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tv   The Journal Editorial Report  FOX News  July 15, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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>> that does it for us. we will be back here one hour from now. hope you will join us. >> journal editorial -- ♪ >> welcome to the journal editorial report. i'm paul gigot. senate republicans released a revised version of their healthcare bill this week, hoping to jump-start their stalled effort to repeal and replace obama care. president trump urging members of his party to get it done, saying the time to act is now. >> i'm sitting in the oval office, with a pen in hand, waiting for our senators to give it to me. for years they have been talking about repeal, replace, repeal replace. now we have a president that's waiting to sign it. i have pen in hand.
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>> so will changes to the bill be enough to get moderate republican holdouts on board? let's ask "wall street journal" columnist and deputy editor dan henninger, assistant editorial page editor james freman, and editorial board member joe rego. joe, the bill has changed for the better or worse and how? >> well, i would say both. this is a bill that's moved to the political center. it's moved leftward. it's worse in the sense that it gets rid of a lot of the tax -- it keeps a lot of the tax increases on investment income 3.8 percentage -- >> that were part of obama care. >> that were part of it. >> that republicans promised to repeal? >> they did for years. and it spends that money on other stuff. it's got 45 billion for opioid treatment. it's got a lot more up front medicaid spending. it's good and better in the sense that it retains the fundamental medicaid reform. that's really the most important part of this bill.
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moving to a per capita block grant -- >> to the states from the federal government. >> right. a lot to the states and putting the program on a budget is first time since 1965. >> that still is the part in your view that is worth really worth passing this bill? >> it is worth passing for that reason. the new bill also adds something from senator ted cruz. it's called the freedom option. it's a lot of deregulation that will start to potentially bring down premiums in the individual market. that's the type of progress that we need to stand up, more liquid, richer insurance market with more options and more competition. >> but this isn't the root and branch repeal obama care they promised. it's a compromise. it is kind of let's try to please all sides of the republican coalition.
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>> i guess so paul. i have a grimmer view of it. at the end of the day, what is the solution? something familiar in washington, throw more money at it; right? that's kind of what it came down to. >> more money because the so called moderate centrist senators, the rob portman of ohio, mr. cassidy of louisiana, these are the people who wanted more money for opioids and medicaid. >> we thought people like portman and cassidy from louisiana could be called conservatives. i think this is a moment of reckoning for the republican party. what we're finding out is a lot of these republican senators really are not conservative as the way we thought the party had evolved. a lot of them are acting like big government republicans, back from the 70s. and what we saw was that when they got pushed, by the left and by the media, they caved. and they were sort of running from the party of reagan. so i think that conservatives whether they actually represent republican and conservative voters is another question. but this behavior on this bill suggests to me that the republican party has to step
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back and think a little bit about what they stand for. >> there's one senator who's already said he's not even going to vote to a motion to proceed and that's rand paul of kentucky. he's a libertarian. why would he blow up this bill? if this fails, james, you get obama care. >> yeah, and i think republicans who vote against it also deserve primary challenges because the united states government has unfunded liabilities in the tens of trillions or perhaps the hundreds of trillions. this is one little baby step towards reforming the fastest-growing entitlement program -- >> which is medicaid. >> which is medicaid. there's good evidence that you're no healthier with medicaid than if you have no insurance at all. it's not working for anyone. and the idea that you can't begin to reform it, to have money spent better, it boggles the mind that republicans can say no to this opportunity. >> and joe, the cruz option,
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which i happen to like, being part of the bill, is that going to help with some of the conservatives? >> yeah, you've already started to see senator cruz who had been calling this obama care light, start to come on, ron johnson from wisconsin, maybe mike lee from utah. so it is starting to assuage them. they have sort of given up some of their reservations about this bill. as you said, it is not root and branch reform, but it is a net improvement and directional progress. >> but you think it's actually a pretty important reform? >> i think it is pretty important reform. what james is talking about with medicaid, this bill saves 772 billion dollars over ten years. now, look, that's not -- >> and even more as you go out. >> if the structural reform that makes changes over the long-term, that's the type of change we need in washington. >> all right. so here's -- step back and look at the politics. republicans in the senate in 2018 have one senator in a tough
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race, dean heller of nevada. one. everyone else is generally pretty safe. they are 18 months from that election. one senator, and if they can't make this pass right now, with that kind of a limited vulnerability politically, 18 months from now, when will they ever pass any reform of entitlements? >> yeah, it is a really good question, because what the republican voters and the american electorate did was give them control of the government, after allowing the democrats to control it. they passed the affordable care act. they passed dodd frank. there was obviously disaffection with both of those big pieces of legislation. now it was the republicans chance as they promised when they got control of the government to revise these -- fix these things and they are not pulling it off. >> thank you. we will see. it's going to be a historic week. when we come back, president trump's oldest son being pulled into the russia probe after taking a meeting with a russian
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start for free today! >> the president's oldest son now being drawn into the investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 election. donald trump jr. released e-mails earlier this week from 2016, showing that he agreed to meet with someone he believed to be a russian government attorney. after receiving an e-mail, from a publicist, offering him information that would incriminate democratic presidential nominee hilary clinton. president trump defended his son thursday during his trip to paris. >> i have a son who is a great young man. he is a fine person. he took a meeting with a lawyer from russia. it lasted for a very short period and nothing came of the meeting. and i think it is a meeting that most people in politics probably would have taken. >> all right.
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dan, so people say this finally proves that there is collusion. there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russian government. how do you see it? >> i don't think any serious washington lawyer would agree with that, that there is collusion, an actionable act that could be taken to a prosecutor and prosecuted. but look, the media has had this narrative from the beginning, that there was collusion. they are going to chase it to the ends of the earth. let's talk a little bit about what happened here. he met with these people to talk about opposition research. that research happens in every campaign. do campaigns meet with individuals from foreign governments? yes, they have done that. are there dirty tricks in politics? yes, there is that. but the difference here is that we know that the russians did hack into the election, into servers. there's been congressional testimony that they hacked and tried to hack into 20 state election systems as well. that is what is new here. and so the trump -- donald trump jr. has walked up to the line
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with the russians, where these two intersections meet. and that's why the prosecutors are now going to take a hard look at what this meeting was about. >> but the e-mail was look this is part of -- we have dirt on the clinton campaign, and we have also think that this is representing the support from the russian government. >> right. >> for the trump campaign, and donald trump jr. said i love it. >> yeah. >> that suggests that he was happy -- he didn't object to help from the russian government. this is a government that is not our friend. >> right. and in a normal campaign, you've got the candidate, the people right below him, that would include donald trump jr., if you get a request like that, you send somebody who is about five or six layers below that to go talk to them and see if they have anything, and then they talk to the lawyers in the campaign who say get away from these people. but, no, the trumps took it on themselves. >> he even roped in jared kushner, the son-in-law, and paul manafort, you know, the
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beltway lobbyist who represents a lot of unseemly foreign clients. so i mean, at a minimum, it's stupidity, incompetence in my humble opinion, but it's hard to defend. >> it is hard to defend. i think certainly a lot of people in washington would like to get information, and you don't want to say it is illegal to gather information, but yeah, i think more seasoned political pros, maybe more classier, shall we say, politicians, might have at least wanted to keep more distance from this kind of meeting, but this kind of brings up the choice that people had last year, two very flawed candidates. and you look at what's happened here. we're a year into the collusion investigation. so far nothing showing the trump campaign actually doing anything. >> well, wait a minute, this meeting isn't anything? it did something. they met. >> well organization -- well,
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okay, a meeting, but in terms of colluding, working together to rig an election which is the charge. >> in terms of saying okay we have an idea, we're going to hack the democratic national committee, good idea, that we don't have any evidence of. >> right. >> on the other hand, if they say we have some dirt on the clintons, come and meet with us, they go, great. i mean, that's not -- that's not really very good politics. >> it's distasteful, and it is -- we're seeing really the initial stages of learning about what happened -- where did this whole collusion theme come from? it looks like it may have come from democratic-funded opposition research, seeking from russian sources -- >> this is the so called dossier that created that -- that has been discredited >> right, so the question is, we seem to have two campaigns last year, at least two parties, that were willing to take dirt on their opponents from foreign sources. >> here's the thing, there's only one president right now. not hilary clinton. it is donald trump.
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he won. there's a special counsel looking into this regarding the trump campaign. how much legal jeopardy is there here, joe? >> well, i suppose it depends on the underlying merits of the case. donald trump jr. showed terrible judgment here in taking this meeting. but the question is, did it ever advance into anything that was not only unsavory and reflects poorly on the trump family business, but into something that's potentially criminal? and -- >> we don't know that. >> we don't know this. the russian lawyer he met with was apparently arguing against an act, which was a law that sanctioned -- american law that sanctioned russian human rights abusers. it looks like potentially a cutout to lobby, to weaken this law, but still other than the e-mail, nothing of substance seems to have come out of it. >> so far. >> so far. >> that's the question, dan. they issued an incomplete
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account of this when it first came out. >> right >> that's part of the problem. they released the e-mails two or three days later, which i'm glad they did it. let's get it all out. it's the sort of thing instead of just trying to say, oh, well, at first this is just a meeting about adoption, the act related to adoption. they didn't get the truth out. >> they didn't get the truth out. >> what this ensures as you were suggesting earlier, the special counsel, mueller, and the lawyers working for him are going to overturn and look at everything related this campaign and the trump people who were involved with it, jared kushner, manafort, the president himself, they are going to want to look at all the e-mails, the documents, the phone records. that's the way these investigations work. and all of them are going to be preoccupied with this. jared kushner has had to hire his own lawyer. it is inevitable that it is going to preoccupy them. >> when we come back, while the white house deals with its latest russia headache, congress seems to be creating one of their own, as a new russia sanctions bill stalls in the house.
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while the white house is facing fresh questions about russia's role in the 2016 campaign, congress is bogged-down in a debate over just how much authority to give president trump to potentially ease sanctions against moscow. the senate overwhelmingly passed a bill last month to impose new penalties on russia and to make sure the administration can't change course without congressional approval. but that measure has stalled in the house. what's behind the holdup? let's ask tennessee senator bob corker. he's the chairman of the foreign relations committee. so, welcome mr. chairman. glad to have you here. so let me ask you first about the meeting that donald trump
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jr. had with the russian -- during the campaign. do you agree with president trump that anybody would have taken this meeting? >> well, paul, good to be with you, first. let me just say look, we have these daily of what has occurred during the campaign. we have a senate intel committee that's going through this. they will be able to put all this in proper context. personally had i received a call from some -- about some russian official wanting to give me information, i would have said no. but look, i think the intel committee can put all this in context. if i responded to these on a daily basis, paul, i wouldn't be able to deal with the policy issues that we have to deal with. so i just think we ought to let them go through all of this, and at the end, we will have everything in proper context. >> all right. let's talk about that policy, the russia sanctions, passed the senate 98-2. that's -- republicans of the senate and democrats don't agree
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on much these days. why the overwhelming support for this bill? why the bipartisan support for this legislation? >> i think that, you know, first of all, there had been concerns early on that maybe some cheap deal would be made with russia over syria that would eliminate the sanctions on eastern ukraine or the sanctions relative to what russia did there. in addition to that, the cyber issues, we want to make sure that we push back against all those who are involved in cyber issues. as russia continues to privatize state-owned enterprises, we want to make sure that those who are through corruption unfairly benefitting from that we punished. we want to make sure those who were supplying arms to assad were punished. we want to make sure those doing business with certain intel agencies and defense agencies within russia were punished. i just think there's an overwhelming on both sides of the aisle, and i will say, candidly, among national
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security folks, within the trump administration, a desire to push back against what russia has done. and i strongly support this bill. obviously i think the house will take it up very soon. >> right. okay, so on the sanctions provision, you have the additional sanctions. the white house says we support the sanctions, but what we want is more presidential flexibility, and they don't like the fact that your bill denies the president the ability -- the flexibility -- flexibility to ease sanctions if he comes to some agreement with the russians. in the president, democrats have insisted that barack obama have that kind of flexibility. why not give it to this president in this case? >> well, if you remember, paul, we had this same problem come up with iran. >> right, i do remember. >> where obama was able -- he was able to go straight to the u.n. security council, lift all the sanctions that congress had put in place for eight years, which was not congress's intention. so i'm the one that's been leading the effort to ensure that we have congressional review.
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had this provision been in place, the iran deal, that i think was a terrible deal for our nation, would have never been put in place. so this is us asserting our rightful equal role in foreign policy, and i'm all supportive. i'm very supportive of congressional review. i feel like i've led the charge on that. and it will be a part of this bill. when it comes out of the house, it will be part of the bill when it comes out of the house, no question. >> what if the house doesn't incollide it -- include it? because the white house is pressuring the house not to include it and it goes back to you guys. >> it is going to come out with congressional review from the house. i get no sense whatsoever that they plan to change it. i have been on the phone just in the last 30 minutes with ed royce. i have talked to leaders on both sides of the aisle there. this bill will come back to us. i'm absolutely convinced, with congressional review. it's the right place for us to be. and it will stay. >> all right. there's one other question obviously that we wrote about
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this week, which is the oil companies are objecting that the way the senate bill is written, it could block american investments, not just in russia, but anywhere around the world, if there was just a small bit of russian participation in brazil or nigeria. are you willing to get that fixed? >> yeah, you and i have talked about it. and ben cardin and i, my democratic counterpart, did a colloquy on the senate floor to resolve this issue. i have talked to treasury about this issue. i think they could fix it with colloquy. but mccarthy's staff has been over to see us about it. as you know, it is about betting on grids out in the ocean. >> right. >> and the united states and u.s. company could bid on a grid out there and win and right beside it could be a russian entity. a lot of time government says hey we want you all to form a consortium so we have one pipeline that's bringing that oil back, and that is an issue. it's a legitimate issue. and the house can either solve
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it through legislative text change, which i've talked to hoyer about it. he's in agreement with that. >> okay. >> or they could do it through colloquy. it is a legitimate issue. >> but you are willing to fix that. it sounds like it will be fixable. >> absolutely. >> okay. >> absolutely. and senator cardin on the democratic side in the senate is too. >> all right. thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate it. still ahead, mcconnell cuts the senate's summer vacation short as the g.o.p. scrambles to get some legislative wins. a look at what this republican congress has achieved in its first seven months and what it still needs to do to satisfy voters ahead of the 2018 midterms.
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if humira may be right for you. with humira, control is possible. due to this unprecedented level of obstruction that we have been experiencing, we will be in session the first two weeks of august. >> if i were them, i wouldn't want to go home and face the voters either. >> majority leader mitch mcconnell cancelled almost half of the senate's august recess this week, saying he will keep lawmakers in washington in order to give congress more time to make progress on president trump's agenda. in addition to repealing and replacing obama care, passing a budget, and beginning work on tax reform, are at the top of the to do list. but mr. mcconnell also hopes to push through the backlog of more than 100 presidential nominees who have yet to be confirmed by the senate. we're back with dan henninger,
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joe rago and james freeman. james, let's take a step back here, for a second, as they approach the august recess, 7 months, almost 8, into this -- i guess it's seven into the presidency. typically a time when a new congress, a new government with the same party running both sides of pennsylvania avenue, gets a lot done. what do they have to show for it so far? >> by the traditional measures maybe not much. we think of pelosi and reid putting a huge stimulus on barack obama's desk within a month, that hasn't really happened here. but if you are a trump voter reflecting on your choice, you can say there's a great supreme court addition in neil gorsuch. you can talk about a burgeoning rollback of federal regulation, congressional review act bills, a lot of them have gone to the president's desk. >> how many, 13 i think, is that it? >> 13. these are basically rescinding
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rules from the obama era. president obama was the greatest regulator in history, measured by pages in the federal register, so there is a good start here, but the big the agenda items are still hanging out. and that's -- we talked about healthcare, and it is the big tax cut that i think a lot of workers, investors really everybody who wants a faster-growing economy is still waiting for. >> but there's also, joe, the sort of the smaller bills that some of these new governments, congress has put together, they really haven't done too many of those one on the veterans' affairs. >> one on va, one on the food and drug administration, but there's a lot of stuff that's passed the house and hasn't gotten through the senate. >> right >> typically a bottleneck on capitol hill. but i think you kind of have to look at this and be disappointed in what they've done so far. really not the kind of progress that traditionally happens. >> there are two big reasons
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here, dan, one is, i think that healthcare choice that they made to go with healthcare first has just proven to be a lot harder than they thought, first in the house it took longer. now it is approaching a moment of truth in the senate. but also democrats have really just done everything they can to slow the senate down, particularly on nominations. how bad is it? >> well, it is very bad on nominations. i mean, there are many many important seats in the government that have not been fulfilled. i came in with a little bit of a list. they are just about to start moving the u.s. ambassador to japan, bill haggerty, the solicitor general, noel francisco, many secretaries and deputy secretaries, the chairman of the council of the economic advisors, undersecretary for international finance, these are very important positions that have not been fulfilled for seven months. >> but chuck schumer's response would be well they got so far behind, the trump administration in nominating them, what do you
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expect? it is their fault, not ours. >> ambassador haggerty was nominated back in february. some of these people have been sitting for six months. these are nominations that are not controversial. the thing here, though, paul is, there's a new reality in chuck schumer's opposition. the democrats are simply not participating in the government. now in fairness, the republicans in obama's first term, did not participate in the passage of the affordable care act or dodd frank. so that suggested, i was saying earlier if you get control of the government, as these republican senators have now, you have to make a concerted effort to get some things done while you have those votes. that's what they are not doing. >> what schumer has done is he's used every tool, procedural tool in the senate to stretch out these nominations. so they have a 30-hour rule of debate, i think, they are stretching that out. when harry reid had cut a deal with republicans limiting it to eight hours on any nominee. they are stretching everything out. they're stretching -- they are denying hearings under an old
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senate rule. republicans, what do they do about it, james? >> well, i think they may go further to change the rules. we saw how chuck schumer, the democrats, basically put up the goal line stand against neil gorsuch, bad move, he was a blue chip nominee, should not have been a big fight about that. that ended up killing the filibuster for judicial nominees going forward. so i think normally the senate, a lot of it runs on unanimous consent. >> right. >> and that's how they waive all these complicated rules that basically prevent anything from happening. if the democrats are saying no, we're going to insist on the rules that prevent anything from happening, i think republicans will naturally look at what other rules ought to be rewritten. >> let's assume healthcare passes this month, joe, in the senate, and and they move on -- and they move on and house and senate pass it, can they pass tax reform before the end of the year? >> tax reform i think in a lot of ways will be harder than healthcare reform.
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the thing that will help is the sense of urgency. this has been so difficult on healthcare. i think this is a congress that knows that they and the trump administration are going to be judged on economic results, on their performance, and that might speed things along sort of tamp down some of these divisive debates. >> it is really do-or-die on tax reform especially if they can't pass healthcare. still ahead, iraq's prime minister declares victory over islamic state in mosul. is the war against the terror group really coming to an end? what the u.s. needs to do to avoid repeating past mistakes. next. searching one topic. that will generate over 600 million results. and if you've been diagnosed with cancer, searching for answers like where to treat, can feel even more overwhelming. so start your search with a specialist at cancer treatment centers of america. start with teams of cancer treatment experts under one roof. start where specialists use advanced genomic
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before fibromyalgia, i was a doer. i was active. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions
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or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. iraqi prime minister declared victory this week over the islamic state in mosul, where the terror group declared its so called caliphate in 2014. after a bloody three year struggle there, my next guest says the fight is far from over. seth jones is the director of the international security and
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defense policy center at the rand corporation and author "waging insurgent warfare, lessons to the islamic state". welcome good to have you here. >> great to be on, thanks paul -- thanks paul. >> how significant for american interests, we know it matters a lot to the iraqis, how significant for american strategic interests is this liberation of mosul? >> i think it is important. i think it is important to note that the u.s. strategy changed quite a bit in the 2003, 4, 5 period and all the way up through the surge, the u.s. did a chunk of this kind of clearing with u.s. marine or army forces, in this case, the u.s. supported iraqi counterterrorism forces, kurdish militia and some shia in the area. -- and unfortunately some shia in the area. >> why do you say unfortunately some shia?
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>> the number of iranian -- the amount of iranian support here and the number of shia militia in iraq is staggering right now. almost 150,000 mobilization -- >> wow. >> that's pretty significant. it actually shows how much influence iran has in iraq right now. >> all right. now the campaign against islamic state also making progress inside syria, where the fall of the headquarters in syria could also be heading that way. is that victory? that liberation imminent too? >> probably not imminent. i think if the liberation of mosul tells us anything, it's some of the villages and cities that sit south along the ewe -- euphrates river valley are going to be brutal, car bombs, children will be used as shields in the fighting. i think it is likely going to be intense. but i think in the end the americans will likely prevail
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with their local allies and remove most of isis from these towns and villages. >> okay. let's assume that liberation does take place, you've written for us this week that already the jihadists from islamic state are spreading out and returning in essentially to their insurgent strategy, blending into villages, smaller towns, waiting for another opportunity to regroup and no doubt committing terror along the way. what has to happen on the part of the iraqi government and the u.s. to make sure that isis doesn't revive? >> well, i think at the core we have to remember that this is primarily a political struggle going on, not a military one. and if we look at some of the anbar cities like fallujah and ramadi. fallujah was cleared by the u.s. in 03. >> right. >> then we had insurgents move back. it was recleared. the last decade and a half has been constantly reclearing some of these cities. so i think what has to happen is in particular in sunni areas,
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some of the key issues that have disenfranchised sunnis have got to be better addressed. that is in part a heavy political effort by the u.s. and u.s. diplomats to push the iraqi government. this is going to put it really at loggerheads with iran to settle some of these sunni disenfranchisement issues and that is a large number of shia militia, more rapid reconstruction in cities like fallujah. now, mosul and ramadi. and then to treat this as a political rather than just a military struggle. >> so they can't seem to be -- the baghdad government or with the shiite forces that back iran can't seem to be imposing a new kind of tyranny on those sunni areas of anbar province in iraq. because that's the root, that's the base from which the insurgency grows. >> that's an important base of support. if one looks at the rise of the islamic state in 2014, certainly
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its ability to gain sanctuary in syria was helpful but also ability to take advantage of grievances among the sunni populations who identified their government in baghdad was a key component of isis getting into that area. >> all right. what would be your recommendation to the trump administration about how to handle u.s. forces there? we've got several thousand that are on the ground there, mostly special forces, advisors, and targeters. but should we negotiate a more permanent presence there? of troops, 10,000 or so, of the kind that president obama refused to do in 2011? >> yeah, i think there's no question right now the u.s. needs to recognize that iraq does have a strategic importance for the united states. i don't think it requires a large number of u.s. conventional forces. >> right. >> but i do think it does require for the u.s. to remain, to remain and have access to iraqi bases, to continue to train iraq's counterterrorism
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service which was incredibly important in the retaking of mosul and will be in the retaking of other cities, including another city in iraq. to continue to train iraqi police forces which will be the bedrock for law enforcement in fallujah and ramadi and other sunni-heavy cities in the future. so those are some of the key issues. and to keep -- try to push out and then demobilize some of the sh shia militia forces operating in the country right now which is counterproductive for the u.s. forces. >> counterforce, politically to iranian influence in iraq and i assume a balancing role politically. you have the kurds in the north. you have the shiites in the south and the east. and then you have the sunnis. so there's kind of a political balancing role here too. >> yeah, i think there is a clear political balancing role. the kurds in the north have generally been pretty effective over the long run in taking care of their own security.
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i think the balance there is there is a growing interest in broader kurdish independence, linking up with kurdish units in syria and turkey. slightly different struggle than the sunni fight down in anbar. multiple political issues the u.s. will have to balance. >> thank you very much seth jones for being here. appreciate it. >> thanks, paul. when we come back, the so called summer of hell has started for new york area commuters as long-needed repairs divert tens of thousands of riders from the nation's busiest rail hub. a look at what's behind the rising costs and mounting delays in infrastructure projects across the country, next. they replace it with a brand new one. that's cool. i got a new helmet. we know steve. switching to allstate is worth it. what are all these different topped & loaded meals? it's an american favorite on top of an american favorite, alice. it's like abe lincoln on top of george washington.
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get your favorites on ti enjoy the freshers. things in life. fresh towels. fresh soaps. and of course, tripadvisor's freshest, lowest prices. so if you're anything like me... ...you'll want to check tripadvisor. we now instantly compare prices from over 200 booking sites... ...to find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. go on, try something fresh. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices. it's being dubbed the summer of hell as tens of thousands of commuters in the new york area
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scramble to find alternative routes to work. hundreds of trains that run through new york city are being delayed or diverted this summer, as amtrak makes long overdue repairs to tracks at penn station. the busiest rail hub in north america. derailments are now common and new york city subway breakdowns almost a daily occurrence. but the mess is just a sign of things to come, as officials make plans to repair the 107-year-old tunnel under the hudson river, which was badly damaged by hurricane sandy in 2012. "wall street journal" editorial page writer alicia finley joins us with more on this ongoing saga and condolences to brother freeman who commutes from new jersey -- [laughter] >> so alicia, what is behind this mess? >> look, as you mentioned, there are nearly daily breakdowns. that is because they have not invested the money into repairing the system over the past 20, 30 years.
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>> or 70 or 80 -- >> some of them date back to the 30s. they are analog signals and haven't gotten around to computerizing them. and they are working on it but it will not be done for another half a century. >> so i guess the politicians would say well we just need to spend more money on this. and it would be fine. if the politicians in washington weren't so tight, we could actually do. this is that really simple, more cash? >> most of the cash goes to pensions. 60% go to labor costs. >> 60%? >> 60%. pension costs have doubled in the last decade. that is where the money is going, to the public unions, not to these improvements. >> even the money that's earmarked for transportation ends up going to labor costs or pension costs, that's not even current workers, rather than in
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the up keep of the plant. let's take the mta, for example, subway cars, if you invest in the unions, the workers, you skimp over the years on things like buying trains or upgrading signals. >> that's right. the politicians have been paying off their public unions who are big donors to their campaign and just neglected these repairs, but they've also been investing to an extent in some, you know, the 2nd avenue subway >> they finally built that -- >> they could cut some ribbons. they can maybe win some more voters on the upper east side. >> there's i think four stations there. thank you very much. it's a lovely subway. but it is not -- if it keeps -- if all the other trains keep breaking down, it really doesn't help. james? >> yeah, lead us not into penn station, the fervent prayer of all commuters. [laughter]
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>> so i think viewers around the country don't live here, they just beyond our griping, i think they appreciate how this does have a larger meaning here. >> yeah. >> because this really is the failure, you could say, of blue state governance. you could say of government period, in terms of costs have been driven up by labor laws, but also environmental impact statements, everything that goes into making an infrastructure project so difficult, time consuming, expensive. there's a republican member of congress who is trying to get 900 million in funding for a new tunnel under the hudson river. sounds like a lot of money. it is a drop in the bucket. it is projected to cost 20 billion. i think there's a real opportunity here and around the country for a politician who wants to say privatize. let's bid out the rights to these things, and let's take away the rules because we need more infrastructure here. >> and just to elaborate on your point, this is not just about new york city at all.
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we're talking about the amtrak corridor from boston all the way down to richmond, virginia. >> right. >> needs new investment, if you want to maintain that train service. >> we are talking the country, labor costs, project labor agreements for the west coast and east coast. it is breaking down, probably more visible where you have a lot of commuters, but the same problems are occurring everywhere. >> and some of the systems are the oldest here because some of the tracks were laid and the infrastructure laid in the 30s, 20s, and earlier. dan? >> well, there's a big question of whether it's doable at all or whether these as james was suggesting, blue state, blue cities, new york, boston, are so dysfunctional, that they are not going to get the job done. i mean, they argue that the transportation systems are, you know, crucial to the economic integrity of those -- >> they love public transit. >> but if it doesn't work, it's going to be solved by out migration. by people moving out of the north, into areas of the south, where they do have viable transportation systems, and i think you will just see
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something like detroit happening, where it's simply winds down because they can't get it done. >> thank you all. we have to take one more break. when we come back -- when we come back, hits and misses of the week. at panera, a salad is so much more than one thing. more than one flavor, or texture, or color. a good clean salad is so much more than green. and with panera catering, more for your event. panera. food as it should be.
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♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪ ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ ...is alright with me.
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♪ ooo baby let's... ♪ ...let's stay together... >> time now for our hits and misses of the week. james? >> paul, this is a hit to facebook founder and ceo mark zuckerberg. his company collects data about all of us. apparently it is not enough. so he is personally going out to middle america to meet people, find out what their concerns are, hockey moms, steelworkers, oil workers, i think there's some question of what his motives are here. is it marketing? is it about a political run? but i think we ought to give him some credit. he's one coastal elitist who is willing to go out and find out how the rest of the country lives. >> alicia? >> i want to give a hit to modern medicine for recommending
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this new treatment that harnesses the immune system to attack cancer cells in leukemia patients. a huge medicine breakthrough that opens up all kinds of possibilities. >> and the food and drug administration looks like it might even approve it. >> dan? >> i'm going to give a miss to the idea of boys meets girls. the "wall street journal" reported that guys are no longer picking up tabs on dates with women, asking them to split it or pay it for themselves. what is going on here? partly i guess because dating is becoming expensive. as it was said in the article, women could no longer be thought of as commodities. a lot of guys are saying i don't want to insult you, you're on your own now. >> are you buying that, alee shah? -- alicia? >> i welcome being treated as a commodity. >> when it comes to dinner.
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all right. thanks for watching. i'm paul gigot. hope to see you all right here next week. president trump returning from france to face mounting challenges on the legal and legislative fronts. healthcare hitting a snag in the u.s. senate with division in the ranks amongst republicans. this as new details surface about the meeting between the president's son and russians, with reported ties to the kremlin. hello and welcome "inside america's news headquarters. i'm greg harriet. >> i'm julian turner. kelly wright and julie banderas are off tonight. the president is at his golf course in new jersey where he will attend the u.s. women's open this weekend. >> we have fox team coverage now. garrett tenney is st