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November 18th, 2009
04:05 PM ET

Would you vote to re-elect Pres. Obama 1 year later?

Would you vote to re-elect Pres. Obama 1 year later?

Would you vote to re-elect Pres. Obama 1 year later?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

A year after President Obama rode into office on the mantra of hope and change, a lot of people are wondering, "Where's the beef?"

There's no question that change takes time... but there's been a lack of meaningful progress on so many of the big issues that faced him when he first occupied the Oval Office.

–Unemployment is now topping 10% and many think it will go even higher before things get better. We were told the stimulus package would keep it from going above eight percent.

–Health care reform, perhaps the president's top domestic priority, still has a long way to go before it becomes a reality - if it ever does.

–Deficits continue to soar, with the national debt now topping an astounding $12 trillion. This comes less than eight months after the debt hit $11 trillion.

–The president has committed to withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but with renewed violence there it's an open question how soon they can all come out. Afghanistan has now become Obama's war... as he decides whether to add more troops.

–The president's January deadline of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp will likely go unmet.

As for other issues like immigration reform, legislation on climate change or regulating Wall Street - nothing yet.

The interesting thing is despite a lack of progress on a lot of these issues, the American people still like their new president.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 55% approve of how the president is handling his job... Furthermore, apart from his job approval... a whopping 76% have a favorable view of Mr. Obama as a person.

SO HERE'S MY QUESTION FOR YOU: Would you vote to re-elect President Obama one year later?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: President Obama
November 18th, 2009
04:04 PM ET

What’s behind new mammogram recommendations?

What's behind new mammogram recommendations?

What's behind new mammogram recommendations?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

The Obama administration now says that federal advisory board's recommendation on mammograms is not government policy and has caused "a great deal of confusion." No kidding.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was out sweeping up today–saying mammograms remain an important life-saving tool in fighting breast cancer.. and that women should talk to their doctors and make the decision that is best for them.

But the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said Monday that women in their forties shouldn't get routine mammograms. They claimed this was meant to reduce over-treatment... and that many women experience false positives, anxiety and unnecessary biopsies.

They said mammograms saved one life for every 1,900 women screened. Turns out this panel is made up of sixteen health care experts... none of them are oncologists.

What the hell is going on? We have a federal advisory panel making recommendations about breast cancer and there is no one on the panel who is an oncologist?

And think about this: While the Preventative Services Task Force is independent, the Department of Health and Human Services Web site calls the panel's recommendations, "the gold standard."

And insurance companies look to the panel for guidance on which preventive care practices they should cover.

Is it becoming clear now what's going on here?

Cancer experts and the American Cancer Society immediately rejected these new guidelines… with some critics asking if insurance companies would use these new recommendations to justify denying mammogram coverage for women in their forties.

Republicans are pouncing on this – saying it's a sign of rationing health care.

One doctor told the New York Times: "My patients tell me they can live with a little anxiety and distress, but they can't live with a little cancer."

SO HERE's MY QUESTION FOR YOU: What do you think is behind new recommendations for mammograms?

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


Filed under: Health care
November 18th, 2009
04:03 PM ET

Will unemployment get worse before it improves?

Will unemployment get worse before it improves?

Will unemployment get worse before it improves?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty

The man who predicted the worst recession since the Great Depression says the jobs picture is a lot worse than the numbers imply.

Economist Nouriel Roubini says real unemployment is closer to 17.5% and that job losses will likely continue until the end of 2010 - at the earliest. Roubini suggests the official unemployment rate will peak at close to 11% and remain at "a very high level for two years or more."

Roubini also points out that a lot of the lost jobs just are not coming back including those in construction, finance and manufacturing. He suggests that the government extending unemployment benefits isn't the solution; instead they need to create jobs through infrastructure projects and provide temporary tax credits to companies that hire more workers.

Roubini says the poor jobs situation along with a weak recovery could increase the risk of a "double dip recession." In fact, while most economists agree that the U.S. economy is in recovery, many of them are calling for another round of stimulus to prevent another downturn. They point to factors like retail, car and home sales, along with oil prices and the stock market as potential trouble spots.

And Pres. Obama is also warning that too much government debt could lead to a double-dip recession.

Meanwhile a new Gallup poll shows 31% of Americans name the economy as the most important problem facing this country - that's the top of the list. Another 20% cite unemployment.

SO HERE'S MY QUESTION FOR YOU: When it comes to unemployment, are things going to get worse before they get better?

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


Filed under: Unemployment