November 13th, 2008
04:56 PM ET

Should Dems begin investigations of Bush Admin.?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/13/art.bush.flag.gi.jpg caption="Congressional Democrats will move forward with investigations of the Bush administration in January."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The New York Times reports that congressional Democrats are going to move forward with investigations of the Bush administration even after the president leaves office in January. That could prove to be quite a task.

Where to begin... Abuse of the power of the Executive Branch... Torture of detainees... The role of former White House aides Harriet Miers and Karl Rove in the firing of federal prosecutors... Eavesdropping without a warrant. It's a very long list.

The rub is that President Bush may be able to block subpoenas long after he leaves the White House.

In 1953, Harry Truman blocked a congressional subpoena almost a year after he left office. Truman told Congress the Constitution still empowered him to do so. Then Congress backed off.

If the last eight years are any example you can bet the Bush administration would do everything it could not to cooperate.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a good idea for the Democrats to begin investigations of the Bush administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Bush Administration
November 13th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

Meaning of Goldman, Morgan Stanley‘s planned bonuses?


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

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The economic picture got even worse today. Weekly jobless claims were the worst we've seen in 7 years. Mass layoffs continue to be announced across a variety of sectors. And the markets remain in a free fall as the Dow's off around 30 percent for the year and the NASDAQ and S&P 500 are both off around 40 percent.

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing today with representatives from banks getting money from the big $700 billion financial bailout package. Committee members wanted to know where the money is going. Not an unreasonable question.

Bank executives said they are both lending and working with delinquent homeowners and that this money is not going to pad executive paychecks.

Watch: Cafferty: Planned bonuses?

A general counsel at Goldman Sachs told the committee that compensation, "will be down very significantly this year across the firm, particularly at senior levels... We get it."

But what does "down very significantly" mean on Wall Street? According to Bloomberg financial news, Goldman Sachs has set aside $6.8 billion for year-end bonuses, and Morgan Stanley, $6.4 billion.

That figure is down from the record setting $12.1 billion Goldman shelled out last year and the $10 billion Morgan Stanley doled out.

Granted they cut the bonus numbers in half, but that's still a mind-boggling amount. And both firms are taking taxpayers' money from the bailout package. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley each got ten billion dollars.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are planning to pay $13.2 billion in year-end bonuses?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Goldman Sachs • Morgan Stanley • US Economy
November 13th, 2008
03:58 PM ET

Obama’s Best Use of VP-elect Biden?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/13/art.obama.biden.b.gi.jpg caption=" How should Obama make the best use of Biden?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Today we're going to spend a couple of minutes talking about the vice presidential candidate who actually won the election, Joe Biden. Remember him?

After 9-11, one of the first things President Bush did was find a secure, undisclosed location in which to store his Vice President, Dick Cheney. Once hidden away, Cheney could begin pulling the strings for the new administration. Secret energy meetings with that fun bunch from Enron, drawing up plans to invade Iraq as well as the lies they would need to cover it, figuring out how to operate the most secretive administration in history without being accountable to anyone. He had his assignment clearly defined right from the start.

It's always been a bit of a problem figuring out what to do with the vice president. As long as the president's alive, his official job description is limited. Break the ties in the Senate, sit behind the congressional leaders during the State of the Union address, and try to look interested when out in public.

Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University says Biden could best be put to use soothing a Democratic Congress that's had a tense relationship with the Executive Branch in recent years. He believes Biden should be "a point man on Capitol Hill to help twist arms, make arguments and build voting coalitions."

Here’s my question to you: How should Barack Obama make the best use of Vice President-elect Joe Biden?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama • Joe Biden