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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 5, 2013 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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"washington journal" live with your calls, tweets, and e-mails his next. host: president obama is back from his trip to mexico and costa rica but he hits the road again today out to ohio to make a convention speech at ohio university. congress will be returning tomorrow from a week-long break. on the senate side we will hear about the internet sales tax bill and immigration. hearingouse side, a big with the state department whistle-blowers. hopes that congress will hear more about the issue of guns. this brings us to our first question for you this morning --
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it is a statement from the nra. they are gearing up for the 2014 election. a big meeting they held in houston. here are the numbers to call. the nra queues up for the 2014 election. you can: or find as online on ,witter, facebook.com journal@c-span.org. a lot of headlines following up this convention. post," -- ashington "the baltimore sun the" headline
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-- and from "the new york times," -- here is a little bit of tape from wayne lapierre in houston yesterday. [video clip] >> we are the people. this is our country. this is a fight for our freedom and freedom that separates us from every other nation on earth. that freedom makes us stronger than other countries and that
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freedom makes us better than other countries. that freedom is on the line. never more on the line than right now. 17 days ago president obama said this was only round one. round two is on the way. they're coming after us with a vengeance to destroy us in every ounce -- destroy us. to destroy us and every ounce of our prfreedom. to defeat any and all threats to our freedom.
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today we are a record 5 million strong. and we will not slow down. not one single bit. by the time we finished the nra must and will be 10 million strong. "the times" goes on to say --
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first call from florida on the democratic line. thank youod morning, for c-span. this strikes me as a diversion from the current issue, which is a background checks. to start talking about bluebird and the rest of it it is a diversion away talking about a simple matter, talking about background checks. i am not against the second amendment. checks. background just to finish -- host: let me jump in. what you make of prospects on the hill. -- what do you make of prospects on the hill? caller: i was calling to comment
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for the gun lobby to be so strong as to be able to stomp to preventgislation crazy people from getting their hands on a gun, for them to be issuerong -- another that arises is our system of campaign contributions that enable our elected officials to take what is estimated to be a 90% in favor of background for sucho allow mistaken legislation, it really needs to be more analyzed as much as the background check legislation themselves.
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host: we are going to bring up some dollar pieces -- some dollar figures for you. let us hear from charles from fairfax, virginia. what you make of this meeting and the path for 2014 it? they're taking the only course they can. what you do not see is the multiplier effect. arer membership numbers only a small percentage of people who own firearms. the people who are not and are a members who agree with and are a positions, they do not get three much hate, they did not very much publicity, they do not get very much media cuoverage. when the senate gets the nra
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lobbying measures in positions they realize there are a great many people in america who agree with the nra who are not paid and are a members. these gun owners who support second amendment rights -- host: taking your calls this morning for about another 35 minutes on the big and are a meeting in houston. -- the big and are a meeting in houston. ig nra meeting b i in houston. we have this tweet --
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we have james on the line from silver lake, indiana, an independent college. good morning. caller: good morning, i appreciate you letting me spend a few minutes with you. obama's administration towards -- he is ability failing to leave out one thing. in theobama is bringing u. n on this in controlling our gun rights. i do not care how many democrats disagree with me, this is a fact and it is not doing the country any good to have our liberty controlled by the un.
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, him wanting a national registry is a way of taxation and confiscation prior to a dun seizure. a gun and seizure. gun seizure. it is not excuse the fact that like in boston we are having more and more violence committed by people coming in our country and doing jihad. host: here is more from wayne lapierre is today in houston. [video clip] >> president obama, the
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president of the united states, had a press conference 17 days ago and angrily called the nra liars. liars? really? this from a man who spent his entire reelection campaign saying he supported our second amendment rights. and would never try to take anyone's gun away. and he calls us liars. who from the president repeatedly claims that 40% of fire arms sales to not involve a background check. that was never true. post close "ington --e the president 3 pinno gave the washington post"
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the president three pinocchio's. my favorite line is that 90% of americans support his background check bill. raved aboutnnot anything else. what kind of pulling they do in the white house but i do know this, when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the mentally deranged the nra agrees 100%. host: 1 you're listening to that clips as this -- -- one viewer listening to that clip says this --
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betty from louisburg, virginia. betty is on the democratic line, good morning. youer: most gun owners, don't hear in the media about gun owners protecting themselves. in our society you do not have
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criminals applying to get a gun. they go out on the black market and they get it done. we do not need to lose our rights to bear arms. host: we have greg from tennessee now, greg is a republican. what do you make of the nra convention and what has been set down there? caller: i agree with what they have to say. -- ild like to stipulate have been a lower price worker all my life. i have had to work very hard for what i have. i intend on keeping what i have worked for. no one is going to come and take or steal from me what i have earned for my family. i would like to get the point of near bloomberg and president obama -- of major blumberg and president obama wanting to -- of
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mayor bloomberg and president obama wanting to register your weapons. mayor bloomberg wants to regulate your food consumption. you go to check out at the checkout line and the cashier have "mr. obama you can this, this, and this, but you cannot take your soda or potato chips." to want to regulate everything we do. i am in america. am bent on harming someone it is not going to be a rock.
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the photos and write ups here, this is a "the baltimore sun and," -- "the baltimore sun and," -- a couple of more points from this lengthy and "the new york times" peace -- folksabout those inspecting and m4 rifle. there is a shot of people from memphis and denver practicing techniques. across the street action in houston, they say across from the hall a small group of gun control advocates spent friday and saturday reading the names of four thousand americans
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killed by gun violence since the -- more of the activity there at the nra meeting. there is one more piece from wayne lapierre, the executive vp of the national rifle association. [video clip] >> imagine waking up to a phone call from the police at 3:00 a.m. in the morning warning that
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a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home. aboutalking, of course, boston, where residents work imprisoned behind locked doors of their own homes. a terrorist with bombs and guns just outside. frightened citizens sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves or their families from whatever might come crashing through their front door. how many bostonians wished they had a gun at two weeks ago? [applause] americans now ponder that life or death question? a recent national poll answer that question decidedly. with danger lurking outside their doors, 69% of americans said "yes, i want my freedom, i
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want my second amendment, i want my gun." host: you can watch the full speech at c-span.org. gene is on the line from maine. good morning. caller: good morning. host: what would you like to say? caller: i have always supported the nra. i am not a member and i do not have a gun. i listened to the entire nra conference meeting and it discourages me that the nra continuously, they keep saying we are removing their rights to bear arms. that is false.
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all we are asking for is for people to register guns. we have so many guns floating around in our world. a gun on the internet. you can go to these gun shows and pick up again anytime you want. they have no idea who you are. you have to care. thank you. host: thank you for calling. jim wright's via facebook -- a story in politico this morning, you can read the full story online, the headline says --
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michelle is on the line from here in dc. good morning. and thank you. i does want to begin by saying this, give me a few minutes because i never get through any more. time the tragedy happened in boston -- people need to look at that not because those guys, even though they were from a different country, i think they still have the ability to get a hold of weapons. people in areas that live like we do not live in the district, they see crime rates. is getting out of hand.
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give me a minute to address the people of west virginia. i have friends on both sides of this equation. i think everybody has a right to bear arms but nobody has a right to shoot our president, john f. kennedy, no right to shoot .alcom x or mlk the reason why wayne lapierre was behind background checks in 2004 was because of columbine. now we have the first african .merican president people -- ay review
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lot of children are dying. a lot of people are doing self- inflicted was coming from the war. i promise i am going to be brief -- our service members are the most patriotic -- we send our babies overseas to protect those people in afghanistan hurt by the television. -- hurt by the taliban. you are going to sit in an audience of people and say rise up against them? they're not coming for your guns. they protect us every day. [indiscernible] that is because they defend our freedom. why do you want to encourage people, there is nothing and
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nobody could do about those bombs. host: thank you for weighing in this morning. one other viewer watching these clips, wayne lapierre in the twitter -- ponse in we have rb from redmond, oregon. thank you for this discussion. i'm tired of everything coming
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down to color. -- there wouldn be less of a stacked up forgot knows where, god knows what, and god knows how long. i come from the military. over not send our babies there. we send men and women over there. they know what they are doing. war is war. people would like to say it is all over now. i know human nature. where the highest gun crime
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rates are are often the places that have the toughest gun restrictions. i hope people would think about this logically. are in homes with guns in safe places. and we let kids out them know what a gun does. there is no doubt in their mind why we use them. thank you for listening. more from the political peace, they make connections to congress --
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a little bit more about the money -- who -- as we look at the capitol this
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sunday morning we will remind you that congress is coming back into session. .e will hear more about this the internet sales tax bill on the senate side, the house will hold a joint meeting for the south korean president. they are holding that a hearing on benghazi, which will tell you about in a second. furred, connecticut, -- north furred connecticut, hello. there was a ban on assault type weapons under bush. it was passed under big fanfare. happened? i don't know, what
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happened to it? host: what would you like to see happen now? there are of their efforts afoot. exactly would you like to see happen? caller: i would like a ban on these high caliber weapons with magazines that can kill so many people in one fell swoop. i would really like to know what happened to that band and who was responsible for lifting it. host: john from pennsylvania, a democrat, could morning. -- good morning. caller: i think it is ridiculous. ofive in the state pennsylvania and i have sporting guns. you cannot use an assault rifle and extended clip in the state of pennsylvania for hunting. i do not know anyone who would
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use them for protection. most people would use a handgun or a shotgun. i do not think responsible people have any use for them. war two they wanted to ban the shotgun. the germans thought the shotgun was too horrendous of a weapon to be used, even in war. when my uncle came back from world war two his service called did not hold any more than 10 rounds in the clip. i cannot understand how now on our public streets we halve weapons that have 30 round clips or more. i do not agree with the nra. for them to be blasting mayor bloomberg for being a billionaire, wayne lapierre is a billionaire and all he cares about selling guns and he does
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not care if it is the expense -- does not care if it is at the expense of our children and future. all he wants to do is profit. he bakes fun of another man who wants to get guns off the street when you are making billions putting guns on the street. host: here is that benghazi story, which we will hear a lot more about this week. three state says department whistle-blowers are to testify on benghazi this week.
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some programu information later in the week. mike from nevada, you are on the line. a morning. -- good morning. caller: i was in vietnam. the alitary version of r-15, i can see where people have problems with the gun. it is not a very good weapon, --ily detected in the woods easily defective in the woods. cannula imagine -- can you
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that seen in the buckshot, it would have done much more damage than an ar-15. worst weapons the to be shot with. i am 63. since i was a kid, at 18 when i bought my first rifle, back then a mentalre a felon or drug addict you cannot buy a gun. this was 60 years ago. i do not understand what the changes are on this background check, anyway. they went to the registration
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and started collecting them. host: that as mike. ron is on the line from centerville, texas. caller: good morning. host: what you make of all of this? caller: there is a lot of ignorance out there. there was the lady that called a few minutes ago wanted to know what happened to the assault passed ban -- it was not under george bush, it was passed under the clinton administration. it had a term limit. it expired at the end of 10 years, that is why it went away. i am a retired police officer. longer wear a badge but i took an oath to uphold the constitution. if you do away with one constitutional liberty by just casting it aside without due
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process the rest of them will go the same route. thes about the integrity of constitution and bill of rights. there are 22,000 gun-control laws out there, most of which are not even enforced and what add more to it? it will not do any good if you do not enforce the ones you have now. that there are no background checks at gun shows, that is false. private sales between individuals, yes there's no background check there. you dogo to a gun show have to pass a background check or have it submitted at that time because only licensed dealers can sell at those places legally. there is a lot of misinformation out there. it is appalling but as i said the bottom line is the integrity
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of the constitution and bill of rights. can they just be cast aside? or are they worth the paper they are written on? the other thing that is kind of worrysome is this talk about registrations and confis cation. i do not know how that will work. here's my theory on it, if you license a constitutional liberty it ceases to become a liberty thebecomes a privilege at hand of government. last thing i want to make a comment on is an old saying, outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."
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both are very scary things to consider. host: dennis rights that -- audrey from georgia, you are on the line. good morning. all of this stuff about the control. andve not heard anywhere that our second amendment right is being infringed upon. i am not hearing anything about the gunmen coming to take them things away.
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trying to control the gun population -- the line between sane and insane is very thin. getting a gunon -- we need to get a handle on what is going on. the world is still evolving. it is bad now. piling people stock guns. wante are saying "we don't this black person telling us what to do." we didn't want to be hung, either. thes about teh safety --
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safety of our children, the safety of our families. do you need to protect your family with a cannon or assault rifle? i do not think so. host: we will now go to john. are you there? caller: yes. i am afraid we are walking away from the second amendment. i just recently got a response from my senator who says his staff is trying to protect the second amendment rights. nowhere in the second amendment does it mention hunting. it goes back to the writings of jefferson and addison, where they were afraid of the government. we have a situation in virginia
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for mandatory sentences for the use of firearms as a penalty -- felony. escalate iteed to to a national level. the death penalty should be in place. it is not a law-abiding citizen that is using a firearm. it is the felons. thank you very much. host: one of our guests later in we program is jeffrey white, will get him to talk about this .tory from nbc in other reported attack in syria.
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the right here -- here --write doris, south dakota, independent, good morning. caller: i find that more and more we think it's our right to have all of the things here. it used to be a privilege. something we were proud of. we want to be responsible people. you wanted to do our part. we wanted to work hard. you wanted to support ourselves. it used to be a privilege. now it is not that anymore. it.have to earn
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as far as guns go, i can see all the gangsters -- whatever you want to call them -- gangs and things marching up and gladly handing over their guns. it did not work in other countries, it is not going to work in hours. host: you can read about a story that spreads over two pages in "the new york daily news," -- we are hearing about some additional efforts on capitol .ill
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a new version of the bill had perhaps 100 co-sponsors. the president is heading to columbus today. it much that event a little bit later today. -- you can watch the event a little later today. robert from tennessee, a democrat, hello. i just had to make this one comment.
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actually made a mistake and told the truth about gun laws in one respect. the instant they realized they told the truth is somebody , "do not sayd them that." gun this amounts to is that laws on the books will stop most people from getting a gun. ie problem is finding the law will give you a perfect example. i know a lot about guns and a lot about the people out here using guns. i will give you an example a guy shoots a guy with a 12 gauge shotgun in broad daylight. he gets 35 years in prison and walks in five.
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everybody wants this guy back out in the street because their budgets will go down if they put this guy away for the amount of time that the federal government -- they want you back on the street. host: let us take one more call. thank you for calling. wendell is from dallas. you get the last word. the federal background check is there. the key word is universal background check. there is so much more that needs to be checked, your mental capacity, your residence. everybody keeps working things wrong. that is where the definition
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goes wrong. school records on your background check, banking records, records that have nothing to do with it. this, buy, trade, or sell. this is where it went wrong. it goes against private sales. host: thank you to everybody who called and in this first 45 minutes on the gun store. when we come back we'll talk to linda feldmann, white house correspondent for christian about president and his second term agenda. later on it is jeffrey white from the washington institute for near east policy.
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in the meantime, some news from c-span radio. >> we are going to tell you who is going to be on the sending network tv talk shows. we replay those programs beginning noon eastern on c-span radio. at noon, and dc's meet the press, david gregory will speak with guests including senate judiciary committee chairman patrick leahy. jane harman and heads the wilson center. former new york republican mayor rudy guiliani and former house speaker in gop candidate newt gingrich. at 1:00, abc's this week with host george stephanopoulos and guest warren buffett, chairman and ceo of berkshire hathaway. and former new mexico democratic gov. bill richardson. at two o'clock p.m. fox news sunday with host chris wallace, and the guest includes john
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stephen lynch, a democrat from massachusetts. at 3:00 on cnn "state of the union," said majority whip dick durbin. and peter king, a member of the house homeland security and house intelligence committee. we will talk with house intelligence member mike rogers. also on face the nation, government reform committee chair carol i said. -- caroll issa. e are nationwide on the xm satellite radio channel 119. you can listen with our free apps for your iphone, android,
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and blackberry. massively eagan made mistakes on defense. the defense budget was not just a waste of money in those eight years. it is what created the war machine that was used to create some much havoc in the world and andte so much anger problems throughout the world that were totally unnecessary that made this an imperial humorous tic power. -- and imperial hubris tic power. the big government is not the solution to every problem. it can weigh down the present economy. the idea of on japan doors, the idea of technological change --
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the idea of entering the norse, the idea of technological change -- the idea of entrepeneurs, the change, ichnological agree with those things. he lost fiscally. he really needed to stand up on closing more of that deficit. ronald reagan spent most of his life -- spent his life in the 1980's as the greatest scourges of deficit spending. he left a legacy of massive which let his followers say that deficit does not matter. that was a historical error of massive proportions. >> more with david stockman tonight at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." [video clip]
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" ashington journal continues. host: linda feldmann is here to talk about president obama's second term. is the big oneis for him in the second term. that: i always thought the control was a long shot and immigration reform largely because there is a strong pitch for the republicans to get this done. this is not necessarily about the president being successful. even he knows and has hinted at the white house correspondents' dinner last weekend that that was not necessarily going to be his ticket to success. the immigration reform is not going to be easy either. the senate has the gang of
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eight. the senate has presented its legislation. we are now in the coming week and a half at the deadline for amendments on tuesday. we can hear a vote by june. both the right and left are building their arguments about why this is a problem for legislation. that doesn't even get it to the house yet. host: there is the possibility of a house bill. what is the level of engagement personally that the president had on immigration? guest: he is not super involved. he knows he is in a tricky situation. he says regularly that when he gets super publicly involved it becomes about him and not about legislation. he knows that there are people, republicans in congress, who, for their own reasons, do not
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want him to succeed. he has these dinners. this is part of a permission structure that will allow other forces to come together and create an atmosphere and environment with the legislation can be passed. host: a lot more issues on the president's agenda. we are talking with linda feldmann, the white house correspondent for christian science monitor. phone numbers are on the bottom of the screen. roughly 100 days into his new the president held a conference to talk about his agenda. here is one short piece with one question i want to ask about. [video clip] youru are 100 days into second term. on the gun bill you put everything into it to try to get it passed. obviously it did not. congress has ignored your efforts to undo the sequestered.
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there is a bill that you try to ito that got 92 democrats in the house voting yes. you still have to choose to get the rest of your agenda through this congress? >> if you put that way -- [laughter] golly. -- ask it is a little mark twain said, the rumors of my demise may be exaggerated at this point. we understand we are in a divided government. republicans control the house of representatives. in the senate this habit of requiring 60 votes for even the most modest of piece of legislation has come up the works there. workstgummed up the here. it comes to no surprise that
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things are pretty dysfunctional but not on capitol hill. despite that i am confident that there are a range of things that we are quite be able to get done. i feel confident that the bipartisan work that has been done on immigration reform will result in a bill that passes in the senate, passes in the house, and it's on my desk. that is point to be a historic achievement. i have been very complimentary of the efforts of both republicans and democrats in those efforts. host: a bit of a chuckle about the question of whether or not he has jews. does he? -- of whether or not he has juice. does he? he has been reelected. he got a bounce in opinion polls. he was above 50%, that has declined.
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he used political capital in pushing for the background check legislation. he pushed very hard. he put his personal prestige on the line on that in a way we have not seen. he is usually very pragmatic and calculating in how he puts of out there. on guns he obviously felt very very deeply and personally involved in the issue, starting from the day in newtown. this was, in some ways, a departure for him. he had to make that effort. we're seeing some of the residual fallout from that. we have seen other members of and control is dead but not completely.
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move on to immigration reform. he has this habit in a press us feeling sorry for himself. we saw him being very relaxed and funny at the white house correspondents' dinner. just a few days later he is very sober, it did not seem like he wanted to be there. in terms of what his white house is doing in reaching out to the hill, his people are reaching out and working with their allies on the hill. it really comes down to politics in the end and this idea that there is this dysfunction on capitol hill is true. it is the system we have. it is not a parliamentary system where the leader of government also has a majority in the congress or parliament. that alld it may be that we can relate to in his second term -- his biggest
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achievement may be accomplishing health care reform and not getting anything else three. i would not give up on immigration reform. host: first call for our guest is john from virginia, good morning. how're you doing? earlier this week i watched the president's news conference on tv. i felt the answer to benghazi was now or sufficient enough to answer the question the american people have. as part of the media, how come we do not have the answers to benghazi and how come we let fast and furious go by the wayside? asked by foxtion news, which has been the lead news organization pursuing this, he said he was not aware -- the question was, "why are some state department whistle-blower
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is not being allowed to testify the state department was not aware of that issue. they subsequently came out and said that the people that have been asked to testify were waiting jury clarence. general committee this week. oversighthouse committee chairman. this is an issue that is clearly a very important to conservatives. less so on the liberal end of things. the president has more central issues to contend with. >> in the clip from the president he said there was a range of issues to work on. we have touched on immigration and guns, but what else is out there, realistically, in terms of the second term agenda? >> there is the issue that jonathan referred to, with the
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democrats going against the president's position on cyber- security legislation. obviously a critically important issue. we hear warnings of a potential kind of pearl harbor in the cyber-world as we become more and more computer oriented. i am not sure where that is going or if that can get through. but it is something he cares about. >> the health care bill, subject to a lot of hearings on the hill, some of them kind of feisty. how long will the process take? what about the dynamics of that issue affecting everything else? >> it reminds me of an impression i had after that press conference, which was that the president did not come in with opening remarks. often he will have five minutes, 10 minutes, something he wants to use his bully pulpit to promote.
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in this case he just started asking questions. he could have used that opportunity to emphasize that obama care, the affordable care act, is about to enter its most important deadline, the open enrollment period. the market place for people who lack insurance and are going to be going into the individual market they will go in and get it because they are now required to do so. the implementation of the law is struggling. percentage ofking the public does not understand it that it is the law of the land. 42% of americans do not know that obama care is still law. on top of that most states opted not to set up individual
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exchanges, prompting the federal government to do that. a lot of states turned down the expansion of medicaid. it is not clear that the law will deliver and carry through on the promises the president said it would. i am a little struck that he has not used his bully pulpit more to inform the american public of their rights of that law. , whiteinda feldmann house correspondent with "the christian science monitor," serving as their mama -- moscow bureau chief in the late 1980's and 1990's. atlanta. caller: how are you this morning? talking aboutsi health care or chinese food? we have sure got a train wreck.
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i will take the comment of the air. host: anything you want to say? guest: as the president pointed out, the law has already intersected 85% of the public. are happy with that law. people with adult children just out of college, just out of high school in the world of work, without health insurance, can remain on a parent's plan. you cannot ban someone from coverage because of previous existing conditions. lifetime caps have been removed. the public already has obama care, it is the final, the uninsured who are now in the spotlight. host: nancy, baltimore, hello. caller: fly feel like the
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president's agenda is going to get done, regardless of all of the roadblocks and everything else. now, your guest on their made a statement that the president has the tendency to feel sorry for himself. he does not feel sorry for him itself. -- himself. i do not know what her agenda is, but she needs to look to it. he is the president of the united states, he just hopes and prays, really. he cares about the american people. the little dog democrats get on board, because he is really going to get to the point. he willot be him, but be starting something. >> let's hear from our guest.
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-- host: let's hear from our guests. guest: the president is an interesting historical figure, no doubt about that. when running for president and said that if he -- when he ran for his second term it would give his agenda a big boost. i am not quite sure that that is going to happen. politics is a permanent feature of the governing structure. that c-span has already started their road to the white house coverage for 2016. the midterm elections for 2014 are well under way. the president in a way had the most minimal honeymoon after he won reelection. gether that means he can major legislation passed in the next year is open to discussion.
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as we have said, the immigration reform is probably his best shot at a big piece of legislation that can pass. republicans are part of the legislation as well. they want to hold onto their house majority, likely going to happen. as they now points out in "the washington post," the have not done much for 2016. there really still have a lot of very conservative members who are very powerful and are really theing back, try to undo immigration reform that senator marco rubio is promoting. we just said the nra convention in houston, gunning for, as it were, 2014 as well. this mixture of policy and politics is here to stay, which can either help the president or hurt him, but the fact that
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obama was reelected, i do not know if that will make him successful. 2,-- host: this is from page "what has the gop done since november"? he says there is little evidence that they have begun to solve the 2012 problems. an interesting question from twitter, please tell me -- what are the obama core beliefs and policies? fromeems to randomly move issue to issue." guest: he fundamentally believes that government can be a force for good. this is the core belief of democrats. republicans want government to be as small as possible, the president leaves that government exists to help people, not necessarily with handouts, but a hand up. it was interesting a few weeks
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ago when he released his budget and it included cuts to entitlement programs, social security and medicare. this was a very clinton-ask move towards triangulation. kind of work the middle, make a gesture toward the republicans and away from the democrats to try to bring them to the negotiating table to work out some kind of a grand bargain on deficit reduction. that is still sitting there. i would not necessarily rule out the possibility of a grand bargain, but by definition the president moves from subject to subject because that is what being president is all about. not talked about syria and yet, but that is a very critical issue at the moment. who bombings, israel, thursday night -- moment.
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bombings, israel, thursday ,ight, has a lot -- hezbollah the president clearly does not want to get the u.s. more involved in a serious situation, but he kind of walked up to that point with his red and now that there is evidence of chemical weapons, he is trying to play for time. host: more of your calls in a moment. a short piece from the president about sequestration this week, along with ongoing talks from senators. here's a look. [video clip] >> the sequester in place right now is damaging the economy and hurting the people, it needs to be lifted and clearly the only way it will be lifted is if we do a deal that meets the test of lowering our deficit and a
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economy. at the same time. that is going to require some compromises on the part of democrats and republicans. i have had some good conversations with republican senators so far, those conversations are continuing. this was a genuine desire on their part to move past not only sequester, but washington dysfunction. whether we can get it done or not, we will see. host: compromise possible that he talks about? the debt ceiling is coming up again within a couple of months. guest: the way things happen in washington, when we go into crisis mode, everybody hates this, but it is the way it has worked out. we get up to the point of defaulting on the national debt or the government shuts down. really, the republicans have tended to be hurt more by this
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government by crisis mode, but it really does not help anyone. at a certain point the public stops paying attention and brushes off washington as a bunch of incompetent idiots. on sequester, the latest jobs report, unemployment is still high, but it went down to 7.5%. not a huge impact on sequestration, but economists are saying that they could see that and maybe that will contribute to the sense of crisis. host: arthur is on the line from new york city. thank you for waiting. , aler: i must -- obama care surly 26-year-old's are a good policy, but in reality it is a disaster. many of my colleagues are in their late 50's or are retiring. hospitals are buying up all the
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practices. they are totally inefficient at delivering care and there will be a major disaster. on the other front, health insurance is going to collapse. there will be a 20% increase over last year. in new york state there is only one plan available for small businesses. the bottom line of all of this is the health industry is going to collapse and in five years 20% of americans will be on medicaid. advance coverage has better care and medicaid. hall it does not deliver the surfaced -- -- sophisticated care the people need. any concern? what is the level of concern in the white house? as he said, many people do not even know that it is the law. host: the white house posset
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answer -- guest: the white house's answer is that any major new law like this is going to be tricky starting out. they talk about the drug benefit, medicare drug benefits introduced under president bush. initially people hated it. this is many orders of magnitude bigger than medicare prescription drug benefits. when medicare itself was introduced, all of these benefits of first there are people who say that it will create a people. thennot really assess what caller as saying. i have heard people say this. i was recently on a vacation and there was a nurse in our group who said the same thing, that she was looking for an hour as a health-care provider. she thought that this would be a
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mess. then it would be up to government to step in. host: we read about another vote to repeal it on the house side. more realistically, to lack of a better word, we have seen these, will we continue to see this? guest: the new members have not had that opportunity. bill was not brought to the ther for that reason, feeling that your tacitly improving the rest of the bill. the have had a full repeal vote, which will not work. then they go smaller. host: iowa, democratic line. hello, warren. whatr: my question is -- is he doing about jobs and the
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economy? wondering, what is he doing about it now? host: jobs. guest: a tough one. in his budget in addition to proposing medicare and social security that would save money over the long haul, he also had what he would call investments and spending, and forcing infrastructure, education and research. he very much does not believe in dealing with deficit reduction. he believes that you can do deficit reduction and continue to invest critical aspects of the economy at the same time and that with that you will have jobs created. host: thomas, burgess, new york. hello, there. go-ahead. caller: doing well.
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your program is great. i love to watch it all the time. i would like to inform the public about what is happening with the jobs. there are plenty of jobs on long island. immigration is the problem. the have taken over the construction jobs out east. was put out of business by illegal aliens and the companies that hire them. and now eastern long island is completely overrun by illegal aliens and they have got all the jobs. it is impossible for american citizens to get any kind of job at all now. guest: i have a question for you. do you think that the immigration reform in the senate is a partial solution? caller how it is complete amnesty. guest: so, you do not like it? caller: they had the chance,
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they did not do their job, now we are back to the table again. host to what is the nexus, if any, between a large scale immigration bill and jobs? caller: that will be a huge element in passing this. -- guest: that will be a huge, and i am passing this, bringing the undocumented workers into the system. a lot of people who are here illegally are paying taxes. some of them have in fact had money withheld from their pay that they never claimed and there is no refund because they are afraid and want to lay low. i do not know what the bottom line is in terms of what the impact of immigration reform is on the economy, but people who support the reform say that it will be a net gain.
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host: this is the front page of "the arizona republic." host: from "the new york post," "graduates facing harsh reality huge steps." another tough season for college graduates out there. what do you make of the new announcements beginning with the commerce secretary? guest: she is a major supporter and donor of the original campaign. her name was floated for the first term but then taken out of contention because i guess she was seen as a little bit controversial, but now she has been nominated for commerce and
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is expected to be confirmed. the federal fannie, freddie agency. it is interesting. the a list.en as that is seen as a follow-up for the second term. but he was -- it was very important to him that he had a sufficient number of minorities and women. now he can move on from that issue. host: are you expecting any more? guest: i am not aware of any more. good morning, republican line. caller: we keep talking about the budget, the reform, sequestration, now we are raising the debt ceiling again.
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how is it that we can even think about raising the debt ceiling? coming from someone who has to be scrupulous with money, how can we be spending all this money when we are trying to reduce the debt, not increase it? ceiling is notbt about increasing the debt, it is about -- guest: the debt ceiling is not about increasing the debt, it is about paying the debt we have already incurred. when the issue comes up they say that we risk of defaulting on that debt, which would crash the economy. host: let me get back to syria, which mentioned. we only talked about it briefly. this is from "the new york times." the talk about the off the cuff line from obama on syria.
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what is next, now that the chemical weapons are out there, the white house is in a bit of a pinch on this? guest: they really are. a fascinating piece from the times, what worked out behind the scenes were not exactly what the president was doing. as they found in the press conference on tuesday, but knowing more about the chain of custody this is not about boots on the ground. no one wants that. even the syrian opposition does not want boots on the ground. really they want a no-fly zone and more sanctions to isolate the regime. host: does this have the potential to derail the agenda?
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guest: absolutely. foreign policy is always an x factor. in help the president, especially in the second term, because he doesn't have to work with congress, but the flip side is that it can consume this time, energy, the attention of the public, and it can really hurt him. host: nancy, tennessee, hello. caller: good morning. yes, i have one question. how do you get insurance if you have no job to pay for it? guest: under obama care there are subsidies for people in that boat. well, it depends on which state you are in. tennessee, i do not know of your state has accepted the expansion of medicaid, but it covers people after a certain percentage of the proper level and it will rise. you will be eligible for
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medicaid. where tennessee is on this. list once the exchange's up. when people fall through the cracks, yes, more people will have insurance than before. host: we are moving onto clinton ca, connecticut. caller: morning. it seems to me that we're spending a lot of money in overseas countries but we have a major about the problems in our , we could be taking care of the problems we have here, including the debt and so many people who do not have
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health care insurance. host: not an uncommon comment. what is the perspective of that? guest: it is a fraction of a percent that goes to overseas aid, but the iraq war, afghan war, was funded on the credit card that was tacked on to our debt that we are still paying for. whythis is one reason president obama is not going to get involved in any kind of major, expensive regional situation following u.s. troops in syria. host: who in the white house is currently reaching out to congress formulating plans, policy, working on this? who is over there?
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the new chief of staff, that there is dan to ther, senior vice a president. joe biden is still very important. obviously he is angling possibly for a 2016 campaign, particularly if hillary clinton does not run. he is out there with great gusto. even if he personally does not feel that he can necessarily make things happen directly through his own charm or force of well, he can support the vice-president, which is leadership as well. host: time for a couple more calls. david, a williamsport, maryland, republican. hello. caller: here is a few years in a
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bank got robbed and then this young man was back on the street after robbing the bank with a loaded handgun. he just brought it again last week. i do not stand nothing about the criminal justice system. host: anything for our guest in terms of the second term agenda? caller: maryland has the strictest gun laws and don't stop this man from getting a gun again and going out and robbing a bank. host: connection to gun legislation. guest: yes, gun laws are state- by-state. and federal. i mean, you have both. as the president says, if they can do anything, if it is right is worth doing. clearly the debate will go on.
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host: gerald? caller: correct. host: go ahead. caller: i am mystified that the rate of the job growth for african-americans, or at least to the extent that it is being reported within the corporate media, i am mystified why it has been so? why can we not have a more intellectual, factual dissemination of the job rather than just saying 7.1 when you know that that figure does not represent people like the black people. at the black people rate it is something like 15%. guest: an interesting question,
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given that we have a black president, and he has taken a lot of grief from black intellectuals that he has not done anything special to help black americans with an unemployment rate is twice the overall rate. this mayis second term come up for him, he may feel that this historically significant figure, that there is a photo to keep his focus on that issue and what was seen as just catering to african- americans. host: our guest has been linda feldmann, from "the christian science monitor." you can read her work on their website. thank you very much for your time and inside this morning. we will take a short timeout to let you know about our guests coming up on this sunday edition of "the journal." jeffrey white will be here to talk about what could be next in
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syria. npr a newater, from project called "constitution usa." id premieres this coming week. all weekend long on american history tv we are featuring the history of you luck, ariz., a town of about 100,000 people located near the u.s. and mexican border. all of our programs will air in one block. so, here is a short clip on them focusing on the history of the one crossing on the colorado river. -- you'll love crossing on the colorado river. >> this was a safe site to cross the river. 60,000 people crossed here. after the gold rush, and
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particularly after the railroads in 1877, it was almost like a city on the mississippi river. trainsere steamboats, with immigrants. differentral styles, people speaking different languages. and a a real urban center wild, rollicking river town that mark twain would have been proud of. in 1903 they tried to deal with these issues of the flooding of the colorado river. out of that they have built a phenomenal architecture of the canal. this project was one of the first? and can now projects on the colorado river. reclamation started a project to
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create the first one, about 20 miles north of here, which diverted water for agriculture. water forp providing about 50,000 acres of farmland. one of the most interesting aspects of the crossing is that when they brought the water down and try to figure out how to get it to arizona, they decided to go under the river. this siphon,ted which was an engineering marvel built in 1912. >> "washington journal" continues. host: jeffrey white is here now, with the washington institute for near east policy. there were some new headlines of of syria this morning. this is from the huffington post. "damascus shaken by explosions."
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these are new explosions. they said that it hit a military center on top of something that happened just a day or two ago. guest: it basically looks like the israelis were striking a military facility in the damascus area, especially ones associated with the potential transfer but of weapons to hezbollah. transfer of weapons to hezbollah. host: but does this mean to the equation there? guest: that israel is becoming increasingly active in asserting its red lines. the israelis have a very significant concern, major strategic type weapons in the transfer. it looks like they saw some indications of what was about to happen. facilitiesfter the were those weapons were.
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host: has there been a u.s. reaction? guest: it seems very muted. we more or less confirmed the attacks, but we did not condemn them. i think that our condition will be not to aggravate the situation or what anyone in the corner on these actions. would you expect in terms a reaction? see a lot ofld talk and are already seeing a lot out of the government there. will do not think that we see more than talk. from syria, even hezbollah, i do not think that is likely. even the syrian government and hezbollah will be very cautious.
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they do not want to get israel more directly involved already. they are in a fight with the rebels. especially with a military power like israel. have lines for democrats, independents, republicans, doing an update on syria. the presidentfrom on syria in response to secretary hazel's comments. here is a look. [video clip] >> we are continually evaluating the situation on the ground, working with international partners to find the best way to move a political transition to stabilize the country, put an end to the killing, allowing the syrian people to determine their own destiny.
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one of those investments is not just humanitarian aid. a consistent vision about how it is operating. as we have seen potential use of chemical weapons in such as , we know that there are the assaultat regime is getting not just lethal aid, but planning and support from countries outside syria. we want to evaluate and make sure that every step that we take advances the day when he is gone. what is yourite, assessment of the aid so far and its potential effectiveness
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moving forward? guest: there are good questions on the humanitarian side, and i think we have done a lot to help the syrian people with medical aid, food, those kinds of things and i think we're doing a fairly good job on the humanitarian side. weapons.ed they need military of vice and intelligence. medicaliving some assistance and those kinds of things. vision ande night- protective vests, there is an increased capability on that. host: how far should the a go? the president has made comments.
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how far? that directed intervention would be the best way of bringing this to an end, meaning possibly fly zones and military facilities, those kinds of things. more likely it will head in the direction of further military assistance. i think it should also include a package for training devices. direct military intervention is a big step. i think there is great reluctance to going that far. city, anry, new york democrat, the morning. guest: -- caller: if us of falls and a regime takes his place,
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what about the dynamics of the region? thank you. guest: a good question, and a lot of it will depend on the actual nature of the regime that takes over if the government takes over in syria. there is a very wide spectrum with religious oriented elements inside of syria. even if a religious oriented government comes the power, it will reflect the extreme end of the islamic spectrum. it might well be religious in nature, but much more moderate, much more oriented toward the syrian agenda rather than a global jihad best. -- john podcast -- g. hyde jihadist. if it is at the extreme end,
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which had nothing is likely, the effects will be greater and destabilizing for the jordanians. potentially destabilizing for turkey. it will be a much more significant problem. if it is on the more moderate and of the islamic spectrum, the effects will be significantly less. there is some idea that it might look like initially look like turkey, which is a regime or government that operates quite normally and routinely inside the middle east region. it in our national interest now in syria? what is the national interest? guest: we have strong interest in acting in syria. we want to get the main part of the conflict over. it is killing more than 100 people per day.
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casualties in terms of killed alone, closer to 80,000. to end the humanitarian crisis. get that done is to get to receive out of power. although we also have more practical interests. ofia has been the linchpin hezbollah, damascus access. friend tothey are no the united states. syria backbollah or into the alliance access would be in our strategic interests. third, iran, it weakens their position in the region, eliminating one of their major allies.
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so, for all those reasons, nationalian and strict interests. good morning. caller: they had changed the rather thanf assad, putting in a group of people. we do not even know who they are. that is my kind of thing. difficult to get him to change his mind or direction. basically from the beginning of the rebellion, the government
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decided that they would fight it out, that they would shoot their way into rebellion. they never had serious intentions with the rebels. they never really expected or acted on any of those plans for negotiated proposals. with this entrenched position, getting them to change course through any other means or military actions is just proving impossible. the regime simply intends to stay in power. while we do know more about the rebels then we did, we do not know everything. years wecourse of two have had some chance to gain some greater understanding of who they are and where they want
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to go. some do not have a perfect understanding. are gaining some better understanding. host of independent line, can? how can israel have the to bomb the inside? killing up to 300 soldiers, then hitting israel with missiles. another thing, the president of syria, we do not know.
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it happened months ago. theirople were killed, fathers and their sons. killing an american son in a cafe, dropping a bomb on him, whatever we want to do, we do it. killed, we gon is crazy, but in another country it is ok. our foreign policy is awful. >> i think that we are quite cautious in our policy, or use of force. president obama has not been eager to get involved in syria.
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he has been very constrained in his actions. said, any government, u.s. government for sure, they have the right to act to defend themselves. seen threatse have to our interest and people. the people last night in damascus, they have clearly established a red line. already there has been a transfer of strategic weapons. i think that is what we saw. the syrians and the wrong man's of looking to provide the organization with long-range missiles and anti-aircraft
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weapons. took the decision to strike those. they demonstrated in january that it would not take that action. they are not willing to set rigid set around and wait for a threat to land on their doorstep. host: want to get your reaction to these off-the-cuff comments. when confronted with evidence of they say thatns, his credibility has been left with few options.
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fox? guest: it strikes me as a totally credible story, that it would work hard to come up with a policy and, a bit off the rails and do an off-the-cuff
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remark. in principle the red lines are always that -- always dangerous to establish. your enemy takes these kinds of actions, but when you have established a red line you are putting yourself in the position that you may have to enforce or have your bluff called. opponent theen the ability to act until the moment the red line is crossed. you are sort of given a pass for any action short of a red line. as you can see in the article there was reluctance to do that. to paint ourselves into a corner. now the red line has been approached. the syrians are very, very good, coming right up to the brink.
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forcing us to find -- forcing us to define our position. it has a long way to go yet. on that red line. more about syria -- this latest, "they would retaliate against israel in some time and in their own way." joe, calling from amsterdam, new york. democrat, welcome. caller: i want to know why certain people do not want to learn from history. this guy just seems to want to jump right in again and go for
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another war in the middle east. the loads in schools, things like that, i would like to ask moreguest how many directors he sits with on those defense companies and how much money he receives and that -- and if he has any children in the military service. secular, soon become a shiite, whoever. host: that is a lot. guest: i do not sit on the board of many defense companies. a think tank in washington, d.c. my children are beyond military age. my grandson will become ineligible before too much longer.
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have a sense i do not personal stake in this. as i said earlier in the program is in our interest. we can act at various levels. impedingion about the demand the u.s. resources and luster isant points, this clear notion of war fatigue because of iraq and afghanistan. that the stakes in syria are important enough, long-term enough, that it would warrant some level of greater involvement by the u.s. government there. the problem of not doing anything in syria is that the situation there is going to get worse over time. is not going to improve. there will be an outcome there.
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are we going to influence it? or are we just want to sit back and let things happen? you're right, there is competition for resources and it will not be an easy decision and we will become more directly involved. host: can you provide some details about the number of syrian refugees? guest: there are over 1 million syrian refugees and a huge number of what they call internal refugees in syria. there are arguments that it is a significant percentage of the population. 10% internally displaced people. a huge amount of housing has been destroyed by the war. people move to get out. one of the difficulties in syria is the issue cannot find any place there that is really safe.
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people to leave. i think there is something like 1.4 million refugees. many of them have gone to turkey. a large number are in jordan itself. in both places they're putting pressure on the ability of those states to provide services for the people. the refugee population is aggravating the internal situation in those countries as well. the refugee issue is a major factor, a major element of the situation. host: how long did you spend that the intelligence agency? guest: 34.5 years. host a one more question from twitter, from earlier in the segment, asking about countries like china and russia and europe, what about their role, their stakes in this? guest: the russians are a major ally of the syrian regime. they are in fact one of the most important allies of the regime.
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they are critical to their survival. the russians provide key diplomatic support for the regime. un,xercise veto at the security council to prevent human security council action. on syria they work hard to push the agenda of not letting the regime falls through military action. in the past have been one of the major suppliers of military equipment resistance to the syrian regime. we know that they are continuing to do that on some scale, though not a huge scale at the moment. china is also reluctant to see the syrian regime fall through internal rebellion. it is just something the chinese do not like to see these other countries become involved in the internal affairs of another
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country. the chinese also exercise their veto power at the un. europeans have so far stayed mostly out of the conflict, although it is beginning to pull them in, i think increasingly so. significant number of joinist fighters going to rebellions in syria. this is a concern for most of the western european countries. they're drawing all of these states in in some way. host: hello there. caller: high. i do not know how you can justify these other countries, going into them and spending all this money. i know that we have had
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disastrous year, but going into syria, reducing our military spending the way that we have, sending stuff over there, i do not see how that can be justified. i know that we need to support israel and that it is a hot spot over there, but as you just said, i believe that charity starts at home. and we need to take care of us first. something that has not been done in a very, very long time. israelsaid, as far as goes, i believe that we have to support israel. the scripture says so and i am a believer in the scripture. this just do not see how could be justified right now. host: she seems to be saying two
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different things. that it is ok but how was it justified? guest of this is a competition for resources situation. very long-term argument in u.s. foreign policy circles. how much effort should be put in to domestic concerns? how much should be put into foreign concerns? this is a position that could be argued for or against, but the situation in syria, the middle east, broadly speaking, once the u.s. is involved, it means the u.s. commitment of resources at some level. you could argue over how much. where, when, those kinds of things. but the fact of the strategic importance within the region, the importance of syria, in my mind that justifies the
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commitment of u.s. resources even when we are not exactly flush with extra resources to throw around. host: from twitter -- long we have dave from island, new york, online. democrat. caller: quick question about the chemical weapons. regime, if it collapses and the rebel win, will these chemical weapons move into the hands of these radicals? do i have to be concerned about them setting off all kinds of chemical weapons? is this going to be a problem? host: thank you for calling. jeff white?
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guest: this is a good question. very likely because of the extent of the chemical weapons stockpile, it is quite conceivable that some weapons could come into the hands of some of the islamic jihadist guest: some places are close to chemical warfare facilities right now in the aleppo area. we have to acknowledge the possibility that this could happen in the course of the fighting. weapons in the hands of those doesof organizations create a possibility that they could be exported or given to other organizations, other groups of similar ideology, and they could eventually find their way in some fashion to the united states. those are all things that could happen.
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the way to reduce the risk of that is to try and create elements inside syria that are more or less under u.s. influence, that are working with united states, that want to cooperate with us and are of the moderate political persuasion and try to ensure that they are the ones who come into control these weapons. that said, there are no guarantees. the situation in syria is complicated enough. there are some in a different kinds of groups operating that you cannot guarantee any particular at any particular point or place inside syria. your concern may not be something we have to worry about tonight or tomorrow, but over time we may have to worry about it. of the reaction by
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syria to the israeli airstrikes, "usa today." let's hear from lynn in phoenix , independent. caller: quite some time ago i had read a statement by one of the rebels from syria. they said, if the u.s. doesn't help us, we're going to have to accept help from al qaeda. later on i had read that there were some concerns that any munitions, any defense we would give to the rebels would fall into the hands of al qaeda and similar organizations because
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now they're going to be owed something. do you have any information or ideas on that? there is a risk that if we provide weapons to rebel groups, even ones that we have , there is atted risk that weapons would move from those groups to other, more radical, more jihadist organizations in syria. we have seen that weapons inside syria are sold, transferred to other organizations to get support. they are used to get influence, .y influence -- buy influence be difficultould to ensure that weapons only
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went to the exact people that we wanted. we could make it more difficult for them to be transferred to other groups. butould track them, maybe, we would have to accept some risks that weapons we provided would move to groups that we really don't want to have them. it is just a fact of life in syria. we would be trading off the risk of that happening with making the armed rebellion more effective against the regime and bringing the regime down quicker. host: i'm going to combine a couple of tweets. who in the region might have chemical weapons, and do they have a shelf life? guest: syrians are capable of making weapons on their own.
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factories,heir own facilities. they can produce the agents that they need themselves. probably the biggest stockpile of chemical weapons in the region. those are lot, but mostly completely gone. israel may have some. lebanon, probably none. syria had the biggest stockpile of weapons. they have them, they can keep them. it depends on the nature of the agent itself and how it is stored, how long they can be around. beically the weapons can kept in storage for a long p eriod of time under certain conditions. we have a few minutes left of this segment.
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let's go to william in georgia, republican. caller: hello. i want to respond to mr. white with his idea of intervention in syria. he is typical of most interventionists. we assume for the other side, that is for the iranians and russians, that supporting assad will do nothing when we support the rebels. all the stuff we will get to the rebels will end up in the hands of al qaeda. as for israel firing on syria, syria has been at war with israel for 65 years. there is no peace between these countries, so what difference does it make? havehe know that they , or isl weapons, syria he relying on anti-semitic information from the state department? anst: i don't think i'm anti-semite, i don't work for the state department.
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i don't think i fall into those categories. we provide weapons to the rebels, there is some risk that some of those weapons might fall into the hands of the jihadist elements. but i don't think they all would. i don't think we would be in the business of directly arming these groups, but there would be some risk that they could get some of the weapons we provided. you are quite right in that serious is technically at war with israel --syria is technically at war with israel, but there has been no military action since 1973. we are looking at somewhat of a change in the situation as israel strikes targets inside syria. it's not the same situation it was a week ago or a couple
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months ago. and whatn and russia, they are doing, they are have really involved in the war. russia especially on the diplomatic front. iran is to correctly -- directly involved in the conflict to support the regime. it provides advisers, weapons, it helps the syrian regime with intelligence, how to use intelligence. is evena -- hezbollah more directly involved. directs already been intervention in the conflict, only it's been in support of the government, not in support of the rebels. we have a question on twitter. do we know assad's motive for transferring weapons to hamas?
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guest: this is part of his long- term struggle with the israelis, supporting the allies that are in groups some level of conflict with israel. there is not a particularly strong ideological affinity between the assad regime and hamas, but there was a very practical interest in having one more ally in the struggle with israel. john is calling on the democrats line. caller: we need to stay out of this situation. were you in favor of going into iraq? i was. i thought it was necessary to get rid of the saddam hussein regime. it was a danger to the region, if not a danger at the precise moment, it would've been an
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increasing danger over time. i was a little bit skeptical of intervening while we still had the conflict in afghanistan under way. topreference would have been finish or get the afghan situation under better control .efore going into iraq i did support intervening in iraq. we saw how well that went in iraq. it was a disaster. voted for cheney and george bush. stay out of there. that's definitely a legitimate position, to say that we should not get involved. there are good arguments on the side of nonintervention in syria. i think the arguments for intervening is in the strategic interest for the united states
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and should put us more in favor of intervention in syria. host: a question about your work. should think tanks make foreign policy? guest: i think they should assist in making foreign-policy. there's a lot of knowledge at think tanks, a lot of experience and skill. but ultimately in this country, it's the people that make the foreign-policy or should make the foreign-policy. host: let's hear from rob, on our republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to reinforce what our guest has been saying. first, these conflicts would come up that all qaeda gets
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getsved in --al qaeda involved in seem to be breeding or training grounds for some other combats. we should talk to the french about what they are doing in molly right now -- mali right now. those groups are very public in their intent to harm the west, and our allies. that should give us a reason to look at syria and be concerned. i don't think many people understand the michael weapons -- chemical weapons threat sitting in syria. the point are guesstimate about either way sitting and waiting for something to happen in syria or being involved in some level is a valid point. is a quick one about
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and how our guest thinks foreign-policy should steer our relationship with them. host: what concerns you about bahrain? is verythe regime there heavy-handed, a very difficult government for us to maintain a that weship with so can continue to function in that region with some of our militaries. i don't work on bahrain. i don't consider myself an expert on it. it is one of those very difficult situations where we have strategic interests in bahrain and having the support of the government, and so on, but at the same time we find difficult domestic political situation, one which runs counter to our values.
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we're not this early comfortable with it at all. on the other hand, we have to weigh strategic interests there. host: a caller wants you to respond a bit more about iraq. you say that the invasion of iraq was a success? the invasion itself was a military success. we dispatched ourselves handily. our forces operated effectively to do that. where a rock went wrong -- iraq went wrong was in the situation after the fall of the regime and collapse of the state. the planning, the preparation, decision-making did not take into account that we would be in control of this very large state with enormous internal , andexities and problems
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that we would have to deal with those and keep iraq going as a and allow the society to work effectively, the economy to work effectively, maintain security. there wasn't adequate thinking, preparation for those facts. that cost us a lot. we paid for that in blood and longure, and it took a time to stabilize the situation there and improve it somewhat. still a difficult situation there. host: final thoughts on what you'll be looking for in syria in the weeks ahead. we will see a significant increase in military activity. .ummer is coming i think both sides will be fighting harder. we're already seeing increasing indications of that. rebels are gaining in some places. the regime is gaining somewhat in other places in syria.
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we don't know what the actual outcome is going to look at. we will have to see what happens with the israeli issue and the israeli strikes, see if there are more of those. the more the israelis conduct attacks on syrian military in a sense they are indirectly or implicitly hoping the rebels. it is a form of intervention in the conflict. we also need to see where that goes. host: jeff white is a fellow with the washington institute for near east policy defense. thank you for your time on this sunday morning. we will be back in a couple of minutes. first, more news from c-span radio. are replays begin at noon. topics will include syria as well as the boston marathon
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bombings, homeland security, immigration reform, and the economy. at noon you will hear nbc's "meet the press." former house intelligence ranking democrat jane harman, now ceo of the wilson center. rudy giuliani, and former house and former gop presidential candidate newt gingrich. at 1:00 on abc's "this week," george stephanopoulos will be speaking with warren buffett, chair and ceo of berkshire hathaway. jim demint, who is now president of the heritage foundation, as well as new mexico governor richardson's and. and representative jason chaffetz.
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at three clock p.m., state of the union with candy crowley and dick durbin and peter king. he is a member of the house homeland security and house intelligence committees. at 4:00 p.m., we went up our -- wrap up our replays with "face the nation," with mike rogers and dutch ruppersberger as well as house oversight and government reform chairman darrell issa. all starting at noon eastern on c-span radio. in the d.c..1 fm area, nationwide on xm satellite radio, channel 119, an online at c-span radio.org. you can also listen with our free apps for your mobile phone. >> there are two infamous prisons in the western u.s..
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one is. alcatraz. there is something in our consciousness of what would it have been like to be in a prison like this. this prison was considered to be a model and humane institution in its day. this was the solitary confinement cell. any major infractions, talking back to a guard, not giving your ifpect to the authorities, they could not deal with you, the dark cell could deal with you. of all the treatment, this was the place you did not want to come because you did not have a latrine. you got bread and water once a day. occasionally there would be more than one person in here. and one great big prison breakout, there were 12 people
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in here. that inlore that said the pitch black you would feel some and try down the air shaft and he could have been a somethingr snake -- trying to come down the air shaft, and it could have been a scorpion or snake. .> the yuma territorial prison this weekend, discover the history on "book tv" on c-span2 and at 5:00 p.m. on c-span three. on your screen this the hosts peter sagal, of "wait, wait don't tell me!" he is also the host of a new program premiering on pbs this
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week, called "constitution usa ." what is this program about? idea came from the general conversation going on in this country about the constitution. everyone has an opinion about .hat it calls for myself and the producers decided it would be interesting to find out how the constitution actually works as opposed to how everybody seems to think it should work. we went out in the country on a brightly painted motorcycle, which i recommend to all of your viewers for a good way to get around. ,e talked to a lot of people experts, scholars, civilians, people involved in constitutional issues as we speak. we had a good time. host: what did you learn? guest: a lot of things.
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specifically about supreme court , about the supremacy clause, which there is an argument about this very weekend between the state of kansas and the federal government. all kinds of important issues. mainly we learned that the people of the united states tend to believe in the constitution more than they actually know about it. this is not necessarily a bad thing. this civic religion about the constitution and what it stands for is one of the things that holds this very disparate country together. the constitution does not do a lot of the things of the people think it does. most people seem to think that it guarantees their right to do whatever it may be they really want to do, be it walk around or have aan francisco weapon. doesn't giveion
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us as many answers as we might think. it gives us machinery known as the government and all its ramifications to figure out these things. that is probably the most important lesson i learned. host: we invite our viewers to of npr. peter sagal the phone numbers are on your screen. this program is called "constitution usa" and will be on pbs starting this tuesday. how many segments will we see over this month? .uest: four segments the first is federalism. then we will do a quality, a final segment about whether or not the constitution has held up over
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, and whether it can continue into the future. one topic in the series is medical marijuana. we have a clip from the series to enlighten the audience on what is being talked about around the country. the state of> california passed a law saying that medical marijuana can be used. that is california. doesn't federal law trumps state law? >> i think there is a vigorous debate going on about whether federal law does trumps state law. aren't we in danger of trumping our federal system it with we decide -- if we decide that states can trump federal law? >> the states should be laboratories for democracy. i really believe that the
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federal system is best supported by states that have strong abilities to do things that they think would be good for their states, to try out experiments. host: federal versus state law. what do you want to add to that ? federalism is this extraordinarily important concept in the governance of our country. it was created by the founders. it suffuses so many issues that we talk about today. i'm sure your viewer's eyes are glazing over. we found that marijuana does indeed make almost everything more interesting. it is a fascinating issue. the state of kansas just passed and signed a law basically negating federal gun regulations. toc holder wrote a letter the governor in kansas saying, you cannot do that.
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you can't just pass a law saying that federal laws don't apply in your state. the governor of kansas and secretary of state wrote back to attorney general holder saying, yes we can, claiming that the right of the people of kansas to legislate for their own purposes is absolute. somebody is right. somebody is wrong. this whole idea of this being upstairs, merely civic sort of , is not boring intro true. it is happening all around us. host: we have some callers coming in to talk to you. first, the motorcycle. where did the idea of boarding a motorcycle to travel around the country come from? what else did you do to engage folks around the country? guest: what more do you need? ,f you want to meet people especially middle-aged guys, you
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can write a big harley around and you will meet all the ones you want. it was a road trip of discovery. i'm not an expert. i'm a public radio host. i'm not somebody who comes on tv and stares into a camera and says, this is what you should know. i'm a guy who says, i don't know. i'm going to talk to somebody who does know and find out. .e went on a road trip what are you going to take? a subaru? bus? no, are going to get on a brightly painted, american-made, rolling piece of iron. that is a good icebreaker. if you show up in a van and step out in a suit and tie, people are going to go, it's the fbi. if you show up any harley davidson and you look like me, a little in congress on such a machine, people smile and are
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happy to talk to you. on such a machine, people smile and are happy to talk to you. we talked to chris perry and her partner sandy stier rate chris perry is lead plaintiff in hollingsworth case. ,e talked to tea partiers liberal activists, government officials. gun rights activists. in every case, we wanted them to be part of the conversation. the constitution is a framework for a large conversation, even if it is vitriol at times. is host of sagal "wait, wait don't tell me!" and "constitution usa." susan is on our line for independents. c-span,love your shows,
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and "wait, wait don't tell me!" is one of my favorites. what is the most surprising thing you heard or the most surprising person that you met on your travels? guest: the most surprising thing from theas an aside scholar at yale law school. he said, the soviet union had a bill of rights too, which i didn't know. it had a really good one. guaranteed of things, including freedom of speech and assembly and petition. it was meaningless. to the oppressed people of the soviet union. it made me wonder, why does hours work and there's did not work and theirs did
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not? the bill of rights itself is just a piece of paper. comes for you to take away your rights, what are you going to do? what makes the constitution work paper at them? that will not stop them. what makes the constitution work is the fact that everybody, from the president on down to the guy who pays his parking ticket believes in this government of laws and the fact of the constitution that the system it lays out plans supreme and we act accordingly. there is this collective act of will that no matter the dispute, no matter how much i hate what you might think or think that you are profoundly wrong, we will cetera -- we will settle
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our differences within the system that is set up. invented system was 125 years ago, it was unique in the world. want to see what the world was like before then? watch "game of thrones." the medieval world was a lot like that, except with less nudity. i met a lot of amazing people. people who have devoted, to use an old phrase, their lives and sacred honor to what they believe is right and just and constitutional, ranging from a very fervent gun activist featured in the constitution documentary who leaves the federal government should have no right to regulate him and his weapons in the state of montana, to steven angelo, who believes the same thing about his right to dispense cannabis. he does not like the word man of
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what -- marijuana, by the way. who was working with religious fervor to grant voting rights back to felons in the state of kentucky because there is a constitutional loophole that allows felons to be stripped of that right for life. everyone of these -- every one of these people i wound up admiring, even if i disagreed with them and i will not tell you who i disagreed with. they were so fervent in their belief that their beliefs -- in that they could express themselves to the constitution. host: one question from this morning -- to the opinions differ depending on the region of the country? guest: not really. i got to ride my motorcycle with the arizona leathernecks motorcycle club. that was a great day, let me tell you. and i also got to, that very
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morning, it was a very strange day, talk to sandra day or o'connor,sandra day former supreme court justice. it would be half -- it would be hard to find two people less alike than sandra day o'connor except that both had copies of the constitution in their pocket and they both fervently believed in it. they believed it imply different things, believed different things about it, but stood by what was in the booklet. there is a lot of geographical difference, but that is america. want to live under a certain regime of rules, you can live in arizona, or you can live in massachusetts. not only the opinions differ depending on where i went, they should. that is what we have the united states billion >> one of those
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states is nevada. go ahead, katrina. caller: hello, peter. i am so excited that you're doing a series on the constitution. not only do people lot no about the constitution, they do not know our history. if they knew our history they would know how very hard our founding fathers were to create the constitution, knowing all the troubles that came of our people coming to america to get away from all of these king george and the rest. very specifically, i want to know if you are going to go into the enumerated powers. you said that that gentleman earlier, when we were on the program they were talking about federal versus state and if we have to follow the federal laws.
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well, we do not have to follow federal laws that are unconstitutional. they are doing so much outside of the area of the enumerated powers right now. the states are facing bis. i do not even think that our state leaders in washington, d.c. know about the constitution. isst: your opinion widespread in our country right now. you are referring to article 1, section 3, the part of the constitution that lays out the things that congress and the federal government as a whole, we assume, can do. there is an age-old debate going back to, i assume, the day that everyone left philadelphia. did the founders' intent to verye a government of the
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limited powers? or a government a powerful powers? -- government of a powerful powers? asking whether it was necessary or proper to carry out its duty, that name, i asked richard been he knows every guy in the room in philadelphia. he sat there and he was that good a historian. i asked him if they wanted limit of all-powerful government and he said he did not know. it is an ongoing debate. it is absolutely true that there are many things that the federal government does now and has done for decades that are specifically enumerated in the constitution. but you can take that, and i have spoken to people who do to aid the sick -- an absurd degree. for example it says that the
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constitution can have an army and a navy, but it says nothing about the air force. if you want to be literal about it, the air force is unconstitutional. no one is going to do that. it does not say anything about social security, but they do have the power to raise taxes. where do you draw the line? there is a legitimate argument on whether the federal government has exceeded those limits and sometimes as you see, it gets pulled back. want to say do not you are wrong -- i do not know the opinions that you have, but i do believe that you can extend good faith to the other side. i think that there are good arguments to be made on both sides. saying that the people who disagree with you -- speaking in general, not just to you, but to say that the other side simply does not understand the constitution is not fair. i think it is more fair to say that they have a different
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interpretation. again, that is what america is all about. thinking that the other side is wrong. host: we have a small piece from "constitution, usa." here is a look. [video clip] >> a lot of the fights that we have about the country we are supposed to be right now are about the 14th amendment. what does liberty mean? equality. does that mean we have the same right to have a job or that the game -- a gay person has the same right to get married to their partner? why do we have so many fights center around those words. >> it is a couple of things. one, when you say liberty or equality, we can think of so many different ways in which that kind of rights can be
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effective. liberty to do what? quality as to what? the quality of the opportunity? outcome? racial equality? sexual orientation? there are so many different domains in which we can determine terms like equality and liberty. it is good, these battlegrounds, the people that drafted the amendment thought that these words were words that the american people the find for themselves. host: peter sagal, any more thoughts on that piece? guest: i think that that is very important. one of the things that we learned is that our constitution, envisioned to be one of the oldest operating constitutions in the world is also among the shortest period there are so many words among
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the 4400 that are ambiguous. i used three of them before. necessary and proper. general welfare is ambiguous. cruel and unusual punishment in the eighth amendment. what is cruel? what is unusual? the reason the constitution succeeded where others did not is because of that ambiguity. -- when they wanted to be specific, they were. they did not say that the president had to be mature enough to be president, just that he had to be 35. they left equal protection open on the law. figure it out for ourselves. that is what we have done through history. sometimes in a conservative direction, sometimes in a libertarian direction, but we have decided about what these
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have to be now. one classic example is segregation. or desegregation. between 1896 and 1964 we decided that segregation was perfectly fine, the separate but equal was totally fine. then we decided that was not right. equal protection of the law means that they have to be together. that is a decision that i think, ultimately, we made as a people. there is a natural evolution, i that, to use another word upsets people sometimes, the sense of what these words mean to people and how they manage right now. >> iras, michigan, good morning. iris, good morning,
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michigan. caller: my understanding is that the second amendment has and ourr understanding government feels we have the attention span of a flea without remembering anything. for years we lived under what was written in the second amendment about the regulation of wall would be issued for purpose of ownership. for organized militia. not that everyone was going to arm themselves and have arsenals in their home. the other question that i have is -- has education where they are closing of public schools and transporting kids everywhere? blendedor less become a society in school and interrupting the normal routine of the school work to
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accommodate these visitors who have to go back to their regular surroundings. the firstill take point first and i think i will leave the second part alone. the second amendment is obviously a major concern right now. the second amendment is ambiguous and there is a lot of argument about what it meant and what it is for. it come -- it came from different state constitutions that had existed prior, guaranteeing the right to hunt. some did in fact guarantee a citizen militia. here's the thing about the second amendment, my opinion. our current situation, nationally and with state law is not constitutional as an issue. there has been only one supreme court case that established the supreme court -- that established the amendment.
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and that as you will hear gave us a wide area to regulate as we see fit. the fact that we have it as a nation, the fact that we did not pass, it has to do with political will or lack thereof, depending on your point of view. it is one of those issues where people tend to blame the constitution for the fix we are in. other areas, like a filibuster, the logjam in washington, but i do not think the constitution fails us, i think we are failing it if your view is that we have not arrived where we want. if you want more gun regulation, the second amendment is not stopping you. people might say that it is, but it is not. you can pass any law that you want and subject it to a court test. most regulations have stood up to regulation.
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thelike i said, constitution gives us the right to govern ourselves as we see fit in all areas and if you do not like the way things are, change it. >> new jersey on the line, matt, you are on with peter sagal. go, new jersey. caller: good morning to you both. i think that the constitution says that only congress can declare war, not presidents like bush, with his costly and i believe as a christian immoral war in iraq or obama, who is supporting these al qaeda-backed rebels in syria who, by the way, spray paint on church doors you are next, stuff like that. just to placate the israeli lobby. opinionlike your guests
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on that, please. host: thoughts? guest: it is an interesting group of people watching c-span this morning on a sunday, i will say that. let me say the you have raised a good point in that the constitution says that congress and only congress has the power to declare war. the framers did what -- did not want presidents saying that they would invade canada because they did not like poutine or whatever. and it is pretty much true that through the latter half of the 20th-century we have let that slide. although bush did get the authorization of military force. i think that the issue is as i said earlier, no one will stand up to the constitution if we make a collective hope decision to let it slide. sure, the constitution says that only the constitution -- the congress can declare war and he might be mad about that, but
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unless a enough of us get mad about it and do something about it, like congress passing a war to cut off funds, that particular constitutional tenet will fade away. i have made this comparison before and i stand by it even though it got me into trouble, the constitution is like tinkerbell. it only exists in that we all leave in it. if we all stop believing that only congress can declare war, all of a sudden the president can do what he wants, which seems to be in the case of what you mentioned, the case. how do we stop it? we changed our mind. the constitution itself will not emerge from the super year will do -- like a super hero from the archives and batter the president around the head. host: how many folks did you talk to? guest: we traveled through 26 states -- excuse me, we shot in 26 states, we traveled few --
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travel through a few more. we went to iceland, because they are starting a new constitution. we have hundreds of people on camera. activists, scholars, little children who had just received souvenir constitution's at the archives, veterans on the street in illinois, motorcyclists, professors, every conceivable person from every walk of life. some of the people you have heard of or should have heard of, like sandra day o'connor. people whose stories does not have -- whose stock -- people whose stories have not been told. one man whose expanded -- one man who suffered under eminent domain and whose parents home was destroyed because of it. it is really about us. we did not want this
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conservative lawyer debating liberal lawyer on tv, we wanted to talk to people who were in the middle of it whether they wanted to be or not. believe me, in that last case, he would have liked to stay away from the constitution, but the bulldozers came to his parents' home anyway. host: good morning, ken. caller: thank you for the program this morning. a comment about the lady from michigan and the second amendment, i have never heard such a disparity of not knowing her history or understanding the founding fathers comments on the right to own and bear arms. ago, forward, a few weeks a few days ago i was watching one of your c-span programs. pretty sure that this is where i saw this, a man named benjamin bookr had written a recent
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called "worshiping the state." i wanted my comment to lead down to where we are going for the is that iint, which believe that in modern day america, we are seeing -- articularly as liberalism -- the subtitle of the book is "how liberalism has become our state religion." i believe that what we are seeing, today, with court cases as you have numerous christian organizations fighting legal in the court system at the state and federal level is we are having a war against biblical christian morality. i was appalled within just a few opening pages of this book i read where a young lady at missouri state univ. a few years ago was directed to go out in
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public as part of her class to behave as a homosexual and write a paper and was forced as part of the course curriculum to submit letters to the missouri state legislatures supporting gay adoption. here is what i am getting down to. host: question for our guest? -- do youe question believe that in light of state'' rights, federalism, that we allow conscious calls for those who conscientiously object to fighting and killing in war, now we have federal laws where we violate our conscience? the immorality of dispensing [indiscernible] because of our religious beliefs. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: i am really kind of
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interested how in that anecdote you would force a young lady to behave in the manner of a homosexual. did she have to drive a subaru to school? i do not know. let me talk more broadly about religious freedom in this country. we do address it in a current case in dryland. we talk to experts about the separation between church and state. i would say that the modern understanding of the establishment clause in the first amendment that says that there shall be no establishment of a state religion -- for getting the exact wording, i am sure many of your viewers know, has in fact provided for a more robust, healthy and strong religious community in the united states as many of the states that have had state religions. obviously you have strong religious beliefs and you are
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free from any state compulsion to believe one way or another. country.he law in this i do believe however, maybe this is also for the good, a nation of human law, not divine law. i think that is really important. i think that to claim a religious exemption from law -- the lawll opens a door that no one wants to go through. there are a lot of things that religions dictate, like in other countries as we see, that you may not want in this modern democracy. for example, the subjugation of women in many, not all, a traditional muslim societies. like saudi arabia. they claim that they can force when -- keep women from driving cars because their religion dictates. i imagine you would not want
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someone saying that i do not --t to get driver's licenses i will not give a driver's license to this person, this woman, because i do not believe they should have won. you would object to that. you cannot pick and choose. you cannot say that that religious belief i disagree with, but this one i happen to share, so they can disobey the law. i think that what the constitution invites us to do is to take the believes, wherever they come from, religion, beliefs, scholarly study, and put them in the civic arena to rise and fall on their own merits. if you as a concerned citizen believe that it is against your religion to have this past, you have every right like i do, or anyone else does, to advocate for that want to be passed. when i do not think it chicken do and i think this is a good
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thing, you can say that i am not -- that follow the law leads to the society is that we have seen around the world that we do not want to be a part of. host: minnesota, democratic line, paul. organizingour committee we are starting an organizing committee for professional bachelor's and we spoke to margaret miller before he passed away about collective bargaining. i heard you mention the commerce clause. do you think that in the capitalist system for the constitution that it is important to have strong labor unions? guest: the constitution says nothing about capitalism at all. it says that there is a right to property, which a number of advocates, including the people who got mauled in the [indiscernible] case think should be ignored and reconsidered. this is another great example.
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whether or not we need or should have strong labor unions is a decision for us to make. the department of labor, labor union laws in this country, thater they have changed, is an entirely legislative issues -- issue. that areome states right to work states, some states that are not. we have a federal labor department and various acts of controlling, protecting, and regulating labor. i am a member of the union, two unions, in fact, but my opinion tells us to do is you will, american people. what labor unions? have labor unions. once open capitalism with the regulation? do that. it is up to you. the constitution guarantees
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fairness and the right to organize. that does not. it guarantees us the right to decide. i think that is the beauty of it. again, the soviet union, as a counterexample had mandatory union membership for everyone. correct me if i am wrong, c-span viewers, fat lot of good that did anyone in terms of prosperity or freedom. oft: peter sagal, host "wait, wait, don't tell me, also me," also host of "constitution," you can start seeing that during the 9:00 hour, you can learn more at pbs.org. we appreciate your time this morning. host: it is a great pleasure to speak to you and your viewers -- guest: it is a great pleasure to speak to you and your viewers.
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host: tomorrow on "washington journal," guests include rita wilson of "hot line," we will talk to him about the 2016 presidential race, basically underway, and our washington post health care reporter will be along to talk about businesses from small to large. we will also speak with jim morris tomorrow from the center for public integrity about the occupational safety and health administration and how things might change their in the future. all of that tomorrow on "washington journal." in the meantime, we will see you back here. tomorrow. " you enjoy your weekend. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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,> next on c-span, "newsmakers with a rigid," with representative jeff miller. -- ," with representative jeff miller. >> joining us this week on "newsmakers," congressman jeff miller of florida. he joins us from pensacola in his district. joining us to question him here in the c-span studio, with a journalist rick maze of "the military times," and jeff from "usa today." >> the number one issue for veterans is and has been for sometimes the backlog of claims. you have had a lot of questions about this and answers from the va about what to do with the 1
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million claims that are pending. there are personally -- i know many veterans personally who are waiting for their claims to be addressed. what should be done? how much confidence do you have in the va? >> i think we need to start with what the va is doing now. they need to get credit for the million claims that they injured rick -- adjudicates on an annual basis. secchi --s and has vowed toinseki wipe out the backlog, making sure that every claim has a 95% accuracy rate. i think that he is way overestimating the ability of the department. thes very unfortunate that veterans find themselves in this situation.

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