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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 20, 2014 10:39pm-1:01am EST

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remarks. >> the american people made a decision in november and what they said was that the government was too large and too expensive, that it was too prescriptive in all sorts of areas of our society. senate made it so the was now 54% republican, they made it so the house of representatives has the largest republican majority since 1928, republicans now control 62% of the governors in this country. if you draw even further at the state is late of level, almost 70% of state legislators are now controlled by republicans. that is a message we lost to be listening to as a nation. we hope it can bring some of our current callings along and say this is an imperative time for this country to solve the challenges that we face.
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i think the nation is frustrated that it doesn't on his job. >> can you bring ted cruz on whatever strategy you have, not to include obamacare, can you board? cruz on >> as we let folks know, certainly on the house side, that everyone in the house of representatives will be able to input into the budget. every individual help an opportunity to talk with their colleagues about the solutions that we bring forward. process, andme to open process, delivered in process, ambitious process, that will allow individuals to say yeah, i know it can be everything i wanted to be, but i had an opportunity to affect the outcome and therefore i supported. >> georgia congressman tom price, our guest on newsmakers. on c-span. iowa senator tom harkin is
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retiring at the end of this term. harkin has served five terms in the senate. republican --ll he joined in for a conversation about iowa politics. this is about 20 minutes.
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renewable energy, and the environment, and probably lots of others, but those are things that everybody knows that he has worked hard on. throughout the years tom and i have served side by side in washington for the good of our home state. for three terms we worked together in the u.s. house of representatives. it was here in the senate our shared commitment to give rural america a voice at the policy making table was sown. and for many years we worked together on the senate agricultural committee looking out for the millions of americans who choose to work and earn a living in rural america. we worked together to advocate for rural infrastructure and investment, access to health care, housing technology and
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transportation. for the last three decades we have served alongside one another here in this distinguished body, the united states senate, an institution that both of us hold near and dear to our hearts. although some of our silver tongued critics over the years may have described tom's views as a bleeding heart liberal or mine mischaracterized as that of a wholehearted conservative, we both -- tom and i -- know that our hearts have always been in the right place. neither of us was born with a silver spoon in our mouths, and we learned early on to appreciate the work ethic of our parents and grandparents. each of us raised our families with the hopes that our children and grandchildren would achieve
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the promise of america's prosperity and grow up to enjoy the pursuits of happiness. as iowa's u.s. senators, we have worked to keep alive the dream of hardworking iowa families. now, of course, it's true that we have vastly different views on the government's influence on america's ladder of opportunity. however, we do wholeheartedly agree that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of our state. for some reason our respective reelections every six years have actually confounded political observers. many couldn't seem to square the notion that iowans would continue to elect two u.s. senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum for the
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last three decades. so, mr. president, to explain, i think i don't have to because it is widely understood that iowaans aren't casual political observers. our electorate takes pride in retail politicking and it's first in the nation political caucuses. we certainly have given iowa voters a night-and-day choice between these two u.s. senators. so while we may not see eye to eye on politics and ideology, we do see eye to eye when it came to working for iowa's best interests. although our voting records may reflect night and day positions on some public policy, you wouldn't see the light of day
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between us when we worked together on matters that are most important to iowans, including but not limited to natural disasters such as the tremendous floods of 1993 and 2008, and iowa farmers and agriculture notably recovering from farm crises, renewable energy and rural infrastructure has been our mutual interest. we have also enjoyed welcoming economic development leaders and constituents to the nation's capital, between the famous sioux land steak dinner here in washington and the harkin state fry in indianola, there is no doubt tom will mistaking out iowans po discuss politics and policy. however, i have no doubt that my
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home state colleague will continue championing the causes for which he has devoted a lifetime of public service. in fact, i read in the news media about his retirement of what he intends to pursue, and so i have no doubt that he's going to pursue out of the senate what he's pursued in the senate. to his credit, my colleague's legacy reflects the priorities that he set out to achieve decades ago: to make a difference for those on the down side of advantage. so, mr. president, my wife barbara and this senator extend our warmest wishes to tom and his wife ruth and, of course, to the entire harkin family, as you start life's next chapter. and i see my colleague is here, so i can look at him. as you start life's next
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chapter, may you enjoy the blessings of hearth and home, health and happiness. although tom is retiring from public office, i'm confident he's not retiring from serving the public interest. from one constituent to another, i thank you for your lifetime of public service, and i wish you good luck and godspeed. i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, first let me thank my friend and colleague for his characteristic lifetime casket -- lifetime characteristic of him being gracious and very generous in his remarks. chuck grassley and i have served together since 1974. i like to tell people that in
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1974, that was a big wave of democrats came in. they called us the watergate babies. we came in in a big wave, won a lot of elections and things like that. and in fact, in iowa that year elected a u.s., democratic u.s. senator, and every house seat -- i think there were six at that time, six house seats all went democratic except one, and that was the seat that chuck grassley won that year bucking the trend, bucking the tide in 1974. so it's kind of a funny thing, chuck. i speak to my friend across the aisle here, that a lot of times people this year have said all you watergate babies are gone now, you and max baucus and chris dodd and then on the house
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side george miller and henry waxman. so this is the last of the watergate babies. i always have to remind them, i say there's one left. who's that, they say? it's a republican. a republican? who's that? my colleague from iowa, chuck grassley is sort of, i say, the last man standing from that class of 1974. i think it's again, a tribute to senator grassley that through all these years he has won the hearts and minds of the people of iowa, been elected and reelected. he came to the senate before i did. he came in 1981 and i came in 1984. so i'd like to think that we at least share in common at least bucking the trend a little bit or the tide because in 1984 someone said harkin, you had a run for the senate in 1984 because there will be a big
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democratic landslide here. so i ran and whoa, boy, the tide was just the opposite. it was a reagan landslide here but i was fortunate enough to be able to win elections. so i think the the two of us share sort of bucking the tide, so to speak, to get into office when we ran. but it's been a great association through all these years. as i stand here today on my 75th birthday, i guess when you're this age, i think you think of -- i have two kind of emotions. one, i wonder where the heck did all the years go and how come they went so fast. sometimes i wish i can turn the clock back and do it again. the other side is the irish side of me. any time you're on this side of the grass you have a good day.
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i want to say since that time we took our oath of office together, i think it was january 4 of 1975, we have served together both in the house and in the senate, and a lot of time on the same committee, agriculture committee, working a lot on different agriculture bills. i remember back in the 1980's working on the credit bill at that time when so many farmers were under water. so as the senator said, it's been a great honor and a privilege to represent the people of iowa. as he mentioned, we belong to different parties. we have different philosophies of approach of government. but i like to think that we share a down-to-earth, common sense iowa way of looking at the world. iowans, we're not all monolithic out there. we're not all one philosophy or the other philosophy. sometimes i find conservative
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friends of mine in iowa may have a more liberal view of one thing and then i find liberals in iowa have a more conservative view of something else. so people in iowa, as my friend said, they think a lot of about these things and they take these tingz -- things into consideration. a lot of people say how can someone elect someone who is conservative and someone who is liberal in iowa? i think there's common strains where there's a cross confluence of maybe a conservative approach and a liberal approach. so, again, i just say to my friend, i value his friendship and his counsel through all these years, even though, again, as my friend said, we approach things maybe from a different philosophical standpoint. that's fine. that's okay. but we've never, we've never let a disagreement on philosophy
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ever be the last word between us or the final word; anything like that. it's always well, that's that. what's next? the one thing, i really appreciate what my friend said, and that is when it comes to iowa, you don't find any daylight, when it comes to disasters, what we can do for iowa and iowans, we have had a wonderful relationship through all these years and it is one that i have cherished very much. i heard my friend -- i was making snoats -- making notes, say sometimes they say he's a cold hearted conservative and i'm a bleeding heart liberal. chuck grassley is not a cold heart the conservative. he cares deeply about the people. he cares deeply about the people of iowa. i hope i'm not a bleeding heart liberal. i hope i'm sort of a liberal that believes in individual
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responsibility. individual responsibility. so my friend has been a very caring conservative through all these years. i think together we've achieved important things for our state: chick -- economic development, rural development, all these things we worked together for iowa. i'm proud of the fact that iowa right now produces 25% of our energy comes from wind energy in iowa and we produced the blades, the turbines and everything in iowa and all these jobs there. that's something we have worked together on through all these years. so again, people ask me about leaving the senate. well, it was my decision. but i said at the time, almost two years ago i said i wasn't running again. i said i will not -- you'll never hear me ever say bad things about the senate or denounce the senate or saying things -- i love the senate. this is a wonderful institution.
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yeah, we have a few bumps in the road once in a while but that's what to be expected in a legislative process representing 300 million people in this country. but i.t. the friendships you form here, the alliances, the friendships, the working together. i've often said that as a progressive, i wanted to go this far this fast and the conservatives want to go this far this slow. but together, working together, you can make progress -- you can make progress. and that's what i think both senator grassley and i have worked together on, to try to make progress. but especially for the people of iowa. and so i thank him for his kind words. i thank you. i know we're not supposed to say this on the senate floor. we're always supposed to speak in the third person. but i never wanted to follow all the rules anyway, so i can speak directly and say, thank you very much, chuck grassley, for
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friendship, for counsel, for working together through all these years. i'm going to miss that relationship and working on the senate floor, but i will be in iowa. i'll be working again with the harkin institute at the university. i'll be spending a lot of time on disability policy and advancing the cause of people with disabilities in some way, shape, or form -- i don't know exactly house, but in some way, in that way -- and i hope -- i just want to say this to my friend. i hope that at some time, since this is a nonpartisan institute, we have a great board of directors -- in fact, the former chair of the iowan republican party is on the board of the institute -- we want to keep it nonpartisan. i would like to ask my friend to come and speak at and be -- perhaps lead a discussion
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sometime at the institute at university. i would be honored if my friend would do that, if sometime down the road -- i don't know when. we can work it out. i think you would be well-received and i think young people at drake need to hear the conservative side of the story as well as the liberal side of the story. they need to have that kind of input. so i hope we can work that out. let me just say again that i know in the future that you and your wonderful wife barbara, a great, wonderful person, that you and barbara and ruth and i will maintain friendships and will maintain our connections as we move into the future, and any way that we can ever work together for the benefit of iowans, just let me know and i'll be glad to be your lieutenant -- or something out there in the field out there in iowa sometime.
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but thank you so very much for so many years of counsel and friendship and iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, almost two years ago i announced i was not going to seek a sixth term in the united states senate. that decision and that announcement didn't seem all that difficult or hard at that time. after all, two years was a long time off. since then i've been busy with having hearings and meeting constituents and getting legislation to the help committee and working on appropriations.
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but now, knowing this will be my final formal speech on the floor of the u.s. senate, now knowing that in a few days a semitruck is going to pull up to the hart building and load hundreds of boxes of my records of 40e -- 40 yeerks -- 40 years, 30 in the senate and 10 in the house and haul that off to drake university and civic and public communications in des moines, iowa, now seeing my office at the hart building stripped almost bare and the shelves clean, now when i will soon cast my last vote, now when i will no longer be engaged in legislative battle, when i will no longer be summoned by the senate bells, now when i will soon just be number 1,763 of all of the
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senators who etch -- who ever served in the united states senate, now, now the leaving becomes hard and wrenching and emotional. and that's because i love the united states senate. i love my work here. it's been said by a lot of pundits that the senate's broken. no, it's not. the senate's not broken. oh, maybe a few dents, a couple of scrapes here and there, banged up a little bit, but there is still no other place in america where one person can do big things for good or for ill, for our people and our nation. i love the people with whom i
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work. this is a deaf sign, i-l-y. it means i love you. senators, staff, clerks, congressional research service, doorkeepers, restroom, police, congressional employees, yes, the pages, especially to those who labor outside the lights and cameras and the news stories who make this senate function on a daily basis, i thank you. i particularly want to thank my wonderful hardworking dedicated staff both present and past, both personal and committee staff. when i say committee staff, i mean the appropriations, subcommittee on labor services which i've been privileged to chair since 1989. also the committee on agriculture on which i have served since 1985, which i chaired twice for two farm bills, once in 2001 and 2002 and
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the second one in 2007 and 2009. the committee on health, education, labor and pensions which i shared since the untimely death of senator ted kennedy in 2009. i first heard pat leahy say this, so i always attribute it to him. he once said that we senators are just a constitutional impediment to the smooth functioning of staff. this is truer than most of us would probably like to admit. also in thanking my staff, i don't just mean those who work in washington. i would never have been reelected four times without the hands-on, day in day out constituent service of my iowa staff. the casework they have done in helping people with problems is every bit as important as any legislative work done here in washington. in 2012, our office marked a
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real milestone. the 100,000th constituent service case that we've processed since 1985. i cannot count the number of times iowans personally thanked me fofer -- for something my staff has done to help them. there is a story out our way that i've heard for a long time. it goes like this, if you're driving down a country road and you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you can be sure of one thing. it didn't get there by itself. i can relate to that turtle. i didn't get here by myself. my staff helped. so i thank my staff of past and present who have so strongly support immediate when i was right, so diplomatically corrected me when i was wrong,
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and who all labored in a shared commitment to provide a hand up, a ladder of opportunity to those who had been dealt a bad hand in the lottery of life. i ask consent, mr. president, to list of names of my staffs so they will be forever enshrined in the history of the united states senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: but most of all, i thank my wife ruth, the love of my life, my wife of 46 years. you have been my constant companion, my soul mate, my strongest supporter, and my most honest critic. you've been my joy in happy times and my solace when things just didn't go right. so i'm looking forward to more adventures and love and excitement with you in the years
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ahead. to our two beautiful, smart, caring and compassionate daughters amy and jenny, i thank you for always being there for your dad, for giving me such wondrous joy in being a part of your growing up. i am so proud of both of you. and to my son-in-law steve and to my grandkids, daisy and luke and nequaid, look out, here comes grandpa. there is so much i want to say but i want to be respectful of those who have come to share this moment with me. my staff, here and there, my family and friends and fellow senators. but i want to state as briefly as i can why i'm here. what has propelled me? what has been my guiding philosophy for all these years? it has to do with that ladder of opportunity that i just
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mentioned. you see, there's nothing wrong in america with being a success. there's nothing wrong with having more money and having a nicer home and a nicer car and sending your kids to good schools and having nice vacations and a great retirement. that is a big part of the american dream. but i believe that when you make it to the top and you make it to the top and you make it to the top and i make it to the top, one of the primary responsibilities of our free government is to make sure we leave the ladder down for others to climb. now, mind you, i said ladder. i didn't say an escalator. an escalator is a free ride. don't believe in that. but if you follow my analogy a little bit more, with a ladder you still have to use energy and
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effort, initiative to get up. but in order to do that, there must be rungs on that ladder. that's where government comes in. to put some rungs there. the bottom rungs, everything from the child health care programs, the head start, the best public schools, the best teachers, affordable and accessible college, job training sometimes -- sometimes people fall off that ladder. sometimes they have an illness, they have an accident. that's why we have a safety net, to catch them. things like disability insurance and work men's compensation, job retraining programs to get them back up on that ladder once
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again. 35 years ago we looked around america and we saw millions of people that no matter how hard they tried could never climb that ladder of success. no matter how hard they tried, could never do it. these are our fellow americans, our brothers and sisters with disabilities. so what did government do? we built them a ramp and we called it the americans with disabilities act. now again, we didn't build a moving walk way, did we? you see, with a ramp you still have to exert energy and initiative to get up. i've often said there's not one dime, not one nickel in the americans with disabilities act given to a person with a
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disability. what we did is we broke down the barriers. we opened the doors of accessibility and accommodation and we said to people with disabilities, follow your dreams. and in the words of the army motto, "be all you can be." i can remember standing here leading the charge on the americans with disabilities act. once again i feel a lot like that turtle. i had a lot of people helping. when i think of the americans with disabilities act, i think of people like senator lowell weiker, senator bob dole, senator ted kennedy in the senate. in the house tony convey low and steve bartlett and steny hoyer. in the executive branch at the head of it all, president george herbert walker bush.
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attorney general dick thornburgh, boyden gray. and on the outside, people like ed roberts and marko bristo, bob kafka and the indomitable justin dart. and here, the one person who worked his heart out to bring it together, it's that staff again i tell you about. that staff. bobby silverstein. it would have never have happened without him. and so i believe that government must not be just an observant bystander to life. it must be a force for good, for lifting people up, for giving hope to the hopeless. you know, i've never had an "i love me" wall in my office. what i did have were two items on the wall by my door when i walk out to go vote or go to a committee meeting or whatever.
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one is a drawing of the house in which my mother was born and lived until she was 25 years of age when she emigrated to america. that small, little house was in yugoslavia. it is now sluha slovenia. that little house had a dirt floor, no running water. that was my mother's house. the second item on my wall is this: it's my father's w.p.a. card. it says notice to report for work on a project, w.p.a. form 402. it is to patrick f. harkin, cuming iowa. you're asked to report for work as a laborer for $40.30 per
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month. the date is four months to the day before i was born. get this picture. my father was then 53 years old. he had worked most of the time in the coal mines of southern iowa. not in the best of health. there were no jobs. no jobs. life looked pretty bleak. things looked hopeless. and then my father, who only had a sixth grade education, as he told me later, he always said i got a letter from franklin roosevelt. he always thought franklin roosevelt sent this to him personally, you see. he got that letter from franklin roosevelt and i got a job. it was important for a lot of reasons, not only for the money and the dignity of work, but it
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gave my father hope, the hope that tomorrow would be better than today, that our family would stay together. we had five kids and a sixth one on the way, me. and it gave him hope that his kids would have a better future. i often think that the project he worked on is called lake aquabie. my friend, senator grassley, knows about that lake. it's a state park with a lake, recreation. people still use it today. every federal judge who is sworn in takes an oath to -- quote -- do equal right to the poor and to the rich, to do equal right to the poor and to the rich. can we here in congress say that we do that, that we provide
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equal right to the poor and the rich alike? our growing inequality proves we are not. maybe we should be taking that oath. there are four overriding issues that i hope this senate will address in this coming session and in the years ahead. number one, as i mentioned, the growing economic inequality in america. it's destructive of lives, it slows our progress as a nation and it will doom broad support for representative government. when people at the bottom of the economic ladder feel that the government is not helping them, and in fact may be stacked against them, they will cease to vote or they will turn to the siren song of extreme elements in our society. history proves this to be true.
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now, i don't have a cookie cutter answer or solution, but it must include more fair tax laws and trade laws, more job training and restraining, rebuilding our physical infrastructure and manufacturing. and i believe it must include some things seemingly unrelated like quality, free early education for every child in america. the answer to closing the inequality gap must include rebuilding labor unions and collective bargaining. if you trace the line over the last 40 years of the growing economic quality in america and also put that over another line showing the loss in the number of union workers, they are almost identical. i do not believe it is a stretch to say that organized labor, unions, built the middle class in america, and they are a part of the answer and strengthening
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and rebuilding of our middle class. another part of the answer, i believe, is raising the minimum wage to above the poverty line and indexing it for inflation for the future. we need more flex time laws, especially for women in our work force. we need to strengthen social security as in senator brown's bill. not cutting, not raising the retirement age but strengthening social security. we need a new retirement system for all workers in america. not another 401-k but a system in which employers and employees contribute and which can only be withdrawn as an annuity for life after one retires. i ask you to look at what the netherlands has, that type of retirement system. lack of a reliable retirement is one of the most underreported, underexamined crises on our national horizon and it's a big part of our growing inequality. finally, we must continue to
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build on the affordable care act. the cost and availability of good health care has in the past widened that inequality gap, and we're now starting to close that element of the inequality. i believe we need to add a public option to the exchange as another choice for people. and we must continue support for prevention and public health, moving us more and more away from sick care to real health care. the second overriding issue confronting us i believe is the destruction of the family of man's only hope, our planet earth, through the continued use of fossil fuels. we know what is happening, the science is irrefutable, the data is clear. the warning signs are flashing in neon bright red, stop what you're doing with fossil fuels.
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we must shift massively and quickly to renewable nir, a new smart electric grid, retrofitting our buildings for energy efficiency and moving rapidly to a hydrogen-based energy cycle. the third issue i commend to the senate for further development and changes in existing laws is the underemployment of people with disabilities. as you all know, ensuring the equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities has been a major part of my work in the senate for the past 30 years. we have made significant strides forward in changing america to fulfill two of the four goals of the americans with disabilities act. those two are full participation and equal opportunity. we've done all right on those. the other two goals, independent living and economic self-sufficiency, need more development. i ask you all in the next congress to do two things, to
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advance these two goals of independent living and economic self-sufficiency. first, help states implement the supreme court's decision in the olmstead case, to more rapidly deinstitutionalize people with disabilities and to provide true independent living with support services. this will save money, and individuals with disabilities' lives will be better and more truly independent. secondly, we must do more on employment of people with disabilities in competitive integrated employment. you know, we all get the monthly unemployment figures every month. last month, unemployment held steady at 5.8% officially. my friend leo henry has better calculations to show that the real rate is probably about twice that figure. also, we know that the unemployment rate among african-americans is about twice that, 11.1%. how many of us know that the
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unemployment rate among adult americans with disabilities who can work and want to work is over 60%? yes, you heard me right. almost two out of every three americans with a disability who want to work and who can work cannot find a job. that is a blot on our national character. thankfully, some enlightened employers have affirmative action plans to hire more people with disabilities. employers are finding that many times these become their best employees. they're more productive. they're the hardest working, the most reliable workers. i ask you to meet with greg watson, the c.e.o. of walgreens and randy lewis who is a senior vice president there, now retired. walgreens has hired many people with disabilities in their distribution centers, and now
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mr. watson has set a goal of 10% of all of their store employees will be people with disabilities. this needs to be emulated by businesses all over america. there are others making strides in this area. i mention a few. best buy, lowe's, home depot, i.b.m., marriott. some of the other large companies that are moving forward, hiring people with disabilities. we need to learn from them what we, the federal and, yes, maybe the state government could do to help in this area. and we also need to implement policies to help small businesses, small businesses employ more people with disabilities. now, i dwell on this perhaps because i feel i haven't done enough on this issue of employment for people with disabilities, and we just have to do better. i will say, however, that our
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help committee passed this year, president obama signed into law a new reauthorization of the old work force investment act, now named the work force investment and opportunity act. in this law, there is a new provision that i worked on with others to get more intervention in high school for kids with disabilities to prepare them for the workplace through things like summer jobs, job coaching, internments. however, this is just starting and funding is tight, but it will do much for people with disabilities to enter competitive, integrated employment. and i want to thank all members of the help committee for their support of this bill but especially senator murray, senator isakson for taking the lead to get this bill done, along with senator enzi, senator alexander and me. and while i'm mentioning the help committee, let me thank all members of the help committee for a very productive last two years during which we passed 24
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bills signed into law by the president. important bills dealing with things like drug track and tracing, compounding drugs, the work force investment act i just mentioned, the child care development block grant, newborn screening act, and many more. and i see him here on the floor, and i want to publicly again thank senator lamar alexander for being a great partner in all these efforts. senator alexander will be taking the helm of this great committee in the next congress. senator alexander certainly has the background to lead this committee, but he also combines that background with a keen mind and a good heart, and i wish him continued success as the new chairman of the help committee. the fourth issue that i hope
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future senates will take care of concerns the u.n. convention on the rights of people with disabilities. i don't think anything has saddened me more in my 30 years here in the senate than the failure of this body to ratify the convention on the rights of people with disabilities. or the crpd, as it's known. it's been ratified by 150 nations. it's modeled after our own americans with disabilities act. it has broad and deep support throughout our country. supported by the u.s. chamber of commerce, the business roundtable, veterans' groups, every disability organization, every former living president, every former republican leader of this senate. senator dole, senator lott, senator frist. in november, we received a letter of support from the national association of
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evangelicals supporting it. and i also want to point out, senator dole has worked his heart out on this. you remember, he was here on the floor two years ago this month right before we brought it up, and i thought we had the votes for it. in our constitution, it takes two-thirds. we failed by six votes. but bob dole has never given up on this, never. well, i hope the next senate will take this up and join with the rest of the world in helping to make changes globally for people with disabilities. so i came to congress, the house in 1974 as one of the watergate babies. with my retirement and retirement in the house of congressman george miller and congressman henry waxman, we are the last of the so-called watergate babies. with two exceptions. among all the democrats elected
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in that landslide year of 1974, there were a few republicans, and one is left, my senior colleague from the state of iowa, senator chuck grassley. i have the greatest respect for and friendship with chuck. several weeks ago here on the floor, he said some very gracious things about me, and i thank him for that. i especially appreciated his observation, though, that even though he and i are like night and day when it comes to political views, there's no light between us when it comes to iowa. we have collaborated on so many important initiatives for the people of iowa. i think we made a heck of a good tag team on behalf of our state. so again, i salute and thank my friend and colleague of nearly 40 years, chuck grassley. carry on, chuck.
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and the other i mention is my lifelong dear friend rick nolan, who was in the 1974 class. voluntarily left congress after three terms, returned to the house in 2012 and was recently re-elected. so 40 years later, this watergate baby has grown up, gray. i came to the senate 30 years ago as a proud progressive, determined to get things done. as i depart the senate, i can say in good conscience that i've remained true to my progressive roots. i have worked faithfully to leave behind a more vibrant iowa, a more just and inclusive america, and a stronger ladder and ramp of opportunity for the disadvantaged in our country. you might say that my career in congress is the story of a poor
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kid from cumming, iowa, population, 150, trying his best to pay it forward, saying thank you for the opportunities i was given by leaving that ladder and ramp of opportunity stronger for those who follow. if i have accomplished this in any small way, if any americans are able to lead better lives because of my work, i leave office a satisfied person. so i am retiring from the senate, but i'm not retiring from the fight. i will never retire from the fight to ensure equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for every disabled person in america. i will never retire from the fight to give a hand up and hope to those who have experienced disadvantage and adversity.
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i will never retire from the fight to make this a land of social and economic justice for all americans. let me close with a single word from american sign language. on july 13 of 1990 i stood here and gave an entire speech in sign language. confused senator kennedy who was -- senator kerry, sitting in the chair, dent know what to do and the recording clerk didn't know what to do, either. but then i had to give it verbally. well, i didn't want to do that today. but there's one sign that i want to leave with you that says something. it's powerful. powerful. one of the most beautiful signs in american sign language. and might i teach it to you? take your hands and put them together like this. put your fingers together.
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put your fingers together. put your hands together like that and you kind of close and it looks like an a when you do that. and move it in a circle in front of your body. that's it, pages. you got it. this is the sign for america. think about it. think entity. all of us interconnected, browned together in -- bound together in a single circle of inclusion, no one left out. this is the ideal america toward which we must always, always aspire. and with that, mr. president, for the last time, i yield the floor.
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[applause] mr. chambliss: mr. president, as my service in the united states senate comes to an end, i rise today to say thank you to some of the wonderful people who've been a part of a great ride for over 20 years. we as americans are fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world, a country where the american dream is still alive and well, a country where, in
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spite of all of our problems, we are the envy of the free world. a country where a preacher's kid from rural southern georgia can rise to be elected to the u.s. house of representatives and then to the united states sena senate. we, as members of the united states senate, are fortunate to have the opportunity to serve and we are blessed to be able to work in such a historic venue as we are in this afternoon. as we come into our offices and into this building every day, there are some things that we take for granted. so to the entire capitol hill work force, from those who clean our offices to those who change the light bulbs, provide our food, maintain our subways, keep us safe and secure and all those inbetween, i say "thank you. you're very professional at what you do and you always do it with a smile."
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to the floor staff and the cloakroom staff for both the majority and the minority -- thanks for putting in the long hours, listening to often boring speeches, reminding us when we have not voted, for scheduling floor time, reminding us of the rules and making sure that you'rourmistakes are at a minim. i have been fortunate to be surrounded by great staff during all of my 20 years in the house and senate. mostly young people from varied backgrounds who are the brightest minds that my state and my country have to offer. they're committed patriots and loyal to the core. to those current and former members of my staff, thank you for your service to me and to the state of georgia. i have been served by four chiefs of staff -- rob liebern, kristin holiday, charlie harmon and camilla knowles.
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every office plan that each put together starts with better constituent service than any other member of the house or the senate. i'm extremely proud that our record shows that we achieved the goal of doing just that. i've even had government agency personnel call my office asking for guidance on cases from other offices. i've often said that my greatest satisfaction from this job comes not from negotiating major pieces of legislation but from being able to help georgians with difficulties they're experiencing and having a positive impact on their lives. i am particularly blessed to have three members of my staff who have been with me for all 20 years. my deputy chief, theresa irving, debbie cannon and bill stembridge have walked every mile with me and have been so valuable. thanks, guys. my greatest support comes from
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my family. my wife, julie anne, my daughter leah, my son bo along with our grandchildren, john, parker, jay, kimbro, anderson and ellie, have all been somehow involved on the campaign trail. come the 28th day of this month, julie anne and i will have been married for 48 years, having met at the university of georgia a couple of years before that. for tolerating a husband who had a 24/7 job for 20 years, for being a single mom part of that time and understanding why i could not get home until christmas eve some years, i say thank you, sweetheart. i am privileged today to represent almost 10 million georgians who are the most wonderful people god ever put on this earth. i lost my first primary election and went on to win each of my next seven races.
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i won every one of those seven races because i shared the values of my constituents, i outworked each of my opponents, and i had better ideas and the best advisors and staff. thanks, tom and paige. thanks to senators nunn and miller for their regular advice and counsel. thanks to my three leaders -- senator lott, senator frist, and senator mcconnell, each of whom provided me with strong leadership and always listened to me even when i had ideas that might have been different from their ideas. i'm often asked what i will miss most about the senate and the answer is very easy. i'll miss my friends. and the relationship that we have developed over the years. senator isakson and i entered the university of georgia 52
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years ago in september and became friends immediately and we have been the dearest of friends ever since. he is without question the most trusted friend and advisor i have and i will miss our daily conversations. my three best buddies from my house days -- speaker john boehner, congressman tom latham and senator richard burr, along with senator tom coburn, have been legislative collaborators, dinner partners, golfing buddies, confidants and numerous other things that should not be mentioned on the floor of the of the united states senate. senator lindsey graham is like a member of my family. we have traveled the world together many times, learning a lot. i have no plans to write a book but if i did, lindsey graham anecdotes would fill a chapter. senator feinstein has been a great chairman and partner on the intelligence committee.
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i will miss her leadership, her wisdom, her friendship and those late afternoon glasses of california wine. my most productive time in the senate has been spent with my dear friend, senator mark warn warner. our work with the gang of six, which included senators durbin, conrad, coburn, crapo and then later senators johanns and bennett, represent the very best of everything about the united states senate. we spent literally hundreds of hours together debating ideas and trying to solve major problems and we came very close. senator warner's insight, his wanting to solve problems, his political inspiration are lessons that i will carry with me forever. as the senate now goes forward under new leadership, i have two comments. first, the senate should return
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to regular order. senator mcconnell has indicated that will be the case and it should be. the rule change by the current majority changed the institution of the senate in a negative way. i hope the rule is changed back to require 60 votes on all issues including judges and nominees. some of those vocal favoring the rule change lost their elections and while the rule change did not cost them their election, it is very clear that the american people wanted a change in the leadership that changed the rule. regular order will help in restoring trust and confidence to the world's blows deliberative body. second, it is imperative that the issue of the debt of this country be addressed. just last week our total debt surpassed $18 trillion. we cannot leave the astronomical debt our policies have generated up to our children and
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grandchildren to fix. it is not rocket science as to what must be done. cutting spending alone, i.e., sequestration, is not the solution. raising taxes is not the solution. as simpson-bowles, domenici-rivlin and gang of six agreed, it will take a combination of spending reduction, entitlement reform and tax reform to stimulate more revenue. hard and tough votes will have to be taken, but that's why we get elected to the united states senate. the world is waiting for america to lead on this issue, and if we do, the u.s. economy will respond in a very robust way. the gang of six laid the foundation for this problem to be solved, and it is my hope that we do not leave the solution for the next generation. i close with what i've enjoyed most about congress, and this
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is the opportunity i have had to spend with the men and women in uniform and those in the intelligence world, all of whom are willing to put their life in harm's way for the sake of our freedom. whether it was robbins air force base, kabul, jalalabad, or due by, i always get emotional telling the men and women how proud of them i am and how blessed we americans are to have them protecting us. they are special people who sacrifice much for the sake of all 300 million millions americans. let us remember and be thankful for the families of those military and civilian personnel who likewise make a commitment to america. as we head into another christmas season, many of those families will not have at home their spouse, their parent, their son, or their daughter. may god bless them, may god bless this great institution, and may god continue to bless
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our great country. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senior senator from california recognized. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much, mr. president. senator chambliss, my remarks are personal. we have worked together for the past eight years on the senate select committee on intelligence. for four years, we have worked as chair and cochair. we have exchanged views, we
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have negotiated bills, we have shared information, we have been there through very tough times, and some very pleasant times. and it's very hard for me to see you go. i've learned to trust you, i respect you. we have worked together in ways the committee put together a benghazi report, we worked very hard, we found areas of agreement, and senator collins is here on the committee, senator warner is here, and -- am i missing anyone else from the committee? senator burr, who will be the new chairman, senator coats, senator coburn. and we were able to come together and put together a report unanimously, and it was really because of your leadership. and as i watched what became very apparent is that maybe your
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side isn't as fractious as my side is, but you were able to say yes, we can do this, or no, we can't do that and you reflected your members. and that made it very easy for me, and i am very grateful. yesterday we disagreed, and it really -- you know you have never taken a cheap shot. we worked to the at the same time to move our intelligence authorization bill. there was one last glitch which you worked out, and that bill passed unanimously last night. we together have worked to put together an information-sharing bill for what is probably our number-one defensive issue, which is cyber, and the attacks that have taken 97% of our businesses into difficulties. you have compromised, i have
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compromised. unfortunately, on our side we have some unsolved issues, so hopefully i will be able to pick up with senator burr where we left off and we will be able to get that job done next year. what i want you to know -- and i said this to you in another way -- that it was such a wonderful experience for me to work with you. and this is the hard part. we're only here from an instant in an eternity, and the only real matter is what we do, the only thing that matters is what we do with that instant. and i guess what i want you to know is you have really done yeoman's work in that instant, and i am very grateful to have the pleasure of working with you. i have learned from you, and i wish you all good things. thank you very much, senator
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chambliss. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia is recognized. mr. isakson: mr. president, i rise to pay tribute to my friend, saxby chambliss. i will have to admit to you this is a speech i never wanted to make. i never wanted to make it because we've had a wonderful relationship in this body for the last 10 years, we've done everything together, he's had my back, i've had his back, he's a great friend and i'll miss him. but i'm not a selfish guy. he married one of the finest women i've ever known, julianne, one of the best friends my wife has. i know he's leaving us and i'll miss the crutch i've used. she is getting her saxby back and she and her family and those grandkids he loves so much, that's exactly what saxby wants to do. georgia has had some great senators. richard russell, really the master of the senate, zell miller, the former governor of georgia, a friend of mine and mentor to our state and sam nunn
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one of the finest in national defense and foreign policy our state ever offered. saxby will be the fourth on the mount rushmore of georgia senators who served georgia with distinction and with class. i want to tell saxby this personally. for ten years we've done a joint press conferences, we've messed up twice and when i messed up he covered my back and when he messed up, i covered his. in fact, in 2008 when he almost lost a race and got got into a runoff, in december in georgia i rode a bus for 21 stimulate days introducing him three times a day and eating barbecue every day for dinner and lunch. that's a price to pay only friendship friendship will bring out of anybody. but he's a dear friend and i love him very much and i love his family etch very much and i could talk all fay-day but i wanted to open up and close by saying saxby, i love you, the state's going to love having you back, the country will miss you but my grandchildren are safer,
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my state is better and our relationship has never been stronger. may god bless you and your family in every endeavor you take and may god bless the united states of america. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia is recognized. mr. mr. manchin: when i came, i look, my friends on the republican side and i didn't come here looking at what side you were on, i looked at basically the person i was dealing with. there was a person that befriended me almost from the first day, knowing that the transition was a challenge, and he stepped up to the plate with a few of my other friends over there, i see senator coburn behind him, that basically took
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me under their wing and said we can work together and get along. what we do here is bigger and for the greater good than what we do for ourselves. saxby not only showed but but basically i was able to follow and watch how he did this --this chamber should be filled right now, it really should be, from all sides but the bottom line is you're loved by everybody. i've neverrered an ill word said about saxby chambliss and the distinction you carry as far as the united states senate but as a human being with our family your priorities are correct, your moral compass is working and working well. i can only tell you thank you from someone from the other side of the aisle that is a fellow colleague and fellow american, you are an installation -- inspiration to us all. there won't be another saxby but i'm glad they gave you me this short time for four years. i envy johnny for 52 years he's
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been you have close friend, your partner in crime back there, senator burr. we hope he doesn't tell it all when he gets up but with that being said there are so many people that have a relationship that's unmatched and that's with you and because of you. so i say my dear friend, my hat's off to you. thank you and god bless you for what you've done for the united states of america, for georgia but most importantly for all of us. thank you, sir. mr. burr: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from north carolina is recognized. mr. burr: mr. president, this moment is bittersweet for me. i've spent more time with saxby than i have my own wife for the last 20 years. we've done everything together. those vacation spots he mentioned -- kabul, baghdad, i was right beside him. we've traveled to areas of the
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world that others wouldn't venture to, and there was a reason he was there. he was concerned about america's future, he was concerned about his children's future, and he was in a position to have an impact on it to make it better for them in the future. that's why he served. it's obvious to all of our colleagues that he's a lot older than i am. but, you know, he's worked just as hard as the youngest member of this institution. and even though we've seen each other's children grow up and now we've seen them all married off, he deserves the time to go home and spend some time with grandchildren and more importantly, to get to know his wife again. i want to say, senator feinstein, i like red wine just
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as much as saxby does. i probably can't be bought as cheaply as he could. but i do look forward to continuing to work with you and more importantly, to continue to do the work on the intelligence committee that really does build on what saxby started in the year 2000 as we went on the house intelligence committee together. mr. president, i think there's only one way to sum up saxby chambliss. he's a true southern gentleman. he is absolutely a statesman. but i think the one thing that everybody that meets saxby understands is this -- he's a great american. he loves his country, he loves this institution, and some piece of him will remain here when he leaves at the end of this year, and he will have an
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impact on what happens even though his presence may not be here. we wish godspeed in life after. who are senator mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from indiana is recognized. mr. coats: mr. president, i'm a bit out of order here. i was waiting for some of my colleagues who have spent more time here than i have recently to speak, but i want to take this opportunity to add my sincere thanks to saxby chambliss for the kind of person he is, the kind of leadership he's provided, the kind of example that he has set during his time here in the congress and in the united states senate. i was privileged to be able to come back to the senate and join
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a group of people who share the same deep concerns that i had shared, and the reason i did come back:threats to our country from abroad and the fiscal plunge into debt that is going to affect our nation dramatically in the future if we don't deal with it. but having the privilege of being with the people who have set such an example has been a great privilege for me. now, if i were a producer and a director of a movie that i wa ws going to come out about the united states senate, i would want saxby to be the leading man. first of all, he looks like a united states senator, and he has that southern calm presence that most of us envy, and he
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just seems to fit the profile. and then he -- the next choice would have to be for the leading a lady, and you couldn't find a more gracious, beautiful, supportive leading lady than julian chambliss. together they make a stunning couple. i have had the privilege of traveling with them and seeing them in different places and in different situations, and just what a tremendous gift it is to be with the both of them. so the united states senate -- and many of us here -- all of us here are going to dearly miss saxby chambliss. he comes from a line of distinguished senators representing the state of georgia, and as senator burr said, he fits right into that long list of people who -- whose tenure here has been remembered for decades and will continue to
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be remembered for decades. and his commitment to our men and women in uniform, his service to the agriculture community, but particularly in my experience his leadership of the intelligence committee has just been leadership that this country has needed in a time of dire circumstances. his work with chairman feinstein in dealing with the daily pressures and weight of responsibility that falls on the leadership -- and all of us on the committee but particularly the leadership -- has probably been as great in the last several years as anytime in history. very heavy decisions have had to be made. and i know i sometimes stagger out of that committee thinking, this is more than i can get my
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mind around. this is more than i can get my arms around in terms of how do we deal with some of these threats and some of these challenges that have popped up all over the world in various manifestations. and yet the solid leadership on the republican side of saxby chambliss has united us in a way that has forged a real bond and a desire to work on a nonpartisan basis to live up to our responsibility to provide oversight for the intelligence community and to be a part of helping make those decisions that are so important and so formative in terms of how we deal with these particular issues. so i just want to thank saxby for the person that he's been, the person he is, the personnel continue to be, for the section -- the person that he will continue to be, for the example of his leadership and for his extraordinary leadership. and i know that the refrigerator
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will be stocked with coca-cola. there will being georgia peanuts in his pocket, maybe a little bit of bourbon in a drawer somewhere, and he'll have a tee time at augusta anytime he wants. so i just wish him the very best as he and julianne go forward with their life. he's left his mark here and he's certain will i left his mark on me. mr. coburn: mr. president, a lot has been said about saxby already, but i have an observation that i've noticed over the last ten years since i've been here, and it's about leadership. we see elected leadership on both sides, but then you see real leadership. you see the person that people go to for advice. you see the person that people
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go to for counsel. you see the person that people go to for wisdom and judgment. that's what i've noticed the last ten years. more than anybody in this body, whether it's from the other side of the aisle or this side of the aisle, the person that -- whose counsel is most sought is that of saxby chambliss. that's earned real leadership, and it needs to be recognized and honored for what it is, because p what i what it says is leadership that comes without judgment on the person that's asking the question, what's condemnation of a opinion that may be different of his. it is giving of himself to the benefit of the rest of us.
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here, here, my friend from georgia. i yield the floor. nor senator mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska is recognized. mr. johanns: mr. president, today it is an honor for me to stand here and pay tribute to saxby chambliss. i think the first time that i really got to work around saxby i was nominated to be secretary of agriculture, and i think the first hearing saxby chaired as chairman of the senate ag committee might have been that hearing. i arrived in washington. i was scared to death. i had no idea what to expect. and i met with saxby, and i knew immediately that when i was in that hearing, i was going to be treated with dignity and respect because heious wouldn't have it
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any -- because he just wouldn't have it any other way. that's the way he did business. fortunately, i was confirmed and that started a working relationship. in those years, i won't try to argue that we agreed on every knenuance of farm policy. i'm positive there were times that saxby was convinced that i didn't understand a thing about southern agriculture, but he was patient and he was determined to represent all of agriculture, whether it was south, mi midwes, west -- his goal was to be a chairman of the ag committee for all of agriculture. it was in that time that a farm bill was written, and he was a tough negotiator. he had a mind in terms of where he was headed, and he was going to stand up for his people, and i came to respect him so much.
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it was in the senate, though, where i really began to understand his talent. i can't tell you how many times, mr. president, that we've been in a caucus meeting and somebody would ask the most intricate, difficult question relating to intelligence and national security, and, invariably, we would turn to saxby. saxby would stand in that quiet and forceful way that he has and walk us through the intricacies of the issues on whatever the topic was and explain it in a way that literally everybody in the room understood, got it, and walked out better-prepared to be
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senators with the information he had given us. but what has impressed me so much -- and i know i speak for my colleagues what when i say - is you could do the same thing with the most intricate issue relative to farm policy or ag policy or finance or the federal budget, and he could do the same thing. the breadth of his knowledge is absolutely unbelievable. i just want to thank you, saxby, for the many times where you probably disagreed with me immensely but treated me thoughtfully and respectfully, listened to my opinion, and i saw you do that with other members in this body. and i thank you for your servi service. as one of the retiring members, i look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with you.
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i hope our paths cross many, many times in the future because i know i will be the better for it. god bless you, my friend. best wishes. nor senator mr. president? the presiding officer: is noter in ohio is recognized. mr. portman: the junior senator from ohio. the presiding officer: your words. mr. portman: us a hear mr. portman: ace as you heard, m coburn talked about leadership. they leave a huge void. goit to know saxby when he came to the house of representatives. we game friends. -- we became friends. he and julianne embraced jane and me and i got to know his son and great family but i didn't
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eelly get know him. i really got know him when i was u.s. trade representative and my job was to try to open up markets for u.s. agricultural products around the world, and that required looking at something called subsidies, agriculture subsidies. this is a dangerous area in terms of politics. and mike johanns was very well aware of this, having been at my side during of many of these negotiations. but my job was to come to the senate ag committee and talk about what we were up to and try to find out how much flexibility there was for us to get these market openings that were so important for our farmers and our ranchers but entailed considerable political risk. and i learned a new saxby chambliss there. that's when i saw perhaps that leadership that was talked about earlier. saxby was willing to be not just constructive but to take that risk and to be totally discrete and confidential in dealing with some very sensitive issues, and
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came away with a whole new level of understanding about saxby and, therefore, respect for him. and his character and his willingness to do what was right. more recently, of course, we've seen his leadership on other issues, standing up for our men and women in uniform. ladies and gentlemen, to me, he has been the guardian at the gate, giving us all comfort as ranking member of the intelligence cheat. we fiscal cliff a dangerous, volatile world, and knowing that sax p by was there, clear-eyed, disciplined, discrete, and able to tell it like it was and tell it like it is today, i think he's given not just us but our families and all americans considerable comfort, and i appreciate your service there and finally, his willingness to step up on this issue of our national debt. this is, again, not an easy issue, and he joined with some colleagues here to promote some proposals. again, my colleagues who are leaving have all done this -- tom coburn in particular and
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mike johanns -- but i will always have a great deal of respect for the way he's hand that issue as well. -- for the way he's handled that issue as well. perhaps his greatest accomplishment has yet to be mentioned. and thats fact that he played golf with the president of the united states and managed to hit a hole in one. now, the press report from that day says two things that are interesting. first, it says he hit the hole in one on, of course, the south course. a son of the south chose to use the south course for his hole in one. imu, second, it says, "he was choking up on a 5-iron." now, taking nothing away from this hole in one, because it sounds like it wasn't as long a shot as he's explained to me, it might have been choking up on a 5-iron makes no sense for saxby chambliss. there is nobody more poised, more smooth. i have never seen him choke on
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anything. but, saxby, we're sad to see you leave. but we're happy for you to spend more time with julianne, the kids and your beloved bulldogs, and godspeed, my friend. i yield back. ms. ayotte: madam president -- mr. president. i apologize. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: mr. president, i rise to just thank my friend, saxby, chambliss. senator coburn spoke about leadership and we are very much going to miss senator coburn, senator johanns and their leadership in this body. but what he say said is very tr. because as someone who has only served here for four years, one of the people that has been most welcoming to me and really a mentor and a role model and someone who i have sought guidance from is saxby
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chambliss. us a look at this body -- as you look at this bo this body and yk at people that you can emulate as role models, he is one of those role models. not only is he incredibly knowledgeable on the issues that are so important to this nation -- and i can say having served with him on the armed services committee, he is one of the most knowledgeable people in this country -- not only on what we need to do to keep the country safe because of his role on the intelligence committee but also what we need to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the very best to keep our country safe, saxby has a deep, deep understanding and very much loves our men and women in uniform and has stood up for them in ensuring that they have gotten what they need to keep this country safe. from my perspective, he is
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someone that is going to be so missed in this body because he has understood that you can stand on principle as he has for the important challenges facing this nation, whether it's keeping us safe or addressing the national debt that threatens not only our security but the prosperity of america, but he has also done it in a way that he's been able to build relationships, relationships within our own conference in the republican caucus where he is a go-to leader, where people like me seek his advice on how to get things done, but also as you can see here, relationships across the aisle. and as we go into the new congress, i hope as saxby goes on to do other important things with his lovely family and julianne and his children and grandchildren, that we will follow the example of saxby
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chambliss of what it means to work together, of what it means to be respectful of each other, to get things done for this country and to address the great challenges that saxby has done so much important work on, including keeping our nation safe and making sure that america remains strong. so, saxby, i just want to thank you for being so welcoming to me, for being a role model and for being someone who i think is an example of what it means to serve this country with distinction. thank in the republican response, representative mike kelly talks about energy policy.
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>> hi, everybody. as 2014 comes to an end we can enter the new year that america is making strides where it counts. rescue oure took to economy and rebuild a new foundation helped to make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990's. over the past 57 months our businesses have created nearly and on a hopeful sign, wages are on the rise again. have helped fuel the vast stretch of job growth since the 1990's. america is the number one producer of oil and gas saving drivers send you since per gallon. the auto industry we rescued is on track for its strongest year since 2005. thanks to the affordable care act, about 10 million americans have gained health insurance in the past year alone.
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and since i took office, we have cut our deficits by about two-thirds. meanwhile, around the world, america is leading. we're leading the coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy isil. we're leading the global fight to combat the ebola outbreak in west africa. we're leading global efforts to address climate change, including last month's joint announcement with china. we're turning a new page in our relationship with the cuban people. and in less than two weeks, after more than 13 years, our combat mission in afghanistan will be over, and our war there will come to a responsible end. today, more of our troops are home for the holidays than at any time in over a decade. still, many of our men and women in uniform will spend this christmas in harm's way. and as commander-in-chief, i want our troops to know -- your country is united in our support and gratitude for you and your families. the six years since the financial crisis have demanded hard work and sacrifice on everyone's part. but as a country, we have every right to be proud of what we've
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got to show for it. more jobs. more insured. a growing economy. shrinking deficits. bustling industry. booming energy. pick any metric you want -- america's resurgence is real. and we now have the chance to reverse the decades-long erosion of middle-class jobs and incomes. we just have to invest in the things that we know will secure even faster growth in higher-paying jobs for more americans. we have to make sure our economy, our justice system, and our government work not only for a few, but for all of us. and i look forward to working together with the new congress next year on these priorities. sure, we'll disagree on some things. we'll have to compromise on others. i'll act on my own when it's necessary. but i will never stop trying to make life better for people like you. because thanks to your efforts, a new foundation is laid. a new future is ready to be written. we have set the stage for a new american moment, and i'm going
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to spend every minute of my last two years making sure we seize it. on behalf of the obama family, i wish all of you a very merry christmas. thanks, and have a wonderful holiday season. >> good morning, i'm mike kelly, and i have the tremendous privilege of representing pennsylvania's third congressional district. today i'm offering president obama a lump of coal for christmas. not because he's been bad this year -- though i'll get to that. no, i'm offering the president a lump of coal because this product right here holds the potential for a 21st-century economic revival. you see, coal is our most abundant and valuable resource. it lights our homes, it keeps our electric bills low, and puts food on the table for countless families. more than 40,000 jobs in my state alone are tied to coal. but this isn't just about coal country -- no, it's about our whole country. because no other nation in the world has been blessed with such
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abundant, affordable, and accessible resources. and with all god has given us, we shouldn't be just trying to keep up with the pack -- my goodness, we should be leading the world. if only we had a president willing to seize this opportunity. he tells us he's for "all of the above" but then he leaves out everything that's below. the president said he would bankrupt the coal industry, and he's spent his presidency trying to do just that. federal regulations have already forced two coal-fired power plants in my district to close over the past two years. and hundreds more are set to shut down around our country. he's put up so many roadblocks to american energy that all our production is coming from state and private lands. even when the president's own party stopped him from imposing his cap-and-trade tax, he said it was "just one way of skinning the cat," and then he directed the epa to do his bidding for him. instead of forcing our workers
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to live with less, the president should let us use our god-given resources and talents to help americans get back to work and make our nation the energy superpower it can be -- and quite frankly, that it needs to be. so, whether it's stopping these regulations, expediting infrastructure, or expanding production, there's so much more we can do to encourage the development of all forms of american energy. these just aren't republican solutions -- these are common-sense, american ideas that have support in both parties. you're going to see them again in the new congress, starting with a vote to approve the keystone xl pipeline. because manufacturing things, making things -- and doing it better than anyone else in the world -- that's what america has always been about. that's how we've built such a robust and dynamic economy. if we pull together, we can make 2015 the year we restore our nation of builders. but that's next year.
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right now, we are getting ready to celebrate christmas. as we do, i hope you'll set aside a moment to remember all those who gave their lives this year for the cause of freedom, and pray for those spending this holiday season away from their families and loved ones. merry christmas, everyone, and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> the conservative for them on silicon valley examining political messages in movies. broken talksven about political humor in movies about iowa senators talk politics and bipartisanship. >> on the next washington journal, washington post correspondent talks about the series which examines what has gone wrong with the middle class and what the country must do to get the economy work for everyone.
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david miller talks about his book "the end of greatness." and as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" on c-span. >> this month is the 10th anniversary of our sunday q&a and werogram will show one for each year highlighting authors, journalist , filmmakers, and policymakers fingers from 2005, kenneth feinberg. on the06, lonnie bunch importance of the african-american experience. from 2007, robert novak on its 50 years of reporting in washington. from 2008, the value of higher education. 2009, conservative
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commentator. a decade of compelling conversations. the 26th22 through 07:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> they look awesome the programs you will find christmas day on the c-span networks are all of the festivities start at 10:00 a.m. with the lighting of the national christmas tree followed by the christmas decorations with first lady michelle obama and the lighting of the capitol christmas tree. after 12:30 p.m., celebrity activist talk about their causes. supreme court justice sam alito and former governor jeb bush on the bill of rights and founding fathers. c-span two, the art of good writing. p.m., the feminine side of his superhero called the secret history of wonder woman. author pamela talks about the reading habits. c-spanican history tv on
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3, they'll fall of the berlin wall with footage of president withe bush and bob dole speeches from presidents kennedy and ronald reagan. at noon, fashion experts on first lady's fashion choices. and janet 10:00, former nbc anchor tom brokaw on his more than 50 years of reporting on world events for the that is this christmas day on the c-span networks. for a complete schedule, go to now, adam guillette of the moving picture institute on political messages in pop culture. during a presentation that includes several clips, he said filmmakers like james cameron promote liberalism through the movies. he says conservatives should use , the same techniques. the conservative forum of silicon valley hosted this event. it is about an hour and 15 minutes.
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>> ronald reagan once said freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. we didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. it must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same. make no mistake, we are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our children. the battle for those who would diminish our freedoms. one of the battlefront is our popular culture. movies, television shows, books, websites, and now social media that entertain our young. at the same time, teach them so much about the world around them. there's no doubt the left understands this. the attitudes at the least progressives are all over modern popular culture. you could see it in the movies and tv shows being made, marketed, and sold in the 21st-century america.
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sometimes it seems you cannot go to the movies these days without being assaulted by left wing propaganda. it is rare to see film that celebrates america and its exceptional heritage rather than denigrating it and highlighting its mistakes. or a movie that portrays american soldiers as honorable heroes that they are rather than crazed sadistic killers. is it too much to ask to debate a successful businessman as an important citizen in his community? i don't think these are unreasonable requests. i suspect neither does our guest speaker tonight, mr. adam guillette. he has run a foundation called the moving picture institute or mpi for short.
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they create films that celebrate such conservative, bedrock principles as liberty, individual rights, limited government, and free markets. mpi has helped launch the careers or support dozens of independent film makers who are passionate about telling stories about freedom. in short, mpi promotes freedom through film. he is a veteran and ongoing fight for liberty. in 2004, he joined the leadership faculty and spent several years traveling to help the organization in its mission to identify and train free-market activists. three years later, he launched the florida chapter, a nationwide grassroots organization whose 2.3 million citizen activists advocate for limited government and for regulatory restraint. something that is in short supply in the age of obama. in 2011, he joined the moving
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picture institute as vice president of development. he has been featured on fox news channel, washington times, national review magazine, and even the reliably left centered new york times to generally pay attention to conservatives to accuse us of racism or sexism. he has been on the front lines of the battle over popular culture. i'm delighted he is here to tell us how conservatives could you storytelling to advance the cause of liberty. please help me welcome adam guillette. [applause] >> thank you, sir. how is everybody doing tonight? calm down with enthusiasm. i'm adam guillette with the moving picture institute.
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we are promoting liberty because we believe film more effectively than any other medium could bring the idea of freedom to life. we do filmmaking. we do videos, all kinds of stuff. it boils down to storytelling. this is a tactic you could do whether you are a filmmaker or not. effectively advance your beliefs for more effectively by telling stories them by simply listing the facts. for years since our side has been consistently viewed as a quantitative, logical folks, we think if we stack up the facts, we could prove we are right and victory will fall to us like ripe fruit from the vine. does that work? no. the other side uses emotional appeals and we have been destroyed. we could make an argument of how big government health care is a terrible idea. it is a wasteful idea.
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stack up the facts and persuade people it is terrible. the left will come in and say what about that single mother over here. are we going to do something for her? an entire debate has been lost. storytelling, leading with emotional appeals is the effective way to reach people. people make decisions based on emotions and look at the facts to back up those emotions they have made. you choose to go out and splurge on a new car. that is an emotional decision you back up and say, well, i did x, y, and z. i think i justified the car. unfortunately for young people and low information voters, these are folks who carefully study the political issues before making decisions. these are folks you could reach with storytelling. what is storytelling? what is not storytelling? storytelling is not interviewing
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grover norquist in an office. it is usually policy officials being interviewed. i've got nothing against offices. but that is not interesting. it is not entertaining. it won't bring in people. storytelling is not stacking up all of the statistics, facts, and graphs. people will fall asleep. they will turn and walk away. the only way i think you could get this to work is if you distract people like in clockwork orange and force-feed information. we cannot do that. we are not in favor of that. what do we do instead? we end up ranting and complaining to our friends. we overwhelm them with information and typically come
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across like these people. [laughter] with apologies to my gluten-free friends in the audience. that is how we end up coming across. i'm right. i have got the statistic. i know i'm right. i've got the statistic. when you go in and start arguing, instinctively the brain releases endorphins and they dig in their heels and they don't want to listen to you. there is a better way. it is storytelling. it is how we have created -- communicated ideas for thousands of years. storytellers would travel from village to village. if they had to memorize facts, that would be impossible. instead they remembered stories and the main events would be conveyed through the stories. that is how ideas came across. storytelling is a spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine goes down. we would never suggest you
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ignore the facts and information, but rather leave with emotion, lead with the information and supplement it with facts. this was perhaps best explained by the political philosophy -- philosopher using food as an example. >> you could eat a carrot with an onion ring -- [laughter] >> that is exactly what storytelling is. you are entertaining them. capturing them emotionally. once you have captured them, deliver the ideas. we are not the first to come up with these strategies. this lady -- anyone seen her before? that is correct. when ayn rand wanted to write, you could've written nonfiction.
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that instead she embraced storytelling. she wrote "atlas shrugged," which still sells millions of copies today. she conveyed her political philosophy through a story instead of listing facts. when god wanted to write the definitive statement, he could've written the 3,255,000 commandments. i don't think it would have spread like wildfire. instead he wrote the bible and conveyed his belief systems through more stories. becoming so successful it may have spawned sequels depending on who you ask. even before that, you had things like the brothers grimm and hans christian anderson. fables we learned as kids. they taught us through stories to advance morals. they didn't sit down and say sharing is good. stealing is bad -- unless you are the government.
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instead we learned fables and it was conveyed that way and it was much better at conveying the information. this is all obvious to us. instead in terms of clinical tacticians, you see -- i'm sorry had to look at that after you a ate, you see the james camerons and michael moores of the world. they are leading in this ideology. i see jim cameron is a much bigger threat than michael moore. michael moore -- you know what you're going to get in terms of ideology. james cameron makes mainstream films. he does alien, titanic, avatar. while you are there, subversively, he delivers his ideology. he delivers his ideology. you noticed titanic, every wealthy person on the boat except kathy bates is greedy,
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selfish, bad people. every single poor person on the boat is the most kindhearted person you have ever met in your life. when you look at alien and avatar, who are the villains? corporate leaders. for the average american, they may never encounter a big corporate ceo. they're not running in to fortune 500 leaders on the street. when you run a candidate for the presidency who has got a background in business, the guy's down 5 points based on that. i would rather live in a world
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where you have experience creating jobs, you are up five point based on that background. but they have been so powerful -- [applause] -- that it is the other way around. that is the power of culture. we complain about hollywood. rather than ignoring an important tool, we should embrace it. the best person on their side was referenced in the video. one of the most influential people today politically. and that more than half the you have never heard of the guy. he founded ebay. a small company that went on to success. despite creating one of the biggest free markets, this guy ain't with us ideologically. instead of maxing out candidates and knocking on doors, instead of doing that, he created a hollywood production company to reach the masses. these guys churned out film after film. by the way, "promised land" one of the best examples. a narrative film with matt damon.
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it wasn't a documentary. a film about fracking and how it is awful in all of that. true story. anyone know who helped finance it? he got the government of abu dhabi. what do they do? they co-fund a film with an a-list actor. he does all of these films to advance his beliefs. "snitch," it has got explosions. it was really about how mandatory minimum sentences are a bad idea. he does back education reform. he supported waiting for superman. on nearly all the major issues, he is not one of us.
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they don't just release these films and hope for the best. no. the great social action campaigns for them. after you see an inconvenient truth, they direct you to the website. immediately, they give you action items of what you could do from the comfort of your home to advance your beliefs based on the film you just saw. you could click here to send a message to your elected official and your district about how we need to take on climate change. you could click the policy from the sierra club. they are taking casual moviegoers and turning them into effective activist just like that. doesn't matter if they were indoctrinated in schools or not. the people watching these films are affected emotionally. when they get home, they are
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engaging in activism for the other side. they are brilliant at it. i have never met a perfectly good idea that i wasn't willing to make my own. that is what we need to do. amazing stories to be told on our side. stories of entrepreneurs being blocked from achieving the american dream by regulators. stories of kids in inner cities being denied good education opportunities. these stories could be backed up. these are the stories that need to be told. that is what i challenge you to do tonight. when you are talking to friends about issues and speaking at an event and knocking on doors, challenge you to embrace storytelling. use those tactics instead of reciting facts. there are some key characteristics i would suggest.
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it is those great to have someone relatable. promote propety rights. we backed a film called "battle for brooklyn" about eminent domain. if you say to your apolitical friends -- some of us have them -- if you have got them, you say, i'd like to talk to you about imminent domain. what are they going to say? i've gotta go. no one wants to hear that. that's a film about a man named daniel. wasn't a political guy. wasn't a scholar. probably a liberal. big government bureaucrats were teaming up with political crony businessmen to seize his
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property in brooklyn via imminent domain abuse and give it to a developer to build a basketball arena. unbelievable story. he was the perfect hero. he was authentic. not a political type. he is an everyman. it works for the same reason that letters to the editor are more effective than editorials. we get irritated by editorials. there written by some left wing blowhard every time. letters to the editor are far more widely read than the editorials you are short, to the point -- read than the editorials. they are short, to the point. academy awardr an
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nomination. a film about property rights and individual liberty. do you want to see the trailer? good answer. it is the next clip. you have no choice. [video clip] ♪ >> he says he will move it into a proposed arena complex right in the heart of brooklyn. there are those who are raising serious objections about the loss of homes and businesses to make way for this arena. >> it is right here. >> i moved into the neighborhood because i wanted to live in it for a long time and raise a family. if you cannot fight for your community and help, you are really not going to fight for anything. >> we're going to get the nets to the brooklyn if it is the last thing i do. [applause] >> somewhat of a david versus
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goliath situation. >> everyone is jumping up and down about this reality. this is a land grab. >> we don't want to go. >> abuse of imminent domain. >> you should stay home. you shouldn't go anywhere. >> this is brooklyn's future. we deserve it. >> did i imagine i would be doing this? no. we are both obsessed with it. >> they are going to take our taxes for a basketball arena. >> that is why this fight is our -- ugly at times.
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it is left to a corporate entity and the community. >> nobody is going to remember how long it took. there are only going to look and see that it was done. >> they had cops on every rooftop. they are terrified. >> my wife and i met as activists. we want to teach our child to stand up for one's principles. [applause] >> you notice what the film didn't say -- this is an important story about property rights. the constitution. the constitution. i value the constitution. you value the constitution. you need to use appropriate bait for what you're trying to catch.
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you got to go out that using a relatable character to make it interesting and exciting. you have to go after them. you cannot -- you cannot use things that would appeal to us and say it is about property rights or the constitution. if you make something that is conservative, it is only going to be viewed by a conservative audience. if you make something libertarian, it will be viewed by libertarian audience. you have to use appropriate bait that doesn't seem like it is necessarily coming from an obvious point of view. for conservatives, it is tough to grasp that. it is rare to have anything and pop culture. we want to put it all out on the table. this is our one chance to get
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our beliefs in film if you make it too political, you'll alienate the film for the audience. the last best hope for freedom in america. it was used by elected officials -- not exactly the last best hope for freedom in america. it was used by elected officials. they requested the film, which is excited. another great way to get people to appreciate the message, another key characteristic is to have an underdog. someone -- americans love underdogs. we want to support the little guy. when you think of business leaders, they are the little guys. they face regulators, taxes. they face awful government bureaucracies. we think of somebody like that.
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but to the average person, do they see steve forbes as an underdog? no. even though you and i know big business leaders have everything going against them. average person doesn't see it that way. they don't see big business leaders as the underdog. when we want to support a film that celebrate entrepreneurship and what makes america great, the filmmakers found ultimate underdog to tell the story of. we backed this film called. days about -- dog days in d.c. there a lot of food court vendors. they all have the same crummy selection of foods. that is no accident.
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all of these food cart vendors store their food carts at the same local businesses. if they don't buy their supplies, they jack up their rent. as a result, they got pretty much the same products. this guy lost his job, but had an idea. great idea. what if i make high-end food that i could sell to the food cart vendors they could sell to people? that way instead of being only able to offer crummy hot dogs, they could sell high-end food. if there has ever been an underdog, it is a single mother from another country. who could be against that? local government regulators. naturally. stopped issuing permits to new
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food cart entrepreneurs. even as people -- i bet you they were tired. they don't even issue permits to take up the spots. every year there are less who carts available. if you are a guy trying to provide products, that could hurt business quite a bit. we supported this film called "dog days." here is the trailer. [video clip] ♪ >> i've been doing this business almost 20 years. sometimes i don't have money to pay for the rent. >> i got fired from my last job. i got a decision to make. almost every vendor sells -- why is that?
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>> if we can different kinds of food, we could make more money. >> the vendors are living in fear. >> part of it is the fear of doing something big. i think i could do it. >> i've never started a business. i've never worked in food operations. >> she was a first want to take a risk on me. >> this is really hard. [indiscernible] >> $5,000. >> the american dream is a freedom. >> came to this country with a suitcase and passport. >> sold out.
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>> it has the ability to define you. >> i always say it is going to be better every day. >> i hope it is the same glimmer of hope i see. >> that film was already released. if you would like to see it, all of the films are listed on you can rent it on netflix, itunes. it is not a film that hits it on the nose that says this is about politics. this is about changing local bureaucracy. no. who could be against these guys? why wouldn't we want to let them have their own business. that is how you preach people. telling everyday stories. this is not anecdotal. there are plenty of entrepreneurs around the country being blocked by regulators. first through the heart then the mind.
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my favorite way to reach people is humor. satire. when you argue someone, they dig in their heels. they put up barriers. i don't want to listen to you. humor is a magical make sure that could break through various. anybody watches the daily show with jon stewart or the colbert show, do they share our beliefs? no. but why do watch them anyway? why? because it is funny. would you like to watch a show hosted by a guy who is going to lie through his teeth and savage your beliefs? no. if you worry about
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liberalism, jon stewart is the one to worry about. he has the highest ratings than the cbs evening news. he is the primary source of news for many young people. that is powerful. we complain, but things like john stuart, the ratings are only going up. they are incredibly powerful. humor is the tool that cuts through everything and gets the beliefs through. one of our supporters came to us. we have been cultivating a small contrary of funny folks who are improv comedians and stand up comedians. we're working with a couple of them. meanwhile, we've backed films that used humor as the focal
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point even when discussing serious topics. you and me about the waste and fraud of the united nations. probably would have been a 10 volume dvd series. we would still be in the second intermission right now. instead the filmmaker found a way to keep it under two hours. it played in theaters nationwide and allowed me to be a hypocrite. normally if we get reviewed by the new york times or l.a. times, what do they say? good or bad things? horrible things. they savage of us. what do we say? we hold of those attacks like a badge of honor and this was so effective. they used humor to break down barriers so darn well this film was praised by nearly every paper in the country. new york times, l.a. times, washington post praised this film.
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allowed me to be a glorious hypocrite and say even the new york times recognized this film. it was effective. here is the trailer. i think you will enjoy it. [video clip] >> hello? nobody here. >> the u.n. was a joke. >> we spend billions of dollars to fund the united nations
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expecting it to solve the world problems. does it? >> nothing. he said, enjoy the beach. have beer. >> i saw you at the club last night. >> nuclear activity was discovered. >> they haven't been able to do anything about it. >> are you building nuclear weapons? >> the definition of terrorism is a difficult thing. >> i brought the webster dictionary. they have a definition right here. >> that is webster's. >> i found a definition of terrorism in the dictionary. >> thank you.
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>> sudan was honored to meet the vice president. genocide didn't get in the way. >> i'll take you on a journey around the world. behind the curtains and expose the secrets of the u.n. >> hello? >> and make a few friends along the way -- or not. >> the film is a couple of years old. [applause] one other great example of humor is with the youtube tv show called econ pot. it is amazing how viewership has changed with generations -- econ pop. it is amazing how viewership has changed with generations.
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these guys watch all their content where? on the computer. tablet. phone. it is distribution. if you have interesting content, you don't need to go through nbc, hbo, amc. if it is good content, you could get people online. it is exciting. young people watch all of the network shows on a good nbc show is the same thing as a good youtube show. there was a survey done. they asked young people as they were familiar with mainstream celebrities and youtube celebrities. i have only heard of two youtube
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people. if you have good content, we could put it on youtube. in the current show you could subscribe to called econ pop. it brings people in who are searching for "house of cards" or "ghostbusters." we bring them in just from that. we educate them. you have companion podcast. anyone familiar with podcast? wonderful. i am in silicon valley. podcasts are wonderful short form radio shows. if they want more information. they could download the podcast.
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i will show you a brief clip from my favorite episode of what i think is one of the most important movies of my lifetime. "ghostbusters." [laughter] and when you remember it? great story of entrepreneurship. there is a quiz at the end. who was the villain? the epa. the epa. the government agency. the epa regulator keeps harassing them and forces them to shut down the machine where they have been storing ghosts and causing all kinds of chaos reigned supreme. brings on the marshmallow man. only a big regulator could cause a problem that big. and it features great lines about being small business owners. he says, you don't know what it is like out there.


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