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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 5, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EST

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, we went by the rear anniversary of sandy hook. it was the since columbine which was almost 10 years ago. 1999. more than 10 years ago. i was just wondering, number one, how much worse can it get than sandy hook to get these politicians to realize that something needs to change. and number two, how much of an theuence is the nra in decisions of these politicians? i think the nra is a significant force. but, they are not the reason the politicians vote the way they do.
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they doans vote the way because of what they hear from their constituents. in many parts of this country, heavily in rural and suburban and smaller communities, all over the country, people feel very intensely on the firearms issue that we do not need the government involved in more regulation. we are not even getting to the point of sandy hook and columbine that you were talking about. it becomes a cultural issue. to overcome that, there has got to be some what i call daschle that sent -- sensible points of view brought him. maybe i am pollyanna's but i think we can come up with sensible compromises on some of these issues without interfering with people's constitutional rights and second amendment.
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the issues are so polarized and we do not understand from where a lot of people are coming to in 1994, i ran for reelection and i voted for this assault weapons ban. i had done this great thing on general aviation that kept a lot of jobs. thousands of jobs in my state and my district. i went and knocked on a door who was a person who was a union member in my days as a democrat. the guy was so excited to see me. me profusely. i have a win right here. he said, i cannot vote for you. he said because of god. started discussing this with him. i knew -- he said because of guns. this is what he told me. he said you do not seem to understand, you come from a
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family that has a lot of privilege and you can go on vacations and you can do what you want in life. he says i am a working man. fishing andnd my being a sportsman and having firearms, that is part of my existence. elitist tryingn to take that away from me. now, i thought about it for a moment and i thought we might quietly agree on some things we should do. but it taught me that this issue is so profound culturally and regionally. the folks who are on the side of more effective regulation on the gun issue have to understand that better. this is not an argument for not doing anything but i am saying
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that at its core the nra is a little bit involved in this but at its core it is a structural issue. a lot of this is really-urban. people -- think that another new town example. the gun was from his mother. did not lock it. she kept it in his room. it is not just guns but also mental health. son is mentally unstable. shouldn't she be accountable. >> civil liability ought to come into this situation. we do this when it comes to serving people underage in terms of our call. we can hold people civilly
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responsible if not criminally responsible. there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat that are just as effective. ok, yes. i will be quick. my name is mallory and i am from hofstra university. you mentioned before that the founding fathers intended our government to be a one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake. >> my characterization. >> with this system in place, can the average american regain this trust when they are not seeing significant progress? >> i do think we need progress on some things. that is why i think a major infrastructure -- something to show people that we can get to work and modernize these decaying pieces of infrastructure. that would be one thing.
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folks have to see the government can do things. ago, aas an author years historian named daniel burnham. if you came through union station, he built that. he said make no little plants because they do not have the power to stir man's soul. that struck me. if you have big ideas, you will get people excited that the system can work. to some extent after 9/11, we felt like we were responding to that and i think we still do from a national securities perspective. that is why i mentioned a big, major, infrastructure program to rebuild the decaying infrastructure we have were a major effort to cure major deal -- diseases. this would give people confidence that the system can work. hello, my name is christopher
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and i come from seton hill. seen hill is in pennsylvania and state having this huge budget standoff. it has caused a lot of problems teacher and so a i feel that affect at home. ways that therent average citizen can encourage politicians to compromise on this kind of issue? this is outrageous. respects, you are giving me both sides of the equation. the local and state governments have done a better job reaching compromise because they have to complete a legislative session in a year and in many cases they have to operate within a balanced budget and limits. i have seen more in recent years -- years like kansas for
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example. they have become incapable of solving major problems. the same issues that affect our national government are beginning to affect the states as well. dealing thing i can tell you is citizen action and citizen involvement. in a democratic system there is no other magic answer except for people like yourself who organize and try to push the political system. and then perhaps get others engaged as well. you are still free to vote and try to influence the system. let us see, last question. >> my questions have to do with similar questions regarding state government. my name is joe and i am from the university of massachusetts. modern politics are in my realm of expertise. i study the creation of the constitution and the first
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political parties. bigger government versus big government which is better. which do you think is better healing state government or federal government? >> that is interesting because you have some of the same principles as federalist today as you did in terms of the role of government. closer the the government is to the people do better it response because you can call the school board councilt or the city officer directly because they live with that consequences that you the citizen has tried to challenge. the further you get from the local system, the more problematic. the bigger the issue, the more you need a national response. ,f you are dealing with isis you will not get the state of massachusetts to deal with that issue.
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andely, civil constitutional rights, we have a national country so we need a set of national principles on that kind of thing. what worries me is that people lose trust in their national government to operate. and then you have a system of many states, some do better and by and worse and people large are treated unequally in this country. thatasic roles in his will apply to your securities and liberties are national and not state why state. powers why we have all not enumerated are reserved to the state. most people take that seriously. anyway, i think we are about done. i am seeing a lot of nods. thank you all. [applause] we would like all to bring
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home a flag. [applause] >> researchers will look at the issue of sports injuries sustained by middle or high school students focusing on concussions tomorrow morning. we will have live coverage from the national press club at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. president obama will announce his administration is closing loopholes on some of the gun background checks. we will have that live from the white house at 1140 eastern on c-span. later on c-span2, the head of the american petroleum is did you jack gerard speaks about u.s. energy policy and oil and natural gas industry priorities. that is live at 1230 eastern. we need to know how many people are reading us. we need to know how they are coming to us for example if they
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are not coming directly to our website and coming through facebook or go -- or google or twitter or any of these other venues, we should know that. >> sunday night on q&a, washington post executive editor marty talks about the changes at the post since he took over in 2013. he also discusses the depiction of his work as editor and chief for the boston globe in the movie -- spotlight. >> i think it is important to keep in mind that it is a movie and not about reality. you have to compress in two hours a seven-month investigation. you had to introduce the important themes that emerged over the course of the investigation. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. > the a conversation on the gop congressional agenda and white
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house priorities are 2016. from washington journal, this is 55 minutes. continues. host: joining us is erica werner and we are here with jeff mason. good morning to you. let's start off with you, jeff. you were with the president for two weeks in hawaii. jeff: the president goes on vacation and he plays a lot of golf. he did not do a lot of public activities. he did address the troops on christmas day and some news did trickle out as it often does on trips like this. they started to unveil what it is like -- what is likely to come out this week on gun control. he gave an address where he talked about looking at options orders fore tightening gun roles, which he
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has tried before. that is leading up to the state of the union coming up next week so there was a steady stream of stories like this. overall, it was a time for the president to relax. host: one of the stories coming out of the gun part of the narrative. he will meet with is a journey -- with his attorney general. this is usa today headline on this monday. what is the reaction likely to be on congress? i know it depends on what the president says but how are they positioning themselves? erika: it is clearly not going to go over well with republicans who have been very ticked off by the president's repeated use of executive actions on any number of issues. have not responded well to any of that. may well threaten to sue, to overturn that or stage a vote likely in the house to oppose whatever he does.
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as we have seen republicans in the house and senate and even democrats in the senate are very reluctant to act on any kind of control measures themselves. those reasons this is not likely to get a warm response in congress. host: let's hear from the president over the weekend at his weekly radio address on this. [video clip] >> last month we remembered the third anniversary of newtown. this friday, i will be thinking about my friend gabby giffords. all across america, survivors of gun violence and those who lost a child, or a parent, or a spouse to violence, are forced to mark such awful anniversaries every single day. yet congress still has not done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families. a bipartisan commonsense bill would have required that ground checks for virtually everyone who buys a gun. this is a policy that is
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supported by some 90% of the american people. it was supported by a majority of nra households. the gun lobby mobilized against it in the senate blocked it. since then tens of thousands of our fellow americans have been mowed down by gun violence. each time we are told commonsense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre or the one before that so we should not do anything. we know we can't stop every act of violence, but what if we tried to stop even one? what if congress did something, anything, to protect our kids from violence? a few months ago i directed my team at the white house to look into any new actions i can take to help reduce gun violence. on monday, i will meet with our attorney general, loretta lynch, to discuss options. i get too many letters from parents, teachers, kids, to sit around and do nothing.
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i get letters from responsible gun owners who grieve with us when these tragedies happen, who share my belief that the second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms and that we can protect that right while keeping a dangers few from flipping harmonic massive scale. -- from inflicting harm dangerous few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. change will take all of us. -- the gunby is arme lobby is well organized. extent do you think the president will spend his final year in office on this gun issue? jeff: he will definitely spend the first chunk of this year on at. i think that will dominate the week. a big chunk of his state of the union address. in addition to whatever seconded
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action he decides to announce you can pick up from what he says in the radio address and also from the fact that he is holding a town hall later this week that he wants to take the case directly to the american people and he wants to use the fact that polls show americans do support some tighter gun laws do his advantage. whether or not that will lead to success is an open question. if history shows, he almost certainly will not get, progress in congress. congress. to maybe they are not passing anything. what is' posture of democrats in congress on this issue as the president comes out with this? thishey, will they use issue to disrupt other things are happening? erica: democrats will try to push on this issue. they made that clear before we knew for certain that the president was going to move on executive action on this. in both the house and senate we
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will see democrats who are in the minority in both chambers try to use what levers they can come up be a procedural votes in the senate, trying to push amendment votes. republicans have said and indicated that they really feel no political pressure on this issue despite repeated mass shootings. host: a busy week for the white house as they start the first full week of the new year. we mention the se senate is out of session but the houses coming in. they have a big vote coming up. i wanted to get erika werner to lay this out for us. she is with the associated press and covers the hill. this is a repeal of parts of the health care law. erica: this will be the first time that they get legislation to the president asked desk that he will then of course veto. they have taken numerous votes over the years since health care
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law passed especially in the house, voting scores of times to repeal legislation in full or part. that has never made it to the president's desk. this time they used a special budgetary procedure that essentially prevented senate democrats from filibustering. the house will vote on it this week and that will send it to the president's desk. host: we have a little bit from the republican radio address on this matter. [video clip] week congress returns next in one of our first acts of the new year the house will vote on a bill that would eliminate he parts of obamacare and stop taxpayer funding for abortion providers such as planned parenthood. if this bill becomes law, patients will be able to choose a health insurance plan that works for them without washington getting in the way. that is the problem with
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obamacare, it forces people to buy insurance that is more expensive than what they need and when you force millions people to buy expensive and unaffordable insurance it's not that surprising to see premiums going up. deductibles are going up to all while people's choices are disappearing. they're losing doctors. if they cannot find a good plan. far too many are paying more in getting less. if we want to make health insurance more affordable, we should make insurance companies compete for your business. that means we should not force people to buy insurance. our bill addresses this in by eliminating the core of obamacare. it repeals the individual mandate. if this bill becomes law you will not have to buy insurance or face penalty. it will be your choice. this bill is eliminate the employer mandate to offer insurance. no longer will job creators have to choose between hiring more
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workers and paying for coverage they cannot afford. this bill is eliminate many obamacare taxes on things like prescription drugs and medical devices. critical medicine and medical devices are the things that save lives. they should never have been taxed in the first place. this bill will set things right. host: the president vetoes this bill when it comes to him. what is next? what does it all mean? jeff: as erica said, the president will veto a bill that would have any kind of negative affect on his signature domestic policy achievement which was the health care bill. i think what comes next is the president and some democrats on the presidential campaign will say here is another attempt by republicans to repeal a bill that gives people health care. alternative for actual providing health care to the millions of people who need it. there is politics on both sides.
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there are pros and cons. basically what happens next politics gets played out. the president takes this opportunity to say, republicans you had your say it again. i'm going to veto this attempt to repeal. it gives the president and other democrats to say we actually stand for health care. host: let's get to more calls. betty, you are up first. go ahead. caller: as far as that -- him vetoing it, i'm sure he will veto it. he does not care about anybody but himself. he doesn't care about anybody but himself. he ought to address the epa and tell them not to get rid of the people, get rid of the garbage. dumpit over to hawaii and
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it down the volcano. it will eliminate all those incinerator plants. and then it will put more people out of work. host: anything there that either one of you want to respond to? guest: i'm not sure what she climateut i think change and other environmental rules that will be something that is a part of this year's agenda. so no doubt that will upset some people on the republican side. that will be another hot topic this year. host: i want to remind you of the phone lines. we look forward to your calls and comments. jeff mason and erica
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warner. say paul ryan wants to push and a vicious agenda, what does he have in mind? guest: we don't know yet. that is something that will take place later this month. but what paul ryan has made abundantly clear is that he wants to use the house as a body fit a bold agenda for the gop. regardless of what the eventual to do and whatut that is. he wants to charter a course. he has made clear that it is not it isto be something that not something that the president will sign. rather, it will be a message. that the gop will set out. host: jeff mason, considering
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this is paul ryan's first full year in the job and the president's last full year in the job, what do you think their relationship will be? jeff mason: i think they will try to work together. i think they will try to be optimistic about working with a new speaker although despite some of the frictions they had with john boehner, i think the president respected him a great deal. they weren't able to come to an agreement of many things. that said, the chances of the white house and congress getting a whole lot done are pretty low. you see that with him kicking off executive action. you will hear that with the state of the union address next week. you will be hearing the president say i want to get this or that in progress because he knows that they won't be able to do that. there will be a few things, he will work hard to get
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congressional approval on trade. and i think we will hear a lot about that in the coming weeks and months. but overall, this will not be a big legislative agenda. host: let's go to francis in munro, new york. good morning. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. my question to both of the panelists is, they are sitting here with the new regulations and executive action, saying that the majority of america want some gun regulations changed. and that is why he is pushing so then in the next breath, the american people don't like obamacare and they wanted repealed and they are sitting here saying that he doesn't have the right -- he has the right to not listen to the american people. so which is it? host: thank you for calling.
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ner, do you want to take that? erica werner: you see that democratic on the side and the republican side. for the republican side, they want to appeal obamacare and president obama will appeal that. likewise, the president will oppose executive action that he actions that affect the american people. actions that will play out. host: are there pieces of the health-care law that the president does still want to change? jeff mason: the president and the white house in general have said that they are willing to change aspects of the law to improve it.
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that is a line that they have stuck by. but there is not going to be -- they are not going to be open to gunning the aspect of the law. so in general, yeah. he is committed to health care reform and once the overall loss to be something that succeeds and continues to be successful. and if that means a couple of tweaks here and there, he is ok with that. host: we have roxanne from maryland on the line. good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to address what i see is one of the topics for 2016. angry white people. and specifically with the takeover of the federal building in oregon, it is a concern. intose i think as we get
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the season with the donald trump's of the world, angry white people are going to be in the news topics on 2016. i would like to get your topics. jeff mason, why don't you start? jeff mason: it will be interesting to see how they react. ae republicans will have trickier time responding to that because they are certainly voters who on some levels support what is going on in oregon and yet this is obviously an illegal action. so the caller raises a good point. there is a lot of politics involved in what is going on there as with everything in washington and elsewhere in the country. and this will be played out in the campaign trail.
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larger point the that she is pointing to is that there is anger among voters. and people have different theories as to why that is the case but it is something we are seeing play out in this campaign. and: bill from new york, independent caller. good morning. caller:good morning, how are you doing? i am astonished by how many people believe the propaganda. it is your lies. for example, obamacare. they will take away your doctor. health care will take a -- will i have neverey -- lost a patient due to obamacare. and i also pay my insurance. this thing in oregon, these people are breaking the law. they want to take that law --
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that land for free and do what they want with it. it drives me nuts. host: any response? i'm sure it's drives a lot of people nuts, i'm sure on both sides. i'm sure he has his own experience as a physician. that there is different data and different anecdotal experiences on all sides. will the house vote take place? erica werner: i believe it is happening on wednesday at they are coming back on tuesday. it will be the first major vote. of the majort legislation is that it defense planned parenthood. and so again, they are making a
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political point. it is a political message. the president will veto it. theround the same time as march thatprotest happens in washington. host: i want to bring in some other headlines. we are talking about the middle east and the saudi's cutting ties to iran. this is following the execution that took place in saudi arabia. one of the headlines in the washington post, and execution of a cleric demands a u.s. response. jeff mason, what is the white house's response? where is it headed? a good question. it puts the white house in a
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tricky position. the white house needs saudi arabia as an ally. they value the relationship and they want to be careful about being overly critical. on the other hand, this president and white house has raised concerns about human rights in saudi arabia continuously. and basically did so again after the execution, saying that it is important for saudi arabia to pay attention to human rights. and after the cutting off of diplomatic ties of iran, they say it is important for them to an answer.s there is a headline that says the u.s. fears tension could affect the fight with isis, but what i want to point out, is that on the usa today, a
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an of the papers have article that say the war on isis is far from over, but there is a congressman who writes on the other side. the issue has been there for quite a while. do you see any of those taking place on the war against isil? erica werner: doubtful. very doubtful. it isn't something that they are interested in taking up. the column does show that democrats feel like they have a point to make. and a good argument to advance. talkingeader pelosi about the relationship -- expect to see them pushing on that. host: let's see what carl has to say. good morning. yes, i just had a
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question. a young lady called a while ago. she mentioned that they should dump the garbage in hawaii. that is one of the 50 states. no one called her out on that. how do you get by with dumping garbage? in one of our states? that makes no sense and no one called her out on that. i was surprised that she got away with that. it sounds like you are calling her out on it. any other topics you want to talk about as far as congress? i watch you all day long. thank you for c-span. host: let's go to gabriel next. caller: yes, good morning. i am an independent.
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i was a republican for many years. are calling on the republican line, was that a mistake? yes, you can jump on the phone lines and try to get in. host: while we have you, you say you are a former republican, when did that change? probably, i would say about nine years ago. i joined the military. [indiscernible] caller: i was isolated in a world that only focus on one thing. i was interested in going forth and seeing other perspectives. militaryinto the
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really change that. i started to look a lot about what america was doing. the connection is not the best, we will hang with you as long as you can. do you have a question? caller: i do. i am a medical student focused on the health care sentiment here. i don't get upset anymore when i hear about what the right is , i amor the left is doing working on understanding the political process. but right now we pay three times what the u.k. pays for their health care and we get some of the worst results. -- it goes into our food products.
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earlier at the start of the program, the individual who came on and said that there should be no tax on prescription drugs because these things help people, i am appalled by that. i just want to ask the panelists you have their today, i am in north carolina. we are part of the states that opted out of obamacare. what i want to find out, is there a difference in premiums, the rise in premiums between states that embraced obamacare, like kentucky, or in north carolina? is there a difference that we see? host: thank you for calling.
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can you respond? erica werner: one thing i do know in response to the caller is that these states that expanded medicaid under obamacare, there are a lot more people covered versus those that didn't. many of the people that were targeted or intended beneficiaries of the health-care law still remain uncovered. there are obviously political the states why expanded medicaid and set up their own exchanges. but as jeff mason was talking about earlier, we have a huge federal program. politics, thathe is never going to happen. there is a polarized argument where the republicans are pushing the appeal.
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the white house will veto it. there is no ground in the middle. jeff mason: i don't have anything to add, i don't have the context of what the caller is asking for. but there is evidence that shows a lot of people are signing up obamacare, both in the states and on the federal system. big measureat is a to say that this program is something that is needed and is providing a valuable service, and not a political standpoint. host: we talked about a repeal, but is the word replace still out there? what is the republican replacement for obamacare? that is something that the gop has been promising for years, to replace obamacare but without the us far coming up with a unified program that republicans have agreed on. not easy to dois
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and once you start attempting to do that, you end up having to argue details that in some cases are very favorable to republicans because they cost a lot of money. however that is something that paul ryan has promised to do. to finally come up with a gop obamacare replacement this year. we will see whether he can make good on that. , an: michael from new york independent caller. caller: good morning. is, the president is coming back from hawaii and the first thing he is going to do is make some sort of executive action on gun control. i'm wondering why i am never talk aboutresident the number one form of criminal homicide. i would like to ask the panelists if they know what the number one form of criminal homicide is. jeff mason: he is asking a
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question but i don't know the answer. caller: the number one form of criminal homicide in the is dwi. host: what does that mean to you? caller: that means they are looking at a problem that is less of a problem than the first problem. very quicklyfixed that if you get a dwi huge do not get another driver's license. it is is your -- it is more 2000 poundo have an vehicle then gun violence. jeff mason: this is a policy that i'm sure there are people on both sides of the political aisle -- i can't comment on
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whether there are initiatives underway but there are different laws on that and it is obviously a difficult issue. , this isca werner about the budget. deficity get the budget under control? a big question. as to the latter part of the question, probably not entirely. however, the new speaker has that the budgeting process will follow regular order this year and he is going to be under a lot of pressure to deliver on that. order" meansular different things to different people. it can be in the eye of the beholder. host: from louisiana, good morning emily. caller: good morning.
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good morning. and jeff mason. is that you, paul? pay. -- hey. sorry about that. i have been enjoying this program this morning. i usually call once in a blue moon. i am in south louisiana. i decided i was going to call because it is a panel of somebody from reuters and somebody from the associated press. you, want to say thank thank you, because i can trust trust ap and- i
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reuters. i know i'm getting a fair deal. and ilmost 60 years old am sorry i am nervous. and thent to thank paul producers who got these beautiful people on. year. you a blessed host: do you have any questions about the policies or anything you want to ask? caller: 100,000 but that isn't what i planned on doing today. this has put joy in my heart today. host: thank you for calling from louisiana. we will let that stand. , hes take a call from john is on the republican line. caller: good morning, how are you. said thewho called and
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white people are angry, that the black people are angry too. i think a lot of people are angry. and i think it is this administration. a lot of presidential administrations in the past, what had this much gun violence? i would like to know that. -- not control issue want to restrict the second amendment. i think people should look at the issues in work on as to what people are protecting against. that is all i have to say. i would like to hear your comments. host: you put several topics out there, would you like to respond? jeff mason: the question of gun violence. history shows that gun violence has been a problem under many residents.
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-- under many different presidents. that back to columbine high school, many other shootings we have seen in this country and in our history, it isn't happening just under certain presidents. say something about one of the previous callers about white people being angry. and he said black people, i think that is an unfair statement to make. i think it is true that a lot of people are upset because of their race but it isn't one race that is burning our cities. erica werner: i second just comments. s comments. host: can you remind us of where we are with the trade deal and what is going to happen? erica werner: the obama
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administration will submit it to congress probably at some point this year but as to whether it will actually come to a full vote, it is not certain. the senate leader, mitch mcconnell, has made it clear that he thinks prospects are not good. and i think because of the timing, it is likely to be later in the year when it could come. at which point, it would be near theresidential election -- presidential election and hillary clinton opposes this. jeff mason: you made a good point mentioning mitch mcconnell. yeareal was agreed last with the united states and other pacific nations and it was a big victory for the obama administration. then the fact that mitch mcconnell said he wasn't in a big hurry to take it on is something that the white house will be pressing on.
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i think the further they get it pushed back into the year, closer to the election, the harder it will be politically for it to happen. but it is something the president really wants. a piece of his legacy in his final year, so i think you will see a push for it. erica werner: i should make the point that paul ryan, the speaker of the house, is a big free-trade proponents. and while he has held back from saying where he is on the deal, he wants to read it, but he has parted ways on it with mitch mcconnell. so that may be a way the white house has an opening on it. alfred ins hear from phenix city, alabama. caller: i was listening to you earlier. you were talking about the gun control and executive powers
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and those things. the problem with the attack on the second amendment is that not all of the gun violence has been done by people who are mentally sane. if you look at most of these things that happen, it is mostly people who are mentally deranged or sick. and i don't hear any politician take on the mental ole miss factor. illness -- the mental factor. we have closed two mental hospitals in alabama. they should take on mental illness and do something about that. host: let's hear from jeff mason. jeff mason: the caller raises a good point. some of the major shootings that
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we have seen, the one in newtown comes to mind, with the connection to mental illness. the caller int saying that it is something that the white house is aware of. and they are trying to take action. becausetricky issue there is a desire by policymakers to address the issue of mental illness but also not create an incentive for they are get help when ill. in terms of a way that would reduce their ability to get access to guns. it is a tricky issue. i can assure the caller that it is on the radar in washington. erica werner: and in fact, it has been the top republican response in washington in response to the latest shootings, the need to address that.
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congressman murphy from pennsylvania, he says the house leadership rallied around his proposal and we may see that move this year, but how far it gets, it is maybe not likely to pass the senate. probably unlikely. but it is an area that the republicans are talking about that. the democrats are talking about that. host: chris murphy has been on this program over the past number of years. -- i'm sure it is going to come up. san diego, it is early for anthony, a republican. are you there? caller: yes. host: go ahead. turn the mute volume on your set.
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we will hear you much better. anthony, in san diego. do you have the sound down? caller: it is on you. hello? i see him talking to somebody else. this woman is talking. host: try again from the beginning. turn the sound down on your set fully before you make the call and maybe it will work better next time. let's hear from joseph from florida. democratic caller. caller: good morning. i am a retired educator. i am now working in florida as an adjunct professor part-time. i have had a lot of contact with young people and i have come to
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the realization that they, as many americans, are frustrated and somewhat indifferent to our political process. i would like to address two issues regarding matt. the philip -- regarding that. the filibuster. it is a kind of invention of the senate based on their right to make their own rules. i believe that they should not be able to make a rule that goes contrary to the constitution. the founding fathers never intended the senate to be a super majority vote senate body. that is obvious because they five things state that should be a super majority. namely, declaration of war, impeachment and two others i cannot remember
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right now. filibuster is clogging up everything in the senate. everybody knows that. the president made this speech previously on your program about gun control. why couldn't they get anything done? matt miller wrote a piece in the washington post about 3.5 years ago which is probably still available. the title of it is "it's the filibuster, stupid." a great history of the ,ilibuster and also tom harkin great man in my eyes. spend most of his career trying to make dangers to the filibuster and he was very frustrated. those ideas are still out there. i think the senate has to wake up. america is frustrated and part of their anger is nothing is getting done in government. host: let's let erica werner
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take this. the caller has a lot of people who agree with him including some senators. there have been some changes to senate rules over the years. senators,ost including leadership in both parties, do not want to change the filibuster. i think it is unlikely to be changed and those who oppose wholesale changes would say it protects the rights of the minority, whoever happens to be in the minority. and that has changed over the years and will change again and for that reason even those in the majority at the moment do not want to see the filibuster done away with. host: lonnie is in maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a data guy. i love numbers and measures of things.
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dwi was wrong.is there is less than 10,000 people killed a year in the united states. around 9800 people killed a year from dwis. believe it or not suicide in the united states are the largest murders or whatever you want to call it. 41,100 as a matter of fact. let's go to the middle east. there are 24 million kurds. they are spread around mostly in northern iraq. some in turkey. some in northern iran. -- i cannot revert the other country. this gets to joe biden's
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suggestion that the country be split into three pieces. in any case, let's pick a winner , let's support the kurds like crazy, get our soldiers out. please just give up on afghanistan. during theuntry crusades no one -- and since the crusades and the empires come of the british empire and all of the other empires, they never took afghanistan. who wants the rocks? ,et out of afghanistan strengthen the kurds, bring them back together. a strong country that is generally reasonable.
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that is probably enough. host: you left a lot on the table. 's strategy this final year, where is it headed? jeff: it is interconnected with the fight against isil, islamic state, depending on which name you want to use. it is a major topic for the white house. no white house will continue to wrestle with u.s. policy on that. overall the president wants to stick with his campaign promise of not putting boots on the ground or more soldiers or troops into the middle east. iraq, or afghanistan. it is unlikely that there will be a shift of that. erica: that has been heavily
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criticized on the hill by republicans and will continue to be who want to see more engagement including in some cases some republicans want to see boots on the ground and think that is necessary. the white house looks unlikely to change course. i don't see that being a major focus on the hill despite criticism from republicans. host: an extension of that is the refugee issue. the hill has the headline this morning, six bytes to erupt in congress. one of them is the refugee issue. and you remind us of where congress has been on this refugee issue? erica: shortly after the terror attacks in paris where the suggestion came out, never totally proven, that at least one of the attackers had some movementhe refugee from syria. the house took action, passing the bill that clamped down on
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the ability of syria and refugees to enter the u.s. which they do in small numbers anyway. was opposed very strongly by the white house and the president. butsenate did not ask senator mcconnell has promised that the senate will act this year. the senate will do, whether they take up the house bill, not yet known. topic fors a tricky the white house. the president wants to give support to allies like angela who has let inny hundreds of thousands of refugees from syria meanwhile the state is taking in maybe 10,000 so there is a big disparity but obviously it is a difficult political question because of questions of
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terrorism, of screening. the white house is walking that line carefully trying to issue support to its allies to show that the united states is open. it is worth mentioning as well fighting back against rhetoric ufc on the campaign trail from toald trump about wanting prevent muslims from entering the country, that is clearly something the white house takes objection to on the political and moral ground. host: charles, ann arbor michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. --ould like to address host: i think we lost charles. caller: can you still hear me? host: i think we lost you for a second. caller: i would like to make
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three points that we really do not have democracy in our country and hopefully your guests can comment on some of these. maybe i have one of the facts wrong. democracy in the sense that every person's vote should count equally. anachronisticn electoral college and i don't need to elaborate on that. ,he second thing i like to ask the republicans would not be in control of both houses if we went by the number of votes that were cast. once we get our so-called elected representatives in otherston, lobbyists and tell them what to do. those are my comments. i will be interested in what your guests have to say. host: a little bit about structure and culture. erica: i think a lot of people
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might agree with some of the caller's criticism. elect oral college is -- the electoral college is a complex system that does render voters in certain states meaningless in a certain way in a presidential campaign system. however it is the system we have and it came about for certain reasons. as far as elected representatives answering to lobbyists once they are in congress, there is some truth to that. .eff: democracies are messy the united states system was andted by our forefathers the constitution sets out the system that we are following and have followed since the creation of the u.s. there is room for reform and there are people on both sides of the aisle who would agree to
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that. it is a question of whether or not there is political will or courage to do so. on the issue of the electoral college, unless there is another election like the bush versus gore where the popular vote is different from electronic college vote, that could conceivably happen again. my suspicion is unless that happens again you will not see a push for electoral college vote. host: we a time for one more call. arthur, an independent. caller: i was calling in, kind of concerned about the united states of america's nationality actually being used in a format to -- it is more or less being used paying property taxes here in the united states by federal
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agencies just kind of concerns me about our nationally -- by our nationality. independently a person that has to pay taxes actually uses their that theand i'm seeing united states of america in care of rural development -- it is like, how can that agency use paying residential taxes for individuals to live in that house? host: comments from arthur. we are just about out of time. one more look ahead from our guests from their respective vantage points. is there anything we have not talked about that we should be looking out for? erica: i think control of the senate will be a big issue and an open question to this point
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as to whether republicans are able to hang onto their majority in the elections. almost guaranteed to lose a couple of seats and democrats seem to be filling -- seem to be feeling confident they will take back the senate. that will depend in large part on who is the republican presidential nominee. jeff: the one thing we have not talked about is what role he plays in the campaign. i think that is something we will have to wait to see until there is a democratic nominee. with a president obama to b on the campaign trail this year even though he is not the one running and cannot run for reelection. i think in order to preserve his legacy from the last seven or eight years, believes very strongly and will want to support a democratic successor. host: talksnext, colin woodard
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about american regionalism. he argues that the u.s. is made up of 11 different nations or regions. then bill clinton campaigns for his wife in new hampshire. and later, dan glickman talks about presidential campaigns and the political process. next "washington journal," we discussed campaign finance and spending for political ads. schouten will join us. and then manal omar will talk about islamic extremism and ways to counter it. washington journal is live at 7:00 a.m. et talks aboutwoodard
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the history and regionalism of culture wars in the u.s. and what he calls the myth of red and blue states. he discusses his book "american nations." this event was held at the iowa state university. it is my special honor to introduce our speaker who is an award-winning journalist and author of "american nations." a book that has been described as the history of north america that explodes the red state blue state myth and explains away partisanship with the claim that our culture wars are inevitable. he is the state and national affairs writer at the portland
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press herald, and maine's sunday telegram. we look forward to reading -- learning more about the regions in the country which lead to greater understanding of the current presidential campaign. join me in welcoming: would it -- colin woodard. [applause] >> thank you all, and thank you iowa state for having me. it is a great pleasure to be back in iowa. for coming tonight. it's a great pleasure to be back especially as we're entering political campaign season in its full glory. "american nations" is a book about north american regionalism and the vital importance it plays in understanding our history, our national identity, indeed, our current political cleavages, which are they are , even as idea lonl icologic ideological.
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i think we all know that regionism is important, red states and blue states. there was a civil war and the south is apparently still fighting it. we know that the presidential to say es are supposed one set of things to their party faithful when they arrive in new later, re and two weeks say a completely different set of things to the faithful of the ame party when they get to south carolina. even in this tea party era, a state ike vermont and a like mississippi might as well be on separate planets in terms of religious values, political priorities, ideas about the proper role of government, about the relationship between church and state, and even the meaning of such important and key terms lexicon as can indeed, or liberty or the definition of american ideals and liberty. the point is we're no more a united culture, a united nation, than europe is. and indeed, our component cultures are more diverse and share fewer values in common han any few member states
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today. but we can't talk about these critical differences in any meaningful sort of way because we don't have the right map. regions?t do we mean by worse, you know, we hear regionalism all the time. polls and t regional regional marketing and whether krispy kreme like region.n donuts by what do you mean by regions? it's a set of regions defined by boundaries and sort of that classic federal government way of the northeast and the a south and a west. but by doing this, particularly lines, you g state end up distorting and diluting the true role that these cultures play. this approach misses the true fizzures, which are historically-based, have been consistent through the centuries, and rarely respect state or, indeed, even international boundaries. again, we all know this, right? we all know that state
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boundaries don't make any sense. is there anyone here from maryland? marylanders -- and every marylander you ask, they all now that there are three marylands and can have an argument with each other about exactly where the boundary is located between the three. there's the three texases, right? austin is the state capitol. all texans know that, but houston, san antonio and dallas are the hubs of three very different texases. there's the coastal strip of the west coast that seems to share a great deal in common between states and even provences and, yet is as odds in almost every conceivable way with the interiors of their own states provences. there's upstate and down-state illinois. there's the great quote from the democratic strategist, james ragin you know, the cajun. he was taking a political neo neofite around the state and was telling him about the realities for state.
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he said, here's what you've got to understand. there's philadelphia, pittsburgh, and alabama in between. and he was talking about the uplands of northern alabama, he was actually on pretty sound ethnohistorical grounds. missouri can't ven agree on a regional basis how to pronounce the name of the state. clearly, state boundaries aren't in hing something and yet times of uncertainty and discord, many americans seek of the n the works founding fathers hoping that if we could return to their ideal, and followed nd their original intent, we could sense of isplaced common purpose, restore our civic strength and bring the union back to unity. but time and again, this effort is frustrated by the simple and when you think about it, very obvious fact, that the men who came together to confront a ommon enemy in 1775 and 1776 and to build a more enduring alliance in 1787 to 1789 were not our country's founders but,
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rather, the founders' great and great-great, and great-great-great grandchildren, and those founders from the 17th century and early 18th century shared very little in common in terms of purpose and intent and ideals. indeed, most of our true regional cultures date back to 18th 7th and early centuries. here they are, the original east coast, he where they originally started from and the light-shaded line got through t each 1775. these original clusters you see here on the eastern seaboard ere founded and settled by people of distinct regions of the brightal isles, the french, the netherlands each with their own political and ethnographic character characteristics. for generations, these discrete euro american cultures developed a remarkable isolation from one
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another, consolidating their own cherished principals and indeed, al values and, expanding across the eastern half of the country in nearly settlement bands. the dark section there is the and this you just saw, is the expansion out to 1850 in tiers.eparate now, some of these regional cultures championed individualism. others, utopian social reform. some believed themselves to be purpose.y divine others champion freedom of conscience and inquiry. explicit ced an anglo-protestant identity. thers, ethnic and religious pluralism. some valued equality and democratic participation in politics. others, deference to a traditional aristocratic order of led on the slave states classical antiquity. throughout the early slave saw one another as competitors for land, for ettlers, for capital, and even
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as enemies. in these cultures you see here, ook opposing sides in the english civil war of the 1640s, in the american revolution, in the war of 1812. indeed, nearly all of the regional cultures you see on this map right now would consider leaving the union in the 80 years following the battle of yorktown and two of them, tragically tried to do so in the 1860s. the point is is that there's but been one america rather several americas. there are 11. this is county resolution. i'm going to very briefly introduce them. the book goes into all the subtleys.d i'll give you the comic book version so that we could get through them in 15 minutes instead of 15 hours. with the top right blue. in yankee-dome in started by radical calf annists and new zion.
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a city on a hill. since the outset, it's put great emphasis on perfecting social society through engineering, self denial for the social good, and the aggressive outsiders.n of t has prized education, intellectual community, and community rather than individual empowerment. broad participation in politics and government. shield the public against the machinations of ggressive aristocrates and strong county government. i'm going to briefly explain what this map is depicting with yankee-dome so you understand doing.he whole map is i'll just describe why it is that category is described as yankee-dome. it gives you a sense of what this is depicting because, you the puritans may have come to massachusetts bay and bsorbed the purity of the
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pilgrims in cape cod and swallowed up the royalist and ements in maine consolidated with sister olonies in connecticut and taken its sister in new hampshire and so on and so forth. defeated incks were the netherlands, there was a great controversy about who was over what ve control became new york and the controversy was because, do you remember back at least in my era, your high school text books in american history, would show each of the colonies, right, and many of the colonies were wide ng a strip about as as the colony of territory going all the way across the map to wherever the next ocean was. we haven't seen it yet but we own our strip. we're claiming it. that so happened massachusetts's strip went right through an enormous swath of upstate new york that had been taken from the dutch and belongs to id, this us. so there's a big controversy about it, and the compromise
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that was made was everyone decided, okay, new provence of new york, you'll get sovereignty over these millions and millions way of , but by compensation, massachusetts will vast areatitle to the that was under dispute. it happened that massachusetts-based land companies were given by the commonwealth to settle those organized id so and almost villages on the move ashion with entire groups of villages and towns from massachusetts moving out to these contested areas in new york and settling off, led by their clergymen to set and create new england style villages in upstate new york, which is why so many of the resemble hat region those in new england. fast forward to the creation of the northwest territory and the ohio territory and you ran into the same problem. see that blue bit up there by ohio, northern ohio around cleveland? reserve.he western the western reserve of
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connecticut. if you match it up, that's the connecticut strip and they said hey, this belongs to us. worked out the same compromise so connecticut-based land settling the d up section known as the western reserve. if you look even today, pull out your rand mcinaly map, you will see many of the towns in the western reserve section happen to have the same place names as towns in connecticut because that's where the original settlers came from. zoom forward another generation, the michigan territory is appening, many of the initial settlers into the michigan territory who went to the constitutional convention and wrote the constitution, who were the governors of the initial territorial government and state government were from the western reserve of ohio, the portion of ed upstate new york, or new england itself, provided the first five michigan governors. similar story into the wisconsin territory and minnesota and so on and so on. you're watching this sort of formatting of the hard drive, as of ere, as the line
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settlement moved forward and these were separate settlement ands and you could tell a similar story for each of the cultures on the right two-thirds of the map. that's what it's actually depicting. so moving on from there, as we ove down from yankee-dome to the area in light blue around the big apple, that's new netherland. as the name protrays, it wasn't founded by the british at all, but by the dutch. at the time, in the 1640s and 1650s, when the netherlands was sophisticated society in the western world and isplayed the salient amsterdam.tics of multiethnic, multireligious are, ith a profound tolerance for diversity and an unflinching commitment to the idea of freedom and conscience. like 17th century amsterdam but center of a leading publishing, trade and finance, a magnet for immigrants and a persecuted in e
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amsterdam's case by the other monarchies of europe, in new york's case, by those persecuted by other regional cultures from century to gays, ohemians and feminists in the 20th. very different place as you can yankee-dome. further east on the seaboard, point formed the shores of delaware bay. the midlands is america's great swing region and it was founded originally by english quakers by penn's experiment. the quakers believed in the inner light and inherent they ss of humans so welcomed people from many nations and creeds to their colonies on the shores of delaware bay. it spawned middle america and as cart land, f where ethnic and ideological been a as never
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priority, where government has never been seen as an unwelcomed intrusion and political opinion has been moderate, even apathetic. mosaic, even from the start. from the time of the revolution, pennsylvania, very midland dominated, had a german, even though it was a british colony. it's a swing region because it shares the yankee belief that organized to be benefit ordinary people but nlike the yankees, it rejects top-down government intervention to achieve this, so it ends up buffer zone between two traditions and the yankee and appalachian space that are very much at odds, and it's no accident that many of the swing electoral our current map have large midland sections inland. moving south ward from there chesapeake country into the southern two counties of delaware, southern bits of maryland, eastern north carolina, you're in the tide water. more or colony set up
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less the same time as the xpansion of new england and english people. what a different group of english people it was from yankee-dome. it was settled not by wide-religious utopia but rather sons of southern english gentry and it was meant semi-futile the minoral society of the country side they'd left behind, where economic, political and social affairs were run by and for landed aristocrates. a 17th ere sort of century version of downtown abbey. you have the, you know, we are the right people to be leading the heads of household but we care about what happens with the hamz, the social sort of contract of sorts. context of the new world, there was a major problem with this plan. they found great difficulty in finding people who wanted to stand in for the role of the peasantry.the they turned first to indentured tragically asater
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the 17th century came to an end, to full on slave system. tidewater has been conservative on respect andue authority and tradition and very little on equality, public participation or politics. it was the most powerful nation in the 18th century, but today, in decline, having been boxed out of west ward expansion by its boisterous appalachian neighbors and more ecently eaten away by the expanding federal halos around the district of columbia and and on roads and norfolk virginia, site of the world's largest naval base. ask me why ople would this map change 1,000 years from now. are these things permitted or never move? no, but culture has a lot of inertia. things move slowly and sometimes cultures do in fact disappear. babylonia anymore, no
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byzantinnia, or mes potamia. it's being absorbed into something sort of midlandish, as far as we can tell, but it's federal because the government and the presence of it in the middle of tidewater in with trillions of dollars of spending mean can live f people economic and social lives without reference to the idewater and that's having a cumulative effect over time. n to those aforementioned boisterous appalachian neighbors. palachia is greater. his is a place founded in the early 18th century so somewhat later than the ones we talked about. it was founded by wave upon wave from northern ireland and the english marches and scotland. lampooned by generations of writers and screenwriters as the home of red necks, but
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in reality, it's a transplanted culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval characterized by a warrior ethic and a deep commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. people of appalachia as you might imagine have been suspicious in history of the lowland iriftocrats and yankees alike, so they have shifted alliances based on whoever was the greatest threat to freedom. since reconstruction, it's been in alliance with deep south in an effort to undo the federal government's ability to override local preferences. consider this, in the civil war, uction, reconstr appalachia was on the union side. now, working our way south a little further to the deep red area marked the deep south, its around hearth charleston and south carolina. this is a regional culture 1670s d in the 1660s and by slave lords from the english barbados who were
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transplanting and creating a fully formed west indy style slave society in the subtropical lowlands of america. oligarchy has been privileged and republicanism. on ancient greece and rome, where democracy was the privilege of the few and subjugation and slavery the many.al lot of the many had an ideology that that was the only way a republic exist, is if you have a large class that was subserveient and didn't have the political rights and did all the difficult work. its systems have been smashed with the help of outside intervention but its leaders on the federal stage continue to fight against expansions of federal power, taxes targeting capital or the wealthy and robust environmental labor or consumer safety protections. working doub down to the southwest of the country, el norte, which expands on both sides of the border. this is actually the oldest of
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the euro-american cultures. hen i went to school, at least you got caught american history as sort of this east-west expansion, manifest destiny. everything starts on the east coast and moves that way. in fact, the oldest european the ements in what are now united states are in the southwest and came south to north, because this is the borderlands of new spain, of the vast and expansive spanish-american empire. by the time you got to the you ier in the far north, were so far from the seats of power in mexico city and iberia, that k in this region evolved its own characteristics. map you can see the county what i've marked there. that used to the idea spain claimed half of the united states. that was on paper. the areas that are shaded are areas that were actually colonized by spain prior to the dates nexations and the of the settlements and the like. and this map largely corresponds today with a couple
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of slight exceptions of roll-backs in eastern texas and the san francisco bay area, but essentially, it's the same map. most americans are aware this is a place apart or hispanic language and culture dominate.tal norms but few realize that among exicans, nortes have a reputation for being independent, self sufficient, adaptable and work-centered than their south and center countrymen. the historical context, north has been a long reform of revolutionary sentiment. in various parts of the region before the u.s. annexations tried to break off from the rest independent form buffer states, lands between the two federations, that they didn't want to be connectd to directly. there was the republic of the rio grand. republic of texas. it wasn't austin and his anglo followers. they were backed by the entire spanish-speaking lead of the provence of texas, because that to get away of the
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exploitive relationship from the being mexico and avoid captured by the united states. it didn't turn out that way, but that was the original plan. today as you can see, it stretches for about 100 miles on and sides of the border resembles in many ways germany during the cold war, two peoples culture common separated by an increasingly large wall. two i'm going to mention are what i call second generation nations, because they're much younger. the far west and the left coast are settled essentially are colonized in the late half of the 19th century. history is much, much shorter a they weren't colonized by european group coming and setting down a settler society outward of the characteristics, but were settled by the rest of us, so first me later, and the one chronologically to be settled actually was the left coast, not the far west. and as you can see, it's a hile-shaped nation sandwiched between the mountain ranges.
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and it was colonized essentially by two groups. there were merchants and missionaries from new england who arrived by sea. even by the panama canal, the easier way to get across the continent was to get a boat in boston or new york and sail around the end of south america through the great passage with its mighty solar storms with the seas and storm activity, work your way around nd go all the way up the shore of south america and central america and finally come in the gh puget sound or into mouth of the columbia river or into san francisco bay. easy way.he the second group of people who came across did it the hard way, going over land, over the incredibly dangerous expanse of the far west. not only was it environmentally and climate-wise extremely tribesus, but the native who were there had not been defeated yet and were still trying to defend their territory from intruders, sometimes to
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great effect. and these people tended to be fur traders and miners and prospectors and farmers from largely the appalachian midwest over land. by wagon now, the yankee missionaries expended incredible amounts of convert this to area to california and these other places to be a new new england on the pacific. they actually had missionary societies to do this, to put orth from a new england theo logical school, was to go save the continent for the yankee way. too.did it in the midwest they had th own journals, the merican missionary society journals and would write up entire articles about the peoples coming out to the and out to to iowa minnesota and stuff and reports back on whether or not they were succeeding and establishing the yankee way to keep the terrible kentuckians at bay and praying norwegians were like good massachusetts people at home. they also expended considerable effort trying to create a new
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england on the pacific. a new city on the hill. a new light for humanity to see all the way out to asia to be saved and come by and follow our lessons in new england. about en saw and wrote fuego ir travels around were similar to the may flower and so on and so forth. despite all of this effort, they weren't entirely successful. he west coast is not just another yankee-dome on the pacific because they acquired another settlement stream and hybrid culture instead. it's interesting. it combines yankee utopianism, can and should create a better world and tinker with the world to make it more perfect now and here with the appalachian emphasis on individual self expression and exploration. and it ended up being a rather secant combination. think of all the companies that dominate life in the 21st globe.y all over the they're located on this strip, the apple, microsoft, googles of and orld, amazon, twitter
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facebook, silicon valley. it's all in that one little strip with a population of like 22 million. that's like the population of romania. hat's a pretty outsized influence for the size of the territory. it's been through history, these and federal ly politics of yankee-dome, clashes sections of western the interior of its own home states and provences. interior gs us to the of the far west. this is the other second generation nation. and this is the one place where will admit that environment totally trumped ethnography. because in this whole area, it context of e settlement and the technology available in the late 19th entury, it was so high and dry and remote, it just stopped these eastern nations in their tracks. and with minor exceptions, it was only able to be colonized by vast ployment of industrial scale resources, railroads, heavy mining
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quipment, oar smelters, dams, irrigation systems. as a result, settlement was directly controlled by distant corporations, off on the eastern seaboard, headquartered in places like san francisco, new chicago, or by d the federal government itself, which controlled much of the exploited it essentially as an internal colony for the benefit of the rest of nations. in the far west, people have long been entirely aware of this nd resentful of this dependent status. and its anger has been shifted back and forth through history being directed at corporate masters at the anaconda coppers and the pacific railroad, which is what led to senatorse big populist being from the mountain west, focused te have are their anger at the federal government. but it shifts back and forth. an interesting phenomena in western politics. the last two, only have small enclaves in the united states
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but play a major role in canada. this book covers canada as well, with the core around quebec and acadia.vence of french peasantry, mixed with the traditions and values of aboriginal people in north america. it's down to earth, egalitarian driven and polls show french to be the most liberal on the continent as far as social attitudes. internally in the community. think about how unusual those would be the characteristics because this was founded by champlain, by the guy who built versailles. it was supposed to be a reproduction of the futile society in france. it didn't work out that way in the context of american wilderness, because britain, france, normandy and elsewhere discovered they had more with the n common
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aborigininal people they ncountered and ran off with them and abandoned the futile lords. senors would write back, i'm starving. i don't know how to farm. send food. it didn't work out. it deviated a great deal from created a lf and unique and new society on the continent. finally, the last one, first nation at the top. you can't see a lot of it. slide t make this next but a blogger fan did and it's pretty accurate showing the whole continent. it's an enormous expansive area. newest of the or nations. it's populated by native american tribes, who generally never gave up their land by rickery or treaty, and have largely retained the cultural practices or knowledge that let this hostile n region on their own terms and are reclaiming their sovereignty. they've pointed out, hey, in the
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late 19th century when you would treaties to be signed or land to be seized, everyone thought, you know, there's nothing up there. it's frigid and cold. it's not worth the trip to go steal land from anybody because there's nothing there except ice so it never happened. and in ecent decades, as the constitutional environment has become more sophisticated in the u.s. and canada, pointed this gave you the ever land so maybe it's still ours, and the canadian constitutional yeah, essentially said, you're right. and so that's where you've got of nunuvut from, or instance, but the vast sections of the first nation are areas where the original traditional territories of these tribes have been recognized by canada and they essentially have all the the table in decisions that might happen in continent.of this it turns out, there's not nothing there. there's everything there. because the relationship between simplified ada isicism li
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that they have the natural resources. it's the store house of america's resources and all the stuff we'll need and all the goodies of the 21st century to keep life going. rare earths and nerals and natural gas, pret petrochemicals, you name it, have p there, and they'll a major role there. this is also part of north america. there, they're about to become an independent nation state very autonomous part of the kingdom of denmark. it's 95% inuit speaking. if it becomes independent, it will be the first one in america aborigininal language is not only official but domina dominant. it'll be a different take on 21st century life than the other nations and societies. greenland a few years ago and nobody owns any land there. communally owned.
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your house is leased from the people. if you go out and shoot a walrus of the l or any traditionally hunted animals out there, you bring it to your village's communal ice locker and you put it there, and anybody in the community can as and take some, as much they want, without any accounting. it's a totally different take on have never women been an inueit society in a subserveient role. it's just a lesser role. it never happened that way, and because the 64 outages of drugs and alcohol have been more harsh on the men, the women have been in all positions of power in greenland. bishops to mayors. speaking to the foreign minister, who was telling us a e about this when i was on trip in greenland, and she said, well, here's what you have to understand about us. in the 1700s when the dans came, they said we have a god, he toks like us and we want you
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worship him. and we looked at each other and said, he? she's now a prime minister of greenland but a different take life.t century these are the different takes on the nations today. echoed in the battle lines of the american english ar and the constitution, and those leading up to the u.s. civil war and the cultural wars, in the presidential maps of any highly contested election of our history. since this is a political season, why not look at that a little bit. briefly iowa, just for a zoom in. iowa is mostly in the midlands, almost entirely. other state e's no in the country that's so completely midland as iowa. that's no single state dominated by the midland's culture. hey tend to be sandwiched into swing states. iowa is the exception. -- you can see if you really want to understand politics, you have
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to look at the county level. that's where you actually start seeing those divisions. hey, you can see it right there, right. presidential election maps. you can see yankee-dome popping out. western reserve of ohio out that way. left coast appearing. chrome into the deep south and tide water. no, i haven't messed with the colors. the red really is republican and the blue really is democrat. this isn't a recent election. 1916 showdown between woodrow wilson and charles hughes. republicans for the first century of their history, there's a party founded in yankee-dome and almost explicitly the party of yankee-dome almost a century, right? but the parties come and go. the whigs are gone and the federalists and so on and so forth and the current parties have swapped over the past 40 years their constituencies and right.program, it's just shifted around, trying to understand in any kind of what's al time frame happened using parties as a blue , red versus blue,
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versus democrat and republican. the lasting differences that matter in the time scheme are regional and cultural and the parties end up re-daunting their garb and shifting their wardrobe, depending on the those kind of realities and amazingly ave managed to completely have reversed themselves. there's the 2004 contest the 2008 i'm sorry, contest between barack obama and john mccain. and you can see it's essentially just been a reversal of the counties, right? up there, there's the western coast. again, left but hey, there's a couple of differences between the 1916 map, right? is, hey, look, you can now see el norte popping out there, different from the surrounding countys and stuff ut also, the deep south and tide water are no longer mono chrome in one color. and happened between 1916 2008? hispanics and african-americans could effectively vote and use
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the franchise, whereas they couldn't in 1916. any of the blue counties you see in tide water and deep south are majority african-american and, of course, you're seeing the majority or the political preference of the majority being in a way in el norte it wouldn't have been in 1916. this is one of my favorite maps. 2008 ame out after the election. this is appearing in the new elsewhere. and this is a map that asks essentially between the 2004 kerry s, you know, john versus george w. bush and the 2008 contest, obama versus did each county vote more for the democrat than they did the last time or more from republican? which way did the vote shift? as you might imagine in this ope change election, most counties across the continent voted more democratic than they cycle, the previous except for this red blot almost identical took the shape of greater appalachia, which is outrageously red in color. this, hasand he knows
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a greater appalachian problem cycles.in both election consider this. it's not just a partisan thing. it's a cultural thing. in the most recent election in 2012, obama is sitting president, did remarkably badly in democratic primaries across appalachia, against unknown challengers. in west virginia, the sitting president of the democratic party, 41% of democratic voters in their primaries cast ballots for a texas prison inmate instead. in kentucky, 42% of democrats in primary preferred uncommitted to the sitting president of their own party. arkansas, obama won 58-41 over an attorney from tennessee , recall, is cut diagonally between deep south and greater appalachia. he lost the state's appalachian ounties by 30 to 50 percentage
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points each in the democratic primary. so hey, you know, 2012 comes around, the book has been out a few months and this would be great. i could go discuss how i found the key to what's going to happen in the election. obama has this enormous weakness. it's going to throw a close election, right? unfortunately, the republicans nominating mitt romney, who also had a greater appalachian problem. now,, you know, barack obama was born in hawaii but he spent most of his adult career, his academic career and political career in yankee-dome, university of chicago and harvard, essentially running as a yankee candidate, you know, progressive t in a republican tradition of teddy roosevelt kind of era. mitt romney was the son of a yankee governor in michigan and of the most himself yankee of states, massachusetts, even created a healthcare plan from the heritage foundation that fit into the yankee ethos. however, he ended up, therefore,
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having the same regional vulnerabilities, liabilities, and assets as obama. being a wash in the general election and, you did extremely well in the republican primaries in the same places obama did well in his primaries. he -- against very regional candidates. he had rick santorum, who in that cycle was the preferred candidate in greater appalachia. newt gingrich from the deep that area upport in and of the four real contestants of the republican primaries in 2012, only rand paul didn't have look r regional cipher to through but the others did. it was fascinating how on a county level across the primaries, you could see that reflected. romney, the conservative candidate won almost every single county in new england. he won every single one in massachusetts and vermont and come from majorities of other
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yankee areas of states, including the western reserve of ohio. romney n shades are victory. the brown are the santorum victory. s you can see, romney essentially won ohio in a way had his path forward to the nomination because of his strong support in the western reserve. same thing in illinois. the yankee north voted for romney. you get down state and he almost had a very great difficulty against santorum. and again, you know, romney also clinched oregon and washington california. however, then pundits started saying hey, you know, the alabama are coming in and mississippi and this is where gingrich is suddenly going to have his chance. it's going to become a three-way race again and polls are too states.o call in both except they weren't. in alabama, the blue is gingrich nd again the green is romney and the brown is santorum. indeed, they kind of duked it out in the deep southern counties. the black line marks the border between deep south and greater
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appalachia in alabama but santorum walked away with won all thosee he appalachian counties by 30 and 40 and 50 points over his rivals. so they were completely blind polls ecause they'd done based on gender and income levels and race but not weighting them by regional cultures so they missed this. mississippi was a bit closer, only because the appalachian section of mississippi is a much smaller proportion of the population than the appalachian alabama.f so posters ignored these kinds deep ngs and these cultural things at their own peril. recent he most presidential election to finish out the pattern, to show it still prevailed. so today, essentially, we have two coalitions and they're two explains tions which why we end up in this brinksmanship we've been in the past 10 years or so. and that's because there's currently a blue coalition that
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consists reliably of yankee-dome, new netherland and the west coast and there's a red coalition that is reliably greater appalachia, far west, and deep south. deep south and yankee-dome being the two polls that kind of lead those two formations. the electoral ollege and the senate and the house of representatives, that doesn't give -- neither one on their own has a lock on anything and to really control the levels of federal power, you have to approved ibuster senate majority, majority of the electoral college and a majority of themouse and neither can do it. each of their respective political platforms haven't eally won over the other sections that much, especially they he midlands and so end up being this brinksmanship, a fight over trying to bring in one or the other over the swing regions, or enough of it to win electionswhich is why are such nail-biters, which is why you could have a swing just on and party a has
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won and vank wished the other party for a century. and the next cycle, it's the other way around. party b has wiped them out. it keeps switching around because neither one has a stable coalition and neither one has a platform that can reliably win majority ional super to actually govern which been hout our history has what happened. you've had super majority regional coalitions that have allowed one political platform. in the past, usually not party.itly sorted by you'd have cross-party coalitions that would form coalitions that let you govern second half of the 19th century or the middle, you know, national liberal new greater new deal space coalition that was transpartisan, but very much regional. today, we don't have that, and the part we've also managed to sort now, ideology and party are sorted together. until one political formation or another can come up with win over thet will swing regions or pull one of the weak partners away from the
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other coalition, we're going to be stuck in this spot, which is a very difficult spot to be in. world's great super power not able to pass a budget or even give permission to pay for the voted to e already take on. that's not a good spot for america or the world to be in. it? ould you do well, there's a couple of plays for the red coalition, the obvious play, which is one that george w. bush wanted to do in norte.reer, was for el the hypothesis goes -- here you ave a group of people family oriented, entrepreneurial, church going, we're conservatives, they're party, they should be voting for us, but that crashed against the polls of the which can partisan base has a very narrow vision of what the american identity is. made nald trump has even that more difficult. that's really, really a difficult spot for the national republican party to be in, because the demographics el norte is growing quite rapidly and as various pundits have pointed out, if texas and this flips to being
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blue overall because of relative changes, the republican party is doomed on the national stage if it loses that. t's something i'm sure that keeps up a lot of republican national strategists at night. for the blue coalition, there's a few more paths to forming a super majority. one is to try to win over the midland, which is always tricky to do. the other is the far west. there's an opportunity there. and tide water seem to be falling into their laps by default. west, obama in 2008 -- yeah, he won nevada and he mexico and colorado, but also almost won montana. like two points or something like that. the number of democratic senate gubernatorial candidates are won in the mountain states and such, because there's that, yes, it's a libertarian place, but with a -- the concern about economics plays very well. that's why you have those progressives, right.
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so if the argument ends up being about, yes, we americans are individualistic, and we want to ave our struggle for the fittest and, you know, may the erson with the best merit win, it's also an emphasis on there being a fair fight. that plays very well in the far west. so there are opportunities there. now, zooming in a little bit since we're here in the midwest, zooming in on the region a thise, i was asked earlier year to give a talk at a cademic conference in grand rapids, michigan, called "finding the lost region." as the it was billed largest ever academic conference in the midwest and the movement of this new that's out there within the academy to try to reinvigorate interest in the midwest. after the prairie historians isappeared, there's been sort of a loss of that in many of the academic publishers based in the midwest who focused on western studies, for lack of a better term, have disappeared and
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there's been a concern for that, a movement to try to bring midwestern identity and midwestern focus back. and the conference, among different things, asked two questions, as a preliminary conference. one is, you know, geographically speaking, what is the midwest? what would define it? who's in? who's out? the he other, why is it identity, who's been more ambiguous over time than say new england or the south. why is that? i've provided a couple of answers from this paradigm to those questions and one obvious one up on this map is that there competing three cultural streams, you know, that came from the east through what plusink of as the midwest, a fourth if you start countying plains, of the great beyond where you need irrigation. and so in the american nation terms, there's no single oherent regional culture that fills up that space. that's part of the reason it's been more difficult to define
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and maintain. you can see these differences across the region. split these tiers that up what we think of the midwest over and over. this is a map of the cultural of ideas by henry glassie. which is using largely material asset in construction and which is tyles, largely why you can see you end up with separate streams, each going back to an initial cultural hearth. ere's a detailed map of dialects from rick ashman's much discussed internet project. it's out there. he's got his own web site. the detail is from crowd sourcing. zillions of people basically, you know, connect with him via record what and they sound like and their location, and this has allowed actually crowd source in incredible detail how people sort it and today and all out as a linguist into different domains.
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this was published, by the way, after my book, so i didn't quib at the. but you can see domain level, you have that same plus thee three areas, great plains. the north zone, south zone and the midland zone. which splits the u.s. at a fundamental level, at how people speak. and you can also see the map apher's classic broad of the religious dominant zones in the country and you can see he east-west division and tiers. the midwest does exist in a sense but it's a federated it's one that i would that --i mean, obviously, there is a midwest. but what is it? it's that you had these three separate settlement streams who ave all experienced the same historical challenges and were trying to settle this

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