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August 13th, 2009
04:40 PM ET

Troop plan for Mexican border delayed over money

 How serious is the U.S. about national security if the plan to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border is being delayed over money?

How serious is the U.S. about national security if the plan to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border is being delayed over money?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A plan to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border is being held up as our government bickers over the cost.

Pres. Obama called for the 1,500 troops in June to help stop violence from Mexican drug cartels from spilling into the U.S. The temporary boost in troops is estimated to cost $225 million.

Yet while the president was in Mexico this week spouting empty rhetoric about the U.S. doing its part to secure the border, stem the flow of drugs, weapons and money – the program to put these National Guard troops on the border is mired in arguments. The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are mostly hung up over the money, although there are also apparently issues about where the troops would be stationed and what they would do.

This is absurd. This country has done next to nothing meaningful about border security since 9-11. And, as we've been showing on CNN every day, the Mexican drug cartels are becoming stronger and more violent. It's estimated the drug violence has already killed 11,000 people.

The U.S. border states are frustrated they haven't gotten the extra troops yet, and rightfully so. And our government can't decide who will shell out the $225 million to pay for the program.

No one is going to believe anything we say if this kind of stuff continues.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: How serious is the U.S. about national security if the plan to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border is being delayed over money?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?
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Filed under: Mexico • National Guard
August 13th, 2009
01:33 PM ET

Surgeon general pick a paid adviser to Burger King

 President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.

President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In the midst of perhaps the most contentious national debate since the Vietnam War, President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.

Can you spell tone-deaf?

Dr. Regina Benjamin has been paid 10-thousand dollars since last year to serve on a scientific advisory board for the company that brings us the Whopper and the B-K Triple Stacker.

According to the Washington Times, Burger King says the doctor was on the company's nutritional advisory panel... which is meant to "promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices."

The Department of Health and Human Services says Benjamin was advocating for food that was lower in salt and recommending that nutritional information appear on packaging. They add that she will resign from Burger King once she's confirmed by the Senate as surgeon general and will "continue to promote healthy eating and exercise." You want fries with that?

But, many aren't buying it and see a conflict of interest. After all, Burger King is still a fast food joint. And, in a nation where one-third of adults are obese, fast food restaurants aren't helping any.

Since her nomination, Dr. Benjamin has won support from both sides of the aisle, particularly for running a health clinic for the poor after Hurricane Katrina – but there's also been criticism. As we reported in the Cafferty File last month, some believe that the president's selection of an overweight candidate for the nation's top doctor sent the wrong message. Now we find out she works for Burger King.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:What does it say that the president's nominee for surgeon general is a paid adviser to Burger King?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Surgeon general
August 13th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

Limit on health care for elderly, terminally ill?

 Should there be a limit on health care for elderly and terminally ill people?

Should there be a limit on health care for elderly and terminally ill people?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Medical care for the terminally ill is a controversial aspect of health care reform that hasn't gotten much attention yet.

Pres. Obama raised the issue in an April interview when talking about his grandmother's final days. He said his 86-year-old grandmother wound up having hip replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life, after already being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The president said he didn't know how much the surgery cost, and that he would have paid it out of pocket because it was his grandmother. He also said that if someone had told him she couldn't have a hip replacement and had to suffer even more in the last days of her life "that would be pretty upsetting."

But, the president added that's where "you just get into some very difficult moral issues" when deciding what medical treatment to give to terminally ill patients. Pres. Obama suggested that the chronically ill and elderly account for as much as 80% of our health care costs.

It's certainly a tricky moral question to say the least. On an intellectual level, it may be one thing to say it doesn't make sense for the country to spend so much money on people who are dying. But on a personal level, when it's your loved one suffering, it's an entirely different issue.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Should there be a limit on health care for elderly and terminally ill people?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?
FULL POST


Filed under: Health care