January 4th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Some kids reach age 3 without saying a word

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some children are reaching the age of 3 without being able to say a single word.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/04/art.3.jpg caption=""]
The London Times reports on a survey that also shows boys are almost twice as likely as girls to have difficulties learning to speak. The average baby speaks their first word at around 10 or 11 months... but this poll done in the UK shows four-percent of parents report their child said nothing until 3 years old. At that age - toddlers should be able to use up to 300 words, including adjectives, and string them together.

The poll of more than 1,000 parents also shows almost one in six parents say their child had problems learning to talk... that figure rises to one in four when it comes to parents of boys.

On average - girls say their first word sooner... and string words together at a younger age.

Experts say late speech development can lead to problems - like low academic achievement or mental health issues. They say that it takes lots of help and encouragement in order for children to learn how to talk... parents need to talk to their kids, read stories, play word games, point out new objects, etc. Translation: Some parents need to focus on their kids and engage them more.

This is scary stuff here... if some kids aren't talking until they're 3, it can cause issues for the rest of their lives... when it's time to read, write, communicate, etc.

Here’s my question to you: How serious a problem is it if some children reach age 3 without saying a single word?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Uncategorized
January 4th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Are political dynasties good for the U.S.?


The Kennedys in a 1935 photograph. (PHOTO CREDIT: LIFE.com)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Politics just might run in the blood in the United States.

Political dynasties have a long history... from families like the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys... to the Bushes and the Clintons.

And the newspaper "The Hill" reports the 2010 elections will be no exception - with the offspring of some well-known politicians trying to follow their relatives into power. Experts suggest if you have a famous and beloved name... it's "an advantage you don't want to throw away."

Some of the potential political dynasties in the making include:

  • Rory Reid, the son of senate majority leader Harry Reid ... who is running for governor of Nevada. In this case though, the name could hurt him. His father is facing a tough re-election battle and has pretty dismal poll numbers. Maybe that's why there are no scheduled events for the two Reids to campaign together.
  • Rand Paul, the son of Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul... is running for the Republican nomination for Kentucky's Senate Seat.
  • Robin Carnahan is running to replace Kit Bond in the U.S. Senate. Her father was the late Democratic governor of Missouri Mel Carnahan... and her mother, Jean Carnahan, served as senator.
  • Others include Ethan Hastert, son of former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert who is running for his father's old seat; Jason Carter, grandson of the former president; and Beau Biden - son of the vice president. Biden hasn't said yet if he'll run for his father's old senate seat in Delaware.

Here’s my question to you: Are political dynasties good for the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • Kennedy family • Washington
January 4th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

What to blame for U.S. economic demise?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The past decade of self-delusion and self-indulgence has damaged the U.S. severely... and we may not be able to fix it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/04/art.job.fair.jpg caption="Employment seekers line up to get into a job fair in New York."]
In a column for the web site "Human Events," Pat Buchanan points to some staggering statistics about how far this country has fallen... including:

  • The U.S. produced 32-percent of the world's gross domestic product back in 2000... it's now 24 percent - the sharpest decline by any country in modern history - except for the late Soviet Union
  • The U.S. started the decade with a budget surplus... but ended with a deficit equal to 10-percent of GDP
  • The economy was at full employment in 2000... now we have 10 percent unemployed... and another seven-percent that's underemployed or has given up looking for work...
  • As many as one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs disappeared in the past 10 years, our national debt doubled... and China practically holds the mortgage on us
  • Add in two wars, tax cuts under Bush, astronomical deficit spending, the housing crisis - and we have a real mess on our hands

Buchanan writes we did this all to ourselves believing we were "the greatest empire since Rome" and "the indispensable nation"... while buying into the global economy and free trade.

Meanwhile - prospects for robust and sustained economic growth in this new decade appear bleak. Top economists predict U.S. GDP will expand less than 2-percent per year for the next 10-years. They point to factors like a poor job market, a weak real estate sector and the banks.

Here’s my question to you: What’s to blame for America’s economic demise?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy • United States