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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 31, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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said we're going to put this monthly fee on because of durbin. guess what? those banks are backing off now. they realize their customers are leaving if they're not treated properly and fairly. let's continue that. it's healthy for america and growth of our economy. i yield the floor. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: mr. president, today the senate will vote on the nomination of stephen a. higginson to serve as u.s. circuit judge fifth circuit. this is a seat that has been deemed by our statistics as a judicial emergency. this is the 15th judicial nomination that we will confirm this month. with this vote today, we have confirmed 51 article 3 judicial nominees during this congress. 30 of those confirmations have been for judicial emergencies.
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despite this brisk level of activity, we continue to hear complaints, too many complaints, unjustified complaints about the lack of real progress by the senate. let me set the record straight regarding the real progress that the senate has made. and this is in regard to president obama's judicial nominees. we have taken positive action on 87% of the judicial nominations submitted before this congress. the senate has confirmed 71% of president obama's nominees since the beginning of his presidency, including two of the most important supreme court justices. we continue to remain ahead of the pace set forth in the 108th congress under president bush. so far we have held hearings on
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85% of president obama's judicial nominees. that is compared to only 79% at this point in the president bush presidency. i would note that we have another nomination hearing scheduled in the judiciary committee wednesday this week. we've also reported 76% of the judicial nominees receive so far this congress with five more scheduled for consideration thursday this week. a comparable 75% were reported at this time in the 108th congress. now, referring to our critics, critics may dismiss the activity that we accomplished in committee as not making real progress. but everyone knows that no votes can take place on the senate
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floor until committee action is complete. and that completion must include hearings as well as markups. furthermore, when it comes to the floor action, we're making real progress as well. we are well ahead of this session of the confirmation pace in previous sessions of congress. as i mentioned, after this vote we will have confirmed 51 judicial nominees during this session of congress. i would point out that this exceeds the average number of judicial confirmations going back to the first session of the 97th congress. that session was the beginning of president reagan's first term in tphaoepbt 81 -- in 1981. the average since then is 44 judicial confirmations per session. this puts the current session of
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congress in the top ten of over the last 30 years. this means that during this session president obama has had better results with his judicial nominees than president reagan had in seven sessions of congress. it is more confirmed in five of eight sessions of congress during president clinton's administration. president george w. bush had six sessions of congress with fewer nominees confirmed. so, i hope these statistics, as boring as they are, will put to rest insinuations that there's something somehow different about this president or that he is being treated unfairly, because those sort of comments just do not hold up to analysis. to support the lack of real
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progress -- and those are the words that we keep hearing -- some would argue that the only valid measure of progress is how quickly a nominee is confirmed after being reported out of committee. that's only one piece of the confirmation process. hearings and markups in committee are also necessary components. to ignore those elements distorts the picture. i want to give you an example involving today's nominee, the one we'll be voting on here in less than a half-hour. mr. higginson was nominated may 9 this year. he had his hearing 30 days later. the total time from nomination to confirmation is 175 days. now, compare this to the record of the nomination of edith brown
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clement. she was the nominee of president bush to be u.s. circuit judge for the fifth circuit. like mr. higginson, she too was from louisiana. her nomination on may 9, 2001, was the first day of her nomination. and because it wasn't handled right away -- it had to be returned to the president during the august recess of that year. and, of course, a month later, on september 4, 2001, she was renominated. now, compare this length of time involving judge clement with judge -- with the nominee today. as i said, she was renominated september 4. she had to wait 140 days -- 148
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days for her hearing. the total time for initial nomination to confirmation was 188 days. that is nearly two weeks longer than mr. higginson's confirmation wait. this is just one example of how cherry-picking one piece of the confirmation process over another can lead to unfounded conclusions. if one argues that mr. higginson has been treated unfairly because of how long he has waited for confirmation, then certainly judge clement was treated even worse. i would note that judge clement was approved by the committee on a unanimous vote and was confirmed on the floor of the united states senate on a 99-0 vote. now, let's get to the present nominee. i support the nomination of mr. higginson. he received his bachelor of arts
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degree harvard college summa cum laude, 1983 and his juris doctorate from yale law school, 1987. upon graduating from law school, the nominee served as a law clerk for chief judge patricia wald, u.s. court of appeals d.c. circuit. he then clerked at the supreme court for associate justice byron white. since their clerkships -- since these clerkships, mr. higginson has served as an assistant u.s. attorney from 1989 to 1993. he served at the u.s. attorney's office in the district of massachusetts. in 1993 he transferred to the eastern district of louisiana, continuing criminal trial work and became chief of appeals in 1995. from 1997 through 1997, he was detailed by the department of
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justice to work for the united states department of state as deputy director of the presidential rule of law initiative. in 2004 he became a part-time assistant attorney general while serving as a full-time associate professor of law, loyala university new orleans college of law. the american bar association standing committee on the federal judiciary has rated mr. higginson with a unanimous well-qualified vote. i intend to vote for his nomination, and i thank the chair and yield the floor. ms. landrieu: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: thank you, mr. president. i understand we have about four minutes on our side, and i thank my colleague, senator grassley, for his kind words of support, strong words of support for the
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nomination that is before the senate today. and i rise to support the confirmation of stephen higginson to the u.s. court of appeals for the fifth circuit. i was pleased, mr. president, to recommend mr. higginson to president obama to be considered for this nomination to this important post. and i'm pleased to be joined by my colleague from louisiana that also supports this nomination and supports this confirmation. i'd like to take just a moment to share with some of my colleagues a few highlights of mr. higginson's background and resume. he has been well prepared for this position. he has resided in new orleans with his wife, colette, with their three children: christopher, katie and n oel. prior to that he began with a
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degree from harvard graduating summa cum laude. after graduating, he went on to earn a masters in philosophy, which is unusual but very welcomed in this field from cambridge university. he went, mr. president, as a harvard scholar. with degrees from two very prestigious institutions, he decideed to pursue his j.d. from yale law school where he graduated three years later. he earned the extraordinary distinction of being both editor-in-chief of the yale law review and the winner of the israel h. perez prize for the best written contribution to the law review. after graduating from yet another prestigious school -- yale law school -- he served as law clerk to the honorable patricia m. wald u.s. court of appeals of the district of columbia. then he also served as law clerk to the honorable byron white of the u.s. supreme court. clearly his academic and
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professional accomplishments have prepared him to handle the legal complexities of federal appellate cases. but, mr. president, all of these things, i think, can be put into context beautifully by comments from his judges that he will serve with should he be confirmed today by the senate. other justices on the court. james -- judge james dennis of the fifth circuit says stephen has all the qualities one needs to become a great judge and great colleague. he will be a great addition to our court, and i look forward to serving with him. another fifth circuit judge just mentioned, judge edith clement brown called mr. higginson -- quote -- "the best criminal lawyer that has ever practiced before me in all of my 20 years serving on the federal bench." finally, from the man he will succeed should he be confirmed, judge jack weiner, who took
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senior status last year. he says -- quote -- "i've long admired steve higginson's advocacy here in the eastern district, his scholarship as a law professor, outstanding academic record at harvard and yale law school. i'm honored to have mr. higginson succeed to my seat on this court and confident he will discharge the duties of the u.s. circuit court judge fairly, conscientiously and honorably." so, mr. president, i ask the, with my strongest recommendation for my colleagues in the united states senate to vote with me in approving this nominee today. i thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: mr. president, i rise and i'm honored to join my colleague from louisiana, senator landrieu, as well as others: senator leahy, senator grassley, in strongly supporting this nomination, a very, very
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strong nomination. first of all, mr. president, let me say i'm very happy to work in a very close fashion with senator landrieu on all of the judicial nominations in louisiana under president obama. and i have to say that work and that cooperation has gone more smoothly with better results than i could ever have imagined. so i'm very, very pleased with that entire process. this nomination of steve higginson is perhaps the strongest, most shining example of that. senator landrieu and i worked very closely together. we were very focused on this important fifth circuit nomination. quite frankly, we were both concerned about someone that the white house was looking closely at for the nomination. we both together expressed that concern. and then we both very much supported this nomination of
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steve higginson. senator lan tkraourbgs through a process -- senator landrieu through a process she set up independently suggested steve higginson as a nominee and i very immediately and passionately and strongly chimed in. we did this because this is a highly qualified individual who will make nothing less than a great judge. as has been mentioned, steve has a sterling record and many different facets of -- he is an associate law professor at loyola law school where he has gotten great admiration from both his fellow professors, his colleagues, and his students, and he's served for about two decades as a federal prosecutor in various offices of the u.s. attorney. mostly, the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of louisiana since 1993. during this time in louisiana,
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steve has handled multiple investigations and criminal trials, first at the trial level, then at the appellate level, and he supervised both criminal and civil appeals. in this role, he has authored over 100 federal appellate briefs and he's reviewed more than 300 appellate briefs authored by others. and, of course, that's very, very directly relevant to this job on the u.s. fifth circuit. now, mr. president, this work and the entire work of this u.s. attorney's office has been extremely important for us citizens in louisiana. in at least two respects. first of all, this u.s. attorney's office led by the current u.s. attorney jim retton, a career prosecutor initially appointed by president bush and kept on by president obama, jim letton and this
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entire office has made enormously important strides in cleaning up political corruption in louisiana with several landmark prosecutions, and steve higginson has been an important part of many of those landmark prosecutions. secondly, mr. president, in the immediate aftermath of hurricane katrina, this u.s. attorney's office, headed by jim letton, aided very much by steve higginson, was extremely instrumental in helping local prosecutors and local law enforcement recover from the blows of hurricane katrina, get back on their feet and move forward with important criminal prostitutions. -- criminal prosecutions. so, mr. president, a u.s. attorney's office is always very important to a community, but i point out these ways in which steve higginson's work under u.s. attorney jim letton has been particularly significant
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for us in the greater new orleans area. steve came very well prepared for all of this work. as was mentioned, he has an exemplary academic career, including editor in chief of the yale law journal, no small feat, and he also served as law clerk to supreme court justice byron white. his work in the u.s. attorney's office has also been recognized in myriad ways. he's gotten many, many awards. i'll just mention one or two. for instance, the excellence in law enforcement award from the new orleans metropolitan crime commission, again focusing on that very important anticorruption work and post-katrina work. and at loyola law school, as i mentioned before, steve has been recognized and lauded both by his colleagues on faculty, his peers, and by his students. in fact, from his students, he's
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won loyola's professor of the year award three times in just a few years. so steve really will bring a wealth of public experience to the federal bench and is exceptionally qualified to serve there. mr. president, i believe that the constitution is very clear that judges must interpret the law and not legislate from the bench, and i think our most solemn responsibility in terms of confirming federal judges is to make sure we confirm judges who respect that rule of law and who live by that rule of judicial restraint, and i'm confident that steve higginson will be just such a judge as well. so, mr. president, again, i'm very pleased to join my colleague from louisiana, senator landrieu, and to join so many others in a very bipartisan way, including the chair of the committee, senator leahy, the
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ranking member, senator grassley, in strongly endorsing and supporting this nomination of steve higginson to join the fifth circuit court of appeals. thank you, mr. president. i yield back my time. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i would like to have my remarks put in the record as if in morning business. the presiding officer: in the senator could please move the vitiation of the quorum call. mr. grassley: i ask that request. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: mr. president, on friday a week ago, secretary of h.h.s. made a very important announcement regarding one specific provision of the patient protection and affordable care act. secretary sebelius announced that the administration would no longer be implementing the community living assistance services and support act, the acronym class applies to that part of that health care bill. she said, and i quote -- "when it became clear that the most basic benefit plans wouldn't
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work, we looked at other possibilities. recognizing the enormous need in this country for better long-term care insurance options, we cast as wide a net as possible in searching for a model that could succeed, but as a report our department is releasing today shows, we have not identified a way to make class work at this time." end of quote. mr. president, this is not an i told you so speech, although it certainly could be. it isn't as though folks weren't raising significant concerns about the class act a long time before it ever passed. two years ago during the debate, member after member of the senate came to the floor to argue that the class act was destined to fail. senator thune led the fight to raise awareness about the fiscal disaster that the class act has
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now turned out to be. the democratic chairman of the budget committee called it, quote unquote, a upon s.d.i. scheme. the democratic chairman of the finance committee stated on the floor that he was -- quote -- "no friend of the class act" -- unquote -- and when the senate took a vote on the class act, 51 senators including 10 democrats voted to strip it from the legislation. the majority didn't rule that day because an agreement required 60 votes to strip it out. mr. president, i think a special recognition goes to former senator judd gregg of new hampshire. as ranking member of the budget committee, when he was still in the senate, and a senior member of the health committee, he was deeply concerned about the ultimate costs of the class act on future generations. he led an amendment to require the class act be actuarially
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sound. he did so not because he wanted to improve the class act but because he wanted to make clear how the class act could not work from a fiscal standpoint. his amendment showed that once implemented, the class act would take in revenues in early years and then begin to lose revenues in the out years, ultimately either failing or requiring a massive bailout by taxpayers' money to salvage this program. in a strange twist of budget-scoring rules, his amendment, once accepted, led the congressional budget office to score the class act as producing savings on paper in the short term. the score made clear the class act was doomed to failure, but as only happens here in washington, a score showing the obvious failure of the class act then became an asset,
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particularly an asset because the democratic leadership wanted to show that this bill was revenue neutral or even revenue positive. but it was used by the democratic leadership not for what it provided beneficiaries but what it did for the overall health care reform bill. with the class act and its imaginary savings in the bill, and it made the overall bill look like it actually saved money. those savings, of course, were a gimmick. everyone in congress knew it, but some chose to ignore it, or worse still, celebrate. the very first action on the floor for the affordable care act was for the majority leader to ask unanimous consent to prevent amendments from spending the imaginary savings, and i emphasize imaginary savings
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generated by the class act. it wasn't a motion to protect the class act itself, but a cynical motion to protect the previous savings and the political value that they had. now, only in washington with overwhelming evidence on the table making clear a program would fail would defense of the doomed class act become a virtue. the head actuary at c.m.f. stated -- quote -- "there is a very serious risk that the problems of adverse selection would make the class program unsustainable." end of quote. the risks were known then, yet the democrats in congress plowed ahead anyway. why, you may ask? well, megan mccardle noted in "the atlantic" on monday, the problems with the class act were known from day one, but no one would listen because it gave them good numbers to sell their
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program politically." end of quote. and it wasn't just political cover. the imaginary savings gave them protection against potential budget points of order. would the senate -- would the senate-passed bill have been subject to a budget point of order without the imaginary class act savings that were in the bill? that's a very legitimate question. the announcement by the secretary of h.h.s. provides an overdue vindication for senator gregg. his amendment made the announcement inevitable. health and human services could not make a viable case for implementing the class act because senator gregg's amendment requiring the class act to be actuarially sustainable. our next action is clear. congress should repeal the class act. it was not in the house health
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care reform bill. a majority of the senate voted to strip the class act from the senate bill. it was passed under laughable false pretenses. the responsible action for congress is to repeal it in the first relevant piece of legislation. mr. president, i take a back seat to no one on issues associated with improving the lives of seniors or the lives of our disabled. as ranking member of the aging committee, i saw a critical -- oversaw critical hearings into deeply persistent problems in our nation's nursing homes. i was a principal author of the medicare part-d prescription drug bill which is currently providing our seniors and people with disability with affordable prescription medications. on the disability front, one of my proudest achievements is the enactment of legislation i sponsored along with the late senator ted kennedy, the family
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opportunity act, which extends medicaid coverage to disabled children. in a large part through my efforts, the money follows the personal rebalancing act, and the option for states to implement a home and community-based services program were included in the deficit reduction act of 2005. along with senator kerry, i introduced the empowered at home act, which, among other things, revised the income eligibility level for home and community-based services for the elderly and disabled individuals. so, mr. president, that is what i said about the class act on december 4, 2009. quote -- "if i thought that the class act would add to this list of improvements to the lives of seniors or disabled that i have sponsored in the past, i would be first in line as a proud cosponsor of the class act, but the class act does not
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strengthen the safety net for seniors and the disabled. the class act compounds the long-term entitlement spending problems that we already have by creating yet another new unsustainable entitlement program. the class act is simply not viable in its current form. that's the end of the quote i made on december 4, 2009, when that provision of the health care reform bill was up. but this is not an "i told you so" speech. no, mr. president, i'm here because i'm offended by the way this administration and proponents of health care reform has used the disability community throughout the debate over the class act. congress and the administration knew the class act would fail when it was become considered. the administration now somehow manages to treat this as a shocking discovery and the fact that they're doing that is beyond me.
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but the way that the administration has tried to soften the blow for the disability community rubs me the wrong way. because in the secretary's statement that i just referred to, the class act, the secretary said this, quote, "in fact, one of the main reasons we decided not to go ahead with class at this point is that we know no one would be hurt more if class started and failed than the people who had paid into it and were counting on it most. we can't let that happen "end of quote. of course they could have opposed the inclusion of the legislation and told the disability community the exact same thing back in 2009. apparently, the administration is frying to tell the disability community that even though hfd can't implement the statute, they don't want too repeal it. we do not support repeal, said nicholas pappas, a with white
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house spokesman. "repealing the class act isn't necessary or productive. what we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country." that's the end of the quote. mr. president, after putting the political value of the savings ahead of the doomed policy, the administration finally admitted the class act was a failure. they apol genocide to the -- apologized to the disability community, said they don't support repeal of the class act. after years of dodging reality it's time for the president and the majority party to treat the disability community respectfully and honestly. if the president believes the class act can and should be saved, he should put revisions on the table much as he's threatened to in the early 2010 and never managed to. congress should weigh repeal of the class act against whatever revisions could be proposed to make it a legitimate program.
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we should do so with the full score, meaning from c.b.o. and this the context of our current fiscal climate with all the cards on the table, not the stealthy way it was handled in 2009. we should have healty and open debate. the insipid strategy of passing something into law with a wink and a nod towards making it all better in the future is unacceptable and disrespectable to the disability community communityported to be served by the legislation. -- purchase support ported to be served by the legislation. for those of us who care about the disability policies, the days of ignoring reality should come to an end. we should repeal the class act and move on to other legislation that gets the job done in a fiscally responsible way.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mr. grassley: i yield back the time on this side. the presiding officer: time is yielded back. all time has expired. the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? the yeas and nays have been requested. there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on the nomination, there's 88 yeas, no nays and the nomination is confirmed. the under the previous order, the motion to reconsider be considered made and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. order in the chamber. mr. reid: i ask that we proceed it a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i understand senator moran -- the presiding officer: the senate will resume legislative session. mr. moran: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you. two weeks ago i spoke here on the senate floor with some of my concerns about the pending legislation that were -- we have been talking about now, a number of appropriations bills, including the committee report on agriculture. last time we visited about this i talked about the gipsa rules. i want to talk on one more -- i want to talk about one more area of rules. the nutrition requirements for the national school lunch and breakfast program. in its current form, the rule contains some impractical nutrition standards and goals. i don't think there's any of us here in the senate and certainly every parent that i know would want -- we all want our children to have nutritious food and want them to have nutritious food at home and at school. that's not the point here.
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it is not the question. what i would raise is -- and i question whether the department of agriculture's rule is realistic for schools and for those who provide food to the schools -- that they're able to comply with this new rule. for example, as written, the rule would exclude many nutritious vegetables in school meal programs. aproptly, the senate adopted an amendment offered by the senator from -- senator collins from maine, which i supported, that allows school nutritionists to continue to make their own recognizrecommendations rather n follow the mandates issued in this latest f.d.a. rule. in my view, that's exactly where these decisions should be made -- in schools around our country by nutritionists, not mandated here by our government in washington, d.c. furthermore, we must keep in mind the impact that this rule will have on school budgets and food suppliers. unfunded mandates like this one
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will make it even harder for schools to provide healthy lunches for students. the department of agriculture estimates that the cost of compliance over a five-year period will reach $6.8 billion. the federal reimbursement already does not cofort full cost of preparing a meal in many schools across our country. this new usda will further drive up the cost providing school districts will have to make up the dinners. this doesn't seem like a reasonable approach when many school districts already struggling. let me give you an example of what's in this rule. once finalized, schools would be required to reduce sodium content of school breakfasts by up to 27% and school lunches up to 54%. there are a couple of problems with this requirement. there is no suitable replacement for sodium that could maintain the same function of flavor and texture. also reducing sodium is not just a function of limiting raw salt content; many ingredients have salt in them -- sodium -- that
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occurs naturally. school food suppliers have been working for dwreers to reduce the amount of sodium in their food products. however, they need additional time to come up with a solution shah balances nutritional value with taste so that kids will eat the school lunches. this rule would also change how nutritional content is measured. rather than measure nutrition based upon density, the department of agriculture rule proposes to measure nutritional content based upon volume. for example, tomato paste is nutritionally dense, but the department of agriculture says it must meet the same volume has a toy may tow. why would we take a metric to be the arbitrary volume requirement instead of just measuring the nutritional value? the bottom line is that kids can still get the right nutrients from food products if they are measured by nutritional content. a more sensible approach to i can mag sure children have
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healthy options for breakfast and lunch is to work together with scientists and industry representatives toward a set of intermediary goals. food costs and student participation rates could then be more closely evaluated before moving on to the next goal. this would give school districts and food suppliers the chance to make changes on a more reasonable time frame. our colleagues in the house included a provision in their version that directed the department of agriculture to issue a new proposed rule that would not add unnecessary and costly regulations to the school lunch and breakfast program. this language was not included in the senate version of the bill and in conference i will continue towork with my colleagues to make sure that the department of agriculture is not making it harder for schools to provide healthy lunches but instead is working alongside local schools and their officials to develop better nutritional goals.
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i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid:, i ask that the call of the quorum be terminated. officer without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to calendar number 103, 416 on the one hand 420. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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mr. reid:, i would ask that -- the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask that those nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action for debate, no further motions be in order to any of the moe nominations, any staiment related statements be printed in the record and president obama be noaltified of the senate's action and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: wit with. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent we proceed to calendar number 196, s. 1637. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 196, s. 1637, a bill to clarify appeal time limits and civil actions to which united states officers or employees are parties. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i further ask the motion be read a third time, that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to
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reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate, any statements relating to this matter appear in the record at the appropriate place as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask we move to calendar number 197, h.r. 368. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 197, h.r. 368, an act to amend title 28, united states code to clarify and improve certain provisions relating to the removal of litigation against federal officers or agencies to federal courts and for other purposes. mr. reid: wouplt -- the presiding officer: the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask this bill be read a third time passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate, any statements relating to this matter be placed in the record as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent we proceed to calendar number 200, h.r. 394. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number number 200, h.r. 394, an act to amend title 28, united states code to clarify the jurisdiction of the federal courts and for
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other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, of the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: mr. president, i further ask that the committee reported amendments be agreed to, the bill as amended be read add third time passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to this matter appear at the appropriate place in the record as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i'm told there are two bills at the desk due for their first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 674, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3% withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities and so forth and other purposes. s. 1769, a bill to put workers back on the job while rebuilding and modernizing america. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that -- i don't have to ask that. i ask for second reading en bloc of these two measures and then i object to my own request to both of them. the presiding officer: objection is heard.
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the bills will be read the second time the next legislative day. mr. reid: i ask consent, mr. president, when the senate completes its business today the senate adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, tuesday, november 1. that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date the morning hour deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for use later in the day, following leader remarks the senate resume consideration of h.r. 2112 and that following disposition of h.r. 2112, the senate be in a period of morning business until 4:30 with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. that we be in sraoes from 12:30 until 2:15 for weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there will be period of up to several roll call votes beginning at about 10:15 in the morning in relation to amendments to h.r. 2112 and passage of the bill. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask
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it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> all of participated in past deficit reduction talks, and you can watch video of those meetings along with the four public meetings online at the c-span video library. everything is archived and searchable, watch what you want when you want.
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>> would you continue your statement, please? you will receive it in due course, don't worry. >> i'm prepared to wait to hell to freeze over if that's your answer. >> a former governor of illinois, and twice ran as the democratic nominee for president and lost. adlai stevenson is featured on the contenders live friday at 8 p.m. eastern. go to our special website for
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the series, >> next, a discussion on the new book dealing with u.s. engagement against the global fight with terrorism. this is 40 minutes. >> host: we're going to talk about this book, "counterstick, the untold story of america's secret campaign against al-qaeda." we are talking with erik and tom who is correspondents for the times. the book begins more present day with the raid that wound u up with the killing of bin laden, but you write that this mission was would have been successful or possible a decade ago. tell us why. >> guest: that's exactly right. before 9/11, the u.s. was divided into cones. there was turf battles.
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they didn't trust the intelligence community, but the hoer -- horror of 9/11 forced us to knock down walls dividing the institutions. there was a lot of sharing of information that wouldn't have happened before. also significant is growth of capabilities. the commando team that went after bin laden, you could spend your whole career in the military and never execute a real operation. today, those units are out up to 20 # times a night in afghanistan and elsewhere, so they are very, vrk effective in ways they were not before 9/11. >> host: how were thinged allowed to change or forced to change. talk about the culture. >> guest: what was, paul, was on 9/11, the u.s. government had few people who were expert in al-qaeda and terrorist networks, and also there's the natural inclination to go after the militants in al-qaeda and it was
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think a kill and capture mean. what we talk about in the book is how the u.s. government is becoming much more expert and nuanced in understanding oh al-qaeda works in the network and go after nodes in the network and use a whole government approach. it's not just the intelligence community which are important, like a raid against the safe house, but other agencies of the government. the fbi, for instance, is deploying agents, and the treasury department chokes off the financing of terrorist organizations today. >> host: phone numbers on the bottom of the screen for our guests, eric schmitt, "counter strike, the america's untold story of america's set campaign against al-qaeda." what else have we not read on
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the project pages or in the news that you want to bring guard? >> guest: we talk about how they evolve and they are not just a stays tick organization, but it's a new darwinism about it, and not just the united states and allies respond and counter, the terrorists try to stay ahead and are nimble. take how they operate in cyberspace, one of their last safe havens, and perhaps their best safe haven. it's where they recruit, raise money, and even do operational planning using the same online video games and war games that teenagers use, but they have code words that mean something in the operational planning. >> host: thom, you talk about how organizing that money and stopping that flow of money is vital. you talk about it early in the book. tell us more. >> guest: it doesn't take a lot of money to be a terrorist, but it takes 5 lot of money to operate a terrorist network.
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it's impossible to kill your way to victory. they identified the essential elements of terrorist networks, and the financial network is one of them. they are not true jihadis and don't want to make the ultimate sacrifice, but they are there for the money and they are liable to threats and arrest in ways that can break up the chain so you don't have to kill everybody. pressure the moneymen, and they back off. >> host: chapter two in the book is titled the new deterrence. you talk about donald rumsfeld, the defense secretary and sharing private concerns with the president. tell us more about this chapter and the idea of the new deterrent? >> guest: right. it's rumsfeld who wrote is u.s. policy creating more militants that are being taken off the battlefield? we have to tell the editors because rumsfeld said something doesn't necessarily mean it's
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wrong, and the former defense secretary was right on this. he actually pushed a new outside of the box thinking that asked whether cold war deterrents theory have application to the terrorists. it's true they don't have safe havens to identify. they don't have factories and camps and all of that, but as we talk about in the book, there are things terrorists need to operate that are subject to the same kind of threats and reprisals that make deterrents work. paul, what's deternlts? it's the perception of a threat that alters your behavior, and those threats against the financiers, against the gun runners, against the leadership's family members, can alter their thinking and preventing them from carrying out an attack. >> host: getting to calls in a moment, but what about the idea of technology. tell us more. we hear about technology. we read about drone attacks and things like that.
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tell us more about what you found. >> guest: clearly, the armed drones we see take out targets in pakistan, for instance, even over the weekend are a crucial part of the campaign, but it's just one part. taking about drones, you talk about the other half of that. much of what thom talked about earlier, the bin laden mission couldn't have been done without the ability of the united states to conduct surveillance on its enemies. this is not just through satellite technology. for instance, it's also through other aircraft. they can monitor and hover over targets 24/7. it's an incredible increase in the ability to eavesdrop on e-mails and telephone conversation and take that information and crunch it through super computers and make matches so you have individuals now matched up. if you eavesdrop on a conversation, you get a hit on that perp, you have links to other contacts that person has. you can map out a network that individual uses talking about
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the same type of enablers thom talked about. maybe you can pick up who the driver is, for instance, who supplies him, and who he reports to. all these things are crunched now in allowing counterterrorism officials in the u.s. and western allies to be effective in targeting members of that important network. >> host: there's more in the book, but getting calls in now. george from kentucky, republican caller. you're on with our guests about their book. good morning. >> caller: good morning. can you hear me? >> host: yes, sir. >> caller: okay. everything's good overseas and the government's doing a great job. how come they can't protect their own borders with the influx of guns and drugs and terrorists? >> host: thom, want to take that? >> guest: yeah. it's a fair question. what we write about is the
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challenge of security how we can move from tactical success to success to success, but not achieve a strategic victory that applies to counter terrorism and the border region as well. look, this is a free country. it's an open country. the border is porous. one of the interesting developments in the new darwinism of american policy, the phrase eric used, is what the united states has learned in counterterrorism and counter insurgency overseas may have useful applications to the narco terror problem over the border. the drug cartels operate like networks like al-qaeda. they have loyal leaders but some of the men in the middle they need to operate are susceptible to the exact same kind of pressure that our terror networks with safe houses, financiers, and gun runners.
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as we move ahead, the u.s. government will cross the agency applying these methods in afghanistan to the border. >> host: charlie, democrat, good morning. >> caller: hello? >> host: good morning, you're on the air. >> caller: oh, very good. can i ask a question? >> host: sure. if you turn the sound down, we can hear you better. go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: okay. here's my question. george washington and the american rebels were considered terrorists in the era. we spend a lot of time trying to kill terrorists and hunt them down, why don't we spend 25% to 50% of our time searching out the reason why these people have
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grievances against the united states and why they dislike us rather than kill. are we going to kill 55 or 100 million people in the middle east? is that our end goal? >> host: thank you. eric, take that. >> guest: sure. the question raises a very important point, and that's how do you get at the root cause of this. this, indeed, is one of the toughest things it's been was to get at the ideology. al-qaeda is simple, but effective message, and that is the west and the united states is at war with islam. it's a difficult message oftentimes for the united states to counter because they don't have creditability on the muslim street so they have to lift aids and voices in the community to point out a fundamental fact, and that's african, if not most of the al-qaeda attacks are against muslim civilians. men, women, and children in marketplaces, and it's that fact alone if the united states can exploit that fact, i think they'll do a great deal to
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undermind the causes. >> host: thom, do you want to add to that? >> guest: the caller is right in identifying problems that cause frustration, poverty, poverty of hope, lack of education. it's upon all of us to have our own goal of eradicating these evils. the problem is, paul, that is a my len yal challenge, and in the meantime, this nation has to take steps to protect itself, but the caller's right. the point we make in the book is you can't dill your way to victory. as we try to e rad cat poverty and raise the standard of living, nonetheless the national security organs have to continue carrying out operations to keep the country safe. >> host: the problem of pakistan you write. what are you writing here? >> guest: well, pakistan is probably the most dangerous place on earth today. it's a country with nuclear weapons, a rather unstable civilian government, and it actually fosters the safe hap
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for terrorists internally. if you put yourself in pakistan's shoes and look in one direction which is india which you view as your enemy, and then in the other direction is afghanistan, an unstable area, you don't believe the u.s. stays, and so you want to foster organization we view as terrorist groups, but in the view of pakistan are there to insert its influence into afghanistan, but as a source told us, it's like having poisonous snakes in your backyard to bite the neighbor's kids, by they will bite your kids too. these groups will turn on you and destabilize your government. >> host: you had a by line from secretary clinton's appearance on the hill. u.s. seeks aid in pakistan's peace effort. just after a month of accusing pakistan's spy network of secretly supporting the haqqani terrorist network, the obama
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administration is now relying on the same intelligence service to help organize and kick-start reconciliation talks aimed at ending of war in afghanistan. >> guest: that is the united states in looking to get a political solution in the afghan war is dependent upon pakistan's spy agency, the spy agency thom talked about that works closely with the militant groups in afghanistan. here you are, the situation where the military, the united states government is really reliant upon the pakistanis both to help weaken the haqqani network, but they are relying on them to get the groups to the bargaining table to have a solution to the end of the war of afghanistan. it's a difficult position the administration is in, and they are skeptical this will work, especially in pakistan. they saw this movie before as well. >> host: here's the headline
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in the times. u.s. seek aids from pack stab in peace effort. we have michigan on the line now, jerry, independent, good morning. >> caller: yeah, jerry, yeah. >> host: go ahead, sir. >> caller: what happened to the eel continuer that went down in pakistan, the seal team and all that kind of stuff, and i'd like to say that i think the seal teams are overrated. there used to be only two teams of 100 in each team, and now there's ten of them and all these new toys, but mainly, i'd like to find out about that, and also why can't obama instead of putting those advisers in the congo and all that kind of stuff, that's how the name got started was with the advisers. >> host: several points there. you write about the helicopter as part of the mission. >> guest: we do. this is one of the stealth helicopters to extract, and it's
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interesting as we describe it in the book. they practiced this mission dozens of times, fuel and weight and all of that, but the temperature, paul, the night of the raid, was different than they expected, and so the helicopter didn't have the lift required, and it crashed inside the compound. explosives were set. most of the vital technology was destroyed, but large pieces were left behind that the pakistanis recovers. >> host: what does he mean by "the seals are overrated? >> guest: all expanded greatly since 2011. how rare it was for the operational units to have these missions is underscored by the fact how they do them today. the expansion of the seals is part of the larger expansion of army, air force, and marine special operation forces performing missions every night and day not only in iraq and afghanistan, but increasingly looking at yemen and perhaps in
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somalia as well. many of these areas that are seeing these franchises of al-qaeda spring up. >> host: one more point talking about congo and the recent insertion of about 100 u.s. troops and warned about actions like that. >> guest: right. president obama enabled 100 forces who are expert in teaching local militaries how to be better. they are fighting a group, the lra, which anybody has to agree is a horrible group of people. they take boy soldiers, steal women in the night and force them into brideship, it's basically rape, and they really are a local guerrilla group that the president believes is destabilizing that part of africa, so he sent 100 trainers to work with the local militaries with the goal to enable the local militaries to fight the lra, and the president promised that none of these 100
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soldiers would be fights themselves. to be sure, this is a slippery slope. there's always a risk, but they are very, very disciplined in their training, and they are not to participate themselves in direct action. >> host: minneapolis, patty, republican, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i have two points. fist of all the 9/11 terrorists were from saudi arabia, a prosperous rich country, and secondly because the "new york times" prints it doesn't necessarily mean it's utterly biased, and many times fabricated. thank you. >> host: anybody want to defend the times? >> guest: we like to think we are not bias, ma'am. we check all the facts, all the sources, try to get a balanced and comprehensive view of what we have, but we priesht your comment on that. as for the 9/11 attackers, yes, they mostly were saudis, and that was the focus after 9/11, the focus of jihadi networks
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inside saudi arabia, and it took years before the saudis cracked down on their own, but now they are one of the united states most reliable allies in that part of the world. >> host: anny, democratic, good morning. >> caller: does the united states consider wikileaks a terrorist organization, and were they responsible for cutting off the funding for wikileaks, and i would like to comment that when grover was on, i thought you let him babble away, and the one person who called in with actual numbers to dispute him, you cut off. okay, thank you. >> host: all right. let's hear on the first point. >> guest: wikileaks 1 not considered a terrorist organization and they were cut off by credit card companies, and that's how they raise money. >> host: i want to ask you the effect of the arab spring on
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al-qaeda. >> guest: arab spring has been a very important development in the countries with really interesting about it is how little al-qaeda has to do with this and how it impacted. you had al al-qaeda that advocated violent overthrow of the regimes, and if you look at what happened in the countries, it's largely peaceful, and it's driven by social media, and so al-qaeda didn't have an impact in the beginning. what's interesting now is here we are several months into the efforts, and you see already disillusionments sinking into the countries, and i think what we've seen the the first act of a multiagent play. al-qaeda's trying to get back into the game, disploit affection creeping into the movements and turn people towards their way if the new governments and movements like in egypt don't meet the needs of the people. >> host: speak as well about the death of bin laden and its
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impact on al-qaeda moving forward. >> guest: right, i think on the overall thought, eric summarized it. the euphoria of the spring and the disappointing results of the government in play today, in that gap, terrorism can grow, and the death of bin laden, paul, interestingly enough, although he has not been martyred the way people had thought, the al-qaeda brand is not dented. as long as there's unemployed, affected men in this world between the ages of 18 and 35, the call of bin laden is still very, very powerful. >> host: iron river, michigan, dana, thank you for writing, independent line. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i was wondering if the authors of the book know a man of the general mills food plant guard, and he admitted going to training camps, was arrested and
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it was kept quiet because the judge put the gag order on it. he did ten years and was expedited into canada. >> host: why do you bring it up? >> caller: just curious because i read a book a year and a half later called "interrogators" about a plot where th taliban, they were farmers with large quantitities of rice and powder, and it was discovered it was produced in pakistan, and they would sit on it and someone would be coming for it, and that would be the ideal thing to use against the supply. >> host: either of you familiar with that case? >> guest: not with the case, but the danger of home grown terrorist is what we write about in the book. as you look to the future, paul, al-qaeda central in pakistan is wounded. the affiliates in yemen and east
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africa and elsewhere are the rising stars of the terror affiliate network, but it's the home grown, self-radicalized jihads that have law enforcement concerned. they go online, read the propaganda, they become better trained because there's so much information online, and the challenge of combating the lone wolf jihadist is he or she is impossible to find before they act. >> host: eric, you want to add to that at all? >> guest: yeah, what we wrote about in the book is the growth of these types of home grown radicals, and much of what happened as thom said is through the online videos, and anwar al-awlaki, the cleric who preached in mosques in san diego and was just killed recently by a strike in yemen, but he's an individual who is an american citizen, moved, and he was an
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important operative and planners. he was very much involved in helping plan the eerption of the colted underpants bomber who tried to blow himself up in a jet liner over detroit in 2009, and involved in yemen's plot to pack explosives in printer cartridges, put them on planes bound for the united states, so how these things track is this is the same individual and now even though his dead, his online videos are still very much in circulation here in the united states, and as thom said, radicalizing individual americans. a big concern for local law enforcement and the fbi because they are so hard to detect unlike cells where there's multiple individuals who might make a mistake that you can feed upon. >> guest: one thought. >> host: sure. >> guest: the caller mentioned a powder that's highly toxic, and one of the discoveries in the book, the network in yes ,
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yemen has been trying to get large quantities of this and they are worried that al-qaeda and yemen is trying to mount a ricen plot in europe or the united states. >> host: where do they come from? >> guest: all over the world, and they're an agricultural common -- commodity that anybody can buy. >> host: 15 minutes left with the guests, both are from the "new york times," and they have co-authored this book "counter strike: the untold story of america's secret campaign against al-qaeda." how long did it take to put the book together, eric? >> guest: there was an article in the times three and a half years ago, and from that came the book. we worked on it two years, and it was worked on until the end when bin laden was killed. we're in the final stages of editing when bin laden was
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killed. we had 96 hours to redo the beginning, the end, and write a 5,000 word chapter on the raid itself pulling together all the chapters, so we were right on the cusp of things with the death of bin laden. >> guest: one of our readers in april thought the book was good, but he said we needed a better ending. the seals give us a better ending. >> host: fort wayne, indiana, hi, brad. >> caller: how are you doing this morning? >> host: good morning, sir. >> caller: talking about the border, another caller called in, you know, i feel like one of the biggest reasons why aside from the political football that the whole immigration issue is that, you know, border security is not sexy. there's not enough money available for the big defense contractors to get behind and rob --
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lobby for those types of things to go on, and one example that i would use is the fact in the iraq war, albert was given a $7 billion contract to fight oil fires that never occurred after we went into iraq, and in turn, they got to not to lose the $7 billion, but got to do something else, other projects in iraq, and, you know, when those kind of dollars are being thrown around, you know, i think that often times there's profiteering and other no fair yows things going on that our money is being spent unwisely just for the sake of the most connected to do what they want to do or think is the best thing to do when really
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when sometimes that's not the best way, but, you know, it's scarry when you think of the amounts of money that's been spent since 9/11. >> host: want to respond? >> guest: the caller has a good point. there's been hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war against terrorism and everything from how you combat the ieds, the explosive devices, to how you develop and train the afghani and iraqi forces. what's interesting to note, paul, in this current stage of budget tightening, the pentagon and the federal government is going through, and what we talk about in the book is the whole government has got to be smarter in how it fights terrorism. it looks now at a more of a risk management point of view, how you go about spending your dollars wisely on combating this threat, and really trying to evalwait what the threat is -- evaluate overseas and what the
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threat is here at home particularly seeing the threat my greating from the centralized threat that pakistan represented to this much more dispersed threat whether it's in yemen or the home grown threat here in the united states. >> guest: well, the caller's correct and the special inspector general for ike and afghanistan found billions of dollars in waste. what's difficult about war is war is the grimmist decision any democracy can make. it's hard business. the fact a company was begin a contract to fight oil fires ahead of the war was a reflection of the lessons learned in the first gulf war when saddam ignited all the oil platforms. what the military did, we almost forgot because march of 2003 was so long ago, the first mission was not a bombing raid or commando team, but special operation forces seeding the oil platforms in the persian gulf to be sure they could not be detonated. it was that kind of planning
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that prevented hal iburton from putting out the fires. >> caller: i have a couple questions and a comment. where other facets of the government failed us, our troops and intelligence agencies stand out with exemplary professionalism. i'm in awe of our troops. they are the finest in the world. my questions are shia law and the u.s. mosques, what kind of dangers does this impose, and with china, are they friends or foe basically? i mean, they are our best trading partners right now, but on the other hand the only technology they have is what they have stolen pretty much from other countries, and they are the first in line to get our secret technology when it
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crashes there in pakistan. >> host: thank you, caller. let's break this up, law in the mosques in the u.s. he says. >> guest: right. we address this point. islam is one of the world's great religion, and we argue violent extremism is a perversion of the proper teachings so islamic law in and of itself does not promote violence or extremism, and we're blessed to live in a country where we respect the religions of all. >> host: eric, china. >> guest: looking at the as a pure competitor down the road. one of the things we talk about is the threat coming from cyber attacks, and cyberspace there's been a number of threats that imnate from china. it's hard to tell what r what part of chinese government or organizations, criminal organizations, perhaps 245 are behind the attacks, but clearly, the chinese military is on the rise in southeast asia, and it's a concern for governments there,
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and it's under close watch by the u.s. government. >> host: one viewer from twitter wants to talk about the borders and the mexican drug cartels. will we see drone attacks in that area as well? any thoughts? >> guest: you know, it's clearly one of the areas that everybody's concerned about, particularly as the terrorism, as the criminality in mexico increases, the concern in mexico could be a failed state, and as we talked about before, there's increasing concern that the u.s. military's supporting the domestic organization like the dea and the united states and the fbi along with the mexican organizations are having to deal with this issue as a potential terrorism issue down the road, and not just a drug issue, but could terrorist organizations use the same routes to smuggle in terrorists or some type of weapon of mass destruction? these are concerns that u.s. counterterrorism officials watch today. >> host: chapter ten, the obama strategy. take it from president bush to
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obama in the continuing strategy pl >> guest: right. it's a story of continuity and change. drone strikes, well, the bush administration started them, but president obama launched more drone strikes in the first year in office than bush did in eight. commando raids accelerated as well under the obama administration, but what did change, paul, was the tenor and the dialogue. he reached out to european allies that were offended by some of our policies, and at the strategic level, and if there's one thought the book tries to blow the fog off a mountain top, the administration after 9/11 understandably thought that terrorists with weapons of mass destruction were an existential threat to the nation on par with the soviet union. the soviet union during the height of the cold war could have ended life as we know it in this country, but i think ten years after never, we have to be mature enough to admit that terrorism, while a horror and
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that any loss of life is tragic, terrorists do not present the same level of existential threat, and therefore, the response needs to be mature and calibrated and not overblown, and that's what the obama administration tried to do, recalibrate to put terrorism in the proper perspective and not to view every foreign relation, every activity through the prism of terrorism. >> host: a few more calls for our guest. indiana, you're first, neil, independent, you're on. good morning. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen. i have not yet read the book, but i'm certainly going to do that. gentlemen, i believe, and what i feel is simply this. when one talks about the jihad, the holy war, get into the genesis of that, its origin. it's a holy war, all right? now, did or did not the roman catholic church many years ago, hundreds of years ago, launch a all holy war against islam and
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muslims killing in the name of christ? what that accomplished was one thing. it just really hyingenned their degree of -- heightened their degree of sensitivity in a cultural mind set in terms of what some people call fa fanaticism. i don't as much as i see it as retaliation, and two wrongs will never make a right. before we attempt to do anything, we need to understand the origin of this and what was done many, many years ago that leads to what we see now. it's a cultural, social, and political mind set. if you can share your thoughts with regard to that, i'd appreciate it. >> guest: it echoes my comment earlier. i mean, all of the tenants of the world's great religion, if honored in their truth are positive, but just like the
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cusades against the muslim world is a perversion of what christianity teaches, violent extremism in the name of islam, paul, that's just wrong. i don't think you can cast a judgment over an entire religion, its individuals who profess to kill in the name of their faith. let's not forget one of the worst terrorist acts was this gunman in norway who slaughtered all the children at a summer camp. he was in some kind of odd right wing christian cult. timothy mcveigh blew up the federal build us because he was a right wing home grown radicals. it's in all flavor, and all those flais with bad. >> guest: what the caller pointed out here is you can have an extreme version of religion. islam is one of the greater religions as articulated, but
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when anyone takes those religions to extreme, in this case, islam, that's when you have terrorism, that's where you have extremists, and that's what we talk about in the book that the u.s. government is focused on, the extremist elements, be it on the right, the left, looking at these individual organizations that commit terrorism. >> host: republican from georgia, welcome, debbie. >> caller: thank you. i'm afraid my comments echo something else about sley ya law that i thought was important, and i'm concerned it's not as seriously taken by your speakers as it is by the grass roots, but i'd also like to ask they comment on the potential nuclear power in iran. >> guest: well, clearly, this is one of the great issues of foreign policy in the united states facing today is the threat that iran to obtain nuclear weapons, could use them, and this is the main area that the united states government is
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applying the type of diplomacy thom talked about earlier in engaging the world through the u.n., isolate iran, pressure them to give up their nuclear weapon development program. >> guest: one of the greatest challenges facing the administration is how as the troops withdrawal from iraq, how the united states maintains a credible, military diplomatic political and economic posture throughout the persian gulf because the iranians will definitely try to fill the vacuum as they already are. >> host: our guests from the "new york times" are co-authors of this book, "counter strike, the untold story of america's secret campaign against al-qaeda. thank you for sharing your insights and taking our viewers' question. >> guest: thank you. >> thanks so much, paul.
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>> i think the odds are that the super committee, if it comes up with recommendations, which i think it will, if it comes up with recommendations on the congress for deficit reduction, it includes a proposal relating to auctions of spectrum. >> veer vieson looks at key telecommunication issues like net neutrality, and the fcc's decision to redirect the universal service fund to pried high speed internet to unserved areas of the u.s. tonight on the communicatorrings at 8 on
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c-span2. >> earlier today, president obama signed an executive order aimed at preventing shortages of prescription drugs. the order broadens recording of potential shortages of certain drugs and speeds reviews of applications to begin or alter production of the drugs. here's a look. [no audio] [no audio] is actively promoted, but as we also know, occasionally, there's problems, and our manufacturer distribution abrupts how accessible they are to people, and recently, we had seen how
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the potential of drug shortages for vital drugs incoming some cancers can really have an adverse impact on parties and those caring for patients. sometimes we run out of or run low on certain types of drugs, and that drives up prices increasing patient risk, and i have a couple people here beside me who had to navigate the problem. jacob knows what it's like in august the center where he was receiving chemo therapy and the drug ran out that was treating his cancer. when that happens, you have pharmacy managers who have to scramble to be sure their patients can somehow find the life saving medications that are necessary, so over the last five years, the number of these drug shortages had nearly tripled, and even though the fda has
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successfully prevented an actual crisis, this is one of those slow rolling problems that could end up resulting in disaster for patients and health care facilities all across the country. congress has been trying since february to do something about this. it has not yet been able to get it done, and it is the belief of this administration as well as folks like bonnie and jay that we can't wait for action on the hill. we have to go ahead and move forward, so i'm going to be signing into executive eared today directing the fda to reduce the drug shortages to protect consumers. we'll still be calling on congress to pass a bipartisan bill to provide additional tools to the fda and others to make a difference, but until they act,
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we'll go ahead and move. as part of this, we're going to require the drug companies let us know earlier about the potential for drug shortages so we can respond successfully. we're going to make sure if prices are drip up because shortages are madeor by manipulations of companies or distributers, that we are making sure that we stop those practices, further empower the fda and the department of justice to investigate any kinds of abuses that would lead to drug shortages, so there's a combination of tools that are going ton contained in thistective order to make sure life saving drugs are available, and if we start seeing shortages, that we'll able to catch those ahead time so the body doesn't have a scramble as a manager, and jay, obviously, doesn't have to scramble as a patient. this is something that needs to be done. i want to thank the leadership
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of both our fda administration and having done the executive order, and i urge them to build on the executive order to provide more tools for our agencies. i want to thank you for being here and for helping inspire us to get this done. all right, with that, i'm going to sign this bill, this executive order, excuse me. there you go. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. [inaudible conversations] thank you, guys. thank you, everybody.
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>> the heat is on. this is the first time that i've seen in my long tenure in politics where the heat, the real heat, because if these guys can't come up with something and watch this great shot go on, they won't want to go home. >> on tuesday, the committee hears from alan simpson and former clinton administration officials all that participated in past deficit reduction talks. watch video of those meetings along with the deficit
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committee's four meetings online at the c-span video library. watch what you want when you want. >> earlier today, the bawl administration announced they are cutting off funding because it approved a palestinian bid for full membership. it came during today's state department briefing. this portion is half an hour.
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[no audio] [no audio] >> premature and undermind our shared goal of a presencive, just, and lasting peace in the middle east. the united states remains steadfast in its support of an independent and sovereign palestinian state, but such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the israelis and the pal stippians. the united states also remains strongly committed to robust, multilateral engagement across the u.p. system; however, palestinian membership as a
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state triggers long standing legislative restrictions which will compel the united states to refrain from making contributions. u.s. engagement serves a wide range of our national interests on education, science, culture, and communications issue. the united states will maintain its membership in and commitment to and we will consult with congress to ensure that u.s. interests and influence are preserved. now, let's go to your questions. >> does that mean you have stopped effectively today contributing? >> it does. >> it does. >> we were to have made a $60 million payment in november, and we will not be making that payment. >> sorry, $60 million? > $60 million. >> that's a tranche of the total of 80? >> correct. >> this is not particularly a
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banner day for u.s. diplomacy. if you count the extensions, you have 159 countries that did not vote the way you did. only 13 did. that seems to suggest these countries don't agree with you that this is such a big problem, those countries included france, they included numerous members of the security counsel. what happens to them now that you are punishing unesco, what happens to the countries that voted in this regrettable way that underminds the peace process? >> well, those countries obviously made their own national decisions on this vote. we disagree with them. we made it clear we disagreed with them before the vote and made it clear after the vote. we also make clear here today that we want to continue the relationship with unesco, but as we said before this vote and
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legislative restrictions compel us to withhold our funding now, and that will have an impact. >> going back, you said in the opening, you said that this was regrettable, premature, and underminds our shared goal. whose shared goal? who shares this goal with the 13 country that is voted with you now? >> countries all over the international system share the goal of a palestinian state -- >> why would they possibly -- how could they possibly do something that you say is so horrible and detrimental to that process? how can you still count on them as sharing this goal? >> you have to speak to them about the decision they made. we said it's regrettable, premature and underminds the prospect of where we want to go. that's what we're concerned about. >> how does it undermind the prospect of where you want to
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go? >> it creates tensions when all of us should be concerning our efforts to get -- >> the only thing it does it upsets israel, and it triggers this law that requires you to stop funding unesco. anything else, no changes on the ground, is there? >> our concern is that this could exacerbate the environment which we're trying to work through so the parties get back to the table. >> how if it changing nothing on the ground unlike say construction of settlements? that changes nothing on the ground. it gives palestine membership which is a body that the u.s. was unconcerned about for many years that it just even wasn't a member. >> well, i think you know this administration is committed to unesco, rejoined, wants to see it go forward. >> not this one. i need to have some clarity
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about how this underminds the peace process other than the fact it upsets israel. >> again, we are trying 20 get the parties back to the table. that's what we've been doing all along. that was the basis for the president's speech in may, based on the diplomacy they did throughout the summer and the basis they came out with in september, so in that context, we have been trying to improve the relationship between the parties and improve the environments between them, and we are concerned that we exacerbate tensions with this, and it makes it harder to get the parties back to the table. >> since the talks broke off last september until today, how many times have they met together? with all of your effort? >> how many times have the parties met? >> yes. >> i think you know the answer to the question. >> correct. >> it doesn't change the fact that we're committed -- >> that's the work -- >> you're engaging in a series of question.
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next. >> yes -- >> do you think you'll get any different from the next person? >> do you not share the values with them? >> 107 countries made their decision with that vote. we disagree with that vote and the implications, and we are concerned about the implications not only for the environment in which we are trying to get these parties back to the table, but also concerned about the implications for the organization that we support. >> okay. could you also explain to us, how, when you cut off funds to unesco that is 22% of the budget, what kind of effect or what kind of membership will you have with the organization? >> well, we want to continue working with unesco because we believe that they advances u.s. interests and values, a full list of programs they are responsible for that we support incoming literacy training for
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afghan police and army cadets, tsunami early warning, protecting journalists across the middle east and africa, conducting large scale teaching efforts throughout africa, so we want to continue to work with them including remaining on their executive board, and we will continue our efforts to try to win reelection to the governing board, but we are not going to be able to continue contributing to the budget, and, you know, under the rules, if this continues for some two years, there could be implications for our membership status. >> finally, do you have any plans to persuade the palestinians from replicating with other u.n. industries? >> we're making the point that we don't see any benefit, and we see considerable potential damage if this move is
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replicated in other u.n. organizations. andy? >> the situation continues for two years, could have implications for members. does that mean if the u.s. doesn't fund oangs for two years, it gets chucked out of the organization, is that what happens? >> it would have implications for our voting rights. a member state has no vote in the general conference if it gets more than two years in its contribution, so our actual arrear raj status begins in january. >> okay. there's comments you are hoping to work with congress to figure out how the u.s. can remaned involved in the activities. do you have a road map for how this can happen begin the vote took place? is there another route by which you can sur dumb vent this restriction or are you hoping you'll somehow take the vote back? how can you say you're going to continue to be involved with them if, you know, if this
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funding ban remains in place? >> well, i think what we were talking about is we now need to have consultations which congress to identify how best we can move forward. as i've said, not paying our dues into these organizations could affect our ability to act within them, and this affects u.s. interests. we need to have conversation with congress to see what options are available to protect the interests, but i don't want to get ahead. >> you have identified options that would allow you to protect u.s. interest to present to congress? >> well, i think we need to have the conversation with the congress before we talk publicly about what the options might be. >> you could explain this as the u.s. becomes a deadbeat at unesco. it's there, but not paying dues. others day this overall undermindses the usefulness the
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united states. what do you say to that? >> we're concerned about it. we didn't want it to happen in the first place and we're concerned about this move being replicated in other u.n. agencies because unesco does things that are valuable to the united states that represent the best of our value, and that do help advance u.s. interests along the lines that i discussed earlier. we are concerned about it. >> you don't agree with the congress then that pass the that rule? >> we obviously have to comply with u.s. law. we have to comply with legislative reinstructions. that said, we will now have a conversation with the congress about how we go forward. >> do you recall what we discussed last week, secretary clip ton in public or in an interview in october said that if thrp to cascade to other agencies, it would harm u.s. agencies, and they already begun talking to members of congress
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about flexibility that would allow the united states to potentially still participate in the who or fao. when you in answer to andy's question and other questions about your talks with congress about where you go next, since secretary's approached the subject, is what you plan to talk to congress about is some way that the united states could continue funding unesco by amending the original law or waiver authority or some kind of legislative solution to allow the u.s. government to continue funding, or is that not what you're talking about? >> i think there's a number of ways that this could go, and we need to have those conversations with congress and see what the congress might be prepared to support, but i don't want to get ahead of the conversations. >> i get that, but the secretary three weeks ago already addressed this, and her chenets, you know, were public on your
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website, and so it's not unrepublican to ask you that which you're talking about, getting flexibility to keep funding. >> it's certainly one of the options we'll discuss. >> follow-up on both andy and rashad's point about congress. the secretary was before house foreign relations last week. did she have the opportunity to permly press the chairwoman about the funding issue because she has come out and said that she not only supports these restrictions, but that she wants to actually toughen them if that's even possible in order to punish the palestinians for pursuing this. what kind of jut reach has the secretary conducted in order to deal with this, and then i have a follow-up. >> well, she spoken to a number of members of congress herself. she's also organized the team to
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speak to members of congress we can have here, but, again, we have to work with congress because these are legislative constraints, and so if we're going forward in a legislative way, we have to gape their support. >> in terms of the impact on related organizations, several high-tech and pharmaceutical firms are said to be meeting here at state this afternoon to discuss how the lack of financial support from the u.s. could impact their ability to work in the countries with unesco and the wino have on the organizations. how does this affect the world when they are looking to be shut out of potentially lucrative markets. >> you're referring to the meeting that assistant secretary
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for international organizations is having today with representatives from some of the u.s. majors around the world to explain what the implications of the vote might be for u.s. business abroad, but my understanding is assistant secretary is going to call their attention to the potential that the palestinians may now gain admission to the world intellectual property organization, and so that might have some implications for our ability to work in that organization, and, of course, that's a very important organization for companies like the high-tech list you cited. >> then what do you do -- what is the u.s. government then telling these companies that have been extremely concerned
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about intellectual piracy, dummy consumer products? does -- is u.s. business being unfairly impacted because of this legislative restrex, and how can the u.s. government try to resolve it or rather the executive branch, how can they resolve it so the business community is not undually upset by this? >> well, obviously, she wants to be sure the companies understand the implications of what already happened, but also with regard to the intellectual property organization, lipo, shements to make sure that companies understand that palestinian membership would trigger, would trigger similar funding restrigses, and could diminish u.s. influence in an organization that's very important to these companies, so, you know, we need to make sure that our companies understand the implications of what's happened and begin that conversation with them. >> would it be fair to say that
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perhaps with this meeting, the state department is hoping to induce these companies to lobby for a change in easing of the restrictions on unesco funding? >> i think the strag -- stage we are at 1 to ensure the companies understand what may or may not be happening in this circumstance to open up a conversation how to protect their interest going forward. >> quick follow-up on congress. kate granger, chair of the subcommittee, not only cutting funding to oink, but the other areas in the united nations. do you know what she's talking about? what are the cutoffs and so on over there? >> well, obviously, i refer you back to the congresswoman for clarification on her statement. she may either have been talking about the world's intellectual property organization or talking about what will happen if this
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u.n. agency process cascades. >> go further and explain to us what she's telling the companies would be the effect of the reduced u.s. spending or elimination of the spending. what effect would that practiceically have on u.s. companies operating overseas? just make the mechanism less efficient or reduce protections for u.s. companies. what's the threat there? >> andy, let me see if i can get more for you on the specifics of the message given, but certainly to make clear that if there's an application, then and the palestinians become members, he triggers the same funding cut offs, so already there's less money to work with, but it could diminish our influence that's important to the companies. >> you're opposed to the
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palestinians having membership in the organization? >> we are. >> you are because they don't have intellectual property or they are intellectual property because they are not a state is somehow less protectable or less worthy of protection? >> because this is a cascade effect of the decision in the unesco that we consider -- >> what does protecting property have to do with statehood? >> has to do with the declaration of status that -- >> i used to think this government, my government had intellectual. you are going to impose them in the civil aviation organization as well? >> our position on this with regard to all the u.n. agencies is the same. >> you -- you think there's somewhere in the building someone can draw an intellectually responsible and acceptable argument that membership in the world,
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inteemght chewable property organization should not be granted to the palestinians because they are not a state, because their intellectual property because they are not a state is somehow less deserving of protection than anyone else's, incoming the syria and whoever else. >> matt, the move here is not with regards to the aspiration that we all have for the palestinians to have access to and full rights of all of these u.n. organizations. the concern here is trying to shortcut the process of statehood, trying to establish state hood through the back door -- >> [inaudible] >> can i finish my point, please? >> yeah. >> thank you. rather than establishing true statehood the way it has to be done which is with direct negotiations with their neighbor, and from that can flow all the benefits of these organizations. >> but not even the palestinians themselves say this is a way to
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statehood. >> well, what -- >> they know that they know this is not being statehood. >> what's granted here in unesco is palestinian membership and statehood status. that's the concern. >> and did the palestinian vote on that? >> excuse me. >> the palestinians didn't vote for this. 107 other countries, countries, incoming some of your -- including some of your best friends voted for this. the palestinians didn't vote for it. they put it up for it. they didn't have a vote on this. >> this began -- >> you lost -- >> is there a question to answer or just arguing today in >> i want to know why you think and everyone else disagrees which is a position that everyone else disagrees with that this is somehow -- that this hurts the peace process or hurts the ability of the palestinians to get a state short of just
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upsetting the israelis. >> start with the premise. this process began with a palestinian peace petition from membership which we thought was ill-advised and ill-considered, and which we so said to the palestinians at the time, so palestinians made a move here that we didn't think was conducive to the environment for the talks or conducive to getting us back to the table. that is our concern. we want to get the palestinians their state. it's only going to happen if we can get the parties back to the table. we have to create an environment that gets them back to the table, and this is not helpful. >> okay. you accept 107 countries disagreed with you. >> 107 countries made their decision. we disagree with them. >> right, exactly. doesn't that tell you anything? that if you add in the extensions which included the brits, your central ally, then
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159 countries disagree with you. >> it tells us we are not any closer to a palestinian state by virtue of this vote today. we are trying to get to that end state that we want, that the palestinians want, and we don't think that this is helpful. .. >> i don't have anything for you on the tony blair meeting. if we have anything to report we will get it to you tomorrow.
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i think you know where we are. the quartet had separate meetings with the parties last week. we have encouraged both parties now to go back and start working on concrete proposals for each other on land and on security. we will be working in quartet format with each of the parties, and our aspirations still is to have them present real, meaty proposals to each other within the 90-day time clock from when this meeting happened last week. >> has the unesco vote changed or quickened the pace of lobbying at the u.n. mission in new york to prevent a vote for statehood in the g8? >> you know i think the unsc process is moving apace. they are still at the stage of analyzing the request, gathering information etc.. >> today marks a milestone of the 20th anniversary of the
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madrid process, the madrid peace conference begun exactly 20 years ago. and during that time there was a great deal of intense negotiations and some stoppages and so won and other processes and many agreements yet the settlements have gone on to route all this time although the united states position was expressed very clearly at the time that settlements must stop. yet they go on. do you have a position today reflecting on all of the settlement processes over the past 20 years? >> well at me first say we have also been working for peace for 20 years and it remains a challenge. but our position on settlements hasn't changed and we continue to negotiate. >> led to to do the palestinians have today when they see that a great deal of the land initially allocated kate -- allocated for their state has been gobbled up by the settlement?
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>> i think the secretary said this best when she said that only when borders are settled is it going to be absolutely clear where they are. so if you want all of this to be settled, you have to go back to the negotiating table and you have to, before that, present your own proposals on land and security so that is what we are asking the palestinians to do. if they are concerned as we are by what is going on, then come back to the table and let's get firm borders. >> okay. so why wouldn't the united states take the initiative and call for a peace conference to actually discuss the borders of a palestinian state, period? >> because we don't think in our quartet partners don't think and frankly the parties don't think that having a big conference is going to get us any closer. we think that the next that but to be concrete proposals by e. decide on borders and on security. this will give the palestinians an opportunity to present to the israelis and the israelis to present to the palestinians what they think the right answers
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are. that will allow us to see how close we are and allow us to see how we can move the process forward. that is the right way to get closer to estate and secure borders. >> sticking to this 90-day process that was worked out last week for both sides to come up with proposals? >> correct. correct. >> just on a cascade effect if it does happen presumably it would be similar to the one in unesco because you are a distinct minority in pretty much every u.n. group in which he you don't have a veto. you seem to be admitting that the palestinians have you over a barrel here. they can, if they continue to go to these various agencies, force the united states to withdraw into almost a show. maybe not immediately but you can thank unesco for not having paid your dues in two years. i expect the others have similar
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rules so you will have trumped your international outrage, correct? >> i'm not going to get far down this track here. we are trying to make clear what the implications for us and what the applications for these organizations are of the move that the palestinian started here and we are hoping that this will and here and we can get back to the peace talks. because that is the place where we are going to be able to achieve the aspirations of the pashtun -- palestinian people. one of the things that's most distressing about this is that not a single thing changes on the ground for a single palestinian. life does not get better as a result of what is happened in unesco and that has been our concern from the beginning. if you care about quality of life for the palestinians and their having their own state, this is not the way to go. >> i didn't want to get back into this but the whole fact that nothing changes on the ground is exactly the argument that people make for saying this is not such a big deal and a bad deal. but i want to get back to this. the palestinians seem to have
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acted shrewdly here, no? >> we disagree. we disagree. >> why? you are going to lose your influence in unesco because of this. >> because it doesn't get the many closer to the state that they want, what they need and they deserve and it does exacerbate tensions in the region which does make it harder for them to get back to the table. it certainly doesn't help our ability to help them through unesco which does support cultural heritage sites in the palestinian territories and throughout the middle east so we think it's a mistake. >> here's a look at our primetime schedule and c-span networks.
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>> next a look at research and development programs funded by the federal government. costing around $140 billion a year. from this morning's "washington journal," this is around 25 minutes. >> we continue our series about your money with albert teich this morning. he is the senior policy adviser for the american association for the advancement of science. the topic here science, research and development. the first question for you dr. teich how much does the federal government spend on science research and development and what is the goal of that money? gets go about $150 billion a year and week or we have regarded as an investment really. it is building for the future like developing knowledge and a
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whole range of areas, medical research, defense research, environment energy, basic research in physics. i could go on but the point is to invest in advancing knowledge for the future, and the government has been doing this on a fairly large scale since the end of the second world war. >> host: some of the details about fy2012 funding. the budget request for r&d are about 140 billion. defense related 80 billion in nondefense related, 60 billion. house spread across the federal government is this spending? >> guest: well, defense related is mostly in the defense department. a little bit of it is up a little bit but some of it is in the department of energy and their atomic energy program. they are responsible for nuclear weapons research. the rest of it, the 60 or so
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billion that you cited is largely concentrated in a half a dozen agencies, about 95% of it is then the national institute of health that represents about half the nondefense portion of the budget for research. other agencies that have larger programs include the department of energy, nasa, national science foundation, the department of agriculture and did i leave anybody out? i'm not sure but it is a half a dozen agencies that represent 95%. there is a very important agency that has a smaller portion of environmental protection agency which is only a small percentage of the federal budget but it does important research. the department of the interior, the department of veterans affairs affairs does
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rehabilitation research and when you look at the larger numbers its budget is a relatively small piece. >> host: we will jump in with the phone numbers for viewers to ask questions and and comments to albert teich. what we are trying to do here is track the 140, $150 billion of the government spends each year in science, research and development. it is spread across many different agencies with defense leading the way at about $80 billion. we are going to have -- what the return is and look at those phone numbers on the screen sagan phone and in with your questions and comments. this figure, albert teich, this 150 or so billion, how does that compare with other countries? >> guest: we have a think the largest r&d program in the world the united states economy leads the world but in proportion to
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the the total gdp of this country, our spending doesn't stand out quite as well. we are about 2.7, 2.8% of gdp and that includes government spending and private sector spending with its own resources. the private sector is more, spends more than twice as much as the federal government does on r&d. >> host: why did the federal government have to spend this money as opposed to the private sector? >> guest: it's a very good question. the federal government funds work in areas that represent the public interest. first of all in -- take offense. that is a major mission of the federal government. let me start with a slightly different tack. some countries have what they
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call an r&d budget, which puts all these programs in one basket. the u.s. has it's programs distributed among those various agencies. and their programs to support the missions of those agencies, so we do health research, support the improvement of the nation's health. we do agricultural research in the department of agriculture as a means of improving the nation's food supply. i can go on like that but the point is that the government has certain missions and in many cases the most effective ways to pursue those missions is to accumulate new knowledge they can then be applied to the solution of the nation's problems and that is what the government does. >> host: i was going to ask before we take calls, what is your sense on the return of investment if we can put it in that way? what would he know about this?
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>> guest: let me give you some examples. everybody's favorite example is google. google arose out of some work that was being done, funded by the national science foundation with a $4.5 million grant to graduate students at stanford who were working under this grant for digital libraries which now is kind of esoteric really, digital libraries. they were doing work, developing a means of searching for data and they came up with this method that they call the page rank method which is the basic method on which google -- this eventually turned into the new search engine and well, you know the story. google is now 150 billion-dollar
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company that employs 20,000 or more people and this all came out of a small part of a $4.5 million grant given to stanford university in which the students were funded. so i mean there is a wonderful example right there at the huge return on a relatively small investment. take vaccines, another area that the federal government has put some money into. a little harder to quantify the economic in the fifth but polio vaccines, that was started by sars, h1n1 vaccine, vaccine for h1n1 vaccine was developed with federal government support in a matter for months. >> host: with all that background lets get calls and. chuck independent you are a averse. good morning chuck.
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>> caller: hi hi there, good morning. i wonder what your guests feels about the future of nuclear reactors based on the fuel cycle and the numerous ed dances it offers including -- and gets rid of our nuclear waste here. it can't meltdown and all the advantages going for it. is one of the few things probably that senators have to re-agree on is that they should be doing more research on that. the funding seems to have stalled. i'm wondering if your guests could stress what he feels about it. >> guest: that is not an area in which i can really comment with any degree of expertise. the program is sponsored by the department of energy. it has got lots of priorities. nuclear is one of them. this is one method of generating
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electricity from nuclear energy. it may very well be an excellent method, but honestly i can't -- as one of my colleagues likes to say this is above my salary level. >> host: glenn, democrat good morning to you. >> caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i was wondering if the guess could comment about national ignition project going on out it lawrence livermore, having to do with fusion and how that might play into our national, future national energy policy and generation of electrical power? >> host: what do you know about a caller? >> caller: i know that it was supposed to be switched on and test about a year ago and that it was tested successfully for a short period of time.
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>> guest: and then what happen? >> caller: well, i believe, i believe an industrial model of this laser system has been designed using fewer lasers than the model, the research model that is now in use out of the lab and, using far fewer lasers. i believe the industrial model has been pared down to about 12. >> guest: well, there is very interesting technology. if it is going to be commercialized, it has got to be taken over by industrial firms. the department of energy only can take it so far. we don't know what the current status of that program is, but when i followed it at an earlier stages seemed stage is seemed
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like a very promising approach, although the problem with fusion research in general is that it is very expensive. the facility, the national ignition facility out in california is an extremely expensive investment and it's got to prove its worth. >> host: what can you say albert teich about differences in approach between the bush of administration and the obama administration in terms of science, research and development? >> guest: well, the interesting thing is that support for research in this country has been pretty much a bipartisan phenomenon for a very long time. both republicans and democrats recognize the importance of this investment. that is true now and despite the relatively high level of partisanship that one sees in the campaign and in congress.
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the bush administration i think put more emphasis on defense research among other things. they were quite generous to basic research programs. the obama administration had included about $30 billion of the stimulus to fund research and energy, medical research and basic research. overall, the major differences probably the level of investment and the interest of the obama administration in alternative energy and climate research as an area which is something that the bush administration kind of tended to steer away from. >> host: left here from jerry
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and poconos michigan. hi there. >> caller: yes, hi. yeah, you know what bothers me, what always bothers me is anything that the government does you know, the cost is -- i just wonder why they can't get more control of the money they have spent. they're talking about $140 billion here. it always bothers me that they don't have more control. 80 countries -- >> host: when you say control are you saying spend less? >> caller: i mean, no. what i mean is whatever they spend it caused triple of what it should. and i just wonder you know why they don't have more control on their spending? >> guest: you are thinking probably of some of the large
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projects like the web space telescope. there's a tendency any of these large projects for the cost to go up partly because of inflation as the program develops. it takes a period of years because the materials that go into it, the salaries of people in all of the things you need increase in price. it is a little hard to forecast those increases. and then you run into these unexpected problems that require you know that you go back and start over with a certain part of the device or of the experiment or the technology, and the cost does add up but what you see primarily in the news media reports on these large expensive raw checks --
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the average researcher and the research that is funded say by the national science foundation and universities, in most cases the national institutes of health and medical colleges, those research projects are very well controlled. in fact, the reporting systems for controlling costs and and making sure that regulations are followed and so on are quite stringent. >> host: the differences between basic research and applied research. >> guest: basic research is done, i like to think of it is the kind of research that is done by scientists for audiences of other scientist. it is to be published in the scientific -- scientists gain their -- improve their reputation and advance in their careers through that kind of
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publication. basic research often leads, as i have explained in discussing the google experience or you could explain -- you can discuss it in terms of any other experiences. basic research can lead in the future to very important and results and products and economic advances, but when it is performed it is done without those kinds of uses in mind. applied research is generally thought of as research that is done with a specific purpose in mind. so, the vaccine research at the level of developing a specific vaccine for specific disease, that is applied. sometimes the line is a little fuzzy i have to say and a lot of people in the community are talking more and more just about research as a whole rather than
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trying to differentiate between basic and applied. >> host: here is a pie chart put together by our guest. you can see the total amount, just under $150 billion total r&d by the federal government and the breakdown in the chart here. dod, just about half, 77.8, under 80 billion, hhs including nih, $32.4 billion then you can see the department of energy at 13 billion, nasa just under 10 billion. by the way with this shuttle program shutting down, does nassau's r&d funding go down as well? >> guest: nasa's r&d funding, it's interesting the shuttle program has been an operational program. it hasn't been a research program for a while so the impact of that is on nasa's budget r&d in nasa's budget is not that great. nasa has a lot of other parts of
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its budget that go into more research oriented programs. >> host: let's go on to new york city, john independent for albert teich. >> caller: good morning, how are you all? i have a question to ask your guest. could you name a few fundamental advances let's say over the last 40 years that have come out of the private sector? fundamental so that we understand ourselves, something like the microchip would be a fundamental advance. the private sector. >> guest: research on the microchip started with federally funded science. it is the fundamental advance in -- you know you have what they call the very large scale integration that was an effort
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to put more and more transistors on a chip. that was funded -- a lot of that was funded by the defense advanced projects research agency. in this industrial terms took that research and ran with it to fill up their own products and integrated their own intellectual property and they were able to patent it it and put it to use. that is one. it is hard sometimes to tell where the federal funding, the role of federal funding and and where the role of industry begins. but in the biomedical area, a whole range of products. biomedical, for example, mri devices. a lot of those are developed in industry. you wouldn't call those
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fundamental research that they were fundamental discoveries and went into the development of that. >> host: north carolina, john, democrat. good morning. >> caller: good morning. how are you? i have two questions. the first one is with all the people coming home with the war in being in iraq it is going to make a lot more people unemployed. a lot of the research and development that was coming out of nasa and all that, and the research and development that you all are talking about was also apply to civilians and to microsoft and all kinds of other things. in other words, our first computer, like when i was a kid -- i'm 56. was the size of the building and now does the size of a penny. and i'm just wondering how much this will affect the research and development funds that affect the medical community and
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all the other things that are not really -- don't have anything to do with defense? >> host: thanks john. can you speak to that? >> guest: i'm not sure where the question was in that. certainly we have major problems with unemployment in this country. the way to direct those problems in the long term is economic growth. for economic growth you need to accumulate good knowledge. 50% of the economic growth in this country since the second world war has been attributed by economists to the advancement of knowledge. i think investment in research in all areas and you can't tell which areas are going to bear fruit in the long run. advancement is going to be the source of our economic growth and i think the returning servicemen and women are going
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to benefit from that as well as the rest of the citizens in this country. >> host: this will be our last call. john, republican. if you can be brief that would be great. >> caller: real quick, he you know eisenhower's admonition about the industrial complex but in the same speech he talked about the prospect of dominations of the nation scholar by federal employment object allocations and the power of the money is ever-present in is to be greatly regarded. i see this, no better example of this than the solyndra think where political -- lyrical considerations are made on how to spend money for research development. i would be interested to hear your comment about that. >> host: thank you john. >> guest: that is a very good point. it is difficult for the federal government to manage large projects like that, investment. that was really a loan guarantee. we are not talking about inme


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