Friday, January 12, 2007
The Cafferty File: Congress & Convicts

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:

Why should convicted lawmakers continue to receive their taxpayer-funded pensions?

Why not allow them their pensions? The only difference between them and the rest of Congress is they got caught.
Ralph, Rossville, Georgia

They should not continue to get their pensions. In my state, convicted felons can't even vote. Most of these guys are wealthy before they run for office and if they need more money they can be given a job that pays them to mop floors while in jail.
Vonzell, North Beach, Maryland

Prison cigarettes are expensive! Just imagine how much they will cost 20 years from now. They are gonna need that money.
Andy, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Should Iraq's oil industry be opened to foreign oil companies?

Yes, it would help Iraq stabilize their economy thus relieving U.S. support.
Carole, Charleston, South Carolina

Americans should take the oil for 'helping' them get rid of their "evil dictator." Pay day!
F.

If it means some of the revenue goes in to our pockets, why not open it up! We've lost over 3,000 armed forces for this oil. It's time we got something back!
Joy, North Carolina

Foreign oil companies moving into Iraq? Who's going to pay for their protection? How much higher will the cost of gas go then? Your question brings up many more questions that must be answered before your question can be answered.
Jerry, Hamburg, New York

What does it mean that Americans haven't been asked to pay higher taxes during wartime?

Nothing like a hefty war tax to make people interested in where the money goes - not quite the climate for a geopolitical shell game. Keeping people distracted, divided, and fearful of losing their jobs is much more effective.
Jacqueline, Chicago, Illinois

It means the top 1 or 2 percent of Americans can continue to build astronomical bank accounts, while we peons struggle to get by. But more importantly, the bill gets put on the shoulders of our kids and grandkids and generations beyond. Shameful to the nth degree.
Kevin, Wilmington, Vermont

It is very simple. The president thinks that we are all simpletons and don't understand that we will pay the piper sometime. He is figuring that the next president will be a Democrat, that will make the tough decisions to balance the budget and in 2012 the Republicans can run again on a lower tax platform after the next president cleans up his mess!
Bob, Brooklyn, New York

The president and GOP are unpopular enough. Higher taxes would surely cook their goose.
Angela, Sulfur Springs, Texas

Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 1/12/2007 05:48:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Buy it like Beckham


International soccer star David Beckham sets his sights on Los Angeles, California.

Buy it like Beckham
What's the first thing you did when you heard soccer star David Beckham signed a reported 250-million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy? It probably wasn't buying up as many sites as possible with words like "Beckham" and "Galaxy" in the Web address. But that's exactly what a few people did just 30 minutes after the announcement. We investigate several Beckham-related Web addresses registered.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 1/12/2007 05:27:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The Cafferty File: The President's Plan
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:

Did President Bush say anything to change your mind about Iraq?

He makes me think I should move to Canada and become a citizen of a country that is peaceful and calm!
Lee, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Mr. Bush's speech was exactly what I wanted to hear. Albeit, almost three years too late. A troop surge would have been a great idea in the beginning but at this point things can only get worse.
Jonathan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The new Bush prescription for curing Iraq is like trying to cure cancer with cough syrup. He has no understanding of the problem, ignores his military advisors, and puts more and more of our young men and women in harm's way. Does anyone remember the black hole at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam? We're there again!
Rick

President Bush's speech did nothing to change my view that we are in a quagmire of his creation. He continues to live in a fantasy land. My greatest fear is that he may order a strike against Iran. We need the Congress to exercise immediate Constitutional checks and balances.
Richard, Charlotte, North Carolina

How much longer will President Bush be allowed to prosecute the war in Iraq on his own terms?

January 2009... unless Congress has a vote on the issue that is something more than symbolic.
Andrew, Texas

The Republican opposition to the President's "surge" strategy in congress is the sound of thin ice cracking. The patriotic thing to do is get our sons and daughters serving in Iraq off of the ice.
Sid

Jack, Bush will continue to do as "The Decider" wishes as long as our Congress allow it and they seem to be too weak to get rid of him.
Jean, Zephyrhill, Florida

You know it's easy to admit mistakes and accept responsibility when there are no meaningful consequences. The way it is, whatever happens these politicos will all go on to something else, or retire rich with at worst a tarnished reputation.
Peter, New York

What is the definition of "failure" in Iraq?

Jack, the definition of failure in Iraq is what I see every day on CNN.
Bryan, New York

What is there left to do in Iraq? We gave them a new leader. We gave them the ability to vote freely. How would it be a failure to bring our troops home? What are we trying to win anyways? Will someone answer that question before we discuss failure!
Jason, Tempe, Arizona

Failure in Iraq is... when the religious fanatics who shout "death to Israel" and "death to America" can exist there safely and draw economic and military resources from the region without consequence.
Tim, Carrollton, Texas

The definition of failure in Iraq is: "Bush's plan for success in Iraq."
Mark, Santa Monica, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 1/11/2007 05:51:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Romney, Beckham, Dodd


Mitt Romney has faced questions about his stance on issues such as gay rights and abortion.

Romney on Romney
A video showing former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney endorsing abortion rights and gay rights during a 1994 debate against Sen. Edward Kennedy is gaining popularity on YouTube.com, but the conservative presidential hopeful is also using the Web to strike back.

Beckham's big deal
Are Americans ready for the world's most famous athlete? As David Beckham signs with the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, the Internet gives us a look at headlines around the world.

Put me in coach
Is it a coincidence that Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd added John Fogerty's song "Centerfield" to his iPod playlist the same day he officially announces a run for the White House? We've got the full lowdown on the "DoddPod."

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 1/11/2007 04:22:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Cafferty File: Congress & the war
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 Congress vote to reverse the original authorization of military force in Iraq?

To think that anyone in Congress has the guts necessary to do what is right is ludicrous. We have a president who doesn't get it, a Congress that just changed hands with all kinds of gesturing and pontificating who think symbolism will get them re-elected, and a military that is being beaten into the ground because the folks at 1600 think they know better then the entire rest of the world. As a retired military officer, I am sickened by what I see.
Steve, Emerald Mountain, Alabama

Dear Jack, Yes, yes, they should vote to rescind the 2002 permission for President Bush to go to war. It was signed with false information and fears of what was not there. In law, if two people sign a contract, and one has a different idea of what the contract is, it's null and void, and this deal is very null and void and illegal.
Fran, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Yes. Congress should take any and all actions to prevent President Bush from escalating this conflict, and press for a complete withdrawal. I'm happy someone in the media has suggested the "radical" idea that Congress does have the power to prevent a president from waging unlimited war.
Jamie, Amherst, Massachusetts

Would you want to receive e-mail alerts with terror updates from the government?

Dear Jack, Sounds like a good idea. Alerts from the government. The British government that is. Could hope for a kernel of truth and some rational ideas that way.
Vicky, Northville, Michigan

Forget e-mail. I'll just go outside and watch the traffic light. At least it changes for some real reason, and every so often I can enjoy the calm of the green alert level.
Troy, Sellersville, Pennsylvania

No. The federal government has not gotten much of it right as it is. Receiving false notifications would be worse than not hearing it at all.
Pete, Oregon

What was the purpose of having an Iraq Study Group?

The purpose of the Iraq Study Group was to make it look like Bush was seriously consulting about the war in Iraq. Tonight we hear officially what he really has planned... more war. He is, after all, "the war President."
Rod, Miami, Florida

The purpose of the Iraq Study Group is now the same as the purpose of the troop surge: to distract from the pending strike on Iran.
Frank, Atlanta, Georgia

The goal was to buy time for Republicans in the November election. They could say "Just wait till December; there will be a plan then." Fortunately, the American voters weren't that patient.
Jason

Will the Iraq war alone determine President Bush's legacy?

To limit the president's legacy to the Iraq war would be grossly unfair... he has made a mess in so many other important areas. He squandered the goodwill of the world after 9/11; he inherited a balanced budget and has overspent us into oblivion; he has ignored crucial domestic issues like health care, Social Security and border security. He has the reverse Midas touch. Enough said.
Maria, Whitehall, Montana

Why do you think that Jeb Bush said that his political future was over?
Sarge, Indianapolis

President Bush will be remembered as an egotistical, arrogant man who sent over 3,000 troops to their deaths. He will be remembered as a man who did not take the wise advice from those who knew what they were talking about. He will to me, be remembered as LBJ Junior.
Laurie, Biloxi, Mississippi

Iraq alone will determine Pres. Bush's legacy. Just because he hasn't done anything else.
Bob, Colchester, Vermont
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 1/10/2007 05:39:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: 100 legislative hours?


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised an "aggressive" agenda for House Democrats' first 100 legislative hours.

On the clock
The clock is ticking for House Democrats and their "100 Hours" legislative agenda ... or is it? The clock only ticks while the House is conducting issue-oriented debates or votes. As day two of the "100 Hours" legislative push wraps up, we'll investigate the inner-workings behind the clock including any inconsistencies. You can track the legislative clock yourself at the Web site for the House Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer's own site, and at the site of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.



Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for this story and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 1/10/2007 04:23:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The Cafferty File: Health care for all?
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following question, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Is Gov. Arnold Scwharzenegger's plan for universal health care in California a good idea?

It is a good idea for those legally here and citizens. Health care should be restricted from illegal aliens period.
Maria, Santa Maria, Calif.

Since the federal government won't enforce the immigration laws, and since California and other states are having to foot the bill for these illegals through free health care through the county hospitals and doctors, then the state has to do something to offset these costs. I think Arnold's idea that makes the illegals pay for some of the coverage is a grand idea.
Jan, Fort Worth, Texas

Even if it doesn't work out, it's at least a start and more than what our fine leaders in Washington have been doing.
Brett, Wapakoneta, Ohio

As a Canadian living in Canada, I think that the proposed idea for California is a good idea. It is surprising that the world's most powerful country is so behind its northern neighbor in health care. It would be nice to see the US adopt Canada's idea of universal health care.
Whitney, Ontario

Should the U.S. launch attacks on al Qaeda members in Somalia?

Yes! That's what we should be doing in a war versus terrorists... not fooling around with sectarian and civil war in Iraq. We should be selectively hitting where ever the Al Qaeda or their clones exist!
Bob

No. Don't let us start bombing more people. We have murdered enough already.
Joel, Blanchard, Michigan

If we locate Bin Laden or any of his supporters we should strike them, no matter where they are found. They asked for it on 9-11 and we should give it to them.
Greg

Somalia or anywhere: as long as these are actual Al Qaeda targets, I support it. It's nice to see the administration paying some attention to the actual war on terror rather than the terrifying war... in Iraq.
Steve, Bangor, Maine

What does President Bush have to say to sell his plan for a troop increase to the American people?

There is nothing Pres. Bush can say to sell more troops to American taxpayers. We're sick of blood money going to American contractors.
Lois, Tucson, Arizona

Where is the "surge" by young Republicans & young Democrats 18 to 42 to support our troops and their president by surging right on down to the Army & Marine recruiter?
Tracey, Crested Butte, Colorado

"Support my plan and I will do away with federal income taxes."
Johnnie, Carthage, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 1/09/2007 05:38:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Mitt Romney, record warm year


Supporters for Mitt Romney, above, raised over $6.5 million with the help of an online fundraising database.

Romney's Millions
Mitt Romney's stunning $6.5 million fundraising effort in Boston yesterday had some high-tech help. In raising the money for his possible presidential bid, the former Masachusetts Governor tapped into a new online tool called ComMitt that could change the way political candidates raise money. We investigate.

Warmest year ever
Last year was the warmest year on record for the United States according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Government scientists concluded that global warming was one of the factors that contributed to the record. Did your state hit a record high? We have the details.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 1/09/2007 04:55:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, January 08, 2007
The Cafferty File: Do-something Congress?
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following question, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Should the House of Representatives have taken the day off so Congressman John Boehner could go to a football game?

When do our troops in Iraq get the "day off" to watch a football game or see their families? These politicians still don't get it: We, the American people want accountability from all our elected officials.
Peg, LaFollette, Tennessee

I have been fuming since I learned that there will be no votes in Congress due to a football game. I do not appreciate this show of "bipartisanship." And, I will let my congressman know about it. Glad that you brought it up.
D.

Rep. Boehner should be allowed to take a personal day for his precious football game. However the rest of the Congress should conduct business as usual. This is what they were elected to do and what they have stated they would do.
Dale

What could possibly be more important than the Big Game? Iraq? The Economy? Border Security? These are but commas on America's platter of important concerns. And he wanted to be Speaker? More outstanding Republican leadership!!
Tom, Mt. Vernon, Washington

No, they shouldn't allow members to be off for football games. Championship or no. Heavier things are happening. 15-yard penalty.
H.

A top U.S. commander in Iraq says it might take another "two or three years" to gain the upper hand in the war. Are you willing to wait that long?

Do we have a choice? What happens if we leave now? How many more Arabs and Iraqis will turn away from us? Can we afford that? We don't have a choice in this war but to stick it out until the end.
Tyler, Bloomington, Minn.

Jack, Personally, I'm not willing to wait another minute. Just a few more troops and a few more years... these words must sound familiar to anyone who was over fifteen in 1968. This mess in Iraq has no victory and never will.
John, Ashtabula, Ohio

If I knew for sure in 3 years Iraq would be a stable and secure country, I would support our troops staying in there. However, I just don't see how our "goals can be met" at all at this point, so the obvious answer is no.
Alex, New York

Answer to today's question: Yes. I am willing to win, no matter how long it takes. Check how many died in the American Civil War, and the years of Reconstruction that followed, not a political solution, but a battlefield victory.
Kilo, Springdale, Arkansas

Should the Democrats fight President Bush's plan to escalate the war in Iraq?

Why in the world do the Democrats think they got elected... unless to rein in the stupidity of Pres. Bush's war. They better understand that the American people want us out of Iraq, not more soldiers there.
Jim, Vero Beach, Florida

Jack, They should fight Pres. Bush from the time he gets up in the morning till he goes to bed at night and then fight harder the next day.
Gary, Sarepta, Louisiana

One only has to go back and look at the arguments for and against escalating the war in Vietnam in the '60s (and the nightmare and mayhem that resulted) to figure out what the Democrats should do.
Steve, Seattle, Washington

The majority of people 'shouted' in November, and our voices were raised over the illegal war that is Iraq. Just because Pres. Bush isn't listening is no excuse for the Democrats not to. Stop the funding and bring the troops home. Fund the withdrawal!
Ruth, Houston, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 1/08/2007 05:42:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Virtual border patrol


Texas Gov. Rick Perry, pictured above, is moving ahead with plans for a permanent border cam Web site.

Can Web cams catch border crossers?
How successful was the test run of a Web site that lets users monitor the Texas-Mexico border? Of the more than 10,000 illegal immigrants apprehended at the border last November , just 10 of them were caught as a result of the online project. A spokesman for Governor Rick Perry said the goal of the test was not the number of apprehensions, but to prove the technology works. The El Paso Times, through a Freedom of Information Act request, has obtained and provided to CNN a sample (PDF) of the nearly 15,000 emails sent in to the site reporting suspicious activity.

Stadium roof damage
Workers in Vancouver hope to begin repairs by mid-week on the deflated B.C. Place Stadium dome that deflated last Friday. The official cause of the roof tear is still being determined, but bad weather may have been a factor. Videos posted on YouTube offer a fresh glimpse of the extent of the damage. B.C. Place Stadium is the planned host of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.

Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 1/08/2007 04:01:00 PM ET | Permalink
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