May 15th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

More Americans 'thriving' than 'struggling'

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More Americans say they're thriving than struggling for the first time since February 2008. A Gallup poll found that in April, 50 percent of Americans said they were thriving and 47 percent said they were struggling.

Ever since last spring, the opposite had been the case, with more people struggling, and that trend only got worse as the financial crisis affected more people. The percentage of Americans thriving hit a low of 37 percent last November.

Gallup says that the percentage of Americans who are thriving seems to increase in relation to those who say their standard of living is getting better. April was also the first month since last summer that the percentage of Americans who thought their standard of living was improving topped those who thought it was getting worse.

If people's attitudes about the economy and their personal financial situation continue to improve, these things could be a leading indicator that Americans are mentally bouncing back from the shock of the recession.

And if that happens, it could possibly lead to a turnaround in consumer spending - something that business owners across the country have been waiting for and something that has to happen in order for the economy to turn around.

Here's my question to you: What does it mean if more Americans are "thriving" than "struggling" for the first time in more than a year?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
May 15th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The number of countries with nuclear weapons could more than double in the next few years unless the major powers take serious steps towards disarmament. So says the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog agency... Mohamed El Baradei tells the British newspaper The Guardian that the current international regime that limits the spread of nuclear weapons is in danger of collapsing.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director Mohamed El Baradei is pictured at the 'Managing Global Insecurity' conference in Berlin.

The 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty was supposed to restrict membership in the nuclear club to the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France. But it has been less than successful. For the last 40 years, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea have all been developing nuclear weapons outside of this framework.

El Baradei predicts the next wave of proliferation will include so-called virtual nuclear weapons states - countries potentially like Iran, who can produce plutonium or highly enriched uranium - and know how to make the weapons, but haven't gotten there quite yet. He says soon there could be nine nuclear weapons states and another 10-20 virtual weapons states.

El Baradei suggests the only solution is for established nuclear powers to live up to non-proliferation guidelines and disarm as quickly as possible. Only then will the major powers have the moral authority to go to these wannabe weapons countries and ask them to stop.

Here’s my question to you: What can be done to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Uncategorized
May 15th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you believe Nancy Pelosi or CIA on waterboarding?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Nancy Pelosi seems to have a new story every day when it comes to the debate over torture. In fact, more focus is now on Pelosi than on the Bush administration, which authorized the use of waterboarding in the first place.

Cafferty: House Speaker Pelosi's story keeps changing regarding what she knew about so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

The Speaker of the House is now claiming that the CIA misled her during a September 2002 briefing by telling her waterboarding hadn't been used yet on detainees. She says the CIA briefers gave her inaccurate and incomplete information when asked if they lied to her - Pelosi nodded her head 'yes'.

That's a pretty serious accusation. The CIA says: "It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress." A former senior intelligence official says it's inconceivable that the CIA would not have talked about interrogation methods already being used.

Republicans insist that Pelosi and other Democrats knew waterboarding was being used all along, but said nothing. House Minority Leader John Boehner says Pelosi's comments "continue to raise more questions than provide answers." Rep. Peter Hoekstra calls Pelosi's account: "Version 5.0 from Nancy on what happened" in that 2002 meeting.

Meanwhile Pelosi finally admitted she learned waterboarding was being used in 2003, but says she wasn't personally briefed on it at the time.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to waterboarding, whom do you believe: Nancy Pelosi or the CIA?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: CIA • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi