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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 31, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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us. after that, an update on politics and news with karl cannon and robert schlesinger. later, what's ahead for federal climate change administration in the new year. wark journal begins now. >> suicide bombing leaves eight americans dead including intelligence personnel. and taking a stake at gmac at a former lending arm of general motors. obamas nominee withdrawn. first, welcome you to the washington journal.
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today is december 31, thursday. this is the last day of the year. the last day of this decade. to that end, we want to talk with you and get some of your thoughts for the first half hour of defining events of this decade. what do you think made this decade the decade that it was. >> send us emails and twitter comments. >> on the front page of a special section of the new york daily news.
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2000-2010, a decade that changed the world forever. he said there was some thought that says we should have changed this deck audience to the ought that should have stuck. ought to have been done better still these years have been the new 1960's in america with one difference, not just the music and clothes being better. going on to say does this
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decade beat the 1960's? probably not because of the so much of the romance's yated with that decade. there are smart teachers that have said the upheaval did not officially end until the resignation of richard nixon -- the man kennedy beat out for presidency in 1960. a resent edition of time magazine called this decade, the decade from hell and why the next one will be better.
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>> how would you define this decade? >> i would say the war on religious stances. especially the war in the middle east. we don't know what's next. to let our religions be a reason to kill one another is a little bit goofy to me. >> do you see a shift happening in the next decade? do you think we've learned anything from this past decade >> well, we shouldn't allow
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religious and belief systems to define us and make us keel one another. host: what do you think is the defining event of the past decade. caller: i think it's 9/11. it's interesting that since this thing happened on obama's watch, the republicans are blaming obama. host: do you think anything has been learn frd this event? >> in this time magazine,
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writing book ended by the begin ing with 9/11. we are still weeks away flt end of 2009 but it is not too early to pass judgment. call it the decade from hell or the decade of broken dreams or the loss decade. just give thank that it is nearly over. >> i agree that 9/11 was a defining moment. i sigh that in the future, a
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lot of prodemocratic movements like iraq and iran are going to happen host: next up ron in florida. caller: i say this is a decade of war for america >> now nigerians are worried we are going to attack them because this kid was from there. host: what do you think the lesson is? caller: it doesn't work to just keep attacking countries.
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why is cheney trying to egg obama on? he's doing what cheney wants. the industrial complexes are making trillions. the beat keeps going on. thank you. host: next gary for democrats in louisiana. turn down your radio, it will help a lot. caller: i think the diggest thing in this decade, to have the first african american was voted into the house. i'm ashamed to say 12% of the
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people in my state caucasian people voted far barack obama. i'm ashamed to be from this state. >>
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>> back to the phones. john on the line for inds. caller: good morning. i tell you what. i believe it was a decade squandered by the bush administration. i support president obama but i can tell you this, george bush was sleeping at the wheel when we got hit on finle. i can guarantee you without a doubt there would be an impeachmentles lution on the floor of the house if obama or al gore would have been on the bench. we lost a lot with that decade. i watched people just trade away everything at the feet of the bush administration he was
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treated like a hero when he's asleep at the wheel. host: what do you say to people making comparisons between the efficiency of the security and intelligence during the early days of the bush administration during the attack on 9/11 and what just happened over the christmas weekend in the obama administration. i try not to blame the president. i really don't in a sense blame bush. i realize mistakes get made. we can't stop people from getting on planes in other countries. bush was sleeping. they want to be president.
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then i'm not sure they really want the job when they get it. host: today's usa today winners and loosers of 2009. some ascended to new heights. others stumbled. an up and coming senator shaking hands in january, you spend billions
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>> minneapolis. your thoughts. caller: one of the most defining events was allen greenspan's failure to recognize the housing bubble. this guy should be sent out digging ditches. the other day they had him up on capitol hill testifying about some financial affairs. this guy is an idiot. he should not be given any credibility anymore. they are still talking to the idiot. how much does it take to say that he did not recognize any financial signs. he could have went out and tried buy a working man's house and recognized how expensive they were. this guy should be relevant gated to shame.
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host: thank you. we'll continue talking to the defining moments of the decade and taking a look at other items in the news this morning. we mentioned at the top of the show. officers are killed in afghan attack. eight americans including officers of the central intelligence agency were killed in a suicide attack current and former u.s. officials said what could be the biggest loss since before the war began here. the article goes on to say
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>> back to the phones, tony on the line for democrats. >> good morning. >> tell me what you think is the defining moment of the decade? caller: two. one is the election of the first back man as president of the united states. i commend that. the second was 9/11. if barack obama would have been the president at the time, he
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would have been immediately impeached. the republican party felt like we had a strong hold on national security. we were only attacked once. that was when they were in charge. host: next up is ed. caller: one event that could define in past decade? i'm not sure. 9/11 was a moment to remember for me. i think what -- if we really look at things, looking at the way things went for the economy, we have an election that came under the
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inspector of illegal massy. we have a decade of poor leadership from the top. we've ended the decade with a leader at the top that i'm still not sure about yet. is he strong enough or just a word weaverer and does he have goals that are reasonably attainable and not just desireable? >> do you see any sort of a theme flowing through president
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clinton, who i thought was the best president i remember. i think he actually cared about the middle class of this country. i think if he had his way, he would have changed the tax law so that oil qups could no longer off shore their cost and jobs. i believe george bush was really out for the upper class at the expense of the middle and lower class economically. owe bada has desires for the lower class at the expense of
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the middle class. that's how i'm viewing it right now. . two things. this war in iraq that i think was more of a personal desire which they say, gee, we didn't for see all these problems we can barely afford these financially. treasury takes majority stake in gmac. writing the u.s. treasury will
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become the majority share holder of gmac as part of a restructuring announced yesterday. they are to receive $3.8 million by the troubled asset relief program. the treasury said in the final stage of the filing. identified in the stress test. the deal brings to a close a busy end to the year for the treasury in the tarp sceem with most elements winding down and companies such as bank of america and city group racing to repay the government.
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i think in the news media loved the clintons i think it started back then you could define the definition of what is is. it started then and was immediately covered up. it's just sex. it's ok because he's a democrat. i'll be honest with you -- i wasn't a big bush man either. he was a principal man, a man of god, he was a man of his word. you could trust him.
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he let the administration put bills out that where no good. now the obama administration. guys, wake up, george bush only spent one quarter of what obama has spent in nine months. we are going on $14 trillion in debt. everybody is still looking back at bush. guys, obama has been a disaster financially for this country. he's given our money away to the banks, wall street, car companies, the tarp money was a joke. we are in financial straits right now. host: president obama's nom any
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has withdrawn his name from the financial reform. a former goldman sachs executive host: back to the phone. win gate, new york carolina. caller: fot caller just called about all the money obama spent. obama's money is coming back in. i know you know better.
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this bombing thing, i think that was a joke. he tried keep them bringing detainees into new york. that's all that is. thank you. host: baltimore, marlede on the line for inds. go ahead. caller: this has been the perfect decade of reaping what you sew. bush, i don't blame him for being an idiot. i think he's a product of what the ivey league schools are teaching you. i really don't blame him. he's a paun in the whole system that has been created. host: do you think there has been any lessoned learned we
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carry into the next decade? caller: i hope it is being good on the golf course doesn't make you a good executive. you have to actually take the test yourself. that's why i like obama and why i voted for him not because he's black but i think he can think. >> thanks for your call. >> terror attacks at finle changed our nation.
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host: back to the phones. maryland on the republican line. caller: my comment. please let me make it. in this decade, hurricane katrinaa and the misery and denial and response give tonet people who needed it the most. it is a shame that still continues. you have a brown skinned hindu and now he's a chatholic. is louisiana any different with him being in the white house? host: all right. back to the next caller from for the worth, texas on the line for democrats.
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go ahead. caller: i always love to hear a black racist. on october 7, 1996, that's when i think our country changed in a bad way. that was when the bill allowed a single entity to own more than one station entity. listen to the calls. i've been listening now for about 20 years. this country has become more divided and hateful. it's become that way along party lines. in the past republicans and democrats could talk and it wasn't merely as nasty as it is now. when reagan throughout the fairness doctrine in the late 1980s allowing the rush
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limbaughs of the world to nourish and had that span of time at the end of the hour to have that rebuttal to the last hour's dialogue. that kind of through things out of balance too. there was nothing wrong with that law. you could rave all you wanted to but you had to allow a couple minutes at the end for a rebuttal. our country is out of balance and the media has gone wacky. host: talking about bernie madoff and stadium employees removing letters from the enron field in houston.
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former president george bush and his mission accomplished speak. the weeks of discussion on television talk shows. host: we are talking about zee finding moments of the decade for the next two or three minutes. the next call on the line. caller: i'll have to say the biggest story is the fall of the american empire. we are no longer respected around the world like we used to be. no matter if it is george bush or barack obama. they are both pauns. there is no way we are going to
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be a beacon like we used to be. >> host: on the line for republicans. go ahead. caller: 9/11 was the event in history that is sort of like pearl harbor. it started the decade and george bush was the first president to confront terrorism. this started in the 1970s. we need to remember that. we put up with terrorism around the world until george bush made a stand. he freed 25 million in iraq and in afghanistan. time will tell how that works out. george bush stood up for freedom. everybody ought to remember
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that. and i think history will reflect that. host: thank you for your call. we'll continue the discussion on defining events. in just a few minutes, we'll talk with blake houshel. that discussion will come up in a few minutes.
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host: blake housfeld is our guest. guest: thank you. host: how did the 100 global thinkers get on this list? guest: we looked at some of the big issues of 200 the. we look at the prime movers behind those ideas and who made the biggest issues.
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guest: people have slung a lot of arrows at ben bernanke. if he weren't there, economic crisis could have become a melt down. that's why he tops our list. host: it talks about ow how one fifth of the people on this list are economists. why is that? guest: we tried to highlight the people that made the call right and warned in advance of the problems we are having now. host: was there a specific list or things that had to be checked off before somebody
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could get you on this list? we were trying to see who really had an impact. positive or negative. give us a call. for comments. coming in at number two is president obama for reimagining american's role in the world. guest: that's right. he's come into office with some high minded ideas of how
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america should conduct itself abroad. if you look at the numbers, he's already changed public opinions of america. we talked to one brand expert who said obama alone added $2 trillion to the u.s. global brand name. that is something worth recognizing. host: number six, beth the clintons former president and secretary of state hillary rod am for giving smart power a star turn at the state department. guest: this is washington's power couple. there was a lot of criticism in
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the primaries. i think he's overcome a lot of the criticism he got and really branded himself host: over the last year, secretary of state clinton has tried to distance herself from the wife of this former president. why group them together under one number? guest: maybe to make them mad. no. they are washington's most intriguing power couple. they may not collaborate
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publicly. you remember when she went to africa and they asked her what did bill think about this and she snapped. they are a couple that matters. host: time on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. i think we node to learn more on how to get together. i think too much emphasis is put on clearing people out. i think we had an opportunity in the beginning when george bush was in jewish people are
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great. it's just the few rich jews like murdered ock and the guys that control our country. that's the reason we are going into a lot of these wars. obama is great. there's a reason he got the peace price. they wanted him to earn that. the way america is doing today, the way we are responding to this terrorism thing is really ridiculous. we are looking at the small things we can't control. there's no way we are going to be able to control that. host: tim, we are going to leave it there. you've given us a lot to work with.
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we do put too much emphasis on terror. certainlyly the under pant bomber was frightening. if you look at context. you look at what didn't happen. there's a danger in spending too many resources and emphasis on things in the america and trying to build something new. >> number eight is the reshaping of the way the u.s. military gos to war. tell us what went on behind that decision. guest: everyone knows petraeus' role in this surge in iraq. rumsfeld made a big deal. the guy really transforming the
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military from within rewriting the counter insurge yens. he's been an inflewen shal figure. host: you write hear the best idea that counterterrorism requires more than counter terror forces. guest: we survade these people. they gave their own answers. we need civilians and agricultural specialists. our next call from texas. caller: good morning.
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where is thomas sole on your list. caller: i'm not surprised coming from time magazine. he is probably the clearest thinker in this country. if he writes or says it,, he can back it up with reason. to put obama as number two, he is a clear marxist. host: have you ever heard him say that? caller: everybody he has associated with have been left of center and admitted communists. guest: the funny thing is he's
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been criticized from the left as being a capitol sell out. sellers is one of those figures who think people think he sowed the seed for the financial crisis. take that for what you will? host: on the line from florida. go ahead. caller: i any everyone is really missing the boat here. host: if you turn down your ridor or television. caller: i think everyone is missing the boat. the whole problem is really greed with our country. your sports people are being paid too much. bankers are being paid. large companies are being paid too much.
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everyone who has this greed turns ugly and gets to trouble. money is really the root of all evil here. people have to get down to basic and respect the dollar and penny is anymore. people look at pennies and throw them into the street. money has no valyu. it's about show and tell. we have to teach everyone that a penny is a penny and it means something. you got to work for things. everyone is forgetting that. host: thanks for your call. guest: i'm one of those believers that greed can be a force for good if you channel it nesketively. when we saw is what we let greed run a muck. we didn't have the structures in place to channel it to really work. we need to figure out how to
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put greed in the box, if you will caller: why smnch someone like steven hawking is not on that list. this guy is the greatest mind in physics. i thought it's amazing we are living in a time when he is a live his ideas are commendable.
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he didn't make the list for two reasons. as you mentioned, his greatest contribution is a brief history of time, which is some years ago. number two, we tried limit the amount of scientists because where does it end. we tried to focus on the issues that really mattered. we have scientist that's have weighed in recently he's someone that might have made this list a decade ago. coming in at 17 and 18 would be pope benedict and richard daw
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kins the pope is someone that's been criticized heavily for sticking to chatholic dogma. he has shown a willingness to change. one of those is on interfaith dialogue. he's been an interesting dialogue partner for the muslims. host: back on the phone bob on the line. caller: i wanted to ask you about hillary clinton's july
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14th speech. he referred to the offices in new york as the mothership. she said we get a lot of information from the council and they had just opened an office in washington, d.c. that's where she gos to find out what we should be doing and how we should think about the future. i'm wandering how much influnes the council on foreign relations has? . guest: sure they are just one of many think tanks in washington. there are a lot of conspiracy theories when that video was
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posted, that video was left out of the speech. i wonder if that shows the efforts to sort of sheild these people. guest: i would say they wanted to get to the heart of her speech. caller: my list would include people like fiddle cast yo and al gore. a lot of european leaders and president obama. host: why would you put those people on the list? caller: these are people that want to bring the u.s.a. into a
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global government. he believes the constitution is very flawed. it doesn't give the central government enough power. that's why we are moving in the direction we are moving. you could put supreme court justice ginsburg on there. this is a global movement by these organizations yes president obama is a maxist. he's surrounded himself with czars. ben green was a self admitted communist.
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the czar of education was praising mau. host: we are going to leave it there. thanks for your call. guest: george bush would be surprised to find himself on the list with fidel castro. i'll leave it at that. is forme president dick cheney. he has exerted a greater influence over the republican party's foreign policy outlook than any figure since henry kizz inninger who comes in at number 55. >> there was a fascinating moment of dueling speeches.
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there is no question that dick quheny is such a voice on foreign policy. yesterday, he was quoted in sayinging obama is pretending to care about the nation's security. no question he is extremely in flewen shal. you can pick this up at the local news stand. las vegas on the line for democrats. go a head. caller: i'm calling from las vegas, nevada. i'm a marine corp combat veteran there for the initial
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invasion in 2003 with the first marine division. i'm also a student at unlv studying sosheology. part of the curriculum is studying quarl marx. i wonder if they read the things he contributed to. he would probably label obama as part of the problem. he would agree with him or be proud. >> my question to you is do you even think that he would
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consider obama do you think they would consider him part of that question. i'm a little nervous. it is my first time i'm calling in. i can't sleep. i'm in vegas and it is about 3:00. guest: i hope you had a fun night and thank you for your service to our country. there is a claim that obama has sold out to all these big
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groups. there's a lot to that but i certainlyly think obama is no marxist. host: tell us about who these people are at number 20. guest: ashraf was a nominee in afghanistan. he's a former world bank economist he wrote a book about failed states. >> will they have any kind of an influence on foreign policy in afghanistan? >> i do know that david and the
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general talk to them. these people have an important inside influence. host: next up is john on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. this is an important program for the american people. i wanted to note that almost every person on your foreign policy magazine is a global. since the 1980s, inch clinton or the bush family have been in charge of foreign policy in america. i think it is important that we look at the idea that they are trying to create the conspiracy of the new world order.
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guest: anyone should look at what happened in copenhangen last month. they had a hard time signing a piece of paper. look what happens when you go on a family vacation. the more people you put in a minivan, the harder it is to figure out where you are going for lunch. >> speaking of families, coming in at nix six, the kagan familiarly. he and his son fred are both
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right wing think tanks in washington. bob has kind of wrote the book on u.s.-europe relations. host: the reason for grouping them together as one unit was what? guest: it seemed like a fun thing to do. they do operate as a family sometimes. sometimes they collaborate. they are an interesting american family with a lot of ideas. host: the managing editor of foreign policy magazine. previously, he has been the web editor there and worked at the center for development studies
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in cairo. what kind of assignment was that? guest: i was working for a magazine there. it was an organization promoting dem crassy in egypt and the arab world. kind of a tough mission. host: back to the phone on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm glad to see barack obama is on that list. i voted for him and i'll vote for him again. i think keith oberman from msnbc has a great mind. i'd put his mind up against anybody. guest: he's a funny guy. i appreciate the way he's brought the impact of sports to the political world. host: among the journalists on
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this list, at 37 fareed zakaria. guest: he brings a lot to the table. some of these sunday shows you get a lot of politicians and consultants. it's refreshing to see real experts on tv. host: mike on the line. go ahead. . .
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due to technology and all these other things. guest: i think charlie rose is certainly one of the most insightful interviewers and journalists around today. we do not have many journalists on the list. if we did, he would have to be on it.
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host: this is the first time a foreign policy has put together a list like this? guest: we had a list a few years ago about public individuals -- intellectuals. we talked about geo strategists and politicians, right in our warehouse. host: how does an intellectual differ from a politician? guest: in a global thinker is speaking to a wider audience. host: how many people were involved in putting this together? guest: about 10 of us on our editorial team. host: did you speak directly to the people to get information about them, were they gleaned from interviews, surveys?
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guest: we polled them and got responses from about two-thirds of them. we had a big sit-down interview with some of them, bill clinton, and we went to new york to see him. host: was it hard to get some of the people to get interviewed? guest: we had a good mix of people. some are harder than others. host: first phone call. caller: i have a question and a comment. i am a republican and i am getting sick hearing people call our president a marxist, a communist.
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is really getting out of hand. i am only 53 years old but i remember in our civics class, we have respect for the president, whether you like him or not. this is terrible what we are doing. do you think he was alarmed the past few years? they have more insight than us, seeing these financial woes coming. i do not know what he was thinking about, but he was not thinking about his up. this did not happen overnight. it took a few years. guest: i would say if we were
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making the list of top bankers in 2006 when bernanke came in, i do not think he would have made it. once he realized and saw the magnitude of the crisis, he acted boldly, and with courage, to stem the tide. the truth is, a lot of the problems in the economy were sort of baked into the cake when he arrived. we had this jenga-like structure of mortgages, and it muswas inevitable that there was going to be some sort of problem. i think he made it said that it was not worse.
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host: next, columbus, ohio. kim is on the line. caller: i would like to say a couple of things. on what you just said about how they are treating barack obama, it is nonsense. it is frustrating to see how we treat this man who is really trying to save this country. to me, the republicans are a joke. these people with the tea party things -- i think they've listened to the republicans and watch fox news. i do not mean them any harm, but they are easily tracked.
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how can they talk about barack obama the way they do? after everything they did in eight years. i have many friends who have lost everything. they are totally tricking these people. how is this fair to anybody? the country is in bad shape. there is no time for this political stuff. what i want to add is this -- how can we get our country back when things started so bad for barack obama? how can we have people separate us, like this, at a time when we are in bad shape? guest: there are a lot of people who are unhappy at how the budget we have become.
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i hope barack obama can fulfil the promises he made when he came in, changing the tone in washington, being a real uniter. it is not easy. you try your best and take shots from all sides. now that we are putting healthcare behind us, which was very divisive as, maybe we can focus on things that will unify people. host: another journalist, thomas friedman, for his genius in popularizing complex ideas. guest: he is actually the most popular columnist in the india recently. -- in india recently. he takes forward-looking the ideas, talks to people are around the world and is able to package them in a way that
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speaks to a broad columnist. host: how did you discover that he was the most popular in india? guest: i think i read it in a newspaper. host: is that because he is so popular, or because there are so many people reading his column? next phone call. caller: good morning. bill kristol, and there are sort of like mad scientists, they had never met a muslim they would not want to bomb. and did sarah palin make the list? guest: she did not. we saw the extent of her global
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fought in the campaign. i will leave it there. host: next phone call. caller: i believe barack obama is not a marxist. he is a good thinker, tries to plan things out. our country is about pulling together and trying to make things work, no matter your politics. i think if everyone knew what the rich things of america, they think nothing of view. i have worked for them. you have the best of everything. but when they look at the workers that work for them in
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their companies, they do not care about you. it is all about them and the buck. any person that cooks, thus service jobs -- they know what is going on for the super rich. guest: one of the people on our list was barbara erinrich. she writes about what it is like to be pour in america, -- poor in america. there is definitely a lot of anger about the economy, unemployment. it is something that barack obama will have to get his hands on. host: how long did it take you to get this list together?
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guest: about three weeks. host: taking a look at paul kennedy, a historian from yale university. guest: it does seem like we are at this historical moment when american power is declining. maybe he just wrote his book too early. host: college park, maryland. good morning. caller: this is a very sad day in america. since barack obama has been collected, the election of -- elected, the election of 2008, america needs to get a grip. how long is it going to take? america has to realize bush was
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there for eight years. he did a lot of damage when he was there. all they can see is -- it is a black man, all the negatives. america has blood on her hands. we cannot keep going to other people's countries and try to set up a democracy. that is all i have to say. host: thank you. guest: no question, obama came into office with a deep hole. america's image around the world was devastated. he is trying to get us out of iraq, some stable equilibrium in afghanistan.
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i wish him the best and i really hope he can make it work. host: we have this tweet from hoopsbuddy -- he is talking about normal liver beanie for accurately forecasting the -- nouriel roub ini for accurately forecasting economic recession. guest: many people call him the doctor of doom. we ran a column by him who said it is going to explode. i am sad to say that he was right. host: in last phone call comes from charlotte. on the line for independents.
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caller: the comment that the person made about the global list movement, i have to disagree with that. those who do that is discrediting them as a conspiracy theory, and so on. thank goodness the people are waking up. you can finally see that in the tea party movement. there is a global list movement going on. you can see that from the rights that we have lost. guest: i think, where we really need to start worrying about our right to is where we look at the intersection between terrorism and our civil liberties. we cannot let a bunch of guys in caves in afghanistan tell us how we have to live our lives. i believe it at that. host: the top 100 global
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thinkers of 2009. like hounshell, thank you for being on "washington journal." when me come back, we continue our discussion with a defining event of 2009 with carl cannon and robert schlesinger.
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@÷ >> fox news contributor michelle malkin is our guest this weekend on "book tv." she is the author of four books including "culture of corruption." part of a three-day new year's weekend. >> that is not the business and judges are in. we are not here to make the law. we decide who wins under the law that was adopted. >> unprecedented conversations with 10 supreme court justices. tonight our interview with antonin scalia and ruth bader ginsburg. interviews with supreme court justices. get your own copy on dvd as part
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of c-span's icon to collection. >> there is less than one month to enter the c-span2 thousand 10 student -- 2010 studentcam video. highlight a problem that the country is facing. winning entries will be shown on c-span. host: for the next hour we will be talking about the funding the events of the decade with roberts lays in your and -- robert s. schlesinger and carl
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cannon. robert, your defining moments of the decade and why? guest: i think if you had to choose any similar event, it would have to the 9/11. if any event set the tone for the world in terms of policy, and would have to be the attacks of 9/11. host: carl cannon, your thoughts? guest: it was a very pitiful decade. people are sort of tired -- good riddance. the decade started close to here with the inaugural presidents who had not even won a plurality of the popular vote. then we were attacked on our own soil. it happened in 1941 as well.
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that is a rare event. then you have two awards as a result of the attacks. we are still in both of those wars. now we are in the midst of -- we hope it is near the end of the -- but this is marking the second year of the worst recession in memory. there have been some positive things, too. the first african-american president, the first latina on the supreme court. sniper of chilly, the boston red sox when the world series. -- perhaps parochial thly, the boston red sox win the world series. host: featured very prominently are president barack obama and former vice presidential candidate sarah palin. tell me why these folks were so
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high up on the list of winners and losers, and why they helped to define the event of the decade. guest: this is not a scientific order, but obviously, they dominated the political scene. president obama is an extraordinary thing. the left, and that you had on, the managing editor of "board policy magazine" talking about how obama is perceived abroad -- we have never had someone is popular around the world. they gave him the nobel prize. everybody wants him to succeed, all over the world. here at home, although our politics is polarized, he is not a particularly polarizing figure. that is what we need to remember.
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bush and clinton were party people. he has a persona that people like, and the world wants barack obama to succeed. that is an amazing thing. sarah palin, she is polarizing, but she is laughing all the way to the bank. how dumb to quit your job in alaska. we calculated her book advance how long she would have had to be governor -- we calculated about 2049. she has a big family and now taken take care of them all. host: will her influence extended into the next decade? guest: perhaps, one not? guest: i think the question is not if, but how far. when you have carl and i back, will we be talking about her as a dominant figure of the decade?
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host: robert, in addition to being an editor, you also blog. you can find information on usnews.com. tell us about why you wrote about those four people. guest: this is our annual list of most admired men and women. not surprisingly, the president was the number one most admired person in the country, which happens every year, even when president bush was very unpopular. on the women's side, it was hillary clinton. she just edged out sarah palin. hillary clinton has been the
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number one person the last 14 years or something. this is an important exercise in name recognition. the reason tiger woods was in there because it -- is because he was in a four-way tie with bill clinton, george bush, and john mccain. as i mentioned in my blog, in case people wonder whether or not the american public are taking sides with the woods, elin nordegren was also in the top 10. angela merkel was also there. it was a bizarre collection. host: margaret thatcher, my angelou. -- maya angelou.
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host: in the meantime, we are going to continue our discussion of a defining event of the decade. the numbers are on the screen. fort lauderdale, florida. john on the line for republicans. caller: you are not the son of arthur/inner are you -- arthur/singer -- arthur schlesinger, are you? >> yes, i m. -- guest: yes, i m. caller: i remember him speaking at my university. tell him i say hello.
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guest: unfortunately, my father passed away. caller, i am sorry -- caller: i am sorry to hear that. as far as immigration reform goes, i think it is going to curb when the illegal immigrants to come to this country because it is going to be just as bad as the country they came from. guest: i do not really have anything. guest: that is a pretty good definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. host: texas. susan on the line for democrats. call, i might have to agree with that last person -- caller: i might have to agree with that last persiaperson. bush was not the brightest light
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bulb in the house. he did not even realize cheney was defining his eight years. he is still trying to do that. sarah palin, she tells sell many lives she cannot keep them straight. this christmas day bomber, i do not understand why it is not brought up time and time again -- i think it was amsterdam -- my those employees -- why those employees are not held accountable. flying overseas with no luggage? host: thank you. talk about her intentions with bush and cheney, having a declining influence on the decade. guest: when you look at the major events of the decade, you can look at it in two levels.
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specific stories, like 9/11, like the 2008 election, iraq, afghanistan, hurricane katrina, or more thematically, and she did hit on some of the more important themes of american politics, such as the return of the imperial presidency. the return of a very assertive -- power accruing executive, which we saw in the bush years. guest: i wanted to make a comment about one thing she said -- bush not been the brightest light bulb in the house. he graduated four years from yale. jenny fluncked out.
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i think some of this name calling is not accurate. host: oregon. on our line for independents. caller: i think one of the defining event of the decade would be the shaping and evolution of the entertainment industry all the way from the popular rise of the mp3 players, how you can have this digital music collection, the continued evolution of the online content, being able to stream high- definition content.
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they are adjusting the advertising schemes for that. the overall success ability and the evolution of access to the entertainment these days is pretty amazing. in 2000, you could download music from napster illegally, but you did not have a itunes. it is amazing how quickly industry can adapt to the emerging technologies to take advantage of possible profit. host: thank you for your call. thank you for being up early. guest: i always hate it when a caller is more articulate than i am.
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your blackberry, it has more computing power than when i started at norad. the things that have gone on in the technical revolution of decade, it has gone on so quickly -- he is right. guest: speaking thematically, the rise of social media feed so much the important events of the decade, and has shaped our lives. just in terms of politics, your blackberrys -- think back two years ago to the election. barack obama speaking at what he thinks is a private fund-raiser, talking about veterans cleaning their guns, and their religion. then someone has their blackberry and record it, and the next day, it is on the internet. guest: you mentioned our list,
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facebook and twitter are on the list. sarah palin communicate on facebook. twitter played a role in the revolutions in iran. host: do you believe this new digital media technology will eventually put traditional media out of business? we will not be able to read robert schlesinger's colorado in its current format? guest: everyone understand the miracle of technology. the business model is lagging behind. you need editors, you need people to filter. you cannot have an open mic night every day.
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you have to have some filter, writing, editing. but how do you get paid? that is the big riddle for our industry. guest: one of the trend of the industry is the traditional decline -- is the decline of traditional media. we have a magazine, a digital said christian -- subscription- based thing, we write blogs. guest: i have gone digital. guest: we are all trying to figure out what is going to work. host: mississippi. gary on the line for republicans. caller: how are you today? host: good, how are things in the south?
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cocoa is cold, but we are blessed. -- caller: it is called, but we are blessed. barack obama is one of the greatest things that has happened to the country. i believe if people wake up and understand what is best for the country, a lot of people are stuck in the past. i do not agree with everything he does, but i agree with what he inherited -- he is doing a lot better job than what the polls give him. i wish everyone would understand it is not just about one person, but america as a whole. he is doing the best he can. i will take your comments off
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the air. thank you for what you are doing. keep c-span going. host: thank you. robert? thus, the mention of the polls is interesting. -- guest: the mention of the polls is interesting. they are often looked at in washington. i more or less support the president. i hope you are right, that he turned out to be one of the greatest things to happen to this country, but it is important, especially in this era of immediate media, is important to setback and say, we are in the second inning, let's
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say. host: beyond being the first african-american president, is it too early to look at his administration and define what kind of definition it might leave on the decade, -- if he is to be a defining moment, will it come in the decade following? guest: predominantly, his impact will be on the coming decade. obviously, he has had to undertake a great deal this year. technically, it is not the final year of the decade. i just wanted to get that out there. but in terms of having an aggressive agenda and doing a pretty good amount, he has had
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an impact. i think we have to look forward -- when we talk about his great impact -- it will be in the 10's. host: phillipsburg, new jersey. rich, go ahead. caller: how come you do not have people like jesse ventura on every day? he speaks the truth. he knows more than these two guys. what are you talking about 9/11? all these people walking around, they should be in jail. something stinks. no one talks about it. these people are human beings.
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torture is wrong. it violates the geneva convention. host: thank you. guest: i would like to go back to the previous caller. it was an interesting point that you made. it is barack obama's impact going to be felt this decade or next? i think perhaps the next one, but i do not want to get caught up in that oslo feeling. he won the election, made some tough decisions in afghanistan, and began a tough fight of health care. the fruits of this will be next year and beyond. george bush left approval ratings in the low 30's. at this time of year, his numbers were probably around 70.
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so it is all in front of us for president obama, and we have to remember that. we need to take a deep breath with these polls. 53 -- 53% approval ratings when you have 10% unemployment? that is pretty impressive. guest: there is a fallacy that we fall into, assuming that trend follow current projections, six months later we could be saying that he was great, or maybe he was just as bad as a push. host: is there a concern on your part that the bush administration, clinton administration, obama administration will be defined by the polls and other than by the offense, or how they handle
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them -- events, or how they handle them? guest: i do not think so. bush left with a record low numbers. guest: truman left office with lower numbers than george bush. presidents are judged by who came after them, what happened, the fruits of their labor. when the post-mortem of the eisenhower was written, everyone talks about the shah in iran. even now, i think it is too early to write about the legacy about george bush.
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guest: i think that is a good point, but my point about the bush poll -- that datapoint will be remembered in a larger picture, in the way that truman -- people remember that truman left with record low approval ratings. clinton, i could not tell you. probably positive. guest: truman, he has become this figure that can be invoked by any party now. our memories things happen and it causes us to go back and reevaluate. host: we are talking about defining moment of the decade with carl cannon and robert schlesinger. georgia, on the line for democrats. caller: i think what defines us most is how we treat one
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another. carl was speaking about filtering. for instance, this year, veterans will not be getting a cost-of-living increase because someone determined there was no inflation in this time of recession. the consumer price index -- some on down individual -- some on known individual -- decided we did not deserve a cost of living increase. people are really going to suffer because everything is going up and their income is going to stay the same. i think that defined us, how we
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treat one another. these people who are unknown that hold a position of service are ill-serving the community. host: we are going to leave it there. talk about what he had to say, in terms about defining economic events of the past decade. guest: the house and bauble was this predictable thing, and people did predict it, they wrote books about it, and we did not listen. the banks went belly up, the recession was made much worse because small businesses could not get the money they needed. big business laying people off. we have 10 percent unemployment. the white house, if they can be faulted for one thing is, they are very bright -- larry summers and all of them.
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they predicted it would go up to 10%, and then because they predicted it, and it acted as if they should not be blamed. that number represents about 18 million missing guns. until we get that back, millions of americans will be hurting. -- missing jobs. the government is looking for all sorts of different ways like cost-of-living freeze is to hold down the debt. well, it all begins with employment. it is the indicator. host: next phone call from maryland. missouri, sorry about that. gregg, go ahead. caller: i think the defining
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moment of the decade is the health-care issue. also, the trial in new york city for the terrorists. i see a lot of bad things coming from this, and health care. when you have 10% unemployment rate and imposing taxes, how is this going to help? this is the nationalization of health care. i think the country is moving in the wrong direction. i am proud of the tea party movement that has occurred. this is a waking up of the american society. and there were mentions of the polls, how they are not defining for presidents, and i have to
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disagree with this. this is an indication of what the american general public is feeling. host: thank you. robert slicing her -- slashing her -- schlesinger? guest: polls are a reflection of the american public, but oftentimes they changed their mind. it is like we are watching one football play per day. they dropped the past, do we fire the coach, offensive coordinator? then the next day the team is rolling. you have to sit back and see how things play held a little bit. host: talk about how healthcare has been a defining moment in the decade.
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guest: the fact we are focusing so much about it shows us that we have gone to the point where we are and gone ahead. assuming the house and senate come to some agreement, how the issue plays out will be a defining moment of the next decade. does this become a medicaid, social security-type of program where it is deeply popular, or does it become an albatross that since the democrats? guest: -- sinks the democrats? best, this is an unusual thing on capitol hill -- guest: this is an unusual thing on capitol hill. the democrats are hard pressed to pass something that is unpopular. are they crazy? no.
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once this becomes law, they are convinced that people are going to like this more. i was speaking to about three tiered, and that is what she said. -- valerie jarrett, and that is what she said. host: why do they believe that the thinking will change once they sign off on it? guest: the administration believes that the critics do not really know what is in it. they are getting their news from fox news wore their neighbor. i am the critic of them, but the people who are criticizing it have opinions about it which are really not in the bill. everybody likes to pick on george bush, but he shepherded
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into a medicare program that gave the elderly people a drug prescription benefit. democrats said that it would be too expensive and did not go far enough, sometimes in the same sentence. we talked about how confusing it was. i called my mother down in florida, and i asked her if i needed to walk her through this. she said it was easy. there was all this bad press and one political party that now penn it but the public and the up -- bad-mouthing it but the public ended up liking it. guest: is easy to lose sight of the things that people agree on, which cannot get talked about as much.
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people will not be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. end of life caps. 30 million people who are not covered will have insurance coverage. democrats are banking on these things improving the opinion. host: frederick, maryland. alice on the line for independents. caller: good morning. it is my first time calling. it is an interesting conversation. i think the defining event of the decade is the loss of money. baby boomers have been working for over 40 years, looking toward retirement. today, they still cannot because they lost almost all of
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their money due to the financial crisis. nobody seems to be focusing on that and all the events that have been it is a result of the financial crises. corporations have moved across the seas, have taken jobs away. we are in a moment of a changing industry. i do not know what will happen in the next 20 years, for the younger folks, but the industry is changing. i remember it was the agricultural industry. then it became the logical. what is next? host: have your plans been altered by the economy? guest: yes, it has. my 401k lost so much money. my husband lost all of his.
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we are finally regaining some, but we do not have the time to make that money up. all the corporations and ceo's and people who have money have taken the money and gone. host: started to cut you off, but we have to move on. robert? guest: no question the financial crisis is one of the huge stories of the decade i think people are paying attention to it and most of the year has been dealing with that -- stimulus package. as you said, 10 percent and unemployment. that is a figure that will dominate certainly in the early years of the coming decade. -- as you said, 10% unemployment. host: do you think wall street
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has learned their lesson, or will we be back here in time, 15 years? guest: i think there is a real question about that. -- 10, 15 years? i think most people would predict that it could be business as usual. guest: all these people lost money from their retirement so quickly, and it is coming back slowly. maybe her net worth is not as much as she realizes, but there was this trauma. you could hear it in her voice. you can work all your life, you are worth this much, and then one month later, it is worth only half. that is dramatic. host: date on for democrats. massachusetts. -- dave on the line for
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democrats. caller: you could go through your house without a warrant. it shows how frail freedom can really be. thank you. guest: i have the opposite view. i believe freedom is strong, natural. you have people in iran who have never lived in a free country. they crave this freedom. i would have the opposite message from 9/11. freedom is strong, it is hard to take away. few people agree with everything that was done after 9/11, but i do not believe freedom is frail.
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guest: i would not agree with their depiction of the patriot act, but there is a point to be taken that freedom is strong, but it is something -- eternal vigilance is required. you do have to keep an eye -- and this is coming from a big government liberal. you have to keep your eye on what they are doing. you have to make sure they do not encroach too much. host: in terms of security forces privacy issues -- versus privacy issues, what would you say to those who say, in light of what happened over the christmas weekend with the flight going to detroit, that
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people still want to hold onto their personal freedoms. they do not want to go through these x-ray machines because they do not know where the information is going and they are willing to risk someone coming on to another plan with an explosive device so that they can maintain their personal freedoms. guest: this is one of the argument that stemmed from 9/11, talking about being a defining moment of the decade. we have had this conversation in varying forms in the last nine years about where do we draw the line? what level of danger are we building to tolerate, as a society, because our freedoms -- it is important to make sure that they are secure than to
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embrace too much security. host: mike on the phone from jacksonville, florida. caller: first i have a comment and then the question. i believe the defining moment -- of course -- for the country was 9/11. so many things changed across so many facets of our lives, and they continue to do so. i wish this administration could remember that, but they seem to have left that behind as a police the event, not a terrorist event. i really want you to try to enter as honestly as you can. you mentioned that obama's ratings were so high, even with unemployment falling apart, and
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he was at 53%. do your guests believe that it is the media -- if they were not so pro-obama and so for the administration -- that he would, in fact, have the ratings he has? i know it will be very hard, but i would like them to try to answer that. guest: i will be very honest. i do not think that person has ever read a word that i had written. i am not a shell for the administration. in fact, even some of my best friends do not know how i think about things, but i do point out liberal biases in the press. i think it continues. i think i ever journal to model was broken. we've reflected too little of
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this rich variety of abuse of americans -- views of americans, and we were sort of stock at left-of-center, and that was a problem. in terms of job approval ratings, i think americans can make up their own minds, but i do think there is a liberal bias in the press. guest: i think the bias is overstated. maybe 30 years ago, 40 years ago when you could have gotten the important washington and the opinion influence jurors, literally, around a small table -- now in the communications age we live in, you can find karl.
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if you want a more liberal view , you can read me. you can watch fox news. if you want a more liberal view, there are blogs for every stripe. there is no dominant press any more. host: robert schlesinger is a blogger. he is the author of "when house coast. " -- white house dosed." carl cannon is a senior correspondent senior politicsdaily.com. previously the bureau chief for "readers digest." he co-authored "reagan's
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disciple." back to the phones. . individuated himself, came up with his ideas and his thoughts. and is believed by basically
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putting out ideas that were somewhat politically incorrect, having to defend his ideas in the public domain. he does not think president obama has actually done that. he believes that he was elected primarily to s wage way deals, and that we may have a problem moving forward because of this. he concludes with -- he concludes with -- he is a president that comes to us out of our national insecurities. thoughts? caller: i cannot say with certainty who said it, but i am going to be guessing john or robert kennedy. i mean, i do not think that barack obama was elected because of national white guilt. i think he and his campaign did a pretty good job of notç makig
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him the black presidential candidate, the presidential candidate who was black. i think that was not a defining characteristic, and for most voters was not a defining characteristic. caller: he carried the demographic under-30 voters by the biggest gap ever, a gap that you do not see. the appeals to a generation of americans who are frankly tired of talking about race. it is boring to them. they think racism is wrong, let's move on. they are more liberal than their elders, but they think social security ought to be addressed, they would not say as michael moore did that it was a fictitious war in iraq. this young generation, the millennials, we call them, they went early for this guy and they got him elected. sometimes -- when i was young, they said do not trust anybody
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over 30. finally that came true. these young people did not trust us, and they elected this guy. it added to his appeal because it was a break from the past due but i do not think these kids felt guilty. host: back to the phones. miami gardens, florida, mitch, on the line for democrats. caller: we mentioned defining moments, and we had the speakers of this eight and our age, and then when we compare speakers of the past. to bring it home, defining moments, compared to joseph saving israel and other nations that were saved, despite the lack of food. we take that region, now we take the region of the united states,
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which was nominally controlled by the indians. england had a problem. all of the explorers can then, did not seize the opportunity -- came in, did not seize the opportunity, and we had basically three types of people that came to this country, bringing it home to roost. look at what is going on del. we have obama as president. we have -- but at what is going on now. we have obama as president. we have the immigration issue. but who were those that came in and help this country -- and helped this country, build this country. we have the conservatives with their views, but look what happened. we have people coming into this country and doing the job that blacks did in slavery days. we look at every 10 years,
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hundred years, and all of these years means something. all of these moments that we take as, for example, defining moments, these moments has an impact on results. host: thanks for your call, mitch. let's go 12 charles in san diego, because i'm not sure where mitch was going with that one. charles? caller: i am calling, i guess, to ask a quick question and follow up with it. do either of the guests understand the commodity futures modernization act of 2000 was approved 10 years ago? have you seen it? guest: that is not my area. guest: not my area.
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i'm sorry. caller: that is the most important reason that we are in the housing problems that we are in today. host: can you explain it to us? caller: the commodity futures modernization act was put together by tim geithner in 1999-2000 when the republicans were ready to sign off on it for the benefit of the financial community. host: briefly, how does that decide this decade? caller: is a 48-page document that allows credit default swaps to be done without regulation. it was signed in by bill clinton without congressional review, put into the omnibus act of 2000 as his last sign offq as president, engineered by the republicans, and it made possible all of the expansion of financial leveraging, credit enhancements, and that led to
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the massive explosion of procedures in real-estate, and now we end up on the courthouse steps with the same people who say bankers are clearing up their books of the balance sheet, and the foreclosures are recorded on balance sheets by the corporate gangsters. and the only people who lose are the people on the courthouse steps, and they are decrease in home of the the sales by 20% below what would be reasonable market value. host: we will leave it there. carl cannon? guest: i will defer to him on that. he clearly knows what he is talking about. everybody has their favorite moment that helped cause this crisis. conservatives say it was when fannie mae and freddie mac was forced to lead people who could not possibly pay it back. other people think it is when the sec fell asleep at the
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switch and allowed banks, mortgage banks to do investment- banking. other people think it is when the s&l crisis happened. everybody has a moment, but it was a collective failure in washington. the point the caller is making a thing is inarguable. you had democratic president, democratic congress narrowly gone along -- the early going along with no longer needed regulation. of course it needs to be regulation trip. host: jim on our lines from seattle washington. the release of the movie "avatar, cut its computer generation -- the lead caller: the release of the movie "avatar," this computer-
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generated effects. additionally, the film has two themes that are in the public discourse right now and will be for the next decade and beyond, and that is the treatment of our environment and the ethics and prudence of one nation invading another for its resources or any other reason. thank you. host: thank you. guest: well, i think -- we talked about culturally the development -- in the previous caller referred to this earlier -- the development of the media in terms of movies and television, and, you know, video games over the last 10 years have gone from being games to they are now in many cases on par with many major motion pictures, where they have real actors, directors, a huge production teams behind them and they develop movie-like profits.
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they tell often compelling stories that bring the viewer into an interactive -- bring them in interactively, and it is easy to see where things are going in terms of how these things interact. guest: robb can i to my own horn, my website? jeffrey weiss writes about this picture, and he is not as enamored with it as this caller. he thought that james cameron's new age religion was not well drawn-out, that the three the picture was ironically kind of a two-dimensional. that the liberal political message was actually marred by that because he did not bring out those things, the country invading another one for its resources. that is what the critics of the
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war in iraq said about this, bush's invading, blood for oil. that bush could have lifted the embargo and everybody knew that it would have worked. so some of those superficial messages and pictures sometimes annoyed me. i go to the movies to sometimes escape what i'm doing 24 hours a day. but anyway, they should go to politicsdaily.com and find jeffrey weiss' review. host: next up is charles on our democrats led from baltimore, maryland. caller: i have a couple of comments. one, we all know that president obama was an activist and he often said that he was running for president but he could not do it himself, that he would need week, the people, to help paul.
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-- he would need we, the people, to help out. so we as citizens have to be community activists. also, i was wondering, i am a doctor of education. i teach at the university. but i live in the ghetto, the hood, or whatever, and i have never been polled on anything. so when you say 30% of the population has been -- that does not include the people around me. can you speak to that? host: anybody want to take a crack at that? guest: pollsters have the formula of trying to make sure that the group their sampling is representative of the country as a whole. but it may not be you, but they tried to make sure that they cover all, get all the
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demographic roots so that everyone is factored in. now, you can argue, 1500 people across the country is not a big enough sample of 300 million, or wherever we are now guest: or 600 million, or whatever bit -- or wherever we are now. guest: courses of a million, or what ever we are at del. his thoughts of being called a very small. host: our last call is from richmond, michigan. chuck is on our line for republicans. caller: thank you. i appreciate everything c-span does. i just want to say, in my opinion, for the past decade, our defining moment has to be 9/11, without a doubt. i think that is when we became
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fallible to the rest of the world as opposed to being in fallible. in the 1940's during world war ii, or the early 1950's. i would like to make the comment, carl cannon burst my bubble and talk about the things that i wanted to talk about president bush accomplished -- i am on social security, and he put throughç the act for medicare. adding prescription coverage save me $400 a month. so a lot of things that presidents do that they do not get credit for, again, thank you for taking my call. have a great day. host: thanks for making the calls, check. carl cannon, whatç about president bush and social security?
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guest: president bush took it on, but he did not take it on the right way and he did not succeed. 9/11 was the defining moments in some ways, in other ways it was not. many ways it was the thing that got in the way. president bush was going to change education, improved ties with mexico. he had a lot of things he wanted to do, but he did not get to do any of them. this war sort of took over his presidency. he wanted to address social security. he did not get to do what reagan did. but i would like to say one thing. it was the most cataclysmic event of the decade, and it had all these ramifications, but i do not think it was the defining moment of the decade. if you are going to use that word and talk about us as a people, i would point to other plants, some of them right here at the capitol. when the members of congress got together on the steps and sang "
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god bless america" right after the attack -- and sang "god bless america" right after the attack, people braving the cold to see the first african- american president, i would say that was the first -- that was the most defining moment for us as an american people. guest: the one thing related to 9/11 that we did not get to talk about was the rise of non-state actors of the world stage. that is everything from al qaeda to the bill gates foundation and the bill clinton foundation, and individuals and organizations that are able to affect and shape world policy that are not a state actor, are not a government. host: gentlemen, thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you. guest: happy new year.
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host: happy new year. we are going to be talking more about the fighting did events -- about defining events in the decade. now we want to shift gears and talk about what the president's agenda is regarding climate change, and we are going to begin this with looking at what he had to say in copenhagen earlier this month on the issue. when we come out of that, we will be talking with juliet eilperin about her coverage of the president's agenda, and his record so far on climate change. >> we come here in copenhagen because climate change poses a grave and growing danger to our people. all of you would not be here unless you, like me, were convinced that this danger is real. this is not fiction, it is
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science. unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economy, and our planet. this much we know. the question then before us is no longer the nature of the challenge. the question is the capacity to meet it. while the reality of climate change is not in doubt, i have to be honest, as the world watches us today, i think our ability to take collective action is in doubt right now, and it hangs in the balance. i believe we can act boldly and decisively in the face of a common threat. that is why i come here today not to talk but to act.
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[applause] now, as the world's largest economy and as the world's second largest emitter, america there is our responsibility to address climate change, and we intend to meet that responsibility. that is why we have renewed our leadership with in international climate change negotiations. that is why we have worked with other negotiations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. that is why we have taken bold action at home by making historic investments in renewable energy, by putting our people to work, increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings, by pursuing comprehensive legislation to transform to a clean energy economy.
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host: juliet upper and joins us from "in washington post, the national environment reporter. welcome to the program. caller: good to be -- guest: good to be here. host: how far as president obama gotten into that agenda? guest: one thing he made clear from the beginning is he wanted to impose a nationwide limit on greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. this is something president bush opposed during his eight years in office, and he was also committed to forging an international treaty which would produce global limits on greenhouse gas emissions. in terms of doing that, he has made some steps through regulation, but he has failed to achieve the overall goal, whether it is on the domestic front or international front, and one of the key things will be looking ahead to 2010, whether he can get congress to enact legislation to put a
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nationwide carbon cap host: looking from the international perspective, was he as successful as he wanted to be going to copenhagen? guest: no, he was not as successful as he wanted to be, but he does given the fact that the u.s. had not adopted any kind of climate legislation. he was able to at least achieved one u.s. objective, which was set up a way the international community can see whether major emerging economies like china, india, brazil, permitting voluntary greenhouse gas emissions cuts they say they are going to be. but he did not achieve the overall goal that many americans and europeans were looking for, which was a binding international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. host: and the reason why he could not that the binding agreement -- was it because he could not get enough international cooperation, or is it just that they did not want
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to hear what he was trying to say? guest: it was a combination of things. part of it was because the u.s. had not acted on his own -- on its own, he could not commit the u.s. as the number two greenhouse gas emissions -- the matter in the world, to cut emissions. in addition, he would face the problem that under the current way our climate treaty, the global climate treaty is structured, many major the bidders, including china and india, are not required to make greenhouse gas reductions. many countries in the industrialized world were saying they refuse to commit to future binding cuts if there was no way of bringing in the major contributors to global warming like china and india into an international regime. host: are these folks still upset about not been full participants in the kyoto
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treaty? guest: there was some of that, although that was not part of the central discussion. that was part of the debate. we understand that you have been out of the game for a while, you are back in it, with but we need this season, defended the legislation, and that is ñrsomething the senate failed to deliver in time. host: so what is going to be his strategy heading into 2010 to get the senate on board? can he get the senate on board given what he has had to wrestle with in order to get health care legislation passed? caller: dep -- guest: that is an open question. that will be one of the top questions in 2010. he has just asked senators to take a serious leak. on health care, he has alienated key republican senators. unlike health care, climate legislation simply will not make it to the senate without half a dozen republican votes. so he is going to be working
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this issue hard in the spring of next year when this bill is probably going to be moving he is going to have to make some policy concessions, and again he is going to a to placate some of these republican senators who say, look, you did not include us on health care, why should we believe we will be full partners on climate change? host: we're talking about president obama's climate agenda with juliet eilperin of "the washington post." give us a call. 202-737-0001 for republicans. 202-737-0002 for democrats. 202-628-0205 four independents. you can also send us an e-mail or twitter. who are some of the republicans he has to get on board and democrats he has to smooth things over with to get them to support his plan the agenda on capitol hill? guest: when you look at
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republicans, it is an unusual mixture. it is not a defining geographical area that they come from. it is everyone from the stokowski, from alaska, the top republican on the senate energy committee, to lindsey graham, most involved in crafting a kind of bill from south carolina. but then you have the two main moderate republicans, as well as a handful of others. bob corker from tennessee. it is a mix. with a lot of the moderate democrats from the country, you're talking but indiana, michigan, ohio, even arkansas. it is a range of people that has çto work on it. it's still our main -- our first call comes from -- host: our first call comes from california. caller: happy new year from
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california. i am a democrat and i am very upset with president obama. i think he should get the academy award, not the nobel peace prize, because he has just let us all about. i do not think he really cares that he has let us down. with the environment, he led me down there. with health care, he led me down there. host: joanne, how did he let you down with the environment? caller: he really did not say anything. he looks into the camera with this straight face, and he is lying to the american people. democrats especially are very upset with him, and what gets me is he does not care. he has thrown us under the bus, and he knows it. host: but specifically, what has he lied about?
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caller: well, when he gets in front of the camera, all the promises that he made -- he is going to help the poor, he is going to take care of the environment, the people to work -- put people to work. host: thanks, we are going to leave it there. let's move on the clinton township, dorothy, on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: hello. can you hear me now? host: yes. caller: great, because i heard a sound. i call back in november on basically the same subject. as far as obama's agenda on climate change, i'm so happy the agreement was not signed. as far as what he intends to do, it is part of the big, broad picture for social justice to take our wealth and transfer it to other countries' wealth. since he has taken office,
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everybody's wealth has disappeared to begin with, and if he does anything else, he will take away our sovereignty. it will be worse. we are going to be a third world country and and power and in which other countries. i think his agenda is a bunch of bunk. a surprise he mentioned senator inhofe, because he has been one of the opponents of climate change. it is a big farce, a joke. all of the emails, it has not been over 10 years. back in may, as far as september, lies were being told. it is a big farce. host: thanks, dorothy. guest: your caller is referring to a few things. one issue is giving money to foreign nations because that is really an important part of the debate over what kind of global agreement you get. basically a lot of developing countries are saying the
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industrialized world, the rich nations, emitted these greenhouse gases, and they need to pony up billions of dollars in order to help the developing world cope with the impact of climate change. that's absolutely is to be part of any global deal. it is the tentative accord that was reached in copenhagen. there was a commitment to provide $30 billion over the next three years that industrialized nations would provide. europe would give a small part of that, the european union and japan would provide the bulk of that. that is something that again, the u.s. is counting on passing a kind of climate bill that would allow the private carbon market to generate a lot of its, but it is a huge financial commitment and certainly is going to be something that will stir up a lot of domestic
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debate in the coming year. host: the next call comes from citadel, louisiana. -- from to the, louisiana. caller: i would like to make a true statement, please. the subject at hand, and that i would like to make a statement about the most defining moment. with the speech that obama gave, i cannot ignore the six lies there. this is a climate change professional you are supposed to have on here. if global warming is true, then can you explain to us why, in the middle ages, the temperature of the earth was a lot hotter than it is now? what caused that, campfires? host: specifically, can you tell me one thing that the president
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lied about? caller: he said there was no doubt in the science. apparently he did not get the letter with 31,000 scientists that said to him that global warming was a hoax. host: thanks for the call. caller: the caller is referring to a medieval warm. there were bused there was an area indicated a warmer. of time -- with a warmer. of time. again, it was located in one area, and there were questions about whether that was a broad trend. and imagine in the middle ages, it is not like we had the same recording methods we have today. again, there certainly are some scientists that continued to question whether there is a connection between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, but the vast scientific
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consensus believes there is no question. many of the most prominent scientists who question some aspects of it do not question the essential finding. many do not question whether human activity has contributed to global warming. host: jersey city, new jersey, all of our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: hello. happy new year to everybody. i was calling about the environmental concerns. every year, california has fires that cause a lot of devastation, and we have to keep paying money to put out the fires. every year there are water shortages in a lot of parts of the country, and there are floods and other parts of the country.
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we are not going to be able to use irrigation and water pipes naturally to create jobs and water availability. guest: one thing you're caller points out, again, the fact that we're seeing more intense forest fires and drought in the west -- again, there are -- there is quite a lot of evidence that this is climate change, and it is something the federal govern is acting on. when you talk about a nationwide system of irrigation, that is something that would be hugely expensive and raises the question when you have less water in the first place to distribute out into these areas, the idea of doing broad irrigation seems unlikely, i would say, from a policy perspective. the farming community demands most of the water for its own purposes. host: does the obama administration have a formal plan to try and reduce the number of forest fires?
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do they believe there is any connection between a large forest fires and global warming overall? guest: yes, they have identified the connection between forest fires and climate change. the u.s. geological survey has done research on this. there are a lot of these issues that generally come under the nameç of the adaptation to climate change, so secretary salazar has launched an initiative on this. the agriculture department is it different methods and ways of adapting to forest fires and managing forests to minimize the impact. host: we are talking about the president's, the agenda with juliet i'll parent of "the washington post." next, tom, from texas. on the republican line. caller: first of all, the climate change that the lady here is talking about is posted and directed by the builder
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bird -- the bilderberg group. everybody knows that al gore stands to gain a very huge amount of money if this were ever to be passed. the other thing is, mr. cannon, who was on their earlier, he said something about part d. when that was added by president bush, that did not have a penalty to pay a fine or go to prison with. and to this day, you can still not have part d if you so choose not to. host: thanks, we're going to leave it there. this concerns about the president -- former vice president gore? guest: i have never heard of that group. in terms of al gore, the former
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vice presidentç has investments in clean energy initiatives. this has come up in the media and his response has been that he is putting his money where his mouth is, and the idea that he is investing his private dollars in these initiatives should not be seen as a conflict of interest. he is a interesting figure because he has made the american public more aware of the issue of global warming through his movie "an inconvenient truth." host: does he have any influence on the obama administration and then laying out their time and agenda? guest: i think that he is one of their advisers, without question. host: explain, if you can, what cap and trade is, how it would work,ç at howard fits into the president's agenda.
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guest: this is the market-based approach to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. it would set an overall limit for greenhouse gas emissions and ratchet that down year after year. basically the industries that emit greenhouse gas emissions would have a couple of choices. they could either install technology so they release less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, or they could buy credits from other people and treat them, and that is where the cap and trade, said. this has been used, for example, when there was legislation on acid rain several years ago. the use a similar approach. it is often more economically efficient than the command and control pollution that we have had in the past. again, it has raised controversy simply with the idea that includes a cap, for example, with the idea that we would have higher emissions in some areas of low emissions and others.
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host: is this something the obama administration would like to see happen? caller: absolutely, the cap and trade is essential to any solution addressing greenhouse gas emissions. it's come back to the phones. on our independent line, -- host:, back to the funds. caller: it does not seem like you are very tough on them. cap and trade, it is still toxic. that is the problem with that system. why doesn't anyone have the nerve to enforce anything and make polluters pay? regarding president obama, if you have got the president's saying go ahead, ship those in from alaska, i used to be a
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democrat, and i am an independent now. i tell you what, i have watched so many false moves, i am starting to think he is a straw man. the book of a good face for the people, but he is acting for the rich guys and the corporations. we cannot have a public option in a democracy? host: who did you vote for in the last election? see, i voted for obama, but i will not again. -- caller: i voted for obama, but i will not again. guest: u.s. in dissatisfaction with obama for the fact that he has not moved more aggressively and legislatively on curbing greenhouse gases. although, in fact, the administration has done a lot of things domestically through the environmental protection agency. what of the things to watch is if the administration fails to convince congress to pass legislation next year. what you will see most likely
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is the environmental protection agency will regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and that may end up being the solution that they come up with on the issue of climate change. host: the house has already passed the bill? guest: exactly the house has already passed the bill, and that in many ways is similar to what has been moving through the senate. but one of the issues is it is clearly -- that blueprint is not conservative enough to get votes. moderate democrats and liberal republicans, moderate republicans, to get them on board. they are trying to retool it and will have to come up with something different for the house, although it has many similarities, and there will be an effort to compromise and coordinate it to have a law that president obama consign. host: is this like health care all over again? guest: there are different dynamics, although there are
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going to be certainly legislative concessions to buy off votes. one thing that is interesting is that health careç is somethinga lot of americans can identify with personally. one of the things the administration and the congressional leaders have struggled with is the fact that in many ways climate change still is not as attractive to a lot of people. its coat tobias in birmingham, alabama, host: tobias in birmingham, alabama, go ahead. caller: hello? the use this time for major legislation, make more effort to address the economy. because it is not going to be an
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extreme priority to the place where -- i did not say that this climate change moving forward, but in reality -- i do not say that this climate change moving forward, but in reality, leaving obama -- blaming obama, talking about obama. you can find everything he will say or do is attacked, so you need to be very careful host: tobias, thanks for your call. guest: i think one of the things to buy as is pointing out there is the tension in the debate. in the long run, you are going to have an economic benefit from curbing read us gases, and it will spur innovation in green technology here at home, but it
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will be essential if we're going to shift to a low-carbon economy. in the short term, there will be some economic dislocation, and you'll be hearing a lot about that, including higher energy prices, as part of the congressional debate early next year. host: we have this week. "the best way to deal with climate change is to reduce the çrole taxes by 30% and add a 3% gas tax." guest: that proposal has certainly been raised as a possibility, but it seems that that is not generally the direction in which congress is headed. but the idea of kind of reducing taxes somewhere and raising them in order to do exactly what the writer is talking about, making energy more expensive so people will use less of it, is certainly one way you can address the dust gas emissions. host: paul matos, georgia, on
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our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: with all the pressure come down through the media to get us to accept that climate change is real, i do not know anybody that believes that it is. i do not believe that it is. and this cap and trade thing, here it is. we are putting more and more restrictions on american businesses, causing more and more of our jobs to go offshore to countries where they do not have restrictions, and the missions are even greater because they do not have water quality problems because they can just go straight into the rivers and the streams. putting more pressure on businesses here in the united states, more jobs going offshore. i do not see where this game is great for the american people, all i see is jobs lost. host: before i let you go, why
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don't you believe that climate change is real? caller: because i have read history. we have had ice ages, warming spurts. they said that the polar bear population is dying off. some studies show that they have increased. so i do not know what they are talking about here. it just does not congeal to me. host: thank you for your call. this goes to part of that thing that you talked about earlier, that this climate change is not necessarily an idea that the general public can grasp. guest: although, one thing that we can see, polling is subtly shows that 3/4 of americans, give or take, that climate change is real and is being caused in part by human activity.
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what is interesting is it has particularly fallen off among republicans. one thing you are seeing is that a poll was recently done where there was a 22% drop among republicans who believed in climate change being real. overall, it is still a high number, but you are right that people and not necessarily seeing it in their own lives when there is a winter that as colder than the one before, or a summer that is not as high. people are seeing short-term climate changes, and they will not conflict that with the broader issue over a period of time. host: next caller, go ahead. caller: the solution is that we have to stop turning the 10 commandments into the top 10 inconvenient truths.
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he did say that it is an environmental rest state for the -- you can say that it is an environmental rest state for the earth. host: all right. çóin "the wall street journal" e hunt for clear polish there's future. many biologists look for -- the hunt for clear polar bears future. in presenting that kind of information, where it says there are fewer places for the bears to go, but apparently there are more bears out there, how do you get that message across to people in a way, or how does the administration get the message across to people in the way that supports their intention that we need some sort of climate change legislation? guest: i think that is one of the challenges in communicating silescience. whether you are a journalist or
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an administration official, i think again the polar bear is a classic example. when you are talking about long- term trends and the idea that live there is the head on sea ice, summer sea ice to do for hunting and fishing that they need to feed their cubs at themselves, you can very clearly look at what is happening and see how arctic sea ice is disappearing and shrinking, and that is consistent. but of course when you said that right now the population ahas nt dipped dramatically, that is hard for the american people to accept. host: juliet upper uncovered the impeachment of bill clinton, -- juliet halperieilperin was repog for roll-call, and also has written for louisiana and florida newspapers that the
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state news service. back to the phones, clarion, pennsylvania. steve on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: i had a quick question. i wanted to ask -- there are a lot of countries that spoke during the copenhagen summit, and they seemed to have a different agenda as far as paying attention to climate change and the issues at hand. iq was wondering, what is the best way america can bring them in closer toward the issues that are important, the issues that are being discussed at the time, and try to get them to change and work with us on some sort of compromise instead of being so rigidly against our whole idea as far as climate change legislation is concerned? guest: that is going to be a
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real challenge. the caller is talking about one of the most contentious moments at the end, with a handful of countries including venezuela, sudan, cuba, bolivia, who objected to the very weak accord that countries were agreed to in terms of addressing climate change internationally. there are a number of reasons for that, including the fact that a number of those countries are oil producers, so they would stand to lose from a global cap on greenhouse gas emissions. several of these nations who are opposed to what the united states does -- hugo chavez from venezuela basically compared bush -- compared obama to bush in his speech and implied that obama was as much as the devil as bush was. so i do the know to what extent the administration will be able to bring those countries into the fold. it underscores the challenge you have when you are working internationally trying to get a consensus agreement with 193
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countries. that is a hard thing to do. host: what does on the agenda for 2010? is there another level meeting? guest: -- is there another global meeting? guest: there is another meeting. that is really going to be one of the top issues, and in some sense it is going to be determined by what the united states does here and whether we have a binding, the bill. that will be a key factor and there will be others as well. host: said this kind of -- so this kind of ups the ante? guest: president obama that with these other world leaders from china, india, europe, and other countries, and he personally invested in it being a
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successful outcome. whether he can ensure a successful outcome remains to be seen. host: wilmington, north carolina, brendan, on our line for independents. caller: i think everybody is missing one big point on the whole environmental issue. regardless of whether it is manmade or what is going on, something is going on. glaciers are melting, water levels are rising, and we are running out of fresh water. that needs to be an immediate concern in the environmental debate. guest: i think the issue of water shortages is something that needs to come up in the debate. the department of interior is looking at this. it is a real issue, particularly for americans living out west. it is something that, for example, california governor arnold schwarzenegger has made one of his top priorities.
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there is no question that this is a real and urgent issue, in this and many other countries. for example, in india, where a lot of their water comes from the himalayas and various have got no rain. host: with health care, which saw the target date for getting something to the president's best has moved us to the president's desk has moved -- has moved to the president's desk -- is there a similar time line? has he said to the senate that i need to have this on my desk by a particular date and time? guest: harry reid has said he hopes to have legislation on his desk in the spring, with the idea of finalizing it by the summer.
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it puts a lawmakers in a bus precarious position. this is a timeline that has already -- in a less precarious position. host: next up is new mexico, marty on our line for republicans six o. caller: yes, my name is marty. i would like to say on this global warming, i do not know if you guys are familiar with the slingshot effect, but scientists do not ever talk about it much. the slingshot effect is, once every 10 years, as we rotate around the sun, we get closer to the sun, and then after that 10 years of slingshot around the sun, i think we get a lot
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further from the sun. so you are going to have 10 years of warming and 10 years of freezing, the north and south poles freezing up. 10 years, if you check your compass, you will notice that that 10 years that we are closest to the sun, it will be exactly a half a degree off. host: marty, let's bring this back into the perimeter of climate change. are you saying that there -- back into the parameter of climate change. are you saying that there is an effect with this slingshot on the climate change we are experiencing now? caller: exactly, because you are
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going to get 10 years of warming, 10 years of freezing. guest: i have not heard anything about the slingshot effect. the trends we are seeing have lasted more than 10 years, so i am not sure in what period we would be seen this. host: next caller, on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i was calling because i want to thank of war because he is letting people see, and people -- the public to think al gore because he is letting people see, and people can see for themselves that the ice caps are shrinking. also, i want to say, do the republicans reid? -- do the republicans reid? do they read?
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my dog. i have a question for the young lady on your show. she says one thing about something good, and then she will flip-flop and say something else and confuse people di. either is or is it ain't. come on, that is what confuses people. host: what are you confused about? how do you believe that juliet eilperin has flip-flopped? caller: she says republicans are for climate change -- not for climate change, right? then she turns around and says but the white house -- hold on, she says that the democrats -- i am nervous -- first she says the democrats are for it, then she turns around and says a lot of
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democrats are not for it. host: we are running out of time. sorry to cut you off. guest: in that instance, i am describing the political land slated there are a number of rank and file democrats, including some key moderate democrats, in the senate, who are not. host: our last call comes from mesa, arizona. jim, on our line for republicans. caller: there are a few things that juliet has said that i would like to correct. in arizona, we have been a dry state,ç but the tree huggers he not let us clean up our forests. they will not let us clean up our debris. then we are talking about al gore and how great he is on this. why won't he debate anybody unless obama and nancy pelosi, john kerry, they all fly their private jets around like they are going to the cne

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