tv Capital News Today CSPAN February 4, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST
government. it reduced the take of the federal government from the private economy. the private economy grew and the governmental sector became more efficient and more productive. that's what we need to return to. it was such a fabulous honor to have the opportunity to serve in that position, and i hope and -- that i was faithful to the lues that the president who appointed me had. i got to tell you, i think i knew what they were and i know i gave my best effort to be worthy of the trust he placed in me. and i think that was true of many, many more people throughout the federal vernment. i would note mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. a senator: as a junior senator representing the state of illinois and one who will lead a celebration of president reagan's life in chicago saturday night for sunday, the
100th birthday of our native illinoisan, the 40th president, ronald reagan, i want to talk for a moment about his life and what he has meant to the united states now on the 100th anniversary of president reagan's birth. mr. kirk: on february 6, 1911 in tampico, illinois, with a population of 820, john and nellie reagan welcomed a child who would one day change the direction not just of our country but the world. according to the reagan family lore, when he first gazed upon his son, john reagan prophetically kweupd he looks like a fat little dutch man. but who knows, one day he may grow up to be president one day. his father was a strong believer in the american dream and nellie reagan passed on to her son her
penchant to always look for the good in people regardless of their position. it was those lessons in perseverance and faith that would inspire ronald reagan to pursue his dream of becoming a hollywood actor. he signed his first professional acting contract in 1935 and went on to enjoy a successful career on the silver screen. but by 1946, after serving three years in the army air force intelligence corps during the height of world war ii, he began to have ambitions beyond hollywood. after five-year stint as the president of the screen actors gild laid the foundation for ronald reagan's political career. during the turmoil of the hollywood communism craze, reagan proved himself to be a skilled dealmaker and an influential leader as he successfully navigated the upheaval in the hollywood community. in 1964, ronald reagan was
thrust into the national spotlight as he gave his televised speech entitled "a time for choosing" in support of the presidential nominee, barry goldwater. following his speech, a group of influential citizens became convinced that ronald reagan should become the next governor of california. after winning a primary and enduring a very hard-fought campaign, ronald reagan unseated the two-time governor of california, pat brown, to become the 33rd governor in california's history. during his two terms as governor, californians enjoyed a smaller, less costly and more efficient state government. governor reagan returned $5 billion to the taxpayers and used his line-item veto authority 943 times to ensure that the state's budget matched its priorities. ronald reagan had once again
proved himself a determined and capable leader in difficult times. but soon the american people would learn that his best days were very much ahead of him. after an unsuccessful republican presidential attempt in 1976, he knew that he wanted to be president but would only enter the race if the people of the united states actually wanted him to run. in the years following the 1976 primary, ronald reagan became increasingly concerned about the direction that the country was headed, especially in the areas of national security, unemployment, and the economy. more than anything, reagan sensed that americans had lost their sense of confidence not just in themselves, but also in the country. interestingly, the concerns mr. reagan felt as he weighed the decision to run for president are not unlike many of the challenges we face today. ronald reagan was confident that
he was the man who could lead the country out of a dark recession and into the light of a new prosperity and national pride. after winning a landslide election in november, ronald reagan was sworn in as our 40th president on january 20, 1981. he immediately went to work on repairing a broken economy by enacting the economic recovery tax act of 1981 with his solemn belief being that if people had more money in their pockets and confidence to invest, the country would get back on a sound financial footing. during his first months in office, reagan was as much thankful for the newfound economic stability as he was for a heightened sense of optimistic that was returning to the united states after very hard times. he thoughtfully guided this country through a series of national tragedies and terrorist attacks on our military forces
abroad. yet through it all, president reagan's resolve never wavered. his confidence in the american people would meet the challenges of the times they faced without faltering. he was a man who, after surviving his own assassination attempt, continued to meet with congressional leaders in his hospital bed as he recovered because he believed it was best and in the intft american people not -- in the interest of the american people to continue to work as he healed. it was that type of steadfast determination that allowed negotiations with soviet leader mikhail gorbachev to move forward and eventually led to the tearing down of the berlin wall, the signing of the i.n.f. treaty and eventually the end of soviet oppression of eastern europe. the issue that got him into politics -- ending the spread of communism -- became the crowning achievement of ronald reagan's
presidency. his constant refrain throughout this time in the white house was that government was becoming too big, too inefficient, too unresponsive, and too wasteful. as governor, reagan demonstrated the ability to exercise fiscal restraint as he urged leaders in congress to do the same thing. i think it's appropriate that we are celebrating ronald reagan's 100th birthday at a time when the national debt and deficit are at an all-time high. we know that ronald reagan possessed the willingness to tackle such tough issues and i believe that the lesson we can learn most if his presidency is the endlessly optimistic attitude that he had for the united states, for its people and himself would one day emerge stronger than any of the difficulties he had to overcome. his assertion was that america was -- quote -- "a shining city on a hill."
it guided him, as it should guide us. a hard-nosed and gritty politician, reagan would have jumped at the chance to >> we take you live now to the reagan center in california for remarks by syrup a lendl is being introduced by the vice- president of the group sponsoring tonight's event. >> we would like to jump up and give her a high five. but we can't do that because we need to get her to the podium and she has been gracious enough to agree to do a photo line. stay at your table. i know you are all lovely and gracious. in the spirit of ronald reagan, you will do that. it is my great pleasure and honor to introduce to you our keynote speaker for tonight.
[applause] no, no, no. i will do better than that. said down, i will do better than that. you have to suffer through. can i have everybody goes the attention please. -- everybody's attention please? but you remember what it was like to be a conservative a few short years ago. it was very tough. probably what it felt like to be a conservative around 1976. not so good. but we emerged from our despondency when a conservative did not win the white house, but he was a champion of our founding principles. he emerged as a champion of expanded liberty, limited
government, one who had the uncanny ability to connect with and inspire the american people. he spoke with convictions, not from a teleprompter. [applause] that champion was ronald wilson reagan. he did not win an election that year, but he inspired a movement to return to its founding principles home and champion of our founding principles of limited government with unabashed enthusiasm. his ideas were mocked and belittled by the establishment on both the left and the right. he was personally derided and taunted. he was inspired. he was strengthened and he only fought harder.
we had strayed so far from the vision of ronald reagan, the media and many on the left, they even declared the end of conservatism. then seemingly from out of nowhere, another leader emerged. a woman of humble origins. an entrepreneur married to her high-school sweetheart. she took on the establishment time and time again and won. she had become the mayor and governor not for the glory, but because she sought jobs that needed to be done and she knew how to do them. she sacrificed this easier way because she loved her stayed in her freedom more than she loved her comfort. because of her courage and her sense of right and wrong, she stood for freedom even when she was told to sit down.
time and time again, she ignored the establishment on both the left and right. she did what she believed was right for her family and her country. without intending to, she led the largest spontaneous grass- roots movement of our nation has ever seen. she brought other taxpaying got loving americans that had never even considered being civic activists to their feet saying enough is enough. and in large measure because of her courage and the fire she sparked, our nation sent a message that transcends party lines to its leaders. what has she gone for it? the feminists that claim they want to see more women in leadership positions have led the charge in the most stunning assault on the character of a
good and honorable person that we have seen in the public sphere. for her outspoken courage and the beliefs that reagan champion, she has faced scorn and derision. it has just made her stronger. [applause] in his book, president reagan who talked about a speech he delivered soon after his triumphant 1981 inauguration. he was speaking to a large group of conservatives, many of whom are in this room right now. and of the conservative allies, president reagan said, "these were my people, the people that fought for individual liberty and freedom.
they were the people that persevered and i can't tell you how much i admire them for their tenacity and their hope. he said i also can't tell you how embattled we felt over the years. they treated us as if we were some kind of neanderthal. we developed barely enough to come in and out of the rain. we were ridiculed and usually this mess. such treatment only strengthen our ideals and our results. join me in welcoming a great leader for the cause of liberty and freedom, governor sarah palin. [applause]
>> thank you so much. thank you. thank you so very much. what an honor. thank you. have a seat. i appreciate the opportunity. thank you so much. thank you for allowing me this honor to share with you have the celebration of ronald reagan's centennial. i can tell you how humbling it is to get to be here. it was simply overwhelming and inspiring. to get to be there riding horses.
[applause] riding horses on trails that ronald reagan had cleared. i have to lead men, we are more comfortable writing snow machines that horses. asked bristol how her experience went. it makes you stronger. it was overwhelming. to know the work that ronald reagan had put into that ranch as he had loved and cherished that land, there we were, riding horses on the trail that he had cleared. feeling the breeze in my face and feeling that warm, southern air. overhead. i knew instantly, i knew instantly why ronald reagan love that ranch.
after riding horses, we went a bit further up and we got to look over the pacific ocean. i knew why it was he felt so inspired in that place. he loved that place and not just in visiting, and he loved it in caring for it. building defenses with his own hands and chopping wood. clearing the trails. the ranch is unmistakably the home of the western conservative uncelebrated our pioneer spirit. they seem to be able to see clearly in the wide-open spaces of america's frontier. i consider myself the western conservative in the spirit of ronald reagan because i know that he understood the small-
town spirit and values of hard work and rugged individualism. those are the values that he grew up with. those are the values that ronald reagan in body. today, there are hundreds of places in his name, but the ranch is one of the few have you been distinctly feel his spirits. this is his home, of course. it still points to a turning world. and what a turbulent and turning world these days. in 1964. remember when he gave his famous speech? it was on behalf of goldwater's campaign. it came to be known as the speech. it gave birth to the reagan revolution.
it was more than a campaign address, it was a call to action against the fundamental threat of freedom. a former democrat was a former union leader who left his party because his party had left him. reagan saw the dangers in the great society. he refused to sit and be silent. there was an out of control, centralized government. there was an utter disregard for constitutional limits. he saw the nation at a critical turning point. we could choose one direction or the other. collectivism or individualism. in his words, we could choose to the swamp or the stars. not atypical jovial speech of
reagan's that he gave that day. we got used to it hearing more of the chipper gipper. we heard more of his jokes and his humor that he was known for, but not that day. the vision that he laid out for us, it was a vision that was quite stark. it was more somber than normal. that vision was big on the fact that unlike others, reagan was able to look over the horizon and see what unsound policies of big government expansionism and foreign policy of soviet appeasement would ultimately and, and that was in the speech. he wanted to know if americans still had the courage and the will to endure but to a arrived
, 60, and sore. he asked us whether we still believe in our capacity for self-government or if we abandoned the american revolution and confessed that a little intellectual a leak in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can? those were strong words. the country was not quite ready to hear them. but his message did catch on slowly. he was mocked and ridiculed and criticized. he was able to handle the criticism. i talked to some of his former colleagues about how he handled that criticism. they said that he let it roll off of his back like a duck with water off its back.
but not when it came to nancy. he said, don't touch my auntie. great respect for that. [applause] his message did catch on. the conservative movement heard him. california listen to him. finally, the nation listened to him. in 1984, the whole world heard him. [applause] by the time he left office, ronald reagan had defeated the ideology of the great society.
those ideas were never gone for good. we have seen big government slowly encroached on us again. it was a subtle at first. encroached with language of progress. the financial crisis erupted in 2008 and no subtlety there. they declared itself the solution to the problems. determined, of course, the left is, to never let a crisis go to waste. a devastating 14 trillion dollars national debt. a $1.50 trillion deficit. a 17% real unemployment rate.
and a heartbreaking 2.9 million home foreclosures. americans learned to appreciate like never before. he said the nine most frightening words in english language are, i am from the government and i am here to help. [applause] big government tell is destructive. that is no more evident than here in california where the fertile farmland and the livelihood of thousands of farmers are destroyed because of some faceless government bureaucrat took away their lifeline.
they claimed it was in order to protect a bunch of fish. where i come from, we call that bait. [applause] there is no need to destroy people's lives over that period if president reagan were alive to see what is happening to his beloved golden state, the central valley would be filled with outrage. that outrage, that moment of rage came with the passage of ha obama care -- of obamacare. they stop at nothing to get it passed, not even the constitution.
and they sowed the seeds of their defeat last november when the american people rose up and rejected a big government. we don't want it, we can't afford it, so we fired the people that forced upon us. enough is enough. in the state of the union address, the message was sent at the ballot box and it was an historic election. we were just told that the era of big government is here to stay. and you will pay for it whether you want it or not. but they can't sell it to us. so this new version isn't just the state of the great society, it is much worse. it is couched in the language of national greatness.
that is their version of american exceptional as them. it is an exceptionally big government. [applause] it declares we shall be great and innovative. but not by individual initiatives. it is the same tax-and-spend policies, but it is borrow, spend, tax. they didn't call led government spending, they call that stimulus. it did not stimulate anything but a tea party. [applause] the now, you have asked
yourself, if government overspending is investing, there should be a sign of economic strength. it just isn't so. they have all sorts of half baked ideas of what to spend or invest our hard-earned money on. their idea of national greatness -- as we struggle to merely prove it, the only thing these investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy. [applause] to me, it is so odd that the answer to our problems is green energy. it plays a big part in these investments.
the energy idea i am fine with. all of the above includes conventional sources of energy that we actually use today. oil, for one. [applause] and natural gas, coal, nuclear. they have done everything to stymie domestic drilling. that means hundreds of thousands of jobs will not be created. it means americans will pay more at the pump. we are continuing to transfer hundreds of billions to foreign regimes to purchase energy from them. this is dangerous.
this is insane. [applause] we are told green jobs are the future and they will save us. they can't sustain any more because they are investing in green jobs. it has brought nothing but massive debt and more unemployment. for every green jobs created, to traditional jobs are lost. this is not an economic policy or an energy policy, this is social engineering. my fellow americans, this is not the way to national greatness. it is the road ruined.
big government, big business collaboration, they can afford to hire the lobbyists in their favor for these investments. in the interest of certain special interests, the government invest our money in technology, but venture capitalists tell us those are nonstarters. in the interests of big government, they don't cut spending so they will freeze it. freeze it at historically high levels. it stifles our economy and the free market with overreach and overtaxation.
it makes it impossible for anyone to get ahead. our economy is so complicated that only government can plan it for us. the government created the problem, and it tells us is the solution. they tried to let that little intellectual elite win it for us. president reagan says he can't move from big government for the little guy. big business, big labour, they have seats at the table. the little guy doesn't. this is not the way it is supposed to be or the way that it must be. american exceptional was and is
not exceptionally big government. reagan reminded us that yes, america is a great nation with great purpose in the world. but our greatness is not in government bureaucracy. history has proven again and again that when government picks winners and losers, we are stuck with the losers. and the taxpayers subsidize the failure. and the taxpayers subsidize the failure, and at a crisis point, we do not have the option anymore of subsidizing any more failures. this is a time for choosing again. it is just as dark as it was in 1964. we must look at the horizon. we must see that the policies
will ultimately end. we face the same crisis now as we did then appear in homely now, we are in worse shape. we are not the power house we once were. we are no longer a creditor nation. the federal government is spending too much, growing and controlling too much. and it breaks the back of our economy. reagan would say that there are no easy answers, but there are simple ones if we have the courage to confront our problems. we have to stop spending and cut government back down to size. we must reform entitlement programs to honor our current
commitment while we keep faith with future generations. and we desperately need jobs. it comes from the free market and the work ethic of ordinary people. we need a vibrant economy. [applause] we need a vibrant economy that actually produces and grows things again. a strong, vibrant america that is not grounded just in the service sector, but in a manufacturing and agricultural base. not just providing families with jobs, but with livelihoods'. they are the key to starting the economic engine. americans say that manufacturing is not caused by high labor costs.
it is caused by overregulation. and some of the highest corporate taxes in the world. if you enter a marathon with a 20 pound weights, you are going to lose. [applause] we are shackled. we are shackled with those tax rates. there is no reason that we cannot win. it is clear now as they were in 1964. these of the principles the country was founded on. do we surrender to big government and a corporatism agenda.
or do we need government to take care of us and plan for us. do we still have the courage and the will to not only in door, but to succeed. will it be america's glory or our shame? these are not easy questions. there is fear in the air. the individual american equipment and afraid in the face of challenges. remember, got this not give us that spirit of fear. we can have the courage and confidence to make sound choices. [applause]
friends, we are not helpless. our success and our greatness lies in the courage and the hard work of individual americans. we are to affirm those values of freedom and hard work. [applause] it was those values that inspired ronald reagan to build defenses on the beloved ranch. he builds them out of strong would so of our pioneering spirit in yours. those will lead us back to prosperity. we must reconnect with them. we must get motivated and optimistic like our parents and our grandparents were. many of them started off with nothing but were able to build a fulfilled life.
we have to get back to what they believe in, putting their faith in god and not government. [applause] they did not demand bailouts. they did not need a stimulus. they did not expect anything from anyone. they fought for the freedoms and opportunities to work hard. they just wanted to prosper. if at first they didn't succeed, they dusted themselves off and they got right back up. they did not retreat. they tried again until they succeeded. the great recovery and renewal will happen again. but when we have the moral courage of our grandparents's generation.
[applause] by the way, if you need to be reminded of some of those virtues, these are the virtues that are left. the americans you will find in uniform, our sons, daughters, and loved ones that pay the price for our freedom. the military is a great example of the moral courage. [applause] recovery and renewal starts with all of us. president reagan understood this. there are a lot of people looking at are misinformed. but he was one of the kind.
you will not find this kind again. and the gipper would not want us to spend our time on that in anyway. he said, i am not a great man, i just believe in great ideas. [applause] and he understood that the transmission of these great ideas to the next generation would insure the survival and success of liberty. that is why he instructed us to indicate what it means to be an american. their mission is to train in a speech to the next generation of common sense conservatives. [applause]
and today, it is burning bright. president reagan would be proud of the conservative movement today. we have never been more willing to do what it takes. there are many that believe in the ideas. there is a whole army of patriotic people out there, wanting to stand up and speak out. they are not afraid to tell goliath, don't tread on me. [applause] here is our time for choosing. but as courageously and confidently meet the challenges before us.
knowing that america is that shining city on a hill, her knowing god has shed his grace on me. and that truth and justice include the issue that every innocent life deserves protection. and to preserve for our children this america that is our hope for a man on earth. [applause] know that we can have peace through strength, even as our allies, they looked to our union 4 cents and for strength. and another we are a source for them. there is nothing to apologize for. [applause]
pailin. if everyone will remain seated for just a couple of minutes, i have a few important instructions. what an incredibly inspiring speech. ronald reagan would be mighty proud. gov. pailin has graciously agreed to participate in a photo line for the attendees this evening. but there are some ground rules. we have three rooms of guests this evening. we want everyone to get a picture. the students will take a group photo. there will be 40 of them in that picture. couples or anyone that came in a group before the draft together. there will be no autographs, this respect that. there will not be any way for
everybody to get through the line. we are pretty good in getting folks through quickly, but we need your cooperation. the classroom will proceed to the gallery across the hall. in this room and the room across the way, we will proceed into the atrium and there will be a bit of a traffic jam. don't worry those of you that have not finished. we will let you know when that line dies down a little bit. when you get to the front of the line, somebody will be there. as soon as your picture has been taken, you will be escorted right to the exit. there will be a shuttle bus going back and forth. when you are ready, proceed to
the exit and the team will be directing you up the stairs or the elevator. we will get you through and make it as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. what a great evening that is made wonderful by you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> our coverage of the young america's foundation continues tomorrow night with dick cheney, the closing speaker of the banquet marking the one hundredth anniversary of ronald reagan's birthday.
coming up, president obama and canadian prime minister's joint news conference. also a discussion on the political unrest in egypt and tunisia. and robert mcdowell on national broadband policy. janet napolitano on howborder issues. >> the environment of politics has come apart has become polluted and destroyed it. >> the documentary producer on the the art of the possible.
>> we wanted to show another side of this. everybody remembers something about looking at lyndon johnson's boots at the time and it runs through the vice president. >> president obama says he is warning the egyptian president against using violence and cutting off communication. they talked about foreign journalists and anti-government protesters. they had a news conference with canadian prime minister harper. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states accompanied by the prime minister of canada.
>> good afternoon, everyone. please be seated. i am very pleased to be welcoming my great friend and partner back to the white house to reaffirm our extraordinary friendship and cooperation between the united states and canada. i would like to talk a bit about what we have accomplished today and the situation unfolding in egypt. the united states and canada are not simply allies and not simply neighbors. we are woven together like no other two countries in the world. we are bound together by societies, economies, families, it is my brother-in-law's birthday today. i have to call him. and in our many meetings together, i have valued his candor and getting focused on results.
i unfortunately have not yet have the pleasure of seeing him in his band jamming to the rolling stones. i hear they are on youtube, so i will check it out after the bilateral. our focus has been on how we increase jobs and economic growth on both sides of the border. canada is our largest trading partner and the top destination for american exports. today, we have agreed to several important steps to increase trade and improve competitiveness. first, we agreed to a new vision for managing our share of responsibilities not just at the border, but beyond. that means working with better screening, new technology, and information sharing among law enforcement as well as identifying threats.
it means finding new threats to improve the free flow of goods. with over $1 billion of trade, smarter border management is key to make competitiveness. they are doubling u.s. exports. i think you for your leadership and commitment. second, we are launching a new effort to get rid of outdated regulations in the job creation. we need to obviously strike the right balance. we want it easier for americans and canadians to trade and business. for example, in the auto industry.
third, we discussed a wide range of ways to promote trade and investment from clean energy partnerships to the steps canada can take to strengthen intellectual property rights. we discussed a range of common security challenges. as we agreed in lisben, the transition will it -- it will begin this year. canada will be critical to achieving that mission in keeping both of our country's eighth. -- countries safe. i especially appreciated the prime minister's perspective on the region as i prepare for my
trip next month. let me close by saying a few words on the situation in egypt. we are monitoring it closely. i will make just a few points. first, we continue to be crystal clear that we oppose violence to this crisis. who in recent days, we have seen violence and harassment brought in a way that violates human rights, universal values, and international norms. attacks on reporters are unacceptable. attacks on human rights activists are unacceptable. attacks on peaceful protesters are unacceptable. the egyptian government has a responsibility to protect the rights of its people. those demonstrating also have a responsibility to do so peacefully. everybody should recognize a
simple truth. it will not be resolved through violence. we are encouraged by the restraint that was shown today. we hope that it continues. the future of egypt will be determined by its people. it is clear that there needs to be a transition process that begins now. the transition must initiate a process in that respect the rights of the egyptian people and lead to free and fair elections. the details will be worked out by egyptians. the understanding is that some discussions have begun. we are consulting with the international community to communicate our strong belief that a successful an orderly transition must be meaningful. negotiations should include a broad representation of the opposition. it must address the legitimate grievances of those that seek a better future.
we want to see this moment of turmoil turn into opportunity. the entire world is watching. what we hope for and what we will work for is where an egyptian society sees is that opportunity. right now, in great in ancient civilization is going through a time of tumult and transformation. these are great challenges in the great uncertainties, but i am confident the egyptian people can shape the future that they reserved. they will continue to have a strong friend and partner in the united states of america. >> thank you, barack, for your friendship both personal and national. thank you for all you have done to bring us to our announcement today. [speaking french]
i would just repeat that today, president obama and i are issuing a declaration on our border. it is much more than that. it is a declaration on our relationship. over the past 200 years, our countries have progressively developed the closest and most integrated and successful relationship in the world. we are partners, neighbors, allies, and most of all, we are true friends. in the age of expanding opportunities and the great dangers, we share values as we face common challenges and threats. the core of this friendship is the largest bilateral trading relationship in history. since the signing of the canada u.s. free trade agreement, a
partnership has grown spectacularly. not only is the u.s.-canada's major export market, canada is also america's largest export market. larger than china, mexico, japan, all of the countries of the european union combined. 8 million jobs in the united states are supported by our trade with canada. canada is the largest and most secure and stable and friendly as a supplier of that most vital of america's purchases, energy. it is in our interest to make sure that the border remains open and efficient. it is critical that it remain secure in the hands of the vigilant and the dedicated. it just as we work to ensure that the bureaucratic -- we must
counter those seeking new ways to harm us. i say us because as i have said before, a threat to the united states is a threat to canada. to our trade, our interest, our values, our common civilization. canada has no friends among america's enemies and america has no better friend than canada. we commit our governments to find new ways to exclude terrorists and criminals that pose a threat to our people. it also commits us to find a way to read -- eliminate regulatory barriers. it leads to lower costs for business, consumers, and ultimately, more jobs. joint information, joint planning, it will be key tools. and make possible the effective
risk-management that will allow us to accelerate split the atom of flows of people while strengthening our physical security and economic competitiveness. we expand our management of the border to the concept of the north american perimeter, not to replace or eliminate the border, but to streamline and decongestant. there isthere is much work to d. the declaration marked the start of this endeavor, not the end. the ambitious endeavor between the countries according to our own walls and aspirations. always understand this, while a border defines the the zero people, it need not divide them. that is the fundamental truth to which americans and canadians have borne witness for almost two centuries. it is the example we seek to demonstrate for all others.
>> we have time for a couple of questions. >> thank you, mr. president. is it conceivable to you that the genuine process of democratic reform can begin ing it -- in egypt while president mubarak remains in power? on the energy issue, can you discuss canada's role as a source of oil with the united states and, in particular, did you receive any assurances that the u.s. looks favorably on the pipelines in the gulf coast? >> i have had two conversations with president mubarak since this crisis in egypt began. each time i have emphasized the fact that the future of egypt is going to be in the hands of the egyptians. it is not us who will determine
that future. but i have also said that in light of what has happened over the last two weeks, going back to the old ways is not going to work. suppression is not going to work. engaging in violence is not going to work. attempting to shut down and vote flows is not going to work. in order for egypt to have a bright future, which i believe it can have, the only thing that will work is moving a orderly transition process that begins right now that engages all the parties that leads to democratic practices, fair and free elections, a representative government that is responsive to the grievances of the egyptian people. i believe that president mubarak cares about his country. he is proud, but he is also a
patriot. what i suggested to him is he needs to consult with those who are around him in his government. he needs to listen to what is being voiced by the egyptian people and make a judgment about a pathway for word that is orderly, but that is meaningful and serious. i believe that -- he has already said he is not going to run for reelection. he has been in power for a very long time in egypt. having made that psychological break, that decision that he will not be running again, i think the most important thing for him to ask himself, for the egyptian government to ask them self, as well as the opposition -- how do we make that transition effective, lasting,
and legitimate? that is not a decision the united states or any country outside of its it makes. what we can do is to affirm the core principles that will be involved in that transition. if you end up having gestures towards the opposition, but it leads to a continuing suppression of the opposition, that is not going to work. if you have the pretense of reform but not real reform, that is not going to be effective. as i said before, once the president himself announced that he would not be running again, and since his term is up relatively shortly, the key question he should be asking himself is, "how do i leave a legacy behind in which it can get through this transformation
?" my hope is that he will make the right decision. >> you ask me about energy. we did discuss the matter is you raise. i think it is clear to anyone who understands that the need of the united states for fossil fuels far in excess of its ability to produce such energy will be the reality for some time to come. the choice that the united states faces in all of these matters is whether to increase its capacity to accept such energy from the most secure, stable, and from this location at impossibly get that energy, which is can a debt, or from other places that are not as secure, stable, and friendly to the united states.
>> prime minister, can you answer this in english and french? canadians will be asking how much of our sovereignty and privacy rights will be given up to have more open up boulders and integrated economy. do you feel that mr. mubarak should be stepping down sooner? mr. president, on the sovereignty issue, you are welcome to answer, you do not have to speak in french pope. [laughter] >> process. i love french, but i am not very capable. [laughter] >> this declaration is not about sovereignty. we are sovereign countries who had the capacity to act as we choose to act. we have to make sure we act in a sovereign way that serves canada's interests.
it is in canada's interest to work with our partners in the united states to ensure our borders or secure and ensure that we can trade and travel across them as safely and openly as possible within the context of our different laws. that is what we are trying to achieve. we share security threats that are very similar on the sides of the border. we share an integrated economic space where it does not make sense to constantly check the same cargo over and over again. we can do that at the perimeter and decongest the border. that is what we should be doing. if we can harmonize regulation in ways that avoid unnecessary repetition -- repetition, these are things we need to do. this is about safety of canadians and about creating -- and creating jobs and economic
on the question of egypt, let me just agree fully with what president obama has said. i do not think there is any doubt from anyone who is watching the situation that transition is occurring and will occur in egypt. the question is what kind of transition this will be and how it will lead. it is up to the egyptian people who will govern them. we want to be short we lean towards a future that is not only more democratic, but a future or that democracy is guided by such values as non- violence, rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities and religious minorities. [speaking french]
obviously canada and the united states are not going to match up perfectly on every measure with respect to how we balance security issues, privacy issues, openness issues. but we match up more than probably any country on earth. we have this border that benefits when it is open. the free-flow of goods and services results in a huge economic benefits for both sides. the goal here is to make sure that we are coordinating closely and that will as we are taking the steps and measures to ensure both openness and security, that we are doing so in ways that enhance the relationship as opposed to create tensions in the
relationship. we are confident that we are going to be able to achieve that. we have made great progress in the last several years on various specific issues. we are now trying to look at this in a more comprehensive fashion so it is not just border security issues, but a broader set of issues involved. i have great confidence the prime minister is going to be very protective of certain core values of canada just as i would be protected of the core values of the united states. they will not always match up perfectly. i agree it even more in french. [laughter] thank you, everybody. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> tomorrow, former vice president dick cheney is the featured speaker at a banquet honoring the 100th birthday of president ronald reagan. what's our live coverage at kennecott 15 eastern here on c- span. -- watch our live coverage at 10:15 eastern here on c-span. >> janet napolitano on how the u.s. is meeting current security threats and administrative policy on border issues. that is at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span.
>> pcs and networks. we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. it is available to you on television, radio, online, and social media networking sites. i'd are content at the c-span video library. we take c-span on the road with our local content vehicle. it is washington your way, the c-span networks. now available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> former u.s. ambassador to egypt, edward walker, said that president mubarak lost control of the egyptian army and could not sustain security in the country. he spoke with the former ambassador to tunisia. this is about one hour 20 minutes.
>> thank you for joining us. we have been watching protests in tunisia and egypt. we are watching a non- ideological driven people's movement. we will remind you of all of its potential pitfalls and promises. they are overthrowing the shackles of fear after living under hypocrisy and saying, "we can."
"we do deserve democracy and we are capable of democracy." the view has been to believe if you get arabs their freedom or if they are allowed to have their freedom, they will choose, if not al qaeda it, ideological groups like hamas and hezbollah. with us today to analyze this remarkable turn of events and what it means to the region are two middle east experts, ambassador edward walker and ambassador alan goulty. between them, they have 60 years of experience working on the ground and in the field. pretty remarkable. [laughter] these are experts who speak arabic and look at the region beyond the narrow prism of
national security interest -- a perspective lacking too long in policy circles. they will provide insight into what is unfolding and what steps the u.s. administration and european community can take to guide this perilous process. there is a lot at stake. there is a lot to be worried about. the protesters in egypt are not going home. what can the u.s. and europe due to -- given their close ties to mubarak and other arab leaders, to help encourage constructive change in the region. ambassador goulty will look at the events in tunisia. he has served in both countries. he has served in the middle east with the british foreign services. from 2004 to 2008 he served as ambassador to tunisia. prior to that, he served as ambassador to sudan.
he is currently a non-resident senior scholar -- senior scholar at the woodrow wilson center. ambassador edward walker will be focusing on egypt where he served as ambassador from 1994 to 1997. he was just there several weeks ago. he served as ambassador to israel and the united arab emirates. he too knows to asia, having been hosted there. -- p. to nose and tunisia, having been posted there. -- he too knows tunisia, having been posted there. we will begin by ambac -- inviting ambassador goulty to the podium. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much for that generous introduction.
the claim to experience may not be visible. who would have thought that events in tunisia would attract such a large crowd? [laughter] who would have thought that all of this activity and activism would be sparked by a revolution in tunisia set off by the suicide of a poor man? why did we not see it coming? perhaps you did see it coming. let's have a quick show of hands of a 2, last november, force all a revolution in tunisia -- foresaw a revolution in tunisia. it took my wife about six weeks to ask, "when is this place going to blow?"
it is not a question of "f." -- question of "if." we see the poverty. we could see the unemployment -- the young men hanging elk in cafes or on the street. we sell the denial of freedom of speech. we are familiar with ted d. police harassment. we were certainly aware of the corruption of the family of ben ali and his wife. we saw all the good things all the other side -- standard economic growth rate. we sell the provision of health and education services. we saw the gradual development of industry exported to europe. we allow that to wait too much in the equation, perhaps. unfortunately the regime itself seemed confident.
i lose count of the number of time someone in the government said to me, "ambassador, please do not talk to me about human rights. we are all too easy answer. we understand and you do not understand that the opposition or basically all terrorists." that was a couple of assertions i think we are realizing we should have challenged more vigorously. all of this, of course, came down to the position that the safe prediction for an ambassador, pandit, or journalists is that things would go on tomorrow like they were today. the suicide really touched some
of the tunisian nerves. the poverty, the unemployment of the young, the petty harassment by the police, which seems to have been the last straw -- that was something that tunisian could react to and did react to. interestingly, they reacted across the country, not only in the impoverished, internal towns, but also in tunis. look at the quick lessons for dictators from ben ali's attempt to cope with this -- a dictator's tool kit and what other dictators seized on as tools to dampen down protest in their own countries. ben ali tried putting himself on the side of the victims.
he visited the victim in a hospital before he died. he tried promises. i recall one promise of an incredible number of new jobs to be created. they have not been created in 1987. he tried dismissing the government. incidently, getting rid of the strongman in the interior. that is being tried again egypt and jordan. he also could stand down at the end of his term in 2014. this was a particularly bogus offer because he could not have stood again anyway under the constitution. i think the tunisian salt through that. you see in egypt and yemen the same tools being used. probably, the use of force -- we see that in egypt and said -- sudan.
we see that the army did not obey orders to open fire. all of these tools in the case of tunisia -- this is a lesson -- were taken as signs of weakness and encouraged the protest rather than the reverse. even so, why did ben ali to flee so quickly? white was the change so sudden? -- why was the chance of sudden? one is probably the fact that the army would not take on the policy of force and repression. second, i think he was probably genuinely surprised and taken aback and did not know what to do to survive. i do believe it is a case of the emperor having no clothes. his advisers did not tell him of
the resentment on the streets and the activities of his wife and family. the stifling of anything approaching free expression in the media had the effect, not only of removing the possible safety valve, but also of depriving himself of a bit of warning. there were no op-ed people saying how unpopular the regime was. finally, i think the family lost their nerve and wanted to get out while they could. it does not look like they got away with that given the measures that were taken. i think it is probably a fact. on the other hand, we have the activist -- the protesters. what have we learned from tunisia by way of their tool kit?
not very much. the initial demand was to kill the ruler. that is widespread. the second demand in tunisia was to say a note to the replacement government. there are too many holdovers to the people who were close to ben ali. that government was changed. that, for the moment, seems to have satisfied the protests. tunisia is off the news. friends tell us the situation is called. there is sporadic trouble. the police or off the streets. there are no roadblocks in tunis. there is a new government, which is composed of an extremely competent people, mostly techno- credits -- technocrats who are
tackling the situation with a commendable energy. one thing that has dramatically changed is that there is now a full briefing on tunisian cabinet meetings. we know what the government is discussing and it is quite a impressive list. they are starting to help the poorest by instituting an unemployment benefit. they have set up committees to stimulate the economy, to take over half of the private sector that was controlled by ben ali's family. they have formed commissions to look into the excesses during the disturbances, to investigate past corruption, and to lead the political reform process. they have taken decisions to adhere to the international human rights conventions that tunisia has not yet accepted and
to view the reservations that tunisia has expressed to others. they have taken measures ingeniously to enable the antrum president to issue laws by decree, which the cabinet did not say so, has the effect of bypassing the two-seat national assembly, which is controlled by partisans of the [unintelligible] they have an interest in maintaining the old status quo. that is not a very democratic expedient. it is an expedient for the short-term. it seems to me to be a good thing. among the laws that are being reviewed and are believed to be amended by this process are those on political parties, on associations, on the press, and
on terrorism. in fact, the brawled underpinning of the ben ali approach -- the key elements of the repressive regime. they are preparing for new elections. i would be cautiously optimistic at this stage that they will succeed in this process and that there can be in tunisia free and fair elections. what i cannot tell you is who is going to win them. one of the lessons for all of us is the safe prediction that tomorrow will be like today is no longer true, not only in tunisia, but across the region. we have to rethink those assumptions. you can identify the groups. they are extraordinarily numerous. the ruling party claimed 2 million adherents. the opposition claim 10 and 1/2
million. there are an enormous number of police. they all have relatives. there is not going to be much appetite for anything approaching a witch hunt. the second element of the opposition, the human rights activists, the trade unionists who have been unable under ben ali to have a grassroots organization, but are now trying to come together, develop a program, and set up that type of organization. they want to identify one or possibly more presidential candidates. then there are the islamist that did not pay much of late -- did not play much of a part in the protest and they are not claiming to have done so. their leader is back from britain.
he is professing that the bathists party accept the marriage of islam and western values and not accept islamic revolution in tunisia which would be unpopular with large segments of the population. it is too soon to predict the outcome, but there will certainly be, i think, elections. i am not sure that we are able to draw all the lessons we should from this experience. but i think one can make a general point and that is we should not take at face value what these regimes tell us. we should put ourselves in a position to make our own judgments. that means that we have to get
out behind the 10-foot wall that nelson frowned -- that now surround the embassies and talk to the people. you do not get the raw material to base an assessment without going out to seek it. it means talking to opposition parties, to civil society where you can find civil society elements, as well as to the government. it does mean, in my view, that we should be talking to the islamists. i think it is a weakness of our system that in order to placate or not to infuriate ben ali, and we did not officially have any contact with the islamist. i think we can see elsewhere that the failure to engage with mas has not done us any
failure in palestine or the middle east more widely. as to what should happen now, i think in respect to tunisia, a measure of modesty and discretion is in order. the european union were among the foremost backers of ben ali. so were the united states. in tunis, the tear-gas grenades are stamped "made in the u.s. a." we cannot be seen to abandon our friends too quickly, but we want to align ourselves with democracy and so on. in tunisia, i think that is
already happening. we must stand prepared to help on the economic side, too, with investment where we can, with free trade agreements. a lot of the motivation for these protests is economic. people who are not well paid, d.c. the prices of food and of fuel going to the roof, and are finding themselves much less well off. the original ben ali bargained was "each and shut up." as the long as the economy gave the people enough to eat, that held. the new board and appears to be "speak up and tighten your belts." we need to help as far as we can to ease the belt-tightening process. we need to help civil society, encourage new investment, and
preferential access to our markets, and due discretion and modesty. how that will translate to other parts of the middle east, especially egypt, i leave to ned. [applause] >> thank you very much, ambassador goulty. >> thank you very much. much of what alan has said about tunisia can be applied to egypt as well. not all of it, but most of it. you cannot take at face value what these regimes tell you. we cannot take at face value what our intelligence agencies tell us either. they were as surprised as we were about the events in tunis. egypt has been waiting to blow
for some time. tunis seemed to be better. certainly the standard of living is much higher in tunis and then it is in egypt. where are we in egypt? first of all, the basic institutions of government are there. they have not disappeared. you still have the trade unions. you still have your state enterprises. you still have your internal security police, although they are not on the streets at the moment. you have, above all, a very substantial military force and a very powerful military force. the vast bureaucracy continues to maintain the conscience of the state. a little bit of a hiccup here and there. the economy is not doing so well, but everybody is still in place. it is not as if you have a revolution. you do not have a complete disappearance of the structure
that was there before. in terms of who is controlling what, that is a little bit more up in the air. mubarak controls the security apparatus, but he does not control them quite the way he did before. his control over the national party is still very strong as you can see by the way he was able to put us into the street. the mdp is history. it will not survive this revolution. it is too much a function of mubarak. new political forces will have to come out to take its place. he controls the mdp and its infrastructure, he controls the thugs who come out during elections to buy the boat. a vote cost 50 palace for the most expensive vote in egypt. that is a $60 cents per vote.
that was in the last election. he does not have absolutely control of the military. this is a key change. the military may or may not obey his orders. certainly they have made it very clear that they are not going to confront the crowd. they are not going to shoot at egyptians. this is a traditional position of the egyptian military. its primary interest is state -- it is loyal to the state, not an individual. but it is also will to the army. it is very clear that any kind of taking on the crowd, shooting people in the streets will be destructive, maybe even the inclusion of the army's place in society. the army has a very important place in society. it is highly respected. it has a long history of doing things the egyptian people support.
it does not have a history of supporting -- suppressing egyptians. that was left to the black- coated police and security people. the military has maintained a clean record perk -- throughout. of course, mubarak is being challenged by the popular revolution. it is not going anywhere. it is out there in the square. he has taken a lesson from ben ali. it is the wrong lesson. he has taken the lesson that if you leave you seem to be a coward. you seem to be in flight. mubarak is anything but a coward. this is a military man. he loves his country. he has done a great many things for his country in the past. in my view, he has lost touch in the last five years or so. he used to reach out to people to get their opinions and try to take those opinions into account to get a sense of what the
people were thinking. i think the circle around him has gotten tighter and tighter. they have insulated him from the people, maybe even his age is beginning to have an impact as well. but in any event, he is not walking out the door tomorrow. he is determined. he believes that if the leaves, is it will collapse and go into chaos. this is not some figment of his imagination. he believes this very intently. he believes he can help egypt come out of this chaos. he sought to end el omar suleiman with the authority to represent him, but suleiman, having been in the intelligence corps for decades, really does not represent the army directly. he was considered to be tainted because of his long service of mubarak.
he is not accepted as an alternative. he was initially rebuffed by the rioters. he was rebuffed by the muslim brotherhood. he was rebuffed by the opposition. some of that opposition appears to be disappearing. more and more people are willing to talk to him work through him to the regime. that is in the hopes he can persuade mubarak to take the message and to leave. the positions seem to be moderating. the muslim brotherhood has been saying the right things. it is not a revolutionary organization. it is run by a bunch of old man like me. they are not really interested in rebellion or revolution. it was to have a part and a say in what ever comes in the future. i think it is a mistake to
believe the threats of mubarak and some others that the muslim brotherhood is the same thing virtually as inviting osama bin laden. it is not that way. the brotherhood is no longer -- i think it was at one point -- a revolutionary organization. it is a evolutionary organization. they want a religious complexion for the state, but they can live in a context of a multi- faction the government without challenging or threatening the ultimate situation in egypt. they have opened the door in any event. they have one really serious problem. all of these comparisons to iran
in 1979 are not really taking a hard look at what is the situation in egypt. egypt is not iran. there is no idle waiting in the wings to bring this ideology and charisma to the people, to galvanize them and bring them forward into the egyptian masses. there is no equivalent that can galvanize were bring about a coherent opposition to mubarak. i do not think that the people who try to wave the flag and say they have to do something to save mubarak otherwise we would get the islamist fundamentalists in egypt -- it is not going to happen. look at the way the military is handling this. it is threading a very careful path. it has been out around the
crowd. it has not suppressed the demonstrations. it has retained its rigidity in the overall complexion of what will come next. it has taken enough of a position so that the crowd welcomes it still. they do not grow by lead. they do not throw stones at them. the symbol of the military, the field marshal who is the millet -- the minister of defense, waited into the crowd yesterday and was welcomed by the crowd. i think the military is very clearly part of the solution to the problem for the egyptians. i am quite sure that omar suleiman does not want to be president. in all my contacts with them, it does not seem to be his style. he is quite happy to be in the background to be a loyal
participant in running the state, but not a leader. he is not try to take the position on for himself. he is a wonderful man and a lot of fun. his wife does not want him to be president of egypt. it is not an easy job. so, the reception of the military still seems to be solid. they still have that position that they can influence the future. certainly our secretary of defense and our military figures, the people who have worked with the egyptian for years, have been in constant contact. the relationship is so tight and the french ships are tied -- friendship so tight, that we
have good relations with the military. not so with the security forces. the military is where we have our primary support. i do not worry about the future if they have a place in whatever comes next. the administration is being careful most of the time. they do not want to get out in front of the egyptians. they certainly stumble in their initial reactions to these events. there was no excuse for the vice president to deny that mubarak was a dictator. it was rather strange that the secretary of state was suggesting that this was a stable regime where we can look at the television and see it was not a stable regime. most governments are not very responsive to events. it takes them a little while to figure out where things are going and what to do about it. i think they have come around.
i think they understand it is not possible for mubarak to put the genie back in the box. the last to leave. the questions now are the conditions of leaving. it is not just mubarak. there has to be constitutional changes. there has to be a new political structure. it is going to take some time. the trick is to find a way to get action quickly enough so the people find it to be credible. that is what was wrong with the way mubarak reacted to this. he said some of the right things. i am not going to run for reelection. my son is not one to run. but nobody believes him. he has lost credibility with the vast majority of egyptians. the concern being that until you actually change the constitution, until you disband the ndp, until you have a bar's
signed a to london and stay there, everything will go back to the way it was. to the way it was. they are very much afraid they are very much afraid that the game plan was to wait this thing out, just to stand pat, do not get too excited. do not show weakness. do not confront the crowd. stand by your guns and it will disappear. these people will get tired. they will get hungry. if he thinks that, he ought to take a look at what has bullet -- what hezbollah did in lebanon and the camping out they had for -- how many months was that? the egyptian protesters have the ability to sustain this operation so long as they have the army in a position where it is not going to go in with tanks. mubarak is wrong if he thinks
this is just going to go away and he will step in and restore his position. in reality, the future will be defined by the military more than by anybody. it is not a dictatorial kind of group. it is a traditional military leadership. they have a strong sentiments of loyalty and patriotism. they have fought wars for israel, against israel, and for egypt. they have died for egypt. they will be sustained as a group. i do not believe they have ambitions to take over the country in a military dictatorship. it is not their style. they do not strike me as being built that way.
mubarak's statements have done very little to assuage the demands of the crowds. his statements to christianna amanpour -- a friend told me it was typical dictator [bleep]. [laughter] he said a few things that could be interpreted as being a new, but nothing definitive. everything was left open. the way back for him was left open. in addition to this, most of the people i talked to are absolutely convinced that it was mubarak who put the thugs out into the streets and the camels out into the streets. there were vicious attacks
against the crowds and vicious attacks against the media as if they can close down the media. these guys must never have heard of [unintelligible] you cannot control it anymore. i am quite sure that the crowds can find its way around censorship. the real problems i see the egyptians facing is that mubarak's departure will not create one job. it will not put bread on anybody's table. it will not lower the rate of inflation. problems in egypt are fundamental or systemic. they are certainly a part of mubarak as a symbol of problems. but you cannot solve them by
elimination of one man. it will take more work and more time to start to show real improvement. the first thing people have to do is restore the confidence of the economy and the future of egypt. you have got moodys downgrading egypt to negative. the estimates for the demonstrations are costing egypt $310 million every day. the estimate of growth has been revised from 3.7% to 5.3% due to the instability. these figures will make it even harder to provide jobs or direct investment and the kind of stability people really want to have in egypt. the new crowd coming in as a
huge job. first of all, to restore confidence in the community. if it comes in with an anti- business agenda, everyone will suffer. i had the strong impression -- the military has more companies and factories than any other sector of the economy. they are not exactly immune to what business requires. they may be immune to the kind of legal structure needed to encourage it. in the short-term, there can be shortages. there will be other problems that will come up. i think the military is in a good position to provide stockpiles that are available to take care of these shortages. at least for a time. that will play to their
strength. it will also play, however, to the strength of the muslim brotherhood to has a structure capable of providing resources to the poorest people. the estimates of the brotherhood's and packed under the worst possible terms probably run around 40% of the boat. -- 40% of the vote. that seems to be exaggerated. the figures i have heard or about 20%. it all depends on how this thing comes out in the end. mind you, egypt is a very religious society. it is not a theocracy in any sense of the word. it is not inclined towards theocracy. but egyptians are pious. i reset pupil of egyptians -- a
recent poll of egyptians highlighted the fact that 85% of the population has a positive view of is long's influence on politics. only 22% had 8-8 v. -- only 2% had a negative view. they want as long engaged in the policy. however, 61% of the population are somewhat or very concerned about islamic extremism in egypt. they do not want the extreme form of islam. they want the pious form of islam. they want to feel that their religion is a constructive, not destructive. what about the impact on other arab cities? we saw the spark fly from tunisia to egypt. certainly, it will fly elsewhere. that is the concern. it is, to my view, somewhat exaggerated. the conditions are different in each of the countries involved. saudi arabia and the gulf states have all the resources
necessary can take care of short-term shortages or concerns of the population. they can in some senses by their way out, but they are not unpopular to start with. no one is calling for the head of the king of saudi arabia. the popular -- the popularity factor is not -- jordan is certainly more vulnerable. the king has fired the principal target of the discontent. the king is not as popular as the used to be, but he still has stature. the jordanians do not want to throw away the symbol of the monarchies. it is the symbol of the monarchies that has helped the state together. most of us need to understand that if they can what to avoid the chaos in egypt, they have
to have that simple. -- they have to have that simple. i do not see a revolution in jordan, although the jordanians will pay a lot more attention to creating jobs and other things. that could be a good thing. anchor was certainly directed at -- anchor was certainly directed at the former prime minister and the new prime minister seems to have a better standing with the populace. algeria and libya, syria -- these guys have no compunction about using military force to stop people. if mubarak had had the ability to command the army to go in and shoot those protesters from the beginning, he probably could have put this down very quickly. he did not had that ability
because the army would not do it. there is a difference between the army in egypt, which is of the people and believes it is of the people, and the algerian army to as a long experience of doing things to its own people. the libyans or the same way. the syrians certainly. i lived there for a while. the example of egypt is not going to spread like prairie fire throughout the middle east. the key is to try and help shape the nature of that fire in egypt itself. foreigners have to be very careful. the egyptian military does not like people telling it what to do, particularly how to run their country. the egyptian people do not like foreigners telling people what to do. they feel empowered now more than ever before. they feel they have the ability to shape their own future. this is extraordinary.
it is what the most hopeful things to come out of this. people sitting in the square, helping each other, standing watch at night. one of my friends takes is a cricket bat out every night and stands guard. it is not a weapon of choice for me, but you might prefer that one. [laughter] >> we used them in beirut. [laughter] >> it is a sense of accomplishment. that is a very important thing. we get it. we never thought we could do it, but we did it. president obama did it. it is not hosni mubarak who did it -- we the people did it. that feeling is profoundly important for the future of egypt. if the egyptians take charge of their own future and take
responsibility for their own problems, there is a much better chance that we will all be able to work together to solve those i don't see how this situation comes out in the final analysis. i certainly hope it comes out well. i think that there are some hopeful signs at this point but now the greatest thing i see is that they have placed to take control of their own destiny and that is a great thing. >> thank you very much. all right. now, time for questions. i will take the parodic did of the floor to start. there is a lot to think about and talk about. a question for both ambassadors -- you mentioned that mubarak will not step down.
he is a stubborn man, yet the protesters say they will not leave until he does. the muslim brotherhood say they will not back off until mubarak steps down. how do you see this impasse being sold? alan, if you could bring your diplomatic expertise to bear on something we talked about -- the role we are playing in the egyptian crisis, what are the dangers of being seen as intervening or interfering? what balance does the u.s. and europe need to follow as they guide mubarak and other leaders towards making reforms? >> mubarak has said he will die on egyptian soil.
i do not think that is him saying he will commit suicide. i think the generals have concluded there is no other alternative. the trick is to find an honorable way out. he is a symbol of the state. people have a sense that you do not want to embarrass him work diminish him in any way. you do not want to see him running for cover. a nice retirement makes sense. a lifetime entitlement, if you will, some kind of honorary position or so on -- an honorable way out is what they
have to find. >> ambassador goulty? >> it is clear that most western leaders are encouraging mubarak to step down. the trick for them is to do it in such a way it does not look like american or western interference and it does not dismay friends of the west and elsewhere, not just in the middle east, to think that we abandon our friends when they get into difficulties. there is a national expectation and international expectation that governments will do something and say something. the european union was supposed to be saying something this afternoon. i have not yet heard what it is. the question is to go beyond when mubarak should go -- what happens next?
it would be a minor miracle at the tunisian experience so far is replicated in egypt with a competent government taking steps to do things to meet the grievances of the people and the aspirations of the people. in egypt you have a big question mark -- will the army really want, if they take over, -- if you look at the demonstrators, you'll see most of them are young. if you look at the egyptian leadership, they are old enough to be the protester's grandparents. there used to be a joke that you could not be an approved leader of an opposition party unless you were old. it is becoming harder and
harder to meet the qualification. [laughter] the muslim brotherhood leadership is also old. i ask myself, if mubarak went, the next administration -- will there be more demands to get rid of the old figures from the previous regime? we saw this in tunis. >> we have a question here in the front. wait for the microphone please. >> thank you very much for your views on tunisia and egypt. for ambassador goulty, there is no european union in the middle east.
this is why we know that the you place a very important role in eastern europe, but we have egypt surrounded by dictatorships like libya. that puts a tunisian democracy in a very dangerous place. i would like to hear your view on the factors in tunisia. we do not know until now the outcome of the constitutional reform. with my contacts in tunisia, they want to change the system to be like the uk or turkey. i think that would make more problems for the tunisian parliament.
[unintelligible] that will lead to interference from other neighbors. >> thank you. let's take another question. we have a lady in the back. >> i am a photographer. my question is how big of a role do our feelings here in the u.s. -- i mean, our government -- does israel play? i do feel that we have been a little bit slow getting on board supporting the egyptian people because we are concerned with israel and its security and what israel wants.
a lot of people probably know that sadat was loved by a lot of their own people. al-jazeera was going to release some papers to show what was really going on. >> thank you very much. >> the need for the people -- the general people as opposed to the government's wishes and where they should stand. >> do you want the tunisia question?
>> i was hoping to be relieved. [laughter] thank you for your questions. i think the european union is present in tunisia and egypt. we have agreements that offer the prospect of opening wider markets to both countries. with regards to possible libyan and algerian interference in tunisia, it is possible. tunis is very careful to be balancing -- it is a small country caught between two big and unpredictable countries. certainly they have enough problems at home not to take on the lot in tunisia. as regards changes in the political system, it is too early to say. the british system of two parties. it is not clear where the two parties are coming from in tunisia.
what is clear is that political reform will be actively discussed and the opposition will be seeking to organize and build support. as regards the question on israel, let me say very briefly that there is no doubt that sentiment on the street is more hostile to israel than almost all arab governments. i remember a tunisian minister saying to me -- you have to realize that our foreign policy is deeply unpopular in regards to israel. that is one estes of the tunisian minister understanding of what is being said on the streets. >> there is no question that israel is not the most popular
institution anywhere in the arab world, but particularly not in egypt. egypt has a long history of being disappointed by israel. everybody talks about the peace and held that disappointed israelis. the egyptians were equally disappointed. it was the opening for the past resolution of the palestinian situation. they were discouraged. shortly after the treaty with egypt, you had the invasion of lebanon. egyptians have good reason to have lost confidence that the peace treaty was a great for them. the one exception to that is the military. the military thinks it is a great peace treaty. it has relieved -- people think of it as relieving israel of threat, the egyptians think of it as relieving it of a threat
from israel. they fought several wars with israel. this was an opportunity to recover the suez canal, which is a big money earner. it gave them the oil fields. it gave them a tourist mecca. half of the tourist sites are owned by ex military people. so long as the military is involved, i do not see any effort to undo that treaty. that treaty is pretty substantial. it has survived incredible stresses. as the population reacted to israeli actions. that is not to say that israel cannot help the process. as a new government forms -- i am sure one will form. if there is a way that israel can open up the dialogue with the palestinians, that will
help. it will give people in the region encouragement. it does not mean they have to give away the store, but it does mean they have to be reasonable in terms of listening to other positions and making compromises where compromises can be made. that is what happened at camp david. it was coming together to find common interests. there are plenty of common interest between the israeli people and the egyptian people. i think and i hope that this will not mark a substantial change in the overall relationship. i do not think the egyptian people are going to embrace israel tomorrow. it is not what to happen, but israel, thus far, has played this thing very well. that is unusual. [laughter] they have kept their mouths shut.
they have let it go. they had been watching carefully and they are certainly making contingency plans and everything else. i think they have done a very smart thing in the way they have managed this. prime minister netanyahu has given the egyptians freedom to make their own choices and to move forward without having to react to outside pressures and reactions. we have been less sensitive than the israelis, actually. some of the things that we have said. >> great. we will take a couple more questions.
not they from the point of view of what you just said about israel and the fact that the army is quite respected and pleased by the general revolutionaries, that someone in the military might be the proper spokesman for the revolution? my second question has to do with economic development in egypt. i have heard that china, for one, is going to build some dams in the upper region, not in egypt itself, but the further reaches of the nile. if they were to be built, they would deprive it of its major resource becky's the country fertile. >> thank you. >> thanks to both of you for a very insightful and sober evaluation. i am particularly glad that you emphasized the constructive role the moderate islamist are likely to play. i am not particularly a fan. i teach israeli studies at the university of maryland, but i think they absolutely have to be part and it has to be accepted by the u.s. and the west. my question is, do you think this perception is gaining any ground in this country and europe given the demonization of all islamists in the last 10 and more years?
sophisticated. it is not there, yet. i think people can distinguish between good muslims and that muslims, if you will. i think there has been a lot of work done by the administration to highlight that. not everybody is osama bin laden just because they have an islamic faith. i think most people in this country now understand that. i do not see die-hard opposition to having the muslim brotherhood playing a part in the egyptian government. after all, we have accepted that in jordan for years. the muslim brotherhood is part of the assembly. it has been elected. it is true in a couple of other places. i do not think the problem will be our people. at onto this the fact that now you have one of the leaders joining the crowd in the square.
i cannot remember his name. he has been the spokesman and as suddenly resigned his position to join the people in tahir square. i think that is a stunning statement. it also will help relieve this edge of fear about the muslim brotherhood or islamic fundamentalism. i think that is one of the key things. the nile and china building dams -- i have been told by military people in egypt that the military would not accept that because egypt cannot accept change in its proportion of the nile waters. this is an existential problems for egypt. this is not one where the military as a lot of flexibility or feels a lot of
flexibility. that is why we need to focus on -- there is still time and lots of negotiations about this. there has been no real breakthrough on this subject. suleiman will play a role, there is no question about it. he is a very impressive guy. he is very close to our intelligence agencies. he is very bright and moderate in his views. i think he will play a role, but he will probably not play the pivotal role because that will come out of the regular army itself. we do not even know all the players there. >> alan, do you want to address
the question of the muslim brotherhood? >> the political correctness in this town -- i have dealt a lot with sudan. i would just comment a little bit. yes, there are plans for the chinese to build dams. one of them is already under construction. yes, it will lead to an additional loss of water through evaporation. it is not at all an environment where someone was to create a large, flat surface for water to be evaporated. nevertheless, it is true that under the existing nile waters agreement, sudan does not use its full quota. i do not take quite such a tragic view. egypt will make a huge fuss if
it does not receive its full quota, but there is no reason to suppose that will not happen. the greater threat, in my view, is further upstream if the ethiopians start banning and taking a lot more water. on a moderate islam, i agree with the company we have just heard. i think it is for you to tell me whether the idea of talking to moderates is gaining ground. i see some pretty vigorous expression of opinion in the editorial pages of the post. i think it will be a major mistake for the west to start interfering in other people's newly democratic policies to try to influence the victory of one party or another or to demonize one party rather than
another. if the two nations and egyptians and others choose to elect islamist to their governments, we will have to find a way of dealing effectively with the results. that is what we do in jordan and morocco. >> great. let's take three more questions. we have a fellow in the back with a blue and white shirt. the fellow behind him and then david. >> i am with the international council with relief studies. imagine that the muslim brotherhood has the infrastructure to deal with shortages should they occur in egypt.
do they have the motivation to see that coming and what would be the effect on their power within the electorate? >> i cannot keep these questions in line. i things it is important to make the distinction. they have the resources to alleviate the problems from a small sector of society, not society as a whole. they do not have those kinds of resources. their trademark is to go out into poorer sectors of the economy and make the difference, the add-on to what the government already does. they get credit for doing so. i would suspect under the circumstances they would do the same thing.
but they cannot replace the government stores or supplies. they cannot replace the distribution system of the army. it will give them a little boost, but it will not be major revolutionary change. >> david? >> i think the first statement that sounded to me like a u.s. government inspired statement was like senator kerry in the new york times. i thought that was probably
what we were telling the egyptians privately. that was that president mubarak, you can really serve your country like the good nationalist that you are by stepping aside gracefully. the stepping aside gracefully, is that the kind of formula that could include going to where he was spending a lot of time and just retiring even if he keeps the title of president? would that satisfy, do you think, the obama administration? would it satisfy the leaders of the egyptian opposition? would it be the sort of thing the egyptian army would like to see happen? >> i do not think it would satisfy the opposition. the opposition has been that everything on its ability to change the regime. that means getting rid of mubarak. he is a symbol of all sorts of things. he has been unfairly characterized in many cases. he is a symbol of oppression.
he is a symbol of secret police. he is a symbol of torture. the is a symbol of deprivation, although i do not think that is his fault. there is no way that can be accommodated within any structure you might imagine. that does not mean that he could not retire and give up the presidency and let someone else take it over. he could be treated with reverence and deference and so on. everybody could go down there and paid him homage. the constitution has to be changed. he has to be changed. there has to be political parties established. a whole series of events have to take place. >> thank you. there is a question in the back. >> i am with the national democratic institute. i was wondering in terms of possible names for the army who might be possible successors to mubarak, do any of you gentlemen have any at directions which the chief of staff for the military? what can you tell us about his possible presidential aspirations or anything about him? thank you. >> one of the problems with dealing with the egyptian military when you are an
ambassador, you deal with them through the top man. when i talk to the military, i talked to the leader. the way the egyptian system works, they never open their mouths. they listened and you then they make their points behind the scenes. they do not do it in public. there is none of this public scrabbling that we do so readily in this country. there needs to be a voice to represent a consensus. my experience with the egyptian military is that they are very professional. they are very loyal. they are nationalists in the sense that they want to do the right thing for egypt. they have been loyal to mubarak as president, but as president, not as a man. that is the distinction one has to keep in mind. i have confidence that coming up to the system -- he is of
that mold and will be an asset for the egyptians as we move forward. >> do we have a tunisia question? if not -- there is a gentleman back here. that is all right. we do not seem to have any tunisia questions. >> we need you on a microphone. we have a lot of cameras in the room. >> i offer an opportunity for penance. do you gentlemen wish to confess that you made errors during your tenure as in egypt or tunisia? is there anything you might have done differently during your time there? >> good question. >> there is always stuck you can do differently.
the question is what you are putting your emphasis on and the priorities you face at any given time. we have had a lot of dealings with egypt over a long period of time. we have as some successful dealings, such as the peace treaty with israel. we have helped develop a military that is modern and professional. it is actually standing in the streets now as a moderating force in this crisis. i think they have taken a very responsible role. while i argue that this a ministration should not take credit for things like that, it still has something to do with the communications and we have had and the training we have had of the military. if it is a force for good, we have had a part in that.
there was a bit of that in the first four years of the bush a administration. i thought it was fairly productive. indeed, a number of the non- governmental institutions in egypt at the time felt empowered because of the position the bush administration was taking. it did not survive into the obama administration, although he tried to reignite that feeling in his speech in cairo. it was not really geared towards democracy. if we did make a mistake, i think it largely dealt with the fact that our programs while they were geared towards building institutions of democracy, maybe they were not aggressive enough. we were too easily dissuaded from events like changing the social welfare system and how non-governmental organizations are accredited and so on. we could have done more that way, but i am rather proud of the way we handle our relationship with egypt up till now. >> alan? >> i think i would have preferred david's question. [laughter] when kate was sending me about this event, i said why do you not get david to do it? he is the real tunisian expert. i am sorry we had not had that exchange. i do not really do confessions.
[laughter] i suppose it i am not very proud that now of efforts that were not successful to get closer to the pretty awful ben ali family. they were aloof and i got nowhere with them, although i did have a famous dinner that was described in one of those cables that was leaked. [laughter] i do have regrets, though. regrets, really, that we were not able despite considerable effort either on the european side or bilaterally to have more impact on the petty abuses that one saw throughout tunisia --
the restrictions on freedom of speech, the u. n meeting, for example, that was called off because opposition people had been invited to attend. it was suddenly announced that the hotel air-conditioning had failed. an important meeting could not be held in that hotel and no other hotel in the country was available on short notice. there were things like that that we could not be more vocal about. i do not think it would have done much good. it might have caught short our stay in tunis and enabled us to settle rather earlier back in washington. i do not think it would have made much difference, but i do regret it.
the other thing i do regret on a more personal level, the society -- it was possible to have a debate around the table with people from the opposition and government together. in tunis, we felt it was not possible. on every occasion which i to set one up, the guest would inquire who else was coming. if government people were coming, the opposition people would not because they would not be able to speak freely without fear of repercussions. on the other side, if the government people heard an oppositionist had been invited, they were afraid of being rebuked and discredited from within their own system. that is a measure of the system we live under and i regret it. the it does seem, now, that in regions of all sorts, from all walks of life, are relishing a free press and the ability to talk freely. that is a good thing.
>> it is important to remember that if you are the president of the country like tunisia or egypt, you develop a very thin skin. you do not appreciate it when foreigners criticize you. you certainly do not appreciate it when embassadors criticize you. the bottom line is if you were publicly engaged in criticism of mubarak, you would not have been in egypt for very long. you would not have been kicked out because of the relationship with the u.s., but you never get in the door again. what is the point of being an ambassador if you cannot get in the door? we have to lead it to the administration to make the outrageous statements that drive mubarak nuts. [laughter] or two senators schumer. it is a healthy part of our system. >> i am afraid we are out of time. i want to thank our panelists for their insights and observations.
>> tonight, remarks from fcc commissioner robert mcdowell. then, the 100 and average three of the birth of ron reagan. then remarks from the senate floor. tomorrow, dick cheney is the featured speaker at the closing than what marking the 100 per day of ronald reagan. -- marking the 100th birthday of ronald reagan. >> sunday, janet of soliton now
on how the u.s. is meeting current security threats. -- judge andrew napolitano >> the whole environment had become polluted and destroyed and violent. >> a documentary producer on hubert h. humphrey, the art of impossible. >> the whole reason was to show this side of this. everyone remembers him as someone looking lyndon johnson's boots. people did not understand the pressure he was under. >> listen to historic supreme court cases on supreme court radio. the court considers the fair housing act, racial
discrimination. >> the complaint says that he should be liable as an individual and he owns the corporation and because he was the officer broker. >> listen to the argument on c- span radio, in washington d.c. on 90.1 and online at c- span.org. >> robert mandel says the fcc recent decision on net and net neutrality would likely go down in flames. this is almost an hour. -- rober
>> okay, we would like to get started. we would like to welcome our c- span audience. we are glad that they're with us today. i am pleased now to have with me the fcc commissioner, robert mcdowell. we had commissioner meredith baker providing the opening notes and it is nice to have the commissioner with us. i recognize a lot of the audience members from the last two conferences. bers from the last two conferences. commissioner mcdowell, i mentioned this morning this was the third annual fr state conference.
so now i have no conpunction, because we now have a ring of permanence. the first two occupants of the chair that you are sitting in was blair levin. he was past fcc chair and the incoming -- he was on the verge of becoming the broadband czar, the executive director of the commission's national broadband plan team and then last year we had in your chair, eddie lazarus who was the current fcc chief of staff. i was very honored to have is both of those gentlemen, of course, and we had great conversations, as many of you can attest, but i guess this is really a step up the ladder, right? for us to have an fcc commissioner here, wouldn't you agree?
>> blair is sitting right there. i don't know. i missed the levin chairmanship. i don't know where i was. i must have been on vacation that week. >> i was talking with blair about that earlier and he said you may just have to wait a little while longer. so -- [ inaudible ] >> well, by the way, now that you've been on the commission for -- how many years have you been on? >> about four and a half. >> oka do you think you would rather be broadband czar or rather have been broadband czar or the fcc chief of staff or the commissioner? >> i think those first two are completely thankless jobs. i'm very comfortable where i am right now. that was probably a little bit of tonguend cheek and we're going get to more serious views of the job of an fcc commissioner shortly, but we
probably ought to tell the audience right aw. i think i alluded to this earlier that you and i are both duques, right? for those that are uninitiated we are both graduates of duke university, correct? >> absolutely. i have my duke notebook here today just for blair. blair didn't likeuke very much, but he sent his daughter there. okay. we may put a spectrum cap on the number of references to blair, but we're still -- we're still under the limit right now, but -- >> what is the limit? blair, blair, blair. >> over the limit. all right. well, i saw on your official that you graduated cum laude. that's very impressive. i didn't do that, sorry to say, but my wife is in the audience
and she was phi beta kappa. >> she should be up here in this chair then, so -- or that chair, maybe. >> nevertheless, i'm a double dukie, right? law school and undergraduate. so i really think that that trumps cum laude being a double dukie and that's a way of saying i want you to be nice today, and i want you to answer all my questions. >> i'm always nice. >> okay. okay. >> sometimes i answer some of your questions. >> all right. let me just -- i'm going to -- everyone in the audience has the official brochure where we've got your official biography and all of the information. i'm just going to mention iefly a couple of things and then we'll get right onto it. commissioner mcdowell was first appointed to his seat on the fcc by president george w. bush in 2006, and he was reappointed to
the commission in 2009 by president barack obama. at means your term runs through 2014. >> correct. >> correct. previously, commissioner mcdowell was senior vice president with the competitive telecommunications association, otherwise known as comtel and was responsible for advocacy efforts before congress, the white house and executive agencies and served on north american numbering council and on the board of directors of north american numbering plan billing and collection inc. >> if you keep going, you will really kill c-span's ratings and they don't care about ratings. >> no, i was just going say, i think with that i'm going to stop. it's true. >> i'm also a member of aaa, d and -- >> was that aaa? >> the american automobile associatio
>> okay. okay, now look. what i want to do today is for us to talk about some of the current hot topic policy issues on the substantive basis, of course, but i also want to talk about how the agency goes about its work. we did some of both of those things this morning, you know, on the lter part about how the agency goes about its work, you know, i probably am going to want to talk about how the commission functions under chairman jan cow ski's leadership or wheth there were institutional changes that you may recommend and so forth. so let's talk about some of these process issues first and then you will also talk substances as well, of course. let's do it that way. >> okay. now you've served as -- excuse me, as a commissioner, and by the way, you could be -- i can
foresee you being chairman before blair gets to be chairman. >> are we over the blair cap yet? >> we're getting close. >> okay. >> here's my question you served under two different chairmen. >> three. he helped us do soft landing on the 3d tv transitions. >> absolutely. how did their different leadership styles affect how the commission operates both on a day-to-day basis and also in terms of how it deals with some of the big issues that come along like the net neutrality decision or the comcast merger and let's don't get into the real substance of those things now, but just talk about the leadership style of chairman and how that affects the way the commission operates?
>> it was an interesting project for an number program's organizational behavior and class to study the different personalities of each commissioner and chairman tsee how does that actually influence outcomes and productivity and all the rest, but you know, we've had different people at the helm with different personalities and different philosophies and they each put their own thumb print on the outcomes that the commission produces. so i'll talk about what's currently going on today. i have a very high, personal regard for chairman jankowski. what most people don't know about the fcc is about. 90% or over 90% of what we vote is is not only bipartisan, but also unanimous. it tends to get more attention is not what's in the 10%.
it's not necessarily partisan. you might have different alliances. my very first action as a commissioner in june of '96 -- or '06, excuse me, was a vote that never came to materialize under something called multiclass must carry. after a few weeks of deliberation i cited with the commission with the two democrats on the commission, i had decided to oppose that initiative, and i did, too, for different reasons, but we arrived at the same destination by different paths. so, you know, we could talk to them about issue by issue, but the day to day management of the commission doesn't necessarily always involve the commissioners so that the chairman is working in an organization andhas up to 1800 people at its fullest ranks. it's a $350 million a year budget and there's a lot that goes on that doesn't necessarily affect the commissioners. it depends really on the issue.
>> okay. >> now in 1999, before you arrived at the commission, the chairman of the commission, president clinton's apintee was william kennard at that time and shortly before he departed he issued a strategic plan for the commission and it was titled a new fcc for the 21st century. i think it was sent up to congress at the time, and i just want to read you, and this was the very beginning of his strategic plan. i apologize for those who were here last year. actually read from this last year, and i may keep doing it until someonactually gets the message over there at the fcc, but forgive me, but here i thought it was important what
commissioner -- excuse me, chairman kennard said. he said, quote, in five years. remember, this was 1999. we expect u.s. communications markets to be characterized predominantly by vigorous competition that will greatly reduce the need for direct regulation. the advent of internet-based and other new technology-driven communication services will continue to erode the traditional regulatory distinctions between different sectors of the communications industry. as a result, over the next five years the fcc must wisely manage the transition from an industry regulator to a market facilitator. the fcc as we know it today will be very different in both structure and mission. now, i was around, unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, in 1979, in 1999 -- excuse me, in
1989 and 1999, and i have to say, to be candid, i don think the fcc is fundamentally very different in structure and mission now than it was at any of those times. i know there's been changes, and i know the offices have been moved and there has been some consolidations, but despite the development of competition that bill kennard predicted, it seems to me that he was off in terms of his prediction about the fcc as an institution changing. so i would like to know whether you agree with me or disagree. of course, also tell us if you think the fcc should be changed as an institution in what ways, please? >> first of all, i think
chairman kennard started the enforcement bureau and chairman martin started the homeland security bureau and those, actually, i think did help streamline some fcc functions. but you're right. overall, reinventing government starting in 199 3, but government since then and since before then has gotten bigger and hasn't necessarily been invented. there are very large, slow-moving institutions here in washington, and it's hard to pass legislation. it's hard to pass legislation affectin agencies. it took something like 9/11o create department of homeland security and not an independent agency, of course, but it's hard to do that and just the way that the institutions are set up. so we still have a stove py
statutory construct, and it's up to congress to change that, and it's up to us to try to adapt as best we can. some of those bureaus within the commission have been renamed and there's, i think a lot more cross-connect and cross-talk than there was in 1999 when chairman kennard laid that out, but when mike cox became acting chairman in january of '09, i sent him a very long, detailed letter on fcc reform and then when julie jankowski became chairman in 2009 i sent him almost the same, long letter with a few revisions. to wit, outlining some suggestions. so how can it be different? first of all, if you really wanted ito be fundamentally different, congress has to act. >> let's put that aside. i understand that. i understand you're not the chairman, but you wrote those letters just to put a point on
it, if you would, just tell us a coup of ways that if you could change it that you would change it, even including what congress ought to do, and just put a point on it and be bodacious here. you're among friends here. >> just among us and c-span's cameras aren't on, right? >> right. >> there's been a lot of debate to what long-term communications regulation looked like and i subscribe to the philosophy that competition sub plants the need for regulation. so there is no, a i said before, no federal clothing commission a the other fcc because the clothing market presumably is competitive, right? so you want to adopt policies that promote competition and there's been debate and it's health toe have this debate every time an fcc reauthorization bill comes before congress and even when they're not before congress to
talk about should some of th policy decisions actually come from the executive branch. should there be an assistant secretary for communications and that sort of thing. should the fcc be more of an enforcement agency in an adjudicatory body. those are all good questions to ask and as we continue to look at markets where there are bottlecks and do they actually need government intvention to pry them open, then we can look at it from a general competition law perspective rather than just the regulatory law perspective. so those are issues which i think are health toe discuss before congress and should be aired out, but as we sort of pointed out, it takes decades to get major reform and probably the last major reform in the fcc is when they went from seven commissioners down to five and that was the extent of it and that was 30 years ago. >> i mentioned that i was doingtelcom policy in 1979, but when you said decades that
begins to worry me a little bit about the future here and whether i'll be around for that. >> eat right and exercise. >> let's put a further point on this. you mentioned executive branch agenes and that was something to be looked at in the mix and how they relae, but just so everyone appreciates what we're talking about, the fcc is one of those so-called independent regulatory agencies. it's amulti-member commission with bipartisan membership and staggered terms. of course, all those features, as you know, were part of the progressive era, sort of a new deal construct, ideal construct for the creation of these so-called independent regulatory agencies that would make
desions and maybe i'm simplifying a little bit, in that these agencies would be largely insulated from politics because of their structure and that their decisions would be guided by the expertise of the commissioners and the staff. now that's what we have. i'm not going to ask you if it's a good or bad thing initially, but describe for us so you can help us understand, what's the mixture politics and expertise ordinarily in the -- excuse me, an fcc decision making or put itnother way, if the fcc is an independent agency as i described, how does politics intrude in your decision making? >> well, so for those