April 13th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Does press have better things to cover than Obamas' new dog?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It may just be the most closely followed campaign promise made by President Obama... we're talking about the puppy he promised his two young daughters. And the media are all worked into a frenzy now that the long-awaited news is officially out...

The Washington Post reported in a front page story yesterday that the Obama girls were getting a six-month-old Portuguese water dog - a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy. The Obama girls named it "Bo." The puppy is due to arrive at the White House tomorrow - although the First Family and "Bo" have already met.

The Post insisted it was supposed to have the exclusive on the story, but word leaked out ahead of time. Several web sites got fired up about the news - with one publishing a photo on Saturday of what it claimed was the new first puppy. The White House called that photo a fake.

We're talking about a puppy here. But it seems like the American people - and by extension the media - can't get enough of the Obamas, especially their personal lives. Where will the girls go to school? What designer is the first lady wearing? Has the president quit smoking?

Nonetheless - it's not like the media don't have enough to focus on... you know, the struggling economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Somali pirate hijacking and on and on.

Here's my question to you: Should the press have better things to do than cover the story of the Obamas' new dog?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
April 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What can be done about increase of piracy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was about time. The Navy SEALs ended that hostage crisis off the coast of Somalia yesterday with three fatal shots in the dark killing all three pirates aboard the lifeboat. But the military action came only after the band of ragtag troublemakers held Captain Richard Phillips hostage for five days as U.S. Navy ships floated and watched in the surrounding waters.

Cafferty: Piracy is getting worse because there hasn’t been a high enough price for pirates to pay to stop it.

It got to the point where a handful of pirates in a lifeboat were making the mightiest navy on earth look like little more than a collection of plastic bathtub toys. But President Obama authorized the use of lethal force if there was imminent danger to the captain's life; and the mission was a success.

Meanwhile the U.S. military acknowledges that its actions to rescue Phillips could now increase violence. And already Somali pirates are vowing revenge - saying they will kill U.S. and French sailors "if they happen to be among our future hostages." A French raid on Friday had killed two other pirates.

The piracy in this part of the world is getting worse because so far there hasn't been a high enough price for the pirates to pay to stop it. The first officer of the ship that came under attack is calling on the world to "wake up" to the dangers of piracy. He says it's a crisis and that the U.S. should be at the forefront of the fight.

Here's my question to you: What can be done about the increasing piracy on the high seas?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Piracy
April 13th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Saudi judge refuses to annul marriage of 8-year-old girl

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Last week in the Cafferty File we told you about a new Afghan law that legalizes rape. This week's outrage story comes courtesy of another one of our allies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia - where a judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an eight-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man.

The Saudi girl pictured here (unrelated to this particular news item) buys a soft drink as her mother waits for her in the city of Jeddah.

The same judge rejected a petition back in December from the girl's mother, who was trying to get a divorce for her daughter. A relative of the girl tells CNN that the Saudi judge says he's sticking by his earlier verdict, and that the girl can petition the court for a divorce once she reaches puberty.

The mother's lawyer says that it was the eight-year-old girl's father who arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man. The judge required the girl's husband to sign a pledge that he wouldn't have sex with her until she reaches puberty. Right.

Child marriage is a controversial topic in the Saudi kingdom. Human rights groups have been calling on the government to pass laws that would protect young girls. But the country's top cleric says it's okay for girls as young as 10 to get married.

This stuff is beyond sick. But there isn't much the U.S. can do or say... is there? We're completely dependent on Saudi Arabia's oil. Saudi Arabia - the country that gave us many of the 9/11 hijackers and a place where it's alright for grown men to marry children.

Pretty disgusting.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when a Saudi judge refuses to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Saudi Arabia