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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  April 30, 2013 10:00am-1:01pm EDT

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write up this animus document that cover -- they write up this enormous document that covers it and it goes through multiple iterations and the one for imported food is still in the works. that is going to be a very interesting and very big piece of regulation that will come out that will tell us what the fda specifically is saying to food importers in terms of what they have to do to ensure the food they are trying to bring into this country is safe and is to the standards that to be require it. that is something that's being done right now. i think everybody in the food world has been thinking about this for years. host: we will leave it there. we've run out of time. thanks very much for getting up
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early and talking to our viewers. guest: thank you. host: we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. for more washington journal. enjoy the rest of your tuesday. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> a live picture from the white house briefing room this morning, where reporters are gathering for a presidential news conference. president obama expected in about 15 minutes to answer reporters' questions. we expect he will ask -- you'll be asked about recent threats from north korea and u.s.
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payments to afghan president hamid karzai, along with recent congressional showdowns on curbing gun violence, and the sequester. the news conference coming up around 10:15 eastern. if we will have it for you here on c-span. after that we will see the president later this morning as he announces new private-sector jobs initiative for their relev -- for veterans and military spouses. the announcement set for 11:45 eastern, also live on c-span. on our companion network c- span2, right now it's a daylong event hosted by bloomberg, looking at the global economy and debt. coverage will continue until dust after noon today when the group will take a lunch break. then we will hear from pennsylvania's governor and a maryland senator and the head of the commodity futures trading commission. after the group's lunch break, live coverage of the summit will pick up here on c-span, beginning with remarks from alan krueger, the tear the white
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house council of economic advisers. that start with afternoon at 1:40 this afternoon on c-span. former president bill clinton reflects on his time in the white house and his career in public service during remarks today at georgetown university in washington. this is the first of four lectures the former president will be giving. we will bring his remarks live starting at 10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. live now to the president's news conference scheduled to get underway at 10:30. until then, a discussion on tax credits and the nation's health- care laws from washington journal, from this morning. host: we're back with the executive director and vice president of "families usa", talking about subsidies or tax credits in the affordable care act. how does that factor into the affordable care act? guest: this is a very important part of the affordable care act. very few people know about it.
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what it does is for people who want to purchase individual coverage in the new marketplaces, call them exchanges, if they have in of poverty, 400% they will be eligible for tax credit subsidies. 400% of poverty is for family of four, $94,200. for a person living alone, it's approximately $46,000. this reaches deep into the middle class. these tax credit subsidies, which will amount to many thousands of dollars, will make premium costs for individuals and families much less expensive, much more affordable. they are provided on a sliding scale so that those people who need the most help will receive the most help. this is extraordinary. by the way, the enrollment period for this begins on
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october 1. greenmount, relatively few people who are eligible for these subsidies know about it. people and in shorter day don't know about it. so this is important. of uninsured people don't know about it. 26 million people across the nation will be eligible for these tax credit premium subsidies. the overwhelming majority of these people are in working families. that means at least one of the breadwinners in the family is actually working. host: that does not have insurance? guest: >> if you have been buying insurance in the individual market, you can get these tax credit premium subsidies. if you are uninsured, you can do so. is will be extraordinarily helpful. for the uninsured, it means possibly for the first time they will be able to get insurance. for those people who have been
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buying insurance on their own but are increasingly finding premiums going up and they are unaffordable, this will be a big boost and will make coverage affordable. host: this from your report that you put out, examples of premium tax cuts for a family of four. if you mentioned a 400% of poverty rate. credit we arex looking at about $3,500. guest: that for an individual living alone. fourfor a larger family, people, this could amount to quite a bit larger. in our report, we cite an example of a four-person prem with opinion subsidy of more than $10,000. host: how would the tax credit work? guest: this is different than the way many people experience tax credits, because many people
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when they get tax credits for other purposes they actually lay out the money and then the following april 15 when they fill out their forms for the irs, they try to get the tax credit subsidy. this works differently. when your insurance premiums are due, you will have already picked an insurance plan you are signing up for. but the irs will do is the irs will pay the insurance company that you have selected and will pay a substantial portion of your premium. that means only the remaining portion is what you have to pay out of pocket. so this is not like people have a cash flow issue of where they pay something out of pocket and then april 15 the following year they tried to get reimbursed. host: this from the washington times this morning with the headline --
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guest: well, the example that they are siding is care first in maryland. they have asked for a 25% premium increase. a few things to remember. number one, it is a request. it's not what the final premium increase is going. i have to say that this is going to get reviewed by the insurance commissioner. at the end of the day, this premium is going to be considerably lower than the
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request that has been made. no. two, there are a lot of different companies that are going to be offering their plan. take maryland for example. going tormanente is offer nine plants in this new marketplace. they're asking for a 4.3% increase. so there is going to be a lot of competition that will help bring premiums down. healthportant, there are credit premium subsidies, which are enormous. and so, for the vast majority of people looking to get coverage in this marketplace, premiums are going to be much lower in terms of their out-of-pocket costs. host: in the wall street journal, an opinion piece --
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guest: i don't know where those numbers come from, but they seem wildly inaccurate. for a number of reasons. first of all, for people under 26 years of age, one of the things that the affordable care act does and has already provided a significant help to people is that young adults can stay on their parents' policy. that is something that was not guaranteed before. but if you take a look at a premium subsidies that are going to be provided, and for young adults will tend to be in entry- level jobs where they may not have a job even, they are going to get the largest benefit. so this will help to keep premiums down as more young people get health care coverage. host: how are they going to get young people to enroll?
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guest: that is the right question to ask. reason i think young adults are going to enroll in coverage is that these tax credit subsidies we have been talking about, which are provided on a sliding scale, the young adults are the people who are the eighth quarter who have the least income. they are in entry-level jobs or may not have a job. so they are going to get the largest subsidies. so premiums are going to be far more affordable than they have been in the past. i think that is going to be a real inducement for young adults to purchase coverage. host: how much is the fine if they don't? guest: the first year it's not very much. host: so what is the incentive? most: the incentive -- people want to be protected if they have a health problem. may have an
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athletic pursuits and the big break a leg or something could happen. the real incentive is people want to be protected. their parents want them to be protected. the real question for young adults is, is it affordable for me? with these tax credit premium subsidies, they will be affordable. i think you are going to see a lot of young adults who previously may have said i don't want to buy insurance because is too expensive. with all the help they are going to receive, we will see a lot of them entering the marketplace. host: what happens to the exchanges if they do not? healthy andoung, the people don't get insurance, what happens? guest: there's no question it's very important to get the young adults in the insurance market. host: explain that. why is this the linchpin? guest: it's very important because if you have got in your
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insurance pool lots of older and sicker people, premiums go up. if you have a whole lot of younger and healthier people who don't need to make as many claims as somebody who is older, it means that premiums will have downward pressure. so it's very important to get young adults. that's why these premium subsidies are so important. they will disproportionately help that portion of the population. host: here's a piece this morning in the new york times -- what is your group's role in helping to sell this health care
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law? guest: families usa is planning -- playing a leadership role and try to make sure people understand the new benefits that are on the way. i personally helped to create a new organization. i chair the board of a group called enroll america. the purpose of the group and what "families usa" is trying to do is to make sure that the large number of people who can really benefit from this law learn about it. one of the things that a national survey that enroll america has undertaken showed more than three-quarters of uninsured people eligible for these tax credit premium subsidies are not aware of it. 78% right now are not aware that they can benefit from this. so part of our job is to make sure that we move this out of the political arena and into the personal understanding so that
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people can say this is how i am going to benefit, this is how my family is going to benefit. the enrollment period begins on october 1. there's a six-month enrollment that runs from october 1 through march 31. anyone that gets involved can start getting these premium subsidies starting on january 1, 2014. but it's important that they know about it and that they take steps to get enrolled. one other thing. the department of health and human services i understand today is going to announce that it is simplifying the application process. the applications will be shorter and much more consumer friendly. that is going to be very helpful and that will be an encouragement for people to get enrolled. host: we're talking about health insurance premium subsidies. we're talking about 26 million people that will be eligible for these tax credits. -- mes between $138,000
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138% and 400% of the party l level will be eligible. this on twitter -- what of the things the affordable care act does is it merely prevents somebody -- take don'ttreme example, they buy insurance and then all of a sudden they are in an ambulance and then call up to buy insurance. that cannot happen. what will occur is that there will be annual enrollment periods. after this first along one that is six months, the enrollments will be october 15 through december 7. so people will have to make a decision as to whether it is worth their while to purchase insurance. i think the overwhelming majority of 10 adults, when they
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learn about the help that's going to be provided to them, think they will enroll. host: let's hear from linda in knoxville, tennessee, democrat. caller: hi seek understanding. i live in tennessee. my income is zero. tennessee has. not only the spam -- tennessee has rejected not only the state's insurers but the medicaid expansion. a federal tax return declaring an income of zero and receive a positive dollar amount from the feds to cover at least part of the cost of an individual policy, probably the minimum policy, the federal exchange? guest: this is a really important question. tennessee is one of the states that has declined to implement the medicaid expansion.
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it is absurd for any governor to turn this down, because this medicaid expansion, which provides coverage for people up roughly 4 party, family of four, $33,000. during the first three years of implementation, the federal government is picking up 100% of the cost of that medicaid expansion. 2015, 2016.14, thereafter, the federal contribution is a little smaller, but it never goes below 90%. for states like tennessee, which bear the cost of people who are insured -- uninsured and may go to a public hospital and cannot pay for coverage, the state picks that up. the states would be relieved of those expenses with the changes.
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when tennessee and other states declined to implement the medicaid program, it's very shortsighted. with respect to what happens to o are in thertists situation linda is, with people with incomes marginally above party, they will be able to purchase coverage in these new marketplaces. for people with incomes below poverty, if there governor rejects the medicaid program, those people, unfortunately, are left in the cold. the big tragedy here is that people like linda, who need coverage the most, are the people left out in the cold. host: how many people do you estimate that will be? guest: we don't yet know what the final number of states are that are not going to implement the medicaid expansion. there are eight republican
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governors that have decided to implement the medicaid expansion. these are some of the most conservative governors. some of the governor's who rushed to the courthouse doors to challenge the constitutionality of the affordable care act. governors like in florida and ohio and arizona. and new jersey. they decided to implement the medicaid expansion. time even theer governors that have turned this down will think twice about it. how can you turn down 100% funding from the federal government, particularly when the state is saving a lot of money, because it no longer will have to pay such high costs for the uncompensated care of the uninsured? host: erick is a republican in frederick, maryland. caller: i was calling about the premium subsidy. i believe it's one of the
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largest and greatest expansion of welfare our nation has seen. i resent the income redistribution. what makes it affordable for another person is money coming out of another person's pocket. contemplating filing a lawsuit. there are a number of people in the institutional respect, like catholic hospitals, liberty university, and employer hobby lobby have filed about the birth control aspects. there's a whole issue about individual freedom of religion cannot be compelled to purchase , policy that promotes sin the drug plan b
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terminates a life after conception but before implantation. host: ron? guest: i want to focus on his comment with respect to welfare. we were talking about these tax credit premium subsidies reached deeply into the middle class. a family of four with incomes up to $94,000. eligibleof 10 people for these tax credit premium subsidies are in working families. that means at least one breadwinner is working. this is not welfare. remember, if you are working hard and you are middle-class or have a moderate income, say an income of $40,000 or $15,000, it's hard to afford health coverage today. family coverage today averages about $15,000. if you have $50,000 in income, that could be almost one-third of your income. so people need help. this is not welfare.
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help thataningful will be provided for the purchase of private insurance. and you will get a significant tax credits. host: this says -- guest: well, there's no question insurers should be happy about this, because as more people get insurance, they have more clients. the real beneficiaries are the people who are struggling to pay wanthealth coverage who health coverage but increasingly cannot afford it. premiums well before the affordable care act have been going up very substantially. increasingly, employers are finding it difficult to pay for coverage for their workers and individuals and families are finding premiums are out of reach. ourhe ultimate beneficiary
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families who are struggling to purchase insurance but increasingly are having difficulty doing so. host: mary next in magnolia springs alabama, independent. caller: hello. i'm tired of the smoke and mirrors from this gentleman. federal money and this type of rebate back to the people, and its federal money. well, taxpayers pay for it. so it's not free. my daughter is 28 years old. she now pays $55 per week for her medical. at her company, full-time employees cannot be over 30 hours per week, so they are being reduced in hours because of mr. obama's full-time idea that 30 hours is now full time. the irs is now involved. we're going to have how many more people hired by the irs to
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enforce this? which it was never supposed to be a tax. this is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. my daughter makes $40,000 per year. she now pays $65 a nowfor her medical. -- $65 a week for medical. , a is single, working hard manager now at one of the main chains. she can anybody working over 30 hours and they are denied medical coverage now. this is another reason why we have. such high have host: we will get a response from ron pollack. guest: mary is partially concerned about what does this do in terms of cost to taxpayers and so on, i presume. one of the things that mary
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needs to understand is that the congressional budget office, a which is the impartial, nonpartisan referee for congress, with republicans, democrats, and independents, says the overall the affordable care act is actually going to reduce the deficit. there are a lot of savings in the legislation. there are some additional revenues, to be sure, so that's very important. but mary's daughter, who may be struggling to buy insurance. she's paying $65 per week for her coverage. for somebody who is earning $40,000, and that's a big part of her budget. she can now get help. if she's going to try to purchase coverage for continued coverage in the individual market, sees the kind of person who can benefit from the tax credit premium subsidies. host: billy in los angeles, a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span.
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i am a person with a chronic condition. i have chronic disease. i'm overwhelmed every six weeks when i go to have an infusion. i'm in a different kind of situation than most people who receive these types of biologics.- this is ongoing throughout the remainder of my life. i'm concerned about the costs associated with these. astronomical, the cost associated. how is it that we are supposed to be tightening the reins on cost and yet these promise of local companies are able to pass along such a huge expense? it does not make sense to me. this is not the way to bend the curved back down. guest: billy is absolutely right. we've got to do a whole lot more
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in terms of an affordable medicine costs. the pharmaceutical industry is doing very, very well. they have one of the highest profit margins of any industry. i hope that one of the next steps in terms of improving our health care system is that we bring costs down. for billy, one of the benefits of the affordable care act is that since he's got a major health problem, in the past, insurers would say i'm not calling to ensure him because he will incur significant costs, he's going to have significant claims. one of the benefits of the affordable care act that goes into effect on january 1 is that anyone with a so-called pre- existing health condition can no longer be denied coverage by an insurance company due to that pre-existing condition.
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moreover, insurers cannot start a discriminatory premium to somebody do to their health status. for those people who've got chronic health problems like billy does,, there are going to be protections that are very important. host: on twitter -- you cannot force somebody to pay $65 a week. like mary'sy daughter, she is eligible, if she's buying coverage on her own, for these significant tax credits. that will bring her costs down very significantly. and so, the reason this is called the affordable care act is it's going to make care a whole lot more for also you can buy premiums. there are also protections for people in terms of out of pocket costs when they seek care.
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those with incomes below 250% of party, there are limitations on how much they have to pay for deductibles and co-payments. that is going to make care more affordable as well as premiums being more affordable through the tax credit. host: this in the wall street journal recently from an assistant professor of law at the university of berkeley and also worked at the treasury department on the implementation of tax provisions for the health care law -- guest: that is way off. as we mentioned before, these tax credit premium subsidies are provided on a sliding scale.
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these are not cliffs so that if you earn $600 more, all of a sudden you have $10,000 of expenses. that's not the way it works. ,f you have $42,000 in income your tax credit. subsidies will not be quite as great as they would have been if you have $36,000. but the $6,000 in difference in terms of your compensation is much larger than the difference in the tax credit. to say this is a disincentive to work is really incorrect. host: he goes on to write this -- guest: well, you know, employers today have no requirement to purchase health insurance. most employers to purchase health insurance for their workers not. why?
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do they why? they want to attract good workers. they want to be competitive. to say that obamacare is going to cause employers to drop coverage makes no sense whatsoever. these employers are providing coverage voluntarily with no fines at issue, it's hard to imagine that they are going to decide to drop coverage and pay fines. it does not make sense. host: jennifer in largo, florida, republican. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. i have to agree with your guest. the restaurant industry, i have a nephew that works in the restaurant industry. he now just works part time because of the law. those employers do not buy health insurance, most of the small restaurants and not by help insurance for their employees. so he makes a very low income.
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notmain problem is dental, health, because he's young. does the affordable care act include dental? and if he decides not to get it, how can he afford a fine when he lives in a one-room apartment and it takes most of his salary? guest: some plans will provide dental coverage. the requirement is only for pediatric dental care. that's for children. my hope is that we will extend that to people who are older than children. some plans will offer dental coverage. but it does not require that other than coverage for children. host: brad pitt in north carolina, a democrat. caller: i hear these republicans calling in and talking about what a big welfare programs this is. rebuffedear anybody them with the amount of added
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costs and personnel to go to an emergency room and who is paying for that when they go to the emergency room for nothing. has a very important point. if somebody is uninsured and they have a major problem and are at risk of life or limb, they will be admitted to an emergency room. emergency rooms have to treat them. of course, for those people who are uninsured, they often cannot pay the full cost that the hospital has incurred. so all of us wind up picking up those costs at some point. a hospital cannot eat all those costs. so what hospital does -- and i'm not trying to say anything negative about the good hospitals across the country -- what the hospital and typically does is that the hospital in order to make up the cost of the they have provided to an
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uninsured person, when both of us who go to the hospital to get care, we pay a hidden surcharge. that helped make up for the cost that were not covered by the uninsured person. ultimately, that results in higher premiums for all of us who have health insurance. we at "families usa" a few years ago tried to examine what are the repercussions in terms of premiums due to this hidden surcharge? even three years ago the average to pay forrease just the uncompensated care of the uninsured was over $1,000. and so, all of us right now are paying for that. we may not recognize that we are paying for it, but it is increasing our insurance premiums. with more and more people gaining health care coverage, there will be a whole lot less of this shifting of costs on to the shoulders of people with health insurance. that will help to bring premiums
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down. fairfield, in connecticut, independent. caller:hi, i just want to address these republicans who are always complaining about how much they are paying. this woman, her daughter was making $40,000, paying $200 a month insurance and she's complaining. i wish i could have. that low kind have. was innemployed when i my sixties. i got a bill from my private insurance carrier, which i carry private insurance for years, $1,500 among with a $5,000 deductible. i think that is a disgrace. but you never hear the republicans saying anything about it. i was not even in a high-risk pool. it was just my age. this is all going to the profits of insurance companies. it's lousy health care, because private insurance is very punitive. they will drop you.
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i called my state and they told me i had no rights. i was paying more than anybody else and i had no rights because i was a private insurance person. host: ron pollack. first, she cannot be dropped from insurance because she is older or because she incurred some kind of illness. she cannot be charged a discriminatory premiums because she is older or has some illness. insurers have typically charged women higher premiums than men. that no longer is permissible. that is outlawed. in addition to that, it is going to be a whole lot more cost- effective in terms of how insurance premiums are spent. right now insurers often spend a significant amount of money on marketing, advertising, administration, agencies, and
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profits. now under the affordable care act, at least 80 cents out of the dollar -- and 85 cents out of the dollar for larger plans, has to be provided for health care and not for all these ancillary purpose is. nancy, anding for that is that there used to being a huge difference between the premiums that people pay as they get older versus those who are younger. so those differences could be 5- 1. the affordable care act narrows that. as we get older, we're going to have more protection. host: maverick on twitter -- well, there is going to , just likefort made any program, to make sure that people make claims appropriately in terms of their income.
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one of the things that is being done is that as these marketplaces are being established, either by the states or the federal government, there are now a lot of technological systems that can feed into the social security, irs, and so it's going to be easier to determine whether somebody is actually telling the truth about what their incomes are. so i think it's going to reduce the likelihood of fraud and waste. host: ron pollack is the executive director and vice president of families usa and we're talking about the affordable care act and subsidies included in the law for those to go and purchase individuals and families, to purchase insurance in the state run exchanges or marketplaces. on twitter -- guest: well, remember, if an
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employer is now providing health care coverage, there's nothing new here that says you should drop coverage. they have had the right all along to say we are not going to provide coverage. they could have dropped coverage in the past. so now there is a bit of inhibition on the part of employers in terms of dropping coverage. the snow in addition for them to say we're not going to provide coverage today. so i don't think we are going to see employers drop coverage. if they're doing it voluntarily today, there probably will do it in the future. on october 1 when people are allowed to enroll and there's a six month window, what will be the process? where will they go? guest: indeed states it will be somewhat different. the announcement probably will be made sometime in the next
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couple months. people can enroll online. they can enroll in%. they can enroll by phone. -- they can enroll in person. , the department of health and human services, is making an announcement today to make the applications a whole lot more streamlined than the first versions that we saw. file, canople can enroll in these. one of the things that's very important is for those people feel they need assistance in getting enrolled, there are going to be groups called navigators and a sisters -- assistanters so people can get help filling out the form if they need help, but at least not as important, for a lot of people who don't have insurance today, they may have had bad experiences with the insurance industry.
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they may have felt prices were too high or they could not read the fine print or did not know what coverage they had to what doctors they could see. these people providing on the ground assistance will help people figure out which of the many plants that will be available to them is most responsive to their family's needs. host: when they enroll in the program, what happens after that if they are accepted into the state exchanges? guest: when they enroll, starting january 1, they will get coverage. they will select -- each person will select whichever plan they think is best for themselves and for their family. host: how many choices will people have? guest: it will be different from one state to the other. there are a number of companies. i said kaiser permanente day for example is offering nine different plans. re will probably be dozens of plans to select from.
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so people may need to look carefully at what these plans provide, what are the premiums, deductibles or co-payments need to be made, what services are and are not covered, what doctors you can go to. so there are a lot of things that will be part of the selection process. host: people have to choose from a dozen different companies offering insurance, each insurance company, how many pages do you suspect there solicitation will be? how much paper work will people have? guest: i'm glad you asked. one of the things that currently is a problem but is going to get fixed is that people cannot read the mumbo jumbo and hieroglyphics of insurance policies. and it drives people crazy because they cannot figure out what they're getting. they cannot compare one plant to another. -- plan.
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now under the affordable care act there will be clear summaries that are going to be provided for each and every plan. and so, you will be able to figure out which of the plans provide the best services, given your own needs. host: with numbers, this is your opinion, this is your copiague? guest: that's right. so you will notice premiums and the out-of-pocket cost, deductibles and co-payments, what services are provided, what doctors if you can go to. this is going to be much easier than people and experience in the past. host: ron pollack is with families usa. thanks for your time and. guest: delighted. >> live pictures from the white house briefing room as we await president obama. he's coming to hold a news conference with reporters. we expect a president to cover a range of issues on this 100th day of his second term. we will be opening our phone lines after words. we do expect the president about some of the recent threats from
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north korea, u.s. payments to afghan president hamid karzai, and recent congressional showdowns the president has faced on curbing the violence, and the sequester, all those things we expect to come up here during this news conference, which we expect to start in a few minutes. we just got the two minute warning. quickly, the president will come to the east room later in the white house to announce a new private-sector jobs initiative for veterans and military spouses. he will be joined in the east room by the first lady, vice president joe biden, along with dr. jill biden. that announcement at 11:45 eastern. it may be pushed because of this news conference this morning. but we will have live coverage here on c-span when it gets under way. and an event taking place on c- span2 right now, a daylong event hosted by bloomberg, looking at the global economy and debt. coverage will continue on c- span2 until just after noon when
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the group will take a lunch break. we'll hear from pennsylvania's governor, and maryland senator ben cardin, and the head of the commodity futures trading commission. after the lunch break, live coverage will be on c-span starting with remarks from alan krueger, the chair of the white house council of economic advisers, set to start at 1:40 eastern on c-span. standing by waiting for remarks from president obama as he told a news conference on this 100th day of his second term. >> hello, everybody. good morning, everybody. i am here to answer questions in upor of ed henry as he wraps his tenure as president of the white house correspondents association. ed, because of that, you get the first question. congratulations. >> thank you sir. i hope we can go back to
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business. >> you may be mad at me. >> i'm not. on national security, you said that the red line was not just about chemical weapons. change entity and cut and dry. now your administration seems to be suggesting that line is not clear. do you risk u.s. credibility if you don't take military action? and on benghazi, there are survivors of that attack will say they want to testify. they say they have been blocked. will you allow them to testify? >> first of all, regarding syria, it's important to understand that for several years now what we have been seeing is a slowly unfolding disaster for the syrian people. this is not a situation which we have been simply bystanders to what has been happening. my policy from the beginning has had that president assad
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lost credibility, that he attacked his own people, has killed his own people, unleashed a military against innocent civilians and that the only way to bring stability and peace to syria is going to be for him to step down and to move forward on a political transition. in pursuit of that strategy, of organize the international community. we are the largest humanitarian donor. we have worked to strengthen the opposition. we have provided non-legal assistance to the opposition. we have applied sanctions on syria. so there are a whole host of steps we have been taking precisely because -- even separate from the chemical weapons issue, and in syria is a blemish on the international community generally and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the syrian people. in that context, what i have also said is that the use of
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chemical weapons would be a gain changer. not simply for the u.s. or for the international community. the reason is we have established international law and international norms that say when you use these kinds of weapons, you have the potential of killing massive numbers of people in the most inhumane way and the proliferation risks are so significant that we don't want that genie out of the bottle. so what i said about the use of chemical weapons being a game changer, that was not unique -- that was not a position unique to the united states and it should not been a surprise. what we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside syria, but we don't know how there were used or when or who used them. we don't have a chain of
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custody that establishes what exactly happened. and when i am making decisions about america's national security and the potential for taking additional actions in response to a chemical weapon used, i've got to make sure i have the facts. that's what the american people expect. rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we could find ourselves in a position where we cannot mobilize the international community if to support what we do. there may be objections even among some people in the region who are sympathetic with the opposition if we take action. so it is important for us to do this in a prudent way. what i said to my team is we've got to do everything we can to investigate and established with some certainty what exactly has
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happened in syria, what is happening in syria. we will use all the assets and resources we have at our disposal. we will work with the neighboring countries to see whether we can establish a clear baseline of fact. and we've called on the united nations to investigate. but the important point i want already arethat we ar deeply engaged in trying to bring about a solution in syria. it is a difficult problem, but even if chemical weapons were not being used in syria, we still would be thinking about tens of thousands of people, innocent civilians, women, children, who have been killed by a regime that's more concerned about saving power than about the well-being of its people. already deeply invested in trying to find a solution. what is true is that if i can not onlyh in a way that
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the united states also the international community feel confident is the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime, then that is a gain changer, because that portends potentially even more devastating attacks on civilians and it raises the strong possibility that those chemical weapons can fall into the wrong hands and get disseminated in ways that would threaten u.s. security or the security of our allies. >> you mean u.s. military action? >> by game change, i mean we would have to rethink their range of options that are available to us. as i said, we have already invested in try to bring about a solution inside syria. obviously, there are options
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that are on the shelf right now available to me. there's a spectrum of options. as early as last year, i asked the pentagon, our military and intelligence officials to prepare for me what options might be available. detailsot go into the of what those options might be, but clearly that would be an toalation of the threat the security of the international community, our allies, and the united states. that means there might be some options we would not otherwise exercise that we would strongly consider. >> on benghazi, pieces of the story have been litigated. there are people in your state department saying they have been blocked from coming forward and one to tell their story. >> i'm not familiar with the
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notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying. so what i will do is i will find out what exactly you are referring to. what i have been very clear about from the start is that our job with respect to benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that u.s. embassies not just in the middle east but around the world are safe and secure, and to bring those to carry it out to justice. but i will find out. >> they said that they have been blocked from testifying. >> jessica? " there's a report that your director of national intelligence [indiscernible] regarding the marathon bombings in boston, that you ordered a draft review. includingsenators
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say there wasm who not enough intelligence share prior to the attack. and have said that benghazi boston are examples of the u.s. going backward on national security. is he right and did our intelligence miss something? >> no, mr. lindsey gramm is not right on this issue, although i'm sure it generated some headlines. i think that what we saw in local predicts, state, local, federal officials, every agency in a city that had been attacked. they identify the perpetrators just hours after the scene had been examined. we now have one individual deceased and one in custody. charges have been brought.
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law-enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing took place. we should be very proud of their work. as we are proud of the people of boston, first responders and medical personnel that helped save lives. russian know that the intelligence services had alerted u.s. intelligence about the older brother as well as the mother, indicating that they might be sympathizers to extremists. the fbi investigated that older brother. it's not as if the fbi. did nothing they not only investigated the older brother, they interviewed the older brother. they concluded that there were no signs that he was engaging in extremist activity. so that much we know. is was question then
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there something bad happened ,hat triggered radicalization an actual decision by the in the newengage tragic attack that we saw on boston? and are there additional things that could have been done in the interim that might have prevented it? what director clapper is doing is standard procedure, which is when an event like this happens, if we want to go back and review every step, leave no stone unturned, see is there in fact additional protocols and procedures that could be put in place that would further improve to enhance our ability prevent a potential attack. we will not know that until that review is completed. we will not know that until the
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investigation of the actual crime is fully completed. that is still ongoing. but what i can say is based on what i have seen so far, the , theerformed its duties department of homeland security did what it was supposed to be doing, but this is hard stuff. and i have said for quite some time that because of pressure and we have put on al qaeda the pressure we put on these networks that are well financed and more sophisticated and can engage in and project transnational press against the united states, -- transnational threats, one of the dangers we now face is self-radicalized individuals who are already in
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the u.s. and in some cases may not be part of any kind of network. twisteduse of whatever ideas they may have, they decide to carry out an attack. in some ways those are more difficult to prevent. have for months now indicated to our counterterrorism team what more threat do on that that is looming on the horizon, are there more things we can do, whether it is engaging with communities where there is a potential for self- radicalization of this sort, is their work that can be done in terms of detection? but all this has to be done in the context of our laws, due process rights. and so, part of what director clapper is doing will be to see
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if we can determine any lessons learned from what happened. >> are you getting all the intelligence and information you need from the russians? should americans be worried when they go to public events now? russians have been very cooperative with us since the boston bombings. obviously, old habits die hard. there is still there are still suspicions between law-enforcement and agencies. 10, 20, 30 years back to the cold war. we want to make sure that those are cooperating with us cooperate fully not only in this investigation but how we work on counter-terrorism issues.
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everyone was intimidated when they go to done my part if you'd is after the bombings. there are joggers of throughout boston, cambridge, watertown. to thehing a response terrible tragedy, there is a sense of resilience and toughness and we are not going to be intimidated. we're going to live our lives. people have to understand that we're going to do everything we can to prevent these kind of attacks from taking place. people also have to understand, after a shooting in aurora, newton, virginia
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tech, or the foiled attempts in times square, detroit, that we're not going to stop living warped comecause interested individuals try to intimidate us. we're going to do what we do which is go to work, raise our kids, go to ballgames, run in marathons. at the same time, we're going to make sure everyone is toperating and as vigilant try to prevent these attacks from happening in the future. >> you put everything in it to try to get it passed. it didn't. angress is trying to get undo of the sequester. do youstion to you is
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still have the juice to get the rest of your agenda for the congress? >> it to put it like that -- [laughter] golly. as mark twain said, the rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point. we understand we're in a divided government right now. republicans controlled the house. in the senate, this habit of requiring 60 votes for even the most modest piece of up theation has gummed works there. it comes to no surprise to the american people are members of congress that, right now, things are a bit dysfunctional.
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there is a range of things we are going to be able to get done. i feel confident the bipartisan work done on immigration reform in a cross in my desk. that will be a historic achievement and i have been complimentary of the work of both republicans and democrats in those efforts. what's clear is that the only way we will lift it is if we do a deal that meets the test of loring air deficit and growing our economy. -- lower bring our deficit. that will have compromises on behalf of both democrats and republicans. i have had some good conversations with republican senators so far. those conversations are
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continuing. there is a genuine desire on many of their parts to move past not only the sequester but the dysfunction in washington. whether we can get it done or not, we'll see. the sequester is a good example. this recent faa example is a good example. even as recently as my campaign, they were saying the sequester is terrible, a disaster. it will ruin our military, and we have to do something about it. then, when it was determined that doing something about it might mean we close tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected, suddenly, we will take the sequester. the notion was that somehow we had exaggerated the effect of the sequester, remember? said the crying wolf
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sequester, no problem? the in rapid succession, white house is closing stores. how could we make that happen? meat inspectors, we have to fix that. when reminded about potential delays in airports? that a lot the fact of members of congress are suggesting that somehow the sequester was a victory for them and it would not hurt the i warned earlier, what jay sat appear and warned people of repeatedly is happening. the resulting in people getting thrown out of work and it's hurting people all across the country. the fact that congress responded to the short-term problem of flight delays by
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giving us the option of shifting money designed to repair and improve airports over the long term to fix the short-term problem, but that's not a solution. done islly, what we've we have said in order to avoid a delayed this summer, we will insure delays for the next two or three decades. hold on a second. so, the alternative of course is either to impose a lot of delays on passengers now, which also tos not fix the problem, or bartlett fixed the problem by coming up with a broader, larger deal. but to somehow suggest that these people have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave? that's their job.
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they are elected. members of congress are elected in order to do what's right for their constituencies and the american people. they are seriously concerned about passenger's convenience and safety, they should not just be thinking about tomorrow, next week, but they should be thinking about what will be happening five, 10, 15 years from now. the only way for them to do that is to work with me on coming up with a broader deal. are there other ways to fix this? frankly, i don't think that if i were to veto this faa problem that it would somehow lead to a broader fix. it just means that there would be pain now, which they would try to blame on me, as opposed
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to paying five years from now. either way, the problem is not getting fixed. the only way it does get fixed is that both parties it down and we look at how we are making sure we are reducing our deficit sensibly and investing in rebuilding our airports, investing in early childhood education, all the things that will help us grow. that is what the american people want. just one interesting statistic when it comes to airports. there was a recent survey of the andairports in the world there was not a single u.s. airport in the top 25. not one. not one u.s. airport was considered by the experts and consumers who use these experts to be in the top 25 in the world. i think cincinnati came in around 30. what does that say about our
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long-term competitiveness and future? , throw someple say money at the faa to deal with these furloughs, yes, the money is pulled from funds to upgrade our airports so that we do not in the bottom of industrialized countries when it comes to our infrastructure. that's what we're doing. we're using this in the short term and the only reason we are doing this is because right now, we have people who are unwilling to make some simple changes to our tax code to close loopholes that are not adding to our competitiveness. that's the long way of answering your question, but the point is that there are common-sense solutions to our problems right now. republicans to embrace those common-sense
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solutions. i can urge them to. i can put pressure on them. i can rally the american people around those common-sense solutions but, ultimately, they are ultimately going to say that we need to do the right thing. there are members in the senate right now, and i suspect members in the house also who understand that deep down, but they're worried about politics and it's tough. think compromising with me is somehow with the trail and they're worried about primaries. i understand all about. we're going to try to do everything that we can to create a structure for them to be able to do what is going to be what's best for the country, but it will take time. aware,ou are probably there is a growing hunger strike
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at guantanamo bay. is there no end in sight of their confinement? >> is not a surprise to me that we of problems in guantanamo which is why, when i was campaigning in 2007-2008 and when i was elected in 2008 i said we needed to close guantanamo. i continue to believe we need to close guantanamo. critical for us to understand that guantanamo is not necessary to keep america safe. it isexpensive it hurts us in terms of our international standing. it lessens cooperation with our allies, our counter-terrorism efforts. it is a recruitment tool for
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extremist. it needs to be closed. congress determined that they would not let us close it. there aree fact that a number of the people currently theyantanamo who have said could be returned to their country of origin or potentially a third country, i'm going to go back at this. i have asked my team to review everything currently being done in guantanamo and everything we can do administratively and i will be engaged with congress to try to make a case that this is not something in the best interest of the american people. it's not sustainable. the notion we will keep over 100 individuals in a no-man's land , even at a time when we are winding down the
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wars in iraq and afghanistan, we are having success in defeating al qaeda and we have kept the pressure on all these transnational terrorist networks, when we have transferred detention authority in afghanistan, the idea that we would still maintained -- forever -- a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are, contrary to our interests, and it needs to stop. it's a hard case to make. for a lot of americans, the notion is out of sight, out of mind. it's easy to demagogue the issue. that's what happened the first time this came up. i'm going to go back at it because i think it's important. i don't want these individuals to die. obviously, the pentagon is
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trying to manage the situation as best they can. , all of us should reflect on why exactly we are doing this. why are we doing this? we have a whole bunch of individuals who have been tried to are currently in maximum- security prisons around the country and nothing has happened to them. justice has been served. it has been done in a way that is consistent with our constitution, consistent with the rule of law, consistent with our traditions. who attempted to bomb times square, in prison serving a life sentence. the individual to try to block -- barmaid plan in detroit, in prison serving a life sentence. part of our share bob that we captured in prison -- in prison. shabab,
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i understand in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 with the trauma that has taken place, there was the notion that somehow we had to create a special facility like guantanamo and we could not handle this in a normal, conventional fashion. i understand that. we are a decade out. we should be riser. how weshould be wiser in prosecute terrorists. as i said before, and we will examine every option that we have administratively to try to deal with this issue.
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and i'm going to ask some people .ver there who care shot. -- chuck. >> they have been talking about the implication and impact that it might have on their political campaign in 2014. [inaudible] does senator baucus believe this is going to be a train wreck? anytime you are implementing something big, there are going to be people in more nervous and
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anxious about things getting done. let's just step back for a second and make sure the american people understand what it is that we are doing. the affordable care rocked, has now been with us for three years and has gone through supreme court tests, efforts to repeal. a huge chunk of it has already been implemented. of americans who already have health insurance, they are already experiencing most of the benefits even if they do not know it. insurance is more secure. insurance companies cannot drop them for bad reasons. their kids are able to stay on their health insurance until they are 26 years old. freere getting
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preventative care. there are a whole host of benefits. for the average american out there, the 85%-90% already have an assurance, good things are already happening. there are only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better, more secure than before. full stop, that's it. the only way they can get health insurance is to go in the individual market and they are paying 50% or 100% more than those of us lucky enough to have group plans. those too poor to have it on the around and they work for small business who cannot afford right now to provide health insurance. so all the implementation issues that are coming up,
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implementation issues related to that small group of people come at 10%-15% of americans, still 30 million people, who do not have health insurance right now or who are on the individual market and paying exorbitant amounts for coverage that isn't that great. what we are doing is we are setting up a pool so that they can all pull together and get a better deal from insurance companies. those who cannot afford it, we provide them with some subsidies. that's it. that's what's left employment. the other stuff has a big hit -- been implemented and it's working fine. the challenges it setting up a market-based system. looking at what kind of insurance you can affo and how
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to get the subsidies. doing itare nationwide, relatively fast, and you have half of congress implement to try to the effectively and then republican controlled state legislatures say that will not pass enabling legislation. having said all that, we have a great team in place is we're pushing very hard to make sure we are hitting all the deadlines
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and the benchmarks. i will give you an recent example. together ane put uplication form for signing for participation in the exchanges and was initially about 21 pages long. people sought from the table and said, this is too long, especially in this age of the internet. people will not have the patience to sit there for hours on end, let's streamline it. we cut what was a 21-page form now down to a former about three pages for an individual, in little more than that for a family, well below the industry average. those kinds of refinements, we will continue to be working on. the main message i want to give to the american people here, aboute all of the cries the sky is falling, if you already have health insurance,
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that part of obamacare that affect you, it's pretty much already in place. about 85% of the country. this is to help the 10%-15% of the american public or not lucky enough to have health insurance and some of you have health insurance right now, at some point you may lose it. this structure will make sure that you are not left vulnerable. it's still a big undertaking and what we are doing is making sure that every single day we are constantly trying to hit our marks so that it will be in place. the last point i will make, even if we do everything perfectly, there will still be glitches and bumps. there will be stories that can be written that say, things are
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not working the way they're supposed to, this and that happened, and that's true with every government program that has ever been set up. with it and we understand our long-term objective -- making sure that in a country as wealthy as ours, no one should go bankrupt if they get sick and we would rather have people getting regular checkups and going to the emergency room because they do not have health care -- if we keep that in mind, we will keep down costs, improve efficiencies in the system, see people benefit from better health care and saving our country money as a whole. >> it's harder. there's no doubt about it. we will implement it. have a backup federal
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exchange if states are not cooperating so people can join that, but it puts more of a burden on us. it's ironic, since all these people say they believe in and powering the states, that they're going to end up having the federal government do something that we would actually prefer the states to do, if they would properly cooperate. doing on time here? last question. >> there are concerns in the house [inaudible] this seems to be more conservative proposal. is there room for a more conservative proposal than the one we see in the senate on immigration?
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[inaudible] law enforcement and now go through a single door for the federal interior ministry. is this change good for the u.s. relationship with mexico? do you see the level of security and cooperation? on immigration reform, i have been impressed what was done by the gang of eight in the senate. is bill that they produced not the bill that i would have written them. there are elements in there that i would change, but i do think that it meets the basic criteria start laid out from the which is we need to have more effective border security, although it should build on the
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great improvements that have been made in border security over the last four or five years. that we areke sure cracking down on employers that are gaming the system. we should make the legal immigration system work more effectively so that the weights are not as burdensome. the bureaucracy is not as complicated so we can continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world to our shores in a legal fashion. that weant to make sure have a pathway to citizenship that is tough but allows people to earn overtime their legal status here in this country. the senate bill meets that criteria. in some cases, not in the ways that i would, but it meets the
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basic criteria. it's a testament to the senators that were involved that they made some tough choices, some tough compromises in order to hammer out that bill. not seen what members of the house are you proposing. maybe they think they can answer some of those questions differently, or better, and i think we need to be open-minded in seeing what they come up with. the bottom line is they still have to meet the basic criteria. is it making the border safer? is it dealing with employers and thethey work with governments to make sure that are not taken advantage of or taking advantage of the system? are we improving our legal advantage system? are we providing a pathway to
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citizenship for the 11 million or sell on documented this country? if they meet those criteria but it is slightly different than the senate bill, we should be able to come up with an appropriate compromise. not meet those criteria, then i will not support such a bill. we'll have to wait and see. when it comes to mexico, i'm very much looking forward to taking the trip down to mexico to see the new president. i had a chance to meet him here, but this will be my first more extensive consultation and it will be an opportunity for his administration and my cabinet members to arbour dissipating to really hammer out some of these issues. a lot of the focus will be on economics. we spend so much time on security issues between the united states and mexico that sometimes i think we forget that
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this is a massive trading partner responsible for huge of commerce and huge numbers of jobs on both sides of the border. we want to see how we can deepen and improve that, maintaining that economic dialogue for a long time. that does not mean that we will not be talking about security. i think in my first conversation with the president, he indicated to me that he continues to be concerned about how we can work together to deal with transnational drug cartels. we have made great strides in the coordination and cooperation between our two governments over the bass several years, but my suspicion is that things can be improved. some of the issues he's talking about really have to do with refinements and improvements in terms of how mexican authorities work with each other, how they effectively, and
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less to do with how they are dealing with us per se. -- not going to get judge yet judge how this will alter the relationship until i see exactly what they're trying to accomplish. overall, what i can say is that my impression is that the new president is serious about reform. he has already made some tough decisions. i think he will make more that will improve the economy and secure the mexican citizens which will improve bilateral relationship as well. coastl also be talking to to recover, the presidents of central american come -- countries, many of whom are struggling with both economic and security issues, but there are important partners for us.
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the vision here is that we want to make sure that our hemisphere is more effectively integrated to improve the economy and security of all people, which is good for the united states and will enhance our economy, enhance energy independence, with a whole range of opportunities which will be the goal of this trip. those of you who will have a chance to travel with me we will be discussing this further. thank you, everybody. thank you, guys. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> i had a chance to talk to him yesterday, he seems like a terrific young man. this is one of the extraordinary measures of progress we have seen in this country and it has been the recognition that the lgbt community deserves full
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equality, not just partial butity, not just tolerance a recognition that there are solely a part of the american family. given the importance of sports for an individual who has excelled at the highest levels in one of the major sports to go ahead and say, this , i'm proud of it, still a great competitor, still 7 feet tall and can hang with foul. delivering hard i think, for a lot of young who are gay ore lesbian and struggling with those issues come to see a role model like that who is not afraid, i think it's a great
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thing. america should be proud that this is just one more step in this ongoing recognition, that we treat everybody fairly. everyone is part of the family. we judge people on the basis of their character and their performance, not a sexual orientation. i'm very proud of him. all right? obama wrapping up a 45 minute news conference here covering a range of issues. he talked about syria, the boston marathon bombing investigation, his relations with congress on the 100th day of the second term. we are opening up our phone lines. the white house says they are paying attention to the symbolic marker of 100 days, but we are asking how the president is doing in his first 100 days
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of his second term. we also want to get your reaction to what the president had to say during some of the other questions that came up. the numbers are on your screen. our first call is jimmy from pittsburg, calif., on the democratic line. caller: i'm calling from pittsburg, california. i think the president is doing a good job. i'm on social security. i'm a disabled american. when i go to pick up my medication, i see people in line paying $200-$300 for a prescription. inone time, a person going and they were paying like $90 for their medication. when we talk about this
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obamacare, i don't understand why the republicans are always dogging obamacare yet it helps people out. sometimes when i hear boehner or the person from kentucky, a cannot think of his name, but it seems like they do not have poor people leave their in kentucky or ohio. i see people struggling to pay for medication for diabetes. at a particular time, this person was having trouble paying for their medication. i told that person they need to call the drug companies because some drug companies give you help on paying for prescriptions. i do not see the republicans doing anything about that. i know they have poor
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republicans in ohio, kentucky, and all these other republican states. i don't understand why they are so negative on helping people who cannot pay for medication. why are they so against this program? then we'll let them to sit in office and they get a great medical plan because we pay for it. but then they cannot extend that plant the american people. why is that? pittsburg, from calif. the president will travel to the east room of the white house in a few minutes to be announcing a few private sector jobs initiative for veterans and military spouses. joining him will be the first lady, vice president joe biden and dr. joe biden sought for 11:45 and it may be a little late since the president is wrapped up this press conference, but we will have live coverage when that gets
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under way. we do have our c-span radio listeners and we invite you to also call in. kevin from brooklyn, new york, on the republican line. caller: hello. my name is kevin. i have two. want to make about syria. number one, we should not have to arm the arabs over there. ofthey could make a bomb out a crock pot, a pressure cooking pot, that means we do not need to arm them. they can arm themselves. there's a price for freedom that you have to pay. we did it in the revolutionary with then the 1960's movement for african-americans. we have to constantly continue with our struggles. they have to pay their own price for freedom and should not be cost with -- paid with the cost of our lives and our young
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american men and women. number two, the economy. fore close those loopholes all those corporations, big tax interest, special-interest groups, close those loopholes. if they want their tax rate they should be credit vouchers for the long-term unemployed and the military coming back from overseas fighting. get their rates lowered by hiring the long-term unemployed and i also the military members returning. have a nice day. i think the president is doing an ok job. they need to stop with the pressure on this and that on every little thing like the red line about syria and all of this. we need to come and do something
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about getting the economy going. host: kevin mentioned syria. on syria, the president says he does not know how chemical weapons were used or by whom. he has also asked the pentagon for a range of options if the syrian president has used chemical weapons. ont, brett con from new york the independent line. caller: it's amazing how i can listen to someone talk for 45 minutes and come out with no answers regarding syria, benghazi, obamacare. everyone is in vague principles. we are investigating. we cannot talk until we know anything. the syrian bread line never should have been laid down if you have no plan for action. the threat never should have been made and we would still have some respect among our colleagues in the international community. regarding the other things he talks about, the biggest helping
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of the quality for the genders is the gop and republicans. the president blames everything on them. i'm an independent, but i have never been so polarized by someone constantly blaming the other side for everything going wrong in the country. it should focus on what he talked about in his election campaign, jobs and unemployment, and get off the other stuff. this country needs help. and talking about equal rights and obamacare bring us out of recession is ridiculous. we need to move on to jobs and unemployment. host: from nashua, new hampshire. how was the president doing? caller: very badly. he always announces to the world that we are a dysfunctional congress, that we are a dysfunctional nature and. he just said it. -- a dysfunctional nation. i agree heartily with the
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independent man who just spoke and i think he represents a great portion of the american people who find obama does not care for the american people at all. say that in to world war ii, there was a song called "biding my time, that's the kind of guy i am." say, next year, next year, something's bound to happen. he blames everybody else. wordhen he also says the "we." there is a nursery rhyme that goes, "this little pig went to market. this little piggy stayed home. this little piggy had roast beef and this little piggy had not. and this little piggy cried wee, wee, wee all the way home. he says "we" instead of acting
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like the president of united states with the power alleys hands to do just about anything he wants. ,ost: thank you for calling cornelia. a live picture from the east room of the white house where in a few minutes we expect president obama to come to announce an initiative for military veterans and a private sector jobs initiatives for veterans and military spouses. vice president joe biden and dr. joe biden and the first lady will also be any attendance. pomona, calif., on the independent line. caller: think of taking my call. i think the president is doing a wonderful job. -- thank you for taking my call. listening to these ungrateful people and things he has to deal with, he has held this ship up when we are going down in the dumps. they say that he blames
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everything on them, but all of the things that have taken place and that are viewed as negative, a lot of them happened before obama came into office. going back to one of president obama's campaign rally cries, the people really need help, we need to get fired up, ready to go in 2014 because we are tired things. the woman quoting appears three times when these lives are at stake? preschool.t, losing you know, it's time for us to get the children now. president obama is not a divider. he's trying to put us together, but he has to meet with all of these daily obstructions. it is not president obama.
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it's congress. it's not obama, it's congress. we heard a little bit of the child-even with the republican callers to uncalled in talking about nursery rhymes. thank you very much. washington,rom d.c., on the independent line. caller: i'm calling from baltimore, md., but this is my concern. i agree with the last independent scholar. i'm fascinated as to how the president can stand there and address a lot of things and it's almost as if he addressed a lot of things but addressed nothing. living in a city like baltimore as an african-american male, i voted for the president and i even support the president, but i think he's doing a very mediocre job at this point. the reason why i say that is when you look at how many minorities vote for the president, you never hear him address the concerns of the
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minorities. he's the president of the united states, but he should not count on other minorities to keep voting for him if he will not address some of the things going on in the big cities, unemployment, crime, corruption in local government. the city of detroit is being run over by the governor schneider. he talks nothing about these issues. this really peeves me off. i want to hear him say something about what's going on with the african-american community. i'm tired of african-american leaders telling me to support him. it seems like he never addresses the issues african-americans face. he never talks about unemployment and he never gives the country a strategy. host: we will leave you there and go live to the east room of thwhe us vice-president joe biden joined by his we,oe biden, announcing the private sector jobs initiative -- dr. jill biden.
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president obama will be joining soon. >> my name is joe biden. i am jill's has been and it's a delight to be here with all of you. , the actinginseki commerce secretary, everyone we have here. ,he acting labor secretary admiral, good to see you. look at all of the brass here. there's no reason why we should not all be here. look. the truth of the matter is we are delighted to welcome you to the white house, but all the business leaders, military leaders, it's great to have you here. and veterans. the truth is we all should be here. we should all be in the spot at this time because there is so much work to do. my colleagues are tired of hearing me say over the last 20 years, we only have one truly sacred obligation to this country.
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we have a lot of obligations to our children, but there' o e ulsablig onn my vie to care for those we sent to war and take care of them and their families. it's a sacred obligation. no one is quite my age, but i see people out there from the vietnam generation on all making incredible contributions but this 9/11 generation has been astounding. young men andon women have joined our military cents 9/11 with the almost certain knowledge that there are likely to be deployed overseas. youngllion of those brave men and women have walked across the scorching sand zovirax for the barren mountains in afghanistan. -- sand in iran. you did not just serve once or
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twice. some served three, four, five deployments. it's pretty incredible. every day, i get a card and on my schedule card, and have a list on the back. thanks to the pentagon, we call every day. i know exactly how many lives have been lost and exactly how many people, how many of our brave soldiers, marines, guardsman, etc., how many have been wounded. inof today, 6564 have died those conflicts. me, 60,551 have been wounded. but i countyou, one. i know how we would have felt, god forbid, what would have happened when our son was there when there are around 6000 have died, about 65,000 wounded. have aingle one of these
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future. this obligation is real. it's going to be lasting. it is consequential. those comingit is on to a civilian life are among the most qualified men and women who have ever served in our military because of these men appear and how they have been trained. they are among the technically, intellectually and. they are among the most qualified americans ever available for the job market. they have the capacity to do virtually any job in the private sector. you know, you will hear from a young man soon who i will not steal his thunder, but he works in an industry where they move a lot of equipment and freight around. i remember talking to someone in these big companies and saying, i don't kn about so and so.
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i said, this kid handled more responsibility and billions of dollars worth of equipment than you will ever owned. so don't tell me this kid cannot handle your trucks. one of the vehicles he had cost than all of your trucks. seriously. go to an aircraft carrier. asch as making the judgment to when that jet aircraft lands. a 19-20 year-kistanding there with a plaque. kid -- 19-20 year-old they even let me do it once, who sits on the rise they catapult off. they can handle anything. they are technologically proficient, totally responsible , undeniably capable. what we are celebrating here today as an incredible product. i want to thank so many business
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leaders here today, behind me and out in the audience, for realizing that fact. no one who fights overseas should have to come home and fight for a job when they return. they judge should not have to do it. and that's what you are all about. that's what we are about. it's not just about the returning veterans. we know their families and we think of you men and women in uniform, you know the sacrifices our families make to allow you to serve. an english poet once said, they also serve who only stand and wait. literally, hundreds of thousands, millions of wives, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, they have stood and waited. we owe them as well because they have served as well. quite frankly, have never seen
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my wife jill so absolutely, totally committed to any cause, the cause of serving military families, because of serving all of you who have served. i've heard her say it wants, i've heard her say at the last seven years i don't know how many times. everyone can do something. only% of the pulation serving a 90% of the population -- 99% of the population owes them a simple act of kindness. i remember how moved we were when we got a call from our daughter in law after a snowstorm the winter our son was deployed. the next door neighbor just walked over and shoveled the driveway. just shoveled the driveway, never said a word, packed up and left. shoveled the driveway. we have a lot of driveways to shovel. we owe them an awful lot.
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that is why michelle and jill started joining forces with the absolute rock solid commitment of barack obama behind them and they have done with your help a remarkable job. i'm sure you know the numbers and a remarkable job that you and they have done responding to the needs of these brave women and men. now, i'd like to introduce you to a woman whose father served, whose sons serve, and who serves as every day. who happens to be my wife. [applause] >> thank you, joe. hello, everyone. i am a proud mother. over the past few years, the first lady and i have had the incredible honor of meeting military spouses oliver this
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country. i'm always amazed by their strength, their commitment, and most importantly by their resilience. these are spouses like erin. she met her husband, a sergeant first class in the army, when they were both in high school. not long after becoming an army wife, she found herself overseas with two young children. soon thereafter, her husband deployed for one year. that was just the beginning. over the past 18 years, they have moved their family 10 times. they are raising three children with erin providing primary care of the kids during three deployments. each for more than one year, and today, dale is stationed at fort bragg in north carolina while erin stayed in the hampton roads
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area in virginia so that they can finish high school. hrough all of this, eri pern sued around education, made strong connections with other military spouses, and embraced a wide range of career all leading tour current profession of serving other military families. erin is the operations manager for two nonprofits to provide employment, readiness, and job placement assistance for veterans, military spouses, and more. she is here with us today. would you stand? thank you for all you do. [applause] stories like hers are not unique among military spouses. theirare people who, when
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spouse deployed, they carry are military families. they do the work of two parents, raising children and, running a household, and military spouses are the first to step up for their communities, whether it is volunteering to help other neighbors or serving in the pta. buildinghile, they are around careers. because our nation's military spouses moved 10 times more than their civilian counterparts, that's not always easy. just as they are settled into a new job, it may be time to pack up again, move across the country, or out of the country, and start the entire process all over again. of all the things that michelle and i have learned about military spouses, here is what stands out the most. they never complain. whatever the situation, they keep on serving, doing whatever
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needs to be done. military spouses like erin have some much to offer. their skills, incredible work ethic and, perhaps most important, other endless energy. that is my nearly two years ago we were proud to launch the military spouse employment partnership. this effort has helped spouses build st resumes, sponsor hiring fares, and create mentoring programs. 160e its launch, more than fortune 500 employers have signed on to the partnership. 43,000 military spouses have been hired. more and more companies are finding ways to keep these spouses in their employment, even after they moved. i'm sure every partnership company will say, if you were
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looking for a dynamic, resourceful, highly skilled employees, our military spouses are exactly who you are looking for. as john mentioned a moment ago, our military spouses serve right alongside our servicemen and women. through joining forces, we honor all military service and we ask all americans to join us in finding ways to show our gratitude. from the beginning, the private sector has played an important part in supporting the joining forces initiative. veteran speaker is a who has benefited from this private sector involvement. it's my great pleasure to introduce david who served in the united states navy for five years as a second class petty officer operations specialist. and he has a new daughter, a
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four month old. david, thank you for your service. [applause] >> good morning. as the secondably class petty officer. i served as to deployments. my time in the navy taught me in viable skills on how to manage a team, work with data and operate high-tech equipmen it felt like companies not see any of this in me. after returning from the navy i
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applied to countless jobs and was interviewing -- having two interviews a week. i enrolled in new york where i earned a bachelor's degree in finance. my fiancee discovered she was pregnant with my beautiful daughter. needed to double down on my job search even with a bachelor's degree. i signed for workshops, and attended dozens of jobs there is a very i struggled to find work eps hire me as a ditch that supervisor. -- ups hard as it is that service. after only four months on the job they recognize my leadership
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skills and promoted the me. ups has given me the opportunity to build my career and provide financial support for my family. ups and the ceo who is here today for giving me this opportunity to making veteran of hiring a priority. i want to salute all the company who are making hiring veterans and their spouses a priority. i hope more companies and for families like mine. no one understands this better than our commander in chief and first lady. mission toade their support the troops. i have the great pleasure to introduce them now. please welcome our president barack obama and first lady michelle obama.
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thank you very much. everybody have a seat. thank you so much for your sty.oduction and sharing your thank you for your extraordinary service. we are very proud of you. thank you to our partners in the outstanding joe .iden grateful for the leadership and their commitment on a whole range of issues.
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i am grateful for the pageant's you have shown when it comes to our military families. you know what it is like when a loved one is deployed. that comes through with everything you do. we are vy prouof you. oft to recognize the members my cabinets and joint chiefs. we appreciate all the great work that they are doing. your presence reflects our commitment to this cause across the entire government. i have a simple task this morning. the is to introduce graceful, inspiring a love of my life, first lady michelle obama. just a warm-up acts a day. a means is is just another tuesday. goes.s how it generally
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ofhe privileges of serving as president appear in the opportunity to make incredible people like david is among the things that shares the most this is representative of a 9/11 generation, but men and women who volunteered to put theyniform on even though knew it would send them into harm's way. , at answered every call fo operating some of the most complex technologies been known to man in moments for their decisions can determine life or death. the attacks ing couragethey put that and experience and skills that they have earned serving in our military to use every single day. washington once said
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would not landside the citizens. our military families keep a strong and keep us safe. i pledgeashey let their homes take care of us, we need to make sure we're taking care of them. that is our obligation. theake sure they get opportunities they deserve. that means economic opportunities. employers do not always recognize the high quality, high tech skills i knew is veterans have gained. they do not understand the leadership they have shown. too often when they're looking to move forrdne chapter in their life they are stuck in neutral. our economy is growing.
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jobs and aing consistent basis. for post-9/11 veterans, employment's lag behind the national average. on thecan save a life battlefield the shares that can save one in an ambulance. mahican attract millions of dollars of assets you can run a company supply chain our balance this. as you can leave a bulletin in a than you can lead a team in the conference center. there are young people at are re tnuafi for the jobs. 1 million service members will be transitioning back to civilian life.
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we need to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed. that is why i signed new tax credits for companies that hire unemployed veterans. the numbers hired has more than double. extendingts proposed expanding these permanently. we strengthens the bill, helping 4 million veterans get this education. the overhaul the transition assistance program to help our newest veterans compete for those private-sector jobs. thanterans bank has more 2.5 million searchable job postings. cards they receive six months of personalized career counseling.
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they have hired 250,000 veterans. cannot the government cut every veteran a military spouse to work. challenge to america's businesses. say what these companies stepped up. some of these companies are represented here today. businesses had already hired under 25,000 for military spouses. we're announcing a major milestone in this effort thanks to the leadership a summit company's saturn restarted here today. they are doing this partly because it is good business. because they it really care about this country.
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they understand that they do not succeed unless they have an incredible military that is doing this. hiring our military spouses is not a page right thing to do. it is a smart thing to do. there are looking for jobs, let's connect them. it is good for families. it is good for our country. that is why joining forces is so important. it is a way for us to honor and serve the men and women who have moved the country forward. that is why we all have to step up. government, business, its goals, houses of worship, and neighbors, our military. we continually try to improve to make sure we're doing the right thing. our military families has to define who we are as americans none of this could
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have happened had it not been for the extraordinary work that michelle and joe have engaged in over the last two years. call where renewing here today. i am proud of my wife all the time. i could not be prouder of the work that she and joe have done in this effort. they have put their heart and soul into it. they care about it greatly. they identify so deeply with these military families. the understand the sacrifices they are making. let me introduce a woman who i have seen a live out of that message every day as a mother. i love her dearly. my wife. first lady michelle obama.
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let me start by thanking the president of the united states for that nice introduction. it is always nice to get a good introduction from the president and your husband. i want to thank you and joe. we truly cannot have issued these challenges without leadership from the top. that is something we always say. we're out there on the frontlines pushing this initiative. the only way we get this done this because we have strong leadership and our president and vice-president. hill is arse jill wonderful friends in this endeavor in this interesting life that our husbands have gotten us into.
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she is a true champion. she has taught me a lot about what it means to serve and be part of a military community. i uld not be more grateful. i want to recognize all of the leaders from the military and ministration and throughout the with usyou are here today. thank you for your commitment. i want to say special thank you to someone who did not know i was going to thank him. she has been a -- he has been a cornerstone of this effort. they were running for something. have kept this effort going without cat. believe it or not, at today is
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his last day as the executive director. that is another merkel. we get so much done with sporadic up for -- support. it is not just us. team of others really keeps this going. this year has been a success because of you. have you ase would a last hurrah to plan an event with every single one of your bosses. we knew you could pull it off. that is what navy seals do. andaw his skill determination on display every single day. i am so proud. we will miss you. .e just wanted to say thank you barack and i wanted to say thank
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you. at least i caught that one. grateful and impressed by your talents, integrity and the incredible work ethic that you have shown. very bashful. we get that out of the remarks to you in not know it was there. the same thing can be said of all the service members and military spouses we have had the honor of meeting our these past four years. these men and women are some of the most talented, dedicated people you will ever meet. that is why two years ago when the four of us came together to launch a joining forces right here in this very room, and goal
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was to create an initiative which was worthy of their character in service. segment toe every stand up and take action to support and serve our military families. has truly joined forces in so many amazing ways. we have seen doctors and nurses take bold steps. seen colleges sign up to train teachers to be more responsive to the needs of our military children. we have seen community groups and citizens from every walk of life showed their appreciation for military families with words and deeds. today we are here to recognize the efforts of businesses across the country.
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we have been partying -- partnering to do everything to help them find the jobs they need and deserve. these efforts are about sell much more than a paycheck. this is about giving these men and women a source of identity and purpose, providing thousands of family is what security and giving our veterans and military spouses the confidence a better future for their children. as the challenge ourselves to do more, it is important to remember what is at stake with all of this. it is good toay remember what this is all about. that is what we did two years ago when the president issued his challenge. every time we looked at those of veteran unemployment numbers, every time we heard another story about someone who had taken incoming fire on a combat
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patrol but can i get and h. r. rep to take their calls, every time we talked to a military thank you have been transferred far too many times to build a decent career we became even more determined to make this right. with that challenge we all snapped into action. it seems like every week someone new gets involved in this effort. there has not been a no from anyone. i am thrilled to announce that in less than two years of america's businesses have hired or trained to under 90,000 veterans and military spouses. -- 290,000 military veterans and spouses. we troubled it with nearly eight months to spare. we are proud to announce that
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american companies have treated to trade another 435,000 men and women over the next five years. we are so grateful to all of the business leaders here today you are part of this effort -- who are part of this effort. it comes from every shape and size. the railroad is hiring 5000 veterans in the next five years. ups assigned 25,000. home depot, a 25,000. mcdonald's is hiring 100,000. usaa is pledging that 30% of the new hires will be veterans are military and
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spouses. they want a job in the year after the separate from service, wal-mart will hire them. within 30 daysdo of the application. the blackstone group has challenged each of its 50,000 hiring managers to hire at least one more veteran. at&t is traded in online military exchange for a group of businesses said that if one company cannot hire a veteran at tot moment they connect them someone who can. sinces felt more than 2011. the u.s. chamber of commerce is holding its 400 career fair since last march, fulfilling a commitment that in may to us a year ago. we are thrilled with all of the
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innovative ideas. we are in all of the meaningful commitments. they arely, .ommitting to people like david there are so many stories like his. i would like to take a moment to tell a few of these stories. as i call your name, i want you to stand and remain standing. staff sergeant said john murphy -- sean murphy, please stand. he transition to be a sixth grade special-education teacher in delaware. a little shot out to delaware. he has been promoted to lead teach for america as effort to hire more veterans as
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teachers. indeed. he is doing it because he said when you hang up those fatigues and put those boots away, i almost feel like you have given up your sense of service. then there is a staff sergeant courtney hasd served in the new jersey international guard for six years including a deployment in iraq. when she is not serving on active duty she is putting her skills as an intelligence analyst to use as cisco as a network consulting engineer. small but tough. thank you. then there is chris c. johnson -- chrissy johnson.
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she is an army why from san antonio. her family has been transferred three different time in nine years -- times in nine years. shot to build a career. financialenior foundation specialist on her way to earning her mba. yes. then there is sergeants erik. erik served in combat infantry for the 82nd airborne division and was deployed to times to the middle east. when he came home to california in the middle of a housing crisis he cannot find a job. then they found themselves homeless. an electricald in
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apprenticeship program in san francisco. even though he and his wife were living out of his pickup truck at that time, he is able to pinch in the pennies to buy gas to go to and from the class and finished the program. he is called full time at pg &e taking a leadership roles. now he is hoping to buy a home for their growing family. these families are talented and disciplined. they are ready to do the job and a matter what it takes. this connects every single spouse in this room. i would like to ask all of our spouses shares a day to please stand if they are able so we can give you a round of applause. -- who are here today to please stand if they are able so we can give you a round of applause.
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[applause] thank you also much. stories like these are not just in this room. .hey are all around us across the world they're standing up for us and for our values, our security, our communities. all they're looking for is another way to serve. all they need is that next mission. all they need is a job. to every business leaders in this room and throughout the country, i want you to remember the stories every single day. skills the all the men and women possess, all the people they have led, all the risks they have taken and sacrifices they have been stored -- endured for us.
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what more can you do for these men and women? if you own a small business can you commit to hiring a few veterans? if you own a larger company can you hire a few thousand? maintain the veterans of they can grow up in your company. kenny's team up with other businesses? team up with other businesses? my husband and i are with this -- in this with you. we're going to keep working to do what we can to develop new programs and partnerships at the federal level that can help you put these men and women to work even faster. while we are proud of how far we have come, it is not the finish line.
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not the mile-marker -- is the mile marker. men and women have stood up for us again and again and again. will we do the same for them ta? everything we have seen gives me confidence that the answer is absolutely yes. you live in a grateful nation. people will stand up. i want to say thank you form getting us this far. military,erans and innk you for your courage service. we will stand with you now and for decades to come. thank you. god bless. [applause]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> thank you every -- thank you very much, everybody. >> president obama and the first lady and joe biden and his wife jill announcing a private sector job initiative for veterans and their spouses. president obama just last hour finished a news conference happening on the 100th day of the second term. he answered questions, questions in syria.
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if we miss any of these marks we will be aired tonight. they will start at 8:00 p.m. eastern. happening all day today is a summit looking at the global economy and the debt. we carry portions of it on c- span2 earlier today. this begins as after earning 1:40pm this afternoon. >> this is the decision theater. is a place where a class or andp of friends can go in study decisions that georgia made, the financial crisis, a and give thehitrina, information he was given at the time.
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what do you going to do? he wass people what faced with. the information that he had at the time, why he chose what he did and just put people in his shoes. it gives people an idea of what a 7 the world skerries decisions. the awful decisions -- what is like to make some of the world's scariest decisions. the awful decisions. tourined laura bush for a of the new george w. bush library and museum wednesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the atlanta press club hosted an event with the columbia
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journalism school professor who also served as an online managing editor for the wall street journal. he talks about the line between reporters spontaneity first is -- need for careful editing versus the need for careful editing. this is just over one hour. >> thank you. that was very nice. i have been in the business for nearly 40 years. thank you very much. how many of you are alumni? that is a great crowd. thank you for coming. we have some of the future alumni here. i think we ended 7 cents for next year's class and the atlanta area. are there a few -- students for next year's class in the atlanta area? are there a few here? we hope they we will see you at
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columbia. there's nothing quite in new york city in the city of august to determine whether journalism is the right thing for you. i'm going to get a prepared speech today which i do not usually do. i hope he will forgive me for not having a power point or slide. i will be talking for about half an hour about social media. aboutare some thoughts how social media is changing the way we think about and doing our jobs. i'm used to being interrupted. if you have a question that is burning with a new, it just stand up with the microphone or we'll take questions at the end. thank you very much for hosting me today. today, i want to tell you the stories of two journalists, both working for u.s. publications, both based in the middle east. one is a wall street journal correspondent who was stationed
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in baghdad in 2004 and covered some of the bloodiest months in the iraq war. another is a new york times bureau chief who was sent just last year to jerusalem, and was soon enveloped in the recent crisis in gaza. both of them used digital means outside their own news organizations to express their opinions about the conflicts they were covering. both came under intense scrutiny for doing so. but eight years separates their time in the spotlight, and the difference in the velocity of changing technologies and the reactions of their news organizations raises questions of us who teach or practice journalism in the digital era. so let me start with the first reporter. in the fall of 2004, as the u.s. invasion of iraq was veering dangerously off course, farnaz fassihi, the wall street journalâ™s baghdad bureau chief sent what she thought was a private email to several of her
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closest friends. backi want to quote it at some length, because her passion and eloquence are important to our discussion today. being a foreign correspondent in baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest, fassihi wrote. my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick ass story but to stay alive and make sure our iraqi employees stay alive. securityd i am a personnel first, a reporter second. in detail after detail, she showed how american policy had gone awry. the insurgency is rampant with no signs of calming down, she wrote. if anything, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated cops are being murdered by the dozens every day, and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. then, fassihi went beyond mere
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description of the carnage, using what she thought was the comfort zone of a private email to go beyond standard journalistic norms. despite president bush's rosy assessments, she wrote, iraq remains a disaster. if under saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat. she called the war a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the united states for decades to come. as i said, she wrote this as a private update to a close circle of friends something she had been doing for several years, since the september 11 attacks. back i interviewed her to ask her how she remembers this. she saidclose friends and family wanted to know what was going on, she told me in a recent interview. keep in mind, this was 2004, when social media was in its infancy that is, this was shortly after mark zuckerberg dropped out of harvard university to create facebook -- can you still hear me?
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and years before twitter would become the powerful social network of billions of instantaneous thoughts. but something happened with this email, something fassihi did not anticipate. the digital platform acted as an accelerant, providing fuel to the spark of her unsparing prose. that, combined with her status as a wall street journal reporter covering a controversial war, just months before a hotly contested presidential election, ensured that her email would move beyond the small group she intended to reach. indeed, it found its way into increasingly larger concentric circles outside that group. it took a few weeks, but eventually her private email would be published in part or in whole on blogs around the world. an electronic letter meant for a few friends had become a must read for tens of thousands of people. goneng iâ™d done had ever viral like that, she remembered when we talked recently. suddenly i was getting emails from as far away as south
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africa, from australia. many of us found her account compelling. at the time, press critic and new york university professor breeding is unfit for public consumption. is this bias? perhaps. is that bad? i hope not. are they making this up? i doubt it. it became the subjects appraising the cartoon. direction from conservative different.ry one wrote my strong suspicions is that she is in over her head and she is terrified by the terrorism facing baghdad. for seemed unprofessional an objective reporter particularly one from such a mainstream publication.
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within a few days the journal announced that she would be taking a month off in the top area came to her overall professionalism. ms. fassihi's private opinions have in no way distorted her coverage, paul steiger told the new york post. he then went on to commend her track record at the journal as a model of intelligent and courageous reporting, and scrupulous accuracy and fairness. indeed, this proved not to be a huge obstacle to fassihi's career. in the years since she wrote that email, she has returned as a journal correspondent to iran, to lebanon and to many of the most volatile zones in the middle east. she continues to practice what her editor calls intelligent and courageous reporting. ae also went on to write book, published four years later, about the iraq war, and in the foreword she noted how that email acted as a catalyst not just for her feelings, but
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also for her readers because i was writing to friends, she wrote in the opening pages, i spoke freely, without the restraints of daily journalism that obliged me to be distant and objective. the emotional and personal tone grabbed the public in a way that my published pieces for the newspaper seldom did. the reaction overwhelmed me. strangers wrote to me asking, is it really that bad in iraq? we had no idea. let me re read the key part of her introduction, the restraints of daily journalism obliged me to be distant and objective." forfelt there was no room what she called the emotional and personal tone that would affect readers in ways that standard journalism couldn't match. i was managing editor of the journal's online operations at the time, and was involved only insofar as i was the recipient
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of multiple reader emails many of them stirred up in heavily orchestrated online letter writing campaigns. i was glad that the journal didn't take punitive action against fassihi, and was relieved that she would soon return to cover the middle east. and, truth is, i largely forgot about it, until a few months ago. then, in late november of last year, the new york times' new jerusalem bureau chief came under intense scrutiny for a series of provocative tweets and facebook posts she sent out before and during the gaza conflict. at one point, the bureau chief, jodi rudoren, sent a public tweet to ali abunimah, a controversial palestinian american journalist, with these inviting words, hey there. would love to chat sometime. my friend says good things. more controversially, she took to facebook to post her observation that, when she had recently talked to gazans who just lost a relative, or who are
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gathering belongings from a bombed out house, they seem a bit hohum. as fassihi could have told her, a reporter at a premier news organization like the new york times or wall street journal go only so far in expressingand in this case, rudoren accomplished one unusual thing, she managed to anger people on both sides of the israelipalestinian controversy. she did come to regret some of her language. she told the times' public editor, margaret sullivan, that she was wrong to characterize palestinians' view of death as ho hum. i should have talked about steadfastness or resiliency, that was a ridiculous word to use, she told sullivan. overall, she acknowledged, i just wasn't careful enough. that mea maxima culpa wasn't enough for the times, though. after these incidents, she was instructed to run her social media posts by an editor in new york. according to sullivan, the times' public editor, the idea
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is to capitalize on the promise of social media's engagement with readers while not exposing the times to a reporter's unfiltered and unedited thoughts. this is an important line, and i want to repeat it. the times wants to ensure that its readers not be exposed to a reporter's unfiltered and unedited thoughts. and how is that going? rudoren doesn't seem very sanguine about the new arrangement. we know this thanks to an insightful paper by gal beckerman, a ph.d. student at columbia journalism school, who interviewed rudoren by email. the new editing policy for social media makes a lot of intellectual sense, but maybe not so much practical sense, rudoren wrote. i've found the back and forth over what i should write and how i should write it a back and forth very familiar and very welcome in the newspaper editing realm to mostly feel awkward and off for facebook and twitter. the very act of bringing in an editor and having all kinds of and they may not be returned by exchanges over what to post just seems somewhat anathema to her bosses for seven hours or so.
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i'm not sure an edited feed is form. a feed worth following. one of rudoren's concerns was plus, her facebook page has now become a forum for middle east very practical she sends vitriol, from both sides. proposed tweets or facebook posts to new york editors in the morning, jerusalem time, she told beckerman, especially when combined with the fact that my feed has gotten anemic and less interesting, we'll lose whatever momentum we were building. and so, what do we make of how reporters should conduct themselves in this new era? it is a longstanding tenet of the traditional journalistic canon that reporters should be objective observers, acting as handmaidens of the facts that our readers and viewers need to make rational, informed decisions. that does not mean that journalists must simply provide a recitation of opposing sides on any issue, without providing much analysis. if anything, it has become increasingly important for reporters to play a larger role in explaining and analyzing what they see and hear. still, it is not simple. it never was.
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and in a digital age, it is even more difficult. we all know one of the reasonsdigital platforms accelerate and extend the ways our remarks travel among everyone, from our friends and family to total strangers halfway around the world. in 2004, it took a few weeks for fassihi's email to be distributed and eventually published online. in 2012, it took only seconds for rudoren's tweets to be read and retweeted endlessly. the cycle moves much faster now. indeed, it is such a cliché that i apologize for bringing it up. and let's remember that reporters especially those working for such prestigious organizations as the new york times or wall street journal have a deep obligation to their institutions for all they get. the times revised its policy on editing rudoren's social media shortly after this speech was delivered. according to public editor sullivan, " a deputy foreign editor, michael slackman, told me that ms. rudoren's social media presence eventually fell
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off as she dug into her new beat the new york time and could bring a scarecrow. reporters have another big advantage. the audience is a big with tens of millions of the need readers online. the audience has tremendous influence appeared in a story written a broadcast reporter from npr bbc will be heard and members oflomats and the palestinian authority. for generations, reporters have
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or station. thus, journalists have from time to time gotten into trouble for making contributions to political candidates, or showing up at public demonstrations about hot issues like abortion. for good reasons, many publishers have found it necessary to continue to exercise their authority, now social media. newspaper editors compiled companies' policies in 2011, and most of them attempt to address the pitfalls that rudoren came across in her posts. one of the most telling policies is from the washington post, which states that its reporters and editors must relinquish some of the personal privileges of private citizens. washington post journalists must recognize that any content associated with them in an online social network is, for practical purposes, the equivalent of what appears newspaper or on our website." in other words, no matter what digital identity reporters and editors choose, whether they ruminating on twitter about
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an important development on their beat or showing off their follow the company's code on ethics and impartiality. what we see in these rules is an effort by journalism anditutions to retain their beliefs, in part because they believe it should help them stay relevant in publicand the reasons for that are times writer john lloyd, who said this a little over a year of power. majorower includes the one to stimulate and organize public opinion in one direction or another, and in so doing put pressure on the political level. to have that power, news
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organizations need to be organizations which have a collective memory, a clear goal, ideals, commercial and legal departments, a reputation in the reporters to gain entrance, a attract people who see it as structure. so in that light, i want to pose a question to you. even as institutions seek to preserve the traditional lines of conduct by their staff, is it still so clear where the institution's reach ends and where the individual journalist's responsibility begins? platitudes about how digital changes everything,' but this is a case where the legacy ways of defining practices and norms are coming under intense pressure from the internet and social media. first, the institutions themselves are under increasing financial pressure, and that makes the issues murkier. newspapers and tv stations find it necessary to drive more traffic to websites and other digital properties. it'scomplish that,
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critical that social media be part of the mix. their reporters must deploy twitter and facebook in ways that draw bigger audiences and drive more usage on their sites. but many users of social media find they must be consistently provocative, or at least interesting, to be successful. and being provocative means that some tweets and posts are going to go awry. moreover, encouraging this direct relationship between journalists and readers will require rethinking traditional rules about how reporters are edited and supervised. at most newspapers, every word of copy that appears in print has been read by at least one editor, and often two or three. can you do that in social media? as we saw with the new york times' middle east bureau chief, spontaneity and close editing cannot co exist. remember her words, the very act of editing just seems somewhat anathema to the form. there is another issue, one
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that goes even more directly to the tense relationship of employers and employees. reporters' reputations and by extension, their market value depend increasingly on their ability to attract an audience. are part of a small startup. understand. for years, journalists haven't cared much about how many peoplethere are several reasons for that. for one, most reporters see themselves as members of a large team, and it has always been hard to determine with much any individual journalist. have,, those metrics until recently, been hard to measure. for traditional media, you may get a general idea of how many people are watching a broadcast or reading a magazine, but you have a hard time determining
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exactly how many views each story gets. largely anonymous to the outsidethe name of who is covering the police department, or the state department, is largely unknown to anyone who isn't already anow, though, reporters' audiences can be determined constantly and instantly. those numbers can become a standard by which a journalist's value is determined both within a news organization as well as in the open market. this is rather new, at least for read columnist. one can now attempt if not always succeed to measure the value of any individual journalist to the overall news organization. digitalporters in a world have different, and to fulfill. it is not enough to simply cover a beat, produce a video, write a back cogent story. indeed, reporters who limit themselves to those traditional tools may find themselves under equipped to handle the growing expectations of news sites that want journalists to bring in more readers and generate more page views. and reporters have another set of obligations now, too. they have a duty to themselves, to their own careers, to build
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up their presence online, to prove to employers, present and so, the audience is measurable. and here's what's really scary for some news organizations. thanks largely to social media, movable. is. the readers would barely notice. they would, by and large, stick with the institution. but a journalist who is building his or her brand is in another category. howard kurtz, a prominent media critic in the united states, had around 70,000 twitter followers when he worked for the washington post. then, two years ago, he left the post to write for the daily beast. his twitter audience didn't stay with the post. it moved with him, and now he has about 120,000 followers. andrew sullivan, a prominent
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blogger, just announced he's leaving the daily beast to start his own media business and guess out the door. and when jim roberts left the new york times earlier this year, his 80,000 plus followers became part of the thomsonthe message is getting through to reporters. when i spoke to ms. fassihi, the asked her about this trend. she doesn't have personal accounts on social media, but she does use twitter to learn what's going on in the middle east, to find and contact sources, and so on. during the iran uprising of 2009, she said in our interview, a journal editor told her that her name had become one of the most searched terms on the website. her,s when it occurred to we're turning into brands. i don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. you can increase your audience. but it can also be a bad thing. some of the name brands are overstressed. reporters spend hours now figuring out how to time their tweets, when to send them
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overnight. that's not why i became a journalist. i didn't become a reporter to become a celebrity. you have to have interaction with the real world not just the virtual world. i couldn't agree more with my former colleague. as powerful as social media have become, they cannot substitute for the vital acts of journalism that reporters commit daily and, in many parts of the world, courageously. but it is also important not to see it as an either or proposition. it is entirely possible that social media will soon be seen as a journalistic tool no less vital than a phone or a camera. and as with any tool, journalists need guidelines. chief among them is that reporters must understand that a social media post can be as powerful as any story they write, any video they produce. indeed, fassihi found her email to be the single most viral thing she had written at the time. each time a reporter sends out tweet or puts something up on
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facebook, the self editor must engage. the new era also means that reporters must more closely examine who they are and what role they want to play. if your intention is to be an advocate for one side or the other, often downplaying or ignoring contradictory evidence, then so be it. ofre are plenty of examples reporters acting in that mode, going back many years. advocacy journalism has a rich history, in the u.s. and around the world, and digital platforms make it only more powerful. but recognize the implications of that role. you may be diminishing your potential audience, preaching only to the converted. you are likely cutting yourself off from sources who feel they won't get a fairearing in your media. more fundamentally, you are probably failing to invite or consider opinions and facts that could make your own journalism more textured, more authentic, and more valuable. for those who value the search for truth, a search unencumbered by the obligation to satisfy a specific point of
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view, i would simply say this, whatever you write, whatever you say, has now become a part of how your reporting will be viewed. you cannot separate your tweets from your articles or your broadcasts. and the sooner you see your social media as integral to your journalism, and not a sideline, the more easily you can adapt to the new possibilities and risks. when i began researching this speech, i took the time to reread fassihi's email from 2004. journalismce of that, with minor editing, ought to have run in the wall street journal. it is the journal's loss that she felt too constrained to offer it to editors like me, and it is the world's loss that her message had to be spread as if it were contraband furtively shared by insiders rather than a vivid depiction of events that deserved widespread attention and acclaim.
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when fassihi and i talked a few months ago, i asked her how she now views that email from baghdad, eight years later. things what she said, have changed a lot. i didn't have a direct audience as you have now with twitter, facebook and blogs. now the conversation becomes public. you're much more conscious that whatever you say is not private. there's something about technology there's an intimacy to it makes you forget it's a public domain. you mistake it for a conversation with a friend. and as for the email itself, she says this, though it was difficult, i don't regret it. as a journalist, ultimately what you try to do is have impact. you try to get people to see things in a different way. my email succeeded in doing that. thank you very much.
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[applause] i will be happy to discuss this. corrects i would like to ask a question. >> do you to explain what happened? >> i would rather not. >> as i recall, she sent out a tweet or a facebook post memorializing someone -- >> a leader that died. she expressed some regret over his death. she liked him a lot. >> and she was fired. >> that was reported.


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