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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  October 4, 2015 7:45am-10:01am EDT

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it is sports on the front page of "the chicago tribune," "a beautiful baseball dream." as one t-shirt says, anyone can have a bad century. the chicago cubs in the playoffs , looking for a world championship. lawrence from new york. dy.will go to ru on the democrats line, daytona beach, florida. caller: the way to raise tax flowue is have a cash society. there is no tax out there. would pay taxes according to their income. everything would be recorded, it would be hard to achieve. i know so many people working off the book.
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the taxes could remain where they are, and we would have a much better organize country. by the way, a new poll out showing the donald trump continues to hold his lead in new hampshire and iowa. hillary clinton continues to hold the lead in the democratic race with bernie sanders coming the vice, but with president in the race, it certainly diminishes. more phone calls. we will try lawrence in new york. caller: good morning and thank .ou for taking the call i have been a practicing cpa for 32 years. host: you know a thing or two
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about taxes. before you get to your point, let me ask you this. why does the tax code have to be so complicated? caller: it is insanity. there is no explanation. even though i made a very good living, navigating that complexity, i would be happy to make less income, and not have to torture my clients through the insanity of the tax code. host: and it changes every year, doesn't it? caller: it changes, not only at the federal level, but at the state level. it is a multiplier affect. i think the problem is the whole for they is raised federal government. they tax individuals and corporations. washington,es to and then washington redistributes that money to states and local governments vis-a-vis grants, welfare payments, etc.
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statea is to have each fund the federal government, to throw out a share of the federal budget. in other words, in york state, when you file your new york state tax reform, there would be one more line on the bottom of the return that says, "federal government tax here ago by doing that, you abolish the irs, and you make each governor of each state the advocate for that state to keep the federal budget in line. when you bring the tax closer to the closest politician, it holds them more accountable. there is no one accountable in washington. if you walk in your grocery store, and you are more likely to see your governor and state and local representatives than you are to see a federal congressman or senator, or
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anyone from the federal bureaucracy. i think the closer you bring the taxpayer to the politician spending the money, it holds them more accountable. host: thank you very much for the call. carol, whoweet from says the following, a 20% sales tax would afford julie kilby economy. in case you missed it, last night, hillary clinton, who spoke of the human rights campaign, changing her schedule to accommodate her evening schedule, which included hosting "snl." here is a portion of the opening skit. [video clip] , i'm hillary rodham clinton. >> great name. i am val. >> what brought you here?
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>> i needed to blow off some team. i've had a hard 22 years. first, i am a grandmother, and a human. , i get it. you are a politician. >> yes. how about you? ?> me i am just an ordinary for leaves the keystone pipeline will destroy our environment. [laughter] [applause] i agree with you that. it's at me about time decided, but i am against it. >> nothing wrong take your time. what is important is getting it right. >> i will drink to that. >> i just realized. i never checked your id. >> [laughter] please. i have a one-year-old and out of your she calls me, "madam president."
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>> i would have never guessed. you give up such a young, cool i. you must work in brooklyn. mrs. clinton, i'm so side to interrupt. i just love to say, my sister is gay, thank you for all you have done for gay marriage. >> you are welcome. it is really great how long you have supported gay marriage. >> i could have supported it sooner. did, soon. >> it could have been sooner. >> fairpoint. hillary clinton says the actors, characterizing her -- the actress, characterizing her, should stick around for another four years. brandus., paul ck of, gail russell chado
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the christian science monitor. first, on "newsmakers" our guest is represented eliot engel. he joined us to discuss russian airstrikes in syria and iran. [video clip] >> russia's motive is not to assad.sis, but prop up that is clear. a thought has always been a client of the soviet union. he was, his father was before him, he always had close ties with russia. it is russia's only military base in that part of the world. they want to prop him up. they know who ever comes after him will not have the same cozy relationship with russia as assad has. it is clear that putin is a liar, and he is not in syria to defeat isis, he is there to keep assad and power.
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ofyou are obviously a critic the nuclear agreement with iran. how concerned are you that that agreement embolden or empowered iran to play a larger role, such as what is going on in syria? there has been speculation that the white house is more welcoming to an iranian role in resolving the crisis in syria. secondly, on the nuclear deal, if congress is role in the oversight of this agreement done, since you failed to pass legislation to blunt it? first, i'm opposed to working with iran on anything in that region. i do not trust the iranian government. they are the leader of sponsors of terrorism in any country in the world. i was critical of the ,egotiation, of the agreement because it will put $150 billion
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of cash into iran's lot. in years when i read had no money, the economy was terrible, the currency was worthless, they had no money. they could not help their people. they still found money to support international terrorism. if they did that when they had no money, imagine what they can do now when the sanctions are lifted and they have all this money. host: congressman eliot engel is our guest on c-span's "newsmakers" program. he joined us from new york. you can listen to it also on c-span radio at 10:00 eastern time, 7:00 for those of you on the west coast. paul brandus is the author of a new book called "under this roof : the white house and presidency , 21 presidents, 21 rooms, and 21 inside stories."
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we will learn more about that coming up. i want to turn your attention to this headline, one of many this versusek, "obama a clash of words." i want to ask you about the meeting that took place on monday in york at the u.n. between these two leaders and the airstrikes that started 48 hours later. what does that tell you about vladimir putin- and what is next in syria? important, when talking about russia, to put yourself in their shoes and understand their psyche. they think very differently than we do. i think it is important to understand that there is a russian word the is very important to them. it means order. they really value order, strength, and aggressiveness in a way that perhaps americans might not appreciate. what putin is doing -- all the
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talk that obama has made about syria, how we cannot turn our back on the genocide, this, and that, we will not allow redlines to be crossed. well, they were crossed, and he did not really respond, did not have the no-fly zone, and everything. we have had, essentially, a power vacuum in syria. putin is now filling it. i think what putin has done, in a way, is tactically outfox the president on syria. host: this is the front page times."e new york it is a picture of flood me prudent. putin.ladimir what he has had his the need for state
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government control over all aspects of society. guest: that is absolutely true. this is the guy who called the collapse of the soviet union one of the great geopolitical catastrophes of the 20th century . entire life path mindset. he has been frightened by the class of this elite union. he would like nothing better than put the soviet union act together.- back perhaps not in name, but geographically, economically. he wants greater control of his neighborhood. in ukraine, he has been able to .o that the baltics have been intimidated, although they are hebers of nato, i think if
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wanted to take the baltics, he could quickly. he would not so because of the nato article five clause that says we would have to defend them. nevertheless, he wants order. again, that is a very important word for the russians. he is another russian word, a strong leader. in russia, that counts for more than anything. nevermind the fact that the russian economy is really in trouble. american analysts always make a mistake of analyzing russia -- they do this with china too -- focusing too much on their strengths and out their weaknesses. the russian economy is in deep, deep trouble. half of the kremlin budget is dependent on oil and gas revenue. their budget has been decimated. .he lifespan is declining the population of the country is declining. there are huge internal problems
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in russia that we are not as a fairly paying attention to. the russians are not 10 feet tall, even though we think they are. host: what does he think of president obama? guest: they clearly do not like each other. you can tell by the body range language. there is no report, no chemistry. the dislike is evident. the meeting at the u.n. on monday, i think, was the first meeting they have had in two years. there is some dispute as to who actually requested the meeting. the russians say the americans, we deny it. who knows. it is clearly a relationship based on distrust and mutual animosity. host: let me share with you what defense secretary ashton carter said. initially, the russian government said they were going after some of the isis targets. , no,efense department says
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that was not the case, they were going after some american targets as well. the news conference was not schedule, but was added quickly on monday. here is defense secretary carter last week. [video clip] reasons thee russian position is contradictory is that exactly the potential for them strike, as they may well have, in places are this is one of the reasons why the result of this kind of action will inevitably be to inflame the civil war in syria and why is ill advised to take this kind of action in support of assad only without pursuing the political transition. that is why we are trying to get them to that position.
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question exposes exactly what is the fallacy in the russian approach and why it is doomed to failure. >> are you saying the strikes were in a place where you believe there were no isil fighters and leads you to that? >> i want to be careful about confirming information but it does appear that they were in areas where there probably were not isolate forces and that is one of the problems with this approach. host: one of the headlines for the administration is russian was pouring gasoline on a fire exploding in that part of the world. guest: i think those comments were accurate. the united states a couple of years ago was very adamant about
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syria. sad's days are numbered. that was four years ago. it is worse than ever now. we know about the refugee problem. redline's have been crossed consistently. --lure of the president quarters for humanitarian aid, the president could've done all of these things but did not want to get involved yet he created this power vacuum. subtle language that the administration is now using reflects the defensiveness they are now in. a couple of years ago, it is time for assad to go, they have water that down to saying we have to have a managed transition which i think is subtle but telling of a phrase meaning they are no longer in
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control. they cannot push aside out -- the cannot push assad out. host: isn't that one of the lessons of iraq and saddam hussein? for is that as he was he did fill leadership when he was forced out. guest: i think that is a fair point. the other thing obama is looking at, he is playing this long game. he seems to think that a decade ago the united states went to far in moving into the middle east. we got in over our heads, spent a trillion dollars, what did we get out of it. i think he is reluctant to get involved in these foreign ventures again. i think he wants to keep his powder dry, so to speak. for critics who say, why haven't you done more with libya in example, what did we get there? libya is still a mess.
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it is a tough position for them to be in. host: we are talking with paul brandus, editor in chief of the "west wing report." will also be talking about his new book. caller: good morning. give me a chance to explain to the american people the truth about this. the truth needs to be heard. our foreign policy -- i know you guys do not like to hear it. our foreign policy is mainly run by israel and saudi arabia. right now, they are saying a sad must go. the russians are fighting isis. our interest is to destroy isis. assad.n't want
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our politicians do not have the gall to stand up and do what is right for america first. i do not understand how two small countries can run this nation. guest: the russians of stinson we are fighting isis but i think the evidence is that most of these sorties may have engaged in have been against rebel held areas. i think the primary russian goal is not so much to fight isis despite what they say. their primary goals to pop -- to prop up mr. assad. asadaant to prop up the government. it gives them leverage at the table. i think that is their primary goal. host: paul brandus who spent five years in the so -- in the
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former soviet union. this is from another viewer who says what is prudent -- what is putin's and game? wants to restore what he thinks is wounded russian pride. he thinks the collapse of the soviet union a quarter century ago was in his words one of the catastrophestical of the 20th century. he was in dresden at the time watching all of that unfold. he thought it was a huge disaster. he wants to turn back the clock and somehow put all of that back together. russians have this deep insecurity about the west, a paranoia about being encircled. historically they have been invaded multiple times by the west.
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the invasion by napoleon and hitler was only yesterday to them. mindset.heir very focused on security and order and they are aware in a way that i'm not sure americans can appreciate. sot: why does the u.s. spend much blood and treasure meddling in the affairs of other nations? guest: that is probably a conversation for another time. one of ourry is that principal reasons for being involved in the middle east is twofold. support of israel which i think is undeniable but two, our to parents -- our dependence on foreign oil. we are much less dependent on imported oil than ever before and lessons our need for countries like saudi arabia and such because we are more energy independent. i think that changes the geopolitical how kilis now. now.opolitical calculus
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as for supporting israel, i think there is broad bipartisan support that that relationship is sacrosanct. host: this program is carried live on the bbc parliament channel. we welcome viewers in great britain. we welcome our listeners. also on c-span radio. we have an iphone app available for those of you who want to listen to c-span radio coast-to-coast. mansi from austin, texas. thank you for being with us. caller: i find our foreign policy to be very interesting. in iran that we had to have a dictator because he kept -- in iraq, he kept iran in their place because of their different forms or versions of muslim.
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we overthrew them and now we have a problem. we are worried iran will come into iraq. we used to know the reason why we had a dictator there. then we overthrow libya and guess who is in power. we now have al qaeda in power. that was a resounding failure. now we are in syria, trying to dictate that we have the right to say who is their leader. we are supporting al qaeda a we have been fighting against for 10 years. we need to have our allied the al qaeda to fight isis, which run from our actions over there. i think our foreign policy is all messed up. we need to mind our own business. we have enough problems of our own. israel can fight their own wars.
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host: thank you. guest: i think that is a comment that is viewed by a lot of people. your talk about iraq, there are a lot of critics who say -- and i would tend to agree, one of the greatest gifts the united states ever gave to iran was overthrowing iraq which was its arch enemy. host: let's talk about your new book. you begin by saying the following "it is a sense of history that envelops you when you enter the white house grounds. the most famous building in the world, the ultimate symbol of the nation itself, but the 42 men and their families who have lived here since 1800, it is also home to he." house was forte 60 years the biggest building, public or private, in the united states. , youyou walk in there
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stand in that room and say, in the center of this rumor i am standing, this is where franklin roosevelt often stood and abraham lincoln and john f. kennedy. it's where gerald ford was sworn in after nixon's resignation. you are enveloped by the sense of history. you can go in their 1000 times and you are never failed to be awed by. there are a lot of things people do not know about the white house. american presidents have lived in the white house longer than kings and queens have lived in buckingham palace. longer than emperors have lived in tokyo's in. palace. to come back to russia, longer been the seat of russian government.
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it is to be in st. petersburg until the balsa big resolution bolshevik revolution. host: we will move back and forth. one interesting story, we have a 1963,raph, november 22, that date most americans remember, the assassination of president kennedy in dallas texas. at the white house, this is what the oval office looked like the afternoon and evening of november 22, 1963. guest: look at the color of that carpet in that picture. a deep red carpet that was installed the very day, almost to the hour that the president was murdered. a really creepy story. jacqueline that kennedy restore the white house.
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it she never got around to restoring the west wing itself. told president can teddy -- told that the kennedy, i need to redo your office as well. billiton's they would both be away was on the texas trip in november of 1963. that day as they were making their way from fort worth it to , the desk john-john anded under was moved out the carpet was moved in on the day of the president's murder. mrs. kennedy saw that carpet the next day when the casket was in the east room, she was escorted to the oval. she returned to the white house once more after she moved out. host: this is a quote you have in your book. she said, oh god, it is the
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worst place in the world. describing the white house as "so cold and dreary, a dungeon. i can't bear the thought of moving in. i hate it. it looks like it is been furnished by discount stores. " guest: during the truman and wiseman -- and eisenhower era, they bought from new york discount stores. she got rid of a lot of that and restored -- she wanted to restore its authenticity and antiques that had been scattered about. she brought many of those back. she found the resolute desk in a basement in the white house somewhere. jacqueline kennedy, this is a woman born to privilege and wealth so whence you -- so when she saw this discount furniture, of course she would say something like that.
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host: we had a conversation last week with three of the four eisenhower grandchildren. it took place at gettysburg college at the eisenhower institute and they talked about maine eisenhower and how she mey eisenhowerai and how she furnished the white house. morning.ood let's go back to syria if we could. this is going to sound a little bit like a piling on to mr. brandis. as a loyal american, someone who served in our military, i think mr. putin is on more solid ground then our policy has been in syria. i based that on the fact of assadational law that mr. has invited in the russian forces.
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mr. putin has gone to security council which is in accord with international law whereas the united states, with regime change, whenever they felt like bringing in about in iraq, afghanistan, libya, in syria, is in violation of international law with sovereign governments. therefore, i submit that the united states policy since 1945, since we promised to obey the united nations charter which we primarily wrote. we agree to abide by international law. 1950's, we have violated it with impunity. host: thank you. guest: i think there is more than a curdled truth to that. one of the long-standing reasons
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iran has been distrustful of us is because in 1953 we overthrew thatovernment, lasted about what he six years. iran are members that as if it were yesterday. that is one example of what you are talking about. the united states has a tendency to do that. i might dispute your description asadd putin, relationship. terms of the united states meddling in other countries, i think the iran example in 1953 is one example of that. host: from silver spring, maryland, christopher is next. caller: good morning. to intervene in the syria debate.
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there is ajust said difference between what happened in toronto years ago compared -- in tehran years ago compared to the intervention of putin. i would like to disagree. the united states has no grounds to be in syria. if the united states wants to involved in syria, it has to get an invitation or if they want to be a broker of peace, the united states has two bash -- guest: we are not in syria. caller: your training rebels and sending them into syria. he want to broker peace, you
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don't support any side. host: this is from another viewer. the response? mess. it is such a so many different pieces of the puzzle. the president's calculus has changed. is 10ms to think isis feet tall. say, are some folks who let couldn't take them on. -- let putin take them on. training fighters to take on isis and such, we are but there have been issues with that. how many fighters have we had? we have spent tens of millions
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of dollars. , this man seems to think we have a giant profile in syria. i would disagree. carol joining to us from texas. caller: good morning. i don't know why you get people on like that. we do have people over there fighting. we have been giving plenty of arms to saudi arabia. shipment after shipment and they have hired mercenaries from all over the world that we are supporting and then we want to use a few of them to prop up the transitional government in have lots of blood on their hands. i doubt there is a handful of syrians fighting against assad.
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i hope russia goes after all of them. syria is the size of north dakota land wise and we have dropped at least 20,000 bombs on theyand it is no wonder are not able to stay in their country and they are getting killed and we say we do not go after civilians and russia is now killing syrians and they have the pictures to prove it. host: thank you. we will get a response. guest: the principal reason millions of people have fled syria is because of what assad has done to his own people. there has been civil war in syria that started in february theseut continues to drop barrel bombs full of chlorine. it is heavier than air and seeps into basements were families are cowering. that is not the united states
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dropping these. this is a side -- this is a sad doing it to citizens of his country. host: since we're talking about foreign policy, a telegraph office adjacent to the white house served as a command post for abraham lincoln during the civil war. william mckinley set up a watch center inside the mansion itself. where was that located? guest: exactly on the second floor in the western side -- the southeastern side of the mansion. host: the closest version of the present-day situation room came during world war ii when fdr used the map room. the situation room today is known as the woodshed. it was renovated during the george w. bush administration. guest: 9/11 was such a
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fascinating time to be in the situation room. and untold story. when that fourth plane was coming to washington, nobody knew whether the white house or the capitol was the target. the white house itself was evacuated and a secret service officer ran into the secret service room and said everybody out now and i mean god dammed right now. they refused to go. they said, they are going to stay. stayed and the names of everyone in that room were sent over to langley to cia headquarters in case something happened to them. it was called the dead list. very heroic response. they refused to leave. host: richard nixon said when he left the white house in 1974 that it was not the biggest house or the most glamorous but the tradition and history of the
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building itself. you have a map of the white house itself. it gives you a sense of where everything is located. the yellow oval room. the master bedrooms, the lincoln bedroom. you have the queens room overlooking the north portico which is where i'm told abraham lincoln gave his speech at the end of the civil war on the north lawn of the white house was john wilkes booth days before he killed him. guest: booth had been tracking lincoln for some time. at the second lincoln inaugural march and there is lincoln on the east front of the capital. about 15 or 20 feet above him in the crowd, john wilkes booth. he is looking at lincoln with this look in his face and when lincoln walked out to the east
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front, he walked right by booth. they had crossed paths several times. even before then, they had actually met at ford's theater itself prior to the assassination in november 1863. booth was the star in a play called "the marble heart." playingn character, was a character who was angry and wagging his finger. he was wagging his finger in lincoln's face and the person who was with lincoln turned to lincoln and said he seems to be quite angry. two years before the assassination. good morning. a couple of points. thatime-tested statement
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the enemy of your enemy is your friend. just to point out how convoluted this whole thing is. we cannot even address that. i think a lot of callers made great points about sovereignty of countries. if we like the coup we call it freedom, if we don't we call it a forceful takeover. we pick and choose and decide what we like outside of any kind of international law. which has a lot of people in this country very frustrated. the media seems to be doing a over and just saying over how we are supposed to feel about things. 2012, the smith monday act that was rescinded in 2012. -- protectedect
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american citizens from receiving propaganda from the government. the government has a full-court press on propaganda within the borders of the united states using our own tax dollars on us. they have no obligation to tell us the truth anymore. as a matter of fact, they can use paid actors to act out situations as long as they feel it is the best interest of the united states. host: we have to move on. caller: a small point. this statement about heroes in the situation room. that is almost enough to make me barf my stomach out. , that wastuation room the response to what happened on 9/11. i think we know the response was. about his first point americans getting involved in other countries and meddling,
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there is this growing isolationist tendency now which i think is a natural reaction to what happened in iraq. we are still bogged down. we are trying to get out of afghanistan. polls show generally that americans are increasingly hesitant to get involved overseas. i think the gentleman's comments reflect that and i think it plays the role in the lives of people like donald trump who say we have big problems at home and we need to solve them. i think he makes an interesting point. i disagree with his comment about how the folks in the situation room on 9/11 were not heroes. i figured had to be there to understand that kind of situation and you do not. host: our last call is from milton, new york. good morning. caller: hello. can you hear me? host: we sure can. caller: the united states has
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gone around the middle east, knocking out secular dictators. saddam hussein was not part of 9/11. the result was chaos when we took them out. the islamists moved in. qaddafi was not an islamist, he was a secular dictator. we took him out and now the islamist are moving in. assad has been a secular dictator. his father kicked islamists out of syria in the 1980's. why are we taking out secular dictators who allow for religious freedom in their country, who allow for maybe not parts of you -- points of view but at least they do not support radical islam? guest: one reason why president obama has been reluctant to get involved in the affairs of countries in the middle east is for the reason that you say.
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we think the expected outcome we godoes not result when in. it is easy to get involved in the situation, hard to control once we are. host: there are 21 presidents and 21 inside stories but one of the stories is the white house reading room. -- briefing room. of president connection who as you point out had a real disdain for the media. it is ironic that in between the west wing and the white house he covered it up and made it a nicer work lace for the press. guest: isn't that ironic? the half hour after he was elected in 1968, he said let's get a reporter and beat them up here in that was his entire mindset.
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he didn't like reporters or trust them. he got the shaft in the 1960 race and then the 19 62 governor's race in california. very distrustful. and yet he gave us the briefing room. a lot of reporters at the time said he is really trying to push us out of the west wing. prior to that room being installed, the white house press corps used to congregate in the lobby which is most closer -- much closer to the oval. but what a gift he actually gave us. it is quite comfortable and a good place to work. host: and the pool is still there. guest: the pool is still there. there is a secret door. there is tv wiring and computers and everything set up. you can still see the tile of the wall from the actual pool. host: kind of a lime green tile. guest: and you can write your name as a souvenir.
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host: why did you write this book? guest: i just think when you walk into the white house, the history is so amazing and i wanted to do something that captures that. there are tons of books about the president. books about the history, issues they are involved with. i wanted to add a third layer of that. the building itself. which is so interesting. it's not just the president and the issues of the growth of the building itself. the technology that has moved in. rutherford b. hayes and the telephone, friends with alexander graham bell and edison, kennedy's use of television. i would argueama, that barack obama's use of twitter, facebook, and youtube has really revolutionized the way presidents communicate with americans just as much as fdr and jfk's use of radio and
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television did in their day. is, ir the next president think we will see a lot of the same. is the editorndus in chief of west wing reports. thank you for stopping by. there is an election going on this thursday. who will replace speaker of the house john boehner? we will turn our attention to the challenge that kevin mccarthy is facing from two of his colleagues with gail russell chaddock. and later angela stent will be joining us. she is a former intelligence officer. about thealk situation in syria and relations between the u.s. and russia. our c-span local content vehicle on the road is in santa rosa, california. and c-span3,booktv we take you to santa rosa and
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introduce you to luther burbank. he basically cultivated what we now know as the russet potato. here's a preview. >> luther burbank was a self-taught plant breeder. he was able to create over 800 different varieties of plant. and of which he imported was the first to introduce to people in the u.s. burbank was born in massachusetts. one of the first words he ever heard was california because he had two older brothers who came out for the goldrush in 1849. enough, he old decided he wanted to focus on breeding new plants for people. he moved to california for the year round growing season. he ended up in santa rosa after wandering around for a year looking for the right spot.
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he thought this was the chosen spot of all the earth as far as nature was concerned. we have about an acre and a half here. he had almost five acres. homeis burbank's original and greenhouse that he built. the home is set up today as a house museum. it includes furnishings and memorabilia that mr. burbank's widow left to the city of santa rosa. santa rosa, california. our next stop on the c-span cities tour. americanheck it out on history tv and booktv. gail russell chaddock of the christian science monitor. welcome back. guest: thank you, steve.
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host: we are focusing on the election for the speaker of the house. what led to john boehner's decision to step down? he was looking at the very real possibility of being ousted as speaker. there had been pending for some weeks a motion to vacate the from and mounting anger the conservative wing of his party. and also a very real possibility that the government would shut down if there weren't a change of leadership. and this gives him leverage to negotiate a budget deal. perhaps even an increase in the debt ceiling without shutting down government. host: he also said he was going to step down at the end of this year regardless. guest: that's right. it, coming as of the surprise that it did right after the pope's visit, and
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emotional moment all around. the timing was interesting. i think there will be speculation for a long time about whether this was a gesture e against a wing of the party that has blocked him at every point in his speakership, or whether it was a heroic gesture to save the country from a government shutdown at a time when it was needed. host: let's turn to congressman kevin mccarthy. he is currently number two. he is being challenged by daniel .ebster and jason sha former reagan speechwriter kevin mccarthy is well-liked in the house. a veteran said to be a natural lover of the nuts and bolts. ofwill be surprising if some his fellow republicans don't start asking. he's got the guts and the
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hunger, but does he have the brains? guest: i'm not sure brains is the term. the term i have heard most often is a kind of temperament and capacity to speak clearly. number one quality that the speaker has to be able to deal with the caucus and larger issues. but there certainly is a lot of concern about whether or not the front runner is the best choice. the usually happens is speaker or later has to quickly demonstrate a certain element of inevitability. and that is what has not happened yet. -- he does not have the votes he would need in his own caucus to be nominated on a first ballot. that's a problem. jason chaffetz announced
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he was challenging kevin mccarthy. how big of a surprise was that? guest: huge. we thought the ducks were all lined up properly. there were all these phone calls. there's a lot of speculation as to who is lining up for what. because everything down the line changes with a change like this. whip.jority leader, the those on the shortlist for speaker quickly announced support for kevin mccarthy. so i think what really changed the thinking about that was an unfortunate comment he made in an interview with sean hannity. some call it an unforced error. answerded like it was in he actually had prepared. he was being pressed hard on what the republicans had actually done for conservatives and he said, one thing we have
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done is set up a ungodly committee that has really -- a benghazi committee that has really undermined hillary clinton's poll numbers. it wasn't a question he was asked and fumbled four. it was a prepared answer. that concerned his colleagues because it gave a big talking point for democrats and the clinton campaign. we have told you all under the benghazi hearings were just a ploy to undermine senator clinton. and now it is proved. host: using the word on untrustable, which i'm not sure is proper english. guest: i had to look up some words this week. i had to look up deconfliction and untrustable. mccarthy made his comments
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tuesday on the sean hannity show. on thursday he was on special report trying to clarify what he meant. here's a clip. >> this committee was set up for one sole purpose. to find the truth on behalf of the families for four dead americans. to imply in any way that that work is political. of course it is not. look at the way to have carried themselves out. >> that's not what you said. >> the point i was trying to make -- i wasn't saying the committee was political. that is solely to get the truth out. you found out about a server. purpose istee's sole to find the truth why four americans were killed that night and that is the work they have done. they have been applauded by all sides of the aisle. it was never my intention to say that. host: that was kevin mccarthy last thursday. guest: the problem with his
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--wer is the question regardless of what you intended, here is what you said. and in politics what you say matters a whole lot. especially with the speaker, where you are speaking not just for your party for the whole house. you are defending the house against the senate this of the viz the president. and that clarification just intensified the problems people had. open.our phone lines are republicans.1 (202) 748-8000 democrats. (202) 748-8002 independents. will the boat take place for when it is scheduled? guest: that's a good question. first the caucus meets. that is a secret meeting.
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it is not quite like the election of a pope but not far from it. you look to see if the smoke is coming out of the building and what people are saying about what's going on inside. they do report the final count of the vote within the caucus. the speaker is elected by the house. if the speaker is not elected on the first ballot, that is a problem. typically what happens is you go back to the drawing board. it actually is never supposed to happen. it is supposed to be wound up for that occurs. so what you are hearing right now is the freedom caucus. 40 members. oddly enough there is no official list of who is in that caucus. nut some of their spokesme are saying we hold the leverage in our hands and if a speaker is to get our support there are some things we want. and that is a very interesting catch. because on thursday the republican party is not only making their choice of speaker,
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they are also going to discuss the rules. are you going to change for example the power of the rules committee? the rules committee of 435 members -- who keeps order? they are the ones who decide what amendments are relevant. part of the way john boehner has still with the swing of the party is to deny them votes on the floor. they want to make sure the next speaker won't do that. but the question the other members are asking is, if you get rid of the rules committee, do you in fact turn the house into a much more chaotic body than it is now? and could even function? host: is it a secret ballot? guest: yes it is. but members come out of the meeting and journalists pounce on them immediately. you will see an informal count probably within 10 minutes of the secret ballot. host: george is joining us on the republican line. this is gail russell chaddock of the christian science monitor.
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good morning. caller: good morning. hannity theing to other night when that guy said that. isn't it illegal? shouldn't there be some kind of investigation into the guise of guys ofmittee -- the that committee? host: would you like to see is the next speaker as a republican? he hung up. guest: i'm not sure what he meant by a legal. i'm not sure there would be anything illegal in what kevin mccarthy said. but i think what concerned members is that it was an unforced error. it came at a time when the benghazi committee and the appearance of hillary clinton later in october was going to be a very dramatic moment. because there actually are a lot of things that have come out of that committee that every day are producing news stories. for example we learned today from the new york times that the
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speculation -- the state department was not aware that she was conducting so much official business on a private server. that didn't come out until this committee pressed them for details. and they said, we don't have her e-mail records. where are they? and the times says that is what prompted the questions to her. her campaign is still suggesting that it was a much more general request. that the state department just wanted to clean up loose ends and had sent a request to all recent secretaries of state about how they handle e-mail. the times fact checker concluded by saying the committee's answer was incomplete. i think the committee might have stronger words for it. that is the real damage from what he said.
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at a moment when the committee felt that they could really score some important points on what actually went on and why, their own presumptive leader was undermining in a way that even nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, had not managed to do, the legitimacy of their work. host: there is a story in the new york post. people advising hillary clinton to lawyer up, that she could face a long legal battle ahead. how likely is that? think of annot person in public life that has spent more time lawyer up. ed up. i think there are lots of lawyers already on this case. once you get into a legal battle it is very difficult to predict where it will go. i would be surprised if she hadn't already had discussions on it. host: let's go to scott in san antonio. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i would like to ask you a question. look atsee how you can these people every day with a straight face the way that they all just tell a lie and theyround and pretend like meant something absolutely totally to the opposite of that. another thing i wanted to point out was the fact that -- i can't understand why these people can't see through this congress that we have led by the republicans. the only thing that these people have been doing since barack obama has been in office sides trying to block everything that he's done is that they have just onn totally trying to focus makeup, first of all, scandal after scandal. that's all that they've really been spending taxpayer dollars on. they haven't passed any legislation in years that amounts to anything except when they are forced to do so on a budget bill or something of that
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sort. i just don't understand it. the rating of this congress is down to single digits and people are still voting for them. the only thing that they do is obamack and blame barack for the lack of growth of the economy or what have you. this all falls on the republican party so it doesn't surprise me to see them bickering and everything. and that donald trump is where he is in the polling right now. thank you for your time. host: thank you, scott. guest: that's a very interesting question. i think the first thing to say about it is your question reflects a mood of the country that is very strong right now. the conventional wisdom usually in the campaign is, let's look at the endorsements. let's look at how many senators are behind a senator's campaign. those questions are irrelevant.
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virtually now. because the anger in the public over what has happened to the economy, to their job prospects, their conviction that the country is on the wrong track is very strong. therefore the establishment or the endorsement of the establishment is nothing that's positive or desired. tellinghe people not the truth, one of the things -- i covered congress since 2001. and when i came in, i shared your view. i read a lot about members of congress. if you just go by what you read it is not a pretty picture. but you really are struck by how --y people -- 535 of them came with public reasons. there were things they wanted to get done in public life. difficult to see
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things blocked and undermined. what you say in public is what you think you need to say to move things along. what's interesting about the climate we are in right now, all of the anger, the support for someone like donald trump. is that maybe the mood is shifting. maybe politicians have to speak to the public in quite a different way than they have before. not necessarily insulting people , but just being much more direct. explaining what they're up against and what they want to do -- and most importantly, how they intend to do it. host: you mentioned to saying things in public. one of the stories this past week with regard to kevin mccarthy was written in the washington post by dana milbank. the likely new house speaker -- words still fail him. beenmilbank says, i have tracking the california republicans valiant but often unsuccessful struggles with the english language for some time
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now. and i was alarmed to watch him lose another round on monday during a foreign-policy speech at the john hoeven initiative. rachel maddow -- this is a speech we covered. his remarks are on our website. on wednesday there was this from msnbc. >> this safe so would create a stem of flow of refugees. unlike during the surge in iraq when petraeus and crocker had an effective politically strategy to match the military strategy. we have isolated israel while bolding laces like a ram. the absence of leadership over the past six years has had horrific consequences all across the globe. in the past few years alone, i a,ve visited poland, hungarri estonia, russia, and georgia. host: that's from rachel maddow.
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can he recover from this? tried to diagram his sentences, you would have trouble. and in that sense, dana milbank is right. you don'ts anyone want to scrutinize how you talk or work, it is dana milbank. he is a very keen observer. but speaking isn't the only quality of a speaker oddly enough. it's maybe not even the most important quality. you have to be able to work with people. as the crisis the republican party has right now is, like any large majority, when the democrats had huge majority, he had parts of their caucus that couldn't talk to other parts. there was real acrimony there and tremendous differences. you need a leader who can reach all sides and talk to them. and when you have one of those doesn't appear to
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think much about the consequences of what it does on the institution -- many of its voters think, the government shuts down, that is a good thing. the houses broken apart and the traditions change, that is a good ring, too. because that is the establishment and they haven't done anything good for us lately. quality that the members are also looking for in a leader but they can't deal with the unforced errors. host: gail russell chaddock is a graduate of wellesley college and a veteran reporter of the christian science monitor. now serving as the washington politics editor and deputy washington bureau chief. joining us from virginia. good morning. caller: i'm calling about jason chaffetz's unsuitability to be speaker of the house. this year, chairing the oversight committee, he heard
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testimony from the inspector general for epa. this was the third or fourth time that epa let his committee know that employees were being threatened by homeland security. please read the testimony from february 3. he is saying that epa cites are not being thoroughly investigated and reviewed because the department of defense is blocking that activity. and that means that there is unsafe situations are presenting threats to human health and environmental safety at places like the radford army ammunition plant, where epa would like to do some enforcement, but the army and a private contractor are running the plant for a huge profit and preventing epa from doing their job. to doon chaffetz needs his job oversight and investigate what he was told. host: thank you for the call. he is on a very
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challenging and interesting committee. the capacity to investigate when government is gridlocked and you can't legislate anything becomes very important. so i think the question you raised -- i am not as familiar as you are with the specifics of it. but the battle with the epa has been a long-standing one and there is a whole other dimension to it. republicans don't like the fact that the epa has done so many things without congressional approval. they feel especially in what it has done toward climate change toward carbon emissions, that should be cleared with congress. they should be much more directed by congress. and it's these larger battles with the obama white house on issues of executive power that have colored a lot of what is going on with investigation. host: our next caller is from maine. caller: good morning. i would like to make a thing
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about benghazi. years,t 50 or 60 consulates and embassies around the world also doubled as safehouses for spy agencies. and for that same period in members of the state department also doubled as spies. so my question is, who is really responsible for that thing that night in benghazi? the state department or one of our spy agencies? specifically the cia? host: thank you. guest: that is exactly what the committee is supposed to be getting at. this committee has now been in existence longer than the watergate committee.
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and it has been diverted in the conclusions of its work more toward this issue of what specifically hillary clinton new and when she knew it. i think the larger question you raise, who in the end is responsible -- the cia or the state department -- is supposed to be the conclusion of the committee. there are strong arguments on both sides. host: charlie is next in florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i was just looking at the topic. it seems like we might as well just let mccarthy be the speaker of the house or they might as well just elect him speaker because they don't have anybody else that would be any different from him. they're all just in there. they all have the same ideology. all they have to say is they are going to lower taxes, increase the military, balance the budget. even though you can't do all that at once. everybody says yeah, let's vote for that guy. when that be great?
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let's make a circular square. how creative. so he might as well be. anyone they put in there is going to be just like him. except maybe with him in there, we will have to change the name from speaker of the house to the gibberisher of the house. bolding iran,one we can start italicizing syria. guest: there's a lot of difference within the republican caucus and within republican leadership as well on questions like -- there are conservative cutbacks feel that the in defense have been extremely damaging. -- for budget negations negotiations going forward, we have to break the sequester. to imposean agreement balance between defense and domestic spending.
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fighting them within the same caucus are those that say, no, the important thing is to cut funding the government to reduce the size of government whatever way you can do it. any arrow pointing down is all good. in another political system, those two groups could be an entirely separate parties and look very different everybody. but they're in the same party. and a leader has to do with both of them. jane from illinois. good morning. caller: good morning. i actually have two questions. how can we make sure that we elect a president who is intelligent enough -- the president -- to be president? and wouldn't public financing of campaigns salt so much of our problems -- solve so much of our problems? host: answer your first question. caller: the new media should be fed in these people that are running for elections. we should find out how educated
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they are. the fact that we might put somebody as speaker of the house who can't communicate is scary. host: we will get a response. the presidential campaign has been a surprise for a lot of journalists to cover because we never expected that the antiestablishment candidates would be as strong and enduring as they have been. and back on the coverage about every third week, every second week, there is new speculation that donald trump has reached the peak of support and therefore he must begin to decline. he can't go any higher. his resilience in the polls has been surprising. today there is more speculation but at last, he will be set aside and the establishment candidates will be able to fight it out on exactly the grounds you describe. but right now the campaign has
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been so captured by colorful remarks that it doesn't really let you get down to the other issues you are talking about. how would you make the united states great again? how would you fix all the problems you claim to be able to fix? the second part of the question, public financing is extremely interesting. it's something that congress has wrestled with for a long time. and somehow everything that appears to solve the problem winds up making it worse. this week for example, in one of the interesting developments, has been the assault on planned parenthood. and you will see more of that as republicans revisit the question of how to fund government for the next fiscal year. and one of the reports this week from one of the watchdog groups that looks the campaign cruz,ing was that senator
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who has been the driver behind defunding planned parenthood, just got $15 million from two donors in texas. interest inreat what's happening with planned parenthood. prompting the question, why is this the issue that could produce another shutdown? what has congress spent so much time on this issue? is it because there is inherently a problem, or is it a candidate who is being so supportive by the personal interests of two people that it is affecting what he is doing and how congress response? i've never seen a question like that post in the campaign cycle. werecampaign cycle, there very significant contributions andnewt gingrich from 1% there was a lot of speculation about what impact that had. directly to the
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agenda on capitol hill. and i think this as congress goes over what happened on this issue, i think there will be a lot of interest in revisiting some of these. is big money just to influential in the system and has a distorted the competition in the presidential race? host: comment from a caller, the viewer was right. public financing of political campaigns would solve the root problem. it might solve that root problem. it's also, as you look at what is supposed to happen in a dueidential primary, that to competition, people drop out as they see they don't have the poll ratings. that didn't happen early on with newt gingrich because he had such a steady source of private support. through a super pac that could
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fund ads that actually turned out to be devastating to mitt romney and the rest of the campaign. new poll from nbc coming out today shows that donald trump is ahead five points in new hampshire. also maintaining his lead in iowa. ellen in texas. you are on the democrats line. good morning. caller: good morning. this is my question. i hear a lot about republicans saying that they discovered hillary clinton's e-mails. i think this was discovered by a reporter with the new york times or new york post. but yet mccarthy was on the television the other day and said during the hearings, they discovered hillary's e-mails. guest: that's right. both of your comments are right.
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nobody knew going into the benghazi hearings that the big story that came out of it had to do with handling of e-mails. hasi think the reason that been so devastating is it feeds into a perception of secrecy. not playing by the rules. and especially in how you handle the issue, not coming out and telling the absolute truth about it immediately. it is that perception that has been so damaging. i don't know that trustableness is the right word for it. but certainly the drop in polls for clinton has been related to that issue as it became more apparent in the hearings and in daily press coverage. the worst thing for a candidate under siege is a story that has new elements every day. if it was just a discussion of an e-mail server, it would be
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dead by now. but the e-mails are dripping out piece by piece. and gives much more ability to maintain the story and keep it going. host: hillary clinton appeared last night on snl. part of a campaign effort for her to be "more spontaneous." guest: is there anything worse than letting it be known that you are trying to be more spontaneous? he's operating in eight when 47 new cycle -- she's operating in a 24/7 new cycle or there is a lot of talk about strategy. thele hear a lot more about strategy of a campaign then that the policy issues and how the candidate would actually function. what would they do to implement what they claim they want to do? it looks like it's going to be an internal story for her. reporting this morning on vice president joe biden.
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nearing aresident is decision on whether to run for president and it could come as early as the next seven to 10 days. according to three people familiar with his deliberation. guest: that's a big story. there has been a lot of speculation about that as well. i think that one of the things that gives a real opening is what happened this week at the united nations with russia. we're talking now for the first ii. since world war there are russian warplanes that are flying outside of contiguous areas to the soviet union. and it's a new world. i think you will be seeing a lot of speculation in congress when they come back and certainly among commentators as to what has changed here. has u.s. policy changed in the
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middle east? have we abandoned 40 years of policy in that region? are we a superpower power to be reckoned with? what does it mean when a russian general says we are bombing in an hour, get out? you have no role here anymore? and that is an issue that joe biden was long experienced on the foreign affairs committee and in foreign relations. it gives him an opening that he didn't have before. viewer with regard to the race for speaker saying, we want the speaker of the house who is not a weepy pushover who caves instead of opposing the minority liberal agenda. let's go to joan in fort lauderdale. you're on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. whyuld like to know, gail, if you are so worried about trump being investigated and interrogated, why it wasn't done
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when obama ran and nobody asked him a question, and we all talked about water coming up and rising and good and plenty coming to us? he became the king of america. know, looking back, there was such exuberance in that campaign. new people that were involved. young people. a surge in voter participation. the slogan hope and change. atn journalists look back how they covered that race, that is the question they are asking. why didn't we press harder on what actually would be done? how do you judge whether it politician has the capacity to work with other people, which is
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a requirement of the presidency as well? we'll talk about the bully pulpit and the president can do a lot. we have hardly had a president as eloquent as president obama. i think the speech he gave at the united nations was a perfect example of that. it's just a brilliant statement of principles. what do you say to the soviet union? that is a different question. how do you respond concretely to the soviet union? when the president spoke this week about the shooting, yet another mass shooting, he spoke with great exasperation about the many times he had asked for gun control and why it hadn't happened. prompting the question, is it enough to just ask? what does a president have to do concretely to get something through congress? and to build support for it outside the body as well? it is not just giving and eloquent speech. and that goes back to your
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original question. what are the questions we should be asking now of the presidential candidates so we can get a clear answer to what's fair? host: robert from atlanta. independent line. caller: good morning. i was going to call in on something else. but a response to the last comment. i think what we really need is someone who is bright and smart. there is no way we can dealipate, understand, and with all of these various issues. when i was going to say generally was this. i think the republicans in particular for the last six years have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. they have suggested repeatedly that government doesn't work, that government is full of crooks, that everything is horrible and miserable. and it is no wonder we now have folks like donald trump and others who come in and attempt
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to deal with that demagoguery. and i think it's quite unfortunate. because as the reporter indicated a while ago, despite the fact that we may disagree the vasty on policy, majority of people i think in politics are trying to accomplish a particular purpose. just like in any other large group, you will have people who evenisreputable or maybe criminal in some respects. generic bashing of everybody who is in government, of every politician, has done a grave disservice to this country and i'm a little concerned about where we are going from here. host: thank you for the call. --st: it's very easy to bash and i would wrap into that, the
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influence of the kind of cynical late-night television treatment of politics in general. politicians and particular. -- in particular. you can pick a moment in somebody's life and magnify it and they look like an idiot. i can happen to anyone. it's very easy to do. it's a lot harder to give a sense of what they are facing. going back to an earlier tweet, we don't need a weepy speaker who caves all the time. caving all the time his understanding math. cat what it takes to get something through the senate these days. and if the majority doesn't have that, in effect, nothing is going anywhere. just what does it take for a president to sustain a veto? count that and you know how difficult it is to overturn a
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presidential veto. so i think better education on all levels as the caller says is important. but it's much harder to build something up than it is to tear it down. you can tear something down in a word. but to explain to someone what the work is that goes on in that building, the constraints they are up against, takes longer. it takes listening to c-span. so we're glad you did. host: let's conclude where we began. discussing the vote scheduled for this thursday. we want to emphasize it could change. this tweet just a moment ago from the fox news program, jason chaffetz is the guest. saying that mccarthy has a math problem. he doesn't have the 218 votes on the floor.
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guest: that's right. but if you follow what this freedom caucus in the house is saying, they have a block of 30 or 40 votes. they could give him the 218 he needs for a price. the question is what is the price? what will it do to the institution if you basically open the door for any amendment that they want to bring to the floor and what kind of promises is mccarthy being pressured to make? getting to 218 is good news for him. but it's good news for the country and for the institution only if the promises that get him there aren't destructive in some other way. oft: gail russell chaddock the christian science monitor. washington politics editor, deputy bureau chief. thank you for being with us. angela stent is going to be joining us in a couple of minutes. we will turn our attention back to syria and russia and president putin. she is on from teaching at
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georgetown university. senior fellow at the transatlantic academy. you are watching c-span's washington journal on sunday, october 4. we are back in a moment. ♪ >> tonight on cue and day. national law journal's supreme court correspondent and author of the companion book to c-span's upcoming series landmark cases. tony morrow on the cases featured in the series. >> one of the judges who didn't get his office because of his position. the supreme court dealt with it. it was marbury v madison. marbury was one of those judges. basically, hesaid
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probably deserves some remedy, but the remedy that congress has provided for this goes beyond the power of congress. the authority of congress. so the supreme court was going to strike down that law. and this is something the court had never done before. congress an act of unconstitutional. >> that's tonight at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. on monday as the supreme court starts the new term, c-span debuts its new series, landmark cases. on the series premiere, we take a look at the real story behind the the famous marbury versus madison case. delving into the heated political battles between outgoing president john adams, thomas jefferson, and john marshall. established the
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court as the interpreter of the constitution. in his famous decision that he wrote, marbury versus madison. >> marbury versus madison is probably the most famous case this court ever decided. >> joining the discussion, yale reed amar.khil and cliff sloan. liveark cases premier's this sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. and for background on each case while you watch, order your copy of landmark cases's companion book. it is available at >> washington journal continues. host: the long resume of angela stent. she served as an intelligent officer for the national
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intelligence council. she is also with the transatlantic academy. welcome back. guest: delighted to be back. host: let's talk about this inside today's new york times. it really visualizes russia's targets in syria. this is the area in rebel control hit by a lot of those russian targets and this is the area in isis control. according to the new york times, only two direct targets. guest: so the russians are trying to shore up assad. they're focusing on the western part of the country. most of the groups there are not islamic state. they are free syrian army supported partly by the u.s. and its coalition partners. so it calls into question are they really out to destroy isis? or their main goal is to have sage for that part
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of the country where assad and the elite that role with him are. some russian analysts are now saying that probably if they withdraw after a few months, that isn't going to touch a lot of the islamic state places, strongholds. those are more in the desert. host: monday evening, president obama and president putin are in new york at the united nations. they meet for 90 minutes. russia usesrning, air in syria. what happened? guest: we can only say that putin again upstaged everyone else. the russians were obviously planning this. i wasn't at the meeting, but syria waswe know, discussed and ukraine was discussed but this was a surprise.
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i think we got one hour of warning. it was very well calculated and very well planned in advance. we are caught off balance. we don't know what to do. this is part of what the russian strategy is here or at least the tactic is that we are continually trying to second-guess what is russia going to do next. as we were last year in ukraine. at the bodyg language between president putin and president obama, clearly not warm relations between these individuals. we found out about this through our embassy in baghdad. guest: exactly. that anyonenlikely emerged from that meeting on monday night knowing that this was going to happen. i found it amusing that mr. putin described the meeting as frank and businesslike. this is the kind of language we used during the cold war to refer to conversations between leaders that were very tough. host: angela stent served as a russia and eurasia intelligence officer.
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we're going to focus on what is russia's intent in syria. our phone lines are open. i want to get your reaction to what senator john mccain had to say this past wednesday on the senate floor. ambitions are blindingly obvious. he wants to prop up assad, play kingmaker in any transition, undermined u.s. policy and operations, and ultimately expand russian power in the middle east to a degree unseen since 1973. u.n., president obama said, the united states is prepared to work with any nation including russia and iran to resolve the syrian conflict. it requires self-delusion of tremendous scale to believe that russia and iran have any interest in resolving the syrian conflict. they seek only to keep the
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murderous assad regime in power. intervention in syria will prolong and complicate this horrific war. and the main beneficiary will be isil, which has fed off the ethnic and sectarian divisions fostered by the assad regime. it is tragic. it is tragic, my fellow americans, that we have reached this point. syrian conflict that has killed more than 200 thousand people, created the worst refugee crisis in europe since world war ii, spawned a terrorist army of tens of thousands, and now created a platform for a russian autocrat to join with an iranian the ocrat, to prop up a syrian did take her. it did not have to be this way. inevitable the consequence of hollow words, red
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lines crossed, tarnished moral influence, leading from behind, and a total lack of american leadership. host: that's senator john mccain on the senate floor this past week. if you are sent in this tweet: bottom line, president obama's arab spring has been a disaster. your comments. first of all, senator mccain had the russian motivation right on. that was a very sustained description of it. ct description of it. this administration inherited two wars and wanted to extricate the united states from that. the american people are weary of fighting in these wars whose outcome is uncertain. the hope was with the arab spring that by supporting the forces of what looked to be democracy that we could help at least them develop a less
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autocratic system. obviously it didn't work out that way. we know the islamic state is the result of going back to the iraq libya,at happened in what has happened in syria. we have been absent. the problem is i don't know whether the mood of this country supporting a large-scale intervention in this part of the world. because what we now have is a russia that has reasserted itself. the time butia all has stepped up its engagement there and it's really reasserting itself is a major power in the middle east. when the what it lost soviet union collapsed. just in the past few months, putin has had the leaders of and jordani arabia, and israel go to russia. so russia has emerged as the player there as the united states seems to be retreating. also served stent
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in the office of policy planning at the state department. author of the book "the limits of partnership: u.s. and russia relations in the 21st century." is joining us from the bronx. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is very simply, what do you think the concerns are of israel, turkey, and saudi arabia regarding russian involvement in a syrian war? guest: it's a great question. because what we haven't mentioned is that there are iranian troops fighting with the syrians. concern -- ise the increase in iranian influence. now we have this iranian nuclear deal we have signed your it and iran will raise its profile in
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the region. so what does that mean to have a more predominant iran in the region allied with russia? which supports groups like hezbollah? it is a very great concerned as it should be. host: if you are watching this program outside the united states, the number to call is (202) 748-8003. tim from colorado. good morning. caller: my question is this. i personally don't think that putin really cares on a personal level about assad. i think he cares about his military bases, but i think he sees the writing on the wall that if the sanctions stay in place over the next 12 to 18 months, russia is going to have a huge financial problem. it could become a failing state. is it possible that what he's really doing is jumped into this
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game so he has a chip to play down the road and say, we are going to help move assad out, we're going to help clean the situation up, but in return we need sanctions lifted? i'm really seeing it as a longer game for putin that has to do with his finances. host: thank you. guest: there are multiple motivations in russia's intervention in the crisis in syria. the main one at the moment really is to shore up assad. and to make sure that he doesn't fall. but as senator mccain said, in the longer run, russia also wants to be the key player if assad does go and there is a transition so they have a major say in who replaces him. because russia always prefers strong secular leaders to religious leaders. there is another domestic issue we haven't talked about. the problem russia has with its own muslim population.
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there are over 2000 fighters from the north caucuses fighting with islamic state. keeping assad in power from putin's point of view and feeding the islamic state could have domestic impact to the problem is that i think putin has failed to understand that assad's treatment of his own people is a recruiting tool for the islamic state. you are quite right about the economy. the sanctions have really impacted the russian economy. it was not in good shape beforehand because they had not taken the modernizing reforms they should have undertaken. think fell byth i about 4%, a contraction in the economy. it's now everything is quiet on the ukrainian front. the cease-fire is now holding.
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talks were held in paris between the russians, ukrainians, germans, and french. , it have put off the deal was supposed to be december 31. it may take longer. but in theory you could say that lean on the to ,nti-islamic coalition in syria maybe he is trying to stabilize the region and in return for that some of the sanctions could be listed. the german vice chancellor hinted at that. the only problem with that is that most europeans understand that what russia is doing at the hitting thet really islamic state and it is not going to stabilize situation. so i am not really sure if that is an effective card. the more effective card is to keep the cease-fire going in the ukraine and to be cooperative.
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that i think might have more of an effect, and i do believe that is this cease-fire holds in the ukraine that some of the sanctions may begin to be listed, the european sanctions not the u.s. sanctions. but i'm not sure that syria has a quick program there. couple of quick points, one from edward who has this tweet. don't forget that george w. bush looked into putin's heart and said he was a good man. takene else says, who did putin takes on syria. and and applebaum the saying not have theoes military muscle to protect --
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projected genuine influence. sod, heut with the would like more from that. russia also argue that possibility or he is much hung -- russia's military is much stronger than it was that they have the ability to use military .orce by raising the possibility that there could be clashes he is making it much more difficult for the west to operate. host: nancy from north carolina, good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to make a comment that stephen cohen, professor emeritus from princeton and new
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york university said on the radio last week regarding the russian situation that the russians have learned that they are promoting of communism in the 70's and 80's and that,istan and areas like how much instability that causes. and now the u.s. is promoting democracy around the country, creating instability in the area's that affect russia directly. effect terrorism at a much more direct level, obviously we had 9/11. is there anything to be said about russia simply wanting to create stability? this promoting of democracy creates instability that we have to deal with. host: thank you for putting that
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point on the table. guest: so he usually argues in favor of the russians. i think this is an argument in favor of that position. there is a good when peoplending us were demonstrating in dresden where he was a kgb officer and they came and they stormed him. he got no help. it youthis experience of do have the mob coming out when there is a regime change and he wants to make sure that that never happened or . he looks at a sod -- a sod --
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assad through that lens. stabilitycreating because that is what fueled support for these radical groups. you have to somehow have a that cant and a leader this.o terms with the islamic state is not going to resolve that. host: and this is the one quote from today's "new york times" believesadimir putin in the privacy of state authority above all else. also a tweet from robert who says putin does not respect president obama! back toet me just go the george w. bush quote. said subsequently
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that he regrets having made that remark that he looked into putin's eyes and got a sense of his soul. he has retracted that remark. because the u.s. russian relationship does not have that many stakeholders the relationship between the two presidents it -- presidencies is disproportionately important. i would say the relationship between obama and cute -- putin has never been good. presidents had a ride -- rather productive relationship. years president obama and president putin did not have any real contact, the only real meeting they had was in july 2009 when president obama asked him how did we get into the situation and he got a lecture on all the things the united states had done wrong. the problem is when putin
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announced he was coming back there were riots in the streets in moscow. we can also mention edward snowden. the white house and the u.s. president feels that russia has deliberately done things to snub the united states and really against our interests. i would agree, it is not a good relationship. for the rest of the obama term in office it is not going to get better. host: another element of all of this is in today's "new york questionesponding to a at friday's news conference the president was asked about hillary clinton. he said there is a big difference between running for president and being president indirect reference to hillary clinton. mark in utah.
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good morning. caller: i would like to know your opinion on this. overran the iraqi if we had decided at that point to go in their full force, put ground troops and like some people want us to do now, and then we start to drive isis and the other terrorists towards syria when we get close to the syrian border and then a sod -- assad is being threatened, russia could come in. he can bring in a lot of materials. then we have russia on one hand .oing at us and we have iran iran could be going out us. could be going out us from within with ied's
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and strength and stuff like that. i think it could possibly have been a trap that they were rating for us to do that. i don't know. i just wanted your opinion because it could have happened. guest: there are obviously a lot of might have beens. clearly we are now in a situation in syria where we are closest to the possibility of a direct crash -- clash between the u.s. and russia because they are both using our air power against different radical groups. clearly the question is how much would russia have been willing to do to provoke one? to couldrio you point have happened. i guess the question is, are we -- the united states and our allies -- at some point going to say because we don't have the support domestically for a more robust military, we just wound
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down two wars, do we visibly say ok we are no longer going to play that role? that would be a sea change in american foreign-policy. it would mean that a number of our allies there who are already ,ary about what we are doing the saudi's, the egyptians, and others, would go to moscow and i would really change the global balance of forces at a time when you have to still remember that domestics fundamental weaknesses. it is not a rising power like china. host: bill from michigan, good morning. caller: i would like to make a comment about last year's when mitt romney came out and spoke about the russians and their ability to do with they are doing right now.
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our president brushed him off and i think that was a huge mistake and i believe our allies realized that we are no longer the strong superpower we need to be. candidate mitt romney said that russia was the greatest geopolitical threat. at that point in 2012 people were kind of criticizing that saying no. that we -- attrue least our western european slow toave been very appreciate that this is a slow term russian drive to reassert russia. because russia believes that the west is trying to undermine russia, the idea of having a
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collaborative relationship is very questionable. slow towe are appreciate how focused he was on reasserting russia. host: if you are listening on c-span radio, including serious fm, our guest is angela stent and we are focusing on russia's intentions in syria and the larger issue of u.s. russian relations. virginia,rom west democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. i believe that we americans should take to major lessons from this mess in the middle east. i don't hear any discussion about the time that mr. putin went into georgia and took territory. be,ink his reasoning would why is it that americans should be surprised?
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i took territory in old georgia and i will take it in crimea because america is tired of war. they are bogged down in a war in iraq and afghanistan. country whenr president obama made that assertion, the red line , then we called our and said no,ngress we don't want to get involved in syria. so i sort of think we are in soweday reaping what we in the sense that sometime we just cannot govern by popular opinion. reaping whatst are we sowed. thank you. guest: well i think you make some important points.
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the u.s. and russia are the two nuclear superpowers. we cannot take action that would actually risk getting into a direct nuclear confrontation with russia. we certainly are not going to that now. when russia invaded georgia and there was a short war, national security advisor stephen hadley convened a meeting in the white house, in the situation room, and they went around the table asking should the united states in vain to militarily in georgia? they took the vote and the boat was no. sent troopstually and gotten involved militarily it would have risked direct confrontation with russia and the same is true in ukraine. russia took over crimea. from the obama, right
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beginning, said there is no military solution. these countries that used to be part of the soviet union like georgia and ukraine, russia sees what happens to them as an existential question. they are very important to russia. they don't have the same level of importance for the united states because we have many other global issues with which we have to deal. it is a fact of life that we have to accept that we are not going to take action that would risk direct confrontation with russia. now when we look at syria and the middle east this is not georgia, this is not ukraine. issues.different set of what are our interests and how can we best defend them? ,ost: the book by angela stent she is a senior fellow at the transatlantic academy. the headline this past tuesday from "the washington times," that photograph of president obama and president who didn't as they met, a clash of words.
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and earlier in the day vladimir putin had this to say about russia's interest in syria. [video clip] >> russia has always been dedicated to fighting terrorism. we think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to help the syrian government while they are fighting terrorism face-to-face. we should acknowledge that no but the forces are truly fighting in syria. we know about all the problems and the contradictions in the region. i am afraidues, that such an honor -- honest
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approach of russia's has been recently used to accuse it of having a growing ambitions, as though those here have no ambitions at all. is about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world. host: going on to say, referring to america's single show of dominance and forced. guest: he was basically saying thinkse u.s. thanks -- that the u.s. is setting its agenda. he has served notice time and time again.
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now we can see him actually doing it. that is over. russia needs to be a major player, china obviously is a major player. ed from massachusetts, republican line. caller: good morning. i have two questions and i will be sustained. does our guest feel that history could weing itself and possibly be entering the 21st century of the kurt -- 20th-century version of the korean war or maybe the cuban missile crisis? invisible red lines in the sand, how much does she , who that valerie jarrett
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was born in persia, speaks persian, how much impact do you think she has had on foreign policy of barack obama? thank you. host: first, valerie jarrett? guest: i think that is very hard for me to know. i know she is very influential, how much impact she had i don't know. i think more importantly president obama did come into extricate usg to from conflicts where we had lost so many lives. and of course he also had an agenda where he wanted to reach a nuclear deal. i think that was there from the
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beginning and i think that that has driven much of the way that he has regarded russia, although obviously things did not quite turn out the way he wanted them to. i don't think that we are in a korean war situation or a cuban missile crisis situation. that theo remember united states is infamously more powerful than russia. we are not strategic rivals in the same way that we were then. we are however both nuclear superpowers. that putin rhetoric has accused is more reckless than some of the rhetoric we riod. during the soviet pe i think we are not in that situation yet.
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hopefully we will not get there. photograph from that meeting in new york, this courtesy from "time" magazine, as we listen to bill joining us from arkansas. caller: i like her response to a comment. i am an old farmer and that situation is like picking up a hot potato. you wish you had not done it. those people have been fighting for thousands of years. because of their religious beliefs they don't care whether they die or not. they figured they'd be better off if they were dead. is meddling inng something that we should leave alone. the united states has a web -- whip, and we used that in japan. it does not work with people who don't care if they die or not. so what i figure is this. get out of there, my dear own
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business, and leave things alone . i am a person of color. i have been in this country for 83 years. i have been persecuted off and on for 83 years. even now that i am retired i can't get a reduction on my property taxes because i made too much money and i worked hard. i can understand their feelings. host: we will get a response. you express the sentiment of a lot of americans, and i think the problem is obviously we have allies in the and also the rise of islamic radicalism also affect us. some of this clearly is a result by going overed there. you represent
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something a lot of americans would support. host: joe from texas. caller: good morning. i know that the president missed his redline that he had drawn as , but i think that would be a great opportunity for him to go directly after a sod -- assad, using our troops and planes to take him out by showing the russians that we mean business. gohink he should just directly after him right now and take him out in the same way. host: thank you. guest: i really -- i mean, the problem is now that with the russians involved in supporting somehe danger again of clash is much greater. i can only say -- we did go into
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iraq and obviously removed saddam hussein. wet did not work out the way thought it would. i am not sure that that is a feasible option. purcell alabama on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. my concern is the perception with israel. are we a french to them or not? it looks like we are look -- letting russia just do what they want. i also want to know, did he really decide to stay out of the airspace? if we did it just makes us look weak. the other thing, and i don't know if you know anything about this, i think it is just inevitable. states,ible it clearly russia will be coming over there. i never thought i would see that in our lifetime.
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and a person would become strong and they will all clash and count against israel. host: thank you. i just want to show this map. spreadcates how isis has from january 14 and 2 october 2015 and now across a wide swath of syria. your response? guest: i would just say on the first point that has to do with israel, what is very interesting in the last two or three years, had very badion relations with israel. has developed much stronger ties with israel. there are at least one point 5 million israeli citizens who come from the former soviet union. you see netanyahu recently in russia. even though obviously the israelis are very concerned about what is happening in syria and they may be concerned about the as we heard, for
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israeli point of view it is not clear that they can get rid of a sod -- that they think getting rid of assad is a solution. so you see a shift in the israeli russian relationship, and of course this thing between israel and the united states. i think that is going to continue. host: leo, we have less than a minute left. a really quick question. caller: there is a somewhat stronger in the middle east, someone who would be 1000 times worse. they start to go after the people in libya because they are there. youwhen you take him away are going to have the same problem. isis goes all the way to afghanistan.
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these are people that are going to coalesce because each state is being weakened by fighting. when the u.s. goes in there and take them out you are just allowing this one person who is 1000 times stronger than the taliban and he's hidden. host: we will get a response. guest: i don't think anyone is talking about him going immediately. you president obama said have to have a managed transition. i think the u.s. concern here is that the starting point for what is happening in syria should be, yes we have to deal with the islamic state, but we have to think about a leader who comes after assad who is less likely to provide a tool for the islamic state. that is what the russians now are saying. they don't want to entertain the idea. he can't goe
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tomorrow. the idea should be how you get to a decision where you have a leader who can reconcile the people of syria. host: angela stent, always a pleasure. since people will be talking about her appearance last night on saturday night live in case you missed it, here is one more moment. it included this characterization of hillary clinton herself. [video clip] >> maybe you should take a vacation. >> and execution? >> a vacation. >> did somebody say vacation? [applause] >> oh my god. they are multiplying. snl is back and last night's premiere included hillary clinton serving as the host of the program. we will continue the
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conversation tomorrow morning talking about politics in congress this week and of course the new term of the u.s. supreme court also tomorrow launching this series on our landmark series program that airs every monday at 9:00 eastern. we will be previewing the supreme court term and then we'll take a look at those main cases that will be undertaken. that's tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. eastern time. for clock for those of you on the west coast. thank you for joining us on this sunday. "newsmakers" is next. have a great weekend. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> here on c-span,


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