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March 3rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How can U.S. reduce prison population?

How can U.S. reduce prison population?

America's prison population has increased 274% over the last 25 years. (PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE SIMONS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

7.3 million people in the U.S. were in jail, prison, probation or parole in 2007. That translates to one in every 31 adults in this country in the corrections system. This is very, very expensive.

The Pew Center is out with a report showing that America's prison population skyrocketed in the last 25 years, increasing 274%. We now have the highest incarceration rate and the biggest prison population of any country in the world. But we're a long way from solving the crime problem, and with the economy getting dramatically worse, look for crime to go up even more.

The report also shows blacks are more likely than whites or Hispanics- and men are 5 times more likely than women- to be in the corrections system. Southern states have higher correctional rates than other parts of the country, with Georgia topping the list.

The Pew Center says that it's choices in state policy that lead to having more people in prison - and that Southern states choose to give out longer sentences and put more people behind bars.

Also, the record prison population is getting more and more expensive for taxpayers. At the state level spending on corrections systems ranks second only to Medicaid. One expert says prison costs 22 times more than community-based corrections and suggests that states focus on supervising people with technologies like ankle bracelets or GPS.

Here’s my question to you: What should be done to reduce America's prison population?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime and Punishment
March 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Is Rush Limbaugh running the GOP?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Rush Limbaugh is the face of the Republican Party - at least that's how some Democrats want it.

Is Rush Limbaugh running the GOP?

Does Rush Limbaugh run the GOP?

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel calls Limbaugh the "voice and intellectual force and energy" behind the GOP and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says he's "a national spokesperson for conservative views." This after the radio host recently repeated his claim that he wants President Obama to fail.

It also comes at the same time as a dust-up within conservative ranks between Limbaugh and Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee. Over the weekend, Steele called Limbaugh an "entertainer" whose comments are "ugly."

Needless to say, Limbaugh has had a field day with all the finger-pointing, going after both the Democrats and Steele on his radio show. Limbaugh insists he's not in charge of the GOP and doesn't want to be. He says considering the sad state of the Republican Party, he would quit if he were chairman.

As for Steele, the radio host also suggests he appears to be supporting President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and that he is being used by the "liberal media."

Well, after Rush's millions of listeners heard that one, it took Steele about 3 minutes to backpedal, reaching out to the right-wing radio host to say he was sorry... that his words came out wrong, that he has enormous respect for Limbaugh... and that what he actually meant was that a lot of people want to make Limbaugh the "bogeyman" when he's not. Steele said today he has spoken with Limbaugh and quote "we are all good."

Here’s my question to you: Who's running the Republican Party, the RNC or Rush Limbaugh?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Republican Party
March 3rd, 2009
01:01 PM ET

How can Pres. Obama defeat the lobbyists?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Barack Obama is saying "bring it on" to the nation's lobbyists.

How can Pres. Obama defeat the lobbyists?

The President says passing the budget will be difficult because of pushback from special interest groups.

The president vows he will fight to change health care, education and energy policy in dramatic ways, upending the way business is done in Washington.

In his weekly radio address, Mr. Obama pointed out that the current system may work for the "powerful and well-connected interests" but that he works for the American people. The president believes his budget will help millions of Americans - but only if Congress can beat back special interest groups. He says he knows lobbyists are gearing up for a fight and says "My message to them is this: so am I."

Some critics say some of Pres. Obama's proposals are almost radical, but he insists this is what the American people voted for in November. He goes on to say passing the $3.6 trillion dollar budget won't be easy even with Democrats in control of Congress - precisely because of the pushback from special interest groups entrenched in Washington. The president singled out some groups in particular: insurance companies, banks, big student lenders and oil and gas companies.

Republicans have continued to slam the president's spending proposals, saying that almost every day brings another "multi-billion-dollar spending plan being proposed or even worse, passed." Of course the nation didn't elect the Republican candidate for president last November.

Here’s my question to you: How can President Obama defeat the lobbyists?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Lobbyists • President Barack Obama
March 3rd, 2009
11:17 AM ET

My crush on Michelle Obama

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

I think I am developing a crush on America's first lady. Michelle Obama is more compelling than her husband. He's good, but she's utterly fascinating.

My crush on Michelle Obama

Jack finds the First Lady more compelling than her husband.

Mrs. Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It's like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows.

It's the people's house, and Michelle Obama totally gets it. So much so that she has taken to inviting people in from the streets to see her home. Nice touch - one completely lacking in her recent predecessors.

Watch her when she visits a local school and you see the warmth and affection she instantly triggers in people. Kids are pretty much totally honest with very good BS-detectors. If they sense you're a phony, forget it. But around the first lady, they want to hug her and laugh with her and tell her stories.

Click here to read the full post.


Filed under: Michelle Obama