tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 31, 2009 9:00am-12:00pm EST
if you want a more liberal view , you can read me. you can watch fox news. if you want a more liberal view, there are blogs for every stripe. there is no dominant press any more. host: robert schlesinger is a blogger. he is the author of "when house coast. " -- white house dosed." carl cannon is a senior correspondent senior politicsdaily.com. previously the bureau chief for "readers digest."
and is believed by basically putting out ideas that were somewhat politically incorrect, having to defend his ideas in the public domain. he does not think president obama has actually done that. he believes that he was elected primarily to s wage way deals, and that we may have a problem moving forward because of this. he concludes with -- he concludes with -- he is a president that comes to us out of our national insecurities. thoughts? caller: i cannot say with certainty who said it, but i am going to be guessing john or robert kennedy. i mean, i do not think that barack obama was elected because of national white guilt. i think he and his campaign did
a pretty good job of notç makig him the black presidential candidate, the presidential candidate who was black. i think that was not a defining characteristic, and for most voters was not a defining characteristic. caller: he carried the demographic under-30 voters by the biggest gap ever, a gap that you do not see. the appeals to a generation of americans who are frankly tired of talking about race. it is boring to them. they think racism is wrong, let's move on. they are more liberal than their elders, but they think social security ought to be addressed, they would not say as michael moore did that it was a fictitious war in iraq. this young generation, the millennials, we call them, they went early for this guy and they got him elected. sometimes -- when i was young,
they said do not trust anybody over 30. finally that came true. these young people did not trust us, and they elected this guy. it added to his appeal because it was a break from the past due but i do not think these kids felt guilty. host: back to the phones. miami gardens, florida, mitch, on the line for democrats. caller: we mentioned defining moments, and we had the speakers of this eight and our age, and then when we compare speakers of the past. to bring it home, defining moments, compared to joseph saving israel and other nations that were saved, despite the lack of food. we take that region, now we take
the region of the united states, which was nominally controlled by the indians. england had a problem. all of the explorers can then, did not seize the opportunity -- came in, did not seize the opportunity, and we had basically three types of people that came to this country, bringing it home to roost. look at what is going on del. we have obama as president. we have -- but at what is going on now. we have obama as president. we have the immigration issue. but who were those that came in and help this country -- and helped this country, build this country. we have the conservatives with their views, but look what happened. we have people coming into this country and doing the job that blacks did in slavery days.
we look at every 10 years, hundred years, and all of these years means something. all of these moments that we take as, for example, defining moments, these moments has an impact on results. host: thanks for your call, mitch. let's go 12 charles in san diego, because i'm not sure where mitch was going with that one. charles? caller: i am calling, i guess, to ask a quick question and follow up with it. do either of the guests understand the commodity futures modernization act of 2000 was approved 10 years ago? have you seen it? guest: that is not my area.
guest: not my area. i'm sorry. caller: that is the most important reason that we are in the housing problems that we are in today. host: can you explain it to us? caller: the commodity futures modernization act was put together by tim geithner in 1999-2000 when the republicans were ready to sign off on it for the benefit of the financial community. host: briefly, how does that decide this decade? caller: is a 48-page document that allows credit default swaps to be done without regulation. it was signed in by bill clinton without congressional review, put into the omnibus act of 2000 as his last sign offq as president, engineered by the republicans, and it made possible all of the expansion of financial leveraging, credit enhancements, and that led to
the massive explosion of procedures in real-estate, and now we end up on the courthouse steps with the same people who say bankers are clearing up their books of the balance sheet, and the foreclosures are recorded on balance sheets by the corporate gangsters. and the only people who lose are the people on the courthouse steps, and they are decrease in home of the the sales by 20% below what would be reasonable market value. host: we will leave it there. carl cannon? guest: i will defer to him on that. he clearly knows what he is talking about. everybody has their favorite moment that helped cause this crisis. conservatives say it was when fannie mae and freddie mac was forced to lead people who could not possibly pay it back. other people think it is when
the sec fell asleep at the switch and allowed banks, mortgage banks to do investment- banking. other people think it is when the s&l crisis happened. everybody has a moment, but it was a collective failure in washington. the point the caller is making a thing is inarguable. you had democratic president, democratic congress narrowly gone along -- the early going along with no longer needed regulation. of course it needs to be regulation trip. host: jim on our lines from seattle washington. the release of the movie "avatar, cut its computer generation -- the lead caller: the release of the movie "avatar," this computer-
generated effects. additionally, the film has two themes that are in the public discourse right now and will be for the next decade and beyond, and that is the treatment of our environment and the ethics and prudence of one nation invading another for its resources or any other reason. thank you. host: thank you. guest: well, i think -- we talked about culturally the development -- in the previous caller referred to this earlier -- the development of the media in terms of movies and television, and, you know, video games over the last 10 years have gone from being games to they are now in many cases on par with many major motion pictures, where they have real actors, directors, a huge production teams behind them and they develop movie-like profits.
they tell often compelling stories that bring the viewer into an interactive -- bring them in interactively, and it is easy to see where things are going in terms of how these things interact. guest: robb can i to my own horn, my website? jeffrey weiss writes about this picture, and he is not as enamored with it as this caller. he thought that james cameron's new age religion was not well drawn-out, that the three the picture was ironically kind of a two-dimensional. that the liberal political message was actually marred by that because he did not bring out those things, the country invading another one for its resources.
that is what the critics of the war in iraq said about this, bush's invading, blood for oil. that bush could have lifted the embargo and everybody knew that it would have worked. so some of those superficial messages and pictures sometimes annoyed me. i go to the movies to sometimes escape what i'm doing 24 hours a day. but anyway, they should go to politicsdaily.com and find jeffrey weiss' review. host: next up is charles on our democrats led from baltimore, maryland. caller: i have a couple of comments. one, we all know that president obama was an activist and he often said that he was running for president but he could not do it himself, that he would need week, the people, to help
paul. -- he would need we, the people, to help out. so we as citizens have to be community activists. also, i was wondering, i am a doctor of education. i teach at the university. but i live in the ghetto, the hood, or whatever, and i have never been polled on anything. so when you say 30% of the population has been -- that does not include the people around me. can you speak to that? host: anybody want to take a crack at that? guest: pollsters have the formula of trying to make sure that the group their sampling is representative of the country as a whole. but it may not be you, but they
tried to make sure that they cover all, get all the demographic roots so that everyone is factored in. now, you can argue, 1500 people across the country is not a big enough sample of 300 million, or wherever we are now guest: or 600 million, or whatever bit -- or wherever we are now. guest: courses of a million, or what ever we are at del. his thoughts of being called a very small. host: our last call is from richmond, michigan. chuck is on our line for republicans. caller: thank you. i appreciate everything c-span does. i just want to say, in my opinion, for the past decade, our defining moment has to be 9/11, without a doubt.
i think that is when we became fallible to the rest of the world as opposed to being in fallible. in the 1940's during world war ii, or the early 1950's. i would like to make the comment, carl cannon burst my bubble and talk about the things that i wanted to talk about president bush accomplished -- i am on social security, and he put throughç the act for medicare. adding prescription coverage save me $400 a month. so a lot of things that presidents do that they do not get credit for, again, thank you for taking my call. have a great day. host: thanks for making the calls, check. carl cannon, whatç about
president bush and social security? guest: president bush took it on, but he did not take it on the right way and he did not succeed. 9/11 was the defining moments in some ways, in other ways it was not. many ways it was the thing that got in the way. president bush was going to change education, improved ties with mexico. he had a lot of things he wanted to do, but he did not get to do any of them. this war sort of took over his presidency. he wanted to address social security. he did not get to do what reagan did. but i would like to say one thing. it was the most cataclysmic event of the decade, and it had all these ramifications, but i do not think it was the defining moment of the decade. if you are going to use that word and talk about us as a people, i would point to other plants, some of them right here at the capitol. when the members of congress got together on the steps and sang "
god bless america" right after the attack -- and sang "god bless america" right after the attack, people braving the cold to see the first african- american president, i would say that was the first -- that was the most defining moment for us as an american people. guest: the one thing related to 9/11 that we did not get to talk about was the rise of non-state actors of the world stage. that is everything from al qaeda to the bill gates foundation and the bill clinton foundation, and individuals and organizations that are able to affect and shape world policy that are not a state actor, are not a government. host: gentlemen, thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you.
guest: happy new year. host: happy new year. we are going to be talking more about the fighting did events -- about defining events in the decade. now we want to shift gears and talk about what the president's agenda is regarding climate change, and we are going to begin this with looking at what he had to say in copenhagen earlier this month on the issue. when we come out of that, we will be talking with juliet eilperin about her coverage of the president's agenda, and his record so far on climate change. >> we come here in copenhagen because climate change poses a grave and growing danger to our people. all of you would not be here unless you, like me, were convinced that this danger is real. this is not fiction, it is
science. unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economy, and our planet. this much we know. the question then before us is no longer the nature of the challenge. the question is the capacity to meet it. while the reality of climate change is not in doubt, i have to be honest, as the world watches us today, i think our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now, and it hangs in the balance. i believe we can act boldly and decisively in the face of a common threat. that is why i come here today
not to talk but to act. [applause] now, as the world's largest economy and as the world's second largest emitter, america there is our responsibility to address climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility. that is why we have renewed our leadership with in international climate change negotiations. that is why we have worked with other negotiations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. that is why we have taken bold action at home by making historic investments in renewable energy, by putting our people to work, increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings, by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy
economy. host: juliet upper and joins us from "in washington post, the national environment reporter. welcome to the program. caller: good to be -- guest: good to be here. host: how far as president obama gotten into that agenda? guest: one thing he made clear from the beginning is he wanted to impose a nationwide limit on greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. this is something president bush opposed during his eight years in office, and he was also committed to forging an international treaty which would produce global limits on greenhouse gas emissions. in terms of doing that, he has made some steps through regulation, but he has failed to achieve the overall goal, whether it is on the domestic front or international front, and one of the key things will be looking ahead to 2010, whether he can get congress to enact legislation to put a
nationwide carbon cap host: looking from the international perspective, was he as successful as he wanted to be going to copenhagen? guest: no, he was not as successful as he wanted to be, but he does given the fact that the u.s. had not adopted any kind of climate legislation. he was able to at least achieved one u.s. objective, which was set up a way the international community can see whether major emerging economies like china, india, brazil, permitting voluntary greenhouse gas emissions cuts they say they are going to be. but he did not achieve the overall goal that many americans and europeans were looking for, which was a binding international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. host: and the reason why he could not that the binding agreement -- was it because he could not get enough international cooperation, or is it just that they did not want
to hear what he was trying to say? guest: it was a combination of things. part of it was because the u.s. had not acted on his own -- on its own, he could not commit the u.s. as the number two greenhouse gas emissions -- the matter in the world, to cut emissions. in addition, he would face the problem that under the current way our climate treaty, the global climate treaty is structured, many major the bidders, including china and india, are not required to make greenhouse gas reductions. many countries in the industrialized world were saying they refuse to commit to future binding cuts if there was no way of bringing in the major contributors to global warming like china and india into an international regime. host: are these folks still upset about not been full
participants in the kyoto treaty? guest: there was some of that, although that was not part of the central discussion. that was part of the debate. we understand that you have been out of the game for a while, you are back in it, with but we need this season, defended the legislation, and that is ñrsomething the senate failed to deliver in time. host: so what is going to be his strategy heading into 2010 to get the senate on board? can he get the senate on board given what he has had to wrestle with in order to get health care legislation passed? caller: dep -- guest: that is an open question. that will be one of the top questions in 2010. he has just asked senators to take a serious leak. on health care, he has alienated key republican senators. unlike health care, climate legislation simply will not make it to the senate without half a dozen republican votes. so he is going to be working
this issue hard in the spring of next year when this bill is probably going to be moving he is going to have to make some policy concessions, and again he is going to a to placate some of these republican senators who say, look, you did not include us on health care, why should we believe we will be full partners on climate change? host: we're talking about president obama's climate agenda with juliet eilperin of "the washington post." give us a call. 202-737-0001 for republicans. 202-737-0002 for democrats. 202-628-0205 four independents. you can also send us an e-mail or twitter. who are some of the republicans he has to get on board and democrats he has to smooth things over with to get them to support his plan the agenda on capitol hill?
guest: when you look at republicans, it is an unusual mixture. it is not a defining geographical area that they come from. it is everyone from the stokowski, from alaska, the top republican on the senate energy committee, to lindsey graham, most involved in crafting a kind of bill from south carolina. but then you have the two main moderate republicans, as well as a handful of others. bob corker from tennessee. it is a mix. with a lot of the moderate democrats from the country, you're talking but indiana, michigan, ohio, even arkansas. it is a range of people that has çto work on it. it's still our main -- our first call comes from -- host: our first call comes from california.
caller: happy new year from california. i am a democrat and i am very upset with president obama. i think he should get the academy award, not the nobel peace prize, because he has just let us all about. i do not think he really cares that he has let us down. with the environment, he led me down there. with health care, he led me down there. host: joanne, how did he let you down with the environment? caller: he really did not say anything. he looks into the camera with this straight face, and he is lying to the american people. democrats especially are very upset with him, and what gets me is he does not care. he has thrown us under the bus, and he knows it. host: but specifically, what has he lied about?
caller: well, when he gets in front of the camera, all the promises that he made -- he is going to help the poor, he is going to take care of the environment, the people to work -- put people to work. host: thanks, we are going to leave it there. let's move on the clinton township, dorothy, on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: hello. can you hear me now? host: yes. caller: great, because i heard a sound. i call back in november on basically the same subject. as far as obama's agenda on climate change, i'm so happy the agreement was not signed. as far as what he intends to do, it is part of the big, broad picture for social justice to take our wealth and transfer it to other countries' wealth.
since he has taken office, everybody's wealth has disappeared to begin with, and if he does anything else, he will take away our sovereignty. it will be worse. we are going to be a third world country and and power and in which other countries. i think his agenda is a bunch of bunk. a surprise he mentioned senator inhofe, because he has been one of the opponents of climate change. it is a big farce, a joke. all of the emails, it has not been over 10 years. back in may, as far as september, lies were being told. it is a big farce. host: thanks, dorothy. guest: your caller is referring to a few things. one issue is giving money to foreign nations because that is really an important part of the debate over what kind of global agreement you get. basically a lot of developing
countries are saying the industrialized world, the rich nations, emitted these greenhouse gases, and they need to pony up billions of dollars in order to help the developing world cope with the impact of climate change. that's absolutely is to be part of any global deal. it is the tentative accord that was reached in copenhagen. there was a commitment to provide $30 billion over the next three years that industrialized nations would provide. europe would give a small part of that, the european union and japan would provide the bulk of that. that is something that again, the u.s. is counting on passing a kind of climate bill that would allow the private carbon market to generate a lot of its, but it is a huge financial commitment and certainly is going to be something that will stir up a lot of domestic
debate in the coming year. host: the next call comes from citadel, louisiana. -- from to the, louisiana. caller: i would like to make a true statement, please. the subject at hand, and that i would like to make a statement about the most defining moment. with the speech that obama gave, i cannot ignore the six lies there. this is a climate change professional you are supposed to have on here. if global warming is true, then can you explain to us why, in the middle ages, the temperature of the earth was a lot hotter than it is now? what caused that, campfires? host: specifically, can you tell
me one thing that the president lied about? caller: he said there was no doubt in the science. apparently he did not get the letter with 31,000 scientists that said to him that global warming was a hoax. host: thanks for the call. caller: the caller is referring to a medieval warm. there were bused there was an area indicated a warmer. of time -- with a warmer. of time. again, it was located in one area, and there were questions about whether that was a broad trend. and imagine in the middle ages, it is not like we had the same recording methods we have today. again, there certainly are some scientists that continued to question whether there is a connection between greenhouse
gas emissions and climate change, but the vast scientific consensus believes there is no question. many of the most prominent scientists who question some aspects of it do not question the essential finding. many do not question whether human activity has contributed to global warming. host: jersey city, new jersey, all of our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: hello. happy new year to everybody. i was calling about the environmental concerns. every year, california has fires that cause a lot of devastation, and we have to keep paying money to put out the fires. every year there are water shortages in a lot of parts of the country, and there are floods and other parts of the country.
we are not going to be able to use irrigation and water pipes naturally to create jobs and water availability. guest: one thing you're caller points out, again, the fact that we're seeing more intense forest fires and drought in the west -- again, there are -- there is quite a lot of evidence that this is climate change, and it is something the federal govern is acting on. when you talk about a nationwide system of irrigation, that is something that would be hugely expensive and raises the question when you have less water in the first place to distribute out into these areas, the idea of doing broad irrigation seems unlikely, i would say, from a policy perspective. the farming community demands most of the water for its own purposes. host: does the obama administration have a formal plan to try and reduce the
number of forest fires? do they believe there is any connection between a large forest fires and global warming overall? guest: yes, they have identified the connection between forest fires and climate change. the u.s. geological survey has done research on this. there are a lot of these issues that generally come under the nameç of the adaptation to climate change, so secretary salazar has launched an initiative on this. the agriculture department is it different methods and ways of adapting to forest fires and managing forests to minimize the impact. host: we are talking about the president's, the agenda with juliet i'll parent of "the washington post." next, tom, from texas. on the republican line. caller: first of all, the climate change that the lady here is talking about is posted
and directed by the builder bird -- the bilderberg group. everybody knows that al gore stands to gain a very huge amount of money if this were ever to be passed. the other thing is, mr. cannon, who was on their earlier, he said something about part d. when that was added by president bush, that did not have a penalty to pay a fine or go to prison with. and to this day, you can still not have part d if you so choose not to. host: thanks, we're going to leave it there. this concerns about the president -- former vice president gore? guest: i have never heard of that group.
in terms of al gore, the former vice presidentç has investments in clean energy initiatives. this has come up in the media and his response has been that he is putting his money where his mouth is, and the idea that he is investing his private dollars in these initiatives should not be seen as a conflict of interest. he is a interesting figure because he has made the american public more aware of the issue of global warming through his movie "an inconvenient truth." host: does he have any influence on the obama administration and then laying out their time and agenda? guest: i think that he is one of their advisers, without question. host: explain, if you can, what cap and trade is, how it would work,ç at howard fits into the
president's agenda. guest: this is the market-based approach to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. it would set an overall limit for greenhouse gas emissions and ratchet that down year after year. basically the industries that emit greenhouse gas emissions would have a couple of choices. they could either install technology so they release less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, or they could buy credits from other people and treat them, and that is where the cap and trade, said. this has been used, for example, when there was legislation on acid rain several years ago. the use a similar approach. it is often more economically efficient than the command and control pollution that we have had in the past. again, it has raised controversy simply with the idea that includes a cap, for example, with the idea that we would have higher emissions in some areas
of low emissions and others. host: is this something the obama administration would like to see happen? caller: absolutely, the cap and trade is essential to any solution addressing greenhouse gas emissions. it's come back to the phones. on our independent line, -- host:, back to the funds. caller: it does not seem like you are very tough on them. cap and trade, it is still toxic. that is the problem with that system. why doesn't anyone have the nerve to enforce anything and make polluters pay? regarding president obama, if you have got the president's saying go ahead, ship those in from alaska, i used to be a
democrat, and i am an independent now. i tell you what, i have watched so many false moves, i am starting to think he is a straw man. the book of a good face for the people, but he is acting for the rich guys and the corporations. we cannot have a public option in a democracy? host: who did you vote for in the last election? see, i voted for obama, but i will not again. -- caller: i voted for obama, but i will not again. guest: u.s. in dissatisfaction with obama for the fact that he has not moved more aggressively and legislatively on curbing greenhouse gases. although, in fact, the administration has done a lot of things domestically through the environmental protection agency. what of the things to watch is if the administration fails to convince congress to pass legislation next year. what you will see most likely
is the environmental protection agency will regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and that may end up being the solution that they come up with on the issue of climate change. host: the house has already passed the bill? guest: exactly the house has already passed the bill, and that in many ways is similar to what has been moving through the senate. but one of the issues is it is clearly -- that blueprint is not conservative enough to get votes. moderate democrats and liberal republicans, moderate republicans, to get them on board. they are trying to retool it and will have to come up with something different for the house, although it has many similarities, and there will be an effort to compromise and coordinate it to have a law that president obama consign. host: is this like health care all over again?
guest: there are different dynamics, although there are going to be certainly legislative concessions to buy off votes. one thing that is interesting is that health careç is somethinga lot of americans can identify with personally. one of the things the administration and the congressional leaders have struggled with is the fact that in many ways climate change still is not as attractive to a lot of people. its coat tobias in birmingham, alabama, host: tobias in birmingham, alabama, go ahead. caller: hello? the use this time for major legislation, make more effort to address the economy. because it is not going to be an
extreme priority to the place where -- i did not say that this climate change moving forward, but in reality -- i do not say that this climate change moving forward, but in reality, leaving obama -- blaming obama, talking about obama. you can find everything he will say or do is attacked, so you need to be very careful host: tobias, thanks for your call. guest: i think one of the things to buy as is pointing out there is the tension in the debate. in the long run, you are going to have an economic benefit from curbing read us gases, and it will spur innovation in green technology here at home, but it
will be essential if we're going to shift to a low-carbon economy. in the short term, there will be some economic dislocation, and you'll be hearing a lot about that, including higher energy prices, as part of the congressional debate early next year. host: we have this week. "the best way to deal with climate change is to reduce the çrole taxes by 30% and add a 3% gas tax." guest: that proposal has certainly been raised as a possibility, but it seems that that is not generally the direction in which congress is headed. but the idea of kind of reducing taxes somewhere and raising them in order to do exactly what the writer is talking about, making energy more expensive so people will use less of it, is certainly one way you can address the dust gas emissions. host: paul matos, georgia, on
our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: with all the pressure come down through the media to get us to accept that climate change is real, i do not know anybody that believes that it is. i do not believe that it is. and this cap and trade thing, here it is. we are putting more and more restrictions on american businesses, causing more and more of our jobs to go offshore to countries where they do not have restrictions, and the missions are even greater because they do not have water quality problems because they can just go straight into the rivers and the streams. putting more pressure on businesses here in the united states, more jobs going offshore. i do not see where this game is great for the american people, all i see is jobs lost.
host: before i let you go, why don't you believe that climate change is real? caller: because i have read history. we have had ice ages, warming spurts. they said that the polar bear population is dying off. some studies show that they have increased. so i do not know what they are talking about here. it just does not congeal to me. host: thank you for your call. this goes to part of that thing that you talked about earlier, that this climate change is not necessarily an idea that the general public can grasp. guest: although, one thing that we can see, polling is subtly shows that 3/4 of americans, give or take, that climate change is real and is being
caused in part by human activity. what is interesting is it has particularly fallen off among republicans. one thing you are seeing is that a poll was recently done where there was a 22% drop among republicans who believed in climate change being real. overall, it is still a high number, but you are right that people and not necessarily seeing it in their own lives when there is a winter that as colder than the one before, or a summer that is not as high. people are seeing short-term climate changes, and they will not conflict that with the broader issue over a period of time. host: next caller, go ahead. caller: the solution is that we have to stop turning the 10 commandments into the top 10 inconvenient truths.
he did say that it is an environmental rest state for the -- you can say that it is an environmental rest state for the earth. host: all right. çóin "the wall street journal" e hunt for clear polish there's future. many biologists look for -- the hunt for clear polar bears future. in presenting that kind of information, where it says there are fewer places for the bears to go, but apparently there are more bears out there, how do you way, or how does the administration get the message across to people in the way that supports their intention that we need some sort of climate change legislation? guest: i think that is one of the challenges in communicating silescience.
whether you are a journalist or an administration official, i think again the polar bear is a classic example. when you are talking about long- term trends and the idea that live there is the head on sea ice, summer sea ice to do for hunting and fishing that they need to feed their cubs at themselves, you can very clearly look at what is happening and see how arctic sea ice is disappearing and shrinking, and that is consistent. but of course when you said that right now the population ahas nt dipped dramatically, that is hard for the american people to accept. host: juliet upper uncovered the impeachment of bill clinton, -- juliet halperieilperin was repog for roll-call, and also has written for louisiana and
florida newspapers that the state news service. back to the phones, clarion, pennsylvania. steve on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: i had a quick question. i wanted to ask -- there are a lot of countries that spoke during the copenhagen summit, and they seemed to have a different agenda as far as paying attention to climate change and the issues at hand. iq was wondering, what is the best way america can bring them in closer toward the issues that are important, the issues that are being discussed at the time, and try to get them to change and work with us on some sort of compromise instead of being so rigidly against our whole idea as far as climate change legislation is concerned? guest: that is going to be a
real challenge. the caller is talking about one of the most contentious moments at the end, with a handful of countries including venezuela, sudan, cuba, bolivia, who objected to the very weak accord that countries were agreed to in terms of addressing climate change internationally. there are a number of reasons for that, including the fact that a number of those countries are oil producers, so they would stand to lose from a global cap on greenhouse gas emissions. several of these nations who are opposed to what the united states does -- hugo chavez from venezuela basically compared bush -- compared obama to bush in his speech and implied that obama was as much as the devil as bush was. so i do the know to what extent the administration will be able to bring those countries into the fold. it underscores the challenge you have when you are working internationally trying to get a
consensus agreement with 193 countries. that is a hard thing to do. host: what does on the agenda for 2010? is there another level meeting? guest: -- is there another global meeting? guest: there is another meeting. that is really going to be one of the top issues, and in some sense it is going to be determined by what the united states does here and whether we have a binding, the bill. that will be a key factor and there will be others as well. host: said this kind of -- so this kind of ups the ante? guest: president obama that with these other world leaders from china, india, europe, and other countries, and he personally
invested in it being a successful outcome. whether he can ensure a successful outcome remains to be seen. host: wilmington, north carolina, brendan, on our line for independents. caller: i think everybody is missing one big point on the whole environmental issue. regardless of whether it is manmade or what is going on, something is going on. glaciers are melting, water levels are rising, and we are running out of fresh water. that needs to be an immediate concern in the environmental debate. guest: i think the issue of water shortages is something that needs to come up in the debate. the department of interior is looking at this. it is a real issue, particularly for americans living out west. it is something that, for example, california governor arnold schwarzenegger has made one of his top priorities.
there is no question that this is a real and urgent issue, in this and many other countries. for example, in india, where a lot of their water comes from the himalayas and various have got no rain. host: with health care, which saw the target date for getting something to the president's best has moved us to the president's desk has moved -- has moved to the president's desk -- is there a similar time line? has he said to the senate that i need to have this on my desk by a particular date and time? guest: harry reid has said he hopes to have legislation on his desk in the spring, with the idea of finalizing it by the summer.
it puts a lawmakers in a bus precarious position. this is a timeline that has already -- in a less precarious position. host: next up is new mexico, marty on our line for republicans six o. caller: yes, my name is marty. i would like to say on this global warming, i do not know if you guys are familiar with the slingshot effect, but scientists do not ever talk about it much. the slingshot effect is, once every 10 years, as we rotate around the sun, we get closer to the sun, and then after that 10 years of slingshot around the sun, i think we get a lot
further from the sun. so you are going to have 10 years of warming and 10 years of freezing, the north and south poles freezing up. 10 years, if you check your compass, you will notice that that 10 years that we are closest to the sun, it will be exactly a half a degree off. host: marty, let's bring this back into the perimeter of climate change. are you saying that there -- back into the parameter of climate change. are you saying that there is an effect with this slingshot on the climate change we are experiencing now?
caller: exactly, because you are going to get 10 years of warming, 10 years of freezing. guest: i have not heard anything about the slingshot effect. the trends we are seeing have lasted more than 10 years, so i am not sure in what period we would be seen this. host: next caller, on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i was calling because i want to thank of war because he is letting people see, and people -- the public to think al gore because he is letting people see, and people can see for themselves that the ice caps are shrinking. also, i want to say, do the republicans reid? -- do the republicans reid? do they read?
my dog. i have a question for the young lady on your show. she says one thing about something good, and then she will flip-flop and say something else and confuse people di. either is or is it ain't. come on, that is what confuses people. host: what are you confused about? how do you believe that juliet eilperin has flip-flopped? caller: she says republicans are for climate change -- not for climate change, right? then she turns around and says but the white house -- hold on, she says that the democrats -- i am nervous -- first she says the democrats are for it, then she
turns around and says a lot of democrats are not for it. host: we are running out of time. sorry to cut you off. guest: in that instance, i am describing the political land slated there are a number of rank and file democrats, including some key moderate democrats, in the senate, who are not. host: our last call comes from mesa, arizona. jim, on our line for republicans. caller: there are a few things that juliet has said that i would like to correct. in arizona, we have been a dry state,ç but the tree huggers he not let us clean up our forests. they will not let us clean up our debris. then we are talking about al gore and how great he is on this. why won't he debate anybody unless obama and nancy pelosi, john kerry, they all fly their private jets around like they
are going to the corner store. c'mon, i called john kerry's office one day and i said you gave his big speech on climate change. is theresa finds ready to give up their private jet? they said this call is done. they want the middle income people to do this, but al gore does not fly in anything but that private jet, that 20,000 square foot home that he finally been agreed after he was caught. why don't you talk about that? and the forest fires in california, there are people setting them. host: we will leave it there. the one thing i want to address is, is there anything regarding brush clean up in either one of the bills, either the house or senate bill the climate bill. these are policies that the
forest service does, and there is always a debate over exactly this kind of issue. how much of the russian view clear out? one of the problems is that logging companies do not -- how much of the brush do you clear out? certain management is what addresses forest fires host: juliet eilperin, thank you for being here. and thank you all for watching this edition of "washington journal." we will be back this morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. guest
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> you are watching c-span. next, edward brooke received the congressional and gold medal. then the dalai lama becomes the first person to receive the lantos prize. then the funeral mass and burial for senator edward kennedy, who died in august.
right now on c-span2, continuing coverage of what measures and bonn political campaigns from american university. today's topics include strategic messaging and grass-roots organizing. later, interviews with supreme court justices. tonight, and then scalia and prove spader ginsburg. justice scalia has served on a court for almost 25 years. justice ginsberg has served since 1993. she will discuss her life before serving. see those interviews tonight at in o'clock eastern on certification -- on c-span. >> it is the business. judges are in. we cannot decide who want to win. we decide who wins under the law the people have decided. >> a rare glimpse into america's
highest court. 10 supreme court justices, tonight, our interviews with santa and scalia and ruth bader ginsburg. interviews with the supreme court justice, 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. get your own copy on dvd as part of our american icons collection, 83-disc said -- a three-disc set. >> new year's day, a look at what's ahead for the new year. fled abroad prudent discusses his future. the global economy. the creator of the segway and the creator of pixar heguitar h. >> the first african-american
>> latest angela merkel, majority leader of the united states senate, -- ladies and salomon, harry reid. -- the ladies and gentlemen, harry reid. >> please be seated. november 6, 1962 was a special day for president john kennedy. it was the day his brother ted won his old seat in the united states senate, the seat he would hold for the next 46 years, until just two months ago. a seed from which he would really improve the lives of his -- a seat from which he would improve the lives of his fellow
americans. the people of the home state had collected edward brooke to be its eattorney general and the first african-american to serve as any state's attorney general. john kennedy exclaimed, "that is the biggest news in the country purpl." we gather under this dome to present senator brooke with the congressional gold medal, the highest civilian award to a half years after senator kennedy introduced the bill to make this event possible. as we honor senator brooke, we're honored to be joined by vicki kennedy, who is with us here this morning. [applause]
we are also honored to be joined by a president of the united states, president obama. [applause] distinguished members of the house of representatives and the united states senate. senator brooke's wife and son and all of you. >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of colors by the armed forces of color guard, the singing of our national anthem, and the retirement of the colors.
perfect gifts, thank you for giving our nation the wonderful blessing of senator edward william brooke iii. we are grateful that his labors helped make real the promises of democracy. we praise you that this talented pioneer bore his burdens in the heat of the day in order to build bridges over which the marginalized could travel. thank you for his willingness to indoor court chips as he -- to indendure hardships.
they have inspired so many. today, as senator brooke's nation honors him with the congressional gold medal, remind us all of the time when we will stand before your throwne. made the inspiration we have received from senator brooke's life prepare us for that great day. we pray in your sovreign name. amen. >> you may be seated. >> ladies and gentlemen, the
president of the united states, the honorable barack obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. please be seated. thank you so much. it is an extraordinary privilege to be here today. let me begin by acknowledging this distinguished group gathered on the platform, our extraordinary speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, majority leader harry reid, republican leader mitch mcconnell, majority leader steny hoyer, republican leader john boehner. senator john kerry, representative eleanor holmes known -- eleanor holmes norton, patrick kennedy, the kennedy, to
are honoring senator edward brooke, his wife and family. it is a great privilege to be here today as to confer the congressional gold medal on a man who spent his life breaking barriers and bridging device across this country. senator edward brooke. now, with his lifetime of achievement, ed no stranger to a good award ceremony. he has been through a few of these. he has won the bronze star, the presidential medal of freedom, honorary degrees from 34 colleges and universities, and more. so he is a pro when it comes to getting awards. but i think today's honor bears the unique significance. bestowed by this body of which he was an esteemed member,
presented in this place where he moved the part of history, surrounded by so many, myself included, who have followed the trail but he blazed. his journey to this day was by any measure and unlike the one. raised nearby in a neighborhood so fiercely segregated that black residents needed a note from a white person to pass through. at a time when so many doors of opportunity for close to africa and among americans. others might have become angry or disillusioned. that might have concluded that their horizons would always be limited. so why bother? but not ed. serving in a segregated army, barred from the facilities at the base where he trained, he fought heroically in europe.
rejected from boston')xold line firms despite his success in law school, he established his own practice, handling real estate and criminal cases. when he ran for office in massachusetts, and when a reporter pointed out that he was black,ç republican, and protestant, seeking office in a white, and democratic, and catholic state, and also "a carpetbagger from the south" and poor. ed was unphased. it was an improbable profile for the man who would become the first african-american state attorney general and the first popularly elected african- american senator. but that was his wife, to ignore the naysayers and rejected congressional -- reject the
conventional wisdom and trust people would judge him on his character and his ideas. he ran for office to bring people together who had never been together before, and that he did. i do not know anyone else who's fan base includes barney frank and ted kennedy as well as mitch mcconnell and george w. bush. that is a coalition-builder. few have matched his reach across the aisle from working with protecting title 9 to sponsoring the fair housing act with malwalter mondale. he did not care whether the bill was popular or politically
expedient, democratic, or republican. he cared about whether it helps people, whether it made a difference in their lives. that is why he fought so hard for medicare and the minimum wage, for so rights and women's rights. that is why he became an advocate for affordable housing, establishing protections that are the standard to the state. it is a record that defies labels and categories for which she had little use. he offered phrases like creative moderate or a liberal with a conservative bent. but in truth, his career was animated by a faith in the people he served. he always got to see the best in people because that was the fact he had. maybe it was his old fashioned manners and warmth. maybe it was his charm and
charisma. or maybe it was as genuine interest in people's stories, the way he listened to their concerns. when it -- whatever it was, people saw how hard he fought for them and how much they're respected him. he respected them back. around ed, people want to be there better selves. he made an impression and just about everyone he encountered including a young congressman named john f. kennedy who met back in 1952. the men had one of the conversations and the future president said, you should be a democrat. [laughter] ed smiled and said, you know, you should be a republican. it was a sentiment that many in my party whichç share, includig ted kennedy. ted campaign for ed's democratic
opponent, became lifelong friends. said it would campaign more vigorously to secure ed's nomination for this metal. we grace senator brooke with this honored today. perhaps a better tribute will be to embrace that spirit. to compete aggressively at the polls but then worked selflessly together to serve the nation we love. to look for the best in each other. [applause] to look for the best in each other. to give each other the benefit of the doubt. and remember we're here for a purpose for better -- a far greater than the sum of our ambitions.
he was part of history throughout his life. he made history and he knew history. it was his respect for ed brooke that led him to champion this congressional gold medal. we're so delighted that the kennedy is here today and his great friend, my colleague in the senate, paul kirk is here with us to celebrate this moment. in one of this first sermons, martin luther king jr. observed, "the thing we need in the world today is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and the opposed to wrong wherever it is, a group of people who've come to see that some things are wrong whether there never caught up with and
some things are right weather nobody sees you doing them or not." before his mission was cut short 14 years later, dr. king met countless men and women who he enlisted in the cause. but one who became his confidante was edward brooke, whose journey we honor today. like so many of us, ed was moved by the actions of dr. king. there were also times when dr. king was moved by ed, especially when dr. king conflicted, saw his counsel on the vietnam war before taking his own moral stand against the conflict. ed came to this capital in 1967. the president spoke about his journey in the army and as contributions to the country before that. his journey here in the congress
began in 1962 when as the majority leader reminded us, president kennedy said, "that is the biggest news in the country." there was bigger news ahead. not because of his race, but because of the job he did as massachusetts attorney general. heçó was a vigorous prosecutor f organized crime and he worked closely with local police departments to solve one of the great crimes in our history, the boston strangler. massachusetts electric ed to the senate not because of the -- massachusetts elected ed because of the content of this character. the man became known for its independence, public service, whose compass was guided by conscience. he was one of the first
advocates of legislation to provide affordable housing in america. when it was difficult, he stood up for affirmative action, desegregation, privacy rights, minority business development, and increase in social security benefits, and the extension of the voting rights act. after the assassination of dr. king, ed became the first to propose a national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. he said it would be fitting to pay our respects to this noble figure by enduring public commendation of his wife and philosophy. except 15 years for the best -- for the rest of america to catch up. it was not the only time ed broke with president nixon and the appeals to racial prejudice. he knew it was wrong to win an
election publisher consciousness. he opposed three of president nixon's supreme court nominees. he introduced legislation as a republican for the appointment of a watergate special prosecutor. he was the first senator in either party to call for president nixon's resignation. any council president ford against pardoning the ex- presidents. as demonstrated the same kind of independent thinking as a member of the kerner commission which president johnson committe appod because of the race riots. the commission warned that america was "moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal."
after leaving the senate, he served on the panel to investigate the damage and japanese americans, citizens who were placed in internment camps at the outbreak of world war ii. five years of delays later, congress passed a resolution doing just that. that is leadership. i probably sit in the senate seat once occupied by ed brooke. my greatest booster was his mother, who lived to be 100. ed brooke turned 90 just last monday. [applause] in 2005, i have the privilege of writing the senate resolution awarding this same gold medal
to jackie robinson, himself a trail blazer, who once said, "life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." that is the kind of ed brooke has lived. to the great work of making more perfect our union. in this autobiography ,ed wrote -- it is my fondest hope that some readers of this book looking for equality and justice in america may be moved to continue that battle in their own lives and in the ownereras. the torch must be passed from generation to generation if america is ever to fulfill its promise." as we look around today and looked at the great accomplishments of his last years, in the presence of our
president here earlier, we say you're great hope is coming through. the torch is being passed to a generation that has learned from your example of doing what is right, weather and nobody sees you doing it or not. as dr. king said, that is the test. it is your example and your journaey that we're so pleased o honor here today. [applause] ñr>> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable eleanor holmes norton, rep. [applause]
>> thank you. democratic and republican leaders of the senate and house , members of congress from both houses, ladies and gentleman, and senator edward brooke and the brooke family. let me guess. when you went sh toato shaw high school and howard university, all in your palm community, not far from here, you may not have envisioned the capitol rotunda as the setting to celebrate th90youryour 90th birthday. within the leaders for timing of
this ceremony accordingly. happy 90th birthday, senator edward w. brooke. [applause] you may have been an improbable senator, and man born in the district of columbia who goes off to i port porti without -- who goes off to world war ii ç without right to vote for a member of house, much less senator. perhaps improbable, but certainly not an accidental senator. it took a man of extraordinary talent, will, appeal, and confidence to become the barack obama of the 20th-century
before barack obama was even born. [laughter] [applause] by being elected the first african american as to sit as the united states senator, you did it in 1967, when millions of african-americans in the united states were still denied the right to cast a vote at all. senator, if you were not an athlete as a boy, you certainly have made up for it as a man. which of your hurdles seemed most steep to you at the time? becoming a decorated officer in the segregated 336th combat
infantry regiment during world war ii? was it upon your return when you became an editor of the law review at boston university law school. why before you assume the post do you think you could actually become share of the boston finance commission? what made you think that a black man could win statewide office as attorney general, particularly in a staple where to % of the population was african american -- where 2% of the population was african- american? how did you think as a lifelong republican you could be elected to anything in overwhelmingly
democratic massachusetts? the hurdles you jump, senator, were so high that your direct feeds have ledger home town residents to dare to believe that two after centuries, the same congress that gives to the congressional gold medal today will give voting rights to the people of the district of columbia this year. [cheers] you empowered yourself long before the residents of your home town empowered themselves. when residents of your home town first got the right to vote for local officials in 1974, you
were already serving your second term in the senate's. but never forgot your home town. your brilliantly assert massachusetts and the people of the district of columbia todayç salute the people of massachusetts who's intelligent coverage sent you to washington to serve their state and our country. you understood well, though, that the source of your values and your character and you're confident determination are rooted in the district, and repeatedly introduced bills for home rule and voting rights for their residents of the nation's capital at the same time that you were leading the way it on the great national issues of the day, opening relations with
china, ending apartheid in south africa. the brooke amendment, the people pay no more than 25% for housing. the fair housing act. and so much more. it is massachusetts that set new home here to give your talents to your country. but we in the district of columbiaç will always claim yo, senator, as we claim so many of the nation's luminaries' born and raised in the district of columbia from dr. charles drew, who discovered the method used today to preserve and store blood plasma for blood banks, to duke ellington, whose genius was nurtured in home town d.c. before he gave his music as a
gift to the world. the country recognized your breakthrough achievements when, in 2004, president george w. bush awarded to presidential medal of freedom which are the highest honors our country can give. the congress of the united states today gives you honor wherw you served. awards even to the least among us too often are characterized as a historic in the hyperbole of the moment today. but when senator ted kennedy asked the senate to vote overwhelmingly to award you the congressional gold medal, the
senate and house together demonstrated that we know a historic figure when we see one. however, senator brooke, the highest awards our country can offer are not given for being historic. they are given for service. in your case, service to the united states of america and a service to the people of the state of massachusetts. and yes, senator, indescribably appreciated service to the people of your home town. the district of columbia. would you joined in singing "happy birthday"? >> happy birthday to you happy birthday to you
happy birthday at a birthday to -- happy birthday to you ♪ [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good morning. what an honor it is to be here with the democratic leadership of the house and senate, with the brooke family and the
children with vicki kennedy and members of the kennedy clan, to be here with senator brooke edward. to be here with the president of the united states. as the congress of the united states bestows its highest honor to a great leader, senator edward brooke. [applause] it was -- i will now lead off an array of leadership. senator. , leader mcconnell, leader -- with college other leader and all. patrick kennedy and senator kerry and eleanor holmes norton. a series of tributes to senator brooke. i heard bipartisan applause when
president obama mentioned it. brooke senator, in honor of your birthday, last night we were there to cheer on our bipartisan football team, democrats and republicans working as a team and leading them with that great team work to victory over a full medicalfoe. we had -- over a formidable foe. çit was a spirit of bipartisanship in your honor. in 1967, that was the year senator brooke came to the united states senate. he signals a new style and a new hope. as the first african american popularly elected to the senate, senator brooke ignited more than four decades of promise.
today, we also notes as others have mentioned some brooke under's partner -- senator brooke's partner was senator ted kennedy. mayor acknowledged the delegation who is here today? it was ted kennedy who first escorted ed brookeç into the chamber in 1967. they work in a bipartisan way. it was his legislation that gave us the opportunity, and joining with eleanor holmes norton in the house, they give us the opportunity to honor a brooke senator with the congressional gold medal today. senator brooke came to the senate after a public servant, an army veteran, a civic leader,
the attorney general of massachusetts, the first african-american attorney general in our country. he counts himself -- many scolded his ambition and encourage patientce. he was often ask, why the rush? he was a man in a hurry for equality. he was in a hurry for progress. and on issues of national fairness, such as increasing the minimum wage and insuring affordable housing. brooke the amendment -- today, the brooke brought amendment, initiated by republican senator, it means something to all people in our country. it signals a guarantee that public housing is affordable to all people.
it is the cornerstone of our current housing policy benefiting millions of americans. we salute you for that, senator brooke [applause] . today we honor senate brooke for his impatience. we thank him for it. with knowledge in this through the impatience of a brooke senator that we have moved forward as a country. we go from -- we get closer to the ideals to form a more perfect union. today as we can convey the gold medal to you, we extend on behalf of the entire congress, we all extend our congratulations and our thanks to senator edwardç brooke. thank you, senator brooke.
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable patrick kennedy, u.s. rep. [applause] >> to my colleagues in the vote -- in government, speaker pelosi, h leaderoyer, and to eleanor holmes norton, the original representative of senator brooke, to send brooke and his family, welcome. i am humbled to be here today as the conduit to a man who should be honoring his friend today, my father. ed was the type of friend who would call and leave a message with petit st., i just do not
want to bother teddy. don't worry about having him call me back. just let him know that i love him. theirs was a friendship forged in the cauldron of electoral politics. it was nurtured by decades of mutual respect and admiration and a shared determination to push americans to live up to its highest goals. it is difficult to imagine because of people like ed brooke was all the obstacles in their own path as challenges to build a more perfect union for the next generation of americans. in a sense, each of us today stands on the shoulders of giants. today, senator brooke, we are acknowledging you as one of those giants. our president made history coming to the office of
president of the united states with the promise of, yes, we can. our society is what it is today because people liked ed brooke proved yes, we could. congratulations. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> madam speaker, my distinguished colleagues, gas, and their special destiny, senator brooke edward and his family. henry david thoreau, the famous
poet from massachusetts, once wrote, "if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet his success unexpected in common hours." during world war ii, ed brooke answered the call of this nation. he served with distinction. he had the duty of defending a young black soldiers who were subjected to the rank mistreatment of segregationed. brooke became a soldiers are lawyers and those experiences shaped and inspired him to the call of public service. the commonwealth of massachusetts and the entire nation has benefited from his service. he has shown bravery,
commitment, and wisdom in his whole life. we honor him today for that lifetime of achievement the country are appreciated. by ending decades of exclusion, some of the highest levels of our government, he helped reignite a spirit of hope that had dimmed after the civil war. president lincoln once said, "as our case is new, we must think and act anew." ed brooke is a dedicated servant who proved that america can act anew. congratulations, a brooke senator -- congratulations, senator brooke. [applause]
>> ladies and gentleman, the majority leader, the honorable steny hoyer. [applause] >> senator edward brooke iii, an historic figure. a friend. someone to be used as an example. we're pleased to have you and your family here with us on this wonderful day. i walked into the room. he said, how was your chief of staff doing? my chief of staff is named terry. his daughter is named brooke, after senator edward brooke iii.
vicki, thank you for being here. we know ted is here with you. on his arrival in the senate, he tells us in his autobiography the same senators who spoke up so forcefully for segregation are happy to invite me into their senate swimming pool. the same man who stoat racial fears of their constituents, who did so much to haulback equality in this country. he said have no qualms t(about sharing their pool with a black man. i am sure ed brooke taught them a lot. if you believe in racial separatism, he said, i can live with that.
he went on to say, it was evident that some members played on bigotry for political gain. the senate was not alone. and that small incident senator brooke so how profitable they convey for the worst of those they represent. to be the representatives for fear and for prejudice. as long as there are legislatures, there will be some who find that path all too tempting. as long as there are legislators, our best defense lies in men and women who resist the choice. decent man, decent women. there represent the better angels of our nature? people like senator edward
>> our greatest challenge is to remain devoted to our nation's founding promise -- wait -- even when we see it had established, and work to the date when it will be established in full, senator, we honor you with this congressional medal of honor because you have honored the principles and values of our country so extraordinarily well. god has blessed us through your
service. [applause] ] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, the hon. mitchell mcconnell. [applause] >> i told senator brooke before we came on stage that i had an opportunity to observe him during his first term as a senate staffer in the back of the senate chamber. you could sense even then that this was a man of historic significance.
as others have said, edward brooke was known as the first popularly elected african- american man in the senate. this is an achievement well worth our notice. but those of us who have followed this good man's career, know him primarily for the qualities that are recently departed friend, ted kennedy, enumerated at the end of his distinguished tenure in the senate. we know him for being a model of concern, sensitivity, courage, and intelligence. some were surprised when a black man was elected attorney general and then u.s. senator from a state in which 98% of the voters, as others have indicated, were white. the same people were surprised six years later, when the only state in the nation that did not go for nixon reelected him, not
only reelected him, but reelected him by an overwhelming margin. it was no surprise to the people of massachusetts. they were sure from the moment ed brooke and took on public corruption in boston that he had their interests at heart. after that, they knew he was honest. they knew he was fair. nothing else really mattered. here is how one boston voter put it after his performance on the boston finance commission -- is this guy does not run for attorney general, i will write him in. he continued, the only thing i can say against ed brooke is that he's better looking than i am. take it for me, that is high praise from a politician. [laughter] ed brooke grew up just a few blocks from here in a segregated neighborhood. as a grown man, he would walk into the senate chamber with a
standing ovation. yet, as a child, much of the city of that chamber was closed off to him. it was a bitter irony that edward brooke made the most of it. he made integration his mission. he once said i don't see the difference between black people and white people. i wanted to go washington to bring people together who had never been together before. i wanted to break down the barriers between races. and that is what he did. he broke down barriers that had stood for generations. he was a model to african americans and to all americans of his day. with our presence here today, we show that at warburg still has the power to bring people together. he is still bridging divides, and that is a legacy to be proud of. [applause]
>> ladies and gentleman, the majority leader of the united states senate -- the hon. harry reid. [applause] >> i mentioned earlier that senator brooke's first electoral win as massachusetts attorney general. we back in 1962. the road to that office is as rocky as the state's northern coast. when he announced he would seek that job, state party officials did everything they could to dissuade him. they offered him a judgeship and he said no. they offered him the lieutenant governorship and he said no. they told him he could not win. he said no, i can win.
there was no dissuading at or broke. he had good reasons -- good reason not to take no for an answer. four years later and six years after that, the people of massachusetts sent him to represent them in washington. the soldier who fought fascism, a lawyer who fought corruption, the attorney general who fought violence, the candidate who fought his daughters became a remarkably successful united states senator who fought for equality, transparency, and for peace. we are all proud of the -- of what the grand sum of a slave of bought -- did to this building and building built by slaves. he stepped to the suit rejected civil rights and to citizens to face discredited -- whose faced discrimination.
we're proud of his credentials, but we're equally proud of his courage and character. as has been said here, it's hardly easy for a republican in democratic state and protestant and an overwhelmingly catholic state, we honor him for not only succeeding how he did but we honor him for simply trotting. he tried and doing so [inaudible] he tried in doing so said to a lawyer named eric holder that it was ok to practice just as at the highest level. he tried and in doing so said to a young state senator from chicago it was ok to try to become the first african- american to be popularly elected to be added states senate. he said not long after that, it's ok for the same man to lead
the nation. because he created so many features, we are in today alongside so many shapes are passed. we give him the congressional gold medal -- we have given this a congressional gold medal to george washington, thomas jefferson, and you are in good company now. senator brock joined them now. -- senator brooke joins them now. [applause] [applause] [applause]
>> thank you for your very warm welcome. not want the record to show that i have turned on the sun for you since you've been here. politicians sometimes takes credit for things they have absolutely nothing to do with. [laughter] but i am proud that after a rainy entry into washington that the sun is shining and you will be able to enjoy this very beautiful, beautiful city and this magnificent structure, the
capital of the greatest country in the world. majority leader, steny hoyer, republican leader, mcconnell, minority leader j,ohn boehner, -- minority leader -- your back? thank you for coming back. and my dear friend now, the speaker of the house, what a wonderful thing is to have as the speaker of the great house of representatives, a lady.
>> he started this, together with eleanor holmes norton. he called me one day and said come to my office, i would like to see you. i went to his office and he said we are introducing a bill to have you awarded the congressional gold medal. i was shocked and in awe, but you can be sure i was pleased. [applause] ted said don't you worry about a thing. you don't have to talk to anybody or do anything, i will do the senate side and eleanor holmes norton will do the house side. and it happened. he had to get 76 united states
senators as co-sponsors of the bill and pour eleanor had only 290 representatives to get in the house of representatives. but they were dauntless and a one-out and did their work and before that i knew it, the senate had passed the bill, the house had passed a bill, and then i gotta call the other day and they said there was debate on the floor. madam speaker, in order to use the rotunda of the capital for this occasion. she said if you turn on c-span, you will see it. [applause] there be a very spirited debate and it was and the vote was 417- 0. [applause]
beeif that is not a way to win n election, i don't know what is. it has never been that easy. this would be a perfect day for me in my life if it were not for the fact that my friend paul, my senior center, though he was much younger than i coghill would be here on this occasion -- though he was much younger than i would be here on this occasion. we cannot control life or death and we cannot control ted or he would still be with us. i am real honored to have with us on this occasion, his wonderful wife who has been such a wonderful person. [applause]
you came from near and far, you came from amsterdam, holland. the senator from a national set in france, a distinguished senator of the parliament came from france. others came from all over, from the caribbean, from california, from miami, every place on earth i have lived and i have lived in a lot of places. [applause] you are here and and i'm not going to say you made an old man happy, you made a young man happy.
and to have my family, my wife of more than 30 years it has given me his best years of my life. [applause] my son and daughters, stepdaughters and grandchildren, cousins and so many, many others. i cannot begin to name the because it would take too long and what i think of the times the speaker has given to this and the other members of the senate and house have given to this, i cannot intrude upon their job. this is a heady thing for me. it would be for anybody.
i love this country. since the day i was born, and i was born here in the nation's capital. on october 26th, 1919. most of you were not there at that time. [applause] [applause] i'm here to tell you that politics is not an evil thing. it is a good thing. when used properly, it does good things. i think of the awesome responsibilities of the house of representatives and that the united states senate. we're in three wars, and economy which has taken such a
long time to turn around, the lack of adequate and safe housing we promised the nation in 1949, a health-care bill which i am sure none of you want to hear about on this occasion. i will give you at least a break from it. i would not be presumptuous to tell you what to do. i am sure you don't know what you're going to do yourselves. [laughter] you have awesome responsibilities, not only to the country, but this world looks to you. i was happy when he told me a few minutes ago, madam speaker,
that the republicans and democrats played ball last night and they played the capitol police. that was an awesome responsibility in and of itself. [laughter] and that you won. it only meant to me that when pulp -- when republicans and democrats get together, they can do anything. [applause] the country is waiting for you to do anything. they just want release. you have that responsibility. you have that authority. you are the people on earth that are going to save this country and save this world. think about that. [applause]
we cannot worry about disparagement. what is it -- if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. we cannot worry about that, mitch mcconnell, we cannot worry about those things. we can't worry that you all can get together. we have got to get together. we have no alternative. there is nothing left. it's time for politics to be put aside on a back r terhune. [applause] -- on the back burner. [applause]
we have to avoid these perils before they come before us and then it takes too long. we cannot keep fighting wars. [applause] we have got hungry people to feed. homeless people carried [applause] -- homeless people. [applause] homeless and ill-housed people to shelter. [applause] and young people to be educated. [applause]
and so, on this occasion, i applaud the congress for what it has done. our three branches of government, have a wonderful founding by our founding fathers. our legislative branch is as strong as it wants to beat. there is nothing congress can do that cannot correct. nothing. they have the power to do what -- they have the power to do it. the president is powerful, but he has oversight by the congress of the united states. we are part of that. the judiciary, we must never
politicized the supreme court and the judiciary system of this country. [applause] as eleanor said, and i don't want to minimize this honor, but when she first told me about it, i said -- i will exchange the honor if the congress will pass the voting rights act for the district of columbia. [applause]
[applause] eller said one day to me, she called me -- eleanor had said to me when age, she called me -- when i turned 80, i was still playing tennis and riding horses in virginia and living a life. then things began to happen to me with health issues. my mother, bless her heart, lifted the 100 years old. -- lived to be 100 years old. she said keep moving, don't give up, hang in there and which again. don't stop. keep going. i tried to listen to her as best i can. eleanor called one day when i
was not feeling too good. i said i don't know if i'm going to be able to make that. and she said, senator, you can't die before the congressional gold medal. [laughter] so i kept my political promise to you. [laughter] [applause] i wish i could call all your names and have the rise and i would love to hug you and tissue and some eight things. hugh our friends and i love you so much. you are part of my family and extended part of my family and i wish all that to happen, but
obviously it cannot. i want you to know i am truly appreciative that you have come these distances to be with me on this occasion. i'm going to conclude with the words have a hymn i recite. my staff will tell you, and i have the best staff in the world, i know all of you think so. some argue with me and some -- they have been wonderful. i could go on with people who would then so much to make this happen. these words are -- god of justice, save the people from walls of race and creed, from the strife of class and friction
heat, make our nation free indeed. keep her face in a simple man head, stronger than when she began until she finds hoar -- her full fruition in the brotherhood of man. madam speaker, leaders of the congress, members of the congress, my old colleague, my family and friends. i accept this high honor with deepest humility and everlasting gratitude. god bless you, god bless our leaders, god bless the president, and god bless our
>> let us our heads. thank god for the blessing of this man and his list -- his wisdom. lord god, the nation naturally and last by a lifetime of public service. to your people by edward william brock at the third. -- edward william brooke roman 3 -- roman numeral three may his work inspired us to treasure our senior citizens. may his legacy inspired many young people to overcome personal limitations and any social stigma in order to
develop their qualifications, all they need to follow senator brooke into a life of service and accomplish great deeds for the poorest of the poor and give you glory. lord, make your sovereign power plus each person of this great nation and their representative government with a sense of social responsibility that all may join in building bridges that will connect your people and remove all that divides them. may we take as a mandate from senator brooke today a personal resolve that each day we will talk and come to know a stranger and make him a lasting friend. let your kingdom come, let your will be done, both now and
capitol. >> tonight, with the best books of 2009. several news organizations have published their best of lists for the year. tonight, books by ann coulter and others. to be the best of list, visit our web site. >> c-span, new year's day -- a look at what is ahead for the new year. russian president vladimir putin discusses the future from his annual call in program 3 austan goolsbee on the economy. the art of political cartooning. >> in october, the dalai lama became the first person to receive the lantos human-rights
and her mother was going to offer our closing remarks. however, just a few days ago, charity under wind emergency double lung transplant surgery at the cleveland clinic in ohio and my sister is by her side as she faces this enormous challenge. i know that they're both here with us in spirit and would ask you to send your warm wishes and prayers their way. i have been told that there is a familiar saying in asia which states -- there is an invisible crimson thread that connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. this thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. i cannot help but think of this saying when i consider the deep friendship and unbreakable connection that existed between my late father, congressman tom
lantos and today's award recipient, is telling us, the dalai lama. it would be hard to imagine to individuals from different circumstances in life. my father was an ant -- was a hundred holocaust survivor who came to america as a penalty -- as a penniless immigrant. his holiness is revered spiritual and political leader of the tibetan people who was forced to escape into exile in 1959 in the face of the brutal repression of his nation. very different man from extraordinarily different lives. but what brought them together, the invisible crimson thread, if you will, which made their friendship as inevitable as it was unbreakable, was there deeply shared commitment to universal human rights. it is to advance the noble cause of human rights that the lantos
foundation was established. our mission is to strengthen and uphold the role of human rights in american foreign policy. sometimes, admittedly, this is easier said than done. because standing up for those whose rights are being trampled usually offends the travelers. -- the travelers. on the night of his historic and inspiring election, president obama spoke of this saying that the ark of history is long but bends towards justice. these hopeful words should remind us we cannot simply stand by and wait for the ark to bend. we have a duty to use our power influence to hasten its trajectory. that is what his holiness, with his profound message of peace, justice, and reconciliation has done his entire life. that is why the lantos
foundation is honored to be presenting this inaugural word to him today. we have no doubt that the dalai lama is on the right side of history and we hope our country and our president will be standing there with him. his holiness often refers to himself as a simple buddhist monk. my father, perhaps with a bit of humor and a little less sincerity use to sometimes refer to himself as a simple hungarian peasant. neither description seems quite adequate when we consider the lives and accomplishments of these two hon. men, and yet, maybe, it's not so far off the mark. the belief which inspires both -- both of their lives is a simple one -- we are indeed our brothers' keepers. everyone of us and every one of them.
i would like to close my remarks by quoting from the prayer that eleanor roosevelt, a great woman and what of the architects of the universal declaration of human rights is said to have prayed nightly. our father, make as sure of the good we cannot see and of a hit in good in the world. open our eyes and hearts to the loveliness man hide from us because we do not try to understand them. show as a vision of a world being new. thank you very much. [applause] i am honored now to introduce the distinguished chairman of the house foreign affairs committee and my late father's a very good friend, congressman howard berman. following his remarks, there
will be a brief video presentation. >> thank you. madam speaker, senator mccain, and all the distinguished guests today, it's a great honor for me to be part of this inaugural event which awards the first lantos foundation human rights prize. i've been asked to speak to you today about might dear friend and departed colleague tom lantos it has been a little over a year-and-a-half since he passed away, and i can tell you that we sorely miss having tom's strong and profound voice and his sense of history on foreign policy issues generally and human rights issues specifically. it's at best work he undertook during his time here and the
foundation he laid on ensures his efforts will indoor, both through the foundation and the three tom lantos human-rights commission in congress. many thousands of americans have been elected to the u.s. house of representatives. we come, we serve, and then we leave. most of us are relatively soon forgotten. tom is not one who will be forgotten. he will be remembered not only because of his unique background as a holocaust survivor, but for the strength of his convictions and the power of his oratory. tom had experience personally what it meant to be hunted, to be oppressed, to be friendless and without a champion. it was this experience that made him determined to become a defender of the rights of his fellow human beings and he lived up to that commitment in a remarkable way.
tom came to this country in 1947 as a penniless immigrant. and that is not an exaggeration. like so many others, he realized the united states with a place with wide open doors of opportunity. tom walked to the stores with gratitude and enthusiasm. he became a profoundly patriotic american and sec every occasion to express gratitude for the opportunity. when he announced he would not run for reelection to the cancer that ultimately took his life, tom said "is only in the united states that penniless survivor of the holocaust and a fighter in the anti-nazi underground could have received and immigration, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of the congress. i will never be able to express fully by profoundly felt
gratitude to this great country ." congressman lantos was a co- founder of the congressional human rights congress for over two decades. under his leadership and with the incredible hulk of his dear wife, the caucus was in the forefront to free political prisoners and preserve religious freedom. with the strong support of speaker pelosi and the able leadership of congressman mcgovern and wolf, the caucus has been reestablished as the lantos the human-rights commission and has instituted a permanent part of congress so the vital work he started will go on. [applause] we all miss tom, but today is a day of celebration for the proud
legacy he left behind. the lantos foundation for human rights and justice, which has been established to strengthen the role of human rights in american foreign policy is awarding its inaugural human rights prize to his holiness, the dalai lama, a great man of peace who i know tom deeply, deeply admired. just as tom, throughout his life, used his eloquence and passion to draw attention to the plight of the oppressed people everywhere, the lantos price will likewise focus the world's gaze on heroic individuals like the dalai lama to inspire us to be our brother's keepers. thank you. [applause] ♪
♪ >> america was the promised land for people in eastern europe, holocaust survivors suffering under the communism. coming to america was coming to the promised land. ♪ ♪ >> he never really dreamed he would be going to congress. that was not part of our life plan. but then, suddenly, the man who represented our district in 1978 had a terrible tragedy and my husband decided he would give it a try.
he was not much of a partisan person. it was not a question of republican or democrat, is a question of communism or not cease. -- communism or nazis. it was either a democracy or communism or nazism. he was always fighting for democracy and he said that was a core value of his existence. >> human-rights are indivisible. whether the rights of individuals are violated in the soviet union or in iran or cuba or south africa or tibet, it is our responsibility as republicans and democrats in a
freak legislative body to stand up and speak out against these our ages. -- again seized outrages. >> a big delegation came from the state department warning my husband if he goes through with this invitation, we would totally be disrupting american foreign policy initiatives and the state department put a tremendous pressure on him to stop it. but of course, the congress is an independent body. basically my husband could tell the entire state department delegation to go fly a kite. that is what he did. human-rights leaders are one of the most valuable members of the human community. many of them are pursuing their
very important missions unseen and alone and unrewarded. our goal is to bring these people to the attention of the world and when the recognition and inspire young people to follow in their footsteps. if we want this world to be a better place, we have to see to it that everybody participates and everybody has an opportunity to a decent way of life. this is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. we have to promote that goal. ♪
[applause] >> we will next year a musical performance from a chamber music foundation, an organization of musical human rights here as dedicated to document thing, preserving, and advancing the resilience of the human spirit as expressed in the music and arts created by the victims of the holocaust. performing will be the director and violist and the world renowned classical violinist michael it would. -- michael led big. -- michael ludwig. i♪