the correspondents and producers of CNN's Washington Bureau. Watch "Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer on CNN 4-6 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. ET Monday-Friday.

• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.