December 18th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

At what cost technology replacing personal contact?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The holidays are upon us - traditionally a time spent with our families, friends and loved ones… intimate gatherings in our homes, which give us all a chance to reconnect. And maybe the need for that is greater than it's ever been.
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Here are a few statistics that might be something for us all to think about:

There are 270 million cell phone subscribers who sent more than 110 billion text messages last December - that was double the number sent a year earlier. The average teenager sends more than 2,000 text messages every month.

At the same time - the average length of a cell phone call declined last year. The problem is, this is all stuff we mostly do alone.

We spend five hours a day watching television… and another two hours on the computer…

Walk down the street in any city in America and notice how many of us never see our surroundings. Our faces are buried in personal communication devices - At the expense of seeing someone smile as they pass you - of noticing someone who might be in need - or of missing something like a changing street light that can actually put you in danger.

It doesn't seem to be a big deal now but my guess is in 20 or 30 years we won't recognize ourselves because of the effect all of this has had.

That we will be different is certain. Whether we'll be better off is very much an open question…

Here’s my question to you: At what cost is technology replacing personal contact?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Uncategorized
December 18th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Reminding voters about Bush era best strategy for Democrats?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When Democrats swept into power in Congress and the White House last year - a big part of their message was running against the record of the Bush administration.
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And some are hoping that strategy works for them again in the 2010 midterm elections.

The web site Talking Points Memo reports Democrats plan to tell voters that Republicans only want to turn back the clock to the Bush era. They say the Republican Party in Washington today is no different than the one that ran Congress before.

Also Democrats insist the party won't take the same kind of beating at the hands of Republicans that it did back in 1994. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they "fully intend to be in the majority" after November - and other party leaders say they're more prepared this time.

They better hope they are, considering poll numbers that show support for the Democratic Party slumping. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll shows only 35-percent of voters have positive feelings for the Democratic party - that's down 14-points since February.

Also - Democrats are losing support from independents. And voters planning to back Republicans are much more interested in the 2010 races than those planning to vote Democrat.

Here’s my question to you: Is reminding voters about the Bush era the best strategy for Democrats in the midterm elections?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Bush Administration • Democrats
December 18th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Federal agencies get 10% budget increase while people on Soc. Security get none

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It happened quietly at the White House this week - almost like they didn't want us to notice:
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President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill which increases budgets in many federal agencies by about 10-percent.

The bill includes almost $450 billion for the operating budgets of different departments. Among those seeing increases: The FBI, the Veterans Health Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Democrats say this spending is critical in order to help the economy out of the recession. But Republicans are slamming what they call out-of-control spending - and criticizing about $4 billion going to more than 5,000 earmarks requested by individual lawmakers.

Doesn't exactly sound like the change President Obama promised, does it?

One watchdog group says the earmark projects include the construction of a Kentucky Farmer's market, the renovation of a historic theater in New York and the restoration of a Rhode Island mill.

The bill also approves a 2 percent pay increase for federal workers.

Meanwhile the 50 million Americans receiving Social Security won't be getting any increase next year - for the first time in more than 3 decades.

So nothing for the country's seniors... but there's always money for more government.

Here’s my question to you: Do some federal agencies deserve a 10-percent budget increase when people on Social Security get no increase at all?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Social Security • Uncategorized