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December 18th, 2007
01:33 PM ET

10-year-old arrested for using knife in school lunchroom?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A 10-year-old Florida girl was arrested for using a knife to cut her food. She didn't threaten anyone. She didn't attack anyone. She used the knife to cut a piece of steak she brought from home for her lunch.

Yet school officials at Sunrise Elementary school in Ocala, Florida called police, had her arrested and she was taken away to juvenile detention.

The girl now reportedly faces a felony charge for possessing a weapon on school property along with a 10-day suspension.

Apparently it was teachers who called the sheriff after the 5th grader used the knife in the cafeteria to cut the meat. When cops showed up, they couldn't reach her parents on the phone so they arrested the girl and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.

School officials acknowledge that she didn't do anything wrong with the knife, just used it to cut her meat. But they say it doesn't matter what the knife was used for, that the district has "zero tolerance for weapons on school grounds." I wonder if that applies to forks, too. These are morons.

Of course no one will admit they may have overreacted. The sheriff's office points the finger at the school, saying that once they're notified they have to take some kind of action. I guess taking the knife away from the girl never occurred to them.

The girl's uncle says she's been very upset. He says they understand that measures need to be taken to make sure people don't come to school with weapons, but his niece is "a really good kid."

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
December 18th, 2007
01:32 PM ET

Losing “family values”?

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It looks like "family values" just aren't the campaign issue they used to be.

"USA Today" reports that in this election cycle, so-called "family values" are lower on the agenda. Of course, Republicans have made this a staple of their political campaigns for three decades now. But in the current campaign, Mitt Romney is virtually alone in stressing the issue. A "USA Today"/Gallup poll shows that although most voters say "family values" in general are important to them, they don't care all that much about candidate's personal lives.

There are several reasons for this shift, including cultural changes in society and the backgrounds of several of the Republican candidates. Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson have all been divorced and remarried.

There's also the importance of issues like the war, terrorism and the economy. One Republican strategist says today's atmosphere has been shaped by a series of traumatic events: the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war, adding, "In the 1980s and 1990s, the perfect shot was the candidate, the spouse, the kids and the dog. In the 21st century, it's all about action. It's all about getting things done."

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the U.S. in 2007 if "family values" have lost their punch as a campaign issue?

To watch the Cafferty File video click here 

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections
December 17th, 2007
04:52 PM ET

Investigating destroyed CIA tapes?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush doesn't want Congress and the courts investigating those destroyed CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations. What a surprise.

Nonetheless, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is pledging to move forward with his panel's probe. Congressman Peter Hoekstra says it's important to hold the CIA accountable, adding, "You've got a community that's incompetent. They are arrogant. And they are political."

On Friday, the CIA asked the Intelligence Committee to halt its investigation, saying that inquiry would interfere with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department in collaboration with the CIA.

This after Attorney General Michael Mukasey rejected demands from Congress for information about the Justice Department's inquiry. He said turning over the information might be seen as bowing to "political influence."

Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman agrees with Hoekstra that congressional inquiries should continue. She says parallel investigations have happened many times, adding, "It smells like the cover-up of the cover-up."

And, it's not just about Congress. The Justice Department is also telling a federal judge not to start his own inquiry. U.S District Judge Henry Kennedy had ordered the administration back in June 2005 to preserve evidence regarding detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. But the administration insists the CIA tapes weren't covered by that order because the detainees weren't being held at Gitmo. They were being held at a secret CIA prison overseas.

Here’s my question to you: Why would the Bush administration ask the courts and Congress to stay out of investigating those destroyed CIA tapes?

Interested to know which ones made it on air:

FULL POST


Filed under: CIA
December 17th, 2007
04:34 PM ET

Endorsing John McCain?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is on a roll, at least when it comes to endorsements for his presidential campaign.

Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, backed McCain today, saying political parties are "not more important than what's best for our country." Lieberman, who was Democrat Al Gore's running mate in 2000, says you can always count on McCain to be honest about where he stands. He also praised McCain's "experience, strength, decisiveness" and readiness to lead the nation.

A recent poll shows McCain tied for second place in New Hampshire, so there's a hope that Lieberman could have some influence with independents in the Granite State, but maybe not. Last time around Lieberman couldn't even win the primary in his home state of Connecticut despite being an incumbent Unites States senator. He ended up running for reelection as an independent.

McCain was also endorsed by the editorial boards of the Des Moines Register and the Boston Globe. The Register wrote, "The force of John McCain's moral authority could go a long way toward restoring Americans' trust in government." And, the Boston Globe passed over their own former governor, Mitt Romney, saying that while McCain's views might differ from theirs, his "honesty has served him well." How important newspaper endorsements are these days is very much an open question.

Here’s my question to you: How much will endorsements from Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Des Moines Register and the Boston Globe help John McCain’s campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • John McCain
December 17th, 2007
01:51 PM ET

Ron Paul’s “money bomb”?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"Ron Paul becomes the $6 million man."

That's the headline on The Politico about the Republican presidential candidate's astounding fund-raising accomplishment yesterday.

Paul did it again - raising more than $6 million online in a single day. That follows a fund-raiser last month that brought in about $4.2 million in a single day. The campaign says it’s raised more than $18 million this quarter. This could very well mean Paul will outraise his Republican rivals for the 4th quarter and be able to fund a presence in a lot of the states voting on February 5th.

Ron Paul has the kind of grass roots organization politicians dream about. In addition to his phenomenal fund-raising abilities, mostly among small individual campaign contributors, he has a devoted following that in any given moment can almost overpower the Internet.

Any time we mention Ron Paul's name on the Situation Room, his supporters immediately begin writing into us in droves. They're fanatic in their devotion to him and very appreciative of any mentions we have ever given him. It's a phenomenon unique to Dr. Paul. We talk about all the candidates all the time but we never get a response to any of the rest of them like we get to Ron Paul.

Nevertheless, most consider him a distant long-shot and he's stuck in the single digits in most national polls.

Here’s my question to you: If Ron Paul can raise more than $6 million in one day, how come he’s not higher in the polls?

To see The Cafferty file Video click here

Interested to know which ones made it on air:

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Ron Paul
December 14th, 2007
04:50 PM ET

North Korea responds to President Bush?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Maybe President Bush should have turned Saddam Hussein into a pen pal. It looks like his recent letter to North Korea's Kim Jong Il might have been a strike of diplomacy.

In that letter, addressed to "Mr. Chairman", the president said a "critical juncture" had been reached in the 6-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. He urged Pyongyang to follow through on the agreement and to declare and dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

Well, North Korea came back with a verbal response today to Mr. Bush's letter. They said they appreciated the president's message, and that they plan to hold up their end of the bargain and expect the U.S. to do the same.

The president told reporters quote "I got his attention with a letter and he can get my attention by fully disclosing his programs."

North Korea started disabling its plutonium-producing reactor last month. In exchange, the U.S. agreed to move towards normalizing relations with North Korea, and removing the country from terrorism and trade sanctions black lists.

Here’s my question to you: Does anything change because North Korea responded to President Bush’s letter to Kim Jong Il?

Interested to know which ones made it on air:

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
December 14th, 2007
04:49 PM ET

A mistake to nominate Huckabee?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mike Huckabee is the Howard Dean of the 2008 presidential race.

That's according to a piece by Rich Lowry in the National Review. He suggests Republicans would be making a major mistake by nominating Huckabee.

Lowry writes, “Like Dean, Huckabee is an under-vetted former governor who is manifestly unprepared to be president of the United States. Like Dean, he is rising toward the top of the polls in a crowded field based on his appeal to a particular niche of his party. As with Dean, his vulnerabilities in a general election are so screamingly obvious that it's hard to believe that primary voters, once they focus seriously on their choice, will nominate him."

It's worth noting that Lowry's employer, The National Review, has endorsed Mitt Romney, one of Huckabee's main opponents.

Lowry goes on to say that Huckabee would take religion, a strength of the GOP, and make it into a weakness by overplaying it. He suggests other vulnerabilities would be Huckabee's tax history as governor of Arkansas along with his lack of national security experience. In fact, Lowry says Democrats have to be looking at Huckabee "as a shiny Christmas present that is too good to be true."

Here’s my question to you: Would Republicans be making a mistake by nominating Mike Huckabee for president?

To see the Cafferty File video, click here 

Interested to know which ones made it on air:

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Mike Huckabee
December 14th, 2007
02:32 PM ET

Taxing the rich?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Democratic presidential contenders are calling for higher taxes on the richest Americans and on big corporations.

At yesterday's debate, Hillary Clinton said she wants to keep the "middle class tax cuts" that Congress passed under President Bush, but favors raising taxes for the wealthiest.

John Edwards agreed, saying that our tax policy "Has been established by the big corporations and the wealthiest Americans." He says the U.S. should get rid of those tax breaks.

And Barack Obama weighed in saying, "We need to put those tax breaks and tax loopholes back into the pockets of hardworking Americans."

The Democrats also agreed that the idea of balancing the federal budget would have to wait, with Obama saying we won't be able "to dig ourselves out" of the Bush era deficits in the next year or two. Only Bill Richardson said balancing the budget would be a high priority, noting that as New Mexico governor, that's what he's required to do.

All this, of course a far cry from what we heard from the Republican candidates the day before. They called repeatedly for the elimination of the estate tax and reduction in the income tax on corporations.

Here’s my question to you: Is calling for higher taxes on the rich a good strategy for the Democratic presidential candidates?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Taxes
December 13th, 2007
04:40 PM ET

Major candidates saying “I’m sorry”?

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FROM Jack Cafferty:

"I'm sorry.” That's the message coming from a couple of the top contenders for the White House.

Instead of the public learning more about who might be best-qualified to run this country, we're being confronted with the aftermath of scurrilous personal attacks.

First it was a comment about Mitt Romney's religion. Mike Huckabee says he personally apologized to Romney, after asking a reporter whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. Huckabee, who had come under fire for the comment, says he told Romney after yesterday's debate he would never try "to pick out some point of your faith and make it an issue."

Less than 24 hours later, over on the Democratic side, we had a top Hillary Clinton advisor launching an attack against Barack Obama. Bill Shaheen said Democrats should give more thought to Obama's illegal drug use when he was a kid before deciding if he deserves the nomination. Shaheen later apologized and said his comments weren't authorized by the Clinton campaign. Late this afternoon, Shaheen quit the Clinton campaign.

But his comments were nasty enough to warrant a personal apology today from Hillary Clinton herself. Apparently Clinton told Obama she was very upset by the remarks, that she told Shaheen it was unacceptable and that this isn't "the kind of campaign" she's running.

It certainly is getting ugly out there.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the nature of this presidential campaign when major candidates are being forced to say “I’m sorry”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Mike Huckabee
December 13th, 2007
04:37 PM ET

Rate the Democratic-led Congress?

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FROM Jack Cafferty:

What a year it's been. Here we are, a little more than a week to go before the Democratic-led Congress adjourns and they don't have a heck of a lot to show for themselves.

First, House Democratic leaders caved into President Bush's spending limit on a massive domestic spending bill. Although they're vowing to shift funds away from the president's priorities to theirs, it still signals a big political victory for the White House.

Next, what started out as an ambitious agenda a year ago has now been reduced to finger pointing between House and Senate Democrats.

The Washington Post reports Congressman Charlie Rangel is accusing Senate Democratic leaders of developing "Stockholm syndrome" - that they're showing sympathy to their Republican captors and giving in on all sorts of legislation. He suggests if Republicans want to filibuster a bill, that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should keep the bill on the floor and make Republicans talk it to death.

For his part, Reid says he "can't control Speaker Pelosi", that she's a strong, independent woman who "runs the House with an iron hand."

And, in case that's not enough, there's a possibility the government could actually shut down if some of this stuff isn't resolved. It's no wonder so few Americans approve of the job they're doing.

Here’s my question to you: One year later, how would you rate the performance of the Democratic-led Congress?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Congress • Democrats
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