December 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Ethically, Congress ranks lower than car salesmen

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to ethics - Congress scores lower than car salesmen.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/11/art.car.dealer.jpg caption=""]
For the first time in Gallup's annual poll, a majority of those surveyed - 55-percent - say the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress are "low" or "very low." That number has more than doubled since 2000.

The decline in Congress' ethics rating in the past year has occurred almost equally among Republicans, independents and Democrats.

The most-highly rated professions include nurses, pharmacists, doctors, police officers and engineers.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel along with members of Congress: Car and insurance salespeople, stockbrokers, HMO managers and lawyers.

Telemarketers and lobbyists weren't included in this poll - but have received even lower ratings than Congress in the past.

It's a sad reflection of how Americans view the people they send to Washington to represent them. But it should come as no surprise considering the shennanigans that go on in the Capitol:

  • Like former Cong. William Jefferson, recently sentenced to 13-years in prison... in a corruption case where he famously hid 90 grand in cash in his freezer...
  • Or Senator John Ensign - who admitted to an affair with the wife of a staffer, paid the family almost 100-thousand dollars, and then allegedly got the husband a lobbying job, where he lobbied Ensign
  • Or Congressman Charlie Rangel - still up to his ears in ethics investigations tied to his personal finances

And Senator Max Baucus of Montana - who faces accusations that he nominated his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney job.

And that's just skimming the surface… we didn't mention Larry Craig, Mark Foley, David Vitter… it's a very long list.

Here’s my question to you: Ethically speaking, what does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress
December 11th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?


Five Americans were arrested in Pakistan this week, accused of plotting a terror attack.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The arrest of five American Muslims in Pakistan is just the latest example of the growing and alarming trend of homegrown terrorism.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says "Home-based terrorism is here... and it will be part of the threat picture we must now confront."

The experts say recent cases make 2009 the most dangerous year since 9/11... They include:

  • A Chicago man charged with planning the Mumbai terror attack
  • The mass murders at Fort Hood, which some suspect was a terror attack
  • Major arrests of Americans accused of plotting with al Qaeda - including one New York bomb plot

Extremism suspects joining foreign networks - like Somali-Americans going to fight in Somalia

And the FBI rounding up homegrown terror suspects in Dallas, Detroit and Raleigh, North Carolina - claiming they broke up plots to attack a synagogue, government and military buildings

Meanwhile unless Congress acts before the end of the year, three provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act are set to expire - the parts that grant law enforcement domestic surveillance powers.

Some say the fact that Congress hasn't acted on the Patriot Act so close to the deadline is "just crazy"... they suggest the threat has been clear in places like Fort Hood and we need to protect ourselves.

But critics claim the Patriot Act disregards civil liberties, goes against constitutional freedoms, and should be allowed to die a natural death.

Here’s my question to you: With a rise in homegrown terrorism, should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government
December 11th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mandatory population control to fight global warming?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While world leaders talk about combating climate change in Copenhagen - some say population control is the only way to really fight it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/11/art.newborns.jpg caption="Newborns lie on a hospital bed in Beijing."]
The Chinese instituted a policy limiting the number of children each family can have 30-years ago. And they claim that since then, it has prevented 400-million births - and saved carbon emissions to the tune of 18-million tons a year.

And it's not just the Chinese. There's a piece in the Canadian newspaper The Financial Post which suggests: "The real inconvenient truth" is that humans are overpopulating the world.

It suggests that every nation should adopt China's one-child policy; because if we don't control the earth's population, we will eventually destroy or run out of everything - from other species to vegetation, resources, the atmosphere, oceans and water supply - and that's whether the globe overheats or not.

This piece points out that despite China's dirty coal plants - it is a world leader in creating policy to combat the destruction of the environment.

One study shows that if from now on, every woman gave birth to only one child - the world's population would drop from 6.5 billion now... to 5.5 billion in 2050. If we do nothing - the population could soar to an unsustainable nine-billion in that same time.

Needless to say there are lots of people who disagree with population control - like fundamentalist leaders who oppose birth control or politicians from emerging economies.

Here’s my question to you: Should mandatory population control be a part of the fight against global warming?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global Warming