March 26th, 2008
05:47 PM ET

Should military be allowed to tell its story in public schools?

A wedding photograph of a US soldier affixed to the inside of his helmet from Ghostrider Company 3rd Squadron 2nd Stryker in Diyala Province, Baghdad, in March 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Forest Lake Area High School in Minnesota was all set to have some veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come and talk to the students.

The event was billed as an academic classroom discussion around military service – teach the kids about military service in the context of their history classes. But suddenly the veterans were told, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Forest Lake Area High School principal Steve Massey said there were concerns the event was becoming political, instead of educational and that made it inappropriate for a public school. Translation: Massey got some calls from parents who complained, he buckled, and canceled the appearance by the veterans. The Star Tribune newspaper reports some parents had threatened to stage a protest if the visit by the soldiers went forward.

The visit was sponsored by "Vets for Freedom", a nonpartisan group whose mission is to educate the public about the importance of achieving success in Iraq and Afghanistan. The head of the organization, who graduated from Forest Lake Area High School and served in Iraq, calls it "extremely unfortunate" that a school would bow to political pressure and not bring in a veterans organization.

One education expert suggests what happened in Minnesota might be just the tip of the iceberg in this long political year. He recommends that schools still tackle tough subjects, but invite opposing groups to speak out on each issue.

Here’s my question to you: Should the military be allowed to tell its story in public schools?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Uncategorized
March 26th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

What will you do with your rebate check?

A tax payer rebate from New York City. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to our ailing economy, you may remember how the Democrats and Republicans in Washington finally managed to work together quickly on something. They came up with that 170 billion economic stimulus package. The idea: to put money in the hands of ordinary Americans in the hopes they'll spend it to boost the economy.

Well, things may not work out as expected. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll finds that only 21% of those surveyed plan to spend their rebate check... of $600 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 and $1,200 for married taxpayers who earn less than $150,000 together.

32% say they'll save the money. 41% say they'll use it to pay off bills, and 3% say they'll donate it to charity.

In the past, taxpayers have spent half to two-thirds of their rebate checks, but today's unsure economic times may mean people are less likely to part with that money. However, the chief economist at Moodys.com says it's important to distinguish between what people say they'll do and what they actually do. He thinks taxpayers will end up spending two-thirds of their rebate checks.

Meanwhile, in yet another sign of tough economic conditions, it's reported that almost 1 in 10 people in Ohio now receives food stamps. That's the highest number in the state's history, with caseloads almost doubling since 2001. The factors to blame are those now familiar to many Americans: low wages, unemployment, and the rising cost of necessities like groceries and gasoline.

Here’s my question to you: What do you plan to do with your rebate check?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
March 26th, 2008
01:29 PM ET

McGovern: easier to elect black man president than woman

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.  Sen. Hillary Clinton, with George McGovern at the Johnson County Democrats' annual barbecue, 2007, in Iowa City, Iowa

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It will be easier to elect a black man president than a woman.

Those are the words of former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern. He's actually a Hillary Clinton supporter, but he says he feels that where this country stands today in its thinking, it's going to be harder to elect a woman. He also says, "I wish that weren't true... I'd love to see Hillary as president."

McGovern says he sometimes hears from men who don't think a woman is ready to assume the responsibilities of the top office in the land. Some worry it's "too big a job" for a woman or that she wouldn't be able to "handle those terrorists." McGovern says he rarely hears the same concerns about a black man.

Some may question whether McGovern is just saying this stuff to lower the bar for his candidate, but a recent survey suggests he might be on to something. The CBS News poll shows 39% of those surveyed believe a woman candidate faces more obstacles in presidential politics today compared to 33% who feel that way about a black candidate. However, African-Americans disagree, saying by an overwhelming margin that black candidates have a harder time.

When asked if people they know have judged Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama more harshly because of race or gender, 42% say Clinton has had a tougher go of it and just 27 percent say Obama.

That's despite the fact that polling shows Americans see racism as a much more serious problem for the nation overall than sexism.

Here’s my question to you: George McGovern, who supports Hillary Clinton, says it'll be easier to elect a black man as president than a woman. Is he right?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election