tv Washington This Week CSPAN August 27, 2011 2:00pm-6:30pm EDT
>> powerful research has been conducted by other organizations. if i have to guess how much will get back for my money for every dollar i put into a drug court, i will get about $2.21 back. if it is a particularly good drug court, and they get $27 back. as for the drug court evaluation just published, they found that the average net benefit for drug court was just short of $6,000 per participant. if drug courts are treating 120,000 participants with an average return on investment of $6,000 per participant, if we hit the 1.2 million people we should be serving, and would definitely need a calculator to figure out how much we're saving. right now, we use incarceration
as our primary response. it has no effect. it is enormously expensive. drug courts are about 1/10 of the cost of incarceration and many times better. i would suggest it is pretty common that doing too much tends to make people worse and also tends to cost too much money. if you bring a sledgehammer for a thumb tack, you will do more damage than you need to. doing it more intelligently will save you money. these cost savings occur in the same budget year or immediately ensuing budget year. you get your money back within 24 months. that is money to the criminal justice system. i am not talking about foster care savings for children not losing their families. i am talking about money back to
the criminal justice system because he is not in jail. the police are not out arresting him. i do not have to have 10 violation of probation hearings. i do not have to have the prosecution and defense in the courtroom. i am saving all that money right away. that is why drug courts have expanded as much as they have. the federal government seeds the program. it is rare for the state not to pick up after the federal government seeds it. they are doing it because they're saving an enormous amount of money. >> i have been at a number of drug court graduations. when we first started hours, there were a lot of issues with the police not supporting it. we made some changes by taking out the gun crimes and some things where i believe prison was appropriate. over the years, we gained the
support of the police for the court. it made a big difference. they realized there was actual fallout as opposed to someone being lost in the system because it was perceived as a minor crime. what happened was they started to sing was there is actual follow-up. there would be something at the end of they did not comply. it was interesting to see the evolution with law enforcement during the time i was county attorney. the best drug courts that cut in half are the ones who have law enforcement on their side. law enforcement on the team increases the outcome of multifold for the reasons you suggest. >> the dark cloud of budget and
that concerns me that concerns -- the dark cloud of budget and that concerns over washington is the real thing. and like to ask mr. sheen and judge lafazio to talk about the intangible and non-monetary value that you see in what happens in a drug court and what we hope will also happen in a veterans court. the individual involved has to come to a difficult recognition and reconciliation of the wreckage they have often made of their own lives and realize that the transformation is necessary and start the hard and courageous path of recovery.
that is a rather special human accomplishment. i would like to put that in the context of what you see every day in the drug courts. >> i have been a participant in the compton drug courts, south of los angeles, as well as the downtown drug court in los angeles and the bay area courts , including stephen manley.
as well as the berkeley and oakland situations. what i see so often are the drug low income, aus on homeless, fixed income people on .he short end of the lattedder very often, they have public defenders. the across-the-board rule is they're very rarely represented by a lawyer they have to pay. they are generally all wards of the state at that point. when they stand in front of a compassionate, understanding judge and are offered a very fundamental choice of going to the penitentiary for three years or having an opportunity to turn their lives around in
treatment that they can start today, 99% of those defendants will say treatment. in, they see them come o are still wearing the orange jumper and are in chains. then you come back over months and witness the gradual, a story change where a human being is emerging from this chaos, this baggage that has been discarded and thrown away. motivationo self- and were totally dependent on the next dose of drugs. to see them flower and reach their potential and then turned
to the community with rehabilitation and begin to serve the people coming out of the cages in the orange jumpers and in shackles -- it is that turned towards the brother or sister just coming out of the cage, though likely have with each other. the look they have with each other. there is a jail house dialogue, and understanding, there is a drug culture. when it is broken, that has a miraculous effect. there is the old saying that all you need for an aa meeting is to give drugs, a pot of coffee, and a lot of resentment. that has not changed. it is a deeply personal contact
with one drug addict talking to another that has come out of the same cell and uniform. the hope, the possibility of returning to their humanity, and in the service back to the -- and then the service back to the committee. the last step in 12 step programs is to reach out to those still out there. it is said the only way to keep anything of real value is to give it away with love. that is the basic, fundamental work of the drug court. >> my time is up. we will go back to center blumenthal for a second round. -- we will go back to senator blumenthal for a centesecond ro. >> i would like to follow upon some of the answers given,
especially the description of the training and preparation that goes into preparing a warrior to go into modern-day battle. people come back from explosive situations that they might not have survived in the past wars. they have come back with wounds that are undiagnosed and untreated. how do we prepare the courts, law enforcement professionals, and others involved in the system for dealing with those individuals in their jurisdiction who they may not fully understand? >> the armed services have training curricula and
intervention specifically for this purpose, trading law enforcement and judges. how do you recognize an invisible one? someonerecognized with post-traumatic stress syndrome? all you have to do is ask the right questions. in 5 minutes, you will know. if you do not ask those questions, you will never know. >> what are those questions? >> asking someone if they get startled. if there is a slight movement in the courtroom, watch the veteran when there is movement in the courtroom. they turned towards the movement. if they did not turn towards it in afghanistan or rot, they could be dead. in the courtroom, they may have set an altercation or negative situation. you are looking for the startled response, the hyper-vigilant. you are looking for the hollowness.
when you are that damaged and broken, you are not sure anybody can help you. you are pretty sure that nobody can. you are pretty sure you are going to die. you are not entirely sure they you care. emptyng for the broken, in t thing in people, the apathy -- those are not hard to diagnose. they are not hard to detect. we can train law enforcement and judges to do it. if they are not trained, they do not see it. the thinking is being aggressive when he is just startled. they think he is being a wise guy and not answering when they're just being obedient to a superior in uniform. they think he is being aggressive when he is just starting. i have a colleague who does it for the navy. i just met someone who does it for the air force. there is training curriculum. we need to get it to judges in
every state and county. we can do that. >> judge, do you have anything to add? >> in rhode island, our law enforcement have been participating in the first responder program. it was originally initiated to allow them to address mental health issues at the beginning of the scene. they're trained to use that in dangerous situations. into that program, we have put a component on recognizing veterans and veteran issues to be escalate at the beginning. the training is critical for every stakeholder involved in the process. in addition to training, public education is also important. there is a ripeness for negative public perception.
there is the potential for people to think this is a free pass, to think that people are not being held accountable. there is the safety aspect part of it. dui's play a big role in all of these courts. they are ripe for public scrutiny when you bring somebody through this and they get taken out of the criminal justice system or get a lesser sentence. if that person real offense, -- reoffends, that possibility is over there. it always there and could come back to us on the front page of the newspaper. >> it is probably training legislators as well. i would like to submit for the record a copy of the "new york
times" article referenced several times by the witnesses. >> without objection, it will be included in the record. let me go back to judge lafazia to see if you want to add anything to mr. sheen's remarks. how has it been dealing with the veterans administration? >> the veterans administration has played a critical role in this project in rhode island from the beginning. they have been supportive in every step of the process, including confirming identification of veterans if they get a call from police departments to the role that they are playing in the court, the services they are providing. they have been excellent on emergency care, in getting people in very quickly for assessment. they have been a wonderful partner in this project.
they absolutely get it and they do play well with others. they have been cooperative and supportive. they have had some good initiatives that they have brought to the table for us. the one thing i would add to what mr. sheehan said is that when these veteran-defendants are coming into the court, one of the big challenges has been to identify them. many do not want to be identified as military or veterans. there is the shame element that accompanies them. they have come from the background of rules and regulations, and respecting those. now they find themselves in a very different situation. that has been one of the challenges we have had to deal with. they have however been very motivated. most of them have remembered what their family lives were like before hand and what their lives were like before hand.
they have been very motivated to get into the program. they have welcomed the treatment given. there is nothing that motivates people like finding themselves in the criminal justice system. when the option is given, it motivates and works. i will be happy to celebrate any motivation in any success story. >> senator klobuchar. >> we have significant native american populations in our state. i wondered to what extent the drug courts are serving the native american populations. it is not high, how could that change? >> there are a number of water called tribal healing courts. they are tribal courts. they're not part of the u.s. court system. they are separate court systems. they use healing to wellness
systems. there is a lot of use of intervention and spirituality. there is a lot of emphasis on history, giving back, restitution. we do training for them. we do technical assistance. we have members from the tribal community on our board. they are at our conferences. they're very active parts of the drug court world. we need more of them. in the tribal community, we're probably hitting 5% or 10% of the problem like we are everywhere, but we have the resources, knowledge, and skills to do so. >> thank you. >> let me call the hearing to a conclusion. i want to thank each of the witnesses for their testimony today. i want to thank them for their
contribution to our common effort to pursue the types of deficiencies -- efficiencies and transformations that the drug court mechanism can provide and to expand that mechanism of community support, finding alternatives to direct the veterans back out of the criminal justice system in an effective way. i really appreciate the testimony of everyone and the presence of so many people who have worked so hard on this issue in the room as well. as i said earlier, the record of the hearing will stay open four additional weeks. if anybody wishes to add to it, they simply need to send in their materials. subject to that, the hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> president obama visited the headquarters of the federal emergency management agency this afternoon. he arrived at the response center at 12:20 eastern time. he spent less than an hour where federal agencies convene during disasters like for hurricane i removing the east coast. he spoke with federal and state officials.
[applause] >> what have we got here? >> this is where we get the request from governors and working to move stuff. this is the team that coordinate's getting things to the governors that they need. >> you are doing a great job. obviously, we are monitoring the situation closely. i will tell you that when i was on the phone with the governors and mayors yesterday and asked if they could think of anything that our team -- e.u. -- could
be doing to help them get prepared, they were quiet on the phone. that is a good sign. that meant you were going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of making sure that you are asking state and local folks what they needed and making sure you are deploying those resources in a timely way. it is still obviously going to be touch and go situation for a lot of communities. but knowing they have an outstanding response team like this makes all the difference in the world. we really appreciate you and are proud of you. you will probably not get any sleep for the next 22 hours or so. thank you. [applause]
>> we held a press conference at noon and declared a state of emergency for vermont. for 24-hour operations that will begin tomorrow morning at 7:00 and run 24 hours, as long as we need to. our liaisons are here. they have been a super help for the last week. our electric utilities are bringing in extra crews from the west and out of canada to help them. . two largest utilities have doubled their number of cruiews
in private contractors from other states and canada. the river will probably flood. we are preparing for that. hours reporter rescue teams are going to be in place by noon tomorrow. the national guard has also been evaluating. >> any additional items that you need or any additional support from fema that you are still waiting on? >> no, there is not. there is a field office in this state from previous declarations from spring flooding. everything we've bounced 4 and needed has been right there. it has been a great relationship -- everything we have asked for and needed has been right there. it has been a great relationship. >> the folks from maryland asked about the pre-planned full
declaration. i want to confirm that has been approved. you will be able to tell governor o'malley that is done. >> he will be here momentarily. thank you very much for your support. >> mr. president, north carolina is getting ready to respond to the heavy rain. the rest are still in the preparation phases. we are following the storm literally up the interstate 95 corridor.orp we did not start today. we have been doing this for nearly a week. we have built relationships. we're not starting new to work on these issues as a team. >> i want to say to everyone
seated around a table that each conversation i have had with state and local officials, they have confirmed to me that the relationship with the month -- fema has been outstanding. they recognize this will be tough to get through this. they are very appreciative of the outstanding work you have done and the preparation that has taken place. i have not yet heard from soanye suggesting we have not done everything we can on this front. that is part of the good work you have done. we will have to make sure in the response and recovery phase that we're just as aggressive and on top of it. they do not seem to be hesitant about asking for stuff.
we're turning it around quickly. i appreciate it. it is going to be a long 72 hours. a lot of families are going to be affected. the biggest concern i am having has to do with flooding and power. it sounds like that is going to be an enormous strain on a lot of states. we're really going to have to stand on top of the recovery in response phase of this thing. >> i think you have nailed it. we are at the end of the beginning and now going into phase two. >> mr. president, on behalf of the team, i appreciate you coming.
we represent a lot of unseen faces. we appreciate it. it goes a long way. we have a long way to go and they know it. they will be here working for us. >> thank you very much everybody. great job. >> president obama says the government is preparing for her to intervene -- hurricane irene. overnight, the president declared a state of emergency for the seven states in the path of the storm. here is a briefing from earlier today with federal officials on the government response to the hurricane. >> i like to introduce janet
napolitano. >> we will hear about the efforts from fema, the red cross, and the salvation army. thank you for joining us on a saturday morning. as expected, hurricane irene made landfall early this morning along the north carolina coast. i have spoken with governor erdue this morning. she said they are ready to do damage assessments as soon as possible, especially for assets like bridges and roads. i rain remains a large and dangerous storm. people need to take it seriously and be prepared. think of this in three phases. preparation, response, and recovery. some of our states are now moving into the response mode. others further north are still in preparation mode.
if you receive a warning to evacuate, please do so. even if you have not received a warning during the storm, please stay inside and "hunker down" until it is over. stay off of the roads so they will be clear for 1st responders. we anticipate heavy rain, potential flooding, and significant power outages throughout the areas the storm. let me turn it over to bill to give you an update on the storm and then you will hear from craig fugate. >> this is the satellite image of irene. is about 50 miles from cape hatteras and moving north.
the outer areas will be impacted over the next several hours. hampton roads, and more folks are already having an adverse folk arens -- nor f already having adverse conditions. water levels are coming up. a light to report a big story coming out of that. the information we've gotten in advance from officials has been outstanding. it fits right in with what they should be doing. the next picture, please. these bands can take on the characteristic that causes the local offices to issue tornado warnings. [unintelligible]
we have had a storm surge here in the 7.5 foot range. that depends on where you are. the storm tides will be high on the coast. that will affect roads and beach erosion. it is a very dangerous time for anyone left on the islands. a larger area has been getting rain since late yesterday afternoon. we could see 15 inches across north carolina before the storm exits later today. the next slide, please. here is the latest forecast track. by late this evening, it should be moving past the north slope
-- your folks -- norfolk area. the sustained winds will be mostly over the water. there is saturated ground. isabel had a lot of tree damage. i expect that also. overnight, along the coast, we expected to impact the delaware bay was storm surge and high wind. by early morning, it will be moving up the coastline of new jersey affecting new jersey during the morning hours and then making the next big windfall across long island into new england and new york city. do not get too carried away with the exact point on there. the center is not tight.
it is a broad area with hurricane-force winds. we will keep that in the forecast for now. the next slide, please. tropical storm wind probabilities, we've been talking about this for several days. a large area will likely be in. -- impact by tropical-storm force winds as it makes its way of the seaboard. we have saturated ground. those are areas we will be focusing on for the wind damage associated with trees coming down and the like. the next slide, please. this is the probability of the storm surge. if you are going to get higher than 4 feet of storm surge. the highest probability of storm surge is where it is actually happening.
i also want to point out the .ikelihood of exceeding 4 feet folk and inthe north sl roads area. chesapeake is not looking like it will have the kind of flooding issues we saw with isabel. the wind is likely to swing the other way with lower water levels. not so fortunate for delaware bay. from that area down to bethany and into ocean city, we have the high probability of exceeding 4 feet of storm surge. that will be coupled with waves. a lot of property at low levels will be damaged. moving up the coast, we're still looking at about the same issue on the storm surge up into long island sound and the new york
metropolitan area. the forecast is broad in the range of four to 8 feet. the local forecast office will have detailed information to pinpoint the problem areas along your coast. there's a lot of variability within that range. the next slide, please. the rainfall shifts for mostly being in the northeast quadrant of the storm as it moves north. it is coming under the influence of the weather features pulling it off to the north. we expect 5 to 10 inches of rain across the mid-atlantic centered over the metropolitan area western new england. all of these areas have had extensive rain in the past. the ground is saturated. there have been issues with
flash flooding. there will probably be river flooding before it is over. craig, i will turn it over to you. >> bill talked about the hazards. i want to key in on a couple points. the category of hurricane does not explain all of the risk. you are dealing with four principal risks with a hurricane. the high wind, storm surge we do , rainfall, and tornadoes. even though this may be a category one hurricane, the rainfall amounts are not tied to the category of storm. it is due to the size and speed of the storm. devastating floods can occur in tropical storms. tornadoes will be quick. they will not be on the ground long. they will not be the kind we saw this spring. they could be very devastating. that is why we're asking people outside the evacuation zones
during the storm to stay inside, stay away from the exterior doors and windows, just like you would prepare for tornadoes. but you will be there for much longer time during the storm. make sure you bring your supplies with you. the other key issue is in the immediate aftermath of the storm, we will start the response phase in north carolina as irene moves north. the best thing people can do is stay home and stay inside. a lot of people like to get out and travel. it is hazardous with power lines and trees down. the responders do not need to be behind you when they're trying to help. we have seen many people injured and lose their lives after a storm came through because it is still very dangerous. yesterday we announced we released one of our apps for injury. -- we released one of our apps
for android. if you do lose connectivity, it has information about what to do during and after a hurricane as well as other hazards. it is the official fema app. fema website will give you that information. we have other apps coming soon. it is not just about what the government is doing. it is about the volunteer agencies are doing. we have the red cross and salvation army with us today. i will turn it over to others to talk about what our volunteer agencies are doing for citizens. >> thank you. we appreciate your leadership. our organizations are tightly
linked and continue to work well together. we really appreciate the partnership. we're in the middle of what could be one of the largest responses the red cross operations have had in recent memory. there are a number of evacuation's. that reinforces the serious nature and how far reaching the storm is. we have operations in more than a dozen states. our priority right now is sheltering. last night, we had 13,000 people in our shelters from the states that were evacuated. we have nearly 150 shelters open right now. we are preparing to open dozens more as the storm continues to go north. many of them are being opened as we speak. if you need the location of a shelter, go to the red cross website. there is an app that will show you where our shelters are.
we also have a brand new app on the iphone for shelters. we have already had 15,000 downloads since the storm began. we expect that to grow. like every other agency at times like this, the phones are probably going to start ringing off the hook. if you do need to get in touch with us, the internet is your best bet. local media will be covering where the nearest shelters are. you can listen for that as well. we encourage people to register on safe and well. that is an application on our website. it is a way to tell family members you are ok. the storm is still ongoing. people in the northeast still need to take precautions. we have heard over and over again that if the officials tell you to evacuate, it is really important to heed those warnings because they are serious. make sure you have supplies on
hand. we ask that everyone has an emergency kit with food and water for up to 72 hours, battery-operated radius, flashlights with extra batteries, personal toys, thes, kids' stuff you need to survive for 72 hours. we're putting the full force of the american red cross behind this operation. we have thousands of volunteers already hitting the east coast. 2/3 of our fleet is on the east coast were heading that way. these are emergency response vehicles. this is going to last a long time. those vehicles will be there to go through the community offering food, relief items, hygiene kits, and a light -- the like. we have pre-packaged meals and are prepared to feed about 1 million meals a day. we can do this because of the
wonderful partnerships with other non-profits and faith- based organization. people have asked what they can do to help. this will be a costly operation. donations are extremely welcome, regardless of the size. they will be gratefully received. in number of blood drives had to be canceled in the areas affected by the storm. we suspect there may be a blood shortage. if you are eligible to donate, you can also give the lie-saving gift of blood. speaking about our wonderful partnerships, it is my privilege to introduce major hud from the salvation army, also a great partner of ours. >> thank you and good morning. i represent the salvation army as the chief communications officer.
today, i am also representing a network of wonderful voluntary organizations that we refer to as a national voluntary organizations active in disasters. they are organizations each gifted with a particular skill. throughout the year, this group of organizations committed to saving lives and rebuilding lives after devastation work on how we can best respond colored of late whenever a disaster strikes. the voluntary organization has been mobilized effectively with this particular hurricane. ies are theagency' southern baptists. they are known for their ability to cook wonderful meals. they have 131 kitchens on standby with an average capacity of 130,000 meals on a daily
basis. there are all kinds of that kind of work that will take place. pre-planned, highly coordinated with support infrastructure for fema as we work together. the salvation army and red cross are active members of that. the salvation army has been actively engaged since arlene -- irene came on the radar screen. we have responsibility for puerto rico and some of the islands in the caribbean. we have been dealing with major issues on the islands of the caribbean, puerto rico, and the dominican republic. the last report i had yesterday was 800,000 individuals with no power on those islands. feeding, sheltering, and spiritual care is all being
implemented in those regions. in the early days of preparation, we put command teams in florida, north carolina, pennsylvania. their opposition in safe ranges -- they are all position in safe ranges so that we will be mobilized and quick to respond. in north carolina, we have the capacity of 300 individual feeding camp teams that concerts 1500 meals a day. we have mobile kitchens that can prepare up to 150,000 meals. our specialty in these situations is mass care, mostly feeding, doing some sheltering. we're operating three shelters in north carolina. we served breakfast at the crack of dawn. that work is going on. we're now positioning florida assets further up the coast. we have put a large asset base at a salvation army summer camp
that is now housing people in eastern pennsylvania who will be mobilized where they are most needed as the storm continues to take shape. this is a serious storm. we're putting all of our assets in place. we have approached it as a national disaster. it gives us access to all the resources from all 50 states across america. we are mobilizing volunteers and assets in the key strategic areas so that as the storm moves through, we will know precisely where to send those assets to respond. our contributions will be mass feeding, some sheltering, long- term case management, and emotional and spiritual care. those are the things we feel we do extremely well. we're able to function in this
partnership with red cross, fema, and the 50 organizations mentioned. >thank you. >> do all the states have everything they need? have you seen any gaps in preparation or possible response? are there things you are anticipating as gaps in state planning? >> we have been in touch with the states. none have reported any unmet needs now. we're really at the beginning of this storm response. we're basically at the end of the preparation phase. we're not yet into response and recovery. with the states as they do their assessments and
see what the damage is in their areas. >> the secretary has been in contact with the governors. yesterday, the governor repress it was in contact with the governors. -- yesterday, the president was in contact with the governors. north carolina is being hit now. we're getting some idea of the large scale power outages. we already have supplies and teams there. as we start getting the impacts, we will know what kind .f assistance will be needied we're talking about a lot of organizations including the coast guard that have been moving resources and people. they are prepared for not having a fixed site yet until we get the reports of damages from the governor's. -- do we expect it to weaken
more? >> a category one is still 80 miles an hour. i would advise you not to focus too much on the category. if you are in a hurricane, is a big deal. we had a huge expanse of associated tropical force wind extending 200 miles beyond the actual hurricane area. you have the combination of the hurricane, the expanded when the area -- the expanded wind area, and the associated tornadoes. that is the formation of the storm right now. as it changes, the hurricane center and fema will give current updates. >> bill could tell you more about the forecast. >> we do not see its strength ing anymore.
moving overland will take care of that. the resort areas and cities with high-rise buildings with funnelling effects, folks-up could experience stronger wins than the folks down low. >> i had trouble hearing. the storm surge could be up to 48 feet on long island sound? >> the storm surge would be for to 8 feet? >> that is the general forecast. some areas are more sensitive than others. that is why we encourage you to look to the local offices for
details. you can see where the probabilities are highest for various elevations. >> we will now go to questions from the phones. please state your name and publication when asking questions. >> we have a question from reuters. >> in relation to the storm surge forecast of 4 to 8 feet 4 long island sound and new york, which is that represent for low- lying areas in metropolitan new york? >> it does pose a risk. that is why officials have evacuated the low-lying areas prone to flooding.
the first things to go in a surge of transportation. responder's cannot get to people. that is why we have moved people. a lot of people are compacted against the coast these days. >> thank you. >> the next question is from suzanne goldberg with "party in." -- with "guardian." >> what geographic areas would be most at risk? >> the tornado threat is common with hurricanes. the numbers are variable. the intensity is usually considerably less than what we saw in the spring. we're not looking at the large super sized tornadoes.
the rain bands ahead of the center, the wind is still strong. the interaction with the land could create tornadoes. it is quite unpredictable. they would be short-lived event. we cover with watches as we move up the coast for areas most risk of tornadoes. >> thank you. >> there are no further questions from the phone line. >> thank you, all.
>> president obama visited the fema command center this afternoon. the center is coordinating the government's response to the hurricane. more than 400,000 homes and businesses have lost power so far as a result of irene. new york city is still making preparations ahead of the storm arriving there. the new york subway has been closed since noon, eastern. the city has opened 91 shelters. officials are planning to close the bridges if the wintry to 60 miles an hour. secretary leon panetta has issued an order telling 6500 active-duty troops to be ready in case there is a need for them to help with hurricane relief. on tuesday, "washington journal" begins a series on the weather. we will look at disaster relief and prepared this, whether
dynamics, the role of the national oceanic and atmospheric association, and the work of the national washinweatr service. on sunday, the congressional black caucus chairman speaks on the u.s. job situation and its effect on african-americans. also, a look at federal spending. that is live at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. ♪
i am a little bit sick. i will start by introducing our panel. carolyn lerner is the recently confirmed special counsel for the office of special counsel which represents the victims of discrimination. dexter raise angela canterbury, the director of public policy at the office of government oversight. nex to her -- next to her is christian sanchez. and next to me is micah sifry, author of "wikileaks in the age of transparency." he did not pay me for this endorsement. i would like to start off with carolyn.
>> can you hear me all right? good morning. i want to thank the sunlight foundation and the other members of the advisory committee on transparency for organizing this event. i also want to thank chairman i sent, -- issa for sponsoring today's discussion. this is my first public speaking engagements since i was concerned and sworn in as special counsel -- confirmed and sworn in as special counsel six weeks ago. i've only been on the job a short time. i feel some urgency to reinvigorate this important urgency. beginning at a time when our country is in a fiscal crisis and as congress tries to tighten the budget, osc's has never been more important.
we promote government accountability and transparency to provide -- by providing a way for employees to report waste, fraud, and abuse. government workers are in the best positions to uncover wrongdoing. insiders, employees aren't the best source for identified costly ron guinta and hard. -- are in the position or identified costly wrongdoing and harm. it is those inside who are most likely to report wrongdoing because they are most likely to go about it. they perform an important service. the same private sector study found that 80% of the whistleblowers regret it, " or because of the negative consequences they suffered. -- regretted coming forward
because of the negative consequences they suffered. 80% of the people who come to us come to our agency with disclosures and report retaliation. this is a culture that must change. whistleblowing is crucial to making large institutions more accountable by improving transparency. the federal government should be setting the pace. public servants should feel confident they can speak out without retaliation. when they do, we must make sure the government is held accountable for correcting any concept day uncover. created and got -- an environment where problems are accepted -- where reporting problems is except it is my goal. when it established the isosc,
congress understood that the agency must have full freedom to act on behalf of whistleblowers. while i was nominated by president obama and confirmed by the senate, i do not serve at the pleasure of it did the president or the congress. i have a fixed term of five years. no matter how good a job i may do -- i hope it is good -- i cannot be reappointed. this unique status issue is that the office of special counsel is not subject to influence or pressure when we make prosecution decisions. we are able to advocate on behalf of the lowest level employee against the highest ranking official in an agency. osc is also unique. unlike inspectors general, we are not tied to one agency. we have the ability to hold any agency accountable. congress has mandated that we
make it a priority to help whistleblowers. we are a small agency with a small budget, about 5% of the budget of the military. our work provide enormous value to american taxpayers. it is reflected in saved lives, improve government deficiency, and significant cost savings. disclosure from the federal aviation administration whistleblowers prevented the lives -- loss of hundreds of lives and billions of dollars. in 2005, hurricane katrina cost the federal government $127 billion. that did not stop the army corps
of engineers from attempting to install a potentially flawed flood protection system when a more reliable and less expensive option was available. if the whistleblower had not come forward to report these unsafe practices, the same devastation could have been repeated the next time a hurricane hit the gulf. in the health area, osc efforts have led to better care for veterans at the hospitals, insuring surgical instruments are sterilized and doctors are not performing procedures for which they have no expertise. this is due to the hard work of the dedicated staff that serves the agency. prior to my arrival at the agency, it was wracked by controversy and had been without senate confirmed leadership for two and half years. it is going to take time to rebuild his agency.
it will take collaboration with each of the agency's stakeholders to do so. everyone in this room has an interest in the osc's successful enforcement of good government laws. i want to hear from you about how the osc can best serve the public interest. i encourage you to work with my office and refer your constituents with concerns about retaliation. we want to be a resources and we want to make sure these claims are handled quickly and well. finally, while there is much to be done, there are some limits on what the office of special counsel can do under present law. we are in bold -- we are hindered by interpretations of whistle-blower law. these interpretations dissuade the osc from seeking
disciplinary action from wrongdoers. we look forward to working with you if congress seeks to strengthen the whistle-blower protection act. while no system of whistleblower protection will be full proof, in the absence of such protection, the public loses the surest source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse, without employees with the courage to come forward. i want to thank the organizers of this event for giving me the opportunity to speak today. i will forward to hearing from the other panelists and to taking your questions. thank you. >> and july? -- angela? >> good morning.
thank you to be transparency caucus. i am the director of public policy at the project on government oversight. we are on the advisory committee for the transparency caucus. my organization has worked with whistleblowers or 30 years in terms of uncovering wrongdoing and exploring solutions to investigations. we worked to improve protections for whistleblowers. we are not alone. we work with dozens of dedicated, wonderful non-profit organizations. the government accountability project is one of our solid partners for consumer protection. we take no funds from corporations or unions. we take no government money.
just private donations. we are going to puzzle over whistleblowing a little bit and leaks, wikileaks. the new world order perhaps. when we talk about making government work better, we have to talk about making whistleblowing work. as the country is in the middle of the debt ceiling the bible, our economy is in dire straits. -- debacle, our economy is in dire straits. the false claims act has been a huge success. it allows individuals to tell us and file a claim when the government is being ripped off. before the law was changed, this was returning u.s. finds in the order of $20 million per year. -- funds in the order of $20
million per year. whistle-blowers were asked to bring more claims for work. if there was a successful return of government funds, they would get a cut, a small percentage. after that, we averaged about $1 billion in returns. it was mentioned that studies have shown that whistleblowers are incredibly effective. a price waterhouse cooper survey found 5000 corporations world wide showed that whistleblowers catch more fraud than auditors and compliance officers combined. you will hear from christian and his attempt to stop wasteful accounting. partners of ours like the national taxpayers union and more than 400 other ngo's across
the ideological spectrum -- the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 has a nonsensical proposed cut of about 20 -- about $2 million for the office of special counsel. we think that is the wrong way to begin to heal the agency and restore it. it is the wrong way to save taxpayer dollars. every dollar we put into the office of special counsel will multiplied the taxpayer dollars that we can say. i think the president and congress are serious about saving taxpayer dollars. they are going to invest in whistleblowing. whistleblowers are on the front lines. sometimes an employee is not planning on being a whistle- blower. they are just doing their job and being honest. they come forward. once they face retaliation, they
realize that they are a whistleblower. many whistleblowers are heroes. it is only in the movies that they get treated as such. why is it like today to blow the whistle? i am sure christian will share his experience. for many, it is a nightmare. the system is broken. the whistle-blower protection act has been flawed, has been eroded by flawed court decisions. it is essential that we upgrade this law. the mspb, which is the place whistleblowers go to have their claims of retaliation adjudicated -- special counsel has only decided in favor of two whistleblowers.
the court of appeals has the monopoly on court to review, a pules of whistleblower cases for federal employees. something is wrong. add to this the chilling effect of an administration that has engaged in more prosecutions of disclosure that any other and the message is, be quiet. the result is more leaks. if there were more safe channels and better protection for federal employees, there would be fewer leaks. we would have more federal employees going to those six channels and warning us when there is wrongdoing. there is some hope. there is an understanding that whistleblowers are guardians and partners in crime fighting. congress has enfranchised
private-sector workers. they have acknowledged that it is a key component of any accountability plan to have some whistleblower protection. it has been more difficult to convince them to protect federal employees. the president and the minority and majority in congress has given strong support for whistleblower protection. we had carolyn lerner as the new director. susan as the chair is also promising. there is legislation pending that is and anti-leak, pro- taxpayer enhancement act. it was introduced this year in the senate. it would close many of these
loopholes that been created by the spackled decisions. it would expand -- created by these backhole decisions. it would expand protection for baggage screeners at airports and give specific protection for federal scientists. it would allow for normal access to courts. all of the private sector laws that we have had since 2002 -- those of 11 statutes allow for jury trials. a row employees who blow the whistle have been denied jury trials. the bill would allow for someone to have access to jury trials. we think is an appalling thing when the administrative process fails. it has improvements for the office of special counsel. it does everything we have been
seeking. is it all we hoped it could be? no. it is a good down payment and it will go a long way to approve the circumstances of whistleblowers today. this bill passed unanimously in the senate last year. it is queued to pass in the 111th congress. it passed in a different version thanks to the white house and partners in congress working hard and partners like the national taxpayers union. it was sent to the senate on the last day of the last congress. one senator or maybe two put a hold on it. this year, chairman issa and cummings, as well as last year's
co-sponsors in the house have all pledged to move the bill. we have been working with their staff so that we can have a bill with strong bipartisan support introduced shortly in the house. we are hoping beebe forms will be at least as positive as the senate -- hoping the viet forms s will be ate reform least as positive as the senate bill. many whistleblowers are facing retaliation. taxpayers are waiting for the president and congress to deliver on all of this transparency and accountability. i urge you to become informed about the bill. staffers would be happy to speak with you further. i thank you for your interest in the topic of whistleblowing and
i am looking forward to our discussion. >> christian? >> thank you for having me. i never intended to be a whistleblower. i am here as a private citizen, not on behalf of the border patrol. i am here to speak on behalf of the taxpayers and the amount of money and is being spent and our national security. a facility is being built for $8 million in a small station in washington. this facility used to be housed by four agents. now we are up to 40. four agents used to do the job of what 40 are doing. it struck a chord where -- to be at a station where we have
nothing to do. you have a new building and then have to house it. if i am is working a hours -- 8 hours, i do not need to be working doing nothing. administrative overtime is on top of the 8 hours work. i simply did not want to work that. it is a burden on the taxpayer's right now, especially with the economy, with medicare being cut -- with the taxpayers right now, especially with the economy, with medicare being cut. because of that, retaliation in the workplace has increased. my family has been terrorized. the vehicles have been driving by. my mail has been opened.
it has been tasking on my family to have that kind of retaliatory advance in my neighbor the. i have had my kids say to my wife, why is he watching us? my son makes that comment. it brings a pause in my wife. just to bring it back, the taxpayers are paying us all of this money to do nothing on this peninsula. we are just driving around the peninsula. because i have spoken out about this administrative uncontrollable over time, they
have started retaliating on me. other agents will take it. it is free money. if you give it to us, we was accepted. it is like the facility here. if you give them $8 million, they will house this place. to put it in perspective, auo for 40 agents is about $3 million in salary. before, it was to lead his $40,000 for four agents to house this facility. -- before, it was $240, 0000 for them agents to house this facility. >> can you talk about the type of work you did before? >> before i did this, we work in
san diego in a rural area. gangs and all kinds of activity with crossover. we would run up into the mountains and there would be a single agent, myself or someone else. we would apprehend 40 asians by ourselves. that was part of the job. that was something that we would -- the danger is there. in the northern border, there is nothing to do. there are no gains -- n gangs. -- no gangs. a lot of the agents are going stir crazy. they are trying to go back to where they knew they had activity, on the southern border of arizona and california. here, we are spinning our wheels. i have heard other agents say
they are getting depressed. of this indefensible spending because they want to man that facility. when you move from where you were before, you were busy all the time. now you have nothing to do. you were saying they have been mistreating you when they were driving by your house and things like that. can you talk about that a little bit more and explain how everyone is treating you? >> it started since i stopped working my administrative overtime. we do not need this money. we do not need to take is that it cost the taxpayers. i was interrogated for five up.rs for speaking uppe
supervisors have asked me to get psychological treatment. it has been things like that that have been tasking. they have taken away shipped supervisory duties that normally a senior agent takes. -- shift supervisory duties that normally a senior agent takes. anything is an excuse for writing me up for subordination for setting myself on certain positions. the morning briefing is where they give you your detailed assignment. those will last up to three hours because we have nothing to do. we talk about anything or everything but what we are going to do. we are just spinning our wheels there. that is all the retaliatory things that have occurred.
my chaplain duties were taken away. that is part of the retaliatory things that have been occurring to me for speaking up. >> we will talk about this some more a little later on. micah? >> banks, daniel. -- thanks, daniel. thanks to the sunlight foundation for setting up this committee. it is important that we are meeting today to restrengthen whistleblower protections. not only because it was 233 years ago that the continental congress enacted the first whistleblower protections. it was actually july 30, 1778.
with the country focused on this debate over the debt ceiling, which is fundamentally about how we spend taxpayer money, you would think that if congress wanted to demonstrate more seriousness about saving the taxpayers money, they would be adding funding to the osc rather than trying to subtract funding from. similarly, they would be adding funding to data.gov instead of taking money away. i do not know if you got a chance to read the paper today. there is a great and appropriate story in the new york times about china. i thought it would be worth mentioning to find my remarks. the headline is, blogs erode
china's censorship. the story describes how five days ago there was a terrible railway crash. two trains collided. the official chinese news paid little attention to it. social media in china, which is as robust or even more, than in the denied this states, has been all pretty story. within minutes, there were people on the scene who were doing the equivalent of tweeting. there have been more than 26 million posts about this will wait disaster. -- railway disaster. a lot of them had the effect of uncovering government behavior, such as workers' literally
workers burying the head car from the accident to prevent anyone seeing what caused it. the government was forced to dig up the train and send it out for further inspection. what does this tell us about the age we are entering. we are into an age of mass participation. a lot of our conversation will be about this issue of leaks.
to suppress information in this age, we make it more valuable and interesting. it is called the streisand effect. that is when she got upset about the geological survey of the california coastline. there were photographs of every 100 feet of coastline. she sued to get the pictures of her house removed. that just made people more interested in seeing pictures of her house. before we recognize, we are swimming in a sea of social media. it is only going to rise. it is not going down. all that media is one to include information about waste, fraud, and abuse. the question we should be
exploring is, how do we deal with the tsunami. we cannot stop it. >> thank you. i think i would like to start in the context of -- we are talking around some terms. whistleblowing and retaliation. i would like to make them more concrete. what is whistleblowing? what are the different types of retaliation that people suffered? this might be a good foundational question. would you like to start with that? >> whistleblowing is shorthand for when somebody sees something that is wrong and they report it. in the government context, there are some complicated groups that employees have to go through to make sure they are reporting is
duties as a chaplain being taken away. being referred for a psychiatric evaluation. any action that has an adverse consequence on someone's terms and conditions at work would be considered retaliation in the federal government. >> good answer. >> you are talking to the right person. >> how does the context of the communication effect determined that?
you can tell your supervisor. you can tell someone in congress, you can tell someone at the executive branch, you can put information on the internet. as people report information in different ways in different media, does that change how we think about whistleblowing and its legitimacy? should it change the way we think about those things. >> it changes the legal protections that are available to the person blowing the whistle. there is a labyrinth of rules to navigate. it is a protected disclosure. we report to the person who is doing the wrong doing. this is part of the case law
that has eroded congressional intent that we are trying to fix. we would be better off as a society and we would have a better government if we protected all whistleblowing. if everybody got to go to court and we did not put so many constraints on what whistleblowing is. we all live in that world. the best we can do is try to make more sense of the law and make it easier for people to come forward. if you know you could be retaliated against -- most federal employees do. they have gotten the message that they are putting their jobs on the line if they come forward with something that is going to rattle their office. think about the cost-benefit analysis that you might do given those conditions.
there are not a lot of benefit here. it is the least we could do if we are not going to incentivize or private citizens. we will give you a piece of the reward we did cover for u.s. taxpayers. if we are not going to do that, we should make it so they can have recourse for their suffering. >> the only thing i want to add to that is extending on my remarks at the beginning. if you change the culture of government -- it will not happen overnight -- it should be a valuable thing. we should see it as something that helps people progress in their careers -- if they expose waste, fraud, and abuse. it should be seen in a positive way, not something that is subject to disciplinary action. it should not require litigation
for someone to feel they have protections. the message has to come from the head of each agency. we want people to come forward and make these disclosures. it should be rewarded in some way. finding ways to change the culture in our government is a first step. >> let me follow on that. does it matter about the context of that reporting? if it is done through -- you were talking about official channels. either nothing happens through official channels or you find that you are retaliated against , should be context of whistleblowing and the protections that we are envisioning go into protecting that context as well? or is that starting to go too
far. >> i can answer that the context did not matter. the context is irrelevant. >> they should be about leadership and changing the culture. i hope you will encourage culture change and working with the agency. they ignore whistleblowers in the best of cases. we need to address the fact that we also have a president who has been supportive in speeches
and behind the scenes in terms of working for stronger protections for whistleblowers. as an attorney, he represented a whistleblower. he really does understand the value of whistleblowers. i do not know everybody that the memo in the administration. the memo they did get an after wikileaks was shocking. it was january 3 when this memo came out. they were scrambling between christmas and new years to come out with something. omb put together what we thought was a reasonable response. agencies, please evaluate how you are managing information. look at the handling of classified information.
look at your management of employees and your reviews of employees. this seems like a reasonable response. until you look at the check list that they attached to the memo. it said, do you ask employees if the aregr grumpy. do you ask about their visits to websites like wikileaks. we said, is this the guidance you are giving? we have civil liberties concerns. we have employee rights concerns. we think this message is off. the meeting resulted from that letter. we were told, you are rights.
we did not intend for the agency to use a check list. these are things that were in some agencies. behavioral issues are legitimate in terms of employee review in the intelligence community. that is different from being a civilian employee. that is different. there are some concerns. we would like to put in to balance the civil liberties and whistleblower protections that you are concerned with with national security. we said great, why don't you put that in a letter. let's do another memo. we are still waiting for that. >> there was a related reaction in congress where access to wikileaks was cut off for congressional staff and for the
library of congress. there was a blinding to the information. this seems to be a cutting off about it will information. as more and more information becomes available, this is an information sharing question. there are places you can look for information. there are avenues you are allowed to explore and avenues where you will be punished if you look on your public time or on your free time. is this a sensible response?
you can guess what i can think about this. assuming there is classified information available what would an appropriate government response be? >> i will take that for starters. there are 3 million people with access to classified information. that is absurd. so many people have access to secrets that they are not really secrets. trying to dust off a copy of daniel patrick moynihan's report that he did on this issue of overclassification -- the government does have secret it needs to keep. it should focus on those.
it should deregulate much of the stuff it has now. it is a system out of control. the lesson of bradley manning is that when that many people have access to classified information, all it takes is one person. the weakest link who, for reasons of conscience -- maybe he was having emotional problems -- the weakest link is the place you have to worry about a failure happening. the right answer is focus on the things that are truly important to keep secret. strength in your procedures for protecting that kind of information. at the same time -- we need to
move into a philosophy that government -- what government does should be public by default and secret only when necessary and not the opposite. this is the 21st century. it is going to happen either because of an allied action on the part of government because we will do it to government. i will give an example of how this could work in a less charged area than national security. when president obama came into office, one of his first priorities was the spending on recovery. congress passed a $787 billion spending package. one of the things he said you do
to involve the public in helping what that this money was being well spent was to create a web site called recovery.gov. he made a couple of speeches where he said, we will invite you to be the eyes and ears. you can help report whether the money that was supposed to be spent on expanding a local elementary school is actually being spent properly and is not going into the pockets of the there. but recovery.gov has never involved the public in a real way. there was an opportunity to help
change how government works. and to help begin to restore trust in government as something that can make people's lives better. when you hear stories about a small agency allegedly just wasting money, that is fodder for people say, for get it. that is only the problem and not the solution. we should get our money back. you would think that this administration would make it more of a priority. i do not think this is a partisan issue. this idea of engaging all of us in helping government work better can be adopted by liberals and conservatives alike. at the end of the day, people want smarter and more effective and deficient government. they do not care if it is big or small.
we need to encourage agencies to have more waste, fraud, and abuse reported, not less. if we are going to fix our government, we have to accept that we are going to root out some fill their long way. the google philosophy has failed. we see this culture of punishing the whistleblower rather than giving them an award. >> lots to talk about that. the recovery.gov was
disappointing in terms of bringing government to a new level. it had a remarkably low incidence of fraud and waste. it was a success on many levels in terms of transparency than we ever had before. it has become the model for government-wide ways to reduce fraud and to create a similar website for finance the spending. earl, what our best inspectors general, who led the recovery act, will now be doing this new board. chairman issa as a new bill to create a similar board and to create data standards.
there is some promising transparency transparency policies on the horizon. in terms of getting to the point where the lines between government and citizens blur, i think those lines are becoming harder. the walls are going up. when you have members of congress who have to fundraiser and are looking at unlimited spending by special interests in their elections, it means they are going to be representing fewer and fewer public entrance, a citizen interest. i think i am is seeing more and more government secrecy in the agency's why we are pursuing more transparency -- in the government agencies while we are
pursuing more transparency. transparency means different things to different people. to some, it means participation. the accountability peace might get lost. that is the least popular part of transparency unless you are holding someone else accountable. >> we are going to start taking questions from the audience in just a minute. i had one more question for which -- question or christian. you saw the bad things happening. you try to respond to it. can you talk a little more about the process in which you try to correct it problems and the push that you received and how that has played out? >> initially, i wrote a memorandum to my patrol agent in
charge describing that we were going to get 12 new agents and that we would need a purpose, we would need a mission. supervisors were bored. i have been killed by one of my supervisors. -- tailed by one of my supervisors. he had nothing to do. i wrote it in the memorandum. if we do not have a mission or purpose, we get this backlash from all of these agents that have nothing to do. that is what we will start seeing for myself and others who have already articulate that they are depressed. i walked into a meeting that was videoconferencing. it was between specialty details. i told them i did not have to be
there. it was a private video conference. the premise of the video conference was he telling the boredom of agents -- detailing the boredom at other stations and that this was a problem. they are aware that boredom is a problem and they are wasting taxpayer dollars when these resources could be shifted to other areas where we have an influx of gangs, illegal aliens. i have voiced that out. retaliation has started. it has been casting -- been taxing on myself and my family. >> we are going to ask for questions from the audience. we have someone getting a microphone. it sounds like it is working. we have a gentleman in the back. in the blue shirts.
. >> my question is to you, ms. lerner. it seems to me that in the pie of government abuse, the big slice is in the military. what is your office doing to expand our presence in the military? i am not talking about acquisitions. i am talking about the day to day operations in the military. dealing with this exploding cost of the day to day operations in the pentagon. >> that is a great question. the department of defense as an active office of the inspector general. we have already been in touch with folks in that office and hope to work closely with them.
to the extent that our office is limited to the extent of what we can investigate, we have to have a specific complaint. we have to have a specific disclosure. in order to do an investigation or to bring the attention of the problem to an agency head, we have to be on the receiving end. to that extent we are somewhat limited, but to the extent that we can work with agency inspector general's, we will do so. of sitting on the council inspector general's where i need read gilley -- regularly with the inspector general's within the department of defense to talk about these issues. >> the problem for my own experience -- i was in the military for five years -- there
is not an avenue for recovery for trips at the low level to report waste, fraud, and abuse. going to the inspector general, those folks deal with complaints about what my commander is doing, so on and so forth. the problem for my own experience is that there is not a resource for these guys to blow the whistle. >> they can come to the office of special counsel. i encourage that. other than going to the ig or coming to the office of special counsel, there is not another outlet. but there may be something i am not aware of. but i hear your concern and is an important one. >> let me follow up briefly. as currently substantiated in your office come on to you have the power -- in your office, do
you have the power to start an investigation on your own or to you have to wait for it to be brought to you? ally, we cannotple just go after something we ever about the paper. we have to wait for someone to come to us. this happens after a disclosure unit. it is somewhat different when someone has a claim of retaliation or pri of it if practice. -- prohibited practice. we have a broad mandate that we deal with, complaints from the military under the uniformed services and marine employment rights act, we deal with hedge act cases, which unfortunately has taken a more and more of our time recently. and we deal with all kinds of prohibited personnel practices, not just confined after someone has grown -- blown the whistle.
we deal with sexual discrimination, marital status, and other types of prohibited practices are also within our jurisdiction. and then there is the unit that takes the complaints from people who want to make a disclosure. >> how many people are in your office? >> the agency has 110 full-time employees and we of three field offices, one in detroit, one in oakland, and one in dallas, and we have about 4000 complaints a year. a lot to do with very few resources. >> i have two questions, and one of the wasted spending. when agents are not driving the
500 and they are in their office, how do they spend their time? the other is about the retaliation, and have there been any other invasions of your family's privacy other than sitting in front of the house while you are at work or opening your mail? >> to answer the first question, i have witnessed supervisor who just plays musical instruments the whole 10 hours of our shift. that is pretty much an indication that a supervisor lets me know there is no work to do. if a supervisor is playing his instrument all day long for his honor guard, there is nothing to do. an agent has told me that he has seen another supervisor with his gun belt off and his feet
propped up on the desk reading a 300-page book. those are two examples of where our supervisory and a management has nothing to do. -- supervisory management has nothing to do. to answer your second question, when my wife and i go to our lawyer's office, we have had vehicles taking pictures of us coming on the opposite traffic just out of nowhere. we are just seeing flashes toward our vehicle. also, when he gets off, my children will notice someone is looking at us and my wife will notice someone taking pictures of us from the vehicle at the building where we are about to enter. >> it sounds like they have found something to occupy their time, unfortunately.
>> this is a follow-up question to the man who said he was in the military. in general and the government, it seems like there are limited forms or they might not automatically go to the osc or go to the ig hot line and make a complaint or report something. in the discussion with this new age of transparency and with web access and other things that allow people to communicate information, do you have any ideas on maybe not even government specifically, but for any organization where they are looking for -- i would get away from the word whistleblowing. looking for disclosures or
information on things that may not be done right or just could be done better, if there is something on the horizon that seems promising to allow employees of any organization to actually make those types of disclosure in the era of web access where people could report things and blog on things? is there something besides a the basic requirement for the basic laws surrounding whistleblowing or the formal structure that seems to be promising in terms of the area of getting people comfortable in making disclosures of any types? do you have any ideas on that? >> i think one thing about the new age is also the degree to which it is in power in -- it is empowering people who want to remain anonymous. we are talking about
whistleblowing and people who may not want to speak publicly. there are all kinds of risks to do with that. it is not a new phenomenon, people making anonymous tips to whatever, you know, news agencies or police or relevant -- relevant authorities. we will probably see the first signs of this later this year, that in the wake of wiki-leaks there is a new project called open leaks which is designed to do with the obvious problems with wiki-leaks. which is to say, wiki-leaks has a lot of power and it is all centralized in the hands of one individual that is, let's say, a big controversy along -- controversial. it opened late is being billed
by programmers who used to work with -- open leaks is being built by programmers to use to work with witkiwikileaks and thy are building programs to increase its validity and make it responsible to media. once that happens, i think we will see a sort of digital version of more whistleblowing taking place by insiders who do not want to risk retaliation. angela, you said something interesting in your opening remarks, if i heard you correctly. something about, if we do not channel the whistleblowing laws through government appropriately, then we will see more leaking. i think that is right. i do think we will see more dangerous leaking out.
is a flood, and is going to grow because people will realize the benefits can outweigh the costs. >> i also agree with the classification been a huge contributor to the problem. we should only be keeping secret the legitimate -- information that should be legitimately classified. my organization has been one of a handful of organizations that has served as -- that have served as a an outlet for information that they want to disclose. if we get hundreds and hundreds of calls in a month. when we are able, when we have the resources, when there is a systematic problem or one of great importance to the american public, then we will use our resources to help. to get that information out and find solutions to the problem.
but we cannot do it all. and right now, we are not doing leaks a way that open week would provide a revenue. there are other places for people to blogger or used social media, but where is a place for people to go where the right attention is paid. there are people watching and looking. the we have been pushing for the government to do this in areas. in the consumer protection bureau, we were urging them to put complaints on-line openly, allow people to say they are getting ripped off by this credit card company, or the fees are really high over here. we will continue to urge them to do that. but we had to pass a law to get the computer -- tconsumer- products safety commission to do that and it was really tough.
industries do not want that information out there. i would say it is not going to come from government first, this solution. it will come from innovators outside. >> one more point in response to the question. we just did a survey of congressional web pages for many different types of content. one thing we look that is, how many congressional pages have a place where people can engage in whistleblowing? i think it was only four or five committee websites that had a place for a feature development where you could go in and get instructions for filing a complaint to the committee. -- or file a complaint to the committee. maybe two-thirds of them are engaged in oversight. there are a lot of people that could benefit from this information, but the most
prominent way that people find out what they are doing does not even have the means for them to engage in this kind of reporting. there are certainly things that can be done even within the video context to encourage these kinds of communications. i also want to emphasize something that mipo said in his book. and i apologize for courting you back to yourself. "whistleblowing is a healthy part of policy and global culture. the knowledge that what the market -- they are doing it might someday be leaked or exposed can shift behavior in a better direction." one of the questions that i have is, we are starting to see more and more information coming available in these ways, whether it was 30 or 40 years ago when you started seeing these
newspapers playing a different kind of role with the pentagon papers, which too much recently it was blogs and other comments that were changing the social dynamics of what is going on. the merging of mashing of data helps reveal trends that would not be seen otherwise. someone gave a donation to days before a vote and the amendment that was going to be -- two days before a vote and in the mud that was going to be considered has now been withdrawn. -- and the amendment was going to be considered has now been withdrawn. we are able to draw more of these connections. but what i want to know is, since this is happening, is this changing the behavior of government? is their response to client down? -- clampdown?
is it to open of different ways to avoid in engaging in otherwise inappropriate behaviors? what are you seeing on the ground? what is happening? >> i am seeing not just one thing. certainly, there is a nascent and growing open government culture that has grown out of the open government directive. and we are talking about people getting together and thinking about how to make their agencies more open, what information is considered high value. you get the right people in the room. if you get public affairs talking to the techies and public policy thinking about these things for the first time in a different way and thinking about government service in a giveaway. it is very positive. it is also just beginning. there are some success stories,
but over time, it is going to take time to change culture. especially culture that is resistant to change. on the other hand, we have, really, in national security -- i do not know what the word is. it is almost like it is its own government. it is almost like it is its own entity, the national security mindset, the national security community. the buzz word that we have given people a pass for a long time, especially since 9/11 on pulling the national security card whenever they want to keep things secret. to be honest, it is almost easier to keep things as secret because, you know, it is easier to do things the way you have always done it. it is less trouble.
it is ought not always for nefarious reasons. -- is not always for nefarious reasons. security responsibilities are actively seeking to withhold more and more information. and those that have something embarrassing to hide are also seeking a similar exemptions from the freedom of information act. we are all the time dealing with those. i think it is a mixed bag. eventually, there will be a tipping point. there will be a tipping point where there is so much information out there and we have to get to the point where it is easier for information to get out. right now, the process is the sow to require a request for information. if we need to, for example,
require records at birth, so they can be automatically disclosed instead of being put in boxes and then requiring people to send them. we will get there, i am sure. we are edging toward that, but it will take some time and some work. >> the lady in the front, please. when we talk about federal employees, -- >> when we talk about federal employees, [unintelligible] >> there is a bill senator grassley regularly introduces that would provide for objections from the congressional staff. i do not think it has ever had a hearing. >> and there was also a recent court decision that further
narrowed employee protection for congressional staff. i do not remember all of the details. unfortunately, if further weakens the ability of folks to go to the internal reporting agency in congress. i do not know if it was a statutory interpretation or a constitutional interpretation. i will have to look at it more closely. but there has been something from a legal point of view on that kind of thing as well. we do see it continuing, the distinction between congressional employees and those in the executive and judicial branches in terms of the protections that are afforded to them. in terms of the congressional staff, it is much much less than the others. >> and there is a congressional accountability act, not dealing with whistle-blower or speech issues, but things like discrimination, sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
the idea was that when congress passed that, it was to make themselves subject to the same laws that the private sector employers are subject to. unfortunately, it has not worked out quite as well as we have all hoped. but it is there as aa mechanism. >> there in the middle. >> thank you. it with your areas of expertise, what can someone in mr. sanchez 's position can be doing -- be doing? and to follow, what can congress be doing as described by mr. sanchez? >> go ahead. >> i do not know if you have taken your complaint to the office of special counsel, but in the past that has been not
advisable. honestly, when we have had whistle-blower's come to us, the first thing we say is, stay anonymous if you can, but know that you probably cannot. think about what you are risking. now, i think -- the office of special counsel will fulfil its role in receiving complaints and investigations in a way that has been not happening for a really long time. there is the office of special counsel. there is the inspectors general. seeking legal counsel. seeking help from organizations like the government accountability project, or coming to make exclusion -- to make exposures to a group like pogo, or coming to congress and making problems of where in
congress -- making congress aware of problems. even if they do not have hot lines for whistleblowers, some committees or members of congress work very hard with whistle-blowers on their disclosures, and others, not so much. it depends on what your issue is, whether you are going to have good luck with congress. but congress needs to fix law so that stanek -- so that mr. sanchez has better protection. >> the second part of that is the magic one part. -- magic wand part. what needs to be done with legislators? with the court ruling and other things that are going on, what are the changes that need to be made?
>> there was a protection and enhancement act that does a fair job with the major concerns, so closing loopholes, expanding protections, providing normal access to court, providing office of special counsel with additional authority and ability to participate and be helpful with the cases that go to the mspb and an ombudsman for special general offices. there is someone dedicated to working with was the blowers within each of those offices. >> if i might add, if my office is going to be effective, if congress wants to send their constituents to the office of special counsel and be able to tell them that you are going to be able to get help from this office, i need resources. when you cannot cut this agency's budget casignificantly
and expect to have a 4000 complaints by geert in the way in which they deserve to be -- 4000 complaints a year in the way in which they deserve to be treated, i will just say that we are born to work very hard to get congress aware that appropriations that art provided -- going to work very hard to get congress aware that the preparations that are provided are efficiently spent. >> was the preparation? -- appropriation? >> in 2011, it was 4.5 -- the recommendation that the white house as for was 19.5. it was cut to 17.5.
it is a tiny amount of money for the payout of what the federal government can expect if we are able to do our job correctly. a lot of our resources are going to have to go to helping veterans and members of of military and reserves. which is obviously important. but in terms of being a robust agency, we need the resources to do that work. >> staying on that subject for a second, and if i could wave a , i would say that i would love to see the office of special counsel in the same way that you are using electronic media and the microphones and the c-span camera to make a strong case for the vital work that you do, i would love to see the office also enter the digital age and embrace both the
ability to have a two-way conversation with the public through social media, and also help educate the public about the value of what you do, so that it becomes a little bit of a higher priority, say, in as inh as the military bands terms of the funding that you get. >> those are both a priority, getting a facebook page, revamping our web site so that it provides meaningful information to the stakeholders of the office and all federal employees. those are really high priorities. during education and outreach, really high priority. doing programs like this one. i am here today because i want to get the word out. but again, it takes resources, it takes people. and we have competing interests. how do we balance trying to get
complaints investigated and get robust representation and do our website and outreach and all the other things that we need to do? but they are all parties, i assure you. >> i totally -- but they are all priorities, i assure you. >> i totally agree. the work has to be done by people who are paid by government, that needs to be one of the culture changes that i am arguing for. we have to get rid of that idea. you are right. certain things have to be done by the responsible people that are paid. but the fact is, i am sure that people watching this and not just the people in this room instinctively think that supporting whistle-blowers' through the office of special counsel is a vital government function and they would be willing to help.
you are not stuck with only the resources that you get through the formal appropriation. there are these other public resources to tap. that is what social media and tables. it is not just a tool for better communicating out. it is also a way for taking in. and it can be -- whether it is whistleblowing, reports of problems that need to be investigated, or other means of involving the public, it is we, the people, not we, the government. i would like to assure you, some might foundation, as part of its mission to help keep opening up government, would love to work with your offices and government on ways to tap into the civic surplus. the same people who post comments on blogs and made edits on wikipedia pages out of the
goodness of their hearts at the same time would be happy to devote time, attention to my ideas to help make government work better. >> unfortunately, i know we have more questions. we have come to the end of our allotted time i would like to thank our panelists. for traveling, for a lightning us in this conversation. thank you all so much for coming. we will have our next event in late september, early october. thank you all for coming. have a good day. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
also, a look at federal spending live sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> obscure people with little known stories, american university professor clarence usain reveals who they were as well as many other black men and women who left their imprint forever on the white house. >> i began to discover just fascinating individuals was ies andon the presidency' whose marks on the white house were virtually unknown, except for a few scattered stories here and there. everyone knew that george washington and thomas jefferson had slaves, but most people probably did not know that eight out of the first 10 president had slaves. >> sunday night on q&a. >> monday on c-span2 you can
watch more both tv and prime- time as we feature are afterwards series and some of our this year's best sellers, starting with henry kissinger's book on china. and then the book "to end all wars." and later, microsoft co-founder paul allen talks about his book "idea man." feddis all next week on c-span2. -- that is all next week on c- span2. >> about a reporter from bloomberg news talks about federal reserve chairman ben bernanke's assessment of the economy and of the federal reserve plans to introduce any programs to reduce the deficit. this is about 40 minutes. scott lanman is with bloomberg news and covers the federal reserve and other aspects of the economy. he will talk about the federal
reserve chairman's assessment of the economy. guest: people were really hoping he would give some sign that the fed would do something to ease credit and add more stimulus and buy more assets. anything to get the economy going. he didn't give that signal. he said the economy would be good in the longer term. they are not announcing anything right now. they are considering their options. they added a second day to their policy meeting next month to discuss those kinds of things. and congress should get their fiscal act together and help the economy. that was it. host: the lead story in the "wall street journal" this morning. they say that the fed chairman who left the door open to moves
to help boost the sagging economy, but declined to say what they might do. people looking to the fed for guidance as to where the economy might be going, was the speech disappointing or open-ended? guest: it is hard to say. we watched the soft markets very closely to. -- the stock market's very closely. during the speech, they dipped a bit and then he came back up and ended up being up for the day, about 1.5% on the standard and poor's 500. perhaps it was a combination of optimism that the economy is still going to come back to some extent, and ben bernanke says he does expect things to get better in the second half. and he is confident and optimistic for the u.s. economy in the longer term. in addition, even though he did not elaborate on those options in yesterday's speech, he did
leave the door opened by saying that we do have tools to stimulate the economy and we are going to discuss them at our september meeting. that got people thinking that there could be something happening either in september or later this year. host: in your article, bernanke may use longer meeting to force consensus on easing, in his speech yesterday -- first question, how significant is it that they are adding a second day to the september meeting? guest: it might sound like a procedural thing to have more time to talk about the economy and some of the tools.
but in the past, adding a second day to the meeting has been associated with taking some kind of action. that is perhaps what has people thinking that they might do something. in december 2008, they were going to have a one-day meeting and extended it to today's, and then they took their historic actions to cut the benchmark of almost 0%, where it has now been for 2.5 years. the same thing a couple of months later. they expanded to two days, and chairman bernanke announced that the fed was greatly expanding its program of purchasing mortgage assets and buying $300 billion of treasuries. it does carry some of those historic implications. he made no promises in his speech, but it is the kind that on balance gives them more time to talk about these things in the committee room here in
washington. host: regarding the tools to boost growth, we have seen the implications of qe1 and qe2, and i will ask you to remind us what they are. is it a policy there there will be a qe3? guest: it is a possibility and he has discussed that in his congressional testimony a few weeks ago. it stands for quantitative easing. it is another euphemism for purchasing assets to add to the fed battles -- balance sheet. it is a way of lowering interest rates. the only reason to resort to that strategy is because they lowered the main rate to 0% back in 2008. as long as anyone can remember, raising and lowering that rate is the main way that they stimulate or tightened and the
economy. they do not have that tool to use any more. they resort to these kind of things. the first round was $1.7 million in mortgage assets in treasury for the second round that included just a few months ago, $600 billion in treasuries. there is no telling what the third round might bring. they do not necessarily have to do a third round. bernanke has outlined other options, like lowering another interest rate that they had, what they pay on bank deposits -- banks actually have $1.6 billion of money on deposit with the fed right now because it is in their reserve accounts. it is not money that is generally getting out into the economy. that that actually pays banks 0.25% to hold that on the that possible. the fed can lower that interest
rates closer to 0% to make it less attractive for banks to have that. that is another option. bacon also change the types of assets that -- they can also change the type of assets that they hold and diversify their portfolio, which would lower longer run borrowing costs in the economy host: we are talking with scott lanman of bloomberg news. he covers the economy, and we're talking about the federal reserve possible in the u.s. economy. give us a call. the numbers are on the screen. you can also send us messages with e-mail, twitter, and on facebook. in the business and economy section of the "washington post"
this morning. host: is it unusual for the fed chairman to point at either branch of government, either the administration or the congress, and say you sort of need to get your act together or the economy will go down the tank? guest: he has been issuing fairly strong warnings throughout this whole year about the need for congress to figure out some sort of -- long-term now to reduce the deficit without harming the economy in
the near term. these are clearly strong words aimed at either congress and/or the administration. he didn't get too specific on who was to blame. he's very careful about not saying that republicans or democrats are at fault. he was nominated by president george w. bush and then renominated by president obama. so he's using his perks as fed chairman to step up his warning to congress to get fiscal policy together. but he's really stayed away from getting really more in the weeds in terms of actually getting involved in the process for what can be done. he's very careful to stay out of that because he's protective of the fed's role and trying to keep it free from political influences and pressure. host: our first call for
scotlandman of -- scott lanman. caller: hello. host: go ahead. caller: yes. i want to make a statement here. i want to know, why are we relying on the opinion of those, c.e.o.'s for those investment firms that caused the country to go into the economic crisis that we're in right now? the people like the chairman, the treasury, the people that used to be head -- there was a c.e.o. of merrill lynch and all of these other investment firms. why are we relying -- the gentleman you're just talking to right now, wasn't he part of merrill lynch on lehman brothers? these people caused this country to go into economic crisis back
in 2008, and they're in government. we need to get these people out of the government because they ruined this country. they've caused businesses to good down and lose in the market, and investors globally stop wanting to invest in this country because they were burned. and therefore the companies that lost money, lost money during the wall street crisis, they took up their losses and went over to the other countries, third world countries, because they lost so much over here in this country during the wall street crisis. host: we're going to leave it there. don't know who she's referring to specifically. there are some people in government who did work for some of these investment banks that were responsible or helped precipitate the financial crisis
you could look at someone like tim geithner, the treasury secretary, who was head of the federal reserve bank of new york. and he's received his share of criticism. and the current president of the new york federal reserve, bill dudley, used to be the chief u.s. economist at goldman sachs. you know, there are people in government that work for these places -- worked for these places and our collective leaders have decided to keep certain people in place. and the american people can whether they want to keep those officials who were in those positions. host: next up, harrison, arkansas. you're on the line for "washington journal." caller: yeah. i'd just like to comment on the greatest stimulus package that our government could put through, and that would to be get speculators out of the oil market and get oil back down to, you know, $30, $40 a barrel like
it should be. 2008, oil was $147 a barrel and basically overnight it went to $30 a barrel. if that's not supply in demand, that's what we were told if oil was where it should be, each and every individual household would have more money in their pockets. small businesses would have more money, you know, to grow, to invest large corporations. host: scott lenman? guest: it's hard to say speculators out of the oil market would bring the price of oil down to $30, $40 a barrel. it's at either $80 or $100, depending on what the source is and the price of oil depends on a lot of things besides just who's trading it in the market. you've got turmoil in the middle east right now. you have economies around the
world such as china, india whose consumption of oil is increasing tremendously and is expected to increase much more in the future. the kinds of things that are also driving the price of oil, not just necessarily speculation. which is being investigated, i've heard. i think by congress or other agencies. host: in "the new york times" this morning, their lead editorial, mr. bernanke's warnings, washington needs to stop political antics and focus on housing and jobs. they write that the problem of the feds options easing credit by various means cannot by themselves turn things around. lower interest rate can help homeowners, but equity to refinance, or strong businesses with -- small businesses with strong sales to borrow cheaply. but they do nothing for under water homeowners or businesses where sales are poor because of
poultry consumer demand. your thoughts? guest: the fed does not have the power to put money into people's pockets to go out and spend. they've already taken action that have lowered, helped lower, mortgage rates to almost 4%, which are record lows. and yet a lot of people have refinanced their mortgages, and at the same time there are restrictions on credit. people need 20% down payments in order to either refinance or buy a new home. that's difficult for a lot of people to get. and mortgages are under water, as they say. that's the reason why people say even the feds' option that are left are probably not going to be that effective. they don't have many big guns left for stimulating, that they're really willing to use at this point. federal reserve has kept the interest rate at or near zero for quite a while.
how much longer can they do that? >> they've just announced a couple of weeks ago that they're likely to keep it there until at least the middle of 2013. so you're going on five years of near zero interest rates. they could leave it there even longer if economic conditions warrant if we're still at high unemployment in a couple of years, if growth is not getting to be stronger, then chairman bernanke could push out that date even farther. and then it might be up to his successor or someone else to raise interest rates. but, you know, that could be a long time. some people -- some economists are pushing out their forecasts even farther than the 2013 date that bernanke gave. host: back to the phones and our conversation with scott lanman of bloomberg news.
new york, new york. eye keel on our line -- michael on the line for independence. you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning. i wish there was some power to keep mr. bernanke away from the senate committees when he testifies. because every time he does, the market takes a nose-dive. you know, like a submarine that's going to hit the bottom of the ocean at full speed. another thing i don't like about his policy is this business of 0.0 loans that they give out when they pump out the money. this is nothing but a 19th century program initiated by the trade department then. it was called cheap money. now, china and india do import a lot of oil. but that's not the only reason gas is so high. money has been devalued as a result of these no-interest cash that he's pumping out into the countries for these businesses or whatever they're doing.
in new york, new york. he says that every time the fed tries to do something that stocks go down. but in the business section of this morning's "new york daily news" they say stocks are high on fed, that wall street rises on the hope that bernanke will take action. guest: that's a one-day reaction in the stock market. time will tell, of course, in the coming weeks whether the fed follows through on action whether the economy actually starts to improve. and that will be more important for the long-term health of the stock market than individual fed actions. you know, obviously the stock market concerns the fed and chairman bernanke because people tending to spend less and when stocks are up, they feel they can spend more. host: next up, canyon city, colorado, on our line for republicans. steve, you're on "washington
journal." caller: good morning, gentlemen. how are you doing this morning? guest: good. thank you. caller: just a couple of different things. for one, if people do their home work, we need to start -- north rate is unemployment 3.6%. people need to get in there and look and see why it's 3.6% for one thing. this monte easing that -- monetary easing that everybody is talking about, why don't we call it what it is. it's inflation. we're inflating the money and stealing from the american people. it's not doing us any good at all. all of these big jobs, anything over $250,000 has to go to unions which is b.s. if we want to start getting this country back together, we have to get rid of the e.p.a. because they're stopping all of these jobs. i was talking to the painter the
other day. said everything the e.p.a. is doing, he's going to be out of a job in three years because of all the restrictions and everything else they've been putting on. and everybody needs to start looking at it. it's not very good for this country. we're americans. we're not a european country. we need to stop this b.s. that people are doing. host: steve in canyon city, colorado. scott lanman. guest: he's right, the unemployment rate in north dakota is the lowest in the country. but if every state were small and then discovered a massive oil shell underneath and was able to extract it to create an economic boom, then we would be in great shape. but not every state can replicate the natural resources and conditions that north dakota -- that converged on north dakota in recent years. talking about regulation, i'm not up on the details, but i
think the obama administration has recognized the concern about some regulations. an order that was going to roll back or hold back some regulations in the last week or two. clearly republicans in congress, the chamber of commerce here in d.c., have been very active in making those issues well known. host: last week on "washington journal," steve forbes talked about his thoughts on quantitative easing and the strength of ben bernanke's handling of the monetary policy. take a look at what steve forbes had to say and then get some reaction from scott lanman of bloomberg news. >> i'm look forward to, i hope, minimal damage. it was a year ago that the chairman announced what they call qe-2, quantitative easing two, and it ended up doing the economy more harm than good. there's plenty of liquidity in the financial system. we just got to remove the headwinds, the barriers that just stand in the way of
creating an environment where this money is productively put to work. so in terms of jackson hole, i hope he doesn't hint at a qe-3 or some other kind of a scheme that hurts the dollar. if he announced tomorrow that he was going to do as john kennedy said 50 years ago, make the dollar as good as gold, you'll see the dow jones and the markets go up 2,000 points. but i'm afraid he's going to go in the opposite direction. that's why they call him helicopter ben, which bernanke once said if all else fails, you go up in a helicopter and throw money out of it. so i hope helicopter ben does not give us another helicopter run. host: scott, your thoughts about the chairman and helicopters? guest: that's based on a speech that bernanke gave in 2002 where was actually echoing a line known to the well-known economist, that you could drop money from a helicopter to
eliminate the threat of deflation. essentially in some ways that's what bernanke has tried to do. he said they did face the threat of deflation a year ago, and that was a major reason why they did do the qe-2 program, spend $600 billion buying treasuries. but at the same time, there are concerns, like mr. forbes said, about the level of the dollar versus other currencyies, about the risks of further inflation down the line. you can hear some of those things from countries around the world, especially china, brazil, germany. they've all criticized the fed's qe-2 program. of course, the fed would say in their own interest, to keep their currencies weaker against the dollar rather than stronger. but those are concerns. and mr. bernanke has heard
those. and they're inside the fed as well as outside the fed. host: oxnard, california. our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal" with scott lanman of bloomberg news. go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you. mr. bernanke and mr. greenspan mr. volcker, all of these fed chairmen, they use that money as a political tool. because instead of lending money at these ridiculously low rates, they should make those people that have the money borrow from each other. and they should stipulate when they lend out this money that if you're not going to use this money to create jobs in this country, to create and manufacturer things that people need to use, not toys, not games, things that people need, help the average citizen to be able to borrow money at a reasonable interest rate. you got people borrowing money,
the average man borrowing money at 18%, 19%. they can't even pay it. they get a credit card and never pay it off. you have the republicans who want to blame everything on obama. obama doesn't have the money. he doesn't control the money. he was elected to preside over this country, and he's trying to do the best he can. but you have people that would have slavery where you would have to pay anyone, anything instead of a livable wage and being fair. host: we'll leave it there. scott lanman? guest: the fed doesn't have the legal power to put those kinds of terms and conditions on the loan that it makes. if congress wants to pass a law like that and change the way the fed operates in how loans are given out that would be within congress' power to do that. host: neal irwin wrote wednesday, in hindsight last year jackson hole speech by
bernanke looked like a step towards the qe-2 program. but at that time it was viewed more tentatively. he wasn't pledging to undertake a program, merely saying that the fed was willing to do so if the economic data justified it. so what's the difference between where we are now and where we were a year ago? and in that time, how would you assess the performance of this? guest: a year ago -- well, actually, at the jackson hole event a year ago, when you compare and contrast the speeches that bernanke gave, last year's did contain much more detail on the kinds of options that the fed has and tool that they could use. he listed the asset purchases as the main option which got people thinking of that. even though he didn't guarantee they would be used. and it wasn't until november that that would happen that they actually approved the program. what's different is that the
inflation picture is very different from between now and a year ago. they watch measures of inflation, expectations in the market. they saw that there's a risk of deflation in the economy. to central bankers, they view that as an extremely dangerous, pernicious effect. that means that people -- that would be very bad for homeowners. especially people who have, say, if you have a $300,000 mortgage, and there's deflation, then that essentially grows big eastern bigger -- bigger and bigger and you're not able to pay it off so the fed in a way, wanted to create inflation. and they that through the qe-2 program. now that the inflation is back to a level that the fed seems to be more in line with its long-run goals, they're more reluctant to use the tool because it's clear to a lot of
people that that could risk even faster inflation which the fed regards as dangerous. they don't want it to be too low, but they don't want it to be too high either. host: scott lanman graduated from the university of pennsylvania with a bachelor's in political science. he joined bloomberg full-time in 1999 and writes about the federal reserve and the u.s. economy for bloomberg news and washington and has done so since 2005. in charlotte, north carolina, our next caller is patrick on our line for republicans. patrick, you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. yes, steve forbes made a very succinct statement. and he's exactly right. we know the tricks that the federal reserve is up to, in their toolbox. my thing about inflation, we know inflation is going on out there in real america. you know, crisis of lumber, hardware, your grocery store and so forth. but what i want in particular
is -- so what if we have a little deflation? so what if the dollar is strengthened? and now people go to work. they're more apt to save and put money in the bank. think about putting money in the bank today. you're getting a negative return on your principle. so you really -- you know, that's for each and every american by the hands of the federal chairman. he knows we're getting a negative return rate on our savings. and yet he's on this, you know, dropping more and more money into the economy. and like steve forbes says, helicopter ben. print more money. host: patrick in charlotte. guest: again, if the economy were to slip into deflation if chairman bernanke has made it his life cause, almost, to make
sure that deflation doesn't happen in the u.s. in fact, that was the name of his 2002 speech where he talked about dropping money from the helicopter, making sure it doesn't happen here i think that was title. i could be mistaken. it might have been another speech. but in any case, chairman bernanke studied the great depression very closely, very in-depth as a scholar at princeton university, before he joined the fed. he believes that central bankers were, in part to blame for the great depression. they allowed deflation to continue which really exacerbated the depression. and people i talk to say if anybody's going to make sure that the united states does not have severe deflation, does not have depression, it's going to be ben bernanke. that's why he's still talking about these options even though he's facing criticism and there's many doubts over how effective the rest of their tool
kit can be. >> what's the difference between deflation and a recession? >> recession refers to a broader contraction in economic growth in john growth, and -- in manufacturing. it's something broad area cross the economy. deflation is more specifically prices. when prices suffer a sustained decline. obviously maybe things would be less expensive. but in addition, deflation doesn't just affect the prices at the grocery store and the gas pump. it's also in people's wages. in deflation, wages also declined in addition to just, say, commodity prices. host: jack on our line for independence, wilmington, north carolina. go ahead. jack? all right. let's move on to washington on our line for republicans.
you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning. a quick comment to make. but i'd like to ask you first, rob, is c-span a public company? are there investors in c-span? host: c-span is made possible by the folks in the cable and satellite industry. if you want more information on that, you can find it on our website. caller: i'm fully aware of that, i've been watching "washington journal" every morning. but i was curious if there were people making decisions, corporate decisions at c-span, as far as programming or any of that. host: i really can't comment on how the decisions are made here. we want to try to continue our conversation regarding the fed. caller: rob, i didn't want to make my point just that. i just wanted to use that to explain my point, that all these bankers internationally and here in the united states are in corporations -- [no audio] host: we seemed to have lost reed. let's go to patrick on our line
for democrats in colorado springs. go ahead. caller: yes. i want to comment that in washington, i don't believe they're listening to the people. i don't know who they're listening to. i think the decision that they're making, i don't think the people would approve of it if they could voice their own opinion. the question i wanted to ask is, why these people up in washington are acting like children, anyway, and not listening to the people. i don't think our economy would fall into this category if the people had a say. host: we'll leave it there. in this morning's "washington "n journal," bernanke gets good review. it says investors initially interpreted mr. bernanke's remarks negatively, especially since the fed chief stopped short of announcing fresh monetary stimulus, but the market eventually found comfort
that mr. bernanke signaled he's ready to provide further support to a persistently weak economy. those that operate on wall street, what it that they're listening tore from the -- for from the chairman and are they hearing? listening for a sign, code words, whatever it might be that the fed is about to add more joyce to the economy. you know, that money tends -- that tends to affect how stock investors behave. if the fed were to, say, find more treasuries in a way that pushes investors -- it's supposed to push more investors into the stock market. so that would be the kind of thing that they're listening for so that there wasn't a clear signal in the speech that that was happening. but he didn't shut the door by any means.
so it took a few minutes in the morning to sort that out. host: next up, st. louis, missouri. andy on our line for democrats. you're on "washington journal." caller: hello? host: andy? caller: hi. it's randy. host: randy, go ahead. caller: yeah. i was talking to a neighbor of mine who's an older man. and he was telling me that years ago companies were prohibited from moving their operations across the border, over to china, you know, for cheap labor i was wondering, do you know anything about that? was that the policy years ago? and the other thing is, i never hear anybody talking about -- you know, you try to do something about the unemployment. but i never even hear anybody talk about we can't even keep the jobs that we've got here in
this country. it was on "60 minutes" some time ago this past year about how an area up in iowa, made appliances, they just moved their whole operation down to mexico. all of these people lost their jobs. we can't even keep the jobs we've got. i never even hear anybody talk about that. host: randy in st. louis, missouri. anything that the fed is suggesting or that the fed can do to help keep jobs here in the united states? guest: keeping jobs in the united states is not the province of the fed. the fed controls or tries to control the level of interest rates, of borrowing costs for corporations, consumers, small businesses. you know, chairman bernanke can go out and state his opinion on what the policy can be. in general, economists at the fed and academic community tend to support more free trade open, which would allow companies to
relocate jobs where they would like. i don't know the details on the historic changes in whatever policy it might be over the years. but yet companies do try to locate labor costs where they might be less expensive so they can increase their profit for shareholders. host: penelope, san antonio, texas. on "washington journal." caller: thank you. i enjoy listening to you. i just hear so many people saying that it's the greed of the bankers that caused all of these problems. but did they not kind of freeze the bankers out of actual mortgage lending like fannie mae and freddie mac and insisting that they loan to people with less and less and less real credibility? the bankers did what they could to make money after they had been forced out of the actual mortgage lending themselves.
host: scott lenman? guest: i don't know that banks were frozen out of mortgage lending by fannie and freddie, but the reality is that lending conditions are tighter now than they were during the housing boom of the last decade. that's why it's more difficult for even borrowers who think they're qualified to get a loan. the financial crisis well documented the causes and the effects of it. there's a well-known book in academic circles right now called "this time is different." it's a history of financial crises by carmen wrighthart, a esteemed economist. in addition with her husband, vince. they write that it takes a very long time for economies to fully recover after severe financial crises. and this may have been a severe
enough financial crisis that it could take as long as a decade to really recover to full employment. this plan a ben bernanke's to keep the rate at or near 0%, with that forced banks and other lending institutions to lower their interest rates so that people with legitimate credit ratings can get into home ownership and perhaps a build up the economy that way? guest: they can lower their interest rates. the question is -- it does and it should get their rates to be lowered, but do they dan ease the other lending standards -- you need a certain credit score or down payment, you have to deal with the appraisers of the
property, a lot of foreclosures and the system -- in late this system that are reducing home prices and making it difficult for people to get mortgages in some cases. the fed can change as one leiber and reduce interest rates, but even -- this one lever and reduce interest rates, but there is a question of how much more they could do that could spur those kinds of loans and get more people -- that money into people's pockets. host: our last call for studentcam a bloomberg news comes to -- scott lanman of bloomberg news. caller: i would also like to echo what you and some of the other callers have said. there is a not what the fed can do except for control the
interest rates and money and on fortunately the money is not circulating. money is being aggravated -- aggregated at the top. unfortunately, big business is not addictive to low wages and globalization there is an incredible amount of money being extracted from the economy and transferred out of this country, not for the american people. i do not see a real answer for this unless we adopt some kind of protectionist policies and start putting tariffs on corporations moving jobs and the means of and come earning for the past majority of the american people back to this country. host: go ahead. guest: the fed has limited power to change those kinds of things. they can affect the money supply and interest rates.
but in terms of the industrial policies, trade policies, global job shifts, those of a kind of things that congress has to deal with, fiscal policy, etc. perhaps there will be an increasing debate over that in >> tomorrow, the former deputy general to the nato secretary general has the latest. the president and ceo of the bernard's center for women, politics, and public policy, former maryland congressman, and steinhorn discuss the
past and future of race relations. >> the c-span series of interviews continues tomorrow night with jon huntsman, a former utah governor and former ambassador to china. he will discuss his strategy for the republican nomination and trade strategies with china. he will discuss why he decided to become president obama's ambassador to china and the impact of running on his family. that is tomorrow night at 10:00 on c-span. >> you can watch more video of the candidates and track the latest campaign contributions with the c-span whilwebsite for 2012. we have the latest polling data
and links to c-span media partners in the early and primary caucus states. >> according to an annual survey on teen attitudes towards drug use, american teens who use time social networking are at an increased risk of smoking, drinking, and produce. joseph califano from the national center on addiction and drug abuse at columbia university released the annual back-to-school report. this is about 30 minutes.
>> we track attitudes of teens and parents. [no audio] we regard this as a work in progress as we try each year to improve our ability to identify situations, characteristics, and conduct that increased the risk that 18 will drink, get drunk, or use prescription drugs. over the past 17 years, we have
surveyed thousands of american teenagers and their parents. we have learned how teenag attitudes in those of their parents influence teen behavior. there are target questions for drug use such as how long it would take them to get marijuana, how many of their friends smoke, drink, or use drugs, and what proportion of parties have drugs or alcohol available. perhaps our most important finding from so many years of surveying teens and other research is this. a child who gets to age 21 without smoking, abusing alcohol, or using illegal drugs is virtually certain never to do so. for better or worse, no one has greater power to influence eighteens decision on whether to smoke, drink, or use drugs than that teen's parents.
in focus groups that we conducted earlier this year to prepare survey questions, every year before we do the survey, we focus group with teens to make sure the questions we ask is the question they hear and to find out is on their minds. this year, teens discussed the influence of social networking activity and its relation to substance abuse. for the first time in any of our koses surveys -- casa's service, we ask questions about social networking. we also examined the relationship between viewing suggested teen television programming and the risk of teen substance abuse. we scored the relationship between certain attitudes and treated to many teens with the risk of teen substance abuse. the results are profoundly
troubling. this year's survey reveals how the anything goes, free for all world of internet expression, suggested television programming, and what the how what the hell attitudes increase teen drug abuse. we want to help parents to help give teens the will and skills to keep their heads above the corrupting currents their children must navigate. this survey provides what every parent should know about teens social networking. for 12 to 17-year-old, time spent on facebook, myspace, and other social networking spesites put them at increased risk of smoking, drinking, and drug use. teens who do not spend any time on social networking side --
those who do are five times more likely to use tobacco, three times more likely to use alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana. no wonder with what is on facebook and other social networking sites for teens to see. half of the teens who spent any time on social networking sites in a typical day have seen pictures of kids drunk, passed out, or using drugs on these sites. even 14% of those teens to spend no time on social networking sites in a typical day have seen such pictures. they are on those sites. a specially troubling and alarming are that almost half of the teens who have seen pictures of kids drunk, passed out, or using drugs on facebook and other social networking site's first sought such pictures when they were 13 or younger.
more than 90% first saw such pictures when they were 15 or younger. these facts alone should strike facebook fear into the hearts of parents of young children. unfortunately, the survey reveals most parents do not appreciate the risks of their teens social networking. nine out of 10 parents do not think teens spending time on social networking sites like facebook are likely to drink or use drugs. only 64% of parents who say their team has a social networking page say that they monitor id. the time has come for those who operate and profit from social networking sites like facebook to deploy their technological expertise to curb such images and deny use of their size to children and teens who post
pictures of themselves and friends john, passed out, or using drugs. -- friends drunk, passed out, or using drugs. transmitting such images constitutes electronic drug abuse. the survey also provides parents with what they should know about suggested teen programming. teens who watched suggested teen programming like "jersey shore" and "gossip girl" are likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. the association of social networking site images of kids drunk or using drugs and of suggested programming offers grotesque confirmation of the average that a picture is worth a thousand words.
in the cultural seas into which we toss our teams, parents are essential to preventing their substance abuse. our findings underscore the points made in my book, "how to raise a drug-free kits." for better or worse, parents have more influence over the risk of substance abuse than anyone else. a word of appreciation. i would like to thank steve wagner for administering the telephone survey and for his work in developing the survey and analyzing all the data as he has done for many years. and it also like to think kathleen at casa who helped analyze the data and prepare the report. let me take you through this in more detail. every year, we have survey
advisers who give us need to review our survey -- we have service advisers to review our questions from the survey, and analysis. we did one by telephone of half boys and girls and one over the internet of half boys and girls. we also had the parents of about 500 of those boys and girls. each year, we ask teens about their top concerns. as you can see, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, social pressures are clearly their top concerns. we asked parents the same question.
we asked what they thought their teenagers top concerns were. a very low number of parents considered tobacco, alcohol, and drugs their top concern. on to social networking and substance abuse. we asked about how many hours in a typical day were spent on facebook or other social networking sites. 17% of the teenagers -- 70% said they spent some time. 30% said they spent their time. i am talking about 12-year olds to 17 year olds, the group's survey. of those who spent time, they were five times more likely to smoke, three times more likely to drink, and about twice as likely to use marijuana.
why? we asked if they had ever seen pictures on these sites of kids drinking or using drugs. 40% of the kids said yes. we asked about the age at which they saw the pictures. 12% of them were 10 and 11. 15% were 15 or younger. we then asked them about a typical day. 31% of those who spent time on social networking site saw those pictures. 14% who did not saw the pictures as well.
if they had seen the pictures, there is a much higher risk of substance abuse as you can see. they're much more likely to drink and use marijuana. we also asked kids if they were likely to try drugs in the future. kids who have seen these images are almost three times more likely to say they expect to try drugs in the future. then we asked about how fast they could get substances. you can see the ability to get their hands on alcohol, marijuana, and controlled prescription drugs was much greater, a much higher percentage fourteens who had seen the images on social networking sites. there were twice as likely to get alcohol, four times as likely to get marijuana, and almost three times as likely to
get prescription drugs. we also asked about suggested programming. the question was whether they watched reality tv shows or teen dramas. in a typical week, about 1/3 of the teens watch them. a much higher percentage of girls watched these than boys. we then check that against the use of substances. they are twice as likely to smoke, almost twice as likely to drink almost twice as likely to use marijuana.
we asked about how fast the to get these substances. we announced about how they were able to get their hands on controlled substances. it was a much higher percentage of those kids. we asked about cyber-bullying. we asked these 12-year-olds to 17-year-olds about if anyone had posted something mean or embarrassing about them on the social networking sites. one in five said yes. teens who have been cyber-police are twice as likely to smoke,
twice as likely to drink, and twice as likely to use marijuana. cyber bullying apparently has some effect on these kids. they are more likely to say they think they will try drugs in the future. in the questions we asked parents, we announced -- asked about what they thought about their teens social networking. we asked if they thought it would make them more likely to drink or use drugs. 85% of parents said note with respect to off of. 89% said no with respect to drugs. we also asked whether they thought the harm outweighed the benefits of being on social networking. this is related to the age of the child.
parents of younger teens are much more likely to be concerned. we asked the teens about certain attitudes. we asked about three things. we asked if they agreed with this statement. if a friend of mine uses illegal drugs, it is not my business. those who agree with the statement are much likelier to smoke, twice as likely to drink, and three times likelier to use marijuana. we asked if they agreed with the statement that they should be able to do what they want with their own body. kids who agree with that statement are much likelier to smoke, drink, and use marijuana.
we've put a third statement out there. we said it is not a big deal to have sex with someone you do not care much about. here again, sharp differences. kids who agree were five times likelier to smoke, almost 2.5 times more likely to drink, and three times likelier to use marijuana. we asked the parents other questions. we asked if they agreed completely with the other parent about what to say to children about drinking. where parents do not agree completely and where they are not sending a consistent message, the kids are likelier to drink. we asked whether they agree completely about what to say to their children about drug use. these kids are of parents who do
not send a consistent message and agree completely and are three times likelier to use drugs. we also asked the teens if they would be likelier to try drugs in the future. where parents do not agree, they are much more likely to say they think they will try drugs in the future. a very important message here for parents to give the same, a consistent message and guidance to their teens. not surprisingly, where parents smoke, the kids are much likelier to smoke. we are parents smoke marijuana, their kids are much likelier to smoke marijuana. prescription painkillers, where
do kids get them, how do they get them? we asked some questions about prescription painkillers in the home. we asked kids when they knew there were prescription pain killers in the home. 14% said yes. over half said no. almost 1/3 said they did not know. kids who say prescription drugs are the easiest to get are those who say there are painkillers in their home. they know that. similarly, they are the kids more likely to get prescription drugs in a short time. every year, we asked about schools. the message is sad. since 2007, we have made no
progress in getting drugs out of schools. 60% of students are going to schools where drugs are used, cap, were sold. with middle school students come it is on average about 1/4 of the schools where drugs are used, cap, were sold. there is a sharp difference between private schools and public schools. private school kids are more likely to say their school is drug-free. we're not able to separate out religious schools. we do not have a large enough sample. this is both religious and secular private schools. what is important about whether there are drugs in school is that kids in schools where drugs are kemper sold, they're much more likely to use those drugs.
they are much more likely to get their hands on alcohol, marijuana, and controlled prescription drugs within that an hour or less. they buy it from a classmate. they are getting it from a classmate and not sfrom somebody in a lousy neighborhood with a trench coat on. a couple other notable findings. we noticed last year that only 5% of kids who have never used tobacco tried marijuana compared to 61% of kids who have ever used tobacco. that came through just as strong this year. 6% of kids who never smoked had never smoked marijuana. this is a relationship that bears a lot more work from the
scientific community, the relationship between nicotine and marijuana. we ask every year how fast they can get substances. cigarettes are pretty much the easiest substances to get. it goes back and forth between marijuana and. . i would notice -- it goes back and forth between marijuana and. . i would note the significant jump between kids who say marijuana is easier to get from 15% to two. -- from 15% to 22%. kids to attend religious services regularly are less likely to drink and use drugs. they're much less likely to say they think they will try drugs in the future. the last slide on family dinners, there will be full family dinner report in
september on family day. more often kids had dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, and use substances. family dinners are clearly a surrogate for parental engagement. family date is september 26. let me sum this up. what is really important about social networking is, i do not think anybody thinks we ought to have 12-year-olds to 17-year- olds posting pictures of themselves drunk, using drugs, our, or any of their kind of inappropriate behavior. there is an enormous responsibility on the part of facebook and similar social networking sites to take steps
to get this off of their sites this is inexcusable. technologicalake the ability to keep kids off their sights. it will be a technological deterrent. we think it will be an enormous help to our children and parents trying to raise healthy, intra- three kids. thank you. any questions, and would be happy to take them. yes? >> [inaudible] >> excuse me. >> on the cyber-bullying section, you show the relationship of people who have been cyber-bullied as more likely to use alcohol and other drugs.
were any questions ounce about people who do the cyber bullying and whether they are under the influence of alcohol and other drugs? we did not ask those questions. >> do you intend to ask those in the next survey? >> we will go out into the focus groups again. we will see what is on the kid'' minds. that will have a big impact on what we survey. that is an interesting question. >> i have been theorizing it makes it much easier for a cyber-bully to do those things when they're under the influence. >> go ahead. >> thank you for presenting these findings. they're very interesting.
you mentioned towards the end of your remarks at family dinners are probably a proxy for parental involvement. when we are talking about the amount of time that kids spend on facebook and what they see, do you view that as a cause of substance abuse and other risky behaviors or is it a proxy? if you had asked 15 years ago if they were at a party on saturday night, is it that the kids engaging in risky behaviors are more likely to see those pictures on line because they are in touch with their friends and doing it online rather than at a party? is there something about seeing the pictures that triggers the behavior question >> we're not talking about causation. we're talking about association. the objective has been to identify conduct or characteristics that signaled the increased risk that a kid
will use substances so that a parent can know that. you will notice how these things tend to cluster. and spend time i on the social networking sites are likelier to use drugs and be able to get them faster. the point is if you are a. in your kid is coming home saying they have too much publicity and pregnant -- have to watch "16 and pregnant" and get on facebook, you should monitor what they're doing. realize there is a level of increase risk. >> is it like water finding a place to go? if you remove the pictures, are you dealing with the problem or merely cutting off that avenue
and it is moving somewhere else? >> for many kids, we will create a much healthier world for them to look at. i do not think we are necessarily moving it to somewhere else. you have to look at all of the things kids are subjected to. there is an article in the american academy of pediatrics from march of this year about social networking. it talks about sexting and other inappropriate conduct in the effect that has on kids. there is something unhealthy about suggesting kids to that and having kids watch that. it is human nature. we think it would be an important, held a factor for these kids not to be on social networking sites -- healthy factor for these pictures not to be a social networking sites.
thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> as the wind and rain picks up from hurricane irene, fox news is reporting that the chairman of the house ways and means committee is saying the administration has ignored the obvious funding needs of the disaster relief fund purposefully underfunding the account and putting families and
communities who have suffered from terrible disasters on the back burner. the head of fema says roughly $900 million is immediately available in the disaster assistance fund. the president toured the fema response center today. that is where federal agencies convene during disasters like hurricane irene. he spoke with officials briefly on a videoconference saying that the government is ready for the storm. >> who have we got in here? how are you? [applause] it is good to see you. how are you doing? it is nice to see you. what have we got here? >> when we get the request from the governors to move stuff,
this is the team that coordinates getting things to the governors that they need. >> you are doing a great job. we're monitoring the situation closely. i will tell you that when i was on the phone with the governors and mayors yesterday and was asking them if there's anything that they needed or that you could be doing to help them get prepared, there was quiet on the phone. that was a good sign. that meant that you were going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of making sure you are asking the state and local folks what they need in making sure you are deploying those resources in a timely way. this is still obviously going to be touch and go situation for a lot of communities. knowing they have an outstanding response team like this makes all the difference in the world. we really appreciate you.
we're ready for 24-hour operations that will begin tomorrow morning at 7:00 and run 24 hours as long as we need to. our fema liaisons are with us. they have been a super help for the last week. our electric utilities are bringing in extra crews from the west and out of canada to help them. our two largest utilities have doubled their number of crews using contractors from the u.s. and canada. forecasters are saying that every river in the state will probably flood. we are preparing for that with our swift-water rescue teams that will be in place by noon tomorrow. the national guard is also standing by ready to deploy. that is the latest from vermont. >> any additional items that you need or any additional support from fema that you are still
waiting on? >> no, there is not. there is still a lot in this state from previous declarations you gave us from the spring flooding. everything we have asked for or needed has been right there. it has been a great relationship. >> before we leave the regional reports, the folks from maryland had asked about the pre-landfall declaration. that has been approved. when gov. o'malley shows up, you will be able to tell him they have that. >> will be here momentarily. thank you very much for your support. >> north carolina is getting ready to respond. virginia is seeing heavy rain. the rest of them are getting
close to the storm hitting or are still in the preparation phase. we will follow the storms literally of the interstate 95 corridor. your team at the met is supporting the governors. we have been in contact with the governors. we did not start today. we have been building the relationship. we're not starting new or just meeting each other. >> to the team and everybody seated around a table, each conversation i have had with state and local officials, they have confirmed the relationship with fema has been outstanding. the agency cooperation at the federal level has been outstanding. they recognize this will be a tough slog getting through this thing. they're very appreciative of the outstanding work you have all done. i have not yet heard from
anybody suggesting we have not done everything we can on this front. that is because of the good work you have done. we have to make sure on the response and recovery phase that we're just as active and on top of it. because of the strong relationships formed, returniwee turning things around quickly that they ask for. it will be long 72 hours. a lot of families will be affected. the biggest concern has to do with flooding and power. that is going to be an enormous strain on a lot of states. that may take days or even longer in some cases depending
on the track of the storm. we will have to stay on top of the recovery in response phase. >> we're just at the end of the beginning and are going in to two.phase >> i want to thank the folks working at fema. i get to represent them. we appreciate you visiting. we have a long way to go. they will be here working to support you and everyone. >> great job. >> this morning at fema headquarters in washington, a briefing for reporters on the latest response to hurricane irene. you will hear from a homeland security director janet
napolitano and the national hurricane center director bill read. this is half an hour. >> thank you so much for joining us today. >> i would like to introduce janet napolitano. it's i will give a few brief remarks and then bill will update you on the storm. >> we will hear about the efforts from fema, the red cross, and the salvation army. thank you for joining us on a saturday morning. as expected, hurricane irene made landfall early this morning along the north carolina coast. i have spoken with governor perdue this morning. she said they are ready to do damage assessments as soon as possible, especially for assets like bridges and roads.
i rain remains a large and dangerous storm. people need to take it seriously and be prepared. think of this in three phases. preparation, response, and recovery. some of our states are now moving into the response mode. others further north are still in preparation mode. if you receive a warning to evacuate, please do so. even if you have not received a warning during the storm, please stay inside and "hunker down" until it is over. stay off of the roads so they will be clear for 1st responders. we anticipate heavy rain, potential flooding, and significant power outages throughout the areas the storm. let me turn it over to bill to
give you an update on the storm and then you will hear from craig fugate. >> this is the satellite image of irene. it is about 50 miles from cape hatteras and moving north. is moving at about 15 miles an hour. the outer areas will be impacted over the next several hours. hampton roads and norfolk are already having adverse conditions. the rainfall has been incredibly heavy. water levels are coming up. i would like to report a big story coming out of that. the information we've gotten in advance from officials has been outstanding.
it fits right in with what they should be doing. the next picture, please. these bands can take on the characteristic that causes the local offices to issue tornado warnings. [unintelligible] i will not give you the long lead time like back in april. we have had a storm surge here in the 7.5 foot range. five to 9 feet is forecast,that depends on where you are. the storm tides will be high on the coast. that will affect roads and beach erosion. it is a very dangerous time for anyone left on the islands.
a larger area has been getting rain since late yesterday afternoon. we could see 15 inches across north carolina before the storm exits later today. the next slide, please. here is the latest forecast track. by late this evening, it should be moving past the norfolk area. the sustained winds will be mostly over the water. there is saturated ground. isabel had a lot of tree damage. i expect that also. overnight, along the coast, we expected to impact the delaware
bay was storm surge andby earlye moving up the coastline of new jersey affecting new jersey during the morning hours and then making the next big windfall across long island into new england and new york city. do not get too carried away with the exact point on there. the center is not tight. it is a broad area with hurricane-force winds. we will keep that in the forecast for now. the next slide, please. tropical storm wind probabilities, we've been talking about this for several days. a large area will likely be impacted by tropical-storm force winds as it makes its way of the seaboard. we have saturated ground.
those are areas we will be focusing on for the wind damage associated with trees coming down and the like. the next slide, please. this is the probability of the storm surge. if you are going to get higher than 4 feet of storm surge, the highest probability of storm surge is where it is actually happening. i also want to point out the likelihood of exceeding 4 feet. that is in the norfolk and in roads area. chesapeake is not looking like it will have the kind of flooding issues we saw with isabel. the wind is likely to swing the other way with lower water levels. not so fortunate for delaware
bay. from that area down to bethany and into ocean city, we have the high probability of exceeding 4 feet of storm surge. that will be coupled with waves. a lot of property at low levels will be damaged. moving up the coast, we're still looking at about the same issue on the storm surge up into long island sound and the new york metropolitan area. the forecast is broad in the range of four to 8 feet. the local forecast office will have detailed information to pinpoint the problem areas along your coast. there's a lot of variability within that range. the next slide, please. the rainfall shifts for mostly being in the northeast quadrant of the storm as it moves north.
it is coming under the influence of the weather features pulling it off to the north. we expect 5 to 10 inches of rain across the mid-atlantic centered over the metropolitan area western new england. all of these areas have had extensive rain in the past. the ground is saturated. there have been issues with flash flooding. there will probably be river flooding before it is over. craig, i will turn it over to you. >> bill talked about the hazards. i want to key in on a couple points. the category of hurricane does not explain all of the risk. you are dealing with four principal risks with a hurricane. the high wind, storm surge, rainfall, and tornadoes. even though this may be a
category one hurricane, the rainfall amounts are not tied to the category of storm. it is due to the size and speed of the storm. devastating floods can occur in tropical storms. tornadoes will be quick. they will not be on the ground long. they will not be the kind we saw this spring. they could be very devastating. that is why we're asking people outside the evacuation zones during the storm to stay inside, stay away from the exterior doors and windows, just like you would prepare for tornadoes. but you will be there for much longer time during the storm. make sure you bring your supplies with you. the other key issue is in the immediate aftermath of the storm, we will start the response phase in north carolina as irene moves north. the best thing people can do is stay home and stay inside. a lot of people like to get out and travel. it is hazardous with power lines and trees down.
the responders do not need to be behind you when they're trying to help. we have seen many people injured and lose their lives after a storm came through because it is still very dangerous. yesterday we announced we released one of our apps for android. if you do lose connectivity, it has information about what to do during and after a hurricane as well as other hazards. it is the official fema app. the fema website will give you that information. we have other apps coming soon. it is not just about what the
government is doing. it is about the volunteer agencies are doing. we have the red cross and salvation army with us today. i will turn it over to others to talk about what our volunteer agencies are doing for citizens. >> thank you. we appreciate your leadership. our organizations are tightly linked and continue to work well together. we really appreciate the partnership. what in the middle of could be one of the largest responses the red cross operations have had in recent memory. there are a number of evacuation's. that reinforces the serious nature and how far reaching the
storm is. we have operations in more than a dozen states. our priority right now is sheltering. last night, we had 13,000 people in our shelters from the states that were evacuated. we have nearly 150 shelters open right now. we are preparing to open dozens more as the storm continues to go north. many of them are being opened as we speak. if you need the location of a shelter, go to the red cross website. there is an app that will show you where our shelters are. we also have a brand new app on the iphone for shelters. we have already had 15,000 downloads since the storm began. we expect that to grow. like every other agency at times like this, the phones are probably going to start ringing off the hook. if you do need to get in touch with us, the internet is your best bet. local media will be covering where the nearest shelters are. you can listen for that as well.
we encourage people to register on safe and well. that is an application on our website. it is a way to tell family members you are ok. the storm is still ongoing. people in the northeast still need to take precautions. we have heard over and over again that if the officials tell you to evacuate, it is really important to heed those warnings because they are serious. make sure you have supplies on hand. we ask that everyone has an emergency kit with food and water for up to 72 hours, battery-operated radius, flashlights with extra batteries, personal medications, kids' toys, the stuff you need to survive for 72 hours. we're putting the full force of the american red cross behind this operation. we have thousands of volunteers already hitting the east coast.
2/3 of our fleet is on the east coast were heading that way. these are emergency response vehicles. this is going to last a long time. those vehicles will be there to go through the community offering food, relief items, hygiene kits, and the like. we have pre-packaged meals and are prepared to feed about 1 million meals a day. we can do this because of the wonderful partnerships with other non-profits and faith- based organization. people have asked what they can do to help. this will be a costly operation. donations are extremely welcome, regardless of the size. they will be gratefully received. in number of blood drives had to be canceled in the areas affected by the storm. we suspect there may be a blood shortage.
if you are eligible to donate, you can also give the lie-saving gift of blood. speaking about our wonderful partnerships, it is my privilege to introduce major hud from the salvation army, also a great partner of ours. >> thank you and good morning. i represent the salvation army as the chief communications officer. today, i am also representing a network of wonderful voluntary organizations that we refer to as a national voluntary organization active in disasters. they are organizations each gifted with a particular skill. throughout the year, this group of organizations committed to saving lives and rebuilding lives after devastation work on
how we can best respond colored of late whenever a disaster strikes. the voluntary organization has been mobilized effectively with this particular hurricane. one of the agencies are the southern baptists. they are known for their ability to cook wonderful meals. they have 131 kitchens on standby with an average capacity of 130,000 meals on a daily basis. there are all kinds of that kind of work that will take place. pre-planned, highly coordinated with support infrastructure for fema as we work together. the salvation army and red cross are active members of that. the salvation army has been actively engaged since irene came on the radar screen. we have responsibility for puerto rico and some of the
islands in the caribbean. we have been dealing with major issues on the islands of the caribbean, puerto rico, and the dominican republic. the last report i had yesterday was 800,000 individuals with no power on those islands. feeding, sheltering, and spiritual care is all being implemented in those regions. in the early days of preparation, we put command teams in florida, north carolina, pennsylvania. they are all position in safe ranges so that we will be mobilized and quick to respond. in north carolina, we have the capacity of 300 individual feeding camp teams that concerts 1500 meals a day. we have mobile kitchens that
can prepare up to 150,000 meals. our specialty in these situations is mass care, mostly feeding, doing some sheltering. we're operating three shelters in north carolina. we served breakfast at the crack of dawn. that work is going on. we're now positioning florida assets further up the coast. we have put a large asset base at a salvation army summer camp that is now housing people in eastern pennsylvania who will be mobilized where they are most needed as the storm continues to take shape. this is a serious storm. we're putting all of our assets in place. we have approached it as a national disaster. it gives us access to all the resources from all 50 states
across america. we are mobilizing volunteers and assets in the key strategic areas so that as the storm moves through, we will know precisely where to send those assets to respond. our contributions will be mass feeding, some sheltering, long- term case management, and emotional and spiritual care. those are the things we feel we do extremely well. we're able to function in this partnership with red cross, fema, and the 50 organizations mentioned. thank you. >> do all the states have everything they need? have you seen any gaps in preparation or possible response? are there things you are
anticipating as gaps in state planning? >> we have been in touch with the states. none have reported any unmet needs now. we're really at the beginning of this storm response. we're basically at the end of the preparation phase. we're not yet into response and recovery. we will work with the states as they do their assessments and see what the damage is in their areas. >> the secretary has been in contact with the governors. yesterday, the president was in contact with the governors. north carolina is being hit now. thee getting some idea of large scale power outages. we already have supplies and teams there. as we start getting the impacts, we will know what kind of assistance will be needed.
we're talking about a lot of organizations including the coast guard that have been moving resources and people. they are prepared for not having a fixed site yet until we get the reports of damages from the governor's. >> do we expect it to weaken more? >> a category one is still 80 miles an hour. i would advise you not to focus too much on the category. if you are in a hurricane, is a big deal. we had a huge expanse of associated tropical force wind extending 200 miles beyond the actual hurricane area. you have the combination of the
hurricane, the expanded wind area, and the associated tornadoes. that is the formation of the storm right now. as it changes, the hurricane center and fema will give current updates. >> bill could tell you more about the forecast. >> we do not see its strengthing anymore. moving overland will take care of that. the resort areas and cities with high-rise buildings with funnelling effects, folks-up could experience stronger wins than the folks down low. >> i had trouble hearing. the storm surge could be up to
48 feet on long island sound? >> the storm surge would be for to 8 feet? >> that is the general forecast. some areas are more sensitive than others. that is why we encourage you to look to the local offices for details. you can see where the probabilities are highest for various elevations. >> we will now go to questions from the phones. please state your name and publication when asking questions. >> we have a question from reuters. >> in relation to the storm surge forecast of 4 to 8 feet 4 long island sound and new york,
which is that represent for low-lying areas in metropolitan new york? >> it does pose a risk. that is why officials have evacuated the low-lying areas prone to flooding. responder's cannot get to people. that is why we have moved people. a lot of people are compacted against the coast these days. >> thank you. >> the next question is from suzanne goldberg with "guardian." >> what geographic areas would
be most at risk? >> the tornado threat is common with hurricanes. the numbers are variable. the intensity is usually considerably less than what we saw in the spring. we're not looking at the large super sized tornadoes. the rain bands ahead of the center, the wind is still strong. the interaction with the land could create tornadoes. it is quite unpredictable. they would be short-lived event. we cover with watches as we move up the coast for areas most risk of tornadoes. >> thank you.
>> there are no further questions from the phone line. >> thank you, all. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> starting on tuesday, washington journal begins a series on the weather. we will look good disaster relief, climatology, whether dynamics, the role of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and the role of the national weather service. that is live on washington journal each day at 9:00 p.m.
-- 9:15 a.m. eastern. president obama urged americans to come together in the spirit of national service at the tenth anniversary of the 911 attacks. the center gives the republican address and assesses what he sees as the obama administration oppose the impediment to economic growth and job creation. >> in just two weeks, will come together to mark the tenth anniversary of the september 11 attacks. we will remember the lives we have lost and the families that love them. they honor the heroic first responders that rushed to the scene and saved some money. we will pay tribute to the troops and military families, all of those that serve to keep us safe and strong. we will also recall how the worst terrorist attack in american history brought out
the best in the american people. americans line of to give blood and volunteers drove across the country. schoolchildren donated their savings. communities, faith groups, and businesses collected food and clothing. we were united, and the outpouring reminded us that in times of challenge, we move forward together as one people. this september 11, michele and i will join a commemoration and at the pentagon. but even if you can't be in new york, pa., or virginia, every american can be part of this anniversary. 9/11 will be a day of service and resemblance -- remembrance. folks will come together in their communities and neighborhoods to honor the victims and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts
of service and charity. in minneapolis, volunteers will restore the community center and in north carolina, they will hammers and goals and later forced to give a family a new home. they will assemble care packages for the troops overseas and families at home. we will renovate homes for veterans. michelle and i look forward to joining a local service product as well. there are so many ways to get involved in every american can do something. to learn more about the opportunities where you live, who go on line. even the smallest act of service or kindness is a way to honor those that we lost. a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that follows 9/11. on this tenth anniversary, we still face great challenges as a nation. we are taking the fight to al
qaeda and ending the war in iraq. and we're looking to rebuild the foundation of our national strength here at home. it can't be the work of government alone. we saw the strength of america has always been the character and compassion of our people. let some in that spirit once more and let's show that the sense of common purpose that we need in america doesn't have to be fleeting moment and can be a lasting virtue. not just one day, but every day. >> i am the senator from the great state of nevada. americans have had to endure great hardships. this does have lost people their jobs, homes, and the sense of security. my state has the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in unemployment,
foreclosures, and bankruptcy. people from all over the country are struggling just to get by and they are desperate for real solutions. unfortunately, her job creation has taken a backseat to the political posturing in washington. it is clear that they have taken -- a health care law that no one can afford any seemingly endless stream of crippling employers. a cap and a trade bill will cause energy costs to skyrocket. it will take away american workers' rights to a secret ballot, more of the same. instead of fighting for measures that create and protect jobs, this administration continues to impede economic growth at every turn.
this president and his policies have been a big wet blanket on the economy. american public and businesses alike are waiting for the plan to plant the seed on economic growth and bolster job creation. our best days are still ahead, but we need to change course now. let's pass a balanced budget amendment and repeal the small business killing health care law. reverse the regulations that are tying the hands of entrepreneurs across america. we can embrace pro-growth policies. and we should be assisting those that have lost their jobs and need help. these r hall of the things that congress could be doing immediately with the economic recovery. we should take to the aggressive steps to cut out special-
interest loopholes. instead of looking for new ways to tax the american public, we're hoping to make the tax code more competitive so that we can grow and create jobs. the continual threat of tax increases in ps economic growth. members of congress should stop using scare tactics against the nation cozy seniors. -- medicare and social security. they will not be around for our generation or the next unless congress takes the necessary steps to strengthen these programs. nobody is proposing that we and medicare and social security. if someone in washington would stop campaigning long enough to do their jobs, we can ensure
this for generations to come. i've been travelling around my state and the message is clear. it is time for both democrats and republicans to put our differences aside so we can solve our nation's problems. let's give the american people a government that works for them. we will get americans working again and insure that our children and grandchildren have a brighter future. i am excited where we can be 20 years from now, but we must seize this opportunity to make a change the way -- a change in the way that government does business. thank you for your time and got continue to bless america. >> see what political reporters are saying and track the latest campaign contributions with