October 16th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Do you have reservations about getting a swine flu shot?


Doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine sit in a basket at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. (PHOTO CREDIT: Scott Olson/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to flu season, this year is a two-fer. In addition to the regular old garden variety flu - we have the added worry of swine flu.

Officials now say swine flu has been linked to the deaths of 11 more children in just the last week. 43 children have died from swine flu in the last month. In a normal winter - fewer than 50 children die from the flu in the entire season.

One vaccine maker says children under 10 will likely need two shots of the swine flu vaccine to develop full immunity. Not surprising - since children need two doses of the regular flu vaccine the first time they get it in order to develop full immunity. So have fun with the kids and getting their four flu shots. For adults - it's believed one shot of the swine flu vaccine is enough.

Here in New York, health care workers had been ordered to get vaccinated or face losing their jobs. But today a judge temporarily halted the mandatory vaccinations.

And even though the swine flu is causing what's called widespread disease in 41 states - a lot of people don't plan to get the vaccine. Some say they're concerned about side effects or the safety of it.

The New Yorker reports in an article called "The Fear Factor" that "the anti-vaccine, anti-government and anti-science crowd" has had a big impact on public opinion… even though the odds that a vaccine would make you sicker than the illness itself are "practically zero."

Here’s my question to you: Do you have any reservations about getting a swine flu shot?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health
October 16th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Congress add $250 billion to deficit with separate bill for higher doctor fees?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's just another example of your government at work - Senate Democrats want to get quick approval of a bill - separate from the overall health care reform plan - that would increase Medicare payments to doctors by nearly $250 billion over 10 years. This money would be added to the deficit.

The measure would avoid a 21 percent reduction in Medicare fees paid to doctors that's scheduled to go into effect in January... along with future cuts. The American Medical Association is of course calling on Congress to pass this thing - saying it will "protect seniors' access to quality care."

The measure was introduced without much attention in the Senate Tuesday - and it's been set aside for a quick vote next week... instead of being sent to the Finance Committee for hearings - which is the way things usually work.

It will need 60 votes to pass. Republican leaders along with some Democrats are opposed. They rightfully feel our deficits are big enough without adding another quarter of a trillion dollars if these increases in doctors' payments are put into place.

Why are there two separate bills? Well - if this $250 billion isn't included as part of the overall health care reform tab... then Democrats can say they're not exceeding President Obama's goal of $900 billion for health care reform over 10 years.

I know the government treats us with contempt... but we're not stupid. It's as if nothing is beneath these people.

Here’s my question to you: Should Congress add $250 billion to the deficit with a separate bill for higher doctor fees?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • Congressional Spending • Health care
October 16th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A white Louisiana justice of the peace has refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. It's 2009 - the United States has its first ever African-American president; and Louisiana has some knuckle-dragging moron Justice of the Peace who takes it upon himself to decide who can get married.

Terence McKay claims a justice of the peace refused to give him and his white girlfriend a marriage license.

Keith Bardwell of Tangipahoa Parish, north of New Orleans, insists he's not a racist and that he tries to treat everyone equally. Then he says this:

"I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

In addition to being a justice of the peace, Bardwell is also a social scientist. He says the reason he refused this couple a marriage license was out of concern for any children they might have... saying neither black nor white society accepts biracial children, and they would suffer.

Bardwell says he's turned down about four couples during his career - and he still has a job? And Louisiana allows this kind of crap to go on?

The bride, who is white, insists this is all about discrimination and racism - and wants Bardwell to resign. She's right and he should be fired.

Civil rights groups are calling for him to go too.

The ACLU says the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that the government cannot tell people who they can marry... they want the state judiciary committee to investigate. I wonder if they will.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when an interracial couple is denied a marriage license in Louisiana in 2009?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Race • Race Relations