Friday, August 03, 2007
Cafferty: Spying laws & summer recess?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": War money better spent?.

Should President Bush keep Congress in session until it passes a law updating terrorism surveillance rules?
We, as Americans, should be outraged that our "President" continues to disregard our privacy. I find it insulting that our government can shoot first and ask questions later. The fact that Alberto Gonzales still has a job should show people just how corrupt this administration really is. -Brett, Lewisville, Texas

Jack, The last thing in the world I want Congress to do is give Bush one iota more power to spy on us! This administration has taken this country several giant steps down the road to a police state. -Don, Waverly, Tennessee

Mr. Bush wants to keep the Congress in session until they pass a bill he likes? How can Mr. Bush justify this demand when he blatantly refuses to secure our wide-open borders? He's worried about not being able to eavesdrop when individuals can freely walk straight into the U.S.? Am I the only one confused here? -Babette

Only if he's willing to forgo going on vacation himself and stays at the White House until the matter is resolved. -Louise, Toledo, Ohio

How confident are you if officials say a bridge is in very little danger of collapsing?
I don't understand why we don't have the best of the best when it comes to bridge safety and other aspects of our infrastructure. I mean this is 2007; we've had this mantra of being a superpower and standing strong pounded into us millions of times. Why are we falling apart? 9/11, Katrina, and this bridge accident and many more to come are merely just a small ripple in a huge pond of signs that our country is severely screwed. -Daniel, Portland, Oregon

As a resident of the Minneapolis metro area, I do not feel very safe going over any bridge in the twin cities. I especially feel unsafe because the bridge that collapsed was sworn to be safe when it was inspected in 2005 and 2006. I have gone over the 35W bridge many times. Thank God that I wasn’t one of those unfortunate souls who was on it when it collapsed. -Matt, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Wake-up call? We had warnings about "infrastructure crisis" back in the Reagan administration. That was the wake-up call; this is the consequence of hitting the snooze button. -Lee, California

For confidence to have meaning, you need real positive results for this word to carry any weight. No, I do not have any confidence when an "official" says that bridges are safe. There are so many bridges that border on potential catastrophes as just seen in Minneapolis. Has federal money been allocated to fix all these unsafe bridges? No. -Joanne, Charlottesville, Virginia

Jack, My confidence would be reinforced only if I could spot one of those officials in my rearview mirror while I'm crossing! -Larry, Tacoma, Washington

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo says the best way to deter a nuclear attack on U.S. soil is to threaten to retaliate by bombing Islamic holy sites. Can you think of a better deterrent?
What ever happened to that forgotten word "diplomacy"? We know we can flex our American muscles if we have to, but shouldn't a nuclear threat be our very last option after all others have been exhausted? Look what happens when we make idle threats against another country. Our "bring it on" mentality hasn't worked out too well in Iraq. -Eugene, New York

Bombing Islamic holy sites would not have an effect on the radical Islamists. They are not traditional Muslims and are only interested in causing terror and havoc. I would go after and destroy the madrassas and the teachers who preach this hatred, wherever they are located.
-John, Westfield, New Jersey

Yes, threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites. The sites are the closest thing the terrorists have to a state. The threat of mutual destruction helped prevent the use of nuclear devices during the Cold War. Perhaps it could be equally helpful in the war against the anti-civilization terrorists.
-Paul, Aspinwall, Pennsylvania

Jack, Bombing their holy sites would just give them what they want, a call for recruitment. The best way we can deter them is to take away their oil money. Has anyone got a plan to get off the oil? -Del, Ellsinore, Missouri

Tancredo is nuts. Period. -John
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/03/2007 05:40:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Cafferty: Fixing our infrastructure?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Impeach Gonzales?.

In light of the fact that proper maintenance of our roads and bridges has been neglected for years, how do we get out government to do the right thing?
Quite simply, the only way to get anything done about our roads in a timely manner is to get government out of the business of maintaining them. Government continually proves its incompetence, inefficiency, and bad judgment. Until we wake up and admit this as reality, things like this will probably continue to happen. -Finn, Gulfport, Mississippi

The voters have to make it an issue. We're spending money on Iraq's rebuilding but none on ours. This is not only a "wake up" for Congress, but for us as well. -Perry

The answer is simple, except the American public does not have the guts or brains to do it-we elect a new government not composed of lawyers, rich boys or politicians. -Eddie, Terlingua, Texas

We can’t because it’s too late. They haven't done the right thing in 40 years and we would be stuck with an enormous repair bill. Add in the costs of the wars, the results of the failed border control, health, the raided Social Security Trust Fund, Medicare, ad infinitum and it would require tax increases only the wealthy could afford. Do I have to say how far that would get in Congress in an election year? -DJ, Jamaica Estates, New York

What needs to be done is the resources that are constantly being set aside for Iraq need to be saved for the U.S. How much needs to happen at home for the government to realize that this country has needs and wants that need to be addressed. -Jason, Waterloo, Iowa

Are we taking our infrastructure too much for granted?
We need to vote out the current pajama party participants. We've got Senators building bridges to nowhere, and we have bridges failing all over the country. All pork barrel or Christmas tree items attached to bills should be confiscated and given to Dept. of Transportation. Excess profits that the gasoline industry is experiencing at our cost should be heavily taxed to aid in providing safe roads and bridges for us to drive on and buy their products. -Ken, Beaverton, Michigan
With other bridges ready to collapse and steam pipes bursting, it is time to stop spending our tax money trying, and failing, to rebuild Iraq. If I remember right President Bush said every time he was asked about what would happen after the fall of Saddam Hussein, he said, “we are not in the business of nation building.” Obviously that includes the United States as well.
-Chris, Crawfordsville, Indiana

What are the comparisons with the levees in New Orleans and the Minnesota bridge? If I have an inspection sticker on my car, restaurants have grades on their windows, why not a visible system on our public infrastructure? -Christopher

The people in the government who are making decisions about infrastructure funding are there because they were elected. Perhaps it’s time for voters to realize that "no new taxes" equates to no new bridges, roads, and water plants. It’s time to act like adults who pay for the homeland essentials. -Bill, Vancouver
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/02/2007 05:51:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Cafferty: Impeaching Gonzales?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": No court secrets?.

Should Congress get serious about impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?
Jack, The Attorney General, as bad as he is, represents a symptom of what is wrong with that pack of evildoers. Why start with him, unless it is only a warm up for the main course.
-Sam, Gainesville, Florida

Lying to Congress is a violation of law. It is called perjury. Remember perjury? Scooter Libby got convicted and Bill Clinton got impeached for it. Remember? -Mike, Victoria, Texas

Yes, it is clear that Alberto Gonzales should be impeached. His half-truths and general dishonesty show a clear disdain for the oversight duty of Congress. His actions show a disdain for the rule of law. The Attorney General may serve at the pleasure of the president, but the Justice Department is not a political arm of the Republican Party. -Adam, Denton, Texas

Jack, Would you please look at your question before posting? "Should Congress Get Serious..." Come on Jack, Why should they start now? -Jim, Lighthouse Point, Florida

Are House Democratic leaders guilty of playing politics with the war?
They certainly aren't showing the courage to do what voters elected them to power to do in Nov. ’06: get us out of Iraq! If they continue to try and play it so politically safe regarding Iraq, they just might manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Nov. 08. -Jeff, Saugerties, New York

I thought most of the problem with the war was the Republican Party, but just after listening to your report about them holding up votes that could help them put an end to the war or at least debate issues on how to go about ending it, I now blame the Democrats just as much. I'm fed up with both parties. -Fay, Clermont, Florida

Of course. Just as the Republicans are. Both parties need to end their own warring and figure out the best way for us to adjust our Middle East policy, other than bombing and invading.
-Charles, Fort Worth, Texas
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 8/01/2007 05:53:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Cafferty: No Court secrets?
WATCH "The Cafferty File": Ethics for Congress?.

Should Supreme Court Justices be required to disclose their medical conditions?
Not only should they have to disclose all known conditions, they should also have to have a thorough physical before confirmation, and it should be published. The same goes for all elected federal officials. -Grover, Fairfield, Ohio

Medical conditions are nobody's concern except the person affected and his/her personal physician. FDR is widely held as a great American president; certainly he has the longest tenure in the White House. One wonders if, considering the media's desire to divulge one's most personal situations, FDR could be elected in this, early, 21st century. -Jonathan, Renton, Washington

Jack, If these Justices are allowed to rule on cases that affect our medical laws, then we should know the medical problems of the people making these decisions. -Scott, Phoenix, Arizona

They are appointed for a lifetime. We should have some idea as to how long that will be. -R.A., La Porte, Texas

Should No Child Left Behind be left behind?
It should absolutely be abolished. Ask any teacher. The policy destroyed actual learning and only encouraged schools to cheat for better test scores. -Kate, Spearfish, South Dakota

No Child Left Behind as administered by the Bush Brothers is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing more than "teaching the tests" for monetary gain. Abolish it and let informed local boards of education set the standards. -Nick, Rockledge, Florida

Get rid of No child Left Behind now. It's just a gimmick. The solutions are easy. Reduce class sizes to 18 or 15 children. Teach the three "R-s": reading, writing and arithmetic. Throw in classes of art, science, geography and music. Make physical education mandatory for the able-bodied children. -Paul, Virginia

For 20 plus years I've taught in an inner-city school and for the past eight years I've been dictated as to how and what to teach, under the No Child Left Behind. These last few years have been awful, especially for students, who are forced to take test after test after test. I pray No Child Left Behind will be left behind. -Rennie, Detroit, Michigan

Tacoma, Washington plans to use classical music to chase gangs from bus stops. Is that a good idea?
I think it's a wonderful idea! I don't mind classical music and the next time I'm in Tacoma I will enjoy hearing it, and of course the decline in troublesome people at the stops. I think we should try something like that here in Portland, Oregon! -Daniel

Hi Jack, I think it's a great idea. Even if it doesn't deter crime it will encourage people to chill out when their bus is late. -Peter, Tacoma, Wash.

Classical music at the bus station? What's next? A smoke-free waiting area and a clean and working bathroom on the bus itself? Looks like I'll need to start taking the bus. -Mark, Fresno, California

Hi Jack, There's a similar problem in a few locations in our downtown area. The owner of a prominent building tried the "blaring classical music" approach several years ago. Beethoven was the choice, as I recall. It worked, but the kids simply moved across the street instead, giving someone else a headache. In order for it to truly work, you'd have to string up speakers everywhere. -David, Ontario

Jack, I have been using classical music to keep my grandkids from fighting when we go for a drive. They shut up and keep their hands to themselves. It works. -Richard, Kirkland, Washington
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 7/31/2007 05:42:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, July 30, 2007
Cafferty: Ethics for Congress?

What would you include in a congressional ethics reform bill?
Just a couple ideas, Jack: Sense. You can't mandate common sense. How about term limits, no earmarks and how about the outright abolishment of lobbyist? -Laurie, Manchester, New Hampshire

Ethics reform is meaningless if it does not include very severe penalties for breaking the law. It is really a shame that so many politicians have to be told what is ethical and what is not... Maybe the Chinese have the right idea, if they convict a crooked politician, they shoot him. That certainly delivers a message. -Harold, Anchorage, Alaska

"Congressional" and "ethics" in the same sentence? Is an ethics bill possible? Or would they all simply find absurd ways around any law? All representatives these days represent themselves first, business second, special interests next. Representing the "people" is unheard of.
-Jon, San Ramon, California

Jack, Ethics reform begins with term reform. So: Term limits. 1 term. No more raising money on Day 1 of the new term! No exceptions. -Steve, Port Orchard, Washington

What does it say about the state of Iraq if almost a third of the population is without water, sanitation, food and shelter?
What it says, pure and simple, is that the average Iraqi would have been far better off if we had stayed home. -Dave, Wisconsin

Iraq has been a better country during Saddam's regime (a murderer and every other name you can give him). And now that the U.S.-backed regime is in place, they are not doing anything better at all (torture, murder, poverty). It's just getting worse ever since that U.S. invasion and I don't expect it to be better any time soon. -Lazar, Algeria

It tells me that they are paying the price for not taking advantage of the freedoms that we offered to them when we invaded their benighted country and overthrew their dictator. They had the chance to rally behind the American banner and work toward enlightened, Western prosperity. Did they take that opportunity? Nope! They preferred to engage in idiotic religious and sectarian squabbling. They failed to avail themselves of opportunity and now they reap the results of that bad decision. T'hell with 'em!! -John, Riverton, Wyoming

And George Bush wonders why the Iraqi people are not saying, "Thank you, thank you for invading our country." -A.
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 7/30/2007 05:35:00 PM ET | Permalink
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