tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 24, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
group that was just on memorial day. it was less than a year ago now. they wanted to hold a ceremony. this pastor had done that before. it was being held in one of the national cemeteries and groungr. next thing he knew, he was getting a letter from that national government asking him to submit his prayer in writing. when he did, he was told how he could not pray. we thought this could be resolved easily with a phone call. we were wrong. always at the very top, the decision was that we are not budging off of this position. players must be inclusive. we went into court and got a temporary restraining order. the judge said, in this country, we do not tell our pastors how
to pray. it is a given right in the first amendment. we thought, this is it. what happened is that we began to find out that the national memorial ladies and visited all of the funerals to make sure that every funeral of a veteran is visited by someone, they were giving it hard to everyone and said, god bless you. they were told that they could not do that anymore. another thing mentions god four or five times. it was banned. we had with those who literally promised their husbands before they died that they would get the full boreal only to get to the funeral and have that taken away from them. they told us with tears in their eyes, i can never get that back. that can never be restored to me. it is incredible what was going
on. we ended up as you saw, these are the kinds of things that should never happen to a veteran. these are things that unfortunately we have to stand for. we have to be willing to fight for this. there is another big area case that i mentioned to you. how much time do i have? is that 15 seconds? is that when you are telling me? ok. you are staring me. -- scaring me. ter] that the video took a lot longer. some of you probably heard about the desert cross. this was a more of that was put world i vet.monea world
they were in the middle of the desert. these guys were not particularly religious. they would get together once in a wall and they wanted to put up something to remember their buddies who died. they put up a lone cross in the middle of the desert and put a sign underneath. that sat there for 70 years before a lawsuit was filed by a man who lived many miles away. he was offended.
against idea was that this mightial or this corross evangelize rattlesnakes or scorpions in the middle of the desert. the judges in the district court and the appeals ruled that this had to be torn down. it was a veterans memorial. by that time, it had been up for 75 years. it was going to be torn down because it was in the shape of a cross. we represent all kinds of veterans group. there are a lot of religious imagery through out the military and throughout our history. the navy cross, one of the greatest rewards to get. go overseas and find out what memorial's they have. what did they look like back in world war oni?
it is incredible that you even have to fight this. the judge actually ordered that this memorial that have been up for 75 years had to be covered. they literally put a bag on it with a chain at the bottom. it is one of the most offensive things as you can imagine. people bolted a wooden box around it so that no one would have to see it. after the victory at the u.s. supreme court overturning the tearing down of the memorial, within 10 days, that bills went out and tore it down. -- vandals went out and tore it down. when i had a replication and ready to go up immediately. unfortunately, the administration refused to let us put that up.
the case was officially closed. until they opened it up, they refused to put it up. once we on the property, that memorial will go up immediately. but it is disgraceful that the kind of thing happened. the we had a very similar case go up to the same ninth circuit in the mount soledad case. this is in in san diego. this is a cross surrounded by a thousands of plaques. it is a beautiful memorial. it went up and got the same judge who had been reversed in the desert case.
undaunted by the supreme court, this judge said, this is unconstitutional. essentially what they said is, we know that in the desert, they said there was this law in history. but we had an expert testify in our case and so we are not bound by that opinion. right now, if the supreme court does not overrule this, we will have a decision saying that this veterans memorial is unconstitutional. if that memorial goes down, what do you do with the cross? what did do with the tomb with the unknown soldier only known
to god? the bulldozing and sandblasting that would have to occur would be beyond anyone's's imagination. not only did we have to repeal the mount soledad association, but in addition to our filing in the supreme court, there were a lot of reviews from the past. when that happened, the chances were above 70% that the court will take such a case. there is a decent likelihood that you will see a huge religious liberty case at the supreme court that involves our veterans. it is something to keep your eyes open about. let. end with -- i want to focus on
one thing. i think it is crucial. i think it will be crucial within the military does like it is with all these cases outside the military. what will really decide what happens in the future and in this country and whether these freedoms will be taken away from us or eroded or whether we will turn things around, is to me where people will be willing to stand in their situation. i will give you two examples. the example i gave you earlier with the pastor, that pastor could have very easily said, i can pray in a code. i do not have to use his name. but he said, this is not right.
this is the way that i prayed. if they do not allow me to print this, they will not allow someone else following in my pray in their way. he got up in front of the national tv audience. it went from a small, private ceremony to be covered by all of the national media. what was interesting about it to me was that it was because he did that that the veterans saw that he won that order. they realized, maybe what they are doing to us can be overturned as well. and when you think of the 22 million veterans alive today that have a right to be buried in those national cemeteries, even if it was only 10 people who came to their funeral and
you're talking hundreds of millions of americans to have their freedom restored, it goes back to the one pastor willing to be faithful in his situation. there was another case and i can use hundreds of these. some of you saw last year the person who was told that if she prayed or mentioned it got in any way, she would be facing incarceration. we could not believe a federal judge could say such a thing. we immediately started looking for who could challenge this. it had to be overturned. we thought they would be the natural ones who might want to pray. we contacted them, but for what ever reason, and nothing happened.
our director of litigation would sit in his office and say, i cannot believe we have this order and no one is willing to stand up and challenge it. this will essentially become president because of that. ecedent because of that. we got it all call from a person who said, my daughter is valedictorian. she wants to mention god in her speech and she does not want to go to jail. the right number of people -- there are a number of people who causeand don't want to trouble. but you know what? a 17-year-old girl who was a
torian, -- we will have these attacks. there'll be this push and attempt to see if you will be willing to stand against this and be faithful. i think that will determine where we go in the future. we know that these attacks will come. we know there is a real situation in the military. we have to be willing to respond to it. .ot in a nasty manner some who everyone gets mixed up. we need to stand in a christ- like manner, but whether we stand or not is not an option.
there'll be a discrete number of people who will have these opportunities, including our chatelains. it will be in a situation where they need to make a choice. we need them to stand. there are those who will want to stand with them and behind them. but i can do nothing if people are not willing to stand. that is what the future of our country will depend upon. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, kelly. and thank you to our three chaplains. once again, we will have to forgo audience questions. it is terribly regrettable. but the time is really upon us. i will say a couple of quick things.
there is this legislation that is pending in congress. i am not sure it has been passed in congress. i think an amendment has been added to the bill. the bill has passed the house before the senate. that is why it is essential right now to stand up to the administration and to urge senators of the u.s. to pass the house version of this legislation as it reaches the senate. this is that i newly required authorization bill for national defense and the provision for 526 and 537. administration has absurdly come out with a statement and said that the amendment is " potentially harmful." that is the nub of the question
we are facing. i want to thank kelly. all of these great litigators are standing up for the first amendment. they need our support. they are doing so much for us. also, put on your calendars and june 8 coming up. stand up for religious freedom day. rallies will be taking place all over the country. june 8 is the anniversary on the day of what james madison stood up in the first congress to introduce the amendment that became the bill of rights. all over the country, and rallies are being held on june 8, friday at noon, to stand up for religious freedom. as he learned from this panel, there are many issues revolving -- involving religious issues
that need our attention. june 8 is a good day to highlight those things. i will say one last thing and then i do not want to be the very last one to speak here. it occurred to me that there is one thing we have not heard today in this long and very fruitful day of reflecting on american tradition of religious liberty, and that is that we have not heard a prayer. might i asked the colonel shock chaplain rabbi to come and say a prayer for us. >> let us pray. almighty god, you have brought many people together to discuss and to understand that threats that lie before us because the people who do not understand our ways.
perhaps you can enlighten them as you stand as the supreme ruler of the world. as we prepare to take leave of this place, we ask that all of us assembled here go back to where they came from in peace and harmony, safely and assembly. we are mindful of our soldiers, sailors, coast guard, marines. lord, we ask that you stand with them and bring them home safely to their families, loved ones, and to their dear ones. to those families who have lost family members killed in combat, we ask you, o lord, that you gracefully and mercifully support and shield them in their difficult days ahead as they contemplate their losses and
deal with the lost ones that had not come home. those of our military members who are in our hospitals and in our institutions and in our homes, healed them and bring them back to the state that they were before. we ask all of these prayers in your most holy name. amen. >> amen. >> thank you to each of you. thank you for that wonderful per year. we have been treated to a tourd from some of our top experts on religious freedom. you can see why we have so much reason of why the people of faith and who believe in that freedom have reason to be part of what we have in america and why it is worth defending. we have looked at them all and
the philosophical foundation. we have seen members of different faiths have found common ground. they continue to defend american religious freedom. this is a conversation that is not ended, but is opening. there is action behind it. as we have heard, this is something that we need to be engaged in to make sure that we defend it and do justice to the great endowment that has been given to us. i want to thank each of you for being here today, including our tv audience. we have just begun to fight these fights. we will continue to keep you informed. i look forward to working with you in every content. we are glad to have you on our side. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> and our coverage of the ethics and public policies international religious freedom conference is not dawn for the day. we will be back this evening for the keynote address by the archbishop of baltimore, william lor. -- lori. we will take it to iowa. president obama is there. he will speak shortly. the president in his remarks is supposed to urge congress to act on he is a to do list, highlighting the need to invest in clean energy. president obama later this evening will have a campaign event in des moines, but we expect this event to kick off momentarily, right here on c-
>> ladies and gentlemen, to introduce the president of the united states, please welcome one of our very own employees. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon. i am a maintenance worker here as tpi. i was born and raised here in newton. i have a wonderful wife of 25 years and two great kids. for 13 years, i worked for maytag. i was in the paint department. unfortunately, that plant closed in 2007. when tpi came in 2008, i was
fortunate to be one of the first employees. i have been here since june, as in the maintenance department. i am proud to work care. i am glad the president is here today. he will help push an extension for tax credits. it will help our business and hundreds of families right here. >> please join me in welcoming the 44 president of the united states, mr. barack obama. [applause]
>> hello, iowa. well. it is good to be back in newton. it has been awhile. it is good to be back in iowa. it brought back memories. of a lot of driving. [laughter] i just had a great tour of this facility. it people have chairs, feel free to sit down. some of you may not have seats. a want to make everybody comfortable. but to not worry. i will not talk about long. i do not want to give that impression. i just had a wonderful tour of this facility. i was telling some of the folks, we could not take the helicopter in because the winds were too strong so you are definitely in
the right business. i want to thank quinton for the terrific introduction. give him a big round of applause. [applause] he was telling my team this is the first time he has ever spoken in public but he looked like a pro to me. i want to thank mayor alan for welcoming us here today -- allen for welcoming us here today. [applause] i also want to thank representative dave for being here. i know he had to leave early but i want to acknowledge someone you know well, our upstanding secretary of agriculture. [applause] andtom -- tom was instrumental
in helping transform newton. he is still fighting every single day for every single person in this town and all across rural america. we are very proud of him. we all know how difficult these past two years have been for the country. iowa has done better than some other states but it has still been tough. after the worst recession of our lifetimes, it will take time for the economy to fully recover. more time than a lot of us would like. we are still facing some headwinds, like the situation in europe right now which is having an impact on our economy. but while there are certain economic developments we cannot control, there are a bunch of things we can control. there are plenty of steps we can take right now, steps that we must take right now to speed up
this recovery and to create jobs and restore some of the financial security in lot of families have lost. it is within our control to do all of that right now. but here is the thing -- it is true. we can make that difference. the challenge we have got is that too many folks are not on the same page. we have too many of my dear republican friends in congress that have been standing in the way of some steps we could take that would make a difference at the moment. either they say they do not want to do anything at all or before the election or they want to double down on some of the policies that did not work and help us get to this mess in the first place. newton knows something about that. newton lost manufacturing, lost maytag. a lot of the trends we have seen, even before the financial
crisis hit, hit newton first. so when you hear somebody say, we should cut more taxes, especially for the wealthiest americans, newton, you have been there and done that. we did that 2000, 2001, 2003. when people say we should cut back more on the rules we put in place for banks and financial institutions to avoid another taxpayer bailout, we tried that. when people say that we should just wait until the housing market hit bottom and hope that it comes back, hope for the best -- that is not an answer for people. that does not make sense. we tried a lot of these ideas for nearly a decade. it did not work. we saw manufacturing moving offshore. we saw a few people do very well but to many families struggling just to get by.
all the for the financial crisis hit in the financial crisis made it worse. -- all before the financial crisis hit and the financial crisis made it court -- worse. we have to build an economy where hard work and responsibility pay off. were you can find a good job and own your own home, maybe start your own business. give your kids a chance for a better future. [applause] that is the american way. that is who we are. [applause] i have been pushing congress to help us get there by passing a few common-sense policy that would strengthen the economy and put more folks to work right now. we even made a handy to do list. it is just like the to do list michelle gives me. a honey-do list.
there are only five things on it but these are all things we can get done before the election. we do not have to wait until then. there are some things we should put ahead of politics and one of them is making sure the economy is moving forward and the recovery is moving forward. [applause] like i said, i kept it simple. there are just five things. i did not want to overload congress with to much at once. but these are all ideas that will make a difference right now and we should not wait for an election to get them done. first up on the list -- it makes no sense that we are still giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas. that does not make sense at all. [applause] that does not make any sense. what i have asked congress to
do is to end tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas, use that money to cover moving expense knees -- expenses for companies bringing jobs back to the united states. that is a common-sense approach. [applause] second -- we have asked congress to give every responsible home owner, folks who have been making their mortgage payments, the opportunity to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage and taking advantage of these historically low rates. the problem is a lot of folks are having trouble refinancing if their home is under water. sometimes banks have been pulling back a bit. we want to make it easier for people to refinance. that is the second thing. that will create -- that will put more money in the economy for everybody. if you have an extra $3,000 in your pocket, you will go shopping, go out to a
restaurant. there is a lot more money circulated in the economy gets stronger. two weeks ago i was in reno, nevada, with a family. they had a chance to refinance because of steps we had already taken and it is making a huge difference in their lives. we want all families to have that same opportunity. third thing -- instead of just talking about job creators -- every member of congress is saying we have to help the job creators. ok. let's help them. congress should help small business owners to create most of the new jobs in america. [applause] what we want to do is give them a tax break for hiring more workers and for paying them higher wages. give them an incentive to say on the margins, maybe i want to hire that extra person. if i get a tax break, and makes
that person a little more cheaper to hire. that could put our friends and neighbors back to work. that is a common-sense idea. [applause] fourth thing -- we have done a whole lot to make sure that those men and women who have served us in iraq and afghanistan, that we are serving them as well as they served us. [applause] treating them with the honor and respect they have earned when they come home. [applause] so we put together the post-911 g i bill. to go back and get some training and skills. we have mobilized the private sector to hire more betterments and give them incentives to hire more veterans. but there is another thing we can do -- congress should create a veteran's job corps. so that we can help communities
across america put our returning heroes back to work as police officers and firefighters and park rangers. nobody who fought for our country overseas should have to fight for a job when they come back home wr. [applause] we still have to much unemployment among veterans. so those are four simple things. the fifth thing is the reason why i am here today. the fifth item on my to do list. i am calling on congress to extend tax credits that are set to expire at the end of the year for clean energy companies like tpi. [applause] let's not wait. let's do it now. [applause]
many of you know the story of what is happening here better than i do. but i just want to remind you how far we have come. shortly after i took office, i came to newton and we unveiled and all of the above energy strategy for america. we said let's produce more oil and gas but let's also produce more biofuels. but produce more fuel efficient cars. let's produce more solar and wind power and other sources of clean, renewable energy. i came to newton because newton is helping to lead the way when it comes to building wind turbines. since then, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year i have been in
office. every single year. [applause] america is now producing more domestic oil than any time in the last eight years. but we are also producing more natural gas and we are producing more biofuels than any time in our history. that is good for the iowa economy. [applause] we are laying the foundation for some of our nation's first offshore wind farms. since i became president, america has nearly doubled the use of renewable energy like solar power and wind power. we have nearly doubled it. [applause] so this country is on the path towards more energy independence. that is good for everybody. good for people's pocketbooks.
it is good for the environment. it is good for our national security. we do not want our economy dependent on something that happens on the other side of the world. we do not want every time there is a scare about war or some regime change in middle east, that suddenly everybody here is getting shocked and the whole economy is going down. we are also putting thousands of americans back to work. the more we rely on american made energy, the last oil we buy from other countries, the more jobs we create here at home. [applause] so let's look at the wind industry. it is so important to iowa. this industry, thanks in large part to some very important tax credits, has now taken off.
the state of iowa now gets nearly 20% of all of your electricity from wind. overall, america now has enough wind capacity to power 10 million homes. so this is an industry on the rise. and as you know, it is an industry that is putting people to work. you know this firsthand. there are more wind powered jobs in iowa than any other state. that is a big deal. [applause] one of these modern windmills has more than a thousand different parts. everything from the towers and the blades to the gears, to the electrical switches. it used to be that almost all of these parts were important. -- imported. today more and more of these parts are being made here in
america. right here. [applause] we used to have just a few dozen manufacturing facilities attach to wind industries. today we have nearly 500 facilities in 43 states employing thousands of american workers. so we are making progress. and you know it better than anybody. when i was talking to quinton and mark and a bunch of other folks working here, they reminded me of the experience of working at maytag and putting your heart and soul into a company in making a great product and then suddenly having that company leave. and how that -- how hard that was our families and the community. but folks made the transition. now when you look at what is happening here, 700, 800 jobs -- over $30 million being put back
into the community. this gives folks hold. it is people opportunity. i met some folks have been in manufacturing for 30 years but i also met a couple of young folks who were just getting started. for.is what we're looking nobody wants a handout. nobody wants to get something for nothing. but if we got a chance to create energy and value and put people back to work, of why wouldn't we do that? so i am here today because as much progress as we have made, that progress is in jeopardy. if congress does not act, those tax credits that i mentioned, the ones that help build up the wind industry, the ones that help to bring all these jobs to newton, those tax credits will expire at the end of the year if
congress does not do anything. if congress does not act, companies like this one will take a hit. jobs will be lost. that is a fact. we cannot let it happen. keep in mind that -- and this is something congress is to understand. these companies that are putting in orders for these amazing blades are making plans now. they are making decisions now. so they are cutting back on their orders. they are not confident that the industry is going to be moving at a fast rate. daystar reducing orders here. that affects you. you cannot wait for six months. you cannot wait for eight months, a year to get this done. it has to be done now. [applause]
so this is a simple thing on congress' to do list. extended these credits to redo it now. every day they do not act, businesses grow more concerned that they will not be renewed. they are worried. demand for product is going down. so they start thinking twice about expanding. more cautious about making new investments. they start looking overseas. i was talking to your ceo. we have an opportunity to branch out of we want to branch out by making the stuff here and sending it there. we do not want to branch out by sending the jobs and investments over there and then shipping it back to america. that does not make sense. [applause] one company that had plans to invest $100 million to build a wind manufacturing plant in arkansas and create hundreds of jobs put those plans on hold. by the way, this should not be
-- there are several republican governors, including the governor of this state, who are calling on congress to act. there are members of congress on both sides of the aisle, including were two senators, who support these tax breaks. that does not happen much in washington. where democrats and republicans say they agree on something. if you agree, why haven't we gotten it done yet? this is not just an issue by the way for the wind industry. some of america's most prominent companies from starbucks to campbell's soup, they are calling on congress to act because they use renewable energy. sometimes when i think about washington and congress, i know some of you think the same way -- i do not get it. i understand what we would not
get something done if we really disagree on something. there are some big disagreements. they want to make big cuts to pay for more big tax cuts for the wealthy. i disagree with that. i think we should have a balanced approach. cut waste but make sure that everybody is paying their fair share. [applause] an issue like that maybe it can i get settled before an election. because they just have a different approach. i understand that. but this, everybody says they agree to or at least a lot of people agree to it. so i will need your help. i need you to get involved. i need you to help get this done. i need everybody here in newton, and i mean everybody. everybody who was watching -- pick up the phone, send an e- mail, send tweet.
tell congress, let's do the right thing. tell congress the story of newton. tell folks what it is supported to this community. tell them we have come too far to turn back now. [applause] it used to be newton was known for building washers and dryers. it used to be newton was known for maytag. obviously they were a big employer. thousands of people worked in the area. but back in 2007 when it closed down operations here, that was a major blow. everybody here has -- if you were not affected personally buy it, you were affected indirectly. your friends or neighbors. oaks likequinton -- folks like quinton were forced to start all over again. and he denied give up.
you did not give up. some of you have to re-train. after one industry left, another one showed up. some of the facilities that maytag closed were reopened. so a lot of folks are now part of the future. building an industry that will make america strong year. that is the story of newton. that is the story of america. yes, we are facing tough times but we are getting through them. together. because in this country, just like in newton, we do not give up. we give moving, and we keep moving forward and if we work together with a common purpose, we will get this economy back on track to remind everybody white america is the greatest country on earth. thank you everybody. god bless you. god bless america. [applause] thank you. ♪
we will have that live at 7:15. tomorrow night, as wisconsin voters and to the polls in a couple of weeks, a debate between governor walker and his democratic opponent, tom barrett. also on c-span radio and c- span.org. >> life is incredibly precious and it passes by far too quickly. doing your time here, use all your god-given talents to serve up one other. that will be the true measure by which your life will be judged. follow the golden rule. >> watch speeches on c-span, politicians, white house, and
business leaders share their thoughts with the graduating class of 2012. and saturday and sunday, noon and 10:00 p.m. eastern. >> this weekend, saturday, actors joined veterans. >> why is it? you give them everything in the platoon. ok, what has that got to do with me? let me tell you something. how much do you wait? 138 pounds. how tall are you? 1/2". you got to put the 1/2 in there.
the reason we put that in there, we do not want to look for you in spain. >> the legacy of the 1912 presidential collection. monday night, 9:00 -- >> december 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy -- >> tour the pearl harbor visitor center. three days of american history today, this holiday weekend on c-span3. >> hillary clinton released the 2011 country reports on human rights practices, which examines the status of human rights around the war appeared she said it doesn't you 11 -- around the world.
she said 2011 was a tumultuous year. this is about a half hour. >> morning, everyone. i am pleased to be joined here today by assistant secretary posner to release our 2011 report on human rights practices. these reports which the government has published for nearly four decades make clear to governments are around the world we are watching and we are holding you accountable. it is clear to citizens and activists everywhere you are not alone, we are standing with you. mike and his team and a stab at our embassies and count -- and consulates have worked tirelessly to produce these reports, and i want to thank each and every person who has contributed to them.
as you know, this has been an especially tumultuous and momentous year for everyone involved in the cause of human rights. many of the events that have dominated recent headlines, from the revelations in the middle east to reforms in burma, began with human rights, with a clear call of men and women demanding their universal rights. today in egypt, we are seeing in real time that those demands are making a difference, as egyptians are going to the polls to determine for the first time in their history who their leaders will be. whatever the outcome of the election, the egyptian people will keep striving to achieve their aspirations, and as they do, we will continue to support them. we will support people
everywhere who seek the same -- men and women who want to speak cannot worship, associate, love the way the cheese. we will defend their rights, not just on the date we issued these reports, but every day. as secretary, i have worked with might superb team on advancing human rights in a 21st-century landscape, focusing on new frontiers, even as we stand up against h-old abuses. where women have been and continue to be marginalized, we're helping them become full partners in their governments and economies. where lgbt people are discriminated against, we are working to bring them into full participation in their societies. we are expanding access to this
and defending internet freedom because people deserve freedom and off.eserve it is about the fundamental question about whether people everywhere at the chance to make the most of their god-given potential. we are supporting efforts around the world to give people a voice in their society, a stake in their economies, and support them as they determine for themselves the future of their own lives and the contributions they can make to the future of their countries. we think this is the way together we can make human rights and human reality. as these reports document, there is a lot of work that remains to be done. in too many places, governments continue to stifle their own
people's aspirations, and in some places like syria, it is not just an assault on freedom of expression or freedom of association, but an assault on the very lives of citizens. the assad regime hospitality on their people must end because syrians know they deserve a better future. this is more than a report card. they are a tool for lawmakers, scholars, civil society leaders and activists. we think they are a tool for government leaders. it has been bewildering to me that so many government leaders do not want to make the most of the human potential of their own people. and so i do not expect this to be reading material everywhere, but i do hope somewhere in the
corner of my mind that may be a leader will pick it up and say, how do we compare with others and what can we do today, tomorrow, and next year that will maximize the potential of more of our citizens? this year we have made to reports easier to read it online, easier to track trends across a region, easier to follow the progress of a particular group, easier to find out which governments are or are not living up to their commitments. every year we issued this, we take stock of ourselves. we say, what more can we do? where was fixated -- where it did we succeed? short?re we follalling we know we must build the partnerships that help us move forward, helping every person
moved up to their god-given potential, and we have to be able to speak out and speak up for those on able to use their own voices. this is at the core of who we are. this is central to what we believe. and this is the work that will continue, administration after administration, secretary after secretary, because of its centrality to our foreign policy and national security. now i would like to turn things over to assistant secretary for democracy and human rights and labor, mike posner, who will speak about the specific findings in this year's report. thank you very much. >> that you, madam secretary. i wanted to say words about the report, and i'm will be happy to
take your questions. as the secretary noted, 2011 was a year of dramatic changes, which the historic change led by citizens across the missile -- middle east. these reports document a number of situations where human rights continue to be violated, including iran, north korean, turkmenistan, use pakistan, sudan, and syria, and there continue to be a range of challenges in places like russia, china, pakistan, and other nations where the u.s. has important policy interests. in too many countries, egregious human rights violations continue, including torture, arbitrary detention, denial of due process of law, extrajudicial killings, all which we document in detail. these reports cover the other
disturbing trends in 2011. first in a number of countries, we see flawed elections, restrictions on physical and internet freedom, media censorship, and tends to restrict the activities of seville society groups. such restrictions stymie the efforts of citizens to change their own society peacefully from within, which the secretary has spoken so eloquently about. we also report on continued and in some cases increasing persecution of many religious groups, including the bahai, jews, and christian. report as a separate section that documents anti-semitic acts. access against other ethnic minorities, women, and the lbgt communities.
there are also a number of encouraging developments in 2011, starting with the burmese mission, which the secretary has mentioned. more needs to be done, including releasing all remaining political producer -- prisoners of not working to end the violence against ethnic minorities, but we will continue to urge that government to make progress in the coming years. we saw positive developments from the world in 2011, in zambia, where they held free elections that were credible and orderly, in tunisia, where they held free elections for a constituent assembly, a body that is now rewriting the constitution. in colombia, the government continues to strive for it just as in human rights cases. progress toward human rights is not linear or guarantee, but we're pleased to note these important landmarks. at least a couple words about
the reports themselves. since the 1970's, this has grown into a man out of it taking. this year we have 199 reports covering every country and a number of territories. they reflect the work of hundreds of people here and around the world to collect information and edit, reviewed, and fact-checked to make sure these reports are accurate. i want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make these reports the gold standard for human rights reporting and fidelity to the truth. i want to especially thank steve, our commander in chief and chief editor, who has done and that standing job in putting these reports together. last year to report was viewed by more than a million people. as the secretary noted, consistent with her leadership on 21st-century statecraft, this
year has taken a number of steps to make that reports concise, more accessible, and easier to search. is your's reports are shorter, more focus, and each country's section as an executive summary. we used the latest technology to make the reports fully searchable as well as searchable across countries by topic. the public can share these reports on social media, so they can have their own conversations about human rights. i invite you to explore the reports online and to look at our website, a year old now, which is humanrights.gov. i will now take a couple questions. >> could you tell us about the respect for human rights, particularly in those countries in the middle east where authoritarian regimes were
toppled last year, so specifically, i would include egypt, tunisia , and libya. could you also comment brought lay -- broadly on your access the of bahrain's implementation on the report? and i could not find it, although i had little time to read through it, and i may have missed it, but i did not see a reference to how the libyan operatives handled that death of colonel gaddafi, but could you give us your assessment? at the time it was described as an opportunity for the other parties to do a thorough investigation.
how do you think the new libyan authorities handled his death and any subsequent investigation, holding anyone accountable for what someone might regard an extra-judicial killings? >> let me say the first question, which is a broad overview of changes in the era of weakening, with regard to egypt, tunisia, and libya. the first thing to say is we recognize that changed in any society that has been stopped it -- stuck is going to be a process, so in each of those countries we see fundamental change in terms of leadership, but also a range of challenges that remain. as the secretary noted in egypt, we now have today, yesterday and today, presidential elections which seem to be going -- lots
of people voting, and processing to open. we remain to see what happens going forward. there is likely to be a next round and a transition over the summer. there are a range of changes that are still be based. writing a constitution, to bring out the relationship with the parliament. we are in a journey, and our recognition is there is lots to be done, but we stand with the egyptian government and people as they move forward in that germany -- journey. tunisia, there has been a good deal of progress, certainly in building the infrastructure, including moving forward with a constitutional process that will set the framework for what needs to be done going forward, and in libya, a huge agenda coming out of 42 years where all institutions were restored, beginning to develop some
stability, still a transitional government. hopefully in the coming months and the election, and a beginning of a process of regularizing the process of governing. on your last question relating to the gaddafi killing, the government has such a big agenda right now i cannot think it is reasonable to expect they will be dealing with every aspect. thousands of people are still in detention. there are militias that still need to be brought in line. i plan to visit their shortly and we will look into these issues. bahrain, said several weeks ago, we have an important security early ship with bahrain. is in our interest to continue to maintain that relationship, but we have been very clear, explicit. there are a range of serious human rights problems. there is an increased polarization in society. we are eager for there to be a
process that is a serious negotiation or dialup that brings people together, but there are a range of issues on prisoners still in detention, accountability, police practices, so we continue to push on that. >> did anyone investigate the killing to your knowledge? >> i will answer that better when i go there and have some of those conversations. >> more broadly on bahrain, there was a report that came out that said that while you have been a leader in human rights, you're not always that principled when it comes to economic and national security priorities. on syria, where you have not exercised sufficient pressure on russia and china because of other issues and the relationship -- in the relationship to go along with
more robust action from the united states. -- united nations. talk a little bit about the balance your trent district economic and national security priorities and american values of human rights. >> in a broader sense, president obama has talked about it and secretary clinton as a principled engagement. we engage in the world and recognize there are a range of interests. we have security, economic, political, diplomatic interests, but human rights is an essential part of what we do across the board. it is always going to be part of the discussion. the secretary has been great and part of many discussions with her with strategic economic allies where these issues are raised with a clear voice. we raised them in bahrain. to cite the two examples you raise, we raised these issues, recognizing that that society is
at a turning point, a critical juncture where there has actually been a greater polarization and more street violence. we're concerned about that, concerned because we know is in interest and the people's interests that there is a coming together of addressing the human rights issues as part of a broader package of reconciliation. we are not shy about that. in syria, i would say we have been as focused as active as in the government in trying to get a more unified international response with the russians, chinese, with others at the security council, and we have a multi faceted response. we push for the monitors to be in place. that is not enough and it is frustrating. we pushed at the g-8 for there to be a plan for transition period where part of the friends of syria tried to build and strengthen the opposition.
we have been clear for months that assad must go. we have pushed for sanctions. it is a very tough challenge, but not for a lack of commitment or lack of clarity about what we are trying to accomplish or how we are going about it. >> in the case of chen, i wonder how concerned you are about his network of friends who helped him escape, and secondly, more broadly, i wonder about the way you resolve this case with the chinese, whether you see that as a defining moment, a new approach to dealing with these issues with china, or are they so angry with you that they will never do this again, deal with you in that sort of way? >> first of all, let me say about chen's family and friends. we are closely monitoring what is happening with his immediate family, brothers, nephew, and
the lawyers who have undertaken to represent his nephew. others who have assisted him. we have and will as i am doing today raise these cases and our concerns with the chinese government, publicly and privately. we will continue to do that. we will continue to have contact with mr. chen and get his input. these are things, as are many in human rights issues in china, that we are paying attention to it. as we have set in the last several years there has been a closing of space for human- rights lawyers and activists in china, and those are things of concern. we're concerned about other cases, are we will continue to raise them. in terms of the relationship, we had a dramatic few days during the strategic and economic ally. but the strength to meet is we
had a successful meeting while a human rights issue was being played out. their relationship is now so important to both countries that we have found a way and will find a way to talk about economic and political and strategic interests, and human rights will be a part of that discussion. [unintelligible] >> i have a question about egypt. you talk about the elections being open. are you concerned about the fact that there are going to be fewer monitors? >> first of all, let me say the election process is ongoing. at this stage, we wait and watch as the egyptians are doing to see the final outcome, how the votes are counted, what happens and what is likely to be a second round, and what happens in what will hopefully be a transition to a civilian government in july.
we also recognize that this is an evolutionary process. there are some witnesses or observers there, not everywhere. but it is from the initial accounts lots of people are voting. the process seems to be moving forward. there's a big agenda beyond the elections, and as a secretary said, a sustainable democracy requires a vibrant civil society, a free press, strong legal institutions, etc., so there is a lot to be done, and this is gonna be led by egyptians. this is what the egyptian people want. they want a stake in their own future. they want economic opportunity. if they want a stake in the political future of their country. [unintelligible] the -- government has undertaken
a number of things that we regard in the right direction in terms of addressing some of the longstanding human rights cases. bia has faced decades of political violence, making the transition that addresses accountability issues in a reasonable way and move forward in reconciliation is a challenge. i think the attorney general cost office has been mindful of the need to strengthen the judicial system, to move anyway affirmatively to build institutions that will protect all the colombian people. where with them in trying to address this issues in an important dialogue we have with them. [unintelligible] >> i want to ask you to highlight in iran what is different in 2011, versus previous years, compared to the
green movement, and a i would like to ask you about eritrea. is it true that they are at the bottom of the barrel here? they are 199th on the list? >> on iran, 2011 was the continuation of many negative trent , particularly a crackdown on demonstrators in february, free streets -- free to speak restricted, unfair trials, amputations, claude gaines, lots of death penalties, many held in secret. it is a very grim picture, and i want in particular to single out
the case of the seven bahai leaders who were sentenced to 20 years. the sentence was reinstated last year. in may they marked four years of a 20-year sentence for basically practicing their religion. it is a human rights situation that is very disturbing. eritrea, likewise, is a situation where there are a range of very serious problems. it is a government that restricts any kind of dissent or openness. we did not rank countries. unfortunately, there are a number of countries that have consistent gross human rights violations. they would certainly be on that list. [unintelligible] >> it also calls the game 10 u.s. trade i am wondering, looking for, are you concerned
about 2014 and what happens when the transition occurs? >> we are concerned, and afghan women and women leaders are greatly concerned. women are critical factors in the reconciliation and we integration process. they need to beat not marginal to the political process. they need to be fully engaged and their rights fully respected. we are very mindful in having spent a lot of time with women's leaders there, and i can tell you there is a tall agenda in terms of integrating women into the political process and making sure that women and girls' rights are protected. we're mindful of the challenge. there is a vital and vibrant civil society there. they are more and gays. it is in our interest to figure out how we can help them advance
the agenda come edify their voices, so they can be more effective in the coming years. [unintelligible] back to china. this report given here every year. there are millions of people of china -- especially those who are persecuted. they cannot practice any kind of religion there. the secretary said we are not alone. [unintelligible] pakistan -- [unintelligible] >> on china i would say this -- there is a long agenda in human
rights. we deal with it in different ways. last month a legal adviser here and i participated in a discussion where we discussed a range of issues, including the independence of the court, independent of lawyers -- independence of lawyers, tension and the like. when were part of the strategic and economic dialogue, and this summer we will have a human rights dialogue. these issues come up in many different contexts with me and other officials. we are very mindful of the situation of religious minorities, the tibetans. we're concerned about the self- immolation. we're concerned about the situations of the leaders -- uighers. we will raise these cases, some of them individual cases, which i mentioned. we will continue our concerns
about labor issues and other things that matter to chinese people. they are increasingly debating these within their own society. we will amplify their voices and try to be reinforcing of that. on pakistan, i would say you have mentioned the extrajudicial killings, which is one of the things that the report singles out. we're concerned about the violence. eric concerned about the facts -- we are concerned about the effects of those who have challenged the blasphemy laws. there is a case that is a cause of great concern. it is a tough discussion, but we will keep having it. [unintelligible] >> if you have additional questions, please submit men -- please submit them -- [unintelligible]
has been endemic violence, much of it related to the drug trade and the government's effort to curtail that. that government has not only the right, but the obligation to try to protect its own citizens. there are a number of reports and we document them in this report of abuses by or violations by the mexican military. we have had discussions. i have been down there several times meeting with mexican government, including mexican military leaders, about how to improve accountability for those violations. a longer-term effort has to be to build a police structure and a criminal justice structure that deals with these cases outside the military. president caldron understands that and so does everybody else. we are at the the to these issues. we're working closely with the
mexican government, but also consulting with mexican human rights activists and others who share our concerns. >> the assistant secretary will be available -- [unintelligible] thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the state department report was released today. we have a link to it on our website at c-span.org. today the senate banking committee heard testimony on legislation that would expand the number of homeowners who could refinance and take advantage of record low interest rates. the bill would apply to those who are current on their payments and whose loans are backed by fannie mae or freddie mac. you can see that hearing tonight on our companion network c-span2
at 8:00 p.m. eastern. coming up at 8:15 eastern, which will take you live to washington, d.c., and this evening's keynote address at the annual national religious freedom conference. the keynote will be given by archbishop william lori. at 8:15ve that again easter currencies that. tomorrow, we will talk about that losses at jpmorgan chase and lawsuits that have been filed following that. also we are following the facebook ipo. the tomorrow, discussion on the technology on self-driven cars. after that a look at the demographic profile of the nation's veterans. we will examine programs available to help veterans'
families. this morning on "washington journal," spoke to the founder "the american spectator." >> this is the sad eclipse of liberalism. it is dead. it has a tendency to overreach. in each segment of its lifetime, it tended to overreach, and in its last segment, the segment of the infantile liberal, the infantile leftists, as i call it, bill clinton, john kerry,
who served in vietnam -- there is so much you could say about him. that is the funny thing about it. the infantile that this is the left is of my generation, board of the civil war and liberalism that took place in 1972. that civil war, mcgovern swept the convention. the real winners were gary hart and the infantile leftists. the infantile leftists dominated the party until 2008. they were a silly generation. it will be shown that that generation did nothing for liberalism and nothing but it did a lot for itself, but nothing for liberalism. pat moynihan, hubert hunt for a, they were gone by the time that
was over. in the last years -- the best example is a great society, terminal stages of liberalism was 2006 to 2008, when nancy pelosi spent like bad debts -- like madness, and she opened the stage for president obama, who i say is the next evolution of liberalism. liberalism is dead by 2008. hillary clinton lost the election, lost the candidacy to president obama. up, won, and he -- president obama won, and he spent like a
madman. anyone who spends 1/6 of the national economy can be labeled a socialist. host: line for democrats and republicans. we welcome your calls. we will get to them. what do you think of mitt romney? guest: i think mitt romney is a principled conservative, and he is surrounded by great conservatives -- paul ryan, for instance pripet i will tell you right off the top, he is going to win the election this fall. the american people, independence and conservatives, are scared to death of one issue -- economy. and president obama has not a
clue about how to do anything to originate -- regimate the economy. obama's presidency will be a great test of america. is the vice-president nominee? guest: i would like to see paul ryan. he understands the economy like no one else on capitol hill. a friend of mine says something like 10% of the congress understand the economy. that is about it. i think he is probably right. and i think the man who really understands the economy up there is paul ryan.
host: first call. caller: what is your opinion on ron paul? i am seeing all these polls that he is popular, but when it comes to the media, he is being sidelined. i think he is the better candidate. certainly i do not agree either with obama for mitt romney, and i do not think i have to take the lesser of two evils. that guy is not being given any attention. ron paul represents an element in american public life, and there is a strong element of libertarianism. i shared that libertarianism. i favor of ron paul.
look, romney has won the nomination and he is the candidate, probably, of the republicans. i think -- i will tell you something about the s.dependenct if you look at the trend, and i chart the trends in my book, over the last 30 years, liberalism has steadily declined so it is down to 18%, somewhere in there of the american electorate. conservatives steadily increased 42% of the american electorate. the liberals i like to say, the liberals are in such decline that there are more nudists in america than there are liberals and more birdwatchers in america
than the liberals, and more new the bird watchers in the merkel than liberals. liberalism will continue to decline. the independent has remained -- they were more popular than the conservatives. are 40% ofependencts the vote. it is an important vote, because there is one thing that focuses all their minds, and that is the deficit. they are very concerned about the deficit, and they are right to be concerned about the deficit. they were with the conservatives, the republicans in 2010, and they will be with us in 2012. they are one of the reasons we will win this election, and 2014, 2016, there are to be there, too. this crisis will last a long time.
host: what are the civil wars that you described? guest: the first civil war came in 48 -- 1948. the good guys won. harry truman and people like that represented the good guys, and i talked in the book at some length about the people involved. in 1972, the civil war -- there was a new civil war. it was not just the political radicals not just the errors of henry wallace that one in 1972, it was the youth element, and youth element, is never good for
politics because it is a youth element, full of fervor, and they would take no enemies. they were not very deep. they radically changed the democratic party. other democrats, democratic politicians. they were marginalized. remember this, in 1948, hubert humphrey was too radical to be considered a candidate for higher office. by 1972, he had been a candidate, and his radicalism had been toned down a bid. robert carroll talks in his new
book about humphrey being a radical liberal. another way to put it is he was an ardent liberal in a party that had conservatives, moderates, liberals -- a lot of diversity. it does not have the diversity today as a result of people like hubert humphrey, who are called conservative today. he was no conservative, but he was a man you could respect. over education and the news media. the president of the university of tennessee kept calling our government a democracy. people called and it was not a democracy, and he left.
you had two limbos yesterday, -- liberals yesterday, and they said the problem is the liberal budget the media tries to tell two sides. when these liberals start talking, i reach for the remote. guest: let me address that question. go out and buy my book, "the death of liberalism." you are singing my song. the not talked much about media, but in the book i talk a lot about it. i turned their influence on the country -- it creates a small parish a culture of smog -- creates a smog, a culture of smog.
it is a political culture that is utterly deluded by one point of view. it has the point of view of liberalism, or this kind of socialism, because as i say, -- liberalism is dead. abc, cbs, cnn, they have made this culture. going back to 1972, and the speech about bias in the media. it has been there. it has gotten worse. let me finish this point. it is worse today than it was 30 years ago or 40 years ago, when i started. cbs abc, nbc, i used to be invited on those shows when i had a book out.
they are not answering our calls. it is probably just as well. when you talk to them, you are talking to people in a foreignwe now have on our side, the conservative side, fox news, talk radio, the internet, so we are fumigating the culture smog, if you will. as i said in my column today, we are fumigating the culture smog, and the only person i know aside from c-span, which is the most fair forum for political opinion in the country -- it really is -- but, so far as i know, the only person that tries to get the left and right to debate, hold your breath, is sean hannity.
he is fair-minded. that is what i feel. i feel as passionate as this woman does. host: we have about 25 minutes left with our guest, r. emmett tyrrell jr., author of "the death of liberalism" and founder of "american spectator. here is it with a question for you. guest: and get the book and read it. francois hollande is not a liberal. he is a socialist. socialism is doing very well in europe, and as a result europe is doing very badly in the world.
by the way, his victory is significant because though i think he is a more moderate man than president obama, his victory might foreshadow a victory by obama here, but the problem is obama cannot hide one thing -- the $16 trillion in debt that has to be paid off some point. host: pennsylvania. phil. caller: can the author give us a definition of liberalism as how would pertains to the death of it? consider themselves to be liberal today? guest: that is a good question. liberals today are dead. they're almost nonexistent.
that are people that call themselves liberals, but they can only go along with obama, really, in only go along with obama by adding to our national debt. i think the widow is an advocate of a mixed economy -- the liberal is an advocate of a mixed economy -- part government involvement,. business involvement. they believe in social engineering, and with that they are at one with president obama. the people that are as moderate as liberals were on the mixed economy, as they called it, are now just about dead. when the president took over, 1/6 of the president -- of the economy, and general motors, chrysler, all he has tried to
take over and run -- he is a socialist, and most people that advocate obama for president are either socialists were democrats that do not have a clue host: back to the other side, this question on twitter. if you define any philosophy narrowly enough, you can claim its death. how major conservatives are left? guest: that is the question of an ideologue. conservatism is strong in the country. self-described conservatives are 42% of the electorate. by the way, i do not think that if you define an issue narrowly enough is dead. the philosophy is dead -- i did not think that is true.
host: florida charles. democrat. good morning. caller: it seems conservative ideology has been in control since the 1980's, when reagan took over and had the mandate to make the changes he made. he ran up the debt. there have been conservative presidents and the debt has gone up all of this time. i would suggest that the death of liberalism is bringing the death of the country, you guys have kind of went everything, so we had better start reviving some liberalism, because what we have left is a bunch of crap. guest: your complaint about ronald reagan -- the ronald reagan deficit, as a percentage of the american gdp continued to decline. it was a small sliver of the american economy. the $16 trillion that has been built up over the last several years is a really onerous weight on the economy, and the $1 trillion deficit per year by obama, something like that -- obama has spent more money, added more to the debt than the accumulated presidents of the
united states. read "the wall street journal" as well as the "new york times" and you will find something out about the economy of the united states. host: south carolina. harold. thank you for waiting. caller: this guy here it is a pretty smart dude. he knows it all. he knows pretty good. what i want to comment about is about obama. first of all, he is not a socialist. i think he is a devout communist.
that is what we are headed for if he gets in there again. the media, ok -- who owns the media? he said it exactly right. who owns the media? that is what is troubling me. it is not the companies they used to own them. cbs, and all of this, the people in hollywood, and i am not talking about the jimmy stewart hollywood. time warner bought them out.
time warner bought cnn out. that is a dangerous thing. the founders, we did not have this fourth branch of government to keep politicians in line. guest: the influence of hollywood on america is a dismal influence. i do not go to hollywood movies anymore because i cannot stand the automobile accidents or the crashing disasters that are featured by hollywood. i had a friend of "american spectator," with a movie called "damsels in distress" that i am going to go to because as i understand it is not about crashing cars or disasters. it is about people being great people. i will not bother with other hollywood disasters. i do not really think that hollywood can be blamed for all of the banality of american news today.
i think cbs, abc, nbc, they are common, and in debt to come and they have these people that decide what is news, and which should be treated. it is very boring. this gentleman can turn on fox anytime he wants and he will find lively news, thoughtful presentation, and he will find both sides. sean hannity presents both sides of the issue. i've no idea what your politics are. when i am on with him, i know what his politics are, and i know he has patience for the
other point of view, too. even if the liberal is dead scared -- dead. host: does conservatism has -- have its own challenges, and what are they? guest: i've been talking about liberal challenges and the left's challenges, but i've written several books that have led to this book. i have a piece coming out next week, and i noticed that my books, "the woodrow crack-up -- the liberal crackup" i cited figures in the liberalism, and that was against
environmentalists, the labor unions against consumers, feminists -- those really mattered, and they were the cracks of a declining point of view, the point of view of liberalism. i wrote a book. between the reagan democrats. it is a growing coalition. people are trying to find where they fit in. that was a growing movement.
i think the major facing conservatism is priorities. the number one priority should be in the economy, and the exits and seat of a critical factor of american society. host: you are on the air, and jim. what would you like to say? caller: this guy is nothing but a corporate lapdog for the multinational corporations who basically bought everything. the rich control the media, the government. the rich control everything. that is why right now we have
the patriot act being done toward the people. we do not have freedoms anymore because of these corporate lap dogs. host: let me jump in there and we will come back to you. guest: he used the independence line, but he is not an independent. i just wrote a book and i confronted independence and i know very well what an independent is. an independent does not call a person like me a corporate lap dog. he is a socialist or a friendly fascist, but he is no independent. caller: and everything else, we do not have no freedoms because of huge corporate lap dogs doing an inside job with 9/11. there was no any kind of terrorist.
this was done by bush. host: any final thought about jim's comments? guest: i withdraw my call that he is a friendly -- that is a socialist purity is a friendly fashion. caller: good morning. i have two quick questions for your guest and i will hang up and listen to his response. my first question is -- i want to put some historical perspective on this. during the franklin delano roosevelt administration, we had social security. during kennedy's administration, we had the equal pay act. during the johnson's administration, we had the civil rights act, the voting rights act, and medicare. that would put president obama in the same category. my second question is, in your book "liberalism is dead," what kind of ideology would you have that would replace liberalism? guest: that as a thoughtful question. social security, and sticking with the economic questions -- no one wants to destroy social security. no one i know wants to destroy
it. paul ryan does not want to destroy it. he wants to introduce choice in public life and he wants people to be able to choose what policies, where they will put their money, a certain degree of their money. he wants choice in health care because health care is going bust. these entitlements are going bust now. when franklin roosevelt -- this is in my book -- when he instituted social security, he instituted it -- the number of people who were putting money into social security was something like for everyone who would be drawing it out. now something like two people
are putting money in and one person is drawing it out. that cannot go on forever. host: cleveland, byron, a republican. good morning. byron, are you there? hello, byron? let's try a little. dug in louisville, kentucky. caller: good morning and thanks for c-span3 first off, i am a devout liberal democrat -- thanks for c-span. first off, i am a devout liberal democrat. every time a republican opens his mouth -- to me, this is my opinion -- you are liars every time. ok? you say president obama ran up the deficit more than all the
presidents together. if he did, and how did we get to a $10 billion -- a $10 trillion debt under george bush? and you all are claiming it was not, but you forgot to factor in that the two wars play a big part in the deficit. plus, let me finish, sir -- plus, the bush tax cuts are part of the deficit. cannot pay for something if you do not have revenue, sir. any idiot can tell you that. i will rest my case with you because obama did not. as far as spending -- since obama has been in office, the spending has flat line. nowhere near what bush spent. guest: that is wrong. let's stop playing nickel and dime on who said what. he started by saying everything i say is a lie, so i'm not going to answer this question. there is no sense in my lying to this man. caller: let's go to an independent. david, good morning. caller: i am certainly not going to get personal with mr. tyrrell in any way. i've been in any way.
i respect him. when president bush took office, there was no deficit. there was a surplus. bush did cut taxes. he did start two multi- trillion-dollar wars. he did sign off on the tarp during his administration. he ran up massive, massive deficit. these are just fact. so when obama came into office, there was already a massive deficit. add on to that the demographic factor of the growing entitlement risks because of an aging population, and you have all kinds of forces that had nothing to do with obama that have added to this massive deficit. that has to be honestly acknowledged, if we are going to
be intellectually honest about things. guest: i did not say anything to refute what you said about obama. i agree with -- what you said until you got to obama. i agree with you that george w. bush increased the debt in the country, and i do not approve of the deficits he ran. i think you can prove that the tax cuts speak pretty closely. -- are pretty closely for themselves because of tax revenue. the wars had to be fought. and obama has come into office and he has continued to fight the war. dancing around about how long he will continue to fight the wars, but the fact is he also has increased spending by $1
trillion. look at it this way. he has grown the american government to about 25%, 24%, 25% of the gross national product. in peacetime, that is unheard of. in generally about 18 to 20% is the gouge that the federal government takes out of the economy. now it is 25% and he thinks that is the way it should be on into eternity, that the american taxpayer should endure that kind of expenditure. and some good is coming from his increased expenditure. i do not think a lot of good is coming from it, and he has not figured out how to pay for it. he will not pay for it by the top one%. there is not enough money there. it is just a matter of time before his taxes filter down to the middle class, the working class, and, who knows, maybe the poor. his system of government cannot be maintained. it is unsustainable. host: a couple more calls for our and its harold jr.. -- from our and that terrell --
from bar and that terrible -- r. emmett tyrrell jr. caller: if it comes from my generation -- and i am 73 years old, and believe me when i tell you, during the time i came up, i had to have support to go to school, and i am just wondering, did he ever use any type of socialist type programs? guest: i went to indiana university. the cost in those days was much less than it is today. i finance my own education. i worked in the summer, i
studied kind of in the winter, and that is how i made -- i paid for my education. caller: does he think paying for education is a socialist program, or weed -- do we need to do that to help this country survive? guest: i frankly think education costs too much, and no one has applied market principles to higher education in this country. there is overhead at universities that would not be borne by the private sector. i think that someone needs to take a careful look at the spiraling cost of education in this country. and getting the federal government to subsidize education is like taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another. that money that is taken out, that comes out of the federal government, will have to be paid back someday. you are not recognizing how much, how important this factor
of fiscal insolvency is, but it is a very big problem. host of texas, robert, an independent. hi there. are you there? caller: he says liberalism is dead? i would like to know about the liberals who were behind closed doors and use race in politics. guest: is that an independent? host: he called on the independent line, that is all i can say. guest: i have forgotten what his question was. host: are you still there? i think he is gone.
guest: do you remember what it was? host: we are running short of time. connick, democrat, good morning. turn down your sound. caller: yes, i would like to know why you let your guest call our president names and you do not cut him off. but when it is someone else calling your guest names, you cut them off. you ought to treat everybody the same on c-span please, sir. that is all i have to say. host: anything in particular for our guest? guest: i have to call its socialist a socialist when i see it. i have not called him a communist, used inappropriate language. i used a perfectly appropriate word from politics, and that is what i see him as. if you want me to be shut off every time every time i use the
word socialist, you'll not find out what i think, are you? host: final thoughts about what is happening in this country, in this town, and what could change. guest: i am really quite astounded that we at the divide in the country. i and the stout -- i am astounded that the left does not want to talk to conservatives. as michael barone said the other day in "washington examiner, they live in a cocoon. we conservatives do not when i wrote the book the death of liberalism, which i hope some of these people are so concerned about politics, that they will
take a look at this book, i researched both sides of the issue and i was astounded at how little the american left and the mainstream, how little they really know. about conservatism. i do not think they read "the american spectator." when i started my life and politics 47 years ago and founded "the american spectator," i say right in the book, we have participation by liberals in the magazine. we had socialists who were welcome to participate. they do not participate anymore. this divide israel in the country. host: r. emmett tyrrell jr., thanks for being here. guest: thanks for not shutting me up.
barti, and cnbc's maria romo and of the company plans to use appeared in the democratic profile of the nation's veterans. they examine policies and programs available to veterans and their families. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. coming up, we'll take you lied to the national religious freedom conference to hear from william e. lori. really today was former health and seen and services secretary michael purity tax by recent legislation mandating religious
organizations to provide contraception coverage. we will ship as much as we can until the keynote address is under way. >> hopefully there will someone circling. we have an excellent panel that we are very excited about. it is called legislative action. with a very distinguished panel, and i'm grateful that in addition to having these panelists today, we have a number of state legislators representing about 15 different states, legislators and policy experts. we have about two dozen. we are grateful they could join us today, because that is a key
focus of the work that the american religious freedom program is doing. that last panel, to me, was extremely inspiring, because any time religious leaders work together and decide they are going to take a stand for a core american values and decide that a bank -- that they are willing to make sacrifices, suffered humiliation, public ridicule, what ever else they have to stand up to, that is the core american value. at the very root of what it means to be an american is the idea that we have a very tunnel differences of belief, and yet we respect one another and are willing to work with one another and are willing to figure out how to work out those differences in a way that allows those differences to remain and that grants great respect to the person. the movement that has been made today, the expressions of commitment you effort, is a sign that there is a willingness on the part of the civil religious faith communities and many religious leaders.
represented in this room, policy experts and others to work together to make sure that our great treasure that is american religious freedom is not lost. this is a freedom that was bequeathed to us from previous generations. it allows us to maintain the great peace full religious pluralism we have in this nation that is a beacon to many people throughout the world who suffered the depredations of religious intolerance and persecution. america still stands as a beacon of hope to those people. we found that about 93% of them still believe that one of the reasons america is a beacon of hope to the world is because it has that commitment to robust religious freedoms and making sure that everyone has the right and freedom to engage in their own religious beliefs the way they desire. with that, i want to tell you one thing that we think is the focal point of how we can be
engaged and how the american religious freedom program will be engaged in making sure that we can work together and work together in a more visible way and are working together in the state legislatures. we have already begun an initiative -- tim schultz is our legislative policy director. under the oversight of tim and in conjunction with a wide array of allies and multiple faith communities -- catholic, latter-day saints, we have orthodox christians, sikhs, muslims, and others -- we have begun working together to build caucuses in 50 state legislatures. so far, we have about a dozen states that we are operating in, and those states are represented here today. there is not a caucus that has been formed yet, but they will be formed in those states, and the announcement will be very soon in each of those states. those states are arizona, colorado, pennsylvania, florida, missouri, virginia, kentucky, delaware, idaho, kansas, tennessee, oklahoma, and
utah. in those states -- one of the reasons we picked those states is because there is so much pent-up interest in religious freedom and working out religious freedom. there is great motivation. there was a limitation in the previous panel to the extent of how there is a partisan divide among capitol hill on the issue of religious freedom. the good news is that the american people still believe in religious freedom, deep down in their court. although there may be divides when we come to the partisan venue of congress, the reality is that americans still believe that this core american value, it belongs to everyone, it is
still to be defended. for that reason, it is no surprise that tim and others have found that there is interest on the part of legislators to form religious freedom caucuses in those states to focus on religious freedom issues. the caucuses are not an end in themselves. they are a means to an end. they are an opportunity for a focal point for those who are working on religious freedom in the states to direct and generate their efforts, to make sure they are connected with different organizations, whatever organization they may feel most comfortable with, whether a it is a fayed organization led by religious leaders, or a public policy organization. throughout the states, those caucuses are in the process of being formed, and we expect that by the finish it -- by the end of this year, there will be
25 caucuses focused expressly on a religious freedom, and by next year, we will have a religious freedom caucus in almost every state. the focus of those caucuses will be to make sure that we have a location, a locus for religious freedom expertise, and that will take the form of many different things. one is model legislation to make sure that the best practices of good legislation are being shared between and among the states. they will be a focal point for lessons learned, i understand how the political battles have played out in one state or another, for good or for ill, and what we can learn from that. there will be an opportunity for training and equipping state legislators who are new to the issue so that they can be more informed, more educated on the issues, and how to message on them in a very sophisticated and winsome manner. we believe that the interest we believe the interest we have seen will easily be able to be parlayed an to the caucuses this
year. this is a bipartisan issue. this is an american issue. there are some people who would like to make a partisan issue. we is to have a saying in america, that i may not agree with what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it. that says something about america. there is a great respect for that sovereignty that every person has over his or her beliefs. that is something that we will not yield. it will not be yielded. it is very heartening to me to hear these faiths from a diverse range and traditions to sure that they are committed to making a difference out of religious freedom. i think you can expect more of that and from the religious freedom program. there are those that would like to make religious freedom seem
like it is an extreme issue, but the reality is, we are not the ones on the side of the extreme line. it is they who are on the extreme line. i think the american people understand that and what religious freedom is and what it means to our general religious freedoms. there'll be an opportunity to talk to tim and all of the panelists. we look forward to working with everyone in this room. we are very heartened by the generosity and spirit of cooperation and willingness to yield 1's own credit -- one's own credit and spirit. this is not about us or any other particular organization. it is about protecting the great treasure, which is american religious freedom. we want to make sure that it is still available for american
generations to come. thank you. with that, i will introduce governor michael leavitt. he has been a governor of utah three times. he has served during the bush administration. in addition, he was administrator and the environmental protection agency. he has been a champion of religious freedom. he is an adviser of our program. he is a trusted friend. we are delighted that he is not only willing to join us today, but also to moderate this distinguished panel. please join me in welcoming the other michael leavitt -- governor. michael leavitt. [applause] >> thank you. i have been impressed by the
scholarship represented in the discussion. i would simply like to make two principal points. i would like to introduce each of them with an experienced. the first one, it was mentioned i was head environmental protection agency for a time. i discovered on my arrival that one of my duties would be to oversee the regulation of wet lands throughout the united states. i will confess to you that i under appreciated the importance of wetlands and that world. i reflect it was a reflection of some of my experiences. when i was a 14-year-old boy, i spent a lot of my time irrigating in a field with a
shovel. i learned that if you let water run too long in one place, you got wetlands. [laughter] as governor, i have a project that had been held up for several years and at the costs of several million dollars because of a couple of acres of wetlands. i expect that my personal experience may not have given me a full appreciation of the importance of that task. may i say this -- scientists began to teach me about the importance of wetlands and their natural value. did it taught me that they were important in storm control. in fact, it was wetlands when a andgory 4 hurricane thahit
made it survival-able. i came to understand that the water that we drink and is purity were very much affected by wetlands. things i had not fully valued in terms of their natural and portents. i spent a lot of time -- importance. i spent a lot of time understanding them. i went to the gulf of mexico where i literally saw miles upon miles of beautiful, etlands.l w there were giant swaths that had
been cut through in order to accommodate for pipelines. i spent time moving up and down the mississippi river that feeds the area with water, all the way from the dakotas and to keep the wetlands reaharged. - recharged. but then we have begun to disturb the ecology. in the region, there was a very serious problem that had begun haddevelop and the wetlands ah begun to erode. it was literally one particle at a time. in fact, to this day as we sit here, a piece of wetland about the size of a football field
will erode. the point that i want to make it back is that none of those individual acts of a pipeline or a dam or a levee, none of them on their own were significant enough to irreversibly affect the ecosystem. but it was the accumulated outcome the affected the sustainability. i felt that today the point that was made about proportionality was a very important point. all of the events that we have discussed, with respect to the religious freedom today, all of them have limits to their proportional importance. but this is my first point.
while individual events, each diminishes religious freedom. they buy themselves may not constitute a burning platform. but let there be no mistake. religious freedom is clearly on an eroding platform. burning platforms tend to attract attention. we put the fire out and move on. but he rode in platforms require sustained -- eroding what forms require sustained leadership and action. the second story, it was mentioned that i was for a time secretary of health anservices. i became aware that a
professional society that govern through their certification processes, the society of obgyn has created a set of standards that could interpret that if a position was unwilling to provide abortion and other reproductive services, that they were not competent to be certified. such an event would have ramifications on any practitioner seeking to practice in a hospital. it would affect their capacity to be licensed. as secretary, i wrote to them that it was both a violation of federal law and it was also unconscionable to deny a person
but personal conscience in the way that they deliver those services. that controversy has been alluded to today. it went on for a time. their roles reminding people that they could not without penalty violates federal law. those rules have been reversed. that controversy goes on. my second point is that the erosion that i speak of today is not simply a function of the federal government. it happens in the courts. that the russian happens in the professional society. it happens -- that erosion happens in a professional society. the battleground of the future in maintaining a sustainable religious freedom will be in that states. it is there that we are beginning to see enormous
activity. today we will talk about activity in the states with a distinguished panel. brian has announced in fact that we begin to see religious freedom caucuses that will be developed in every state. these were intended to be a sustainable response to an eroding platform. today on our panel, we will have -- first of all, we will hear from the honorable kenneth blackwell. he is a best selling author. he is a senior fellow at the american civil rights union. he was the mayor of cincinnati. he was the treasurer of the state of ohio.
he is the ambassador of the u.s. human rights commission. he knows h w ad the public sector. following that ambassador's comments, we would like to hear from lance kinzer. he is a former soldier. he is a member of the kansas house of representatives, where he cheers the judiciary committee -- chairs the judiciary committee. he is a stalwart for freedom. we also have a lawyer from virginia. he was the director and founder of the virginia catholic conference. it is an organization in which an almost all of the areas of the country are looking after
the public interest of the path of wealth diocese. following jeff, we have an award winning public policy leader. she is one of that can influence your leaders in the last decade, according to an arizona newspaper. she is also a lawyer and a mother. then we will hear from tim schultz. he is the director of state relations. he is also a georgetown lawyer. ambassador, we turn our attention to you. >> thank you, governor. i have got my wife to help with
my speech -- we naturally tend to focus on the religious the issues that rise to the national level. those cases that come before the supreme court rate high in the public interest and command the attention of the giants of the mainstream media. one of the most unprecedent and assaults on religious liberty is the proposed health and human services contraceptions mandate. as i have written in a variety of opinion pieces, there has been nothing comparable to this in 225 years in this country. there is treating the president for the that embodied in the hhh
mandate. if the federal government -- small businesses and family- owned firms, to provide drugs that can cause abortions or chemical contraceptives the violate their believes, then the first amendment of the constitution has effectively been repealed. late in the 19th century, germany's chancellor waged an assault against catholics. the prime minister closedown catholic schools and hospitals throughout the country. now, let us be clear. we are not there yet, but we must be vigilant. approximately one in 10 hospitals in our communities across this country is cared for any catholic hospitals.
these hospitals employ more than 550,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-time workers. one of the needs to be emphasized here is that many of those employees and many of the millions of patients seen in those hospitals choose catholic care because it is grounded in a set of moral convictions. this is true even in perhaps especially for non-catholics who seek care or who work in a catholic institutions. my family research council colleague, a lutheran, has twin granddaughters. both were delivered at a catholic hospital last december. when these newborns came down with a life-that name virus over christmas, bob was relieved that the twins were cared for in a catholic institution. there he could trust that the
caregivers and administrators shared his family's pro-alive convictions -- pro-life conditions. -- convictions. when a catholic institution is threatened, the lives of all americans is threatened. bureaucrats will eventually propel other administrations to make an identical choice. an ironic situation is that even though obamacare is intended to help the uninsured, it is though with lower-income that will suffer the most if these faith- based hospital suspend insurance altogether.
our experience suggests that most threats to religious freedom have come at the state and local levels. one of the most blatant examples was the case of or again in may that 1920's. they're a popular referendum spurred vita kkk outlawed private education. only in 1925 was this threat blocked. the supreme court stated clearly that a child is not the mere creature of the state. then there was the blame an annoyance. -- amendments. it was named after a powerful republican who sought to ban any public funds from aiding, even
indirectly, secretary and institutions. those amendments are invested of a movement in the 1980's. it was never passed at the federal law will. similar legislation was enacted. even today, it is still on the books in many state institutions. they were put in to stop families are educating their children in catholic schools is that the public schools. now they have become a wall between private faith and the public square. the amendments are on record in 46 jurisdictions and constitute a serious barrier in parental choice. there is am i getting case in oklahoma. they're a family seeks to use a
scholarship to send artistic signed to a religious school for special needs children. in indiana, the state teachers' union will be leading the charge to prevent parents from using vouchers at religious schools. they didn't claimed that the parents are violating the indiana bain amendment. in florida, voters will have the chance this november to repeal that amendment. state and national public interest firms and citizen activists have worked tirelessly to bring this policy change to the ballot. but the government not only threatens religious liberty in our education, it also threatens discrimination laws. there is a case in michigan.
in michigan university student -- because of religious conviction, she was asked if she could refer a homosexual s-- she refused and was expelled. a host of offenders like the alliance's defense alliance are standing with her. we have seen catholic charities forced out of adoption in massachusetts and illinois because they will not place children in same-sex are on married households. in washington, d.c., the so- called on discrimination policy was used by the city council to achieve the ends of anti- catholicism. told by the archdiocese that they might be forcing catholic charities out of adoptions in the nation's capital, one
council member said, "good. we have been tried to get you out of it for ever. we have been paying you to do it. so, get out." and governor of kansas signed a strong law. across the country, there are no laws double protect citizens who are acting on their consciences. it is amazing how quickly this song has arisen. in 2008, at the end of the bush administration, our colleague issued conscience regulations on behalf of the department of health and human services.
these would protect doctors and hospitals from being forced to practice medicine that they find morally objectionable. immediately upon coming into office, though, administration revoked these regulations. with the hhh mandate, the gloves have come off. evennuns would not qualify -- even nuns would not qualify for religious exemption. jesus own ministry would require from the hhh mandate. was his work always religious or was he engage in the food industry? [laughter] there is a scene in a movie that i recommend watching over again.
in a man for all seasons, the execution.is a base facing i say not harm, i think not harm. it this is not enough to keep a man alive, i long not to live. thank god we have not gotten to that point. but our task is to make sure that we never get to that point. we cannot allow the salami tactics to divide and conquer strategy to succeed. we willhs can, subsidize abortion causing jobs drugs now.
where will it stop? it will not stop at abortion. james madison knew something of their beliefs. the people are right to take alarm at the first advance of their liberty. the battle is raging in washington without question. but a likely battle front of this fight is in our respective state and at your local hospital or adoption agency. the question is, are yowe up for the challenge? will we take a stand? [applause]
>> like many of the other panelists have mentioned, it is an honor to be here today. i bring greetings from kansas. when i am out and about, one of the questions i am often asked when i say i am from kansas, how in the world is a bilious elected governor in a state like kansas? that is a complex question the requires delving into issues of inner-party fighting within the republican party and things we do not have time to get into here this afternoon. i will be happy to share that with anyone who is interested in a less formal setting. i have some definite theories. the governor and i have a reciprocal relationship. what he was governor, i would draft legislation and shepherded to the legislative progress. she would veto it and we would repeat. we did that for a series of
years. we obviously have a much more different situation now. it has made a tremendous difference in kansas. at that might be interesting to note the attention between her and the issue of religious liberty does not begin at the national level, but found its beginnings in a variety of issues. one of which terminated last year and was decided by a kansas court of appeals. there was a jehovah's witness who received a liver transplant using a procedure that they performed at a hospital in nebraska. it was not performed in any hospitals in kansas.
she was able to receive the procedure without the need of a blood transfusion. sebilious took a strong stance. in denying the state funds for that procedure. there was a lawsuit that was brought under our state constitution. kansas constitution of the state level has very conscious language. especially states in the mid- west, our constitution begins by saying, wheat, the people of kansas, are grateful to god for our privileges. there are specific religious privileges