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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  August 10, 2009 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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that would do it for us. back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.. we will start our series talking with the mayors of u.s. cities on how the economy is going around the country. see you then. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> nancy and apparel, policy analyst david and russell -- local health care officials will talk about the white house round table discussion on health care. that is to o'clock eastern on c- span. from the associated press this morning, president obama's first north american summit continues in mexico. they will likely have a joint plan of attack for the swine flu. no breakthroughs are expected over squabbles over american tracks. the president, along with the mexican president in the canadian prime minister will have a close and -- will have a closing news conference. we will have that for you at 12:30 p.m. hornet on c-span.
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-- we will have that for you at 12:30 p.m. on c-span. morning to talk about the president's summit meeting with president calderon. depending on which headline you look at, it could be any range of topics. going to the top, swine flu. it appears to be amongst their number one issue is that they will talk about. call guest: for good reason. mexico and the united states operated quickly and with cooperation to prepare for the swine flu.
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they did not arbitrarily cut off flights or react in conjunction with mexican authorities. one of the accomplishments that they have taken credit for. host: this is the president's first meeting with what has been called the three amigos. what is the chamber expectation? have they changed from the bush administration? guest: they have not changed. we consider this one of the most important trade relationships that we have. in terms of our sales to those countries, to the extent that
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they do well and we do well, general jones, since we said that on sunday, saying that as we go, they go. host: this north american competitiveness council, is that similar to others guest: it is part of the north american section of the council, made up of ceo's of u.s. companies in conjunction with partners in mexico and canada. host: the council put out some issues that they were concerned about, including the meeting between the three. they talked about the extension of the buy american provision across a wide sector of state
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and local procurement, including the american recovery investment act, which is the unprecedented, possibly compromising the trade with the g-20 pledge, which resisted the adoption of similar provisions. your concern about by american language in the stimulus and other areas, what about canada and mexico? are they legislatively doing similar things? host: i have their own issues around procurement -- guest: they have their own issues around procurement. the united states had a buy american provision, and the president insisted, to the extent that federal procurements would live up to international obligations, we considered it a positive step,
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working with the administration for that to happen. the problem is that when these stimulus funds are going to state and local governments, they do not feel bound by this requirement. it is not so much a question of living up to international obligation. that is very important. but to take up the policy stance regardless of international commitment seems unwise. host: they view it as a success? guest: absolutely. host: there were provisions about cross-border trucking. this program has received numerous calls over concerns on mexican trucks coming in to the west. what is the view of the chamber? what is the competitive council view of the issue and how would it work? oguest: we think we should
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be in full compliance, the trucking implement was to begin in 1995. a limited number of mexican trucks were cut off in the program, but it is now time to go into full implementation. host: why did they cut it off? guest: the problem is that we have trucks stacking up at the border. it causes congestion and money for businesses. host: on this summit that the president is going to wrap up today, is there a substantial
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policy announcements expected? guest: i think that what we will see out of this is a process that is in place. as you mentioned, this is president obama's first north american summit, not one where he is expected to announce a breakthrough policy. he is going to put into place a mechanism where he can achieve concrete goals. host: let's hear the concerns of our viewers. scotia, new york. ron, independent line. are you there? he is apparently not with us. are you there? let's go to fort lauderdale. republican line, good morning. caller:. good morning, you guys do a fantastic job. will you be addressing the issue of illegal immigration in this
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country? is that not the crux of the matter? making business decisions based on what businessmen want to do, is our problem of frankly illegal immigration? guest: e legal immigration is obviously one of the foremost issues in the u.s.-mexico relationship. -- illegal immigration is obvious that one of the foremost issues in the u.s.-mexico relationship. one of the best things that we can do to stem the problem in the long term is to help mexico grow. if we can help our economy to recover strongly, mexico will benefit as well. that is why it is so important to keep the lines of trade opened, giving mexico a chance. host: if our economy recovers, increased immigration, legal and
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illegal, it might take place, but with the downturn legal immigration has dropped off? guest: it is a natural part of the relationship. no one would say that we want to keep our economy in a recession just to keep the immigration numbers low. host: there was a report yesterday were they wrote that mexico had complained "u.s. training and equipment is not getting to the country quickly enough. only a fraction of the aid package has been spent. helicopters and other equipment have not been delivered. is this in regards to fighting the drug war? guest: they were building institutions, helping to promote the rule of law in mexico,
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giving substantial help to the judiciary, democratic governance. part of the delay has been concern in congress about human rights in mexico. nonetheless, it seems that this is a critical time for mexico and we should get to them as quickly as possible. host: texas, democratic line. caller: i am totally against trucking coming into the u.s.. these trucks are not inspected and do not have to be put up to the qualifications that our trucks and truckers have to have. most of these drivers do not have know how to drive. i am totally against the legal immigration. -- illegal immigration. if they are what is getting us, my son has a business in the
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north. it is very hard for them to get qualifications. he does not hire illegal immigrants, but it is expected that he will. this mexico business, let's take care of our all. -- our tomah -- our own. host: we will get a reaction to your call this morning. guest: thank you for your call. i appreciate your concerns and i understand them. it can be a visceral and emotional issue for a lot of people. understandably so. the fact is that these trucks that came in under the pilot program are being inspected, the worse since the program was cut off. they had 22 additional requirements that they had to meet. a very rigorous standard that
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they have been held to. host: who has benefited most from nafta? the u.s., canada, or mexico? guest: all three countries have seen tremendous growth in trade and investment. you can point to clear benefits for all three. i would say that if there is one area where we would like to see more, it is that there has not been more growth and development in mexico. part of that was that almost at the same time nafta was implemented, a crisis began in mexico. nafta has been credited with keeping mexico afloat at the time. host: the article this morning about the summit in guadalajara, "immigration was raised again, but this time tensions were expected to be
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focused on mexicans entering canada and not the united states. to many mexicans, according to the canadian government, are fraudulently claiming political asylum in canada. they announced next month that they would require mexican citizens to secure visas before entering the country." kentucky, good morning. caller: mexicans are coming across the board illegally. they need to shut this thing down. host: austin, texas, is next. this is our republican line. caller: i am a republican, but i supported the president. on the immigration policy, i cannot go along with it. item from austin, texas, and i e
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a retired. by moving business is down because of how much the legal work is here. -- because of how much illegal work is here. we have 10 million people right now that are unemployed. please explain why when we get stopped in mexico we are immediately arrested and put in jail when we do not have identification, but they can come over here and it stops at nothing happens. thank you. guest: thank you very much. you raise a couple of interesting points. on our northern border with canada, one of the areas we have talked about is the cross border tourism traffic.
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people coming to detroit to the restaurants and casinos. people from the u.s. going to canada, and the people that could take the casual day trips to go to our restaurant in the united states or just to visit relatives or friends across the border. now that has become much more of a process. process. on the mexican side we always had a bit more of a difficult time. what i think we should be working towards on both borders is a situation where we have the mechanism in place to ensure security, make sure that only the people coming across our there. generally people are traveling freely to the greatest extent possible. host: harrisburg, good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. i would like to address truckers coming from mexico. i would like to ask your guest
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what he thinks. my friend is a doctor, his daughter went to cancun and she contacted the swine flu disease. she brought it back and kids in the school had it. now the who has pinpointed the origin as coming from mexico, along with all the other diseases down there. can you imagine all of these thousands of truckers coming across the border, dispersing across the united states? with issues like a swine flu, people in the medical profession have told me that they could cause a very serious problem. guest: general jones, the president's national security adviser, said that we are looking at a series of challenges across the borders.
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looking at broader health issues, it does not matter. we will not be able to stop some things from coming to the country. what we can stop the use of the is legitimate trade and -- what we can stop easily is legitimate trade and travel. i do believe that the most constructive and progressive way to address h1n1, not swine flu as your friends at the pork council would remind you, would be to work cooperatively to address these issues and take reasonable steps. host: the north american competitiveness council, in previewing this summit in guadalajara, they say the climate change policy must be
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balanced with security in a manner that recognizes the crucial role of energy in economic competitiveness between the three countries. "actions to develop low carbon energy sources should be pursued, but we must avoid policies that undermine our ability to compete and innovate." guest: first of all, canada and mexico are some of our largest energy suppliers. we are working closely and cooperatively with them. beyond that, when we look at issues like cap and trade for a carbon tax, we want to make sure that we are doing rigorous cost- benefit analyses so that we are not shooting ourselves in the flood, that we get to the right solution on energy and climate change. host: following up on a comment from earlier cost, in terms of a
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and immigration, we have a quitter. "good for canada, at least they care about their citizens. u.s. could care less." next caller. caller: all of these the legal immigrants, bringing things back and forth across the border, all of these jobs taking -- been taken out of the united states -- being taken out of the united states -- i lost my point. guest: i take it. we have job loss programs that provide extra compensation and other training benefits to workers who have been certified. the fact is that trade is a
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minimal part of the johns -- jobs are leaving our country every day. in fact, 57 million jobs every day in united states are tied to export companies. one out of five manufacturing jobs is tied to exports. trade is at a very important issue for jobs. it is not a static picture where if we get a job here, one is lost in mexico, or vice versa. even now there are instances where some jobs are lost to trade, we think that the overall effect is positive. host: is it true that mexico has lost their manufacturing jobs to asia or other parts of the world? guest: absolutely. as asia has become more
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competitive in global markets, some of the industry shift has gone from one region to the other. mexico has taken advantage of some of them. part of our job is to insure that we boost north american regional competitiveness, which means that more goods have come in from mexico. host: of the three countries, which economy is the worse off? of relatively to what it normally should be? host: i think that we are all suffering -- guest: i think that we are all suffering. we are all feeling the pinch. canada did a bit better for a while, they did not feel it quite as bad, but they are feeling it now. the important thing is that the u.s. is still the engine for growth in the region in the world.
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for us to get back on our feet, everyone else can come along as well. host: maine, joe, independent line. caller: just give me a couple of seconds. i guess that i am not a chamber of commerce person. it should not be called the u.s. chamber of commerce, because it is globalism. guarantor -- their entire point is to dilute everything so that no one has anything left in this country. nafta is one of the worst things that ever happened to us in the world. all of these jobs are going to the communist countries, but then we cry about socialism. host: your views are shared by an e-mail here, "trade policies destroying our economy. you only want to bring in mexican trucks so that you can break the teamsters union."
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guest: an unfortunate personal opinion there, but those views are shared by many in the united states. polling has recently showed that americans are taking a more positive view towards trade recently. the fact is that we are part of the world's economy. if we could shut ourselves off from the world, what would happen? we would lose the innovation from the 95% of the other people in the world. we would unnecessarily raise costs. trade restrictions and artificial barriers to economic freedom, we are talking about restricting choices, which is not normally the american way. host: as recently as thursday or
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friday, the president came out to indiana to talk about wind energy turbines being built in america, and green technology cars being built in america. really encouraging manufacturing in america. is there a parallel between encouraging u.s. manufacturing and pumping that up as well as the provisions put in the bill by members of congress? guest: with respect to green jobs in the energy industry, the president is flying to one of our strengths. we have an advantage in energy technology. frankly, we do not need by america to do well in those industries. when we looked at by america, we
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say okay, fine, but overseas i want to sell american and we cannot do that if we throw up barriers. host: a choice. danny, democratic line. caller: good morning. i have a comment and a question for your guest. i moved to nashville 20 years ago. we have very few mexican and central american immigrants. now we have a lot. drive-by construction sites, it is mostly immigrants, legal or not. industries like meatpacking, where jobs used to pay $17 an hour, now paying minimum wage. my question to your guest, what opposition do you have from shifting the focus against rounding up illegal immigrants
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that are completely overwhelmed and shifting the focus to employers, finding them heavily and imposing criminal penalties to those that hire illegal immigrants? we would not have them in this country if there were not employers willing to hire them. thank you. guest: thank you for the call. a good point. no one has questioned the the impact that illegal immigration has had on u.s. workers. we have to recognize that there has been an added benefit to our economy from them being a vigorous work force. not to condone in any way the hiring of the the the workers, and there are processes in place so that employers can verify. there are heavy fines and criminal penalties when they do not. in mexico and central america,
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they are looking for better economic reform policies so that countries can grow more jobs at home. host: judy, republican line. caller: i would like him to tell me where in the constitution it says that our trade policy is supposed to be defined by the world trade organization. i heard a politician the other day saying that they could not challenge something because we would be fined in the wto. our founding fathers said that the government would be paid for by tariffs on imports into this country. host: we will get a response from our guest. guest: the wto does not have any say in the united states.
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congress makes the laws, the president implements them. it is a chance for countries to come together to agree on rules for global trade. what it does is it put in place what it does is it put in place agreed upon enforceable it makes our economy more stable and allows for growth around the world. caller: under our constitution we have -- god has given as of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. one of those happy this is the right to have guns. why shouldn't we export guidance to mexico? -- export guns to mexico? host: he is not a part of the united states government.
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caller: he should represent the united states constitution. guest: what i think the secretary of state has spoken out against is illegal guns trafficking to mexico. host: patrick killed ride with the u.s. chamber of commerce, thank you for being with us this morning. and-- patrick killbride, thank you for being with us this morning. >> we will have live coverage of the closing news conference from guadalajara, mexico. a couple of news stories related to the health for -- health war. the white house on monday opened
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a reality check website with a viral tool aimed s online combat. the white house site allows users to email every page ito their friends and families. also, a few days after suggesting the democratic health care proposal may impair the life of her son trigg, urged opponents to not give the opposition power by holding town halls opini. the white house is holding a roundtable discussion on health care today with the administration's office of health reform director nancy anne deparo. live coverage starts at 2:00 eastern here on c-span.
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a segment now on the war in afghanistan from today's "washington journla." -- jounrnal" wrote. as the health reform shifts from a vacationing washington to c congressional districts, more of the battle is over. likely victors such as wellpoint and unitedhealth. no mter what specifics emerge in the voluminous congress the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. how did it get to this point? >> guest: we've heard about townhall meetings being disrupted and ads suggesting insurance companies are like sharks and counter ads, you
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know, suggesting the insurance companies are the villains. meanwhile in washington the industry has been very hard at work providing numbers, data, meeting with bluedogs, really taking more of a partis partici role. >> inside the lobbying going on, why health insurers are winning, who is this man here? >> guest: that man there is steve helmsley, he is leading the healthcare efforts by unitedhealth, one of the largest, the largest by revenue, insurance companies in the country. in our article we focus largely on their efforts and their lobbying team in washington. unitedhealth is a company that has largely taken washington for granted for years. derived a lot of revenue from government progms.
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but -- >> host: you mean the lobbying effort has not been that strong in the past? >> guest: no, in the past they have had almost a non-existent presence. starting in 2007 they hired a man from, a lobbyist from goldman sachs and they now have a 50-person lobbying force across the country headed from the washington office, including corey alexander, a brilliant man who was chief of of staff and leader hoyer at one stage. they have outside lobbyists and strategyists like daschle and others. we tally $3.4 million that this one company has spent in lobbying this year. and that is inside and outside lobbyists. >> host: did they get a head start on this debate? were they able to get their views to the incoming obama
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administration to get inside the senate discussions? >> guest: you know, we've seen signs lately of this -- rather in 1993, you remember with clinton attempted reform and it was very combative and ins lar. the insurance companies opposed it it vehemently. >> host: they were left out of the discussion? >> guest: people were left out of the discussion and people felt that was a problem. the insurance industry being left out placed that famous harry and louise ad. this time the insurance industry, we have seen signs of of the pharmaceutical industry and insurance industry have been adept at getting a seat at the table. the insurance industry early on said, look, we're going to be at the table and we're willing to agree to not cancel policies or raise insurance rates for people who have prior illnesses, prior conditions.
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and so part of of this effort to be assertive and constructive has been to supply numbers to sit down with aides, key members of the senate finance committee, for instance. >> host: and on that seat at the table you write unitedhealth relationship with the senator in virginia illustrates the industry's subtle role. former governor of virginia is a healthy ex-businessman who received choice assignment as liaison to business. he landed in the center of of the highly visible political drama in a position to earn gratitude of health insurance industry that donated $19 million to federal candidates since 2007. he's a freshman senator, so how did he become so prominent in this debate? >> guest: senator warner is prime liaison between democrats and the business community. he comes to the table with an entrepreneurial background.
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high-tech entrepreneur. >> host: right. >> guest: and he's moderate democrat in many respects. he sat down with some experts at unitedhealth and other places and came up with sort of end-of of-life hospice legislation. that is in a lot of way what is unitedhealth has suggested. he is among democrats we've been hearing about lately who say for instance about the public plan this is the plan that would be a government-r government-runway of competing with the health insurance industry as the obama administration would hope that would be something that would bring down the cost of insurance and compete with the insurers. anyway, he has said for instance this could be a trojan horse. he is a trojan horse for total government-run health plan.
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>> host: let's hear from our viewers. our phone lines are open or you can go to first up is peter of new hampshire. and alex on the republican line. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i have three quick points. one, the c.e.o. blows the cost -- i'm sorry, reveals the true cost, it will be extremely expensive. my second point, i and others have actually read this bill, sir, and that's why we are livid. and third, why are you demonizing insurance companies? you are acting like a schiller or somebody for this administration. we are angry, sir, because we have read the bill. i've read the provisions where they want to access my bank account. that's why people are angry. i don't -- the democrat party has to find a demon and you are
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just pointing at the insurance companies. don't get me wrong, there needs to be some reform. thank you and i look forward to your experience. >> guest: thanks for your thoughts. i am not demonizing the insurance companies. they were adept at coming forward, as was the pharmaceutical industry, to work with proponents of reform. about when you say you have read the legislation, however, that's, you know, which piece is it? there are three committees in the house and there are committees in the senate, primarily the senate finance committee, which will decide how to pay for this thing. that is far from resolved. that is one complication that democrats have right now in discussing this when they go out. it's a lot easier to talk about as the president does, about health insurance reform or to
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vilify the insurers as sharks, as this ad on has done recently, than to talk about the complexity of this stuff, such as reimbursement rates, how much should the insurer pay, how much should other pays? how do you come up with the money? it is estimated to be in the realm of $1 trillion. whether that money is something that would add to the deficit is something that is definitely unclear. people right now are starving for facts. there are a lot of people saying a lot of different things fed by the internet, fed by perhaps by maclimation of people organizing campaigns and perhaps they're not. at any rate, it's hard to find much in the way of facts. i would recommend alex, you or anybody else upset about what they are hearing and maybe not thoroughly understanding maybe look at the "new york times"
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article today that goes over some facts about five critical aspects of health reform and there is you had bill adair on with political facts. he is able to deal with the mikts out there. >> host: back to the lobbying by united, picture a giant tractor trailer van they brought to capitol hill. you just talked about five different bills and committees out there working on a bill. which committee is the lobbying money chasing? what are they paying the most attention to? >> guest: lobbying money chases the key players. one of the real focuses of the insurers and others in this battle, as in many other battles, like cap and trade. are these moderate democrat? are the fiscally conservative members of of the blue-dog coalition in the house and moderate senators in the senate.
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we write about jim master'son in utah, this is a man who has a district the size of rhode island that gos from salt lake city all the way down to moab and beyond in southeastern utah, i think. you know for somebody like that, they're thinking about how do i balance these interests in my district? how do i go with my party in trying to perform with something like this? what about the small businesses that are hard hit in my smokey communities. and these people who around marching in line with pelosi and company and the president are the people being focused on, by the white house, as well. people such as matheson and mike ross, bluedogs like that are conferring regularly with lobbyists, with the white house, with all the players because that is where the key lies to
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dealing with this. >> host: question from darrell price. why should executives have a seat at the table other than the millions underinsured? >> guest: well, that is a fundamental question about our system that people have been talking about for decades. we're trying to grapple with that. as former writer of "washington post," who wrote on the topic years ago, i can't remember the name of the book. he said, here in the city, outside of the window where is we sit on capitol hill are these gleaming facts of democracy. we have this elaborate special interest in washington and there are groups that represent consumers and represent not just the corporate industry.
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there are those that would argue that sways the process. >> host: here is chris on the democrat line. >> caller: good morning. thanks to c-span. i have a quick comment and i'd appreciate if i could get all of it in. it's a lot, but it's statements and i'm going to be honest with you, yes, i do if you go into -- i watched both networks, all three of them, but the main ones are msnbc and fox. fox is mainly the culprit to demonize obama as health care legislation. they have for half-truths' and more misinformation that i have ever heard of. sarah palin, the quitter at the republican party, has seen that calls to say that a death panel will decide the help of her baby. that is totally bogus.
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it is frivolous. i want to give out information that is pretty useful. and i was watching on pbs, the journal carried an he had a person named bill miers, who also appeared on msnbc. he was a vice president of cigna. he basically told the truth. he was a wickes agreed did she was a whistle-blower. he talked about how they made money off of patience. -- he was basically a whistle- blower. there was a guy on cnn -- host: there is a lot there.
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we will get the response. we will get the guest to respond. >> guest: chris, there are things that bother people about insurance companies. there are probably thing necessary our story that you would when you look at it, you would say, my goodness, this is bad, this is terrible, perhaps you would be upset at something we have where we talk about some discussions behind the scenes of the senate finance committee in which lobbyists are trying to make a convincing case for lowering the amount of reimbursement they would be responsible for in future health reform and us raising it for people, other people. but on your point about demonizing insurers, there is demonizing obama, the democrats for wanting a canadian style program. we live in time where is it is
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hard to get at that kernel of truth between all of this. what is going on here, it is easier to craft a negative message, a simple campaign ad, disrupt a town hall meeting and deal with symbol or shout something out that gets a lot of attention than it is to deal with issues and have a discussion about some topics here. it it is particularly hard for the democrats. another issue is doctors and patients. we have a tendency to want as many tests as possible and we're not always efficient about how we use healthcare system. i'm saying we as patients. and doctors don't want prices set for them and that sort of thing. there are other issues here where it -- >> on the role of lobbying, you write the industry has
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accomplished its main goal of blocking new publicly administered program that could grab market share from corporations that dominate the business and then this morning in the "washington times" they have the comments of dick durbin, the senator from michigan writing: i support a public option, but i'm open to a bill without it. excuse me, state of illinois. >> guest: right. there seems to be quite an erosion of support if there really was some for the public plan, the government-run system. people like senator conrad, has been advancing this idea of a cooperative in which people would you have croppers for all sorts of things and this is when people ban together as a non-profit, for instance. the government might oversee it,
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but the idea is people in a group would be able to purchase healthcare at lower cost versus -- you know -- that is something insurers would arguably prefer. >> host: you point out senator conrad met with united officials before he came out with his plan. >> guest: that is right. conrad met with him and people from bluecross blueshield. he says he is independent thinker to give conrad his say. he came up with that independently. it is part of the cultural fabric of the culture he comes from. at the same time and image thing aside, he told me the story of when he was discussing this wo one of the lobbyists. i said, what reaction did you have? they neither cheered nor jeered. they sat there. this is not something the
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insurers want, but it sounds preferable for what we've heard to the public plan. >> host: does united want a public plan in any way, shape or form? >> guest: no. that is interesting how washington works. tom daschle, obama's initial pick to lead health reform and a mentor to the president, and ran into problems with nomination. he is actually a strategic advisor to unitedhealth. as he was before he was nominated. >> host: is that a paid role for him? >> guest: yes tis a paid role. he says it is not lobbying, it is advising clients on the lay of of the land. other people at his law firm does the lobbying. tom daschle is a thinker and well connected player, has written a book on the topic, believes a public plan is the
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way to go, but he's advising a company that is resistant to public plan. >> host: utica, new york, good morning to lee. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: now we have giant institution, healthcare institution here in utica. >> host: uh-huh. >> caller: what happened, they are giving notification on the doors, no more medicaid patients and they are quite large. i see nursing homes, they want to take medicaid people. what i see happening, they're going to start dumping people on medicaid. there is over 50% of the seniors in these nursing homes on medicaid and they are going to start throwing them out. >> host: lee, we will get a response. >> guest: lee, there is a lot of fear and anxiety and things are happening to real people,
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real problems and this is one thing that makes the august recess complicated for lawmakers as they go back. never mind whether the protests are organized or not. the fact of the and they are hearing a lot from their constituents about what are you doing about this crisis? so-and-so is out of work, what about healthcare? am i going to lose coverage? isq3f3f3f3f3fl+uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu kick me out? ads and things partisans are saying are playing into that anxiety and that makes them effective. i was telling so much is unresolved and these bills, this thing is happen iing as we spea. negotiations really still going on in some ways. four different committees. there is no clear legislation yet. democrats are out there pushing for something that actually has not taken final shape and so you
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don't know what the final outcome is. i recommend that story in the "new york times," obviously as well as our piece, if you want to get more behind the scenes and get facts about what is going on. >> host: good morning to roger, an independent. >> caller: good morning. thank you to c-span. i'd like to make a comment and ask a quick question. it seems like kind of funny that you are talking about healthcare and lobbyists because it seems like it is a cancer that has been affecting our country for so long and i'd just like to say that i think it should be public knowledge about these behind-closed-door meetings between our hol tigzs apolitici lobbyists and i think february or march unitedhealth was found to be cheated customers and why no one was prosecuted or went to jail. >> host: thanks for the call,
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roger. >> guest: the last point, you may be talking about a unit of unitedhealth called golden rule involving data that was determined by the new york state attorney general we have an article in our magazine, our current issue, as well. i believe you are looking at it now. you might want to take a look at that. in fact, unitedhealth did pay money, didn't admit wrongdoing, to settle the claim by the new york state attorney general. now the other point was about the -- i'm sorry, i can't remember the other point. >> host: you addressed his point about -- oh, about lobbyists. guest: that's right. and disclosure. as a reporter, as a journalist, i'm all for more disclosure. we have very little disclosure of others who influence a
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process. hopefully our work helps illuminate that. as far as a cancer, though, the lobbyist role is the role that is part of the practice of democracy and that in a sense everybody is entitled to a lobbyist. you know, whether you fully agree with that or not is another thing. lobbying has acquired this sort of evil association. people like heather pedestra, she put scarlet letter "l" to highlight this new stigma. do they go too far? who knows. is it helpful? unitedhealth and other insurance carriers have argued that by participating in the process, providing numbers, actuarial figures, revenue
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projections and so forth, they are helping the profits. they are informing aides through member of congress who might not be so informed. >> host: you do write in your article, what people in washington tend not to discuss on the record is open secret that insurers are minimizing their forecast of the eventual windfall they will endure for expanded coverage from americans. the bottom line, health would lead to profit for the insurance industry. >> guest: as with cap and trade, i don't think many people truly and as opposed to what you hear on the airwaves now and in the town halls sometimes, i don't think is a serious student of health reform and expect there to be full-blown revenue. it it is likely to be something that resembles swiss cheese, may be a mixture of things. and the insurance industry, if more people, you can think about this logically f. more people are actually brought into health
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reform and by whatever means given access to coverage or some kind of insurance whether through co-op or public plan or whatever it happens to be, that means more potential clients for the insurance industry. and they have provided projections to the senate finance committee we're told that speak to because of health reform. there is belief they are low-balling it it, but there still are projections of increased revenue. >> host: one more call from new york on the democrat line. hi. >> caller: hello. i am so nervous. i had time sitting here to get nervous. >> host: that is all right. take your time and take a deep breath. >> caller: i've been wanting to call for years. >> host: glad to have you through g. ahead. >> caller: i've never had a
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problem with medicare, blue cross, blue shield, it's been wonderful. i'm a retiree so i got my supplement through the bank where i worked. but the first of january they called and they said they were taking that away from us and we had to go to unitedhealth. it is expensive. every time i go to the doctor, i have a co-pay. they say they are all specialists, which they aren't. that is $20. >> host: we will well let you go there and get a response from keith epstein. thank you for calling. >> guest: you might go on the internet or have somebody help you, on national public radio this morning on morning edition, there was a report out of vancouver, canada about the canadian healthcare system. i was not advocating that system, but i was struck with
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the ease that people are participating and less of the worr worry: i'm not advocating that system. a lot of americans experience and that is what democrats are trying to lash on to. anxiety over cost host: keith epstein, thank you for being with us this morning. >> the white house hold a roundtable today on health care. state and local officials and health care industry experts. we will have live coverage at 2:00 eastern on c-span. president obama @ link up meetings with the mexican president and the canadian prime
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minister this morning. we will have live coverage from guadalajara, mexico. the associated press is reporting a taliban deputy has called organizations to say he is not dead. . . >> "washington journal" continues. >> california congressman brad sherman shares the committee on terrorism and foreign affairs. at least today during the recess, here this morning to talk about afghanistan and pakistan and other terrorism issues. we've touched on this article earlier today, a piece in the "washington post" yesterday. he writes general stanley he writes general stanley mcchrystal, the top u.s. commander in afghanistan is expected to present his analysis
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of his thoughts on president obama's new strategy. what are your thoughts on his upcoming report? what would you like to see? >> guest: the general of course is focused on afghanistan. that is his mission. the national mission is to deal with the security threats to the united states and those threats come chiefly from iran, north korea and the possibility that pakistan might unravel. the chief relevance of afghanistan is not afghanistan, but its location between iran and especially its involvement with pakistan. and it is not critical to our national security. i think it would be an outstanding outcome if we were able to do nation-building in afghanistan and to turn that country, which has had so many problems, into a real functioning state. but in terms of our national
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security, the issue is: does al qaeda have major base necessary afghanistan they couldn't have anywhere else? we're able to prevent that. second, how do we support democracy in pakistan? >> host: where do you have concerns about al qaeda? pakistan? >> guest: first, they don't have enormous bases they had prior to 9/11. you're never going to prevent them from having a conference room. some of of 9/11 was plotted in an apartment building in approximate hamburg. but you do want to disrupt their operations and you want to go after their leadership. the locual is just on the pakistan side of the border, but throughout the border area. so that afghan/pakistan border is perhaps -- is the most important area from an al qaeda perspective. we're able to have troops fully
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operate in half that theater, the afghan side. >> host: you talk about your children being national security. when you see headline like los angeles times, pakistan/taliban preys on teens. what sort of concerns does that rise in you? >> we live in a world that is far more evil than we choose to acknowledge. first is what is happening to youths in afghanistan to see them kidnapped. things that evil are happening in manner parts of the world right now. the second is those are soldiers being deployed against our troops in afghanistan and it is just one more thing for us to prevent and for us to publicize because we are in a wor for "hearts and minds of people on both sides of the afghan and
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pakistan border." this kidnapping is just one illustration of the evil we're up against. >> host: national security discussion to iran, what do you make the of the recent elections and how does that impact u.s. national security? >> guest: well, from a national security perspective, our key focus is preventing iran from having nuclear weapons. the idea it is okay to have nuclear weapons because they will be deterred ignores several of the facts. the first is we did deter the soviet union because we were lucky. the cuban missile crisis, we faced an eyeball to eyeball crisis with nuclear iran and there will be several f. iran blows up the buenos aries jewish
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community center as they did last decade, if iran challenges our ships in the straits as they do periodically, that is an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a hostile nuclear state. we had one of of those in the cuban missile crisis and i'm not looking to have more. second, my hope is this regime is swept out in the next few weeks. but one fear is is 10, 12 years from now a nuclear iran has 100,000 or several hundred thousand people in the streets. the regime feels it will be swept out of of power and decide to go out with a bang. >> host: your hope is the regime is swept out in the next few weeks? >> guest: that is not a realistic probability, but my hope. and in the congressman district, sally, go ahead. >> caller: hello, congressman
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stephens, you are in the foreign affairs committee. look what motivated the 9/11 hijackers. you can look up,, and you will see support for israel and their brutal oppression of the palestinianians, which got us attacked. you can look on the book "pretext for war," and -- >> host: do you put credence into the article? >> guest: sally, you could have come to our town hall we had on july 3rd. i'm not hard to talk to. i will be at warner center with the concerts in the mark a couple of sundays this month. as to the idea that laden would be satisfied if we just countanced his goal with regard
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to really, which is expulgz of all jews, ethnic cleansing and perhaps their murder, that would certainly not satisfy bin laden, that would wet his appetite o. his web page he claims spain, as well. if you are ready to ethiccally cleanse israel and every ethnic cleansing is accompanied by genocide in order to buy off bin laden, think again because he wants spain and then he refers to the battle in which islamic forces were prevented from conquering france. he wants to reverse the outcome of that battle. so you better be prepared to give up most of the old world and then hope that doesn't wet bin laden's appetite for the new world. >> host: good morning, dennis. >> caller: good morning. congressman, thank you for being on the show. you mentioned hijackers of 9/11
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and their planning. we know little as far as what these people did prior to boarding the planes. it it seems like that is something that needs to be looked into and also looked into is whether or not they were aided by someone in this country, that is the concern i have and doesn't seem to be addressed in anything i'm reading. >> guest: i know that has been thoroughly investigated and we have not come up with detailed information we'd like. one of the reasons why are suicide bombing is favored by those who try to attack us it is very hard for us to -- but aside from that we don't have the kind of detail we'd like to have.
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>> host: you think the 9/11 commission did its job well and answered all the questions that should have been answered >> guest: they answered allhe question i they could answer. >> host: to north korea and former president clinton's trip and the retrieval of the journalists who came back to california last week. jim jones, national security advisor was on several programs yesterday. what are your thoughts on the former president's trip? does this provide an opening? is it something that we shouldn't have done in terms of -- are we giving north korea an opening they shouldn't have had? >> guest: first tis an outstanding humanitarian effort to see the women at the airport. it it was a sigh of relief for all americans. it is clear there were
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discussions between jung yo. what that message is is, i don't know. they prefer bilateral talks, but that splits the united states off from the rest of the allies in the six-party talks. and the key to dealing with north korea is not whether it's six-sided or á;f3f3f3f3f3syuuuu. the key is can you put pressure on them? the only way to put pressure on them is china and the other way to get china to change its views is to make it clear that our trade relationship could be put at risk if they continue to subsidize north korea while telling us they are doing everything possible to prevent north korea from expanding. >> host: so we have more leverage with north korea than
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iran. >> guest: china has a lot. we have a relationship with china that is i know often it is characterized that we're the weaker party. the fact is in international relations, debtors are more powerful than creditors and those who allow imports are more powerful than those who have a need to export. exact reversal of the relationships we have in our economic lives. our banks can foreclose on our houses if we don't pay n. international affairs, the debtor is immune from foreclosure. >> host: strictly on nuclear programs, which country causes more concern iran or north korea? >> guest: iran because they are ambitious. north korea seeks only to exist, maybe make money here or there. iran clearly wants to affect world affairs. you have a country that has conducted bombings as far away as argentina.
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you have a country that wants to spread its view and the messy antic views of the leaders, particularly around ahmadinejad are alarming. you would expect events to be far from the borders and every one of those efforts could lead to a confrontation with us. >> host: bob on the republican line, go ahead. >> caller: good morning, sir. >> host: morning. >> caller: i have a question about literacy in afghan area. wouldn't it be easier if people were literal as opposed to people being told what somebody wants them to hear? >> guest: clearly afghan nation building would go better with literacy. we are building schools --
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they throw acid in the face of little girls who dare to go to school, they burn down girls' schools and so that is just one of the problems we face in trying to build afghanistan as a nation and to build up literacy. >> host: admiral mullen touched on that last week in the "new york times." he writes about trips to afghanistan. he said: what i do see is something i call culture of poverty and isn't that just -- it isn't that we have underresourced it, we underresource it it for a significant period of time. so in your view, what is needed more in afghanistan is a civilian effort, surge, rather than more troops on the ground? is >> guest: well, if your goal is to create an afghanistan that is
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moving forward as part of the modern world you clearly need more in the way of civilian effort. those civilians have got to feel secure. for every agranomist, you need a squad of troops to make sure you don't have a dead agron mist. security may be the most important thing and then you are talking about schools. you are talking about improving crops and hopefully providing a substitute crop. >> host: in your role as sub-committee chair on terrorism, how often do you visit places like pakistan, afghanistan? >> guest: you know, i make very few foreign trips and i've sat down more than once and decided i can learn a bit more because there are so many trips i could
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lead or join. >> host: yeah. >> guest: you get so little time to read and study, to give up that time minute for minute i think i learn more beh leaders@@b
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>> host: thank you, joe. the role of the saudis in 9/11. >> guest: your comment brings up, one thing we'd like to be true because it fits with our morality, but turns out not to be true. the people who are terrorists are desperately poor, personally oppressed and that's why they become terrorists. the fact is the vast majority of the 9/11 hijackers were middle-class saudis from the arab world.
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saudi arabia is -- it funds an awful lot of things around the world that are dangerous to the united states. they fund madrases where hate red is spewed against us and we have uneasy relationship with saudi arabia. if the world wasn't so dependent on saudi oil, i think we would be considerably more critical of saudi arabia. >> host: on the republican line. >> caller: hello. >> host: hi there. >> caller: i am conservative from washington. number one, if the terrorists in afghanistan are so evil, how come the big new brasinski can create them and then rome free? number two, how come bush told all the f.b.i. agents armed f.b.i.s were close to stopping the attack to stop or they would
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be fired? and three, how come obama did not arrest bush and now the three comments. one, even though i hate to say it, under international law, iran has every right to develop nuclear material for power sources. number two, if our soldiers are so great at stopping the poppy fields, how much they are guarding them? and three, we know under the white papers released that our own troops have raped children with objects covered with acid. >> host: where did you read that? >> caller: where did i read that? from the official white papers released by the general there. >> host: we'll get comments from the congressman. a lot to chew on there. >> guest: most of of those comments are absurd and offensive and don't deserve a response. one comment was one that i've heard before and that is the
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idea that iran has the right to develop nuclear program. the fact is that iran signed the non-proliferation treaty and is bound by it it. three nation dids not sign, israel, india and pakistan, they are not bound by the treaty, but iran is. iran violated that treaty in approximate a series of approximate a series of differen iran has been sanctioned by the united nations for those violations. the sanctions are too weak to cause a change in iran's behavior, but at least it it demonstrates iran has violated the treaty responsibilities. the fact is that while iran has the right to develop electricity from nuclear power plants, they are flaring their natural gas they could generate electricity for a couple kilo watt.
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>> host: why are they? >> guest: they have no way to export it, liquiified natural gas plant to markets. >> host: back to afghanistan, full page, photograph for afghans, a new test of democracy, their presidential election. their elections are coming up in 10 days, i believe august 20th. what are your hopes for the election? >> guest: a fair and free election would be outstanding step toward building afghanistan as a state. i can't tell you that i'd vote for this candidate or that can d candidate? >> host: is karz ai the best candidate to have in there >> guest: i can't say.
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>> caller: -- israel is going to attack iran and run behind our skirts and get us caught. we pay money to israel every year. we give egypt a billion and a half. we give jordan a billion or billion and a half not to attack israel and yet all they're doing is is telling us don't expand your settlements. they are saying go to hell with you. we have people in moscow who need a place to live. >> host: frank, are there concerns about israel taking preechltive strike against iran? >> guest: well, i've been working for my entire career in congress to try and put economic and diplomatic pressure on iran so iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons. i'd have to say i've been unsuccessful until recently and perhaps what even killed recent
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events. we are not putting economic pressure on iran. the world bank is loaning money to iran, including our money. the ims, we recently put 100 million dollars into the imf. they provide billion dollars to iran. the israelis are put in a circumstance where we don't do what we should do. and iran is within a year or so of having enough material for nuclear bomb. israel then will have to decide what to do. had we enforced the iran sanctions act which we refused to enforce and gone further with other economic sanctions, we wouldn't be in this circumstance. >> host: the "wall street journal" hsz editerial about the killing of the taliban leader,
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massimi mai. they write the strike underscores the fact that pakistan has early obama administration foreign policy success. only three months ago taliban were marching on islamabad and fretting over pakistani will, but the u.s. worked behind the scene to encourage counter attack. pakistan military has retaken the valley in the north and the government has put aside petty domestic squabeling to focus on the enemy. president obama stepped up attacks thought to have killed a third of the top taliban leaders and yet a short time ago those were a source of concern between the united states and pakistan. they still are a concern and here is the success and here is the individual most responsible for the death of bhutto, a
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martyr to the goal of prosperous and democratic pakistan. and we're only 99% sure that the miss i missile was there, that was a major step that seemed to have caused the pakistani taliban to fray at the top and is a major success. as to the drone aircrafts, i've long been pushing to provide drone aircraft to the pakistani military so that when drone aircraft are used it is unclear whether they were operated by americans or operated by pakistanis. that would give pakistan a military weapon it doesn't have now. just as importantly, it would limit the political damage for when we use drone aircraft. >> host: who has to okay that if you are pushing that?
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is that something admiral mullen okays? >> guest: ultimately administration and the state department. there are discussions of how the training would take place. i think most people have now accepted the goal, but it hasn't helped. >> host: has pakistan asked for that? good morning to dustin on the republican line. >> caller: how you doing? >> host: go ahead, dustin. we're fine. >> caller: yeah, two questions i would like to ask. three or four weeks ago, two main things is north korea and iran. iran and the terrorists in the world come out of iran and north korea the thing i'd like to see
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is about three to four weeks ago the ship coming from iran and at the same time they had the election in iran and they had chaos over in iran. seem like to me it would have been a perfect time for obama to do some kind of aksz and do away with them two threats and that has been done. this makes the u.s. look like they could be bullied around. >> host: all right. we'll get an answer. thanks for the call. >> guest: i think the caller is right, the two threats we face are north korea and iran. we are taking action. but this is not something where
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one bold, couragious military action is a wonderful solution. i think that we could do far more on the economic and diplomatic front than we have done. but the idea that this is the kind of problem you could solve in two weeks if you just do the right thing. >> host: how does this work from practical standpoint in terms of general stanley mcchrystal comes back with a report saying we need x-number of troops, this and that. congress is working on budget for 2010. will this require additional budgeting once this report comes out? >> guest: the report itself doesn't change the budget. if the president comes to us and says the plan needs to be changed, we would probably pass a supplemental and that is controversial because in dealing with the budget and the budget deficit the supplementals tend
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to be off on the. >> host: and the president pledged not to use that method anymore dhe not? >> guest: he said he would use that for the expected operations in iraq and afghanistan. whether he would use it for some is change, i don't think the general would be asking for and i don't think he'll receive something that is way out of bounds compared to what we're budgeting for the two works. >> host: one more call. georgia, good morning samantha on the independent line. good morning. >> caller: good morning. congressman, i was under the assumption when i voted for barack obama that the democrats understood that the reason we were voting for the democrats was to get out of afghanistan and iraq and i'm wondering if your committee is aware of the
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suicide rate and alcohol use and drug use of the troops and the percentages they are? >> host: her comment in line with e-mailer who asked us what is the end game in afghanistan? >> guest: first as to what barack obama was promising in the election, he was clear that he thought afghanistan was something that he would concentrate on and so i don't think anybody should be fooled or surprised that we're not currently withdrawing from afghanistan. as to the end game i think we're going to be in afghanistan for a long time, the question is at what level and with what objectives? is the objective to build a prosperous democratic afghanistan or even an afghanistan with a fully operative central government? that would be a high-level of
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economic be, economic resources. are we there to prevent afghanistan from being a place that be a threat to the us or a threat to pakistapakistan, that be lower level of commitment. we tried the idea of ignoring afghanistan completely and that is what we did in the 1990s because the cold war was over and terrorism was not a real focus and the result was that they could plot 9/11. we can't allow bin laden to have a little -- to have campuses that big and hopefully we can push him further,
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>> this week, "washington journal" years from four mayors. on tuesday, the mayor of phoenix, when state americans town, ohio, on thursday, american the annapolis. president obama wrapped up meetings with -- wraps up meetings with the president of mexico and prime minister of canada. we will bring you live comments from the conference at 12:30 on c-span. the white house is holding a roundtable on health care. the office of health reform director. we'll have live coverage of that at 2:00 eastern. this month, c-span2's book tv weekend continues monday-friday.
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tonight -- >> how is c-span funded? >> donations. >> grant funds. >> honestly, i don't know. >> advertising. >> something from the government. >> policies and funded? 30 years ago, -- how is c-span funded? 30 years ago, c-span was created as a private initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> next week, discovery's planet green olives a month-long special looking at the sustainability of the world's ocean and fresh water. we talk to the co-host this morning on "washington journal." we are joined by alexandra and philippe cousteau, behind the effort on the planet
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discovery, but green planet, the month of august as blue august, all about oceans and water issues. welcome to the program. alexandra, i first have to ask the question about the legacy of the cousteaus. you are the grandchildren of job cousteau cousteau cousteau cousteau. what deal hope to have accomplished by the end of august? what do you want viewers to know? guest: blue august is an exciting initiative my brother and i are pleased and honored to be hosting. it is a full month of programming highlighting the challenges and issues and some of the solutions are around conserving water on this planet, both motions and fresh water. it is very exciting programming indeed. host: you both grew up around water all of your lives. where do things stand, in your opinion? focus on the oceans.
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how bad is it, where is their hope? guest: we are facing a lot of problems with respect to ocean conservation. you have to remember that oceans of the life-support system of this planet. we lost about 25% of global coral reefs. many of the large fish are reduced by 90%. scientists believe fisheries will collapse in the next 40 years if we continue our current behavior. climate change, melting ice caps. there is a lot of grim problems. i think one of the great messages and signs is we are having this discussion right now. we are having not only a whole month of television program but robust online initiative for blue august. it unprecedented to dedicate a whole month to these issues. i think and that can't, society is starting to change -- i think in that sense, society is starting to change.
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host: we will show a clip, a preview of what the series is about. the same thing i asked alexandra, what would you like viewers to take away at the end of this month that they don't know now or should know now? guest: certainly i hope the walk away with renewed appreciation for the oceans, understands how important are no matter how -- where we live. but one of the great things about blue august that planning green offered online are easy things people can do to be part of the solution. hopefully they will understand the importance of the oceans and how each one of us can do good things to protect the ocean. host: alexandra, you are founder and president of blue legacy. guest: it is an organization that i started in the year 2008. our mission is to tell the story of our water planet and get water to be part of the discussion again. we just finished a 100-day journey around the world, going
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to all five continents and selling both freshwater and oceans stories. it so it has been very exciting. we have made over 40 short films that have been aired on line and we are moving forward with discussions about experts and planning expeditions. host: in "the wall street journal" about the typhoon heading china and the collapse of a hotel in china. has this been made worse by climate change? guest: i think there is very little question about the fact that climates' is being exacerbated by climate change. oceans are the primary driver of our climate systems. the reason climate change is a problem is because what it is doing for oceans. storms are increasing. desertification and droughts. precipitation patterns are changing drastically the,
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leading to conflicts. host: "the new york times" report on the front page, climate change is seen as threat to security. one of the war game drills, they reported they looked at the impact of a flood in countries like india and and parts of asia, and neighboring countries. guest: if you think about water as are most of will and life support system and the vehicle through which we will feel the impact of climate change, weather drought or desertification, floods, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, seasonality of rivers creag before they ran year round. all of that is absolutely going to change the world as we know it. host: with we'll get to your phone calls. we have folks waiting. i did want to give folks a look at what's blue august is about. >> the ocean needs our help.
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time irunning out. >> people have heard about global warming for years but it is only the past five years that experts really understood that carbon dioxide is causing problems for the oceans as well. what is worrisome it has not been on the radar. >> in a few decades it will profoundly altered oceans chemistry, rapidly making the water more acidic. >> scientists have demonstrated that if we continue to pollute as we are now, the ocean as said it will double by the end of the century. >> and we are already seeing the signs. >> we are seeing water off the coast of northern california as sick enough to start actually dissolving seashells. >> if the smallest things and oceans are affected by acidifvcation, and ripples up the food web making the largest things even more endangers. >> we need to change. >> we've got the last decade in which weakened isn't about the problem.
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but it is very clear if we do not start to deal with that right now, with stern and cuts 2 emissions, we are going to condemn oceans to extremely uncertain future. >> we know how to solve all local and global problem, the question is, will we. host: how long did this take to prepare? guest: this whole month has been in preparation. multiple types of shows. footage from the world premiere of the special next wednesday night at 10:30 a.m. on planet green called acid test, looking at the most shocking and relatively newly explored and understood issues. host: daytona, florida. good morning. you are first up. caller: good morning. so proud of you guys and what you are doing. i was very impacted by your grandfather when he came and did some work with blue springs state park. what i am really alarmed about
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-- this brings, compared to now, the levels have been drained so much. the footage your dad as i love to see on the show. i am also an uninsured americans so i am not pouring these pharmauticals and to blue springs and i am concerned about that impact and me on the uninsured family. could you address -- are you addressing blue springs? guest: it is a beautiful place. it is sad, the changes that happen. i did a story for npr a few years ago. the development going into florida and our wasteful use of water, not just in florida but are around the country. we will not be covering that the specific month, though. host: philippe mention of the wasteful use of water. what are you advocating in terms of methods of yours can take for
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yes wasteful uses? guest: so many things that people can do. some of the easiest things, turning off awesome when brushing your teeth or shaving. using appliances when they are full. host: such as dishwasher. guest: washing machine geared watering your garden and evening instead of the heat of the day. using pool covers. but for the purposes of blue august, this is summer, everybody is going to the beach. packing out what you back in and making sure you leave nothing behind. and even picking up trash and that might not be your own, but leaving the place better than where you found it. an old boy scout creed. host: you brought a demonstration of something -- i will put this underneath the camera. guest: this is this plantgreen challenge -- band the bags,
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butts, and models. planted -- using reusable bag, did not throw cigarette butts on the ground. they can surprisingly take decades and decades to biodegrade. when it gets into the ocean, turtles and other marine organizations -- organisms can eat it. and tried to recycle as many plastic bottles as possible. there is a challenge on the web site and the book and up load their own content of photos and ideas, a lot of fun. host: 4 myers. bill. -- fort meyers. caller: environment lists try to scare us when there are just as many scientists who say they don't have enough information and find out that al gore's tried to fake everything and took movies from home computers and stuff just to antagonize it
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and they want to get this cap- and-trade. what are tax is going to do to help the environment? meanwhile china is the biggest polluter in the world and they told the environmental is to get lost because they have 4 billion people to feed. we've got to do something -- just use common sense. that is all we need. you can't scare people, as they say. host: thank you for the call. guest: certainly would face challenges. a lot of points the caller made their but respect to china. it is not an excuse to not do something in this country because other countries are not doing enough. guest: and china only just out ranked the united states in emissions, very recent. we were ahead of the pack. guest: for a very long time, exactly. i would disagree that there is not a consensus on climate change, and i think that research and science is pretty clear that a vast majority, over
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90% of the world's finances certainly disagree. they may -- certainly agree. they may disagree on but pays, but certainly a problem. host: north carolina, go ahead. caller: thank you so much for bringing this issue. i would like to make it, and about republicans. they don't care anything about anything go along. just let them wait when they died and the water, and nothing is safe and we will say. i have a question for you. africa -- you tested oceans and five continents. africa and somalia -- have you tested it or do you have information and could be let us know what is true and not true and i appreciate it and thank you so much for democrats bringing this issue. thank you. guest: africa certainly has a
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lot of water issues. we did not go to somalia on this expedition. we went to botswana and south @ã@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ ã better management practice is a universal need. host: the "financial times" has a picture of the drought in india. the monsoon season is delivering far less rain than anticipated. guest: i think the worst thing that happened to the environmental movement is that it became a blue or red issue. it is not a republican or democratic issue. it is about clean air and clean water. it is not a political issue. we all meet clean air and clean water. i think the point that the issue with oceans changing in india
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and africa. there is essentially a water crisis in darfur. host: we have never seen drought levels at these levels? you are talking about, but this perk -- picture is india. guest: india facing critical water issues, just weeks after we left india on the first part of the expedition, over 1000 farmers committed suicide because the drought that had ravaged their land made it impossible for them to make a living and they committed mass suicide. i think we are seeing increased severity water issues and is impacting communities. host: are their drought concerns of the u.s.? guest: absolutely. atlanta, two years ago -- guest: 6 weeks away from being out of order. guest: the leg that they depend on, six weeks before being a
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munhall -- the lake, that they depend on, six weeks before being a mudhole. the governor was praying for rain. when the practices have not been able to ensure water supplies we are looking at a series issue. host: virginia beach, good morning, on the republican line. caller: or you folks today? the earth sustains us and we have to take care of it, but, you know, more people will take you seriously if you expose the biggest sources, of not only corruption but of pollution and that is the federal reserve and the stimulus -- 24-7 stimulus that they create bubbles with and all of this overbuilding. host: what is the biggest source
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of pollution in the u.s. and the world? guest: in terms of our water pollution, urban runoff is not a worse problem than industrial run off. we have a tendency to think water pollution comes primarily from big companies and corporations, but actually people who don't take care of what they put into their water shade and for toxic chemicals down the drain and things like that is actually a much bigger problem. host: mission, dave on the independent line. caller: first time caller. you were talking about earlier in the show that you were showing, that things start with the smallest things in the ocean and then go on board. i watched a special on television where they were talking about plankton being one of the smallest creatures that everything feeds on.
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and there were talking about we were starting to lose the plankton and that kind of thing, and they were going to be feeding the plankton with iron oxide to try to get more plankton into the oceans to help everything survive. i wish you could make a comment, and i will take the answer of the air. guest: iron oxide, i have heard that, dave, that theory if they use iron oxide it will increase plankton blooms. but there are a whole host of problems and we moved away of that kind of engineering of the environment. but you are right, the ocean is like land, it starts with the smallest creatures and goals of the food chain did i recently wrote an article about ocean -- it could lead to no more wells in the oceans. the new imagines ocean without whales? the small shelve creatures disappearing. little ones, they are out of sight but they should not be out of mind.
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host: define dead zones in the ocean. are there more now than there were 20 or 25 years ago? guest: of their over 400. host: what does that mean? guest: the gulf of mexico has one of the largest debtor zones, the result of tons of chemical fertilizers that float down the mississippi river into the gulf. it creates algae blooms that the loan and then die and when they die they go to the bottom and a absorb the option in -- oxygen. and the summertime, of 8000 square miles where nothing can live. they told me about shrimp that jump out of the water into the beach and try to breed because there is no oxygen. host: abc and a couple of other news organizations reported on the great pacific ocean garbage patch. do you look at this in your series? guest: yes, a special looking at
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that. it is an area in the central pacific ocean where circular currents concentrate debris and it is roughly twice the size of texas, literally a soup of plastic, 95% are plastic. it is just a reminder that every single piece of plastic still exists that has ever been created. we had a saying at the nonprofit i run, everything we do makes a difference. as my sister point of earlier, it is about reusing plastic bottles and not taking things for granted. no such thing as throwing away. it ends up somewhere. in this case, the central pacific. host: mich., france is on the democrat line. caller: what does overpopulation have to do with the pollution we have today? any answers on that? guest: that is a great question garet -- a great question. we are looking at a world where the population will continue to grow and we need to be ever more
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vigilant about how we manage the limited resources that we have from arable land, to walker, to clean air, to energy, so that the people who are coming next have the same quality of life and the same access to life that we have had and we have been blessed with. that is increasingly a challenge that we all need to work together to solve. host: pr, from a sound one, on the international line. caller: my name is daniel. i want to congratulate you for having such great-grandparent's. he was absolutely great. since i was about seven i used to watch the shows every thursday night. he definitely planted a great seat. i live in port doh rico. -- i live in puerto rico, we are
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competing for one of the natural wonders of the world. this brief is so great -- reef is so great, it is becoming tammany -- contaminated. basically wasting what you see there. also on the south side we have a bay that is dying. one of the two in the world. the only other one is in japan. nothing being done about it. the government doesn't care. i was wondering if there is some way someone could get involved, to kind of promote these efforts to protect our resources. otherwise we will be, like some predict, in a war that will be for water. family has brought some lands and argentina -- my family has
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bought some land in argentina where there are great lakes. some don't realize or don't care. for host: thank you for the call. we will get some answers for you. guest: this is a story happening all over the world, water contamination and pollution. it is a shared resource, and it belongs to no one. it is part of a problem because it is not monetized and people did not view it as they should. while we don't do any work in puerto rico, i am sure there are outstanding organizations that do and i think a quick search on google could find the organizations. host: an oceanographer has said in speeches and writings that with the budget of nasa, you could fund noaa -- guest: a thousand times. the federal budget for space exploration is a thousand times
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of ocean exploration. and knowing about whether there is water on mars is not necessary for surviving the planet. i'm not saying it should be in a minute. maybe a little more parity because there is healthy oceans and water in this planet. guest: and i was just going to say that in puerto rico, one not not only depend on the government and organizations but there is a huge old for people to get involved in their communities and just learning about the issues and finding ways to get friends and families involved in taking action at the local level. it is one of the most powerful things out there for environmental conservation. we can never underestimate that. host: have a link to the blue august site on guest: and a lot of wonderful organizations like ocean conservancy that is part of the mission. host: green bay, wisconsin.
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bruce on the republican line. guest: good morning, sir, -- caller: good morning, sir, good morning, man. united states would -- if they would go back to paper instead of plastic, stop dealing with countries -- how would that change the environment? guest: banning plastic bags would be a big step in the right direction for sure. whether are not going back to paper bags as an answer, because of still consumes energy -- as bill pointed out, we have a little back from the campaign, it is a reusable bag. that is what people eat should go back to. that is how we used to go shopping. but certainly applying pressure on countries to clean up their acts would be a tremendous step in the right direction. this country has an opportunity to take a leadership role, to
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retake a leader roll and we need to do that. guest: i was going to say, i don't see the downside to using recycled bags, to recycling plastic bottles, to try to limit the amount of waste we create, to six -- take simple steps. there is no downside. even if the skeptics were right and it was not going to save the world and do all of these things that make our quality of life better, there is no downside to it. it is what people in the 1950's, and that is what people harken back to as an ideal time. they use recycled milk bottles, they used recycled back and they had much less waste. host: in your putting together this program, do you see areas around the world of hope where areas are being cleaned up? guest: absolutely. the one thing i noticed as i traveled around the world and talked about issues, from
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spiritual leaders to government ministers, to students and and people on the street, is that they all value water and they all see it as their source of life. it is the one thing that connects every single individual in this planet, is our need for water, both the oceans and on land. the level for commitment and activism i saw everywhere, from people who live in grass huts and had little access to education, to some of the most educated and well known people in the world, that is the one thing everybody agrees on. and they all agree it needs to be protected and managed for today and for tomorrow. host: west virginia. good morning to jail. caller: i am retired coal miner , and our big issue is the mountaintop removal issue. i was curious as to whether or not you guys would do anything on your program on it. we have had over a million acres
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of one of the most their verse ecosystems and the world destroyed from a mountaintop removal mining. it heard over 12 million -- 12,000 miles of -- 52% of the streams in west virginia that are known to be or thought to be contaminated with heavy metals and other things. we have acid drainage. over 150, what they call coal slurry impairment in west virginia. host: -- calling in. we just have a couple of minutes left. guest: i testified in front of congress on offshore drilling and nrg exploitation -- when you look at coal and these polluted cost of energy, we are not


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