August 12th, 2009
04:44 PM ET

Mark Sanford fit to serve as S.C. governor?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/sanford.jpg caption=" Join the conversation on Jack's blog."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Embattled South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford should be impeached for abusing state finances.

So says a state senator who is also a fellow Republican. Senator David Thomas says the governor violated state regulations by billing South Carolina for business and first-class tickets on international flights during trade missions. The law requires officials to buy the cheapest seats possible. He also is accused of using state airplanes for personal and political travel, which he admits doing.

Governor Sanford acknowledges he "did wrong" and that "there are consequences for that.” But the weak-kneed rationale for his malfeasance in office is something along the lines of "other people have done this and even done it more often." It's the kind of logic used by people doing long stretches in prison for robbing banks. Other people did that too.

Of course, Sanford has been under fire since he mysteriously disappeared in late June. At first his office said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. A week later, in a rambling news conference, the governor admitted he was in Argentina with a woman he has been having extra-marital affair with.

At the time, people called on him to resign but Sanford said he planned to continue as governor and would try to fix his relationship with his wife and his 4 sons.

His wife Jenny has since moved out of the governor's mansion in Columbia and taken the four kids with her, but Sanford says they're not getting a divorce.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Is Mark Sanford no longer fit to serve as governor of South Carolina?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Filed under: Mark Sanford
August 12th, 2009
12:47 PM ET

Town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/jc-healthcare.0811.gi.jpg caption=" Are the town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?"]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to these town hall meetings on health care reform, the Democrats may want to rethink their strategy.

Democratic Senators Arlen Specter and Claire McCaskill were among the latest to be drowned out by angry protesters. One woman in Missouri told McCaskill, "If they don't let us vent our frustrations out, they will have a revolution." McCaskill said she's seeing a lot of distrust of government and cynicism.

Protesters at Specter's meeting said they think the Obama administration is going too far with health care reform... One woman shouted quote, "This is about the dismantling of this country." Specter said he thinks the people protesting are "not necessarily representative of America" but should be heard.

Pres. Obama and the Democrats seem to face an increasingly uphill battle in selling health care reform to a skeptical public. People don't know what's in the bill because the Democrats haven't done a good job explaining it.

For his part, the president is urging people to ignore those who are trying to "scare and mislead" the public. He says what's "truly scary is if we do nothing."

But the public is pretty split on this one. A new Gallup poll shows more Americans disapprove than approve of the way the president is handling health care reform, by a margin of 49% to 43%. What's interesting here is these numbers are virtually unchanged from 3 weeks ago – before the administration stepped up its effort to win support and before all the anger boiled over at these town hall meetings.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Are the town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care
August 12th, 2009
12:45 PM ET

President Obama meeting your expectations?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/12/obama.0811.gi.jpg caption=" The increasingly bitter battle over health care reform is making some people question President Obama's leadership."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The increasingly bitter battle over health care reform is making some people question President Obama's leadership.

Critics suggest that when it comes to governing on issues like health care, the president is missing the smooth confidence and "Yes we can" charisma that got him elected.

New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd writes of this debate that seems to be spinning out of control:

"President Obama has proven quicksilver instincts, but not in this case. You would think that a politician schooled in community organizing and the foul balls of a presidential campaign would be ready to squash this kind of nuttiness." Dowd adds that Mr. Obama knows how to rise to the occasion, but he may be running out of time to do so.

On Salon.com, Camille Paglia criticizes the president for proposing only "vague and slippery promises" when it comes to health care. Paglia, who supports the president, faults him for handing over much of the debate to congressional leaders and also seeming to be in an unexplained rush to get something – anything – passed.
She compares it to the "massive boondoggle" of the economic stimulus package, which the president pretty much gave Congress free rein to turn into one big pork project.

And it's not just health care. The list of issues this president faces is mind-boggling and probably unprecedented: from the economy and healthcare to immigration reform (which Mr. Obama now says won't happen until next year) on the home front... to Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea overseas.

Critics say on a lot of this stuff, the president is talking, not leading.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Is Barack Obama meeting your expectations as president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Obama