.
May 26th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Are you willing to change your diet to combat global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The headline reads: "Burping of the lambs blows roast off the menu." In one of the more bizarre articles on global warming, the London Times reports that government officials are urging people to give up lamb roasts and save the planet. And it's not just lamb. Government advisers in the U.K. are taking steps to remove other so-called "high carbon" foods from menus as well.

art.smokestack.gi

We're used to doctors and nutritionists telling us we need to change our lifestyle and diet to combat obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Well, now climate-change experts are singing the same tune, saying a change in our diets is a crucial step to cutting carbon emissions.

Lamb, alcohol and tomatoes are among the biggest carbon-producing foods, while those that produce fewer carbon emissions include potatoes, seasonal vegetables, pork and chicken.

But what are we really talking about here? Well, according to a study on greenhouse gases that was sponsored by the British government, producing 2.2 pounds of lamb releases the equivalent of 37 pounds of carbon dioxide.

As The Times points out, sheep and cows burp a lot and that produces the greenhouse gas methane.

When it comes to tomatoes, 2.2 pounds generate more than 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. Compare that to just one pound of carbon dioxide produced by 2.2 pounds of potatoes.

Like I said...bizarre.

Here’s my question to you: How much are you willing to change your diet to combat global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Global Warming
May 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What can be done about North Korea's nuclear weapons?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test near the Chinese border yesterday - an explosion roughly equal to the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War Two. But this was more than just a test of a nuclear weapon. It's also a test of the Obama administration, and for that matter the rest of the civilized world. Can our new President orchestrate an international response that will successfully pave the way for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program? Previous administrations have failed at this, and judging by the bellicosity of Kim Jung Il, there's no reason to hold out a lot of hope.

art.korea.gi

President Obama clearly plans to act more aggressively than his predecessor after North Korea's first nuclear test more than two years ago. Yesterday he called it a blatant violation of international law and vowed to take action.

Russia and China also condemned the nuclear test, as did the U.N. Security Council. But we've been here and done this before when it comes to North Korea. It remains to be seen if they will be on the same page as President Obama when it comes to taking a next step - whatever that is. And there are other countries to consider as well, like Japan and South Korea, who could be in danger of a direct attack. North Korea is a rogue nation that continues to prove it is undeserving of a seat at the table of civilized nations.

Here’s my question to you: What can the international community do about North Koreas nuclear weapons program?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: North Korea
May 22nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should paid vacation time be mandatory?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As millions of Americans head into a long weekend and the unofficial start of summer, consider this: About 28 million Americans, that's a quarter of the work force, don't get any paid vacation. Enter Florida Congressman Alan Grayson - who has introduced the Paid Vacation Act.

The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to give a week of paid vacation to both full-time and part-time workers who've been with the company for a year. Once the law is in effect three years - they'd have to give two weeks of paid time off; and companies with more than 50 employees would have to give one week vacation.

Grayson, a Democrat, says his bill would double the number of paid vacations in the U.S. It's also meant to increase worker productivity by having fewer sick days, and to boost tourism - hey, he's from Florida after all.

Grayson points to other countries where paid vacation is a matter of right. Turns out the U.S. is last among 21 industrial countries when it comes to mandatory vacation time; France requires companies to give 30 days of paid leave.

No surprise that the travel industry is all for this bill; but small business advocates say mandatory vacation time could be a disaster for smaller companies, making it unaffordable for them to do business. Some Republicans are against the idea too, saying: "A one size fits all federal mandate is the wrong medicine in troubled economic times."

Here’s my question to you: Should paid vacation time be mandatory?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Vacation
May 22nd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What advice would you give to a college graduate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's that time of year again - graduation season. But this year's crop of college graduates is looking for jobs in the worst economy their generation has known. Not exactly the best time to job search when 5.7 million people have been out of work since the recession started.

An AP-mtvU poll surveyed more than 2,200 college students on 40 campuses and found some recent college grads on food stamps; and other undergraduate students working three jobs while attending school full-time.

The poll also shows:

– 22 percent of students say they worry a lot about having enough money to get through the week; and one-third say they really worry about their parents' finances.

– Almost 20 percent changed plans and decided to go to graduate school because their undergraduate degree might not be enough to get them a job.

– One in five students say at least one of their parents lost a job in the last year; these students were less likely to go to grad school because they can't afford it.

– Almost one in five students considered quitting school.

– 32 percent say money worries have a big impact on their stress level; that's up five points from last year.

The silver lining here... Pollsters say that despite all the apprehension, there's also a lot of determination and spirit on the part of these youngsters. These students think eventually their education will pay off... and will help them land a job.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the economy, what advice would you give to a college graduate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Education
May 22nd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Is housing Gitmo detainees in U.S. prisons a problem for you?

ALT TEXT

File photo of the super maximum security federal prison in Colorado. The fortress-like super-prison is dubbed “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” and houses several terror convicts. “Supermax” is tightly controlled, technologically advanced, and designed to be impossible to escape. (PHOTO CREDIT: BOB DAEMMRICH/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama says some terror suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility will be sent to U.S. prisons.

Despite opposition from Congress, the president is moving forward with his plan to close Gitmo by next January. He insists that he won't authorize freeing any detainees who would endanger the American people, but says some of these suspects will be tried in U.S. courts and held in super-maximum security U.S. prisons. The president says other detainees could be tried by military commissions and sent to other countries.

Congress has dealt President Obama a big blow by blocking funds to close Gitmo until he comes up with a detailed plan on what to do with the 240 detainees held there. Majority Whip Senator Dick Durbin is one of the few who voted against blocking the 80 million dollars. He says the U.S. can safely house these terror suspects just like we are already housing 348 convicted terrorists in U.S. prisons.

Durbin says Guantanamo has become a symbol and an organizing tool for terrorists; and it's not helping us win friends in the war on terror. He points out that we can't exactly ask our allies to take in these detainees when we're not willing to do the same.

Nonetheless Republicans continue to argue that the president's plan could endanger Americans. Former Vice President Dick Cheney says that President Obama's reversal of Bush-era detainee policies is "recklessness cloaked in righteousness" that will make the U.S. less safe.

Here’s my question to you: Do you have a problem with housing Gitmo detainees in U.S. prisons?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Guantanamo Bay • prisons
May 21st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How do you get your spouse to stop overspending?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the economy in the toilet, millions of Americans have learned the hard way how to cut back on their expenses, and many have even begun saving more and living within their means. But not everyone.

For those of you out there with a wife who always needs the latest pocketbook or perfume, or a husband who just can't live without the new iPhone, listen up: Money Magazine - a sister company of CNN - has a great piece on how to get your spouse to stop overspending.

Research shows that people who overspend usually do it to feel good or in control - not because they actually need what they're buying. In fact, purchasing new items often makes them feel powerful and secure. Therefore the worst thing to do is lecture your spouse on the virtues of saving. The more you talk about this stuff, the more likely he or she will just want to buy more.

Instead, it's more effective to have your spouse 'own the problem' - meaning keep track of what your household spends and ask your husband or wife to review it. Don't say anything else - that way he or she has the choice to cut back.

But if that doesn't work, it may be necessary to get separate bank accounts. Or if the situation is really out of hand, you may need to take even more drastic measures.

Just keep in mind - at the end of the day, the latest gadget or clothing is a heck of a lot cheaper than a divorce.

Here’s my question to you: How do you get your spouse to stop overspending?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
May 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Would Obama be better off with congressional leaders other than Reid & Pelosi?

ALT TEXT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at a news conference in which the Democratic leaders discussed the first 100 days of the Obama Administration and their legislative accomplishments. (PHOTO CREDIT: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has had a lot of success early in his term. But it could be even better.

Democrats control the House, and if Al Franken becomes the 60th Democratic senator, they will have a fillibuster-proof majority there. But as usual, when it comes to the Democrats, all is not well. And the problem starts with the leadership in Congress.

A new CNN/Opinion Research corporation poll shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with only a 39 percent approval rating - 48 percent think she's doing a terrible job.

And Pelosi is not doing herself any favors by the way she's handled the torture debate. There's reason to believe Pelosi knew about waterboarding as early as 2002 but she refuses to admit it. Instead she accuses the CIA of lying to Congress.

A Mason Dixon poll taken in Nevada for the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's approval rating is even worse: A meager 38 percent - about half of the state's voters have a negative view of Reid. In fact, there's a question whether he'll even be re-elected. 45 percent of those polled say they'll definitely vote for another candidate in 2010.

Here’s my question to you: Would President Obama be better off with congressional leaders other than Harry Reid & Nancy Pelosi?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

May 21st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It looks like gun rights advocates are about to score a win with a Democrat in the White House. The House and Senate have now both approved bills that would allow concealed and loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges - unless a state law doesn't allow them.

Yosemite National Park in California.

The measure has been attached to the credit card bill, which is a top priority for President Obama, and could become law this week. The bill passed with the help of moderate Democrats, many of them from the South and Midwest. One of the bill's supporters, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, says the move isn't a "gotcha amendment," but a real step to protect the Second Amendment.

Gun rights groups say the bill will give gun owners the same rights on national park land that they have everywhere else; but they say they don't want to declare victory until it becomes law.

Meanwhile groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of National Park Rangers say the bill would increase the risk of poaching and vandalism of park treasures, as well as threats to visitors and staff.

Some Democrats are disappointed in what they see as the success of the gun lobby under a Democratic president and Congress. But aides admit that many Democrats feel pressure to back gun legislation or face political heat from the National Rifle Association. Can you tell there's a mid-term election around the corner?

Here’s my question to you: Should concealed and loaded guns be allowed in national parks?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Government • Law Enforcement
May 20th, 2009
05:48 PM ET

Should credit card companies target customers with good credit?

Washington is cracking down on the credit card industry. With the Senate and House both voting overwhelmingly to cut down on rate increases and excessive fees, President Obama is expected to sign the bill soon.

Some of the new restrictions:

– Lenders have to post their credit card agreements online and let customers pay their bills on the internet or by phone without an added fee.

– Customers have to be more than 60 days behind on a payment before seeing a rate increase; and even then, the company has to go back to the lower interest rate after six months if the customer pays the minimum balance on time.

– Consumers get 45 days' notice and an explanation before rates go up.

– Before getting a card, customers under 21 have to prove they can repay the money or that a parent or guardian could pay off the debt.

Missing from the bill is any kind of cap on interest rates.

Meanwhile since credit card companies probably won't be able to make as much money off customers with bad credit, they might turn their attention to people with good credit. Some suggest that for years, consumers who pay their bills on time and in full have been getting a good deal - frequent flier miles, cash-back rewards and other perks.

But those days may soon be over as banks are expected to consider bringing back annual fees, cutting back on rewards programs and charging interest immediately instead of giving a grace period.

Here’s my question to you: Should credit card companies target customers with good credit?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy
May 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why won't Democrats give president money to close Gitmo?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is facing resistance from his own party when it comes to plans to close down the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba. Senate Democrats say they won't provide the $80 million requested to shut down the facility until the administration comes up with a plan for transferring the detainees.

A guard tower and gate are pictured at the Guantanamo detention center at the U.S. Naval Base, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

That money will be stripped from a supplemental war bill and instead replaced with language that says no money can be used to transfer detainees from Gitmo to the U.S. - and no additional money will be approved until 60 days after Mr. Obama submits his plan to Congress.

This is similar language to what's in the House bill, and it's a big blow to the president, who right after he took office, announced he would close the base by next January.

You can bet politics is behind all this.The Republicans have been hammering away that it would be a reckless move to shut the prison down before deciding what to do with the terror suspects. They've released statements saying things like: "Meet your new neighbor, Khalid Sheik Mohammad?" And House Republicans introduced a bill called the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act.

Meanwhile the Pentagon says there's nothing to indicate that the deadline to close Gitmo by January is at all in jeopardy; and just today a top Pentagon official said members of Congress have to rethink their opposition to allowing detainees into the U.S. She says closing the prison in Cuba will mean hard choices for everyone.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that the president's own party won't give him the money to close the Guantanamo Bay prison?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Uncategorized
« older posts
newer posts »