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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 8, 2009 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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to get there. he is taking that right away from us. my concern being a mom of five, when my children are young, they are so impressionable. guest: again, this is a reasonable objection. and you would like to be there with your children when they watch this, rather than having that it is given to them while they are at school, while they -- you cannot respond to them. it would be many hours later that you have seen them. it brings up another point that is almost purely logistical. people might object to this speech because it is the president on purpose, asking schools to a lot part of the first day back to school to watching his speech. a lot of parents, regardless of their political affiliation or ideology might legitimately say, you know, i might let my child to learn where their desk is, supplies are, those kinds of
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things that deal with the first day of school. the president is saying, no, i am the president and i want a pretty big chunk of your first day back to school. that is something they're reasonable people can debate and it has nothing to do with ideology. it has to do with what i want my child doing in school. host: neil mccluskey is from the cato institute. thanks so much for being with us this morning. we will be airing the president's address. c-span will carry banned at noon today when the president? to arlington high school -- we will carry that at noon today when the president talks to arlington high school. "washington journal" will return tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. goodbye. . .
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>> , returns today from the month-long august break. -- congress returns today from a month-long august break. live coverage starts here at two o'clock eastern. the senate gavels in at two o'clock eastern. senators began with a general speeches and a will continue debate on legislation to promote u.s. stores into a countries. live coverage on c-span2. on wednesday, house and senate hold a joint session to hear from president obama. leaders from both sides invited
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the president to speak. will have live coverage on c- span and online at as the health-care debate continues, you can go on line and follow the latest tweets and that video advertisements. you can share your thoughts on the issues with your own citizens video, including video from the town hall you have gone too. there is more apt c- care in 1988, president reagan spoke to students from an address in the east room of the white house. he talks about the foundations of the government and his policies. he also takes questions from students. this event was shown in classrooms throughout the country. >> ladies and dillon, the president of the united states.
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-- ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you very much. please be seated. this is a real treat for me, having you here and having a chance to answer some of your questions. thank you to c-span for showing us and thank you for inviting us into your home and school today. this marks the beginning of american education week. i am pleased to be speaking to the americans didn't, in this, i first series of speeches i will give before i leave office. before we begin, i have a special message from my roommate. she says to please, for your families, for friends, for your country, and most of all for
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yourselves, just say no to drugs. [applause] last week, the united states did something so aspect -- did something special that everyone marvelled at it. last week, the people freely elected our government. some people or -- some ballots were cast by people who are rich and famous and others were cast by normal people. they were cast in secret and counted in the open, the other way around. when the votes were total, those seeking the highest positions in the land all surrendered to the will of the people. soon, power will be peacefully transferred from those leaving office to this taking office. yes, we do this every election year. that is what some much of the world marvels that. what we in america take for granted is something rare in
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history and all too remarkable on this globe, the earth. the the united states is the world's oldest democratic government. at my age, when i tell you something is the oldest in the world, you can take my word for it. i'm probably talking from personal experience. it's not just that our government is the oldest of its kind, but it is based on the world's most revolutionary political idea -- you can see that concept in the very first line of our constitution. it begins with three simple words -- we the people. in other countries, in their constitutions, they all of constitutions and i have read a great many of them -- the difference is so small, but it is found in those three words. their constitutions are documents by the government's telling the people what they can do. in our country, our constitution
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is by the people and it tells the government what it can do. only those things listed in the constitution and nothing else can government do. in america, it is the people who are in charge. one day, you'll be those people come out there voting and creating the government. that vision of self-government was the basis for the american revolution -- the first revolution of its kind and one of the most important historic events not just for our own nation, but for all of humanity. most revelations' always just been a case -- most revolutions have always been a case for replacing one ruler for another set of rollers. for our constitution, it was announced what i told you before already, that the people were in charge of the government, not the other way around.
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but for me, two hundred years seems like yesterday. but it will prove to be america's most important guy coast. -- guidepost. it will not be so much to chart a course or launch a revolution, but to keep faith with the original revolution and remarkable vision of freedom that has brought us to centuries of freedom and is still transforming the world today. over these two hundred years, country after country has fallen our path and i believe that openly, all nations will do so. it is no exaggeration to say the political vision of our founding fathers has become the model for the world. this is true not just in the many countries that have turned from despotism to democracy these last years, it is also
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true even where it is least apparent. it is remarkable to realize that in this century, even brutal totalitarian dictatorships kneel at the feet of our founding fathers when they try to counterfeit the practices and institutions of democracy in our became -- in order to claim legitimacy for ruling their people. dictators today from alabama -- from afghanistan to nicaragua to not want to be called czar. they want to be called mr. president and pretend their role in the people's name, even if they do not. even communist dictators, holding power through force against the world -- against the will of the people, acknowledge the triumph of the american idea when they go through the motions of holding phony elections, forming a rubber-stamp legislature to ratify constitutions that will not be honored and then using your words to call their regimes democracies or republics. as a wise frenchman once wrote
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-- hypocrisy is the homage advice pays to virtue. when dictators, even in this fraudulent way acknowledge the right of the rule comes from the consent of the governed, the door freedom cracks open and cannot be very easily closed again. john adams said long before the opening shots of america's war for independence -- he was one of our founding fathers as you know -- our revolution had already occurred in the hearts and minds of the people. today, from asia, africa, and behind the iron curtain, the world is in the midst of a world foretold from the united states. the american vision was our country would be the cradle of freedom for all mankind. 213 years ago in philadelphia, james allen wrote in his diary that if we fail, liberty no
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longer continues an inhabitant of this below. our founding fathers did not fail and now it is our duty to bring the vision of the founding fathers to all the people around the world. today, to a degree never before seen in human history, one nation, the united states, has become the model to be followed and imitated by the rest of the world. america's world leadership goes well beyond the tide to democracy. we find more countries than ever before are following america's economic message of free enterprise, low taxes, and open world trade. these days, whenever i see foreign leaders, they tell me about their plans for reducing taxes and other economic reforms they're using and copying what we have done in our country. i wonder if they realize this vision of economic freedom, the freedom to work, create,
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produce, a loner, and use property without the interference of the state was central to the american revolution when the american colonists rebelled against a web of economic restrictions and barriers to free trade. the message of the boston tea party. at the steady boston tea party? because of a tax, they went down and dump the t in the harbor. that was america's original tax revolt. but we find that american and culture has also spread a round world. whether it is young people in europe, africa, going to and eddie murphy movie -- japanese children visiting mickey mouse at disneyland in tokyo, the
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international jazz festivals, the american soft drinks and rock music and blue jeans that are the choice of young people from berlin to beijing, from and not what to moscow. the fact is an entire planet is watching and following us. the same thing is true of science and technology. we lead the world in nobel prizes for science in most of the developments in computers and biotechnology have been made in the nine states. i can be the only one who had noticed that the soviet space shuttle that was supposed to go up at 10:00 tonight, it looks very familiar, an awful lot like ours. other countries may try to copy what we do, but as repressed accelerates, our leadership will become even greater. these technologies will change the way people all over the world live and change things for the better.
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i have seen remarkable technological change in my lifetime. maybe i'm going to date myself as belonging back with the dinosaurs are something when i tell you this, but just think, i can still remember my first ride in an automobile. the four cars, we won by a horse and buggy. forces were fuel-efficient but a slow. if you wanted a supercharged 1, the fed in an extra bag of votes. in pursuing education, there's one thing would like to pass along to you. we should always remember there are things that change in things that don't change. the machines will change, the horse and buggy to the automobile and so forth. but the people will not. the permanent truths that give meaning to our lives did not change. they are permanent. the values of faith and family will be just as true when people
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are living on distant planets as they are today. for america to gain the biggest benefit from all the exciting technologies that lie ahead, we also need to reaffirm our traditional moral values because these values are the foundation on which everything we do is build. so, yes, i would encourage you to study math and science at the basis of the new technologies, but in a world of change, you also need to pay attention to the moral and spiritual values that will stay with you, unchanged, throughout the long lifetime. again, i would say the most important thing you can do is to ground yourself in the ideas and values of the american revolution. that is a vision that goes beyond economics and politics. it is also a moral issue. grounded in the reverend sun face of those who believe that with god's help, they could
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create a democratic nation. they designed a system of government that in john adams' words was suited only to religious people such as ours. our founding fathers were the descendants of the pilgrims. men and women who came to america, seeking freedom of worship and, a prosperous year and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. -- offered -- new line by renewing our commitment to it and our values, the american revolution and the principles of we the people, we can best preserve our liberty and expand the progress of freedom in the world, the purpose for which america was founded. here on incontinent nestled between two motions, our country is unique in the world. we have drawn our people from virtually every other nation on earth. what we have created here as americans has touched every corner of the globe. here in the white house, there
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is a famous painting of the signing of the declaration of independence. it shows many of the great men of that time assembled in independence hall in philadelphia. when you look closely at the painting, you see some of the figures in the hall are just out lines, waiting to be filled then, the faces have not yet been drawn. you see this great painting is not finished. what the people gathered in philadelphia two centuries ago set up to do is not yet finished either. that, i suppose, is why the painting is the way it is. america is not yet complete. it is up to each one of us to help complete it. each one of you can place yourself in that painting. you can become one of those immortal figures by helping to build and renew america. we are entering one of the most exciting times in history -- a time of unlimited possibilities, bounded only by the size of your imagination. the depth of your heart and
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character of your courage. more than two centuries of american history, the contributions of the millions of people have come before us have been given to us as our birthright. all we can do to earn will we have received this dream large dreams, live lives of kindness, and keep faith with the unfinished business of the greatness and wonder of america. now it's time for me to ask you for your questions. but first, i would like to ask you one. what are some of the things you are proudest of and some of the things that are best about america? maybe i can take a couple of comments here at someone has a comment. >> [inaudible] and so happy america is a free country and we have a president
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such as yourself to help us in any kind of way such as drug- related events and other things. i'm grateful to be an american. >> did you have your hand up? >> [inaudible] >> could you speak louder? >> one thing i am proud of is you can choose what school you go to, whether it's private or public. >> yes. anyone else? we will get down to questions. what you're talking about with your freedom, and the one country, the soviet union, when it comes time to graduate, government representatives come
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in and point out to the individuals where it will report to work after they graduate. the government tells you what you're going to do. not like ours, where we decide, each one of us, what we are going to do and then set out to do it. let's have some of your questions. >> mr. president, do you plan to work with your wife on the say no to drugs program? >> yes, i am already. we have appropriate quite a sum of money for the drug battle. we have actually got more convictions of drug peddlers and longer sentences for them than any other administration. we have intercepted more drugs and airplanes, boats, trucks,
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and cars that carry an than anything -- they carry them, then any thing that has been done before. but that is not the answer to drugs. they can still get drugs and to our country. it has to begin with you, the young people. you have to decide no to drugs. in other words, if we cannot keep all the drugs from reaching customers, let's have the customers turned against the drugs. that is the answer. there is some success in that. a few years ago, one out of nine high-school seniors had tried drugs. today, it is less than one out of 30. so we are gaining on it. >> [inaudible]
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>> i'm having a little trouble here. >> [inaudible] >> have we carried out the plan said by the founding fathers? i did we have subscribed to that. when we came into office, there were some things we thought were very wrong, including the fact that there are more people unemployed, inflation was robbing the people of earnings and their money, interest rates were high, and in these last several years, we have not only restored prosperity, but we have created almost 18.5 million new jobs added to the jobs already there so that unemployment is so far down that today, of all the
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americans, 16 years of age and up, that pool of people 62.7% of those people have jobs are employed today. more important than that, we have restored the belief in america's freedom and the obligation we have to our country. i think there is more patriotism today. we have been in a time when people have gone [inaudible] about those things. >> i was wondering what was the most important thing you wanted to accomplish that you were not able to accomplish as president. >> i can sum up very briefly.
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the federal deficit. for over half a century, our government has been spending more money than it takes in. we have a plan working now that is aimed at 1993 of bringing this down each year. last year, we reduced the deficit by $70 billion. this year, we are aiming at another 30. that is the thing and i think we're going to have to have and what i want to strive for is an amendment to the constitution that requires the government every year to balance the budget. in doing that, a tool for the president called a line-item veto. you probably don't know what that means but i will explain quickly. the line item veto -- congress has ways of putting into bills and number of things, instead of
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just a bill to get one thing accomplished. with all these hidden things and some of them are appropriations, spending bills, and so forth. the president either has to veto the whole bill or let it become law. sometimes, they attach them to a bill that you cannot veto. line item veto is what i had as a governor. 43 governors in the states have a line-item veto. you can go into the bill, pick out a single item that has nothing to do with the whole bill and a veto that. i think the president should have that like the governors do. >> >> [inaudible] >> i don't believe it is that big a problem. you mean our federal deficit?
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this thing we have going along -- there will be a time in the future where government bonds come due and so forth and will be the taxpayers and paying them off. if we can get this plan we're working on into effect, that will come along gradually as those bonds come due. i don't think that will be a great threat to the economy. the truth of the matter is, that as our federal debt is, it is much milder than many other countries as a percentage of our gross national product. >> [inaudible] do you think it's possible to decrease the national debt without raising taxes on the public? >> i do. that is a big argument going on
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in government and i believe it is because one of the principal reasons we were able to get the economy back on track and create this new jobs was we cut taxes, we've reduced them. taxes can be such a penalty on people that there is no incentive for them to prosper and earn more. because they have to give some much to the government. what we have found is at the lower rates, the government gets more revenue. there are more people paying taxes because there are more people with jobs. there are more people willing to learn more money because they get to keep a bigger share. today, we are getting more revenue at lower rates than we were at higher. i studied economics in college when i was young. i learned about a man who lived
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1200 years ago in egypt. he said in the beginning of the empire that rates were low, but the revenue was great. he said in the end of the empire, when the empire was collapsing, the rates were great and the revenue was low. >> i emanates grader at jefferson junior high school. -- i am and 8 greater at jefferson junior high school. education opportunities for blacks and other minorities have not been -- there hasn't been a great deal of them. during near-term in office, what have you done to include those educational opportunities for us? >> we have vastly increased the amount of federal money going into education. remember education has always been the province of the state
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and local communities. the share of cost of education is not as great for the federal government. we have increased it, we have increased the money available for scholarships and for workfare programs for students have to work their way through as i did. also for loan funds. i can assure you that with regard to any hint discrimination, we have been more than any other generation or administration i should say to punish those who attempt to discriminate and make sure the opportunities are equal for all. one of the great things our ministrations did when we came in here was immediately turn to
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helping something i think is historical wonderful in our country. that is the negro private colleges and universities. we helped one of about that was facing bankruptcy and bailout so now they are proceeding in a better situation than they had in the past. >> [inaudible] >> i think the new frontier in the whole world is out there in space. we have made such progress and it has proved so rewarding. this is not talked about much in
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many of you don't realize that experiments conducted on this shuttle up there in space, all kinds of things that have nothing to do with space have brought benefits to us back here. firemen, for example, a fireproof fabric has changed and made their fireproof garments that they have to wear in battling fire much lighter. certain medicines in which only in gravity-free space can achieve certain mixtures. they have come up with things that have been beneficial in that way. this is very important that we continue to do this. we were set back by the challenger tragedy, but we must continue. >> i was wondering what you and
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mrs. reagan feel about the new gun ban law? >> well, i think there has to be some control, but i thought in california, we had a system that was probably the best. i have never felt that we should, for the law-abiding citizens, take the gun away from them and make it impossible to have one. i think the wrong people will always find a way to get one. what we had was, even today when i go back to california, if i want a gun and go into the store to buy one, i have to give them money, but i have to wait a week, no matter who i am. i have to wait a week in comeback to get the gun because in that week, my name's is presented to an investigative
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element in the state that checks to make sure i have no criminal record, no record of problems or anything of the kind. then and only then can you pick up a gun and take it with you. let me tell you something -- at the strangest letter when i was governor. there was talk about having the gun ban in california. it did not go through, but i got a letter from a man in san quentin prison. he wrote me a letter to tell me he was in there for burglary. he was -- he was a burglar and said i just want you to know that is that what goes through, here in san quentin they will be celebrating throughout day and night while the burglars who are imprisoned because he said we can watch house we plan to rob for days, we can learn habits of the people living in that house to know when the best time is to go in and rob it. the only question we can never
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answer is does the man in that house have a gun in the drawer by his bed. that is a risk we have to run. he said if you tell us in advance they will not have a gun in the drawer, he said the burglars in here will be celebrating forevermore. i thought he made some common sense, and i don't know why he ever chose to send that letter to me. >> do you think the saturday night special should be banned? >> i don't have very much of a quarrel with a very cheap weapon that makes it so easy for the wrong people have been done. i would like to see as concentrate on what i described in california of making sure anyone who buys a gun is a responsible citizen and not bent on crime.
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>> thank you very much on behalf of the students. >> wendy thing the first woman president will be in office? >> i don't know, but believe me, i'm certainly not against it. i have a feeling that probably the first thing that happened is there will be a woman vice- president and then that will open a door to that. i have no quarrel with women being president at all. as a matter of fact, the statesmen in the world i have met i respect the most is the prime minister of england, margaret thatcher. she has done a remarkable job for england. it takes a little getting used to on the part of some people,
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but i think it is inevitable that in this country there will be a woman president. they have come up in so many different fields, but it is my feeling that probably, rather than one of them entering the fray to run for president to begin with, it would probably start with one of them, as we did in the election in 1984, have one running for vice president. she did not make it, but that might be the start of it. i welcome it. i have to quit. i'm sorry about some hands. maybe you have to write your -- [applause] i just want to tell you one
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thing about our country and i will leave. this is a letter i received not too long ago from a man who wrote and told me this -- he said that you can go to france, but you cannot become a frenchman. you can go to live in germany or japan and you cannot become a german or japanese, or go to turkey and become a turk. but the one place in the world where anyone from any corner of the world can come -- america, come to live, and become an american. no other country has that but ours. this continent i have always believed must have been put here for a purpose, between the two great oceans, because it had to be found by people who were dissatisfied with the lack of freedom of religious persecution in their own countries and came, and all the together in this
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great melted pot and created the united states of america. -- melting pot and created the united states of america. [applause] [applause] >> president obama talks to students today as the school year begins. we will have live coverage at noon eastern from suburban virginia high school. the white house has posted the preston's remarks in advance and you can find a link on our web site, in 1991, president george h. w. bush gave a similar speech. we will show that speech now. >> class, we are honored today to have a very special guest. on behalf of alice field jr. haskell, a student -- a school
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committed to excellence, i am pleased to introduce you president george bush. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for allowing me to visit your class room. to talk to you and all the students. millions more across classrooms all across the country. long before i became president, i was a parent. i remember the times my kids came up with a really tough question or difficult decision. i tried my best to never shut them down with a quick "no," i would simply say the three magic words that made the problem disappear -- ask your mother. let me tell you why i made the trip from the white house to
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alice deal junior high. i'm not here to teach a lesson. you already have a good teacher. i'm not here to tell you what to do or what to think. maybe you are cost -- and you are accustomed to adults talking about you and at you. today i am here to talk to you and challenge you. education matters. what you do today and what you do not do can change your future. every day we hear more bad news about our schools. maybe you saw today's headlines -- i don't know if you had a chance to look at it -- about the release of the national report -- let's get the camera to come in and take a look at this for a moment. in math, for instance, this national report card shows that nationwide 5 of 68 graders don't know the math they need to move
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up to the ninth grade. -- five of six eighth graders don't know the math they need to move up to the ninth grade. i don't see this report is just bad news, and i will tell you why. this report tells us allot about what you know and what you don't know. it gives us something to build on and shows us our strength and weaknesses we have got to correct. it sets forth a challenge to all of us. work harder, learn more, revolutionize american education. i know you have heard about percentiles, surveys and statistics, but here is what all that fancy talk really means. education means the difference between a good future and allows a one. -- a good future and a lousy one. it doesn't give this excuses.
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are scores tell us where we are and where we need to go. i mentioned earlier the bad news we hear about school today. what we don't hear enough about are the success stories. all over america, thousands of schools do succeed, even against tough odds, against all odds. kids from all over the district of columbia petitioned to get into alice deal school because parents know the school works. it works because of teachers like the one standing over here who decided at the age of 25 -- maybe you know this, but people run the country cannot -- she decided at 25 she wanted to teach. she was standing in a supermarket checkout line when she sought a magazine ad about college.
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she went back to school, work troy threw in seven years, waiting tables to pay tuition. and she made it. -- worked her way through in seven years. this school works because of students like the ones with me today. students like rachel rash -- and member of the award winning math counts team. you and six other students in this class along have taken part in the john hopkins talent search. they took the college entrance exams on an experimental basis last year as seventh graders. even in junior high, some of them scored well enough to get into college right now. let's put that on the line. you have the brains.
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now put them to work. not for me, but for you. progress starts when we ask more of ourselves, our schools, and yes, you our students. we made a start nationally by setting six national education goals to meet the challenges of the 21st century. by the year 2000, at least nine in every 10 students should graduate from high school. we should be first in the world in math and science. we need to regularly test students' abilities. every american child should start school ready to learn. every american adults should be literate. every american school should be safe and drug-free.
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teaching those goals is the aim of a strategy we call america 2000 -- a crusade for excellence in american education, school by school, community by community. what does all this mean? fast forward five years from now. unless things change, between now and 1996, as many as one in four of today's eighth graders will not graduate with their class. in some cities, the dropout rate is twice that high or higher. imagine -- at a total of nearly 3 million of your fellow classmates nationwide, an army of more than half a million dropouts. i ask every student watching
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today, look around you. count four students, start with yourself. no one dreams of becoming a dropout. but far too many do. which one a few will make it through school? -- which one of you won't make it through school? each one of you can. let's make a pact right now. let's work to say five years from now you and your friends will be more than said statistics. give yourself a decent shot at your dreams. stay in school, get that diploma. with a back to the future. -- let's go back to the future. in the fall of 1996, nearly half of today's eighth graders who get their diplomas will enter the working world. more than half the graduates will stay in school and become
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the college class of the year 2000. the question each student watching today should ask is where will i be? where will i be five years from now? levee holding down a good job and working -- will i be holding down a good job or will i be out of school and out of work? will i be on a college campus or on the streets? think about that tonight. when you're at the kitchen table doing some homework, while your parents are meeting your teachers, like so many millions do this year at back-to-school nights all across our great country. i am asking you to put two and two together. make the connection. between hallmark you do tonight, the test to take tomorrow -- between homework you do tonight, the test to take tomorrow, and where you'll be five, 15, even
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50 years from now. the real world does not begin somewhere else, some time in the distant future. the real world starts right here. what you do here will have consequences your whole life. let me tell you something. many of the may find very hard to believe this. you are in control. you are thinking how can the president say that about kids like us when we don't even have a driver's license? but think about it and you will see what i mean. think about drugs. you see films and hear police experts and speakers from the outside. you get lectures from everyone, movie stars, athletes, teachers, athletes, friends. you know and i know that all the
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drug prevention programs all the preaching in the world will pull you through the critical moment when somebody offers drugs. at that moment, everything comes down to you. yes or no. you have to choose. the answer will change life. your parents will make that decision. your teachers won't make that decision. -- your parents won't make that decision. your friends won't make that decision. it's up to you. it takes guts to take control. a sound body and a sound mind, they go together. my friend arnold schwarzenegger says -- he is all over the nation talking with students about the importance of that this and real fitness means no drugs. studies show a decline in drug
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use and that is encouraging. every student who draws the line against drugs deserve credit for that. drugs and violence continued to threaten every school, every small town in suburb in america and, as students, you have a right to be physically safe at school. you should never have to worry that a quarrel in a hallway will lead to gunfire in the playground. fear should never fall you into the classroom. -- should never fall you into the classroom. if you have to take a different way home to not crossed paths of a gang and outsider from the halls of your school hassling students, you must take control. go to your teacher or go to your principal or your parents. as difficult as it may be, go to the school board if you have to. demand discipline.
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if good people chickened out, that people take control. together -- bad people take control. together, we can drive guns and drugs and senseless violence out of our schools. when it comes to your own education, what i am saying is take control. don't say school is boring and blame it on your teachers. make your teachers work hard. tell them you want a first-class education. tell them you are here to learn. lockout the kids to think it's not cool to be smart. i can't understand for the life of me what's so great about being stupid. if someone gives off today, are they still cool years from now when they're stuck in some dead-
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end job? don't let pressure stand between you and your dreams. take control. challenge yourself. only you know how hard you work. maybe you can fake your way into a job, but you won't keep it for long if you don't have the know- how to get the job done. maybe you can cram a week before the marking period ends and turned at sea into a be. but you cannot conway pass the sat and into college. if you don't work hard, you will get hurt. if you cheat, who pays the price? if you cut corners, if you hunt for the ec a, who comes up short?
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-- if you hunt for the easy a, the comes up short? you do. you are in control, but you're not alone. people want to help you succeed. people like your outstanding teacher standing here today. from your principal to your custodian, right now in classrooms across this country, in the communities you call home, when things get tough, when answers are hard to come by, there is a teacher, parent, a friend, or family member ready to help you. they want to see make it. if you take school seriously you will not have to settle for just any job. you will have a career and if you make your business to learn,
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one day you'll be better parent. you may not think about it now, but one day your children will want to look up at you and say i got the smartest mom and dad in the world. don't disappoint them. let me leave you with a simple message. every time you walk to the classroom door, make it your mission to get a good education. >> president obama talks to students today as the school year begins. we will have live coverage at noon eastern from suburban high school. the white house has posted those remarks in advance and you can find a link at as well as speeches by ronald reagan and george h. w. bush. congress returns from their long august break and it returns to a number of bills dealing with federal lands and historic
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sites. live coverage starts at two o'clock. the senate also dabbles in at two o'clock. they begin with speeches and will -- the senate also the gavels then at two o'clock today. bill begin speeches and that starts at 2 eastern on c-span2. will have live coverage of president obama's joint session -- address before a joint session of congress live wednesday at 8:00 p.m.. >> the supreme court has a rare special session tomorrow, hearing a rare argument on the campaign finance case. also marks the first time on the bench for justice sonya's side -- sonia sotomayor. here is chief justice robert on what it's like for a new justice. >> to some degree, it is unsettling. you quickly begin to view the
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court as a court composed of these numbers and it's hard to think of it as it involving anybody else. it's how people look at their families. how can they be different? you do get new arrivals in both of those situations. it is a tremendous sense of loss. justice white always said when a corrugating new member, it changes everything and changes everybody. -- when a court that gets a new member, it changes every but every -- everything and everybody. more fundamentally, it can cause she to take a fresh look at how things are decided. a new member is going to have a particular view about how issues should be addressed that may be very different about the lead you have been falling for some time. it is an exciting part of life at the court. >> hear from other justices as part of supreme court week.
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c-span looks at the home of america's highest court starting october 4. >> tomorrow, the nation's highest court hears arguments on the campaign finance case. the issue is whether the government can ban corporations from spending money to support political candidates. you could hear oral arguments at 11:30 eastern on c-span3, c-, and c-span radio. >> while the u.s. senate meets, off the floor, a number of senators will be negotiating on health care. charles grassley is one of them. "washington journal" talk with him for about half an hour.
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guest: guest: we are going to have until september 15 to continue our discussions that went on, just a couple of telephonic conferences that we had. otherwise, not much since august 5. staff has been doing an awful lot, but the president's speech speeds up. senator baucus feels like the finance committee will be left out of the president announces something wednesday. he would like to have something put together for consideration and we are meeting at 2:30 this afternoon to see whether or not this can be a bipartisan proposal or another one. bipartisan would be the sixth
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agreeing to something. but of course bipartisanship is not the republicans and 58 democrats. you have to have a broad coalition of people that will be supporting it. i do not say that because it's an end in itself, but there are a lot of issues that could be cited with a few republicans and at a lot of democrats. we're talking about restructuring 16 of the economy and we're talking about health care. that is life or death for every american. senator baucus and i have been talking throughout this year that we should do this with 75 or 80 votes, not just 60. host: let's look a comments president obama made yesterday during a speech in ohio. >> i have a question for all of these folks that say we're going to pull the plug on grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants. you have heard all the lies.
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i have a question for all those folks. what are you going to do? what is your answer? what is your solution? you know what? they don't have one. [applause] their answer is to do nothing. . ã
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that is revenue neutral or does not increase the deficit. it also reduces inflation in health care. and those two things not adding to the deficit and reducing inflation to the health-care is two most immediate goals that any plan should half. should have. whereas the president is talking about what is coming from his party, because they are partisan, coming from christopher dodd's committee -- the cbo says that they add to the deficit and does not do anything about health care inflation. so what is the point of doing anything? if you want to get what is happening at our town hall meetings, democracy at work, people are scared to death about
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the deficit. that is not just about health care, it is just the straw that broke the camel's back. it is really the stimulus not working. the federal government shoveling out money and nationalizing and general motors. a budget that tripled the national debt. and then you hear about $1 trillion health care bill coming from the house committee, and you know, they come out in droves of the town hall meetings because they are fearful that we are not going to leave the country in good shape for the next generation. host: the situation of so-called pulling the plug on grandmother has got a lot of attention. do you think that is adding to the fear in the country? is it being correctly used? guest: there are other people
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higher up in the hierarchy that used that, and it was wrong. if it was wrong for him, it was wrong for me. if you listened to my statement, you would think that i was giving a speech, and blaming the whole issue. then some newspaper said something about sarah palin. sarah palin said that, presumably, before i said it, about that the panels. so i was in a town hall meeting in iowa and a person stands up -- like you could stand up now, and get a copy of the house bill from the internet. what it says is well intentioned. host: you are talking about end of life counseling. guest: yes, i do not agree with
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how they are doing it, but it was nothing new for me to say i do not want the government involved. i want the families involved. i answered it that way. if you connect several doffed, you have a concern about -- dots, you had a concern about saving money, concern over a government-on health care plan, and then you have the veterans administration putting of a book saying that everyone needs to do with the end of life issues who is in that situation. put all of that together, and frankly, between government running everything and paying a doctor to give that advice, everyone figures that the government will be in the middle of the end of life issues, as they are in england, for example. host: next phone call from
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georgia. caller: i work in health care and i have heard people say that we do not get health care -- we do not turn anyone away at my hospital, whether you have insurance or not. how come we need to have government to run it? why not have legislation that makes insurance companies responsible for covering the uninsured. i have been told that my premiums are high as they are because they go to cover the uninsured, to offset that. i do not always want to turn to the government. insurance companies are making a lot of money. i know that i have used very little of my interest but i pay my premiums every month. that is my concern. our government is broke, why do we want to put more debt on it?
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guest: several things you say is accurate. -- are accurate. you are right, the emergency rooms provide coverage for everyone, and it is a very expensive form of medicine. that brings us around to the fact that we do not want the government to run it -- i should say, i do not want the government to run it, and that is why i am against the public option. there are other possibilities out there, like one congresswoman saying we needed a public option for those of us who wanted to go to canadian- style single payer. that is why i am against single payer because i do not want the government to nationalize health insurance.
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you need to continue to talk the way that you have because there are a lot of people in congress who do want the government to run it. i am working to prevent that. what we do to solve the problem of expensive health care through the emergency room is to move the people who do not have insurance, with some help, through a tax credit, into a private insurance. so they have a choice. whereas, if you are under a government-run system, you have no choice. guest: let's talk about some alternatives to -- host: let's talk about some alternatives. in a public option exchange -- there is a public option exchange. guest: i think senator snowe is
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working very hard to find some middle ground probably the most where she finds middle ground -- middle ground without having anything to worry about. there would be a backup plan, a trigger. i believe that will be interpreted by everyone as just a step away from public option, one more step away from canadian everything. so i cannot support the trigger. in response to co-ops, yes. if they are like the other co- ops that we have run in the country for 150 years, governed by the consumer, and all the benefits flow to the consumer -- in the case of health insurance cooperatives, they would be
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regulated by the state's, the same way any insurance company is regulated. then i think that is a reasonable alternatives. i do not think it is absolutely necessary, but is a political issue you are trying to deal with. the reason i say it is not necessary -- there are two principles that would put an end to our tent to get a bipartisan plan. you do away with the discrimination of pre-existing conditions. you make premiums affordable for everyone. you do not have caps on what can be paid out. then the other one is affordability. so we have tax credits for people who cannot afford it. if you want everyone covered -- and that means 96% of the
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people. someone is going to play the game. the bottom line is, why you need a public option if we are already covering everyone? host: barbara on the democrat line from washington. caller: good morning. how is everyone? thank you for c-span. i just do not understand why people are against helping all americans. my son had three heart surgery's before he does two years old. i had to quit my job to take care of him. we could only afford to put him on cobra, which was $356 a month, back in 1988. then use the rest of our money
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to pay the bills. that came to about $10,000. all of our savings. we have never caught up. we have been struggling ever since. guest: well, i think what our bipartisan plan would do is, first of all, if you are denied insurance because of your boys pre-existing condition, we would do away with that. you have low premiums and high premiums, sometimes 30 times difference. we would make those premiums more affordable for everyone. in the case where you had so many surgeries, maybe you have a cap that the insurance company has that they will pay for one person. we would do away with that as well. copays can mount up to a lot.
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there could be a limit on that. but we are trying to do it is reform health insurance, but at the same time, we are not just trying to say health insurance companies have to absorb this by increasing everyone's premiums when you have so many millions of people who are giving tax credits to be injured. obviously, there will be more people under the umbrella and you will spread the risk of two people who are not under the plan today, and we on to do that in a private sector way. buying health insurance of their choice because there will be in exchange to go to to get all of the programs available and compare prices, a consumer- friendly sort of exchange.
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reforming the private insurance companies. then in the case of you, you had to quit your job. there would be some help through the tax credit. host: we have had very on the independent line. calling from new mexico. caller: i find this to be extremely complicated, just like your answer to that particular persons question. it is also complicated. the democratic and republican plan. personally, i do not like the health-care system at all and want to choose the way i want it. i would not go to the emergency room because the cost is so high. i voted for obama because he said he did not want to mandate the system and now it seems the republicans and democrats want to go into a mandated system.
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first of all, i feel like the health-care system itself is health-care system itself is guest: well, there is a lot about what you say, without a doubt. and some of the things you said are complicated and also controversial. if you mentioned them all. what you said the italians, the health-care system is broken, not the health insurance system. a lot of the things that the legislation does that does not debate -- as much attention because it is not so controversial is the mental health care system. reimbursement of doctors under medicare based upon quality rather than quality. so the doctor says i want to see you every day during the weekend a place on sunday because he gets paid every time he sees you. this is an effort towards a six
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system as opposed to a health system. we want to move to a health system with emphasis on prove -- getting medicine and reimbursing doctors based on quality instead of quantity or pay for performance. with the emphasis upon -- we do not pay enough attention, for instance, to the five maladies that eat up 75% of the health- care dollars. like for instance, diabetes. we want coordinated care systems to monitor them to a greater extent. we have had several people testified from many places. and organizations that do coordinated care. care. we have a group in cedar rapids, iowa that does that. you've enhanced coverage can
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save money. these all all efforts to do what you say, to change a health care system that is broken, not the health insurance business. although we are going to make some changes in insurance, as i said before. host: you have made some predictions about a scaled-back version of the health care bill. what would that look like, and would initiate from your committee? guest: the document senator baucus put out would not fall into the category. it is about $900 billion. i was hoping for something in that $700 billion range would work. we are going to talk about these things this afternoon, so i do not draw any lines in the sand. the reason i came out with something around $700 billion,
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it seemed that we have offset that were fairly easy to arrive. we do not want to add to the deficit. another thing is, i think i have heard some of my colleagues responding to democracy at work, these town hall meetings. i had a 17 of them in my state, 12 in just the last week. for instance, i get a message from those meetings, the deliberate, slowdown. how can you spend $1 trillion when you have all of this deficit? people do not realize that a lot of that money is saving money within health care through some of these reforms we are talking about. this is not $1 trillion in new money, but that is not the way that it comes out in the press.
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so everyone thinks it is trillions upon trillions. where rent my goal and senator baucus'goal is not to add to the deficit. host: next phone call from jonathan. co ahead. caller: thank god for c-span. how long have you been a member of the congress? guest: this is my fifth term. caller: so 30 years, correct? and when was the last time you had to decide whether you were going to buy food or health care for your children? your salary is about eight times with the average american banks. to be honest, you live in a bubble and does not realize what
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the average american goes through. guest: you asked me in the last time. 1961 through 1970 when i was a member of the international association of machinists. i was a furnace maker in iowa and i spent 10 years putting screw holes in furness registers. in that time i have to worry about whether i was going to buy food or other things. that was two jobs that i had at that time. host: did you struggle with health care, insurance at that time? guest: i was like a lot of early 20, 30-year old people. i never thought i was going to get sick and i did not need insurance. he'd been no my company had a plan for us to join, i think i was not covered for about seven
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years out of the 10 years that i was there. if you are working where they have health insurance, and you or 20, 30 years old, and you never think you are going to get sick, maybe that is true. but if you have the chance to get injured, you should do so. about 30 million people out of the 50 million who do not have insurance fall into that category. host: we have david on the democrats' line. georgia. caller: senator grassley, when are you republicans going to care as much for the citizens as you do for big business? insurance companies -- many people are going broke that have insurance. 700,000 bankruptcy's a year are from people who have insurance. the insurance companies will not
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pay. i have a little sister who is in debt $27,000 and as united healthcare. guest: those are all good questions. first of all, i would advise anyone in the state of iowa that as having trouble paying two things. one, congressional offices do not have control over private insurance companies but if you could get your congressman to write a little for you, if you are entitled to something from your company, and you are not getting it, you ought to try that. we also have to the insurance commissioners in the state that are supposed to be there for people who are not being delivered the promises of insurance, whether it is life insurance, casualty insurance, or health insurance. the most difficult thing to
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answer is the political question you brought up. when a republican going to be concerned about this? i am a republican, what do you think i am doing working with senator baucus to come up with a bipartisan plan to solve all of these problems? we have discussed all of these problems with other colors so i will not go into them. as i said on cnn this morning, if they would report on things, bipartisan and partisan plans, there are republican plans. since they are in the minority, four plans from republican members are not getting any publicity. cnn promised me they would start talking about them. i was on there this morning, so i know i can say that. john roberts told me so. there is another bipartisan plan that is very thorough and
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thought out. where you get the impression, where you are from, that congressional members are not concerned about helping people who are not injured, i do not know where you are coming from. there are plenty of plans available. somehow, the press, being bent toward the liberal side, only wants to give attention to the democrats' plans. that is why i think c-span is very fair in what they are trying to do, and my town hall meetings, like the one we are having now, is important for enhancing democracy. i would like to think c-span for offering a fair point of view. host: next phone call from scuffed bill, virginia.
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caller: center, you said earlier that people were fearful because the health-care issue was related to matters of life and death. doesn't that put it in the national defense arena? thank you. guest: this came from a town hall meeting. people would say, there is one thing the federal government has to do because only the government can do it, national defence. because no other level of government can do it, and it is a constitutional responsibility of the government. some of the same people brought up, we're in the constitution does it say that the government should be dealing in health care? so there is a real difference of opinion of their, to the person from virginia, about whether or not the federal government should be doing this.
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host: steve on the republican line from maryland. caller: senator grassley. i have been involved with medicare as an insurance broker for over three years. years ago the federal government had unified all of the medicare supplements, so plan a is planned a, wherever you purchased it. why can't we leave the public option out and allow congress to mandate several plans that all insurance companies throughout the country must carry. then by allowing to purchase across state lines will simply lower the cost. the reason is, if everyone can purchase, let's say, plan b of a program designed by congress and the insurance companies, and all
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the benefits are equal, the only thing the people will have to look at is the cost of the policy. guest: these are very good digestion that you gave to us. the only one that is controversial to do with, and i support when you say about telling across state lines, but there is a partisan difference on that. on the other things that you mentioned, there is not a partisan difference. the extent to which we set up exchanges, consumer-friendly exchanges, where every plan is on the exchange, so people can exchange plans would what costs -- we are less-restrictive than you suggested what we did on medicare 20 years ago.
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we do have four different options but each one is not restricted entirely by the government what can be in it. we do not want to be that restrictive, as we were and supplemental insurance. within these four values, different plans have different approaches to meet the needs of different consumers in america. we have 177 people -- million people in america who have insurance through the private sector. those 177 million people have 177 million different needs, so we do not want to be too strict. but actuarial value need to be met at four levels.
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host: next phone call from new jersey, democratic line. caller: i have a couple of questions. a minute ago you said it was 1971 the last time you have to worry about providing food for your family. callerguest: let me explain whyd that. prior to that i was making $50. then i was elected to congress and i doubled my income. caller: cerf, since that time, health insurance premiums have gone up about 400%. the manufacturing base had been decimated since that time. the world has changed since then. while it is relevant to you, it is not relevant to most americans traveling today. secondly, i have seen this in
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your town hall meetings. you continue to castigate canada and other countries with single payer. well, canada is number six in life expectancy. japan, where i live for six years, as the second best left fantasy. -- has the second-best life expectancy. they are also driving down costs. guest: well, go to england, where people who do not live as long if they have cancer. canada, where you have to wait three months to have an mri. why do so many people come across the border to get an mri? why do you have to wait in line to have hip and knee replacement?
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government-run plant have certain amounts of dollars they will spend on health care. when that does not go far enough, they will raise it. what we are trying to do here for the 50 million people who do not have health insurance is to give them a choice, by putting them in private insurance plans. that is why we do not want a public option. every expert says tens of millions of people -- the lowest level i have seen is 83, the highest, 120 -- will be pushed out of their health care plan into a government plan. when you do that, sooner or later everyone premiums will go up, people will opt-out, and then you will have what the congressman from illinois said, to a group wanted canadian-style single payer -- we need a
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public option first because the american people will not go from here to but they have in canada immediately. there needs to be an interim. i do not think the government does a good job running thank you so much for being with us today. ho >> we take you live to wakefield high school in northern virginia, president obama set to speak it noon eastern. we will have that live here right now is the program begins with the national anthem. ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets' red glare
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the bombs bursting in air give proof through the night to lead our flag was still there oh say does the star spangled banner yet waive o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ >> how magnificent was that? [applause] >> elizabeth daniels, thank you very much. i know you are very anxious to
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see the president, and he will be here soon. but as i tell everybody at wakefield, i am big cheese, and i get my turn first. [laughter] you may be seated. i would like to welcome all of our distinguished guests and members of the media. we are truly, truly honored to have you visit wakefield, and we are honored to host president obama's message to the students of america. but students, and today is truly about you. today is the most non- traditional of the most exciting start to school but you'll ever have. i cannot speak for the president, but people keep asking me, why is president
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obama coming to wakefield? i can tell you what i believe -- why i believe he is chosen wakefield. first and foremost a are you, our students. you are diverse racially, socially, economically, and you very in abilities. you very in aptitudes. you are a rich and colorful tapestry of individuals. you bring joy to us every day, and sometimes a few frustrations. but we, your teachers, administrators, and i, learn a lot about you every day. we think you teach us as much as be teach you. another reason, i am sure president obama chose wakefield is because of our outstanding student results. last spring, you passed for the
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fourth year in a row the state mandated standards of learning exams at an all-time high score. [applause] and give yourselves a hand. [applause] and you have exceeded the federal no child left behind standards, again making adequate yearly progress, and we're very, very proud of you for that. we have also achieved outstanding results with our advanced placement network. we challenge each of you to take the most advanced course work you can, culminating with advanced placement. and each year, more and more of you step up to the challenge, even though we all know taking advanced class's is no easy job. last spring, 60% of you to take
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advanced placement tests passed, meaning you scored three or above, way over the national average. [applause] it is the high school week achieved since we began the network in 2000. our sat hours are slightly down, but we had 60 more seniors take it in 2009 than in 2008. that is 60 more students who said i want to go to college, and i can do this. indeed, our seniors of 2009 were admitted to colleges all over virginia as well as the united
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states of america. as outstanding as you are, we know you are not perfect, at least not yet. we're getting there. to many of you rely on the availability of summer school to kind of slack off and not get the work done and go and make it up in summer school. some of you will decide that maybe the to drop out because the work gets a little hard work because the pressures of junket to be a little too much for you. some of you engage in activities that take your focus away from studying and away from being in school. but your teachers, administrators, and i believe in you, and we know that we can and will do better.
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we know that each of you can push ourselves just a little harder and a chief and even greater heights. in fact, teachers, administrators, and i spent last summer just like summers before, examining your students' results, determining where we needed to make improvements, and developing programs and strategies to make sure that you sort to the top. because failure is not an option for you. [applause] speaking of those teachers leads me to another reason that i believe president obama is with us today. we truly have, and i tell them all the time, the most outstanding committed, caring, student-centered, collaborative
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-- i cannot say enough adjectives, teaching staff that i have ever had the pleasure to work with. give your teachers a hand. [applause] wakefield teachers are never satisfied with the status quo. they are not willing to rest on their many, many documented accomplishments. they are constantly researching, looking at results, and implementing new programs and strategies to improve instruction at wakefield. last week, a " washington post" columnist wrote a blog about today's historic visit. and i think he said it best. mr. mathews wrote to president obama in his blog saying, "when
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you get there, you'll see the school does not look like much. there is a plan to renovate the old facility, but it has not happened yet. but the minute you meet the teachers, and amazingly energetic and upbeat pool of classroom dynamites, you'll see why wakefield students have done it so well despite the disadvantages. you are pop -- popular at wakefield, mr. president, they see you as someone who pulled himself up with very high expectations just as they have. i do not know what you're going to say in your speech, sir, but if i were you, i would hang around of the word and talk to some of those teachers. what they have done, everybody should be doing." [applause]
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thank you. and so, in summary, i believe that president obama is here at wakefield today because we have an amazing student body that is multi-cultural and diverse in every way, and that student body is served by committed, caring, and collaborative teaching staff. and together, we produce outstanding results. so when your friends and family ask you, why is mr. obama coming to wakefield? you should reply, because we are wakefield, and we are phenomenal. [applause]
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and that goes out to you. you are phenomenal. in closing, i have one request of you. i can see the cameras and of the recorders and the cell phones, and i get that. i a understand the need to record this electronically. but i would like to ask of you today is that you take time to be in the moment. feel the electricity in this room. feel the atmosphere. remember what you feel like today, knowing that the president has come to see you. i want you to take pictures with your eyes and recordings with your ears, and want you to just feel and remember what this day was like because you'll be telling this story, not just today and tomorrow, but for years to come. you will be telling this story to friends and family, to your children, and to their children.
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take the time, be still, and experienced to date totally. for you are the only students in the country who will be able to say, "i was there when president obama came to wakefield pierre cote thank you. [applause] there will be a brief intermission, and i promise you, he is in the house. ok. [applause]
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>> this is about 10 minutes away from the start of the program. president obama will be speaking to students here in wakefield and across the country. it is a speech expected to run about 20 minutes or so. we're also likely to hear from
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the secretary of education, arne duncan. the president is here and a meeting with one of the freshman class is, and we're taping that as well. we will show that later in our program scheduled. we're also going to open up our phone lines for me for your thoughts on today's comments by the president. if the numbers are armed the scary -- the numbers are on the screen. do not call if you have called any c-span program in the last 30 days. school is just getting underway in northern virginia and across the country. the president is speaking here today, the second of three substantial speeches he will make this week. yesterday, in cincinnati before
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the afl-cio picnic. and here. tomorrow night, he will be before a joint session of congress. he will say -- speak about health reform and health legislation, and we will carry that live as well. if earlier today, we showed you a couple of previous presidents speaking to students in earlier years. use of president ronald reagan from 1988, shortly after the 1988 election. you also saw president george h. w. bush from 1991. both of those speeches are available also on c-span -- c- we have a call ready. we go to surely in florida. go ahead. >>are you there? go ahead. you are calling on our students line.
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where do go to school? >> i go to school in tampa. >> what you hope to hear from the president today? >> well, we are about to watch it. i want to say that i think it is great obama is doing this. it is very good of him. >> what grade are you in? >> i am is a junior. >> thank you. that is the congressmen of northern virginia. he held one of many town hall meetings on health care during the august recess, and that is also available online at c- the president is expected to speak in a couple of minutes here at wakefield high school in northern virginia. we are taking your calls, and we will take your calls after the speech as well. tampa, florida, good morning. >> this is richard in tampa. thank you for taking my call.
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i have been watching your show all morning and watching the previous president speeches. host: what did you think about the two speeches we showed you? caller: i thought they were excellent, in particular, bush's speech. i am and obama supporter, but i wanted to see those as a backdrop for what i will see from obama in a few minutes. i appreciated the message of both the previous presidents. i think i will appreciate obama's speech as well. i just did not understand what the controversy was about. i think once the white house issued the text of this speech, i think it laid to rest much of the hysteria and controversy. i look forward to his speech. i am sure it will be a good one. host: the text of the speech is available, and they could find that on our website, let's hear from a student, adam in georgia. what grade are you in?
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>> i am is off more -- a sophmore. at the university. i think obama will do a good speech. i am watching it right now. as long as he keeps it -- you know, all the students should do their homework and do not do it illegal activities and do good in school and stuff. i think it will be a good speech. >> it is a different focus from where you are, talking as a sophomore in kennesaw, georgia. what is important to you as a college student? >caller: and want to have the experience. i want to know what i want to do with my life. in deciding between a mathematics major and all the other majors. i am trying to decide what i want to do.
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that is why i am taking a bunch of class is right now. >> does the current economy concern you about whether there will be a job when you finish of? >> of course. of course the economy is concerning. my father is a recruiter, and he is trying to get people for his business. not a lot of businesses are hiring right now. so that is bothering me a little bit. but in the economy is getting better. there has not been a lot of people it off lately. i think it is due to the stimulus package or whatever it is, you know. >> we appreciate you weighing in. we're about 10 minutes away from the start of the program. will understand that the education secretary will lead off a new eastern. florida, this is a student named simon. what greater you in? caller: yes, i am a norwegian
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living in florida. i have lived here for about six years. obviously, i am very liberal, and i am a huge supporter of president obama. host: what grade are you in? caller: i am a sophomore in high school. i was just wondering, in norway, college and university is free for every student. i think it should be free for everybody and should not cost money to get an education. that seems ridiculous to me, no matter what. i understand in a private university, but it seems so far out that you have to pay to go to university, to go to college. host: are you in a public or private high school? caller: i am in the public high school. host: what your college plans
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include? caller: that is a good question. i actually want to study at oxford. host: let's hear from our others line. this is from edmond, okla. caller: i appreciate you all sharing the past addresses. we watched those. it was interesting to see issues that were brought up and the controversy of wondering what president obama will talk about. it is nice to get that perspective. we want host: to remind people that we have those speeches by president reagan in 1988 and president george -- the bush and 1991 on line at you can also participate on line with us today. we will take your thoughts through twitter. you can send us a tweaked at @cspan. perhaps we will read it. let's hear from columbia, south carolina, a teacher. what grade and was subject you
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teach? host: 80 to 11th -- caller: i teach 11th grade history. host: the president will be sitting in on a class this morning. what are you hoping to hear from the president? caller: honestly, i think we're all excited that we have a president, regardless of political affiliations, that is taking the time to actually speak to the kids. so we're sitting here, getting ready to watch it. i have been teaching u.s. history for 11 years, and this is the first and the president has specifically said, that i can remember, that i want to speak to your kids. host: your class -- is your class watching it on c-span? caller: we are on c-span right now, using our new technology system on our smart board, and we're super excited that we will get to hear the president talked to us. host: thank you for calling in. san diego is next.
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caller: i am from california, and i am excited to see this happening. my wife is a teacher at the high school here, and i hope she does this program showing, and i hope she records the because i know the text of this is really important, and stress the fact that the teachers are instrumental and work extra hours. i really want to praise the presidency's office for taking the time to really focus and a telling these young people to stay in school and to get their education and to focus on their future. thank you so much. host: we are about five minutes from the start of the program with the education secretary, arne duncan, set to speak to noon. president obama will speak just about 20 minutes or so. and the comments, remarks, are
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posted on the white house website. we have a link to it from our website. we will take calls up to the start of the program. littleton, colorado, a student. what grade are you in? caller: i am in 10th grade. host: you're watching it with your class? caller: yes, i am. i am in the library. host: how many students are gathered there? you are breaking up a little bit on your cell phone. what can this president or any president say to you or to your fellow students that will make a difference? what can this president or any president say to you or your fellow students that will make a difference in the really resonate with you? caller: i am not really sure. host: we appreciate you weighing in. the next one is from cleveland, new york -- i am going to put
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you on hold. cleveland, new york, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to make a quick comment. i used to be a driver trainer for some light vehicles. the tractor trailers. host: so that is a specialized school? caller: you might call it that. i am a a trainer for a major company, but i was a driver trainer for a major trucking outfit. i just wanted to comment on what i think is the wasteful spending of these companies getting students out of school, out of drivers schools, and put them in a truck with a driver trainer, send them out. half the trainers do not train. that is number one. they get out of the truck knowing the same amount of experience that they had when they got in the truck.
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and the government's surplus paying the company to train these people. host: is that the federal government thing or new york state? caller: that is a federal government thing. the company i worked for was out of new york. they are based out of new york. host: what is behind that, no oversight on how the money is spent? caller: exactly. i do not think anybody is even paying attention to that. i know for a fact that each student, the government gives the company certain amount of money for each student. after the training now, because the economy and everything, they're still taking students. but the thing is they're putting them in a truck with its trainer after a couple of months and sending them home. they do not have any work for them. host: if it were done right, how long would it take for a student to come in and to learn and
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pass a course successfully with the student could work in the industry? caller: two months. 220 hours behind the wheel experience. host: is a certified by the transportation department? caller: yes, certified by the federal transportation department. host: thank you for your call. this is a teacher. what grade and was subject? caller: i teach science, fifth grade -- sixth grade. some of the question my kids are asking is what is our president going to do to improve education? one of the first thing that comes to mind is transportation because it was minimized this year with the budget cuts. that is one of the questions we did have. the other question i have is, like, grading, standardized testing. how can we organize things so
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the students in all states would have a common category except for testing like basic proficiency and advanced? some states have four categories. how can we level the playing field? .
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>> he and education secretary arne duncan believe in stronger teacher responsibility. here comes the education secretary. thanks. more calls coming up. plausplaus >> good morning, wakefield. if we could have it quiet, please. i know you've been waiting for a while, thank fs your patience. wakefield high was one of the first schools i visited as secretary of education. i love the progress this school is making, its quitment to education and its sense of urgency. the president is here to talk about the importance of education for your future and
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the future of the country. it's my job to introduce one of your own, timothy spicer, give him a round of applause. [applause] let me tell you, he's way ahead of where i was in high school. many of you here know timothy, he's a young man who is committed to his studies and just as importantly to his community. he's president of the senior class. he's a member of both the football and the swim teams. he's dedicated student as well. he's taking three advanced placement courses, i'm hoping he'll go to college this fall with a couple of college credits in his back pocket. his senior class project will examine what arlington county offers its youth, the jobs, leadership opportunities, and volunteer opportunities. timothy has taken full advantage of many of those opportunities.
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he has been volunteer of the year for the arlington county parks and recreation department. he's won the annual martin luther king jr. essay contest. he's a member of the arlington teens network board. it's my pleasure to introduce to you a remarkable student, athlete, and leader timothy spicer. >> thank you, arne duncan. good morning. i would like to extend a warm welcome to president barack obama, secretary of education, arne duncan, white house staff, school board members, county board members, superintendent dr. patrick murphy, senior staff, principal doris jackson, wakefield faculty and of course my fellow classmates. [applause]
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i am honored to have been chosen to speak before my classmates as well as the students across america today. over this past three year, i have taken advantage of every academic, extracurricular and community opportunity that's been presented to me. as i reflect -- being reassigned to my -- to another class wasn't an option, i was determined to excel. therefore i managed to succeed in advanced placement class by maintaining focus as well as by using a setback as a focus. i want you to know that excellent educational opportunities may be hanned to us, but as students we must take responsibility for our future. we may be taught but we must take ownership of our learning. as senior class president, i encourage all freshman to -- freshmen to take advantage of the opportunities wakefield high
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school has to offer. i would not be standing here before you to introduce the president of the united states if i had not been here at wakefield high school in arlington, virginia, pursuing my education. just as we're fortunate to have president obama come here to speak to us, we are current that after he leaves, we'll continue to have the support wakefield gives to all of us. at this time, it is with great honor and pride that i ask everyone to stand, to welcome the -- [applause] to welcome the man that proves, yes, we can. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in wblinging the president of the united states of america, barack obama. [hail to the chief plays] [applause]
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>> hello, everybody! thank you. thank you. thank you, everybody. everybody go ahead and have a seat. how is everybody doing today? [applause] how about tim spicer! i am here with students at wakefield high school in arlington, virginia, and we've got students tuning in from all across america, from kindergarten through 12th grade. i'm just so glad that all could join us today. i want to thank wakefield for being such an outstanding host. give yourselfs a big round of applause. [applause] i know that for many of you,
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today is the first day of school. for those of you in kindergarten or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, it's understandable if you're a little nervous. i imagine there's some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good out there with just one more year to go. no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer and you could have stayed in bed a little longer this morning. i know that feeling. when i was young, my family lived overseas. i lived in indonesia for a few years. my mother didn't have the money to send me where the american kids went to school. but she thought it was important for me to keep up with an american education. she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, monday through friday, but because she had to go to work, the only time she
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could do it was at 4:30 in the morning. now as you might imagine, i wasn't too happy about getting up that early. a lot of times i'd fall asleep there at the kitchen table. but whenever i would complain, my mother would give me one of those looks and say, this is no picnic for me either, buster. i know that some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. i'm here too -- i'm here today because i have something important to discuss with you. i'm here because i want to talk with you about your education an what's expected of all of you in this new school year. i've given a lot of speeches about education. i've talked about responsibility a lot. i talked about teachers' responsibility for inspiring students and pushing you to learn. i talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track and get your homework done and don't spend every waking hour in front of the tv or with the xbox.
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aye talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards and forthing teachers and principals and turning around schools that aren't working, where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve. but at the end of the day we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parent, the best schools in the world and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter, unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. unless you show up to those schools, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults, and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. that's what i want to focus on today. the responsibility each of you has for your education. i want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. every single one of you has
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something you're good at. every single one of you has something to offer. you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. that's the opportunity an education can provide. maybe you could be a great writer. maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper, but you might not know it until you write that english paper, that english class paper that's assigned to you. maybe you could be an innovator or inventor, maybe good enough to come up with the next iphone or new medicine or vaccine, but you might not know it until you do your project for your science class. maybe you could be a mayor. or a senator, or a supreme court justice. but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team. no matter what you want to do with your life irk guarantee you'll need an education to do it.
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you want to be a doctor or a teacher or a police officer, you want to be a nurse or architect, a lawyer or member of the military, you're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. you cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good job. you've got to train for it and work for it and learn for it. this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. what you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. the future of america depends on you. what you're learning in school today will determine we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future. you'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learned in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and aids and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. you'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you
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gained in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness and to make our nation more fair and more free. you need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in classes to create new companies to boost our economy. we need every single one of you to develop your talent, skills, and intellect so you can help us old folks solve our most difficult problems. if you don't do that, if you quit on school, you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country. i know it's not always easy to do well in school. i know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. i get it. i know what it's like. my father left my family when i was 2 years old. i was raised by a single mom who had to work and who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us the things other kids had.
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there were times when i missed having a father in my life. there were times when i was lonely and felt like i didn't fit in. i wasn't always as focused as i should have been on school. i did some things i'm not proud of. i got in more trouble than i should have. my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse. but i was lucky. i got a loot of second chances. i had the opportunity to go to college and law school and follow my dreams. my wife, our first lady, michelle obama, she has a similar story. neither of her parents had gone to college. they didn't have a lot of money. but they worked hard and she worked hard so that she could go to the best schools in this country. some of you may not have those advantages. maybe you don't have adults in your life who give you the support you need. maybe someone in your family has lost their job and there's not enough money to go around. maybe you live in a neighborhood
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where you don't feel safe or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren't right. but at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life, what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home, none of that is an excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude in school. that's no excuse for talking back to your teacher or cutting class or dropping out of school. there's no excuse for not trying. where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. no one has written your destiny for you. here in america, you write your own destiny, you make your own future. that's what young people like you are doing every day, all across america. young people like jasmine perets from roma, texas. she didn't speak english when she first started school, neither of her parents went to
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college. she worked hard, got good grades, and got a scholarship to brown university, is now in graduate school studying public health, on her way to becoming dr. jasmine perets. i'm thinking about andony schultz from california who fought brain cancer since he was 3. he had to endure all sorts of treatments and surgery, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer, hundreds of extra hours to do his schoolwork. but he never fell behind. he is headed to college this fall. then there's chantelle, from my hometown of illinois. even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods in the city, she managed to get a job at a local health care center, start a program to keep young people out of gangs and she's on track to graduate from high school with honors and go to
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college. they aren't any different from any of you. they faced challenges in their lives just like you do. in some cases, they've got it a lot worse off than many of you. but they refused to give up. they chose to take responsibility for their lives, for their education, and set goals for themselves. i expect all of you to do the same. that's why today i'm calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education and do everything you can to meet them. your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework. paying attention in class. or spending some time each day reading a book. maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity or volunteer in your community. maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look. because you believe like i do that all young people deserve a
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safe environment to study and learn. maybe you'll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn and along those lines, by the way, i hope all of you are washing your hands a lot and stay home from school when you don't feel well so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter. but whatever you resolve to do, i want you to commit to it. i want you to work at it. i know sometimes you get that sense from tv that you can be rich and successful without any hard work. that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality tv star. chances are, you're not going to be any of those things. the truth is, being successful is hard. you won't love every subject you study. you won't click with every teacher that you have. not every homework assignment
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will seem completely relevant to your life right at this minute. and you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. that's ok. some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who have had the most failures. j.k. rowlings, who wrote harry potter, her first harry potter book was rejected 12 times before it was finally published. michael jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. but he once said, i have failed over and over and other again in my life, and that's why i succeed. suppose people -- these people succeeded because they understood that you can't let your failure december fine you, you have to let your failures teach you. you have to let them show you
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what to do differently the next time. so if you get into trouble that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker. it means you need to try harder to act right. if you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid. it just means you need to spend more time studying. no one's born being good at all things. you become good at things through hard work. you're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. you don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. you've got to practice. the same principal -- principle alives to your -- applies to your schoolwork. you might have to reed something a few tame d -- read something a few times before you understand it. you have to do a few drafts of a paper before it's good enough to hand in. don't be afraid to ask questions. don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
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i do that every day. that's not a siphon weakness, it's a sign of strength. it shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something and that allows you to learn something new. find an adult you trust a parent, grandparent or teacher, a coach or counselor, and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals. even when you're struggling, even when you're discouraged and you feel like other people have given up on you, don't ever give up on yourself. because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country. the story of america isn't about people who quit when things got tough. it's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country to do anything less than their best. the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago and went on to wage a revolution and they founded this nation. young people. students who sat where you spit
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75 years ago who over-- where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a depression, won a world war, overoppression and -- overcame oppression. students who sat where your sit 20 years ago and developed twitter and facebook. what problems are you going to solve? what discoveries will you make? what will a president who come here's in 20 or 50 or 100 years say about what you did for this country. your families, your teachers and i, are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. i'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment, and computers you need to learn. but you've got to do your part too. i expect all of you to get serious this year. i expect you to put your best
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effort into into everything you do. i expect great things from each of you. so don't let us down. don't let your family down or your country down, most of all don't let yourself down. make us all proud. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you, god bless america. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> how are you? hey, guys.
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>> reaction to the speech from arlington virginia. we'd love to hear what you have to think. students, 202-737-0001. teachers, 202-737-0002. all other, 202-628-0205. make sure you turn down your television when you call. let's hear from our first viewer, a kindergartener in santa rosa, california. jimmy are you there? you're on the air. may have lost our first kindergartener on the air. hope you call back, jimmy. this is trinidad, colorado, retired teacher marsha. >> i'm so glad i got through to
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c-span. i watch the program all the time and i really appreciate your coverage. i thought it was very inspiring, encouraging and to stay in school and work hard. >> what stuck out to you as the most important message you heard? >> their responsibility. because i think that's very important to instill in them. they should learn because they love learning and it's important to their own future. i think you really express -- i think he expressed that in a wonderful, inspiring way. host: got a couple of retired teachers watching, this is margie. you're on the air. caller: that was without a doubt the most inspiring speech i have ever heard anyone giving a group of students. host: did you hear either of the two speeches we aired earlier,
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presidents reagan or bush? caller: i did hear president bush. host: how would you rate president obama's performance or message when you evaluate it with those two? caller: much better. host: to atlanta, this is rachel a student from atlanta. what grade are you in? atlanta, georgia, go ahead. tamara, i'm sorry, go ahead, you're on the air. atlanta, good morning. caller: hi. host: tamara, what grade are you in? >> seventh grade. host: what did you think of the speech? caller: i thought it was an inspiring speech of how students can do better than we thought we can. we finally have a black president, that's new to a lot of people. host: a teacher here, ferndale, michigan, good morning to rachel. caller: the speech was fantastic.
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it was inspirational. my students listened intently. i think they're inspired. this is the first day of school for us at ferndale high school and we're just amazed. he's very inspirational president, i've heard the other presidents speak in the past, and obviously they did a great job, but this was just phenomenal. host: thanks for your calls. we'll show all the speech later in our program's schedule, you can watch it online at you can see the previous speeches and read the president's comments as well. in case you missed it a brief bit here before we go, a look at some comments president obama made a few minutes ago. >> at the end of the gay, -- end of the day we can have the most dedicated teachers, most supportive parents, the best schools in the world, none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter, unless all of
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you fulfill your responsibilities, unless you show up to those school, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults, and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. that's what i want to focus on today. the responsibility each of you has for your education. i want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. every single one of you has something that you're good at. every single one of you has something to offer. you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. that's the opportunity an education can provide. host: president obama moments ago at wakefield high school in arlington, virginia. getting your reaction on the phone is katherine from kingston, washington. katherine, turn down your television or radio there and then go ahead with your
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congressmens. make sure you mute your television, ok. i'm going to put you on hold and ask our production assistant to make sure you mute your set. we want to hear what you had to say. from marietta, georgia, this is kay a teacher at marietta high. caller: i was inspired by the president's speech. our students listened intently. i thought it was interesting that everything he said are things we tell our students every single day and i'm a math teacher and math doesn't necessarily come easy. you may have to read something several times and the perseverance and the persistence are what will make good habits. host: so you think the president saying that will make the words seek in as opposed to the math teacher saying it? >> i'm hoping it will reinforce what we already tell them. that the president also feels that way. >> it's not the subject of math,
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but did you have a post-speech discussion for a few minutes after he had his comments? >> we had just finished listening to the speech, we have not had a chance to talk about the speech yet with the students. host: i'll let you go and give you a chance to do that. we have a student on the line. what grade are you in? >> i'm in 12th grade, i'm a senior. host: what did you think? caller: i think president obama's speech was very inspiring and it taught me to work really hard. host: where are you hoping to go next after senior year? college? >> owe. host: thanks for weighing in with your thoughts. now to new jersey, holly a teacher on the line from new jersey. caller: the speech was extraordinary. as always, barack obama never fails to inspire us. his life, his -- just the way he's lived liz life a-- his life
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alone is an inspiration to all of us, what he said about responsibility, and it's true, we're home schoolers, i give my son every opportunity to do that learning but i tell him at the ener of the day, you've got to take responsibility. it's you who has to do the work, it's you who has to be there and get the education. host: how long have you been home schooling? >> four years. he's in seventh grade. host: it's working out pretty well for you? caller: it's working out extraordinary. we come across our bumps and hits, but i have as of last year when lecturing my son, i used barack obama, i said he's had every single obstacle set in front of him in his life, he's overcome them. host: you can twitter at c pan .com.
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here's a tweet. i don't see why parents flipped out, it was a great speech host: and evan in phoenix, arizona, you're on. caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. i'm a retired medical doctor and i know that there's no obstacle you cannot overcome and the speech was very, very inspiring because he was able to use his own example, his life example. i just wonder why we don't want to listen to this kind of talk that would help our children keep up their grades and stay in school. it was beautiful, the speech was beautiful. host: the associated press reported prior to the speech that controversy had followed president barack obama to the virginia school where he's getting ready to address the nation's students, a small group of protesters gathered outside wakefield high school in the
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washington suburb of arlington. steven, a student in kentucky, what grade are you in? caller: ninth. host: tell us about the speech, your thought on the speech and make sure you mute your television when you go ahead. caller: it was great. host: is that it? caller: yeah. host: all right, steven, denver, colorado, next up. danielle also a student, what grade are you in? >> caller: i was listening to the obama speech, i thought it was very inspirational. i'm here with my classmates, they ought thought it was pretty -- they all thought it was pretty great. we all want to work harder now that we're inspired. we're all obama fans and we're going to work harder and make our nation a better place. host: next up, raleigh, north carolina. this is also a teacher. this is jennifer, is that right?
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caller: that's right, jennifer. host: you're on the air. caller: i teach at a leadership magnet elementary school and everyone in the school is watching it today. it fits in right with our leadership model. we teach the kids to set goal, personal goals, academic goals, we are trying to develop leaders in the future system of this fit in with our curriculum. host: jennifer, you're an elementary schoolteacher what grade caller: first grade. host: how did you get them to sit still for 20 minutes? caller: they were very engaged. we've been talking it up, the teachers made a big deal out of it. if you make a big deal out of it, they want to be engaged an listen. host: another teacher, tammy in parker, arizona. caller: hi. host: are you there? do you have comments? caller: i want to thank god that
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america is still unified under him. i think obama is doing a great job. host: thank you, tammy. president obama spoke for about 20 minutes on education as school gets under way. a quick look at what he had to say this morning. >> no matter what you want to do with your life, i guarantee you'll need an education to do it. if you want to be a doctor or teacher or police officer, you want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military, you're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. you cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good job. you've got to train for it and work for it and learn for it. this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. what you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. the future of america depends on you.
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what you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future. hip a few more calls on president obama's speech today. we have news reports that prior to his speech, he and secretary arne duncan spent about 20 minutes in the library of wakefield high school with a group of about 20 ninth graders. the 39 twice told the kids how he was quote, kind of a goof-off at their age. to florida, sara, what grade are you in? caller: i'm in eighth grade. host: what did you think? caller: my older brother daniel was a high school dropout. it made me think i need to graduate and succeed in life. obama's speech made it more inspiring. host: does your brother -- did your brother ever get that degree or g.e.d.? caller: he's trying for his g.e.d. right now, i'm proud of
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him. host: how old is he? caller: he's 22. host: to rockland, california, a retired teacher on the line, carolyn. caller: good morning. i kill tell -- i will tell you in all the controversy they had about this prior, i was appalled. it's the president of the united states, people. i am over 65 years old, i have a grandchild now and all of my students could just benefit so much from this man's life and from his speech. the fact that he said the responsibility is up to them. but most importantly, he also said ask for help. he asks for help every day. that's important. you if you don't know, ask. that's the sign of a true leader. i'm just so ims preed with this man as a person and the fact that he's president of the united states, i say hip, hip hooray. host: to elisa in oregon. caller: i wanted to say it was a good speech, i was impressed, and i have a 9-year-old daughter with down syndrome and she and i
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watched the speech together. she turned to me when it was done and said, mommy i'm going to try harder. host: comment on twitter reflecting some of the comments we're hearing on the phones,, i have two eighth grade students, one of whom is an underachiever, president obama said the same thing i do, he is truly inspiring to all. cleveland, ohio, student, allen. what grade are you in? caller: i'm in eighth. i thought president obama's speech was very impressive. i didn't understand the fact that he was speaking to that one school. host: did you see him there at your school? did they carry the speech at your school? caller: we saw the speech, we were watching it live. all of my other classmates, we enjoyed the speech, he should come to a place where we really need inspiration, we're not
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really doing that well we need inspiration. 40eu7 one more call, jacksonville, florida, john, a teacher gets the last word as is often the case, what did you think of the speech? caller: it was awesome. he says a will the of things that teachers and parents say to the kids. sometimes it takes somebody in that position to reinforce what we're trying to get across to the kids. host: what grade to you -- do you teach? caller: seventh grade science. host: how tough is that? caller: it is tough. you've got to get them going in the right direction to make sure they make it in this world. host: thank you for your call. thank you for all your call this is morning. lots more online, you can watch net's speech, watch the previous speeches by presidents reagan and george h.w. bush. you can read the comments today and more coverage later on this afternoon on c-span3, we'll cover how the white house reporters follow up with robert gibbs on the speech at 2:00 p.m. eastern live on c-span three.
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main coverage today is congress they return from the august recess. the u.s. house will take up a number of bills dealing with federal lands and historic site. coming in at 2:00 is the u.s. senate, they come in for general speeches and a bill dealing with foreign tourism in the u.s. both the house and senate meet tomorrow in a joint session and will hear from president obama on health care, that's tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern, an address to a joint session of congress. that will be live here on c-span. also on c-span radio and at we are waiting for the u.s. house to come in and 2:00 eastern. a preview from a couple of washington reporters who cover capitol hill. >> tell us what we may see this week as far as movement on the health care bill. what committees are you watching, who are the players? healthcare bills. >> sure. today, there are a series of events we'll pay attention to.
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first of all, senate majority leader harry read and nancy pelosi are going to the white house today for a sit down, to talk about the next steps in overall fall agenda in particular healthcare. the sort of timing issues of when they can really start moving legislation. at the same time up here on the hill, i assume in the heart max balkus talking with the finance committee will sit down again today. this their first face-to-face sit down since they left five weeks back. it is very critical moment and we'll know coming out of that meeting, are these guys really still pushing forward on bipartisan talks and is chuck grassly deeply still involved or are the talks breaking a part. those are the two critical moments early this week. obviously tomorrow night the
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president's big speech will set the sta table for the rest of t week. you'll know up thursday if republicans are still involved in the game and what the president is pushing for with specific things he wants in the bill. >> and kristen when the president talks what are you looking for tomorrow night? >> interest together say the white house is saying their not going to have their bill but he'll be specific about the things he wants and doesn't want but i'll look at the progressive democrats. i think this is an area that i don't necessarily buy the line president is losing his base but they want commitment to things he promise and the campaign trail and your seeing a lot of counter demonstrations and petitions from progressive works that are asking for the president so stand up for this public insurance option or having it be part of the plan
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so, that's something i'll look for and also, the talks when they come out of the senate finance meeting, are they going to say it productive or actually, we really did make some progress here? we've heard a lot about a productive friendly discussion but not heard how much their moving forward. >> who are the people ,h&c# he is a critical player on this, senator chuck grassley. the three republicans in the meetings have been olympia snowe of maine, a moderate and most like -- the one most likely to support whatever they come up with. mic enzi of wyoming who is the most conservative of the three who the white house believes is least likely to support something, and grassley who is a conservative but he's got this
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kind of maverick conservative side to him. he faced some angry town hall constituents who didn't trust, who didn't like the fact that he was working with democrats on this legislation. and he said things that were, to be blunt, all over the map. at one point, he seemed to be trashing obamacare as he called it, in a fundraising letter. then his spokeswoman would say, we're still in this, we want to finish this bill. that's probably the biggest player today. host: does that mean the white house will be looking? >> i think the whole senator snowe thing is fascinate, she's been at the white house several times for events not tied into health care, she was one of the key republican votes on the stimulus bill. there were three republicans in the senate who voted for that, one is now a democrat, you've got her and susan collins of maine. mike enzi, he's gotten heat from republicans back home say, why are you working so closely with the president? but at the same time he's taking shots of the president saying he
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doesn't support a lot of elements in the bill. it's possible the white house may try to shift the conversation away from health care. you've got 9/11 and the president will speak at the pentagon for that. you've got things coming up with financial regulatory reform and the g-20. it's an opportunity for the white house to give the big speech, work out some big details and then step away. host: we are talking with our guests. you can join the conversation. and can e-mail journal at c-span dot org. id we learn from the president's speech in ohio. was this is a test run for what
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we might see tomorrow night? >> i doubt it. one of the things that struck me is it's very much a campaign speech. used the same language about the poor getting poorer and rich getting richer and went back to the fired up speech which was a pivotal moment for him that helped rally supporters. he had that crowd and i would not anticipate him doing that tomorrow night before congress but i think it's interesting to see how he continues to go back to the loyal supporters saying we need to have you stand with us on this. >> mary, from south carolina. >> good morning. hi. my question how i feel about when congress convenes again, i really don't believe the democrats going to have any possible chance with the republicans because you know, everything he do, they criticize, and i will be really
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surprised to see if they cooperate in trying get healthcare through because of the fact that they're saying they can get him on this, they can ruin his political career. and i don't believe they're going to ever come to any agreement on healthcare. republicans would not work with him. so i would like for you to comment on that, thank you. >> well, i'll say i've heard this from a lot of democrats. we won the election and have huge majoritys why doesn't the president say not worry about the republicans but push through what we have and use tactics like reconciliation and that's something the republicans did successfully under president bush in his term. think president means it when he says he wants to push back but washington politics and you want something done in the agenda and support your supporters that worked hard for you, you might have to do that.
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>> i think not to be lost in this is the problem with the own democratic party. the electoral success in 2006 and special elections in 2008 elections. they have grown so much but taken on a lot of people who come from really conversion verytv conservative districts. a senator is up for re-election in 2010. she's seen her approval numbers slipping in the next months tracking right along with the healthcare proposal and blank lincoln is hesitant in terms of supporting this legislation. so he needs to firm up support with them. those democrats, as much as he does to any republican right now. >> looking at the piece in the "washington post". deeply divided house democrats
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are returning. they're in almost the same position when they left the capital. they're freshman lawmakers from su bur and progressives who are demanding the most far reaching reform since the great depression are still threatening to throw down the legislation if it does not do this. >> they left town on july 31st the house democrats did and had a game plan. script. they handed out these little 7 inch pog et cards for every member to keep inside their coat pocket to tell the constituents of what's it in for you and they all feel like they spent the last 5 1/2 weeks fighting over what wasn't in the bill. the issue of whether death
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panels existed. the issue, and that, they lost this game in the last 5 1/2 weeks so they're kind of back where they started figuring how to kind of put this back together. >> i argue they lost it but here in washington. obviously the press core has to come for something and this is where we're focused on the angry town halls and i completely agree with that with jim moran. and i would say that fortunately for the white house and democrats in congress a lot of people didn't pay attention in august. people are getting their kids back to school. i think today people will really tune in and say what's really in this plan? let's listen and see what happens. >> john, calling on the republican line from north carolina. >> yes, ma'am. i have a comment first of all,
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the nice lady said people won't support the president regardless of what they do. i think that's wrong. i think people want to support him but when they see him so far to the left it scares them and they don't want to go as fars to left. john of the "wall street journal" spoke to a group of steam boat a ten dees and said carter was elected as a central democrat and head administration from the left, well i think we're seeing that on mr. obama and he said history shows whenever someone is elected to the left, governs from the left it's a recipe of success for the republicans and lamar alexander on the fox news network said these legislators will deal with somewhat, if they don't respond to the sentiment of the american public, that they've heard over the past weeks when they get
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back to congress, if they don't respond, they're going to experience amy any revolution and i think we're starting to see the american people wake up regarding on what's going on and i'm sure use, when they come back, do ya'll think all though the healthcare is the big trigger they're going to be taking care of, do you think the past town hall meetingings - the tone will come back up on the floor between the legislators? how aggressive or contentious you they that will be on the actual floor of the senate? >> one thing, i talked to representative eric canter and i asked him what he expected the republicans would do during the president's speech. they might boo or his or sit on their hands on-lines they don't disagree with from their parties perspective and he said no, we're all listening intensively.
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from that end and same for paul. they love to be polite on capital hill. you might hear the overly nice people talking to each other. >> i don't know that's going to be the right forum in terms of sharp rebuke and i don't think you'll see the hissing and cat calling. this isn't question time in british parliament. but one thing that the caller hit on is, the issue of - the people that we were fixated on in the first couplele of weeks in august leading chants and protests in the town hall meetings. the key question for a lot of conservative democrats for people of the exact states from eastern ohio. a pretty conservative district. they're trying if i combur out whether or not those people at the town halls were part of the big, broad movement and you
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know, where they're leading or where they're just sort of fringe people just sort of out there a year ago. sara palin a tracted people to her rallies that we were be trying as fringe characters that were kind of crazy. now in august, we're sort of portraying them as leading edge of a big movement if they can figure out which side of the coin those folks are, that could determine where this whole debate ends up. >> how do you figure it out? >> i think it is very complex member to member question. they'll measure the amount of mail they get. phone calls and e-mails they get. i think just try to spend - that's why the august break is a good one. it's almost 40 days long for house members so they had a lot of time. it was if they had one really intense town hall meeting but a
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bunch of others that were really normal i think they'll begin to think these people are more part of a fringe set in my district. day after day after day. they were getting pounded, it's a different question. we talked to a woman of congress outside of pittsburgh. district stretched up to erie and she came up after 18 town hall meetings - not sure if she hit any this weekend but she came away saying, she was okay. she was more inclined to believe that healthcare reform should go at 75 percent of her constituents want some form of health care and a robust minority but a small minority. >> i've talked to members saying they're relieved to come back to washington to get away from some of that. not to mention some of these campaign groups that are going
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to be town halls have been orchestrated where by big insurance companies. i think member cans see how strong the language was. >> roy from baltimore. how are you? >> hello. how are you? today. my question is, first off. that gentlemen that called, no, i don't believe that conversion verytives no matter what the president does, he can give them everything. they're just not going to go along with what- he wants. i disagree with that guy. what i'm calling about is the public option. a public option to me, is it actually what it say? given the option to either stay with my private insurance or to go with the government run plan? and if the case is if i lost my job, if i have insurance at my job and i left my job and that
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insurance doesn't go with me, it's my understanding you go into like a pool where i get to pick something in that pool and obviously, if i didn't find anything that i wanted i would go into the government plan? is this what a public government option plan is? >> if terms of public option this is probably the most critical piece we'll tomorrow night. you know, you've got this idea that you could have a government funded insurance option that would go into this insurance exchange and it would compete against private insurers. liberals and progressives in the house and senate believe that you have to have this piece to the healthcare reform. without it, there is no reform because they believe this government funded option would drive down cost. you would across the b


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