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November 25th, 2008
04:03 PM ET

Mistake for Obama to take "ownership" of financial crisis now?

Obama has held two news conferences in two days and unveiled his dream team of economic advisers.

Obama has held two news conferences in two days and unveiled his dream team of economic advisers.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama is looking downright presidential these days. He's held two news conferences in two days and unveiled his dream team of economic advisers. He's acting presidential too.

As our Gloria Borger writes on CNN.com, "Not only is there a team, but there's also a plan." She says that Barack Obama is taking ownership of the financial crisis. He is ready to tackle it even though he has about two more months to wait until he becomes president. Obama is placing high priority on passing a second stimulus package, which will probably be much larger than the first one, to jump start the economy.

It's interesting to recall that during the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton derided Barack Obama as not being ready for the job of president. She claimed that while she had years of experience that qualified her to be ready "on day one," Obama had only "a speech" to bring to the office of the president. After Obama whipped her and won the nomination, his Republican opponent, John McCain, picked up Clinton's mantra, saying Obama had no experience and couldn't possibly be ready to assume the highest office in the land.

With about 8 weeks to go, Barack Obama is making both of them look rather silly.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a mistake for Barack Obama to take "ownership" of the financial crisis more than two months before he becomes president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama
November 25th, 2008
04:01 PM ET

GOP’s chances if Palin is 2012 presidential nominee?

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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:

It may feel like a long ways away, but Republicans are already looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election.

According to a new Gallup Poll, Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents most would like to see Sarah Palin run for president in 2012. That's right…Sarah "I read all the newspapers," Palin. Former mayor of Wasilla, first-term governor of Alaska and hockey mom. Her interviews with Katie Couric are the stuff of legend. After she and McCain got their clocks cleaned, Governor Palin couldn't get enough of the TV cameras. They were in her kitchen, her office, virtually every corner of her life. She is now reportedly being wooed to write a book-that would be interesting-or maybe do a TV show.

Watch: Cafferty: Palin in 2012?

Republicans also like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee as possible candidates for 2012. Palin, Romney and Huckabee- in that order– got the highest scores among 10 possible Republican candidates for president.

Other possibilities like Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal and Charlie Crist didn't even get the support of half the Republicans polled.

Here’s my question to you: What are the Republicans’ chances in 2012 if Sarah Palin is their first choice for president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: GOP • Sarah Palin
November 25th, 2008
04:00 PM ET

Would you rather read a book by Laura or George Bush?

Would you rather read a book by Laura or George Bush?

Would you rather read a book by Laura or George Bush?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

First Lady Laura Bush confirmed to the Associated Press today that she has met with publishers and is planning on writing a memoir.

An executive involved in the meetings with the first lady tells the AP that Mrs. Bush plans to write "a positive book with a minimum of criticism."

If it happens, she will be the next in a long line of former first ladies to become an author. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush's own mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, have all been published. Books by first ladies have done well and have actually had more dependable appeal than those by former presidents. Laura Bush is certainly more likable than her husband if you believe the polls.

President George W. Bush has recently expressed an interest in writing a book as well, but publishers have apparently told him to hold off. Considering the fact that seventy-six percent of those polled in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey earlier this month disapprove of how President Bush is handling his job, that's not exactly a big surprise.

Here’s my question to you: Would you rather read a book by Laura Bush or George W. Bush?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Laura Bush • President George Bush
November 24th, 2008
02:45 PM ET

Worst of financial crisis ahead?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A top economist at the IMF, the international monetary fund, told a Swiss newspaper this weekend the worst of the financial crisis is still in front of us. Olivier Blanchard went on to say things won't start to get better until 2010 or later.

These comments came before the government extended the late night lifeline to Citigroup. The president also left the door open for aid to other banks and financial institutions considered too big to fail if they find themselves in the same spot.

But are bailouts and loans, ones taxpayers are on the hook for , really the answer? We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. About $23 trillion, or 38 percent, of the value of the world's companies has been wiped out. Three of the biggest Wall Street firms have been brought down. Investors, home owners, and job seekers are all suffering.

Americans have high hopes for a new president and his administration this January. But even President-elect Obama said today, "The economy is likely to get worse before it gets better."

Here’s my question to you: Do you believe the worst of the financial crisis lies ahead?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
November 24th, 2008
02:44 PM ET

Should Obama hold off raising taxes on wealthy?

 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:

There are stimulus packages and there are stimulus packages. Remember the one President Bush, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid collaborated on a while back? It was $168 billion and resulted in a few hundred dollars in most people's pockets. It did it's job, gave a short term jolt to the economy, but it's effects are long since gone. And the economy is a whole lot worse now than it was then.

Watch: Cafferty: Obama wait on taxes?

Stand by for "Stimulus Two!" Congressional Democrats say they will have a stimulus package ready for Barack Obama to sign the day he is inaugurated. New York Senator Chuck Schumer told ABC's "This Week," this time the stimulus package could total $700 billion. Gee, another $700 billion. And that's a pretty round number in Washington these days. After all, $700 billion you may remember is what Congress committed last month to bailout troubled financial institutions. It's also an amount slightly higher than what the nation has spent on the war in Iraq over the last 6 years. But it doesn't matter, does it? It's money we don't have anyway, just add it to the national debt.

David Axelrod, Obama's chief political adviser, said Sunday that the cost of Obama's economic rescue plan would be pricey. He also hinted that the president-elect may hold off on raising taxes for the wealthy and instead just allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010. Despite Obama's campaign promise to immediately roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000, conventional wisdom says it's never a good idea to raise taxes during an economic slowdown.

Here’s my question to you: Should President-Elect Obama hold off raising taxes on the wealthy for two years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Taxes
November 24th, 2008
02:42 PM ET

Should obese fliers get extra free seat?

Should obese fliers get an extra free seat?

Should obese fliers get an extra free seat?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Supreme Court of Canada is upholding a regulatory ruling that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" have the right to occupy two airline seats on a flight for the price of one.

The ruling late last week said that airlines in Canada can no longer charge an obese passenger extra for an additional seat. The same goes for a disabled person who needs space for a wheelchair or who must be accompanied by an attendant.

This applies only to domestic flights within Canada.

Air Canada and several other Canadian airlines had appealed the original ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency, but the court refused to hear it. Air Canada will lose an estimated 5.6 million dollars annually on the ruling.

U.S. airlines are not currently required to follow similar regulations. However, it's not unreasonable to expect that obese people in this country might try to make the same argument here at some point.

Here’s my question to you: Should obese people be entitled to an extra free seat when flying?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Airlines
November 21st, 2008
04:06 PM ET

What should automakers do to get aid?

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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:

Not now....Maybe later. That's pretty much what Congress told the Big Three U.S. automakers yesterday.

Executives from Ford, Chrysler and GM appeared on the Hill two days this week all but begging for federal aid. They said they needed a $25 billion bridge loan just to stay in business through the end of the year. Well it turns out Democratic leaders want to know exactly what they're going to do with that cash before they push through any legislation granting it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday "Unless they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money."

Watch: Cafferty: Automakers get aid?

So Congress will return next month to consider this $25 billion bailout if, and only if, the companies come up with a "viable" recovery plan to present to them by December 2nd.

It’s interesting that Congress all of a sudden wants detailed plans for the auto industry. Since they forked over $700 billion for the financial institutions, there has been virtually no Congressional oversight on what's been done with that money.

Here’s my question to you: What should the automakers agree to do in order to secure government aid?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Auto Industry
November 21st, 2008
04:00 PM ET

Expectations too high for Obama?

Are expectations too high for Obama?

Are expectations too high for Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There are high hopes for big change when Barack Obama becomes President of the United States in about two months. The expectations for this man are approaching euphoria and that could be setting the stage for a big disappointment. We've got big problems in this country and no one is going to wave a magic wand and fix them in a matter of weeks or months. It's likely going to take several years.

Some of the president-elect's advisers want to make sure Americans realize this and they're speaking out. One of Obama's top economic advisers Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, says Obama isn't going to solve the country's economic problems in his first 100 days in office. He told Chicago's CBS2: "This might be a long haul...2009 is going to be a very hard year."

Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod is also cautioning the overly-optimistic. He says: "We are inheriting an array of problems unlike any [a] president has faced, maybe since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. It's not going to be easy, not going to be quick."

In other words, great hopes and expectations are going to have to be accompanied by patience.

Here’s my question to you: Are expectations too high for Barack Obama’s presidency?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama
November 21st, 2008
03:56 PM ET

Next 20 years: How worried are you?

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People in Baghdad burn an American flag in protest against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The power and influence the United States has in the world will decline in the next two decades and struggles for the world's natural resources will intensify, according to a new government report.

The National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" says the world is in the middle of an historic transfer of wealth from West to East. That's been brought on by increases in oil and commodity prices as well as a shift of manufacturing and certain other industries to Asia.

The U.S. will likely remain the single most powerful nation in the world, but its economic and military strength will decrease considerably. It will continue to play a leading role in the war against global terrorism.

Nations like Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey will likely gain power, and their need for natural resources will increase.

But China is expected to be our biggest rival by 2025. The report predicts it will have the world's second largest economy by then and will be a leading military power.

Here’s my question to you: How worried are you about the next 20 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Global Image
November 20th, 2008
04:40 PM ET

Gay Marriage Ban: Should Calif. Courts stay out?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On Election Day, California voters approved Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that overruled the state Supreme Court's decision this past May to legalize gay marriage.

Protests and petitions by gay rights groups and supporters followed in the days after.

Now the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear three legal challenges to the state's new ban.

All three cases claim Proposition 8 steps on the civil rights of a "vulnerable minority group."

While the court agreed to review the cases, it stopped short of suspending the ban.

An estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages were certified in California between the spring and Election Day and many of these couples have been left in legal limbo.

According to one gay rights group, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging ballot initiatives or legislative acts in the last century. The court eventually overturned three of the measures.

Here’s my question to you: Should the California Supreme Court stay out of the recently passed ban on gay marriage?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gay Marriage
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