February 24th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

290 bills passed in House are stalled in Senate

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You don't have to look very far for signs that our government is broken... and here's one more:

The House of Representatives has passed 290 bills that are stalled in the Senate.
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The Hill newspaper reports that frustrated House Democrats are out with a list of the nearly 300 pieces of legislation they've passed - that the upper chamber has yet to act on.

The stalled bills include both big and small ones - from health care, climate change and Wall Street Reform... to a Civil War battlefield preservation act and naming a federal courthouse in Iowa.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office says this list is put together during each Congress - but that this year's is probably the largest ever. Nonetheless, Pelosi isn't blaming her Democratic counterparts in the Senate. Instead she lays the blame on Republicans who are "abusing" their right to filibuster.

But some Democratic congressmen aren't shy to fault their Senate colleagues for not doing more with their super majority when they had it. House Majority Whip James Clyburn suggests that senators see themselves as a "house of lords" and that they're out of touch with the American people since they're not up for re-election every two years.

Over in the Senate - majority leader Harry Reid also blames Republicans for the back-up of legislation. Isn't he in charge?

The Democrats - starting with Reid and Pelosi - have to figure out how to get all their troops marching in the same direction. The people's business is piling up, and our lawmakers are just watching.

Here’s my question to you: How can Washington accomplish anything if 290 bills passed in the House are stalled in the Senate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: House of Representatives • Senate
February 24th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Now time for gov't to announce plan for $1 billion London embassy?


An aerial view of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye ferris wheel. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Our government is broken. It's going to spend one billion dollars of taxpayers' money to build a new, high-security American embassy in London. A billion dollars.

The 12-story, 500,000 square foot fortress will be built in the shape of a light-filled cube surrounded by natural defenses of a meadow, woodland, and a 100-foot wide moat. Yes, a moat.

The Philadelphia architect who designed the embassy says they were able to use the landscape as a security device - it's meant to protect the embassy from potential bombers and remove the need for blast barriers. Just put some crocodiles in the moat.

Construction is set to start in 2013 and be finished by 2017.

The new London embassy is being billed as one of the greenest and most eco-friendly in the world - with solar panels covering the roof and energy-absorbing material lining the building's exterior. The embassy will also be able to collect and store London's rainfall so it can be self-sufficient in water.

Which is all fine and well - but the one billion dollar price tag makes it one of the costliest U.S. embassies ever built.

Can you say tone deaf? These grandiose plans are announced at a time of record deficits and 10 percent unemployment. Millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet, to pay for food and health care, and our government is planning for a castle-like embassy with a moat.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time for the government to announce plans for a $1 billion embassy in London?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government
February 24th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Too early for Pres. Obama to plan re-election campaign?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is taking a lot for granted.

Politico reports that top White House advisers are quietly working on plans for the 2012 re-election campaign.
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For now - the planning is made up of private, closed-door meetings among aides at all levels. I guess when you have the economy, health care reform and the deficits under control, you can spend your time worrying about the next election. Even if it is almost three years away.

The article's sources say the president has given every sign he plans to run again and wants the next campaign to look a lot like the last one. My guess is it won't turn out the same way.

It's believed the re-election campaign would be managed by the white house deputy chief of staff Jim Messina - and possibly be run out of Chicago... a good way to remove it from Beltway politics and locate it instead in that bastion of good government.

The planning is still at its early stages - but some say it would likely launch in about a year.

Nonetheless, there's still a long way to go. President Obama's approval rating is hovering at around 50 percent; and a majority say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected.

The American people were promised change and a lot of them think this administration is just more of the same. And if the jobs don't start coming back soon, he may want to see if that community organizer job is still open.

Here’s my question to you: Is it too early for President Obama to be planning his re-election campaign?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama