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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  August 18, 2009 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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and she was just miserable, and the doctor said she should be treated immediately. and i had an appointment, i did not want to give it up, and sheet stuck it out with me. .
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>> i quit smoking when i started a column in 1953. that is why i am alive today. >> robert novak, author of the "prince of darkness." >> in a few moments, president obama and the egyptian president mubarak me at the white house. a little but later, the white house briefing that talked about the administration's support for the so-called public option and health care debate. after that, a pentagon briefing on security arrangements for the afghanistan election. and later, the americans for prosperity foundation posted
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what was called the "right online" conference for bloggers. >> this fall, into the home to america's highest court. from the grand public places to those only accessible by the nine justices, "the supreme court, "coming the first sunday in october on c-span. >> president, today praised israel for halting new settlement construction and listening checkpoints on the west bank. he spoke with reporters after meeting with egyptian president hosni mubarak at the white house. this is little more than a half hour. zg=]wgs >> i want to publicly held him for the extraordinary hospitality he shudders when i
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travel to egypt and deliver my speech at cairo university. it was an extraordinary visit, not only because of a great welcome that i received from the president and the college students who were in attendance, but also having an opportunity to visit the pyramids, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. the united states and egypt have worked together closely for many years. and for many of those years, president mubarak has been a leader and counselor and friend to the united states. we obviously have a lot of great challenges that have to be dealt with. and we are continuing to work together to find those areas
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where we can find common ground and to work in concert to bring peace and security to the region. the arab-israeli situation is something that has been ongoing interests and we had an extensive conversation about how we could help to jump-start an effective process on all sides to move away from the status quo that is not working for the israeli people, the palestinian people, or the region as a whole. we discussed our common concerns about the potential for reparations or -- their potential up corp. of nuclear weapons in the region, including that by iran, and how we could work together on those fronts. we discussed iraq, and i want to thank the government of the chip to for being an arab country
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that has moved forward to try to strengthen iraq as it moves from a wartime footing and transitions to a more stable democracy. and we continue to talk about how we can work together on economic development issues, education issues, health issues come up and promote the interest of both the american people as well as the egyptian people appeared just to take one example, we have agreed to work together with the organization's of arabic states to eradicate polio, something we have been able to deal with successfully in the united states but still has an effect on populations throughout the muslim communities all around the world. and so these of a kind of partnerships that we want to continue to build. there are some areas where we still have disagreements and
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where we do have disagreements, we have a frank and honest exchange. so i just want to say it once again that i am grateful to president mubarak for his visit, for his willing to -- his willingness to work with us on these critical issues, and to advance the interests of peace and prosperity around the world. thank you very much. >> [speaking arabic]
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>> this was the first time i met -- this is the third time that i met with president obama. the first time, he gave a strong address and it cleared up many things between the united states and the moslem world. >> [speaking arabic] >> the importance of the cairo visit was very appreciated by the muslim and islamic worlds because the islamic world -- it has removed many obstacles. >> [speaking arabic]
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>> that was the first time did this at the time we met was in italy for the summit. we did not have much time to go in depth into discussions, but we did have a quick discussion. >> [speaking arabic]
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[speaking arabic] >> the third time was here at the white house. we have discussed an array of other vital issues, to the palestinian issue to the issue of iran, samaria, and the african horn. we also discussed the issue of reform in side of the jet. i said to him very frankly that
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i had entered into the elections based on a platform that has included reforms. we have started to implement some of that and we still have two more years to implement them. >> [speaking arabic] >> the relations between us are very good relations and strategic relations. despite some of the this that we have had, this is not changing the nature of our bilateral relations. >> we have puppis greatly on a vaccine issue because it is a
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pertinent issue. >> [speaking arabic] >> and the palestinian issue has impact on the world, on the region, and also the united states. >> [speaking arabic] >> we have also discussed the issue of a nuclear iran and we discuss these issues very frankly. >> [speaking arabic]
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>> at the conclusion of my remarks, i would like to thank president obama and i also salute him. i also salute president obama for all of its efforts regarding the palestinian issue. since his first day at the white house, he has been working on it. >> [speaking arabic] >> and i assure him that we will be very strong in these efforts, whether in regard to the palestinian issue or the other regional issues. and i thank him again. >> ok, we've got one question each. >> reports from jerusalem today that the israeli government has not given permission for any new
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settlements to be built, although ones that work in process are still in process. i am wondering if you have talked about that issue and that that is the sort of thing that needs what you are asking the israelis to do. and all settlements -- halting all settlements and the west bank. >> there has been some movement in the right direction. i came in from the start saying that all parties concerned have to take some concrete steps to restart serious negotiations, to resolve what has been longstanding conflict that is not good for the israeli people, is not good for its neighbors. i think that the israeli
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government has taken discussions with us very seriously. george mitchell has been back and forth repeatedly. he will be heading back out there next week. and my hope is that we're going to save, not just movement from the israelis, but also the palestinians are around issues of incitement and security, from arab states that showed their willingness to engage israel. if all sides are willing to move off of the rut that we aren't currently, then there is an extraordinary opportunity to make real progress. but we are not there yet. but i am encouraged by some of the things that we are seeing on the ground. we have been seen reports in the
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west bank in particular that checkpoints have been removed in some situations. the security forces from the palestinian authority have greatly improved and have been able to deal with the security situation on the west bank in a way that has inspired not just confidence among the israeli people but also among the palestinian people. there has been some increased economic activity on the west bank. all of this is creating a climate in which it is possible for us to see some possible -- to see some positive steps and hopefully negotiate toward a final resolution of these longstanding issues. but everybody is going have to take steps. everyone is going have to take some risks. it will require a lot of hard work and the united states is committed to being a partner in
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this process. and egypt will be as important as any party in helping to move the process forward, because egypt is uniquely positioned in some ways, have been very strong relationships with israel, with the palestinians, and with other arab states. president mubarak has as much experience in the region as anybody. >> [speaking arabic]
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>> [speaking arabic] >> i would like to add to what preston and obama has said.
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we're working on this goal, to bring the two parties to the sea to death there and to get something from the israeli party and a palestinian party. if we can get them to sit together, it will help. i had contacts with the israeli party. i have had contacts with the prime minister of israel, with head the state, and also what the minister of defense. we are seeking the senate could manner and are moving in the right direction. but the two parties need to sit together. this gives me hope that we will find a solution to the palestinian issue. it has been going on for 60 years and this issue means that we lose a lot. it will increase the violence. we support the efforts of the united states to move forward to finding a solution. >> [speaking arabic]
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>> it is the issue of jerusalem you are asking about, i will say that this is a complicated issue. during former president clinton's era, we almost found a solution for this issue. but afterwards, after eight years, there was nothing in this issue moved very slowly. but if we confined some solution to that, this would be helpful. -- if we can find some solution
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to that, this would be helpful. >> [unintelligible] >> [speaking arabic]
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>> eyes i have said before, this is a complicated issue. when i was in the army and other times, this issue has lasted 60 years. we cannot waste anymore time because of violence will increase. it is much more than it is years ago. we need to find a solution, and i have contacted the israelis and they said perhaps we can talk about a temporary solution, but i tell them, no, forget about the temporary solution. forget about temporary borders. that is why i came today to talk to president obama and to see that if we move forward, it would give more hope and confidence to the people about this issue.
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>> [speaking arabic] >> the negotiation of final status will not be easy. it will cause some complications. >> [speaking arabic] >> this issue contains the issue of jerusalem, of refugees, and the borders, but in cooperation with united states and other nations with israel, i think we can reach a solution because the american people want peace and a better life and the israeli people also want peace and stability in their lives. >> president mubarak i think president said it well.
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-- i think that president mubarak said it well. what may have to change is a growing realization on the part of the palestinians that israel is not going anywhere. that is a fact, a reality that has to be dealt with. and a recognition on the part of the israelis that their long- term security interests require finding an accommodation for the palestinians and ultimately with their arab neighbors. so the interest on both sides are toward peace. one of the things that you discover in history and being a part of politics is that just because something makes sense does not mean that it happens.
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we're going to have to work very hard and ultimately there has to be some courageous leadership not only from the palestinians and israelis but also from the other arab states to support this effort. the united states is going to devote time and energy and resources to try to make this happen. what i can say is different from the united states perspective is that even in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the great depression we started dealing with this issue on day one. we did not wait for your six or your seven after i had been reelected before we started taking this on. if we started taking on this issue immediately, precisely because it is a difficult issue that requires a lot of the groundwork to be late and sometimes will proceed in fits and starts. but with a partnership of countries like egypt, we will
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reach the end. thank you, everybody. go ahead, please. >> [speaking arabic] >> i believe that president obama is talking about support from the arab states for these issues. i would say here that in
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negotiations, the answer will lead the arab states to support the peace process and move it forward, because i can tell you that there are people that up with the links that this issue has taken -- that are fed up with olynthus -- the lengths that this issue has taken. and we're committed to moving the peace park -- the peace process forward. >> thank you, everybody. >> white house press secretary robert gibbs spent much of today's briefing talking about a so-called public option in health care legislation. four committees and house and senate have passed bills -- that has this, while the finance committee is considering a non- profit co-op system instead. this is about 40 minutes.
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>> that afternoon, i spirits are for being late. just one quick follow-up from this morning's discussion. i was asked how many times -- this is in conjunction with the meeting today where the president looks forward to hearing from the president and thanking him for the release of a humanitarian mission. president clinton has debriefed with nsa staff twice and i have discussed events extensively with the state department and other agencies. that is from this morning. i assume so, yes.
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>> on reports that jerusalem has stopped settlements on the west bank, is there an answer to the president's demand that saddam and stop all? >> i do not want to -- i will echo what i think you heard the president say in the oval office today. we have made good progress on this and other issues with the israelis on both sides. i think we are moving forward in a process that continues today president mubarak -- with president mubarak been here to discuss peace in the middle east. >> it seems that he said there had been progress but it has not gone far enough.
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>> i would not say that. we are pleased and the president has been pleased that progress has been made. i will say this. i think as bears mention every time we talk about this. and i said this this morning soap let me reiterate it. these are not steps for one side to take. the president has been in discussion with president mubarak about the responsibilities and obligations that all have in this process. we have talked about some steps that this administration believes the israelis should take. there are obviously steps that we believe the palestinians have to take. there are steps that we believe that the neighboring arab governments in the region have to take. we are all going to have to take steps together in order to see comprehensive middle east peace. >> is the president agreeing with the president mubarak statement that to forget -- to
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forget temporary solution and borders? >> i would talk to the president on that one. >> what has been the response so far to the suggestion that the health care reform might not include a public option? is it winning any converts or supporters? >> what is the question? >> what kind at the back to the suggestion in recent days that a public option ought not be part of the health care reform? >> as i have said yesterday and earlier today, the president -- his position and the administration's position is unchanged. we had a goal of fostering choice and competition in a private health insurance market. the president prefers public options as a way of doing that. if others have ideas, we are
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open to those ideas and willing to listen to those viewpoints. that is what the president has said for months. coincidentally bad as what the secretary of health and human services has said for months, is what i have said for months, and the suggestion that anything that was said saturday or sunday has been new administration policy is just not something that i would agree with. >> there seems to have been a lot of people -- all lot of people to get as of way of looking for something. >> some of your supporters in congress to read it as a change. but what the president said to the a.m.a. on june 15. "public option is an issue." he is no longer proactively -- forget about interrupt. can i finish my question >> >> i will finish my answer.
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he was clear in the town hall meeting on saturday. it was about the public option. the second question, the man in the red shirt over on the right side, he asked about the public option, and the sec at the last question, about the debate in this at the third row, right off of the podium, he had the same question. let me read this to you. you will notice. "secretary sebelius, july 12, 2009. you will hear about a variety of strategies to get to a public option. this is not one-size-fits-all. the issue of competition and choice in how to bring that into the private marketplace. there are a variety of strategies. any guess on what network that was on? >> on cnn, but sunday she was
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also on cnn and said that public option is not the essential part of health reform. she did not say that on jr. -- july 12. on june 15, the president proactively said that the public option was the way to go. >> i just said that it was the preferred option. >> he said if there was a public option or if there was not. and the secretary said it was not the essential part. >> the president said that on saturday. if there is one are if there is not one. answer that one part. >> the residents said repeatedly that he is open to different ideas and discussion, and his preferred option was a public plan. he said that on saturday. i said that on sunday. the secretary sebelius on your network said that on sunday appeared this notion that
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something has somehow markedly changed? i want to step back for just one second and discuss the notion of choice and competition. why do you need to was in competition? in an insurance market where 30 million or 46 million consumers could come into the marketplace, in a marketplace that is potentially dominated in some regions and areas of the country by one insurance -- my home state of alabama, blue cross blue shield has roughly 89% of the health insurance market. we all understand that in a monopoly where one side dominates the entire market, it is going to be hard to keep down costs. if you have one place to eat lunch before you came to the briefing, and you think it would be cheap? probably not. if you had two places to eat,
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competing dishes might not be as expenses -- as expensive. the notion of adding that consumer choice for greater competition is that all but the president has always said has to be paramount. when he talks about the essentialness of health care reform, let's understand principles. we have to cut costs for families and small businesses. that is essential. it has to be done. what is essential is ensuring that we provide accessibility in health care reform for millions of those that do not currently have it. >> so when you say the public option is now the preferred choice. >> i said that repeatedly in the president has said that repeatedly. >> is the public option an essential part? >> i think the president answered that on saturday. what did the president say on saturday? >> so it is essential.
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the secretary said sunday that it was not. >> what did the president say on saturday? >> he spoke positively about the public option but said that we could have it or we may not have it. he did not use the word essential. i do not have the transcript that it did say essential, why did his health secretaries say not essential? dollars they said the same thing. you cannot answer that. dollars go find a transcript and you will answer your question and wonder why you phrased it the way that you did. no offense, you do not know what the president said on saturday. go back and take a gander at the transcript. >> understanding that leading to a public option is the best way, to get health insurance companies to bring down the
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prices, is he convinced that co- ops will not be as strong but would not be able or are a viable alternative to public options? is he convinced that cost savings could come from there? >> i don't think anybody has seen a level of detail thus far were you could make a completely educated assumption on what we have seen. >> conrad said on sunday that the votes are not there in the senate for the public option. do you guys agree? >> i would have to talk to legislative affairs on that. that is what a lot of people have said. i have not talked to them recently about that exactly. >> a letter from the nationals postal supervisors, his union
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had a disappointment that you chose postal service as a scapegoat as inefficiency. as the president responded to that letter and regretted using the post office as some measure of efficiency? >> i don't think he regrets his since he repeated it. where's the aclu but in a freedom and never mentioned act request about detainees and bottom. i-- baghram. >> i saw your blog posts on this. i have not seen the letter. i do not have any other information. >> setting aside what was said
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on the weekend or not, what your policy position is is that the public option, while being prepared, is not as it. >> talk to ed. that is what we have said in june and july, that is what we have said. it was working from that, >> thath comfort to many. [unintelligible] dollars before the a.m.a. the president -- did he tell the a.m.a. that it was a deal breaker? >> thank you for that. [unintelligible] >> my question is, assuming this has been the consistent
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position, this is a position that really bothers democratic members of congress. maybe they were unclear that the president and the administration of a solemn. but the public option is optional. what you say to members of congress that are threatened to walk out? declared i would say that it is the preferred option. >> does that give them a lot of comfort? >> is the white house in a position to lead on this issue? >> i would point you back with the president said. this is on saturday. the president strongly believes that we have to believe -- we have had -- and i what did the notion of what competition is so fundamentally important to this debate -- in a monopoly, without
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consumer choice, without competition among -- competition among health insurance providers, you're not likely to see a cut in costs or competition on quality. those are the goals that the president has. >> but he could envision a scenario in which he does not have a public option. many of your party did not. >> we can live with anything that -- we cannot live with anything that does not provide choice and competition, but allows people to get the best deal possible in but the price and quality, yet they enter a private health insurance market. that is what the president's bottom line is. do we have a system that provides that choice for consumers and that competition among insurers on quality and cost? >> the president is focused on
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many difficulties, cutting costs, coverage for millions that do not have a sensibility, making this deficit neutral, which he reiterated at each of the town halls, and ensuring costs -- choice and competition. that is what is important to the president of united states. >> any costs between the president and members of congress who are concerned about this? >> rahm's fishing out west and david is in michigan. i doubt that. >> at the scene is from the republicans on the hill that they are asking on the payment from his firm, in the advertising go? >> that is ridiculous. [unintelligible]
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that agreement, i think, was made because day that started the firm. he left the firm, and is being paid because he created and sold it. that's part of the free market. >> what president will be that -- will he be delivering to the conference to mark? >> he is going to talk about it again. you're not going to see a difference in message. you're going to see the boarding consistency in -- the boa ring consistency in ensuring that we cut costs, that we take the steps that are necessary to leave the burden on families and small businesses. obviously the president will talk about the importance of providing access to affordable health insurance to those who currently do not have it.
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boring consistency. [unintelligible] the president will continue to talk about what he thinks is important in health care and it will include all those topics. >> is the white house taken aback by these bonuses authorize front aig? >> this is an agreement that we will go to the process of ensuring that it is consistent with his principles. obviously the board owants to find a ceo that is knowledgeable about insurance companies. they hopefully will get an ailing company that was once a successful insurance company and someone had the bright idea of putting a hedge fund on top of it. >> it is 80% owned by the
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taxpayers. why shouldn't taxpayers be mad when they see the ceo getting $70 million a year? bubbler the board is going to make a decision -- >> the board is going to make a decision. we are not micromanaging these companies. the government is not making these decisions. the board wants an insurance company ceo back and take a company that was one successful, and someone has the bright idea of putting a hedge fund on top of it. it is now a royal mess. i think the board wants to see some good confident leadership that can lead the company back to profitability and improve some of the investment at that taxpayers put out in order to prevent calamity to our economy.
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>> does president obama ever speak with either bill or hillary clinton about health care? >> hall is to the secretary of state was at the oval office was -- and was part of the mubarak delegation meeting. president clinton will be here later today. i do not know what they discussed health care. >> is it you're going to check on something. >> i have not actually ask and i am not entirely sure that i am not going to keep private conversations between somebody like the secretary of state and the former president between the current and former president. >> [unintelligible] >> i saw that right before i came out here. i think the solution is to the
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un generally assembley -- the illusion -- allusion is to the u.n. general assembly. the countries that will be represented at that assembly, we hope to continue to make progress but i do not know of any specific plan that the united states will present. >> will it include a freeze on israeli settlements? >> i am unfamiliar with that. you've seen with the president has said on settlements. it is hard for me to comment on something like that. >> [unintelligible] would be the consequence of that? >> i think that is a question
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largely for iraqis to debate and discuss. this is a proposal in the iraqi government that would be debated and discussed by iraqis, and that is the appropriate place that it should happen. yes, sir? >> following up on something from the beginning of the briefing, could you let us know today if the president i pre- split president mubarak statement that israel needs to get over the idea of temporary borders or solutions? can you get back to that today? is the president available of a better means of obtaining reduce costs and improve health care quality been a public option? >> there have been many ideas that have been batted around. >> is said that there was not
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enough data. there is some data nine years old this as it cannot achieve that kind of setting. >> [unintelligible] >> it's taking a look at co-ops and whether they can get more -- enough of a share this challenge private insurers. >> that is where families see their premiums doubled. i hate to surmise event -- about a 9-year-old gao report on co- ops. you have different parts of congress working on different alternatives. when there is enough information on those to evaluate definitively, we will certainly evaluate those and come to hear. >> it is safe to assume that president assumes -- seized what is in a house bills as the best option? >> the president has discussed
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the up public option is his preferred option but he is certainly open to looking at and discussing others. >> was flag@whitehouse.gov a good idea? >> yes. >> why was it removed? >> it was consolidated with realitycheck.org. it was consolidated from two platforms. >> one other issue the white house announced a public comment period on the removal of a nine- year ban on persistent cookies, the idea that you got a web sites and you can be tracked. what is the status of that? as it learned anything from the public comment about this?
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>> i have not talked to anyone about the comments. the policy of this government is not to allow web tracking technology. we are continually adding to our internet platforms in order to provide greater openness and transparency in government, and trying to do so in a way that always first and foremost protects people's privacy. that will always be what we do first and foremost. >> and this idea of allowing limited persistence cookies is consistent with that? it might come from iraq -- compromise some internet security. >> again, it is -- you should discuss that with someone else. i'm conversant on cookies but they are different from what we are discussing now.
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obviously major, we are trying to develop tools that broughton the amount of been for -- that brought an -- broaden the ease of information. if someone goes to your web site, foxnews.com, they are providing personal information to your web site. we want to make sure that we can think continue to use the best tools possible to provide information with the greatest ease and protect people's privacy, first and foremost. and that is what we will continue to do is t. >> when did this become his consistent position on health care dollars i will pull up the document that has a series of
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comments of him talking. he was asked very specifically in a press conference, in fact, in this room about whether there was a black line on the public option, and he said that it was what he preferred but he was not going to draw any black lines. >> you have said a couple of times that this has been consistent over the last three months. >> i would have to see what the early as comment was. i think nancy-and deparle did an interview on this far before that was discussed. i hate to bring up -- i can, more than a month ago, the same secretary that you quoted on sunday said something very similar on july 12, and i don't know if you read a story there. >> in his video addressed to the country in july 18, he said
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must. let me ask about the focus on this in general. do you regret that it has taken this role? >> i always forget when you make something out of this. -- i always regret when you make something out of something like this. a lot of been in your newsroom on sunday. i do not know why the secretary of health and human services said something a month earlier and it garnered a different reaction. i don't know what what i said on sunday which is exactly what she said on sunday which is what i have said in here on months, it garnered some much attention. it is a wonderful journalism review question. i am sure that someone will rightly ponder it. >> the president's schedule in
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july and early august included several public appearance about his position on health care. he was using his personal appearances. why have we not heard anything from him on monday or yet today about health care? it is committed to going forward this is, why is he not out there talking about this? >> i think he talked about health care briefly yesterday, addressing the myths and rumors that health care reform would impact the way veterans receive their health care. >> but he has not been out there specifically. >this is the quietest i have sen him on an issue. >> we just drag him halfway across the country to talk about health care. >> he comes to the podium,
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whether this one or anyone, and makes that point. why is this not the best idea here? >> i will go back to what i said yesterday. we do not think there is anything here to clear up. we think what was said -- and i will make the point again, what was said by the secretary on sunday is completely consistent with what she set five weeks earlier. >> isn't there a political problem hallway -- in the way that political groups have received this? >> we will certainly continue to work with and talk to groups and entities about their cares and concerns about health care. understanding that we are at an important moment and we can make serious progress on delivering on the promise of cutting costs and increasing but karen as disability.
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-- both care and consistent -cy. >> when president clinton was in p'yongyang, you said the last conversation was in march. >> based on what the president has told me, he does not feel comfortable discussing with everyone involved discussions that he has with former president clinton, that he might have with former president bush 43 or 41 or others. >> and the controversy involving in quebec -- glenn beck, you said that he doesn't watch cable television. is anyone monitoring at par to mark >> it is not on my top-10 list. what is the controversy? >> the remarks that mr. beck
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made and his sponsors backing away. you were not aware of that? >> keeping up with those comments would be more than a full-time job. i have got a good one. >> the president is talking about turning to the medicare advantage programs. is that important? is there any danger that some might use that to charge the president is talking about something? >> i don't doubt that opponents may seek to scare seniors. the president talked about this as far back as in the middle of the campaign. i think we did in the event at a senior center in iowa in 2007, and discussed the waste and fraud that we can see in health care and the notion that particularly among medicare advantage programs, there are a lot of reports that note
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correctly in our opinion that for $177 billion over a 10-year period of time, there is no abandons to the program. it simply seems to be a multi- billion dollar giveaway that does not seem necessary to deliver the type of medicare that seniors have come to expect. .
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i know in grand junction, it was the example he used as one of the things that funding that needed to be -- i'm sorry, the subsidy that needed to be cut. >> the drive for competition, for instance, like blue cross /blue shield in alabama, was it ever the idea to change the framework so aetna could compete against blue cross? >> that is envisioned through a health exchange -- look, understand the president's reform is built on a private insurance structure where the vast majority of people receive their health care benefits through their employer from private entities. the president is building on that system in health care reform. but part of what the president
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believes has to happen is we have to broaden some of those closed markets with that choice in competition, if not you aren't going to be able to drive down costs. >> why does the competition have to come from the government? >> it doesn't have to. but i have lived in alabama. it's a decent market and there are a lot of people there. i assume there are are some reasons why a series of private entities haven't come to seek a market that at this point, nine out of 10 people is dominated by one company. i think the a.m.a. found that 94% of metro areas face the same problem where the private health insurance market is dominated by
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one insurer that doesn't allow that choice in competition. >> president mubarak. can you say you how the president raised human rights? >> i didn't talk to dennis and those guys about the other topics. >> do you think that there is a perception among some dissidents and human rights groups that this administration has downplayed that side of the relationship in pursuit of broader issues? >> i would not not agree with the premise that we have somehow swept under the rug in either this relationship or in relationships with other countries, the notion of human rights or greater democracy dem in the world. those are important foreign policy goals that are in the national interests of this
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country. and we will continue to pursue those as well as issues relating to comprehensive middle east peace. >> in one of the factors that judges have september -- accepted the luckabee defendant might be released. several senators have urged the judges not to release the defendant. what officials, if any, has the obama administration considered? >> it's the policy of this administration as talked about by secretary of state clinton that this individual should serve out his term where he is serving it right now. that's the policy of this government. [inaudible]
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>> will most americans -- [inaudible] >> yes. >> has it been made away by the liberals who are upset over this preference issue, they're saying if you do choose to go away from the public option that you're going back to square one on this? >> going back to square one on -- >> health care reform because they are saying the whole premise was about covering most americans. >> it still is. that's one of the goals outlined a few minutes ago as tremendously important to the president along with cutting costs. >> if co-oping a preference, would it have to cover most americans because they are saying the co-op would exclude
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more than the 46 million that are not insured, millions upon millions upon millions would be uninsured by the co-op. >> i'm not sure how one would come to that conclusion. obviously, a set of insurance reforms are instituted in part of the legislation that you have heard the president talk so many times about that doesn't allow an insurance company in any form that participates in health care reform to or exist in the market to discriminate based upon a pre-existing condition or drop a patient. so i don't -- i would have to look at something to know that more people would be uninsured as a result of that. yes, sir. >> i wanted to follow up on something you said to ed. you have consistently saying at least since i have been here, that the president strongly supports the public option, but
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it's not a deal breaker. when you were talking to ed, it sounds like you were saying now he is open to other ideas. is the administration's position public option or better? >> the president will evaluate this idea or any idea based on the degree to which it satisfies the goal of choice and competition. if there is a mechanism whereby greater choice for consumers can be had through increased competition among private insurers as it relates to some policy idea, i -- he will look at that and make the determination. >> does he prefer more than the public option. will he sign a bill that doesn't have a public option? >> the president would have to be satisfied that any idea contained in any final legislation met the strong goals of providing that choice in
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competition. >> has the president have an interest in the world series of poker finals? >> i know he likes to play poker, but i will follow up with him on that. >> can you tell us how the president is going to keep his message moving forward while he is on vacation? and the other question, does he have any reaction to robert novak's death? >> i haven't had a chance to talk to him about that, so let me find out something on that. obviously, we'll have some scheduling updates for you throughout the week on events that may or may not be added on health care. obviously, there will be a certain point that the president will largely be enjoying his vacation as well as i think the
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vacation that millions and millions of americans hopefully time off they will be enjoying. i said this morning, i'm not going to get in the way of the first amendment if that's what he wants to do. but i'll put in a recommendation from april and bill. >> has the white house concluded that only a handful of republicans support health care reform? >> i don't know that that determination is ultimately been made. i think you've seen only a handful seem interested in the type of comprehensive reform that so many people believe is necessary to ensure the principles and the goals that the president has laid out.
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i think there seems to be many that don't share a desire to see cost cut, crines -- increases. >> is the september 15 deadline still operative for the finance committee? >> according to the finance committee, it is. thanks, guys. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> in a few moments, a pentagon briefing on security preparations for afghanistan's presidential election on thursday. in an hour, the americans for prosperity foundation hosts what was called the "right online" conference of bloggers. after that, president obama and egyptian president mubarak at the white house. later, secretary of state clinton's first briefing since her return from africa. >> on "washington journal" tomorrow, the director of factscheck.org will focus on the health care debate. judge andrew napolitano on his book on freedom, the roots of racism and the legacy of slavery. we'll talk about how the recession is affecting adults who haven't graduated from high
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school with david harvey and take your calls on the so-called public option in the health care debate with the american prospect. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> afghanistan's presidential election is on thursday. next, a pentagon briefing on efforts to protect voters and the status of afghanistan security forces. this is an hour. >> we've got you here in the briefing. >> today our breefers are from the australian army and the canadian forces. the chief of the election task force for the international security assistance force and
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brigadier general is the spokesman. general can'twell has been the chief of the election task force since march of this year and spokesman for the past several months. as i mentioned, both of these officers are joining us today from kabul and this is the first time they have joined us in this forum. with that, i'll turn it over to you for opening remarks and we'll take questions if you like. tlemen, i am general eric >> ladies and gentlemen, as mentioned, i'm with the chief task force election officer. hae on the streets of kabl killing
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one service member, seven afghanistan east. this vicious attack also injured in employees and more than 50 ines @ @ citians. this incident, once again proves that the insurgents have no respect for the afghan population. -- this vicious attack also injured employees and more than 50 innocent afghans. we have conducted numerous security operations over the country. and have worked very closely with afghan security partners, the afghan national police, and the afghan national army to prepare and provide a secure environment to the people of afghanistan for the elections. the objectives of these
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operations and preparations were to minimize and mitigate the risks to the lowest level possible. there will always be some setbacks. this is especially the case in places like afghanistan. as you can imagine, conducting elections make these elections even more challenging. having said that, the insurgents have averaged about 32 attacks per day over the last 10 days and around 48 attacks within the last day. clearly, they do not have the capacity to intimidate and prevent 15 million afghan voters. only 1% of 6500 potential voting people is a maxim number.
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the afghan people have expressed their determination to vote, and we will continue to support them so they have the right to choose their next president. it is now for the afghans themselves to decide their future. we're ready for your questions. >> this is courtney from nbc news. i could not understand some of the statistics you just gave in your opening statement. did you say there have been 48 attacks per day for the past four days? is that an average for the entire country? can you say how many polling stations there are. >> within the last 10 days, 10
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days ago, the average daily insurgent number of attacks against the afghan national security forces or local citizens was in the low 30's. within the last three or four days, this has increased daily to the height 40's. when we put this in perspective, the number of potential bulli pl ling sights, if you take into account 6500, 1% of that is 65. chances are when you are looking at the numbers, they are not going to be able to attack even 1% of the entire polling sites in this country. >> good morning.
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we have been working on behalf of the commander here in kabul to assist in the coronation of the activities with the elections. it is the commanders highest authority. we wish to do everything we can to support our afghan forces in the security for the upcoming election. in particular, in relation to the number of polling centers across the country, the independent electoral commission, the afghan body, which is charged with the actual conduct of the election, has stated that they intend to open approximately 6500 polling centers. that number is not yet firm, because an interest of allowing many people across the country a suitable access to polling centers as possible, we have been working very hard with
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afghan security partners to conduct area security operations to reduce the effect of the insurgents in those areas where some members of the population had not had access to a particular polling center. our polling center numbers across the country are still in the state of slight flux because the intention is to try to insure that as many polling centers as possible are able to be accessed by as many people as possible. >> can you also give us the most up-to-date numbers on other election security? how many afghan security forces will be directly involved in securing the pulling places. the rundown of the facts around the security. >> certainly. if i can describe the arrangement which has been agreed to by both my staff and
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the afghan security partners and also i would like to stress that our afghan security partners are the lead agency organization for the planning and execution of security across the country. it is important that we are able to facilitate and enable their activities wherever possible, but they are the lead agency. the afghan ministry of defence has the lead amongst the other agencies to execute security for the elections. with respect to specific numbers, rather than speak to any particular operation or details, what i will say is that the afghan security forces have committed themselves fully across the country with the intent to provide all they can within the resource limitations and the manpower to ensure that the security picture is able to be presented to the community,
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to reassure the afghan people that it is safe to move from their homes to where the polling sites are located. are in the execution of the critical process as safely as can be under circumstances and know that the security forces are working hard for them to ensure their security and safety. there is a very important role with regard to each particular polling center, we will be prepared to provide ground forces if we need to move to wear any security incidents may arise. we have a fully committed afghan national army. we have a fully committed afghan police. and we have our resources, which are fully committed to ensuring that they have the support they need to execute their very important mission on behalf of their people.
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>> i am from bloomberg news. can you talk about why it is so important considering the increase in violence in recent years in afghanistan? why is it so important that the afghan security forces take so much of the profile, so much of the lead in this operation? and how confident are you that they can really do the job that needs to be done? >> ok. i think it is very important for the afghan national security forces to be seen by the afghan people as the lead agency in execution of security for their elections. isaf is a security assistance force. we are here to facilitate and an able our assistance wherever possible.
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also, it reflects the will of the people. as you can imagine, the sense of confidence that will be generated to see, other than foreign troops on the ground nearby, they will see and interact with members of their own security force, in particular, in the first responders, the afghan national police, people they used to see moving a monk's their communities, ready to be prepared to deport the afghan national police and execution of their responsibilities. i think it is important that they are now able to step up to the task that is before them. there are is no doubt that there are many challenges. we are aware that there is an active insurgency.
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but the reason i think it is critical that the afghan security forces are seen by their people as a critical response and pro-active circumstances put in place by their own agency to reassure them that they are a security -- that they are doing the best they can within their resource limitations. we recognize that that they have some way to secure -- develop. we have been involved from the very beginning through a series of national and regional rehearsal activities to ensure that each of the agency's are in play. so that they are all aware of the challenges that would rise on the ground as we lead up to the elections and to have coordinated joint plans in place. i think it is a critical step in
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the development of both the afghan security forces, but also the country as a whole for the people to see and develop trust and confidence in their own security agency. >> what is your actual threat projection for election day? or what at this point do you anticipate for that day? my fault what is it now that you have had two suicide car bombs in the past couple of days, what is your assessment of that? do you believe there is new capability on the part of the insurgent to manufacture and deployed the suicide car bombs? what do you think is going on? >> it has been a little bit difficult to take apart the threads of the threat.
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it is difficult to say what they are looking at doing, other than what might be in place as part of the overall insurgency campaign, but the indications are that the leadership has expressed a desire to interrupt and to discredit this process. the sorts of tactics we're seeing on the ground are typical of those which we have seen in other parts of the country running up to the elections, but not necessarily related to them. this involves the use of information to intimidate, the use of propaganda, too much more murderous acts such as we have seen and as you describe that have occurred here in the last couple of days. i would like to point out that the source of threats are not
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unexpected. that is that we always look very carefully, along with the afghan partners, the source of threats which might materialize on the ground. the insurgents are often taken to offering up threats which are never followed through, but we're very careful to realize that on occasion they are able to demonstrate obscene acts of violence against not just the afghan security forces, but critically against the own people. this is a measurement of the sort of character and ideology we're dealing with. there is no doubt a very difficult enemy. one that is prepared to inflict numerous injuries and deaths to promote his own political goals. if you take that to the next level of analysis, every vote cast, regardless of who they
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know it both for, is a personal statement against the taliban. so i think it is a very honorable and critical mission that we are undertaking in support of our afgani partners. we are seeking to assist the afghan security partners to defeat the threat. we hope to build upon the successes and carry forth those sorts of ideas beyond the elections. the threat materializes in various ways and dynamic ways across the area, and those have been taken into account. we are never fully assured of what anyone will do. all that we can do is to do our very best working with afghan partners to provide the very best possible security posture in support of the afghan people and give them the confidence to take part in their political
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future. >> hope this is kevin theron from stars and stripes. -- this is kevin theron from stars and stripes. can you describe more the specifics of what does the rules amine? especially for the ground troops that have to be ready in case something happens. are they down the streets waiting in the vehicle's? how close are they? how will this affect locals? on the same factor, there are reports of the taliban threatening to kill anyone with a purple thing there. -- with a purple finger. what is their reaction to this? do you have any indicators of what they might be doing on election day?
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>> certainly the source of threats that you have suggested along the lines of threatening to carry out actions against those clearly by showing the mark on his finger, the afghan people are probably becoming brasilia to this. the people have been subject to enormous hardships over a number of years. hav)d@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ h >> we are doing everything we can to assist the people to gain their confidence so they can take part in this process. with regards to the arrangement described earlier and without describing it in detail that would be useful to our enemies, our afghan partners as the lead agency have first tier
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responsibility. if you can imagine first responders. they are the first people if there is an incident, it will be members of the afghan national police and it will be around the centers themselves. removed from that tier in the next layer and within a reasonably short distance from the center, it is intended that the afghan national army units will be in a position to not only provide a sense of security and strength in that outer tier, but prepared to move as they need to in support of their police colleagues should an incident arise. , isaf will be using a range of capabilities that the afghan do
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not necessarily have access to. for example a range of ground forces that are prepared to be able to move to either buy ground or by air quickly and responsibly to respond and assist the afghans in any incident that might occur. we have reversed this. it is interesting to see as the afghans go about their business how enthusiastic they are. it has been very encouraging. it is very important to realize that they are very aggressive once on the ground to ensure they're doing the best mission they can. that is a good thing as well. with respect to our operations, of we will be monitoring what is going on from command centers and coronation control points throughout the country.
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-- in coordination control points throughout the country. iwe will have operation coordination centers. there is one in each reason -- region and one in each province. they are supported by a number of staff and isaf staff to ensure that communications are in place and working well. if they are linked to the headquarters of the afghan military police here in kabul and also we have established communications to our command post here. i am confident that the operations we have worked through and the controls are in place are suitable to the task.
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also, we have done a number are regional and national according to the -- nationally coordinated rehearsals. the afghan ministers and the afghan leadership from the independent commission and other organizations are able to present their plans to raise series of fictitious and areas which might represent the sorts of threats which might materialize on the day. not only was this a sign of the state of maturing security agencies, but it was also an opportunity for them to take part in a discussion with the ministers. the ministers of the department for who they work ultimately. and it is thought to reassure the ministers that there is a good deal of work under way. i would like to stress that we're never quite sure what will happen, but we do have a series of plans in place to be able to
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be pro-active in support of afghan partners and to allow them to present the security picture, which is imported for the community to work with them as they go forward and take part. it is an encouraging sign altogether. >> ha it is mike miller with cnn. -- it is mike miller with cnn. what is the percentage of the country you think is going to be able to vote? and maybe i should rephrase it. how much of the country is in taliban hands where you do not think will be able to vote? and with the recent operations down south, in order to open up more sectors to voting, can you quantify it all? how much of that. do you think you have opened up to vote? and maybe total population or percentage of the country? >> ok.
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it is a great question because of course a number of polling centers that the iec that have declared that they intend to open is probably not the best measure. having said that, the advice we receive from the regional court commanders, the afghan security corps commanders on the ground, and our own commanders suggest that we're probably going to be given reasonable access -- they will have reasonable access to about 85% to 90% of those that are registered to vote. most of the registered voters, we think about 15% -- 15 million to 17 million voters should be able to take part. we think we should be able to provide reasonable access to the 85% to 90% of the total number.
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this will be shaped by the attempts and committed the confidence that is built and held by the committee members themselves. in respect of that, in particular, as you indicated, operations in the south have gone a considerable way to enhance one of the key issues which we sought to address, that is to improve access to the polling sites. police report that the operations in the seven districts, in particular, have in close coordination been able to open up a number of areas that would otherwise not have been able to take part in this process. this has allowed them to escape the insurgent threats and also with the officials able to register themselves as voters in the upcoming election, and be able to take part. that is a great news story. that is a direct result of the
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security operations which have been under way down south. they are also aimed at the insurgent threat so the population can become more normal and feel free from those threats which have existed for some time. the importance spinoff, when we are very interested to see, is that they are now able to take part in a process that without the operations they would not have been able to be able to take part in. that is a very encouraging thing. >> i have two quick things. are you able to tell us what the number of afghan forces to include the police, how many of
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them are assigned to polling places and to election security? i heard 47,000 police. does that sound right? how many army? as your forces come across afghans who say they want to vote but i am afraid of the reprisal or anything against me, what do you tell them? >> i was struck by the response by president cars are to that question -- president karzhar, and his response was it is up to the courageous afghan citizens to move forward in the face of the threat as they always have and take part in shaping the country. i think that is a pretty powerful statement. i think it would take residence with the local communities.
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i think it is important that you look at it from their perspective. the country has endured hardships that many of us would find hard to relate to or understand. they are wrote a brazilian people. -- they are a resilient people. we have been able to take part in providing that kind of security environment for them. >> can you speak to the numbers quickly? how many afghan forces are dedicated to the election? >> i think the numbers you quoted will be about right. i would say they are fully committed to the task that is before them. that is the members of our across the inp are engaged fully
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in the task this year. as well as it is important to realize that not just the election security operations, which are the forefront of our planning at the moment, are the ongoing framework operations as we call them, those are the operations going on day and night to defeat the insurgency threats and to restore a sense of community confidence among the communities in separate this groups from the threats of the insurgents as they go about their business. and there are different levels of operations under way. election security operation specific to targeting the threats along the lines of improving boater access to polling centers into reducing the effects of the intimidation tactics that we have described
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earlier among the insurgents and to encourage the afghan themselves to support and take part in the critical process. important also, we have worked very hard with afghan forces to bring forward the graduation of a number of the people from the graduation program that was planned for 2010 so that they can graduate early, trained, and equipped and in locations to provide important elements of the security apparatus that is at play here. that is important that is being brought forward. they have done that very successfully. it is a measure of how keen the afghan security forces they are. to go before i start my question. -- >> before i start my
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question. we're still looking for qnumber specifically. what are the isaf's numberg? s? is there a more specific number on that? then i will get to my real question. >> ok. i would reiterate the size -- we cannot give specific numbers and locations because it might be used by the enemies. they are fully committed to the task that is before them. an>> the afghan national securiy
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forces realize the importance of election day so they have pushed the number of to 92,000 soldiers throughout afghanistan in order to bring tighter security. when you add all the numbers, it is just sort of 300,000 troops on the ground to maintain the security of the election day. >> this >> this is the quote, unquote real question. it's actually two parts. first, could you describe maybe in a little bit more detail how the security will work for the afghans as they go to vote. will they be searched? will there be i.d.'s, certain criteria for i.d.'s.
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kabul has been targeted now in these past few days. will there be kind of no movement on the roads almost at all? could you give us a little bit of a picture so we have some idea, because at the moment it is abstract for us and then i'll go to the second question. >> if you were to picture yourself as a member of the afghan community and you cited kabul, they would have been aware and appraised of the polling center locations and they are spread across the populated areas to ensure that everyone's got quite reasonable and easy access to the polling centers. those will move, if they wish to by whatever means to where the polling center will be located. they will move through a series of checkpoints established as they get closer to the actual location. there will be a series of
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further checkpoints and security procedures to reduce the risk of insurgents moving close to the polling centers. what the security forces are looking for are evidence of suicide bombers or any hidden or perhaps even weapons they might be carrying with them. and once they have gone through a series of checks, as appropriate, there are particular arrangements in place and they will be allowed to move into the polling center as established and take part in the vote and through an approved exit, then make their way out. and again, that should be regarded as a series of tiers within an ongoing framework operation. so at all times, they will be moving within a security zone as such, particularly in a built-up area, such as kabul. the incidents that occurred
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today and last saturday will probably cause some citizens to have some concerns about moving forward and taking part in elections. i would like to remind you, this is a hearty and resilient people and are used to seeing and hearing acts of violence that many of us would stop dead in our tracks once we have seen the detail and brutal aftermaths. resilient people. it is all understood to be part of the effort by debt afghan security partners to is published -- to establish a sense of community confidence. i should also bring your attention to the point that the ministry of defence announced a
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couple of days ago an initiative which we fully support, and that was the election state initiative. the lead agency for security for the elections stated that there would be no offensive operations conducted on the day of the elections, other than that which are required to ensure protection of the population as they go about voting. they have been voted the isaf security forces to support them in that regard, and we supported them willingly. we will maintain a low profile, but agile posture in support of the sentiments expressed by the ministry of defence to allow the people to move forward with an increased or enhanced sense of community property. the ball is now in the insurgents court.
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i think the response is on the part because of his track record. but the opportunity is there for the taliban and other insurgent groups to take up the sentiment expressed in the ministry of defence statement in supporting initiatives and let the people who take part in the democratic life. we look forward to seeing positive results from the initiative, and we support the government of afghanistan and the ministry of defence and that initiative, and we hope it will bring good results for the people. of course, once the people have taken part in that process, then they will be joined by others who will be competent in the knowledge that they have taken part in the process that they are entitled to, free from intimidation, and moved the country forward in the right direction toward a developing democratic nation. >> last weely, can you give us a
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picture of where you face the biggest security challenges? and where are they under the most pressure, given the fact that in some of these places they have only recently seen international troops, literally only for the first time in a matter of weeks and there are still areas where there is no international presence? i guess what i am asking is, can you give us a little bit of picture of where you see the real challenges? a commitment is one thing, actually providing security is another. at what point can you see the election is credible? what port predict what portion of the population can vote and safety -- what portion of the population can vote in safety?
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>> i think we should be guarded in seeking to further the enemies propaganda techniques. and the willingness to cause a civilian casualties'. there are certainly some areas in the country which will not be able to take part in the process, because of the insurgent action. we have been working hard with the afghan partners to reduce the number and size of those sorts of locations. these are the areas that have been subject to taliban and other insurgent intimidation for some time. i think under the circumstances, they have to open up more polling centers, at and
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in cooperation with afghan partners, opened up areas particularly in the south where the taliban occupied is a great success story. there is a -- there was a suicide bomb and a murderous attack causing many injuries and some deaths. that sort of thing is reprehensible by any standards. we need to be guarded by those sorts of actions. we demonstrated the capacity of that in some of the areas in kabul. we're doing everything we can to support afghan partners to present those rigid prevent those sorts of things from happening -- we are doing everything we can to support afghan partners to prevent these
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things from happening. although he can use the population to hide in disguise himself from easy detection, once he tries to coincide the attacker, the resources that he needs to have in place or rejects such as a suicide bomber, the appropriate opportunity and the target that he might be seeking to attack directly, if he tries to put those things in place it exposes himself. they know everyone in these areas. if they see groups of people that do not belong there, they are very quickly to identify that as a likely threats. whene gets about activities he will in does expose himself to the sources of observation and intelligence that we have in place with our afghan partners
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to pick the threat of very early. -- the threat up very early. again, in any military operation or security operation, the enemy always gets a vote. we always worked hard to determine what sort of actions they might carry out on the ground. we look to try to be proactive and prevent these things from occurring. tragically, despite best efforts, sometimes he is able to carry out those things we have seen in the last couple of days. >> thank you. this is for both of you. i understand you both went to war colleges and to discuss the tactics to have involved, but
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what i was curious about is how do you weigh where the actual -- you would have been advantageous bought it there was to be any violence. he would obviously want to keep them away from any roads, i would assume. >> i am sorry, i have missed the question. he was talking about particular and the actions. i just miss of -- i just misunderstood the question. >> the polling sites. the polling sites themselves are picked by the independent election commission. this is their election. it is actually set up and run by the iec industry partners are
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responsible for the execution of the security. they added to the polling sites used in 2004 to get as many people a chance as possible to take part in the election. this is afghan decision. -- this is an afghan decision. they have issued a list to afghan security forces. we have worked with them to improve information that relates to various sorts of details that they need to know, we have gone out and conducted reconnaissance on the ground to look at where the locations are. some of those we have had to add just because of enemy locations and the threat that the insurgents have against these places. some have been moved. it has been very much of a
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process that has been led by the afghan independent election committee and the afghan security forces have worked out security plans in order to support the security in each of those locations. the other thing that has been at play here is the number of people that live around those locations. other things we have done to support them is to advise them as to areas where we conduct specific security operations where we could get new security. we work very hard to integrate the efforts of planning insecurity across the board, and as i said, even as the last couple of days, the final number of the polling centers will be determined by the security on the ground. as the iec becomes content with
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that advice, they will finalize the number and the last detail will be put in place to deliver the materials to the intended polling locations and also to conserve the afghan security force are arrangements on this front as to where they need to be at. we will be in position to support them in that a >> again, you said you are advisers, but you also have basically the longest history and the most knowledge. so how comfortable are they taking your advice even though that you're basically, you know, a third party capacity? >> yeah. my personal experience is that they have been very willing and
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keen to take advice and assistance. certainly we have a range of contributing nations that make up isaf. but in terms of advice, it covers the spectrum of planning, short, immediate umh and long-term planning, coordination of activities on the ground, in particular those relating to the security of the elections. although gist particular planning and sharing of information and intelligence. and i think they are pretty keen and they seem to be doing a good job and learn as much as they can. i have been impressed with the desire to talk, the cult -- it's an important aspect to their culture and settle on a plan and
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bring it to it quickly. and we have a number ofmentors and partners both within the headquarters of ministry of defense and interior and also at the operational and at the technical level where isaf troops are positioned so as to assist them in the considerations of the sorts of issues that may be at play, whether it be at the strategic, technical level. and of course, we are careful to ensure that they are seen as the lead agency. after all, this is their country. this is their efforts, this is their elections and we're not going to be here forever and will only be here as far as they want us to be here. we have come to support them, but also to ensure that as we move forward in a security sense that they are learning and developing as they go.
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and the right of the development of the security forces, not just for the elections security, but overall, has been pretty impressive to date given the circumstances. they are always keen to take part in the training. they are keen to engage. but they know things about their local communities and will be able to sbrl act with the communities that isaf troops couldn't do so. it's important for them to take the lead and we are there to support them. we are learning as much from them as they are learning from us and it's a very important and fruitful relationship on both sides of the fence. . sides of the fence. >> what do you feel about one or two more questions? >> a share. -- sure. >> this is michael carton.
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you talk about how some regions you talk about how some regions in the country will have a higher percentage of voters, but just to give us more perspective, specifically in hellman what do you expect voter turnout to be, just to give us a perspective on the south and east? >> ok. it is difficult to predict exactly on the day and measure the number of people who have the confidence you can come forward -- who will have the confidence to come forward. certainly it stands to reason that those people living in areas that have been subject to the most recent security operations will probably fall in one camp or the other pretty
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readily. they will either relish the opportunity to take part in normal activities, or they might fear that the presence of troops to remove the threat of the insurgents is such that maybe they do not feel secure given that there has been a sense of engagement and activities involving troops and aircraft near the vicinity. i think it is important for them to take part in the activities and move out of their communities and take part in this process. i would think we're looking at and reports from our commanders down south would indicate that a good percentage are likely to turn out. i know you're looking for a specific figure, but it's hard to lay a finger on it.
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we will have access for about 85% of the registered voters. given the numbers people have taken part in registration, it is a pretty good sign that they're going to move up in mid -- a take part in the voting itself. it will be hard to judge from this position, and the threats at each location can be viewed differently. the coordination that is in place is a big step forward to try to reassure them that is safe to come out and vote, but is up to the local population to get out and do the job. we will provide the security as best as we can to the afghan
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partners, but we are seeking to provide encouragement to the communities. the security is there. it is evident. take part in the electoral process. and also that you will be safe as you do so. >> thank you. >> i will ask my question. and damian cantwell where are the 10% to 15% that will not be able to participate? what is your biggest security concern for election day, considering the nationally limited capability of the insurgents as outlined at the beginning of the briefing? finally, are you worried that
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the presence of the afghan national security forces in such numbers could be as much of an intimidating factor to some voters as you will help it be -- as you hope it will be a reassuring factor? >> those are good questions. what i will say is that those areas that we are not likely to see a strong turnout from the voters probably are in the areas that have been held by the taliban for some time. in that regard, we're probably talking within hellman provinces. some areas east of the country and north and west. the truth is that it is difficult to predict exactly how much it -- how many will turn out on the day. i encouraged by the sense of
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community confidence that i have seen as we have moved through the country and taken part in some of the election security rehearsals. the report in the local media is pretty encouraging, despite the insurgents to do otherwise. the biggest threat is in the minds of the people themselves. they have to be convinced that this is their chance to shape their critical future. if you are looking for a sense of where the difficult predict most difficult challenge is, -- if you are looking for a sense of where the most difficult challenge is, it is in the minds of the people. that battle has to be rethought every day -- refought every day. . .
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to get confidence instilled amongst the people. he has demonstrated some tactics where he was quite willing to cause injury to his fellow afghan people to pursue his goal. it offers a simple taste of the source of alternatives that the taliban has been able and given a chance to offer to the people of afghanistan. it manifested in the most dangerous form and suicide dangerous form and suicide bombing in populated areas we are doing everything we can to mitigate against those risks.
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and hard and infrastructures to protect the civilians. there are range of other activities encouraging the people to take part in this process as part of a larger community. we can bring the range of intelligence gathering and other activities that the afghan partners cannot necessarily do, at least at this point. that is where we're at right now. >> with the afghan security forces could be an intimidating presence rather than a reassuring presence? >> thank you. it is true it could be seen as a intimidating parliament. -- intimidating element. there is no doubt that those operations are all about
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providing content that may indeed be brought to a question as to have indicated. these are people who are used to seeing military forces and military operations and probably view those sorts of things in a way that we would struggle to identify with. they're quite used to seeing the nature of violence and war and conflict in this country, regrettably. that have gotten used to see the presence of the unsecured forces. we're working very hard to measure the afghan security forces are those who are the most in the day-to-day visibility of the community groups we're talking about. they should seek some confidence from knowing it is their security agency that are primarily responsible for security in a general sense, but in particular, for election day itself. we are making sure we have our
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forces ready where appropriate and necessary. the afghan security forces are what the afghans was to retreat on a day-to-day basis and they should be quite comfortable with those arrangements they see every day. >> thank you again for your time. we're closing in on the one hour mark, so we will close its appearance in the back tyranny closing remarks you would like to make. appearance. we're closing in on the one or more, so we would send it back to you for your closing remarks. >> to keep. i think the government national security forces [unintelligible] security is effective. most of the rest has been
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throughout the country in order to give a chance for the afghans to vote on election day. >> the closing remark i would like to make is along the lines of a strategy. they're seeking to defeat the insurgents. we are seeking to remove the threat of the insurgents from the population. this afghan election is an opportunity for the next evolution of that tactic. that is, an opportunity for the population to remove themselves from the threat of the afghans -- i should say, of the insurgents. we're doing everything we can to support them in that endeavor and a working hard with the afghan partners is a leap forward in the security arrangements we have in place for the elections and beyond.
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and as a separate themselves from the insurgent risk, we're doing everything we can within -- to assist them in that goal. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> in a few moments, the americans for prosperity foundation hosts what is called the right online conference of bloggers. in less than three hours, president obama and presence of mubarak at the white house -- president mubarak at the white house. later, we will be air the pentagon briefing on security preparation for afghanistan's presidential election.
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>> on c-span 2, a conference with public health and hospital officials, emergency responders, and industry leaders, live at 9:00 a.m. eastern prad. >> how c-span funded? >> i do not know. i think some of it is government raised. >> it is not public. >> probably donations. >> i want to say from me, my tax dollars. >> america's cable companies created c-span as a public service, a private business initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> political blogger is met over the weekend in pittsburgh for what was called the right online conference. speakers included the americans for tax reform and michelle malkin bid to this portion of
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the event is a little less than three hours. >> good morning. welcome to the 2009 right on line conference. [applause] please, direct your attention to the television screen for a video message of our co- sponsored americans for prosperity. >> they were saying send it back. members of the group americans for prosperity demonstrated in capitol square this afternoon. >> they called the stimulus package won the barrel of pork
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loaded up for the goodies that will do nothing for the economy. >> the more the public learns about the stimulus package, the more they do not like it. >> there is one group that thinks the entire thing is a horrible idea. they signed an on-line petition. >> they put up a website less than a month ago. if they cut 100,000 people to sign. >> it is number one on today's top service. ♪
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>> you are watching live coverage. it is 2:15. we are hearing from a group known as the americans for prosperity. >> they are one of the main reasons that people are turning around. the public is on our side. >> the cost -- americans have found the what is really in this bill. ♪ >> when you look of the numbers, people have the freedom to choose. that is what prosperity is. that is what a job growth is. >> they rallied prepared their called it fight against any federal bill that will make it easier for unions to organize. >> there is a reason that people are leaving in a mass exodus. >> over 75% of americans oppose
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taking a secret ballots away from workers when it comes down to deciding whether not want to join a union i think he gave voice to what a lot of people feel right now. >> people are sick of the bailout. i have 500,000 people who signed a petition against the stimulus bill. >> get ready, chicago. >> many republicans gathered to tell the president, you do not know stimulus . it was organized by americans for prosperity. today they gathered for 80 party. it is a protest organized by the americans for prosperity. ♪ let's see how far we go. let's see how far we go. ♪
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[applause] >> leading us in the pledge of allegiance. >> a pledge allegiance to the fleck of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. thank you. >> you are welcome. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the president of
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americans for prosperity foundation. [applause] >> good morning. i hope you guys enjoyed last night, pat tumey. [unintelligible] thank you all for coming out this morning. i mentioned this last night, but we are on the cutting edge. you are in it. you are learning. you are educating yourself. we are getting better online. we are going to be to the other side. we are going to beat them because of folks like you. we are going to hear from amazing book. we have the numbers 1 and numbers 3 best selling author is on the new york times bestsellers list. did you know that?
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michelle malkin is number one. we will be hearing from them and have opportunity to book signings it. we have to of the best economics writers in the country from the wall street journal. that is my favorite newspaper. i do not know but you guys. i want a good common sense. [unintelligible] , and 80 party folks do we have here? i've met so many across this debt. -- state.
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arnett speaker was thrust into the limelight by asking a simple question. member your parents always told you to be careful what you ask for. he'll sustaining in the front yard in this guide ran for president. barack obama walked by. he was an average american. he founded the new york times and a msnbc. he found the state officials seeking without any cause into his business background. he paid a price for freedom. guys like this we need to take thank you to and appreciiate ate them. joe is here with this. he is with this in harrisburg.
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he loves his country. he is not a quitter. he is a biker. i want to introduce to you, joe and the plumber. -- joan the plumber. [applause] >> i really appreciate you coming. back in the day, i have guys that work for me. i was a communications engineer. i had guys that work for me.
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you work for the american people in one way or another. we often do not give credit where credit is due. you are powering your fellow man. would you guys are doing is absolutely incredible. we cannot do it without you. we cannot do it without the american people. that is you guys. so, really, thank you very much. my speech is usually about yelling at people to be honest. i do not believe in making people feeling good about themselves. i want them to do something. i have to relax on that because you guys are doing something. when i go to a tea parties i ask what is important to you guys. it is family, american heritage. we cannot allow them to take that away from us.
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our president wants to say this is not a god the nation. it is. i am a christian we find ourselves in the middle of a battle. mainstream media wants to profit as much as they can. left against right. democrats against republicans. try to lose that message. it does not work at all. my neighborhood is full of democrat union guys. they are good friends. we all want a strong military to protect us. we want the government to get out of our way and let us do our thing. that is what we want, right? [applause] when you are out there, take a shot at the left. i would ask you to refrain a little bit. they are your neighbors and friends. let's try to make this an american movement not a
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republican or democrat movement. conservative, absolutely. make it an american movement. that is what we need. mainstream media does its best to divide. they did that from lobbying to get textbooks that our children to read. i do not have this 100% confirmed. i saw an article about how we are no longer american. that bothered the hell out to me. i am an american. i am not a person of the united states. i am an american. they are trying to take that away from us. political correctness is another way of keeping us down. i believe in true leadership. i believe in stating exactly what you are, what you are about, and asking people to follow you. do not sit there and go left or right. he is one of many that do that.
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true leadership -- i'm not think i'm the next one, if you believe in abortion. i do not believe in it. and did not believe in it 10 years ago and i will not believe in it 10 years from now. i like my guns. i love my guns. [applause] i do not believe in same-sex marriages, that is my personal opinion. it has nothing to do it the federal government. these things are things -- i want true leadership for whoever i'm going to vote for. i would you guys to make sure you let people were present for you there are four things i want to talk about that are the necessity to turn our country around. accountability, responsibility,
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education, and constitution. [cheers} i will explain this real quick. accountability -- back when dodd was in theat aig and then d he lied. so what? he has perfect reason to say so. americans have done nothing for so long we do not hold them accountable. everyone's been what i have [unintelligible] our politicians and experts are spending trillions of dollars and we are the american people boys. that is what we need to do. when they talk about being on american and disrespectful, our
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respect nobody who lies to me and manipulates me and take my money and put my children in debt. they want me to be respectful toward them? please. [cheers] i'm not the most civilized person. i usually sit behind the woodshed and beat the living tar out of them. i do not like being lied to. you guys are doing an incredible job. you are empowered americans again. you are powering americans. accountability -- we have to hold them accountable. that is your responsibility. education and constitution -- my son is 14 years old. he is a streak a student. it is my job to make sure he is educated. it is the parents' job to make sure ino's what is going got.
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the constitution. it is black and white. it is not breathing document. all that and make sure your politicians follow that. -- follow that and make sure your politicians follow that. that is all i have today. i appreciate it. always expect -- respect your military members. thank you. >> thank you for coming out how many of you are readers or subscribers to the wall street journal? thank you for helping pay my salary. i remember who i work for.
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[cheers] want to tell you. i've not been able to spend as much time with you as i hope. i'm dividing my time as reporter between this group and you left wing of the loggers group. they have been very nice to me. last year they treated me like a pinata. it is nicer this year. people ask me the difference between the mood at this conference and the mid over there? the mood here is much brighter and optimistic. if they are leading political analysts was 1a -- they are leading political analyst -- i'm here to tell you what the truth is in the 21 year. he predicted the most likely outcome of the 2012 election is
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that liberals will lose 20% and 50% people. [cheers] i do not have to you remind you -- have to remind you when the 40 level is hit. nancy pelosi because minority leader. for to become as minority leader. we have all become this way before. the american people have been called upon. i want to give you a very short history lesson based on what ronald reagan thought of when he was the presidential candidates and president. in 1977, the free market movement was in peril.
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democrats won the white house and what control of both houses of congress. it looked bleak. ronald reagan addressed a group of former advisers in the spring of 1977 and they were all distress. he said, "be in good cheer." "i am beaten but i'm not slam. i shall lie down and rest a while. then i shall rise." reagan told us to follow him. he said "liberals only when the elections when two things happen, when we make mistakes or the people who claim to represent us make mistakes and when they [unintelligible] moderate." he said the problem is this, they need to campaign as madras
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but they cannot govern as moderates. the people who pay the bills will not have it any other way. they will not let them govern as moderate. they always have to move left reagan said "i predict jimmy carter will cover from the left. if the government from the left, he will fail. if it fails, people will notice. if people notice, they will get upset you then will have an opportunity to have another conversation with the american people. it does not mean that you have to learn from your previous mistakes. it does not mean you have to reconnect with the grass roots. you need to be in touch -- it means you have another chance to go after the vote of the american people. if you do that, you will win."
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what happens in 1978? prop 13 in california. tax revolts in even massachusetts. the 1970 midterm elections was pretty much stopped jimmy carter in his tracks. carter brought as 15% inflation. the soviet union was on the march. in 1980, ronald reagan was able to come roaring back in, when the bus lines ever "a depression -- a recession is when your neighbor loses his job. a depression is when you lose your job. recovery is when jimmy carter will lose his job. -- his job." somehow i think we are going to
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hear that line again directed at some people in congress next year. reagan won 44 states. we all know history changed as a result. in 1993, it happened again. there was a present to brocade tax pledge. the parole voters voted off on their own. [unintelligible] that allow the bill clinton to win. campaigning as a moderate, he won with 43% of the boat. 15 years later, the democrats have the white house and both houses but of ronald reagan -- houses. in 1993, ronald reagan had one final reunion with staffers.
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they were depressed. he said be in good cheer. he reminds me of his old speech. he said here we are akin, the same conditions apply. bill clinton just campaigned as a moderate. he will govern from the left bur. it the government from the left, he will fail. if he fails, people will notice and get upset and be concerned and they will rise up. was the hillary plan that crashed and burned. here are again. i say we won the last two
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battles, we can go 343. --3 for 3. this time in 77, it was people like the mail kings who were riling up these positions. in 1993, it is harry and louise. but this year, the obama people were clever. they co-opted care providers and took them into their coalition. they cut a deal with barack obama. insurance companies have been on the sidelines trying to get some crumbs from the table. they all say we have to do it because it cannot oppose it. they were not told of the seat of the table was there for lunch. it was to be lunch. the responsibility has fallen
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on you, the american people. with the new technology, the internet, buyer of videos, e- mails, you have been the people who have risen up and stopped this healthcare plan. you can stop it completely. you are now the voice of new politics. i believe we have reached a point in this country where political leadership can come from anywhere. we all know the leaders in our movement. sometimes they are really not leaders, they are followers. they watch people and they say they must leave them. you are the new leaders of american politics. you can bring about change. you are doing it as we speak. i want to leave you with these words, 1977 you prove he could stop the government. in 1993, he proved it.
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now i have a chance to do it again. they called the generation that survived the great depression the greatest generation. the greatest generation is only that until the next generation challenges. if you do again what you did in 77, in 1993, you may one day be given the term, when they ask you what you did in 2009, you'll be able to say -- we were a new great generation. we stopped a big government in its tracks. thank you.
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>> please, the managing editor of redstate.com. >> good morning. thank you for being here. when i come to these and then i start of giving a green line from abraham lincoln and start in 8286 when he was wondering why the united states has become the great state on earth. [unintelligible] his line was that in this country, every man can make himself. think about up for a minute. every man can make himself. generally, i dealt into the speech further. because of events that are upon
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us, i want to change of what normally would tell you. if barack obama succeeds, if health care passes, if cap and trade passes, people will not be able to make themselves anymore in this country. the government will make you for you. i am lucky. i'm in the one business that barack obama has been helping other than grave diggers. the rest of you in your jobs to not have a lot of it -- you are going to have trouble. we come here to try to figure out to fight and organize. if you do not know the person sitting behind you and in front of you, you probably know the people on your side. you need to know that person. we are in this together. this is actually a fight. people and not like to use that word. it is.
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together we have to fight together. this is where want to deviate. right now the left is organizing boycotts against people like glenn beck for daring to speak out against the president. they are driving advertisers off the radio. if they do -- if they succeed with him, they will be emboldened to go after other people. then they will start working on smaller people. we have to stick together. there is an organized operation in this country to shut us down. you and i are astroturf fuers. you and i to be our job without pay to go protests, we are astro turfers. the people bused in by the union that a hired on craigslist, those are the real activists.
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the congress is against this. but the majority of the american people are with us. [applause] together we can do what barack obama promised. we can change the country. we can get this country back to freedom and small government. here is my provocative statement of the day. how many of you have gone to tea parties? labette that. what you do after the tea parties? let me offer something for th. we need eight coup. i'm not hot -- we need a coup of the political parties. i'm not talking about government. i am an elected official. there are 50 republican and
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and democratic precincts. half of them have no precinct captain. to/three are filled by people who a gun to her tea parties and then who runs the local party? you take over your counties that would. once you take over that, who runs the state political party? once you run the state, who runs the national party? not washington, d.c., but you guys. we need a coup in this country. they promise hope and change. until they start cleaning up their own act, it is not going to do us any good. we will be back where we were. stop going to tea parties in
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struggling to political parties and blow them up. get involved. take them back become the local political party. become the national political party. we are a te partya country. -- tea party country. we have a local political activists. take them over. once you take those over, we take that washington and keep it. thank you. >> please, direct your attention to the television scenes from the conference chairman. >> i am from indiana. i serve as chairman for the
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house republican conference. i want to thank the foundation for allowing me to speak a few minutes. as you gather for your annual conference. last january, the political class were writing the obituary to the conservative party. after seven months of intense of legislative battles, becoming clear that all the pundits and naysayers book a little too soon. republicans have taken a stand for the american people and for fiscal responsibility, smaller government, and traditional values. the tide is shifting. that is due in no part your hard work. we learned last fall how powerful and formidable a net roots following can be for any movement or campaign. three are growing support in dedication, we are beginning to win some of that importing ground back not a moment too soon. we are living in historic times.
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[unintelligible] 7.7 million jobs have been lost since the democrats to control congress. trillions of dollars have been lost in savings and investment. many families are surely to make ends meet. as the american people make tough sacrifices do this difficult time, in washington, it is business as usual. this year, they passed a 787 billion stimulus bill. it was followed by a $4 trillion federal budget, it topped off with an energy tax and planned for a government takeover of american health care. whether it is censorship, erosion of our free market system, or taxpayer funded abortion, the assault on our cherished values is continuing at a dangerous place.
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house republicans are committed to offering better solutions. that is where you are coming in. we need your input and your voic.e you have the power to carry our message further and faster than at any time in human history. our success depends on yours. i am excited to have gathered to sharpen your tools of prepare for the battles ahead. as we look back at the last seven months, there is a lot to be proud of. many colleagues have made it stands for lower taxes and free- market economics. as we look ahead, we are reminded that much more work has yet to be done. the american people still need solutions to get this economy back on track. with each passing day, job losses continue and people face extraordinary challenges. there is not a moment to lose.
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we will continue to stand by the american people. i am delighted to have the standing with us. i was a good fit in with the today. i hope you are conference is a tremendous success. >> please welcome, and to an entrepreneur and pittsburgh radio host, glenn mikum. >> thakns. it is great to be with you. i want to talk to you about the impact of new technologies and
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old human nature. something of great significance occurred this week. a pennsylvania man, a private citizen who would never been in the media limelight before, an educated man with a long career living in canada and england, he stood up at a town hall meeting and asked democrat party senator arlen specter a question. he said, "my question relates to page 425 of the bill. according to my interpretation, requires seizures, folks like us, to have mandatory counseling every five years for dying with dignity. that is kind of scary. i am healthy and working. i am not in my twilight.
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i think you would agree with that. i am offended by this require counseling. i would like to hear your views on that subject." arlen specter who had already supported the bill to have voted for the bill including the government and of life counseling had president obama and leaders been successful -- who would have voted for the bill stood up and said he could not support of this. a media storm erupted. imagine your mother, my mother, your father, my father, you, having to go every five years to make compulsory government run session on end of life counseling. imagine that not a private discussion with a clergyman.
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not a private discussion in the privacy of your home with your family at inappropriate moments. none of that is required meeting with a goverrnment bureaucrat. when you run the numbers on that, every senior citizen -- you know numbers you get? 65,000 sections 80. -- 55,000 sessions a day. imagine the assembly line. imagine what a discussion that would be. it to be a bureaucratic paper chase. it will be an incredible violation of our privacy. the man from pennsylvania in his
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quiet and intellectual way to a spotlight on its previously overlooked component of the bill. within days, senators from both parties were crawling all over each other to say this is going to be withdrawn from the bill. the man from pennsylvania and downloaded the bill in time to read it -- he changed the debate because of this couple analysis. this is the way legislation should be scrutinized in the future. in the past, even president obama said legislation should be posted on the internet for at least five days before a votes in the house and senate. we must hold president obama accountable for this stand. we must [applause] we must insist that all bills be
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posted online for all to see with plenty tof time for people to read and analyze the bill. the results will have dramatically less air marks. the result will be much better public policy. on august 6, they spoke to an enthusiastic group of supporters. he said the following, "we have some work to do. i do not mind being irresponsible. i expect to be held responsible because i am the president. i do not want the folks that created the best to do talking.
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i want them to get out of the ways we can clean up the mess. i do not mind cleaning up after them, but i do not want them to do a lot of talking [talkingboos] there something wrong so this. first, the regular citizens to not create a mess. the mess was created by a lack of monetary policy, the liberal community reinvestment act -- a [applause] and then those banks that are packaged and sold by fannie mae and freddie mac, backed by barney frank and tons of liberals and socialists. second, it is our right in the
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first amendment to petition the government and change the grievances. it is the president's job to take the views of all americans. third and most importantly, i want to focus on the growing issue of barack obama's leadership. one day he says the will be no air marks in the spending bill. the next week there will be 9000. another day, president obama tells us he is only met rob blagojevich ones. [laughter] he said that was at a chicago bears football game. we have all seen the pictures on the internet. there are many pictures of barack obama having intimate discussions with rob blagojevich.
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barack obama tells the world that he supports a single payer government health care system. we know that. you can see in supporting a single payer health care system began to the supporters saying it does not even a trojan horse. it is right there. a week ago he says, no, it is not really single payer health care. i never really said that supported that. our president has been in office seven months. it is clear he is not know where the truth and and his allies began. [applause] -- and his lies begin. over 20 years ago, i was in the army. thank you for all your approval. and that experience, there was a lot of great leadership training. i want to read you a quick two
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quotes from the manual that i steady but then. -- that i studied back them. this authority is derived from a law. it gives the leader's power over their soldiers. it does not insure the power will be used well. they identified those that are formally [unintelligible] he become a positive leader when your troops all you out of respect and confidence and not of a fear of your authority. that was " number one. -- quote number one. soldiers want to follow leaders whom they trust and who provided them strength, inspiration, and guidance.

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