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tv   Washington Journal 12212019  CSPAN  December 21, 2019 7:00am-10:02am EST

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kavanagh from the rand corporation to discuss a new report where americans find news and what they consider credible sources. as always, we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. next.ngton journal" is ♪ host: good morning and welcome to washington journal,.with more and more recording devices on streets and inside homes, the question of government surveillance and how far it goes is he coming more and more serious for americans. the u.s.tember 11, government increased its abilities to watch and listen, but now some people think it has gone too far. and with smart devices becoming more and more popular, the question of who is watching and who is using your data is on everyone's mind. our question for you this morning, are you concerned about government surveillance? we want to know what you think.
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we are going to open up regional lines for this conversation this morning. that means if you are in the eastern or central time zones, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific time zones, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8001. in mind, you can always text us your opinion at (202) always3, and we are reading on social media. you can reach us on twitter at @cspanwj and facebook at facebook.com/cspan. again, the idea and concerns about government surveillance has been on people's minds recently. infact, there was a story nbc today that i wanted to read to you that talks about some of the concerns about government surveillance. the unsupported claims
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that president donald trump has made for two years about the fbi's russia investigation, calling it a witch hunt cooked up by his political opponents, the conclusion by the justice department watchdog of the -- that the probe was justified was big news. but the other major findings of the inspector general's report, that there were serious problems with the way the fbi obtained a secret national security warrant to spy on a trump campaign aide, were also noteworthy, yet somewhat overshadowed i the bigger headlines. for years, civil liberties activists have been warning that the process for obtaining secret warrants to spy on americans under the foreign intelligence surveillance act was dangerously part because it is one-sided. the government tells judges behind closed doors why the spying is justified, and there is no what he in the room -- nobody in the room representing the target to question that evidence. prosecutors have said that is exactly why the f dei and the
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justice department are extraordinarily careful and meticulous in how they present evidence to the fisa court, which is no rubberstamped. horowitzt by michael severely undercut that after taking, at least when it comes to the fbi's applications for surveillance of carter page, a trump foreign policy adviser who was never charged with a crime. the report found in fbi process so badly managed, so rife with errors that the bureau's director immediately issued a statement saying he was already implementing reforms. now, on thursday, horwitz actually testified from the senate, homeland security and government affairs committee, on his report on fisa abuses in 2016. senator rand paul questioned him about having a
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vice of war investigate any domestic political campaign. here is that conversation. [video clip] >> i would make the argument that the process cannot be corrected. the reason i would say this is because the fisa court system requires this high, scrupulous nature for the agents and they are both the prosecutors and supposed to be defense at the same time. there is not anybody on the other side, and this is not the standard of the constitution. we have allowed this to happen because we are going after foreigners and frankly are going to say, we are not going to listen to gaddafi's phone calls or saddam hussein, we are not going to have these protections. my point is, we are getting into something that is at the root of our democracy, political debate and discourse and the first amendment -- i do not think the tweeps to the fbi will work. i think what we have to understand is, the fisa court is for foreigners. my question to you would be, do
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you think it is within the realm reforms we should consider, whether or not political campaigns should be investigated using a secret work where there is no legal representation for the defense? excellent questions here. one of the things we are careful not to do when we make recommendations is made recommendations to congress on statutory. we try to work with the process, as you noted. there are a lot of debate that go well beyond what we are recommending to try and fix what is existing. there is going to be a legislative --, the fisa court is going to look at some of these issues now, and i do think -- we are prepared to meet with legislators and talk through these issues, as you all consider things that go beyond the four corners of what exists. think one of the issues here -- we reference to, having been a prosecutor, where you go to a court for search warrant
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warrants and wiretaps in the criminal process, but you also know that at some point the defense lawyer is going to get those, if there is a case made, and there is the potential for a litigation and an open courtroom before a judge with a defense lawyer cross-examining, and that alone, that understanding that that could happen has some effect. important?s this so this is important because of the fourth amendment to the u.s. constitution, which protects americans from surveillance. let me remind you what the fourth amendment says -- the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizures sell not be violated and no warrants shall issue without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched or the person or things to be seized.
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have been pushing back against government surveillance, and there is a story in the hill that talks about what some members of congress want to do. andns of progressive libertarian leaning lawmakers on wednesday threw their support behind significantly revising a set of government surveillance authorities that are set to expire within months. leaders of the congressional progressive caucus and the conservative house freedom caucus signed onto a letter calling for meaningful, bipartisan surveillance reform, just as congress voted to extend those controversial provisions for another three months. at the last minute, lawmakers took to the 90 day surveillance authority extension into the temporary government funding the househich passed on tuesday. the continuing resolution, which allowed congress to avoid immediate government shutdown, gave key committees a more month to debate what they want to do about the set of controversial surveillance authorities.
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the house judiciary committee and house intelligence committee have jurisdiction over the usa freedom act. the bill that is set to expire, which allows governments to comb through america's phone records and track targets during terrorism investigations. this is now actually in effect because trump signed the cr last some think the surveillance is still needed. the founder of the george mason university law school national security institute was asked to discuss how the nsa is protecting america's privacy and surveillance of their phone calls. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> listen to what we are talking about. the records of phone calls, the to, nodialed, from and
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content whatsoever. we are talking about only phone calls made from a terrorist identified, potentially terrorist identified number. that is all. billions billions of of records we keep talking about, hundreds of billions of phone calls annually in the united states. a huge number,s it is a tiny number relative to the overall collection potentially available and needed to identify potential threat. so we are talking about not a few him amount. it is tiny compared to the volume of calls that take place in the united states today. host: we want to know what you think about government surveillance. are you concerned about government surveillance in the united states? up ouroing to open regional lines for this conversation. if you are in the eastern or central signed zone -- time zone we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific time zone, we want to
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hear from you at (202) 748-8001. we are getting some comments online about this topic, so look at a few of our facebook posts and twitter posts. i don't have says, anything to hide. those that were he must have skeletons in the closet. if it helps national security, survey away. another says no, the government has all of my info anyway. -- concernan that trump wants to form a joint cybersecurity unit with russia so they will have it too. here is a text that has come in that says "i am not doing anything wrong, so the government watching me has no issues. however, tracking by retailers, google, etc., is very concerning." , i amr that says concerned about the fbi spying on private citizens for political gain.
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thisess needs to shut behavior down. see what our callers are thinking about government surveillance. let's talk to marie, calling from florida. good morning. caller: yes. host: good morning, marie. go ahead. caller: yes. government the already has everybody's info from your birth certificate to your social security, to your retirement. 're born day you until the day you are dead. it's too much, it's too much. host: what do you think should be done? the government should collect the information and destroy it? the government should not collect the information? what we were told after the september 11 incident,
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the government needs this power to keep america safe. to havethey do not need your information like that, and they are dealing with foreign entities already and your information is shared all overseas. host: how to you think the government should surveillance surveil people in this day and age? do you think they do not need that information, or is there another way to do it? caller: there's another way to do it. and you pointing the finger at me and saying, i'm a terrorist, you are doing way worse than any civilians here. host: ok. let's go to robert, calling from oregon. good morning. caller: hi, good morning from the cascade mountains of oregon
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here. , that theat the whole whole experience of what is to our privacy, everything ranging from what you are discussing here today, as well as what the introduction, what the internet and the things that folks have been talking about with regards to facebook, not to mention governmental intrusion, is really a phenomenon that i don't think that we held the -- we have fully come to grass with -- grasp with as far as the intrusion. bringsfourth amendment to life. ishink all tyrrany really
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local, that is my feeling. said ite government needed a lot of these different and new surveillance powers after september 11 to fight terrorism. ofyou think that the threat terrorism has reduced, or do you think the government is over using the surveillance powers that the american people have given them? caller: well, as a 20 year armed services officer, i take full measure of the necessity of having efficiency and technology to help us. i have no difficulty with that at all, but what i am saying, the phenomena itself really needs to be examined and appreciated so it does not stray off the reservation, shall i say. become to have just
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the dawn of this whole experience in our country. no, i am entirely supporting any measure that can anticipate enemy, foreign intrusion, sabotage, you name it. i am entirely supportive of that. , withat comes with it that technology, is a phenomenon that i do not think the population is necessarily -- we have not come to grasp with it at all. really have a lot of work to do as far as safeguarding our privacy, while at the same time protecting our freedoms from the bad actors out
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there. i don't know how far we can go without an abridgment of our freedoms, sad to say. any of the newas government surveillance, the idea that the government is collecting telephone numbers, has that made you change any behaviors, anything that you would have done otherwise? or is it life as usual? think it wasnot necessarily that, although it did get my attention. but like the majority of the country, i use internet mediums forfacebook and so forth many different reasons -- personal interest in various subjects and all of that, but yes. it did make a difference to me in this respect.
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anymore, i don't answer a phone number directly if i am not familiar with it. they can leave a voicemail. i have privacy safeguards without being new roddick -- neurotic, you know, on my internet and on my phone. i have nothing to hide and that is a good place to start. rost: let's go to anothe robert, calling from washington. robert, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you today? host: i'm good, go ahead. caller: i'd say for me, i would say the government needs to , but there are a few things that stick in my neck very bad. one thing, we have people in government who are in public office -- as far as i'm concerned, if you are in public
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office, you should open yourself up to every type of surveillance there is. you should be vetted before you and ilowed to be elected, believe it is very important that people are surveilled. host: you are saying people in public office should be vetted. can you tell me more about what you mean by that it? -- vetted? caller: i believe anyone elected should gooffice through the same things i had to go through to get work on an air force base. i believe there are certain background checks that should be made. robert, for you, what is the line between your privacy and security? at what point do you think the government is going to far to keep americans safe? caller: the other guy shared it,
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and i will share it to. there are ways with yourself on you can shut off everything and no one can serve value. if you want to do it, you can. matter of fact, it has come up on the national news more than ise, that the government very upset when they can get messages off of people cell because they are on a virtual private network and the renault storage on the cloud, and even the people that make the devices cannot get them. one of the applications is whatsapp, you can communicate all over the world with it and not be surveilled. host: i think we know what you are talking about is called whatsapp. caller: yeah. it is there and nobody gets them. anybody can use it. surveillanceso the has to be boots on the grounds type of surveillance and needs to be not abused.
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are going to chase down stories that are not true and you're going to hear things that are nothing but hearsay, but when someone gives you reason to believe that something is going on, the public should be able to surveilled, the fbi should be able to surveilled. that is their job. last month, the senate judiciary committee the fisaeauthorized act. diane feinstein did express her concerns on collecting american phone records via the cdr, meaning the call detail records program. here is what she had to say. >> in june 2018, nsa publicly announced that due to technical irregularities, the cdr program had received data that it was not legally authorized to
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receive. noeover, the agency could longer distinguish between records that were obtained lawfully and those that were obtained unlawfully. announced thata it would delete all call detail records acquired over the last three years. in august, the director of , dannal intelligence coats, confirmed the nsa had suspended the cdr program indefinitely due to its lack of intelligence value as well as its cost and compliance issues. the administration is asking congress to permanently authorize this program. now, it is really not clear to me why a program with limited intelligence value and clear compliance problems should be reauthorized.
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unless there is good reason to believe that it should, i do not believe we should reauthorize it. let's talk to jake, calling from southridge, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning, sir. i want to point out, didn't adam schiff use this against a member of the opposite party? and all these people saying we are not doing nothing wrong so it is our right, we have regulations out there that nobody knows about. you can break the law without knowing it in this country. they can use that against you. that is all i've got to say about it. host: let's go to rebecca, calling from california. caller: good morning, can you hear me? host: go ahead. caller: on a slow day, the
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government will be listening and for your phone call. this is a slippery slope. they say they want to do it for our security -- i understand that -- again, a very slippery slope. i think edward snowden tried to warn us about some of it in the past, and that is my comment for the day. have a happy holiday, everyone. let's speak to ray, calling from tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. i wonder what people in this country have forgotten about the patriot act. the patriot act destroyed the fourth amendment of the constitution. it also gave the united states the ability to deem you a terrorist, send you to charges,o on secret your attorney or your family cannot find what you are charged for, and the constitution is annulled and destroyed by the patriot act. mentioned this with
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the patriot act. was one of the reporters who covered the passing and creation of the patriot act in congress. at the time, lawmakers said the patriot act was needed to fight terrorism. do you think the patriot act is no longer needed for the war on terrorism? caller: the patriot act gives the government the right to come into your home -- you are not there -- come into your home, search your home, leave, not tell you, no reason to come in, and if they find evidence, they can turn it into your local police department or anyone -- that is what the patriot act is about. it is an invasion of your privacy, it is an invasion of your life, and you have no recourse, but you can't even hire a lawyer because you are charged with secret charges. your family do not know where you are at. your family do not know what you are charged with. host: it was overwhelmingly
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passed through congress because it was said it was needed to fight terrorism. are you saying you think these powers are no longer needed to fight terrorism? caller: these powers were never needed to begin with. they passed after 9/11 because people were all blowed up and scared to death, and they gave away their rights. [inaudible] to get this law passed. now that we are friends with saudi arabia, the ones who destroyed the towers, why do we need the patriot act? callingt's go to joe, from martin's ferry, ohio. joe, good morning. caller: hello, good morning. you're are my favorite guy. i love c-span. host: thank you. go ahead, joe. caller: i don't think there is anything you can ever do about
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government surveillance. it is going to be there no matter what. what i am concerned about is why can't they stop these robo calls? shut that off, they can't shut off russia interfering with votes or anything, you know what i'm saying? month, texas this gop senator ted cruz questioned the doj -- the inspector general, i michael horowitz, about the errors in the fisa document to survey carter page. here is that conversation. [video clip] >> the number two major error in the applications was a meeting carter pages prior relationship. have evidence that carter page function as a source for the united states intelligence agency. that is a pretty darn important fact. if you are telling the fisa
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court hey, the fact that this guy, carter page, -- i do not know this guy carter page, but the fact he is talking to russia, releases dishes -- really suspicious, while serving as a source for u.s. intelligence agents are pretty darn relevant as to why he is talking to russia. when you do not tell the court that, you are deceiving the court. but it is worse than deceiving because as the oig , an assistant general counsel in the fbi altered an email, fabricated evidence, reading from the oig "another source had been inserted from the email.' " that email was sent on to
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officials responsible with making the decision to go forward. , let me read said on page 256 of the oig report, the final paragraph -- "consistent with the inspector general act of 1978 and following oig's discovery that altered the had email he sent to the supervising thereafters relying on it to swear on the rest of the five applications " american people need to know what is happening -- alters an email and that is used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. am i stating that accurately? >> that is correct. that is what occurred. host: let's see what some of our followers on social media, on facebook and our viewers who are texting us have to say about this conversation.
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here is the text that came in how says, when you look at unprofessional and sloppy the flies a war and targeting the president of the united states -- fisa warrant targeting the president of the united states how can anyone reasonably say that any other fisa warrant is actually being handled in the manner that it should be? yes, this country has forgotten that the government exists to protect our individual rights and not intrude on them. host: any bureaucrat caught spying on american citizens, minimum 10 years in prison, no chance for parole and loss of all government retirement and other perks. our conversation this morning is about, are you concerned about government surveillance? we are opening regional lines. eastern and central time zones, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8000.
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if you are in the mountain and pacific time zones, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8001. you can always text us at (202) 748-8003. here is a story that was in the washington times last week, when some of this information came out about the fisa report from the ig's office. several liberties groups are calling for reform of the foreign surveillance intelligence valence act -- four in intelligence surveillance act -- foreign intelligence surveillance act. the american civil liberties union sent letters to the general judiciary committee the same way general michael horowitz testified about the f the eyes botched application -- fbi's botched application to the secret fisa court for a warrant to wiretap trump campaign associate carter page.
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if these errors can occur in such a high-profile investigation, they could happen and likely have, in other probes into average citizens, such as racial minorities, muslims, and political activists. once again, we want to know if you are concerned about government surveillance. let's talk to alan, calling from little rock, arkansas. good morning. good morning, and merry christmas -- i mean that sincerely -- it struck me as a quick aside, if i may, when ms. pelosi said she celebrates all the different holidays -- you know, at least federal employees christmas,t is a formal, legal holiday for christmas. it is the holiday christmas and new year's. the expression "merry christmas" " are appy new year
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federally declared holiday, so you could think people could at least express that much goodness. is it all right if i express a biased criticism of your start of the program today? it is typical everyday, similar bias. host: i don't know what you are talking about, but go ahead. caller: you started the program quoting this nbc article, which any conservative -- i am an independent, but conservative -- would see a flag on that because of the bias that keeps coming from nbc. for example, you chose that article when there are so many other articles daily that your guys choose from, attend to run -- a 10 to one ratio between the washington post and the new york times. you show this green shot of the quotation -- this screenshot of the quotation of this spy charge against president
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trump, which is unsubstantiated, and special prosecutor durham, all the information we know about that, that contradicts the headline you started off with, outthers, you started quoting that article, but the butstigation was justified, again, the predicate, as they say, is about what was the low threshold of starting the investigation, which was this kind of false flag -- i think is the term -- they used in papadopoulos get at a bar. that is the predicate you said was ok. was criminal on the highest order and again, ag barr has been talking about that, so that blows out of the water the second point you made to start the program with. is that youd was
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the, quoting the article, horwitz, ig or with says -- ig horwitz says there was no crime, he did not charge a crime. everyone who follow this at all knows that was not his job. can't do that. there's that bias. and i would like to ask one thing for the new year, if i may, that c-span start avoiding this democrat-republican phone call protocol that you have typically. i know you used regionally today, i was happy to see that -- once a month you might have a for and against, but for and against would be so much more helpful to the country, that you stop dividing us with these political parties. these political parties are private entities. before you go in a
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further, let me respond to a couple of things you are bringing up. the stories that we started off morning with was written by ken delaney and of nbc, and i actually worked with him at the associated press. you do not have to worry about bias showing up in his work. he is one of the most respected national security reporters out there, no matter who he works for. we also have done the phone lines on c-span here for a long time, but we also change the lines depending on the segment we are doing, and you will see it later on in the show. thank you further comments -- for your comments and we will take them under consideration. let's talk to david, calling from virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. caller: my concern with government surveillance would be the gang stalking program, which azi germany, the
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government is targeting individuals and 90% of them have no criminal background and absolutely no criminal intent whatsoever. with this surveillance, they are using groups against each other, they are using law enforcement and across america, this is becoming such a problem that i s needseeds the pres to start talking more about it. host: i will ask you the same question i asked other people in the show -- a lot of these powers were given to the government after september 11. overwhelmingly approved them, saying these were needed to fight terrorism. do you think they need the powers were granted under has reduced, or they are using them in the wrong way? caller: i believe they are using them in the wrong way. people have made the lists knowingly and without any reason whatsoever. i have somehow made that list.
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i have had to uproot my life and move across the country, and i am trying to figure out what i've even done. host: the increased surveillance out there, what has it made you change in your life? are you doing things differently now? caller: absolutely. i do everything differently. the hawthorneo theory -- when someone believes they are under surveillance 100% of the time, they are going to change their actions in their day-to-day life. host: can you tell me some big specific you have changed, david? caller: i have become a better and better person. i was not always a good person. i have completely come off drugs, i am working on coming off alcohol. unfortunately, the damages has done to me has left me alone in the world. host: let's talk to mary, calling from pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. i would like to let the viewers
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know that we have been basically -- it is not surveillance, it is basically for security reasons. i am a retired state worker. i work for the state of pennsylvania -- worked for the state of pennsylvania 35 years. we integrated all of our security databases under president reagan, and we alerted every citizen in this country during this time that we integrated for security reasons. the only way we can get information on you is computer-generated, and it goes through every agency. this is why no one agent or security agent can surveillance, you,se -- can surveil because it goes to the fbi, security exchange commission,
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treasury -- it goes through so many different agencies. flag ifre seeing a red the computer information is not you now? up board, -- you know? notifying people, you are not supposed to use computers or the security system we have in place that sells those to do illegal activities. we have had this information based on your vital statistic information, when a person is born, when a person dies, when you go do your banking, we have it isat information and collected internationally. and it is only for security reasons. people need to keep that in mind.
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you.e is surveilling flag under your name, your social security number, your banking information, i would warrant an fbi agent or a state agent to track that information, because you could be at risk of harm. --you collect over 10,000 out of the banking system on a monthly basis, a red flag is generated to us for us to check that information out. people need to realize, no one is stopping you or surveilling for securityly reasons and we cannot erase that information. last month at the senate judiciary committee hearing on reauthorizing the fisa act, senator mike lee
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explained his concerns. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> most americans would be which the the ease at federal government could on a whim obtain someone's medical health records, including mental health records, including tax synagogue,atever church, or mosque they choose to donate to. on internetrches search platforms. conversations as overheard by amazon's alexa or similar technologies. when you put this much power in the hands of the federal government, one has to worry. the fact that you don't use them all the time is not in my mind a satisfactory response from our standpoint. again, this says nothing about you and what you are saying -- we are talking about us as lawmakers and whether it is a complete dereliction of our duty
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to protect the fourth amendment rights of the american people to give this much power in the first place to american officials. if you ask king george the third's officers if they were inclined to abuse writs of assistance or general warrants, they would say no. we only use this for good things. for the king, for the country, for god. claimould claim a -- they did not abuse them. most american colonists at the time with take quite a different view. one of the many things that worries me about this is the fact that we are told a number of these things will very rarely ever be sought, and yet, given the evidentiary standard deemed permissible to obtain these records, this is a great concern to many americans, including and especially me. what our social
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media followers and the people texting us have to say about this subject. here's one from twitter that says, yes, i am concerned because it is unconstitutional. from the get-go, j edgar hoover spied on americans, even jfk, rfk, and mlk. secret files for blackmail and extortion. why would anyone think this practice ended with hoover. -- i was in nyc on 9/11. too bad we didn't have ongoing surveillance on those terrorists is to maybe have prevented that catastrophe. keeper, they cannot even military bases safe. fort hood and pensacola naval air station are proved. how much more proof do people need?
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another -- americans today worrying about being surveilled is absurd. that ship sailed after 9/11 when we let the government panic us into fisa courts. mind,go back to our phone michael calling from castle rock, colorado. good morning. taking myank you for call. a long-time watcher. i would like to say, government or valence -- is there too much of it? -- government surveillance -- is there too much of it? the answer is no. dealing with foreign threats and things that require a lot of surveillance -- i think what is happening now, and this issue is very personal to me because i was a political science student with 9/11 happened, and we were a nation under duress and kind of got pushed into the patriot act. to me, what we are looking at right now is we are seeing this chicken come home to roost with .his lack of due process
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we are basically going outside of the constitution and allowing , completet court with no oversight, go ahead and unleash the powers of surveillance on american citizens. i think that is where the process has gone awry. 1.i would like to make is, if we don't take care of this -- one make is,ould like to if we don't take care of this now, we deal with the fruit of a tree, meaning legitimate investigations will be compromised. when we have this secret court and find out they are going after political opponents or using it for purposes like the senator brings up, where the king is using it for good purposes but we find out the one case where he, you know,
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basically unleashed the weveillance on an opponent, end up compromising our own security. host: let's talk to tracy, calling from eagle point, oregon. tracy, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am very concerned about government surveillance. i know we need to have it because of what happened at 911, ,ut the fisa court needs to go or they've got to change the whole structure. this was not the first time that the fisa court has been charged with abuse. it has happened at least four times that i know of since they started. so if we know of four, then you know there's a lot more.
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that -- ioncerned have a phone from verizon. that verizonpset gave information to adam schiff -- i know he had a subpoena, but without an actual court order from a judge, none of our information should have been given over to that man. host: the house does have subpoena power, you know that, correct? caller: yeah, but you know what? when the fbi wanted information on a phone which was urgent because of the terror threat, oh , they do not want to give up any information. nobody does. they have to go get a court order from a judge. it, theyff asks for it?it and he publishes
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and he did not do it for a good reason. host: that is one of the powers congress has given itself, subpoena power. ,ot just the house democrats house republicans, when they ran the house of representatives had it, and the odor senators. that is one of the powers congress has reserved for itself, the power to subpoena information. caller: i do not think that is a problem. i do not mind that he subpoenaed is the faction, it that the phone companies should have said no. host: theoretically, you cannot say no to a subpoena. caller: yeah you can. i see these congresspeople do it all the time. if one of them gets something, they go to court and they sue. if the court says yes, you have to give the information over, then they do. host: i guess i don't understand what your complaint is?
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sueer: congress, they can not to give any information, but the american people don't have that option? is that what you are telling me? host: let's know to bob, calling from overland park, kansas. good morning. caller: good morning. happy holidays to everybody. i have a problem with the patriot act. the problem is basically that it has gone too far afield. it was too far afield to begin with, but dianne feinstein -- i believe it was dianne feinstein, she was the only one who voted against it when it was being ratified into an act. i understand it has to be renewed every so often. my problem with this, it was designed initially to bring all of these law enforcement agencies into the same, into one giant realm, if you will, so they could share information back and forth. there was not communication , state andi, cia
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local law enforcement agencies and this one act was supposed to bring all of that together. when they started doing all of this business of disregarding the fourth amendment, it became something entirely different. i believe even at the time they were debating the patriot act, there were many congressmen and senators that decided that it was not a really good thing, but some of the good things in it outweighed the bad things, and it was voted through. i believe it is time for this to go away. there is no way you can tell me or any of my family that from the 1940's and 1950's on, the united states -- several agencies in the united dates intelligence have not been surveilling other countries, people in the united dates, and they have been doing it since the 1940's, when the oss was
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running around, before the cia. i think it has gone way too far. i think people need to stand up and say enough is enough. we need to get back to protecting the rights of our citizens. any comments? host: here's a story in the washington post last week about another form of surveillance being done. immigration and border agents may be scooping up cell phone information from thousands of innocent u.s. citizens in their efforts to track a few people who have crossed the border illegally, using invasive that werece tools originally developed to protect military operations. that is the big concern raised in a lawsuit the american civil liberties union filed yesterday against u.s. immigrations and custom enforcement and customs and border protection, demanding to know how widely the agencies are using the tools, called the grays, and who they are stingrays,- called
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and who they are targeting. mimic cell phone towers and grab location information from any nearby device. that makes them extremely useful for locating criminals when police know the phone they are carrying. but they also capture identifying information from the mobile phones of everyone in their range, which can cover a whole apartment building or multiple city blocks, which critics say is a huge invasion of privacy. of fbi uses them in a range high profile, including to track president trump's personal en, andmichael coh foreign adversaries may also be using them in washington to spy on americans. as they become far more common, civil liberties groups worry the government is striking the wrong balance between privacy and security. "this is the equivalent of taking down every door in the neighborhood in order to find a particular suspect," at aclu
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staff attorney told me. the most invasive techniques needs to be reserved for the most serious investigations, and that is a real concern, it is being used for relatively low-level crimes. we are talking about whether you are concerned about government surveillance. let's talk to john, calling from marlboro, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. host: go ahead, john. caller: good morning, c-span. how are you all doing today? merry christmas. i've got a big problem with the your whole because set up today would not even exist if it was not for donald trump getting elected president. that is the way i feel about it. don, callingo to from michigan.
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good morning. caller: good morning. good morning to america, merry the fisa, and i think court is a little bit out of hand. but you have to weigh the good with the bad. if it stops the terrorist attack guy have a problem with a surveilling my phone, i am not doing nothing wrong, so you can listen to the conversation if you please. carter page and all this information on trump and impeachment, i would say the democratic party has done their job in impeaching this president. he is clearly a clear and vitalt danger to the shape of the united states of america. i truly believe that. god bless america, have a great holiday. host: let's go to alvin, calling
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from bridgeville, delaware. good morning. caller: good morning, and i totally disagree with the government having the ability to spy on you, especially when it gets into the hands of some really, really, really bad people. when they want to spy on you and get the information they need, we are all vulnerable. i heard lindsay -- not lindsay, ,ut chuck schumer say way back when he was making enemies with the cia, he said, you do not want the cia to be your enemy, make your lifen miserable. i think that is really what has happened to donald trump. them havingee with the ability, especially if it is a couple of the wrong players who have it in for you, they can just turn your life upside down. i do not think that is what it to be.r designed thank you for your time and for letting me speak on c-span. winnifred, talk to
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calling from casper, wyoming. winnifred, good morning. good morning. i believe the government ought to be able to survey all y -- if they have any reason to believe something might be a little bit wrong, because they have to have the technology and everything, the knowledge in order to do what their job. i believe everyone who is running for president ought to be vetted before they are even allowed to run, because the ferry -- because the commander-in-chief of the whole nation ought to be able to run as president. i think that once you are president, you want to be able to investigate anyone you want to.
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i just think that you need to have that power to do so. i think in trump's case with that it is an assumption him,ecause he was opposing he wanted him investigated. there was probably some other reason, there is a chance of it all of thend with immigrants coming into the country and everything, the government needs to have the ability to go ahead and check people out. host: let's talk to jim, calling from a -- from mississippi. caller: good morning. part are you in? sarpy county.n
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host: sarpy county. i grew up in mississippi. by everye are tracked credit card purchase, debit card purchase we make. we do everything electronically. it is not just the government. we have corporations watching us, small businesses watching us, we are tracked by cameras at every signals. we drive through, we have facial recognition now, the list goes on and on and on. the generation that was raised to put all their private information on facebook, one of the largest corporations in america. we are giving our rights away freely, and i think that is all i got to say about that. we can get see if one more caller in. let's talk to lori, calling from pennsylvania. lori, good morning. caller: good morning.
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host: go ahead, lori. caller: good morning. how are you? host: i'm fine, it go ahead. anybody can track you. there are programs to track your kids, your husband, cameras and lights, but i am afraid one thing that scares me is the way that trump abuses his power to, that he will use it in a way rather than -- he will use it to attack certain groups of people that he disagrees with or he wants to focus on, and it scares me that he will use it in that way, the way he has performed towards , certains, latinos people that he doesn't like that attack him -- i think he will abuse the powermore than any ote have seen yet, intentionally, to
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self benefit himself, targeting certain people he sees as enemies. like i said, i am not worried about anybody tracking me, because i do not think i would do anything bad enough to be tracked. to the it is good country safe. they do need to change some of their processes that they found were incorrect, that they had problems -- it is a big project, a big government, a lot of work, and a lot of people. host: mike, calling from rockford, illinois. morning. caller: good morning. merry christmas to everybody. andout out to jimmy carter god bless everybody. the question i have is the author of the patriot act is now , andreme court justice that is the problem i am having.
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during the swearing in testimony, he was -- host: we seem to have lost mike. earlier this month, the cato institute hosted a conference on government surveillance and privacy issues. a discussion of a recent report into fbi abuses. [video clip] >> the name of the report is still spying, the enduring problem of fbi first amendment abuse. as the name would indicate, both by the "still spying" as well as the "during -- "enduring problem," this is a problem that has been with us a long time. what does it mean that we have this long history of fbi political surveillance? at a certain point, we no longer treat these types of revelations as exceptional. they become normalized or almost
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invisible. conversely, if you talk to activists, they will make joe's -- jokes like we know the fbi is spying on us, they treated as normal. on the other hand, because it is not exceptional and therefore not always newsworthy, people who should know better will not even realize it is going on. a few years ago, i was accompanying a gentleman from the antiwar group who had been spied on and infiltrated by the fbi to meet with congressional offices. we were asking for congress to investigate that surveillance as well as the surveillance about occupy wall street and black lives matter. was verysentative concerned about the fourth amendment, very concerned with the nsa, and the staffer we were talking about was up on the issues. we went through the whole presentation and laid out all of the facts, and the stafford just said i had no idea the fbi still did that.
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so on the one hand, the fact that it is an enduring problem means we accepted as normal, but on the other hand, people who should know better act like they do not know, do not realize it is going on. one of the reasons we wrote the report is to push back on this narratively see, a lot of bad narratives we see in the media about the fbi, but one in particular i find troubling is when we treat these instances of abuse as isolated incidents. whene still at the that someone will cover fbi abuse, they will say they are scanning water protectors, or new documents say that fbi infiltrates occupy wall street, but we never learn that the fbi was knocking on the doors a water protectors, last month, they were knocking on the doors at palestine solidarity activists, and last year, there were spying on occupy wall street, indicating that the problem is widespread, severe,
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systemic, and part of a 110 year -- all: we would like to thank of our callers and social media followers for participating in this conversation this morning. coming up, we will have a discussion on prison and sentencing reform with holly harris of the justice action network. later, we will look at a new report on where americans are getting their news with jennifer kavanagh. "newsmakers" interviewed the chair of the federal election committee. she talked about the money in politics, political ads, and why fcc cannot -- fcc cannot function without more commissioners. [video clip] >> individual ads are not that expensive, which is a good thing. it is a good way for people to get that message out pure the
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problem with micro-targeting is we have had different responses from different social media platforms. twitter said they will just ban all political advertising. that may be a step too far. we want people to be able to reach out and reach their audience. we want candidates for office to be able to have a way of reaching people and a low-cost way of reaching them. micro-targeting is the standard response under first amendment jurisprudence to anyone running an ad that contains inaccuracies is to say if you disagree with what anyone else says, you can counter them by putting out your information. but when it is micro-targeted, nobody sees it. there is no way for an opponent or someone with an opposing point of view to come back and say, wait a minute, that add was inaccurate, made inaccurate allegations about me, made charges that were not true, or
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other folks can get into the mix and say there was information that has been disproven, debunked, you are trafficking in conspiracy theories. what we do not want is for individuals to be targeted based on the vast amount of data that the social media companies collect for their susceptibilities to certain arguments that may or may not be true, and there is no opportunity on the others to counter this speech he that is why having more people exposed to the same information will provide a better platform, a more honest debate, and provide people with the opportunity to respond to the arguments being made. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with holly harris, executive director of the justice action network. we will talk about prison and sentencing reform. good morning. guest: good morning. cold, so i am still
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a little frozen. host: first of all, tell us about the justice action network. the largeste bipartisan coalition, partners from the far-left and far-right, who have been working together for years to make our justice system fair and more effective. we have been really successful the last two years. we have passed two big federal bills. more than 100 bills in states across the country. we are grateful of all the support from the american people funders --r flagship quiet and generous people who want to make the world a better place. host: today is the one-year anniversary of president trump signing the first step act into law. first of all, tell us what the first step act did and how effective has this first year been? guest: the first step act was a
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negotiated deal. it was not even the bill that we hoped to pass, which was the sentencing reform and corrections act. nonetheless, it was a groundbreaking sentencing reform and prison reform bill that was aimed at safely reducing incarceration at the federal level and also reducing recidivism, ensuring there is programming for people currently incarcerated at the federal level to make sure they can get job training and be ready to reenter society in a successful way and not return to crime, but also ensuring that we do not have these egregiously long sentences for people like alice marie johnson, rented clemency by the president, who received a life sentence for a first time, low-level, nonviolent drug crime. the law has been very effective, freed thousands of people who should have been home years ago.
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but we still have a long way to go, and yesterday -- yesterday, we had the one day anniversary of the president signing the fair chance act, our next chance, which ensures that federal government service and contracting jobs are open to all americans. that everyone was not a fan of the first step act. in fact, you had an op-ed in "the hill" this week talking about it. i will read a little of what you wrote. guest: and i did actually write this. host: the justice department is inextricably spending taxpayer resources trying to find ways of bringing some of the prisoners released back into federal custody. dozens of instances were found in which the justice of apartment argued against releasing these prisoners early, usually basing their new cases on some technicality like the total amount of drugs found to
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be involved during the investigation rather than the often smaller or more vague amount late in the law they violated years ago. there is no secret that the justice department zealously opposed the first step act, but i remained hopeful when it officials promised to fully implement the law. what is the disconnect here between what the first step act does and what was approved by the president and congress and what the justice department seems to be trying to back off of? guest: this is what is deeply frustrating to all of us and to millions of americans. the department of justice has been acting as a fourth branch of government for decades. we could get into this a little bit later, but they issued a report talking about how they were implementing the first step act, and they did not mention the fact that they were looking for loopholes to ensure that a
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lot of these individuals, who would have been eligible for the first step act, would have been eligible for early release, which stay in prison. that is frustrating to all of us, because we have really tried to work with members of law enforcement and have been very successful at that in the states. angry, but i do want to say, because we are moving into the holiday season, open to working together and finding a path forward to ensuring that our justice system is fair and that the people who are behind bars have a pathway back to society. i am hopeful that justice will continue to try to work with us towards ensuring that they are not just getting wins and notc hes in their belts but rather are working towards a system
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that really does work towards the best outcomes and informs public safety. host: none of this is anti-police or anti-prison, it is just about what? guest: absolutely not. current criminal justice reform is rooted in a concern for victims. all of the policies that we work on have been proven, in the states, to lower crime and recidivism rates. over the last decade, in fact, the 10 states that have most significantly reduced incarceration rates through smart reforms have seen an average drop of about 19%. conversely, the 10 states that have continued to increase their incarceration rates through the old "tough on crime" policies of the 1980's and 1990's have only seen an average drop in crime rates of 11%. true criminal justice reform makes a safer, and that is what is better for victims.
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that is why, in my home commonwealth of kentucky, we have been able to work with the domestic violence coalition and the sexual assault revenge and groups, because they understand that true criminal justice reform actually makes society a safer place. host: we want our viewers to join in. we will open up special lines this morning. if you have experience in the criminal justice system, whether you are a prosecutor, whether you have been released from prison, whether you are a sheriff, we want to hear from you on this subject. the line for those with experience with the criminal justice system will be (202) 748-8000. specific line this morning for law enforcement. if you are in law enforcement, we want to hear from you on this subject. your line is going to be (202) 748-8001. in either onefit of these categories but still want to talk about the subject
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of sentencing and criminal reform, we did not forget about you. you have your own line at (202) 748-8002. once again, if you have experience in the criminal justice system, your line is (202) 748-8000. if you are in law enforcement, your line is (202) 748-8001. everyone else, your line is (202) 748-8002. atember, you can always text (202) 748-8003. and we are always reading on social media, on twitter, @cspanwj, and on facebook, facebook.com/cspan. guest: i have no idea what you just said. [laughter] host: there are a lot of people we want to get in this conversation. dealt witht step act federal prisons. is that something that the justice action network only focuses on or does it focus on both federal and state? guest: in fact, we started our
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work in three states -- michigan, ohio, pennsylvania. that was -- in 2020, this will be our five year anniversary. have had most of our success in the states. i think that is because state lawmakers have to face constituents every single day and understand that we are not going to be able to understand -- we are not going to be able to incarcerate our way out of the drug scourge. i hail from the commonwealth of kentucky, where a lot of people, including my friends and family members, are very sick. sick people should not be behind bars -- i will get a little emotional because of the holiday season -- sick people should not be behind bars. they should be getting treatment. that is what criminal justice reform is about, distinguishing between people who are sick and people who are dangerous. sick people need to be getting treatment. of course, we have been able to show that across the country, where we have been able to diver individuals who are suffering with addiction or mental
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illness, where we have been able to divert them to treatment options. the outcomes we see are so much better, better for them and their families. but certainly also better for society, when these individuals do not return to crime and ultimately returned to prison. host: in october, the president discussed the able mentation of the first step act at a speech at benedict college in south carolina. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> we worked across party lines, very strongly -- after all of the work and effort, we passed the bill, and i proudly signed into law. the most significant criminal justice reform in many generations. we call it the first step act. i sort of like the idea of just calling it criminal justice reform. good, because is it allows a second step and a third step, and that is ok. because we can go there, too. canthe first act proved we
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achieve amazing breakthroughs when we come together as a nation and we put the interests of our citizens before the interest of any political party. since we passed this landmark legislation, 10 states have followed our lead and past legislation that takes critical steps to advance criminal justice or form at the state level. we gave it a beautiful steppingstone. some states have come and really taken it to a level that you would be very proud of. and it is only because of what we did that they were able to do it legally and in many other ways. so i want to say congratulations to all of the leaders here today from arizona, florida, louisiana, mississippi, missouri, michigan, nevada, oklahoma, oregon, and tennessee. congratulations. great job. host: those were comments that
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the president made at the college -- guest: i was in the audience. host: a beautiful place, isn't it? guest: it is. host: how does a first step act deal with racial disparity in sentencing? is that something it addresses? guest: i want to be honest about the racial disparities in our system. i think until we do a full reset laws, both criminal at the federal level and in states across the country, it will be difficult to address racial disparities and gender disparities. the fastest-growing segment of the prison population is women. 1 in 4 women entering the justice system that is either pregnant or a mother to a child under the age of one. we are not just talking about an epidemic of incarcerated women, we are talking about an epidemic of children growing up without their moms. as a single mother, that breaks my heart. so we have got a long way to go.
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one of my deep concerns, as we look back on the past year, is when we talk about the passage of the first step act and the implementation of the act, that people think we have just fixed our justice system. i hope they understand that the reason why we branded first step act as a first step is because it is just that -- we have such a long way to go. there are so many people who are buried alive in our jails and prisons right now. very talented people, good people, who have made mistakes. who are not bad people. and certainly, they are given the opportunity to come back into society and turned their lives around, they could make a difference in this world. there are two individuals who have become dear friends, matthew charles, who the president referenced in his state of the union this year, id alice mary johnson, who
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was just within new york as we were lobbying the past the fair spent decades in prison -- this woman is a grandmother. her marriage fell apart. she had five children. she was desperate to feed her kids and ended up falling into gambling and had all of this debt and fell into a drug conspiracy. but this is one is women i've ever met. i thought to myself how are we serving public safety and how are we serving society by keeping this woman behind bars? i am certainly very grateful that the president sees the value in criminal justice reform, and whether from a policy or political perspective -- i do not really care. i am just grateful he sees the value. but i do think we have to be very careful to give a lot of credit to chuck grassley, it may conservative from iowa, and dick durbin, a progressive from
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illinois, who held firm together and kept their promises to each other. because of those two, and so many others, both sides of the aisle, now we are embarking in a new day in the american justice system that is really rooted in a concern for public safety and ensuring that the right people are behind bars for the right amount of time. join let's let our viewers the conversation. liz calling from new jersey. liz has experience with the criminal justice system. good morning. caller: good morning. i am interested in your topic, maybe because earlier in my life, i taught inside a state prison here in new jersey. i did that for close to 15 years. my real concern, however, is a lot of advocacy now on prison reform, which i have always generally supported, tends to be
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either with the inmates who were incarcerated or with the celebrity field of people who never saw, never talked to, and definitely never worked inside a prison. they do not know inmates. i think some of the things that they are espousing are going to , releasing toos many people who have real problems. experience.have the they are constantly talking about somebody with a drug addiction problem, but normally, you are in prison for a drug sales problem. with peopleing carrying guns in an organized crime activity, not just smoking a little weed saturday night in your house.
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welso think, during my time, fought to try to get more and more money for education. most of our inmate population has not finished high school, even in a state as educated as new jersey. and they have left the classrooms at a young age to pursue activities of the streets. so a lot of them are put there because they have mental health problems that leads to the drug addiction that leads to the drug sales. it goes that way. and i think the kardashians and all these famous people stepping up -- they mean well but they do not know what they do not know. host: we are going to respond, because you had a lot of issues there. guest: first of all, i want to say thank you so much for your service and what you have been doing for the past decade to help people incarcerated.
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and you are exactly right. i think one of the mistakes that we have made in our movement -- and we have to be very honest about this. beginning of the criminal justice reform push, we were scared to bring law-enforcement to the table. probation officers, prosecutors, sheriffs, jailers --we were almost afraid to have them at the table to talk about these issues, because we just assumed, from that jump, that they would be opposed to any type of reform. that was a huge mistake. actually, when we finally sit down and talk to one another -- and i have a personal experience with this in kentucky -- when we finally sit down and talk with law enforcement, not talking past each other but rather to each other, we have the same goals in mind. in fact, so many members of law
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enforcement really have innovative ideas on how to make our justice system fairer and more effective. to your point about having all of these celebrities -- look, i am from kentucky. we do not really have a deep appreciation for celebrities, other than basketball players. so i get it. i get your point. we really do need long was meant at the table leading the charge. that is why i am grateful -- the fraternal order of police actually endorsed the first step act, which was really wonderful. commonwealth of kentucky, rob sanders, the toughest of the top on crime prosecutors, really had an innovative program with a rehabilitation facility called the life learning center, where he was diverting a lot of individuals who otherwise would have been convicted of felonies to this rehabilitation facility that has had enormous success.
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wereor forever, rob and i at odds with each other. finally, when we met in the middle, literally and figuratively, in kentucky to talk about our goals, we had a lot in common. and it was on me and it was on the reform community for not of hisg that rob and all colleagues in law enforcement were not at the table and really leading the charge. ,o i am hopeful, moving forward that you and your colleagues and prosecutors and police officers will be helping shape this movement and ensuring we are doing it in a responsible way. the vast many of you, majority of you, certainly have the best interests of the american people at heart. host: speaking of law enforcement, let's talk to ben,
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in law enforcement, calling from owings mill, maryland. caller: good morning. in good morning to your guest. i've seen law enforcement -- --e been in almost 30 is a 30 years now in the district of columbia. every 10 years, it seems to transform itself and go in different directions. justseen it where we are locking and warehousing and throwing the key away too well intended programs that just did not quite work for various reasons to now what i see, particularly in the district of columbia, a more holistic approach to dealing with the andes from a mental health a well-rounded perspective. that thereearned is
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are a lot of people who come at a very young age, may have done -- committed these crimes. it and -- and just received sentences that are 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. and a lot of them have truly done a lot to reform themselves and have taken advantage of what has been offered them, not only from an educational standpoint or a job-training standpoint, but from a holistic standpoint of transforming themselves. to where they actually can reflect upon the different things i've done in life, to being remorseful, to wanting to contributive citizens. it is sad to me, sometimes, when i see these people -- and particularly, if you get a chance, you may want to go to washington, d.c. and see some of
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the things they have there -- but these people come into society and really be a positive ambassador for transformation in the community on the front and. but it is sad to see some of these people -- and granted, i know when they have done these things -- a person may have committed a crime at 16 or 17 and are now presently at the age of 40, they are two different people. guest: thank you. it is so wonderful to hear this perspective from law enforcement , because, again, these are the individuals on the front lines, who see the challenges in our justice system every day. and he is exactly right. it is interesting to meet -- i republican politics, divisive republican politics,
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for years. we often used the whole "tough on crime" mantra in so many of our campaigns. now, the vast majority of american people see that being smart on crime is what is truly tough on crime. the justiceed in in thenetwork -- polled, justice action network, between 70% and 90% of voters, from the far left to the far right, believe we should be safely reducing incarceration and that we have gone too far with a lot of the tough on crime policies we put on the books in the 80's and 90's -- 1980's and 1990's. law enforcement, the callers this morning, to civil rights activists, business leaders, veterans groups, women's groups, family organizations, conservatives, progressives, libertarians -- all across the
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ideological spectrum, everyone now understands that we have two ideht side our -- to rights our justice system. we went too far in the 1980's and 1990's. we have far too many people behind bars. topre one of the world's incarcerated is, and it is really a stain on our nation. certainly with the first step act and yesterday, with a fair chance act, we are trying to right the ship. i am just really grateful for ben and all the members and law enforcement who are leading the charge and ensuring our justice system is more effective. specificss talk about for what the first step act has done. this is from july. over 3100 federal prison inmates will be released from the bureau
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of prisons custody as a result of the increase in good conduct time under the act. in addition, the retroactive application of the fair sentencing act of 2010, reducing the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine triggering mandatory middle -- minimum sentences has resulted in 1000 691 sentence reductions. 691 sentence reductions. we are still getting callers about state systems. here is a question wanting to know about what has been happening on criminal justice reform in the states. where are the successes? where should we be looking to see success on criminal justice reform in the states right now? guest: i am so glad you asked. and you hail from a state that has been a great leader in criminal justice reform. republican, the previous governor in georgia,
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was one of the nation's leaders in criminal justice reform policy. i had the opportunity to meet with him with several of our partner groups before he left office. and georgia actually implemented every level of criminal justice reform, from sentencing reform to reentry policies. and this is a man, a republican, able to get a unanimous vote on sentencing reform in georgia, which we used the call deep red georgia -- i guess it is a little purple now. the states -- that is where it is at right now. we started with the justice action network in three states. next year, we will be in 20 states. from progressive states like new york to confer viv -- conservative states like my home commonwealth of kentucky, the first state in the nation to go for donald trump on election night. tennessee will be a huge leader
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on criminal justice reform. ,he governor is a business guy talked about criminal justice part of hisa huge estate of the state address. there are conservative governors all over the country -- oklahoma -- who understand that this actually -- in light as a conservative, i can say criminal justice reform fits perfectly into conservative policy. it is good for families. it ensures we are saving money. overreach.vernment there are so many ways that it fits perfectly with conservative policy. but then, of course, it also is a -- rate for -- great for progressives, who want to talk about disparities and civil rights violations. i have found that my friends on the right and the left are now conflating these issues. there are folks like rand paul, going into the west and -- end
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of louisville and talking about racial disparities. good friends on the left talking about saving money. i think the states have really been the focus for a long time. in fact, the fair chance act, the second chance employment act that the president signed into law just last night as an amendment to the defense isnding bill, even though it a huge step forward, it will open thousands of federal job opportunities to people who made mistakes but want to turn their lives around. 35 states have already done this. this is not ground breaking policy. it has been done and has been done in deep red states like kentucky, indiana, oklahoma, arizona. the really grateful for caller, jason from atlanta, for bringing up what is happening in the states. the states are the ones, the
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laboratories of democracy, who have shown us that these policies were, both from a public policy standpoint and ensuring that reform is fair. ed, callinggo to from jackson, tennessee. caller: i am glad we are talking about this. let me run a few quotes by you -- it is more important that innocent should be protected that guilt should be punished. john adams. guest: amen, ed. caller: what happened to blackstone's ratio? it is an embarrassment. presented evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously, for the law holds that 10 guilty persons escape rather than one innocent party suffer. also, we wrote the bill of rights and we have more people locked up than any country in the world.
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it ruins all of these families. and to quote david kennedy, if you want to ruin a community, lock it up. we over criminalize everything. we have more children locked up. we have more children locked up for life that committed a crime as a juvenile than the rest of the world combined. us -- the barll university -- the bard university had debates and beat harvard university. guest: all the smart people are up early on c-span. host: every week. guest: i couldn't have said it better myself. i am grateful for your call and your learned approach to these issues. i wanted to share with you, as i was getting off the plane last night, coming in from kentucky
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it was a moment. the fair chance act had just been signed into law. two big federal bills back to back, with the first step act and then the fair chance act. i ran into one of your fellow tennesseans, josh smith. he started what is called the fourth purpose -- he spent years in prison, got out, became an entrepreneur, and is now a millionaire. he is taking the money he made and is putting it to a greater purpose, which is ensuring that people behind bars and people with records have the same opportunities for prosperity and success that he has had. on thejust been in d.c. hill, talking to our toughest tough on time -- tough on crime lawmakers. he said i want to meet with the
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toughest of the tough on crime lawmakers. had some great meetings and was going all over the hill with prison fellowship, a wonderful partner of ours at the justice action network. i was really grateful to have that conversation with him, with an individual who spent so many years in prison, who has seen so much excess. if i had just walked off the plane and had not known this man, i would have just thought this was just a businessman, a very successful businessman traveling back home, perhaps a lobbyist or lawyer. in fact, he had spent a lot of time in prison. i thought to myself, if there is one thing that i really hope for this country, it is that we remove the stigma of incarceration and understand that prisoners are humans. they are just like all of us. but for the grace of god, we would all -- we could all be
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there. we should not judge people by their worst moments. got away, probably, from what ed was talking about -- since he was tennessee, i wanted to share that story. just really grateful for people now looking into this issue not just from a human perspective from a smart data driven perspective. host: i have to bring this topic up -- governor matt bevin issued hundreds of pardons and commutations in kentucky, some of which have become a little controversial, including one that freed a man convicted of homicide whose brother held a fundraiser, a political fundraiser, for bevin. where does that justice action network stand on pardons and commutations from the executive power of governors of states, especially on their way out of office? guest: this is really difficult, because some of the and
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commutations issued were issued to people that i know personally. i am very proud of my friend, amanda hall, from eastern kentucky, who had been convicted of a drug offense but is such a wonderful person, great mom, great leader, now meets with policymakers across the political spectrum and does incredible work -- actually works with my good friend, the tough on crime lawmakers rob sanders, on responsible smart on crime reforms. what troubles me about this is -- and i will just speak as holly harris here, not as a spoke person of justice action network. wehink what is troubling is have to have everyone at the table. i think victims' voices are incredibly important in this process. victims' voices, prosecutors'
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voices. it has pained me to hear that who havethe families had old wounds opened back up through this process. pardonsout judging the or the commutations one way or the other, i would just say it is important to have every voice at the table. and so many voices felt like they were not heard. and that, to me, is not a sustainable movement. that is what we are trying to create through the justice action network, a sustainable movement that has everyone at the table. that is what it was important that it was bipartisan. it was not so that we would all feel good, reach across the aisle and feel good -- it was strategic, to ensure that regardless of who came to power, we always had a voice at the table. this has really
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been a challenge and a struggle. i am just hopeful that the people of kentucky -- and i am one of them -- i am hopeful we can come together and continue to move forward and be a national leader in the criminal justice reform movement and that we have a movement where everyone is at the table and everyone is being heard. -- i think there are objections to the davis governor's actions. our senate and our speaker have still talked about the desire and need to move forward with that will pivot our torch treatment rather than incarcerating these people. it shows me that the reform movement is bigger than anyone person, bigger than anyone moment in time. this is really an american problem that affects every single american family.
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so i am hopeful we will continue to move forward and have everybody at the table. host: let's see if we can get a couple more callers in. jeannie ann. caller: merry christmas, america. i like your name. do you have a birthday this month? guest: it is actually december 17. host: happy belated. caller: happy birthday. i just want to say a couple of things. i think this is a society thing. my parents were married 65 years. unruly teenager, they put me in uv for a week -- juvie for a week. and guess what? i found i like -- i did not like being in jail. then i found out i had identity
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theft. the only way i could correct it was to go to where it was, get arrested, and put in jail. through this experience, i learned about jail life. and in jail life, you have a illegals illegals, and get everything. brand-new shoes, cases of water, and the police officers say you will feel so sorry for them, for the country they are from -- what about americans that are in there for identity theft, for something they did not do? and there is a culture. when these people go into jail, it is like old home week. they know everybody in there. it is like seeing their family again. what i do not like is do not see justice. you do not allow evidence to be put into a case, so how is that justice? --st: one thing i wanted to and there were a lot of issues there, but thank you again for
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your call. she mentioned that she spent a week in juvie. certainly any of us, if we were exposed to that type of environment for a week, it could be a wake-up call. unfortunately, in this country, we have so many unduly harsh penalties. that instead of spending a week, you have individuals like alice marie johnson, who was convicted of a first time, nonviolent drug offense, who ended up spending almost 22 years in prison, and it was only because of the president's actions that she is now free. think about that. two decades in prison for a first time nonviolent drug offense. i have spent considerable time with alice johnson -- he is a much better person than i am. just a truly remarkable individual. i just thought to myself what a
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tragedy it is that we have so money people, just like her, who are still buried alive behind --s because of these admittedly, well-intentioned laws we put in the books in the 1980's and 1990's to try to address the drug epidemic. and we now know it did not work. it did not make us any safer. instead of turning out better citizens when these individuals are released, we are turning out -- instead of churning out better citizens, when these individuals are released, we are churning out that her criminals. we are not making communities safer. spending a week in jail or prison, i think it could be a wake-up call for any of us. but when individuals convicted nonviolentw level, crimes are good people who make
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mistakes, and up the hind bars for decades, that -- and up -- end up behind bars for decades, that is a tragedy. we have to be better. host: let's go to joe in florida. joe works in law enforcement. caller: good morning. sergeant in a format representative of the court office of -- i want to ask about your perspective of private prisons. it essentially handcuffed judges. the hind that, we sought stop and frisk come in, and it was abused. i spoke to people in higher crime areas. they welcomed police visibility in those areas, but because it was abused, they had to cease their policy. is reformve now
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leading to profitability. prize it -- prisons -- host: we will get -- -- guest: amen, joe. the for-profit interest in our justice system, to me, is the greatest challenge we face. i have said it over and over. i hail from the commonwealth of kentucky, where we moved away from for-profit prisons. there were so many terrible stories of awful things that happened in those prisons. incarcerated individuals that work covered up. andtes that were hungry which ultimately, according to many reports, lead to riots.
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-- and-profit interests i do not call them private. as a conservative, we like privatization. and it is interesting -- an individual very close to me, i was trying to reconcile why we as conservatives really like privatization, privatization of government services, but why "private prisons" do not work. he said things -- that you only privatize things you want more of. we do not privatize things that we want less of. and if you want -- profit prisons are paid per diem. they have investors and are politically active. it is a real struggle when those
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facilities open up, because it is almost impossible to close them. i was really proud of our legislature, majority republican in the commonwealth of kentucky, because it included language in our previous budget that disallowed the administration to unilaterally reopen for-profit prison facilities without express legislative consent. i thought that really says something about the efficacy of these facilities. your point is well taken. i actually think the for-profit interests in this space are our greatest challenge to moving forward with reform. i am hopeful other states will follow the commonwealth of kentucky's lead and ensure that these interests are not at the table, as we are discussing what is best or public safety. to thankwould like holly harris, executive director of the justice action network
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for being with us today and this great conversation about sentencing and criminal justice reform. thank you so much. guest: thank you so much, and happy holidays to your viewers. i am so grateful so many people called in. next, jennifer kavanagh of the rand corporation will walk us through a new report on sources people trust for news -- like c-span. ♪ >> our c-span campaign 2020 bus team is traveling across the country, asking what issues should presidential candidate's candidates address?
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>> i want a candidate who will advocate for everybody, no matter how old they are, what kind of background they come from, what race they are, what religion they follow, whatever their jewel orientation may be. i feel like that has not been happening, and we need to get back to a president who will advocate for everybody. the 2020 issues for election is social justice. what you do and what you plan to do to resolve issues across the nation. >> my top 2020 issue is wealth and how it affects american politics and how money influences our policies. -- my top 2020 issue is not a legislative issue but rather an ethics issue. political transparency is our biggest issue in washington and government in general. i think something they need to
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focus on is making sure that the american public really knows what is going on. some of the hearings and meetings that we cannot know about i think our detrimental to our perception of politics. if the candidates would focus on being upfront about their views, then, once i get into office, stating what is actually going on and allowing the american public to be more involved in the democratic process, things would be smoother in washington. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. with jenniferack kavanagh, senior political scientist with the rand corporation. we are here to talk about new source credibility. good morning. guest: thanks for having me. host: first tell us about the report the rand corporation has done. what does it say? guest: we surveyed 2500
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americans, using a probability-based survey that rand runs, which is nationally represented, so we can generalize to the american population. we asked questions about the sources people use, how reliable they think they are, how they think the liability of news has changed over time. we tried to look at the intersection between consumption and reliability. we found one third of people report the sources they use that they rely primarily on are less reliable than other sources. that is interesting because it adjusts they recognize the sources they are using are not that reliable, yet they continue to use them instead of other sources they see be more reliable. so that was very interesting and a puzzling finding that came out. host: defined for us what we mean by "reliable." does it mean they believe the information they are consuming is not correct or they think it is correct but biased? what do we mean? "reliable" could include
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either of those things. the idea is that they trust that information to be credible, accurate, balanced -- all of those things are included in this concept of "reliability." that isen you say 1/3, one third of the country but are using it anyway. that seems to be a contradiction. people think it is not reliable, but they are using it anyway. why? guest: there are a couple different explanations. the bottom line is they are not prioritizing reliability and accuracy when seeking out news information. one possibility is it is a time constraint issue. they do not have time to seek out the information they know is more reliable. they may rely on social media and other things online rather orn reading a newspaper watching broadcast television, which tends to be rated more
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reliable. another thing is that it is more about they prefer to use news as entertainment rather than seeking out facts. but it is still troubling. host: when we talk about news platforms, are we talking about broadcast, print, radio, and social media? or are we just talking about broadcast, print, and radio? guest: i am including the full spectrum. we asked about broadcast, we asked about cable, separately from broadcast, we asked about print. we asked about online journalism, which would include politico and things that do not have print outlets as well as things like "new york times" online. and we asked about social media and peers. a lot of people turn to peers for news. host: we hear more and more that people are getting their news from social media, from facebook, from twitter.
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how do they rank in this spectrum versus the traditional news outlets? do people trust them more, do people trust unless? or are they just conduits for traditional media? guest: trust in social media tends to be significantly lower than trust in broadcast or cable or print journalism. online journalism is a little bit different, because that can include things like the online outlet of a print source. so trust there is a little higher. the interesting thing is that trust is very low in social media, but a lot of people, an increasing number of people, report that they are turning to social media to get their news. i think a key issue is trying to distinguish between the people using social media as their only source -- they are reading people's posts to get news, and people using social media as a portal to get to other things. so looking at the posts from
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major news outlets and then going and reading the article. there is a big difference between getting your news in 280 characters or in a small facebook post and actually just using that to see what is being talked about or what is being published that day and going and reading the article yourself. host: what is "truth decay"? rand is doing a big study on truth decay. we define as the diminishing role that facts, analysis, and data play in political discourse and in the policymaking process. host: how does that play into people's trust or distrust of media? guest: we have four characteristic trends that we think are part of truth decay. --st is the blur second is a blurring of facts and information. the third is the increasing
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relative volume of opinion. thing about the amount of commentary and opinion the amouf commentary and opinion that is available to us, compared to the amount of just straight facts of journalism. even if you are interested in finding facts, it can be difficult to find them. and the fourth is the declining trust for the sources of facts, the government and the media. peopled that 41% of believe the news now is less reliable than it used to be in the past, and only 16% believe that news has become more reliable. host: we are going to open up our regular lines for this talk, so if you are a republican, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8002. keep in mind you can always text us at (202) 748-8003. and we are always reading on social media, on twitter
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@cspanwj, and on facebook, at journal@c-span.org -- facebook.com/cspan. study come up where are you finding that people are actually getting their news from? from mostlyting it broadcast, are they getting it from the traditional newspapers, websites, or in the actual physical newspaper, or are they getting it from social media? guest: well, it is really a mix. trying to understand whether people are using news and specific ways, certain platforms together come and we identified four types to characterize the way people use news. they are more likely to rely on print and broadcast together. another group heavily dependent on online journalism. another group rely on radio in we put in the radio group podcasts. and the other group relies on social media and their peers,
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friends and family during those of the way people use their news. host: according to a study from a broadcast was the most trusted media. was there any difference in terms of sources of broadcast -- cnn, fox, msnbc -- did you see any difference in those? guest: we did not ask specifically about outlets, but you're right, that is an important news. cable, they about can be thinking about fox, cnn -- host: or c-span! guest: or c-span, exactly. we conducted a subsequent survey where we did ask about specific platforms. host: ok. the report also found that those who rely on social media and peers for news, like we were talking earlier, don't see those platforms as reliable, but they still tend to use them anyway. i mean, really, if you don't
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think something is reliable, why are they using it? ,uest: well, like i said before the people who use social media, they can news is less reliable than it used to be in the past and know that their sources are not reliable are using social media mostly for entertainment. making sure public is informed on the issues. i think one of the key responses that comes out of this is thinking about how do we convince people the facts and looking for accuracy in their news is really important. host: when you say they are using it for entertainment, i mean, i guess i am kind of unclear what you mean. they are using it just to amuse themselves? they are not really looking for facts or information? they just think it is cool, so they are reading it? guest: they are looking to educate, they are looking for something that is sensational, they want to see people arguing on social media, they want to read the thing that confirms their believes or makes them feel good or riles them up in
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some way. they are looking for an emotional response rather than the facts. that is what i mean by entertainment. host: gotcha. let's turn to our collars in this number station, and let's go to marvin, who is calling from colorado. marvin, good morning. caller: yes, i am very passionate about the bias in the only get two minutes, so i want to get as much as i can in her several months ago, on c-span, on booktv, and man wrote a book about how the far-left has taken over the media, and on fox news, just came outne with a new book about the media, and i think whether you are a democrat or republican, the news should not be bias. i watch all the time, and i like american news,ne
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news masks, i check on msnbc, c-span, about 100%, i have never seen -- i keep going back and forth just to see, and msnbc completely bashes trump about 100% of the time. as a matter fact, last night, there was a ceremony where president trump gave -- past the military bill and the space bill and other things, and it was covered by fox, it was covered by one american news, and i msnbc, and they were talking about the impeachment, and this goes on and on and on. whether you are a democrat or republican, the far-left has taken over the news media. host: go ahead and respond. guest: you are absolutely right that the way news. is reported has changed. we conducted a study a couple of months ago where we try to understand the way in which that reporting has changed. we used a textual analysis, which allowed us to analyze the style and tone of the news
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reporting, and what we found was a clear shift from a fact-based style of reporting to something that is much more subjective, personal opinion, argument advocacy, and we found looking in overtime for a soon your newspaper, for example, or over broadcast outlet, but the changes were even more dramatic when we look at the ship from traditional media, print media, to online journalism, and from broadcast to cable television. this shift is interesting, and it suggests that as the media environment changes with new types of technology, new ways of consuming news, we have seen a shift in bad news reporting. this is not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but it is important to understand that while we see news in these different ways, we are getting very different types of information. that is something to keep in mind for consumers as well as for journalists, to think about what types of language they want to use to communicate their news, what message are they
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sending in terms of the types of information that they are providing? is it opinion? is it commentary? is it fact? better job ofo a signaling to their readers, listeners, or viewers what type of information they are providing at a different time. host: what caused this shift? was it just a shift in technology? how americant in people consume news? that shift you were talking about, have you pinpointed a specific reason for it? one is the technology could we produce news editor ways, whether through crowdsourcing, putting it on social media, or producing things for a mobile environment. a lot of people now consume their news in small bites, bite-size pieces on their phones. that shift causes a shift in style. changes in the economics of the media industry, and in the search for profitability have the need to produce things that
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are cheap and have a high -- as high a profit margin as possible. and investigative journalism is expensive, and people do not have time to sit down and read the longform piece. pieces of short information, short stories that capture people's opinions, people's anecdotes, and anecdotes are powerful, which is another reason they are used. if you can appeal emotionally to a reader, they are more likely to then keep reading. i think the search for probability and economic pressures that the media is facing plays a big role in explaining that shift as well. host: let's talk to gary, who is calling from kentucky on the republican line. gary, good morning. caller: good morning. i compare this to a, uh, relay race. cnn, you flip over to msnbc real quick,
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talking about the same thing, and i think you brought up when did the shift start, i think the shift started in 2016, with the election of trump, and when he pointed the finger at the media, .nd i think the shift him then when the media shifted from reporting issues more important and those folks in the politics. so i don't really see -- another thing is that -- why people go to twitter is because they have done away with political ads. the people are just overwhelmed every day with political ads. host: go ahead and respond. guest: well, actually, our
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research suggests that the changes we have seen the news media have been occurring over a few decades, and we do not think it is specific to this administration. it is actually hard to pinpoint a specific date. it has evolved over time. and really the biggest change that has caused these shifts has been the technological changes and the way news has been disseminated. the emergence of the internet, the rise of social media, those things happened around 2000, but for the internet, 2010 for things like facebook and twitter, so these changes were things that we have seen occurring over time, and this is one of the reasons why we call this phenomenon truth decay, because it is not a specific point. it is something that has been occurring in eroding over time, whether it is people's trust, changes that we see in the media environment, and our empirical analysis of the data we collected shows this, that these are things that have changed over times and are not specific to a political event or
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political administration. host: what does the decline in the use of more traditional news sources, like television and newspapers, they? that more and more older americans are getting on social media, and we actually have a social media follower here that wants to know why younger people are not watching cable news. according to him, the median age of a typical cable viewer for him as a bc and, cnn -- for msnbc, cnn, and fox news are 60 and older. but we also know that those viewers are going online. what does that say for the traditional forms of journalism, newspaper, radio, journalism, that the use of them is going down? guest:, as i said the real trend is not consumption, it is shifting to mobile and people getting news on their phone. it is a constant news portal
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that we have in our hands 24 hours a day. young people are much more on my to rely on journalism and social media. they are much less likely to sit down in front of the television and watch cable news. consumingf they are cable news at all, it is probably on their phone -- host: on youtube, portal -- guest: right, looking through the portal, so we see this shift, and that is the direction that things are moving. it is unlikely that a young person is going to sit down in front of a television. people do reason newspapers, but to sit down and read a whole newspaper cover to cover is just not likely. people are consuming news on the go, and that is one of the takeaways from our word that we just published, the news consumption is a lifestyle choice, a habit, something that people integrate into their daily lives. ways towe think about improve the way that people consume news or ensure that people are better informed, when he to think about that, about the fact that changes that occur
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in the news media need to not only focus on how information is disseminated and what information is disseminated but how to integrate it in people's lives so that people get the most information. host: let's go to dan, who is calling from jackson heights, new york, on independent line. dan, good morning. caller: good morning. the concept that she used -- originality, someone as unique as you. you need to watch her glucose. why did you eat a doughnut? the problem is increasingly looking at the news for information, and the news is approximation, a profound, accurate presentation, even in the days when you were reading the newspaper. but now, people are not looking for information, they are
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looking for stimulation, they are looking for something that will boost their arousal in the morning, the way that coffee does or the way the doughnut does. and i don't think you should blame the media people, because they just want to make money. what you should be blaming is the culture of the united states now, where the only thing that counts is that you get -- host: any response to that? guest: i think you are right that when we think about solutions to some of the challenges we face in terms of this information, the response does fall on the media and on individuals. it is important that we think about -- how do we convince people that facts matter, that they could be better informed and make better decisions about their lives if they do have facts, and if we spend that further, that our policymakers can make better decisions about major policy issues that face the country when they are also operating from an established set of facts.
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does that shift and making sure, that people do see the value of this that is one of the purposes behind this truth decay project is thinking probably about what this issue is and not just the media these but also many other fingers of this problem in the way they extend through our political and civil discourse. i am trying to think about responses to that. and we do not have a specific, easy answer to that. it took us decades to get to this situation, and it is going to take us time to get out of it. but if i give the public, that individuals hold a responsibility in terms of looking for facts and seeking them out and acting on them, you are absolutely right. host: are there factors and demographics that shape news consumption? age, race, married, political affiliation. what do those factors have to play, and how do they affect news consumption? differentple do make decisions on news consumption
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based on the factors you mentioned. people with a college degree or more are much more likely to rely on print and broadcast journalism than are people who only have a high school diploma. they tend to turn toward social media as their source. age is another big factor, which we talked about. young people are much more likely to look online. older people are much more likely to rely on more traditional forms of media, print, broadcast t television. women who are married also rely on online social journalism. host: did you see any difference in political affiliation? guest: political affiliation does not matter that much for news consumption. it does matter for trust in the media, but it does not matter that much for how people make decisions about consumption. did you putere political ideology as far as trust in these medias? guest: we looked at reliability, so it is a little bit different there, but we found that people
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who did not vote for president clinton -- "president clinton," excuse me -- who did not vote for hillary clinton were much less likely to say that news had become more unreliable. host: let's go to skyler, who was calling from laurel, maryland on the democratic line. skyler, good morning. caller: hi. thanks for taking the call, and you may have already answered this question, but i have been waiting, so i figured i would ask it anyways. i am wondering what does the data show for when this shift sort of went from people looking newsacts from news, their sources versus them looking for more entertainment from their news sources? is there anything that you can say about whether or not people are really looking facts, are they even looking for the truth, or do they just want entertainment now?
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when did that happen, and our people even looking for the truth? guest: well, i think that there is not a specific point. it is really difficult to pinpoint a specific date or even a specific moment or events that caused this shift, it is something that has really evolved over time. of increase of diversity news sources that we have, the rapid expansion of the volume of disinformation that has permeated throughout the information system has really undermined people's trust. the blurring of the line between fact and opinion, the spread of commentary in place of fact-based reporting, these are all things that have affected people's attitudes toward the news, that have caused them to turn away from and to field is disaffected. it is a confluence of things that have shifted over time that have shifted people's attitudes, caused them to be less interested in looking for facts. partly because it is harder.
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it takes more time now to find that fact-based information, because there is so much information out there, which is great that we have all of this information available but also makes a challenge of finding the fact-based information much harder. host: do pay walls affect how people consume news? we are talking about mobile's. people are moving towards further news. do pay walls affect news consumption? guest: i think so. i think sometimes people are unwilling to pay for journalism when they think they can get so much information for free. host: get something for free. guest: right, get something for free, so they may just turn to those resources, and they may be unwilling to pay subscription fees to get access to the sources that do put stuff behind a walls. a barrierthen create to getting that fact-based information viewed at the same time, if you think about it from the media's perspective, how do the journalism,
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if they are not earning any income, and they are putting everything out there for free? as people shift away from paying for new subscriptions and getting newspapers delivered to their house, how do they make a sustainable, profitable news product if they are not getting any sort of funding? so i think that this is something that shifts to having a pay wall is a big decision for media companies, and it is something that i think does then presumption of news, people who do pay, people who are not willing to pay are getting access to different information, and as i mentioned before, our studies show that these types of information are really different in what they are providing people, not just different content but actually different style in a different type of information. host: let's talk to nancy, who is calling from eden prairie, minnesota on the republican line. nancy, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking this call.
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one, net neutrality is supposed to be done, which it does not happen. number two, and i just heard her talk about -- just a minute, i have got to turn this off. -- oh, my god. host: just keep going, ask your question. caller: anyway, the fact -- i cannot turn that thing off. the fact is, everything is so biased, and the newspaper here, which is being paid for, it is being totally biased, and when i hear -- it is like fraud. it is like when they are reporting something, they are reporting what the celebrities are talking about on the cable and elsewhere, the journalism people are not even digging to find truth. host: now, nancy, what newspaper are you reading in eden prairie? itler: the star tribune, and
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is horrible, they own both the st. paul newspaper in the minneapolis newspaper. host: are you subscribed to the "star tribune"? caller: yeah, yeah, and it is the same old thing, and it makes no difference whether you pay for it or you don't pay for it. it is the exact same junk. host: go ahead and respond. guest: i would disagree. i think there are a lot of journalists who are working to provide that-based coverage and the best information available. i agree that it can be difficult to disentangle fact and opinion, increasingly blurred online and in print newspaper, and there are not good signals for information consumers, for which is which, and one of the things that we recommend an hour or is that we think about ways to have better labeling of information, so what is fact? what is speculation? what his opinion? and when our journalists
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switching between them? having that information would make it easier for a consumer to know, ok, now i am consuming facts, or now i and reading commentary, and i am not interested in that. if we were able to discern the information, it would be easier for consumers to find what they are looking for in their news. host: that is one way -- obviously, you think the news company could help their consumers. are there any other ways media companies -- any other practices toia companies need to adopt help news consumers figure out what is reliable and what is not ? thet: well, i think that is key one, providing better labeling, making key distinctions. in the past, there was a real clear line between the wording of the opinion, and now they really are mixed, even the way they are presented, sometimes within the same article, as well as on the same features.
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so that is one way. on the way focuses less distinguishing between information and thinking about how media can better engage their readers, so they are motivated to find facts. and what we were discussing previously come up thinking format news comes into people's lives, whether that means providing short, pieces thatbased people can consume other phone and a short period of time that have all of the information, or being careful with headlines, the 280 short piece of a news article captures those key articles and facts, i am not sure exactly what that looks like, but how do we get the high-quality and journalism, which had previously been on longform news, to be in a byte-sized way? host: let's go to lil, do is calling from nacogdoches, texas.
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lil, pronounce the name of your town for me. did i get anywhere close? caller: you did. host: ok, go ahead, lil. caller: we live in a free society, thankfully, and we are sources, upon our news and trump has done everything in his power to undermine that process, so my question is -- in your research, knowing that the major news outlets in the united political owned by operatives, did you find in your research that that to be factual, that new sources are owned by factions, either democratic or republican, so that we do not get the straight news from general news sources? host:, first see if you can answer the question, are our major news sources owned by political operatives? isst: i do not think that
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true. i do not think there is evidence to support that feared i do think there are news outlets, not all of them, but some of them, that have a political spin or appeal to one political factor than the other. and in order to be profitable, media companies often have to appeal to a niche set of viewers that they can appeal to come up provided permission that supports what they are willing to an interested in looking at, and this goes back to the idea that we like to be right. we are always looking for news and information that will confirm that we -- that what we believe is right. it is a dopamine hit. so news companies, knowing that, are increasingly tailoring their news to focus on these niche audiences. but i think that is a separate point from the ownership of these companies, and the motives, again, go back to profit. who iset's talk to ben,
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calling from smyrna, tennessee on the republican mind. ben, good morning. caller: good morning, sir. i am a 50 something-year-old and with a masters degree, not that it makes education really mean anything, but i pride myself, and i will be honest with you, i have not watched mainstream media nor newspapers in probably 10 years. it just seems to me that they are very biased, and it does not seem to be an issue come outside of maybe fox news, that they present a very liberal perspective. host: where do you get your news?if you do not watch mainstream or read newspaper, where do you get your news? talkr: i get my news from radio, i get stuff from online, and i do my own independent research to validate that information. it tostion is -- i find be that most people do not even trust the mainstream media anymore.
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the mainstream media says they are not political, but when you watch the interviews, it seems to be very political, and it seems like they are either not telling the whole story, not giving information -- and i know there was a study a couple of the news media said they were not political, but when they look at their voting records, he much everybody that was going to make the news networks both democrat. -- both democrat. -- votes democrat. so i think most people do not trust the mainstream idiot, and most millennials don't. abc, cbs, "washington post," that they actually lean aree to the left, and they making stuff up, not just getting the facts, as we have said several times, but giving their opinions. i find that to be very evident when you read the newspapers and you watch tv today. , we havell, at rand not specifically addressed that question, but the studies
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looking at whether there is an overall political bias in the media have found no real evidence of a significant bias one way or the other when they take the whole media environment and all of the news that is produced into account. there is not that much evidence to support this idea that it is a strong left word or right word bias. i think there are certain sources that tend to cater toward one or the other audience, and i also agree 100% with you that there is so much more commentary now that the amount of commentary and opinion , that can feel overwhelming, and it can feel very difficult information,based even from somebody who spends a lot of time doing that, for somebody who spends a lot of time navigating the information space. ideaf the solutions is the of media literacy, of training individuals to do a better job or to have the skills they need to navigate the information environment, to distinguish between fact and opinion and
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speculation, to make good decisions about sources, and to seek out the most credible ones. so that is one way that we can think about solutions and helping people to do a better job navigating this environment. i will also agree that there is clear evidence that trust in the media across the board is very low, and that extends not just to traditional forms of media but also to online journalism and media so trust is very low overall, and our study shows that trust is becoming even more unreliable and is thi decreasing further. host: what further research on truth decay will you be doing? guest: we have a broad agenda. we have an extensive study that asks specifically about trust in different types of media as well as some pieces of the government, state, local, as well as federal, and at the military, where we know trust is
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a little bit higher, so we are looking at that. we have studies looking at cognitive bias. cognitive bias takes a big role in this. right, as i said previously. we are easily tricked into believing false information, so we want to find out what is the and hown truth decay can we counteract those biases and make better decisions? we're also thinking about civic indicatio education. another bigion is piece of this, as well as the idea of seeking out facts, so we are trying to study that piece as well. then we are extending our aperture to look globally. we see a lot of analogues of asia,roblem in europe, in so we are trying to understand -- is the same thing happening elsewhere? and what is different about it, if it is, so we can think about it as not just an american phenomenon but maybe a global one. host: let's get a couple of more calls in.
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let's go to gym, who was calling from georgia on independent line. jim, good morning. caller: good morning. i want to congratulate mrs. kavanagh there. i completely agree. the problem is propaganda, the problem is salesmanship, the that hass journalism become another sports broadcast. it is -- they are covering public affairs like it is ball games. you have got journalists who will support one team over another. the firstt the way amendment was designed. journalism and not propaganda. i agree with hundred percent. i do think we would be better
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served by having a media and journalism that would make it easier to find the facts and evidence and that made it more transparent about how news is created. i would love to know more about how a journalist puts together a story, the things they found that they did not trust, that they discarded. all of that information could be useful to an immediate consumer to understand more about why this is produced and what they are actually consuming, and i do think that understanding this shift from a more objective, news reporting to a more subjective one is one that we at rand are continuing to study, trying to understand -- what is the impact? how do i consume subjective or personal news in a different way than i would consume something? the reason we want to understand this is -- there are differences. if i am more susceptible to false information when it is subjected or told as a story, then that says something about what we might want to think about as we move forward in terms of the media that we might
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want for our future. host: we would like to thank jennifer kavanagh from rand corporation for coming in and talking to us about the reliability of media and how we consume news. jennifer, thank you so much. guest: thank you for having me. host: coming up next, we will open up our phone lines where you can talk to us about your public policy issue. we want to know what you think is important and needs to be talked about. the lines are on your screen. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. we want to hear from you on your top public policy issues. but first, this weekend on c-span cities tour, explore the american story as we feature the history of literary life of indianapolis on booktv in american history tv. today at noon on c-span2's booktv, all of our nonfiction book programming from their, including the story of robert
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kennedy's campaign stop in the city after he learned of martin luther king's assassination, as told by author and historian ray blumenauer. [video clip] >> could you lower those signs, please? very sad news for all of you, and that is that martin luther king was shot and killed tonight. martin luther king dedicated his justicelove and to between fellow human beings. he died in the cause of that effort. ray: on the way to indianapolis, kennedy had heard the news that
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not the news shot, that he had died yet, just the news that he had been shot, so when he arrived in indianapolis at the, kennedy finally learned that king had died. there was a lot of confusion about what the kennedy campaign should do. should they cancel the speech? should they go ahead with it? and there were people here at the site who got word at the kennedy airport that, you know, you are going to have to come out here and say something, because if you don't, there might be some trouble. textdy had no prepared from his campaign speech writers. aide, fredcampaign dutton, and it was kind of, "what am i going to say here?" in that car. "what am i going to say to people?" kennedy did not know, and dutton had no advice to give him. kennedy was one of these people
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who could speak to people directly, give bad news, and be counted on to do the right thing. >> "washington journal" continues. host: once again, we are back, and we want to hear from you on your top public policy issues, the things that you want to talk about before we close the showdown today. once again, our phone lines are, republicans, you can call (202) 748-8001. democrats, your line is (202) 748-8000. independents, you can call (202) 748-8002. and keep in mind, you can always text at (202) 748-8003. and we are always reading on social media, on twitter @cspanwj, and on facebook at facebook.com/cspan. your calls,t into let's just get a little bit of news in here. from the hill, a story in the hill today, "president trump on friday signs two spending packages totaling 1.4 trillion dollars, averting a government shutdown at midnight. has included all 12
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annual appropriation bills for the 2020 fiscal year that started october 1. of taxso included a slew cuts, extended expiring tax breaks, and illuminating other taxes that amount to an additional $426 billion in lost revenue, bringing the total cost of the bill to more than $1.8 trillion. the government spent the first quarter of the fiscal year operating on stopgap funding that was set to expire on friday. trump reportedly signed the bill while on air force one, en route to mar-a-lago for the holidays. trump's signature brings to a close -- host: once again, we want to know what is your top public
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policy issue that you want to talk about today? let's start with samantha, who is calling from merrick, new york on independent like your samantha, good morning. caller: hi. good morning. i would like to talk about the policy of things being left out of the news. /10/2019, russia held a hearing talking about the pharmaceutical companies to step up and talk about what is in their powder that is on the shelves for babies, women to be using. how come the policy have been not to explore these issues? how is it that the policy remains in the area where keepa can contribute to issues out of the news and not talk about how the public is being exposed to poor quality assurance products? i would like to know whether policy is going to be formed to
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protect the public from, um, uh, tainted products, and that should be put in the news. host: let's talk to karen, who is calling from winter haven, florida, on the democratic line. karen, good morning. caller: hi. my issue would be health care again, because it is just getting worse. i had a case where i was in mississippi for thanksgiving. i had forgotten my asthma medicine, and united health care would not issue me a temporary prescription. pay $500 forhad to it, and this is just crazy. host: karen, what part of mississippi were you in? caller: gulfport. host: a beautiful area down there. caller: not much left from all the hurricanes. [laughs] host: let's go to ken, who is calling from beaumont, texas, on the republican line. ken, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: just fine. go ahead.
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caller: i want to follow up on so many policy issues to address, but one of the most overarching things i've seen is the attempt to overthrow this government, the democracy that people who have lived and fought many years and i. and also we are seeing -- i do not know what you would call it otherwise than an outright attempt that you would see in a third world country, that you would see in central america and elsewhere, but it is being played out in the house. this is not nancy pelosi's house. this is the house that belongs to the citizens of this country. for itobligated to move and not play games, and we are having too many games. and the only way to do this is when the next election comes around us go to the ballot and get these folks out of a the positions they are in, so we can try to get some stability and semblance inside this country of respect and dignity.
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host: let's go to walter, who is calling from baltimore, maryland on the independent line. walter, good morning. caller: good morning. , c-span, and happy holidays to everyone. sir, my concern is now that we have -- the impeachment will go down in history as a jerk being impeached, but also as that bill he signed, as you did not note, he refused any extended money to the ukrain. now, isn't that what the impeachment was basically all about? i wish that they had taken up some of the other conditions of evil and fill that the president of the united states has perpetrated, including the mueller report, but i am satisfied with the impeachment itself. the other part of my comments this morning is we have to get back to reality. there is no coup.
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there is no takeover. this is democracy, c-span, and your listeners, and more information on the one that just called you. who iset's go to gary, calling from indiana on the democratic line. gary, good morning. caller: yeah, this is gary from indiana. i am the voice of the common man, and i am here to take a stand. happy holidays to everybody out there. merry christmas. question,t to ask one ok, to everybody, rhetorical question. do you care? there is so much going on out there right now, that the second caller. talked about. health care that is one major issue. . we are the richest company in the world, and we cannot afford universal health care? what about michigan? every now and then, i've run across the topic of the poisoned water that they have to use for drinking water. theen heard a rumor that
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mill over there made a deal with bottle waterotter companies, if you scratch my back, i was scratch yours, and theirs are just a few of the major issues. sick and tired of human beings, who do not deserve this kind of treatment, to go through this kind of treatment. whether you are rich, and thosess, or poor, of you who will not go out there and vote or do anything about it, wake up! host: let's go to james, who is calling from new york, new york, on the republican line. james, good morning. caller: way to go, james. i just want to say that it is really sad that republicans, so many republicans have been on
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the kind of a cultish kind of thing for trump. they don't see how many times he lied. they do not care about his bullying. they do not care about anything he does that is actually evil, and they just a with him, and i think a lot of that has to do with money, the root of all evil. but i think it is really sad -- actually so many millions of people -- that are actually like him at the core. and i think our democracy is actually -- that is one side of the coin. that is the sad part. other part of the coin, it is sad, but it is also a good thing that america got to see this. to this happening with trump getting in and the russians and all that, prior to that happening, i thought we had a lot more people that were not
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racist, that were not bigots, and then when i see this, i think, well, at least now we know, and we know we have to fight against, but we do have to fight against it. host: let's go to roger, who is calling from valley park, missouri on the independent line. roger, good morning. caller: good morning, country. happy holidays and merry christmas. yes, sir. about,think this is all this is about the $12.4 billion that obama took from the russians back in 2014. private --a deal in everybody has seen it in the world -- with putin. nobody could talk about it but them. they made a deal to get that $12.4 billion back. the question is -- how much of that $12.4 billion does putin gifted trump to spread around all these people to protect him like this? host: here is a story that could have been in today's papers
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about the creation of a new military branch that happened because of the signing of the bill. let me read you come up from military.com, "roughly 16,000 active-duty and civilian personnel that make up air force space command are now assign to the u.s space force, following donald trump's signing of the 2020 national authorization act on friday evening. trump appointed general j raymond as the first chief of space operations. raymond, who also leads u.s. space command, will report to the secretary of the air force and set as a member of the joint chiefs of staff throughout the next 18 months, the u.s. air force will further identify the appropriate personnel to transfer branches and become service members "all current airmen currently assigned to air force space
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command will now be assigned to space force," the service announce in a document friday, head of the ndaa enactment. within 60 days, the uniform will reach out to u.s. airmen to determine whether it is organic to the airman, organic to the air force, or shared between the space force and air forces," the document states." let's go back to the phone lines and go to steve, who was calling from new haven, connecticut. steve, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: just fine. go ahead. caller: my biggest question is -- how can we get more people to vote? and where i am going with that is i am not a donald trump supporter, but if we had a majority of the voters that voted for him and were supporting him, i would have to ,o along with it, but right now
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with most people, "my vote does not count" -- it is ridiculous. it is absolutely absurd. that is all i have right now. host: let's talk to wanda, who is calling from chico, california on the republican line. wanda, good morning. caller: yes, i am calling in reference to your previous guest, who was discussing long, unreasonable prison sentences. do you know that a man in iowa was sentenced to 15 years in burning an lgbt flag? well, i guess it goes by pc standards, not the actual gravity of a crime. burning an american flag is no time at all. host: let's talk to james, who was calling from weaverville, north carolina on the democratic line. james, good morning. caller: good morning.
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i would just like to make a comment about the national debt. now, it is seems like our leaders are coming up with a solution, because i think that is one of the biggest capitalism,ur pretty much to the system, it also, the drug problem in this country, why don't our leaders talk about the drug trafficking, all of the lives that's being destroyed by all of these illegal drugs, and the judicial system, the criminals, and they catch them, and they just need to tear up the crime in this country. we have military all over the world, and we need them here in this country to fix this problem. i am sure every family is probably affected, one way or another, by the us illegal drugs.
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it seems like they are doing nothing to fix it. news, notome election presidential election, but election news, here is a story coming out of mcclatchy about a future possible senate candidate. "former governor patrick ray said he will not run for governor, but he will seriously consider a 2022 campaign for u.s. senate. mccrory made the announcement on his morning show on wbt radio. "despite very this favorable i made a decision not to run for governor," he says. "first, i do not want to cause further division in the republican party." he said people had urged him to run. crocs inbout government at the federal, stat, and local government.
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the former charlotte mayor with a double-digit lead over dan with the race for governor. he said he would support the gop nominee for governor, and senator tom tillis, who is running for reelection." let's go back to our farm eyes to close out the show, and less start with luke, who is calling from leland, mississippi on the independent line. luke, good morning. caller: hello. i want to explain something for african-americans. the 14th minute was not passed so someone from china and come here and have a baby and build something. african-americans built this country, yet a white person owns as much as 18 times that of a black person. you have the decision prior to that fear the government is complicit into making african-americans a permanent second-class citizenship, and it is just ridiculous. and now you have lgbt people, a
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man went to jail for 16 years for burning a flag? and i am a veteran, i served for this country and i will die for this country, but the american flag -- something as unnatural as homosexuality, we are all here because of heterosexuality, so that is unnatural, and to support that, that is a shame, and a lot of people will not vote for killing babies and for unnatural acts like homosexuality. tim, on thego to democratic line. that i pronounce the name of your city correctly? caller: yes, you did your host: go ahead. caller: i consider myself a oter, and i was listening to the debates for the democratic party, and i cannot believe what i was hearing. pete buttigieg is going to give full compensation to people
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living there illegally? and not only that, he is point to give them citizenship immediately? thousands ofhad people waiting in line for years, legally, doing it right? and then they were talking i believe it was governor northam said we can kill a baby outside the womb, if the mother sees fit and does not want to take care of that baby, if it has too many disabilities or whatever, something of that nature. i mean, this party is terrifying right now, and now they are talking about we are just going medical care to illegal aliens when how many millions in this country, including veterans like me, cannot get any health care? that party has gone totally -- i do not know if they need some type of mental health, psychiatric help or what, but those people -- host: let's go to calvin, who is
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calling from mount pleasant, pennsylvania come on the republican line. calvin, good morning. caller: hey, how are you doing this morning? i have a question for you. democrats, they turned around and wanted to impeach president trump so bad, how come they won't send it forward? i think they should send it forward. that is all i have to say, thanks. host: let's go to one more news story before we close out the show. this is coming from the "new york times, and it is a story about -- well", let's read the story and see what it says. "american a military intelligence officials tracking north korea's actions by the hour, saying they are bracing for an imminent test of the intercontinental missile capable of reaching american shores but thatm resigned to the fact donald trump has no good options to stop it. if it is tested in the coming days, pyongyang had promised a christmas gift, and it would be a glaring setback for mr.
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trump'sboldest foreign-policy initiatives's, even as he faces impeachment at home. playing down the missile threat, prompting mr. trump to suggest that "fire and fury," and perhaps a war, could result. suspectedhas long this as evidence that his leader-to-liter diplomacy with the north was working, and that negotiating skills would persuade the north's leader, kim jong-un, to give up his arsenal." let's go to a couple more caller s. let's go to catherine from minnesota on the independent line. catherine, good morning. caller: good morning. god bless everyone. and response to what you just regarding korea, that is pretty shocking, and it is concerning about how trump kind of escalates the violence
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rhetoric. the topic i wanted to bring up or talk about was the affordable care act. i have been incredibly disappointed that the democrats continue to support this come up with a know there is physically very little information or it, and i really feel it is unconstitutional. they originally held it as ax,stitutional only as a t and then they took away the fine, which should mean that the shouldble care act is not be allowed to stand. comprehensive care has been virtually eliminated. people in congress have comprehensive coverage, but i have a $14,000 deductible on my health care, which would not take long to wipe us out if we needed to use that, or if that were implemented. so i would like to see people do some things with affordable care eliminating the a formal
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care act and going back to the type of private partner program we had before. host: let's talk to joe, who is calling from kings four, tennessee on the democratic line. joe, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you this morning? [inaudible] host: just fine, joe. go ahead. close us out. .aller: i am 82 years old i voted democrat my entire life, but these last two weeks, they have shown themselves, and i will not vote democrat again. they have really made a mess out of everything, and i turned it off. i got tired of listening to enter i just turned it off and go their way.ats the next time the election comes up, you can bet your dollar that i will be voting republican. host: i would like to thank all
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of our guests, our callers, and our followers on social media for being with us on c-span this morning. i would also like to say a special happy birthday to my daughter, rita, who will turn 13 this week, and decided to get up this morning and help out on the show. i would also like to wish all of you out there a happy holiday and we will see you tomorrow morning, bright and early, at 7:00 a.m. for another "washington journal." have a great day, everyone. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] mugs arengton journal" available at c-spanstore.org.
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"washingtone journal" mugs and check out all of the c-span products. >> the house will be in order. has been years c-span providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from d.c. and around the country so that you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1970 nine, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. your unfiltered view of government. here is a look at what is coming up today on c-span. next, the democratic presidential candidates debate hosted by cbs news hour and politico. seniorhat lara trump, advisor to president trump's reelection campaign, speaks in
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sterling heights, michigan. testifiesel horowitz about his report on the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. here is the democratic presidential candidates debate from thursday in los angeles. >> good evening. newshouro the pbs politico presidential debate from loyola marymount university in los angeles california. -- thank youonight -- i am joined tonight by my fellow moderators. please greet tonight'

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