May 6th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should Americans cut back on consumerism?


Solar panels are installed on a home's rooftop.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans will have to cut back on their consumerism because it's hurting the environment... So says Oregon's Governor Ted Kulongoski.
He tells the New York Times that when it comes to some environmental regulations, it's a lifestyle issue, because we Americans have a love affair with consumerism and consumption.

The governor says that other than taxes, the hardest thing to talk with his constituents about is changing their lifestyles. As an example, he points to car companies still making SUVs.

This guy is ahead of the curve - he has strongly supported renewable energy development - both by luring foreign solar manufacturers and wind companies to Oregon; and by supporting emerging technologies, like wave power.

Governor Kulongoski acknowledges that some of these changes - like transitioning away from fossil fuels - will cost people money. But he says politicians have to tell their constituents they "can't continue to consume 25 to 30 percent of the world's natural resources. It isn't possible."

He says that whatever issue he raises about energy - be it nuclear, coal, ANWR, offshore drilling, etc. - people are resistant. But it's impossible to make progress if everything is taken off the table. Oregon's governor says the U.S. has wasted about 10 years in not engaging our citizens... and that's why Europe is so far ahead of us.

He absolutely gets it.

Here’s my question to you: Do Americans need to cut back on consumerism?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
May 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would disbarring Bush lawyers end torture debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

No criminal charges for the authors of the Bush administration's so-called torture memos; that's according to a preliminary report by the Justice Department. The draft report instead suggests the government might call on state bar associations to take sanctions against two of the three lawyers who wrote the memos. The most severe punishment they could get would be disbarment.

This report now goes to Attorney General Eric Holder for approval or revisions, and is expected to be finalized soon. The torture memos were written after the 9/11 attacks, and authorized harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding, throwing detainees against walls, and forced nudity.

And needless to say, these lawyers didn't decide to write this stuff on their own - someone told them to do it.

The issue has become a political hot potato for the Obama administration, although the president opened the door to criminal prosecution for those who authorized these acts, he also talks a lot about looking forward instead of dwelling on the past.

Meanwhile a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush officials... 57 percent of those surveyed say Congress should not conduct an investigation; and 55 percent don't want to see an independent panel created to look into this stuff. The poll also found 50 percent support President Bush's decision to authorize these harsh techniques; even though 60% believe it was torture.

Here’s my question to you: Would disbarring the Bush lawyers who wrote the interrogation memos be enough to put an end to the torture debate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


May 6th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How can GOP attract more women?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

And now for today's installment of 'The Republican Party is in deep trouble'... Among their many issues - turns out the GOP is really hurting when it comes to women voters. A new Gallup poll shows that among women, Democrats have a solid double-digit advantage in party identification over Republicans - 41 percent to 27 percent.

Compare that to men, who are pretty evenly divided - 30 percent identify as Democrats and 28 percent as Republicans.

The news is even worse for the GOP when you take into account independent women who lean Democratic... in that case the advantage is 57 percent to 35 percent for the Democrats.

Meanwhile the Republicans may want to take some advice from Colin Powell, who says they are in big trouble and need to find a way to move back to the center. The former Secretary of State says the party is "getting smaller and smaller," which isn't good for the country.

He says Republicans need to realize the country has changed, that Americans want to pay taxes for services and are looking for more government in their life.

Also, Powell is criticizing some party leaders for bowing too much to the right; and says right wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter don't serve their party well. He says he doesn't want Republicans to turn into Democrats, but instead to build a vibrant party.

Hint: that may be one way to get more women to support them.

Here’s my question to you: What should the Republican Party do to attract more women voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: GOP • Republican Party