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March 25th, 2009
05:30 PM ET

Should Pres. Obama get what he's asking for in budget?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In last night's news conference, President Obama said that his $3.6 trillion budget is "inseparable" from economic recovery. But not everyone would agree with the president on that one. Republicans have been highly critical - with House Minority Leader John Boehner calling Mr. Obama's budget "the most irresponsible piece of legislation" he's ever seen - Boehner is calling for a "do-over."

And it's not just Republicans. A group of centrist Democratic senators took the red pen to the president's budget; making hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts. North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad and others have raised concerns about the long-term impact of the president's spending plan on the deficit. Conrad says their version, which saves $608 billion over five5 years, will help reduce the deficit while also maintaining the president's priorities of education, energy and health care.

The plan cuts out money that was set aside for future bank bailouts, provides only a temporary fix for the alternative minimum tax and doesn't account for some major health care and energy initiatives. Republicans were also critical of Conrad's plan; saying it stripped out some items that may have to be funded anyways. Mr. Obama said last night that they never expected Congress "would simply Xerox" his budget and vote on it; and White House officials tried to play down any differences with Democrats, saying they were satisfied with the plans coming out of Congress.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the budget, should President Obama get what he's asking for?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama
March 25th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should government be involved in saving newspapers?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The government might step in and help rescue the struggling newspaper industry. Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin has introduced a bill that would allow newspapers to operate like nonprofit organizations - kind of like public broadcasting stations.

The "Newspaper Revitalization Act" would let newspapers choose a tax-exempt status; they wouldn't be able to make political endorsements anymore, but could report on all issues - including political campaigns.
Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt; and contributions made to help support coverage would be tax deductible.

The Maryland senator says his bill is aimed at saving local newspapers, not large conglomerates. He calls the demise of the newspaper industry "a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy." And he's right.

The head of the newspaper industry's trade group calls the bill a positive step; although he agrees the approach may not work for all newspapers. Newspaper subscriptions and advertising revenue have dropped significantly in the last few years with more people getting their news from the internet or cable TV. Several newspapers have either stopped daily publications or announced they may have to stop publishing; while others have filed for bankruptcy protection, had layoffs, or announced employee furloughs.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government be involved in saving the newspaper industry?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Journalism • News Media
March 25th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mexican drug cartels operating in 230 U.S. cities

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Obama administration says it will send hundreds of federal agents and crime-fighting equipment to the Mexican border in an effort to prevent drug-related violence from spilling over into this country. It's a little late - the Mexican drug cartels are already active in 230 American cities.

A section of the U.S./Mexico border fence crosses previously pristine desert sands between Arizona and California. Homeland Security may respond to escalating violence of warring Mexican drug cartels by deploying military personnel and equipment to the region.

$700 million meant to bolster Mexican law enforcement and crime prevention efforts probably can't come soon enough. The mayor of Phoenix says it's a great first step, but "a drop in the bucket in terms of what's needed." Crimes like drug-related kidnappings and torturing are overwhelming the Phoenix police department. And Texas Governor Rick Perry had asked for a thousand more troops for parts of the border, saying he doesn't care what kind of troops they are as long as they're properly trained.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has identified 230 U.S. cities where the Mexican cartels "maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors," and we're not just talking about cities along the border here; they include places like Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Boston and Billings, Montana.

This mess is the net result of President Bush's failure to secure the borders, among other things. They're still not secure and nothing has happened to diminish the appetite for illegal drugs in this country. Drugs flow north and money and guns flow south into Mexico.

The open border advocates think it's fine that illegal aliens come and go in and out of this country pretty much as they please. I wonder if they think it's also okay that Mexican drugs are poisoning their children here and increasing crime at home.

Here’s my question to you: What should be done about the fact that the Mexican drug cartels are now operating in 230 American cities?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: United States
March 25th, 2009
01:06 PM ET

Jack talks "Now or Never"

Listen here to Jack's interview with radio station KLAA in California about his new book, fear mongering during the Bush era, why the American people love President Obama, personal stories like how he raised his four daughters, and much more.


Filed under: Uncategorized