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tv   Washington Week  PBS  August 7, 2009 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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john:s august mak or break time fo halth care reform? and a secret mission to orth korea by ill clinton. does the relase of two ptured journalists sgnal a th you with the reclusive korean leader coverig thesestories this week, john rwood of cnbc and the ew york times," peter baker of "the new yk times," and rtha raddatz of abc news. >> celbrating 40 years of urnalistic excellence, live om our nation's capital, thi is "washington wk" with gwen ifl, produced in association with "national joual". corporate funding r
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"washington ek" is proded by -- >> we ow why we're here. to standbehind all o serve. >> to deliver th technogies vital to freedo to help carry he to those in need. >> around the glob, the peopl of boeing ae working together for what matters most. that's why wee here. >> it creates half the electricityhat fuels our dreams. we have more of itthan any pla on earth. and we're workng on cleaner ays to use coal every day. more information at the >> major funding is also provided by the annberg foundationthe corporati for public bradcasting, and by contributio to your pbs station om viewers like yo thank you.
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once gain, liv from washington, sittg in for gwen ifill this week, jhn dikerson of late maazine and cs news. john: good evenin president barack obama turned 48 this week. he didt get big present he'd been asking for doctor pasge of health ca reform in the use and senate -- but he got a few pretty gooalternatives. sotomayor, his pick for the supreme court, s confirmed wi the support of nine republicans, and we arned today thathe unemployment te has dropped a little bit. from 9.5% 9.4%. there have beea few pieces of ecomic news like thi late that, while not fatastic, have at least been notawful. john arwood, dos the whte house think the've turned a corner here? >> no. but they'rehaving a party right now. thewhite house knows that first of all missi accomplish is the worst thing u can do in an ecoomy like this. the uemployment rate even though it ticked do this
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month is likelyto go up for a few monthsand not rally come down ina serious wayuntil ne spring. consumer confidence isstill low. it's true hat the banking system is stabilized and that's good news. but they can't celebrate. barack obama came outtoday and attribut the beter than it might have een newson ployment to the effct of his policies on thestimulus pln but they'r not celebrating too mu. >>ne thing on the campaign stump this weehe sort of amd up the rhetoric a littl t. also -- let's isten to it. >> i don't want t folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. i want hem to qustion the -- just getut of president way so we can clea up the mess. i clonet -- don't mind leaning after them but don't have -- do a lot of talkin >> so, john,what's tht new language abo? >> i think afer the onth probe has had,e's gotten kicked around b the
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republicans over the economy until today. bitepublicans on health are and that deate is difficult and congress is leavingwithout havingpassed heal care reform, feels pretty good to on the campaign tral -- ail and knock around your opponents andet them up s the peop who have been tying to stop yu at everyturn. especially now thathe's got a littleit of good news i expect he'll be ampe up over the next cole weeks. >> john, how much edit can he take for thisgood newsand will he ad should h? >> its verydifficult,martha, as you know, to tie cause nd effe in economic plills -- policy but the way works is you get the lame on the doside. certainly when the market was down an the job piture poor for much of this yer he wa gettinghammered by he republicans. ouide economists, mark zandi, or example, say the stimulus has had e fect, that t unempyment picture woulbe worse ifot for i and you
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certainly haveven is in this cash for clunkers progr which congress hasow extended tht ia very discreet waythat's terribly bome doctor welcome for the admistration has gsed the sale of a quarter million cars. th've now doubled the fundng for it an thatpromises to make peopl feel positive and possibly prvide an actal bot over the next few weeks. >>hey said we ould have o mo than 8% uemployment if they pass the ecover act, which they did an now ats-- it's .4%. whe do we go frm here? >> that's a good eality ceck. it quite unsual for a white house toe feeling good aout 9.4% unemploment. the white house arument is the ase was reay a lot lower when they made those projections. but they know hey have a ming problem that's vy severe.
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they've got the 210 eections coming up. ev if you accep their arguments that thestimulus is working and te slow release is going to provide benef, unemployment alwaysags behind in a recovy. ey still say it's goingo hit 10% next yer. that means it's a ver very difficult road or them politicay and hard for hem to sustain their economic licy and hardto ustain their credibily with the ameran people as they tryto sell the health care plan. john: a what abou that healthare plan? >> aything that maes people el better about what arack obama is preenting to the publ is going to make peope feel god. it's a huge, complicated endeavor. it's fail for seven years. but they knowaugust isgoing to bevery, very tough for that effort. as you know a these members fan out acrossthe country and try to hold ther party together and wihstand some of the heat the member are going
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to get at the town halls. no second stimulus? >> think that is very very unlike lis the white house doesot want that to happen. there is tremendousoncern in the public,more than e've seen in long time, abo lels of spending nd debt an deficit i think e white house is $800 billion isenough of that hit to take and thy would rath not have do it andif they cafeel confident that the economy in fact turng around i think the very much don't wa to go there, would only do so wth great reluctance if democra force their ha in conress. >> doyou getany litte sense that there say sort of i told you so here? we saidhis stiulus would work and ere it's working? >> yes, but again yo've got to be careful wih that because onof the reasons unemployment ticked down this moth is because some people lft the lar force, stopped loong for jobs. to -- so tey're not counted. tre is still a ery, ver ides
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really going alteach othr, that's going to polarize the debat and like extinguish any chan the gang of sixwill come up with a produ. is that wt it looks like to new >> well, there are thse town halls, wh had been such -- somewhat an intellectual dbate up to now i taking n all the emion this issue has had for e last dcade. and for good reaso and these are big, b issues. david axelrod, the prsident's senior advis, goes upto capitol hill and has a big power poin display. has a big nuc 87 on it he explains th's the number of americans in percentage who have heah care right nw and
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they don't wantto lose what ey have. john: isthat why theycall it now health insurance rform, not health care? >> exact. who likes insurance companies anyway >>eter, the ton halls were so emotion and really dramatic. i don't think i'veseen anything like tat. >> rig. >> i -- there are suspicio that the are manufactured. how did thishappen? >> that's wat the whit house said this week. it's not gra roots it's troturf. manufactured anger. to so extent tat's corect but politics is bout being manufactured. geing your people out and pretty shall exressing -- >> but there has to be genne frustration >> right. u're tapping into a genuine wwillspring of suspici and uncertainty abou health care. john: does the whte house have a sense o what theve done right an wrong in thisough pach? any sense of misakes made? >> well, i's a good qustion.
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i don't thik they ould necessary admit their own mistakes. they would admi other people's miakes. one thing tha's got the hite house consternated is this mocrat on democrat acti. rahm emuel, chief of staff to the president of th united stes, went to a meeti this week o liberal inteest groups and told them in fairy blunt terms he thnks he was aske a estion about theseads targing blue dog demorats, that that's nt -- that that's a stuid way -- th's a ice way of hat he really said -- >> a few expletives? >> of couse. >> it is ahm emanuel aer all. >> if in act the bipartisan negotiations founder does that mean the so-alled public option is a lot more alive than it has appeared in conversaons in the last couple weeks? >> hat's a very go questn. the same prblems the republicans havwith the pulic option are shred by a
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t of the so-called blue dogs. and rember these ae people rahm anuel help elect when they too back the house in 2006 he's as cognizant as aybody that you don't ant to damage them and risk them losintheir seats in 2010or youhaven't accomplished anything. john: the ix went up to the white house trying to reach bipartisan agreent how important is thathere? >> you heard and plyed his clip from las night' event in virginia. i think theris a certain frustratn in the white house with thi idea that bipartisansp is going to work. they're willingto give it some time, se lip service and appearances oat least giving it a hance but thy don't really hod out many llusions that there's gng to be - john: ad they sa they're not gog to measure in terms o
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votes >> right, the are 160 rublican ideas in the bill but no republicans voting for . a soia sotomayor oldus this wek, even jon mccain said this s somebod who is very qualified but the decided to vote against her because the don't share barack obama's faith in her not to juge by the rule of emfathy but by law. and if thy get somthing through t end of the ear we'll all forget august. th're -- if not, tey'll -- we'll look backand say thi is the moe the presidency changed. to leave out the most important priority he as right now on the doestic alleged shall - agendas a big, big thng in his firstyear. john: thanks. we knew w'd hear from bill clinton aain. it's just wedidn't expect it
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would be this ay. mondathe former president took a sret trip around th globe onorth koreato met are- with reclusive lader kim jong il as a relude to the release ofwo u.s. jouralists d -- who were held prisoner. it s part of a diplomac twotep by the former present and his wife. hat did she s that wasso importt? >> what she aid ws we're sorry these tw crossed over. they want an apology. it's pa of wat the north koreansemanded. it was partne. rt two? send bill clinton over. which is whatthey did. i think hillary clinton as all forthat. the northoreans specifically told the journalistthat if bill clint came over there they wld be freed. they commicated that their families they were alowed to make phone calls and in md july clled up
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their fmilies andsaid we ll be freed if ou get ill clinton over here. that one of thethingi thought wasso emotion watchi them come home wen ura ling described ow they had no idea what wasgoing on. th expected to go ino a bor camp. th'd been sentenced to12 years ia labor camp. they hadn't been set ther. hey were in some sort of guest faciliy. but then to walk in tere and see bill inton, they kn exactly that they ould be freed because thatwas the key right there. and they d apologized as well e journalists had apolgized to the north koreans for crossi over. lau lingapt -- laura ling's sister aid es, they did ross over int north korea. >> do we havany sense ofthe conversaon that went back and forth? >> i can't imgine bill clion smiling for thos three hours, can you? one of te things thy talked
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about was is feelings n denuclearization, "hey, kim jong il, that's t really a go idea," and i thi theres witha little frelancing over there for him. bufor the aministration, there was the wister game all wee "oh, it' a prive mission, it's a rivate mission, we ha nothing to do with it,"even thogh they were heavily involved in this jo: you talkabout the smiles. we know that bill inton loves e public stae. he loves vctory. he loves winning. he knew that hen he went over there heas going to get wha he wanted. yethen you saw that picture -- he ha an abolute stone face when he at next to kim jong il. how hard wa it for him o keep from smile something >> i probay wasn that hard for himstanding next to ki jongy. but it was the most genuine smile in th world with kim
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ong il. he couldn't have een hppier than to havebill clinton,who he been obsessed with over t years and thin is so fabulous. bill clintoncouldn't smile in that. john: because you wuld be accused of apeasement? >> they are ready. john and madelin albright had en accusedofbeing too friendly in her meeting. yes. all those pctures come ck to haunt you. this may come back in another way because is risky john: that plays int the argumentthers argue that ts rewards bad behavior. what do you tnk that of arment? what ds it mean in this debate? >> first of all, they weren hostages. they were awns in this wole game. so think rewarding ad behavior, they canet accused of that if thin go badl
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which is ne principle -- principal reon they want o separate this and keep aying it's a private mision. if he north koeans start behaving badlyagain which they usually do, hen they'll have things to tlk about bu i think one the thingshe ministration wanted todo even leading upto this isjust change the ynamic of nort korea because basically it ad beengoing down th same rad wd been going down with gege bush. the noh koreans would test a nucleaweapon, fire a long range missile, and we'd have stern wods for them. hey started radually not doing that. in jul hilla clinton didn't say a whole lot. in the interview with me she even said unruly teenagers. >> is there any w it's not reality -- rell t the release of th? >> i think you eard hilary
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cnton say this wek they hope there will be impovement. since then t north oreans have baveged well. people i've talked t about watching the north koreans say they're pleased ith what they've seensince bill clinton left. i don't kn what that particarly mens. i guess theyaven't fired any ssiles. but they really id change the dynam. john: mathy, i wantto ask you about a big eal in akistan. he leaderf the talban killed by a strike. how important this for the u.s.? >> think -- i think this isa very, very big strike and particularly a bg deal because pakistan was not appy with the way the united states is pproaching. the guy was the leader of th pakistani tliban ad pakitan had complaed to the united states for mnths that the only peoplehey cared about were theeople attacking te u.s. so the u.s. rally started
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training ec. -- its effts on mass ood ad others and they re able to gethim this week the he was lso a real, real bad guy. hehreatened soliers in afghanistan. he's accused of killng benair butteo as well the john:thanks, martha and thanks everyone. weaver going tobreak just a few minus early tonight to alw our local pbsstations to ask foryour support. tations that in tun support . m john dickerson. be sure to jon us around the table next week on "washington we" the good night. >> "washgton week" was oduced by weta,hich is soly responsible for its content. >> corporate funding for ashington week" is provide
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