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Why are Republicans more likely than Democrats to go to church?
November 9th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Why are Republicans more likely than Democrats to go to church?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Republicans got God.

A new poll suggests they are much more likely to go to church than Democrats.

A Gallup Poll shows that 40% of Republicans say they attend church weekly.

Twenty-one percent say they attend nearly weekly or monthly, and 38% say they seldom or rarely go to church.

Compare that to only 27% of Democrats who say they go to church every week, 20% who say they go monthly and 52% of Democrats who say they seldom or never go to church.

These polls also show that Democrats are less religious than the average American, and Republicans are more religious.

Consider this: Almost one in five Democrats identify with no religious faith compared to only one in 10 Republicans who feel that way.

This might explain why religion often seems to play a more prominent role when it comes to Republican politicians, especially during primaries.

This time around in the GOP horse race for president:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry held a major prayer session in Houston before he announced his candidacy. Perry has also been known to pray for President Obama. In April, the Texas governor designated a three-day period as "days of prayer for rain" in his drought-stricken state.

Faith also plays a large role in Michele Bachmann's candidacy. While giving an economic speech just Tuesday, Bachmann suggested the United States return to its Judeo-Christian roots to bring back economic responsibility, "Cry out to holy God. It's not too late. He can save us."

As for Mitt Romney, it's unclear yet what impact, if any, his Mormon faith will have on his candidacy.

Here’s my question to you: Why are Republicans more likely than Democrats to go to church?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Democrats • Religion • Republicans
Where is the U.S. headed if 16% of Americans are living in poverty?
November 8th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Where is the U.S. headed if 16% of Americans are living in poverty?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Poverty in the U.S. is even worse than we thought it was.

There are almost 50 million people living in poverty. That translates to 16% of all Americans.

The Census Bureau adjusted the official 2010 poverty figures up from 46.2 million, or about 15% of Americans. This new poverty rate takes into account higher costs of living.

Hispanic poverty is the highest of any group at more than 28%.

More than 25% of African-Americans are living in poverty, as well as nearly 17% of Asians and 11% of whites.

The biggest gap in poverty rates is between those who have private health insurance, and those who don't.

Meanwhile, a report by the Brookings Institution shows more than 20 million Americans - close to 7% of the population - are living in extreme poverty.

These people are living at less than half of the federal poverty line. In 2010, that meant an individual income of about $5,500 - or less.

This used to be a place where people came to escape poverty.

There's more.

According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 15% of Americans are getting food stamps - that's an 8% jump in just the last year. And this number could keep climbing as families struggle under high unemployment - still at 9%.

The hardest hit states include Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and Louisiana. In all these states, about one in five residents gets food stamps.

Here’s my question to you: Where is the U.S. headed if 16% of Americans are living in poverty?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: United States
Are general strikes that shut down cities the way for Occupy Wall Street to get its point across?
November 3rd, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Are general strikes that shut down cities the way for Occupy Wall Street to get its point across?

From Jack Cafferty, CNN

It's starting to get ugly – when it comes to those Occupy protests going on around the country.

In Oakland, California, violent protests succeeded in shutting down the fifth busiest port in the nation last night.

Officials used tear gas on protesters who refused to leave the port. Hundreds of protesters threw rocks and shot fireworks at the officers who asked them to leave. Dozens were arrested.

The late-night violence in Oakland came after thousands marched in a largely peaceful protest during the day. They effectively shut down the city – calling it the first general strike in the U.S. since the 1940s.

And - the protests aren't only heating up in California:

Seattle police used pepper spray on protesters who disrupted rush-hour traffic. Hundreds of demonstrators surrounded a Seattle hotel where JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon was speaking. Protesters clashed with police in riot gear.

As for New York, where it all started, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been at it for almost 50 days now.

And it looks like Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be getting tired of them. He's using a tougher tone... saying the city may quote "take actions" against protesters who are disrupting the quality of life.

Meanwhile - a growing number of Americans are identifying with the occupy movement as they learn more about it.

A new ORC International poll shows 36% of those surveyed say they agree with the overall positions of the movement - that's more than one-third of Americans.

19% say they don't agree... while 44% are unsure.

Here's my question to you: Are general strikes that shut down cities the way for Occupy Wall Street to get its point across?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 5 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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

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Filed under: Occupy Wall Street
Is Greece a preview of what's to come for the U.S.?
Graffiti is displayed on a building in Syntagma Square on November 3 in Athens, Greece. Greece stands on the brink of economic collapse as political disagreements continue concerning the financial aid package proposed by the EU.
November 3rd, 2011
02:03 PM ET

Is Greece a preview of what's to come for the U.S.?

From Jack Cafferty, CNN

The United States is on its way to being Greece one day, and no one wants to acknowledge it.

Our national debt increased by more than $200 billion in October alone.

That comes out to $650 for every man, woman and child in this country.

The U.S. debt is now at more than $14.9 trillion … and likely will top a staggering $15 trillion by the end of November.

The congressional “super committee” is trying to cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years. That's not even a drop in the bucket - and lawmakers are still whining about how hard it is.

The whole idea that the federal government is in any way serious about the national debt is a joke. Even after America's credit rating was downgraded, our leaders continue to spend money at an unsustainable rate.

And, if they don't get serious - and very soon - you only need to take a look at Greece for a glimpse of our future.

The Greek government is on the verge of collapse in the wake of its debt crisis.

The euro and European banks have been thrown into crisis by Greece's debt and by Prime Minister George Papandreou's actions.

First, Papandreou announced there would be a referendum vote on the European bailout - and now he says there won't. Meanwhile, his government might vote him out of power Friday.

Greece has been holding the world hostage because Papandreou's government doesn't have the stones to make the tough decisions.

Sounds kind of like the politicians here who don't have the stones to tell the American people the party is over and it's time to pay the tab.

Here's my question to you: Is Greece a preview of what's to come for the U.S.?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: Economy • Greece
Congress got 25% richer during height of recession?
November 2nd, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Congress got 25% richer during height of recession?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While millions of Americans struggle under a weak economy, members of Congress keep getting richer. A lot richer.

"Roll Call" reports that members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010.

That was up about 25 percent from 2008, during the height of the recession.

And these wealth totals likely underestimate how rich Congress really is. That's because they don't include homes and other non-income generating property, which could come out to hundreds of millions in additional dollars.

This wealth is split fairly evenly between both Democrats and Republicans.

Overall, about 200 members of Congress are millionaires. Once again, this doesn't include the value of their homes.

There are even a handful of lawmakers who are worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Roll Call analysis shows that 90% of Congress' increase in wealth since 2008 benefited the 50 richest members. Sounds a lot like what's going on in the rest of the country.

What a surprise. Congress is getting richer faster than the rest of us. One economist says aggregate household worth went up 12 percent from 2008 to 2010, about half the increase Congress saw.

Another expert suggests members of Congress do better with their investments than the average American because they are privy to inside information.

Really? Seriously? They would take advantage of that… something that is clearly illegal for the rest of us?

The bottom line is this body of lawmakers has next to nothing in common with the average American. Yet we keep sending most of the same rat pack back year after year.

Here's my question to you: What does it say when members of Congress got 25% richer during the height of the recession?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 5 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: Congress • Recession
Should 12-year-old sexual harassment charge ruin Cain’s candidacy?
November 2nd, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Should 12-year-old sexual harassment charge ruin Cain’s candidacy?

FROM CNN'S Jack Cafferty:

Herman Cain is just the latest politician in a long line to have a potential sex scandal damage his career.

There's been a lot of sordidness in our political past - but not all of it has been fatal.

Most famously, former President Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky scandal but was acquitted in the Senate. He went on to finish his second term and has maintained a high-profile after leaving office.

Of course, not every politician has survived such troubles.

Remember former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, one-time presidential hopeful John Edwards, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer or former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who made up that ridiculous story about hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was really with his lover in Argentina.

There are many more. Some of them still crawling around in Congress.

The key in Cain's case is we still don't know all the facts - although his clumsy handling of the incident certainly hasn't helped him.

Cain has changed his story multiple times since news broke Sunday that two women accused him of sexual harassment when he led the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.

But it's unclear how much the allegations will damage his campaign if at all.

There are no polls yet taken entirely after the accusations came to light, although Cain was at the top of the Republican field in the past few weeks.

The story seems to be rallying the base. Cain's campaign says it took in more than $400,000 online Monday alone. That's no chump change.

Also, several high-profile conservatives are sticking by him. They're blaming the media and racism - which, of course, is always convenient.

Here's my question to you: Should allegations of sexual harassment more than 12 years ago cost Herman Cain his run for the White House?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: 2012 Election • Herman Cain
November 1st, 2011
12:54 PM ET

The 2012 election is a year from today. Where will we be in a year?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A year from today, the U.S. will elect its next president, along with a bunch of representatives, senators and governors. A lot can happen between now and then.

Politically we're just getting warmed up. Expect more open warfare among the Republican candidates for the White House once the primaries and caucuses start in January.

And, you never know... Herman Cain may not be the only candidate with a potential skeleton in his closet. Don't forget about those infamous October surprises.

But there's a whole lot more than politics at stake here... starting with the economy.

As the European economy sputters on fears of a Greek bailout not happening, remember we're all in this together. If Europe falls off a cliff, the U.S. could be quick to follow. Expect more dramatic swings in the stock market - and with it the retirement and college hopes of millions of Americans.

Also on the economic front: Unemployment remains above 9 percent... and the CBO expects it to stay there through the end of 2012. Very bad news for President Obama.

What about our skyrocketing national debt and deficits? Washington is waiting to hear the results from the debt super committee in the coming weeks. But it doesn't matter what they do. We will be deeper in debt a year from now than we are now.

Suddenly we're running short of wars. President Obama says all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year. But as that drawdown occurs, the U.S. is reportedly planning to build up its forces in other Persian gulf countries - like Kuwait. Who knows what that could bring.

And, there's Occupy Wall Street. Will the movement fade away with the first winter chill, or will it grow and spread? And to what end? If it has any staying power, voter discontent with income inequality and corporate greed might be a real factor when America votes in 2012.

Here's my question to you: The 2012 election is a year away from today. The 2012 election is a year from today. Where will we be in a year?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 5 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: 2012 Election
With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?
November 1st, 2011
12:52 PM ET

With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Think NASCAR. With the start of the primaries a few months away, the Republican race for president is on.

Here's the deal: Once Republicans started their engines, Rick Perry jumped out front and then promptly crashed going into the first turn. Michele Bachmann's car wouldn't start. Herman Cain blew a tire just as he grabbed the lead ... and now he says he's remembering why. Sure.

As for some of the others - such as Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul - they're in the back of the pack fighting for position. They’re long shots at best at this point.

All of which leaves Mitt Romney in the lead. After news of the harassment allegations against Cain, Romney becomes the prohibitive favorite to take the checkered flag, win the nomination and take on President Barack Obama next November. That’s at least for now.

Romney is the same guy the Republicans wanted no part of in 2008 when John McCain was the GOP nominee.

Polls show most Republicans think Romney has the best chance of beating Obama. But even if he does, so what? What difference does it really make? Given the bitter partisanship of Congress, how much does it even matter if Romney wins?

Unless Republicans win the Senate and retain control of the House of Representatives, Romney won't be able to get any more done than Obama has been able to do.

Our country hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War. There was a time long ago when politicians from both sides of the aisle were able to acknowledge their differences yet still work together. No more.

Here's my question to you: With the nation so badly divided, how much does it really matter who the president is?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: 2012 Election • White House
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