July 17th, 2008
05:02 PM ET

Energy crisis or terrorism a bigger threat?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.five.dollar.gas.gi.jpg caption="Regular unleaded gasoline remains at its record high price of $4.12 a gallon, according to AAA."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

This country's energy crisis is "more important and threatening to America's future than terrorism"

So says Republican Congressman John Peterson. He's one of the lawmakers heading up the bipartisan "energy working group" in the House, which is trying to bring back stalled energy legislation.

Peterson insists that energy legislation should be the top priority for Congress, even though there's no sense of urgency in Washington about energy prices. He says that leaders will have a hard time refusing to address this issue adding "This is the issue of the year. This is the issue of the decade."

The Pennsylvania Congressman says the energy crisis is destroying the middle class that made this country strong, and even calls for a "war on energy” – much like our war on terror.

He says that expanding offshore drilling is the most important thing Congress can do to boost domestic supply, something many Democrats have opposed. But Peterson also calls for conservation, tax breaks and tax credits for people to get rid of their old cars, and more funding for renewable energy sources.

There's also a bipartisan group working in the Senate on an energy bill. It's believed eventual compromises would include new domestic drilling to satisfy Republicans, while promoting conservation and alternative energy sources to make Democrats happy.

Here’s my question to you: Is the energy crisis a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Oil Prices • US Economy
July 17th, 2008
04:59 PM ET

Why does Obama get more news coverage than McCain?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When Barack Obama travels overseas to Europe and the Middle East, he won't be alone.

Obama's trip is becoming a media extravaganza. All three network anchors will join him – broadcasting their nightly newscasts from stops along his route. Also along to record Obama's every move, top political reporters from major newspapers and magazines. 200 journalists have asked to join Obama on the trip, although the campaign will only be able to accommodate about 20% of them.

Meanwhile, Republican John McCain has taken 3 foreign trips in the last 4 months, and not a single network anchor has gone on any of them. It's causing some concern among Republicans that the news media aren't giving balanced coverage.

They may have a point. The three broadcast network newscasts, which have 20 million viewers combined, spent about 114 minutes covering Obama since June, compared to 48 minutes for McCain. Obama has been on the cover of Time and Newsweek magazines 12 times in the last 3 years, compared with 5 for McCain. And in the last few weeks, Obama has also landed on the cover of Rolling Stone and US Weekly, along with interview of his family by "Access Hollywood."

The TV executives have lots of reasons for why this Obama trip is such a big deal: it's his first overseas trip since becoming the presumptive nominee, he's a fresh face in politics, the historic nature of Obama's campaign, and the overwhelming interest in him overseas. Those are all valid. But that doesn't mean McCain has to like it.

Here’s my question to you: Why does Barack Obama get more news coverage than John McCain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Media Coverage
July 17th, 2008
02:01 PM ET

Congress giving Pres. Bush a free pass?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/17/art.bush.cong.gi.jpg caption=]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans are fed up with Congress. Why wouldn't they be? A new Gallup poll shows Congress' approval rating at 14%, the lowest in 30 years.

One of the reasons has got to be the legislative branch's refusal to exercise any sort of oversight on the executive branch of government, something they are specifically charged in our Constitution with doing.

In fact, President Bush has learned he can simply thumb his nose at Congress, because they won't do anything about it. So he does… over and over and over again.

Yesterday President Bush claimed executive privilege – yet again – in refusing to hand over the transcript of the FBI interview with Vice President Dick Cheney about the CIA leak case. Congressman Henry Waxman stomped his feet and said he'll move forward with a contempt citation against Attorney General Michael Mukasey. But, so what? Haven't we been here before?

Multiple White House staffers have ignored subpoenas in the last several years, including Karl Rove, former counsel Harriet Miers, Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. And nothing was done to any of them.

Meanwhile, Congress bowed to King George's demands and passed that new FISA surveillance bill, without ever doing anything about the breaking of the law with the old one. They continue to approve more money for the war in Iraq – most recently another $162 billion, no strings attached – despite promising to cut off funding for the war back in 2006.

A new book titled "The Dark Side" by New Yorker writer Jane Mayer suggests top administration officials including President Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others may be guilty of war crimes, but Congress has chosen to simply look the other way. A good lawyer might be able to make the case Congress has been criminally negligent.

Here’s my question to you: Why does Congress continue to allow President Bush to get away with so much?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President George Bush • US Congress