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March 26th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

What should U.S. do about North Korea's planned missile launch?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says "there will be consequences" if North Korea goes through with a planned missile launch. This comes after North Korea placed a long-range missile on a launch pad, and said they will launch it to send an experimental communications satellite into orbit. But the U.S., Japan and South Korea say it's a cover for testing a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile. The launch could come within a few days.

S. Korean activists burn cut out N. Korean missiles and images of Kim Jong-Il. S. Korea has urged N. Korea to drop its nuclear weapon and missile ambitions.

The U.S. says such a test would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution; and that's why the U.S. is warning it would seek punishment through the UN, probably more sanctions, against North Korea. Japan would also press for new sanctions.

But North Korea insists that any more sanctions would make it quit the six party talks and potentially restart a nuclear plant that makes weapons-grade plutonium. If they successfully launch this rocket, it could show they have the technology to send a missile as far as Alaska or Hawaii.

American officials have said the U.S. is capable of shooting down a North Korean missile heading for our soil. But Secretary of State Clinton says the U.S. has no plans to shoot down this particular rocket.

This is President Obama's first big test when it comes to dealing with the regime of Kim Jong-Il - and we may learn a lot about our new president by watching how he responds.

Here's my question to you: What should the U.S. do about North Korea's planned missile launch?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: United States
March 26th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Time for U.S. to legalize drugs?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As drugs and related violence from Mexico continue to infect 230 cities in the United States, some politicians, economists, and even drug law enforcement leaders say legalizing drugs may be the answer.

One Texas city councilman tells CNN "it's the least worst option to ending cartel violence." He says decriminalizing drugs would take away a lot of the financial incentive for the cartels to kill. Arizona's Attorney General says 60 percent of the battle is marijuana - and he's called for "at least a rational discussion" on ways to take the profit out of weed.

Some insist legalizing drugs like pot would help our economy. One California congresswoman says it would pump $1 billion into her state's budget alone every year. A senior economics lecturer at Harvard says federal, state and local governments spend $44 billion a year to enforce drug prohibition. If drugs were legal, they could be making about $33 billion per year in tax revenue.

Jeffrey Miron describes how prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. He says the same was true with alcohol; and is also the case for illegal gambling or prostitution. He says prohibition of drugs also corrupts politicians and law enforcement, which is why bribery, threats and kidnapping are common for industries that are prohibited; but rare in other cases.

But critics say the consequences of legalizing drugs would far outweigh the benefits. Some focus on the moral and health related concerns about drug use. One former special agent for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration told CNN "No way. We would lose a generation." Some wonder if drug use itself can cause violent behavior; and others aren't sure if decriminalization would make much of a difference in the Mexican drug war. However, the country has managed to survive the repeal of Prohibition almost 80 years ago.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time for the U.S. to legalize drugs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Law Enforcement • United States
March 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Palin still relevant to national dialogue?

Here's a couple of quotes - see if you can guess who said them. In regards to last November's election, "And there was that media slant this go round. And unless things change, the GOP had really better can stand together, 'cause we got that on the battlefield also. I call it like I see it and like I lived it on the campaign trail. Not complaining, but dealing with reality."

Or how about: "Some in the media actually participated in not so much the 'who-what-where-when-why' objective reporting on candidates and positions, those five W's that I learned when I had a journalism degree so many years ago in college, when the world of journalism was quite different than it is today."

Give up? It's vintage Sarah Palin. In a speech to a GOP dinner last week, the Alaska Governor spoke about why the Republicans lost in November and seemed mostly to blame the press. At least I think that's what she said. The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she's not whining about it; but rather calling it like she sees it: "Sometimes it gets me in a lot of trouble when I speak candidly, and I speak from the heart and I do such a thing. But I am going to." Painful.

Palin mocked the Obama administration's elimination of the word "enemy combatant," while praising President Bush's efforts to fight the war on terror - even though "the political and media elite ridiculed and mocked him."

As for the future of her party - which she no doubt would like to shape - Palin rejected the idea that it become more moderate; instead saying Republicans need to communicate their ideas better. Now there's an idea.

Here’s my question to you: Is Sarah Palin still relevant to the national dialogue?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Sarah Palin