September 13th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Should Rangel, Waters ethics trials be postponed until after elections?


FILE PHOTO: Maxine Waters [LEFT] (D-CA) speaks as Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), and Rep. Charles Rangel [RIGHT] (D-NY) listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As long as we keep re-electing the same vermin, this is the kind of garbage we get that passes for government.

The Hill newspaper reports that watchdog groups expect the ethics trials for Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters to be delayed until - you guessed it - after the November election.

One group suggests that holding ethics hearings right before the midterms "overly politicizes" the ethics process.

But what about the voters? Don't they have a right to know whether or not their lawmakers are guilty of ethics charges before voting for or against them?

The way it works is the ethics committee must provide the member charged with all the evidence it plans to present in a trial - at least 15 days before the trial starts. So even if the committee gave Rangel and Waters their evidence this week, the trials couldn't start until the beginning of October... right around when Congress will likely leave town - again - to go home and campaign.

Meanwhile, the ethics panel investigated Rangel for almost two years before accusing him of several violations... including not paying taxes on a Dominican Republican villa and improperly using his office to raise millions of dollars for an education center named after him.

Two years!

Waters is accused of using her position to help a bank - where her husband owns stock - win millions of dollars in federal bailout funds.

Both lawmakers insist they are innocent and will fight the charges in a public trial. Waters has already won her primary in California and doesn't face a serious challenge in the general election. Rangel still needs to win tomorrow's primary here in New York.

Here’s my question to you: Should the ethics trials of Reps. Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters be postponed until after the November elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Election Process • Elections • Ethics
September 13th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Will health care reform become more popular like W.H. says?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Months after President Obama's health care reform became law, the White House is still hoping voters will learn to like it. This may be wishful thinking.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/13/art.hospital.jpg caption=""]
David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, said on “Meet the Press,” "I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular," adding that right now people are focused and anxious about the economy. Unless I missed something, health care costs are part of everyone's "personal economy."

The fact is the health care issue is so unpopular with voters that not a single Democratic candidate is promoting the law in their campaign ads. A recent Wall Street Journal column asked "Who's ObamaCare's Daddy?" It suggested that even liberals are now denying paternity of the law.

Some Republicans are vowing to repeal it if they gain control of Congress.

And it's not hard to find reasons why the president's signature issue is unpopular. During the long health care debate, the president told voters over and over the law would bring down rising health care costs and save them money.

So far, that's not happening. An analysis from Medicare shows health care costs will increase through 2019 as a result of the law.

Last week at his news conference, Obama seemed to back off a bit from his earlier claims, saying he never expected to extend insurance coverage to 31 million people "for free." The White House insists that over the long term costs will go down. But apparently not until costs go up some more.

Here’s my question to you: The White House says health care reform will become more popular. Do you agree?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care • White House