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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 25, 2014 5:00am-7:01am EST

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>> i'm not saying they should be on the court or not. i'm wondering how that might impact someone on the court. if there are any kind of activity that should rise to the level of disqualifying or recusing a justice from serving or serving on a case? >> justice scalia recused himself from a really important case over the phrase, under god, in the pledge of allegiance. he had attended an event at which his son, a priest, appeared. justice scalia undertook to a opine on the- issue. he did thereafter take himself out of the case, did not participate.
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which i thought was entirely appropriate for him to do so. the inappropriate thing for him was for him to go out in public and take a position on something he knew was coming before the court. that i haveher case noticed. this crop of justices loves to opine public forums and on what they are doing in their judicial business. why theant to know supreme court is not yet hearing justay marriage cases, follow ruth ginsburg around to various public forums. she will to you inside stories about what is going on at the court. if they are only granting and the settings of the five cases a year, it seems to me they could grant a few more if they would cut out some of their public appearances. >> anybody else on that? another question? i'm hoping the supreme court
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will weigh in on releasing withheld records regarding the jfk assassination. it brings to point an --eresting statement made by the cia stood for catholics and action. we are a bit -- very roman catholic culture. i would like to draw a question to you from a very important , entitled "rulers of evil." traces the influence in western history of the jesuit order, the military order of the roman church. ,t points out that the jesuits in history, they are a military order.
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they report to a general. question? catholics participate in confession. jesuit priests are among the confessors to the bus powerful new world, including supreme court justices. it can work as a two-way process. the reform church does not have confession. confessional process a factor in how roman catholicism and government officials who are roman catholic can be influenced from rome? >> i would say that is an exclusively a private matter. i have various people to whom i go and make confessions about my inadequacies. i'm not about to pray that
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before you tonight. justice to me to ask a to reveal how they practice their faith is to go way beyond the pale of proper public discourse. >> i am the legal director of the center for inquiry representing atheists and secular people that scalia dismissed. willieve it was, they never be satisfied, we don't need to consider them. we were talking about complicity in hobby lobby. this new idea that the catholic majority has brought in. if you make it easier for somebody to commit a sin, that sin can be placed back on to you. werewners of hobby lobby allowed to not provide contraception. how does that fit in with the concept of the judge as an
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umpire? surely, if you have five justices who believe, for example, a portion is a sin -- if they make a decision that says abortion can be legal, under that same. of complicity, they are getting themselves. can they really be expected to make a decision as the umpire? andhey are turning around are on record as saying, that would be sinful? >>? anybody? you spoke about that a little bit. >> i'm not an expert on catholic doctrine. i cannot answer that question. one benefit you could say that the catholic church has. believe in a general
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confidence between faith and, from that perspective, they might come to a view that one might call a sin. but they will see it as an aspect of natural law, reason, which is a public discourse open to everyone. >> anybody else? say, i don't think the court was necessarily advocating that as their own view about their own role in complicity. rather, whether they were accepting that view as advance and the parties of the case. >> to my mind, the theoretical problem with hobby lobby is the
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court possible inability to therate the entity or corporation, which is totally artificial to read -- totally artificial. it is set up for one purpose which is to make money. to reward stockholders. these were private corporations. they were nonetheless creatures of state law, created not for the purpose of propagating a religion. the families who own those two businesses argue they have run their business in a religious faithys more about their 'sen about the corporation capacity to have a faith.
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you seen ames have corporation get down on its knees and pray? i have never observed that. that was the theoretical problem. the court could not see the distinction between the owners and the corporation who read -- the corporation. undertaken to express their faith through the corporation. it was no more and less than a private is this entity -- business entity. >> the court was interpreting the religious freedom restoration act in that entity, which was an act passed by congress in reaction to a supreme court decision that did not give with the congress that was proper protection to people's religious believes. by congress passed a law both sides, liberals and
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conservatives. they came together to really bestow great protection for people's believes -- religious .elieves more than they thought was in the first amendment. i think it is important to think realize that was what the court was looking at. >> the court was looking at a in that statute, which is person. the question is, is a corporation a person? capable of experiencing religious freedom? >> i know nothing about the evangelical doctrine. a jewish law, the owner of private corporation is responsible for the sins of the corporation.
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cannot profit from quote sinful acts. it is not just like some sort of strange view they have. in other religions as well. >> that person has a religious view. overboard want to go here, but i think in jewish law, you cannot profit from the sale of uncool sure products -- un-kosher products. you cannot say, my corporation is doing that if it is a private corporation. it is not some set of weird view of the hobby lobby people. others would have that view.
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religions believe, the over to thearries private corporation. not to a public corporation. crocs just to finish on that. that shows the huge problem we have at the moment of bending over backwards to accept any religious belief as being sincere. saying,obby lobby providing insurance for contraception is a sin. on the other hand, we had them investing $72 million in the very company that makes those products. we't that a problem, that except those police? >> we have lots more questions. maryland. -- marilyn. i say, there are five men that remind me of what used to be a nine man supreme court.
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manyot up to speed on how women are currently involved in covering the supreme court. the issueue respect, of decisions and decision-making by the supreme court, we have theird this evening on opinions on specific cases. my question is, what role do you all believe that religion plays in their decision to your specific cases? -- hear specific cases? does, in your opinion, religion come to play? perhaps has anyone ever
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considered the red mass being inappropriate case to bring? let me parenthetically say, we are aware of many women who cover the supreme court. for a variety of reasons, none out to where available. this is no reflection on the wonderful panel. been aave indeed terrific panel. i said it tongue-in-cheek. >> it is very hard for any of us to answer a question like that. it is such a secretive process in which the court decides which cases it will take. requires a vote of four
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justices to decide to take a case. rarely get any kind of idea as to what it was that caused them to take some case and not another. we witness that this term. that this term. once in a while, a justice will -- meaning, here is why we think we should have taken this case. sometimes it is a signal for the next person that we would be interested in it if we can make it fit this category. i think it is tough for anyone to say why the court has taken a case or not. >> i would say that it is a
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court that is increasingly comfortable with the presence of religion in the town square, public square--- life. that is why they took the town of greece decision. is that because of their own religious views? nobody can say yes for sure. it is hard to think it is not. that their acceptance of religion in the town square is not a reflection of their religious views. is there a direct cause and effect? i don't to get anybody can say. is,nother way to say this if the court had eight yes, they might not taken the case. atheists, they might not have taken the case. we have a court that is comfortable believes there is no
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problem in religion playing a greater role in the public life. i think that has been a significant change in recent years. as far as the case of the red mass, i don't think that would make it to the supreme court. i don't the would make it past summary dismissal. it is not state action. attendance is not obligatory. they can hold the red mass anytime pleases. i would say one thing. being morelk about with religion in the public square, one thing that has struck me is there is a tendency
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to see what one might the government as religion -- one might think of as religion, as general custom. take the menorah. like,re approved -- it is how can you say the menorah is just a cultural thing. which thereays in was more religion in the public square and the court is theortable with it is by devaluing -- secularizing of the religion. it now constitutes a generic religiosity.
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-- thatwant to go into may explain some of the what you might call relaxation. >> another question. my the context of -- proposal, i like to hear comments on my proposal. having people who are swearing into this office of congress or the supreme court, the presidency, swear on the constitution institute of a religious document such as the -- instead of a religious document such as the bible. was quoted as saying you put
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your hand on the bible and swear to uphold the constitution, that the other way around? anybody want to talk about this? >> you don't need a bible, you can use it for ron. a koran or whatever your meaningful text is. you could use a secular humanist document. >> for somebody who is in give me aevelry, manual of how you calculate the stars. i would swear to almost anything on that. justices should be in the vanguard of a cultural particular bring a
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nonreligious or religious perspective into public life. if there is anything that has been secularized, it is the use of the bible as a platform for public of taking. -- oath taking. ofstrikes me as being devoid anything other than symbolism. it is hard to take it seriously as a religious indulgence. it just happened that away. the first president who refused to do that is likely to not be reelected. , rightly or wrongly, still thinks of itself as a christian nation. of aur question reminds me small way in which religion does
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make a difference on the supreme court. when you become a member of the supreme court bar, traditionally you would get a certificate that says you are sworn in on may 4. 14 year of our lord, pretty 2014. -- saidginsburg says it she had heard from the docks jews that the year of the lord was not something they wanted on their certificates. .t was offensive to them she said later on a another justice said, it was good enough brandeis. she put up her hand and said, it is not good enough for ginsburg. the court changed their view.
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it is now an option for members of the bar. not to have that phrase. >> mitchell. recovering and retired litigator. we have not talked about specifics. i want to give you an opportunity to talk about one. i have heard it said that justice scalia exhibits his catholicism in what is perceived as his greater deference to religious organizations then individuals. two large groups rather than small ones. the accusations is this is differencecatholic rather than protestant emphasis on individual conscience. i would like your response to this. what does it say about our society that the response of a
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great many people out there, especially among the younger generation, to the idea of the ho-hum? a i guess i would say that is a good thing. it is not seen as much of an issue. it is probably a healthy thing for everyone that there is not , these seats should be distributed on some sort of religious basis. i think it is seen as an interesting fact that there is not a protestant on the court, for the first time ever. i'm not sure people think that or at least if it is it has not been communicated
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to me in a way other issues about the court are. from readers and the people. i'm not sure what you mean in the first part of your question religious people or organizations. that in his judicial activity -- >> that is an observation made by more people than just me. >> personal? >> his judicial opinions reflect that. >> i'm not sure that is true. on the last point you made, organizations,e it is true in this myth case, they said if there was a secular
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reason to restrict religion, it is ok if an individual's religious beliefs are curtailed. congress can change that. it is true congress to change that for larger religions. that is called democracy. congress would be more likely to make rules -- >> does democracy require that personal freedoms be subject to majority vote? >> that is a bigger question -- >> we have more questions. we make it through them if the them get to elaborate? elaborate. >> first. >> all right. >> you have a question? i am wondering if you can
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address the issue whether judges in the supreme court or local thet, whether they uphold constitution. they are inconsistent. they don't really explain the reasoning, rather than say, it is just religious. the religious groups or churches influence the number of voters. all they have to ask is, if you do not support abortion -- >> the question is -- >> let me responded this way. if there is one accusation that cannot be made about the supreme court of the u.s.
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does not explain itself. the supreme court explains itself much better than any other institution of the national government. it may be that people don't read the opinions in the close way they do read something that ted cruz has said. [laughter] or paul ryan. one of those wise members of the legislative body. the supreme court does explain itself. the materials with which it works are public materials, almost entirely. the last time i remember, the supreme court dealt with a case in secret was the pentagon in the supreme court deals with business that comes in the front door and goes back out the front door. -- incorrect to
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say they do not explain themselves. graduate ofsh and a harvard law school. i guess that makes me a supreme ended 84 supreme court justice. a prime candidate to be a supreme court justice. entitled, article "isn't it time for a jewish justice?" it seems we have had an embarrassment of riches for jews and catholics. there are six graduates of harvard law school and three of the ale. -- of yield. -- yale.
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this begins to raise the question of diversity in every sense of the word. very few of the justices have been in private practice. tell story of how justice marshall could relate his life and so on. is, what do you think about the urgency of trying to encourage more diversity in the court? >> i must correct you on one thing. we just had this mistake in the washington post. i have been hearing about it for the last two days. there are only five graduates of harvard. justice ginsburg's degree came columbia after she spent two years in harvard. event inhomas, at an e, that is the one he
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picked out as a problem for diversity. lawe are a lot of great schools not represented on the court. i cannot explain to you why it is this way right now. except perhaps, you have very ambitious people who go to ale.ard and y6ale ♪ people who are thinking this is a goal for them. presidents pick nominees, it helps to say, this person went to one of those law schools. i don't think it matters much that they are from those schools. you do have a point in terms of
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different life experiences. a greato'connor, put deal of her political experience in the court. that is true people in private practice. people from civil rights backgrounds. are relevant questions. i'm not sure the fact they all eliteo a beat schools -- schools. one was a sharecropper upon son. -- sharecropper's son. others were immigrant children. it is not just the elite backgrounds. >> you may remember that president nixon tried to put someone on the court. when the man was defeated because he was demonstrably unqualified to sit on any nebraska senator from
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commented, everybody is entitled to representation on court, even mediocre people. mediocre people don't get into harvard and yale. i think when politicians go looking for people to nominate, they have some stars in their schools.t the elite they seldom get beyond that. i am wondering if you guys see any cases coming down the pipeline where there could be a conflict between religion and secularism. >> i don't know.
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fare has been one case so which has been about religious accommodation. the length of a present our's weird. arkansas has to accommodate a muslim prisoner who wants to grow a beard because his religion dictates that. it was an interesting case. , unlike some of the ones we had last term, theo obama administration was on the same side as conservative groups supporting the prisoner. this one did not seem it was going to be as tough as other cases had been. >> later in the term, we are going to have the sequels to involvebby which do not
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private business corporations but involve nonprofits. if hobby lobby was in some ways a test of sect carrion organization, we could see that were thethose cases -- organizations are more distinct the religious and character. question? i think we will get everyone. i am a patent attorney. my question is about -- i was thinking about how he wrote an article 23 some years ago about having jews on the supreme court. i would love to see muslim justices sometime. muslim american justices that nationalp with
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security issues. i wanted to get your insights about how far out you see that happening. we could make a very bad joke and say if present obama became a supreme court justice -- [laughter] i was hoping to ask the panel that question myself. i'm glad it came up. >> let me put in my view. there is a tragic amount of bigotry about people of the muslim faith. originated ony september 11. throughout public policy. people at treat the is nothingbay, cuba,
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less than despicable. maintaining guantanamo is no different than what we did in world war ii in maintaining the concentration camps for japanese-americans. that is all driven by a suspicion of the muslim faith. when you see legislatures like those in texas passing laws that to, courts are forbidden make any judgments based on sharia law, the chance that any muslim, however devout and ofceful in his or her view public life, there is no way the senate of the u.s. as presently composed and composed anyway we can anticipate for the next muslim wouldhat a
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get appointed to the supreme court and confirmed. >> let's start with the lower courts and try to work up. >> we have muslims in the house. that is an important breakthrough. and perhaps ime, should not be saying this because i am a guy. there was a time when there were not many women in congress. increasingly, the country has discovered the virtue of the feminine perspective. we are getting more women appropriately and we now have three women on the supreme court, which is the high point for that sector of our society. i don't think in my lifetime, which is not that much longer, who will not see a muslim on the we will not see a muslim on the court. >> one must question. -- last question.
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>> it seems like we have a people of -- a fear of people putting religion into the opinion. can we talk about religious -- what is the beauty of the religious diversity of the supreme court? >> positive aspects of this religious diversity? we have covered some of them. anybody want to add anything? >> diversey itself, however you define it, is virtuous. there are different ways to apply and defying the law. we are a long way away from what used to be called mechanistic jerk -- jurisprudence where you say the law is on most like a mathematical proposition. intellectual,any evenral, social logical,
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economic inputs in making a sound legal judgment. the more input you have from a variety of experiences, a variety of backgrounds -- including a variety of religious inths -- the better the law substance is going to be. if any president has the option of enlarging the diversity of did inrt, as wilson premade you on the court, -- putting a jew on the court and reagan did by putting a woman on the court, i hope they take that opportunity. >> if no one else has anything -- [laughter] [applause] nadine and i want to thank
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everybody. >> thank you so much, everyone, for coming. for being on the wonderful panel. amy, it has been a fascinating conversation. queen'sxt, the christmas message from london and then president obama and the first family at the national christmas tree lighting. then a look at this year's white house christmas decorations. later john boehner and other house lawmakers at the lighting of the capitol christmas tree. "q&a" is 10 years old. we are featuring one interview from each year over the holiday season. today the president and chancellor of the university of
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houston spoke about u.s. competitiveness in the global economy and the role of colleges and universities in preparing use for the workforce. &a" today at 7:00 p.m. eastern. conversation from the national constitution center on the founding fathers and bill of rights. several alito was among the speakers. -- samuel alito was among the speakers. the one hand, the government has grown to a size that the founding generation could never have imagined, and the bill of rights is vitally needed to keep the federal government and the state governments and check, to make sure they do not violate precious individual rights. at the same time, however, without the governmental structure that the constitution created, the bill of rights without aike an arm body. constitution provisions protecting individual rights are
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worse than useless if they are not backed up by a governmental structure to enforce those rights. and that brings me to the third connection between the bill of rights and the city of philadelphia. by the time the first 10 amendments were ratified, the national capital had moved from new york to philadelphia, and it was here across the street that the supreme court heard its first cases. met in a very brief session in new york and adopted internal rules. but after that, the capital moves to philadelphia. the supreme court moves to philadelphia. this up in court first cases across the street in the summer of 1791. ,nd it was not long after that in the mid-1790's, that the court began to hear arguments about the provisions of the bill of rights. they were put into operation in that way. >> you can see all of justice at the national
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constitution center in philadelphia tonight on c-span. also speaking, former florida governor jeb bush. it starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> here are some of our featured programs you will find this weekend on the c-span networks. saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, supreme court justice elena kagan at princeton . sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. on q&a, author glenn kessler on his end of the year biggest pinocchios of 2014. on c-span 2, on afterwards, damon root on the long-standing battle of supreme court activism and judicial restraint. sunday at 10:00 p.m., a book whoic jonathan yardley retired after 33 years with "the washington post." saturday on the
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civil wars, historians and authors discuss president lincoln's 1860 four reelection campaign. and sunday afternoon at 4:00, tried by fire -- a 9065 film the chronicles the 84th infantry division be during the battle of the bulge. finer complete schedule at c-span .org. and let us know about what you think about the programs you are watching or call us -- e-mail us at comm the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> green elizabeth delivered her annual christmas message in london. the tradition dates to 1932. in this year's message, she pays to be two members of the military and volunteers working to combat ebola.
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[drum roll] ♪ plays]ave the queen" ♪ >> in the ruins of the old coventry cathedral is a sculpture of a man and woman reaching out to embrace each other. the sculpture was inspired by the story of a woman who crossed europe on foot after the war to
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find her husband. casts of the same sculpture can be found in belfast and berlin. it is simply called, reconciliation. reconciliation is the peaceful end to conflict. we were reminded of this in august, when countries on both sides of the first world war came together to remember in peace. the ceramic poppies at the tower of london drew millions. the only possible reaction to walking among them was silence. for every poppy, a life and a reminder of the grief of loved ones left behind. no one who fought in the war is still alive, but we remember their sacrifice. and the sacrifice of those who fought and protect us today. in 1914, many people thought the
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war would be over by christmas. sadly, by the end, the trenches were dug and the shape of the war was set. something remarkable did happen that christmas, exactly 100 years ago today. without any instruction or command, the shooting stopped and german and british soldiers met in no man's land. photos were taken and gifts exchanged. it was a christmas truce. this is not a new idea to read in the ancient world, a true's was declared for the duration of the big games. -- a truce was declared for the duration of the olympic games. sport has a wonderful way of bringing together people and nations as we saw in glasgow when over 70 countries took part in the commonwealth games.
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it is no accident that they are known as the friendly games. as well as promoting dialogue between nations, the commonwealth games include the parasports. the talent and conviction of the athletes captured our attention as well is breaking down divisions. the benefits were clear to see when i visited belfast in june. while my tour of the set of "game of thrones" might have gotten the most attention, my visit to the prison remains in my memory. it is a reminder of what is possible when people reach out
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to one another. rather like the couple in the sculpture. of course, reconciliation takes different forms. in scotland, after the referendum, many felt disappointment. others felt great belief. bridging these differences will take time. bringing reconciliation to war or emergency zones is even harder. i have been deeply touched this year by the selflessness of aid workers and fallen tears who have gone abroad to help terms of conflict or diseases like ebola, often at personal risk. for me, the life of jesus christ, a prince of peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and anchor in my life.
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a role model of reconciliation and forgiveness. he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance, and healing. christ's example has taught me to seek, respect, and value all people of whatever faith. sometimes it seems reconciliation stands little chance in the face of war and discord. as the christmas truce, a century ago, reminds us, peace and goodwill have lasting power in the hearts of men and women. on that chilly christmas eve in 1914, many of the german forces sang "silent night." the haunting melody inching across the line. the carol is still loved today, a legacy of the christmas truce.
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a reminder to us all that even in the unlikeliest of places, hope can still be found. a very happy christmas to you all. ♪ [playing "silent night"]
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♪ ♪ >> earlier this month, president obama and the first family helped to light the national christmas tree on the mall in washington. the president and first lady spoke. tom hanks and rita wilson cohosted the ceremony. >> now, here are our hosts for this evening, tom hanks and rita wilson! [cheering and applause] ♪[music]
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>> and i want to tell you, good evening! >> all right. that's the way to do it. hey, welcome to president's park, everybody. you can see, we are just across the street from the white house on a wonderful winter night here in washington, d.c. >> this is the 92nd annual national christmas tree lighting, a great holiday tradition here in the nation's capital that dates back to the coolidge administration. >> honey, here's a very fun fact. did you know that calvin coolidge played the harmonica and had two pet raccoons? >> how do you know that? >> his facebook page. [laughter] >> thank you, drummer. i love that. >> calvin coolidge, obviously very big into social media. >> millions of americans will be celebrating this season with their own holiday traditions, but tonight we're glad you joined all of us here for a terrific night of music and
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more. >> and how about a hand for the president's own united states marine band? [applause] >> and each one of them could do 140 push-ups. [laughter] a very special welcome and word of thanks to all the men and women in uniform serving around the world. god bless you! you're in our hearts. we think of you every day. [applause] >> now, it is our great honor to welcome the first family of the united states. [applause] ♪[music] >> i am now going to recite your names. mr. president, mrs. obama, malia and sasha. and mrs. robinson. >> happy christmas! >> hello, everybody!
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is everybody ready to calm down? [applause] >> we're going to start from five. we want to say thanks, first of all, to tom and rita. we hope they're ready. we hope everybody watching at home is getting in the christmas spirit. we're going to start counting down right now. let's do it! five, four, three, two, one! ♪[music] [applause] world] the
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[applause] >> well, i think it's time for a story. and i was going to suggest something like talking toys or magic trains that take kids to the north pole. but i understand there is a tradition on this stage of reading "the night before christmas." to help us out, we are joined by monet davis, the 13-year-old pitching sensation who took the little league world series by storm! and she has just been named the sports kid of the year by sports illustrated magazine. there you go. and it is my great honor to welcome the first lady of the united states, michelle obama. [applause] ♪[music]
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>> how are you guys doing? i'd love to see you too! are we ready to read? >> i'm ready. >> all right. are you ready for the story? >> yes, you know,. >> twas the night before christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. the stockings were hung, by the chimney with care, in hopes that st. nicholas soon would be there. >> the children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. and mamma in her 'kerchief and i in my cap had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap. >> when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, i sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. >> away to the window i flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. the moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave a lustre of midday to objects below.
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>> when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. >> i knew in a moment he must be st. nick. >> more rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name. now dasher, now dancer, now prancer and vixen. on, comet! on, cupid! on, donner and blitzen! >> to the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! now dash away, dash away, dash away, all! as leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. >> so up to the housetop the courses they flew, with the sleigh full of toys and st. nicholas too. >> and then, in a twinkling, i heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. as i drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney st. nicholas came with a bound.
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>> he was dressed in all fur from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. >> a bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. his eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! his cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! >> his droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. >> the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. >> he had a broad face and a little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. he was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. and i laughed when i saw him, in spite of myself. >> a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know i had nothing to dread. >> he spoke not a word but went straight to his work and filled all the stockings and turned with a jerk. and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up
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the chimney he rose. >> he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. >> but i heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight -- >> happy christmas to all, and to all a good night! >> good job. is that okay? okay. good job! come on. let's go. let's get out of here. ha ha! >> okay. ladies and gentlemen, why don't we give them a round of applause! [applause] >> our next performer is a talented songwriter and -- >> and what you'll do is you'll play the point guard who is the all-star.
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and i'll play the substitute substitute that rarely gets into the game. >> um, i'm sorry. i'm hearing some cross-talk. okay. our next performer is -- >> shots in my driveway, i'm getting pretty good, mr. president. pretty good. not so much on the left hand. >> tom, what are you doing? >> i'm just down here reading the teleprompter with the president of the united states. >> okay. i know. but we're in the middle of the show. and why are you sitting next to the president? >> well, i'm pitching him a film idea. you see, i understand he's going to have some free time in a couple of years. gonna want something to do. i'm hoping that he and i can make a movie together. >> really? [applause] yes. see? >> what is the idea? >> well, it's about two handsome bodacious cops. [laughter] >> who fight crime during the day and at night, they play
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basketball in the nba. >> wow! tom, that -- that sounds like a really great idea. >> it's called "mr. clutch and the touch." [laughter] >> well, i will be the first in line to see that film. >> now, i'm thinking, mr. president, meryl streep as the team owner and abdi as our head coach. >> tom, while you work on that, let's get back to the music. please welcome the multi-grammy-winning singer, songwriter and actor neo. --ne-yo. ♪[music] >> merry christmas! >> merry christmas! ♪ i'm dreaming tonight of a place that i love ♪
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♪ even more than i normally do ♪ and though i know it's a long road back ♪ ♪ i promise you >> please welcome the secretary of the interior, and the president and chairman of the national park foundation, the honorable sally jewell. [applause] [music] >> hello, everyone! thank you for being here and thanks so much to the national park foundation and the national
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park service for hosting this wonderful holiday tradition year after year. i'd like to offer each of you a personal welcome to president's park, which is managed by the national park service and the department of the interior. and of course, home to the first family. and we're so delighted they're here today. it's a great honor to help care for the extraordinary system of 401 national parks that commemorate our history, our culture and our incredibly beautiful landscape. i'm also proud of the thousands of dedicated federal employees and many, many volunteers who care for our public lands, our waters and our wildlife for the benefit of all americans. we are blessed with the spirit of the holidays. when many traditions mark this darkest month of the year, of love, of giving, of family and friends.
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it's a time of year when we are reminded that it's truly better to give than to receive and that our lives ultimately are measured not by what we acquire or the positions we hold but by how much we love and are loved by others. so for the next few weeks, this beautifully decorated tree will stand as a symbol of this spirit, shining its light in our nation's capital. and i trust, in the hearts of all who visit. so it's now my honor to welcome someone whose leadership and example inspires me and us to be forces for good in our communities and in our nation. ladies and gentlemen, the 44th president of the united states of america, barack obama. [applause]
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>> merry christmas, everybody! we saw this party going on out back and we thought we'd join you. i want to thank secretary jewell for not only the introduction but for all that you and everybody who is part of the interior department and the park service do to protect the magnificent outdoors for our children and for future generations. and i want to thank jonathan jarvis, dan wenk and everybody at the national park service, and the national park foundation, for putting on this special event each and every holiday season. i want everybody to give it up for our charming christmas host tonight, tom hanks and rita wilson! [applause]
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we have so enjoyed the incredible performers, including the one and only patti labelle. [applause] and finally, thanks to all of you who are here and watching at home, for joining us to celebrate this wonderful holiday tradition. back in 1923, school kids here in washington wrote a letter to the white house, asking if they could put a christmas tree on the south lawn. and more than 90 years and a few different evergreens later, the national christmas tree still stands as a symbol of hope and holiday spirit, and we still gather as a country each year to light it. we still have school kids involved too. but this year, they've given all the state and territory trees
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surrounding the national christmas tree their first digital upgrade. young women from all 50 states use their computers, using their coding skills, to control the colors and patterns of the lights on these trees. so thanks to those wonderful students. it is incredibly impressive. it's actually one of the few things that tom hanks can not do. [laughter] but while lighting the tree has entered into the 21st century, the story that we remember this season dates back more than 2,000 years. it's the story of hope. the birth of a singular child into the simplest of circumstances, a child who would grow up to live a life of humility and kindness and compassion, who traveled with a message of empathy and understanding, who taught us to care for the poor and the marginalized and those who are different from ourselves. and more than two millennia
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later, the way he lived still compels us to do our best to build a more just and tolerant and decent world. it's a story dear to my family as christians but it's meaning is one embraced by all people in all countries around the world, regardless of how they pray or whether they pray at all, and that's to love our neighbors as ourselves, to be one another's keepers, to have faith in one another. and in something better around the bend, not just at christmas time but all the time. and finally, this christmas, we count our blessings and we give thanks to the men and women of our military, who helped make those blessings possible. and as we hold our loved once tight, let's remember, the military families whose loved ones are far from home. they are our heros.
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and they deserve our heartfelt gratitude and our whole-hearted support. [applause] so on behalf of michelle, malia, sasha, mom-in-law, and our reindeer, bo and sunny, i want to wish all of them, and i want to wish all of you a very, very merry christmas and a holiday filled with joy. god bless you, and god bless the united states of america! [cheering and applause] ♪[music] ♪ jingle bells jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ hey ♪ jingle bells jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ hey
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♪[music] ♪ jingle bells jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ >> hey! ♪ jingle bells jingle bells ♪ jingle all the way ♪ oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh ♪ ♪ >> hey! great job! >> thank you so much! >> i'm proud of you. all righty. thank you. you guys were great! aren't you just a multitalented star. that was wonderful. that was so nice. what does he do? thank you. merry christmas!
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good job. thank you. >> santa! >> let's give them a round of applause! merry christmas! thank you! thanks to our service members. hey! high five! ♪[music] >> first lady michelle obama ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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steve >> first lady michelle obama welcomed military families to the white house earlier this month for the first public viewing of the 2014 white house holiday decorations. up next on c-span, we'll show you some of those decorations, followed by remarks from the first lady. >> they notified you in october. >> 106 of us. >> a mother hangs the star on the tree, lost her son in 2010. and you see the tears come down her face. they didn't give me enough kleenex, because i'm -- you don't know, when you come in to volunteer, you have no idea where you're going to be placed. and i think each of us are put
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in a significant place. i have a grandson that was a marine for four years. two of those years, he was in iraq. and he was -- god bless him -- he was shot for the second time, when he came home. that was right after the war was really mean. so when i see them place a -- when i see a child placing his father's star on there or i think, you know, that could have been me. so we all have to respect these gold stars. >> sometimes it's chocolate. gingerbread.
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>> sometimes it's chocolate. gingerbread. >> just made a gingerbread. -- is this made of gingerbread? >> this is dedicated to u.s. service members, as it has been in the past. [applause] >> how are you doing? are you having fun? >> yes. >> excellent. i'm having fun too. [laughter] >> ah, good afternoon, everybody. i'm so pleased to be here. my name is susan.
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i am a gold star sister. last december, i read a newspaper article about a mother, a gold star mother, who had lost her son in iraq. and she had just returned from the white house. she had worked as a holiday volunteer, and that means decorating all the beautiful things that you see here now. what piqued my interest most about what she had been assigned to do was that she was the one that got to decorate the gold star tree, which you've probably already seen downstairs in the entry lobby. and in reading her story, i vowed to myself at that time -- didn't tell anybody else about this, but i thought, i would love to do that. i would love to be a white house volunteer and get to have the same opportunity to honor my brother. my brother was a lance corporal in the united states marine corps. he died in service to our
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country on september 21, 1967, in vietnam. two years later, jed was awarded the congressional medal of honor for his bravery. and i have to tell you, the past week, for me, this has been an honor and a privilege to have been chosen to do this and to be here as a holiday volunteer, decorator. i did indeed get to decorate or help to decorate the gold star tree. and in honor of my brother, it was just -- just a wonderful, wonderful experience. it's been an experience beyond description. and i have to say right up to this moment and probably the rest of the afternoon, i will cherish this always. i know to those of you who have lost a loved one in service of our country, i know the pain that you've felt and i know you
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continue to feel it. we have good days. we have bad days. and we always struggle with that loss. there's one person here today that i'd like to introduce, who has been an inspiration to so many of us and knows about what i'm talking about, this indescribable love that we have for our military, our family members, those that we have lost. and certainly with her foundation, joining forces, which i'm sure you're all familiar with, i would like to welcome our first lady, michelle obama. [applause] >> you notice your kids didn't stand up. [laughter] just so you know, my kids don't stand up either. [laughter] wow. it's good to see you guys.
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you guys are looking really nice! are you going to be able to stay this clean for your parents, you think? we've got some things for you to get messy with in a second. okay? i know! [laughter] you guys look good too. ha ha! welcome to the white house. it's our favorite time of year. and we're just very excited to have you all here. you have talked amongst yourself. you and susan, you just do whatever you want. you're good. by i want to start by thanking susan for that very warm and sincere, authentic introduction. it was really moving to me to hear your story, your path to being here this year. and i want to just thank you for spending the last few days helping to make this house look so beautiful. i think you guys outdid yourself this year. it gets better and better every year. but more importantly, i want to thank you for your service and
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sacrifice as a gold star sister. and i'm so glad you got to decorate the gold star tree. i'm glad you had that experience. but most of all, i want to thank all of you as well for being here. we have with us troops, veterans, wounded warriors from across our military here today to help us kick things off. we've got some tremendous military spouses here. yay for our spouses! [applause] including some of the spouses of our combat and commanders and service chiefs who are here today. [applause] good to see you guys tonight. and of course we have some really fabulous, good-looking military kids here with us today! give yourselves a round of applause! yeah. [applause] i like the hair. yeah, you. [laughter] you!
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but i have to tell you that your presence here today is a powerful reminder for all of us, what this season is really all about. so often we get caught up in the holiday rush, all the plans for the menu, the logistics, the families, the shopping for people, the making your list, checking it twice. sometimes we get caught up in all that. but ultimately, that's not what this season is about. it's really about serving others. it's about giving more than we receive. and it's about showing those we love how much they mean to us. and that's one of the reasons why here at the white house, the holidays are a chance for us to show what our country is grateful for this holiday season. and that's really all of you. all of you, the military families who serve our nation proudly and give us all so much, because we know that too often
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your stories of courage and strength often get lost in the shuffle. and there are a lot of people who don't realize what you all go through. you know, they don't know that military spouses often have to pick up and move their families again and again and again. often at the expense of their own careers. many people don't know that you all are parents and grandparents and siblings like susan who have lost those you love most in the world. and, of course, they don't know about you kids and all that you have to go through. they don't know that oftentimes military kids have to start at a new school every couple of years, which means a tough transition for some of them, although they do it so bravely and they're so smart. but they have to adjust to new classes and new friends and new teammates. and that's not always easy, right? but you guys get it done. but a lot of people don't know
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that. but no matter what you all are going through, this is the thing that really keeps me going, is that you guys always, always step up. so many of you are the ones who are doing all the volunteering, more so than many average americans. you're the ones who are cooking the meals for your neighbors and taking over the carpool. you know, you guys are the ones who are organizing food drives and sending care packages. you guys are the ones who are volunteering everywhere, in your congregations, school fund-raisers, stepping up whenever your family and friends need you. and as first lady, one of my most important missions is to make sure that you feel this country's gratitude for everything that you do. and that's one of the reasons why jill biden and i have worked so hard through our joining forces initiative, because we want to make sure that you guys
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are honored and supported, every single day. and that's why, once again, we are celebrating our military families with our holiday decorations here at the white house. i don't know if you've noticed that again in the east room, as susan mentioned, we've got a tree adorned with ceramic star ornaments trimmed in gold and signed by gold star family members to honor their loved ones. that's how you kick off your experience here at the white house, at the first tree you see. then once again we're giving folks a chance to pledge to serve their community here at the white house in honor of our veterans, military families, because we want to make sure that we're not just honoring these families during the holidays but we're honoring you every single day of the year. and we get a wonderful response every year to those commitments, those pledges. and this year, our official white house tree, the big huge
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tree -- have you guys seen the biggest, hugest tree? have you seen it? i think this is the biggest tree we've had. and this tree is in honor of our men and women in uniform. it is beautiful! we've got a tree that was so big that we had to take the hinges off of the front door and take the doors off, literally, just to get this tree in. can you imagine that? it's huge! the biggest tree ever! but it's beautiful because it has patriotic ornaments and ribbons that read "america the brave" as well as wonderful cards created by children across the country to thank all of you for your service to our country. it's beautiful! and in addition to these really wonderful tributes to our military families, we have some -- a few special touches to really build upon our holiday theme this year, which is "a children's winter wonderland." yes.
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so i wish you could see their faces! they're giving me a lot of personality here! but this year, we've got some new twists. we've got a lot of fun new technologies. we're playing with technology this year. for instance, in the book sellers, we saw the animals, bo and sunny. did you notice there's a beautiful interactive snow scape projection on the east wall? i haven't seen it yet. did you see it? and you can wave your hands around and -- it looks like you're playing in the snow? you haven't seen it? well, i haven't seen it either, so we'll make sure to get that covered. have you seen the animated versions of bo and sunny? i haven't seen those yet either. sunny's eyes move with the motion sensor. i hope it's working. [laughter] but it should be fun. and then we've got a selection of the winners of our 3d printed ornament challenge displayed
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throughout the house. that's something you all can try to find, where those ornaments are. and as always, we have all the wonderful things that make the holiday season at the white house so unique and special. guess how many trees we have here scattered all throughout the white house? >> five? >> 26. i know! it's a lot of trees. we just have one, two, three -- five here in this room. so there are 26 trees all throughout the rooms and the hallways. we have 420-pound gingerbread house. oh! you guys are going to see that, if you haven't. we're going to go over there soon, in the state dining room. and of course, just sniffing, there's the amazing smell of pine that just wafts through the house. that's the best part, really. that really tells you it's christmas. and we can smell it all the way upstairs. i want to thank all the 106 volunteers like susan who traveled from all across the country to help decorate.
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we couldn't do this without them. they come in thanksgiving weekend. they give up time with their families. they come when the tree comes on friday and they spend the next day in the warehouse picking out ornaments. they come here. and they're proud of what they do. they're a little possessive at times, i understand. [laughter] and they also help decorate the christmas trees that are in our residence as well. so we are so grateful. we're grateful for their enthusiasm, for their creativity. they have, as you will see, they have done an outstanding job. the house is just breathtaking! we're so proud and grateful. because of their hard work, we're now ready to open the white house for the holiday season to the 65,000 people who will come through this house over the next month. 65,000 people are going to walk in these rooms where you are. and they're going to get to see all these ornaments. and these visits are going to become beautiful lifelong memories for everyone who gets
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to come by. so, again, we are grateful to the volunteers. we are especially grateful to all of our service members, our veterans, their families. we're truly grateful. we hope you take time to enjoy your time here at the white house and see and touch and smell everything you can and come back for more, if you haven't seen enough. but now we've got a little surprise for you guys. are you guys ready to get up and move? are you gonna come with me? we're going to do some decorating. we've got stuff. i think we may have some cookies or something. >> yay! >> yeah. [laughter] >> yes, ma'am. do you have a question? >> my brother is sick, so... >> she may have to make two of
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whatever she's making, because her brother is sick. >> aw! >> you can make eight. [laughter] you can make as many as you want! so you guys are going to follow me. are you guys ready? i'm going to take your kids. the parents, where are the parents of these beautiful children? are you okay with them coming with me for a moment? you know, really, don't get so nervous, because there's really nothing they can tear up. [laughter] there really isn't. so just don't worry, as long as you don't care if those pretty dresses get a little icing on them. they're going to come with me. maybe you'll get to see bo and sunny. >> yay! >> yeah. anybody afraid of dogs? so i know ahead of time? okay. well, you just stay away from them. okay? anybody else who doesn't like dogs? they're friendly dogs, but i understand dog phobia.
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okay? i'll make sure. i'll look for you. okay? are you guys ready to come with me? let's go! let's do it! we'll be back. we're going to give you guys cookies. we'll give you something. all right! let's go! [applause] >> hey, you guys! >> finish up and make sure you >> did everybody get to doing
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ornament? >> finish up and make sure you get to do an ornament. did you do an ornament? right here at this table, you can make an ornament.
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>> you use the glue. you can shake it on.
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all right, you guys. happy holidays! i've got to go. i've got to go to a meeting. thanks for hanging out! [indiscernible conversation]
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>> house speaker john boehner and other lawmakers participated in the capitol christmas tree lighting ceremony earlier this month. this year's tree is an 88-foot white spruce from the chippewa national forest in minnesota. >> and in keeping with tradition, the speaker of the house, the honorable john boehner, will extend his holiday greetings to you and officially light this remarkable tree in just a few moments. before we get to that big moment, i want to welcome members of congress and distinguished guests. our capitol hill neighbors and those who are visiting our nation's capitol today. thank you for joining us on this cold and wet evening. i'd especially like to acknowledge members of the minnesota delegation in attendance tonight, including senators amy klobuchar, al franken and congressman rick nolan. [applause]
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now this incredible tree has been beautifully decorated with thousands of handmade ornaments, crafted by children and others in minnesota communities as a gift from the land of 10,000 lakes. [applause] and speaking of ornaments, each year, the u.s. capitol historical society presents a stunning ornament to place upon the tree. this year's ornament features a classic capitol design crafted from the marble steps that used to be on the east front of the capitol. at this time, i'd like to introduce a former member of congress and president of the capitol historical society, mr. ron thersen. >> stephen, thank you very much. mr. speaker, members of
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congress. let me add my thanks to this event, this wonderful event, this 88-foot christmas tree, which is absolutely beautiful. and to have the privilege, as president of the u.s. capitol historical society, of adding our annual ornament to the tree with the thousands of ornaments that have been created by the children of minnesota. so, mr. ayers, i would like to present to you this ornament and please ask you to get it on the tree. it's made from marble that came from the capitol. it was removed when the steps were removed on the east front of the house side of the building in 1990. and so thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> all right, sir. [applause] >> thank you so much, ron. for more than 40 years, the u.s. forest service and the architect of the capitol have partnered to bring a christmas tree to the capitol from one of our nation's
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national forests. i'd like to specifically thank all of the dedicated forest service staff, both here in washington and in minnesota, who have helped make this event possible. it's quite an undertaking. and we are always so appreciative of your hard work. in particular, we'd all like to say thank you to beverly carol, who will be retiring after 39 years with the forest service. and beverly has been a part of the capitol christmas tree tradition for 20 years. and we wish you all the best, beverly! let's give them all a round of applause. [applause] joining us tonight is the honorable robert bonnie, representing the department of agriculture. he has a holiday message to share with all of you this evening. mr. bonnie?
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>> it's an honor to be here today, to represent the u.s. department of agriculture and the u.s. forest service. 50 years ago, speaker of the house john mccormick began the tradition of the capitol christmas tree to celebrate the season and share a little holiday spirit. the capitol christmas tree, which annually hails from one of our national forests, is a good reminder to all of us of the importance of conserving our forests and our national resources. the tree is also an example of the american can-do spirit. each year, hundreds of volunteers contribute thousands of hours to help transport to tree from one of our national forests to the capitol. this year's tree comes from the chippewa national forest, established by theodore roosevelt as the first national forest east of the mississippi. the forest is at the headwaters of the river. it contains 400,000 acres of wetlands and lakes and provides
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habitat for sandhill cranes and the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48. the forest has also been home to native americans for thousands of years and contains outstanding cultural resources. that makes today's celebration even more important, because the lake band of ojibwe has played a critical role in partnering with the forest service to bring the tree here. indeed, i'm told there are members of the band here today who are here as children in 1992, when a tree from the chippewa national forest was last selected as the capitol christmas tree. other partners like choose outdoors have also contributed to the long journey the tree has taken. partners like these are vital for all the work we do on the national forest, whether it's conserving and restoring our forest's ecosystems or providing recreational opportunities to millions of people.
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so let's celebrate this partnership and this tree. merry christmas and happy holidays! [applause] >> thank you, mr. bonnie. this tree has been on a tremendous journey. in fact, it's traveled more than 2,000 miles across the country from minnesota. and just a mere 12 days ago, this white spruce arrived here on the west front, where our dedicated team of capitol grounds crew went to work decorating it. and this is the final tree, the final of 34 trees for george rawlings. george, you will be missed as well. didn't the grounds crew do a fantastic job? [applause] and an special shout-out to their leader, ted, the superintendent of capitol grounds, who had the tough task of selecting just one tree from the many amazing trees found in chippewa national forest.
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next, ladies and gentlemen, it's my honor to bring up members of the minnesota delegation to offer their remarks. i have the honor of introducing senator amy klobuchar, who became the first woman elected to represent the state of minnesota in the united states senate in 2006. she serves on the senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry, which has jurisdiction over forestry policy and she was at the chippewa national forest to oversee the harvesting of this magnificent tree. senator klobuchar? [applause] >> thank you. well, hello, everyone. it is so great to see you here. we're so proud of this tree from the state of minnesota. where in the words of our unofficial poet laureate, garrison keillor, a state where the women are strong, right? the men are good-looking, right,
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franken? and all the trees are above average. and this tree is 8 8 feet above average. we're very proud of it. and also we have our delegation here, congressman nolan, as you know. you'll hear from him. congresswoman bachmann, congressman walls. i know if they're not here already, congressman ellison and congressman klein are also very proud of this tree. and thank you, speaker boehner, for being here in the midst. and also, i notice that another leader on the democratic side, hoyer, is also with us today. i'd like to thank our brave ten-year-old boy aaron for being here. we're very excited to have you light up this tree for us tonight. it is so fitting that our state is providing this huge christmas tree from the forest in minnesota. you should know that ojibwe is
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also home to a huge statue of paul bunyan and babe the blue ox. here's a fun fact. it would also take more than four paul bunyan statues to reach the star on that tree. as was noted, i was there at the beginning, when this tree was cut by minnesota's logger of the year, who is a really big guy. i wanted to do it myself, but he took over. this tree then traveled 2,000 miles from the chippewa national forest. and i was at some of the events in minnesota. i was astounded by the thousands of school kids that would turn out just to see this tree. with all the cynicism, we can have sometimes in washington, it makes you realize that the people of this country and the children of this country still care that their tree from their state, one tree in the whole country, is going to be standing in front of this capitol building. from the foresters and the conservationist and the loggers who work together every day to maintain the health, beauty and productivity of our
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forest this tree has come. my grandfather was a miner. when the mine closed down, he was a logger. so i know how hard it can be. but it was all the kids who worked on the ornaments, it was the tribal members' songs and prayers that blessed this tree as it went on its journey. by sharing this not-so-small piece of minnesota here, we're letting everyone know about the natural beauty and cultural richness found in our state. we're letting everyone know why we need them to come to minnesota and experience it for themselves. i'd like to thank everyone who made this possible. we are so proud to have a minnesota tree in front of the united states capitol. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, senator klobuchar. and now, ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce senator al franken, who has been
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serving the people of minnesota since 2009. senator franken? >> thank you. well, thank you for being here, everyone. it's a big honor to have this year's tree from the chippewa national forest, in minnesota. and from the leach lake band of the ojibwe. now, we minnesotans do not like to brag. but our tree is 88 feet tall, tied for the second-largest capitol christmas tree ever, only a foot shorter than the tallest. okay. so second largest doesn't sound much like a brag, but in minnesota, home of hubert humphrey and walter mondale, being second is a brag. 88 feet. [laughter] do you know how many years it takes to grow an 88-foot-tall
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tree? neither do i. [laughter] but i'm sure it took a very long time. what you don't see here are the 70 other trees that were brought from minnesota to washington, d.c., along with this huge one. they're smaller trees. and those trees are scattered throughout offices around the city, including one in my office. and also, minnesota children made 10,000 ornaments to decorate all these trees, because we are the land of 10,000 lakes. actually, we have 11,842 lakes. but that doesn't have the same ring as 10,000 lakes, so we're the land of 10,000 lakes. thus, the 10,000 ornaments that the children from minnesota
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made. and one of the very popular ornaments that these children made and sent here is called a dream catcher. and you may see one and it's like a circular thing with kind of netting in there. and they're part of ojibwe legend. and they are believed to protect you while you're sleeping by catching all the bad dreams and thoughts while letting only positive thoughts come through. and i think that's a good sentiment for the holiday season. don't you all? don't you all? yes, you do. [applause] i knew. so today, as we light this tree, let us only be filled with positive thoughts and with the joy and love of the season. now, senator klobuchar and i lay
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claim to this tree, because as senators we represent the entire state of minnesota. but this tree comes from the eighth congressional district, which is wonderfully represented by congressman rick nolan. so i guess he can lay claim to it as well, although to a lesser extent. [laughter] so here we have him, our great congressman, rick nolan. rick? [applause] >> well, on behalf of the minnesota delegation, i want to welcome all of you to this wonderfully warm, balmy afternoon. and evening. believe it or not, it was an 80-degree difference change in temperature from the time we all left minnesota yesterday and got here today. but what a wonderful tree this is.
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i would like to thank you for this tree and the wonderful celebration that you have created with the harvesting of this tree, and what is wonderful about this tree, many things, but, you know, with the 10,000 ornaments and lighting that they tell me you will be able to see from outer space once it is let up, speaker boehner, what is really wonderful about it is it is right smack dab in the middle of the capital, and there is nothing even remotely partisan about it. there are no democratic, republican parts of that tree. even though there are branches going out to the left and to the right, and everything in between. what is magnificent about it is
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that it reminds us all that we are one nation, one people. joined together in a common cause, in a common message to the world about the importance of love, peace, liberty, and freedom. and what a great honor it is for us from minnesota to be able to revive this tree at this time. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you so much, congressman nolan, and now it is my pleasure to introduce the speaker of the house, john boehner. speaker boehner has served the people of the eighth district in congress since 1990, and in january 2011, he became the 53rd speaker of the house. tonight, he carries on the tradition of lighting the u.s.
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capitol christmas tree. ladies and gentlemen, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> well, thank you, stephen, and let me thank all of you who are here tonight, and a big thank you to everyone who was involved in making this evening happened. from the architect team to the forest service to the people of minnesota and to the thousands of students who made the declarations -- decorations, all of this, this tree truly embodies the christmas spirit. just as in our dome is in a series of restoration, we are here to begin one of our own. this was much humbler the first christmas, on a quiet night, but it is to these simple men that the angels appear, and announcing that unto you is born this day the city of david a savior, which is grace, the
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lord. the shepherds though just rejoice at the gift, and they go to catch a glimpse of it for themselves. let us now go to bethlehem, they come to one another and say, and see what is come to pass, and once they get there, they share their good tidings with the world. that is what makes christmas so magical. it is a time to rediscover for ourselves the glory of god's love, to see with fresh eyes the beauty of simple things and traditions and to rekindle the hope of peace and goodwill to all, just as lights on the tree shine together to overcome the darkness. so on behalf of my family and the people's house, i wish a happy christmas to all of you and to all a good night. we have now reached that moment that you have all been waiting for, and that is to go back inside.
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[laughter] to help us like this tree this year, we have a special guest from just up the road in maryland. he and the staff are here from the make-a-wish foundation, and they will be spending christmas in new york, so we have asked them to come down here and help us kick off this holiday season in our nations capital. ladies and gentlemen, join me in giving a warm welcome to aaron urban. [applause] all right, aaron, are you ready? let's start. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! [applause] ♪
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♪ ♪ [we wish you a merry chrristmas] >> what i magnificent tree, ladies and gentlemen. thank you everyone for coming tonight to join speaker boehner, the minnesota congressional delegation, the u.s. forest the united states navy
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ceremonial band. and all of us for this year's lighting of the capitol christmas tree. merry christmas, everyone, and good night. [applause] ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ wenceslas] ♪
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[no audio] >> "washington journal coming up on c-span," with the day's headlines and phone calls. president obama the first family will be at the national christmas tree lighting ceremony. the first lady will have a look at this year's white house christmas decorations. later this morning from southern methodist university, a conversation about religion and politics. up next on c-span, "washington journal" with your phone calls. rebecca berg will talk about the 2016 presidential race and potential campaigns of jeb bush and elizabeth warren. boston college professor martha
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bayless on her book on public diplomacy and pop culture in shaping america's image abroad is live on c-span. " is live onjournal c-span. a shot of the capitol christmas tree. thanks for starting your day with us. later this morning, we talked 2016 presidential politics. discussion about pop culture and public diplomacy. we begin with a discussion on the american dream. still attainable and has the definition changed over the years a? we would love to talk to you. give us a call.


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