tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 14, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
the history of u.s.-russia relations. then remarks by comedian lewis black on his path to becoming a socialist. a discussion of nsa surveillance programs. on the next "washington journal," a politico tax reporter looks at efforts to fix the tax code. rebecca wilkins and william mcbride discuss the fairness and equity of the u.s. tax system. what needs to be done to reform it? your phone calls, facebook comments, and we. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the politics of food and dietary choice. you can see her remarks from george washington university
live at 2:30 p.m. here on c-span. >> edison was a plant scientist as well as interested in other sciences. he knew that it did not freeze in fort myers. a lot of the interest that he had here in this area was aced on his love of plants. 1920's, the united states was relying on foreign rubber. we were heading into war. the decided that the plant material and the process should be done in this country. they were traveling all over the world and collecting plants. they had hundreds of people all over this country collecting plant. they were sending it back here to fort myers, to his laboratory, to find the source of plant materials that could produce robert efficiently.
laboratory was put here because of that reason. they could grow the plants on-site and in duty preliminary research on site. it was an exciting process. the laboratory was interesting because at that line in american history, there was no patent chemicals.plants or part of the reason why this lab was so important was that it caused the u.s. government to come forward with what was called the u.s. patent law. it then said that if you invented something with plants, and it was a process that was worthy of patenting, it was issued a patent. >> this weekend, book tv and american history tv take a look at the history and literary life of fort myers florida. there will be a stop at thomas edison's botanic research laboratory.
on saturday and sunday. former reagan advisor suzanne massie spoke about the history of u.s.-russia relations. she spoke on how the u.s. media is reporting events in ukraine. it is just over one hour. >> welcome to the center of global interest. i am president of the -- center. i am very glad to see all of you here. a meeting for the purpose to talk about what to do in the current situation.
obviously we are moving toward some kind of new cold war, or at least a very serious conflict tween the west and russia. not, weyou like it or are back in old times. some people say, some experts say, that this new cold war will be much more serious because we do not have geological differences anymore. rush is a capitalistic country. it is not communism. it is not a difference between communism and capitalism. the cold war between two different social and political systems. that makes the conflict even more dangerous because it is much more serious.
these agreements between russia and the soviet union, maybe it is geopolitical disagreement, how we received the new world order. one way or another, we cannot even start to think about what to do without looking at the recent past. if you look at the recent past, we have very few good examples of how in history we have managed to solve our systematic conflicts. the cold war is an example of how i managed our disagreement. you know the history and i will not give you a lesson on history. the best person to tell us how -- we cane can be learn lessons from that keyword -- fewer. -- period. how would ronald reagan handled his current situation?
reagan would be in the white house, the situation will be derek -- very different. it is getting more and more dangerous. it is much more serious and there is a deeper conflict. moscow just a week ago. the united states does not want to hear russian logic. they do not understand what we want. they do not understand why we behave this way. i hear the same argument, russia does not want to hear the west perceives the situation. two sides do not hear each other. i still think that after all of statesussia and united do not understand each other on a very basic level.
it is a serious and deep level. misconceptionsf and political disagreements come from this deep misunderstanding. we have a person who can explain this and why we have such a misunderstanding and how we can overcome this. the personal advisor to president reagan. i recommend everyone to buy and read this book. it is a very good analysis of the situation. i think he shocked gorbachev when he said this because gorbachev did not expect reagan to be so advanced. -- this is basically
a key to how to deal with these relations. we cannot trust him he cannot verify. there is mistrust. people who manage and know their history, they know about the cold war. they can tell us. we are in a new cold war. why don't we understand russia? i ask you to give us little comments on the topic. why is it always wrong? why are american policies always wrong toward russia. that is not our responsibility. it is how they look. it is always wrong. i have been studying russia for a quarter century.
they say, they did not expect it from putin. they did not expect it from boris johnson was stopped -- yeltsin. what do we do with russia? what to do? tell us. let's spend 20 minutes and you can ask weston's. let's keep it as informal as possible. this is a very nice informal event. this is a nice lady. well and know her very she was my close friends. it will tell you a lot about the reagan administration. dealing withn foreign policy with russia. they succeeded. but here the wisdom from that time. much.nk you so
when you are talking, you let me to something. i was not going to start this way, but i think i have to s. i have thought, and this is what i have come up with. -- i read this and it is the first quote in my book. if countries have gender, then rush is a woman. this explains her capriciousness and her motion -- emotion. she starts everything with her own particular way. then of course the man in her life is america. after all, i see it as an older woman. she happens to have had a tumultuous background. because that tumultuous background has developed in her
suspicion,weariness, and even fear. the man in her life happens to be younger. he does not have a long background. like all young men, he occasionally is insensitive to her. he does not understand why she feels so badly. this younger man also likes to flex his muscles. unusual that the two would find great difficulty in fighting -- finding common conversation. the more i look at it, the more i see this. i have dealt with russia for a long time. i love russia for the right things. everybody in the world has defects. i do not hide these. i noted outside of russia. that willsome things
be very useful for us. they are not things that we generally value in the united states because we are so different. one of those things is that russians are more emotional in many ways. they feel that way deeply. americans consider emotional a bad word. think of the english. emotionally. she behaved emotionally. he made an emotional decision. in russian, that is a good word. we have to deal with these things. it is sad. it would be very sad. 2001, i gave a speech here in washington, why are we always wrong about russia? i gave it again in 2005. mater, vassar.ma
i just did it again at the university of maine. same.ains the i just have to update it for the most recent crisis. now it is bad. i want to start with a great deal of importance on knowing history. not political tribes. i have to say that a great scientist who is a great friend of my husband always used to say that anything that calls itself science is in. history is absolutely vital, especially in this case. russians are very proud of their long history. they should be. they have also got three a great deal because of their long history. it has taught them about suffering. writerell you that one wrote well about suffering. how do you explain suffering to
the people who have not suffered? that is a challenge. those are some of the things. i am beginning to give you the emotional side of angst. i really have been working and going to russia since 1968. i was very lucky. i cannot tell you how lucky i was during that keyword. -- period. i am a private citizen. i got to know many russians. i was the first foreigner they had ever seen. i was lucky. i began to share their lives. i began to see how difficult everything was myself. different to see how and how many misunderstandings there were. basic misunderstandings. everything. stalin was one thing. russia is a new country. it is not stalin.
it is not a totalitarian country, the matter how president putin is criticized. he is authoritarian. i am not judging anything. i am just saying that he hates stalin and i happen to know president putin a little bit. i can tell you right now at this table that he does not behave that way. he is a man of thought. i go back to history. -- there is a russian proverb that says if you ignore history, you lose an eye. if you forget history, you lose to lies. we in the united states have consistently ignored russian history. evident absolutely today in this crisis of relations that we are facing. we are close to a century.
the success of american administrations has been dominated by basic premises about russia that were based on selective and often narrowly focused the is that have led to a succession of wrong assessments and wrong policies. whether thesetrue policies came from the right or the left. strangely, despite increased communication and contact, this process was most particularly marked in the 20th century and now to the 21st. we have often been almost as mistaken about russia as europeans were in the 60's century when it was confidently believed that russia had plans -- that they worship an image of a great golden goddess. i am not going to go into this. believe me.
you have to start at the beginning of the 20th century. if you go through this, you will see that when my or the other, we were always wrong in interpreting russia. whether we thought that it was great or whether we thought that mccarthy was great and absolutely right. we continue to do it. , russia cannotai be explained in 25 words or less. everything about russia is long. long history, long church service, long names. it takes a little time. i will not take your time today theaining what administration says has happened. you can find it out yourself. it is not secret. we will go on to what we can do. that is very long.
course -- i was very sad and am sad about this. i have always believed since the very beginning that russia and the united states belong together. if man and woman are complementary in the united find some we can common language and we did find some, remember i like to think about this. are up there in space. a russian and un-american are circling us as we be. -- speak. where we really understand each other's music. russians love our music. we love there is. i can tell you because
i have lectured all over the isted they -- united states them,any americans, for the not cracker has become an american custom. many americans asked if tchaikovsky is american. i have been confronted with that quite often. much some things have been adopted. popularhings that are like musical comedies. it is a part of us as well. it would be to me and i still believe that we have to work harder than ever. about that, and that is hard. there are two things now that have been changed very badly. one of them is trust.
as far as i can see, there is no trust in the united states. and vice versa. that becomes very difficult. as you have said and as i told president reagan, without trust, there is no talk. there's nothing. that i consider very serious and i do not know right now how we can fix that. i know that we have to try. i am very distressed about the demonization of president putin. frankly, as citizens said so pitifully, demonization of putin is not a policy. it is an alibi for a policy. why is our press demonizing absolutely everything? i follow this very carefully. here's one thing that americans do not know.
they are not being told is in their newspapers or anywhere else. as a historian, i consider it very important. in the last 20 years, russia has become according to an independent poll taken by europe , reported in the christian science monitor, it has become the country where the most people believe in god. 82%. two thirds are now calling themselves orthodox. that is pretty spectacular in 20 years. especially since everything else theyad -- for some reason were not slow about this. it has changed. who are now a super majority -- russia is a young country and we have to remember that. it is a young country and now -- theung country
majority believe in god. more than england. more than anywhere. as a historian, what does this mean in the long run? i do not believe that history repeats itself. i do believe that sometimes it is a spiral. russia was the last bastion of the west against the east. that happened. i am not saying it will happen again, but for me, this tectonic shift in russia thinking -- russian thinking is important. we have not discussed it. i would love to have a seminar discussing what this could potentially mean for society. now religion is taught in every school in russia. this is not true in the united
states. we have become more secular. they are turning more towards religion. i don't know why. i just find it extremely interesting. what was important for president reagan? my story is totally improbable. i was in them and private citizen. i was always a private citizen. you have to read my book. it is a long story. the reason that i finally ended up in the oval office, why? the soviet union took away my visa. i was really mad. i had been going for a while and i love russia. we became very close friends. i admired her kurds. i admired her survival and their humor and their generosity.
happens. i fell in love with all of them. they were wonderful. i was very happy and that is all i wanted to do. my life was not easy. i was happy. back, they say don't write. i didn't do anything. my visa was taken away anyway. timeat point, i said, this that is too much. if that is what you are going to do to your friends, what would you do to your enemies? i came to washington on my own. everything i did was on my own nickel. i did not have a lot of nickels. i did not want anybody. all of these things happens more or less as incidents. i met a lady at a cocktail party. she was the president of the democratic woman's club.
we were in the middle of detente. no russians could come here. no one could marry anybody. i thought that was awful. that ied that time decided to talk. that was my first public each year in washington. no detente. that was not very popular. i can tell you that. kissinger did not like it at all. may i tell you that i'm swiss? we are known to be very perseverance and stubborn. i went to see kissinger. me todenly said to explain a policy, how great it was. wonderful, but a russian proverb says that the
wolf does not become the lamb. he said something i will never forget. well we are building trade, your friends in the soviet union will have to take the heart out. to use that world --o word inm theg this lady -- word, happens quickly. the senator said, can you help this woman? for the united states and russia, it increased exchange and cultural knowledge. it was key. i always felt that people to people where what counts.
there i was, preaching a little late. department, they said it would be inappropriate for us at this time. they said, you are the single american citizen who knows the most soviet citizens personally. as if this were bad. anyway, nothing worked. i was about to give up. -- my friends said i wasy forbidden forever. nobody knew why. said thaty and they they had reasons. that was my position. reagan comes in. i try to get my visa that. reagan was elected and of course
the soviet union -- you have to take a little more attention. there should be more talking back and forth. -- i had another life. i knew the boys very well. they all ended up heavy kernels. some were generals. this was the only one who is interested in my problem. how stupid can you get? it was so selfish. all i wanted to do was get back. if you can imagine, the people responsible for my getting back to the soviet union were united states crews and the army. he went to do it.
he told me he had deposited it at the u.s. institute -- several copies. they had that i was an interesting woman. you know this lady? we would like to talk to her. and he said, what a coincidence. she would like to talk to you too, but she has no visa. they called me up and said, call so-and-so. that was the translator of stolen. he happen to like america very much. he happen to be a very intelligent man. them, they two of got me back to the soviet union. was just after -- the temperature was so cold. you cannot imagine. somebody said i had to see ron reagan.
fewve seen quite a bureaucrats. but it was not a bureaucrat. my children, i have always told i worked on that. finally, nothing happened quickly. i finally went to the senator from maine. i kept saying, i hadn't noticed the terrible atmosphere in moscow when i went. was ae first time, there psychosis of war and people were terrified. bombren were running into shelters and hiding under their desks. it was bad. i saw what a tremendous golf there was between understanding and of the others. finally, i said to bill, it is really bad. it is bad. you have to talk.
talk about something. should, he said, you talk to a national security advisor. thele as that, pick up phone call. hi, bill, i have this woman who knows a lot about russia and you should talk about her. i argued about the cultural exchange. i said i think maybe there is a way to discuss this. anotherone thing led to and at one point, it is hard to believe when you look at me now, istuck my hand up and said -- did not know how bad it was. had i known, it is now considered the worst period in the entire cold war. that is how i met the president. he read all of the books after. there i was suddenly, just said, the russians are
personal people. all of the presidents men do not add up to the president unless i ask one question, it will only take a few minutes. i want to be able to say honestly to anyone i have seen that the president came from himself. they said put it on paper. there i was in the oval office and that is how i met president reagan for the first time. he asked me the first question, he asked me was how much do they, meaning those who believed in communism? i said i cannot tell you, but many of them say they love only theirs. we went on. leave.sident would at the end, i asked him the question. i said, mr. president, if you
are elected to a second term, will policy of small steps toward better relations be a policy continuing of your administration? he looked at me and had a fierce eye when he wanted to and said, yes. he wants peace, they can have it. i went to moscow, i did have the talks. they were pretty hot. at the end, i said i'm a i said the onlysaid, i said thing we could tell what his mother's and culture. if we cannot talk about mothers and culture, there is some logic in what you say and they said, yes. 13 months later, they talked for 13 months. there was a meeting in geneva where ajax was the only -- i was so proud of that, the only agreement. should i continue to have deep faith in the power of people to
people relations, nothing to beat it. not a bureaucratic or anything. ronald reagan was the only politician i ever met who was in what theot kremlin sought, but what the russians sink. we have made a great mistake in the united states to make russia a -- i was able to explain to him the difference between is a -- between the two. the most important thing i told, was that the russians -- nobody ,n washington, specialist experts, everybody else had never told the president of the united states that the russians were religious and they had 1000-year-old church. and despite all of the persecution of the government,
it had existed. and indeed, it is only limited next organization -- leninist organization allow to exist. that turned out to be the big difference for him. i told you everything is along. now we will stop. >> ok, thank you. to pick somebody on the russian side. difficult to find one american. to normalizearting kind of. >> no, i got one. i protested the bureaucracy. i really got one, amazing. to doingking forward what the russians called -- this
was before the crisis. but my husband had a terrible accident years ago. i was afraid to leave him. i cannot do that. i do know quite a few people around and i just wanted to talk to the church. i just wanted to take the pulse. i wanted to do that because i think it is really good when it is somebody not connected with the government anyway. actually, the trust to verify p mr. president, russians like to talk in proverbs. there is one i think that might come in handy for you. and it is -- of course, i said to him, you are an actor. you can learn it very quickly. at first i said in russian.
he loved it. now is itso delighted has come and gone into the american lexicon with post-people not knowing at all it is russian. -- which is why i, back to culture is important and to,challenge now is defined if you want to go around the left field here. do things, something nonpolitical where both countries look good. the woodwind situation. he loved that. [laughter] you might try that. >> thank you. up withill open it questions. my question is, i see your emphasis on person-to-person
contact, cultural connections, and understanding history and each other in real ways of based on meeting and exchange. keysseems like one of the to your advice. od of crisis when everything is so can distance -- condensed into a has only been gone off for a couple of months, what is the solution in this situation? >> i do believe it is people to people. i do not mean big picture, but reagan always said personal contact. say, theto let us ofture of the -- divesture the fierce. i believe in that. you had your hand up.
>> a comment if i may. i slightly disagree on not understanding russia. i think reagan's administration characterized soviet union from my understanding was one of the empire by naming the people. [indiscernible] i think it describes russia. and anothernion form of russian empire. at least from those countries .ho are forcefully part my second comment is you liesoned -- the problem not in demonizing putin because no rush of can hear your voices russians can -- hear your voice from the west. [indiscernible] right now isalking
the largest european nation is under occupation. and that this occupation is continuing even as we talking right now. in order to understand how we shape our response, we have to understand what russian wants. i do not think putin wants crimea. or as polarizing in this stage. i do not think he was eastern -- wants easter ukraine. his main goal is to turn ukraine where some western allies will turn for assistance. i think this russian policy has never changed. i think the expansion and subduing its was always part of the russian foreign-policy with some minor exceptions.
i think what we are witnessing right now is a continuation. sorry for a long comment. committed,, they they change the current world order for the not just order, buts -- world not just occupationism. >> can i answer that? or you answer? said in the beginning of the discussion, that is a valid point. his creation. reagan was fighting communism. states,here united enemy was a geopolitical
which despite communism? hear people saying if united states was fighting communism, why doesn't it fight china which is a huge communist country. you are still fighting russia which is not communist country anymore. you can like it or not like it. it is not about communism anymore. the cold war was about communism. why not with china? that was about something else. what was it about? that is basically my question. on how yout based see russia as a power that challenges you or what?
russia was a regional power. i still do not understand. it is kind of silly. what was it about? what is the basis for american policy? if we had a chance to talk to the president now? part abouttake you a history. i shall not to do so. i expected from you though fiery response. do respect it. i do respect it. myself, i feel that things are not in the same the way you see them. and i think that is not very constructive on what is going to happen now. i look at this question of
ukraine at the moment. ukraine is intertwined in many ways, culturally, his store y with-- historicall russia since the ninth century. as civilization was there. it is a very complicated case. it is not so simple. in every way, it does not even like your country which has an identification. it is a nation with culture, religion, and the unified. ukraine is not unified at all. a very comment i read was jack who said it has become a state for the first time only 21 years ago. it is not yet a bashan. t a nationot ye because it is so fragmented and all of these ways.
ukraine has not yet been capable of finding a leader for this new state that can unify them. to me, that is the greatest problem. i do not think the big powers should be involved so much in this. i think it is very much a question of ukrainian putting together themselves. there are so many questions about what happened. some of them are not even answered yet. things, i look at whether they're making fast comments i say, when in doubt, hesitate. i wish we had done that. i wish we had a little more patience to see what would happen because anybody who has , even elementary knowledge of russian history must or should have known that to do any meddling in the
ukraine, you have to deal with a long stick and no you would rub a nerve very raw and be prepared for it. what bothers me about all of this is what is this all about? it does not help the united states and does not help russia. and the person it helps the lease is ukraine. i would have wished it would've been more constructive. that could've been more impartiality. there could have been some help internationally and helping the ukrainians themselves find a way to make peace among themselves and go forward with all of their problems. that is what i would have hoped. it did not happen. that is what so dangerous. i think when nationalist emotions are aroused in any country in the whole world, they
are dangerous and that can easily get out of hand. and not to be controlled by howody, i do not care powerful. they cannot be stopped. that is what worries me. the rest of the world would be involved somehow. peace is what we want. how to get to peace? everybody in the world really wants peace. how did we get there is the problem. thank you. >> questions? >> demonizing putin is a bad thing. putin --t with >> conflating? >> conflating putin and russia. much of what you described in your book was made possible by a network of connections between americans and russians. you and the people you connected with. that is terribly important.
on pages 119 and one hundred 20, you talk about the different mentality of the soviet leadership and the american leadership and your concern that in these decent americans are going to be really taken for a ride by the men of the kremlin. that resonates unfortunately. what i hear from a lot of people affairs andtry of cultural rounds is a lot of concern about what is happening. i am not sure that without the ramping up of public opinion there would have been as much support for what is happening in the ukraine. we should not demonize putin and putin should not save the entire ukrainian pro-groups are fascist . there has got to be a more
reasonable dialogue. what concerns me is it is getting beyond that. a lot of that is not in danger right here. the american councils deregistered in russia. one wonders about the rationale. twice as many russians come here as americans go there. that does not help anybody including the russians. the buzzing american ships in the mediterranean today does not help to lower the tension. i think you are absolutely right. a mucheal has to be broader segment of russian society than a focus on leadership. >> thank you. we are all friends. -- it was ang in great pleasure. that is basically what i am saying, too.
i am concerned about the emotional wrapping up. you know they can get out of hand whether just a fight among normal people, suddenly the emotions take off. who can stop them? then you can have accidents. my feeling is there's a lot of urgency toward, you know lowering the tone on both sides. what i am worried about is the rule, the first rule of diplomacy is lead an opening. if there is anything the swiss will teach you is leave an opening. i do not see an opening. i do not see it combined with a lack of trust. once you lost trust, it is hard to get it back. reaganery sorry because came such a long way.
they were both hoping it would continue. i often thought that reagan was spared by god as he did not see the deterioration because i know this is an absolute fact that reagan's one hope was to get rid of all nuclear weapons. it is a tragedy that they missed by so little and we now have weapons hanging over us that we should never forget. i am not a peacemaker at all. i not saying putin is an angel. no, i was fairly were ready about the emotional tone of his speech. those words, we have been humiliated, we have been betrayed are very hard words in russia. there is nothing calming about that. and nobody seems to be listening
to what the russian people are saying the buyers way. we here and often -- a often a lot about what putin is saying. the retiring ambassador, a wise man, said he was struck by how little we listened to what putin said, what ever he said. i am not talking about in general, but the speech. he is dead on. who has an idea of what we could mean, i have kind of given up on the higher levels. what can we do just to lower the tension? the press is, terrible. really terrible. they are not making it a better to put it that way. what can we do without making excuses for people's behavior, forgetting that for the moment. steps?ry, what positive
does anybody have any idea? [indiscernible] >> they have a very different view all ukraine a ukraine being a nation. we have a strong identity. emotionallyscribing -- compared to obama or bush saying it is not really a country. said years ago that -- [indiscernible] might find itern business as usual in a month's time. i think that is -- what should be done? i come from a generation where i remember very well right after
the soviet union entered poland 1983.3 stopped -- true leader of the free world. if someone said this, unfortunately, we may find how irrelevant it is today. i do not have any prescription. not the last place where putin will stop. -- a wholeoing to different subject. >> one phrase of ronald reagan you perhaps did not know what he always said it is better to protect people than a venture down. that was a very popular position. he was right. that is true.
i met him after that. what was good about reagan was that his mind was open. i think that is very important even if one has a very strong and correct feelings. that is what he didn't do. and for me, that was the attributes of an actor. -- and that is what he did do. a second ratewas actor. actors do not look for mirror images. order to get into some body's skin was very different. that is what he wanted from me. he wanted to know about russian people and not russian leaders. it would not be a bad idea for all of us. sayink, i think if i may you have a completely hostile attitude and not very constructive. let's think about constructive. we aren't ending about the
people that we are thinking about the people of the world and not your country -- we are thinking about the people of the world and not your country or our country. littlee humility and a as i may say, love. short supplyn among politicians. reagan was a modest. andas a man of deep faith he believed that it was better to protect than avenge. and the people in his administration felt very differently. i think honesty is the beginning of wisdom and he had that. we should all be a little modest on what has been happening in our respective countries and how little we know and no matter how high we are. constructively. ladies, you are good at this.
what do you think it's constructive? >> my name is leeanne. in terms of something manyructive, there are opportunities for the united states and russia to work together as superpowers. i recognize it that, yes, russia views himself and correctly given its history and a small amount of this history as a superpower. space.tion in --ht now, we are using the to get to the international space station as americans because we were tired of our rockets. together to eradicate the international drug trade. that was something hillary clinton and sergey lavrov were working on. we can work together on power, water, infrastructure for
undeveloped regions. in america, we need nuclear power and water. 100% of the state of california is in some form of drought. that is a probably could solve if we were not so busy with hypocrisy, the wards, the foreign adventures. -- the wars, the foreign adventures. i had a question about how you do handle the whole pot received. -- hypocrisy. saying the united states or acted first. the first 20 years of the eu and nato, we are accusing russia of intervening into the former soviet union. what was the european union doing for 20 years? i mean -- we have to somehow
overcome hypocrisy. >> i happen to like and respect men very much for all you can do and cannot do. there are some things that women can do a little better. i found in my long history that men think in terms of locking horns. it is always very important to win . somebody has to win over the other. anybody who has been a mother knows very well if you are going to have peace in a is necessary.mise compromise takes humility. compromise is not easy. , i find the word compromise seems to connote weakness. it is not weakness. it is a strength and it takes a compromise.o find a
the compromise means that somehow, not going to the person , whoever, putin or maybe obama, whoever and somehow having a real sense of where that person is coming from. maybe it's coming from bad things. maybe. maybe that are huge and misunderstandings from the basic level. is to tryant thing forfind some common ground speaking of the rest of the world. responsibility a of both mr. putin and mr. obama right now. i do not think we can do much. i am also thinking that -- out of the box. i am trying to think of things that would capture the popular imagination.
that wouldould do really help to change stereotypes. those stereotypes grew up in the early 20th century and they are still there. , i see youthem is can do this about any country if you wanted to, it is said that russia's love -- i love this, they are apathetic. that means not really understanding a little bit. thingsthese kinds of would be called racist if they were told about anybody else. every country can be accused of wanting or another. -- one thing or another. >> you kind of approach of the same question from two different sides. in this country, i see -- in the world, i see a a lot of people
writing about what is russia. i kind of disagree with this putting in atin situation and russia becoming some different -- something different under putin. i can be wrong. i finished my book where i tried putin is russia and russia is putin. unique russian leader whether you like him or not. that is the major question. mr. you are dealing with putin, are you dealing with russia or a symbol? when putin talk to obama -- you say obama does not represent america.
and putin represents russia. moves are very successful. you are dealing with a political image. of course, russia is going to -- [indiscernible] adequate for the country. do you like the country or not? 85% of popularity, i cannot believe it. unfortunately, if you are dealing with russia not to with is a's russia, it different picture. how do you build policy? it is a long story. a thousand --ike [indiscernible] some kind of small countries
around russia, russia is just russia and putin represents russia. russia will go back to its al roots.assi historical ,ussian democracy is based on it will be more democratic. there is no system. russians never wanted the system. they wanted a leader. you have to deal with the country. you have to deal the country and not the leader. that is why i do not understand of obama over putin. i think it is wrong. you have to deal with the country. you have to know the country. >> go ahead with the analysis. [indiscernible]
to --anted >> can we take a second? we went over time. if you have to leave, please feel free to leave. thank you. if you have any final questions, thank you. if anybody wants to stay -- [laughter] >> people would like to stay. go ahead. of public opinion in this. americansnk that the on foreign policy to the government or does the public have a say in things like this? i mean, there was a reason by social scientists widely discussed in america about the
thately -- in the unlikely americans would put ukraine on right?, write -- the less likely americans were able to place ukraine on the map and were less likely to support active american action. military action. americans did, not want military intervention. especially more educated americans did not want military intervention abroad. do you think the public doesn't here or -- doesn't say the public opinion have a monopoly? >> i did not hear everything you said about societies in america. where was that and what place in
america? >> do you think the american public's opinion have a safe in this -- say in this? say as think it has a they do not know very much. they do not get to sites. -- two sides. in ourre gray areas country where there are no newspapers. i know because i have lectured in 48 states and i know that the russian people, i mean the american people are terribly interested in russia. they do not -- and there was a time when their exhibitions and museums, places like jackson, mississippi and st. petersburg, florida, all of these places wanted to see.
i think, myself, the public well turned to russia. but, unfortunately, there are huge, huge ignorance about the history, certainly about the history, especially since there is very little russian history taught in our country. there are only maybe two centers where there are russian studies. one and the east and one in california. what about the rest? it is hard to talk about all of american public opinion. my experience is in -- americans are very interested toward the russian people. and they are fascinated by russia itself. it is fascinating. but the other side exists. i bet it exist in russia, too. i cannot help but think so.
-- i like to be hopeful about it. i know there's a lot to be done if we're able to change this. i've talked about this for several days. what can we do to change? one of the things we have to do is to get rid of stereotypes left over from cold war. they are there and part of the language and they should not be part of the language. whether you love it or do not like it, russia is now again, russia. and all of her past and everything else. what is it to become? how is it to become? it is still is not clear. it is in a huge transition. if we are going to try and do something, we sure have to get rid of wrong thinking. things that are not true and get rid of those and really try
honestly, i look at your lovely young faces and i think you are the key. in russiae key both and the united states. and i hope that you are going to wiser ways ofome behaving that some of your adults have. >> i am usually optimistic. let's thank you. our guest for very personal, presentation.m i hope you will be back. >> i would love to. >> i do not say you're wrong about stereotypes. >> i have a list and i could give you one. >> ok, thank you. c-span, comedian lewis black on his career in politics. then former nsa director michael nsaen and a reporter on
surveillance programs and privacy issues. that is followed by another chance to see former reagan advisor, suzanne massie on the history of u.s.-russia relations >> on the next washington badeal, reporter rachel looks at efforts to fix the tax code. william mcbride of the tax foundation talks about the fairness of the tax system and what needs to be done to reform it. thus your phone calls and comments all of "washington journal," live at 7:00 on c-span. >> tuesday, former treasury obamaary and president former asian advisor discuss china's economy and its role in the second largest economy. you can see this event from the
brookings institutions starting at 9:00 a.m. on c-span two. >> edison was a plant scientist as well as interest and the other sciences. the story is he knew it did not freeze in fort myers. had inf the interest he this area was based on his love of plants. by the 1920's, the united states was relying on foreign rubber and we were headed into war. at that point, they decided that plant material and the process should be done in this country. wereon and firestone traveling all around the world collecting plants and had hundreds of thousands of people all over this country collecting plants and sending them back here to fort myers to his laboratory to find a source of plant materials that could produce a rubber efficiently and
commercially. and so the laboratory was put here because of that reason, they could grow the plants on site and actually do the preliminary research on site. a really exciting project. the laboratories interesting for many reasons. at that point in american history ammann there was no patent process for plants, chemicals. part of the reason why this lab was so important was it cost the u.s. government to come forward with the patent, u.s. patent law which said if you invented something with plants and it was a process that was worthy of patenting, it was issued a patent. weekend, book tv and american history tv and look at the history of literary life of fort myers, florida including a stop at thomas edison laboratory.
and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on c-span three. >> during this month, c-span is pleased to present our winning entries in this year's studentcam video documentary competition. studentcam is c-span's annual competition that encourages middle- and high-school students to think critically about issues. the question we asked students to base their documentary on was, what's the most important issue the u.s. congress should consider in 2014? second prize winner madeline bowne is a sophomore at cherry hill high school from cherry hill, new jersey. she believes congress should make cell phone use while driving their most important issue. >> the truck hit them, the car spun around in a circle. the one girl got ejected. the driver instantly wanted to know where her phone was because it got hit out of her hand, so the first person she came up to, she said she was looking for her phone. ♪
nikki was stuck in the backseat. she was alive for about 35 minutes before they got her out. >> hello. i'm madeline bowne. i'm a 16-year-old and i'm ready to start driving. i'm very eager, yet i'm also very scared. many drivers today are focusing their attention on their cell phones rather than on the road. the statistics show that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and that cell phones just have no place behind the wheel. something needs to be done about this. >> obviously, we have people getting killed or injured. i am a believer that this is a serious problem that has to be addressed.
>> driving is a combination of cognitive, visual, and manual concentration. yet all three are distracted when a driver uses a cell phone behind the wheel. >> driving takes great concentration. it takes a lot of focus, and especially for new drivers who lack experience and knowledge behind the wheel. >> if a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour and looks down at a text for five seconds, he or she will have traveled 120 yards, the length of a football field, completely blind. 1.3 million accidents in 2011 were caused by cell phones. texting and driving increases the risk of an accident 23 times. to drive while using a handheld device is to increase the chance of an accident by four times. using a cell phone while driving delays a driver's reaction as much as having a blood-alcohol content of .08%. >> on the shoulder -- oh! he just hit. oh, my god, he's crossing over!
oh! >> these statistics are not just numbers. mike kellenyi is a man whose life has been tragically affected by the dangers of distracted driving. >> nikki was a real little quiet kid. she was real shy. she wouldn't talk to anybody. and when she got into, like, high school, freshman, sophomore year, something clicked in her. she became everybody's friend. she became the most helpful person that you can imagine. she was a real good equestrian. she rode horses. and we didn't even have to give her lessons. all the other kids had to get lessons. she got on it and knew how to take a horse and run it wild. it was amazing. people against distracted driving was founded in honor of my daughter nikki, who was killed in a distracted driving accident. what we want to do basically is end distracted driving. >> nikki's law was passed in new jersey in 2013. this law called for signs to be placed along roads to remind drivers of the dangers of distracted driving. >> and it reminds us of the need to continue to educate the public throughout our state and
throughout the country to put down the phones, put down the distractions, and pay attention. >> do you think the law should be adopted on a national scale? >> every state is unique. new jersey is a very congested state. federal rules and laws should say if a state has blah, blah, blah, with population, with that many miles of roads, then they would be required to do so. >> so far 39 states and d.c. have banned texting while driving, yet only 10 states and d.c. have banned all the uses of handheld devices while driving. what is the other argument? why would somebody disagree with passing a law? >> the libertarian argument that people should be guided more by their behavioral choices than by the law. it is one thing to say you're
putting yourself or your family at risk if you're driving distractions, but you are putting someone else at risk. >> because we think we can use these -- we're attached to them, and we think we can use them, and you can't use them and drive safely. you just can't. >> 60% of drivers use their cell phones while driving, and 42% of young drivers are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive. and we see drivers use their cell phones every day -- at stop signs, on the highway, at a red light. are students generally receptive of what you teach them about texting and driving? >> yes and no. i think one of the biggest problems, it is a cultural thing. the parents do it. >> have you ever been in a car when a driver was using a cell phone behind the wheel? >> i have. >> definitely. >> yeah. >> for sure. >> yes. >> yeah. >> every day. >> yes. >> yes, i have, multiple times. >> it is easy for bad habits to be passed down from one
generation to the next. that is why it is so important to educate the new generation of drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. so what can be done on a congressional level to reduce distracted driving? >> what we want to do is do a -- almost compared to the click-it-or-ticket campaign of the 1980's and 1990's where the government and all your different advertising agencies put signs up everywhere, all about click-it-or-ticket or seat belts save lives. distracted driving is the same thing now. it has taken over, killing everybody, taken over everybody's lives. kids are just growning up with it. >> we should use our financial leverage. the fact that the federal government uses money to build roads and operate roads and airports, we should use our financial leverage to encourage states to do whatever they can to prohibit or discourage distracted driving. >> for too long americans have
prouded themselves with the misconception that they can multitask behind the wheel. but driving is not a task. it's a responsibility. driving under the influence of cell phones is a serious issue. it has claimed the lives of thousands of americans each year. yet congress has the power ultimately to eradicate the influence of cell phones on the road, and in doing so congress will save the lives of many future drivers. >> hopefully you see this and you understand that it's real, it happens with people, and it is not something that is a joke and it is not acceptable to drive distracted. >> to watch all of the winning videos and to learn more about our competition, go to c-span.org and click on studentcam. and tell us what you think about the issue this student wants congress to consider. post your comment on studentcam's facebook page, or tweet us using the hash tag #studentcam.
blackday, comedian lewis talked about growing up in the middle class and being a socialist. he also discusses his appearances on comedy central's "the daily show where he provides, terry. it contains language that some might find offensive. >> is one thing for a comedian to make you laugh and another thing for that comedian to make you sink and mad and question authority. our guest today does all of that. lewis a black -- lewis black's humorous and full nervous breakdowns are trained in massday man at odds with society around town. mr. black is probably known for his appearances on comedy central. his back in black commentary are
among the shows most popular segments. mr. black lampoons religion. ,ew subjects are off-limits less known is that mr. black is a prolific writer and diverse performer. he has written more than 40 plays and a few books and released several comedy records. active in the law and order tv series and appeared in a number of films. andson of an engineer schoolteacher he began writing plays in silver spring maryland and at college. he attended the university of carolina chapel hill. while at unc, he lived in a theater commune. he earned a masters in fine arts from the yale school of drama in 1977.
mr. black is a progressive thinker who once described himself as a socialist. he described his humor as "being on the titanic every single day and being the only person who knows what's going to happen." [laughter] many critics and observers think mr. black belongs in the same company as those people who influenced him, george carlin, richard pryor, and lenny bruce. one thing is for sure -- he is funnier than i am. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome lewis black to the national press club. [applause] >> if i knew there were going to be these things i could read off of -- seriously. nobody told me there was -- i thought you are doing that by
heart. [applause] i would have written the speech and stuff. instead, i've just got notes. to those watching c-span and public whatever you are out there, i may use profanity, so tough. [laughter] because i can't work and really speak without using it and talking about some of the things i'm talking about. if i make it through the whole thing, it will be exciting for both of us. i want to thank all of you appear on the dais with me, just so i could say the word deus. it's the only time you use that word and i would like to thank my friends who joined me today and i think our absolute proof that if you look at tori to barry lynn, i have the entire
political spectrum of washington. so when people say he was right to say -- i do say i'm a socialist and i am a socialist. and that is about as powerless a position as you can be in in the united states. [laughter] i really just wanted to start with that because the idea of calling anyone outside of maybe bernie sanders a socialist, to call obama a socialist is you've got to be out of your mind. there are seven socialists left in the country and if you want to see the leadership of the socialist party, you can go to a cemetery and find them. we have no effect. as a matter of fact, when i was a kid, you read about them and i can imagine many of the history books have forgotten that evolution is a real thing, that socialism is even discussed historically.
i got this background for my parents who are here today. my father was a mechanical engineer and my mother was a schoolteacher. and they are really the ones who shape the way i look at things. if anything upsets you, they are here. [laughter] you can discuss it with them. [applause] it has been tough because i've been trying to figure out -- i have 25 minutes to speak and to actually speak to what i would speak to, you would be sitting here for an hour and a half and then you would probably leave and i would still keep talking. there really is a bunch of things i want to cover.
my parents are the last of the middle-class families in america. i was raised middle-class. absolutely middle-class. when i hear a discussion in congress about the disappearing middle class and what needs to be done, i don't think they have a clue. i don't think they have any sense of history. i don't think they have any idea of how it works. it worked really remarkably. i don't look back at that time and go it was a golden age. tv wasn't in color until i was much older. so it wasn't that great a time. but you have to realize that there was a sense in the community i was and where everyone was middle-class stop there was truly a sense that
somehow, everything would be ok. things would be taken care of. we had a thing back then, and i know this will come as a shock in washington called taxes. listen to the lack of a laugh in this room. listen to the lack of a laugh in this room. taxes. ha ha ha. you can't even talk about it. you won't even crack a smile. it is extraordinary. what those taxes went to were things like when i finished school, at the end of the school year during the summer, there was a 10 to 12 week program down the street that i walked to that was a recreation center run by montgomery county in which i
could go there at 8:00 and go there until 5:00. no one called childcare. it was called get the little shit out of the house. as a result, i spent a lot of time at that place. my parents didn't have to worry. it was extraordinary. those don't exist. they may exist in pockets around the country. gone. gone. a community effort, gone. there was a high school, junior high, elementary school. we went down six times a year, not just me, the whole school, went down to watch the national symphony. that's where i learned i had no interest in classical music. [laughter] but it was an effort. it was arts in the school. now you have to fight to get arts in the school because
nobody wants to pay for it. nobody wants to pay for anything anymore. that's the way i look at it. nobody wants to pay to get the things that would allow really to be a great education to children. and i had that education and we were middle-class. it wasn't some wealthy neighborhood. my parents were earning your basic kind of salary and they have health insurance. my mother taught at my high school. she was a substitute teacher there and i will tell you just as a side, the fact that my mother was a substitute teacher where i went to school and that i don't have asthma today is really extraordinary because that's the kind of thing that could really break a child. [laughter] but my mother was seriously funny, which has made it easy for me to deal with the other students because students would come out after a class and talk
about how my mother had told somejackass sitting in the back row what an asshole he was. my mother would say the reason you have to learn this is because in two years, when i drive up to the sears on the corner to get my gas, i don't want you to be standing there pumping it. [laughter] i got my mother -- part of what formed the way i look at things as my parents, we would sit around with my brother, my parents, myself and walter cronkite. i literally thought until a few years ago that walter cronkite was a part of my family. and then my mother would go in and out of the kitchen and whatever was on the tv, she
would yell about. i can't believe they are doing that today. my father would just sit there and when the vietnam war occurred, i think it was a profound change in my life because -- let me get this off while i remember it. if we are not going to have an army that is drafted so there's no kind of failsafe system within their system so that people might respond to a war in another fashion because we are insulated from the army, it might well be considered that if you want to go to war, there will be a tax and then maybe people will think about it. that's just a thought. apparently no interest here. [laughter] my mother was immediately against the war in vietnam. my father was a mechanical
engineer who worked for the navy department or the department of defense -- navy? the navy department. he made sea mines. see mines are a defensive weapon, for you younger member of the audience, it looks like a beach ball and has spikes and submarines at them. you put them in the water to protect your harbor from an invading ship. he listens to my mother yell on and on about this. one of the main reasons we declared war was that the decision was made over something called the gulf of tonkin resolution. which i would have googled last night but on a very busy man. so my father said he didn't know if the gulf of tonkin resolution was based on the geneva accords, so that we were going to war
over these geneva accords. my father said my mother was full of it because she didn't know if this was a legitimate war or not and that he was going to sit down and read the geneva accords. do you know anyone, do you know anyone, anywhere, a distant relative, send out e-mails today, that you know that read the geneva accords? you didn't. did you really? of course not. the geneva accords, he sat down and read them. he went to the library, he got them, he finished it and he announced there was no legal basis for us to be in vietnam. there was no legal basis to go to war and so he took an antiwar
stance, as did my mother. mainly over the legitimacy of it. during the course of the next few years of that war, we mind haiphong harbor. when we mined haiphong harbor, we put sea mines there. so my father who was essentially building defensive weapons, his weapon was being used offensively. he decided at that point in time that in all good conscious, he could not stay at his job. at the age of 55, he retired. that's my agent. i will have to go now. there are big things on my horizon. his retirement had a profound
effect on me because i had never seen anybody, and i've seen few people in my life make a choice out of conscious. i've read about people and my father did it all stop and it was an extraordinary thing to do, to do it at a time in which i am in my last year of school, of college. my brother is in his first year of college, and he's going to walk away and i'm going there's the cash going to come from? he walked away and became an artist and went ahead and did what he wanted to do, probably from the very beginning of his life, which was to do art. but you don't come out of the depression and go i'm going to
paint. unless it was a house. it really affected choices that i made during my life. you choose what is you want to do. he was a much happier person after that. he started in stained glass and that was becoming too much and he said he could not get as much done and he studied acting. at the age of 83, he retired as a painter. at which point i said why are you quitting? and this is the greatest thing i've ever heard any artist say and the most honest -- i've run out of ideas. and my mother would yell and scream about anything she found appalling. apparently there was a lot.
between the two of them, i was given a sense of conscience, at least for myself. one of the most important lessons of my life -- do what it is you want to do. whenever i'm asked by kids what is your best advice to young person, do what you want to do. everything will fall into place. don't worry about money. and you don't worry about money. it's the last thing you worry about. you worry about your satisfaction is a human being. my parents lived on a very frugal budget. it was really irritating to me. i had no really proper vacations as a child. you would not believe some of the places we ended up. even a would arrive there and go holy god it looked better in the magazine.
[laughter] as a result, they have survived and survived well. they are 96 and 95. [applause] my father has the same health insurance as the members of congress do. the same health insurance was given to my dad. as a result, they've been able to live nicely, not over-the-top. one of the things someone said, something i thought was one of the great angst about my youth will stop i had no sense nor did i care i wasn't rich. we lived next to a rich neighborhood in the building for bigger and they had nicer lawns, but i didn't care.
i couldn't imagine they had more than i did, except vacations. i know they had better vacations. between them, just two pieces together in a quilt -- the three things that had an effect on the way i look at life that was outside of me, and the reason i think i ended up feeling the democrats and republicans really didn't work for me and that i did leave, that i did feel socialism was the way i felt about things, part of the reason i believe in socialism is because of you are going to have a christian philosophy, if that is the asis for the country you live in, and it is a christian philosophy and i know this because i'm a jew, that you
might want socialism because what it is is enforced christianity. you put your money where your mouth is and shut up. we're not going to wait on you to help the poor. you're going to help the poor, like it or not. toughski shitski. three things had an effect on the and my folks. one is edward armour wrote's documentary. i had no concept of this. i was 12 years old and lived a really sheltered life in a really nice community. all of the sudden, i'm looking at the people who are the ones picking the food and gathering it and getting it to market and they are living in squalor and they are not getting paid for
it. and i'm going there is something wrong with this picture. that makes no sense. then i was born and raised at a time -- here is another sidebar. when you take a look at this city and they talk about downsizing the federal government, because that's the most important thing that possibly has to happen is to make government smaller. you're going to make government smaller, watch what happens to washington dc. why do you think it's out there? what do you think the motor is behind all of those restaurants? it's the government. it's the federal government. the federal government combined with all the lobbyists coming in -- do you think it is tourists? are you out of your goddamned mind? when i was a kid and was
smaller, this did not exist. you had a woodward and lower -- hoo ha. you had small downtown area and behind the capital were the worst slums in the united states will stop the worst. i know this because the washington post every two years when i was a kid would show a photo of the capital and it would be a big photo and behind it there would just be slum after slum after slum. that had a profound effect on me. then my mother -- i don't know if she did it consciously or didn't want to leave me alone in the house because she knew i might earn it down. we had a housekeeper who would
come once a week and she would drive her home into the slums of washington. it did not compute for me why she had to live like that and we could live like this or why the people -- how congressman could sit there and see that and watch that and nothing would change. so i believe, in part, the great society came into being in part because of lyndon johnson sitting there. anybody with half a whit of sense looking out that window would have to think maybe we should do something. you were looking at one of the last people that worked in an anti-poverty agency. in washington dc. these are words -- i know try to comprehend this -- an anti-poverty agency will stop the mind reels. imagine that all stop an agency of the federal government which would hopefully try to change
poverty, not by saying -- and this was the appalachian regional commission -- due to some sort of mistake in my civil service application under the nixon administration, i got through and i got a job there. they were going to raise up -- they did some good things for appalachia, but the idea that was basically proposed in terms of raising the capital in appalachia and improve the living of the citizens there was to build golf courses. once again. i expected a better laugh.
because it's true. i didn't make it up. golf courses. they were going to build 16 golf courses there and make appalachia a place you would take a vacation. my family wouldn't, but others would go and i was stunned by this. it was amazing to me that attempt was made in some fashion or another as opposed to hoping and praying that an entrepreneur shows up on the scene. if i hear another thing about entrepreneurs and the fact that what we really need are more entrepreneurs, how do you think that happens, asshole? how does an entrepreneur happen?
it's some schmuck has a learning disorder that's totally focused on something you would never obsess about. it's hard to find them. you don't have a school. there's one in chapel hill and i've told the guy who runs it that he's full of it. and entrepreneurship school. you can teach somebody who has an idea what to do with the idea. but to say it all going to be done from the private sector is psychotic. what truly irritates me about this town more than anything else is how simple it is. it's that simple. you look your the private sector needs, you look at the government should do in terms of
facilitating it and you've got two parties, both have a different ideology and if you come to a compromise between those two parties, you actually have a solution. this is nonsense, to watch the fact that jobs are not being created. just the beltway alone was old by idiots and it continues to be just a piece of shit. [applause] and you live with it. you live with it. there are ways to get things done. these people actually have to sit down and do it and the fact that you live here, your job should be, you should quit your jobs and just go and stand around congress and say you're not coming out until some shit gets done. is that 25 minutes? [laughter] [applause]
mom, you want to stand up? here are my folks. [applause] that was actually -- she did that on her own. she's a trained gymnast. >> how is the first doing in our country? >> i'm doing pretty fucking good with it. [laughter] >> do you get more material from republicans or democrats? >> they are equal opportunity.
now i get a little more from the republicans than normal. it usually depends -- the interesting thing is when bush left office, a constant thing wasn't what are you going to do now? i said just because bush left office it doesn't mean stupidity fled the country. so i always look to both sides. the difference between them is the republicans say really kind of stupid wings from time to time. stupid, i'm sorry, is funny. when you hear something stupid, you laugh. democrats are dumb. when you hear something dumb you just go why did you say that? [laughter] >> are you disappointed with
president obama either as president or as a source for comic material? >> i'm not as disappointed with president obama because i never bought into hope. [laughter] i'm at the age where hope just doesn't work for me. hope is a young man's game. i wasn't disappointed because i did not expect anyone who took the presidency after the eight years we had gone through and the war that we went through that the next president was going to be dealing with the country as if -- and i certainly didn't know the shit would hit the fan in terms of the economy. but dealing with the american people would be like dealing with a stroke victim. the best entertained president
could hope for was to get the country to raise its right hand. >> which leads me to the next question. who would you like to see as president and why? >> in terms of material? nothing would give me a greater pleasure than ted cruz and sarah palin. it would be a heinous time to live through, but i think i could sell out stadiums. [laughter] [applause] >> what advice would you give to hillary clinton regarding how she could win the presidency? >> i'm sure she will be listening to this listening to this. when you are looking to political advice, you really want to turn to me. i think one thing that would help as geoeye for a while. get out of the public view and then pop out again and then we go oh, that's right, she's going to run.
there just comes that cycle, over and over and over again. by the time she's going to run, you go she just irritates the shit out of me. it's not that she's irritating, i've just seen her too much. where is deputy dog? >> chris christie wants to be president. what advice would you give him? >> lose 80 pounds. ha ha ha. seriously. or wear spanx. i like that kind of shoot from the hip style. it's nice, but you are going to have to make some tracks because your shoot from the hip style
had an effect on what happened in terms of the george washington bridge incident. it may be good for you, but it's like i can have the folks -- i have a number of people who work for me. who i am, the personality yakking and stuff, i can have people working for me acting like me. [laughter] >> when cbs hired stephen colbert last week to replace david letterman, rush limbaugh said "cbs has just declared war on the heartland of america. no longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional american values will stop now it's just white out in the open." what is your take on what mr. limbaugh said? >> that's the kind of sentence that is stroke inducing. i go through that paragraph and about halfway through, there's a slight twitch of the i and i can feel it blood vessel beginning to pump too much will stop he's
an idiot. he is really just a mean-spirited prick. an assault on america -- let me see that. [laughter] comedy -- here is how big an assault it is going to be on american values. stephen colbert has five children, happily married, has a great family, was still hanging in with the catholic church when people were fleeing en masse. he doesn't know shit. >> what is it like to work with
jon stewart. >> you should ask jon what it's like to work with me. he's great. he's smart. i've known him since we were both breaking into the clubs and he took off really quickly and i've watched his career. we have been friends in the sense of office friends. we don't hang out, but we respect what each other does and i consider it a pleasure to work with them. he is brilliant, which is really irritating. >> what is your thought on colbert replacing letterman? should stewart have been considered? >> i will ask jon. i don't even know if he was considered. i don't know if he would have taken it. jon directed a movie recently and he writes.
he's written a book -- i think jon is looking around for things. i think if the movie went well, he may end up with that. but stephen is kind of born to it. the choice of stephen colbert, i wrote to him every so often they get it right. that's one of the few times i went that's right. >> is your father a better painter than george w. bush? >> my father, if you actually watch, one of the things i neglected to mention, i did two specials and one of them we literally took a painting of his and turned it into a three-dimensional set that i
worked on. the last one, which is on may 2, which i use a lot more profanity for those of you who panicked over those words. we use a full-scale painting of his that we blew up. he's a much better painter. he is a hard edged obstructionist. go home and look that up. i still don't know what the fuck it means. this is how i know he is good -- when he started bringing the stuff home, i started saying my father has lost his mind will stop these squares and rectangles and all different colors. who is your favorite artist, i asked. mondrian. you know who that is? he made squares of colors. what kind of painter is that. nobody new color better than him. it was brilliant.
after studying his paintings for 25 years, he's brilliant. >> how do you respond to critics who say you've destroyed their will to live in our society? [laughter] >> i would like to meet them. [laughter] what i'd like to meet them. if i destroyed anybody's will to live in our society, oh man, then you really -- maybe life wasn't for you. [laughter] >> do think we should charge people for health care by the pound? oh, oh boy, that that question. oooh! well, right now? considering what i weigh? yeah.