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June 25th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

1 in 5 Americans to get cosmetic surgery by 2015

American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, 17% of all Americans will have some kind of plastic surgery.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, 17% of all Americans will have some kind of plastic surgery.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The good news is our life expectancy keeps going up. We're living longer and healthier lives than we ever have before. The bad news is with extra years comes extra wrinkles, sag, cellulite and a general deterioration of our otherwise stunning good looks.

Enter the cosmetic surgeon. In fact, enter a whole army of cosmetic surgeons. Americans are nothing if not vain. In the face of $4 gasoline, a possible lengthy and painful recession and economic hardship that threatens to touch everyone's lives, millions of us still manage to come up with the money and the gasoline to get to the plastic surgeon.

Just last year, Americans spent more than $13 billion for almost 12 million procedures, up from 8.5 million procedures in 2001. Surgeons say there has been a bit of a slowdown recently because of the economy, but they expect many, many more of us to go under the knife in the coming years. We may be broke, but at least we'll look good in the unemployment line.

A new study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, the current number of procedures will quadruple to more than 55 million. It's estimated that 17% of all Americans will be getting work done – that's almost one in five people.

However, the head of this organization says they are concerned that with the predicted growth in surgery, people not take shortcuts and go only to board-certified plastic surgeons. I wonder who Joan Rivers went to.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about our society if almost 1 in 5 Americans will be getting cosmetic surgery within 7 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Cosmetic Surgery
June 25th, 2008
02:10 PM ET

Obama opens double-digit lead

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Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama is widening his lead over John McCain in early polling. A new Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll shows Obama topping McCain by 12 points – 49% to 37% – in a two-man race. If you include third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr, Obama leads McCain by 15 points. A recent Newsweek poll also shows Obama up by 15.

CNN's poll of polls reflects this growing gap as well, with Obama now leading McCain by 8 points – 48% to 40%. That's double the 4-point lead Obama held in this average of polls less than two weeks ago.

Obama's lead may be due in part to his positions on domestic issues, with many voters saying he'd do a better job than McCain handling healthcare, taxes and the economy, the nation's number one issue. McCain once said he's not an expert on the economy. He continues to insist that the fundamentals of the economy are very strong.

McCain is also lagging behind when it comes to the passion of voters. Among those who say they'll vote for McCain, 51% say they're "not enthusiastic" about him. But of those who say they will vote for Obama, 81% are enthusiastic.

McCain remains the most trusted when it comes to protecting the country from terrorism. But that may not hold up if advisers like Charlie Black keep saying things like another terror attack on U.S. soil would help McCain.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if Barack Obama is opening up a double-digit lead over John McCain in some polls?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain
June 24th, 2008
05:40 PM ET

Do you believe in miracles?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans have got religion... at least according to a new poll.

The Pew survey of more than 35,000 people found that 92% of those surveyed believe in God or a universal spirit and more than half pray at least once a day.

It turns out we Americans are a tolerant bunch, at least when it comes to religion. Although a majority of those polled say religion is very important to them, nearly three-quarters believe that many faiths besides their own can lead to salvation. Also, most think there's more than one way to interpret the teachings of their religion.

Experts say this seems to go against the theory that the more religious people are, the more intolerant they are. They add that tolerance might come from the great diversity of the U-S.

The report also found that across many faiths, those who pray more often are also more politically conservative. For many of these people, the fight against abortion and gay rights remain key issues. Findings show that the South is by far the most religious part of the country... and the Northeast is the most secular.

It also found that almost 80% of Americans believe in miracles, 74% believe in heaven and most believe in angels and demons, too. Only 59% believe in hell.

Here’s my question to you: Do you believe in miracles?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Religion
June 24th, 2008
04:35 PM ET

On the brink of a recession, or already there?

 AAA reports the national average for regular unleaded is at $4.07, up nearly 37% from a year ago.

AAA reports the national average for regular unleaded is at $4.07, up nearly 37% from a year ago.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaks, people listen. He says the United States is on the brink of a recession. There's more.

He warns that the chances of a recession happening are more than 50%, and that a quick recovery is unlikely. Greenspan says that there are still "very considerable structural problems" in our financial system and that it's going to be "very difficult."

And Americans seem to be on the same page as Greenspan. The Conference Board, a private business research group, reported today that consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low of 50.4 in June – a significant decline from last month.

It's because people are dealing with tough situations, everything from falling home values, to tight credit to rising prices for everything from food to energy, especially gas prices. Toss in rising unemployment, inflation, a loss of jobs and the decline in the value of the dollar and, well, you get the idea.

The national average for a gallon of gas is still more than $4, and there probably won't be much relief anytime soon. Energy experts say that despite all the squawking from lawmakers, don't expect them to do much to cut gas prices. That's because Congress can't really control the price of oil, which is in part due to worldwide demand from places like China and India.

But the candidates continue to rattle on about gas prices nonetheless, because polls show that energy – including gas prices – is now tied with the economy as the top issue on voters' minds.

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with Alan Greenspan that the U.S is on the brink of a recession or are we already there?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Alan Greenspan • Economy
June 24th, 2008
01:41 PM ET

Would a woman V.P. help McCain get Clinton supporters?

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Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, suggested as two potential McCain running mates. Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Women who supported Hillary Clinton are suddenly the belles of the ball. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are getting ready to woo her supporters-but John McCain wants them too. Polls suggest Obama leads McCain when it comes to women, but what if McCain picked a woman as his V.P.?

The Politico takes a look at McCain's options for filling out the ticket, noting that any of these women would be a symbolic turn away from Dick Cheney, "the ultimate D.C. old-boys-club insider." Although some have suggested Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, she's repeatedly said she's not interested. That leaves McCain with:

– Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. At 44, she would add youth to the ticket. It could use it. Palin may not be well-known nationally, but she's one of the country's most popular governors – with approval ratings as high as 90%. She is also stridently anti-abortion, recently giving birth to her 5th child who she knew would have Down Syndrome.

– Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is another option. Fiorina is in charge of preparing the party's crucial get-out-the vote operation. She's been all over the campaign trail and TV supporting McCain and has become one of his top economic advisers.

– And there's Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas – the longest serving female Republican Senator. Hutchison has held key posts within the party. She's been a surrogate for McCain in the race, and has proven she can get out the Hispanic vote.

Although Republican insiders point to downsides for each of these three potential candidates, they say a woman on the ticket could add some excitement to McCain's candidacy. In case you hadn't noticed, Republicans are a little short on excitement these days.

Here’s my question to you: Would John McCain's selection of a woman as V.P. help him get some of Hillary Clinton's supporters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain
June 23rd, 2008
03:20 PM ET

Does Obama need to reintroduce himself to voters?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: From Barack Obama's official website)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

After a 16-month long primary campaign, you'd think voters would already have a pretty good idea about who Barack Obama is.

But not so fast. Now that Obama has wrapped up the Democratic nomination he's taking the time to reintroduce himself to the American people.

Obama first general election TV ad is airing in 18 states – many of them traditional Republican strongholds – and focuses on his biography. It's designed to show that he shares the same values as all Americans. Even some Republicans have praised the ad for its focus on values, tax cuts and welfare reform.

A close friend of Obama told the Washington Post it's necessary to start a new campaign with a new introduction, saying "You can't presume that everybody was paying attention during the primary season.” An Obama media adviser adds that the candidate still isn't well known to voters in many parts of the country.

Obama opted out of public financing for his campaign last week because it's estimated he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars more than public financing would provide him. If that proves to be the case, we will all get to know Barack Obama quite well between now and November

Here’s my question to you: After a 16-month primary campaign, is it necessary for Barack Obama to reintroduce himself to voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama
June 23rd, 2008
03:17 PM ET

Will Libertarian Bob Barr take conservative votes from McCain?

 Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president.

Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Republicans have something else to worry about besides the war in Iraq, the economy and President Bush. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian candidate for president. Some in the GOP are worried Barr's candidacy will take away conservative votes from John McCain.

They fear that the Barr factor combined with high turnout and enthusiasm among the Democratic base could spell trouble for McCain. One Republican says he doesn't think Barr would get more than 4 percent of the vote... but that might be enough in some states.

And some Democrats agree... saying that Republicans are crazy if they aren't worried about Barr – who was the first lawmaker to call for Bill Clinton's resignation over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He also made a name for himself fighting against the loosening of drug laws and supporting gun rights. The Libertarian Party is already on the ballot in 30 states – and is aiming for the other 20.

Not everyone is worried though. Newt Gingrich says "no reasonable conservative is going to vote for anyone except McCain." And Barr himself insists he won't play the role of a spoiler – he says that if McCain loses, it will be due to his own message and vision.

It's worth remembering Bill Clinton won the presidency twice without ever getting a majority of the popular vote because of the third party candidate Ross Perot.

Here’s my question to you: Should Republicans worry that Libertarian Bob Barr will take away votes from John McCain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Bob Barr
June 23rd, 2008
03:02 PM ET

Should McCain adviser Charlie Black be fired?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

People saying stupid things during political campaigns is nothing new…but occasionally something comes along that is simply breathtaking in its stupidity.

A top John McCain adviser says another terror attack on the U.S. would help his candidate's chances of winning in November.

Chief McCain strategist Charlie Black tells Fortune magazine the assassination of former Pakistani Prime minister Bhutto last year was an "unfortunate event"... but McCain's quote "knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." unquote.

Black also said another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be "a big advantage" to McCain.

Who says this stuff? Black has already come under fire for his work on behalf of an international assortment of goons, thugs, autocrats, and dictators... from whom he took tons of money in exchange for arranging access to the power corridors of Washington. Black has resigned from his work as a lobbyist.

Here’s my question to you: Should McCain adviser Charlie Black be fired for saying a terrorist attack would help McCain’s chances?

UPDATE: Black says he “deeply regrets” his comments, calling them “inappropriate.” Earlier, McCain distanced himself from the terror comments, saying he disagrees “strenuously” and “cannot imagine” why Black would make them.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain
June 20th, 2008
05:02 PM ET

How to survive the presidential campaign?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGE)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The interest in this year's presidential election is something we haven't seen in a very long time. Record turnouts for the primaries, young people involved on a scale that's unprecedented, hundreds of thousands of new voters. TV ratings for the primaries reflected a ravenous appetite – especially for the seemingly never-ending Democratic primary contests. The run for the White House this time has been relentless.

Ordinarily, the primaries wrap up early, and the country hits the snooze button on politics until the conventions later in the summer. Interest in the general election traditionally doesn't even exist until sometime after Labor Day. But not this time. There will be no recess. It's all politics all the time right through to November.

It's a reasonable bet that you will become so sick of Obama and McCain by the fall that Mickey Mouse might stand a chance as a write-in. And while it's tempting to make light of this marathon, nevertheless it's very healthy for our country.

The reason Washington D.C. has become the dysfunctional cesspool it has is because we have allowed it to. Maybe this election we stand a chance of getting it right.

But don't kid yourself… there's a lot of pain ahead.

Here’s my question to you: How do you plan to survive the presidential campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
June 20th, 2008
04:53 PM ET

What does Obama’s lead in swing states mean?

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CNN's Electoral College Map (PHOTO CREDIT: CNN)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Just two weeks after the end of the Democratic primary season, Barack Obama has jumped ahead of John McCain in three key swing states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Obama was defeated in the primaries by Hillary Clinton in all three of these states. Clinton made the point at the time that she was the only candidate who could defeat John McCain in November because she was winning the so-called battleground states.

The fact that support for Obama has increased so quickly in these states could be taken as a sign the Democratic Party is coming together behind its nominee despite the long and bitter primary fight between Obama and Clinton. Obama has never campaigned in Florida because its primary was disallowed by the Democratic National Committee. Clinton easily won the white, working class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania considered critical for a Democratic victory in November.

The election is still almost five months away, and obviously anything can happen. Polls done this far ahead are often not indicative of what will happen on Election Day. Historically the public doesn't begin to really focus on the election until after the party conventions are over. But the record turnouts during the primaries indicate there is an unusual amount of interest in this election.

And there's no doubt the states in question are crucial. Florida clinched the presidency for George Bush in 2000; Ohio did the same thing in 2004.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that Barack Obama is already leading John McCain in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain
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