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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  March 1, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." dennis: good evening, i'm dennis berman filling in for charlie rose. donald trump swept to the white house on a promise to improve the lives of those left behind by the financial crisis and he has pledged to improve the affordable care act. but the hurdles to achieving this ambition appear increasingly challenging for president trump. joining me from washington is david leonhardt, a columnist for the new york times, who writes about the problems in dismantling obamacare, also
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joining me is a special correspondent of vanity fair and the author of the a provocative book, "why wall street matters"" i note that we are taping this program before donald trump addresses congress later this evening. david, let's get started with you. you mentioned in your column that the republicans are backed into a corner with obama care. what do you mean? david: the president's health law was a moderate health law politically, it took ideas that have come from both the right and left and it essentially said we will expand coverage for people, but we will do it in a market-based way. it was to the right of bill clinton and richard nixon and way to the right of truman's plan. so if you want to expand health care coverage, it is hard to do it in a way that is more conservative than obamacare. and republicans did an effective job politically and blasting it.
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but now that they are running government, they realize that getting rid of obamacare and keeping their other promises, not throwing people off of health care and not causing the prices to go up is enormously difficult and they still may do it and decide they are willing to accept throwing people off of health care, but they are struggling right now. dennis: you mentioned the magical promises of donald trump. what is magical? david: he has said that we will cover everybody and the coverage will be better and cheaper. and you know, economists like to say there is no such thing as a free lunch, you cannot cover everybody and have everything be cheaper. or if you did, it would require hard choices about getting rid of parts of the health care system that has led to the debate over the death penalty. it's another trump or the republicans have ever said they taxes, but that means
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we will have to cut benefits, or we will raise taxes and raise benefits, they have just pretended they can have it all. when they were not governing, they can do that. but now that they are in charge it is proving difficult and to the republican governors are interesting to watch, because they have to run their states. and when they came together, they said well, we do not want you throwing our citizens off of health insurance and those are the tensions that the republicans are trying to solve. dennis: ok, we will bring in bill cohen. this seems to be a predicament for many of the ideas promised by the trump administration prior to the inauguration and after. a lot of great promises and the market believes it. what can we expect with the market realities hitting the policy realities, from your vantage point? william: we have gone back to
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the evening of the election, when it looked like trump would and did win and everybody thought the market would go downhill from there. and i think many people said it is remarkable that the opposite wereppening, the pundits wrong and and now the market is approaching 21,000. i can only imagine what the reaction among americans would be of the market had in fact fallen to 14,000. instead of rising to 21,000. i think donald trump has gotten a lot of political and economic mileage out of the fact that the market has risen quickly and we are still talking about the trump bump. the question is when does this stop? obviously we know it will not go on forever, it never does. but the question is, when will people come to terms with the fact that the trend does not go to heaven. i think it will start when, as david talked about, when obamacare does not get repealed
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or the cost of the new proposed budget we are hearing about, what if it cannot repeal some of the regulations that he talked about revealing, what if he cannot get the tax cuts he talked about and promised, what if you cannot repatriate the trillions of dollars from overseas? when his reality of governing hits up against the promises he made, i think people will say, well, we may need to rethink the stock market reaction here. dennis: david, what are the limits of reality and economic progress on the trump agenda? david: i think we should have real skepticism that the market is reacting to what is going on with donald trump, either way. we have had a stock market boom for the last majority of obama's presidency. we had the stocks rising when people thought hillary clinton would be elected. and there was a minor gyration when donald trump was elected
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and now things have gone back to booming. i think that the effect of the president is relatively limited. it is possible that the market boom could end, if his agenda succeeds, and it could continue even if the agenda falls apart. i think one of the lessons is we as citizens give the president too much credit for the economy. it wasn't herbert walker bush's fault we had a recession in the early 1990's. i think the question is, is the trump administration doing the kinds of things that are likely to lift growth? i am skeptical of that. dennis: why are you skeptical? give us a quick three examples if you could. -- the basicy that notion that the way to grow is cutting taxes and having regulation, there is not evidence one way or the other. growth went up when reagan did it and it was very weak under george w. bush and growth was
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faster with bill clinton. so i look at all that evidence and i say, i do not think that modest changes or even significant changes in the tax rates are the primary drivers or significant drivers of growth. these things are more unrelated. dennis: if nothing matters, what matters when it comes to the american economy? david: long-term, there is no question that education matters and i don't think anything matters as much in the long-term. for a year-to-year thing, we know less about the economy. i think the fed is really important. and avoiding financial crisis is important. the odds of a financial crisis anytime in the next few years is relatively low, but i do worry that we could see some signs of success, and we saw a decade ago that not caring about regulation is not a particularly great way to avoid financial crisis. dennis: bill, you wrote a book about wall street, do you agree
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with david? william: i do not want to be put in a position of disagreeing with david, but i am going to a little bit here. i think the tone matters and that some of the policies matter. when you as a. re, as ayou as a pu mathematical equation, when you increase profits, as you know, the price-to-earnings ratio that the market is driven on will, the stock market goes up because earnings go up and you do not even have to expand the multiple for that to happen. and i think some of the reason why the stock market has reached 21,000 is the expectation that the tax rates will be cut, the corporate tax rate, which are the highest in the western world and probably need to be lowered, i am not sure why, but it seems to be something that people are excited about. and that is part of the reason why the market has gone up. and when you deregulate, the pendulum swings.
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right? the clinton administration took off glass-steagall and it made a free-for-all. basically. dennis: the law that governs how banks where regulated. the commercial banking business and under christopher cox, the server congressman who was chairman of the fcc -- william: all sense of regulation was taken off and it was basically like wall street was driving on the wrong side of the road with a ferrari and a whiskey bottle in their hand. no surprise we got into a huge , financial crisis. we are now in an area of too much regulation and too much sand thrown into the ventricles of capitalism, this beautiful machine. and now donald trump is saying we are going to take all of this off. i think there needs to be a bargain with wall street's where there is an agreement that they
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will reform the system so that the incentives on wall street are not just to reward people for taking risk with people's money. if you let people gamble with other people's money, you are asking for a financial crisis and that is where i disagree with david appeared if we do not marry a grand bargain of compensation reform on wall street with the deregulation, you are virtually guaranteed a financial crisis. dennis: if we look at the numbers, the jet -- the debt to gdp ratio is rather incredible and we have gotten used to it. but prior to that, we were at about 60%-70%. how does the budget deficit factor in economically? william: i think this is hanging over the trump administration. all he has been talking about is -- examiningan tax the proposals and has said the
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national debt will go from $20 trillion, which he rails against, it will now go to $27 trillion and we will look more like greece than japan before long. and we are starting to get there, 110% from 60% is mind-boggling, but we have had wars and they are expensive and we seem to be comfortable with the national debt and interest rates have been low, so the market is saying we are comfortable with the high debt to gdp ratio, but at some point something has to give. you cannot give all the toys away for free and not expected them to pay for it. dennis: david are the , republicans willing to go further on this deficit to get some of the agenda passed? perhaps in ways they were not comfortable before? david: i think it is unlikely. their number one priority on fiscal matters is cutting tax rates and for higher income individuals, that is a higher priority for them.
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my guess is that will continue. they are any tricky spot now because the way that they wind it up procedurally, health care must come before taxes. they have an easier path to a republican deal on taxes than they do on health care. but they cannot get to health care without either passing health care first or abandoning it. it you saw the president yesterday, lamenting the fact that health care comes first, so it will be interesting to watch. do the abandoned health care, or do they come to a deal on health care which will let them get to taxes. whether it is a good idea or not, i think republicans will be able to agree to a deal that will substantially cut the high taxes and increase the deficit. there is a lot of republican agreement with that idea. dennis: doesn't that go against and whatrepublicans they've said for the last few decades? william: the catechism of the
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platform for republicans has been reducing the debt and now we are talking about those things don't matter. it is mind-boggling. dennis: what do the republicans say to somebody in their district, exactly what bill is saying, they have been preaching this for a long time, so what is the argument? david: americans are not worried about the deficit right now. and i don't think they are crazy to be focusing on the other issues. i would argue that wage stagnation, the rise in unemployment that is not even captured by the unemployment rate, i would argue those things are more serious issues than the deficit. i think the deficit is a long-term issue, but right now there is not a huge political price to pay for raising the deficit. the question is how voters react when they see that the deficit is going up and the reason is to deliver tax cuts to those already doing well. and i do not know what the answer to that will be, but i am confident the democrats will run on that in the midterms if that
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is what the republicans do. dennis: one question for each of you, there are a lot of people who voted for donald trump and they had grievances about where the economy was heading. for people who do not care -- pay attention to the stuff we are talking about, but who care about what is in their pocketbook what should they be , paying attention to? william: in my mind, it is how --ald trump d regulates deregulates wall street, business generally, and how he unleashes the power of our engine in allowing capital to load his small hireesses that need it, to people who need it, to pay people better wages, that is the way that people who are so concerned about the way they are treated and who voted for donald trump, they will get the greatest benefit when the
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economic engine runs properly again. dennis: for people who do not care who david leonhardt is or what he says, what should they focus on? david: to be clear, i think a lot of these grievances are legitimate and people have a right to be angry about how the economy has been handled. i think in the short-term, they should care about health insurance because it is a driver of bankruptcy. if we go back to the system where you do not get it through your job you do not have health insurance, there could be many people subject to bankruptcy. and i would encourage them not to just look at washington, look at your local district. nothing fx long-term growth -- long-term growth like education and there is so much with the week to week stuff in washington. this will affect the quality of your child's life long-term. dennis: ok. thank you so much for joining us, david. bill, always a pleasure to chat with you. ♪
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dennis: tomorrow is march 1, the first day of the month of the ncaa tournament. villanova university is seeking to repeat as champions. the wildcats won in dramatic fashion last year after a buzzer beater to defeat north carolina. it is already considered one of the signature moments in college basketball history. joining me now is jay wright, head coach of the wildcats. and he captures last year's journey to the title and much more in a new book called, "attitude." welcome to you. jay: thank you.
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good to be here. dennis: set the field for us. we are just a few weeks away from the start of the tournament. is it a wide-open race? and how does villanova fit into that? jay: it is a wide-open race and i think each year it is becoming more that way. last year, it was wide open and i think it is more open this year. you have gonzaga as a top team, we are one of the top teams. anyone of us can be beaten and it has been proven. but anybody can win it. and i think there are maybe 16 teams that could win this year. dennis: is there a reason why? why it is more open than the past? jay: i think the one and done players make the top teams, the kentucky's, the dukes, it makes them talented but a little vulnerable and that if those days -- those guys stay for three years, they would be
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untouchable. and that they are really talented and the older team can get them sometimes and it creates a balance. when john woods was there, they were getting these guys and they were staying for four years. they were untouchable. there is a good balance right now. dennis: that seems to be the formula you had last year. you have a solid team. how do you develop that team -- there is a basketball saying that nothing fails like success. how do you keep your edge going into the second year, knowing you already got a championship -- how do you do that? jay: it is the greatest challenge that faces us this year. the expectations and the outside distractions, and we addressed it immediately in the locker room after the championship. one of the first things we did,
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that i talk about in the book, we hold hands to say a prayer. in the championship game, that is about an hour after the game. there is so much celebration on the court and fanfare and he finally get into the locker room with your team and you hold hands to say a prayer and you this doessure that not define you as an individual, make sure that this ring is not the most important thing in your life. let's take what we learned here and make sure we are able to do other things in life based on all the characteristics we used to do this. right away, we were starting on the fact that how we handled this is the important part going forward. for the guys that have done well this season, we addressed that everybody is going to talk about us repeating, and winning a championship. about the tournament. much like we are now. dennis: right now.
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villanova wildcats we need to have the mental -- jay: we have to have the mental discipline to focus on the work ethic of today and no one will be talking about that. or focusing on that. except us. that is our challenge this year. dennis: have you done that with exercise? jay: at times, we have all slipped. we have three losses this year and i think in each of those losses, there was a time in those games where our confidence got to us. we lead in the second half of all three of our losses. i think there was a time where our confidence became a negative. it was not arrogance, it was more like, we have been here before and we needed to leave the second half and we need to finish. instead of focusing on, what do we need to do the next possession to make it the best possession we have played. when you slip, you are vulnerable.
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as long as you adjust afterward. we are human. we slip. it does not make us bad guys. let's admit it and learn from it. dennis: there is an interesting line where you say that you thought you were better than you were. how did you go about the journey to find out how good you were , when a way, who you were you think about that young coach or player who perhaps thought he was better? jay: i think that we all do that when we attain success, we only look at what we did to get there, whether individually or even for a team. a team to recognize that there are people around them that are part of that. and most important leave the culture that is around them. there is a time when we went to our first final four where i , i got, i have got this this and i know what we have to do. and i did not pay attention to
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as much the process of every day getting better. improve andng to eve all. and -- evolved. and it caught up to us and you -- and we had a bad year. so i does -- so as long as you go back to being honest and , you can your role always recover. dennis: how does the winning attitude handle the negative emotions we all have? disappointment, blame, anger -- i could go on. those are present for everyone and present within teams. what are the concrete things you talk about and say to your team about those emotions, when they start? villanova wildcats it is the most important -- jay: it is the most important part of our program is attitude. we break a huddle and we remind
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ourselves when we say, 1, 2, 3, attitude -- that we are responsible for our efforts and going forward. we have these guys come in and they know they are playing and getting an education, we teach them on the court that the play that you make is not as important as how you react on the next play. that is what we want you to use, that attitude to separate you from other players. dennis: one coach had a similar philosophy, next play. jay: exactly. dennis: how do you apply that to your everyday life, go on? jay: we chart and we practice every day and there are attitude points. the other team gets points. if you turn the ball over, the other team gets a point.
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if you turn the ball over and you get back and you do not hustle or you make a face or there is a bad call and you complain, that is two points for the other team. so we are monitoring how you react to negative situations, but also if you make a three and you give a three-point shot and celebrate, we want you to take any energy you have, do not give it to the crowd, give it to your team. we want you to hit the three and say, get a stop on the next play. dennis: do you think attitude points could apply in a corporate setting or a work setting? jay: i do. i think valuing commitment to the core values of the organization and valuing commitment to one another and how they respond to success. we have a term, hungry and humble. when we have success, you need to respond in a hungry and
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humble way. and when you have failure, you need to respond with a positive attitude. in your organization, you can find people who may not be having numeric success, but you see the approach and you trust that their attitude is going to carry them to success later. dennis: i have one challenge to what you are saying and that is basketball is a game of flow, creativity and motion. how do you keep that going and still have discipline? it feels like there is value in being expressive. jay: yes. it is a creativity that comes with a free mind. successfule the most win their minds are clear. and if you have, what that attitude gives you on the next play is a clear mind to make decisions that are not affected
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at all by what you did previously. a good example is in our championship game against carolina, we had a 10 point lead going down the stretch and we blow the lead, we make mistakes. then we are up three with 13 seconds. in the huddle we say, in a more articulate basketball way, we said, the only thing we can do to screw up is give up a three. two or a file,a but we gave up a three on an incredible shot. our guys came back to the huddle and they were looking to the guy and saying attitude. , attitude. that is what we say to tell that there, forget that play, clear your mind. and when we started again, i was not sure that chris jenkins would make the shot, but i was really proud of how clear their minds were and i knew that with every decision they made, it was not going to be affected by a fear of failure.
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dennis: interesting. in the lockerway room, you or the smartphone? jay: that is good. i like to get to the point where sway comes from our seniors. i like to get it that point by the end of the season. it takes a lot of work. smartphone is involved. dennis: you say they cannot use their phones? jay: when we are on the road right before the game, we take the phones from them. in the locker room, we have a place for them to put the phones and the managers keep them. we want all their concentration, we get in there about one hour or 45 minnesota for the game, so we want all of the concentration on each other. even listening to music by themselves, we do not do that. because we want them to be live being with each other and --
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vibing with each other and connected to each other. when the game is over, they get it and they are on it. but we have one hour and 45 there and we want to their concentration to be on the game and each other. game and each other. dennis: are there players you will not recruit, and why not? jay: there are a lot of players and there are a lot of players who do not want us. but we really try to find to thrive in our culture. we had a lot of success going into 2009, we went to the final four. a couple years after we had success, and it is easy to get the top players. i didn't, as a head coach or the head of our organization, i didn't vet those players, and i didn't explain to them what the culture was. i know the culture. it is not their fault. i have to make sure i am bringing in people that will be successful at culture and comfortable. i am not explaining that to a 17-year-old kid, that is on me.
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we have got some guys, it wasn't their fault. we put them in a tough situation. we have spent a lot of time getting close to guys, getting to know them real well, then they may not know what, but this probably isn't a good fit. dennis: what do you do during the commercials during the tournament? do you go nuts like the rest of us? jay: it is a significant difference from the regular season. in the incident aa tournament, -- the ncaa tournament, you will spend a lot of time talking to the staff first. i don't want to be in front of them to long. i might have some things i have frustrated that it is not the time to share with them, but giving too much time, it will come out. it is not good. i get with the coaches for a while, i talked with the guys, then get them out. they are too long, i agree. dennis: but for the fans, it is going on forever. jay: even for the coaches and
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players. we don't like it to be that long , especially in the middle of the game. dennis: but is built around the money necessary to support the ncaa. how do you feel about the level of commercialization that has been a tries -- that has penetrated this? jay: it is something we discuss a lot with our players. there is a lot of things with the commercialization and the publicity that you get. for an 18 euro kid that you are trying to teach values, utility and hard work, and not being about yourself, living for others, all of that goes completely against what you are teaching. so we talk about it. we say, look, we get to play that wells fargo center, we get to play for 20,000 people. we travel on charter planes and stay in the best hotels. if not for all this, we are not doing that. this is part of the business of
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it. but our main goal is to be the best men we can degree -- we can be, best education degree, and the best players you can be. we have got to separate those two. dennis: you mentioned in your book you have had rap concerts kick off the season. do you ever go and say, what in the world does this have to do with basketball? why don't you stop it? is a part of sport sport has become entertainment. so how do you want to do it? do you want to fight it? if you fight it, you are not going to get the players that allow you to compete. what we try to do is separate the competition. we have a saying. actors play to the crowd, and players play for their teammates and coaches. once we get on the court, that hour and 45, everything is about playing for your teammates and
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coaches. we don't want any of our guys pointing to their back or the crowd during a game. not getting caught up in the commercialization. after it is over, we meet with the media and tv part of the , game. dennis: should the players get paid? jay: in college, i don't think so. dennis: why not? jay: i think we have a unique system of amateur athletics and our guys get a great education. and let me back up on that. as long as we are held responsible for educating them, they should not be paid. if we are not going to educate them, they should be paid. but if we are held responsible as coaches to educate -- we have a 100% education rate. every player at state has gotten this degree on time. we take pride. giving them a villanova education is probably worth
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$300,000 now over four years, and preparing them for the real world, with all of the travel, the food, the coaches -- everything they get, i do think it is fair. dennis: but they also have tremendous commitment to you, the team, and hours spent in practice. they are not hanging out and having a great time in college like most kids are. they have to live a disciplined life. jay: i disagree with that. i think they are having a good time. they put in a lot of time and they get the best training for their professional careers. everybody who plays at villanova is either going to play in the nba or going to play professionally in europe. we have a part of a program called life after basketball where we are committed to them after they play professionally. we have a system that when they start thinking about retiring, we start getting internships set up for them. for the next part of their life. that is our commitment. if we are not doing that, they should be paid. because then they are not getting the value. dennis: for the average man who
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is sitting there for the interminable commercials and counting the dollars clicking over, these players should be paid. it feels in the courts and public opinions, that is where it is heading. jay: i agree. i agree. here is what i think. i think there are few players the want to be professional and add a lot of the value. i think those guys should be allowed to go to the nba right out of high school. if you choose -- and the nba is doing a good job with their delete -- dleague, and if you don't want to go to college, you should not have to go because you want to be a basketball player. if you go to college, you should be committed for three years, like baseball. dennis: two or three. jay: then you would not have those guys that maybe get so much attention that are making
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the money. i think you would he the schools get the same amount of money without those guys, and the high-level guys would be getting paid what they are worth. i think it would be a more fair system. dennis: let's talk about commissioner. we know that the attendance is down, maybe not at villanova, but college basketball, tv ratings not great. there is something amiss in the sport. what needs to be changed? jay: it is the result of more content on tv. people don't go to every game because it was on tv. , you gethe tv ratings so many games on campus -- i don't think it is a mess. -- amiss. when you see the nca tournament and the passion that event, when that starts to fade, is that event is and what it is to our
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country, then i think something is wrong with college basketball. you can still watching games at the lower level, even division iii. they get a great following. college basketball is alive and well. we need to see certain guys that are -- should be professionals, and they are stuck going to college because of the rule. dennis: who were you at a 25 euros coach, and who are you today years later? jay: 25 years old, i was assistant coach, watching this great coach who won a national championship do some things, and thinking, why would he do that? i got all these ideas. i would never do that. all these years later, i find myself doing some of the same things. dennis: turning into your father. jay: but understanding, and i did understand so years before.
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if you look at anyone in any situation, it is not just his decision. he is a part of something, and that culture he is a part of dictates some of his decisions. what you need to do as head coach is defined your culture. if your culture is defined and your values clear, the decisions are easier. i found that, as a leader, i have to define how we are going to live, not just play basketball. what is our motto going to be, what is our core values going to be, how are we going to live every day not just as coaches but as men in this world? i have changed my thinking. dennis: you are ok being your professional father more? my: the refined addition of father. dennis: championship or bust this year for villanova? jay: not at all.
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we have to become the best team we can possibly be. that has always been our goal. last year it was not winning national championships, it was being the best team we could be and taking on every challenge and we did. the year before, we did. we lost in the second round. i will be proud of our guys. i told them that. we don't win this year, but we gave the effort and commitment to be the best, we can. dennis: attitude of a winning mindset on and off of the court. jay wright's new book. thank you for talking with us. ♪
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♪ good evening, i am john meacham, filling in for charlie rose. our guest is the ambassador to emirates torab russia. his new book is a series of personal correspondences to his older son. it seeks to answer the question of how moderate muslims can find a voice that is true to islam while engaging in the modern world. i am pleased to welcome the ambassador at this table. welcome, sir. >> thank you very much. john: what was the origin to the letters to your son? >> the idea of connecting a set of articles and concepts goes back quite a long way to a time when i was 13, 14, and i was myself going through a phase of
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asking many different questions and not finding the answers in our culture. there was a sense in which it could not pose those questions. i noticed that when time went by the situation had not changed ,, and i noticed the same process was happening in my older son and also my younger son. i decided if nobody else would have done it, i should make my best effort to sort of put a kind of framework around those questions and try to explain how optimal answers might come about. john: was there any literary example in your mind? >> i had actually, i have set a couple of times before a private that my initial version was like the book by marx. [laughter] >> the original version was much longer. my editors said, look, you need to think about addressing people's concerns here. so she gave me the advice.
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as soon as it happened, words began to flow. everything again to simplify itself. and when i read it, i am really pleased with the way the language has kind of broken down into basic elements. john: so is this the way you talk to him? >> it is actually the way i talk to him. i talked to my younger son in the same matter. -- manner. it is important to be able to explain things in a fairly simple manner. this was something i was taught at university. don't love long words. try to explicit -- express things as simply as positive. the expression should be easy. john: i admire you for having a 16-year-old and 14-year-old listen to this. i have a 14-year-old why don't think would read a letter from me. tell me what was the most important message you wanted to get across. this is a complicated time and
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-- in the muslim world and the american world. there are some who want to say this is a clash of civilizations. there are others who would like to see coexistence and reform be possible. what is the, what is the impetus? what is your message? omar: my message is actually something about our personal response ability within the faith. people can talk about a clash of civilizations and between civilizations, i think there is a clash within our own civilizations. i think it is particularly worrisome and also kind of tantalizing in a way. there are 1.7 billion muslims. the ways we discussed issues with each other have not really progress. there is a tremendous amount that is kept under wraps and in private homes and so on. i have received a certain amount of feedback from young arabs and young muslims and they say thank
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you for putting words on some of the feelings i have had. thank you for breaking a sort of kind of taboo in speaking about so many issues. i think it is very important and i want to demonstrate that all of these taboos are choices that we have made. legitimize need to the vast population that lives in fear of discussing their own issues. greatest fearyour for, say, your 16-year-old growing up in the islamic world that has been given to extremism? do you worry that he will be surrounded by people who have ? en radicalized do you worry about his own susceptibility? omar: in the case of my older son, not particularly worried about him. there was a moment that i did worry he was interested in the wrong ideas. initially you can think of it as
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curiosity, but when he began to defend them -- john: which ideas? omar: the time when he got a copy of a biography of osama bin laden, and he thought that he perhaps had a point. this is an extremely important issue, and it takes me back to september 11, and you know, the events of september 11 were tragic and evil, and a crime. it made me think very clearly that we must not as arabs and muslims, even if we think we that we have been the victims of a crime, we should not repay it with a crime. it makes a nonsense of our ethical system. i felt that was important. my son after a few weeks dropped the idea and moved on. he is representative of a certain category of john mann and woman who may look at certain actors within our world , within the arab world, muslim
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world and say, these are quite heroic fellows. they have made a big sacrifice. i want to take that negative energy and transform it to something more productive. john: why do you believe that islam has been, broadly put, more resistant to liberalization , the kind of appreciation of diversity that you argue for in the book? omar: i don't think it is intrinsic to islam. it is a cultural representation. we don't have a top-down autocratic system -- that tournament. the arab world is the heartland of islam. the arabic language in which islam is transmitted. if we look more broadly across the islamic world, what happens in the arab world and arabic language will benefit to the rest of the islamic world. that is one thing. when we look at the clerical structures within the islamic
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world and in the arab world, they are very, very top-down again. they are self-regulating -- self replicating class of scholars. these are people who 50 years or more study the same profits. they -- same prophets. there is a certain point where you cannot challenge them. teache magic is they young men and women they are the ones who know, they are the gatekeepers to our moral knowledge. itt empowers them, and creates a large group of people that have to submit to their authority. what i try to do it in the book is safe moral knowledge is within reach of anybody. and if what kind of religion we have, if we need to spend 50 years studying the religious text to to come up with a moral
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position? i have spoken to religious scholars about this. i say that i do not have a religious background in that sense i have not been trained, but i do believe that i have the right as a human being to engage in a moral discussion. the answer was negative. they said i do not have the expertise and must not. john: to move to your post, i know you are in moscow, but you have been here. where do you see america's view of islam moving, particularly given our presidential election? omar: yeah, of course i have witnessed the muslim ban, and i thought that was very interesting. my initial kind of response was i look at the united states as a set of laws and a set of fundamental values all embodied in the constitution. it is a system that seems to be working. john: we are testing it, but yeah. omar: isn't that where we prove
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that it is existing? it is an exceptional lesson to the rest of the world. where we have been told for the rest of the decade, the american founding fathers, their genius, this is demonstrating the practical kind of outcomes of that genius. i think it is very important for us to observe. myself, i do not take a personal position on the approach of the administration to the seven countries on the list, the van. it -- the ban. it surprised me there was ever an expectation that we could get visas so easily to come to the u.s. that was an element of surprise. john: off this point, but the idea of your diplomatic post, where do you see the trump administration relationship with moscow at this point? ruf puzzled as many of the rest of us? -- are you as puzzled as many of
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the rest of us? omar: not entirely. my puzzled view is that the relationship has been exaggerated and has become a political football within american establishment politics. john: you mean the tensions have been exaggerated or the relationship? omar: this opposing relationship between trump and the russians. john: yes. alleged. omar: and my other readings of the situation, but with so much kind of with so much inability , to see where the administration is going, i think that russians will probably behave in a way where they suggest they are not expecting anything from the americans. john: what is the reaction to the book? first of all, what was your son's reaction? omar: great pride. my oldest son is reading 15 pages a day. he came across a couple of
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chapters that upset him quite a bit, particularly about my father's passing. that put him off. i don't want to pressure him to read, but i have asked him to read the book in the next few weeks. john: tell us the story of your dad. omar: wonderful man, precocious child, very, very smart. at the age of 12, he was given sermons in the mosque. at the age of 49 he was a marxist communist. very, very interesting kind of background. iraq spent some time in trying to get an education. did not have any money. finally he got a scholarship to , to get a union university education. married my mother there, that is why i am half russian and have erati. 100% emirati and half arab. [laughter] statehe was minister of
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for affairs in 1974, and in 1977, he was killed in a terrorist incident in abu dhabi. it was a accidental killing. the person beside him was the intended target. john: and the effect of losing them so long on you -- so young on you? omar: it is coming after 40 years, and is something i will carry with me until the end of my life. what i did notice is my relationship to my father's passing had not gone affects to my children -- knock on effects on my children. i notice that with my nieces and my nephews. i said that we need to put an end to the pain and make a stand and say, you know, an incident that happened 40 years ago should not now begin to cripple our children. and it makes me empathize tremendously with other victims of violence whether it is , religious, political, domestic.
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i think it is important that we all stand and push back against this strange kind of theology of violence in the arab world. john: let me ask you to read the closing, you are posing note. omar: thank you very much. john: this is to your sons. omar: yes. in ending these letters to you, i want you to promise yourself that you will always maintain your dignity, your individuality, and your independence of mind. if you can do this, you will be likelier to see life for what it is and what it can be. of your be the decider own path. you should also assert the dignity and independence of mind in others. by presuming others are similarly endowed you will , create a space for them to rise to the challenge to live up to the highest standards. now go and write your own letters. [laughter] john: the book is letters to a young muslim. thank you, professor. good luck. ♪
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♪ yousef: betting on the fed, it spreads -- rate expectations, a positive picture. the global stock rally rolls on, tokyo at a 15 month high wire australia and hong kong tilde on wall street. yousef: tanker tracking data suggests saudi arabia's oil exports fell last month, indicating cuts more than expected. shery: and a brexit boost to the middle east, ireland looks for sales in the region if it loses its biggest buyer.


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