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December 18th, 2008
05:34 PM ET

Should Pres. Bush Pardon American Taliban Lindh?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The parents of John Walker Lindh, the American-born Taliban fighter, held a press conference pleading with President Bush to pardon their son before he leaves office next month.

The 27-year-old San Francisco man was captured in Afghanistan by Northern Alliance forces in 2001 after he was shot and wounded during a prison uprising. He was turned over to American authorities.

In 2002 Lindh was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty to serving in the Taliban Army. He's currently at a federal prison in Indiana.

His parents asked the President to show mercy for their son during the Christmas season. His father repeated what he's said in the past, that his son ended up in Afghanistan during a civil war while studying Islam abroad, saying he joined the Taliban with no intention of fighting against America.

While in office 10,000 petitions have been filed requesting pardons from the President. Fewer than 200 have been granted. Lindh's request is in a pile along with those for former Illinois Governor George Ryan, and junk bonds salesman Michael Milken. There's speculation that Bush may pardon former Cheney Chief of Staff Scooter Libby. He already commuted Libby's prison sentence. Libby was convicted in connection with the Valerie Plame CIA scandal.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Bush commute the sentence of John Walker Lindh, the so-called Taliban American?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan
December 18th, 2008
01:36 PM ET

Too Late to Save Auto Industry as we know it?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: BILL PUGLIANO/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The White House continues to drag its feet on a bailout for the auto industry in the wake of failed attempts to get help from Congress. The impasse came when the United Auto Workers Union refused to agree to wage cuts.

This morning President Bush said he still hasn't decided what to do but his press secretary later said he's considering an orderly bankruptcy. Of course the point of the automakers begging for a bailout was to prevent bankruptcy and the collapse of the industry.

Chrysler announced plans to close down all 30 of its manufacturing plants for one month effective tomorrow. Their finance division says it may have to stop making loans to dealers.

Ford had previously announced their own plans to close 10 factories to cut first quarter production in 2009. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal reports that GM and Chrysler are rethinking the possibility of a merger, although sources tell CNN that is not true.

Here’s my question to you: Is it already too late to save the auto industry in its present form?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Auto Industry • Auto-Bailout
December 18th, 2008
12:39 PM ET

Dem. Backlash if Caroline Kennedy Appointed to Senate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Caroline Kennedy is positioning herself to be appointed to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated if and when Hillary Clinton is confirmed as the Secretary of State.

The daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy called New York Governor David Paterson, who will be appointing someone to the seat, to express her interest. Yesterday she traveled around upstate New York for closed door meetings with Mayors, Union leaders and other officials. Along the way she touted her devotion to public service, her books on the Constitution and raising her family. And today she had lunch in Harlem with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Although it seems like a campaign, it's not. There's no election, at least not until 2010 when whoever is appointed can run for the seat.

According to the New York Times, Kennedy is winning hearts but some Democrats worry about her sense of entitlement and the message that politics is reserved for the upper class. That's leading to some grumbling among some Democrats.

According to a poll by Siena College, Kennedy is not a clear favorite - 26% favor New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo compared to 23% favoring Kennedy. However, 31% believe Governor Paterson will give the seat to Kennedy.

Here’s my question to you: Could appointing Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat cause a backlash within the Democratic Party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Senate and Congress