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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  March 15, 2014 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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-- this is the resource issue. they're trying to streamline this and they do not have the resources to go through all the tribes or anything else. railroadhis is on right-of-way. these are not necessarily pristine from an online mental -- from an environmental perspective. they have been railroaded over for, in some as well as all of the other issues that are before the fcc. that is why they need to figure out how to do this quickly. looking at a program or something where there could be categorical exclusions the more they can get under the way.
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these need to be addressed. it will take a lot of time and effort on tribes and others to get it done. a cannot afford to have lengthy, cumbersome process. we cannot get this done. if we cannot get our infrastructure in place, it is going to have this. there are a lot of these day-to-day issues that they need to go after. i am sure they will. >>thank you for being here. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] a former transportation inspector general will talk about the distant hands of militia -- malaysian airline flight 370.
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she offers her insights from vladimir putin. we will take your calls and you can join the call. >> c-span, created by american and brought as a television service provider. >> joining us is the university of oklahoma. welcome.
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today marks the three-year anniversary since the uprising in syria. he wanted to get your sense on not only reminding viewers of what happened to start the uprising but also where we are now. this began three years ago in march as part of the arab spring. the arabs ring is really small and syria. people expected him to fall rapidly and that these small clique that was around him, largely brand by alawites, the religious group he belongs to, they thought he would collapse. but bashar al-assad turned out to be much tougher, his military fought hard for him, they did not abandon him, and the russians and iranians stepped up and began to give him money and arms. but bashar al-assad turnedt to be much tougher, his military fought hard for him, they did not abandon him, and the russians and iranians stepped up and began to give him money and arms. -- has law and lebanon
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been law -- hezbollah and lebanon has come over to help them out too. besides the united states, turkey, saudi arabia, the gulf countries trying to -- trying to unify the rebels. they remained hundreds of malicious, very much chaos on the rebel side, and nobody from their allies, not europeans, not the are allies, not the gulf, have really spent the kind of money that would be needed in order to get them advanced arms and advanced weaponry, and this is largely because they remain fragmented and increasingly because syria has become a jihadist cause for muslims throughout the world, and ofhaps 20,000 jihadists various kinds and al qaeda soldiers are in syria permit number of radical groups, and this has spooked not only americans but also arabs who are now beginning to look at syria
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as a counterterrorism problem, not as an opportunity to overthrow the assad regime, and this is given new life to the -- andegime and the rear the areas near lebanon trying to destroy a pocket of resistance along the lebanese border that has -- that is close to damascus and hasn't been an avenue for feeding arms to damascus and other larger cities in syria. and the country today remains divided between opposition and alled north and east government-controlled south and west. that's where we are today. host: as far as the united states in the position it has taken on syria, what has it been and what are our options going forward? guest: well, senator mccain -- there are a number of supporters
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of the syrian rebels -- they believe they have found moderate up and overwhelm the assad state but president obama has clearly decided, at least it seems apparent today, three years ago, he did not want to get sucked into the syrian quagmire. he has not given -- the united states has not given lots of arms to the rebels. we have given them no military support and over $2 billion has been spent on syria and the neighborhood a, a lot of itide and a lot of nonmilitary support. the saudi's have been the main donors in terms of arms and so forth. united states has resisted, allowing them to get what our command paths, these shoulder held antiaircraft missiles in
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which is what the rebels really want. the syrian air force, particularly helicopters that are dropping barrel arms, these on theirbombs positions and shooting them from the sky, gives the syrian army a great advantage. some way to neutralize the syrian army, the rebels are going to be hard put to hold onto their positions. obama does not want to get him. we have only spent $2 billion and that is the equivalent to less than one weeks spending during the height of the iraq war. that is the level of order that washington has seemed. there are supporters in washington that say we should do more and this is a terrible because there are 6 million syrians displaced within syria, 2 million have fled the country, that means about 1/3 of all syrians have lost their homes or been forced to flee and
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schools have shut down and we are getting all generation of syrians today who have no education, who are really traumatized a this war and there is no end in sight. the sense, americans and civilized world have firmed up their arms and syrians are extremely bitter. host: the three-year anniversary of the uprising in syria is our topic with our guest joshualandis. the numbers are on the screen. one of the stories in "the washington post" says -- is there a role of even trying to help them organize to do what
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they have to do on their own? guest: there is an effort going on from jordan. the united states is paying salaries of resistance soldiers and is training about 250 at present. they have trained several thousand over the last year or so. saudi arabia is giving most of the money for the weapons and so forth but this is a small effort. the united states has restrained this effort to a certain degree because they are worried that if damascus falls and jordan is worried that if damascus falls and they take the war to the capital city of syria that there will be waves of refugees that will come down to jordan. jordan does not want to get involved in this. they are also worried there will be retribution. been the mainve force behind this effort to get a southern front, front from
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jordan trained up the cia, armed by the saudi's that would move toward damascus and begin putting the syria a pressure onssad. the ibi -- the idea behind it would be to force into the negotiating tables to make optimizes and step down from power. many people believe the only way he will step down from power is when he steps into a coffin or when he is destroyed. there is not the heart to really do this or it the neighbors are getting tired. turkey is tired of this fight. jordan is frightened that there's more refugees, the country could explode. it's the same with lebanon. there are one million refugees in lebanon and jordan. these are small countries. about 4 million and jordan is 6 million so that number of refugees is overwhelming the neighborhood and causing a lot of economic deterioration and stress to these neighboring countries. they don't want a big offensive
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that could cause the capital into armed warfare and create waves of refugees. >host: aside from his job, our calledrites a site syriancomments.com. what do you do there? about what'se going on and i publish articles well aboutpeople as happening in syria.
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i also go on twitter a lot. i send out updates every day about what are the different battlefronts on what is happening and achieve leading articles on syria. i am following this day by day and talk to a lot of news organizations i go to washington fairly frequently to consult. i am trying to keep on top of this. i have been studying syria for well over 20 years now. in the last 10 years, i have been writing this blog which is trying to keep pace with what is happening in syria today. host: from twitter -- talk about the russian influence in this. guest: russia is a major player. they are providing the military happening in syria. i also go on twitter a lot. to the government of syria. and iran may be paying for a lot of it but russia is backing assad all the way. syria is russia's last major ally in the arab world. along the mediterranean coast, the syrian coast, the that is a repair and resupply port for the russian navy. tin is very anxious about the
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russian navy and that's why he is concerned about keeping crimea as part of russia because the russian fleettin is very ane russian on the black sea sales out through the straits at turkey, the dardanelles, and comes down and supports syria. it is also a bridgehead for russia on the arab-is really conflict. this is key to russia. the united states is very concerned about israel and protecting israel and for russia to have a beachhead onto this important conflict at the center of the middle east is very important. it makes russia a player in all of these things. most recently we have seen john kerry sitting down withlabrov and drawing the russians into settle the chemical weapons problem in syria, negotiating the syrian work -- it puts russia at the center of events in the middle east. russia is not hitting up. host: the first call is surely
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from new orleans, democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning, i think president obama is doing the right thing because it's a middle east problem in a country surrounded -- and the countries surrounding series should take care of that. we should not get involved in another country or civil war. i think john mccain should concern himself more with what is going on in america and less putting himself into places he does not belong. is it cut and dry as just being and middle east problem? guest: your guest color expresses -- your guest caller
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expresses a majority decision in the united states. it is clear that americans do want their president to spend lots of money in syria. the united states is turning their back on the middle east, certainly on the syrian their po spend lots of money in syria. the united states is turning their back on the middle east, certainly on the syrian crisis and president obama said both iraq and afghanistan have been failures to a certain extent. not afghanistan necessarily because we did kill bin laden and we seem to have thrown al qaeda on their heels but spending trillions of dollars to try to fix the national problems of iraq and afghanistan is something president obama said we are not going to do again. i think that is the root cause for his not wanting to get involved in syria. the american people are behind him. they are looking at their own deteriorating economic conditions, their cities, their school systems and thinking we need to invest at home. we've got our own economic crisis and we saw that in september when syria used chemical weapons. even the republican house was
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overwhelmingly voting against hitting involved in syria. expressing is mainstream american opinion. coburn, virginia, up next, republican line. have a lot of conflicting differences of opinion when it comes to syria and the so-called islamic freedom fighters. i know for a fact that we used benghazi as an issue of running guns and missiles, over 400 missiles. and all kinds of weapons to the islamic freedom fighters to go against libya. that was backed by the u.s. government.
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we have four americans killed there. that was an arms deal gone bad. it has not been a proven fact on using the gas in syria. were the freedom fighters overrun and decided to use it and blame it on assad? guest: i think your caller is expecting's -- expressing some of the concerns that have undermined support for getting involved in syria. the libya situation where the u.s. and qatar working with the gulf countries tried to put together a coalition government for libya that would replace qadhafi.
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they were concerned that once you destroy the government in a country like libya, as we did in iraq we took down saddam insane, that you will get chaos. they were concerned that they legitimate government that is united in order to step in and try to replace the government they are destroying. the trouble with libya is that the libyans fell apart. today, the prime minister, just a few days ago, had to flee the country. he was voted out and he was safety andut his increasingly libya is falling apart between east and west. there are rebel groups that are trying to export oil and the government says if you export that oil, it is threatening to shoot any chinese and other ships that come to take that oil away. it is chaos. that has deeply concerned the in destroyingt the assad government in syria. that these 100d safety
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or so malicious fighting against him will turn into somalia, that they will not unify and that you will not get a government that can substitute and bring law and order and the jihadists - possibly the same ones in syria that we are fighting in iraq, why are we helping them in syria - those are the concerns that the policymakers and it causes people like john mccain and others who are encouraging greater u.s. role and more intervention -- they have to come up with a way not to empower these same radicals if you are going to destroy the assad government and bring the rebels to power. the lack of unity amongst the rebels has been the major weak point for the rebel cause to convince the west to get on board and help them with better and more arms to overpower assad. is there a concern for the
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u.s. putting arms into the situation because those arms could be used toward other countries? absolutely, that's why they are putting in machine guns and not sophisticated weapons and large caliber guns on the back of pickup trucks but they are not using antiaircraft weapons. they are worried that al qaeda will get a hold of them and be used against other allies of the united states and this will cause a real headache. that has paralyzed the west in their thinking about supporting the opposition. host: another group listed is isis, what is it? >> the islamic state of iraq and syria and it used to be al qaeda onceaq which metastasized the syrian fighting started. group -- you heard of
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of ali, the main leader qaeda in iraq. he was killed by american troops but his organization survived. thought we had dealt a death iraqind the centralized government would keep down the sorts of rebels. kie trouble is that the mali comenment we helped build as soon as we left, became increasingly secretary and and
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only supported shiites and supported the military around shiites. the 20% of the population that had been supporters come as soon as we left, became increasingly secretary and and only supported shiites and supported the military around shiites. the 20% of the population that had been supporters of saddam hussain felt persecuted and joined these al qaeda radical groups. they have gone to syria to fight on the side of the rebels. they have tried to build a larger state state, an islamic e in iraq and syria, that would unite a sunni parts of iraq with the sunni majority. they are fighting this battle to build an islamic state. that has alienated a lot of the rebels in syria who don't like their message because they are chopping peoples heads off, they in the northern province, an islamic state where they are forcing christians to pay a poll tax and putting a lot of other humiliating impositions on minority communities. this has alienated not only many serious who were on the rebel cause but it is feeding into the propaganda of the assad government who says i am fighting terrorists and you should be on my side against this al qaeda elements. host: here is another tweet --
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in september, the big debate was whether to bomb assad and deter him from using chemical weapons. by force. after greatama, acting onted against this, parliament decided they did not want to get involved and the u.s. congress was about to vote against obama's use of force. obama made a deal with the --sians and assad to ship gather all the chemical weapons and ship them out of the country. there have been hiccups in the still but by and large, assad is following along. about 60% of chemical weapons are estimated to have been shipped out of syria. of course, he may be hiding some. he has delayed a little bit and is dragging his feet because he knows that having these weapons keeps them in this deal with
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united states. by and large, they are being shipped out. a lot of the launchers for the chemical weapons have been destroyed. it is believed he cannot effectively launch those weapons today. the process is not over. butd could be hiding things much of the chemicals have been shipped out of the country and by june or july, this process is supposed to be ended. whether he is holding back, probably he is. many people suspect he is holding something back. the majority of chemicals should be shipped out of syria this summer. pennsylvania,gh, independent line, go ahead. caller: i have a couple of comments real quick. whenever you have a president like obama draws red lines and
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says we will do this and then ,urns around and does nothing that shows weakness. the world we live in is not somewhere where we can just be friends and be nice. that is the goal. you want to be nice and trade with other countries. you want to be social with them or what not. sheer fact that we have a president who completely ignores the facts of history and the whole world and we will have crazy situations like syria refuses tor al-assad step down even though i think you should. i personally don't think we should get involved. we need to have a strong alitary and we need to have competent leader so this way the world is a safer place. i think the caller
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expresses a deep anxiety on the part of many americans that we should be strong and able to wield their military power in the world and keep order the weight we did during the cold war. -- at them with this same time as your caller expressed to me does not want to get involved in a civil war in syria. i think people want it both ways. they want america to be strong and be able to keep order in the crazy world and yet they want -- they don't want to get sucked into battles like the one in error that cost well over $1 trillion and not as a surly help american foreign-policy. -- and not help american foreign-policy. as america retreats from superpower position it creates deep anxiety. the united states is being in part because other countries are getting much richer. they are able to exercise power
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on the world stage and the united states is not as rich comparatively to the other countries of the world even though our military is much stronger. it is costing us trillions of dollars. in 1953, when we had a problem and a nationalist government that had nationalized oil -- $3 million, we were able, the cia was able to overthrow the regime in a secretcoup and put the shah of iran in power and have an american ally for 25 years until 1979. that only cost $3 million. we own that country in the sense through theshah and having supported him. there was a big blowback but it only cost america $3 million. you look at what we are trying to do with sections on iran, it is costing america billions of dollars. we have not deterred iran or
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overthrowing the government. it is much more expensive for the united states today to carry out a foreign policy, and aggressive foreign policy that challenges leaders around the world when they do things we don't like. your caller has touched on anxiety that america is not as powerful as it used to be. as we retreat from global events, other powers like russia or china are going to push back on the united states and we are not going to be able to do anything. host: is art of that the perceived strength of our leader? guest: he does look weak. normally, america would have sent troops and been able to influence the flow of events in the middle east. when we don't do that, we looked like we're making a big departure particularly in contrast to george w. bush who was so aggressive. he had tons of optimism about
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the role the united states could play in bringing democracy and changing dictatorships and building national unity in states like afghanistan or iraq. eight years later, that most americans like your first caller just do not want to get involved in a more and think it is not worth it and is not helping america. we have to build in our own country, our schools, our roads and invest here at home. is attuned to the domestic situation and understands that if he is aggressive in countries like syria or even crimea, this could lead to lots of money being spent and it would undermine his presidency. he has decided he will not do that even if it makes them look weak in terms of u.s. foreign policy. host: south dakota's next, democrats line. caller: interesting conversation this morning.
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is that thereink are too many factions in syria to get involved. i think we made a big mistake by going into iraq and overturning the sunnis and putting the which iin charge guess iran has a shiite majority population so they are now closer allies. we have actually helped iran to become stronger in that area. i think we just have to pick our fights. we spent more than the top 15 countries in the world on military. we definitely are the strongest military in the world. we need to use our technology rather than our boots on the ground. these factions that
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are causing all the problems with in the world. host: you cannot see it but "the guardian" had a map of syria and where the lines are drawn. you see more of a government strength. they say there is rebel strength throughout the country but northwest is the kurdish area. you mentioned the fracture of syria. how does that play out to some type of resolved to a civil war to the country is segmented? guest: that's an excellent question. everybody is scratching their heads on this. will this lead to the fragmentation of syria with the government south and west and the rebels north and south and the far northeast near the iraqi kurdistan, kurds make up about 10% of the syrian population. they are a different ethnic group although they are sunni
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muslims, they are kurds who speak kurdish which is related to urgent. it is not arabic. lead to a small kurdish enclave in the far northeast, rebel terrorist order and a government territory. the government has put their ace commanders in aleppo which is largely rebel controlled and in the east. it is quite clear that the syrian government still believes that it can begin to roll back conquer syriad re- and united under asides control. they have not been disabused of this notion but many analysts do not see how the syrian government can do that. the religious minority community and syria's only 20% of the population.
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it would be very hard for them to have enough soldiers to keep ofsunni arabs. many people say there are many that are on the side of the government them as the rebel forces become more radicalized and fragmented and cannot win, sunni arabs are returning to assad and looking to him for stability even if they dislike his government intensely and dislike him and resent being ruled by the minority, they want stability and they want security. they are tired and i know they cannot win so in a sense, they are hanging down their heads and retreating back to the government. that is possible. the government is calculating ift it can once again win not the loyalties, the maybe the begrudging acquiescence of the syrian population and begin to roll back the is rebel movement. a lot of that will depend on the posture of the west and
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particularly of the gulf arabs. if they stop sending money and stop giving political support to the rebels, it's quite possible that assad will eventually be able to overwhelm them. the opposing powers to not support the rebels. host: joshua landis is with the university of oklahoma. he also has a blog on syria. from pennsylvania caller: caller:, republican line, go ahead. that we haveto say no business over there interfering with civil wars of countries. ,he french, the british throughout history, people have tried to control the world and it just does not work. did was runng we saddam hussein out of kuwait.
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other than that, we have just been to american lives -- we have just spent american lives and not gained anything. this is a powerful republican current that does not want to get involved in nationbuilding, in trying to resolve civil wars in other countries. look at how difficult it is to resolve civil wars -- if you look at our own civil war estimation,ewest 750,000 people killed in america and the united states at the time in 1860 was that we had a population of 30 million. syria is about 24 million. brutalityompare the
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of the american civil war, the number of people killed, you see i massive scale how it is. most americans would not have wanted great britain or another power to interfere in the american civil war to stop this kind of bloodshed and mass killing. prisoners of the 400,000 prisoners that were taken by the north and south, 58,000 died in prison or were killed. the bloodletting and civil war is germanic. -- the bloodletting in civil wars is tremendous. allowing other countries to get involved is debatable. many a strong current of in the republican party as well as democrats who are beginning to throw out their arms and say we cannot resolve this kind of problem. in "the washington post" there is a story on the three-year anniversary --
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it looks at presidential elections. put the election and a perspective of what can happen in the future of syria? president assad is running for a third term, seven-year term of the presidency. these are completelycooked. the majority artie in parliament is the baath party, the president's party and they will nominate him to be the candidate and he will be elected through elections that have never been fair and it's only important who is counting these ballots. he will win and he has said he will run for these elections. that will theoretically provide some kind of fig leaf of
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legitimacy for his candidacy. the international community, the u.n. can say he should not do this and it -- but he's dead but it should be hard to stop him. what it means in the end, i'm not sure. it underlines the determination of the shark al al-assad -- of bush are al-assad to continue their effort to can 10 you the position of the government in syria. next from illinois, independent line, go ahead. caller: i have a statement to make in the question. i have had a member of my family fight in every war since world war i. bombedbrother's ship was in pearl harbor and we have had one in every war until my nephew just got back from afghanistan. about johnof hearing mccain, the money monger. i disapprove of him. --the meantime, your opinion
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if we were to bring all of our troops home from the middle east from these wars immediately, trillion dollars we would not be spending and put 24% import tax on all foreign goods entering our country which is over $5 trillion per year that we can bring -- build u.s. naval airships and put them out in the free waters to protect our country. enough is enough with these wars in the middle east. this is the opinion that so many americans have that underlies the retreat of the u.s. government from its more forward positions in the middle east in particular. americans feel poor. they don't want to spend lots of
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money in foreign adventures. has previouslyes said spend on the military the equivalent of the next 15 countries combined. to a certain extent, european countries which spend less than two percent of their national budget on the military, have been protected by this u.s. umbrella. retreats from the superpower role, they will have to be spending more money if they want to be able to project power3 maybe that's the only way to get our allies in europe and other places in the world to spend a ontle bit more of their gdp military and build a new coalition that can bring stability to the world and bring some justice to the people of the world without the united states shouldering the
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responsibility. , after able to do it world war ii, 50% of the world's capital was in the united states. we were a tremendous power. today, we are one among many. to shareo find a way those responsibilities in a more echo of fashion. there a scenario in which the united states takes more of a role in syria? guest: i don't see it. i think the intelligence in many ways, turned against the rebel cause. they see the blowback and we just read an article today in ofters about the number syrian saudi fighters -- there have welded over 1000 saudi's who fought in syria -- and they're coming back a number of them have joined the yemeni al qaeda groups to blow things up.
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the saudi's have become increasingly concerned about the blowback. over 400e there are british and french people who have gone to fight in syria. written just arrested for our five of these returning fighters. that's because they are very anxious about what kind of influence there could be and whether there might be fighting or things blown up in britain. all the countries have really shifted their attitude from supporting the rebels against assad to worry about the blowback once they return home. russia has been a deadly fear. chechnya and other islamic fighters have gone to participate in syria, they will come back and create havoc for the russian government. to thesians have said middle east, we are not ready for democracy and we need a tough leader and america made it
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big mistake by overthrowing saddam hussein. you got out that a growing in iraq and we will not do this. america's don't know what they're doing but think democracy is good for the middle east. it is not. that is the russian attitude. is very self-serving because bashare our ally and al-assad and want to keep their ally in power. they are very worried about the blowback of islamic hadists inlism ji their country and i think that is become the dominant factor driving policy in foreign capitals today toward syria. i don't see how that reverses. with chemical weapons being drawn out, that is one redline that does not exist anymore. major redline that obama drew, the use of chemical weapons. joshua landis, the university of oklahoma.
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you can also read his work on his blog. thoughts and his philosophies about >> on newsmakers, adam, the member of the intelligence committee on search or find sent allegation that the cid at search senate computer filers your monitoring of e-mail and the latest on syria and ukraine. sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. fee towill take over the died last october after doing this. he was greeted by several members of the florida
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delegation and spoke briefly. this is about five minutes. y, be permitted to take the oath of office today. his certificate of election has not arrived, but there is no contest and no question has been raised with regard to his he election. the speaker: without objection. will representative jolly and the entire florida delegation come to the well of the house and face me. all members will rise. and will representative-elect jolly please raise his right hand. do you solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the
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duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help me god. mr. jolly: i do. he speaker: congratulations. without objection, the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. as dean of the florida delegation, it is my pleasure to welcome the newest member of
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this proud body, congressman david jolly. today is a significant progression for david from staffer to elected representative. a progression beginning from his many years working for his community as a staffer for our esteemed late colleague, congressman bill young. i'm confident that david has returned to these halls to ensure that bill's legacy is carried on. one of extraordinary constituent service as well as his unwavering respect and civility for all of us in this chamber. i also know that david will, in his own words, bring his own deep desire and drive to get things done for this country. david is a fifth generation floridian and is joined in the gallery today by his rightfully proud parents and family to mark this momentous occasion. i'm certain that
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he'll work hard to maintain that sentiment with each of them as well as with his constituents in he is a welcome edition to our florida delegation, a fresh and strong voice for our sunshine state and great nation. and before i yield to my distinguished colleague, corrine brown, let me also say that just like you, david, i, too, won a special election to fill the seat of a legend of this institution. so believe me when i say that having big shoes to fill should be seen as both an exceptional honor as well as an exceptional opportunity. congratulations and welcome from all of us.
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the speaker: the gentlelady from florida may resume. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to welcome our newest member to congress and to the florida delegation. as i'm sure he already knows, congressman jolly has big shoes to fill. bill young was a true statesman who put the needs of his district and our home state playoff politics, and florida is a better place to live because of it. i have always said to whom god is given much, much is expected. when you're born you're going to get a birth certificate, when you die you get a death certificate. and that little dash in between is what you have conto -- done to make this weighter place. i look forward to working with the congressman to make florida the best it can be and the united states. i also want to say that the st. petersburg mayor is here, would you stand. thank you. welcome. welcome to this united states house of representatives.
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the speaker: the gentleman from florida may resume the time. mr. jolly: mr. speaker, thank you to my new colleagues. thank you, ms. ros-lehtinen, thank you very much. and to the people of florida's 13th congressional district, i want to say thank you today for giving me a remarkable life opportunity. the opportunity to serve. for my new colleagues, i simply want you to know two things about this new member. first, i believe in this institution. the people's house. i believe in all that is good and right about this institution, the opportunity that this institution has to make our nation better. to direct our nation down the right path. to solve problems for all of us and secure for every american for all of us the sacred blessings of liberty. the second thing i'd like you to know about this new congressman is i believe in civility. i have the wonderful opportunity
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to work for a man with whom you each served and left an indelible legacy in this house, one of civility. we are all elected to fight for our communities, to fight our our constituents. we are elected to fight our our convictions forks the causes we believe in, but it is a fight for the future of our country. it is not a fight against each other. and i know that. we have had a nationally watched race. that race is now over. and now it is time for my -- for me as a member of congress of this body to join with each of you to follow in the footsteps that you have made in serving your community as i begin to serve mine. you have my commitment today to work with each and every one of you. i look forward to it. mr. speaker, i thank you for this moment. i look forward to working with each and every one of you and i want to say thank you one more time to my friends and my neighbors and those in my community in florida's 13th
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congressional district that have given me this honor today. thank you very much. god bless each and every one of you. mr. speaker, i suppose i yield back my time. the speaker: the gentleman ields back his time. under clause 5-d of rule 20, the chair announces to the house that in light of the administration of the oath of the gentleman from florida, the also last week, harry reid continues his series of speeches on the role and influence of the brothers.s -- koch this is about five minutes.
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taken some heat from senate republicans and conservative pundits for exposing two multibillionaires. these are two oil barons, and they're trying to rig the political system to favor the rich and especially favor themselves. after the 14th statement issued by a spokesman for the koch brothers adverse to me, it seems abundantly clear that i've gotten under their skin. but as the saying goes, and the saying goes that this came from the great senator pat moynihan, who said "everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts." but i had guessed the koch brothers had been able to buy their facts over the years not paying attention to whether they were true or false. this week media outlets from new york, and especially "the times" to "the washington post" to the
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detroit news have revealed the truth, and here's the truth. millions in political ads sponsored by these two multibillionaires are misleading, at best, and outright false in many instances. mr. president, the truth is the koch brothers are willing to do anything, even exploit americans suffering from cancer, to advance their campaign of distortion. mr. president, i'm not afraid of the koch brothers. none of us should be afraid of the koch brothers. these two multibillionaires can spend millions of dollars of their money rigging the political process for their own benefit, but that doesn't mean we have to lay down and take it, because we're not going to. they may believe that whoever has the most money gets the most free speech. mr. president, that is wrong. it's unfair. and it's untrue. i'll do whatever it takes to expose their campaign, their
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campaign to rig the american political system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. a number of republican senators have rushed over here to defend the koch brothers. that's hard to comprehend, but they've done it. if you ask me -- and no one has, but i'll give you my opinion anyway. the billionaires seem perfectly capable of defending themselves. they do it with hundreds of millions of dollars. i'm sure that over the last couple of years has reached close to a billion dollars spreading these falsehoods. now remember, mr. president, they don't just do it under this americans for prosperity phony banner they have. they divert money to a lot of other organizations. for example, millions of dollars to the chamber of commerce who runs ads against democratic senators. so i think they're capable of defending themselves. but when senate republicans senators rush to defend the koch brothers, they are also
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defending the koch brothers' radical philosophy. and it's radical. how do we know it's radical? they said so. i'm not making those words up. they said -- one of the brothers kept harping on the fact that he has a radical philosophy. and they do. so i ask my republican colleagues in the senate, is even one of you -- is even one of you willing to stand up and disavow the koch brothers' radical agenda? it's radical. it's radical because they say it's radical. and it is radical; all you have to do is look at it. will senate republicans reject the koch brothers plan? will they end the koch brothers radical plan to end medicare as we know it? will senate republicans reject the koch brothers' radical plan to put insurance companies back in charge so tens of millions of americans again are one heart attack away from bankruptcy?
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will senate republican senators reject the koch brothers' radical plan to allow insurance companies to deny coverage for a child with a heart murmur? a survivor of breast cancer? a teen who suffers from acne? or absolutely anyone with a preexisting condition no matter how minor? will senate republicans reject the koch brothers radical plan to eliminate minimum-wage laws and workplace safety standards? that's what the koch brothers want? will senate republican senators reject the koch brothers' radical plan to decimate americans' public education system? that's what they want. will senate republicans reject the koch brothers plan to roll back environmental safeguards and give themselves the unfettered right to pollute our air and water? we have to, mr. president, look out for our children, our grandchildren having pure water to drink, good air to breathe.
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not with the koch brothers. that isn't what they want. will senate republicans reject the koch brothers' radical plan to give more tax breaks to the richest of the rich, to profitable oil companies, corporations that ship jobs overseas and billionaires who pay lower taxes than their secretaries? not one republican stepped forward, so obviously they must agree with the koch brothers' radical philosophy. republicans are willing to defend the koch brothers on the floor of this senate, but are they willing to defend the koch brothers' radical agenda as well? i guess that's what they're doing by coming to the floor. if republicans don't support the koch brothers' survival of the richest philosophy, all they have to do is say so. because the truth is it would be a terrible thing to allow the koch brothers to buy congress and to buy our country, and that's what they're trying to do. but it would be catastrophic to allow the koch brothers' congress to devastate the
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american middle class and their richest take all policy agenda. this discussion isn't just about fairness or the democratic way. this discussion isn't just about the inherent danger in allowing two multibillionaire oil barons to buy america's political system. this is also about how these two multibillionaires would use their political system once they bought it and how they would abuse it in order to add zeros to the bottom line while hurting >> on washington journal, we will look at the democratic campaign against the koch brothers. before that, a look at the afterortation industry the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. durationssia and
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talksigence officer about president putin and his view of the crimean referenda. next, a ronald reagan's symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the speech in which he endorsed kerry goldwater for president. then, the in the united nations security council meeting on ukraine. that, john mccain, dick durbin, and others hold a news conference in ukraine. regent university held its annual ronald rachel -- ronald reagan symposium, looking back 50 years at a speech called "a time for choosing." the speeches disguised as reagan's conservative manifesto and it is recognized as having set the stage for his own
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pursuit of the white house. we will begin with a portion of the speech followed by the panel discussion. this is about one hour 15 minutes. those who would trade our treating -- freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have it a utopian solution of peace without victory. they call their accommodation and say that if we avoid dry confrontation with the enemy, he will lose his evil ways and say he loves us. are warindict them say mongers. there is a simple answer, not easy, but simple. if you are and i have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy aced on what we know in our hearts is morally right, we cannot abide our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by creating in immorality so great, of saying to one billion people
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of able and slave behind the iron curtain, give up your freedom because in order to slave -- save our own skins, we will make a deal with your masters. set the record straight. there is no argument over the choice between peace and war but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace and you can have it in the next second -- surrender. there is a risk in any course we follow other than this but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement and this is the specter are well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face, the fair policy of accommodation is appeasement and it gives no choice between peace and war. only between fight and surrender. if we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand, the ultimatum, and what then? when the cato khrushchev has told his people that he knows what our answer will be.
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that we will be retreating under the pressure of someday are and voluntary -- are surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, and economically. he believes that from our side he has heard voices leading for peace at any price or as one commentator put it, he had rather live on his knees or die on his seat. therein lies the ward -- the road to war. those voices do not speak for us. you and i know what and we do not believe that life is so dear that it is to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. when did this begin? in the face of this enemy, or should moses have told the children to live under the pharaoh? should patriots have refused to fire the shot heard round the
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world? theirnored dead who gave lives to stop the advance of the nazis did not die in vain. where is the road to peace? it is a simple answer -- you and i have the courage to say to our enemies, there is a price we will not hate. there is a -- we'll not pay. there is a point by which they must not advance. [applause] this is the meaning in the phrase of every goldwater, peace through strength. winston churchill said the destiny of man is not measured by material computation spared when forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits, not animals, and he said there is something going on in time and space and beyond that which the weather we like it or not, stems duty. you and i have a rendezvous with destiny. we will deserve for our children
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the last, best hope of man on earth are we will sentence him to take the last step into 1000 years of darkness. we'll remember that barry goldwater has faith in us. ith that you and i have the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny. thank you very much. [applause] that was some of ronald reagan's speech from 1964. now the symposium on the speech. this is one hour and 10 minutes. speaker is amity shlaes. she is chairman and see all the college -- calvin coolidge morel foundation, a fairly new posting for her. she's a syndicated columnist for haves and her recent books
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one numerous accolades and she is a recipient of the manhattan institute's prestigious hyatt award. we were colleagues at the bush bush,ute, for george w. and importantly to me, and this may be more than she wanted to say, but "the forgotten man" is one of the most important books that anyone alive can read about the depression and for understanding the practicality of understanding economic theory. she has just told me that it is going to become a graphic novel and i think this is terribly important. if dante can be put into a graphic novel, surely "the forgotten man" can. that is only because it teaches so much today in this culture. we welcome her. next is darren guerra. he is professor ibio university.
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-- he is a professor at by biola university. finally, ryan t anderson. is greatest claim to fame the speaker at a university a year ago. he is a fellow at the heritage foundation and serves as editor of public discourse at a journal at princeton. please welcome our panelist. [applause] >> good morning. thank you very much for that introduction. it is quite exciting for me to be here to the memory this reagan anniversary birthday and
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the anniversary of "a time for choosing" speech. politicians to come to one hour when they are ready to take a stand and ask the country to take the stand with them. in his case, a lot of action flows from that standard. when you look at the arc of his anreer, you can know that action that he took years later, the dismissal of the air traffic controllers during the presidency, float out -- flowed out of that speech. if you go back and listen, you will hear him speaking of the socialist labour party in britain. he had an understanding that socialism can be against the toividual that lead right up that decision. it is almost embedded in the speech. not onbeen working president 40, but president 30, calvin coolidge.
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we hope you'll visit his birthplace in plymouth notch, vermont. speak sacrilege and blasphemy and say in some ways, coolidge was even better than reagan. what way could that be? when coolidge left office, the federal government was actually smaller than when he came into the presidency. that.nt to think about i see them as augmenting one another. reagan much appreciated coolidge. i see them as together. in researching coolidge, i also found -- and this is what i will speak about -- that he had a time for choosing. there were some differences. when reagan shows in the early 60's, he chose to lead the leave the arty -- democratic party and go to the republican. coolidge's choice was different.
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he chose to go from the progressive wing of the republican party to the traditional or conservative wing. it was in both cases a big choice. you may know the line that coolidge spoke around the time he made this choice in 1919. he was speaking about public-sector workers and he said, there is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, anytime. very similar situation. similarities of these two speeches and events, coolidge in 1919, reagan in 1964, was action by public-sector unions in both of their cases. elevatedhes they made the mentor national status. reagan would not have been president but for 1964 and coolidge were not have been president for 1919.
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would likeriefly, i to talk about realizations that coolidge had an reagan had that are similar that got them to the point where they said, it is a time for choosing for me and for the country. i am very grateful for this time. this is what i identified in my work. the first releases asian that enabled coolidge to do this, and thatn, -- realization enabled coolidge to do this, and reagan, as that this is a fragile place. your member reagan -- you remember reagan talking about a cuban refugee who had wanted to escape from cuba. the refugee pointed out it was not just escaping. a was the luck of having country to escape to. here, therereedom is no place to escape to, as reagan explained. this is the last stand on earth.
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coolidge experienced eight epiphany -- an epiphany but united states. he was born in vermont and moved all the way to massachusetts, which is not that far. he spent a whole political career there in state politics. domestic works, never went to europe. the farthest place he had been to was canada. and as a state official finally governor of massachusetts, he experienced the end of world war i with the soldiers returning. they returned on ships into boston harbor and as a politician, a leading republican ,nd authority in massachusetts he would go out in the harbor to shine a light even before the morning light came up with a megaphone to welcome the troops coming back in their ships.
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i think it was at that point that coolidge realized how special america was. --wrote of these attorney returning american soldiers when they were unspeakably pleased beyond all expression to be back home in their own country, this country, not just any country. coolidge saw that if the begin of america is turned off, shut .ut, the world becomes dark that was related to the motto of his colleague. let them illuminate the earth. america had to be safe to illuminate the rest. he understood that very well. reagan andthing coolidge have in common is their economic learning curve as politicians. reagan started out something out , asomething of a progressive democrat, but he looked at the economy to realize that government intervention would
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not be particularly productive. by 1964, you hear reagan saying -- deploring intervention in agriculture. we have no better example than the government's intervention in the farm economy. -- can hear the integration irritation in his voice. similarly started out pro-intervention. he came from a farming community and not an easy farming community. his father had a cheese factory. it is an exercise and economic desperation. if there is no refrigeration to keep your milk cool and no train to take your goods away rapidly, you try to preserve your protein in some way to make it less perishable. was veryidge came from
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fragile, but over time coolidge saw that federal support for agriculture could not help. unlike reagan, coolidge had a lot of pauses in his speeches and there is a famous interaction. you hear about him as president, when he is questioned to support agriculture subsidy, and i will pretend i'm coolidge and play him. imagine them asking for money and well, farmers never have made much money. i don't suppose they ever will. suppose there is much we can do about it. he came to that relatives asian as reagan did her -- relatives as reaganealization did.
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it is also about public-sector unions. reagan was a union guy. that unionse he saw can be thuggish. coolidge as a young man was a progressive. do withd intensely to employers in massachusetts. he came to see that public-sector unions could be thugs and they did not help the individual, though they might help a named group. when you want to ask, what it is about the outlook sector unions, it is about they pretend to represent all but only represent some. that bothered them both. coolidge said that it would appear that our problem of economic justice in massachusetts is not quite so simple assuming we can take from one class and give to another.
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there it is. i am concerned. the catalyst for coolidge's choice was a dramatic situation in 1919. he was governor of massachusetts and by an anomaly of the law reported boston police to someone who reported to the governor. n were getting ready to protest. they had a very compelling -- by the way, this is not an easy situation. the police were almost all irish. coolidge love the irish and they voted for him in great numbers. they were his constituents. they were poor, they were were rats there chewing on their helmets in their station houses, and you want to imagine very lovable people, these police men. and were mounted policeman
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as in the clydesdales commercials, their overseas -- their horses whinnied after them on the street they love them so much. they put in a lot of service. there were articles in the newspaper and they felt they had public sympathy on their side and they abandon their posts and went on strike. were, thisas they was boston. there was death, looting, and coolidge through his chain of command, did fire the policemen. that was his signaling to the world that he was no longer a progressive. nosaid that line -- there is strike -- right to strike against public safety of anyone, anywhere, anytime. that was the line in the sand, the line that rang around the world. it became an american model. there were fewer public-sector strikes after that. what do we say to conclude about these times for choosing? i think that these were
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incredibly brave. reagan did not know what effect you would have with his speech. he said, i don't know if i helped goldwater afterward. it was very strong. i hope i did not let him down. coolidge, after firing the police, he thought he might've thrown away his entire political career. you can see it in a letter to his father. his father was going to come down to a convention around that time from vermont. his father did not like to come but coolidge said, you had better come down to this convention. i am sure you will like it and there may never be a convention again where i'm governor. he did not expect necessarily to be reelected that often. coolidge used short words. this was a service that had to be done and i have been glad to do it. the results won't matter to me but it will matter a great deal to the rest of america.
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highlights ate final similarity between the presidents. for men or women of character, after a point, you have to say something. however difficult, which is what we admire in reagan and coolidge and other figures and i think i will close with that. .t is a paradox when it comes to a time for choosing for people of character, there is no choice. it must be given. thank you very much. [applause] >> greetings from california. the land of reagan, believe it or not.
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the last 20 years in politics in california is hard to believe that reagan was governor there at one time. thank you. it is a wonderful privilege to be here celebrating ronald reagan and the 50th anniversary of his speech. i have long admired the signature events at regent university. it is wonderful to be a part of it. my remarks today are entitled "preserving our constitution." i will briefly sketch the reagan -- the threat that reagan saw to the constitution during his presidency and the ways that he thought of to preserve the vital document. i think it is appropriate, giving his career, that i frame my remarks by drawing on a scene from the scene "mr. smith goes to washington." the late i'm a great jimmy stewart's character, jefferson smith, ed come to washington full of national pride and wonder and yet in a short time,
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he has been framed and scandalized by the forces of washington corruption. he is about to be banished from the u.s. senate. in a pivotal scene, he stands with his suitcase in hand, statuely sobbing in the -- in the shadow of the statue of abraham lincoln. he is implored to resist the forces of corruption. she says the following -- your friend, mr. lincoln, had his enemies. so did every other man who try to lift his thoughts up off the ground. odds against them did not stop them. they were fools that way. all the good that ever came into the world came from. faith like that. they're not all tailored in washington. that kind just throw big shadows. you do not have faith in any other living man. you had faith in something other than that. you had decent, everyday, common
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rightness and the country can use that. you said mr. lincoln was sitting up there waiting for someone to come along. you're right. he was waiting for men to see his job and sailing to and that was what he was waiting for. i think he was waiting for you. he knows you can do it and so do i. myuppose i could've retitled speech "mr. reagan goes to washington," because i would argue he was a real mr. smith. when he was elected in 1980, our country was waiting for a man to see his job and sailing to it, a man with a decent, everyday, rightness who was not afraid to stand up to the forces of evil or corruption or even left this confusion. forces that can seem overwhelming but reagan knew that they do not define america or washington. he knew that that kind just through a big shadow. reportedly, reagan described i should -- washington is an island surrounded by a sea of reality. reagan believed in the ideas and
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principles of the american founding and brought common sense and decency to the office. why did reagan need to preserve the constitution? the threat was a federal judiciary that had aggressively expanded its role in the system and the threat conditions -- continues today. saw by leftist interest groups that has been denied to the legislative process were instead pursued through litigation. lawsuits in federal courts had been become a method of becoming in and around among -- end-arou nd among the legislature. it was the evaluating the authority of the constitution and the authority of the people. the courts had abandoned their traditional role as all works to the constitution and were serving to undermine the document they were sworn to protect. , reagan does not
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mention the court specifically but he clearly addresses the core problem. early in the speech, he sets the stage for the vital choice facing americans when he says, this is the issue of this election, whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the american revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us are better than we can plan them ourselves. by the time he became president,, it becomes a clear that this alleged -- intellectual elite took the form of elected -- non-elected judges with life tenure. why does this legal elite avoid the constraints of the constitution? reagan addresses this at the five-minute mark of the speech. senator fulbright has says the constitution is outmoded. he referred to the president as our moral teacher and leader and he says he is humbled in his past ash hobbled in his tasks by the restrictions imposed upon
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him by this antiquated document. he must be freed so he can do for us what he knows is best. outmoded? reagan could not disagree more. the comments are reflective of a progressive believe that the constitution is too rigid and ultimately undemocratic. for progressives, the constitution is an unnecessary restraint on progress. -- ress is neither the public nor leaders are accountable to anything or anyone beyond themselves. , truth isrogressives the majority vote of the nation that can lick all others. core, the theory rejects timeless and fixed natural rights articulated in the declaration of independence. the notion of the constitution being an impediment to progress is not new.
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wasarly as 1914, it described as an imposition on the people. another point, he referred to it as a monarchy of words. woodrow wilson argued that a charismatic president can help of thee the impediments constitution's rigid separation of powers. another has called our constipated -- if constitution imbecilic. it is in this. that we see the birth of an aggressive court using its power to advance liberal agenda when it could not garner popular support in the legislature. at the time of the remarks, it had been 30 years since fdr's revolution. this activist court behavior had become legal orthodoxy. pointedce scalia has out, this type of living
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constitutionalism, if unchecked, will ultimately destroy the constitution in his words. constitutions the as an impediment to charismatic leadership, but reagan sees it as reserving a natural rights. how did he act to preserve the constitution? first, in his presidential rhetoric, he stressed the importance of restraining federal courts and restoring original meaning to the text of the constitution as a binding force on the judiciary. he knew of the constitution ignored or alternate venues, but in no real sense was of the constitution of any authority. in 1988, he identified the problem. too many justices are taking upon themselves the prerogatives of elected officials instead of interpreting the law according to the intent of the constitution. they were using this to strike down laws. i would argue them to interpret the law and not make it.
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the people make the laws and the people deserve to have those laws enforced as they were written. there are many examples of reagan making comments like this. in some, he used rhetoric to affirm the proper role of the courts. he educated the public and signaled to opponents of the game was up. the second thing he did was to appoint attorney general's who would carry out judicial philosophy. general didtorney well, but it was his second term when he played offense instead of defense. he became the head of the spear when it came to engaging the legal world. ofa legendary speech in july 1985, he fired a shot across the bow of the complacent liberal legal establishment. in his address, he said the following -- the intended role of the judiciary is to serve as a bulwark of a limited constitution as a faithful garden -- guardian of the
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constitution. this is are expected to resist political documents in the original tensions of those who framed it. while he was speaking legal heresy in the church of the living constitution, few had challenge them in 50 years, let alone the attorney general. he reengaged the serious battle of ideas over judicial philosophy. he also took the battle to the law schools themselves and was instrumental in starting the federalist society in 1982 which has provided leadership the highest levels ever since. his -- nstitutionalized he has appointed more judges in the federal courts than any president in history. he appointed 384. clinton was behind him at three and 79. 79.00 and
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the combination of numbers and youth was not enough. reagan knew that he must have judges that shared his you on the role of the court and philosophy and the administration instituted a process for their judges. reagan was successful at shaping the federal judiciary. time, liberal opponents lamented his effectiveness. columnist -- complained that his appointment are remaking the judiciary today is much as fdr did and they threaten to rewrite almost half a sec -- half a century of repressive progress. the liberal.f
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mades book, reagan political -- he never accepted the legal rationale for roe v wade and he .aw it as ill and it was an affront to the original meaning of to the constitution any and a-day -- it embodied all that was wrong with the courts. book, he compared roe v wade to the dred scott decision in the 1850's. drewing so, the two -- he conclusions about abortion as lincoln did with slavery. the color ofer law, it threatens to undermine is our principles. when the court protects the right of the strong to dismember the week, it devalues the very name of human freedom.
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like slavery, abortion shifts away the fundamental principle of political equality. he quoted abraham lincoln. -- whereike to know if will it stop? if one man says it will not mean an african slave, while would one man say it not mean another man? similarly, if we can exclude an unborn baby from the principal, why not another human being? law endorses the power to destroy in an arbitrary fashion, and the legal notion that might ask right does not span -- might makes right does not span constitutional law but it may undermine the fabric of our social order and it still does. deed sin word and us.ht to redirect
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one can imagine reagan speaking the same words spoken by jimmy stewart in the filibuster scene. just get up off the ground, that is all i ask, and you'll see a whole parade of what man has carved out for himself after fighting for better than jungle law, fighting to stand free and decent, like he was created. rate principles do not get lost once they come to light. they are here. you have to see them. reagan believed that great principles do not get lost. lost providedt that we as citizens nourish those principles in our homes and schools and provided our leaders rally americans to the truth and power of those ideals. is where we can find hope going forth for our country, even in these dark days . a time that is not too dissimilar to the landscape that reagan found in 1964.
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as special as reagan was as a man and leader, much of what he did was to point the american people to the better angles of the nature and to our heritage of its founding and our principles. what we need is not another reagan, because there will never be another reagan, but we need is a leader with courage to advocate for those with principles and word and deed. when one of marches, the sitter is it -- the citizenry needs the wisdom to choose. he reminded us that it is a time for choosing. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. the more things change, the more they stay the same. it is amazing to see just how
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much things have not changed. reagan expresses concern that government taxes too much of our income, that government spends more than raises, that government is transforming into a welfare state and trapping of the poor, that government debt is skyrocketing, and the debt is held by foreign interests overseas, and we have enemies abroad that reject the moral foundations of our political order. sound familiar? the more things change, the more they stay the same. where do they? other speakers will focus on how similar our challenges and opportunities are to those of 50 years ago. i want to focus elsewhere. in the time i have, i want to point to three broad areas of concern that were not mentioned in reagan's original "time for choosing." newy, these issues create a time for choosing great while his speech was about a time for
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choosing about politics, the new one is about politics and culture. reagan did not specifically address the type of culture that allows for our experiment in self-government to the a success. it was not under serious attack at the time. everyone recognize the importance of the institution of marriage, the dignity of unborn children, and the significance of religious freedom. over the past 50 years, each of these has come under sustained attack. to -- here we go. if we are to sustain the choice of freedom that reagan taught us to half a century ago, today we must decide to have a culture that makes freedom possible. we have reached a new time for choosing great he appealed to the american revolution and bemoans the fact that our natural rights appear to be a dispensation of government and freedom has never been so fragile.
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to defend the rights of the declaration of the independence. we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal. these truths have been challenged in the past years in ways that reagan could not have imagined in 1964. because they were not the challenge of his day, you will find no discussion of the right to life, or religious liberty, or marriage in reagan's text. unless they are protected in law and more importantly lured out in culture, constitutional self-government will be impossible. the right to life is not only for the strong and powerful, the rich and famous. but it is for all human beings, including the week, marginalize, and infirm, wanted or one that -- unwanted, born or unborn.
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isefining who is included exactly what reagan rejected. it considers rights to be a dispensation of government. reaganot surprising that does not mention abortion for in 1964, no one seriously thought that the right to choose was a real constitutional right. nor that it could trump the natural right to life. it was not until 1965 that the supreme court would create a constitutional right to privacy and it was not until 1973 that the court extended that right to abortion. it is a ruling that many liberals decry as having no basis in the constitution. public opinion and legislation were strongly supportive of laws protecting unborn children. alan63 abortion activist -- admitted that any change in abortion law that suggested the non-humanity of the unborn child was going to be voted down by
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the body politic. he was right. 1967, arizona, georgia, new york, new mexico, and nebraska all rejected liberalizing abortion laws. happen, the same thing in iowa, minnesota, nevada, and illinois. in 1970, it happened in vermont and massachusetts. in 1971, 12 different states the fetid laws -- defeated laws. there were some states that did liberalize their laws, though none went as far as roe. unfortunately, one of those states was california. it's governor was ronald reagan. signed of 1967, reagan the log reluctantly, thinking the democrat majority would override a potential veto. he tried to make the law as harmless as possible, limiting the cases of justified abortion to rate,, and the health of the mother. the bill was titled the therapeutic abortion act and reagan was sadly learned the
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doctors were willing to call just about any abortion therapeutic. he regretted the decision. what he learned from his decision in california prompted him to champion his pro-life cause in the white house. reagan is the only sitting aesident to have published book in office, a book promoting the culture of life. reagan pledged that his administration would champion the pro-life cause because his "tonistration was dedicated the preservation of america as a free land and there is no cause more important than preserving that freedom then asserting the transcendent right to life to all human beings, the right without no other rights have any meaning." reagan had learned that if the government could redefine who arer,atural rights be writes for a dispensation of government. the basic right to life forces on us a new right -- time for choosing.
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life,claration speaks of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. next up is liberty. great lengthat about economic liberty but he never mentioned the first right protected in the bill of rights -- the free exercise of religion. 1964,that is because in more or less everyone could agree that it deserved protection. there was no need to single it out for mention because it was not threatened. interesting cases, some disturbing, around this time dealing with school prayer and nativity scenes and 10 commandment displays and public reimbursement of busing it tools -- catholic schools. very few dealt with the exercise of religion. ruled the year before that a seventh-day adventist could not be denied conversation because she refused to work on a saturday. 10 years determined
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later that homage father did not have to send his children to high school. these are parts of larger trends are taking liberty. theyovernment ruled that could not force children to salute the flag or recite the budget.... today, the government claims it can force governments and individuals to play for health coverage of an abortion-inducing drug. they have shut down christian adoption agencies that want to homes for orphans with married moms and dads. reagan could hardly be faulted for not seeing this great threat to liberty. it comes as a shock to many americans even today, as it should. takes on to liberty particular importance when dealing with the most important and sacred of things. citizens and the businesses that they run should be free to act
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in the public square according to their belief. as michelle obama put it, religious faith is not just about showing up on sunday for a good sermon and good is again a good meal. it is about what we do monday through saturday as well. yet, we see the obama administration redefining religious liberty to the freedom of worship, pious activity to strict to which capital -- to a chapel. how about the pursuit of happiness? it is normally protected by allowing autonomous adults to act without government interference. much of reagan's speech was an argument for saving that freedom. the system of natural liberty works well when civil society a strong and does what it is supposed to do. at the heart of civil society, is the family. the government protects non-autonomous children by
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protecting the truth about marriage so that any children the union produces has access to love and care of their mother and father. it is not surprising that reagan mentioned marriage only once in his speech. marriage rates in the 1960's were robust. already, reagan could see that on urban -- government policy was undermining marriage. judged, not long ago, a called me here in los angeles. he told me of a young woman who had come before him for a divorce. she had six children and was pregnant with her seven. under his questioning, she revealed that her husband was a labor earning $250 a month. she wanted a divorce to get an $80 raise. month eligible for $330 a in addition -- in a dependent children program. in got the idea from women her neighborhood who it the same. marriage penalties and public policy, the more things change,
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the more they stay the same. our welfare system today includes penalties for marriage, as does obamacare. government will give you more stuff if you are not married. in providing such a perverse incentive, the government reinforces behavior that traps people in poverty in the first place. it is not surprising that apart from that one mention of marriage -- that, one mention of marriage never surfaces. the 1940's, 1950's, and 60's, burst to unwed mothers were in the single digits. today, it is 40% for all children, 50% for hispanics, and 70% of blacks are born outside of marriage. this breakdown of marriage most hurts the least well-off. a leading indicator of someone know poverty or prosperity is
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whether growing up, he or she has the love and security of having a mother and father. it reduces the chance of child poverty by 80%. does soion of marriage less cost than picking up the pieces of a shattered marriage culture. imaging the size of government is impossible without a size -- when the family disintegrates, social well for programs multiply. as they grow, society is further weakened. as the an important date year that president johnson launched the war on poverty. 50 years later, poverty have now moved much -- have not moved much. but spending has increased 16 fold.
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the government spends a was $1 trillion every year on means tested welfare. it is not the only way the government has weakened marriage. consider how government redefined marriage a generation ago and again, reagan plays a leading role. the first tos adopt no-fault divorce. marriage has a legal presumption of permanence. under common law, one had to cite a serious reason for filing for divorce, abuse, abandonment, and and adultery. with no-fault divorce, one could cast away a spouse for any reason. the 1980's, the majority of states adopted it and the divorce rate roughly doubled during that time. divorceshe increase of is a result of the law, but the law taught culture.
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culture shapes belief, and the lease shaped action. in effect, it had redefined marriage and today, onto google and reagan's time, there are those who would redefine marriage to illuminate the norm of sexual complementarity. just about union consenting adult love of whatever size or shape. the state's interest in marriage is not that it cares about my love life or your love life just for the sake of romance. the state's interest in marriage is ensuring that kids have fathers who were involved in their life. when that doesn't happen, social costs rise. social mobility decreases, and welfare spending explodes. if you care about social justice and limited government, you should care about freedom and the poor, and you have to care about marriage or it -- marriage.
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it fundamentally reorient the institution away from the needs of children and towards the desires of adults. it does not make marriage about ensuring the type of family that is a deal for kids. it makes it about adults. social problem we face in america is absentee fathers, how will we react when the law redefines marriage? marriage remains the best protector of the rights of children to pursuit happiness. with respect to the definition of marriage, we are faced with a new time to choose. in the last minute i have left, i want to say a word about why these challenges have come about today. weakenede practice has and the religious authorities openly mocked. government has grown to exceed constitutional limits, and we have experience a revolution -- not the american, but the sexual revolution.
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with the american revolution, religion and liberty went hand-in-hand so that thomas jefferson could declare, the guy that gave us life, it was liberty at the same time. the american revolution was not the french revolution where was declared that man would never be free until the last king is to be strangled with the entrails of the last priest. group thomas limited government and the rule of law were replaced by the unlimited reach of technocrats and as government started legislating about more and administrative more, there became greater potential for infringement on religious liberty. it results in course of government power to enforce new values. one reason americans have to work to protect life, liberty, and marriage, is because other
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americans are working to undermine these guys and they're using the government as their agent. if there is a culture war in america, it is not one that in service have picked. -- conservatives have picked. we must return to the sense of the american founding, ordered liberty based on faith and reason, natural rights, and relative, limited government and civil society. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, ryan. give you aant to chance to ask questions, give you a chance to see what else you can uncover from their knowledge and their studies. i want to ask if we can do so -- i want to try and call on students and nonstudents, i want to encourage the students just
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as much as nonstudents formally enrolled, so to speak, to ask questions as well. if you will come all the way down to the microphone here, we will wait for you to get there so you can get your question heard by everyone. please begin to come forward. you first. >> my name is mario. the first comment i would like to make is i would like to thank regent for these wonderful seminars they throw every year. they are fantastic. my question goes to amity shlaes . anyone who is not read her books needs to read them. they are written at a good level for the average person and they are tremendous books. i've read two. my question revolves around what ronald reagan would think of the tea party, republican national committee, and are we losing the bill of rights? isyour book, we are -- it
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mention that governor roosevelt, and running for the presidency, mentioned that there were no more borders in america to explore and to get ourselves out of the depression we would have to essentially look to the wealthy and look to redistribute wealth. if you look at a fact set from 1931 to 1994, 1 party controlled the house of representatives 95% of the time. the same party controlled the senate 84% of the time. .he presidency 55% of the time during that. , federal spending went from 10% about $6.40%, trillion. that works out to about $24,000 per capita in america. the average family would have to have a tax liability of about their fair share per capita not under a progressive system. under that fact set, have we lost the bill of rights of individual rights, not group
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rights, and what would ronald reagan say to the national republican party as far as recapturing the high ground and recapturing the constitution and what would he think of the tea party? >> thank you. compliments. the you enjoy the illustrated version which is for adults as well as children. i hear two question. the first is what would reagan think about the tea party? he would approve. [laughter] [applause] the second question, very thoughtful, about the limits of redistribution, is that right? there is a limit to redistribution and when you begin to redistribute, as roosevelt said he would in that hisch, even before it was
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time for choosing, he said that our frontiers are done. we cannot grow a lot anymore. we reached the front years and we have got to begin to redistribute. that is a problem because there are always more frontiers, even if they are not geographic. in the old days, our children went out west to find new opportunity. -- may buildbe all a real estate on the moon but they will go somewhere where there is opportunity and we need to ensure that when possible, these opportunities are within the united states. i think you're asking whether the leadership in the republican party recognizes the importance of avoiding the redistribution of zero-sum idea and the answer is no. does not sufficiently recognize the importance of economic growth and focuses too much on register beauchamp. in other words -- too much on redistribution. in other words, when senator cruz gets up and says he wants to stop the health care law, the republican party is probably too
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prissy about that. maybe senator cruz did not say it right. [applause] maybe he is not the right messenger for the message that the health care law is wrong, but it is the right message. the health care law is more redistribution. for some reason, the gop can't embrace that and therefore hurts itself in my opinion. >> thank you. >> one quick follow-up. how would ronald reagan use the tea party integrated -- if you would, to essentially make some of these principles known to the average person? as we probably all realize, our message is not getting out. >> very good question. i hate. being -- i hate parodying metaphors, but when you are a teenager, you want to rebel.
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that energy to rebel is important to you. if you use the energy just to rebel, you don't get the change might seek. a figure, whether it is reagan or a political leader, will take the rebels and help them form that policy. the second stage of rebellion is something constructive. rebellion alone does not take you all the way. [applause] >> i am a student at rsg. i have two questions. a candidate that who advocated what calvin coolidge believed in could be elected to the presidency today? erra, we haveuar been learning a lot about the concept of economic liberty and the constitution which was basically eviscerated after the
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roosevelt residency. -- presidency. what you think we can do to recapture the concept of economic liberty within constitutional law? >> could coolidge be elected today? there is a lady here will be speaking that wrote a wonderful book about margaret thatcher. when coolidge the book came out, people asked me that. as it happened, misses thatcher sadly died in the same. . rs. thatcherould m ever be elected? she was. what was the function that led the tory party to choose a divisive, strong character as leadership? to put it briefly, it was the economic circumstance, specifically, prison wasn't so much trouble that he could no longer go on about compassionate conservatism. it had to do something and it needed someone tough to do it.
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coolidge could easily be elected in the modern. . don't listen to all the political consultants. a prerequisite would be a certain amount of economic trouble. if the interest rate is 9%, a coolidge will be a serious political candidate, just not as two or three. in terms of economic liberty, you are right to point to the new deal era. people do not talk about property rights. they talk about all kinds of rights, but not rights of property. clearly, there was an assault on rights of property. we are beginning to have this conversation again, beginning to discover that rights of our party are a part of this foundation for order and liberty. that conversation needs to be had more intelligently.

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