FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Drones aren't just for fighting the war on terror in the Middle East anymore - they might be watching you.
As more and more of these unmanned aircraft pop up over U.S. soil, they may be used to spy on Americans.
There is an Air Force document that says if unmanned drones accidentally capture surveillance footage of Americans, they can keep the information for up to 90 days and analyze it. Where is that in the Constitution?
The U.S. military and the government aren't supposed to conduct surveillance of Americans on U.S. soil without their consent, but if they accidentally capture you on video, that's OK.
They can apparently hang on to that material to determine if you are a terrorist.
There's no question that spying on Americans without a warrant could, and should, raise some serious red flags. But when you allow something like the Patriot Act, the law of unintended consequences is likely to follow.
Make no mistake, drone use is expanding on the home front.
Regulators have approved the use of drones for dozens of law enforcement agencies and universities, including the Department of Homeland Security and local police departments.
These drones can be used for law enforcement, firefighting, news coverage and monitoring wildlife. Or to spy on American citizens.
Lawmakers from both parties have asked the FAA to answer questions about privacy, to make sure the public knows these things are being used and why.
Experts predict the use of drones domestically will increase as more of the technology is brought back from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
Here’s my question to you: Should drones be used to spy on Americans?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
A dramatic warning about just how fat Americans are getting: By 2030, 42% of people in the United States will be obese. Yes, 42%.
According to a new study, 11% of them will be severely obese, meaning that they are 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight.
Already in 2010, 36% of adults are obese, or roughly 30 pounds over a healthy weight, and 6% are severely obese.
If the obesity rate increases as predicted, it could mean we'd have more than 100 million obese people in the U.S. in just 18 years.
The numbers are staggering, and they come with a huge price tag.
This report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests the increase in obesity would cost an additional $550 billion from now until 2030 in medical expenditures.
It's estimated an obese person costs at least $1,400 more in medical expenses per year than someone who has a healthy weight.
Carrying around all that fat increases your risk for many other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, several types of cancer and sleep apnea, not to mention a shorter life expectancy.
Obesity is one of the biggest reasons why health care spending has been skyrocketing in the last 20 years.
The report’s authors say we have an environment in the U.S. that promotes obesity, with fast-food chains, cheap junk food and technologies, like the Internet, that keep people sitting at home and at their offices all day long.
Meanwhile, this study doesn't even address children. Currently, one out of every three children in the United States is obese or overweight.
Here’s my question to you: Where is the U.S. headed if 42% of us are obese by 2030?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
It's the end of the world as we know it - at least for one in seven people worldwide.
A new poll conducted for Reuters shows nearly 15% of people believe the world will end during their lifetime.
And 10% think the end could come as soon as this year - that's based on the end of the 5,100-year-old Mayan calendar that arrives on December 21, 2012.
Pollsters questioned more than 16,000 people in more than 20 countries. It turns out predictions of doom and gloom vary widely depending on where you live.
Only 6% of the French and 8% of the British fear Armageddon in their lifetime compared to 22% in Turkey and right here in the United States.
The Russians and the Poles were most likely to fear the end of the world as coming this year.
Experts say people under 35 and those with lower education or income are more likely to believe in an Apocalypse. Perhaps it’s because those over 35 have lived long enough not to worry about it.
Meanwhile, there have been many End of Days predictions over the years coming from the Chinese, the Egyptians, Native Americans, the Irish, etc.
But for some reason this Mayan Doomsday prediction has attracted millions, maybe even billions, of believers. Hundreds of thousands of websites have popped up devoted to the end-of-the-world fears.
However, experts - including NASA - say there's nothing to it and compare it to the Y2K scare which turned out to be much ado about nothing.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when one in seven people think the end of the world is coming?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
The dysfunctional disaster that is Washington will only get worse after November's election.
Moderates are quickly becoming extinct - with Congressional Democrats and Republicans who represent the middle heading for the exits.
Politico reports on a study by political scientists that shows Congress is more polarized than at any time since reconstruction.
The sad part is our current political environment encourages the extremes: 24/7 cable news, Super Pac money, interest groups, activist blogs - they all cater to ideologues.
The big losers here: The American people. With the two parties too busy fighting to offer any real solutions to what's looming on the horizon.
And don't kid yourself - we're in trouble.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is warning Congress that the Fed won't be able to undo the damage to the economy if lawmakers mismanage the fiscal cliff.
This so-called fiscal cliff represents $7 trillion worth of tax increases and spending cuts that will be triggered by year's end - if Congress doesn't act.
None of this will get addressed until after the election; at which point there will only be a few weeks to try to do something before the triggers kick in.
And then there's President Obama, who seems content to whistle past the graveyard while trying to get re-elected.
Mr. Obama is ignoring the big issues– from deficit reduction to Medicare, Social Security and government spending.
Instead the president is majoring in the minors - focusing on smaller, and more politically popular, things like the Buffett Rule, student loan rates and oil speculators.
It may help him win votes, but the country is on a collision course with disaster.
Here’s my question to you: Where's the leadership?
With college graduation season just around the corner, a lot of young people are already underwater.
Student loan debt tops a staggering $1 trillion, more than car loans or credit card debt.
It's estimated the average kid graduating from college owes more than $27,000, up 54% from a decade ago.
As a result, many students and recent graduates want their student loans partially, or fully, forgiven.
But that could open the door to the taxpayers getting stuck with yet another huge bailout.
In Washington, student loans have been a hot topic of debate this week, with President Obama pushing hard for Congress to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling to 6.8% as they're scheduled to on July 1.
House Speaker John Boehner says the House will vote on Friday to extend current rates for a year.
All this should make college students think long and hard about choosing what to study. With unemployment above 8%, if graduates can't find a job, they might very well have trouble paying off these loans.
A new study suggests students who major in subjects like health care, education, psychology, social work and business have a better shot at getting a job.
On the flip side, The Daily Beast reports the most useless college majors out there include fine arts, drama, architecture, graphic design, philosophy, religion, English, journalism, archaeology, music, history and political science.
Here’s my question to you: What's the most useless college major?
The immigration wars will heat up once again tomorrow.
When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of Arizona's controversial law.
It requires Arizona officials to check the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested who they suspect is an illegal alien. But the Obama Administration sued to prevent it from going into effect.
Supporters say it's necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the nation's borders. States like Arizona have had to deal with serious security issues along with the steep cost of education and health care for illegal aliens.
Critics say the law encourages racial profiling and forces state law enforcement to interfere with federal immigration policy.
The Supreme Court ruling is expected in June, which means like health care, it's sure to be a political hot potato headed into the election.
If the Supreme Court upholds the law, Senate Democrats are reportedly planning to force a vote on legislation that would invalidate Arizona's law.
Of course this has little chance of passing a divided Congress, but it's a way for Democrats to appeal to Hispanic voters before November.
Senate Democrats might be interested to learn most Americans agree with Arizona's approach. A new Quinnipiac Poll shows 68% approve of the Arizona law. Only 27% don't. And 62% say the Supreme Court should uphold the law.
Here’s my question to you: Should states have more to say about their own border security?
Can you afford to get old?
In case you weren't already worried about your retirement, now comes word that it's getting more expensive to get old.
The International Monetary Fund says people around the world are living three years longer than expected. That's increasing the cost of aging by 50% - and governments and pension funds aren't ready for it.
Reuters reports the IMF study, coming out next week, shows that longevity is a bigger risk than previously thought.
Researchers say that if everyone in 2050 lived three years longer than now expected, society would need extra resources "equal to 1 to 2% of GDP per year."
In the United States alone, an extra three years of life would add 9% to private pension plan liabilities.
Life expectancy in the United States is approximately 78.5 years. According to the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. ranks 50th worldwide. At the top of the list is Monaco, where people live an average of almost 90 years, followed by countries like Macau, Japan and Singapore.
As medicine improves and standards of living go up in some of the developed countries, people continue to live longer. The IMF is calling on governments and the private sector to prepare now for those longer life spans.
Governments' options are fairly limited. Raise the retirement age, raise taxes to fund public pension plans, and lower benefits. A lot of countries are already considering doing all of this to tackle crippling national debts.
Another step governments could take would be to educate people on how to better prepare for their retirement.
Here’s my question to you: Can you afford to get old?
With less than two weeks to go until taxes are due, think about this:
It's estimated Americans need to work 107 days just to earn enough money to pay their taxes.
A research outfit called The Tax Foundation says Americans will spend an average of 29% of their income on federal, state and local taxes in 2012.
That's more than what an average family spends on food, clothing and housing combined.
Nationally, the so-called Tax Freedom Day arrives April 17, which just happens to be the same day taxes are due.
But it comes earliest in states like Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Tennessee is the earliest at March 31.
States with higher average incomes - like Connecticut, New Jersey and New York - aren't free of their tax burdens until later in the year. Connecticut is the latest at May 5.
It goes without saying that not every situation is the same, but a lot of people are fed up with our current tax structure.
Billionaire David Rubenstein calls America's tax system a "disgrace."
The co-founder of the private equity firm Carlyle Group says the government needs to change the law if they want the rich to pay more in taxes. Rubenstein adds that he's paying what he's supposed to pay under the current law - and it's unfair for people to say he's not kicking in his "fair share."
President Obama has been calling for the rich to pay their "fair share" in taxes. He wants to change the law so that people who make more than $1 million pay at least a 30% tax rate.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when you have to work 107 days just to meet your tax bill?
$540 million. That’s the record jackpot in Friday’s Mega Millions lottery drawing.
It tops the previous high of $390 million in 2007, which was split by two winners.
And it's what has people lining up at convenience stores across the country to buy their chance at unimaginable wealth.
Tickets cost $1 each and will be on sale in 42 states plus Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands until just a few minutes before the 11 p.m. ET drawing.
The winner - or winners - will get to choose between annual payments or the cash option. The lump sum would be roughly $389 million.
But back to the $540 million and how a winner might spend that astronomical sum.
Think about it this way: If you earn $100,000 a year, the jackpot would pay your salary for 5,400 years.
Or you could buy more than 1,000 homes worth $500,000 each. Or more than 10,000 cars at $50,000 a pop. You get the idea.
Or if you paid half of your winnings in taxes and invested the remaining roughly $270 million in tax-free municipal bonds earning 3%, you would garner about $8 million a year in interest.
Of course, the odds aren't exactly on your side here. They are 175 million to one against you.
But, hey, you can always dream.
Here’s my question to you: What would you do if you hit the $540 million lottery?
Here's something that should make you count your blessings:
Nearly 1.5 million American families live on $2 a day - or less - per person. $2 a day.
The numbers include some 2.8 million children.
We should be ashamed of ourselves.
The national poverty center reports that households living in "extreme poverty" surged by 130% in the last 15 years.
It's estimated that more than half of these families are run by a single woman. More than a third are headed by a married couple.
Almost half were headed by whites, one-quarter by blacks, and less than a quarter by hispanics.
The center used the $2 a day measure since that's one of the world bank's main indicators of poverty in developing countries. Pretty sad commentary on the state of affairs in our own developed country.
Researchers didn't include food stamps in this measure. Once you factor in food stamps as income, the number of households in extreme poverty drops by almost half to 800,000.
Overall, a record 46.2 million Americans are living below the poverty line.
The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on programs to feed, shelter and house the poor.
It's estimated 1 in 6 Americans rely on public programs - with food stamps and Medicaid being the largest.
Mitt Romney recently came under fire for saying he's not concerned about the "very poor," saying: "There's a safety net there."
Not exactly the voice of a compassionate conservative.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when 1.5 million American families live on less than $2 a day per person?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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