January 22nd, 2008
07:14 PM ET

U.S. ready for woman or black president?

 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama exchange words during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama exchange words during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush is desperate for a legacy. Oh, he'll be remembered, but for all the wrong reasons: an economy headed into recession, trillions of dollars of additional debt for somebody else to worry about, the illegal invasion of Iraq, Katrina, the destruction of our reputation worldwide, the failure to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and countless investigations into the shadiest, if not the most outright corrupt, administration in memory.

But all is not lost. Perhaps President Bush will be remembered as the last white male to be allowed to serve as president for a good long while.

Think about it. The Republican presidential field is wide open, and whoever gets the nomination will have to run against the stuff mentioned above. No easy task. 70% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

That leaves the Democrats. They're down to three candidates, and it doesn't look like John Edwards will be around much longer. So unless things change, it looks increasingly like the country will be called upon to elect either an African-American or a woman…something we've never done before.

And despite the tide running against another Republican occupying the White House, there are real questions about whether either can win. In the privacy of the voting booth, will the country make history?

Here’s my question to you: Is the U.S. more ready for a woman president or a black president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Cheney • Hillary Clinton
January 22nd, 2008
06:21 PM ET

Pork spending, will it ever end?


Capitol Hill at night. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It just ain't Washington without the pork.

The New York Times reports that President Bush is unlikely to defy Congress on spending billions of dollars earmarked for pet projects. However, administration officials say he will probably insist that in the future, lawmakers give more justification for such spending.

A group of fiscal conservatives in Congress, along with budget watchdog groups, have been trying to get the president to clamp down on earmarks. They want him to issue an executive order that would instruct agencies to disregard earmarks not listed in the text of the legislation. Get this: more than 90% of earmarks are not actually included in the bills, but in committee reports.

Mr. Bush said in last year's State of the Union address: "The time has come to end this practice." Guess that time hasn't come quite yet.

Despite those calling for tougher rules when it comes to earmarks, there are more lawmakers who are trying to score such pet projects and brag about bringing home the bacon to their constituents.

The White House Office of Management and Budget shows that the 2008 spending bills signed by the president include more than 11,700 earmarks, totaling almost $17 billion.

Some of the pet projects this year include: museums, bicycle trails, control of agricultural pests, and aid to military contractors who are making things like "merino wool boot socks." The military contractors in this country definitely are a hardship case. Poor things.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to get rid of pork spending by Congress?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congressional Spending
January 22nd, 2008
02:14 PM ET

Economy woes?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/22/art.wallst.ap.jpg caption=" U.S. flags adorn the facade of the New York Stock Exchange early Tuesday morning, Jan. 22, 2008. U.S. stock futures seesawed Tuesday after the Federal Reserve, responding to a growing financial market crisis, slashed interest rates 0.75 percentage point.."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A messy day on Wall Street today... although things could have been much worse.

The Dow, which was down more than 460 points in early trading, recovered to close about 128 points down.

That's because the Federal Reserve made an emergency three-quarter point cut in interest rates. The Fed said it made the move because of signs that a downturn in the housing market was getting worse, unemployment had started to rise and the overall economy was weakening. That would include things like the credit crunch, our rising debt and the continuing fall of the dollar.

But it's clear what's happening to our economy is reaching far beyond our borders. World markets plunged yesterday on fears that the U.S. may be in a recession. The global sell-off, which continued today, includes some of the worst market drops since 9/11, and represents a loss of more than $5 trillion in value from stock markets this year.

As investors at home and abroad panic, the U.S. is scrambling to come up with a solution. Suddenly Washington has noticed the economy is headed straight south. But whatever they come up with, it's likely to be too little too late. The signs of trouble - housing crisis, credit crunch, falling dollar, etc. - have been around for months.

But it must be serious. The two parties in Washington are actually talking about cooperating to try to find a solution. Nothing like the threat of a depression to remind them who they work for.

Here’s my question to you: How concerned are you about the U.S. economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy