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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  June 19, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> i am announcing my resignation from congress. >> this week on "inside washington," congressman anthony wiener finally gets the message. >> this president has failed. >> the first major republican debate targets of the president. >> the administration is anti- jobs, anti-business. >> i would be surprised if we get into the tax issue in the biden discussions. >> war powers -- a bipartisan group in congress challenges the president.
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>> why and how are we going into libya? >> see you is getting a second look after monday night's debate. >> president obama is a one-term president. [applause] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- on thursday of this week, congressman anthony weiner announced u.s. resigning from congress, a day after a former -- he was resigning from congress, a day after a former porn star with whom he had been corresponding suggested he resign to a. but the entire leadership of the democratic party, including the president, and also been of the opinion that weiner might want to find another line of work. is anythi -- as anyone have anything to add?
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mark? >> probably not. ginger lee in atlanta ant an interpretive dance in establishment -- [laughter] triple her asking right. -- asking rate. >> nina? >> i finally felt sorry for anthony weiner at that press conference with people heckling. you should be able to resign in public with -- in control of a low but without having people treated as a spectacle. he is gone and it seemed incredibly mean. >> evan? >> feel sorry for his wife. she came home, he quit. >> charles, anything to add? >> hard to find something, especially after mark.
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he was the victim of a calendar. the democrats were going to strip him of his committee assignments. he might have hung in there because the majority of his constituents in one of the polls supported him. he could have been reelected. the problem is, his district, because it is after a sense this year -- a census year, would have been dissolved in redistricting. he could not have a future. he might have on the top, but knowing that it would not be a ninth district -- might have hung tough, but knowing that there would not be at night the district, he had nowhere to go but leave. >> pete sessions is the republican chairman of the house campaign committee, texas, introduced legislation last week that would allow workers to pull out of social security payments, of their workers by, and
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employers after 15 years, depriving social to carry out the money they needed to pay it beneficiaries. it got no attention. why? because of anthony weiner. >> let's move on. seven republican candidates presidential nomination met for a debate in new hampshire. they had little to say about each other, but a great deal to say about the current occupant of the office. >> anyone of the people on this stage would be a better president than president obama. >> the failure of leadership. >> this president has failed. >> that will give you some idea how the debate went bid with eight months before the nominating process begins, according to the latest nbc news poll, only 41% of the republican primary voters are satisfied with the current line of candidates. compare that to 72% four years ago.
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why is that, evan? >> the obvious a guy who should be at ahead, romney, is it kind of maladroit. there is nobody else, except the guy who is not on stage, huntsman, who people are waiting to see how he will do. >> i don't think it is actually unusual for voters to be unsatisfied before there is a nominee with their choices. there is an uncommon to hear -- threre -- there is an incumbent here. a wide variety of people who have been silly things, starting with newt gingrich i think they acted pretty well. -- i think that they actually did pretty well. >> why aren't the republicans connecting more with the base? >> it is absurdly early.
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>> they usually have a clear front runner, and here they don't. >> when democrats ran against bush in 1988 and again in 1992, people spoke about the seven dwarves. when you a the president, you have stature, and when you are not, you don't did you look like a dwarf, and they are out there and you do well and you rise in stature. we will get two editions -- additions -- gov. from taxes, rick perry -- southern governor is missing from the race -- and as evan indicated, jon huntsman, moderate conservatism. >> people are pessimistic. that is what the other message was in that "wall street journal"/nbc poll.
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44% of americans, a plurality, believe we are headed into another recession. there is a sense, whether it is home prices, unemployment, they are not excited about the vegetables, fruit, ice-cream. >> weiner underscores the unbelievable disconnect between the democratic process and the problems we have. people don't know precisely why that is, but they can sense that there is a huge, yawning chasm between the process and the solutions. >> what is ironic about that is that in europe, our future is playing out on the streets, riots, meltdown in greece. we know that is where we are headed unless we tackle the big problems. but they go untackled at all we focus on our scandals and titillation. >> the economic news it is not
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good the voters are not blaming only the president on that. >> he has -- name one thing right he has done on the economy. >> boy, that is a tough question. [laughter] >> according to "the wall street journal"/nbc news poll, 62% think the country is headed in the wrong direction, 44% think we're going to another recession. peter hart, a pollster, says people are unbelievably pessimistic about the future. unemployment numbers are bad. have you checked your 401k in recent weeks? add these to the american people by and large don't blame the president for this -- at least the american people by and large don't when the president on this. they tended to go to the previous administration. >> george w. bush's
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administration -- 1/3 say that the obama administration. as long as this goes on, he owns the economy. every one of those presidents, when you talk about pulling this farm out -- gallup shows the president losing to a generic republican right now, even though the nbc poll does not. they show that george h.w. bush had a big lead a year and half ago before the election in 1992. and, of course, he lost. so did ronald reagan. ronald reagan was trailing oil, and i'll -- ronald reagan was trailing walter mondale by 11 points at this point. the economy went down in bush 41's case. you are a prisoner, a captive of economic events.
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>> one of the interesting things is that some of this is going on in europe, and some economists are beginning to wonder -- everybody agrees we have to cut the deficit. but people are beginning to wonder whether you put in these kinds of a draconian measures at the time of a recession, that it could exacerbate problems, and that we should perhaps think about doing this in a slightly different way. >> we are not thinking about doing it at all, that is the problem. the central fact of life is debt. we had been living beyond our means, europe has been living beyond its means, social democracy has been living beyond their means for a long time. the only way out of that is doing things that people don't want to do, and the politicians are unable to suggest it. that is why you have this gap. people know something is wrong, but politicians are unable or unwilling to tell them what they have to do. >> look at this group that joe biden is supposedly honchoing.
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they are going nowhere, and they cannot do anything. congress has a low numbers in the new poll. >> it is always it saddam hussein territory. evan says politicians are not offering anything. not true. the democrats and not offering anything. andblicans have stepped anup offered up plan, and you can critique it, but it is essentially what was offered by a commission in 1999 headed by alice rivlin. >> it is completely and listed to think you will do with this -- completely unrealistic to think he will do this without tax increases. . >> democrats have not offered -- the republicans have offered
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to cut $6.60 trillion. in the end, it would obviously have to be a deal where taxes are included, but the democrats have done nothing but demagogue the plan and destroy it, leaving us with what? the obama administration budget, defeated 97-0 in the senate because it is so embarrassing. >> you are saying that republicans are going to face up to reality and raise taxes? >> the republicans are opening the debate by saying we start by cutting completely out of control spending -- >> endorsing higher taxes? >> of course i am endorsing higher taxes. i have done it for years and i did a month ago. we are historically much higher than we were for the last 50 years. 25% of gdp. historic averages 19. you have to start their trade in the end, you have to have tax it -- you have to start there. in the end, you have to have
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taxes with the raising of revenues. >> at the beginning, ms. mcconnell said he would be surprised if we got to this with biden. >> tom coburn agreed to raising revenues through tax reform. >> aarp, at the end the week, the retired person -- >> american association of retired people. >> to be absolutely unthinkable -- >> social security. >> did say that they would consider an even support socials a dirty cutbacks. that is a significant -- social security cutbacks. that is significant. >> as the president said that? >> very significant in the debate. i assume the president as a position that joe biden represents, and he will be confronted up to make that number for august 1.
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he is playing golf with the speaker this week and that will come in those discussions. this is the reality. evan is absolutely right, we have to have everything on the table. charles as 25% spending, and that is because we have two wars and the stimulus package, but we at 14.5% in revenues. that is unsustainable and fundamentally at american. -- fundamentally american. >> -- fundamentally unamerican. >> where is the president on this? . >> charles is depending on a structural change in the tax code on a deal that will happen in the next month is like wishing for diamonds in my car when i walked out of here. that cannot happen. you cannot restructure the tax code in an instant.
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we have to do something right now that makes the debt ceiling go away, get it raised. otherwise, for this country to default on money it does would be at the press time -- on monday it knows it would be the first time that an industrialized country that is not bust would be defaulting. >> well, here's the thing. usually, these things are kabuki, a show. everybody knows that when you get to the edge of the cliff, people to the right thing. i am not 100% sure this time, because the right thing involves significant tax increases and significant spending cuts, both. i'm just not confident that the political system is going to be able to do that this summer. >> seven weeks, charles.
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>> nina is a saying in seven weeks you cannot get tax reform. the president has been in office it 2.5 years, not seven weeks. the only leverage that the series people on this, the republicans, have is the debt limit. the president has proposed nothing. in the first two years, he said we will punt -- commission reports, he does not think he does not use the word "debt" until 3/4 through the speech. he gives the budget in february, nothing on entitlements, nothing on spending, increases spending. it is a scandal. all of a sudden he is out of time. all that he has done is orchestrate a mediscare campaign against the other side, the republicans, who represented a serious idea for cutting debt, which he has not done. >> 2/3 of the debt with the
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increase has come from george bush's tax cut and the two boards. let's understand that before -- and that two wars. let's understand that before partisanship rear its ugly head again. tom coburn, an iconoclastic, courageous republican said at let's eliminate the ethanol subsidy paid at a time people are hungry, we are growing grain to make it for gasoline? he is told by grover norquist, who is, in fact, the enforcer of the republican party that this would be a tax increase. what happened to the republicans? in they ran like a so many black birds of a telephone wire. they scattered, day or terrified. this is the reality we are dealing with. it is not the question of
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courage on one side and cowardice on the other. it is a question of a coming together over a national problem and, as evan said and nina acknowledge, it does in all boats tax increases and serious -- and of both tax increases and serious -- >> the democrats have proposed neither. >> propose schmose. if either side is not willing to do something that is painful, there is not going to be a deal. in the short run, we are in the middle of a possible rerecession, and you don't want to do something that would fizzle tod -- that would facilitate that happening. >> yes, is gaddafi an evil man? certainly. but where were you, congress? why didn't the president come to the congress to justify the action was taken? >> republican congressman walter
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jones of north carolina, and tha -- a member of a bipartisan group of lawmakers suing the president, saying that he violated the war powers resolution. does that have any merit, nina? >> note, to read it is to understand that it is a silly suit. it is kabuki, all the people care about this very much. republicans, who used to think that the war powers resolution was unconstitutional -- that is what john boehner said before -- are now harkening to eight. the democrats are a little more consistent. every president skirts and the war powers act. there is the way to do it, and it is to cut off the funds. >> i don't see that happening, but there is consistency on the
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part of dennis kucinich and walter johns here, that they took that position under the previous administration. what i find rather disturbing or rather fascinating is to watch these people readjust, whether it is john boehner becoming a boarding and supporter of the war powers act or the democrats -- born-again a supporter of the war powers act or the democrats who railed about the need for the war powers act under george bush saying this is not really a military action. >> even though the drones worked pretty well, i cannot help but believe there will come a time when we regret the ease. we aren't trying to assassinate gaddafi, although we don't quite add that -- admit that. >> we are not. nato is. >> but we provide 75% of nato.
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nato is us. although these things can work, i have an uneasy feeling that the time is going to come when we regret having been quite so cavalier about it. >> nato is more kabuki >-- us or nato is more kabuki. dennis kucinich, dovish democrat, gave a backhanded compliment to the constitutional , asncy of president bush opposed to obama, who was supposed to be the constitutional professor and has done nothing of the sort. the war powers act -- everybody has a great, congress insists on it, every president has rejected it, and the courts have decided they will not step in they do not want to adjudicate and the separation of powers issue, and
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on this one, the suit is a frivolous one. no court will adjudicate tr. >> here is what sticks in my craw -- the taxpayers have to spend a lot of money at pakistan. what is wrong with this picture? >> david ignatius pointed out in front a's "washington post" -- friday's "washington post close but is that arresting people who helped the government -- these were spies. we do that in our country when people spy for our friends. we arrest them. i don't find that incredible. >> did and we give billions of dollars to help find the enemy? >> you don't choose your allies in this world. some of them are double dealing, and that is what pakistan is. we are in trouble if ibecause or
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best friend in pakistan, at the military head, is under attack from his own military and he could lose his position or more because of the resentment against america and his helping america. >> i want to go back to republican politics and take another look at michele bachmann's performance earlier this week. >> this election will be about economics. it will be about how will we create jobs, how will we turn the economy around, how will we have a pro-growth economy. that is a great story for republicans to tell. >> that is michele bachmann, congressman from minnesota. i will name no names, but in the past, a member of teh "inside washington" panel has been added distressed whenever i mention her. but people were impressed. >> i was.
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people love seen her and not in sound bites on sh-- people who'd not in sound bites on shows like this, they know she's serious and that she can argue well, she can make a case, she is a lawyer, she has been in congress for a while, and she has had an impact. i am not so surprised. i think people who have never seen her before surprised. >> i have seen her before on conservative talk shows. she has said some demonstrably, factually false things -- >> as you and i have never done. >> now, these were big false -- >> as you and i have never done. >> but i thought this was an extraordinary performance. it really shows that she does have some real knowledge, she is able to present a case, that she has an attractive candidate,
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that she is not sarah palin, and that she is a real contender, at least for getting the vote of the base and the republican party, and that could be enough to put her over the top. >> what a shocking novelty, and a tick -- and particulat -- an articulate conservative woman. >> if pawlenty had more personality, we would not be impressed by michele bachmann. she is also an outrageous demagogue. he listened to her answer on medicare, and she says that all people understand how terrible it is that democrats are taking over the money. it is outrageous. >> i don't think his personality that pawlenty needs. i think it is a spine. when he could not repeat the same charge against romney next to him that he made in a tv studio today before -- he
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cowered in a corner and there was an opening there. michele bachmann certainly did the sparkle. in contrast to the others, but she sparkled absolutely. but she is flying at a given all the tooted and she did in the house -- flying any difference at all the two did and she did in the house and on conservative talk -- shows -- different altitude than she did in the house and on conservative talk shows. she said the to to india cost $2 million a day. that is what she has to avoid. >> last word. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.
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many of this region's hill towns date back to etruscan times, well before ancient rome. others date to the fall of rome. when rome fell, europe was engulfed in chaos. people naturally grabbed for the high ground to escape the marauding barbarians that characterized those dark ages. over time, these towns were fortified and eventually functioned as independent city-states. in their glory days, they proudly charted their own course, generally free from the dictates of popes or emperors. then, the bubonic plague swept through tuscany in 1348. that, combined with the increasing dominance by the regional bully, florence, turned many bustling cities into docile backwaters. ironically, the bad news of the 14th century mothballed these towns, leaving them with a unique charm and a tourism-based affluence today.
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siena maintains much of its medieval character. its sprawling main square and towering city hall recall the days when it rivaled even florence. assisi -- with its walls, gates, and castle -- was home to st. francis. its massive basilica remains a favorite destination for countless pilgrims today. volterra was an etruscan capital centuries before christ. within its wall, the town's rustic center offers an evocative tuscan charm. and san marino -- all 24 square miles of it -- is unique in that it's still an independent country. while novel today, tiny two-bit dukedoms like this were once the norm. medieval italy -- like most of europe before the rise of modern nation states -- was a collection of independent, little san marino-style city states -- many of them no more than fortified towns on hills.

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