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July 30th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

'Politicked out' yet?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The 2008 presidential campaign has been a telethon without a disease. In fact, it will be the longest in American history.

First, the public was subjected to that 16-month long primary season, which included months of the Clinton-Obama drama. And that was just the warm-up act.

It's only July. Now were bombarded daily with non-stop coverage of the Obama-McCain throwdown, the daily back and forth, tit-for-tat between the two campaigns.

These candidates have been in the game for quite some time now, when you consider Barack Obama has almost been running for 2 years, since saying in October of 2006 that he was considering a run for president. John McCain might be at it even longer, dating back to his embrace of President Bush in the 2004 campaign.

And it's only going to get worse. Next up come the vice presidential picks, followed by the conventions. Then after Labor Day, get ready for the really heated campaigning. There will be debates, and town hall meetings and staged events for the TV cameras. It will make your teeth hurt. Not to mention all the campaigns for congressional and Senate seats.

In late September, some voters can start casting absentee ballots. And don't think both candidates won't have their eyes on these people, which experts say could total as many as one-third of all voters.

Ever more intensive news coverage won't be the half of it. Brace for onslaughts of television ads, direct mailings, phone calls asking for your money and your votes. It will be positively suffocating.

The next 100 days or so will be a political version of "waterboarding."

Here’s my question to you: Are you “politicked out” yet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election
July 30th, 2008
03:58 PM ET

Will Stevens’ indictment hurt GOP?

 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:

Senator Ted Stevens was the guy behind Alaska's "bridge to nowhere". He might soon be able to use that bridge to cross from the Senate to a federal prison.

The Alaska Republican was indicted on charges of lying about accepting gifts from an oil company, somewhere to the tune of $250,000. That included work on his home like a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing and electrical wiring, along with a gas grill, furniture, tools and a sweetheart deal on a Land Rover.

Stevens insists he's innocent and his office says he'll move "full steam ahead" toward re-election. Nice.

Watch: Cafferty: Stevens hurt GOP?

The six-term Senator will likely face his toughest general-election challenge so far against the mayor of Anchorage, who was already leading in the polls. What is it about politicians who think they can simply continue in office after running afoul of the law. Remember the weasel Larry Craig?

The news probably couldn't come at a worse time for the Republicans. This kind of stuff could help the Democrats reach a 60-seat majority in the Senate, which would let them break Republican filibusters.

Stevens' legal problems could even affect the presidential race. Alaska is a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but Barack Obama has sent staffers there – which likely means he's ready to compete.

Some of Stevens' Republican colleagues are already distancing themselves, donating campaign contributions from Stevens to charity and refusing to comment on whether they support his decision to stay in the Senate.

Here’s my question to you: How will Ted Stevens' indictment affect an already-wounded GOP?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: GOP
July 30th, 2008
01:51 PM ET

Would you want to go to Beijing Olympics?

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Boatmen sail a replica of an ancient wooden ship on the Yangtze River to mark the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

How would you like to attend the Olympics starting next week in Beijing? Before you answer, consider the following:

Foreign-owned hotels are being forced by the Communist Chinese government to install software that can spy on hotel guests. Republican Senator Sam Brownback got a hold of a government document calling on all hotels to use the spyware. If they don't agree to monitor their guests' web history, searches, etc., the hotels could face "severe retaliation" – including financial penalties, losing Internet access or losing their license to operate a hotel in China.

There are reports that 22 Chinese gold medalists have been purged from the team, some of them allegedly for "political" reasons.

Ten days ahead of the start of the games, Amnesty International is out with a report that says the human rights situation in China has gotten progressively worse. They claim China is using the Olympics as an excuse to crack down on dissents.

Amnesty says the government has locked up activists, kicked people out of their homes, required some demonstrators to report to the police every week, and detained journalists and bloggers. There is a report today that the Chinese government will block access to certain sites on the Internet as well. Amnesty also says the use of so-called "re-education through labor" camps and beatings in prison have increased.

China says the Amnesty report is unfair and biased.

No banners or whistles will be allowed. No flags of non-participating countries can be displayed. No gambling. No sit ins or demonstrations, no soft drink containers, musical instruments, cameras or radios. No drunkenness or streaking. And dog meat has been ordered removed from all official Olympic restaurants. You can still get a Fido burger, though, at those quaint little out-of-the-way places. And don't forget your gas mask, the air can be pretty foul.

Here’s my question to you: If you had the chance, would you want to go to the Olympics in Beijing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Beijing Olympics