Friday, May 04, 2007
Cafferty: Another veto?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Obama's tough love?.

Is the White House right to say it would veto the hate crimes bill that includes sexual orientation and gender?
This is a group of people that needs to be added to the bill. Hate is very strong towards homosexuals and it needs to be acknowledged. -Daniel, Deltona, Florida

I am to the left of most of the Democratic Party, but I agree with the president, perhaps for the first time, that this law should be vetoed. Legally speaking, the same crime against different people is still the same crime. -Jordan, Denver, Colorado

Jack, If it is superfluous to include sexual orientation and gender in federal hate crimes legislation because it is already illegal to attack someone, then why is there a hate crimes law protecting ANYONE on the basis of ANYTHING? Of course sexual orientation and gender should be included. -Vincent, St. Joseph, Minnesota

What kind of bonuses do Veterans Affairs officials deserve?
Perhaps they should be next in line to get the (now meaningless) Presidential Medal of Freedom. Doesn’t the president give that Medal to ALL the incompetent people within his administration? -Meryl, Brooklyn, New York

Zip. As in zero, Jack! I am a vet and the VA, like most of government, is run by jerks. How about a hold on all bonus and benefits, including retirement for all officials until the backlog is at ZERO! -Robert

Bonuses!? As a retired military member and an 80% disabled vet, I am outraged!! They must get those bonuses for saving money by denying benefits. Anyone that has dealt with the VA knows that Vets are treated like complainers. -John, Daytona, Florida

Mr. Cafferty, Allowing senior VA officials to collect bonuses while our servicemen and servicewomen come home in tattered pieces is extremely disturbing. What is this administration thinking? If anyone should receive bonuses, it is those who put their lives on the line to defend President Bush's failed policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. -Rashid, Capitol Heights, Maryland
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 5/04/2007 05:33:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Cafferty: War hits home
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Tough women?.

Britain's Prince Harry is set to be deployed to Iraq. Would America's war policy be any different if more lawmakers had children serving there?
Doesn't matter a lick. The powerful and connected will always be able to keep their own kids out of combat. -Al, Prince Edward Island

Mr. Rangel is 100% correct. If these privileged fools really believed that Iraq was a serious threat to this country, then why aren't their children fighting it? The war machine cranks profits for these bastards and the poor have to fight and die. What are Bush and Cheney's kids doing to support this "war on terror"? Truly disgusting! -Bill, Birmingham, Alabama

If we were to enact a fair draft, the war would be over in a few months and it would be the end of "pre-emptive strikes." -Bob, Louisville, Kentucky

Simple question, Jack! If the lives of lawmakers' children were on the line you wouldn't have to ask the question... We wouldn't be there! -Jim, Memphis, Tennessee

Jack, The Prince we speak of, Harry of Wales is it, has obviously been well advised by his Lord High Protector. Harry is a throwback to the days when Kings went into battle and led from the front. Our leadership in America leads from smoky back rooms. -Emery

Will Senator Barack Obama's criticism of the black community help or hurt him at election time?
Unfortunately, his criticism will hurt him. Sad to say, but the black community isn't ready to hear the truth. -Sharon, Elmont, New York

Jack, It will help because most black parents would love to see their sons and daughters become successful instead of street gangsters and this is the greatest chance the black voters will ever have to see a black president! -Jerry, Austin, Texas

Since Barack Obama is half black and half white, he has the credentials to critique the majority of Americans since he is one of them. It demonstrates that he is willing to speak the truth rather than make up false niceties just to get votes. Having the courage to do so will help his candidacy.
-Joan, Astor, Florida

What does it say about the U.S. when a national news magazine thinks Rosie O'Donnell, Justin Timberlake and the actor who plays Borat are more influential than President Bush?
Time has shown its bias and its off-the-wall notions of what it defines as influential. Apparently arguing with Donald Trump or having a TV show like America’s Next Top Model, rates higher than running the most powerful democracy in the known world. I don’t think it has anything to do with the character or performance of the president, rather it shows the lack of character of the leaders of Time. -Pam

That does not surprise me Jack, just awhile back more people voted on the American Idol show than in the last national election. -Nancy, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

I think it says far less about the U.S. and more about the editors at TIME magazine and the obvious political axe they have to grind. Whether you like the president or not, there are few in the world who have more impact on a person's day-to-day life than the president of the U.S. How silly these "editors" are. -Eric

It doesn't say anything about the U.S. but it says a lot about the coneheads at Time Magazine.
-Roger, Santa Clarita, California

Jack, It means it's time for Mr. Bush to resign and go home. -Shaun, Easton, Pennsylvania
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 5/03/2007 05:39:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Obama, DNC, Internet terrorism
MySpace missteps
Barack Obama is trying to make amends after his Presidential campaign took over a MySpace page with over 160,000 supporters from the page's creator, a Los Angeles paralegal named Joe Anthony. Obama called Anthony last night to talk about the situation and thank him for the work he put into the site. The campaign has weighed in online about their "MySpace experiment" saying "we're going to try new things, and sometimes it's going to work, and sometime's it's not." Anthony is still unsure whether he will support Obama.

Democratic debate response
The Democratic National Committee has created a web site attacking the participants in tonight's Republican presidential debate. The DNC's new site compiles information on each of the Republican hopefuls. The RNC says that they have been working to define the Democratic candidates for months, and the DNC is now playing catch-up.

Keyboard = Kalashnikov
Senators today on Capitol Hill met with experts to look at new ways to fight extremism on the Web. According to one expert, Islamic Radicals are becoming so skilled at using the Internet that they're using the slogan, "keyboard equals kalashnikov." Extremism on the Web in chat rooms, online forums, and even video games is helping to radicalize Islamic youth around the world. Experts say the U.S. has to fight back online and engage Muslims worldwide with a strong counter-narrative.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for the latest stories from our Internet reporters.
Posted By Eric Weisbrod, CNN Internet Team: 5/03/2007 05:31:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Cafferty: Sex & the vote
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Mission Accomplished?.

Why would women be tougher on a female candidate for president?
Women demand higher standards of other women because we know what we are capable of; men have always underestimated us. -Kathleen, Brooklyn, New York

I have no doubt that Hillary (or any woman for that matter) could handle the job, but I have no faith in the ability of the men of our country (especially the wealthy good-ole-boy network) to recognize competence and/or integrity regardless of gender. -Elaine, Florissant, Missouri

Many of the traits women possess and look for in other women are often lacking in our female politicians: compassion, nurturing ideas to fruition, fiercely protecting our children, ability to stand up to bullies. Women politicians tend to become more like men to be taken seriously and consequently just become part of the political machine. -Betsy, San Diego, California

Jack, I thought you were an astute observer. Haven't you noticed how women in your office treat each other, or overheard women talking about each other? Women may be critical at times of men, but they are absolutely brutal when talking about other women behind their backs. Just brutal. -John, Charleston, West Virginia

John Edwards says he's the Democratic presidential candidate with the best chance of winning in the South. Is he right?
John Edwards can't win the South. The South is still the Bible Belt and even though the belt has loosened up a bit, Edwards is just too far to the left to take a chance on. Hillary and Obama will do better than Edwards in the South. -Ronnie, Martinsville, Virginia

Jack, My oldest son is a Republican Southerner from North Carolina. We normally do not discuss politics at all, but he told me that of all the candidates, he thinks he could vote for Barack Obama. He likes his attitude and what he stands for. -Peggy, Illinois

Dear Jack, Yes, Edwards is the only Democratic candidate who can win in the South, and according to some polls, he's the only one who can beat all the Republicans who are running.
-Diana, Ocala, Florida

The South is going through a change; it's just not about God and guns as in the past. We now want to have something done for a change. -Warren, Bristol, Virginia

What can Republican presidential candidates learn from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger?
They can learn to forget their EGO and partisanship and treat the other side with respect and understand both sides have a stake in the outcome. Cooperation is the only way to get results. The middle of the road is the only place to be. -Darlene, San Jose, California

What can they learn? Everything! But I hope they don't since I think they need a good beatin'!
-Julia, Northridge, California

The lesson they can learn is, first try to ram your party's issues down the throats of your constituents and when that fails pretend that you are doing the people's business. Turning green helps. - Michael, Union City, California

Republicans can learn from Arnold that they can leave the country of their birth and be successful somewhere else. -Paul, Chicago, Illinois

Marry Democratic wives and walk pretty much down the middle as Arnold does. -Nora, Arizona
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 5/02/2007 05:42:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Cafferty: Mission Accomplished?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Return medal, Tenet?.

Four years ago today, President Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq over in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner. What should that banner have read?
It should have said, "We have accomplished what we came for and we are now going home. We wish you well." -Bob Dixon, Bedford, Viginia

Mission "Profits for Haliburton" Accomplished. -Mario, West Covina, California

The banner should have read, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." -Bruce, Amherst, Massachusetts

Take your pick: Mission Amiss, Fallacious Undertaking, Operation Inconclusive, Tribal Purging, Resource Pilfering. -Pauline, Ontario

Jack, It should have read "Iraq: Mission Impossible." -Thom, Negaunee, Michigan

Nothing whatsoever accomplished. -Steve, Palmerton, Pennsylvania

Who's not in the presidential race that should be and why?
Jack, Colin Powell should be our next president! He has military experience, is an honorable man, understands the domestic needs of our country, is intelligent, can work and listen to people, and would provide great leadership, healing, and unity that are desperately needed in this country. -Kathy, Tucson, Arizona

William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense under Clinton. -Howard, Elyria, Ohio

Jack, I really like Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. He is an intelligent and experienced public servant as well as a decorated military officer. -Ken, Brooklyn, New York

Dear Jack, Madeleine Albright! Hands down! She's an intelligent, literate, experienced woman who would bring dignity to the White House and diplomacy to the world. The next president must be, above all, a seasoned diplomat! -Kate, Greensboro, North Carolina

Jack, I should be in the race. I'm articulate, educated, and I understand the issues. I've successfully raised my children and kept my house while going to school. I understand the middle class because I'm a member of that beleaguered class. I can multi-task like crazy. I'm photogenic, babies and dogs like me, I pay my taxes, I love my country and I'm honest and truthful. -Maureen, Lexington, Kentucky

When it comes to impeachment, is it up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to decide if it's "off the table"?
It is not up to Nancy Pelosi alone to determine if impeachment is off the table. But, it is important to have a solid base for such a long drawn-out process. So her opinion is very important. She does count the votes. -Jim, Harvard, Mass.

No, she certainly doesn't have the final word on this... there are a lot of us who want to see it happen, and she won't stand in our way. -Melanie, Pomona, California

Yes, it should be up to Speaker Pelosi. After all, she's in line to be stuck with the mess Bush would be leaving a successor. -Jennifer, Brentwood, California

The speaker should remember that the majority of U.S. citizens disapprove of Bush in just about every category and most, like me, favor impeachment not only as a way to stop the loss of American lives, but also as a means of bringing our country back to its rightful place as world leader. -Isador, Tigard, Oregon

Speaker Pelosi is just being diplomatic; impeachment is never off the table. -Nicolas, Oberlin, Ohio
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 5/01/2007 05:36:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: State Dept. real estate
State Department real estate
The U.S. State Department is selling off "excess properties" around the world -- including former embassies and ambassadors' residences -- to upgrade to new facilities. So how much would it cost to buy an embassy? Read the State Dept.'s real estate listings here (PDF).

America's smoggiest cities
The grades are in for America's most polluted cities and Los Angeles is at the top of the list. The American Lung Association released the rankings today as part of their "State of the Air: 2007" report. So how clean is the air in your city or county? Read the report here.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for the latest stories from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 5/01/2007 04:11:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, April 30, 2007
Cafferty: Iraqi Parliament Vacation
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Return medal, Tenet?.

Should the Iraqi parliament take a two-month summer vacation?
Why not? That's how a democracy works. Just look at how much time our politicians take off.
-Burt, Sun Lakes, Arizona

I thought the Iraqi parliament was already on vacation! Two months, ridiculous, unless our troops can be afforded the same amount of time for a little R&R! Obviously this civil war doesn't bother them too much. -Joy, Morrisville, North Carolina

Iraq's Parliamentary vacation must be a sign of Bush's surge success. I guess that means all of our active troops over there should follow suit. Bring em all home for a quick 2-month vacation. Maybe the insurgents will follow suit and the war is won! -Dan

Sure, Jack. Let them vacation in Baghdad, outside of the Green Zone. It will be just like the Fourth of July here. This is an insane idea and I find it appalling. -Susan, Atlantic Beach, Florida

Mr. Cafferty, Bush got just what he wanted: an incompetent, dysfunctional government, just like ours. I didn't realize that they hadn't already left. -R.J., Gainesville, Missouri

Some former CIA officers want George Tenet to return the Medal of Freedom and to give book royalties to soldiers wounded in Iraq. Are they right?
Jack, The letter from the 6 former CIA officers to George Tenet really hits the nail on the head. If you aren't willing to resign from your post, then you aren't prepared to be fired for giving advice to the president that he won't like. Instead, Mr. Tenet was more interested in keeping his job. He did not do his job properly, and he shouldn't now be profiting from a decision to go to war that he now states he didn't support. -N. K., Lake Forest, California

No he need not. I suspect the reason he was given a Presidential Medal is because he came through with what he was instructed to come through with. A reason for Bush to go to war in Iraq. As we hear more and more about this war it is obvious that people were given marching orders to come up with a reason. Gee, I wonder who would have given such orders. -Don, Hammond, Louisiana

Indeed they are right. Mr. Tenet's sniveling complaints against the Bush administration are nothing more than in the service of plugging his book. If his conscience were really an issue, where was it four years ago? Waiting for that Medal of Freedom? How many lives have been lost by the failure of many in the administration to speak the truth in a timely manner?
-Julie, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Share profits of his book? How about share a jail cell with the other people who lied about this war? I can't believe these people haven't yet been held accountable for their misdeeds.
-Dominic

What does it mean if terror attacks worldwide were up 25% last year?
Jack, The astounding increase in terrorist actions from 2005 to 2006 makes it clear: the "war on terror" is not helping, it's hurting. -Timothy, Washington, D.C.

Jack, It means the terrorists think their methods are working, and that means our efforts are not convincing them otherwise. Do our leaders really understand that culture well enough to help convince them terror is not the right way? Obviously not. -Stephen, Mississippi

An easy question, Jack. It means the American and British Empire building is on schedule, and achieving expected results. -Gerald, Las Vegas, Nevada

It means a serious re-examination of this country's implementation of foreign policy is due.
-Dominick, Spokane, Washington

It means that we were justified in going to war in Iraq in order to eliminate terrorism from the world. The increase in the number of the terrorist attacks also vindicates our administration on its policy in post-Saddam Iraq. -Asghar, Orange, California

It's Bush's definition of success. -Pam, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 4/30/2007 05:36:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Randall Tobias, ID theft, highway collapse


Randall Tobias, director of foreign aid programs at the State Department, resigned Friday.

Who is Randall Tobias?
The former Deputy Secretary of State who resigned after being linked to the alleged "DC madam" was a long time contributor to President Bush and the GOP, according to online documents. Tobias was nominated by the President in 2003 to serve as Global Aids Coordinator before becoming Administrator of the U.S. Agency for Foreign Development (USAID) in January 2006. After his abrupt resignation on Friday, the government quickly scrubbed his official biography from the Web (click here to see the cached version). The USAID Web site now lists the administration position as a blank line.

Bank data in the trash
How closely is your bank guarding your personal financial information? A new video posted online shows people digging through the trash outside several branches of Chase banks in New York City. They found was unshredded documents containing account information and social security numbers. The Service Employees International Union, who created the video, has complained about the bank's lending practices. JP Morgan Chase says it is bank policy for all personal documents to be shredded. They are now reaffirming all security procedures.

Calif. freeway collapse
Videos posted online and sent to CNN's I-Report capture the aftermath of a gasoline tanker explosion that caused a highway meltdown Sunday near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

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

Posted By Eric Weisbrod, CNN Internet Team: 4/30/2007 05:31:00 PM ET | Permalink
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