December 1st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

More and more Americans seek day-labor jobs

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Remember the argument against cracking down on illegal immigration that went: "Illegal aliens come here to do the jobs Americans won't do?" Well, guess what? Americans are doing them... and in greater numbers than ever before.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.home.depot.jpg caption="Day laborers wait in front of a Home Depot in Los Angeles."]
USA Today reports that a growing number of American citizens are headed to street corners and parking lots of home improvement stores to find day-labor work - jobs usually done by illegal aliens.

A UCLA professor of urban planning says it's happening most often in areas where hot construction markets have collapsed - and there are lots of unemployed construction workers without stable work. He estimates that the proportion of American born day laborers has at least doubled in the last three years. Back in 2006, they made up seven percent of the day labor workforce.

Some of the places seeing an increase in U.S. citizens seeking day-labor jobs include Tucson, Arizona, Arlington, Virginia, and Los Angeles.

Experts say the day labor pool is becoming much more ethnically diverse. Whites, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans are all joining the ranks - competing for work painting, laying bricks or landscaping. And it's a trend that will only get worse once unemployment benefits run out and more people are laid off.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent... and is expected to get worse before it improves. A recent report shows jobless rates increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia in October. Michigan leads the pack with over 15 percent unemployment, followed by Nevada, Rhode Island, California and South Carolina.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when a growing number of Americans are seeking day-labor jobs?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
December 1st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why do celebrities who travel via private jet tell us to save the environment?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The hypocrisy of some celebrities knows no bounds.

The London Times has a piece called "Taking the private jet to Copenhagen" - a reference to the upcoming international climate summit. This report highlights actors, musicians, politicians and other so-called "green" celebrities who have fleets of jets, multiple homes, and on and on - leaving carbon footprints as they travel through life that would put a dinosaur to shame.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.gwyneth.suv.jpg caption="Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is pictured behind the wheel of an SUV."]
For example:

  • John Travolta has 5 private jets (including a Boeing 707). He once flew to London on one of them to encourage the British to fight global warming.
  • Harrison Ford used to own a Gulfstream jet, but now makes due with a smaller Cessna Citation Sovereign eight seat jet, four propeller planes and a helicopter.
  • Oprah Winfrey, who preaches about being environmentally friendly on her TV show, traveled in a 13-seat Gulfstream jet for years until she replaced it with a faster Bombardier Global Express.
  • Tom Cruise has five planes, including a customized Gulfstream jet.
  • As for the king of global warming preachers, Al Gore: It's been estimated his Tennessee mansion uses 20 times the electricity of an average U.S. home. And he spends $500 a month just to heat his indoor swimming pool.
  • Meanwhile recent owners of gas guzzling SUVs include Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbra Streisand and Cameron Diaz.

All of the above mentioned celebrities are active to a greater or lesser degree in urging the rest of us to fight global warming.

Here’s my question to you: Why do celebrities who travel around in private jets want to tell the rest of us how to save the environment?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Media Coverage
December 1st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should Republicans be trying to sell political 'purity'?


L to R: Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Mark Sanford (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It seems the Republicans can't agree on the party's proposed "purity test" which would bar financial support for candidates who don't meet 8 of 10 tests on social and fiscal issues...

These include:

  • Supporting smaller debt and lower taxes, opposing President Obama's so-called "government run" health care plan, opposing amnesty for illegal aliens, opposing government restriction on gun ownership and supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.

Many Republicans - even some who claim they'd pass the purity test - say it's a bad idea because the party should offer a larger tent. With a Democratic White House that's growing more unpopular, and with Republicans hoping to pick up congressional seats next year, they say this purity test could just cause more inter-party fighting.

Plus it seems pretty hypocritical. Here are a few examples of Republican "purity":

  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted to cheating on his wife around the same time Congress was impeaching Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
  • Former Congressman Mark Foley resigned after reports he sent sexually explicit instant messages to a male Congressional page.
  • Idaho senator Larry Craig was arrested in an airport bathroom where an undercover cop accused him of soliciting sex.
  • Or Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina who went MIA for several days over the summer, lied to his staff about his whereabouts - when he was really visiting his mistress in Argentina. His wife and kids left him, but he's still in office - although probably not for much longer.

These guys define Republican purity.

Of course - Democrats do this stuff too, but they're not the ones trying to sell political purity to the public.

Here’s my question to you: Do Republicans suffer a credibility problem trying to sell the idea of "purity"?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Republicans