Friday, February 16, 2007
The Cafferty File: Senate's Saturday vote

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:

Would Senator John McCain be making a mistake if he misses tomorrow's vote on the Iraq war resolution?

John McCain continues his pandering rightward slide toward the extremist right. The last thing McCain wants is a vote, a record, that will follow his presidential candidacy. Instead, a non-vote allows him to flip flop as the issue wavers in the wind.
Terry, Louisville, Kentucky

What a huge mistake it will be if McCain doesn't take a position! He has made a reputation of reason amongst the madness. Not voting on this issue now just reduces the man to the level of all the other candidates... someone who will say anything to influence everyone, at the expense of truth and values.
Michelle, Roanoke, Virginia

Of course Senator McCain is making a mistake. It's his job to be in Washington. If the other senators/presidential hopefuls can divert from the campaign trail for a day and be in attendance for the provisional vote, so can he.
Juan Carlos, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Does it mean anything when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Bush lacks the power to invade Iran without congressional approval?

Jack, It means we have a warmonger in the White House. The very fact that the speaker has to remind him that he is not authorized to attack Iran is the very thing that proves it.
Don, Rockford, Illinois

It's only meaningful if he attacks Iran and the House begins impeachment proceedings immediately. Otherwise, he'll get away with another neo-con fantasy disaster. Two more years of bad ideas? Too bad incompetence is not grounds for impeachment.
Mike, Las Vegas, Nevada

The president (no matter who he or she is) as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has the authority to send troops anywhere, anytime, to protect the U.S. There can only be one decision maker.
L.H., Atlanta, Georgia

It better "mean something", if not, it may result in even higher Democrat majorities in both Houses, and the White House come 2008!
Mike, Lady Lake, Florida

Should the government be able to limit violence on TV?

How about the government regulates the violence in video games? There's something wrong when some of the best-selling games involve brutally murdering innocent people and robbing them.
Chris, Tucson, Arizona

Jack, It's not the place of the government to tell me what I can and can't watch. It's not real; it's Hollywood's interpretation of violence. If parents can't turn off the TV and go spend some quality time with their kids instead of letting the magical black box babysit them, that's not the government's problem. It's just bad parenting.
Travis, Concord, North Carolina

Limiting the violence in the world would limit the violence on my TV. Let's try that before we quibble about fictional violence on TV.
Mike, Decatur, Georgia

Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/16/2007 05:56:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Absentee Senators, McCain, NASA
Senatorial hooky
Are Senators running for President spending too much time on the road and not enough time on Capitol Hill? A new website called Absent Congress is keeping tabs on Senators' voting records. Of the '08 hopefuls in the Senate, Republican Sam Brownback has the worst attendance rate with 48%. The only Senator with a worse rate is Democrat Tim Johnson, who is recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Democrat Barack Obama is the only Presidential candidate with perfect vote attendance.

John McCain 2.0
It was Republican Senator John McCain who first capitalized on Internet fundraising back in 2000. Since then Democrats have led the charge in online innovation. Now, McCain is hoping his newly launched Web site will put him back on top. will stream the Senator's first Iowa town hall meeting tomorrow, and McCain has also announced he will be receiving and replying to questions online via YouTube.

NASA & the northern lights
NASA's THEMIS mission is set to launch at 6:05pm ET. The rocket, which contains five satelittes, will study the colorful phenomenon known as the northern lights in hopes of protecting future astronauts and spacecraft from dangerous solar storms.

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

Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/16/2007 05:47:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Cafferty File: Is the U.S. bad for kids?

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 does the U.S. rank as one of the worst developed countries for children?

Our entire society has turned into one giant country wide version of American Idol. The only thing that matters is being famous and being number one. Just look at how many people are running for president in 2008. In such a society the last thing on anyone's mind is our children and their futures.
Jordan, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

I believe it has to do with single parent homes, a loss of adult role models and basically an overall societal shift away from our ideals of 50 years ago!

We should quit supporting the U.N. and keep all that money in the states for kids' programs. Kick the U.N. out of New York and make it a day care center.
R.J., Florida

I have been a teacher for 20 years. The answer to your question is bad parents. You have to have a license to go fishing, to drive, etc. But any idiot can be a parent. So is anyone really surprised that children in America today are not coming out right?
Bud, Valentine, Nebraska

We are more focused on making the payments on that third mortgage and the new BMV SUV.
Ron, Indianapolis, Indiana

What impact will a House resolution opposing the president's strategy in Iraq have?

A resolution will have no effect whatsoever. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have stated publicly that they have made their decision and they are going forward with that decision regardless of whether anyone or everyone is against it.
Lawrence, Victoria, Texas

It will have no effect. It is just more rhetoric to delay what has to be done... impeachment!
Hal, Wabasha, Minnesota

Zip, zero, nada. Until the people in Congress with gelatinous spines put teeth into their self-serving ramblings, Pres. Bush is free to continue to ignore Congress and the people. It's not what they were elected to do.
Dave, Pennsylvania

Why was the prewar planning for Iraq so far off the mark?
It's obvious that we have a president that only wants to be surrounded by "yes men." Look at what happened to Colin Powell! Most of these military leaders are reaching retirement and didn't want to risk that pension. You either give this president what he wants to hear or you get the boot!
Vickie, Hurdle Mills, North Carolina

The prewar planning was so far off the mark because the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
Joanne, Voorhees, New Jersey

I don't think the prewar data was so far off the mark. But, if you have someone that is "hell-bent" on going to war, then you simply "cook the books" to make it appear whatever you want it to be. Wag the dog.
Norman, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/15/2007 05:41:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Israeli web cams, Iraq strategy

Israeli workers dig with a bulldozer in a walkway to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem's Old City on February 7.

Israel excavations online
The Israeli government is hoping that live Web cams will help ease tensions over an ancient site in Jerusalem sacred to both Jews and Muslims. Israeli construction near the sacred Al Aqsa Mosque triggered protests and violence by Palestinians last week. Can the Internet help allay fears that the religious mosque is being damaged?

Murtha's new plan
In an effort to sidestep Republican claims that Democrats want to cut off funding for U.S. troops, Congressman John Murtha (D-MI) is going online to roll out a new strategy to end the war. Hoping to limit the President's ability to send more soldiers to Iraq, Murtha's plan links future deployments directly to troop readiness. We have more details on the plan and its criticism from the GOP.

Declassified Iraq war planning
Recently declassified military briefing slides from before the U.S. invasion of Iraq reveal that top U.S. commanders anticipated that only 5,000 troops would be left in Iraq by December 2006. Click here to view the 2002 CentCom PowerPoint presentation, made public with a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/15/2007 05:02:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The Situation Online: ID Theft, Bill of Rights, Iraq
ID Theft, USA
Are you more vulnerable to identity theft based on where you live? We examine a new study that breaks the risk down by city. Then we provide you with the resources online to protect you from identity fraud.

Passenger Bill of Rights?
A Cancun-bound JetBlue flight remained on the tarmac at JFK Airport Wednesday for more than eight hours after winter storms prevented the flight from leaving the ground. Meanwhile, a group of airline passengers who endured a similar incident last December have gone online to lobby for an "Airline Passengers Bill of Rights"

Leaked GOP letter
In a letter (PDF), Congressmen John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) urge fellow Republicans to debate the Iraq resolution on their own terms. Now Democrats have seized and released the letter, accusing Republicans of playing politics with the war. We bring you the details.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for this story and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/14/2007 05:49:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The Cafferty File: Credit cards for illegals?
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 illegal immigrants be able to get credit cards?

Why not? Illegals live and work in the U.S. without the fear of being deported. They can finance cars & homes. Why not credit cards? At least the money they spend and payments they make will stay in the U.S. and not be sent out of the country.
Patrick, Murrieta, California

Illegal immigrant status aside, the credit companies have a hard enough time getting payments from people who can be tracked. How do they plan on keeping track of undocumented people? Seems like we'll all be paying the bill for this mistake through higher interest rates.
Jarriett, Trenton, New Jersey

Sure! Who cares? Let them join all the other millions that are knee deep in debt!
Rosanna, Franklin, Mass.

Will closing Iraq's borders with Syria and Iran for 72 hours accomplish anything?

Closing down the borders is what should have been done there when we first invaded, not almost 4 years later and only for 72 hours. That's just stupid. If we sealed the border 4 years ago, the insurgency would have run out of weapons and ammo long ago.
Dan, Massapequa, New York

There's always been some question about the amount of involvement from Syria. If the closing of the border results in a 72-hour decrease in violence, it may prove the correlation.
Dave, Atlanta, Georgia

Closing the borders of Iraq for 72 hours will give the "bad guys" a three-day weekend. They will come back rested and ready to go!
Gwinn, Port Ludlow, Washington

What does it mean if Karl Rove thinks the '08 presidential race is gearing up too soon?

Karl Rove? The guy still trying to figure out why the Republicans lost the election... when the whole country knows why. Why should anyone care what he says?
Gerald, Grifton, Wisconsin

Jack, this is probably the only time that I will ever agree with Karl Rove. I'm already sick of the 2008 presidential candidates. By November 2008, you won't be able to pay me to vote for the so-called front-runners.
Barbara, Middletown, New York

Nothing that Karl Rove has to say is ever relevant! He is part of a hate-filled regime that is going down to the ash heap of history!
Patrick, Jefferson, Texas
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/13/2007 05:44:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Edwards blogger quits, Storms hit Nola
Embattled Edwards blogger
Amanda Marcotte, one of the bloggers at the center of the controversy surrounding the John Edwards campaign, has resigned after a prominent conservative religious group slammed Marcotte for writing what they called "Anti-Christian" comments on her personal blog before she joined the campaign. Marcotte announced her resignation last night on her blog, writing: "Everytime I coughed, I was risking the Edwards Campaign." The Catholic League is still calling for the resignation of another Edwards blogger, Melissa McEwan.

New Orleans storm damage
After powerful storms and a likely tornado tore through New Orleans early Tuesday, CNN is receiving I-Report images documenting the damage and the recovery efforts.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for more stories from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/13/2007 05:37:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, February 12, 2007
The Situation Online: Armitage on Plame
The Armitage Audio
In defense of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward testified today about a conversation he and then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had in 2003. Woodward testified in court that he asked Armitage why former Ambassador Joseph Wilson Plame's husband had been sent to Niger. At the end of the recording, you can hear Armitage tell Woodward: "His wife is in the agency and is a WMD (weapons of mass destruction) analyst."

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM ET for more stories from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/12/2007 07:37:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Cafferty File: Iran's involvement?

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:

When it comes to Iran's alleged involvement in Iraq, who do you believe?

After "axis of evil," yellowcake, 9-11 al Qaeda/Saddam links and WMD, I'll have to hedge my bet.
D., Georgia

I find it amazing that the news media is again buying into Pres. Bush's latest propaganda, i.e. weapons from Iran are being used against the Americans. It is being done so you will take your eye off the ball. That being why innocent American soldiers are dying for no good reason... blame it on Iran, not him.

The Ahmadinejad government arms and funds the Shia militia in Iraq to increase instability there, because instability and the undermining of the peace process is the formula for this regime's survival.
Sahand, Toronto, Canada

All I know is that I do not believe one thing the Bush administration has to say about Iran or any other issue. Bush, Cheney Inc. have lied to us, over and over and over again. They have zero credibility. And how dumb do they think we are? They are pulling all the same tricks out of the hat as they did pre-Iraq.
Vicki, Crystal Lake, Illinois

How much do Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments about America's global role matter?

Don't kid yourself. We don't want a hassle with Russia. Putin's comments matter a lot.
Jake, South Padre, Texas

His comments do matter. Remember Bush looked into his soul and saw that he was a good man. Bush should listen to him.
Peggy, Eldorado Springs, Missouri

Putin's comments matter only because they publicly confirm what I've suspected and known for years. He obviously doesn't care about our goals for peace and stability in Iraq, has no regard for our interests in the Middle East, and is quite clearly not a U.S. ally.
Matt, Shreveport, Louisiana

Putin's remarks don't surprise me, from everything I've read, Russia is in bed with Iran, and apparently has been reading the Cafferty File. Sounds just like you.
Charles, New Palestine, Indiana

How much does a presidential candidate's religion matter?

Jack, Of all the criteria I look for in a president, religious affiliation is way down on the list. As an atheist, I'm willing to consider a religious person, as long as he/she doesn't wave it like a flag, or try to shove it down my throat.
Mary, Jupiter, Florida

Religion shouldn't matter (unless the person in question is ultra-religious), but in this country there will always be many people who won’t vote for someone because they aren't good Christians, just like many people won’t vote for Sen. Obama because he’s black or Sen. Clinton because she’s a woman. If there was a black woman who was the best candidate for president, in this age she sadly wouldn't stand a chance.
Alex, New York

The candidates' religion to me does not matter. Integrity, honesty and issues are what matter to me.
Paul, Pewaukee, Wisconsin

No, Jack it doesn't matter unless the person claims God speaks directly to them.
Eric, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/12/2007 05:43:00 PM ET | Permalink
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