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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 14, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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why did you not say more or do more? it is because we set out not to be comprehensive. we set out to be comprehensive among the leadership in the alliance, but if the alliance has to think about its most important strategic priority, getting along with russia, working productively, it will be vital for us, because europe at peace, that is a vision of helmut kohl and margaret thatcher and george h.w.20 year. but, the balkans, the western wall, they are not yet at peace, they are not yet economically successful, and most are not successfully on track to the european union and nato. russia will have some degree of activity. we want to get along with russia and work with russia to that end. secondly, as a partner, and this is why i do not understand why some people think that russia is
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the no. 1 adversary of the united states, we need russia and afghanistan. russia is helping us to resupply our forces in afghanistan. we have an interest in promoting counter-terrorism cooperation in russia. i was thinking that iran, right now the no. 1 national security issue of the united states is the iranian nuclear future. if you look at that constructs, russia is the most important country at the table for the united states. china will not be helpful. the european powers, of course, have a limited influence. if there is going to be an endgame on iran, where we convince them not to start -- not to stop short, they will have a lot to do with that solution. there will be a very close u.s.- russian interplay and cooperation on iran.
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meaning that the nato russian relationship is critically important. the promise of 10 years ago when we created the summit in italy, that promise has not been fulfilled. i would think a major order of business for the u.s. and germany is to bring back a good working relationship with the russian government. very important. >> you can assess this in one of two ways. the low level of representation can be interpreted as us not really caring about nato. one could interpret it negatively in that respect. or one could interpret positively, and vladimir putin has decided that this is not the time. how you look at it? >> i like the glass not half full. it is curious that he will not be there at camp david.
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i think the excuse was that he had to be present for government formation. that really is the job of the new prime minister. it is hard to parse a statement from the russian government. but i think that this is an example where german leadership can be very critical. germany has been very skillful in retaining very important political and economic sanctions with russia. this is a very good example where germany could lead in the future to help the united states and united kingdom to rebuild our weak bridges to the russian leadership. we must do this, because russia is just too important. russia is both in some ways an adversary, politically, but in other ways it is a friend.
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that entails skillful diplomacy and i think the chancellor's perfectly placed to be that bridge to the u.s. and russia. >> terry murphy. good day. a quick comment and a two part question. common number one is you overlooked transatlantic business dialogue that has been going on for 20 years. secondly, on the question of germany, last week, i think it was, a youngster named captain harry wales got an award from the atlantic council for his efforts and work to support the wounded warriors in britain. we all know that wounded warriors here are well reported by the populace. there was a piece today about
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german wounded warriors and they did not know what to do with them. last week, the day after capt. wales got his current -- got his prince harry, in case no one got the joke, the british foreign minister from europe got an earful about how it was that britain was not helping germany. not helping them integrate militarily. there was still ambivalent. i do not know that that is true, but he got an earful elsewhere about his continued ambivalence on the part of the british. we know that he was extremely helpful in reuniting germany. the french had a lot of options. so, 80 w. r. -- two part question that is probably too long, but what you think? >> if you look at the executive
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summary in the report, we recommend transatlantic partnership that will be primarily economic and business oriented to sustain vital economic ties with europe. we begin to think that democratic nations aligning economically, why not a realignment and reinforcement of the investment trade and business links across the atlantic's ocean between canada, the u.s., mexico, and european allies. that is featured in the report in your first question. >> it is no accident that nick is sitting in the same chair that tom donahue was sitting in not long ago. we were eager to push for with the transatlantic partnership. we saw it as a single piece. >> i would say that they atlantic council is absolutely right to honor prince harry, a
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war veteran who served in that conflict, honoring britain by extension. i simply cannot agree that britain has any kind of responsibility. i would not agree with that point of view. germany had to overcome decades of resistance. it was courageous of the chancellor to deploy troops to both places. all we are suggesting is that we would like to see more of that kind of german leadership. thank you. >> thank you, sir. please. >> tom donahue, the head of the u.s. chamber of commerce.
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>> nick, good to see you again. very briefly, i hope that this report, and perhaps i missed something, can say more about the fact that nato is fundamentally a political alliance of the military arm, and not a military alliance of the political arm. i have worked with future orientation and training. the two functions are not well integrated, the diplomatic and military. my question to you is -- what can be done in chicago? not only for the potential cuts in the u.s. budget, but equally draconian foreign service u.s. that can do more -- as much good as harm. >> thank you for offering up the
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soft ball. i would very much agree with you. as we think about military power, it is just as important to sustain the health and strength of our foreign service and diplomacy in general. i would say that you have been a leader on this, bob. the last decade was unusual in american history. we have never fought two land wars simultaneously in our history except for between 1941 and 45. in a way, we lead with the military in a diplomatic reserve. diplomats on point in the military, we need to strengthen the foreign service and not cut the budget of the state department. we have had great leadership with secretary clinton and secretary rice to sustain our
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diplomatic corps, but we know the facts and figures that there are more in the pentagon then there are american diplomats. there are more members of the armed forces marching bands than there are american diplomats, we need to reorder our priorities. finally, preaching to the choir, the great majority of crises we will face in the next couple of decades will primarily lend themselves to diplomatic resolution and not military resolution, from climate change to mostly the fight against terrorism, which is political and economic. to all the things we have to do to strengthen our alliances in both parts of the world to coping with china. it will be a diplomatic imperative and we are weakening diplomacy at the time when it is needed now more than ever. i very much agree with secretary clinton, we need a stronger
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budget for the state department. >> thank you. >> thank you. i am a big fan of the ambassadors. thank you for this hard-hitting report. one of the problems of being eight new york per is about hedging. you will pardon me for asking this question. if germany does not dedicate its tension for nato and the uk does not follow through with its defense investments, waivers not able to deal with this situation, did you folks disgust plan b? >> we did not. there is no alternative to plan a, the continuation of a strong nato. everything the said there, i would not doubt that there is a worst-case outcome.
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if we go into sequestration and take $1 trillion out of the military and do not fund the state department, we will be a second-rate power and not nearly as influential in the world, which will be self-defeating. you can look at the worst-case outcome. we have to strengthen the alliance and the leaders of the alliance have to take responsibility for doing that. >> so, this is it? >> you heard the events -- the thought that we had in the report, but we are backed up by the review board of former secretaries of state, defense, national security advisor, and secretary general's. we are encouraged by the point they have given in the report. >> they are excellent recommendations and i wonder if you have discussed plan b, but i
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guess not. >> we have not, because plan b is western transatlantic weakness, which is not possible right now. >> hello. two brief questions. you mention australia and japan becoming global members of nato -- global partners of nato, but not members. why would you necessarily foreclose the possibility in the future? the second question is on the responsibility to protect in the aftermath of the libyan intervention. were there any regrets that they did not anticipate? it seems to an outside observer that there was not as much commitment to this rhetoric in countries like poland. in service you might get
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consensus, but in practice to get derisive positions, even in situations " where [unintelligible] >> with your permission, i will reverse the order and answer the second question first. i hope that there is soul- searching in warsaw and berlin over the refusal of poland to participate. libya was a success. think about how one usual was. the arab league said please intervene in our internal affairs, the only time they had ever done that. the security council blast it and there was an immediate bloodbath. this was the right thing to do and it succeeded. we say this in the report, but denmark and norway step up big time and flew hundreds of air missions. when there are larger, germany and poland would not -- i hope that there was some soul- searching.
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not just because it was a victory for nato, and successful, but because solidarity in the region, going into combat, i think in need the support of everyone in the alliance, not just some of us. secondly, on australia, south korea, japan, the philippines. these are treaty allies in the united states and we are in an enormously fortunate position. we have an alliance system in asia and the atlantic's that reinforces the power of our country. i do not think that there is the possibility of agreement in brussels or the nato council that the membership of the alliance should be global in nature. historically and by definition we are a political and military alliance based on the democracies of the transatlantic world.
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the imperative for nato is that europe and america need to be globally oriented together. when dan and i worked together, he was my closest colleague in the last administration. i will just speak for myself, but united states policy towards europe must become global. in the u.s. european relationship that had to be about europe, but also the rest of the world. that is easily done if we become political and military -- not allies, but partners of japan and south korea. even with morocco, jordan, and the uae, can we train together and exercise together? so that when we have to deploy for a humanitarian operation or peacekeeping operation, or god forbid, a war, pound for pound, australia has done more for the
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united states or any other country in the world. nato has a defense relationship that is informal. the court says yes. of course we should. i think there is a difference of view here in europe. some european countries would agree with the united states. others would say that we are only about western europe and north america. if we are only about that, what about the policies of 1952? but not 2012? if you see where we have been oriented for the last 10 years, we need the alliance to be global. not by membership, but by exercises, training, and military cooperation. we have a lot countries that very much want to be part of that discussion. why would we turn that down? why would be say no to
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australia, japan, and south korea? >> on libya, what is your response to the following? as you know, not everyone in the cabinet room agreed, necessarily, with the libyan operation. i think they're arguing not so much about the success of the operation, but the uncertain aftermath. what about the chinese and russian objections that turned out to be regime change? we were not so sure that we were in it as seriously, so we do not have a resolution. what is your answer to the chinese and russians about syria drawing from libya and focusing the question on that? in general, what action would
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you take as nato toward syria with one of your members, turkey, wanting you to be much more for with meaning? >> one of the advantages one has i am leaving government service is you can speak your mind. my answer to the chinese and russian objections would be sour grapes. if you look at the absolutely cynical and i would say brutal attitude of china and russia to the suffering of the syrian people, they are not lifting a finger. they vetoed the european security council resolutions meant to give humanitarian release to the people six weeks ago. so, they are willing to let syrian civilians suffer the artillery in -- artillery shells and it will not lift a finger to help them. no one is talking about a military intervention right now.
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what the u.n. has been talking about is releasing supplies on a humanitarian basis using its military power. china and russia should be ashamed of their behavior in the security council. i have zero sympathy. i think that syria is the toughest question of the face today, because we all want to do something, but none of the conditions are present in syria that would enable the nato intervention in libya. there is no agreement in the security council, it is not desert warfare, it is urban fighting block house by house. i would think that we would require something like an adult war coalition, several hundred -- several hundred thousand troops to take on the syrian army to bring down the
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government of syria. i do not think it is an effort the u.s. government is willing to make or should make. we have plenty of other problems to deal with in the world. i would say that that is less with the leading support of the government in the world, russia, the have a naval base and historic involvement. they should do more to curb the brutality of the outside government. i would hope that over time they would fall because they deserve to. it would be a blow to iran. i do not see the utility or possibility of a western-style military intervention like libya, because it is completely different. >> just to return your comments on [unintelligible]
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i suspected it might be from an australian newspaper. nato has a military sense of mutual cooperation and support. without sounding churlish, what is in it for the partner countries? >> thank you for the question. what would not be in the proposal that we're putting forward is any obligation or expectation on the part of australia, or south korea, to have any of the responsibilities that go along with the treaty. your country would not be obligated to fight or train with us. it would be your call. we had noticed that every time nato deploys, australia is there is a great friend and ally of the united states. we are calling for a partnership, very practical.
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where australia trains more energetically with germany, britain, and france. you already trained significantly with the united states. let's say that there is another humanitarian disaster like there was in december of 2004. what happened in -- what happened? australia, the united states, and india deployed together. because we had exercised and train together on the air and sea. you have been a stalwart ally in afghanistan, but you had to kind of do it on the run, not having worked much with european allies. you can call these patterns of cooperation and military training, but it confers no obligation. it is the best of both worlds, from my perspective.
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>> you are also hearing the most frequent point here being background from australian officials, more than happy to use our centers and resources, but we are not involved in the planning stage. we have problems and issues in our parts of the world, but if those two things could be resolved, it would be a qualitative change in the relationship. >> i would agree with fred. you had no say in the nature of the afghanistan operation. you should be there as part of the takeoff. there are two other countries, like denmark, seated in front of me, and finland, who has been great partners.
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we are so strong in northern europe, they need to be at the table as well. not as members, but having some say. >> ambassador, your name has been invoked. you wanted to raise a question? >> thank you so much. " it is easier to be a dane and a german here today. can i ask you to expand on what it is you want germany to do? to spend more? to have a noble ambition? what is important, in concrete terms? german forces to be more expeditionary? i have not read the whole thing yet, but i have not heard the
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word european union mentioned at all. we can display soft power, at least, through the union? >> thank you. first, i answered your question for germany, it could become more of a political leader within the alliance. it sat out the libyan operation. secondly, germany, as i said before, is probably one of the most influential western countries in the alliance. if we have a major strategic challenge, which is figuring out how to work more effectively, germany would be much welcome, i am sure, by the united states if that happened. the first point is political
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leadership. the second point is political leadership. nato said, 30 years ago, when jimmy carter was the president, hardly any of them spent that much back then. we have lowered it over the last couple of decades, saying could we all spend 2%? three of the two -- three of the 28 or doing so, my country far in the lead. it is fundamentally unfair at this time of great challenge to spend that much on defense when germany, in a healthier economic position, is spending 1.2%. if fairness and equality is important in nato, and we suggested that germany was not looking up to its responsibility, germany did serve and send troops to
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northern afghanistan in 2003, we know that germany suffered wounded and we sympathize with the german families of those soldiers. and yet germany refused to redeploy its troops to where the fighting was most intense. in southern and eastern afghanistan. for the past 10 or nearly 20 years now, it has been up to the dutch, canadians, and the danes to fight the taliban at its -- at its greatest level of intensity. germany has refused to redeploy its troops. the taliban has weakened our effort considerably. >> time for one more question. >> hello.
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let me allow a short comment. let me just try to respond. i am not sure if i agree with the unfocused sentiment that libya is some sort of metric of a member state in the alliance. of course, this was a very important operation, but they have invested a lot, politically. first in iraq, then afghanistan, coming up with those countries and parts of the taliban doing their job in the province. it is fair to say that this level of commitment in afghanistan is on the level of military spending that has not
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been matched by other alliances. of course, we supported this operation. to say that there might be some sort of operation in the european neighborhood, where not all allies participate in the origins, i think that should be taken, a more broad view should be taken. thank you. >> since this is a final question, if you could address that and address what libya is a model for? it is not necessarily a model for everyone in the alliance in gauging. people who talk about it is a model talk about it more as a model of the alliance providing infrastructure capabilities for something that members of the
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alliance in general support but would not all want to participate in within regional actors. that is a model that you can actually move around. the question was raised, but what exactly was it a model for? >> we are sitting here with a former ambassador to poland. look, i am happy and thankful for all of that leadership. you went into iraq when few others were. poland, of the 10 countries that have committed to nato since 1987, poland is waiting on the central european dabbers. with the greatest of respect, we just suggested in this report that it was a missed opportunity. politically, as well as
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militarily. certainly, because germany was a member of the military council, when the arab league requested it, it was probably an even more bitter disappointment. i would say, in conclusion to this question, libya is probably not a template for everything we need to do in the future. it was a very useful reminder that we are all in this together. i thought the president obama was right, in a time when we were clearly preoccupied with the withdraw from iraq and this difficult war in afghanistan, and our own domestic economic problems, it was good to see europe take a leadership role. united states did not leave, but europe did. it is not a template, because
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those situations will be quite rare. my own view is that we have to lead the alliance. some of our members, britain and france, decided that this was vital for them. i would prefer that the united states was with the alliance rather than absent. we played a supporting role. i do not see it as much of a template, but i cannot imagine many situations where the united states would want to separate itself from europe. we need to leave. over and over again in this report, nato needs this message and it is not aimed at the current administration. it is aimed at all of us and our congressional leaders who need to fully fund our military and diplomacy as we go ahead. >> thank you. ambassador, this is a very
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valuable paper that is already up. if you want to comment on it or meted -- read it more closely, it is a rich discussion. thank you for that. what is most important, and irrespective of what happens over the weekend, these are issues that are going to stay with us. i am very glad you touched on them, because it is about leadership in. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> just under way live today, arthur berman, recounting franklin roosevelts address to business leaders to leave their private sector positions and lead the u.s. war production effort in world war ii. they utilize their connections to build a team of former private-sector industrial-and
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they were called a $1 per year men. herman miller is speaking right now and it is live for you on our website, booktv,irg, going on right now. >> we have a real demand for spectrum, but we would be foolish if we only relied on incentive options. >> it is important to have neutrality in order to make sure that everyone is competing on a level playing field. >> learn about the newest fcc commissioners. tonight, on "the communicators," at 8:00 eastern, on c-span 2. >> next, a discussion of the cost of missiles procured by the defense department. with our guest this morning on
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this morning's "washington journal." this is 40 minutes. host: tell us about the missile defense program, up $10.2 billion in requests. we are not talking about the nuclear arsenal here, correct? >> we are talking about the stuff you're seeing today in places like afghanistan, the weapons carried on aircraft on the bottom of a plane, or inside of a weapons day. those are the types of systems that you might have heard of called smart bombs. nuclear tactical nuclear weapons or missile defenses, like the
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patriot system that would intercept a weapon shot up by someone else. >> we are talking about $10.2 billion. can you give us a bit of an overview? >> i was going toward the actual purchasing in contractors, like lockheed martin and boeing, they are probably receiving the bulk of these weapons. like the model in front of you. again, these are the systems being used today in afghanistan. >> let's talk about the small diameter here. one of the systems that is funding for about -- how much? >> a little over $100 million for the current year. the system is actually smaller than other weapons. it deploys wings, as you can
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see, and it can go out a certain number of miles. it is not howard. gravity takes it to the ground. that is a key point. there's a difference between a missile and bomb. a missile is something that is guided and has some kind of system bringing it in. a bomb is also guided through gps or lasers, but they are not powered, so gravity does the rest. host: want to talk about missiles and bombs with someone who knows them very well? give us a call. for democrats, 202-737-0001. for republicans, 202-737-0002. for independents, 202-628-0205. we talked about the small diameter bomb. what is the current work force of our munitions menu that we have out there? guest: one of the most popular ones we have right now is off to
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the side view here, the jdam. it is a standard bomb. back in world war ii you would see newsreels of airplanes opening up the valley and just dozens of bombs falling out. those were not guided. those just went straight down to the ground. jdam is a kit built by boeing. specifically, it is the tail on that model, guided by gps, it comes in different sizes, around 500 pounds, as high as 2,000 pounds, depending on the target. about who uses these different munitions. what branch of the military uses munitions for this kind of funding in the budget? >> mostly the air force and the navy. the air force is a good ball of
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it. the navy as well, providing close air support, flying around above soldiers on the ground. should they need assistance from above, these guys are in their planes and they have high- powered cameras that vacancy and get awareness of what is going on on the ground. they would be the ones to release them. >> the house armed services committee -- host: the house armed services committee recently approved something going to the floor. was there a munitions debate there? guest: there was not much of a debate -- debate over the systems. host: everyone likes them? guest: yes, and they have proven themselves throughout the conflict more and more, as time has gone on. there was not any kind of debate. guest: you do not think we will
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see a change in that request? -- host: you do not think we will see a change in that request? guest: no. host: walter, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate that. when we were in basic training 30 years ago, there were so many different munitions we could not use, because of the cost. that was 30 years ago. we went through the cold war and thought everything was comply of -- kumbayay, but now they will not put a shield in europe. china is exploding and wanting more property. you had nations like north korea and iraq and iran, things like that, causing some much trouble. i would not think it would be
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such a slam dunk to protect our country and renew one of our missiles, ballistic missiles across the country, with silos, updating them. a lot of people say that we do not have the money, but we will not have a country if we do not defend it. i am all for not wasting, but update and make us truly secure. without missile defenses, they will come into our backyard. that was my comment. thank you for talking about this issue. guest: you mentioned some of the potential future threats out there and the military is investing in systems that will provide for those future threats. many of the weapons that are being built have exceptionally long range and stealth characteristics, which just means they cannot be detected by radar. they could potentially fly in undetected.
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typically, in instances like the caller is describing, those would be surface-to-air missiles that would pose threats to aircraft. host: what kind of budget do missiles and munitions follow? contingency operations? modern munitions? guest: both. it is in the contingency operations section. systems are being used in the current conflict, with research and development work going on for the work we just described for these next-generation future types. host: want to talk about bombs and munitions? call in. jimmy is waiting on the independent line. call -- caller: that line of the
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future, what are they looking at in development and research? what is the future going to look at? what do they think it will look like as far as warfare, whenever? -- what ever? of guest: it the future is stealth and multi-role. we are talking about weapons and go from air to ground. there are also development programs under way as the defense budget comes down. some of that funding has been pushed off, but there are weapons that are multi-role, meaning that they can strike the target in the air or on the ground. you mentioned it earlier, the stealthiness of long range.
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there is the joint air to surface standoff weapon, traveling more than 500 miles around the point, it is a stealthy weapon that is envisioned, as they would say, to penetrate air defenses. host: we have a list of a few of the weapons they are spending money on. which one of those would be long-range air and stealthy, talking about the medium-range air-to-air missiles? give us some specific examples. >> the first one that you mentioned is the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile. -- guest: the first one that you mentioned is the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile. it is a type of system that is mounted on the wing of a plane.
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people have seen it in movies, like top gun. the missile firing off of the wing. it is the same type of system and it is designed to hit another plane, but very far away. if i am a pilot in the cockpit, i see another potential threat or aircraft on my radar, i could lock onto that on my radar and get that information and fired the missile. it takes a bit to get there, but you can go on viewing other themes in the interim and it will hit the target. host: back to the phones. pennsylvania, good morning. caller: good morning to you. this conversation is making me sick. i have a fear of these missiles coming, reading "the new
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yorker," about the drones and the climate change and these gao engineers trying to design these things that will suck the co2 out of the air, all of these end of the world scenarios. you guys are really scaring me. this is burning money, for one thing. the underwear bomber was a cia agent? we are funding both sides of this. i suppose that this will not be hitting me, because i do not think i am a target. what is your check for error? why are we doing this? this is horrible. why are we leading the world in this? host: tell us about the perceived threats that the u.s. military is defending against from other countries. guest: right now, specific threats are weapons being
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developed by the chinese and the russians. it is making the pentagon work overtime a little bit. that is one of the perceived threats of this. you talk about the -- the caller had another point, one of the things the military has invested heavily in over the past 10 years are the ways to lower the collateral damage in the system and make them less deadly in the sense that they will get their target. they will not get somebody, perhaps, in the house next door. host: the bridge for it -- the precision strike? guest: yes. warheads are typically made of metal and when about and explodes, there is shrapnel. when they come -- with a composite warhead, there is not as much fragmentation. it is more of a standard
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warhead. you and i could be sitting here and a missile could come through the window. one of us could be hit and the other would be knocked out, certainly, but there's less of a risk of damaging or hitting someone, like in an adjacent building. guest: the caller brings up the issue of drones -- host: the caller brings up the issue of drones. what is the main missile of ammunition that we use? guest: there are three, actually. something called the hellfire, something called the jdam, and i believe that that is a larger, 2,000 pound model right there. and something else called the pave way. another thing that drones are using is laser-guided weapons.
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the benefit of a laser guided weapon is they can hit a moving target. if you see the nose cone, it is black. that is a simulation of the laser seabird. it will hone in on something like a vehicle or a bicycle. it can be targeted by someone in an airplane firing a laser at the target, or someone on the ground. a soldier would point a device at one of the vehicles and, the weapon, when released, the signal coming out of the laser communicates with the actual weapon itself. host: jim wright's this on twitter --
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host: but we will continue to discuss munitions. derrick is next, independent line. caller: i want to ask questions about the israeli offensive and defensive capabilities, the possibility of there being attacked with drones. and what are the chances of making a strike against iran, if it comes down to it? guest: israel has a number of the systems that we, we being the u.s. government, use in our inventory. they have also developed similar systems of their own. as i mentioned earlier, a lot of these systems are quite capable. only time will tell.
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they are good systems. host: republican line, winchester, illinois, good morning. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: yes, this is c-span? host: want to talk bombs and munitions? go-ahead. caller: ok. yes, my question is, how much damage was done by moving the helicopter with the shield and the drone communities? host: i am not sure -- guest: not sure what he is referring to. he may be referring to the helicopter that was lost during the raid on the obama of bin laden -- on the osama bin laden compound. it was a very small piece of
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that helicopter that was recovered, essentially the tail. the rest of it was -- it appeared from pictures and what not. it had been fully destroyed. i would not have suspected that it would have been too much technology, but it is some of the most coveted u.s. technology. host: much of our talk comes from testing and final products, but there has been a push to do more modeling and computer testing. talk to us a little about that. doing everything they're moves more towards computer simulation and models of what might happen. to save significant money, they are doing it more with missiles through pilot training these days.
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those simulators are very high tech systems. they replicate very closely real-world flying simulations. host: larry, democratic line, memphis, tenn., the morning. caller: good morning. how're you doing? host: good. caller: i want to make a comment, we do not have any real enemies. the only ones we have are the ones we fabricate and create. missile defense, republicans want to build a defense shield on the west coast. missile defense would never worked. they called it star wars, we spent trillions on this. we spend all this money and the only enemies we have are the
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ones that we create and fabricate. there is no bogyman except the one that we make. thank you. host: tell us about the missile defense shield the caller brought up. guest: there is a missile defense shield on the west coast. the house armed services committee has proposed a defense shield on the east coast. the obama administration has set an that they do not want to install a system on the east coast, and they called it an adaptive approach in europe. radar would track the missile launch and interceptors, like i mentioned, missiles that shoot out of the ground called icbm. right now the house armed services committee has proposed making another defense site on the east coast. they say that this would be
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critical for, say, a weapon launch from a ship from an adversary close by. host: the democrats disagree? guest of they say there is no threat of this. that this missile defense system, they cannot defend from an icbm threat from russia or china except for very sophisticated icbm. only the less sophisticated being developed by iran. host of this question from twitter -- -- host: this question from twitter -- guest: it depends on which drone he is referring to. the u.s. reportedly lost one in
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iran. there has been a lot of speculation. the iranians showed up at a news conference and said that the drone itself was obstructed. it is tough to say whether or not it was damaged. it is believed from what sources have told us at the pentagon that this system was heavily damaged. that was a reconnaissance drone. host: another question -- guest: it depends. the new systems -- yes, a lot of the newer systems cost a lot of money because of the components that go into them, the navigation components, the satellite guidance systems to make them accurate.
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in a way, yes. for instance, a system has been best produced at this point and if has been in use for numerous years for current conflicts, particularly in iraq. host: have huge stockpiles that we need to keep up? guest: that is an older type of bomb. the new component is the gps- guided tail, or the sensor on the top. a system like this -- that is the new system. it has not been employed nearly as much as the other, and it is a new build. host: back to the phones, chris is on the independent line from indiana. caller: thank you. i really were about china. i think china is without a doubt
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the biggest threat to us at this point. i am flabbergasted at the economic policies that are being promoted by your last guest who wants to ring up china. what interest is that for the american people? whinnied to put import duties on everything coming in from china to offset the weapons point data, the jobs that have been sent over there by unadulterated agreed. money cannot be the answer. it has got to be diplomacy and economic policies that solve these problems. thank you. host: chris, thank you for the comment. another question -- guest: with the -- what the
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tweeter is referring to is drones used in places like th afghanistan, not part of the pentagon budget. the systems are saying. the systems that are being used in the united states are not armed. they have cameras on them and are passing video from along the border regions. host: chesapeake, virginia, bob. caller: i interest to know why laser guns will not make missiles obsolete in the future. guest: you raise a great point. there is research and development work going on in that. i have been writing about
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defense for six years now, and from the time i started until today, the common phrase laser weapons that people are referring to, star wars-type stuff, where a laser filed -- fires out of a ship band takes them a target -- they say this technology is right around the corner and right there on the cusp. we have seen some demonstrations. there was a program, a very expressive -- expensive program, called the airborne laser and it was designs to take out icbm's, like the cut that would be launched by north korea or iran. it was a laser that was mounted on the nose of a 747 jumbo jet. it worked. in some test it had problems, but the big issue was the expense involved in building these things. billions of dollars each per
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aircraft. at least $2 billion per aircraft. you would have to protect this big jumbo jet that is in the air. the caller raises a good point, and there are many who believe that is the future. host: u.s. apparently had a test last week downing a missile with a new interceptor. can you talk about that? guest: they are talking about the types of systems that would be installed in europe to combat or counter those iranian-types threats. they have been testing systems that are operational right now, and the pentagon is trying to purchase a more advanced system. there's competition going on with that. host: got about 10 or 15 minutes left with marcus weisgerber with "defense news."
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guest: have been with them for a little bit more than a year. host: how many years have you been -- guest: the little more than six. host: rick from the democratic line in york. -- in new york. caller: when the drone went down in iran -- when they find stuff like that or the black caucus went down -- black caucus -- blackhawk -- the secrets that they can duplicate -- are we using our own weapons designed her and stuff
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against us? guest: and not expert and the type of encryption and technology used in the black boxes. broadly, yes, it does hurt overall when you have technology like the stealth technology on both the helicopter and the drone fall into the hands of people you do not want to have them. host: what is the most concerning incident of that happening guest? guest: especially the helicopter. no one knew the helicopter existed before that raid. when those pictures came up, people like myself and my colleagues were gathered a run that screen, saying, well, we never sought a tail like that before, and it opened some eyes as to the classified work that is being done in the military. host: bob from pittsburgh is on the independent line.
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caller: i was wondering if he knows or has information on how to development is progressing? guest: i am not as up to speed on the rail gun/ it has done some tests recently and is progressing. i do believe it is more of a funding issue at this point. host: the f-35 joint strike fighter. tell us the state that is in in the element. guest: aircraft that exist now that are flying, and the test pilots are flying these in florida, also by testers in california, maryland, and up in new jersey. it is progressing. for stuff like weapons
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integration, that is still a ways off. they have done checks -- host: putting the missiles on the plains? guest: exactly, to see how the air drag characteristics, how that impacts the flight of the aircraft. the big thing with the f-35 and the f-22, which is operational, the goal is to have weapons that can fit inside of them. th aircraft, and the weapons need to fit inside of them, because if a weapon hangs off the wing, the radar can detect the plane. there's a push to make weapons smaller and able to fit inside of those weapons bays. host: how many weapons can fit inside the plane itself for the
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f-35? guest: you can fit a number of air-to-ground weapons inside of it. the theory is you would use an aircraft like the f-35 or the f- 22 at the beginning of the conflict when you have a threat of a surface-to-air missile. once those sites are destroyed, you could put other weapons out on the wings and can carry a lot more. waldorf,'s go to maryland. caller: good morning. i have been working for the department of defense for quite some time. i have seen a lot of waste in my day. i am sure a lot of the federal government could say the same thing about the other agencies and what not. the one thing, that really bugs me is how much money we are
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spending on new weapons programs, what not. where basically the 800-pound gorilla in their room. there's really nobody anywhere near the u.s. military supremacy on the plan that. i do not think anybody including the chinese or the russians are going to get anywhere near us. we have the latest count of 12 aircraft carriers. they are pushing for a 13th one, i thought. my main point is as much money we are spending on everything, we are really getting down to -- it is really about energy these days, trying to garner as many resources as possible. we should really be focusing more on r and d, trying to
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develop alternative energy sources and what not. host: about overkill. do we have enough weapons or too many weapons at this point? guest: is pretty widely agreed by both parties that there are enough weapons right now. the big concern is the future. that is part of what is spurring this bait -- this debate on capitol hill right now. the pentagon is planning to cut 500 billion from its budget over the next 10 years, and it is going to essentially downsize prepared the air force is going to retire planes. the army is going to do away with people. the navy is going to do away with people. the navy will keep 11 carriers for the time being. the caller raised the point about energy. there is a large push in dod to find alternative sources of energy, whether it be powering a
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plane using biofuel or independent solar panel systems that can be installed at a little outpost in afghanistan. all these systems are being tested right now. they said some pretty lofty goals for the next few years. host: we talk about the sequester cuts cannot tell us about the impact on missiles. guest: the answer to that you hear from leon panetta all the time or other senior dod officials, you just do not know. it defines -- it depends on how omb defines the cuts and how you can make the cuts. if it is an across-the-board cut in every program, missiles will be cut just like aircraft, tanks, and trucks. host: frank on the independent line from georgia. caller: good morning.
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i remember one day in the iraq war, bin laden was down there in a bunker, something like that. they used a bunker busters'. what does that all looked like like?k-al they said it went through a lot of dirt and did damage. tell us about the bunker buster. guest: the military as bunker busters' in use. the bunker bustard you hear about now is something called the massive ordinance in a trader, or the mop. it is massive. it is a 30-thousand pound weapon.
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is being built to attack iranian nuclear sites. now, essentially, the big issue with these type of weston's is using. when a weapon hits the ground, there is a lot of trauma and stuff going on. the fuse does not initially to explode. it wants to perreault itself in and then explode. yes, there is a lot of work going on in that specific area, and there are systems that are operational. they're used in afghanistan for caves. the other system, the mop, that one is still in development. host: we have been using that system? guest: mop, no. that is designed specifically for the deepest target you can possibly imagine, and right now those appear to be reportedly
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the iranian central fusion sites. there are other bunker busters' that cannot borrow -- that cannot burrow as deep as this one. host: republican from new york. are you there? caller: how are you doing, marcus? are you familiar with the oxygen problem with the f-22? could you tell me if they have finally solved it? by understand -- i understand pilots were losing their oxygen supply. guest: i am familiar with the problem. the f-22 is the crown jewel of the air force, their most sophisticated aircraft. it is designed -- is faster, it
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can maneuver better than anything else out there, so much so that it has prompted russia and china to build systems similar to its. the issue right now is pilots are experiencing what is known as hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. they're saying hypoxia-like curtains. it has been going on for a number of years. the fleet has been grounded several times. a few weeks ago a couple pilots can forward saying they are refusing to fight the plan, because when you go through hypoxia, a simple task like picking up a pen, i might not be able to do it. however, there is no smoking gun
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in this issue. just last week on the hill, the air force keeps saying they are going to find out what it is compared -- what it is. host: seat on the democratic line in illinois waiting to talk about balms. [dial tone] host: we lost. -- we lost you. where are we going to see the biggest lines of debate? guest: you are seeing it with missile defense, the missile defense site in -- that we talked about earlier. that has been a big issue. another big issue is the air national guard, the national guard component of the air force. cuts that have been proposed in
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the 2013 budget impact the national guard. unlike the active-duty the national guard has the backing of all the governors, because technically unless they are mobilize, they are under control of the governors, and they have not responded well to these cuts. there have been modifications to proposed cuts, including retirement of f-16 aircraft, retiring other attack jets, retiring a full fleet of the c- 27, which is a small cargo plane. that is the major issue right now. the markup included funding for the c-27's. one more thing is the global hawk drone, which was proposed to retire early, and a lot of
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these systems are still being built and they are going to send them to get retired, which has not sat well with congress because they feel they are spending a lot of money on these programs. they are seeing let s use this in combat programs. host: california, good morning. john, are you there? we will go to paducah, ky. george is on the republican line. are you there? caller: good morning. it is a fascinating subject. is a shame we have to discuss it. the amount of money you are talking about, the research is out there or the numbers are out there where you know how many of these type of rockets are out there. has anyone ever done a study on the cost of this question of
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dismantling these weapons instead of the cost of protecting herself from these weapons? guest: i do not know of any study that has been done that looks at the cost of dismantling conventional weapons. host: anything else coming up defense-was outside the spending bill coming up? guest: there has been taught to date from colors about china and one of the things this administration and the leader of the pentagon have done is trying to engage china. last week we saw the chinese defense minister to visit the for the first time in seven or nine years. secretary panetta is planning to go to china and visit as well, which shows there is a good or better than there has been relationship between the u. s
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and china plus military. we will see where that goes. host: marcus weisgerber from defense news, thank you for discussing all things bombs. guest: thank you. >> tomorrow all our guests will be bob edgar on "washington journal." bennett marsha blackburn. then we will be joined by the author of "by being america back -- "buying americax back." >> have a demand for spectrum, but we would be foolish if all we did was rely on incentive
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options. >> it is important to have the trial date with respect to the rules to ensure everybody is competing on a level playing field. >> learned more about the newest fcc commissioners. tonight on "the communicators," on c-span2. >> other days, c-span is airing more from the nixon tapes, conversations from 1971 until 1973. hear conversations from nixon and chuck colson, as they talked about the presidential nominee mcgovern. >> he does not have the stuff. he does not realize he is on the verge of an impending --
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everything he has done has gone wrong. >> in washington, listen at 90.1 fm. >> today president obama delivered the commencement address at barnard college. later this month the president will deliver addresses to a high school in missouri. the president's remarks are 40 minutes. >> want to take a moment to share guess that barred prevented to you. the first was a book entitled "pass it on," to sasha and malia obama.
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the seniors who were so thrilled to have you as the speaker have written their own messages to share with your children. we hope they will enjoy it together and we want them to know that they are welcome at barred any time. the second guest for you and the first lady was a slight -- was a little like summer reading. bard sprouts itself on extraordinary writers. when the to show -- share the wealth by giving a special collection of books written by barnard alumni and inscribed by the authors. we hope you will enjoy. now i have a great honor presented the citation to the president of the united states, barack obama.
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barack obama -- 44th president of the united states of america. in this exuberant presentation of the college's highest honor. we pay tribute to your leadership of our nation and your place in our world. from 1961 in honolulu, hawaii, to this stellar moment in may, the chronicle of your life has enthralled us. the early years in indonesia that sparked your independence and open your eyes to the brett of humanity -- college, first at occidental and then here in new york city, where you earned her bachelor's degree from the great columbia university on whose lawn we now stand. to chicago, to work with
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communities in need and then on to harvard law school, becoming the first african-american president of the harvard law review and graduating magna cum laude in 1991. returning to chicago, you deep in your commitment to public service because you understood that grass-roots was the way. as your manager jerry kalmen put it, if you're not trying to think things out there, you might as well forget it. in 1992, in one of your all- time best slam dunks, you had the good fortune to marry michelle. with her by your side, you served two terms as the illinois state senator and just months before winning a u.s. senate seat representing the land of lincoln, you gave a speech of the 2004 democratic
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national convention that was as brilliant as it was decisive. when you said that we stand on the crossroads of history, perhaps you had no idea that the country and the world would forever know your name. and january 20, 2009, standing smack on those historical crossroads, you were sworn in as president of the united states. since then, since then, in three years and 115 days in office, you have led the way on preventing a crimes and providing affordable health care. on reforming student loan
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programs, credit-card debt and financial regulation, you have reinvigorated the auto industry, raised fuel efficiency, and overturned restrictions on stem cell research. you have ended the war in iraq, turned the tide in afghanistan, and made certain that regardless of sexual orientation, those serving our country have the freedom to ask and to tell. just days ago, you affirm your belief that the right to marriage belongs to us all. for women in particular, you have helped ensure the equal
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pay we all deserve by signing thelily ledbetter act into law. you have removed barriers to women in the military, improved access to health services, and repeatedly supported our right to choose. and the time and again, you have put your trust in a long list of gifted and remarkable women leaders. supreme court justices sonia sotomayor and elena kagan secretary of state hillary clinton senior adviser valery jarratt janet napolitano, kathleen civilians, hilda solis, susan rice, li said jackson, when men running everything from homeland security -- women running everything from homeland
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security -- to the epa. your wisdom in these selections comes as no surprise because after all, there are extraordinary women in your own light to shed the most profoundly. the strength and levelheaded as you learn from your grandmother, the values of honesty, fairness, and independent judgment your mother ann instill along with her constancy and capacity for wonder. the special bond with your terrific sister and barnard alarm off maya. the devoted partnership to share with first lady michelle obama 0 is greater in her own right and sasha and melia to give us hope. clearly, mr. president, you know something about the 594 barnard graduates seated problem before you are well on their way to discovering.
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that there is no opportunity they cannot embrace, no dream they cannot make real. you have demonstrated this troop carrier on amazing story, you're on compelling example, your own irrepressible spirit. it is a profound honor for us to come together on this historic day, not only to present you, president barack obama with the 2012 barnard medal of distinction but to give you our unwavering promise to go forth like you in pursuit of a sounder, a freer, and a whole lot smarter world. you have our deepest thanks. [cheers and applause] >> thank you so much.
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thank you. thank you so much. thank you very much. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you, everybody. please, have a seat. thank you. thank you, president sparr, president bolinger and fellow class of 2012. -- hello class of 2012. congratulations on reaching this day. thank you for the honor of being able to be part of it. there are some many people who are proud of you -- your parents, family, faculty, friends, all of whom share in this achievement so please give
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them a round of applause. to all the moms here today, you could not ask for a better mother's day gift ban to see all of these folks graduate. i have to say that whenever i come to these things, i start thinking about melia and such a graduating and the start of tearing up - [laughter] it is terrible. i know how you hold it together. -- i don't know how you hold it together. i will begin by telling you a hard truth. i am a columbia [laughter] college graduate] i know there can be a little bit of a sibling rivalry here. [laughter] but i am honored nevertheless to be your commencement speaker
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today although i've got to say that you set a pretty high bar given the past three years. hillary clinton, meryl streep, cheryl sandberg, these are not easy act to follow. i will point out that hillary is doing an extraordinary job and is one of the finest secretary of state's america has ever had. we gave meryl the presidential medal of arts and humanities. cheryl is not just a good friend, she is also one of our economic advisers so it is like the old saying -- keep your fans clothes and your barnard commencement speakers even closer. there is wisdom in that. [laughter] now, the year i graduated, this
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area looks familiar -- the year i graduated was 1983, the first year women were admitted to columbia. sally ride was the first american woman in space. music was all about michael and the moon walk. we had the walkman. no more walking today. no one walking today. [laughter] we had the walkman, not ipod. some of the streets around here were not quite so inviting. times square was not a family destination. [laughter] i know this is all ancient history.
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nothing worse than commencement speakers and droning on about bygone days. but for all the differences, the class of 1983 actually had a lot in common with all of you. we, too, were heading out into a world at a moment when our country was still recovering from a particularly severe economic recession. it was a time of change. it was a time of uncertainty. was a time of passionate political debates. you can relate to this because just as you were starting out finding your way around this campus, and economic crisis struck that would claim more than 5 million tons towards the end of your freshman year. since then, some of you have seen parents put off retirement,
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committee looking toward the future with that same sense of concern that my generation did when we were sitting where you are now. of course, as young women, you are also going to grapple with unique challenges like whether you will be able to earn equal pay for equal work, whether you will be able to balance the demands of your job and your family, whether you will be able to fully control decisions about your own health. while opportunities for women have grown exponentially over the last 30 years, as young people, in many ways, you have a tougher than we did. this recession has been more crucial, the job losses steeper, politics seems nastier, congress more gridlock than ever. some folks in the financial world have not been the model of corporate citizenship. [laughter]
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no wonder that faith in our institutions has never been lower particular when good news does not get the same kind of ratings as bad news anymore. every day you receive a steady stream of sensationalism and scandal and stories with a message that suggests change is not possible. you can't -- you can make a difference and you will not be able to close that gap between life as it is a life as you want to be. my job today is to tell you don't believe it. because as tough as things have been, i am convinced you are tougher. i have seen your passion. i've seen your service. i have seen you engaged and i have seen you turn out in record numbers. i have heard your voice is
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amplified by creativity and a digital fluency that those of us in the older generations can barely comprehend. i have seen a generation eager, in patients even, to step into the rushing waters of history and change its course. and that defiant, can-do spirit is what runs through the veins of american history. it is the lifeblood of all of our progress and it is that spirit which we need your generation to embrace and rekindle right now. the question is not whether things will get better, they always do. the question is not whether we've got the solutions to our challenges, we have had them within our grasp for quite some time. we know for example that his
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country would be better off if more americans were able to get the kind of education you have received here at barnard [cheers and applause] if more people could get the specific skills and training that employers are looking for today, we know that we would all be better off if we invest in science, technology and that sparks new businesses and medical breakthroughs, if we develop more clean energy so we could use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that is threatening our planet. we know that we are better off when there are rules that stopped the big banks from making babette's with other people's money when insurance companies are not allowed to drop your coverage when you need it most surcharge women differently from men.
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indeed, we know we're better off when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect of american life, whether it is the salary you earn or the health decisions you make. we know these things to be true. we know that our challenges are eminently solvable. the question is whether together we can muster the will in our own lives, in our common institutions, in our politics to bring about the changes we need. i am convinced your generation possesses that will. i believe that the women of this generation, that all of you will help lead the way.
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i recognize that as a cheap applause line when you're giving a commencement at barnard. that is the easiest thing to say but it is true. [laughter] in part, it is simple math. today, women are not just half of this country, you're half of the work force. more and more women are out earning their husbands and you are more than half of our college graduates and master's graduates and ph.d.'s. you got as outnumbered. [laughter] after decades of slow, steady, extraordinary progress, you are now poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny but the destiny of this nation and this
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world. how far your leadership takes this country, how far it takes this world, well, that will be up to you. you got to want it. it will not be handed to you. as someone who wants that future, that better future for you and for melia and sasha, as somebody who has had the good fortune of being a husband and the father and son of some strong, remarkable women, allow me to offer a few pieces of advice. that is obligatory. [laughter] bear with me. my first piece of advice is this -- don't just get involved. fight for your seat at the table. better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.
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it has been said that the most important role in our democracy is the role of citizen. indeed, it was 225 years ago today that the constitutional convention opened in philadelphia and their founders, citizens all, began crafting an extraordinary document. yes, it had its flaws. there were flaws that its bid -- this mission has strived to protect overtime. there are questions of race and gender that were unresolved. no women's signature grace the original document although we can assume that there were founding mothers whispering smarter things in the years of the founding fathers. that is almost certain. what made this document special was that it provided the possibility for those who had been left out of our charter to fight their way in.
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it provided people the language to appeal to principles and ideas that broad and democracies reach. it allowed for protest and movements and the dissemination of new ideas that would repeatedly, decade after decade, change the world, a constant forward movement that continues to this day. our founders understood that america does not stand still. we are dynamic, not static. we look forward, not back. and now that new doors have been open for you, you've got an obligation to seize those opportunities. you need to do this not just for yourself but for those who don't yet enjoy the choices you have had, the choices you will
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have. one reason many workplaces still have outdated policies is because women only account for 3% of the ceo's at fortune 500 companies. one reason we are actually re- fighting battles over women's rights is because women occupy fewer than one in five to not saying the only way achieve success is by climbing to the top of the corporate ladder or running for office although, let's face it, congress would get a lot more done if you did -- [laughter] if you decide not to set yourself of the table, at the very least, you have to make sure that you -- you'll have to have a say in who does. it matters. before women like barbara mikulski and olympia snowe and others got to congress, take one example -- much of
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federally funded research on diseases focused solely on the effect of man. -- on man. it was not until women got to congress and passed title 95 -- 40 years ago this year that we declared women should be allowed to compete and win on the american playing field. until a woman named lily ledbetter showed up a rock doesn't have the courage to step up and say this is not right, women are not being treated fairly, we lacked the tools needed to hold the basic principle of equal pay for equal work. don't accept somebody else's construction of the way things ought to be. it is up to you to right the wrongs. it is up to you to point out injustice. it is up to you to hold the system accountable.
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sometimes you need to up and it entirely. it is up to you to stand up and be heard, to write and lobby in march and organized to vote. don't be content to sit back and watch. those who oppose change, those who benefit from an unjust status quo, have always bet on the public's cynicism or the public's complacency. throughout american history, they have lost a bad bet. i believe they will this time as well. ultimately, class of 2012, that will depend on you. don't wait for the person next to you to be the first to speak up for what is right. maybe, just maybe, they are waiting on you. which brings me to my second piece of advice -- never
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underestimate the power of your example. the very fact that you are graduating, let alone with more women now graduating ben mann, is only possible because of earlier generations of women, or mothers, grandmothers, aunts, shattered the myth that you couldn't or shouldn't be where you are. i think of a friend of mine who is the daughter of immigrants -- when she was in high school, for guidance counselor told her you are just not college material. you should think about becoming a secretary. well, she was discovered such a went to college anyway. she got her master's and ran for local office and then ran for state office and she won and she ran for congress and you want and lo and behold, hilda solis did end up becoming a secretary. [laughter] she is america's -- she is america's secretary of labor.
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think about what that means to a young latina girl when she sees a cabinet secretary that looks like her. think about what it means to a young girl in ottawa which is a presidential candidate who looks like her. think about what it means to a young girl walking in harlem write down the street when she sees a u.n. ambassador looks like her. do not underestimate the power of your example. this diploma opens up new possibilities. reach back, convinced the young girl to earn one, too. if you earn your degree in an area where we need more women like computer science or engineering, reach back and persuade another student to study it, too. if you're going into fields
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where we need more women like construction or computer engineering, reach back, hire someone new. be a mentor. the role model. on tell a girl can imagine herself and picture herself as a computer programmer for combat and commander, she will not become one. until there are women who tell her to ignore our pop culture obsession over beauty and fashion and focus instead on studying and inventing and competing and leading, she will think those are the only things that girls are supposed to care about. michelle will say there's nothing wrong with caring about that a little bit. [laughter] you can be stylish and powerful. that's michelle's advice.
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never forget that the most important example a young girl will ever follow is that of a parent. melia and sasha will be outstanding women because of michelle and mary ann roberts and our outstanding women. my last piece of advice -- this is simple but perhaps most important -- persevere. persevere. nothing worthwhile is easy. no one of achievement has avoided failure. sometimes catastrophic failures. but they keep at it. they learn from mistakes. they don't quit. when i first arrived on this campus, we have little money, fewer options but it was here that i tried to find my place
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in this world. i knew what to make a difference but it was vague l i would go about it. [laughter] i want to do my part, to shape a better world. even as i worked after graduation in a few on fulfilling jobs here n.y., i will not list them all -- [laughter] even as i went from motley apartment to a monthly apartment, i reached out. i started to write letters to community organizations across the country and one day, a small group of churches on the south side of chicago answered offering me work with people in neighborhoods hit hard by steel mills that were shutting down and communities where jobs were dying away. the community had been plagued by gang violence the ones i arrive, one of the first things
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we try to do is mobilize a meeting with community leaders to deal with gangs. i had worked for weeks on this project and we invited the police and made phone calls and went to churches and we passed out fliers. the night of the meeting we arrange rows of chairs in anticipation of this crowd and we waited and waited and finally, a group of older folks walked into all and they sat down and the little old lady raised her hand and asked if this is where the bingo game was. [laughter] it was a disaster. nobody showed up. my first big community meeting, nobody showed up. and later, the volunteers i worked with told me that's it, we are quitting. they have been doing this for two years even before i arrived and had nothing to show for it and i will be honest, i was discouraged as well i did not know what i was doing and i thought about quitting. as we were talking, i looked up
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and i saw some young boys playing in a vacant lot across the street and they were throwing rocks at a boarded up buildings. they have nothing better to do late at night, just throwing rocks. a set of volunteers, before you quit, after one question. what will happen to those boys if you quit? who will fight for them if we don't? who will give them a fair shot if we leave? one by one, the volunteers decided not to quit and went back to those diprovan we kept at it and register new voters and set up after-school programs and we fought for new jobs, helped people live lives with some measure of dignity and we sustained ourselves with those small victories. we did not set the world on fire. some of those communities are still very poor, there are still love gangs out there, but i believe it was those small victories that helped me win
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the bigger victories of my last 3.5 years as president. i wish i could say this perseverance came from some innate toughness but the truth is, it was learned. i got up from watching the people raised me. more specifically, i got it from watching the women who shaped my life. yep, i grew up as the son of a single mom who struggled to put herself through school and make ends meet. she had marriages that fell apart, even when on food stamps at one point, to help us get by and she did not quit. she earned her degree and made sure that through scholarships and hard work, my sister and i earned hours and used to wake me up and we were living overseas and wake me up before dawn to study my english lessons for it when i complained, she would just look in and say this is no picnic for me either, buster. [laughter] my mom ended up dedicating
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yourself to helping women around the world access the money they needed to start their own businesses. she was an early pioneer in micra finance. that meant she was gone a lot an adder on struggles to figure outbalancing motherhood and career. when she was gone, my grandmother stepped up to take care of me. she only had a high-school education. she got a job at a local bank and hit the glass ceiling and watch man she once trained promoted up the ladder ahead of her but she did not quit. rather than grow harder angry each time to get passed over, she kept doing your job the best she knew how and ultimately ended up being vice-president of the bank. she did not quit. later on, i met a woman who was assigned to advise me on my first summer job at a law firm and she gave me such good advice that i married her. [laughter]
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michelle and i gave everything we had to balance our careers and a young family but let's face it, no matter how enlightened i must've thought myself to be, it often fell more on her shoulders when i was traveling and when i was away. i know that when she was with our girls, she would feel guilty that she was not giving enough time to her work. when she was at work, should feel guilty to is not giving enough time to the girls. both of us wished we had some superpower that lesbian two places at once. -- pat let us be in two places at once. we made that marriage work. the reason michelle had the strength to juggle everything and put up with me and eventually the public spotlight was because she, too, came from a bunch of folks that did not quit because she saw her dead get up and go to work every day even though he never finished college, even though he had
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crippling m.s. her mother never finished college. she was in that urban school every day making sure michelle and her brother were getting the education they deserve. michelle saw how her parents never quit. they never indulged in self pity no matter how stacked the odds were against them. they did not quit. those are the folks who inspire me. those quiet heroes all across this country, some of your parents and grandparents were sitting here, no fanfare, no articles written about them. they just persevered. they just do their jobs. they meet their responsibilities. they don't quit. i'm only here because of. them
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they may not have set out to change the world but in small and poured ways, they did. they certainly changed mine. whether it is starting a business or running for office or raising amazing families, remember that making a mark on the world is hard. it takes patience. it takes commitment. it comes with plenty of setbacks and it comes with plenty of failure. whenever you fill the creeping cynicism, whenever you hear those voices say you cannot make a difference, whenever somebody tells you to set your sights lower, the trajectory of this country should give you hope. previous generations should give you hope, what young generations have done before should give you hope. young folks who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat
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in from seneca falls to selma to stonewall did not just do it for themselves, they did it for other people. that is how we achieve it women's rights. [applause] that's how we achieve voting rights. that's how we achieved workers' rights. that's how we achieve a gay- rights. that's how we made this union more perfect. [applause] if you are willing to do your part now, if you're willing to reach up and close that gap between what america is and what america should be, i want you to know that i will be right there with you. [applause] if you are ready to fight for that brilliant, but radically simple idea of america that no matter who you are what you look like, no matter who you love or what got you worship, you can still pursue your own happiness. [applause]
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i will join you every step [of the step [cheers and applause] now more than ever, america needs and what you the class of 2012 have to offer. america needs you to reach high and hope deeply. if you persevere and what you decide to do with your life, i have every faith not only that you will succeed but that through you our nation will continue to be a beacon of light for men and women, boys and girls in every corner of the globe. so thank you and congratulations. [applause] god bless you, god bless the united states of america. [cheers and applause]
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thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [applause] [cheers and applause]
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>> tonight, senator john mccain, ranking member of the armed services committee, 6 on interest and asia regarding trade and defense. his remarks are part of the trans-pacific partnerships speaker series. that is tonight at 9:15 p.m. eastern, here on c-span. here is a portion. >> in addition to our military presence, we must sustain our means of engaging diplomatically in asia. here we have a better story to tell. thanks largely to our secretary of state, who is making u.s. diplomacy more present an impact full than ever in the region, that said, we face major test of how that will signal what role america will play in asia and how relevant we will be to
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asia's challenges. one such test is the south china sea. the united states has no plans in this dispute and we should not take positions on the claims of others. nonetheless, this dispute cuts to the heart of america's interests in asia. not just because $1.20 trillion of u.s. trade truck passes for the south china sea every year, and not just because one claimant, the philippines, is a u.s. ally, but because it is crucial to avoid the dark side of politics where strong states do as they please and smaller state suffer. ultimately, this dispute is not about china and the united states. it is about china's relations with its neighbors. we must support our ossie on partners as they requested so they can realize their own goals of presenting a united
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front and peacefully resolving their differences multilaterally. another major test for u.s. diplomacy is burma. i have travelled to burma twice over the past year, and to be sure, they still have a long way to go, especially in stopping the violence and pursuing genuine reconciliation with the country's ethnic minorities. but the burmese president and his allies in the government, i believe, are sincere about reform. they are making real progress. for the past year, i have said that concrete actions by burma's government toward a democratic and economic reform should be met with a reciprocal action by the united states that can strengthen these reforms, benefit ordinary burmese, and improve our relationship. following the recent election that brought aung san suu kyi and democracy in the parliament, i think now is the time to
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suspend u.s. sanctions, except for the arms embargo, and targeted measures remain 10 against individuals and enemies in burma that undermine democracy, violate human rights, and plunder the nation's resources. this would not be a lifting of sanctions, just a suspension. this step, as well as any additional easing of sanctions, would depend on continued progress and reform in burma. we must also establish a principle and ideally binding standards of corporate social responsibility for u.s. business activities in burma. aung san suu kyi has made the distinction between the right and wrong kinds of investment. the right kind of investment would strengthen burma's private sector, benefit its citizens, and openly you loosen the military control over the economy and the civilian government. the wrong investment would do
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the opposite. entrenching inouye oligarchy, setting back burma's development for decades -- entrenching a new old darky. i am not convinced the american coming should be permitted to do business at this time -- entrenching in a newoligarchy. u.s. business will never ran -- win a race to the bottom with some of our european competitors and they should not try. rather, they should align themselves with aung san suu kyi and the burmese people. the kind of responsible investment, and support for human rights and national sovereignty that defined american business at its best. our goal is to set the global college a global standard for corporate responsibility in burma, a standard that we as well as aung san suu kyi could use to pressure others to follow our lead bid that could become the basis for new bernie's laws.
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these are all undoubtedly large challenges and they will require all of us to set aside political bickering and point scoring in order to advance some of our most vital national security interests. i am confident that we can come together and do this. i am confident that the profits of american decline can once again be proved wrong, and i will tell you why. even as we work to supply and the stock -- sustain the supply of american power, the demand for american power in asia has never been greater. i will give you one example. on my last visit to burma i met with the president. he had most of his cabinet there and after the meeting i walked over to shake their hands. as i went down the line, one of them said, fort leavenworth 1982. another one said fort benning, 1987. it went on like that. realize many of these guys were
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former military officers who had been part of our military exchange programs prior to our severing relations with the burmese military. even after all this time, all of our troubled history, they remembered america fondly and they wanted to get closer to america once again. take another example. why are this it dense and asylum seekers in china running to the american embassy -- why are dissidents and a silent seekers in china running to the american embassy? they are not running to the south ever been or european embassies. why is that? is it because we are powerful? surely, but other nations also have great power. is it because we are a democracy that stance, equal rights and dignity of all people? certainly. but these values are not ours alone. so then why is it? in short, it is because we marry
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our great power and our democratic values together and we act on this basis. it is because among the community of nations, america still remains unique, exceptional, democratic, great power that uses its unparalleled influence, not just to advance its own narrow interests but to further asset of transcendent values. above all, this is why so many countries in asia and elsewhere are drawn to us. we put our power into the service of our principles. that is why during my repeated travels through asia, i am the person after person, leader after leader, who wants america to be their partner choice. they don't want less of america, they want more. first more are trade, more diplomatic support, and yes, more of our military assistance and cooperation.
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at a time when most americans say they are losing faith and of government, we should remember there are millions of people in the world, especially in the asia-pacific region, who still believe that america and still want to live in a world shaped by american power, american values, and american leadership. with so many people counting on us, and by no means counting us out, the least we can do is endeavour to be worthy of the high hopes they still have in us. >> arizona senator john mccain today on u.s. interests in asia, regarding trade and defense. we will have his full remarks for you in about 2 hour, at 9:15 p.m. eastern, right here on c- span. >> we have a real demand for spectrum, but we would be foolish if all we did was rely on things like incentive options and the auctioning of spectrum. >> it is important to have
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neutrality to ensure that everyone is competing on a level playing field. >> learn more with cecilia and amy schatz tonight on the communicators on c-span2 coup de grace tomorrow morning, we will look at a lawsuit by the group common cause that challenges the constitutionality of the senate's filibuster rules. republican representative marsha blackburn of tennessee, the deputy republican whip, will be along to discuss bank and finance regulations. she will be joined by the author of the books "buying america back." "washington journal," live on c- span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. next, the discussion on efforts
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by the gay and lesbian victory fund to train and elect openly gay officials on the local, state, and national level. chuck wolfe was a guest, and this runs about 40 minutes. host: with gay marriage front and center, we turn to chuck wolfe for a discussion of openly gay candidates running for office. first, tell us the role of the victory fund, the institute, and what you do. guest: we work to prepare day, lesbian, and transgendered individuals to serve public life. host: you are set to endorse a record number of candidates this year. what is the number? guest: we think we will endorse about 200 members running.
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host: where do you have the most running backs guest: -- running? host: right now we have endorsed about eight -- guest: right now we have endorsed about eight. host: talk to us about the impact of the president's announcement last week. how has it impacted your strategy going into an election year? guest: i am not sure we know the impact. we need a couple of weeks of this being digested, watching what people are saying and feeling about it. and then we will know that the strategy. the most recent polls show that 60% of people not changing their opinion one way or another. even with time, i think that number will grow. if that is true, will probably not see too many shifts and strategy.
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host: has it affected fundraising and your part? guest: i think people are more engaged. host: about how much money does the victory fund raise per cycle? what did you do in 2010? guest: this year, i think would do $6 million in the calendar year. it will make $11 million for the cycle. the previous cycle was about the same period host: -- about the same. host: how far back does your group go? guest: there has been more explosive growth in the last 12 years. in the last nine years, when our budget has gone from about $1 million to $6 million. host: it has already become an
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issue on the campaign trail. mitt romney talks about the issue of gay marriage. want to show you a little bit of that now. [video clip] >> what you believe, how you live, what you value, matters. as fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate from time to time. so it is, the enduring institution of marriage. marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. host: along with mitt romney, reince priebus was also on "meet the press." he called it one of the defining issues. [video clip] >> i am not sure if it will be a defining issue, but for those people in america where gay marriage is their number-one issue, we clearly have two
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different candidates with two different views. we have barack obama who, i guess, is going to promote this issue. and we have mitt romney, who is been consistent, and in-line with most americans which is that marriage ought to be defined between one man and one woman. so for people that this is their issue, this -- have a clear choice. but, i happen to believe that the end of the day this election will be about the economy and the promises this president made and whether he felt the them, which he didn't. people, whether straight or gay, deserve dignity or respect. however, that does not mean it carries on to marriage. i think that most americans agree that in this country there is a legal, historical, and religious union and marriage has to have the definition between one man and one woman. host: your reaction to some of
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those comments from the presumed republican nominee and the head the republican national committee. guest: they worked to secure a base. that is what that speech is about. when you hear the chair of the republican party talk about that he does not think this will be a defining issue, needed to any of the polls or the electorate. they talk about it is at the bottom of 20 issues they would care about an election. it really will be more about an economy, jobs, that type of thing. those people who are still hanging on to the social issues and thinking there will be defining moments in the election, i think there are saying that continue to fade. host: again, we're talking with chuck wolfe. give us a call. the number to call for our democrat line is 202-737-0001. the number to call for our republican line is 202-737-0002. the number to call for our
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independent line is 202-628- 0205. when you are picking your candidate, how you choose which ones you are going to back? guest: the victory fund works through a full endorsement. they have to apply. the have to be a viable candidate. choosing the right race at the right time and be the right candidate. -of experience, gone through training, understand how to raise the money. the have to have a good campaign plan. host: what do you tell them about using their sexuality? does that defined their campaign? guest: that is a good question. talk to the electorate about all the issues. the outcome of that, we teach
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people to talk about their sexual orientation in an open and honest way, but not spend a lot of time on it. often times it is used as an attack question. we trained the candidates have to answer that question by being up front. if you not let it affect you, that it will not affect the electorate. if a reporter said, decanted it might respond by saying, if you're asking about me and my partner, with a wonderful life and two children who are in public school at the district. we'll be talking of the issues that all families care about. host: let's get to some calls.
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caller: i don't think what the president said and came out with is of any new information or can help. what he basically said is that it is up to the states. most do not support gay marriage. i just have a philosophical question. i am not gay. i have no idea what that life style looks like. it is not a civil right in my opinion. you cannot choose to be gay. you have a choice to be what you are. it is not that you're born a certain way by how you look. you're not discriminated on that basis. what do you think about kids growing up in a homosexual
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environment? is it child abuse? host: let me give you a chance to respond. guest: obviously there are a growing number of young people who have parents of the same sex. they're growing up very healthy. they're going to school, doing very well. being in a household with loving parents is the key to having a nice and secure childhood. it does not matter whether they are gay or straight. the insinuation that you choose your sexual orientation has been debunked a fairly easily when they asked straight people when they chose to be straight. that is the simplest question for the caller to answer. if that caller asked himself if he is going to be straight today, he would probably understand that people -- gay people do not ask themselves that question either. we are born this way. our sexual orientation is part of who we are.
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host: talk more about the president's comments last week's firing of conservatives from a commentary piece in "the washington times" today he writes that obama -- host: tough words. guest: i do not think it will hold up over time. i think he will be embarrassed
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by those words. host: can you give any sort of numbers of job that you have seen? guest: we have seen a growing interest in our work. i do not think it is a huge spike in the overall fund- raising of this campaign. this election is going to be significantly more expensive than any we have seen in the past. i think we will see continued growth in that fundraising for election day. certainly as it becomes clearer and the distinctions are more clear in a donor's mines. i think it will make their voices heard. i think that will continue to grow. i am not sure how much more interested will generate. there was already support for the president on the progress of issue. i'm not sure that will change
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too much. host: again, we're talking with chuck wolfe from the victory fund. we will go to james on the democrat line from new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. for me, gays, we go back to 1965. washington, d.c. demonstrations. what happened is sad. i was opposed to get married. now i can accept gay marriage. >> president obama since 2007 excepted. at the same time, i wonder how much of this is going to go down to the schools saying that while nick and harry is an
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acceptable couple how much is that an acceptable couple? i do not oppose gay marriage, but i cannot go with dick and harry preached in the schools. guest: i appreciate the callers sentiment and obvious evolution on the question. i think the concept the kids are already learning about their friends' parents and when their friends' parents are of the same sex, you need to be able to talk about that in school. the idea that my nieces and nephews are going to school and meeting friends who have parents of the same sex means that someone should be addressing that. whether it is addressed in the home or school, kids should be taught about it because they are facing it every day. i do not know if it is about facing one lifestyle or
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another, it is just making kids aware that there are more than one kind of family in their community. host: i understand you also have a program to help members running for different positions come out to be openly gay candidates. caller coat -- guest: we do. it is interesting, we have been listening to the president talking about his evolving position on marriage. there are gay office holders that are not open and honest about who their partners are. we work with them on how to come out. it is interesting, we find the same question of evolving attitudes around community. if they are in office and not out, how do they of all to the point of being out. it is something that all americans have to address. they will spend time with those
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elected officials to help them understand the process, to have that conversation with their electorate and constituents in a way that is respectful and honest of who they are. host: we will show you the currently four members of congress who are openly gay, danny baldwin, barney frank, david cicilline, and jared polis. back to the phones, drexel, north carolina, republican line. good morning. caller: do you think that it is fair to children, who have not had a chance to grow up, and church is definitely a part of the situation. is it fair for children who really have not had a chance to make an opinion, you know, because choice will be called up in the situation.
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we are a nation of people who have values and moral appointments that have constituted our strengths as america. this choice that comes along, i know that some say they were buoyant -- they were born that way, but this case -- but this is obviously a choice. what about a children adopted into families who do not have a chance to say that maybe they do not choose that. just as you spoke and people said they choose to be straight. what about a child that was -- that had not chose to be straight. what about the child that doesn't get that chance? would that not just be a turning of the tide? guest: i appreciate the callers position.
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i am not lucky enough to be a parent yet. but i will say that i love being an uncle to my nieces and nephews. the idea that their sexual orientation will be dictated by their uncle or their parents and who they are, that is not a very honest position. those children will grow up to be who they are meant to be. these parents want their kids to be happy, whoever they are. i think tha the time spentt could be -- i think that the time spent could be spent on a lot of different issues. that is where we should be focusing our attention. host: that marriage amendment just passed last week in north carolina. how many more amendments on ballots coming up?
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guest: a number of states are collecting signatures. we are not sure how many we will face. it includes maine, maryland, washington, and minnesota. washington is an interesting state because those legislators have each passed marriage and, given some period of time, seeing if signatures are collected and whether there will be a ballot initiative. the north carolina is very initiative. there is one out member there and in his district, where he ran as an out member of the legislature for his first reelection, the marriage amendment failed. in that particular district, where they had gotten to know an african-american state legislator, they learned that having an out person in office was fine and he was a good legislator for them.
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they defeated the amendment. we believe that having more people in office will help to change people's opinions about what our lives are like. guest: there has been questioned about whether the debate in north carolina helped to spark the president's comments last week. here is talking about the political ramifications come in november. >> up -- [video clip] >> he talked over with his wife and his children. i have spoken to him over the years and it is a difficult issue. i will challenge the issue, but i think he came down on the right side. and there was the 1967 supreme court position that said the virginia law banning interracial marriage was a violation of the quality of law under due process and it comes
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down to the same principle and whether we will have marriage equality in this country. >> could it hurt him in these swing states? >> i do not think that he has lost anyone that he would not have already lost. i do not think that evangelicals were leaning towards president obama. host: these of the states that currently allow gay marriage. guest: we have a number of states where the legislature has passed it. then we have states where the court has ruled. mostly in new england. most recently, maryland and washington, as i mentioned earlier, and new york last year, were the big wins. maine is where we might have a palette of -- ballot initiative next year. host: cheryl, green cove
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springs. caller: i do not understand why we cannot concentrate -- it is a shame that we cannot concentrate on finding a good candidate rather than someone who is black, white, homosexual, or straight. i also want to point out that people are natural born liars, but that does not mean it is a good way to follow. i think that we just need to look at the bigger picture. guest: i agree that we need to look at a bigger picture. the victory fund tries to get people to not use the issue of sexual orientation as an issue in an election. we believe that out people in this country should be able to serve regardless of sexual orientation. it is now allowed in the military and we think it should be the same way from public service. it will be a great day in the
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country when we are no longer making election decisions based on someone's sexual orientation. but we are not there yet. host: when are you advising people on the language of the campaign trail? partner? boyfriend? are there strategies you have developed? guest: a great question, actually, and it varies by jurisdiction. there are still differences, culturally, between how you talk about families in the south and in the west. but what we have really ask is for them to be authentic. talk about your wife, your husband, your spouse if you are married. if you live in a jurisdiction for partnerships are part of daily life, talk about them as partners. and if it is someone you have just met and you are ready to bring them on the campaign trail, you are free to talk about them as boyfriend and girlfriend, though we do not really recommend that for most
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relationships. caller: my question is -- what do you see as baldwin's biggest obstacle? what can someone like myself to to support her campaign? guest: obviously tammy baldwin, that is a huge one for our community. there has never been an out member of the u.s. senate. they see themselves as the most exclusive of world political clubs. i think having an out member of the senate will make a big difference. obviously, a united states senator has a significant impact and it will definitely affect the debate. we are spending a lot of time and energy on her race. we think that she is a perfect candidate for wisconsin and wisconsin families. i think the people around the country can be supportive of any candidate like that. you can learn more about her
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campaign to the victory fund. host: how much money do you think it will rate -- think you will raise? guest: hopefully gobs of millions. host: how much so far? guest: i think we have just under a million dollars. our target is $15 million. we keep talking about our race to folks around the country. people meet her and see her as a true wisconsin senator, someone who can truly leave and serve wisconsin families. she's very authentic. just a great person. getting that match of people in politics, a great human being, is a wonderful thing. host: what are your other high- profile target this summer? guest: we have several races. there isn't out senator in massachusetts. host: which district? guest: i do not remember the number.
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congressman tierney. in that district, which could be a swing district, it is an interesting question for the electorate. would they vote for an out republican in that district? running for his first reelection in providence rhode island, davis, that will be a big race. congressman polis is doing well. barney frank, of course, is retiring. in addition, in madison, and in riverside, california, there is a race where mark is running for congress after having served in elected life for 20 years in a newly created district that has democratic leanings. we think that he will be their first out member of congress.
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host: brian, independent line, from roseburg, oregon. caller: first of all, i am a straight christian man who is 54 years old. this whole discussion, i think about what it was like in my father's time. people discussing whether black people should be allowed to run or not. i have known a number of gay men and lesbian women in my life. it is very obvious that there is no choice in this issue. they have as much choice as to their feelings to another people as i do towards women. thank you for remaining cool and calm, because some of these very bigoted remarks have got me very shaky. the bottom line is, you should not make any difference at all as to whether a person is gay or straight, it depends on the issues that they back up. host: jim, on twitter, agrees
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with that. host: your response? guest: we agreed. issues are what the electorate should make a decision on. we are battling against people fighting us because of our sexual orientation. people who would attack someone entering public service because of their sexual orientation. there are still members of the senate will block an appointee because of their sexual orientation while this president has appointed more lgbt -- lgbt people into office than ever before, they are still alive by the senate. there are still roadblocks for people to enter public service based on their sexual orientation and we are all about trying to eliminate those roadblocks. host: what is an example of
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someone who was blocked? guest: i will not name them because i do not want to hurt their future political careers, but there are those who do not -- there are those who say they do not feel comfortable with someone's sexual orientation. it feels -- it still comes up between private conversations. people want to be made comfortable about it. there are still people who think that if you talk about your sexual orientation, it means you are being an advocate. we are still in the position in this country where we have to explain ourselves, just because we are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans gender. host: john, good morning. caller: this is my thing. i have no problem of people being elected straight, gay, to
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represent our fine country here. it is all about your policy. the only thing that really bothers me is when you are trying to parse your issues. like you cannot say this, that, you cannot say the g word. it seems to me like they throw it in their face. i have an uncle who is gay, i love him to death. his partner, too. but when you throw it willingly in my face, you are going to get me these rights -- no, i am not. it takes time. united states is a christian country. a lot of people see that if i give you this right, they would think that we were going back to sodom and gomorrah. we talked about this all weekend. i have friends who are gay and
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they are like -- john, what do you think? i was like, it does not matter, but when you try to push your issues on to people to get elected -- look, gay people are not going to get elected down south. southern states have their standards and they are not going to do it. columbus, ohio, we have a huge community here. i have no problem there. but when year issue is about you all giving us these rights, it will take a little bit of time. host: we take a point. let's have chuck answer. guest: what you pointed out is interesting. conversation's last week, it has led to more conversation on this, which may have been the best thing the president could have done. having more of these conversations all weekend is a healthy thing for the country.
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it is definitely moving us forward. i would take exception to the idea that people in the south will not elect out people. i just mentioned the north -- the south carolina house, the georgia house, i think they are both serving with distinction. their sexual orientation did not get in a way of them getting elected. adam evans in virginia, the first out legislator in the state. the concept that the south will not elect lgbt people is the ball -- debunked. just because we are talking about it does not mean we are forcing anything. once we are elected to office, we do not lobby those people, we do not follow up and ask them to vote certain ways on the issue. we believe that just by being
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there, they are having a conversation with their colleagues in changing the nature of their debate. we think that that is important in a representative democracy. it should be true representative of everyone in the country. i am sorry that you feel that having a conversation feels like it is being forced, but i think it is a good thing to have a conversation. host: twitter, toni writes -- guest: well, marriage has always been decided in the states. until the united states supreme court wants to weigh in, as they did i and loving vs. virginia, i am confident that we will get to a position of the same policy throughout the country. host: we have 10 minutes left over -- with chuck wolf -- chuck wolfe, of the victory fund.
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we will go to angela, democratic line, jacksonville, florida. caller: i admire elected officials who have the courage and honesty of barney frank. i am proud of president obama. he not only to a stand for gay- rights, he also took a stand for those who have family members who are gay. in doing so, he took a stand against the bullying and violence that has been perpetrated against gays for as long as i can remember. and i am 68. a caller yesterday said that homosexuality was a perversion. i have -- i find violence and jokes against gays, especially children, a perversion. guest: obviously, i would agree with you. the question about public service and whether the
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president did a great thing for people is an interesting one. the idea of having the courage, people coming out, finding the courage in their own lives to talk about sexual orientation, that is a great thing. the more the people are aware of that, the easier it is for this country to evolve. host: do you have different strategies when you talk about helping the candidates? different strategies arrest helping republicans or democrats? guest: we have different strategies for each candidate, regardless of political party. we are truly non-partisan and are helping them win in their district. sometimes there will be an independent candidate. it will be a non-partisan race. or it will be a partisan primary. in those cases they have to develop a game plan to bring them to victory. host: how many republicans have you got elected over the years? guest: it is fascinating. in the 1990's we had a significant number out
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republicans in office, then the trend reversed itself, primarily because sexual orientation was seen as a smart wedge issue, primarily around ballot initiatives on the question of marriages, so you have fewer out republicans running for office, primarily because the white house was pushing this question of gay marriage through ballot measures. that was meant as a turnout machine, meaning it was harder for gay republicans to step up and run in their own party. since then, we have seen more out people. as richard said in massachusetts, a great example, it continues to increase will we see as the leading political indicator in office for gay- rights. the precursor to that, for us, was how many came to the training programs. we have seen more out republicans willing to go to candidate school and learn how
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to beat a good candidate. that bodes well for the future. saying that they do not think this will be an issue for the future. host: mike is next on the washington journal. pensacola, good morning. caller: my question is -- i noticed that you're trying to get gay and lesbian candidates elected. quite often we see this evolving message from that core point of view, rights and everything else, with tremendous support from the bisexual community. does that mean that eventually you will support bisexual marriage? as soon as you can marry bill and angela, or vice versa, bill can marry susie or edward, or
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someone else? those kinds of things -- where do we go from here? it seems to me to be a slip-on -- slippery slope for various rights. guest: let's take your question on marriage. you are describing polygamy, which is of course in legal in this country. -- is illegal in this country. that is now we are talking about here. the victory fund does not have a position on marriage. we do not take positions on these issues, because we do not lobby. " we are saying is that having out people in public service changes the nature of the debate. -- what we are saying is that having out people in public service changes the nature of the debate. we think they should all be equal in the eyes of the law in the united states. but the idea that there are people trying to affect the issue of marriage from within their elected position is true regardless of their orientation.
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we would not see any case for gay marriage without great legislators doing it, but it is not a question of one side or the other. host: talk about some of the other efforts that you do. the institute's -- guest of the institute helps out people in public service. we also published a report twice per week, to help them see the news. we run a program of harvard university where we help them better their game, so they go to a state and local training program and in that effort they learn how to be better public officials. then there is the annual conference that we hold for people from around world who are out and in office and help them to be better public servants. guest: -- host: you talked about the political changes over the years for out republican candidates.
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what about electing members from the gay and lesbian community from 1990, which is when you started. guest: the biggest change is the discussion of family. we have seen more and more gay parents talking about their families while running for office. that is the biggest change. the people that we elected to the highest office in the land are parents. we elect people with families. now that lgbt people have families, they are being accepted into that discussion. i think that that has been the biggest change in the last 20 years. host: bob, republican line, woodbridge. you are on with mr. wolfe. caller: i have a few comments to make. i have nothing against people being gay, it is just a choice of who you sleep with, basically.
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i have an issue with the gay movement, so to speak. you confuse everyone all the time. i just turned on the radio half an hour ago to go to work. now it is out people. why are we not saying gay as opposed to our people. is the a not the correct term? no. 2, when you are raising money for a specific candidate simply because they are gay, that is what you're doing, getting money for someone to run for office because they are gay, not because of their issues. instead of raising money to probe the issue of " for the right person, not because they are gay or not. the last thing i might say is that -- first off, i do not understand a different degree
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lesbian and gay, if your day, you're gay, lesbian just happens to be the female aspect of day, unless i am ignorant and you can explain that to me. i have a heart problem with the trans gender part. you are born gay. that is it. you are born in a male body and you believed to be female, whatever the case, but transgendered goes beyond that and now you are getting an operation to turn from a male into a female and the public is supposed to of it -- except the fact you are now a female is an extremely difficult pill to swallow. host: a lot of questions and possibly some explanation for bob. guest: let's focus on the question of issues. the idea is that having out people in office changes the nature of the debate. just by being there, their colleagues and peers see them as fellow americans with the same amount of power that they have in elective office.
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that is why we are not supporting people based on issues. we are simply supporting them because we think it is fair to level the playing field when people attack folks for being open and honest about their sexual orientation. so, our candidates very on their support of issues all over the map. i mentioned that some of them are republicans, some of them are democrats, but even within the two parties you see different levels of support for the war, transportation issues, economic stimulus. in all of these cases we think that just by being there that one of them can deal with roads issues in a local city council or legislature. it is just their position on an issue that we do not take exception with. we do not support or hinder. we believe that just by being there, but being a fellow elected official, they change the debate.
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in terms of what they might use as a term, when they ask is a question, that we cannot control. the idea is that people of the same sex want to be in a relationship, or if you are attracted to the same sex, there should be no hindrance to your serving in public office. host: chuck wolfe, thank you for joining us. host: my pleasure. -- guest: my pleasure. >> reading has become, of the past 200 years, the ultimate democratic act of the ultimate democratic country. it makes it possible for the many to teach themselves what the few once held close. the president can quote mark twain because he has read huckleberry finn. it requires a lot more stealth and cleverness. with careful reading of books
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and newspapers and material on the internet, those words are revealed to ordinary people like us. it was not for nothing that the nazies may bonfires of books. anna quindlen has a wide range of political topics. a few weeks you can talk to the best-selling author on "book tv ." is all archive and searchable at c-span.org/videolibrary fugate sent a few moments, a forum on iran's nuclear program. in an hour and 15 minutes, senator john mccain on u.s. policy in asia. after that, president obama's commencement speech at bard college in new york city. college in new york city.

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