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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 3, 2016 12:34pm-2:35pm EDT

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sometimes that involves using profanity. brian: we talked about tweeting and language. we can go back to august 24, 2015. right now, the big news is the broadway opening of a musical biography of alexander hamilton told in hip-hop. it is grounds for deep skepticism. i have not seen "hamilton" and may not get a chance to see it for a year given its $35 million advance, but it is not my inability to get a ticket that has brought this sadness upon me. it is about how very little produced these days that provokes the anticipatory thrill that once went hand in hand with being a serious customer,
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consumer, and enthusiast of culture. there is a lot of swearing and hip-hop. it is a huge success. what you think of it? mr. podhoretz: i think "hamilton" is a masterpiece. it is so far the great cultural masterpiece of the 21st century. i say that not only because i myself found it immensely stirring and listenable, and i have listened to it a thousand times. i heard it many times before i saw it. my kids know it by heart. they started listening to it at their school. maybe a couple weeks or a couple months after i wrote that. and they engaged with it in a way i've never seen them engage with anything. i took them to see it in june, and these are kids, because they are new york city kids, they have seen a lot of theater, even
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though they are 12 and 10. i have never seen a response the way they i have seen them respond to this one -- laughing, crying. it is -- what i was talking about in the passage that you read is that from the time of my early teens when i really started paying attention to culture, the release of certain things were events. a big book coming out was an event. the big novel of the year, a much-anticipated biography, it was an event. people knew about it, waited to see the reviews. movie openings were an event. in new york city in the 1970's, a woody allen opening was an event. there was a director named lena
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wertmuller, who had a moment of great celebrity in the 1970's -- her movies were events. francis ford coppola opening was a big event. these were things people waited for and read articles about before they came along, and they saw the ads in the sunday "new york times" and got excited about it and talked about it, and try to go on the opening night to the one theater in the city that was showing it, and it was sold out so you would wait for the next show, wait online for two hours. this sense that there was real, pressing importance. that is almost entirely gone from culture, in part because there's just so much of it. there is so much stuff on tv, there is so much stuff streaming. every week it seems amazon or netflix releases a new series, and hbo has a new series. and 42 different channels have new series. there are more books published than ever before. there are way more movies released than ever before. most things do not achieve that kind of level of excitement. "hamilton" did.
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"hamilton" opened downtown in new york at the public theater and people started buzzing about how interesting and funny it was. what was most interesting about it, and i say this as someone who edited pieces before i saw it, it was transideological. i run a conservative magazine. a law professor at syracuse university, she wrote me and told me, "i have just seen "hamilton," it is astounding." she writes a lot about the founders and the period in which the constitution was written, and there's a lot to be said about how it talks about the constitution and what this could mean to americans today. i published that. meanwhile, everybody on the other side of the political aisle was falling before the feet of lin manuel miranda, who wrote the book, the lyrics, and
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was the star of it. by the time i saw it, in the winter, last winter, you know, it was the one thing that people would say, "have you seen 'hamilton'?" really? i'm not going to see it until july. how was it? who is the best one in it? brian: let me interrupt to show you a couple of clips of some professors, ph.d.'s, who are historians, who have met and talked about "hamilton." we have had people here that have talked about it on both sides. you are not an academic. there is beginning to be a sense of unhappiness amongst some of the academics about "hamilton."
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here is a professor from the city university of new york, graduate center. first of all, he is talking about the problems with "hamilton," the musical, and i want you to hear what he has to say and give it your perspective. [video clip] >> number one, it is celebratory of the founders. but, number two, it is celebratory of particular founders. i made this clear last night. it gives neofederalist interpretation of every aspect. it is privileging of character and personality over political issues and content and is tied to the focus of leadership and the looking of things from the founders' perspectives. the fourth thing, which increasingly buttresses it all is this idea that these good founders were anti-slavery. brian: suggesting that they were
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not. mr. podhoretz: you know, there are 10,000 things i could say about whatever that was, 45 seconds. brian: say whatever you want. mr. podhoretz: what you have is not neofederalist. it is federalists. what he's talking about there is the big debate, the remarkable scene, and the fact that it is a scene in a musical done in rap that is totally, historically -- in which he takes great pains to get the debate correct, a song called cabinet battle one, in which hamilton and jefferson go after each other over hamilton's famous proposal to create, establish a state bank. you know, the debate that was going on is jefferson essentially says in rap this is going to privilege new york over virginia. we are growers, all you do is we are growers, all you do is
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move money around. we have paid our debts from the revolutionary war, and new york has not. you are just pushing us around and how dare you? hamilton, in response, says you have paid your debts because you do not pay for labor because you have a slave economy and we do not in new york, and so do not try to get on your high horse with me about this. ok, now i take my children, as an example. my 12-year-old now knows more from this one song that is an accurate representation of the battle between the federalists and the non-federalists, than she would from anything else or the age of 15 or 18. this is a central debate.
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hamilton was in fact the head of the manumission society in new york city. he was an anti-slavery activist. his friend attempted to set up to fight in the revolutionary war, and radical historians want to claim that the late 18th century men who created the united states were morally compromised in all sorts of ways. of course, they were. everybody was morally compromised. these were among the greatest men that ever lived in the history of the world. they created the greatest political experiment that has ever been seen. they are giants beyond our reckoning. brian: more from the historians, a professor with this brief comment. i want to get your reaction. [video clip] >> i do not think some of the folks celebrating the musical
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realize how much is based on chernow and how much of a wall street view that is. brian: that is john chernow, he realize how much is based on has written a book on john d. rockefeller. mr. podhoretz: he is a financial historian. his biography of "hamilton," which is the source material for the musical is and is a celebration of hamilton, unquestionably a look at how he helped structure the financial -- create the basis of the financial structure of the united states, which was a very complex thing and did not even conclude in its firming up for another 120, 130 years. the idea that that is a wall street view is such a parody of left-wing academicism. hamilton was a very complicated person who was dealing with the
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difficulties of creating a democratic-republican system, a system of the people, for the people, by the people in which direct democracy was viewed as problematic because it would be too chaotic and structurally impossible. brian: one more on this. nancy isenberg, an lsu professor and historian. here is her view from the same conference, a different perspective on historians that are academics versus the more popular historians. [video clip] >> it is important to understand the founders with all of their flaws, not just remembering what we want to remember or shading it the way we want to highlight because they become a symbol, and they have been icons, symbols, and that is historically true. it is not that this is new in terms of making hamilton into
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the new symbol. he is a new flavor of the month. we had john adams before. now we have moved on and that is going to keep happening. we cannot stop that. but we have to engage and we have to teach the lessons that are distinguished, what real historians do as opposed to popular culture. our knowledge matters, and we have to defend it. mr. podhoretz: well, of course knowledge matters, and of course the portrait of alexander hamilton in a broadway musical should not be the last word on alexander hamilton. david mccullough's biography on john adams should not be the last word on john adams. if the ideological purpose of nancy isenberg, which i believe it is, is to defame the founding of the united states and act as though the founding of the united states was a giant con, then her view, academic or not, is incorrect, and their view of
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celebratory is correct. no amount of shading or detail is going to take away from the fact that americans have responded to the portrait of alexander hamilton and this musical because it is positive, because they are hungry for a portrayal of the united states that does not treat the united states as a great evil, but rather as a great experiment and goodness. and the model, the reason hamilton is the new flavor of the month, in her terminology, is precisely because he sets a more liberal, modern liberal anti-trumpian view. he is an immigrant. he came here, goes to college, teams up with the marquis de lafayette. the two of them together, at some point say in the middle of the show, immigrants, we get the job done. the audience erupts in applause because we are at a moment in
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which there's a big debate in the united states between whether or not we are a nation of immigrants or whether we need to tighten our immigration system, and most people that are going to go to a broadway theater are liberal and they are very excited to see this. they are also very excited to see this portrayal of a -- "i am just like my country, young, scrappy, hungry and i'm not giving away my shot." that is hamilton's first portrayal of himself in the show. this notion that the united states is a great thing and an experiment that we are all still participating in is something that is desperately needed in this country. in another piece about about "hamilton" after i saw it, i said that i had gone to mount vernon with my kids in february. it was freezing cold, walking through washington's house, and i'm thinking about the 2016
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election and the rise of donald trump, for whom i have very dark, negative feelings, and the rise of hillary clinton for whom i have dark, negative feelings and how low the election had gotten at that point and how low the debates were, particularly in the republican party. and i found myself dissolving into tears at the thought that we are walking through washington's house, and this is how we have treated the country 240 years later. 240 years after the declaration of independence, that this is what we have both presented ourselves with and have been presented with. brian: back to john podhoretz, the movie reviewer in "the weekly standard." this is from 1995. anthony hopkins playing richard nixon. and sam waterston playing richard helms, director of the cia. [video clip] >> i suppose you are unhappy because i have not implemented
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your domestic intelligence plan. >> that is correct. i am concerned these students are funded by foreign interests, whether they know it or not. the fbi is useless in this area and i want your attention on this matter. >> of course, we have tried to and so far we have come up with nothing. >> well, find something. i want these leaks stopped. jack anderson, the state department, i want to know who is talking. >> i am sure you realize, mr. president, this is a very tricky area, given our charter and the congressional oversight committee. >> i know damn well going back to the 1950's, this agency reports what it wants. mr. podhoretz: that is a terrible movie, one of the worst movies ever made. hopkins, who was a great actor, gives one of the worst performances. you watch that, it is almost like a parody of itself. i thought when the music comes
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up behind them, i started giggling because it is so over-the-top ridiculous. oliver stone, who made that movie, has a movie coming out in september about edward snowden called "snowden," which i basically think, having gone through this litany of anti-american movies about how jfk was killed by the government and nixon is the worst person nixon is the worst person ever -- basically he has made this movie about snowden which is effectively a tool of russian intelligence. so i have not seen it yet, but based on what i am reading in the article about how it was made, we have gone from 1995 two to sort of ridiculous movie
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with richard nixon, a person you could make 10,000 really good movies about how terrible he was, but this one posits that nixon is controlled by the same texas rich guys who controlled lyndon johnson in jfk which is preposterous. nixon had his own set of rich guys in california who were not the type of guys in "jfk." now, he is basically making movies that are peans to putin's intelligence service. brian: mike nichols made a movie called "primary colors" with john travolta. "primary colors" was written by john kline and was anonymous until he was discovered. you have written about this. let's watch a clip of that. [video clip] >> what i'm going to do? i am going to do something really outrageous. i am going to tell the truth. [applause]
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i know what you are thinking. you are thinking he must be really be desperate to do that. if you had to swallow enough garbage -- [laughter] >> you can say it. we are x-rated. >> me too, if you believe what you read in the papers. all right. here is the truth. no politician can bring back the shipyard jobs or make your union strong again. no politician can make it the way it used to be because we are living in a new world, a world without economic borders. a guy can push a button in new york and move a billion dollars to tokyo in the blink of an eye. in that world, muscle jobs go to muscle labor where it is cheap and that is not here. brian: what kind of job did travolta do playing bill clinton? mr. podhoretz: not very good. you can hear every second how he is trying to get the accent together.
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not convincing, and in fact, the portrayal of clinton during 1992, that was a totally fraudulent view of it. clinton was a far more stiff and robotic person than you see there. the clinton we know after his presidency, although this was made during his presidency, the kind of loose, funny guy that ended up being a standup, that was not the clinton of 1992. he was very focused. he was not the kind of person that let it all hang out. tried to tell the truth, that was not him at all. the book is much better than the movie. the movie had a real problem because it did not know -- elaine may wrote the script, and mike nichols did not know what they thought of clinton.
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in the end, they do not know whether they liked him or disliked him or whether he is good or bad. they do not really have a view on whether or not hillary and him have a loving marriage or a bad marriage. so you are left as an audience member, it is like seeing something, seeing a sketch of something that keeps getting blurry and then coming into focus and getting blurry again. you do not know if what you are seeing is supposed to say, it's not really clinton, but it is a parallel. so it was very jarring to watch because it was neither an attack nor a celebration nor praise or nothing. he did not really come across as anything. brian: here is the movie "lincoln" with sally field and daniel day lewis playing the part of lincoln back in 2012.
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[video clip] >> you wake up ignorant of what you're up to. i believe you when you say you want to abolish slavery. what will happen if you fail to pass the amendment? >> i do not want to be leaving big, muddy footprints all over town. >> no one who has lived knows better than you the proper placement of footfalls -- [whispering] brian: steven spielberg, did he do the job you expected? mr. podhoretz: it is a complicated movie because the movie is daniel day-lewis and he gives one of the greatest performances ever committed to film in the movie, and he does
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150 unexpected things that make it so memorable. the key thing is the voice he found himself speaking in for lincoln. there is a 6'4" guy that matthew brady photographed, and he has this kind of tenor with a slightly backwoods accent. it is startling at first, because you would think lincoln spoke in stentorian tones like this. by doing that, he becomes a much more intimate portrait. simply for capturing that, for giving daniel day-lewis that room to do this astonishing performance, the movie is a success. it is a very interesting perspective of the passage of the 13th amendment, which is an unexpected way to tell the story of abraham lincoln. you do not think of the 13th
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amendment as being key. we talk about the 14th amendment being most important. tony kushner wrote the screenplay, and it was an interesting way of going at lincoln, portraying him as a successful politician who knew how to create alliances and get legislation through congress. but it is also a little stiff and a little wooden. when spielberg decided to have the last 10 or 15 minutes be the assassination and the aftermath and the funeral and all of that, it just becomes a kind of wooden pageant. i think that was unfortunate. sally field kind of eats the scenery there. brian: would you rather write a negative or positive review, from a writer's standpoint? mr. podhoretz: negative. a really negative review, something just keys up for you and you can just make fun of it. mr. podhoretz: negative.
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brian: where was the last review where you were really ticked off? mr. podhoretz: i reviewed a movie called "spring breakers," movie called "spring breakers" a source of enduring interplay on twitter between me and a funny bunch who a critic who claims to like this movie, which i thought was literally the worst movie i had ever sat through all the way. and i went back the other night, because we were jousting about it and read the review and it is basically a joke every other sentence about how bad it is. and that is fun. finding the right tone to strike when you are writing something favorable, which is nice because you can actually say, you should really see this. it is really interesting. it is a trickier thing. you want to get the tone right. most recently, i wrote a
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favorable review of a movie called "hell and high water," a bank robbery story set in west texas, and i thought it was really good. i did not think it was great. i thought it was really good. and i did not want to over praise it because i did not want to disappoint people that went to see it who would be disappointed because they thought they were seeing something wildly exceptional. so getting that tone right is hard. brian: do you know how popular your columns are in terms of others? have they ever done a survey? john: i do not know. i know, word-of-mouth, i have been doing this on and off for 21 years. pretty much on for 21 years in "the standard." we started in september of 1995, so 21 years. i was one of the three founders of the magazine. edited it for the first two years of its existence. and so, you know, it is pretty
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much that. and as a writer, it is the most enduring feature of the magazine, my movie review in the back, aside from the parity which is the back page done by a lot of different people and the scrapbook in the front, which is done by a lot of people, it is there and is an anchor of the magazine. brian: a lot of people can read it online. one last clip before we close it down. explain who ethan and joel coen are. this is from "hail, caesar." [video clip] >> as for the religious aspect, does the depiction of christ jesus cut the mustard? >> the nature of christ is not quite as simple. it is not simply that god is christ, christ is god. >> you can say that again. he was a man.
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>> the rabbi, all of us have a little bit of god in us. don't we? >> it is the foundation of our belief that christ is properly referred to as the son of god. it is the son of god who takes the sins of the world upon himself so the rest of god's children, we imperfect beings, through faith, may enter the kingdom of heaven. >> so god is split? >> yes and no. >> there is unity in division . >> and division in unity. >> i am not sure i follow. >> young man you do not follow , for a simple reason. these men are screwballs. >> god does not have children. he is a bachelor and very angry. [laughter] brian: the coen brothers. explain them. do you like them? mr. podhoretz: the coen brothers are the most interesting american filmmakers to have been making movies in the period in which i have been writing movie
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reviews. they are brothers from minneapolis. they have made 18 or 19 movies together. they write and direct them together. since 1982 or 1983, they are the most literate, the most stylistically interesting, and the most challenging american filmmakers. "hail, caesar" gives you a sense of their slightly absurdist tone, slightly removed from reality. you have a hollywood executive trying to sell a movie like "ben-hur" to religious leadership of los angeles so nobody will attack it for being blasphemous. and so this guy is sitting in a room doing a sales job while listening to them, and the movie
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itself is a bizarre combination of satire and tribute to hollywood and affectionate parody and kind of savage parody, and i think may be somewhat inaccessible to some people. but they made movies like the remake of "true grit" with jeff bridges, which is very emotionally powerful. "fargo," which has a flip, nihilistic tone that turns very moral and emotional. they won oscars for "no country for old men" in 1980 and how people deal with a kind of relentless evil. they are remarkable moviemakers. brian: unfortunately one last
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question, out of 100 movies you see in a year, how many of them would you give an a? mr. podhoretz: four or five, maybe. brian: how many an f? mr. podhoretz: 20, maybe. brian: john podhoretz, editor of "commentary magazine," columnist for the "new york post," thank you for being with us. mr. podhoretz thank you. : ♪ >> live now to the national press club in washington, d.c., as secretary tom vilsack is speaking, the only original member of president obama's cabinet still serving in the administration. secretary vilsack: last year, we announced this industry had a $369 billion impact on our economy, helping to support nearly 4 million jobs throughout the united states. this is an industry that is also about energy production and fuel production, but much more than
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that. that is about chemicals. it is about plastics, fabrics, textiles. it is about leaning supplies and lubricants. it is about insulation and packing materials. it virtually touches every aspect of our economy. this year's report suggests this is a continued growth industry for the united states. this year's report reflects a $24 billion increase in the impact the bio-based economy is having on the overall u.s. economy. now a $393 billion. it is supporting over 200,000 more jobs than last year at 4.2 million. this is an industry that has helped move the employment rate in rural america down from its high of over 10% to less than 6% for the first time in approximately 10 years. it is also the industry that is helping to reverse the job loss we saw in rural america during the great recession. we are now for the first time in
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a while beginning to see job growth. it is also one of the reasons we are beginning to see a stability to the rural population, no longer declining, and a poverty rate reduction. it is a significant aspect of the rural economy and one i think has tremendous opportunities to continue to grow. it is also an industry that is better for the environment. it is interesting to me that in the 10 years of the renewable fuel standard, we have seen a remarkable reduction in emissions equivalent to taking on hundred 24 million cars off the road. if you are interested in rural development, a strong american economy, greater energy independence, a cleaner environment, you need to be interested in the bio-based economy. it is one of four pillars we refer to at usda to rebuild and revitalize the rural economy. production, agriculture, and exports, the opportunity to expand food systems,
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, not just for conservation but also investment, and manufacturing returning to rural america through the bio-based economy. we have taken an integrated and coordinated approach in the obama administration. rolert of the white house of counsel, the department of energy and the department of the navy came together with the department of agriculture to address the need for our navy to expand and diversify its energy sources. in the past, when the pacific theater -- fleet was doing exercises in the pacific theater, they would rely on energy supplies and fuel supplies that came from the middle east. today, we are beginning to fornd opportunity domestically produced biofuels to fuel our jets and planes and ships, to be able to allow for greater independence and flex ability -- flex ability,
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protecting the brave men and women who serve us in uniform. a result of tremendous cooperation between the energy department and navy to create a drop-in fuel industry that did not exist a few years ago. we have recently invested in a facility taking landfill waste, agricultural waste, and turning it into a drop-in aviation fuel that is not only of interest to the navy but also to commercial aviation. facility taking landfillwe will have the equivaf 12,500 flights from l.a.x. this year utilizing a blended biofuel. alaska airlines has indicated by 2020 they are fully committed to utilizing biofuels. this is an opportunity for us to create a new industry for the united states. this administration has taken a comprehensive approach to supporting this industry. all too often, the conversation in this town has been about [indiscernible]
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that is,ant thaas there are other things to focus on. we have focused on moving away from reliance on just one based tols -- corn-based fuels opening up a wide variety of new opportunities. we have worked with nearly 1000 growers across the country under pay those farmers to produce alternative energy crops on roughly 48,000 acres. we have made sure they understand we are going to put the full force of usda behind the effort by focusing on risk management tools that will allow them to have the same kind of crop insurance protection the commodity crops have. we have invested over $300 billion in research in feedstock looking at the genomic research, trying to figure out how to be more creative, more efficient, more effective, and more innovative. it is one of the reasons we have seen ethanol production facilities far more efficient
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than they used to be using less energy and producing far more energy as a result. we put together a feedstock readiness tool that will give folks the ability to determine in their region what kind of feedstock makes the most sense. whatever it might be. we have also worked with over 400 companies investing nearly $300 billion in 47 states to encourage expansion of this industry to include energy and fuel production as well as chemicals and textiles. we have been able to have these 400 companies produce over 8.6 billion gallons of fuel. they have been able to produce about 63 billion and what hours kilowatt hours-- of electricity. this is an exciting part of our economy. it is part of the green energy economy we are growing and developing in this country. we are also looking at major
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projects, large-scale projects. we financed six major processing facilities since i have been secretary. about 840 $4 million of loan guarantees have been established. we have worked not only with agricultural crops. we have looked at opportunities forests.rce -- we have helped to fund over 230 wood to energy projects in the western united states. we are looking for expanded markets in addition to creating more innovative feedstocks, looking at ways in which we can process these feedstocks more efficiently and effectively. large-scale processing facilities. we are also looking at where we can sell these products. more exports. we have had the second-best year of agricultural exports in biofuels in the history of the country. 2011, we year, in reached the number when you. we have seen expansion of exports. we've worked with the
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commercial aviation industry with the goal of creating one billion in the near future. we have invested in 12,000 new businesses creating these new products. we have worked with our commercial aviation industry. we have looked at the purchasing power of the federal government. the ability of our purchasing power is a federal agency, we have identified 15,000 products in a catalog that agencies can purchase that are bio-based. we've seen a tremendous replacement as a result of these purchases nearly 6.8 million barrels of oil that otherwise would have gone into products we would have traditionally purchased where we are now purchasing bio-based products. we want the american consumer to be engaged in this activity as well. we have developed a bio-based labeling program.
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it started small with a couple of hundred items labeled. now consumers have access to roughly 2700 roddick's they can purchase off-the-shelf the best products -- the 700 products they can purchase off-the-shelf to support rural america. it is important to put this in the context of why this is important. in addition to the clean energy aspect, the job creation opportunities, this is about taking the natural resource advantage we have in rural america and expanding its capacity. for too long, we relied on production agriculture and exports to support the rural economy. we became more efficient in our farming practices, incredibly more efficient. in my lifetime, we have seen 170% increase in production on 26% less land and 22 million fewer farmers. the challenge was our country did not ask the question as we were becoming more efficient,
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what are we going to do with the 22 million families no longer finally -- farming? how can we create opportunities for them to stay in a small community? how can we create job opportunities for the children and grand children? this administration is asking that question and has put together a conference of effort based on the four pillars to create multiple opportunities, seizing and you lies in our natural resource advantage. the bio-based manufacturing industry holds true in hope for rural america because of the nature of the lateral processing that needs to take place. the quantity of biomass we produce in this country is almost unlimited. there is a tremendous opportunity here because it is not as if you have one refinery like you do with the oil industry that services a multitude of states. size and bulk of biomass requires you have processing 75 to 150 every
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miles. it is an opportunity in multiple locations in every state that has rural counties for us to bring manufacturing back, the ability to construct, maintain, and operate these processing 20 to 100 can add jobs to a small town. if you have a rippling effect through the economy. that is why it was important for this administration to take a holistic approach looking not just as promoting ethanol but expanding the horizons, expanding the vision, understanding we needed to do more research on feedstock. understanding we needed to help small companies in these rural areas helping to produce more of these bioproducts. working on large-scale refineries so we could meet the need of the defense department for one half of all of its needs in the navy being met by biofuel. that is a tremendous opportunity. listening to the commercial
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aviation industry and its need for biofuels to satisfy international requirements. the opportunity for us to help develop research at a variety of universities, looking at the natural resource advantage of each area of the united states, and allowing us to do an even better job of dealing with the changing climate that takes and is changing the way agriculture is approached in terms of the changing climate and ability to make sure we are costly one step ahead of mother nature as we create new opportunities in rural america. i often speech i give, point out the importance of rural america. i will finish with this before questions. rural america is the place where most of what we just consumed at this wonderful meal came from. farm of hard-working families. rural america is where most of the water we have at our table today was impacted and affected.
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rural america is probably responsible for the energy source of the lights here and electricity is meeting this speech throughout the country -- transmitting the speech throughout the country. rural america disproportionally sends sons and daughters into the military, roughly 15% of america's population lives in rural america but nearly 45% of its military comes from rural america. a placeerica is also that has provided every person in this room and every person listening to this who is not a farmer to make the decision now life not to be a farmer. we have it or unconsciously delegated the responsibility of feeding ourselves and our families to countless numbers of people across the united states who work hard every day to put food on our table. we are a food secure nation, which means we are capable of producing enough to feed ourselves. we don't have to depend on any other nation in the world to feed our people. hardly anybody in the world can
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say that. and when we walk out of the grocery store, all of us have more money in our pocket as a percentage of our income than just about any other place in the world because we only spend about 10% of our income on groceries and food. it is a tremendous gift we get every single day from this place called rural america. so it is incumbent on us to make sure we preserve opportunities and choice for young people who grow up in these small towns in on these farms to be able to live there if they choose, for those who have left to come back. earlier today, i have the opportunity to visit with six veterans of armed forces representing every branch of the armed forces. they have just begun working for the united states department of agriculture. they are one of 11,000 veterans we have hired since i have been secretary. they came to us because they want to get close to their roots. they wanted to take advantage of what they learned in the
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military and give something back. it is an exciting new opportunity for the six individuals. we are opening up that opportunity by creating a more diverse rural economy so we continue to have young people live, work, and raise their families in rural communities so it can continue to contribute to the greatest and stalinist nation on earth. that is why we celebrate this report today. it is an indication there is positive momentum in the rural economy. there's a plan, strategy, investments, and opportunity. i'm excited about that. indicates we've seen significant growth in one year. it should hold out hope for all those concerned about the future of rural america. it is back. despite the fact we are dealing with low commodity prices, i think the long-term future, the long-term prospects for rural america are very positive. i want to thank the press corps -- the press club for this opportunity. i would be glad to answer
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questions. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. let me follow up on the topic of your speech. what kind of job training and education will be needed to transition and boost the biofuel production? what is usda doing to help with that? secretary vilsack: i think one of the things we continue to do is to innovate and create new ways to produce these biofuels and make them more efficiently produced. there is a tremendous amount of entrepreneurship in this industry. i would say the main source of training is in our community college system. the ability of a community colleges toommunity look at these in their community and asking those who will be owning and operating these facilities what kind of workers they need. it will put a two minutes premium on those who can tremendous premium
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on those who can construct and put structures together. i was in a small welding agolity in iowa not long seeing an expanding small business that had just opened its new solar energy system that is eventually going to reduce its overall operating cost and very proud of the fact they were the innovative. their workforce connected to the bio-based economy, basically tied critically to the community college system. we help community colleges. we help universities through a variety of ways. we have loan and grant programs that often go to help equip those schools. most of our research is funnel through our land-grant university system. in a way, we are helping to create the innovative approaches that will require a new workforce. once we send that signal to the
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marketplace, the markedly since community to the colleges this is what we need. we need more welders. we need folks who understand how to operate her. facilities -- community repair the facilities. there are a tremendous amount of technologies required so i.t. is incredibly important. that is why it is important for the usda to continue to invest in broadband expansion throughout rural america. we have done several hundred projects. we need to make a greater commitment as a country to making sure everyone has access to high-speed broadband. >> if it a lot into the answer. how expensive is biofuel production compared to traditional fuels? secretary vilsack: american consumers are benefited from biofuels. .here are a variety of studies the lowest savings i have seen is about $.25 a gallon at the pump.
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when gas prices are high, it can be as much as $1 a gallon. it is reducing our reliance on foreign oil, which has direct and indirect costs. it has become far more efficient. part of the challenge with this industry is many of those who have concerns about it are basing those concerns on ago.rch done decades this is a much more efficient, innovative industry. efforts tonstant improve the efficiency. one of the great things about this industry is it is not just the fuel produced, is also the byproducts. oftentimes, you will see one of these facilities providing co2 to a brewery. there are tremendous synergies that occurred with an industry like this. as we learn more about how we
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can convert biomass into everything in an economy, it can be plant-based and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and the impacts that have. it is very competitive with regularly produced gas and results in significant savings to the public at the pump. isthe agriculture community grateful for the usda's support of the bio economy. is it disappointed with the decision it should be regulated the same as fossil fuels? secretary vilsack: part of the challenge of an emerging industry that has a decade or two of history is we have to constantly reeducate and constantly educate folks about advancements being made. we are doing that. we are looking forward in the next month or two to putting out
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oftudy of land-use in terms biofuel production. i think it is going to surprise people in terms of the efficiencies that have occurred in this industry. i think it is part of our effort to do our job, which is to make sure regulators and decision-makers at the state and federal level are aware of the most up-to-date research and information. we did a literature search recently that compiled all of the new research that gives a much better picture, that establishes there is significantly more energy produced with a gallon of ethanol than in the past. from our perspective, it is more energy efficient than a barrel of oil. >> the airline industry is a large user of fuel. can biofuels be used for commercial aircraft? if not, is there ways to adjust that so they can be used? secretary vilsack: not only can they, they are.
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that is why i mentioned the 500 flightsof 12, from l.a.x. are operating on blended fuel. this industry was introduced as an industry that would allow your car and truck to utilize biofuel. part of the challenge is to make sure you have that fuel available. we are in the process of trying to encourage the industry to expand access to higher blends of ethanol. many consumers have cars that can take much higher blends than 10%. they can take up to 85%. the challenge is to make sure we distribute supply and have just a mission systems that will allow -- distribution systems that will allow a consumer to easily get that land. that is why we have a plan to expand across states, including texas, which was an aggressive user of this program.
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they have matched our $100 million with $112 million of commitments to expand roughly 5000 new distribution systems. you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of pounds and tens of thousands of gas stations. the beauty of commercial aviation is 40 airports sell 90% of the jet fuel, so you really only have two distribute to 40 different locations. that is why i think the long-term opportunities for this industry will be, lamenting what we are doing for cars and trucks , but also understand and appreciate the amazing opportunity we have on the commercial aviation side and defense department side. the combination of those things suggest the future is quite bright for this industry. >> i'm wondering if you personally have a vehicle that uses a higher blend of biofuel. secretary vilsack: the car the federal government provides to me is a flexible fuel vehicle.
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it consumes a lot of ethanol. my personal cars, one is nine years old and one is 10 years old. when is a hybrid -- one is a hybrid. the other is a fixable fuel vehicle. we consume ethanol in both our personal vehicles. secretary vilsack: do you want to name them cruz -- >> do you want to name them? secretary vilsack: a mercury and ford fusion. >> this question comes from our friends at the national farmers she knew. they appreciate the work you have done. i'm wondering what they can do to help the next administration contributioners' to resilience. farmersy vilsack: stepped up in a specific way before the president went to paris to negotiate the climate agreement. the ability of american culture to step forward and say we think
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we can double the rate of emission which will allow the president more latitude in making a commitment based on the 2005 baseline. we have identified 10 building blocks. everything from better soil health, better irrigation systems, rotational grazing with livestock, opportunities to use wood products more effectively, the ability of renewable energy to be expanded. 10 building blocks where we have measurements each year that american agriculture can meet. these building blocks are baked into the american commitment in paris and are going to contribute up to 2% of the overall reduction amount, to present of the 26% -- 2% of the 26%. it is a significant commitment that allow the president to say we are serious and you need to be serious about it. there is an amazing chart in the
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most recent "national geographic" that shows the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and why it is important for china and india to get engaged in a meaningful way. we are doing our part in the u.s., but we have to have international cooperation. the fact that our farmers stepped up is a strong indicator of the commitment this country has made. in talking with farmers, we are equipping them to be more adapting and mitigating the consequences of climate. they are on the front lines. they see every year the difference climate and weather variability make in their production process. they know they have to deal with drought, floods, diseases that hang around longer because of a warming circumstance. they deal with this on a day-to-day basis. i'm confident they will not just ask the demand future administrations be serious and
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helping them in providing the resources to do these building blocks so we can make our contribution. it is a positive story for american agriculture. >> thank you. switching gears a little bit, some have called you the secretary of flyover country. how have you helped rural america regain jobs and fight poverty and crime? are they vilsack: those same question but two different questions. let me answer the economy question by reviewing what i said. there are four strategies to rebuilding the rural economy. it is a natural resource base in the rural economy. that is what we have. in the past, we have been an extraction economy. we have extracted natural resources and use those to create economic opportunities. this administration is creating a sustainability model that can be replicated and renews.
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production agriculture and exports, obviously we produce more than we need in this country so we have this opportunity to expand job growth and create a supply-chain that meets the export needs of the country. eight of the best years of agricultural exports in the country in this administration. it has helped to support jobs in small towns and big cities. it cannot he just that. the local and regional food system, we have invested nearly $1 billion in created the less creating a supply-chain for food systems along small and midsize producers the ability to market directly to the consumer so they can dictate their own price. they are not dependent on the chicago board of trade or a commodity price. they can dictate their own price. we are seeing a great deal of growth. it went from a $5 billion industry and i started to now a $12 billion industry and is projected to grow to 20 boeing
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dollars. it is a multibillion dollar opportunity. have a record number of acres in conservation today. farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land and water. we to help them finance these conservation practices. one way to do that is saying to regulated industries or corporations that have a social responsibility focused on conservation, coca cola recently euppedced they react -- r their commitment to reclaim all the water they use by committing to another one billion liters. they will put millions of dollars behind this. that will go to farmers and ranchers and producers to expand conservation opportunities. that is creating an ecosystem market. water markets, habitat markets, carbon markets. these are new opportunities for investment.
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and then the bio-based economy. when you're talking about 4.2 million jobs, many of those are in the rural, small-town areas. we are going to continue to see growth and development of that type of opportunity if we stick with it. i am confident given the results and the fact we are seeing unemployment come down and poverty is coming down, given the fact we are better off in terms of unemployment, given the fact this industry is creating new jobs, it is phenomenal growth in just a year based on this study. i would think it would be wise for future administrations to continue investing in this new opportunity. >> you have been the point man for the administration on opioids that hit rural areas hard. what can america do more to stop opioid addiction, starting at hospitals? secretary vilsack: it starts with creating an economy so
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young people in particular see tomorrow can be better than today. that is a simple proposition. if you think your tomorrow will not be better, you might be tempted to look for an escape. number one. number two, on the opioid issue it is important to start with making sure professionals in rural areas are aware of the new guidelines, aware of the fda warnings about the addictive nature of opioids and use them sparingly. the nature of work and life in rural areas often leads one to have back or shoulder problems because it is physical in nature. the work is physical. it is going to be important for us to expand opportunities for physical therapy and things of that nature as alternatives to opioids. it is incredibly important in those small towns that we provide the resource to first responders, to police, to be
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able to have access to reversal drugs so if there is a tragic overdose, a life can be saved. recently, i talked to a company that has recently received permission from the fda to use a nasal spray. it is a simple one-does thing. it is relatively inexpensive. they have been willing to provide every school in the these, afree, one of dose or two of this narcan so they have it on site. we need to take advantage of that kind of thing. the third thing is we need to expand access to treatment. mention was made of my mom's circumstance. my mom was a tremendous hero in my life because she decided after several suicide attempts, after splitting up our family, after having some very violent
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activities, she decided to turn her life around. that is not enough. this is a disease. it is not a character flaw. it is not like if you just exercise free will you can overcome addiction. you have got to have help. just like if you are a cancer patient or have diabetes. you have to help. the help is not available in rural areas. of the over 1000 behavioral service centers in the united states, only 25 are in rural areas. that is why the president has proposed a substantial increase in the budget to provide the opportunity to expand treatment in thousands of different locations. once you have the treatment, then you have to make sure you have the transition that allows people to gradually reincorporate themselves back into society. whether it is supporting sober high schools, so if young people are having a difficult time with
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addiction, we don't put them immediately back into the school where the temptation is great. you create opportunities for them to get themselves strengthened. if you have someone going through drug court, it don't put them back into the neighborhood where they came from. you give them transitional housing, the opportunity to get education and training so they are stronger. that you have a criminal justice system that does not punish this, that understands this is a health issue. this is a disease issue. we need to understand that. we cannot criminalize it. we cannot jail our way out of the process. we have to create more support for mental health services in this country and more support for substance abuse services. every person in this audience and listening has a responsibility of understanding this is a disease. it is not a character flaw. it is no different than any of
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the other diseases. if i told you one of my children have cancer, your immediate reaction would be that is so terrible, what can we do to help? why are we not saying that same thing to a parent who has a child dealing with addiction? we need to. need to create the ability of people to step forward in a way that makes it easier for them to acknowledge they have a problem, particularly in rural areas. rural folks are self-reliant, independent. it is hard for them to say a loved one or myself has a problem. we need to create more of a comfort for people to come forward. i think the faith-based community has a responsibility they need to exercise which is why we are trying to marshal them to have conversations and create meeting places for a.a. that was incredibly important for my mom. she had a summary she could call every day. she had to have a meeting she could go to seven days a week. that may not be possible in a
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rural community, but you at least have to have one or two meetings and sponsors you can call. it is important from a world perspective that we expand access to treatment and recovery support services. "thetary vilsack: -- washington post" reported he went to president obama and offered to resign because you felt like you had done what you could do. that he asked you to head up fixing the openly crisis. tell us about that conversation in one state on. secretary vilsack: i think this was before crystal left. i had such good people working at usda that all of the issues we have were being handled very well by our team. not as much was coming to my desk. i did not have to make as many decisions because they were being made the right way. the career staff was really
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engaged. there was not as much to do. i had an experience with my grandson that made me stop and think about things. i was home in iowa one day early in the morning. there was a knock on the door. i thought it was contractors working on our house. i opened the door and there is my sexual grandson -- my six-year-old grandson. i said, what is up? he said i was thinking about you i was thinking about you and wanted to know if you wanted to come out and play. you know? sounded really good. i said unfortunately, i have work to do today. i can't. by the way, does your mom know you are here? made.took the pathway dad i said you better go home and tell your mom where you are. we are walking back talking about things. he says, granddad, you are really old. [laughter]
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secretary vilsack: but you know everything. experience. andreality is these jobs -- i'm not saying this for me, i'm saying this for everybody who works in these jobs, it may seem glamorous. it may seem exciting. it may seem like it is an incredible honor, and all that is true. but there is a sacrifice involved, especially if you are away from family. you have to make sure that sacrifice is balanced against your capacity and ability to make things happen and for you to contribute to something positive. the team at usda is incredible. there are incredible people. the bright young people that work at usda are a remarkable group of people. the career people are so dedicated. they are wonderful folks. they were doing a great job.
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they did not really need me. that is what i was trying to convey to the president. he said there is still work to be done. what about this? and provided me a list of options. the opioid issue was important to him, the country, and have personal significance to meet so it made sense to throw myself into that. i think we've made advancements. we have the new cdc guidelines. we have the warning labels on the fda. we have grants going out to expand treatment facilities. we have the president's budget before congress. i hope they see the wisdom of funding this as a priority because there is a lot of conversation about this issue. but as of today, there's not much in the way of resources. at the end of the day, to get results you have gulf resources. resources. to have if they do that, i will be confident the time i spend away
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from my grandson to will have been worth that sacrifice. >> perfect transition to this question. should hillary clinton win the white house, would you serve as her chief of staff for in the administration? secretary vilsack: i have to be careful answering this question because it is an official event. i don't think anybody should be talking about what jobs are available or what will happen after the election. i think everyone should be focused on supporting the candidate of their choice and making sure this is an election that people are proud of. we have got an amazing political system in this country. i think -- is easy to be critical and make fun of, but it is really hard running for office. it is really hard.
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it is hard because your family has to watch those commercials that have nothing to do with who you actually are, but a perception being created about you. it is hard because it is physically exhausting. on the way in here, my scheduler, chris, a good young man, i was giving him heck because i have had one full day off in the last three weeks. that is me. remarks about my presidential campaign were about as long as the campaign itself you [laughter] secretary vilsack: the reality is it is hard work. is, whatthe question other system would you like to have? what other system would you like to be under? it is messy, but it is the best we have got. it involves a government that far too frequently is criticized
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unfairly. today what is happening in every department of the federal government is positive. there are people working today to expand exports for farmers. that is government. there are people making home loans to folks in rural america that could never get a commercial bank to give them a loan. that is government. there are farmers struggling through tough economic times on a wait list because we did not appropriate enough money for all of the credit needs. they are getting their loan today which will help save their operation potentially. that his government. there is somebody doing conservation work preserving the soil and water for all of us. that is government. there is someone inspecting whatever it is we ate today, making sure when we consume it is safe. we have seen a reduction in foodborne illness in this administration. that is government. that is just one department.
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there's somebody out fighting forest fires putting their life on the line in one of the most dangerous circumstances ever. that is government. dutiesing 70,000 new interfacing the wildlife. that is just one department. think about all the other things going on today. question,ct to the public service is noble. i will never apologize for it. i will be proud of it. anyone who has the opportunity to provide public service is blessed. tees up this question. do you see yourself getting involved in politics in iowa? perhaps a senate seat in 2018? secretary vilsack: you know, this is my theory. it is only my theory. it is probably not accurate, but it is for me.
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i have been a mayor, state senator, a governor, and now a secretary. here is what i know about myself. i am an executive. i like to make decisions. i like to implement decisions. does that answer your question? >> you are saying more administration, not senate? secretary vilsack: there are people really good at legislating. they are really good at compromising and shaping bills and that kind of stuff. i just did not enjoy my six years as a state senator as much as i enjoyed the five years as a mayor and eight years as a governor and soon to be eight years as a secretary. >> i think this is important question for any government official these days. do you use any private e-mail for government business? secretary vilsack: the reality is a lot of folks who know you back home know your private gmail account. [laughter] >> i am joking. secretary vilsack: everybody has got it, so they will send you an
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e-mail. i got an e-mail the other day from a guy who has a water issue. somebody is pumping -- it is a construction site and they are pumping water into a wetland or something, and he was saying, what about this? that is government, right? you can't help that. but you transfer it to the usda account and delegate the responsibility of responding to it. because of the nature of people who have been in your life before you got this job, you're not naturally going to have e-mails -- you are naturally going to have e-mails like that. >> global food security is an increasing worry. how can the u.s. insurer food security and what can americans do to help? secretary vilsack: the good news is when i started this job, there were one billion people food insecure globally.
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is 175 million fewer people we are dealing with now. long-term is a challenge because we have to increase food in theion from 50 to 70% next 35 years to meet the growing world population. but the first step and one way the usda can provide help to meet this need is expand on the issue of food waste. grow ande food we produce in this country is never consumed the way it was intended. it is wasted. it ends up often in our landfills. in our landfills today, food waste is the largest component of solid waste. first and foremost, america can stop wasting food. we can reduce portion sizes. we can have a more informed public. the usda is providing an app that lets you go online and see if something is still ok to eat. if we cannot reduce or reuse it,
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we need to recycle it. that is one strategy we are working on with the e.p.a. and 4000 partners. they challenged us to cut in half food waste. with the we can work global food security act, codified by congress because it was successful. we can train farmers around the world to utilize more productive agricultural practices. we can eliminate food loss, not waste, but lost in developing because storage facilities are in need of enhancement. we can do research so folks can figure out how to move them to grow more with less -- grow more with less. usda is engaged in that activity in making sure we properly store handle food in developing countries. the feed the future initiative has been incredibly successful
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in terms of the number of farmers trained, millions, the number of children fed, tens of millions, and the number of opportunities in 77 countries to have a better understanding of what they need to do to meet their food needs. frankly, i think trade is part of this. the reality is if you can't efficiently move food from one place to another through trade, is also going to make a big difference. discuss more of the benefits of t.p.p. for us? secretary vilsack: 30% of american agricultural gross income is related directly to exports. 20% of farm income is directly related to exports. if you don't have trade, if you don't have exports, you will have a difficult time in farm country. if we think prices are low today, they would be significantly lower if not for the fact we will still have one of the top 10 years of trade exports this year, even though
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it is down a little bit. but the eight years we have had, over $120 of ag sales. when you look at t.p.p. and the asian-pacific area, you see a growing middle-class consumer. asia at large, you're talking about 530 million middle-class consumers projected to grow by 2.7 billion in the next 15 years. that is 10 times the american population. 10 times. these are not citizens total in asia. these are middle-class consumers. these are people that would want to buy and can afford to buy american products, who understand the american brand of agriculture flex great quality, free safety, affordability, and stability in supply. why would we want to cut ourselves off from the market? can'tdon't do this, if we find the will to do these trade agreements, the rest of the
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world is not going to say the united states is not going to do this so we will stop discussing ourselves --o to so to ourselves. they are going to go off and do bilateral or multilateral agreements that do not include the united states. we have one of the most open market in the world today for goods coming into this country. we want the rest of the world to open their markets. pretty tough to do without trade agreements. we also want to up the game of the world. we want the world to do a better job on labor and environment. to do that, you have to have provisions and agreements that are enforceable. in asia in particular, the question is, if you had a choice between the united states leading the effort to a higher standard on labor and environment, trade barriers, or china?
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who do you feel more comfortable writing the rules of the future? us or china? isause china right now attempting to negotiate an all-asia trade agreement that does not include the united states. from a geopolitical perspective, it is really important for the united states to be in the game. direct there are benefits to american agriculture through trade. i think it is important for the united states to be engaged in that part of the world because that is where the action is, and we need to be where the action is. we need to be leading the effort. we cannot be a follower on this. the agricultural industry has done a tremendous job advocating for trade. the rank-and-file farmer understands and appreciates for the most part trade. there may be a disagreement on specific trade agreements or aspects of a trade agreement.
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put on the concept of trade, i think american farmers almost universally say this is a good idea. i don't think the rest of american business and industry does as good of a job of promoting the benefits of trade which is why it is easier today for us to hear a lot of negative talk about trade. the challenge, and i am sure american business weeks they are doing a fantastic job, but they have not because it is easy to talk about a plant closing and say that is a result of trade. it may have nothing to do with trade. it may have to do with globalization but not trade. it is harder when some small two jobs ands another as 15, and the cumulative effect is greater than the plant closing but it is not aggregated. therefore, it does not create the headline. he is not create the news story. businesst is american
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has an even heavier responsibility to get out there and explain to the workers, to their customers, their supply-chain, we are all in this together and we rely for our economic future in part on trade. if they did a better job of doing that, maybe these discussions about trade would not be as difficult as they are today. >> a quick reminder, the national press club is the world's leading organization for journalists and we fight for a free press worldwide. for more information about the club, please visit our website at press.org. i would like to remind you about upcoming programs. on friday, the director general of the wto will speak. on october 12, ray mabus will address the press club. and kareem abdul-jabbar will speak here on october 17. i would like to present our
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guest with our traditional press club mug. secretary vilsack: thank you. [applause] >> you probably have a set of those now. our traditional last, fun question. as part of your tenure, you had numerous appearances with children's characters. of the characters you have worked with, which one is your favorite? [laughter] secretary vilsack: that is easy. it is one the first lady is not going to be too happy about. cookie monster is my guy. [laughter] >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. [applause] thank you. we are adjourned.
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>> go online to check this and other videos at www.c-span.org. our presidential candidate coverage continues. here is a look inside the longwood university in virginia where they will hold the debate live. live with the debate at 9:00 followed by viewer reaction. c-span is also back on the road to the white house this afternoon with both presidential candidates. first, donald trump campaigning"
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colorado. then, hillary clinton at a ohio.gn rally in akron, that is live on c-span two. this evening, the indiana governors debate. pence running to be the vice president and three challengers are vying for his seat. democrat john greg, eric: come, libertarian >> belt. that will be at 7:00 eastern tonight right here on seized and. cspan. taking a look back at the candidates. tim kaine and mike pence using library.n video seen this story before. i have turned on the television and seen the bad news of a shooting or whether emergency or famine. there will be more stories.
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there was something in the story yesterday that was different, .nd it was you even in a dark day a spirit of optimism and hope. is the mostdency visible hope that runs through the tapestry of the government. it sets the tone for the other branches. it spurs the expectations of the people. are vast and consequential. the requirements from the outset, and impossible for fulfill without intention set forth in the constitution of the united states. tonight eight 8:00 eastern, c-span andme on listen at 8:00 eastern on the c-span radio at. for the next 90 minutes, and american history tv exclusive,
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visiting grand rapids michigan to learn about the unique history. for five years now we have cities to explore sites.erary and historic watch more online. -- he was living in france at the time, so he named french.es in it really means grand rapids. this town had grant -- rapid in its river. you can see how the water is roaring up and cascading down. it changes every step you take. never the same.
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an american artist. in 1898.rn the son and grandson of sculptors. he invented mobiles. .e added the idea of movement he created a new art form. it was very interesting he added time and space to sculptures man again to explore time and space. two months after, neil armstrong walked on the moon. lyndon johnson was the president and office and the national endowment for the arts and were created. congress approved the initial funding. they were very new and breaking
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new ground all the time. the program was started by a three person committee at the .ndowment what they wanted to do was make it possible for american cities to commission an original work art for the city. they said that this is the seed money, $45,000. it ande to match anything else you need. active at the art museum at the time. they had an exhibit. man who was responsible for accumulating the collection worked at the metropolitan museum in new york. i asked him to come to grand lecture.d when he came, i picked him up and bought him -- brought him a tour of the city. this place was a hole in the ground. i said this is the new
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accounting building. well, he said, there should be a sculpture there. i said that is a great idea, how do i do that? he said you write congressman. wascongressmen at the time harrison ford -- was congressman ford. sent dear congress, i found there would be money released or cultures. can you help me get some of that rapids?r grand the next thing i knew, the phone stevens,it was roger the chairman for the national arts at the the time. he said i just had a call from congressman and apparently you would like a piece of art in .our city he said i think it is a very good idea, let's meet in chicago. we had to apply for the grants. the city and the county had to fill out an official grant application. reviewed it and
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voted on whether or not to give the city of grand rapids the money or not. we were the first city to ever receive a grant from the be used on an original work of art for a specific civic site. we put together a panel of people that would select the artist. there was really only one person calder.ed, alexander he was and continues to be the preeminent sculpture of the 28 century. this please was created for this particular plaza. it was not sitting on a shelf someplace we met him in december. we have the architectural model and the building. he saw it and knew where he wanted it.
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wanted, he was going to get it, because he knew best. france whereto people had done large pieces with him before. they am large the small pieces braces and put it together. they had to take it all apart and put it in 10 huge wooden and were brought on a boat from brussels and then by truck from detroit and the pieces laid out in 27 sections. they were laid out by fieldworkers. huge grain. it took them three days to put it together. another three days to do the welding. >> it gives me real pleasure to you translated,
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it means the great swiftness. means the grand rapids. >> it was dedicated june 14, 1969. >> a great occasion for grand rapids. a great occasion not only deal by alexander calder because it is truly monumental. as i understand it, the largest hemisphere.rn momentc and significant in the life of our community cityse it illuminates our in the eyes of each and every , even though some of us are not as knowledgeable as these ridiculous fields. >> one of my favorite stories is
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i was down here on a sunday morning, and people were always coming after church, and there was a grandfather with the granddaughter and he was .icking it he said i could have done that. the granddaughter said well, why didn't you? not answer that. besthave said it is the piece he has done. it brought a lot of positive attention to the endowment. we were on the front page of the times the day of the dedication. we were featured in tons of articles. always positive. luckily, this was an artist not .veryone knew about his object was going to be abstract. was something you had to take
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to your heart, and then react to it. there were people that wanted a man on a horse. not what he did. at first.controversy grownhe years people have to love it. -- everything either starts with the calder, the buses go around the calder. heart of this community. >> we are at the gerald r -- gerald ford museum. exhibits opened just a few weeks ago. exhibit onand new gerald ford, his life and times,
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six -- sixbout months to complete. exhibit.a brand-new ,is exhibition years, his youth we moved him to the congressional time 25 years in congress, and then the presidential and postpresidential experience. in the first dollar he have his foundational years. rapids,up in grand michigan but not born there. omaha, nebraska. his mother married a businessman in omaha. king.s dorothy ofy had a child in july 1913. they named her leslie lynch king junior. he is the person we know as gerald ford. gown andis christening a few other things of interest.
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that we feature and this is his baby book. mothers keep books on , even today, and dorothy was no exception. she began keeping a book on the babies experience. we cannot present the real but what we present is a duplicate. is the pictureee baby.othy with the he was born in a house in omaha, nebraska and his grandfather's house. another interesting feature, she records babies first outings. the first entry is taxicab ride. occurred two weeks after his birth. fleeingwhen she was leslie lynch king.
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he proved to be a very abusive husband. began really on the wedding day through the honeymoon, and extended through the time of her pregnancy. as soon as she recovered her strength after the birth of her child, she drove him to council where she then recorded the next entry, babies first train ride. she takes him to chicago where lived just outside of illinois. so she has fled her husband. her husband files suit for abandonment, divorce for grounds of abandonment. abuse.e countersuits for the judge decides in her favor. exists inat still grand rapids. that is the home of his youth.
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brought junior to grand rapids because her parents were developing real estate along with another partner of her father's. here she met a paint salesman by ford.me of gerald 1917 they had gotten married. so they had a young man who they junior. to call at the time he became gerald junior. there never was an adoption, but there was a family. gerald senior was a loving father. they would go on to have other deck and jim. very active in school and social organizations. each one became a boy scout.
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joe became an eagle scout at the time he was 14 years old. junior often described as a boy scout, the ideal boy scout. that was not always the case. rot with him some of the characteristics that his birth father exhibited. was his temper. temper.ad an excitable inre was a story told of him -- as a young child in his front neighbor kids wanted to climb a tree but he claimed let themwould not climate. determined that temper was not going to be carried with him into a and was not going to get away with the things that
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his birth father got away with. so she did a number of things to that.urb she made him memorize poetry. she made him memorize bible verses. him lean on it well into adulthood. he was also ridiculed when he exhibited these faces. she would shame him. she would show him the ridiculousness of his behavior. recalled all of these things in adulthood. and recall how that helped him to control a temper that never left him but did not control him either. junior lived in what we would
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class lower middle family. gerald senior, of paint salesman. to start histious own company. he bought part of it and turned it into the ford paint and furnish company. he started two weeks before the stock market crash and october 1929. was able to hold onto the the depression. it stayed in the family through the 1960's. --s one that he's juggled that he struggled to hold onto. ford himself was made to work to earn money. one of the jobs was of burgers street -- burger place across the street.
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he hired star athletes to encourage other students to spend their lunch money. one of them was junior ford. would come to see the friday night stars when they eating their lunch. it was billed place where one of events in junior's life took place. 16 years old, the spring of 1930. working one day when a new car pulled up and stopped in front of the store. that was unusual for this part of grand rapids. brand-new lincoln automobile. they stepped into the entryway
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ponds there tod stare at junior. finally ford asked him if he could help him. the man looked at him and said leslie lynch king junior. he said no, i am gerald ford junior. said you are my son, im your to take youi want to lunch. saidshocked junior and this guy says he is my father wants to take me to lunch. bill said i guess you better go with him. they went and had lunch together. andor, his birth author earth father's wife, margaret. king told him about his life in wyoming. between riverton and .hould show me
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he wanted junior to come and live with him. course, young ford had no interest in doing that. lived in a very happy home, and why would he be at all eager to make a change? he said i am happy here. asked how difficult it was for him to hold his temper at that moment. times you havere to bite your tongue and be polite. angry.se he was understand what was going on. if you was his father, why wasn't he involved in his life. this was a stranger to him. also he was going to
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have to go home and tell his it, theabout experience, and he was not over to that. it was a hard dinner that night. took them into .he living room and explained he said there were tears shed as the mother told him the story father, herrth leaving him and coming to grand rapids. in their own way ambitious. to make something of .hemselves and be something junior ford was also ambitious. be was a he wanted to leader. in his school and on the .lainfield what he wanted to be
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of the student council, of the senior class. so at the beginning of the senior year students competed for the different offices just as they do today. progressivethe ticket. he said he did that get someone got in front of him and took the republican ticket. him, hethat was left to was going to run on the .rogressive ticket on election day what happened was every member of the team was offices thatheir miserably. lost elected president as an overwhelming margin. popularityes are contest. why ines the question, the world of the most popular lose andt south high who so terribly to someone
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was not that popular? it was later revealed that his coach, coach get things, his football coach, called the other athletes said i wantm and to torpedo that election because ford is the captain of team and it needs practice field and not wasting his time in student council meetings. the other athletes took that to heart and made sure he lost. athlete.ll known as an he was on the swim team at the ymca. he was on the track and field team. basketball. he was best known on the football field. theas the star center for championship football team. team. captain of the athlete.t just an
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he was a scholar. , he was solid.m south high gave an award to the andtanding male scholar female scholar. gerald ford was named the male gpa and civics activity. he wanted to go to the university of michigan. was recruiting him as an athlete. he found it difficult because his parents did not have a lot of money and did not have enough money to pay the tuition the year. it became a community affair to get him to the university of michigan. , paul his principal clouse, who stepped in and said financially tou
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get there. salearts a library book that establishes a scholarship provide money to needy studio firstdy students and the .s gerald ford him $100, which pays year tuition. he is 18 years old when he gets to the university, and as most he wants to apply himself. he earns very good grades at the andersity of michigan field,on the football once he is given the opportunity
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hiserform as a starter senior year. he pledges to a fraternity. built a cap at epsilon has a reputation as the fun .ouse why this otherwise serious student what want to pledge. it is probably as much of a case that they want him as much as he wants them. he was constantly being expulsion.with the gpa traditionally the among the greek fraternity. there was hope among some of the brothers that if he could get there, he could help the gpa and ship.ight the they give him responsibility by the senior year of returning the
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budget -- of turning the budget around. one other thing is the house was financially strapped and were in the red. the treasurer's response font -- they turned the treasurer responsibility over. other times he graduates, he may helped the gpa that much, he puts them on a black -- in the black. time he leaves, he wants to enter law school. he would really like to go to the university of michigan law school. is, they do not have a job for him. he is coming out of the michigan somewhere around $1000 in debt. the football coach at the of michigan atroduces him to the coach yale, ducky pond. coachingjob for him junior diversity football. and coaching boxing at yell. that earned him a paycheck. the law school assesses him and
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says he would be a fine student, job.ot if he has a with his coaches about that who tell him you cannot really go to law school coachinged your responsibilities. workings these dynamics against the ambition to become a lawyer. provisionalhe takes classes elsewhere to demonstrate he can do the work. that, he gets himself admitted and does not tell them he had this other job and the coaches that he is going to go to law school. means he is able to do both and an sup graduating in the top
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yale law school while fulfilling coaching responsibilities. more than just him obtaining the needs to fulfill a profession. it means him opening up. d.l..ns six years at during that time he meets a woman by the name of phyllis brown. ford is not his first love. a professional model. she is about 21 years old, but one of the top models in new city. her.oaches have a name for ford is competing for her
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attention. compete, herder to has to take on her interest. her interest largely revolve around his strength, which is for. skis.ays tennis, golf and ratherthese things are new to gerald ford but he takes or thanand becomes proficient at each one of them. by that, he is able to catch her eye, and they date that by 19 38 it is presumed they will be married. he brings her back to michigan for a couple of summers. any number of events york.oadway plays in new she goes on modeling sprees. at

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