Cabinet members leave 10 Downing Street this morning following British PM David Cameron's meeting to discuss the unrest that has spread across the UK. Parliament was recalled following four days of rioting. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the global economy hangs on by a thread, maybe our leaders should take some notes from the British and the French.
In England - Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short and called Parliament back from theirs to hold a special session today. They're dealing with the worst rioting and violence that country has seen in decades; and there's no doubt economic instability and high unemployment are partly to blame.
Meanwhile French President Nicolas Sarkozy returned to Paris from the Riviera to deal with France's own financial crisis. Bank shares are plunging there; and he's pledged drastic austerity measures. He's even recalled the French parliament from their vacation to vote on a balanced budget amendment to their constitution.
Hop over the pond here to the U.S. ... where our Congress is on vacation for five weeks; and President Obama is headed off on his own vacation to Martha's Vineyard.
The only thing of any consequence that Congress has done in the last month or so was to fail to stave off the first credit downgrade in our history. And once they finished that - they couldn't get out of town fast enough. No wonder they have a measly approval rating of 14%.
Meanwhile President Obama's own approval ratings are at or very near all-time lows as he gets ready to try to convince the country he deserves a second term. The White House was out defending Mr. Obama of course, saying presidents are never really on vacation and that they take their work with them.
Nonetheless it's all about appearances. Our president and Congress choose to go on vacation while our country struggles under an economy perhaps lurching toward another recession and a debt crisis no one has been very serious about solving.
How dare the people think the government is disconnected from reality.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the British and especially the French governments work harder than America's?
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.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates - who is refreshingly open and honest - said: "We haven't done something like this, kind of on the fly before."
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He was talking about the coalition attacks on Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya, why the United States was still in control, why tensions are rising among members of the coalition, why there's no plan for any group or nation to take the lead. The allies, you see, aren't getting along so well. In fact, there are reports today that the coalition is falling apart.
France yesterday suggested a committee be formed - outside of NATO - to oversee the military operations. It would be a political steering committee and would include members of the Arab League. See if a committee is running the war, no one has to take responsibility if things go to hell and everyone can take credit if they go well.
The French were early backers of the no-fly zone and were the first nation to launch airstrikes against Libya on Saturday.
The Italians have accused the French of not originally backing a NATO-run operation to be in a better position for oil contracts when a new government is established in Libya.
It's not just the French causing problems…
Russia's defense minister yesterday called for a cease-fire in Libya.
Germany today pulled its naval ships out of NATO operations in the Mediterranean over a disagreement over the Libyan campaign's direction. It's not pretty.
Foreign ministers from Western coalition partners will meet in London Tuesday along with members of the Arab League and the African Union to see what can be done.
Here’s my question to you: France wants a committee to run the war in Libya. Is that a good idea?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?