Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  January 2, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST

7:00 am
plan under a gop-led congress. as always, we will take your calls, and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. "washington journal" is next. >> a shining citiy is all the presidencies from the friend of his ranch where everyone seems to be doing well. but there was another city, another part of the shining city the part where some people can't pay their mortgages and most young people can't afford one. where students can't afford the education they need and middle-class parents watched the dreams they hold for their children evaporate. >> and that was mario cuomo 1984, the democratic national convention, the keynote address.
7:01 am
put him on the national map. we want to begin this morning on "washington journal" by hearing from you on the late mario cuomo , his influence on the democratic party, when you remember about him, etc. host: you can also make a comment via social media. host: mario cuomo 1932-2015 the opening topic this morning on "washington journal." todd purdom writes in politico that he was "the poet laureate
7:02 am
of american literalism -- liberals and, the democratic party's most passionate defender of the underdog and its most articulate critic of the trickle-down gospel of reaganomics. a fiercely proud son of immigrants, he believed, as he once put it, that if he could rise to the highest seat in greatest date of the nation, anything was possible. mario cuomo like to say that politicians campaigned in poetry but governed in prose, and is own accomplishments in 12 years in albany never quite lived up to his highflown rhetoric. instinctively cautious, he effectively waged a holding action against federal retrenchment and once mordantly remarked that his greatest legacy might be building artisans to cope with the waves of arrests spawned by the crack epidemic of the mid-1980's. he scorned bill clinton's philosophy of political triangulation, the idea that the president should play one foot
7:03 am
in the boat and one foot on the dock without wanting up with his tush in the water, as he once described it, yet somehow never managed to set his owns ales fully to the wind. had he accepted the supreme court see that clinton dangled invariably would've written scores of erudite opinions." a bit more of this piece from todd purdum. "he grew up with the reality of anti-scientologist thrown in his face. he graduated first in his class from st. john's university law school but cannot get so much as an interview with a major wall street firm. he had played school he basketball and minor league baseball for the pittsburgh pirates under such monikers as glendy laduke, he was unwilling to remake himself as mark conrad to get the kind of job he deserved." that is from politico, todd
7:04 am
purdum, longtime "new york times ," "vanity fair" writer. here is a little bit more of mario cuomo from 1984. [video clip] >> mr. president, you ought to know that this nation is more a tale of two cities than it is just shining city on a hill. [applause] maybe -- maybe, mr. president, if you visited some more places maybe if you want to appalachia, where some people still live itn sheds, maybe if you want to lackawanna, where thousands of unemployed steelworkers wonder wise we subsidize foreign steel. [applause]
7:05 am
maybe, mr. president, if he stopped in at a shelter in chicago and spoke to the homeless there maybe, mr. president, if you asked a woman who had been denied the help she needed to feed her children because you said you needed the money for a tax break for a millionaire or for a missile we couldn't afford to use -- host: here's the front page of "the new york times" this morning with a long piece on mario cuomo and also this picture. first up is a jacket from providence, rhode island, on our independents line could what you remember of mario cuomo? caller: as your screen or post a question to me, what i remember, i've been around long enough to know that back in the 1980's, my heart goes out to the family
7:06 am
whenever there is a death. you was a very bright, intellectual man but as the course of history has evolved the policy positions have been proven to be incorrect. like one, for example, he was a big proponent of the nuclear freeze. it was the reagan administration's arms buildup that broke the soviet union because their economy couldn't withstand the pressure. secondly, he was a big proponent of the death penalty i reason remember of -- and i even remember a particular case, i think was a man from the state of oklahoma wanted to bring back to execute and he fought them to the nail for that -- choose and the of that, and this fellow was a brutal convicted murderer
7:07 am
. i would find amazing, too, is that he would fight for someone like that and yet the unborn, you kill them immediately and they are innocent. you take a look at his policy positions, they have been proven incorrect. one other thing -- mr. purdum: new york state the greatest state -- i have friends in texas and they would beg to differ. host: just to make it clear that was a quotation from mario cuomo, not todd purdum: him the greatest state. "governor, governor's father and an eloquent liberal beacon." "mario cuomo, who commanded the country with a compelling presence, exhausted rumination about whether to run for president, died on thursday at his home in manhattan. he was 82 years old.
7:08 am
his family confirmed the death only hours after mr. cuomo's son andrew was inaugurated in manhattan for a second term as governor. mario cuomo led new york during the turbulent time in 1983 through 1994. his ambitions for activist government were sorted by recession. he found himself struggling with the state legislature not over what the government should do but over what programs should be cut and what taxes should be raised, singly to balance the budget. mr. cuomo, men with large intellect and often understand personality, celebrated, challenging ronald reagan at the height of his presidency with an expansive and affirmative view of government and a message of compassion tinged by the roman catholicism that was central to mr. cuomo's identity." mike, republican. caller: good morning, how are you? happy new year. condolences, obviously, to the
7:09 am
family. i am not here to condemn mario cuomo. being a conservative and republican, i'm here to debate his policies, i want to make that clear as republicans are consistently labeled evil and mean. that being said, two of the things in that article that stand out about mario cuomo, his being touted as erudite and brilliant and so on and so forth. but he stood hard fast against two of the most successful politicians of the last half of the 20th century in their policies, ronald reagan of the 1980's, fighting the soviets supply-side economics, job creation, economic gdp growth like we had not seen since. but he was against that. that tells you exactly where he is coming from ideologically and what he failed to realize from looking at the data. the second person he was against
7:10 am
was in his policy was the triangulation of bill clinton. the triangular vision of bill clinton in the 1990's, when bill clinton lost the house of representatives to the republicans and newt gingrich in 1994 was what allowed bill clinton to have a successful presidency and allow him to govern. he saw the writing on the wall. so he triangulated, basically compromised him knowing he was not going to get everything he wanted in terms of possibly liberal ideology or liberal policies. and we had another prosperous decade. so that tells you everything you wanted to know about liberalism. thanks, happy new year. host: former president bill clinton sent out a tweet following the death of mario cuomo. "saddened by the passing of mario cuomo, and passionate public servant and the embodiment of the american dream." meridian, mississippi, on our democrats line. hi cecilia. caller: hi.
7:11 am
listen, i think he was a very reputable man. he had compassion for those who were underprivileged. it is the same thing with obama. i believe that the lord has a special place for you if you care for the people who do not have. the reason i say that -- they say ronald reagan, say he was great. there was nothing great about ronald reagan. probably t -- ronald reagan was the start of this great recession we had. trickle-down economics, 1% can get all the money and rest of us are struggling. thank god for obama and people like cuomo right compassion where it counts. when you do for the least of your brothers, you do to me and thank god for obama for getting us out of this mess, and they will never give us credit. and i think cuomo would not have
7:12 am
been like the other democrats that have been running -- they were too scared to say all the accomplishments that he had achieved because of propaganda from the republicans, who said they were likely always in the playground -- like the police in the playground and they won because people became very nonchalant in getting them to vote. host: we will leave it there. edwin christian tweets in -- "he asked of the right questions but the same problems are still here 20 years later. unfortunately, no one listened." back to "the new york times" -- a man of contradictions who enjoyed socratic arguments with himself. 'what an ugly business this is,' he liked to say. yet he reveled in it, proving himself an uncommonly skilled politicians and sometimes improve this one is sometimes a ruthless one. he was a tenacious debater asked the leading speaker at a time
7:13 am
when political order he seemed be shrinking to the size of the television set. delivering the keynote address at the 1984 democratic national convention in sanford is go, the eclipsed his party's nominee former vice president walter mondale, seizing on reagan's description of america as 'a shining city on a hill.'" the opening video clip that we should was "democratic typical class envy message could usa is about equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. there are differences in people." joe in mansfield, pennsylvania, republican. caller: good morning. i'm under the weather so i hope you understand me. back when mario was making those speeches, i was a young criminal defense attorney in manhattan -- actually, in all of new york but that is what he was, too.
7:14 am
when he campaigned, he said "i'm only going to tax the rich." that was his mantra to everybody. i was 29 years old making 44,000 dollars a year which meant you were doing good because you are making more than your age could he hit me good on taxes. there was nothing really compassionate about him. he was a straightforward politician period. host: joe, did you continue being a criminal defense attorney? caller: no, i just retired a year ago. i was actually on the homicide panel in new york. i knew a lot of people who knew him and i remember stories about him and joe hynes on court street are going the girls t -- ogling the girls. host: president obama put out a
7:15 am
statement -- "an italian american kid from queens born to immigrant parents, mario. his faith in god and faith in america to live a life of public service and we are all better for it could he rose to be chief executive of the state he loved, a determined a champion of progressive values and an unflinching voice for tolerance inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity. his own story taught him that as americans we are bound together as one people, and our country's success rests on the success of all of us, not just a fortunate few." john is coming in from pennsylvania independent line. caller: morning peter. yeah it was unfortunate that he didn't run, because he talked the talk, and lots of us were expecting him to run. and he decided not to. those are pretty good -- that was a pretty good black mark
7:16 am
against him. he liked to talk about things but he did not want to get in there and duke it out. as far as republicans talking about how wonderful reagan was with the economy and clinton with triangulation, that is what put us in this mess we are in it now -- falling revenues for the government, the gross inequality that we have. cuomo was a voice against that. republicans continue to operate in a fact-free zone about economic matters. host: michael tweets in -- " mario cuomo, possibly the last of the old-style democratic politicians. r.i.p." back to "the new york times" -- "he may be remembered more for the things he never did than what he accomplished. his designs for the presidency -- on the presidency became just flirtations. he encouraged president clinton
7:17 am
to consider him for a seat on the supreme court but pulled back just as the opera was about to be made in 1993. for all his advocacy of an activist government, he did not always practice it, or could not, because of the fiscal obstacles he encountered in albany. always given to self-doubt and second-guessing, mr. cuomo said that if he had any regrets about his governorship, it was that he never identified himself with a large initiative that i nothing his legacy, as the expansion of the state university of new york was for governor nelson rockefeller." alley in yonkers, democrats line. caller: good morning, first of all. thank you for taking my call. i remember gov. cuomo as compassionate person, someone cared about the little man and supported the little man. and i wanted to make a comment. anybody -- in my opinion -- who
7:18 am
speaks truth to power never actually goes for public office. i think mario cuomo would've been one of the greatest presidents we never have -- we would ever have. and the president we have today. i will not say much more. i just want to say that. and i wish more people like former gov. cuomo would it take a stand and run for office is like president. again, i want to give my condolences. i think he did a great job for new york. and i'm not so much about liberalism or anything. he is just a person i believe had a good heart. host: thank you sir. in 2009, gov. cuomo was a guest in the distance-learning class here at c-span, a class taught by steve scully. he talked to various students from around the country -- purdue university one, george mason point of that class as well. here is a little bit from that. [video clip]
7:19 am
>> the most basic principle in politics and political theory, i think, is the multiplying of people and creating strength through joining people, people becoming groups. if you just study the history of man, it is what happens. the most primitive creatures learned that they do better if they can come together in groups and clans they needed one another. . they had child raising to deal with. women were the ones who produced the children for the most part in the very beginning. they needed help, at least in early stages. they needed hunters and gatherers, etc. you look at the development of society, and after a while the grouping of people got larger and larger and they got into
7:20 am
large families and then villages and then cities and then states and then here we are now. and so it is a central idea that to maximize your situation politically, to make things better for everybody, you have to learn to come together. host: congressman charlie wrangle -- here is his tweet. "in passing of governor mario cuomo today, we lost a giant of new york and a great american patriot. rest in peace." a little more from "the new york times" -- he helped to more than a few positions that went against the grain. wmost prominent was his opposition to the death penalty and unpopular view that contributed to his defeat by ed koch in the 1977 mayoral primary
7:21 am
in new york and that nearly derailed his first bid for governor. his annual veto of the death mostly -- the death penalty became a rite. he was similarly resolute when he defied his church in 1984 by flying to the never see if notre dame to proclaim that roman catholic politicians who personally oppose abortion, like he did, could appropriately support the right of a woman to have an abortion. mr. cuomo whose torturous deliberations about whether to seek the white house led pundits to call him hamlet on the hudson, for the decision off until 90 minutes before the 5:00 p.m. filing deadline. then he emerged from the executive mansion to announce to a news conference at the capital that he would not run." tom in daytona beach, florida, democrats lien. good morning. caller: good morning good i
7:22 am
think mr. cuomo was one of the most compassionate people. you really care for the people who have less -- he really cared for the people who had a less. i also really enjoyed his challenges to ronald reagan. with ronald reagan, everybody needs to remember one thing -- he was an actor. he knew what to say and how to put a face to it. when he was president he make things look so much better than what they were. and triangulation -- the guy called in talking about triangulation with bill clinton -- let's remember what that triangulation -- in other words bill clinton gave in to the republicans in congress. it brought us nafta. that is what it brought us, that trying to relation. and it was -- that triangulation . and it was a republican idea and a republican bill could all you republicans out there who want to talk so much about bill
7:23 am
clinton and nafta, remember, it was republicans who brought it to us. host: tom in daytona beach. sandy beach treats in -- "the old fullback for all liberals always admired for their good hearts and good intentions when their policies are proven failures." tony is a republican in north carolina. caller: yeah, hi, how you doing? i'm an 80-year-old italian-american. i used to live in long island, first in brooklyn. he drove me out of the state. he raised my property tax from $2000 a year to almost $20,000 a year. i retired in 1991, and now i'm living in north carolina. he drove me, my three brothers and two sisters out of the state , out of business after i'm tired, small business -- after i retired, small business.
7:24 am
i couldn't even support the business. he would just tax you to death. that is why i am living in north carolina now, because of him. i wouldn't give you five cents for that guy, because he did it all over the state and the poor people suffered the most with him. thank you. host: tony in a north carolina. representative pete king, republican of new york, his tweet -- "all who knew mario cuomo were better for it. my thoughts and prayers are with the cuomo family. rest in peace." "new york times" -- "mario matthew cuomo was born in queens on june 15 1932, the fourth child of andrea and immaculata cuomo. his parents, penniless and unable to speaking this, had come to the united states from the province of salerno, south of naples, said ayling at first in jersey city -- settling at first in jersey city.
7:25 am
the family had moved and opened a grocery store. mario worked at the store and on saturdays served as the shabbos goy for an orthodox synagogue of the street, providing services as a non-jew that the faithful were not alone to do for themselves on the sabbath. south jamaica provided him with a career's worth of anecdotes. he signed a contract to place in her field -- to play centerfield for the class d brunswick pilots in georgia in 1952, reportedly receiving a $2000 signing bonus sizable for that time. mr. cuomo plays hard and will run over you if you get his way, pa pirates scout wrot'se baseball career. for a weekend forced to give up the game, leaving with a .244 batting average.
7:26 am
he majored in line american studies, english, and philosophy. by then he had settled on a law career and married matilda, is a a fellow student. on a scholarship you enrolled in st. john's law school. while he studied there, his wife, who survives him supported them as a teacher." we are talking about mario cuomo. caller: good morning. it is a shame that republicans keep identifying themselves by conservatives, liberals radicals, as opposed to a person being a good person. it is a sign of their political affiliation. mario cuomo was a good man. i'm in very briefly -- i met him very briefly. i am italian myself. he was the most gentle, kind, soft-spoken gentleman. i remember him very, very, very well even though of course you
7:27 am
wouldn't remember me. nevertheless i give my most deep condolences to his family. we have lost a very, very good man. thank you. host: thank you, sir. rick from annapolis, maryland. hi, rick. caller: hi. i just wanted to say that when both clinton -- when bill clinton was caught on tape talking to gennifer flowers, he disparaged mario cuomo, saying he had mafia ties. after that, he appointed andrew cuomo as an assistant secretary of hud. and then as secretary of hud as payback. when you hear bill clinton's comments this morning, it is kind of sad. thank you very much. host: thank you for calling. 202 is the area code
7:28 am
host: if you want to join our conversation this morning on mario cuomo could we have 2 other segments on the "washington journal" this morning, and that our final segment we will be talking about immigration and the naturalization test. that is what is coming up in the program. here is a little bit more from "the new york times." "he displayed a restless intellect and a love of learning. she liked to citg -- he liked to cite the french theologian and jesuit priest chardin, who wrote that endeavors should be based not on personal ambition, which can be a sin, when on a desire to contribute to the greater good of mankind and god. there were other clues to mr. cuomo's manner. his precise parsing of an
7:29 am
argument suggested indecision or even disingenuousness and sometimes ridicule. once, while fencing with reporters, he walked himself into the unlikely position of denying that the mafia existed. 'you're telling me that the mafia is an organization, and i'm telling you that is a lot of baloney.' he might respond to criticism with indignation and frustration, and private with a rage directed and reporters, often expressed in obscenity-laden early-morning telephone calls. the problem comes he said in an interview at the time, was that people were not paying close enough attention to his words." a couple of tweets. "mario was a friend of working people. not so old-fashioned dems, as classic democratics. today's democrats floundered to deliver the same policy message." "we have a very few politicians like mario cuomo, ones that work
7:30 am
for the people, not corporations." we will get back to your phone calls. here's a little bit more from his 1984 keynote address. [video clip] the difference>> the difference between democrats and republicans has always been measured in courage and confidence. the republicans -- [applause] the republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the week are left behind by the side of the trail. [applause] the strong, strong, they tell us, will inherit the land. we democrats believe in something else. we democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact, and we have more than once. [applause]
7:31 am
ever since franklin roosevelt lifted himself from his wheelchair to lift this nation from its knees, wagon train after wagon train, the new frontiers of education, housing, peace, the whole family aboard constantly reaching out to extend and enlarge that family lifting them up into the wagon on the way black and hispanics and people of every ethnic group and native americans, all those struggling to build their families and claim some small share of america, for nearly 50 years we carried them all to new levels of comfort and security and dignity, even affluence. and the member this -- remember this -- some of us in this room today are only here because this nation has that kind of confidence. host: now, if you go to the c-span website, you can type in
7:32 am
up in the search function of the top, type in "mario cuomo" and find that he appeared on our network 96 different times. in case you are interested in seeing some of those appearances beyond what we are showing you today, type that in. once again, here are the numbers on the screen could we have about 15 minutes left before our next segment. we want to take your calls on mr. cuomo and what you remember. host: back to "the new york times" -- here's the conclusion of adam nagourney's front-page obituary. "mr. cuomo's remaining years in albany were a series of grim footnotes as he struggled to keep the government afloat in worsening times. mr. clinton was on the verge of naming him to the supreme court when he asked that his name be withdrawn.
7:33 am
mr., later said he never wanted the job. when the 1994 election season began, he seemed unaware of how much his popularity had eroded. he was stunned, he said, that someone like mr. pataki could pose a serious challenge to someone with his credentials. mr. protecting defeated him by five percentage points. mr. cuomo returned to manhattan to work for a law firm, write books and give speeches. he grew wealthy and come he said happy. when invited to sum up his own life for this obituary come he characteristically turned to self-deprecating humor. 'people ask me what i want as an epitaph.' he then her pride he had used many years earlier traveling across upstate new york -- 'a a fresh public figure displayed astonishing potential.
7:34 am
he tried." another story coming out this morning includes this from politico -- "chicago could lose out on presidential library." "the two proposals to establish the obama presidential library in chicago face obstacles. the barack obama foundation is major concerns about the proposals coming from the university of chicago and the university of illinois at chicago, sources close to the foundation first told 'the chi cago tribune' and 'chicago sun-times' on tuesday." "dem's aide to the blogger to scali speech to white supremacistsse."
7:35 am
"democrat gilda reed, who lost by 50-plus points to scalise in a special election to an open house seat in louisiana, tells the new service that she didn't reveal her knowledge that scalise spoke at an event hosted by the european-american unity and rights organization, founded by david duke. 'i was running in a district with a lot of bigots,' reed told bl reuters. her son and campaign manager decided to reach out to blogger lamarr white jr. since sunday's reporting on the speaking engagement, house gop
7:36 am
leaders have rallied behind scalise, who has apologized for speaking to the supremacist group. cedric richmond said 'i don't think steve scalise has a racist bone in his body.' but other democrats have been highly critical of the majority whip and one lawmaker has called for him to resign his post in the gop leadership team." a little bit from "the hill." back to your calls on mario cuomo. david, republican line. caller: good morning. i just wanted to get a little bit of the eulogy. you showed mario cuomo speaking two minutes ago about everybody joining together and collective. that is the mentality of the left. new york is still struggling with that.
7:37 am
the largest administrative class in the united states, all that still there. and that is about where it goes with that. the good intentions are there and we know what the road to hell is paved with. that is my comment. thank you very much. host: from "the hill" newspaper "jeb bush donates $10,000 to fund for families of the slain new york officers." he he and his wife have donated to the tunnel to thomas foundation. -- tunnel to towers foundation. james is in oxon hill, maryland. you are on "washington journal." happy new year. caller: happy new year, and thank you for taking my call. my comment is not about
7:38 am
political affiliation. my comment is simply about the man. in the bible it says that the steps of a good man were ordered by the lord. cuomo was a good man. may he rest in peace. host: "wall street journal" on a retirement. kimberly strassel writing about tom coburn. this is an op-ed piece. "members of congress and go and many leave washington no better or worse than they found it. if you make a mark, and congress is losing one of them, tom coburn. he doesn't leave stunts or public trent franks, and dohring press corps, or, for that matter, many are doing gop colleagues. mr. coburn didn't do legacy, which is why this rather humble oklahomans will have one. he leads a more informed electorate and a better
7:39 am
republican party, two groups that benefited inversely from is focused on first principles and adhering to the constitution limiting government and protecting individual liberty. he became most known for forcing congress in particular his own his own caucus, to reconcile its actions against those principles. his long-term efforts to decode the federal government's luminous reports on waste and fraud, demands for more transparency, were likewise and at giving voters the tools they needed to hold members true to these principles. the real key to mr. coburn's success was a skill too little value in washington today, hard work. he was an accountant and then an obstetrician before coming to d.c., and never lost that was that he needed to earn his paycheck. he read every word of every report his staff gave him and
7:40 am
sent it back with typos circle. he would read every bill and objected if you wasn't given the time to do so before a vote. he would dive into monstrous sections of the federal government -- the budget, veterans affairs, disability payments, the tax code -- and not reemerge until he knew it front to back. he was a policy innovator particularly on health care. mr. coburn was elected to a second senate term in 2010 and vowed to abide by self-imposed term limits. he sat health concerns and is leaving early. but he has no regrets. this citizen-legislator had a full life before congress and he is brimming with plans for life after congress. if those new incoming republicans senators are looking for a model, this is their guy." here's the front page of "usa today."
7:41 am
"the new year is ringing and higher gas taxes in five states, the legalize pot into two states, and an assortment of other state laws on issues from undocumented immigrants drive to dogs who eat in restaurants. the biggest rising gas taxes is in pennsylvania, at 9.8 cents. it is followed by virginia, 5.1 cents, maryland, 2.9 cents north carolina, one cent, and florida, point three cents. new york, nebraska, vermont west virginia, and kentucky have enacted small gas tax reductions, according to the institute. legalize possession of marijuana takes effect in alaska february and oregon on july 1. they join colorado and washington, which have legalize
7:42 am
pot use. about 2.4 million lower this will get raises of up to one dollar an hour because of greece in the minimum wage in 20 states and the district of columbia to an average of eight dollars an hour. in california, more than one million undocumented immigrants become eligible to apply for drivers. illinois area of its private employers with 15 or more employees from asking about a job applicant's criminal history before a personal interview or conditional job offer. new york bars consumers from tossing out computers tvs videogame consoles, and other electronics with their curbside trash. and in california, dogs who like to dine out with their owners get a break. in a partial lifting of the ban on pets in restaurants the state will permit dogs on our patios if restaurants are willing to have them."
7:43 am
that is the lead story this morning in "usa today." want to also read you this editorial from "the washington times" this morning. "an unlikely gift from the national security agency." "it happened again last week come when everybody else was busy with ribbons and wrapping paper and rushing out to do last-minute panic shopping. the folks at the national security agency busy themselves with a data dump of a devoutly hoped nobody would see, reading closely. the american civil liberties union had earlier filed a lawsuit citing the freedom of information act to gain access to the nsa's quarterly reports as required by law for the president's oversight intelligence point. the nsa greeted agency keep and release the reports rather than
7:44 am
having a court ordering them to do so. the reports were released at 1:30 p.m. on christmas eve, when the agency knew that most reporters would be looking for cookies and christmas cheer, not a decade's worth of previously withheld bureaucratic prose. interesting as the substance buried within might prove to be with further study and analysis, the carefully calculated release would minimize coverage by the newspapers and the television outlets. it was a bad the nsa would win. the news shows on the sunday following christmas didn't touch on them, and there were few if any headlines reporting that contrary to assurances earlier given under oath to congress, nsa officers did in fact use the power and authority of the agency to spy on the innocent and unsuspecting. the report verify, for example that in at least a dozen cases nsa employees spied on the files of husbands, wives, governments, boyfriends, and maybe even little children. the curiosity of government snoops and spooks knows no
7:45 am
bounds, particularly if there is a scent of sex and money." that is a little bit from "the washington times" editorial this morning. coming up, we will talk about what the ceo of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund on police fatalities, our topic, and then we will talk about america's infrastructure and then we will take the naturalization test after that as the "washington journal" continues. >> here are some of our featured programs you will find this holiday weekend on the c-span networks. saturday night on c-span, from the explorers club, apollo 16 astronaut charlie duke, the youngest man to walk on the moon. sunday at 8:00 on "q&a," the
7:46 am
president and ceo of the national council of la razea. on c-span2 saturday night at 10:00, on "after words," "meet the press" host chuck todd on obama's performance in office. then sunday, "in-depth," talkshow host tavis smiley. on c-span3 saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern opening remarks by house speaker's tip o'neill, newt gingrich, dennis faster and nancy pelosi. sunday, we will hear from senate majority leader's byrd, howard baker, bob dole and george mitchell. find our schedule at cspan.org and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. join the c-span conversation.
7:47 am
like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. the 114th congress gavels in this tuesday at new eastern. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2, and track the gop-led congress, and have your say on the events on the c-span networks, c-span radio, and cspan.org. new congress, best access on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: craig floyd, chair and ceo of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, how many policemen lost their lives in the line of duty last year -- or this year? guest: 126 federal, state, and local officers lost their lives in the line of duty. the sad part of that number, peter, is that is 24% increase over the prior year, and
7:48 am
especially troubling in 2014 was the number of offices shot and killed. that number was 50, that number is up 56% over the prior year. many of those were ambushed-style attacks cold-blooded assassinations of law-enforcement officers in the country. host: of course we know about the case in new york, but what are some other examples? guest: las vegas, nevada, back in june, two police officers sitting in a restaurant and having lunch and a man and a woman walked up to them and they walk past the other customers and walk right into those two police officers and shoot them at point-blank range, killing both. the husband and wife self-proclaimed sovereign citizen types. they hated the united states government. they view the government as their enemy and who is the most visible and vulnerable symbol of government in america? of course it is the police
7:49 am
officer in uniform, and they can become targets of those who have a hatred of government. that is one of the most vivid examples. we saw something more recently, other than the new york city attacks just to your -- just two weeks ago could in pennsylvania, a state trooper shot by sniper hiding in the woods. this was a man, again after months of eluding capture, and the evidence points to the fact that he also hated the united states government. had never any contact with the trooper or the trooper he seriously injured but he targeted them because of what they represented. host: mr. floyd, you talk about the 126 you lost their lives this year, but when you look at the chart over the last 50 years or so, it is really down from some of the peaks, especially in the 1960's and 1970's, all the way up through the early 2000's.
7:50 am
guest: in the 1970's, one of the deadliest decades in law enforcement history, the only decade where we had more officers killed was the 1920's, the heart of prohibition, a very dangerous time for law enforcement. in the 1970's we were seeing a lot of again, antigovernment sentiment, war protests, civil unrest in major areas, and law enforcement officers were being targeted. we lost 230 officers on average each year in the 1970's. and then something started to happen that made it safer for officers. number one, bullet resistant vests started to be used by officers. those have saved about 3100 law enforcement lives over the last three decades. in the 1970's, not worn very frequently by officers, and that made a difference. also, training has changed immensely. we have swat teams that deal with potentially deadly situations. in the old days it would be the patrol cops who would have to go in take care of a hostage or
7:51 am
barricade situation or choose a gun man into a darkened -- chase a government into a darkened building. now you call in a swat team, highly trained professionals highly equipped with the latest weaponry and protective gear. they can deal with those situations in a safer manner. you add that to the fact that better emergency medical care certainly has made a difference, so when an officer is injured they can be saved today where in the 1970's and earlier they couldn't. another great innovation that has made it safer for officers tasers stun guns, and less lethal weapons. i was doing a ride along in minnesota not long ago and an officer had a stun gun. i asked him about it because i'm a big proponent of tasers and i said what is your expense? he said, "other than my most
7:52 am
lethal of it, this is the most effective increment i have. i engaged in hand-to-hand combat with an existing felon at least once a week. since i've used this taser over the last week, not one single incident of hand-to-hand con mbat," which can obviously be a dangerous situation for an officer. unfortunately, after two years of major declines, we now see a major uptick in 2014 and that is particularly troubling. host: and that is what we are talking about this morning with our guest, craig floyd of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund. we have set aside our fourth line this morning for law enforcement officers. we would like to hear from you as well. host: mr. floyd, when you look at some of these numbers hearing from you and what has been going on, is there a disconnect between the american
7:53 am
public and law enforcement today? guest: i think without question, and there is reasons for it. first of all, there is a great statistic that i often cite -- only one out of five americans 20% of us, have any contact at all with a law enforcement pr professional. most of those contacts are traffic stops, not a particularly positive experience. fewer than 10% of the american populace has any positive interaction with a law enforcement professional. most people gain our impressions of law enforcement from what we see in the news, what we see on television or in the movies. unfortunately, what is often sensationalized and exaggerated really, is the use of force by law enforcement. there is i think a very important educational moment we can have here. the 40 million-plus contacts that officers have every year with the general public, whether it be a traffic stop, call for
7:54 am
service, you name it, forces you to use or threatened by law enforcement -- force is either used or threatened by law enforcement less than 2% of the time. and that is force of any kind, not just lethal force. what we see on tv, what we hear on the news -- certainly lately we have heard a lot about officers firing their weapons and shooting, killing or injuring innocent suspects -- the bottom line is most officers will go their entire career without ever firing the weapon in the line of duty. people just don't understand that, they don't realize it. most of us that don't have regular contact with a law enforcement professional don't understand the value, the importance of why police do what they do, how they are trained to do what they do. as a result of that lack of knowledge, i think too often we jump to conclusions, we are quick to second-guess and criticize the actions taken by law enforcement.
7:55 am
our job as the national law enforcement memorial fund is to educate people, to impress upon them that there are 900,000 men and women out there wearing the badge, going out every day putting their lives and risk for our safety and protection. most of them are doing nothing but helping people in need enforcing the laws of our nation but doing so without having to use force, and they do a great job. they are highly trained, highly educated professionals. it is much to her today in the law enforcement community than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago, and these men and women deserve a lot more credit and gratitude than they receive them the general public. host: lead editorial in "usa today," "track all civilian that's at the hands of police." "usa today" found that "only 750
7:56 am
law enforcement agencies report civilian deaths by police." do you think they should be required? guest: here's the issue -- and i think some knowledge would be helpful in this discussion. all reporting of crime is voluntary, and most of them do report to the fbi, which is largely the agency that keeps track of crime in the united states to the fbi also keeps track of what they call justified homicides at the hands of law enforcement. so yes, those numbers may not be precise, just as our violent crime figures may not be precise, but largely they tell you what the trend is. unfortunately, the trend in the last five years has been more justifiable homicides by law enforcement over each of the last five years. and i think when you couple that number with the fact that officers are using less lethal weaponry at for increasing numbers, we have to ask the
7:57 am
question of why does that. part of the answer to that is, number one, the response time between a violent crime, the commission of a violent crime and that officer on the scene. we have technology today like shot spotter in the district of columbia and other major cities where a system captures the sound of a gunshot and officers can be on the scene almost immediately, which means there is a much more likely chance you are going to confront that armed criminal. and there probably will be an armed confrontation. so that is part of it. in new york city, what did we see? we saw these two officers who were assassinated who were sitting in their squad car. they were moved from a less crime area to a higher crime area, and they were saturating the area with other officers. they were putting themselves at greater risk by being were typically the violent crime was being committed.
7:58 am
officers closer to the violent crime, there is going to be more of a chance that they will be confronting an armed criminal. i think these are some of the reasons -- also, there are much more cold-blooded, brazen criminal elements that officers have to go against. the numbers may not be as high as they used to be. part of that is g ang-related. we have made some dents in the drug wars and the gang wars. for the criminals they confront often don't think twice about shooting the police officers and the officers have to use deadly force. host: craig floyd is our guest. we have set aside our fourth line is moaning for law enforcement -- this morning for law enforcement. we will begin with a call from clark in wisconsin, democrats line. caller: good morning. i would like to know, do you have the statistics for the number of unarmed persons killed
7:59 am
by police as well as the number of police killed in duty? i would also like to mention that the 2 in las vegas -- there were killed by two people who had spent time at the bunny ranch -- bundy ranch, and it only made the new cycle -- what is the difference between that and this? guest: i think, clark, a couple things. i don't have the precise figure of unarmed suspects that were shot and killed by law enforcement officers come up but i will say that that number is a small fraction of the numbers that we talked about earlier of the justifiable homicides by law-enforcement. i think it is clear, especially in today's news environment that whenever an incident does happen where there is an unarmed suspect that was shot and killed by law enforcement, we are going
8:00 am
to hear about it on the national leaders, and certainly we have heard about a couple of those incidents recently. certainly, the michael brown case in ferguson missouri, the eric garnerthose are the highest profile cases we are talking about. when it comes to the two assassins in las vegas, you are right, they were on the farm. they were the sovereign citizen types. beyond that, i think they news cycle for that particular case was somewhat short-lived. unfortunately, two officers lost their lives in a cold but it fashion. that is probably a store that should have gotten more attention. host: a republican from north carolina. caller: good morning. i do not want to bring politics into this, but the last guy did, so let's go there. you mentioned that these people,
8:01 am
a lot of people who are killed the cops are antigovernment types. everyone runs to the tea party type people, but it is the opposite of that who is getting the cops. bill ayers, he is a total leftist and he was one of the guys in the 1960's and 1970's who -- if you did not directly kill and blow up cops, he certainly indirectly did. he has ties to obama. can you talk about that? guest: we are not here to discuss politics necessarily or civil rights or democrats versus republicans. i will say that when it comes to law enforcement, one of the things that i found during my 30 years of heading up the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, law enforcement is a profession that darn support from all sides of the aisle. whenever we go to congress for
8:02 am
support, whether it be a conservative republican or liberal democrat, we have gotten it. we can all agree on one thing. safe communities. if we do not have and cannot live our lives safely, cannot enjoy our cherished freedoms, then this would not be the greatest nation on the earth, which clearly it is. politically, we are one of the organizations, causes, supporting law enforcement promoting their safety, honoring the fallen. there is just no difference between any side of the political spectrum. we can all rally around law enforcement, in rally in favor of safe communities, and rally against lawlessness. that is what we need to do. shown down the rhetoric. whether -- tone down the r hetoric. public safety is a partnership. it involves law enforcement as
8:03 am
the front lines in the war against crime. a requires the cooperation support of the citizens that law enforcement says and protects. host: law enforcement from alpine, california. what is your role? caller: i'm retired now. my heart goes out to the officers killed in new york. i wanted to say, you want to go ahead and stay away from politics. a lot of people should not forget what goes on on the other side of the shield. most officers are working 12 to 16 hours a day. they worked nights, weekends holidays. it is horrible on the relationships -- i know few police officers or deputies who have not gotten a divorce. people tend to forget that that is a hard job. burnout happens. i think the national rate is between six to eight years.
8:04 am
most people, especially when the economy is that, they want to lease out -- flash out at the government. police officers are the first target. i would like the media talk about what is going on with the officers. i have a lot friends and law enforcement who are still there. i am supportive of them and pray for them because the longer the recession goes on, the more people tend to lash out at the police. host: how long were you in law enforcement? caller: from 1997 to 2012. i got myself blown up in iraq so i was forced to retire. you will find that there are a lot of officers over the past 15 years who lost -- who served in the national guard, so plus law enforcement duties, they are on reoccurring deployments in the middle east. a lot of these people are struggling to keep their families together and pay the
8:05 am
bills. host: thank you, let's get a response. guest: thank you for your service. i fill your example is typical of our law enforcement professionals. you care about people, keeping this nation secure and strong, so not only did you serve in the war against crime at home, but also in the war as a military member, and we appreciate that. we salute that service. that is typical of so many officers who joined law enforcement because they want to help people, because they care about this nation and what it stands for. you raise good points, which is that people do not appreciate the wear and tear on human life when you become an -- a law enforcement professional. the suicide rate among law enforcement officers is much higher than the norm. typically when you retire, your average life span is about five or six years after retirement.
8:06 am
a lot of officers die soon after. that is because the lifestyle of an officer, different shifts sometimes working nights or days, your sleep patterns are totally upset. you do not eat healthy a lot of the time because you do not have the opportunity. the stress and the job responding to an automobile crash and seeing mangled bodies serious injuries, deaths. having a peaceful moment for much of the day, but all of a sudden you get an armed robbery in progress call, or a murder/around the corner -- a murder suspect around the corner , your heart goes up to 180 beats per minute. this is a lot of stress. some of it is long-term that could wear you down, sometimes it is sudden stress. that can kill. we had over 800 officers' names
8:07 am
honor memorial who died from heart attacks, sudden stress that killed them on the jobs. law enforcement is a tough job. we do not give our officers enough credit. we owed them and jim a huge debt of attitude. host: what is the national law enforcement memorial? guest: it is one of the three major sites they created in the city of washington around, the other two being the capital and white house grounds. the square was intended by george washington to be the judicial seat of justice in america. so we selected that site for our national memorial. it was dedicated in 1991. a has the names of more than 20,000 officers, federal, state, and local, who made the ultimate sacrifice. it is in the 400 block of e
8:08 am
street northwest washington. it costs around $11 million to build. it was ill with donations from more than one million americans -- builds with donations from more than one million americans. unfortunately, we have to add new names to the memorial every year. it is the unique aspect of our memorial versus many of the others are those wars are ended. the war against crime is never ending, seemingly, and probably will not be during our lifetimes. we will likely be adding more names to the memorial in coming years. host: next call comes from fall in willow springs, missouri, independent line. caller: i would like to ask -- whenever the pressure cooker sure -- cooker bomber set off in baltimore. in four hours, they had the entire city shut down.
8:09 am
they had thousands of law enforcement officers there, who went door to door. from what i could gather, there were three innocent people killed, one a mail carrier. i would like to know why in the city of chicago, whenever the gang bangers start shooting, why do they not just start shooting the city -- shutting the city down and start confiscating weapons. there have been people who got arrested for stolen guns, they do not get anything happen to them. in 2014 in springfield missouri , a homeless man was shot twice in the back. did not have a weapon. he was getting food out of a dumpster. it was called a justified shooting. there was nothing done to the officer about that. there was a 64-year-old woman sitting on her porch who was shot nine times because her neighbors had robbed her house twice and she told them she had a shotgun.
8:10 am
so they called police, the police rolled up to her house, she did not have a gun in her hands. she was shot nine times. it did not make national news. the had a young man who was strong-armed robbery on video, and he is still on the news. how come there is preferential treatment concerning the color of your skin as to whether you are made aware of it on tv or not? host: we got your point, thank you. guest: that raises a hot button issue, especially this past year. we have a lot of incidents that made national news that seem to have some connection to race. i cannot explain why the media covers certain stories and why they do not cover others. one of the points i make you touch on was the criminal justice system in this country. i think it is interesting to
8:11 am
note that about 16 officers per year are killed i criminal -- by criminals who are out on put -- parole or probation for a previous crime. i think there are a certain element of society who are the repeat offenders, those most likely to commit violent acts, not only against innocent citizens but against the law enforcement officers who have to arrest them over and over again. the suspect in the new york city police shooting had been arrested 19 times previously. this was a person that soft identified as a potential cop killer, as a great threat to society, and yet he was allowed to walk the streets of america. i feel there are some who do not -- should not have this right. host: this treat for you. mayor bill de blasio is not
8:12 am
trying to meant anything. he told his oldest child not to trust the police. that is destructive parroting -- parenting. guest: i think we see that a lot. how many times through a drive down the road and the child may be misbehaving, and the parents as if you do that, that police officer, i will call him over and get you in trouble. as parents, we have an obligation to teach our children to respect law enforcement. that the officers that serve us are there to help us. they are the good guys. they are the people we turn to in times of need. the chief of police in new york she said i view our police cars the cruisers that patrol the city as billboards for the city of washington. that's a person has a problem of any kind, they should know that
8:13 am
they if do not know who else to turn to, go to the police officer. they will find a way to help you. that is the attitude that i think all of us as parents respectable citizens -- that is the attitude we should have that the officer is there to help us. we should turn to them in times of need and we should not be so quick to second-guess and criticize. host: the fact about mayor deblasio's son is that he is half lack. -- black. i do not know if you agree about the phenomenon of driving while black or walking well black and being stopped. is there some fact to that? guest: if you talk to law enforcement professionals, they will say that race has nothing to do with it. it is the criminal element. it is the people that i would hope that a person of color would not view the police with distrust. but i have a different experience. i appreciate that fact.
8:14 am
i get to meet these men and women in law enforcement every day. i get to hear about their heroic deeds, the good deeds they do that often do not get told. i can to you they care as much about any person, no matter what their color is. they are not out there just to help the people you has the same color as themselves. we have to understand that. these men and women are compassionate individuals. we do not give them credit for that. some of them are hardened perhaps for being on the streets and having to do with the drags of our society over and over again. the people who are causing havoc in this country. that said, they are still out there to help people. they will not discriminate based on race. host: the gallup poll from 2011 to 2013, confidence in police, a great deal?
8:15 am
nationally, it is 56%. white, 59% lacks 37%. -- blacks 39%. our fourth line set aside for law enforcement officers. we want to hear your experience. donald, democrat. caller: i would like to know about what he thinks about the four-year-old kid who got shot. i got a lot of respect for police, but the guy got killed in new york city -- and brown in missouri. that cop and for his head. why could he not shoot him for -- should for the leg? he would have fallen to the ground. he went to kill the guy, and i cannot understand that. i have a lot of respect for police, but some, they are bad.
8:16 am
a different way than you are coming out on tv. host: sorry, i thought you are finished. please go ahead. guest: i was going to comment that the situation you're referring to with the 12-year-old larry in cleveland, that was a case where the person had a -- apparently a bb gun, something that was less legal, but it looked -- less lethal but it looked real. and when police got a call about a person wielding a gun and rolled up, they were not able to differentiate the bb gun from a regular gun. as a result, its lobule way was killed -- a 12-year-old boy was killed. there may be learning moments for officers in dealing with similar situations. how can we prevent those kinds
8:17 am
of tragedies from occurring? that is the good thing about law enforcement. they do view those moments as teaching situations, hopefully avoiding in the future through the training that goes on. i like to think that would happen in this case. host: a tweet. granted, a tough job. but do coward cops shoot sooner? guest: i sought a rather chilling video from south carolina. a trooper cold behind a man driving into a gas station. a man of color african-american. the trigger was white. the man -- the trooper was white. the man got out of the car at the gas station. you can hear the trooper on his in car camera asking for his license and registration. the man kind of made a quick move it back into his vehicle as if to grab something, and the officer overreacted, clearly.
8:18 am
he drew his weapon, told the man to get out of the car, get out of the car. when the man came out of the car, he did not have a web in, but the trooper fired several shots, thinking he did have a weapon. the interesting thing about that is that the trooper was almost immediately fired from his job and charged with a crime. yes, i think there are cases where officers perhaps fearing for their own life or the life of others, react in a way that they should not. it is improper. they have been trained to do otherwise. sometimes, all the training in the world is not enough. in that case, proper action was taken immediately. that case will be closely scrutinized moving forward in the -- and the criminal justice system will take over. host: please have mr. foot talk
8:19 am
about the increase in gun sales as it relates to police deaths. guest: increasing gun sales, i think one of the biggest problems we have, and at least 50% of the law enforcement officers in the country fully respect gun rights and do not want to see gun control as the answer to the problem. what they do want, and i think this is it -- an area of agreement across the board tougher penalties for those who do commit crimes using weapons. i get back to the fact that criminal justice has not worked properly and many cases, where there is a criminal suspect who has been convicted or charged with multiple crimes of violence, and yet serve a minimum amount of time behind bars and is back on the streets, posing a great risk to all of us but especially the officers who have to arrest them over and over. guns are part of our country.
8:20 am
let's realize that. the supreme court has weighed in, i do not think it will change anytime soon. there are so many hundreds of millions of guns on the street already that there is no way we could get rid of them even if we wanted to. let's figure out the best way to keep the law-abiding citizens safe, and that is tougher criminal justice for the worst of the worst criminals. host: tony from florida. caller: good morning. i have a question for mr. floyd. what percentage of the police force would be dedicated to traffic division? it seems to me that most average persons and counter police in what seems to be traffic stops where they are a sickly taking -- basically taking our money based on a batch in a gun. they are almost like. snakes in the grass driving
8:21 am
around i lose respect for a police force that does nothing but revenue generation. guest: see what you're coming from. i feel that that is the opinion of many, because their only contact with a law enforcement professional is a traffic stop. but more people are killed on the roadways in the united states than are killed by murders or drugs. when we think, shouldn't the cops be out there chasing the real criminals and not harassing the driving public, i think we all have to realize that the place where we are most at risk is our roadways. it is the officers patrolling our roadways making sure there are no crazy people driving 100 miles an hour down the interstate, they are keeping us alive. the reason they are out there is to try to save lives and keep our roadways safe and not to create revenue.
8:22 am
more officers over the last 15 years have been killed in traffic related incidents than half in killed by firearms. they are under great risk on the roadways as well. responding to high rates of speed, emergency calls, putting their own lives at risk. the number of officers killed by drunken drivers has increased by more than 30% over the last 30 years. they are making it safer for the rest of us but putting themselves at great risk doing so. host: ray is on law enforcement from florida. good morning. caller: how're you doing? i have been retired for 30 years. briefly, i was in a situation once in florida where i worked. i was working at the town, and another officer, we were on a backup call.
8:23 am
we were searching the vehicle and everything. everything seemed to be going according to plan and procedure. the officer that was inside, and need to his right, out of the clear, it stunned me -- he said i would sure like to shoot one of the 'effers'. i am saying that, but you get me. i reported him, and no response. i'll be briefed by wrapping it up. i am a vietnam veteran, and one of the ring i learned in vietnam -- things, i learned in vietnam. i had to treat even given these over there as the enemy, knowing they were all not the enemy, by have to treat them as that to keep myself safe. that is why do today. i do the same thing with locals. i treat the situation as if they
8:24 am
are there to harm he and set of hurt me -- harm me instead of helped me. i do not think they want to be there for my well-being. the exception is what i am wearing about, not the rules. guest: when he talked about this incident, are you african-american? caller: yes i am. i reported to a supervisor. i did not expect anything to be done, and i knew the supervisor probably felt the same way. host: using kilis because the people stopped where black? -- you think it was because the people stopped where black? caller: well, they were. those guys, i do not know why the other officer stopped them, we were just backing them up. everything seemed to be under control. it was just a statement the officer made, next to me.
8:25 am
guest: i think you touch on something we all understand. there are going to be had apples in the lunch and every profession. -- bunch in every profession. police officers are your friends, neighbors, friends. they are just like all the rest of us. some will have biases. unfortunately, that does happen. i would argue that the law-enforcement profession has gotten a lot better than they used to be. it is probably the toughest profession to get into in terms of physical requirements as well as the mental and psychological screening that goes on before an individual can become a law enforcement professional. it is not an easy profession to get into. hopefully we will find the bad apples before they get onto the streets. sometimes that does not happen.
8:26 am
we had been talking a little about the race issue. we had an outstanding opportunity with the martin luther king memorial foundation were we put on a joint project event, called when police shoot: a dialogue on the use of police force. it was an opportunity for the civil rights activists to get together with law enforcement leaders and have a reasonable dialogue about the race relations issue. about the use of force by law enforcement. what came out of that is that we all have a lot of listening to do. hopefully have many more opportunities to have that type of reasonable dialogue. and getting the community working together with law enforcement. that means sensitizing officers who may be need sensitizing if they are not treating the races as they should. if there is bias involved.
8:27 am
we have to find a way to get rid of that. having more opportunities with our organization, the martin luther king a moral foundation, other groups like us, we have to do better. host: harold from east st. louis. caller: good morning and happy new year. i am not one of those guys who hate police officers. i note that they are necessary. -- i know that they are necessary. i have never known any apples to pick themselves. someone outside of the apple basket has to take the run apples out or else the whole task it becomes rotten. why is it that black officers seem to be better trained than white officers? i have never seen a black patrolmen sitting outside a woman, it beating their heads from side to side in the highway in front of people. i have never seen lack officers took a white man to death --
8:28 am
black officers choke a white man to death. why are all these lack officers -- bl reluctant to doa these things -- even one witnesses come forward and say things police have done, that guy used to sick his dog on people. they do not like that shot his dog. and when he's defended his dog big i shot him. he went and joined the police force and got in law enforcement so he could kill people legally. that is the thing people miss -- when we say these things. why are white officers -- host: i fit we got your point we appreciate it. guest: one of the issues is that
8:29 am
the officer does not tend to focus on black on black situations. like they might today, especially with the heightened awareness of the white on back -- black aspect of it. there are fewer black officers then white, so that is part of it. you hit on something that i think is important. how can we build the trust between the community and law enforcement, particularly in the st. louis area. i know trust is probably at all time lows there when it comes to law enforcement. one of the innovations we have is body cameras being used by law enforcement. this is something i think all the law enforcement leadership is starting to get behind. they realize that there is an expense involved, and city governments will have to make the decisions about how much money they want to spend, but
8:30 am
they will start purchasing body cameras more for a lot enforcement -- law enforcement. that will give us a way to determine what actually happened . was excessive force really used or was it just the perception of the witnesses? let's go to the video, see what actually happened, and look at it based on the evidence as opposed to the emotion. body cameras i think will do a lot to restore trust where it has been lost between communities and law enforcement. host: craig floyd, is this an annual report your group puts out? guest: yes. since the memorial was built in 1991, we come out with a end of the year law enforcement fatalities.
8:31 am
it allows us to see the trends and so hopefully we can save lives moving forward. it is also to remind the public that there are many and woman out there -- 900,000 -- you go out every day and put their lives on the line for our safety and protection. we go all of them, at the very minimum, honor and remembrance for their service, sacrifice. we need to support the families that have been left behind and do everything possible to make it safer for those who continue to serve. host: bob from petersburg virginia. caller: these protests going on it bothers me that -- telling these people that there should be restrictions where they should not be able to lock the highways and such, what bothers me is that it does not take it does not take that one step little further to have people in their automobiles
8:32 am
someone gets mad, honks a home because they want to get home. they should not have the right to block peoples' access like that. i do not want to see the logic greater to the point while -- where they will not be protecting people. it seems like there are groups of people that are promoting these protests in the shadows. the gangs and other people that want to see law, just like mexico where the law is really just -- i wonder what your comments are on that? like 12-year-old boy pointing his gun out there i think someone told him to go and do that -- guest: a couple points, isn't it ironic and this is something we lose sight of, is that it is the police who are going out
8:33 am
protecting the rise -- rights of the protesters to protest the police. this is an unusual situation. i remember the moment i saw the riots occurring in egypt, and instead of the police there protecting the right to protest they actually were using tanks against them and causing mayhem as much as the protesters were. more so, perhaps. he reminded me that in the u.s., it does not happen. that the police are protecting the rights of the protesters. protecting their right to express themselves. i think that is why i think the u.s. is the greatest country on the face of the earth. it is an unusual country and that respect. but people do have the right to protest. do they have the right to cause havoc? absolutely not.
8:34 am
that is a discretionary decision made by the powers that be as far as how far these protests can go. certainly when it gets close to harming a human life, that is a line that should not be crossed. i heard one of the baptist ministers in ferguson saying that they do not have raise problems in ferguson, missouri. that immediately after the mayor got together with the black and white ministers and prayed and work together to try to create a better situation moving forward. it was a lot of the outsiders, people who had come to ferguson with perhaps mayhem in their mind, and were out to wreak havoc and use that as an excuse as exposed to the people of ferguson, causing the damage that did occur. i agree that sometimes people are using -- looking for an excuse to cause mayhem and cause damage. host: stephen from illinois, hi.
8:35 am
caller: good morning and happy new year. i was on a rock concert when i was around 18 with a friend of mine. i went to break up a fight. two officers ran to the scene and started to choke me with their bi -- billy club and wrecked my learning -- wrecked my larynx. fortunately, i beat to the cops down to the ground. i am not proud of it, but i think a lot of cops are thugs believes -- bukllies. the kids in high school got picked on. i hear a lot of stories of
8:36 am
people who got pulled over for no reason. -- my feelings about the cops are like most people i know, they do not like them. host: we got that point, has there ever -- ever been an opportunity where you needed to call on the police? caller: i would not call the cops. i do not trust him whatsoever. i would not call a cop, i would call a friend. i do not trust or like the cops. they have never done me any good, to be honest. i am sure they have to other people. but i think of them as bullies. host: this kind of goes back to the disconnect we were talking about. what is your message for him? guest: one thing i would hope that the incident he described where he was apparently choked
8:37 am
in some way by a billy club, that that happened some years ago versus today. today, more cops are using less lethal weapons. while these lethal weapons while they might cause initial discomfort, tougher spray or a taser. it is momentary. no one is injured. one of the thing about tasers is that not only are fewer cops injured when tasers are used by department, but fewer criminal suspects are injured as a result. hopefully in situations like he describes, there may be better ways to handle those situations today rather than earlier on. . i agree. this is an example of people having a negative attitude towards law enforcement. the trust has been broken. it did not sound like
8:38 am
white-black was part of it. i do not know how he drives, but i would hope that he was not pulled over just because he was driving a hot rod. he might have been going too fast for the conditions. whatever the case may be. we need to build the trust. we cannot ignore the fact that there are citizens in our country who do not trust law enforcement. i would suggest that you look at other countries where the law enforcement is corrupt. where it works with a dictator for purposes that are not in the best interest of the citizens of those nations. that is where there are real problems. in the u.s., i would think that the perception of the citizens is that someone and their family was arrested because they were doing something wrong, something that was a threat to society and of course they will have a negative view of law enforcement.
8:39 am
getting pulled over is a negative experience. sometimes cops do not treat us with a smile when they walk up because they do not know if we are a lot abiding citizen or not. they do not know if we just robbed a bank or eight drug trafficker. some officers are killed because they trust the drivers. on officer from maryland had hints in the front car right next to him, trusting him, giving this person the benefit of the doubt. that person was a drug trafficker who pulled a gun and shot him point blank. that is sometimes like cops are not treating us with a take a smile -- big smile. host: last call, monaco from ohio. caller: my sympathies go out to the families of the two police officers that were killed in new york. i believe that the -- deblasio
8:40 am
is being judged harshly. if we see that situations such as what happened in ferguson and in ohio, where i live, happened, than we have a tendency to look at those situations and maybe not trust the policeman. we teased -- teach our children, since people who have been blessed by catholic priests, to watch out, to judge them but wait -- what we have heard. and with teachers having sex with students. we teach our children that you have to think twice with the situations. why would not we when we have situations where black men and children are being shot for no reason because of what somebody thought they saw. why shouldn't we teach that
8:41 am
children to watch out for that where the man was going to get his license and with the 12-year-old play was shot. both those situations, the policeman lied and said something different than what was on the videos. host: thank you. guest: again, i cannot argue with what ever cases that you may have seen and what witness accounts may have. in i would argue that when there is video, and we will see more of it because of the body cameras that officers will increasingly use. we will have more evidence. it will not be he said, she said. it will be this is what happened. hopefully the criminal justice system will work its way and will. once evidence is submitted, i mentioned the case and south carolina when an officer was fired and charged with a crime because of improper actions.
8:42 am
i think that is the way our criminal justice system will move towards. we have to trust the rule of law in this nation. the president said it, i think we can all agree on it. it is what makes us the greatest nation on earth. we have to trust in the criminal justice system, and unfortunately i know there is distrust right now. we have to find ways to fix it and have more reasonable dialogue. we will continue to do our part to make that happen. host: finally this week -- t weet. do police experience long-term ptsd? guest: you are dealing with some of the most unspeakable acts and things you experience in law enforcement just as in the military. i mentioned coming up on it scene, seeing mangled bodies. dead children. this takes a toll on an officer. sometimes it is months later.
8:43 am
i have heard a case where an officer seems find after -- fine after a situation like that, but six months later they will have a ptsd moment, system -- symptom. whenever an officer does use force, especially lethal force their lives are dramatically altered or life. many will not be able to serve in law enforcement any longer. many will leave the job soon after. host: craig floyd, national law enforcement officers memorial fund. thank you for your time. we turn our attention to america's infrastructure in a minute. after that, we look at the naturalization test.
8:44 am
>> the c-span cities tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road, traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. we partnered with time warner cable for eight visit to austin, texas. >> we are in the private suite of linden and lady bird johnson. it was the private quarters for them. it is not part of a tour that is offered to the public. this has never been open to the public. you are seeing it because of c-span's special access. vips come to the space just as stated in lyndon johnson's day. but it is not open to regular public. it is a living breathing artifact. he has not changed since president johnson died in january of 1973. there is a document in the corner of this rim signed by among others the then artist of
8:45 am
the united states and lady bird, telling my successes that nothing in this room can change. we are at the 100 block of congress avenue in austin. just down the block is the colorado river. this is an important historic site because this is where waterloo, austin's predecessor was. waterloo was a cluster of cabins who had it only four or five families. this is where mirabella marr was staying when he and the rest of the men got hurt at the big buffalo thing. in those days, this avenue was just a muddy ripping that led to the capital, and the man just wrote to the -- road into the
8:46 am
midst of this buffalo herd. and he shot this enormous buffalo. he went to the top of the hill where the capital is and told everybody that this is the seat of the future empire. >> watch all of our events saturday at noon eastern on c-span's the tv and sunday afternoon on american history tv on c-span 3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: now here is casey dinges of the american society of civil engineers. we'll talk about the state of u.s. infrastructure. promised much do we invest every year and america's infrastructure on the federal state, and local level? guest: the country is investing about -- i am trying to undo
8:47 am
stats -- we did a series of studies called the failure to act. over the next eight years, the u.s. has a need of $3.6 trillion in infrastructure investment. 2 trillion of that should be met through existing funding mechanisms and funding streams. that leaves a gap of $1.6 trillion over eight years. it is $200 billion a year. on a gdp of dust it is probably manageable for the u.s. host: what is most of this come from? guest: it depends on what sector you're looking at. the interstate highway system was built with a federal gas tax. this will be an issue the upcoming congress gets to look at and we can talk about that more on the show. the top water you get, that is look -- usually a local water
8:48 am
system that you are paying a monthly or quarterly hill to. -- bill to. there are systems we do not even think about. there are a 100,000 miles of levees. most people do not think about it. we even have one in downtown washington. there was a bill last year where the u.s. establish the first national levee safety program. it depends on what section you're looking at who pays and where you pay. host: last year in the report card for america's infrastructure, you are group gave a d+. what does that include? what kind of infrastructure? guest: we look at 16 categories. in transportation, roads bridges, mass transfer -- transport situations, the inland water way systems. drinking water wastewater. energy grid, infrastructure.
8:49 am
without -- we looked at a lot of different categories that establish the foundation for the u.s. economy and our competitiveness. host: aviation, it -- d. hazard waste d. ports, c. public parks and regulation -- recreation, c. what would you like to see done with america's roads and why are they getting a d? we put up the numbers in case you would like to participate about america's infrastructure. host: when it comes to roads, why a d? guest: a significant number of roads are in poor or media give -- mediocre condition.
8:50 am
traffic congestion alone costs american motorists over $100 billion a year in lost time and fuel. 42% of america's major urban highways are congested. just of the highway side -- that includes bridges and mass transit, the surface transportation area -- we are probably investing half of what we should. host: why is waste water, who was responsible for that, why are we getting a d? guest: we have really aging pipes. we have water systems in some cities going back to the civil war, believe it or not. water main breaks are not an infrequent occurrence. happens every two minutes, there is a major water main failure in u.s. cities. it happens around 240,000 times a year.
8:51 am
they are aging systems. i'd heard experts say it is almost a perfect storm in that area for all the systems to be reaching the end of the design life. host: we have heard over the last couple of years, a law about u.s. ridges -- bridges. but they got a c plus. guest: there was more focused after the minnesota 2007 ridge collapse -- bridge collapse. in washington state, it it truck brought down a bridge on interstate five. there are bridges that have physical problems, that percentage has gone down. the average age has gone from 43 years to 42 years. there are data points that suggest there is more focus and improvement. host: aviation, a.d..
8:52 am
-- a d. what is the best -- guest: i think there are only six criteria wrote they were using. aviation still has challenges. they could just be the runways themselves, but the big issue is the air traffic control system. it is a u.s. and global control issue. the next generation technology called the nextgen system, it will take years. it will make it more efficient safe, and fuel-efficient. but this is a tens of billions of dollars investment, multi-year investment. host: we will talk about the international aspect in a minute. casey things is our guest -- cas ey dinges is our guest.
8:53 am
our first two calls are from major cities. robert is in chicago. caller: good morning. happy new year. i love c-span. i am a rare republican and president obama's city of democrats. since harry reid failed to bring all the bills forward in the last couple of years, now that the republicans are in control do you believe president obama will try to take credit for the boom in in for structure that will take place? guest: i hope you're right something big or a boom will take place in infrastructure investment. congress will have a challenge on their hands. the made 31st deadline looms for the nation's transportation programs.
8:54 am
those are paid for by the gasoline tax, which has not been addressed in about 20 years. it was never adjusted for inflation. your comment about harry reid, i am not sure about where to go with that. in the last congress, it was a bipartisan move in the senate that helped pave the way pardon the pun, for a short-term extension on the nation's highway and rage and transit programs. -- bridge and transit programs. david ridder and -- of louisiana and a senator from california the senate was able to reach agreement with the house side. map21, the acronym that is used to describe current transportation programs. in our view of be a wonderful and appropriate and to have a boom. i still think this will be a
8:55 am
heavy lift for it congress and the administration. host: david is from los angeles. caller: happy new year. i am one of the lovers of c-span. my comments goes to the interest -- infrastructure as it relates to social services and undeserved communities -- under served communities. i think the police department in underserved communities have nash -- natural allies, but unfortunately, like the earlier color, they would like to use political issues that lends themselves to the -- decay in our politics and corruption in our dialogue. it is like we cannot seem to get our head around failing systems and bring solutions. these problems are not difficult
8:56 am
to solve or see. the issue as it relates to, i believe, that the political system being so cowardly, it a lot of this stuff goes back to the police department. host: we will leave it there, and i apologize if i am not asking what you want but when it comes to the politics of this , are people willing to pay more money for infrastructure or do they think that it should be shifted? guest: i think if you have a discussion with people and described the problem and the challenges in layout ways to pay for it, i think people are reasonable. typically with infrastructure, the closer it is to home, the better people think about it. look at the bond initiatives that were on state and local ballots. about two thirds or three quarters of those past.
8:57 am
on the state level, there is still support. but we have seen it number of states have asked tax debates. -- gas tax debates. the states are starting to step up on the issue. once you get to the federal level, people have to be willing to understand the important significance that some of these is him's -- systems have to the nation. 160,000 miles on the national highway system, including the interstate system on 50,000 miles. it handles 40% of the traffic. 60% of truck traffic area 80% of tourist traffic. all levels of government are involved. it is not just a federal issue we are talking about. but there is a federal role. if you're thinking about water pollution issues, these are
8:58 am
watersheds that cross state rounders. -- boundaries. they really is a reason for federal involvement. host: large projects take forever to plan and are outdated or inadequate when complete. is there any way we could work smarter there? that is from michael langwiser. guest: that comes up a lot in infrastructure bills. there was a water resource bill that congress enacted this year. the previous transportation bill we talked about, they all have aspects of expedited decision-making. doing reviews in a concurrent way so they are not sequential. you get all the issues on the table up front and tried to move forward. the twitter -- there is a point. it does seem to take us a long time to get rings else in this
8:59 am
country -- things built in this country. most bridges in the country builds now could last up to 100 years. especially new structures like the oakland a bridge which can withstand a major earthquake. that is another aspect of infrastructure. once there is a natural disaster, you rely on infrastructure to help a community recover quickly. these are key facilities. host: steve is in rapid city, north dakota. -- south dakota. caller: you know, it is a fascinating question. i am near mount rushmore. is there an empirical rating scale that they can use to evaluate, like insurance has an assigned risk, to say that this
9:00 am
bridge is rated a three and will fall over in the next year or so. it helps prioritize projects. in south dakota, i ran for the house of representatives as a democrat. got 3000 votes. our top two industry are tourism, which we have all these people coming through on the roads which are getting totally beat up. we are the lowest paid teachers for five years in the united states. is there an empirical formula? you want to strip out the politics of it, which is probably impossible. host: i think we got your point steve.
9:01 am
guest: before bridges shut down __ they will post a bridge that may have certain weight restrictions, vehicle size restrictions for that structure. if necessary, engineers will go to the point of closing down the structure. that could be a permit shut down, or some major rehabilitation will have to occur. one other comment __ you mentioned you are from south dakota __ i want people to understand that the nation needs a unified on this issue. agricultural products need to find a way to market. it is important that south dakota is part of the highway system. it creates a wafer products to get to u. s. and global markets.
9:02 am
the nation is much more tied together then i think people realize. it is that cities versus rural america, the nation is tied together through the systems. the u. s. is at risk of serious economic damage by not addressing these infrastructure issues. just look at transportation. we did a study __ just in the transportation sector, we found that by 2020, if we do not make modest increases in our investments in this area, we are putting at risk $1 trillion of gdp and 1 million jobs in the u. s.. the study also found that the types of jobs that come to the u. s. are not just construction
9:03 am
jobs __ good jobs go to where good infrastructure is happening. host: kate, good morning to you. caller: i am thoroughly enjoying the discussion on infrastructure. i believe it is one of the most important topics that our country can deal with. i feel it is so invisible, and that the media needs to make it more visible __ locally to nationally. that is a project they can give us pride in creating a future. we need to, as a nation, come together in various ways to understand how we need to rebuild ourselves, and to have a goal 2020 is fabulous. to find a way to mechanically put this into effect is where
9:04 am
we must turn to congress. things like engaging a civic service to engage this, create jobs __ once this thing is initiated, how would you propose to put it in motion so we can see it happen and appreciate that we are taking this on? guest: i like your comments about the significance of this issue. somebody said recently that infrastructure might be the most important issue that no one talks about. associate underground infrastructure __ pipeline systems, and the like, aare out of sight and out of mind. we do nothing of the systems until they are failing. the metro transit system in d.c., water main breaks __
9:05 am
i mentioned a few statistics __ the statistics i even more dramatic __ if we just increase investments, the u. s. could protect $3 million in gdp. as we have discussions as a nation of about the recovery, the types of jobs, good paying jobs, income inequality, i think that increasing infrastructure investment is not a silver bullet, but one of the things that we need to do to address those issues. host: charlie's in philadelphia. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to say __ i heard kates last thought, i really enjoyed it.
9:06 am
i'm actually from upstate new york, and moved to philadelphia a few years ago. i could deftly see a difference in the roadways. she had mentioned that it is a very prevalent issue, an issue for future. more specifically, how do we get __ it seems like a public awareness problem. how do we get to this in the way that these are great big issues. anything that gets passed bipartisan on the dod side, but when it comes to infrastructure __ and never seems to be an issue. how would you go about that, besides the mechanics of putting these budgets into place, and getting the american public more generally aware? guest: that is a good point.
9:07 am
i think of the public were more engaged, congress might feel, might see the light, if they are not feeling the heat on that. i think that would be a good thing. people have a lot on their minds, there's a lot of clutter, there's a lot of information coming at them. as we said before, this is an issue that we tend to ignore unless something bad happens. these huuge numbers, trillions in gdp, millions of jobs, their eyes kind of glaze over when they hear that. but, when we talk about our daily life, turning the water on, transit to work, every aspect of everyday lives are touched by the systems. the u. s. is a leader in infrastructure __ the u. s.
9:08 am
ranks 14th in the world. china was investing in a half percent of its gdp in infrastructure, when the u. s. was only investing 2%. as we have indicated, b systems in the u. s. have reached the end of the design life. if you will, it is another era, another century for the u. s. to make its mark. traditionally, it has always been a bipartisan issue. the u. s. highway system was launched during a republican administration. the early 70's, the environmental movement. the clean water act, that was the early 70's, we had a republican presidents. it has always been bipartisan.
9:09 am
we expect to keep it that way. host: next call __ john from florida. caller: happy new year. you keep talking about increasing the infrastructure spending. where is that money going to come from __ raising our taxes? in florida, i believe $.55 per gallon diesel feel __ where is all this money going? why are we using those __ why are we not using those dollars for infrastructure? in california, why not desalinate the water if they have a water problem? guest: i'm not sure where the trillion dollars comes from __
9:10 am
some people were under the impression that the recovery act in 2009 was overall infrastructure bill. out of that 1 billion there was in the __ that helped a little bit. you mentioned desalinization __ that technology exists but is very expensive and energy intensive. those are big investments. you mentioned that diesel tax in florida __ let me focus on the gas tax. it is interesting because the price of gas is falling dramatically in this country __ at least $1.25 per gallon. i'm looking at bipartisan proposals on capitol hill that
9:11 am
talk about increasing the federal gas tax by $.12 per gallon. that would bring in about $18 billion. that money goes back out to the states, based on the size of the states and the amount of roadways they have. the system has worked well. the problem is the federal gas tax was implemented in 1993, and not indexed to inflation. imagine if you are relying on a car from that year, if you may know improvements to your house for the last 20 years. think about infrastructure on a personal way like that. that is what the nation has been trying to do. there are a lot of ways that we can fund the transportation improvements that need to happen. the gas tax is usually one of the first point of discussion __ it is an existing tax that has not been adjusted for several years. could you not say that the american public __ you've
9:12 am
already had __ i'm not sure what the staff are on the drop in price __ it is almost like a tax cut to the american economy. would we as a nation be willing to take a little bit of that, and put it back into the infrastructure, put people to work in good jobs, expand the economy? people are still benefiting from the price cut in gas, but then i giving a little bit back for the infrastructure. the habits of the state level __ that happens at the state level. host: then where does that money go, is a dedicated? guest: yes, it typically is. that is something the citizens need to keep an eye on. whenever the discussions happening, ask your legislatures, is there firewall, is there a provision that says that money cannot be
9:13 am
used in other areas. it has happened where there is a balanced budget __ you can understand a governor wanting to make that decision, but people need to stand up for these fees. they going to what are called trust funds. we should maintain the trust with the public. that would mean that these funds are only used on them for structure category. host: rosa from georgia. caller: happy new year. how can we get the ball rolling on infrastructure. that is my main question. i do not care who gets the credit for it. when we get the ball rolling for infrastructure, it would create new jobs. that is one of my main concerns.
9:14 am
another concern __ why did you bring forward __ great florida __ rate florida as a d? guest: on creating jobs, we agree. just in the transportation sector, the u. s. can protect nearly 1,000,000 jobs by the year 2020. on water __ the quality of your drinking water is good. what the grade gets that is the condition of the infrastructure that is conveying that water to your house. pipelines in some urban areas go back over 150 years. and leaking water __ we are leaking water that has already been treated.
9:15 am
the u. s. geological survey estimates nearly 7,000,000,000,000 gallons of wiki water in pipes. we're leaking investments that we are fighting made because of that. the quality of the water that you are drinking is okay. host: two final tweets. casey dinges, american society of civil engineers has been a guest. here's his group's report card on america's infrastructure. a d+ overall. thank you for your time. one more segment on the "washington journal" this morning.
9:16 am
we'll start off by asking you what is the supreme law of the land. what does the constitution do, what are the amendments. those are some of the questions that immigrants have to take on the naturalistic __ nnaturalization test. if you want to make a comment on immigration __ both parties have indicated that immigration will be a front runner issue. if you want to make a comment on immigration, you have to take a test. there are the numbers, if you want to go ahead and dial. we will be right back to take
9:17 am
the naturalization test. ♪ >> the 114 congress gathers in this tuesday at noon eastern. watch live coverage. check the gop congress. have your say as the events unfold. new congress, best access on c_span. this sunday on q&a, present of the national council of la raza. on the state of hispanics in america, immigration reform, and her compelling personal story. >> i have the privilege of experiencing the american dream in this country. born in kansas. my parents actually came to
9:18 am
this country in the very early 50's. my parents came from mexico with no money and a little education. my dad had an eighth grade education and my mom a fifth grade education. they were seeking better opportunities for their children. they worked really hard, and sacrificed, as so many latinos had done in this country. they wanted a better future for their children. they had important values that have been our guide for our lives __ for me and my siblings. they taught us the importance of family, faith, community,,
9:19 am
hard work, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, all of those were important values of the shared with us. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern. >> "washington journal" continues. host: already, could you pass the naturalization test. that is what we want to know this morning. if you calling, we want to talk about immigration, one of the issues that the congress and the present will be working on during this 114th congress. you have to take a test. the numbers are up. this is from the u. s. citizenship and immigration services. it says that the civics test is
9:20 am
an oral test. the officer will ask applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. we're going to ask everybody to call in this morning to take a naturalization question. see if you get the answer, then we will let you make your comment. we will begin with common on the democrat line. the question you have to answer __ what is the supreme law of the land? caller: that is an interesting question. wow. host: you're trying too hard. what do you think it is? what is the supreme law of the united states?
9:21 am
caller: the law for all citizens to have their laws be __ host: let's show you the answer. the constitution. what iis your comment about immigration? caller: i was calling to say that i watch it program periodically. i wanted to say that immigration such a hot topic. as americans, we should consider that they want __ immigrants want to bring good to their lives. america is the greatest place
9:22 am
on the face of the earth. i'm from the ivory coast originally. i can tell you, you do not have some of the stuff that you have here there __ the possibilities, you can work, you can do anything. if you really want to make it in america, it is the best place. host: how long can we been in the country? caller: almost 30 years. host: what is the process, use citizen? caller: yes, i am. it was __ it was not complicated. i went through all the normal procedures. i was in michigan. once everything was done, i came to washington, i naturalized in michigan.
9:23 am
i left the u. s., went to ivory coast, then i came back. host: thanks for calling in. we just learned from the naturalization test, that the constitution is the supreme law of the land. what does the constitution do? keith from college station, texas, that is your question. caller: the constitution forms the three branches of government __ the congress, the executive, and the supreme court. host: that is one of the right answers. you can see there. keith, what you want to say about immigration? caller: i think we need to pass an immigration law. i think we need to pass all that. we need a stronger border, security. we need to find a solution for
9:24 am
those who have been here for a long enough time that warns of prices for citizenship. we need to expand the number of immigrants that we allowed in for citizenship. we probably need a couple different tiers __ those who are migrant workers, or just need a legal way to work your, and go back __ and other category, technicians, and such. i think you need to do it all, and do it this year. host: thank you very much. the next call is from growing in florida.
9:25 am
from the immigration test __ what is an amendment? caller: and amendment is a change to a decision that was already created. host: according to the test __ iit is a change or in addition to the constitution, you nailed it. caller: on the test __ what is the percentage that you need to pass or fail? if you fail, what do you do? do you go to the back of the line? on the question of labor, as it relates to immigration __ this
9:26 am
country has always been so extorted when it comes to the question of undocumented or illegal aliens, whatever you want to call them, coming to the country and to make better their lives. florida, for example, most of the southern states have a right to work. my father was a victim of this political scheme. we see a lot of undocumented workers. speaking of infrastructure too __ my father was a highway worker. they were in a union. of course, it was done away with. today, we have illegal aliens doing the work. all of that money is sent out of the country.
9:27 am
if we could come up with a system where the money and bonds were going through a pension, to recycle the money, do it in a way that everyone benefits, that would be a better system than hiring cheap labor. one other thing __ to correct the situation, the only thing we have to do is put those people in jail who hire these people, and police them. people forget about that when they put up a fence, and spent all that money. host: that is roy from florida. this is jimmy from south carolina. jimmy, your question __ what do we call the first 10 amendments to the constitution? caller: the bill of rights. host: that is correct.
9:28 am
your question. caller: well, my primary concern about immigration is that we are not checking people coming in. it is so easy for terrorist and criminal elements to come in. that is really what we need to work on as far as immigration. host: thank you. debbie in albuquerque. what is one right or freedom from the first amendment? caller: freedom of speech. host: there you go. those are the first amendment freedoms. what is your comment about immigration? caller: i do not have a question. i was surprised that one of the questions you asked.
9:29 am
the constitution enforces commerce __ if you really take a look, it is more powerful for businesses. they do not want the amendment added. i was surprised that it talks about our rights. that's all i have to say. host: that was the second question on the quiz __ what does the constitution do. we are taking the street from the u. s. citizenship and immigration services website. next call __ steven __ steve in
9:30 am
a new york. you get a tough one. how many amendments does the constitution have? caller: the last one would be about the pay raise. are we up to 29? host: very close. 27. you were a lot closer than we got. caller: i'm calling because i am an esl teacher __ all my students are immigrants. i have quite a few immigrants that are border children, they came across the border this past year. these children are very demonized. most of them refugees.
9:31 am
an example, one of 11_year_old girl __ she would see people come in and put guns to her grandma's head and asked for money. people call her at terrorist. this is an 11_year_old girl. her parents thought it was safer for her to cross the desert, rather than stay in the town where she was. these kids will probably get to stay here because of the terrible violence in the country. host: that was steve. up next is mac in ohio. what are two rights in the declaration of independence? caller: right to liberty and freedom.
9:32 am
host: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. go ahead and make your comment. caller: my comment is that the constitution was founded on compromise. i think immigration __ you need to find compromise on this controversy. there are many examples of copyrights in the constitution. i think the congressional leadership think about that. host: what you see as a middle ground? or compromise? caller: some degree of amnesty. tighten down the borders. begin from there. host: what dpo you do? caller: i'm a teacher.
9:33 am
host: have you ever given your kids this test? caller: i have. they feel like they do not need to take the test, they think it is for the immigrants. i come back and say we enjoy the privileges of citizenship, we should at least know what immigrants have to know in this country. that is my approach. host: do you have any immigrant children in your classroom? caller: a few. host: thank you. linda is up next. linda, you get to related questions. how many u. s. senators are there? how long is the senate term? caller: 100, six years. i have a question for you. who were the three smartest man
9:34 am
in the constitution who did not sign, why did they not sign? host: that is so wrong of you. why don't you tell us. we do not like answering questions. caller: they did not sign because the bill of rights was not attached. they were the dissenters. they did not sign because the bill of rights was not attach the constitution. now you learned something today. on immigration __ i think we're doing a good thing here starting in connecticut. we are allowing immigrants __ i refuse to call them aliens __ to have a drivers license. this drivers license allows them to drive in connecticut. they have no federal rights attached to this. i think this is the way we will have to address immigration
9:35 am
with the people who are already here, that meet certain standards, lake placid drivers test. i also think we have built in enforcement with our employers __ contributing tto pensions, please contribute to social security. if we could eliminate employers to employing them. they do not ever collect social security benefits if they are not here legally, but they do pay them. the problem is, we do not enforce our own laws as employers. i agree with what we're doing here, i think it is a solution that state should look at. it is a big piece __ they are
9:36 am
ensured driving. maybe all 50 states should look up at. host: matthew in santa monica, california. you get a double question as well. how may people in the house of representatives are voting members? how longer_term does each member of congress have? caller: 500 or more than 500. the terms are __ four years? host: 435 members, and two_year terms. caller: well, i screwed up on both of those. i still want to make a relevant comment to something that earlier caller spoke of.
9:37 am
the constitution is a pretty good comment, but there were a lot of problems at the time. we would not have a bill of rights had it not been for two men __ george mason and patrick henry. you know, even after they got the bill of rights through __ patrick henry went back to virginia and basically told virginia that everything the revolution fought for has been damaged by the conclusion of the constitution. of course, patrick henry was famous for his "give me liberty or give me death" speech. we arty have the albany plan for union __ a lot of people felt that the american revolution was a failure because a lot of things were excluded by the constitution in
9:38 am
favor of those who were in power. of course, here we are in the 21st century, and america is run by multinational corporations, bankers, and secret societies. the same problem is even worse today. thank you. host: this morning, in the last 20 minutes of the "washington journal," we are taking the naturalization test. you have to answer questions get on the __ aa question to get on the air this morning. we're talking about immigration, if you want to make a comment, you have to answer that question first. joyce in west virginia. name your u. s. representative.
9:39 am
caller: my u. s. representative. for the next couple of days it is shelling capito. host: who is replacing her? do you know? caller: i do. i can't think. host: alex mooney? caller: yeah. you know, i am unhappy about it all. you know what happened in west virginia. host: yes, ma'am. didn't your whole congressional delegation go republican?
9:40 am
caller: yes. all we have left is __ to be truthful, he is so close to republican. host: what is your comment about immigration? caller: about 15 to 20 years ago when i was leaving in d.c. and managing apartments, someone i knew he was from brazil, he took the test. he ttold me, joyce, you do not know how hard this is. he read me all the questions. i remember the first one was named the 13 colonies, which i did. you know, that was the one that took a little bit of time.
9:41 am
i got them all. they were really not that hard __ i was a history major in school. after that __ they are a little hard, i guess it could be. my representative __ host: you got it right. she is the representative for the next couple days. joyce, do you think american kid should take this quiz? caller: can i ask you one question. i have called and asked about
9:42 am
this __ one of my favorite people on c_span was rob pearson. host: he is still here. he is on assignment desk at c_span. caller: he does is it on the air anymore. host: i'm sure he is listening, if not, i will make sure that he knows that joyce says hi. all right, nathaniel. nathaniel, here is your question. why do some states have more representatives than other states? nathaniel, we will never know his answer. let's try charles. charles, why do some states have more representatives than other states? caller: representatives are
9:43 am
allocated based on population. that's why california has more than wyoming. host: very good. what is your comment about immigration? caller: as far as immigration, i've been through it twice. my first wife was chinese. my second wife is russian. i coach them both so they could pass the exam. i am proud to say, both were able to become citizens. i would like to say, my wife went from a red to a red, white, and blue. that speech that patrick henry gave __ that is an iconic speech in american political history. many people do not know the first thing that he said. he said, "can everyone here be all right?"
9:44 am
host: what do you do? caller: i am a telecommunications specialist, i worked for the military. host: do you think that american kid should take this exam? caller: yes, very much so. it covers a very wide range of subjects that both nativeborn and form board should have a thorough understanding of the federal government process. host: but start to betty in louisiana. if both the president and vp can no longer serve, who becomes presidents? caller: i think it is the speaker of the house. host: you got it right. caller: it has been a long time
9:45 am
__ i wanted to mention the fact that i get upset when people are always saying "undocumented." it's sort of negates that some people have come, and if not done at the legal way. i think most people are not against immigrants. they are against people coming in you legally. host: c think the term illegal __ so you think the term illegal should be used? caller: that is the point. if you go into a home, in your trespassing, that is a legal. if someone does something like that __ i think it should be called what it is. that's not to say that these people do not contribute, or
9:46 am
that perhaps they do not deserve to be considered as citizens later on. but, i really get upset __ they try to rename and reterm everything. i hope people will use words in their original context and meaning. host: that was betty. up next from maryland. you get a double question. how the justices are on the supreme court? who is the chief justice right now? caller: there are nine justices. the chief justice is __ host: the chief justice is john
9:47 am
roberts. go ahead and make your comment. caller: my comment is __ one congressman once said, you do not have the right to choose the country where you are born, but you have the right to choose a country that you love. we are here because we love this country. the word illegal alien __ we all came here as immigrants. some people say we came here before us. for people to use words to describe these people as illegal __
9:48 am
host: where did you come from originally? caller: sierra leone. how long have you been here? caller: 12 years. host: party __ have you taken this test? caller: yes, i passed him i first tried. host: moving on to pat. who is the governor of your state now? what is the capital of the state? caller: bentley, and montgomery. i have two comments. about u. s. citizens taking
9:49 am
this test, i do not think you should be issued a cell phone number without taking this test. all kids want a cell phone, they should know what country they are in, and how it works. secondly, in terms of the immigration issue __ there is a belief that you cannot remove all the illegals from this country. i disagree. we should attempt to remove every one of them who have come in either legally. thank you. host: up next is another person from alabama. this is will. it was part of alabama are you from?
9:50 am
caller: just below decatur. host: here is your question. there are four amendments to the constitution about who can vote. describe one of them. i will tell you __ do not try too hard. we had a little bit of trouble ourselves when we are playing this morning. it is not as hard as it seems. one more time __ therefore limits to the constitution about who can vote, describe one. caller: one was to give women the vote. host: you got it. here are the four __ citizens 18 and older can vote, any
9:51 am
citizen can vote, and a male citizen of any race can vote __ those were amendments to the constitution. go ahead and make a comment about immigration. caller: it is a complicated thing. some of the ideas i hear people talking about makes me think that they do not have a conscience. you hear people saying, close the border. it takes money to close the border. republicans will not spend the money. but yeah, they are the biggest complainers. i would like to see some of these people walk up to the children, and say, we will kick you out of here. i cannot imagine that happening. there should be more people, possibly on your show, that would educate us about things
9:52 am
that are going on. these people __ we have a lot worse problems than immigration. i think we should work on a lot of problems. thank you. host: of next from la, bj. what are two rights that everyone living in the united states have? caller: two rights? host: two rights of everyone living in the united states. caller: any two? freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. host then you got __ yyou that two of them.
9:53 am
what is your comment on immigration? caller: i have an issue __ as many people have had __ people forget the fact that this country is made of immigrants. if you're not so fortunate to have native in front of your name, as a native american, we are all immigrants. what frustrates me is the fact that __ we, as a country, have not upheld our treaties to the native americans. there's still suing the government for land that they were promised. as americans __ as we call ourselves __ we took this country by force.
9:54 am
for people to denigrate others who come here in search of better life, it is frustrating. our ancestors did the same thing. we cannot all the people who come here wanting a better life. we have to be conscious and compassionate. host: what you do in la? caller: i am a student. host: what you study? caller: information technologies. host: where you study? caller: santa monica. host: wire you up so early watching c_span? caller: i watch c_span every morning. i am actually in texas.
9:55 am
host: so you are currently in texas. caller: yes. i get up every morning to watch c_span. host: you sound like you weren't necessarily from la. next up, donna. caller: good morning. host: from the naturalization quiz __ wwhat are two ways that citizens can produce meat in the democracy? caller: vote. pay taxes. host: that sounded good to me. it is not listed here. the answers given by the
9:56 am
naturalization test __ vote, join a party, join a civic group, give your opinion on an issue, publicly support an issue, run for office, right to a newspaper. every day here at c_span, we are fulfilling one of those ways that americans can participate. why don't you publicly support an issue for us. caller: can you repeat that? host: i was getting. go ahead and talk about immigration. caller: i've heard a lot of callers talk about the idea of immigration __ i think immigration is good for our country. that is how our country was founded, yes. but, there is a difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration.
9:57 am
i agree with the woman who called up and said, let's call this what it is. if someone breaks into your home, or robs a bank, it is illegal. people come here from another country through illegal ways, crossing borders, and do not become an american citizen, they are breaking all of our laws. they do collect social services. i do not believe that someone wouldn't know that they collect __ welfare, food stamps, housing assistance. they are not contributing with any of these deductions taken out of their pay because they are being paid under the table. all they are doing is taking. they are not contributing.
9:58 am
there are only contributing labor, not to our financial health. this is one of the problems. if employees were fine, or if they follow the law, they would hire anybody at a livable wage. what happens is __ i hear people say, well, people who come here will work for cheaper wages, and do jobs that americans will not do. but __ they are hiring people to work at substandard levels of pay. if employees would hire people at a livable wage, everybody __ the economy would start to come back. host: we will have to leave it
9:59 am
there. happy new year to everybody who called in this morning. thank you for participating in the quiz. here it is, if you're interested in seeing it for yourself __ u. s. citizenship and immigration services is the sponsor of it. it is 100 civics questions and answers for those who are taking the naturalization test. this weekend __ on book tv, every weekend, live with tavis smiley. he will be here taking your calls. a reminder, every week and on c_span three is "american history tv."
10:00 am
those are two alternatives to our regular programming. happy new year. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> q&a is 10 years old and to mark a decade of compelling conversations, we are future one interview for each year of the supers over the holiday season. today, documentary filmmaker rory kennedy on "last days in vietnam," where she chronicles the evacuation of u.s. personnel from south vietnam in 1975. tonight at 8:00, conversations

82 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on