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July 27th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

GE moving X-ray business to China. What message is sent to U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here is more evidence of the suicide mission this country is on: General Electric announced it's moving its 115-year-old X-ray business from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing, China.

The X-ray business is part of General Electric's GE Healthcare unit, and this move is just part of a broader plan by GE to invest $2 billion in China.

This will become the first GE business to be headquartered there. A handful of the unit's top executives will be transferred to China but otherwise, the company says, none of the 150 staffers in the Milwaukee-area facility will lose jobs or be transferred. However, GE plans to hire more than 65 engineers and a support staff at a new facility in China.

It's the kind of news that makes you want to reach for something sharp and jab it in your eye. General Electric's Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is one of President Obama's advisers on… ready? U.S. job creation!

In January, President Obama asked Immelt, a self-described Republican, to head up the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Tapping Immelt was supposed to provide the Obama administration with a business world perspective on job creation - not in China - here.

The administration also hoped it would give the president a leg up negotiating with the Republican-controlled House on deficit reduction, jobs programs, and health care. And we can all see how that's worked out really well.

Two months after Immelt was named to the council, The New York Times reported that General Electric paid no income taxes last year... thanks to some fancy accounting footwork, even though the company earned $14.2 billion in profits last year - more than $5 billion in the U.S. alone.

Here’s my question to you: General Electric is moving its X-ray business to China. What message does this send Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: China • U.S. Global Image • United States
May 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Does getting Osama bin Laden justify enhanced interrogation techniques?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Leon Panetta, head of the CIA, said earlier this week that intelligence collected from detainees who were waterboarded provided clues that helped the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden.

Waterboarding, which is the simulated drowning of prisoners to get them to spill secrets, is no longer legal, thanks to President Obama. It was one of Obama's first acts as president.

The Bush Administration before him had been harshly criticized for what some said was legalizing torture. Panetta in the past has said that enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding is torture and is morally wrong. However, he also said the debate about the use of these techniques will continue.

Some former members of the Bush Administration and a handful of other Republicans were quick to defend the practice in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Justice Department official John Yoo and Congressman Peter King from New York have all said in interviews this week that information obtained through enhanced interrogation techniques used on prisoners, like waterboarding, was key to the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistani hideout.

However, none of these men is really in the position to know this for sure. And there's been no official statement or any proof that any information gained from prisoners by using these interrogation techniques ultimately led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Here’s my question to you: Does getting Osama bin Laden justify the use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

February 24th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Time for U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?

ALT TEXT

President Obama makes a statement on Libya with Secretary of State Clinton at the White House. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama finally spoke out Wednesday on the crisis in Libya. He condemned the violence against anti-government protesters and announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be meeting with top diplomats on Monday to discuss how to respond to violence in the region.

However, the president stopped short of calling for the resignation of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi or announcing any sanctions the United States would place on that nation.

The president is expected to speak with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron by phone on Thursday to discuss the unfolding situation in Libya.

All of this happened after the president didn't say anything for the first few days of the crisis. He was reportedly concerned about the safety of Americans inside Libya. It turns out not saying anything is not necessarily a bad thing, according to a new Gallup Poll.

While 66% of Americans think the United States should play either the leading or a major role in resolving international problems, 32% say the United States should be a minor player or not get involved at all. That's up from 23% just two years ago, and at its highest level since 2001.

But as tensions mount and the stakes get higher, which they inevitably do when oil is involved, it's unlikely the United States will remain on the sidelines indefinitely.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time for the U.S. to scale back its role in world affairs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

November 2nd, 2010
04:18 PM ET

Country more divided now than under Bush?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

For most of the eight years George W. Bush was president, the United States was a nation divided.

Liberals and many independents passionately opposed what President Bush was doing and the way he was doing it - from the wars, to torture, wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the president's cowboy attitude when it came to international relations.

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, we were told things would change. Candidate Obama promised a new era of bipartisanship. He promised to change the way Washington works. A tall order for sure, but a lot of people believed it could happen.

Fast forward two years and in many ways this country seems more divided than ever. For starters, critics say the administration is insular and out-of-touch with most Americans. The same thing many said about Bush.

Also, they say the president's promises of bipartisanship fell flat, with the Democrats pushing through controversial legislation like health care reform with few, if any, Republicans on board.

Many Americans are now opposed to what this president has done, including health care, the stimulus bill and record government spending.

Some are so disgusted with what's going on in Washington that a whole new political movement has been born. In many ways, it seems like the phenomenon that is the Tea Party sprung up in reaction to President Obama's policies.

And, as the country votes today in the midterms, it's an election that's been marked by angry, nasty ads and personal attacks between the political parties, which seem to be worse than ever.

Here’s my question to you: In less than two years, does it seem the country has become even more divided than it was during the Bush years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

January 21st, 2010
07:00 PM ET

13-yr-old Saudi girl sentenced to 90 lashes for bringing cell phone to school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes in front of her classmates. Her crime? She brought a cell phone to school.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a  photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story.

A Saudi account of the story printed in "The Daily Mail" says a court also sentenced the child to two months in jail.

The girl reportedly assaulted her teacher after she was caught with the phone. Cell phones are banned in girls' schools in Saudi Arabia. This punishment is harsher than what some Saudi thieves get.

This is sick. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East - because they have all that oil. And this is how they treat children. But as long as we need their oil, we just look the other way.

The country is an absolute monarchy that uses one of the strictest versions of Sharia - or Islamic law - anywhere.

They interpret the law to justify cruel punishment like amputation, stoning, public beheadings and crucifixions.

Saudi women are not allowed to drive - and in public, they must be completely covered and accompanied by a male relative at all times. Flogging is mandatory for "moral" offenses like adultery or being alone with an unrelated person of the opposite sex.

The ruler, King Abdullah, has supported some social reforms in the last few years - but in many instances, the religious clerics have so much power they can pretty much call the shots.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Saudi Arabia • U.S. Global Image • United States
September 23rd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should rules be changed to keep people like Gadhafi out of U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When the bomber of Pan Am flight 103 was released - Libya and its leader Moammar Gadhafi threw a huge celebration to welcome home this mass murderer. After the civilized world expressed collective outrage at Scottish authorities for releasing this mutant - there was Gadhafi, putting on a display of affection for someone who isn't fit to eat with your dog.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi delivered an address to the UN General Assembly earlier today.

Then Gadhafi had the stones to waltz into New York and share his warped views of the world with the rest of us in a ranting, raving, nonsensical diatribe on floor of U.N. General Assembly.

Turns out since no one would rent a hotel room to this creep - he's spent weeks trying to find a place to pitch his trademark tent - most recently settling on the town of Bedford, New York.

The problem was the land he was using is owned by Donald Trump. Trump explained he'd leased the property to some Middle Eastern associates who in turn allowed Gadhafi to camp out on the lawn.

When the Bedford authorities found out, Gadhafi was told to roll up his sleeping bag and hit the road.

All of which is to wonder what purpose is served by allowing these kinds of people to come here every year for the U.N. meetings.

In addition to creating traffic and security nightmares - a guy like Gadhafi manages to send everybody's temperature up a couple of degrees. And, quite frankly, in New York City we don't need his help.

Here’s my question to you: Should the rules be changed to keep people like Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi out of the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Global Image • United States
September 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

News media responsible for outbreaks of rude behavior in U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Ask the president and he'll tell you it's the news media's fault that the country has descended into a screeching, yelling, nasty batch of rudeness and lack of manners.

Serena Williams argues a call by the line judge which led to her disqualification during the Women's Singles Semifinal match of the U.S. Open.

President Obama appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows - which is a lot even by this visible president's standards. The idea was for Mr. Obama to continue selling his health care plan to the American people, which by the way, some Republicans now say is dead.

But during several of these interviews - although President Obama insisted he wasn't doing media-bashing - he seemed to do media bashing.

Right here on CNN, the president called out the three cable news networks, and said the easiest way to get on any of them is to "say something rude and outrageous." He said if people are polite and sensible and don't exaggerate about their opponent, it's harder to get noticed by the press.

President Obama said that instead he'd like to see "all of us reward decency and civility in our political discourse."

The president went on to say news organizations can't get enough of the conflict, calling it "catnip to the media." He says in the 24-hour-news cycle, the extreme elements on both sides get the most attention. And he's right.

Just last week in the Cafferty File, we reported on celebrities from Kanye West to Serena Williams to Congressman Joe Wilson behaving badly; and about what their uncivilized behavior says about the rest of society.

Here’s my question to you: Are the news media responsible for the recent outbreak of rude behavior across America?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: News Media • U.S. Global Image • United States
July 7th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How important are better relations between U.S. and Russia?

ALT TEXT

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walk by the Czar Cannon in the territory of the Kremlin. (PHOTO CREDIT: DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is in Moscow for meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in an effort to smooth things over between the two countries. It's the latest example of President Obama trying to extinguish the flames of something former president George W. Bush left burning.

In a press conference today, President Obama said a strong Russia is good for the U.S. and spoke of a deep rooted respect Americans have for the Russian people.

Depends on who you ask. According to a Gallup Poll, Americans don't feel much like cozying up to Russia. 53-percent of Americans view Russia unfavorably, the highest it's been in nine years.

Russians aren't in love with Americans either - at least not with our leaders. 34-percent of Russians disapprove of U.S. leadership, which is lower than it's been in previous years. But it's worth noting that many Russians said they are still undecided about their opinion of U.S. leadership under President Obama.

And it's actually better than it was 10-years ago during the unrest in 1999 before Boris Yeltsin conceded power to Putin. Then Russians' opinion of American leadership was at an all time low.

Here’s my question to you: How important are better relations between the U.S. and Russia?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Global Image • United States
April 7th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should U.S. trust Muslim allies less than other allies?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

During his first visit to a Muslim nation as president, Barack Obama declared that the U.S. "is not and will never be at war with Islam."
The president addressed the Turkish Parliament and called for a greater partnership with the Islamic world.

President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tour the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

He also focused on building a stronger bond between Americans and Muslims; and portraying terrorist groups like al Qaeda as extremists who don't represent the majority of Muslims. President Obama talked about listening to each other, respecting each other, and showing our "deep appreciation for the Islamic faith."

No doubt Mr. Obama has his work cut out for him when it comes to mending fences with the Muslim world. Many Muslims grew to disrespect if not downright hate the U.S. after President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. Many also felt the entire Muslim world had been unfairly blamed by the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks - which were carried out by Muslims.

And - President Obama may also have a lot of convincing to do here at home. A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 51 percent of Americans say the U.S. should trust Muslim allies, like Turkey, the same as any other ally, but 48 percent say the U.S. should trust Muslim allies less.

Mr. Obama called Turkey a "critical ally," and strategically that's true. But when it comes to the issue of trusting Muslim allies, almost half of Americans remain wary.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies less than other allies?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Global Image
November 21st, 2008
03:56 PM ET

Next 20 years: How worried are you?

ALT TEXT

People in Baghdad burn an American flag in protest against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The power and influence the United States has in the world will decline in the next two decades and struggles for the world's natural resources will intensify, according to a new government report.

The National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World" says the world is in the middle of an historic transfer of wealth from West to East. That's been brought on by increases in oil and commodity prices as well as a shift of manufacturing and certain other industries to Asia.

The U.S. will likely remain the single most powerful nation in the world, but its economic and military strength will decrease considerably. It will continue to play a leading role in the war against global terrorism.

Nations like Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey will likely gain power, and their need for natural resources will increase.

But China is expected to be our biggest rival by 2025. The report predicts it will have the world's second largest economy by then and will be a leading military power.

Here’s my question to you: How worried are you about the next 20 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: U.S. Global Image
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