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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  June 7, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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you could have spent years pointing fingers, blaming teachers, blaming parents, blaming the superintendent, blaming the president. [applause] class of 2010, i wanted to pay attention on this, because that is not what happened. instead, this community was honest with itself about where you were falling short. you resolved to do better. push your kids harder. open their minds wider, expose them to all kinds of ideas and people and experiences. graduates, i hope you will continue those efforts. .
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[applause] that is how you'll come to understand the challenges of the people face. this is not just an academic exercise. it is a way to broaden your concern and learn to see yourselves and each other. which brings me to my final piece of advice for today. that is to give back. to be part of something bigger than yourself. hitch your wagon to something that is bigger than yourself.
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i know that so many of you have served your community through your efforts and i commend you for that. [applause] i also know that many of you are the first in your family to go to college. right about now you may be feeling all the weight of their hopes and expectations coming down on your shoulders. once you start juggling those classes and activities and that capa's job, and to get caught up in your dreams and anxieties, dating, you may feel like you have enough on your plate, just dealing with your life. it might be easier to turn the channel when the news disturbs you, to avert your eyes when you
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pass that homeless man on the street. to tell yourself that other people's problems are not your responsibility. just think about what the consequences of that approach to life would have been if that is how folks have acted in this community. what of those donors had said to themselves, i can pay for my own kids education, why should i have to pay for someone else's? think about the consequences to our country. what if our founding fathers said, colonialism is kind of a press of but i am doing ok. my family is doing all right. why should i spend my summers in philadelphia arguing about a constitution? what if those abolitionists or civil rights workers said that slavery is wrong but it is dangerous to get mixed up in that stuff, i do not have
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time for those meetings and marches. it is not something i want to do. i want you to think about the extraordinary men and women who have worn our country's uniform and have given their last full measure of devotion to keep us safe and free. [applause] what if they said "i do love this country, but why should i sacrifice so much for people have never met?" young men and women in uniform making the sacrifices. [applause] so, you and i are here today because those people made a different choice. they chose to step up, they chose to serve. i hope you will follow their example. there is work to be done.
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your country needs you. we got an economy to rebuild, we have children to educate, we have diseases to cure, we have an oil spill to clean up, we have got clean energy to discover. [applause] it will be up to you to meet those challenges. to build industries and make discoveries and inspire the next generation. it will be up to you to heal the divide that continues to afflict our world. now, i am not saying you have to do it here all at once. as theodore roosevelt put it, "i am asking you to do what you can with what you got where your." -- where you can."
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there are folks who can use a helping hand. once you have reached out and form as connections, you will find it is hard to know yourself to other people's suffering. it is hard to ignore the national debates about the issues that affect their lives in yours. in the end, service lines as to each other. an-- binds us to each other. it is how we become more fully american. that is the reason those donors created the kalamazoo promise in the first place. not for recognition or reward, because of their connection to this community, because their belief in your potential, because of their faith he would use their gift, not just to enrich your lives but the lives of others and the lives of the nation. i am told that soon after the
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promise was established, a first grader approach the superintendent and a clear to her, -- declared "i am going to college." of first graders. "i do not know what it is, but i am going." -- a first grader. we know how they help bring this community together. it is a responsibility to be fulfilled. we know how they have helped inspire an entire generation of young people in kalamazoo to imagine a different future for themselves and graduates, today, i am asking you to pay them back by speaking -- having the same impact of your lives, by serving this country that you love. i know that you can do it. after all, you are the giants.
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there is nothing you cannot do. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. god bless the class of 2010. [applause] >> president obama hosts the health care town hall meeting with senior citizens in maryland. seniors across the country will be able to participate by phone. the president will be joined by kathleen sebelius. live coverage tomorrow at 11:40 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-
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in a few moments, admiral thad allen breaks reporters on the gulf of mexico oil spill, saying the clinic could take years. president obama comments on the claims process for those affected by this bill. -- the spill. and the role of progressive in this year's elections. the debate in utah. >> noncandidate has -- no candidate has given more opportunities to ask questions and see what he is made of. >> see some of their early television appearances in the c- span video library. with over 160,000 hours of video. a quarter century of history you can search your way. all available free online. >> cleanup crews continue to aid
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wildlife affected by the gulf of mexico oil spill which has reached more than 100 miles of beach. this was at the fort jackson bird rehabilitation center.
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>> [unintelligible] >> [inaudible] >> at today's white house briefing, admiral thad allen says cleaning up the gulf of mexico oil spill will take
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years. he talked about the claims process for those whose livelihood has been affected by the accident. this briefing was before a meeting with president obama. >> good morning, everyone. we are joined this morning with thad allen, our national incident commander dealing with the oil spill in the gulf of mexico. he is also here for a meeting with cabinet agencies that are dealing with this crisis as well, that begins in a little less than an hour. let me turn it over to him to walk through the stages of our response. we will both take your questions. >> thanks, robert. good morning. first, a quick operational update. in the last 24 hours, the
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protection of the discover enterprise over the well head produced 11,000 barrels of oil. they continue to increase over -- over the last three days of operation we have gone from 6000 11,000, trying to close the venting valves and moved to a greater capacity. bp anticipates moving and other craft in the can handle production and the combination of the two combined will have a production capability of 20,000 barrels a day. we're looking to increase production, as i said, so we can slowly close the events and see how the containment cap working and whether or not any oil is forced down by the pressure through the rubber seals. british petroleum is looking at bringing larger production vessels in, creating more permanent connections that can be disconnected in case we have a hurricane or bad weather later in the hurricane season. we will continue to optimize the
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production at of the will to contain it. as i have said, the long term solution will be drilling the relief wells which are targeted at early august. there are two relief wells in progress right now. development driller three is down between 7000 and 8000 below the sea floor. developer is -- development istwo is -- development driller two is below -- down around 3000. those will continue. they will put heavy mud down there to suppress the pressure of the oil coming up from the reservoir, put a cement plug in and do what i would call a bomb killed as opposed to the top kill. what i would like to talk to you about is the area of operations out there. we will try something on you and if you like it, we will refine it. take this as a work in progress. can we go ahead and put up the
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slide? there are copies available on the web and we will get it to you. we will give you a three- dimensional look on what the world of work is out there. we're dealing with four areas of operations. one is the subsea area. we're trying to deal with -- do containment on the well. the second is trying to do with the oil that is on the surface above the well, or comes up in large quantities and could be dealt with through mechanical skimming and in-situ burning. we know about the recovery on shore. what has happened over the last several weeks, this spill has this aggregated itself. we're not dealing with a monolithic spill. we're dealing with hundreds of thousands of patches that are going in a lot of different directions. when this operation started we were controlling all skimming and burning out of the incident command post which has responsibility for the area where the well is that.
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in the last week, we have shifted control of skilling assets to the commander in incident command post in alabama, who was responsible for mississippi, alabama, and florida and have attached a task force to work for him to push out 50 miles offshore and in a smaller patches and try to do with them before the get to shore. this is an adaptation to the changing characteristics of this bill, which is no longer a single spill but a massive collection of smaller spills moving for. in regards to that, what is becoming critical in if -- near future, we will get skimming capability offshore and work those small patches. we have made some significant progress in bringing more folks in in terms of vessels of opportunity. these are local fishing vessels and workboats that we certify to help was answered by the individuals and train them there on. between -- louisiana, mississippi, alabama, and florida, we have 1500 vessels of
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opportunities where we have certified the crews and put them out there. we have an opportunity to match vessels with skimmers. the next critical component or researchers will look for is increase the amount of skimmers now that we have a these vessels that can deploy them. we have over 100 large vessels skimming off shore in above the well. we want to take this to wait slightly lower level. smaller skimmers and vessels that can work in the harbors and bays. we're moving those assets into place and we will be looking nationally at our inventory and tried to get those matched up with the vessels of opportunity. we continue to move coast guard units in as well. we have cutters that are -- have skilling capability stationed off of mississippi, alabama, and florida. we have coast guard out there conducting command-and-control, helicopters for surveillance and patrol boats that can do scouting, work with the vessels of opportunity and identify patches of oil and do with the there. i would tell you this.
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boom is not a silver bullet against will. we had a situation over the weekend we had boom in place back behind dauphin island. we had some oil come ashore and had to do with that. we have to deal with the reality that no matter how much but we have out there, oil will come ashore from time to time. the question and the challenges to get quicker and agile units to find patches of oil and deal with them as quickly as we can moving forward. i will be glad to take questions you might have for me. >> what percentage of oil do you think is being captured at this point by the containment device? >> let me give two engines. we will have to have more fidelity on this. we have two models for a flow out of the willhead --
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wellhead. one was a range of 12,000 to 19,000 a day. the other was 22 -- 12,000 to 25,000. we are approaching production that will get around 15,000 barrels a day. when we have the production flow and seal off the bench, we will a lot -- assess the leakage in will have a hard cast member. we can back that in four the number of days the spill has been going and get a better overall estimate of the oil that has been spilled. it is kind of like an oil budget. how much have we skimmed and burned and how much is coming out. >> yesterday you talked about the cleanup blasting into the fall. can you elaborate? you cannot expected to be cleaned up in the fall. >> we need to be realistic and
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honest and transparent. when the relief well as finished, will will have flowed to the service in some manner. we will not get 100% containment. there will be oil on the service the day the will is capped. that will have to be dealt with and it will be long-term environmental issues associated with where the oil has come ashore. we will have to conduct a natural resource damage assessments to weaken understand what the long term issues associated with that and what b.p. should be held accountable for. we will be dealing with the oil and the effect will after the well is capped. >> how long approximately? >> it depends on how much oil is up there. there needs to be an expectation we're working for to six weeks after the will is capped on the oil that is presently overhead. that does not account -- account for what oil will include this and will have to deal with as far as the impact on the marshes. >> how would you characterize
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the containment process so far? has there been any signs of setbacks or progress? can you say how many total miles of coastline have been sold so far? >> on the containment process, it is going fairly well. this is a condition based process where the increase production. once the establishment -- the establish that, they're concerned about the formation of hydrate. it is going fairly well. we want to establish a rate so we know what that containment cap can tolerate in terms of flow in what is going to be lost. it is very important that we're watching that closely. i think we have 120 miles total linear that has been impacted. that is kind of deceiving because i was talking with the parish president and governor general. you can have 1 mile impacted lanierly 0-- linearly.
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there is a depth component and the effect could be greater. >> you say you are in contact with the white house every day, you're getting everything you need. they're people in the gulf that say there are not enough skimmers or people. are they misinformed? you mentioned optimizing production. you want to get as much out of this but there is an incentive for b p to plot the oil. should they have to forfeit that oil and that profit to this incentivize them from keeping them going? >> the reason they want to keep the production going is what -- not to what they may recoup. we did the top kill, we were able to force mud down where we suppress the oil. when they stopped pumping, the oil came back up. the reason they came back up -- did not go any further as they did not know the condition of the wellbore and the casing.
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you to produce the oil for safety and containment reasons. >> should they have to forfeit the oil? what about the skimmers? >> that is above my pay grade. >> they're going to bear the cost for what the admiral is describing. i think those costs are likely to greatly exceed what the oil that is recouped is sold for on the market. they are in for -- on response and recovery, there would be penalties that will be involved in this, in the many billions of dollars. >> people are asking, where the skimmers? >> we are doing a national inventory. as the response has evolved, the skimmers -- the quantity and demand, we're looking at the right now. we may have to decision to move skimmers from some part of the u.s. and x of the risk that if
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there is an event there to bring them here. we are having the discussion now. >>we had a lot down there. if we did not -- we have the vessels of opportunity now. >> noaa and the university of south florida have been doing water samples to see if there are oil plumes. what do we know about that in terms of the existence of the big oil plumes and whether they will come to this service? >> they found densities' below the surface. of this dense masses they found, how much hydrocarbons are found? we had a couple of cruisers have -- that have come up with some of that data. one of them is around the platform. there was the vessel taking water samples. they're taking water samples the different depths to establish the amount of hydrocarbons that are in that depth. she wants to make a model of the
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gulf to find out -- if you go down, there is a density there, she is trying to create a model of the gulf. it is like filling in the pixels on a screen with the data sample as to go through the water column to measure what the hydrocarbons are there. that is happening right now. that will be put into a computer and put -- come up with a data model. that is what is going on. >> are there big oil plumes under water? >> it has not been established by testing. their densities down there. they have not been characterized. that is the reason they're doing the sample now in testing. >> there are conflicting reports whether or not there are birds that are covered in oil from taxes. >> i have not got the report. we will follow. get that back to you. i have not been given a report from taxes. >> you are sitting over the weekend that the cleanup could take months. some groups believe that on --
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based on the exxon valdez it will be a minimum of 45 years, maybe much more than that. this cleanup will go on in a major way. do you disagree? >> maybe it is how we're characterizing it. dealing with the oil spill on the surface will go on for a couple months. it will be taking care of. long-term issues of restoring the environment and the habitats will be years. i separated out two different functions. >> when we were down there, we wanted to get shots of workers and their roles that they can only work 20 minutes in every hour. we cruised down the beach past six different hands of people. we could not get a shot of anybody working in the hour we were on the beach. people in grand isle are irate. why do you have these rules under parsi? would you oppose people -- is
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there any kind of mechanism that could be used to let people who are fired up to clean this up? >> we have a program where we bring them in and teach them to do certain tasks. it could be driving the vehicles the been down the beach. i do not know the particulars but that is available. >> is there really a 20 minute limit in which they can work? >> i am not familiar personally but will get the information. >> anyone that deals with an comes into contact, there's a training program that is involved in -- we're taking worker health extremely seriously. we do not want to find as you said months, weeks or years later that we did not put enough safeguard in on the front and to ensure the health of those who have been contract or want to volunteer to help that the beaches. >> we have got an agreement with the department of labor and osha on how we will use protocols and
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make sure they are integrated into our response. >> the containment cap is putting out more oil than the ship above it is able to carry. you mentioned that bp will bring in another ship. why is the company doing that now? why doesn't seem we're one step behind hear? >> they are not at a production rate that will tax -- there will be a second vessel. >> is that why they did not close the fourth valve? >> they are not at a full rate. >> there is concern about hydrates and pressure. this is a delicate cap and we want to wrap this thing up so that this is a solution we can work iwith four weeks and months and do not do something to rapidly to cause something tragic to happen. >> i would tell you, several
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weeks ago, they started converting to a larger production platform in anticipation they would replace this one with a higher capacity platform. it is a large ship and some of these are coming away from the north sea to do this and that has been in progress. >> bp has underestimated the amount of the flow. the u.s. government does not seem to know it. why is this so difficult? >> bp is not doing under -- any estimates. we have established our group and is independent. those estimates i gave you our estimates we are doing. any flow rates that are being developed, those are government with third parties involved. that is what is happening. there's a lot of talk about transparency. you need to be assured we're doing this. >> the amount of oil that leaks will help determine the find the bp incurs.
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while our interest a line on capping this well, we would never ask bp to tell us how much oil they think has leaked in order for us to determine the compensation and penalty that is to be derived from it. the flow rate technical group was stood up and callous -- our response was not dictated upon a full mechanism. the flow rate technical group was set up, and because we had a better idea and could use better equipment, nasa equipment, equipment from all over the government, together as best an estimate as we could for an event that is happening 5000 below the -- 5,000 feet below the surface of the water. the analogy that someone used is we're trying to measure 5,000 feet below the surface, the amount of material that is coming up if you were to shake a
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coke can. that is not a perfect analogy because most coke cans are 12 ounces. the flow rate technical root is going back and looking at the information that we have now. the information post the shear cut and whether or not we can get a closer range as to what has happened. >> there was a time when you were saying a lot that the flow rate was not essential because you were planning for the worst- case scenario. there's a couple of examples -- >> we have all right always said t a better estimate. we have to know the amount of oil that is discharge. to assess the environmental impact. you are right. in beginning it was not quite as required in terms of thailand is
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but is required in has to be done and that is the reason we're doing it. >> do you question whether bp has the resources available to bring this -- to this problem when they said -- that they said they would have when they file their application? >> we have exceeded the assets being brought to the problem. we exceeded that because of the breadth of this thing. it is from louisiana to port st. joe, florida. >> bp has brought all they said they would. >> the resources identified were brought to bear. >> is there anything now that b.p. is not doing that you would like to see them doing? >> we would like to see them get better in claims. there are two issues with claims. the timeliness for the individuals. they made some things fairly easy. if you shop and have a w-2 form
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or any kind of evidence of imports -- implement, they are making partial claims in payment. we have someone on my staff that is meeting with bp today. there is a second larger issue that the local leaders identified to the president and governor riley indicated to me on saturday. that is businesses putting claims in. for the inability to operate, seafood manufacturing plants and so forth. those claims are processed in a different way and require different documentation and business information. that appears that may be cumbersome. we're having a meeting with british petroleum to simplify their ability to handle claims from businesses. they do not have a history of doing that kind -- type of work. they brought in claims adjusters but they need to do that better and quicker. >> we heard as the admiral said on friday, both with elected
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officials and when we met with fishermen, we met with seafood processors who are going through this process. we have set up as we talked about on friday, if you go to a, there is a large icon for people to go to if they're having difficulty getting their claims adjudicated by bp. an official is set up by fema that works directly with the national incident commander to ensure that this process is moving along as expeditiously as it needs to. we have got problems with as the admiral has said, major claims being paid and different things along the route. wehen we catch shrimp, we
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freeze them and their process. there processor may not be seeing a lessening in the output based on what they had, previous to this, obviously, a large portion of the gulf as close to commercial fishing, more sure of is not coming in. the back end of the process is ending. if you look at the business, the output would not necessarily look different. those are things we're asking bp to work through. >> the best example -- the president and i were meeting with local leaders and had lunch with them. a marina operator having 10% of the boats tied at the marina that it would normally have this time of year and the associated support for that. food and local businesses being used for meals and the kind of stuff. that is very complex. we have got to get to the bottom of this and make sure these folks have access to the claims process. >> is anyone who is in the economic food chain of the gulf
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eligible for reimbursement? if you operate a b & b --- is it all the way down? >> you're asking questions that we never had to answer in the context of an oil spill. those of the types of things we are working through. we're delving into that this week. >> you said that when the second platform arrived, they will be able to contain 20,000 barrels of oil? >> produce about 20,000 barrels. >> when you look at the models, you are expecting it will be closer to the 25,000 barrels of oil -- >> we know that is their capacity. we do not know what the flow rate is. >> that flurry could end up being higher than 25,000? >> we will be dealing with the residual oil -- until we get the larger production platform i talked about earlier. >> [unintelligible]
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>> could have. >> the group is going through the larger flow rate as well as trying to hone in on what we think we might have seen in terms of increased capacity after the cut. >> will make those numbers known as we get them. we need to tell you that. >> you will be able to produce 20,000 barrels of oil per day? >> correct. that is anticipated to be replaced by a larger capacity platform. >> how often do you speak to tony hayward? >> as often as i need to. sometimes they're in different locations. i would say daily and may be multiple times of the day. >> have you brought up the claims issue? >> i did. they are looking for any type of input and direction because they want to do this right. it is not a core competency so we need to give them help and guidance.
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that is what we're doing. >> the meeting this week, will it be with tony hayward? >> it will be the person who runs their claims processing. >> when you speak to tony hayward, do you trust the information they're giving you? >> i get this question all the time. i am not sure it is a matter of trust. it has to be cooperative. we're trying to create unity of effort. ask for information, i get it. if i think i need more, i ask them. if there is ambiguity, i go back and do that. i have given them direction saying we will not go forward until you give me this. constant dialogue. you can: partnering. that is the way it works. >> we're asking for and will be asking for at this meeting, greater transparency on the claims process, trying to shorten the window for what bp is legally required to do in filling those claims. in having a broader understanding through transparency is what has yet to be fulfilled.
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-- about what has yet to be filled. >> we are arguing with -- we are dealing with personally identifiable information so their privacy issues. we need to make sure we get it right. >> can you catch the nation upon what we have used so far for dispersants? are you still using them? what is the environmental field you have for them now? on the sand berms, where are they? are they -- is one half we constructed? where are we on that process? are they being concentrated anywhere else along the possible spill target areas? you said you would look into this issue of whether or ofbp with hilde or ordered you to withhold video early on on the -- in the disaster. >> we issued a statement on that. i do not think there was any indication we did do that. i press assistant can make that available.
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-- my press assistant can make that available. we breached the 1 million gallon threshold -- i have had frequent contact with lisa jackson on this. the overall approach is to minimize the amount of dispersants being used on the service. -- surface. they go on top of the oil and get less effect because if the oil is inches deep, the dispersants react on the top and you need to mix it up and emulsify it for the dispersant to have the affect. there is a better mixing already if we apply with a wand. our general strategy is to use subsea dispersants whenever possible and minimize the amount on the surface. we did some video last week when
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i was out there. one of the offshore supply vessels was spraying water around they discover enterprise and that was putting down volatile compounds that are coming out of the oil that was sitting around the ship that was producing -- there is a threat to personal safety and health on those vapors. dispersant put this down. it would rather use water to do it. there may be times where because of the situation you might want to use dispersant to reduce the vapors. those of the types of things we would talk about. they give us a plan and epa is aware of that. our federal court better is trying to minimize dispersant but there are times when they're going to use them but we need to use those in injudicious quantities. we will be relying on burning and mechanical skimming. the president made the decision last week, we authorized the six segments created by the corps of engineers. the state is working with
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petroleum -- british petroleum. there are a couple of barges that are working right away. i can verify this for you. the first place they will start working is around the chandeleur islands. when you go to the west of the mississippi river, they're going to have to take stand off and deposit it on the seabed and transmitted to make the berms. i have talked with the head of the corps of engineers to free up dredges from other projects to help them. the state of louisiana is looking nationally and bridge capability. it is a matter of finding the drudge capacity to start doing some work. they are going to have to take a lot of sand and move it to shore and move again. if they come up against capacity problem in dredges, mccanns -- we can bring in
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foreign flagged dredges in but i would consider that as the last gap fill in. i do not think we're there yet. >> each night the joint intervention center's fact sheet contains an updated number in the amount of surface and subsea dispersant used so people should be able to track each day how much is used. >> on the claims process, what role is the government playing or could the government be playing in managing it for and managingb -- with bp? \is bp committed to paying federal royalties? >> i am not sure on the royalty issue. >> we are trying to create independent government teams for every state to facilitate them, the state getting together with
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the claims processor to identify problems. it is a novel idea in alabama. that is training national guardsmen to assist folks in filing claims. you have a multiplier effect. that is being discussed right now. we will have teams in every state that are able to do that. the question is getting into these books. i had some evidence there are folks sitting back because they think it is not going to work. they can come forward and they will get paid. we need to understand -- help them understand that and how to do it. >> tony hayward said bp was not prepared for a spell of this magnitude. what about the coast guard? did you discount the possibility of a major blow up in the gulf? >> no. we had always anticipated that could happen. in april 2002, we ran an exercise on an offshore oil point which was 90 miles to the west of where this happened.
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we envisioned a loss of the will for number of days. it almost was a similar type of event. i was the national incident commander in the drill. we rented out of the superdome. we had known about these and plan for them. what has made this anomalous is the amount of area this oil is covering and the breadth from louisiana to florida. i do not think any plan envisioned it would get out that far and disaggregate and have the requirement to have so many resources across the wide area. that is what is different. it is taxing our resources, the breadth and the complexity of this degradation which was not accounted for. >> any reason why that was not anticipated? never happened before? >> when you your response plan, you identify resources that could be brought to the scene in
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terms of skimming and booms. those were identified but if you have to i -- replicate that across the gulf you multiplier resource requirements. that is something we need to look at it as the commission looks at the response. i do not think it was lack of duty. it was a peculiar set of circumstances that we did not anticipate and will have to be anticipated in the future. >> the last time you saw this bill of this magnitude was off the coast of mexico in 1979. the president has asked the commission in the department of interior as it looks to the regulatory framework to ensure that we're taking all precautions and possible scenarios into account as, i think it is safe to say, if something does not happen since 1979, you begin to take your eye off of that. >> we need to be totally transparent and learn as much as
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we can from this thing. everybody is on board. if there is something we could do better in the future and change our response plant, we need to do that. >> you have become the face of the spill over the past week and a half. i cannot imagine that is how you expected to end -- >> i am feeling to get fired. i did not anticipate this would happen at the end of my career. i am honored to have to do this. it is a very complex job and one of the hardest things i have had to deal with. we need unity of effort. what makes the spill different is -- i hear a lot of talk, let's bring in dod. when you have a military operation, you are operating under title 10 and there is a monolithic chain of command from the lowest soldier to the president. we have a lot of different cabinet departments with roles
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and responsibilities and missions conducted out there and the real goal in an incident that takes place out of dod is unity of command. there are a lot of people who have responsibilities. a good example is the responsibility between fish and wildlife service and noaa. fish and wildlife has endangered species and noaa has commercial fisheries. the question is how you create the unity of bedford and that is the challenge. >> do they take away from the incident commander part of this to do briefing such as this? >> this is always very valuable practice. >> on the skimming and the shoreline, the boom is not a silver bullet. how many skimmers are out there right now and are there no high
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er techniques to protect the shoreline? other new technologies that have been tried? >> we have a separate team that is looking at alternative technologies. we are evaluating. there are different types of skimming capability and some of them are effective in different parts of the water. the question is getting the right skimmer for the oil you want to recover in the depth of water. skilling ocean systems are different than what you would do in five or 6 feet in the back bay. when you have is drums and the oil sticks to it and they roll up and it is scraped off. there are some systems where you have a boom with a pocket at the end and you carry the oil and evacuated out. there are systems that take a circle and drop below the surface of the water and have the oil flow into it and recovered and pump it out. there is a lot of stuff out
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there. we have to watch the type and -- match the type and quantity of the skimmer. we're having to adapt to. >> that have been hard to get in close to protect -- >> we need to get these vessels of opportunity. they can operate there and we can match the right skimmer. that is the process we're going through right now. >> you mentioned the vessels were not on hand until recently. the systems for compensation are being set up been finalized. can you address the perception that the response has been consistently a couple steps behind the problem? >> we are adapting to an enemy that changes. the nature of this oil spill has contained -- has changed. we have a lot of oil to begin with and now it has been desegregated. our response has had to change.
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the weather in the oil are agnostic to the boundaries. all our response organization and structure is by states and our captain of the port zones. the difference between the incident command in mopumhouma d alabama is different. when you talk about one of these things, there's an artificial boundary. as this thing gets broad and goes across different a juror -- jurisdictions, we have to change our control structure. we're trying to adapt and learn from a spill that has never happened before in this country. >> i have two oil questions. you said you have issued an order that journalists are to have unfettered access to the disaster sites. are you -- what are you going to do to bp for preventing
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journalists from getting access to these sites? >> if we have to we can issue an administrative order. if they violate that, there is civil and criminal statutes associated. it is for a series -- security reason or safety, -- we cannot tell someone to talk to someone if they do not want to. unless it is security or safety, there is no restriction of access. >> is that symbol nimble enough? if bp calculates that keeping journalists away from a oily birds is more viable than whenever you're penalty will be -- >> someone will have to give me a specific. [unintelligible]
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they are not permitted. >> i will hvae a call with tony hayward. >> james cameron says he held to fill the site and bp =-- would help to film the site and bp said no. >> i would make this observation. all the video that is coming out of that operation right now from the rolli operated vehicles is available. we have made that available. there was concern that it might put too much pressure on the operators and bp wanted to have a delayed broadcast and it was decided that the need for
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transparency overwhelmed whatever additional risk might be greeted by that. the other thing is they are conducting simops. simultaneous operations. within a one square mile area around the wellhead and the rise pipe, you could have rov's operating down there. when we were using the riser insertion tool, they had to stop and reinsert it. the reason they had to do that was the rov's were working the insertion to van bumped into each other and because the tube to be dislodged. there is an issue about density. i appreciate mr. cameron's commons but try to put one more rov -- comments, but trying to put one more down there might
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increase the risk to the operation. >> does the president have any reaction to the conference is over helen thomas's remarks? >> i have not spoken with him directly. i would say that those remarks are offensive and rental. she should and has apologized. obviously, those remarks do not reflect certainly the opinion of a i assume most of the people in here and certainly not of the administration. >> on the disc -- question of the segregation, which-h -- disaggregation, which i think means breaking up. >> yes. >> it makes it more difficult.
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when it comes ashore, it is not in a mass. when there is oil in water, nothing but bad happens. it is coming ashore in a lot of different places. >> is it naturally occurring or do the dispersants add to that? >> olive the above. when it came to the surface there might have been burning or skimming. there might have been dispersants. you have currents moving it around. when the oil came to the surface, it could have created a small batch of oil and moved in one direction and another the other. that is what we are dealing with. it is not monolithic. >> is the use of dispersants worthwhile even though it breaks this up and makes it harder to skim or stop? >> i believe they are
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worthwhile. there is of concern as we approach the million gallon mark. specifically, regarding the unknown implications of that amount of dispersants, out of caution, even though we might need it from time to time to suppress volatile organic compounds, we need to have a minimum amount of dispersants we're using and only when it is appropriate and to achieve a particular effect and focus all the application on the side of the leak. we have suppressed them on the surface. >> the directive that went for greater reduction in the volume is now several weeks old. >> given the delicacy of this containment absolution, are you confident it will remain effective during the months it will take to dig their relief wells? what kind of maintenance steps need to be done down there? what a scenario ever arise where it might be -- you might have to stop producing the oil to fix or
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upgrade or whatever the solution down there? >> i do not think we should be comfortable with the containment operation. we ought to be watching it closely. we ought to be ruthless in oversight of bp and try to understand what oil is now being contained. we need to understand that if we have severe weather in the form of a hurricane, there may be times we will have to disconnect that operation and reestablished and during that time we will have oil coming to the surface again. this is a long campaign and we're going to deal with this well for the foreseeable future. >> has bp or this government consulted with the british government on issues of resources and the british military in efforts to help? what was said? >> i have no contact with the british government but we have looked of foreign offers of assistance. we have taken boom and skimming
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capability from overseas and bp has made a number of purchases from overseas, especially the middle east for the type of equipment we want is there. they bought it and have flooded in. we have had canadian forces that have been flying missions. there has been a lot of international outrage, but nothing directly with british forces. >> when not tap the british government -- why not tap the british government? >> we can reach up and contact them. anyone that has anything to bring to the fight we're considering. >> you are talking about optimizing production. let's get into lessening waste. is it cost-effective to recycle some of the wasted oil? >> almost all of the recovered oil is recycled one way or another. it is contaminated with sand or debris, that can become oily or
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contaminated waste. it is treated with the epa guidelines. we looked at a couple of facilities to make sure we know how they're handling the oily waste. >> marshland oil, maybe things with reeds. >> anything with oil on it has to be disposed of in accordance with federal law. >> it is not a cost-effective -- not cost effective to even try to do that with the deposits? . .
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>> can you discuss the benefits of asking oil companies to drill simultaneously? would that help -- help in the current situation? >> i have not had that discussion. i think that would be a legitimate point to put in front of the commission. >> that would fall under the regulatory framework that the commission will evaluate in order to determine the best way to operate in of fail-safe atmosphere moving forward. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> president obama says his administration is focusing on improving the claims process as it was affected by the oil spill. he spoke briefly with reporters after a cabinet meeting. >> i just completed a meeting with the cabinet that is in charge of dealing with in the deepwater horizon oil spill. we activated 15 agencies for what is now the largest national response ever to an environmental disaster. what we want to do is make sure every agency is coordinating and there was clarity about how we are going to proceed in the coming months. we have gotten reports that have
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been confirmed by the scientists that the top hat mechanism is beginning to capture some of the oil. we are trying to get a better determination of how much it is capturing, and wae are pushing bp very hard to make sure all the facilities are available so as the oil is being captured, it is being separated properly, and then there are receptacles of for that oil to go, that we have thought through contingencies in case there is an emergency or a hurricane so that these mechanisms are not disrupted and that there is a record -- a lot of redundancy built in. here is what we know. even if we are successful in containing some or much of this oil, we are not going to get this problem completely solved until we've have the relief wells completed and that will
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take a couple more months. we also know that there will be more oil released no matter how successful this containment effort is. that is why it is so important for us to continue to put every effort that we have, booms, skimmers, vessels, hiring local folks and local fishermen it with a very equipment, a clipping men with skimmers, to give every asset out there to make sure we are minimizing the amount of oil coming to joy. there are a number of issues that were raised during this meeting that i want to touch on. when i was a down and the gulf on friday, meeting with fishermen and small business owners, what is clear is that the economic impact of this disaster is going to be substantial and it is going to be ongoing. as i said on friday, i do not want to see bp nickel and diming
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these businesses that are having a very tough time. we have the sba in there providing bridge loans. we have the department of commerce helping businesses to prepare and document the damages they are experiencing. but what we also need is bp being quick and responsive to the needs of these local communities. we have individuals who have been assigned specifically on bp to make sure that is happening. we want people who are in charge of bp's claims process to be meeting with us on a regular basis, but we are going to insist that money flows quickly caught in a timely basis, so you do not have a shrimp processor or a fisherman who is going out of business before bp finally makes up its mind as to whether or not it will pay up. that will be one of our top priorities, because we know, no matter how successful we are over the next few weeks in some
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of the containment efforts, the damages are still going to be there. the second thing we talked about quite a bit is the issue of the health of workers who are out there dealing with this bill. -- this spill. so far we have seen that on shore, we are not seeing a huge elevations in toxins in the air but that water com butter, may not be the case out where people are doing the work. we have to make sure we are providing all the protections necessary. we have put processes in place to make sure the workers of their are getting the equipment and the training they need to protect themselves and their health, but this is something we will have to continue to monitor because there are a lot of workers out there. increasingly, we are starting to get individuals who may not be experienced in oil cleanup,
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because we are trying to get an all hands on deck process. we have to make sure they are protected. we are also monitoring the impact of people that are not working out there appeared a that is where the environmental protection agency is doing constant monitoring of the air and water quality. we are also doing testing on the seafood to make sure the toxins are not being introduced into the overall population. a couple of other points i want to make. dr. lechenko of noaa reported on containing unscientific -- convening a scientific conference on issues reported in the news and other questions about, how large is this? what kind of damage to we anticipate? that we have a full transparency. and that the information is subject to scientific reviews on nobody has any surprises. we are continuing to strive for
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complete transparency in real time, so as we get information, academics, scientists, researchers and get this information in what is going to be a fluid and involve -- evolving process. let me make one final point. i think this was something emphasized by everyone here prepar. this will be contained purpod. it may take some time. it will take a whole lot of effort. there has been damage done to the gulf coast. there will be economic damages that bp is responsible for and we want to make sure it compensate people for. but one thing i am absolutely confident about is, as we have before, we will get through this crisis. and one of the things i wanted to make sure we understand is that, not only are we going to control the damage is to the
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gulf coast, but we want to actually use this as an opportunity to reexamine and worked with state and local communities to restore the coast in ways that actually enhance the livelihoods and the quality of life for people in that area. it will take some time. it will not be easy. but this is a resilient ecosystem. these are resilient people down on the gulf coast. i had the chance to talk with them. they have gone through all kinds of stuff over the last 50-100 years, and they bounce back. they are going to bounce back this time. they will need help from the entire country. it will need constant, a vigilant attention from this administration. that is what they are going to get. we are confident that not only are we going to be able to get past this immediate crisis, but we will focus our attention on making sure the coast fully
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recovers and that, essentially, it comes back even stronger than it was before this crisis. thank you very much, everybody. thank you very much. >> president obama all hold a town hall meeting with senior citizens in wheaton, maryland, tomorrow to discuss the health care bill. the $250 rebates are the first in a series of measures to close so that of aughnut hole medicare part b recipients have full prescription drug coverage. it will be live tuesday at 11:45 a.m. eastern time on c-span and c-span rate appeared in an effort to keep oil and the gulf of mexico from reaching the coast, sand bags are being airlifted to basis between the
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barrier islands. -- to bases between the barrier islands. [no audio] >> you can see more coverage of the gulf of mexico oil spill on line, including congressional
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hearings, press conferences, and a video from the scene as well showing the feeds blown out well. that is all epo -- at the campaign for america's future looks at the role of elections this year. after that, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke at the woodrow wilson international center for scholars where he is interviewed by former abc newsman sam donaldson. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we will look at tuesday's primary races in 10 states, with bob benenson, nicholas lardy examines china's economy and its effect on the u.s. and more about the supreme court nomination of elena kagan from jliulie hirschfeld davis.
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we have got three new c-span books for you. "abraham lincoln," the supreme inrt" and "who's buriedn i grant's tomb?" to order, go to c- each one a great gift idea for father's day. the campaign for america's future began its annual conference in washington focusing on the progressive movement assessment of the obama administration and its role in this year's elections. this is a little more than two hours. [applause] >> welcome to america's future
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now. [applause] hi. you are over here. namecards. my name is robert. i welcome you to washington. this has been a city of great heat and big storms recently and i am not talking about the weather. and we need you to turn up the heat a little bit more. [applause] you will be over 1000 people strong as we move through these meetings this week. you come from 30 states. you see me from across the progressive sttribes of the
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progressive movement. a little more than a year into the obama administration, a little less than six months from the bi-elections and in the midst of a pitched battle about the direction of this country. 24 million people still unemployed, but action on jobs is stalled in congress. a bipartisan majority in the senate approved billions in emergency spending for the war in afghanistan and derailed the measure that would have stopped the layoff of 300,000 teachers across the country. the haunting calamity in the gulf of mexico expos is the work we have yet to do on climate change. wall street reform is headed to a conference committee this week as we meet. today, campaign for america's future will join with move on to present a petition of 50,000 americans calling on that
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chairman barney frank to fulfill his promise to televise the conference proceedings. we want to bring the lobbyists of the cloakrooms and into the light of day. [applause] now, pollsters talked about in enthusiasm get. the tea partiers right is said to be on the march. independents are increasingly skeptical. the rising electric -- and the young, single women, minorities, the core of the obama base has been hit hardest by the recession is it -- and is said to be disengaged. if conservatives make dramatic gains as is now expected, all progress will be harder in a country that cannot afford not to make progress. the perpetually tanned john boehner, the minority leader and the house, the man who would be speaker made clear the threat at the end of the health care debate. roll that tape, if you will.
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>♪ ♪ it was a free [inaudible] ♪ guest>> yes, we can. >> you can. >> yes, we can. >> hello! you can. >> yes, we can. [applause] but it will be up to us. let's remember who we are. when conservatives controlled everything in this city, we started these conferences. we planted a flag against carlos claimed that conservatives would have a permanent majority -- against karl rove that claimed
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the conservatives would have a permanent majority. we built the anti-war movement they gave democrats their voice on iraq. we mobilize its members in large numbers to challenge in economics that worked only for the few. progressives, of virtually invented the blogoshope. phere. the thrust a positive agenda from health care to new energy galvanized voters. our success inspired a young senator from illinois to run for the presidency. he, in turn, inspired us to help turn out voters in record numbers. we are the change. [applause] this president was elected with a mandate and a cascading crisis
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that requires fundamental change. over the last months, much of the progressive community has thrown itself into the effort to pass the reform agenda. we had the first comprehensive health care reform a system since medicare. the largest increase in student aid since the g.i. bill at the end of world war ii. the most expensive -- extensive wall street reforms since the great depression. this is been the greatest flurry of reform and over 50 years, and yet, we have grown more dissatisfied and for good reason. the catastrophe that was inherited was far greater than any feared. the reforms insufficient to the cause. the recovery plan to stop the economic freefall, but was too small to put people to work. the health care reforms will extend coverage to millions, but the insurance and drug companies kept their grip on their
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privileges. wall street reform will leave the big banks more concentrated than ever. even student aid was overwhelmed by the soaring tuition increases and severe cuts and colleges across the country. wall street was rescued. main street is still struggling. so what happened? how did this take place? well, a new generation has been introduced to the legislative process in its full and a botched glory. -- debauched glory. republicans chose obstruction over cooperation in a time of national crisis. more broadly, entrenched corporate interest mobilized big time. the insurance companies spent over $1 million a day lobbying on health care. the banks supplied over 70 former legislators and 1400 for staffers to influence -- former staffers to influence wall
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street reform. they are equal opportunity employers. -- dick, trent lott, gephardt, all on the bank's payroll for their lobbying. and the white house has been an uncertain trumpet. the administration reforms are too often too timid and too readily compromise along the way carr. too often the challenge to entrenched interest was muted in the search for thed deal. it has sparked a rapid reaction on a stream right, but with progressives and managed and legislative battles and with the present reluctant to draw clear ideological differences, the fate populism on the right gained greater attraction that might otherwise have gotten.
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focusing public anger not on l'wren is conservative policies that caused the crisis but on the administration's -- not on the ruinous policies that caused the crisis but on the administration. now they are taking over the asylum. they portray speaker pelosi as bicruella newt gingrich has a book out indicting the secular, socialist obama regime. if obama succeeds, america will cease to be a free enterprise nation. this is nonsense and hysteria is needed by the right to distract from the bankruptcy of their own ideas. west virginia, the gulf, big banks on wall street.
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we have seen the cronyism, the score for government, the world that of regulation, the corruption of regulatory agencies. in the case of mineral management services, in bed with the companies that were supposed to police. conservatives had their way and they got it wrong. and americans are paying the price. but the drill baby drill crowd is unapologetic. the right seeks to return to power with the same ideas and the same policies that threw us off the cliff. there is no chance of that. -- we will have to fight. they can succeed only if we step aside. we have to provide an independent movement, the energy and activism that forced the majority in the first place. that means we have to stop waiting for obama. we have to stop taking the president's temperature. we have to stop being critics
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and analysts and start being an -- actors once more. it means taking the battle of ideas to the right. taking on conservatives in both parties and reminding them of the temper of this act of this space. those who are standing in the way must understand there are no free passes. tomorrow in arkansas, we will see a primary challenge to blanche lincoln. what ever happens -- [applause] this is a challenge that progressives have launched. a clear message has already been sent and received. we must expand this capacity told legislators accountable and recruit progress of champions. history does not repeat itself, mark twain wrote, but sometimes it rhymes. there is one lesson that can be drawn from history. progressive movement must organize independent way of democratic administrations to
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effect change. -- independently of democratic administrations to affect change. martin luther king supported lyndon johnson. but johnson went to king in 1964 and told him to shut down the demonstrations. they were making it impossible for him to forge a majority in the senate. with an independent movement, martin luther king could nor do that even if he wanted to. instead, he went to selma. and it electrified the nation and six months later, the voting rights act was passed into law. so, too, under president obama wall street reform today is stronger than the bank expected because it demonstrated -- demonstrators showed how furious the public was at the big banks , investigators exposed their crimes and follies, and progressives inside and outside the congress pushed for reforms the administration did not dare
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and vision. immigration reform got put back on the agenda and not because latinos have good allies in the white house, which they do, but because the rights movement brought tens of thousands to washington and reminded politicians of the benefits of action and the costs of inaction. we are headed into a fierce battle in the next years, a battle over priorities once the recovery takes place. we faced not only a budget deficit, but a yawning domestic investment deficit in everything from education to 21st century infrastructure to new energy to simple, clean water. a country that continues to squander trillions of dollars on wars abroad while failing to provide every child with the nutrition, early education and health care needed to thrive, is a country as dr. king warned, approaching spiritual death.
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the first year of reform and reaction has made our task clear. we have to clean up the elections. , challenge mobilize money with mobilize people and change the balance of forces in washington. frederick douglass wrote that power concedes nothing without a demand. it never has and it never will. we must issue the demand. we must build the demand. we must drive the demand. we are the change, and we have the power. thank you. [applause] now let me introduce a national phenomenon. arianna huffington is the author of 12 books, the mother of two daughters, the founder and editor in chief of "the huffington post," the
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second-largest political website on the web, trailing only "the new york times", ahead of "the wall street journal" and "usa today." [applause] in 2009, "the financial times" and named her one of the 50 people who shaped the that decade. and that was when she was just warming up. she has a new book coming out this year morning america about its course towards becoming a third world nation -- warning america about its course towards becoming a third world nation. arianna huffington. >> thank you so much. thank you for this wonderful speech. thank you for being a regular, weekly blogger. we love having you on the site. it seems like yesterday, doesn't it?
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barack obama was going to take office. he was going to change the world, and we would just go home and hit the couch. [laughter] he was going to be in charge of changing our financial system, of defeating special interest in washington, ending unnecessary wars, and congratulations, it worked out great. have a great trip home. i am just kidding. surprising though it may seem to hear that, all elected barack hussein obama, which many of you worked hard to do, amazingly, and that was the easy part. the hard work remains to be done. and if we have learned one thing over the last year and a half, we have learned that democracy
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is not a spectator sport. the other thing we have learned is that, by partisanship is not the way to fundamental change. [applause] so far, bipartisanship has brought us a no strings attached bailout. it has brought us the freedom from the burden of an affordable public option. which is fantastic, isn't it? and it has also brought us an ongoing war in afghanistan, which is depleting our treasury and unnecessarily bringing death to many of our sons and daughters. that is what bipartisanship has done so far. now we are also seen by partisanship -- there is also andshore drilling, w
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oil washing on the oils. we see pictures of pelicans and the dolphins covered in bipartisanship. sorry, arizona. i have always loved, in my adopted country, the of optimism -- the spirit of optisim. mism. the reason why i am warning about america becoming a third world country if we do not course correct is because optimism is now denied. we need to look clearly at the warning lights on our national- board, and they are flashing red. -- dash boards and they are falshinlashing red. one in nine families cannot make
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the minimum payment on their credit cards. one in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. one in eight americans is on food stamps. more than 120,000 families a month are filing for bankruptcy. so, at the same time, you have to 45 states that have imposed budget cuts that have reduced services to our most vulnerable citizens. america faces a cumulative budget gap of $166 billion. just remember, we bailed out aid for $180 billion and $12.90 billion went straight to goldman sachs. so the question is-- why isn't the greater urgency coming out of washington?
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when wall street was in trouble, they threw everything against the wall because they did not know exactly what was going to do, -- what was going to work and they saved wall street. what are they doing now to save main street? [applause] contrary to what the republicans are saying, there is no question the stimulus bill did it save and add jobs. but as the british prime minister lloyd george said, you cannot jump across a -- in two jumps. you asked to do it in one. the stimulus bill was one jump. it was not enough. we are seeing the results of that ever were. again and again we are told that jobs are next. how many times have we heard that? after we do healthcare, after financial reform, jobs is next. after the energy bill, jobs is next. i have this nightmare in which i am stuck in a forest and i
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cannot find my way out. that is how i feel about this illusion that jobs is next, because it is not. another warning sign that we are on our way to becoming a third world nation is that trillions of dollars we continue to spend fighting unnecessary wars. and building ever more powerful weapons while our people at home do without. [applause] the historian toynbey says this civilization dies from suicide, not by murder. it depends on the choices you make and the things you valley. in washington, we hear about belt-tightening and deficit reduction, but very little about whether the $161 billion we are spending in 2010 to fight wars in iraq and afghanistan might be better spent helping and battled americans here at home.
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this is not about ignoring the threats to our national security. this is not about passivism. this is about what one illinois state senator said in 2002 when he said, i do not oppose all wars. i just opposed the morr dumb wa. recently, the joint chiefs of staff chairman, admiral mullen told an afghan leader that the surge in kandahar will reduce corruption and provide jobs. it is like a bad joke. the obama administration is running up a multibillion-dollar program to get jobs. the bad news is you have to move to kandahar to apply.
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this is not about right versus left. you have a george will and the cato institute that agreed that escalating in afghanistan is not the right thing. this is the right kind of bipartisanship. the consensus beyond left and right. that is different from the kind we have been hearing about. if you look throughout history, a . may -- every major achievement, the emancipation proclamation, the 19th amendment, social security, medicare was not achieved by splitting the difference. abraham lincoln did not bring everyone together and say, why don't we freed the slaves have the time it? -- half the time? galileo did not go to the pope and say the earth revolves around the sun have the time. that would not have worked very well with navigation maps. so right now we are seeing thae
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reality -- what the economist for "black swan" wrote, he said if you drove abbas into a ditch, you should not be given another bus. -- if you drove a bus into a ditch, you should not be given another bus. especially halliburton -- after all the evidence that cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars in iraq, there it was. the relief wells are being built. they will do a better job of cementing a while after that damage was done. this is what normally happens in the third world banana republics, where crony corruption are not a disqualification. so it is clear that hope
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is not enough. what we need is hope 2.0. that is taking matters into your own hands. if the government is not going to shrink the big banks and the taxpayer will remain on the hook, we can shrink them. we can take our money out of the big banks and put it into credit unions and community banks. it has been happening. [applause] 2 million people have moved their money. in this year alone, $5 billion has been moved from the big banks. so, if you are running a union or if you know people who run it unions, have them move their money. if you run a state, city, or county, have them move their money. they will understand that. that is how we are going to change the world one action at a time. so, let me just wrap things up,
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because i am getting all my size here. -- my signs here. i will post the rest. let me say that, at the moment, president obama has said that we find ourselves at a were inflection point, when the size and scope of the challenges before us require that we make the world a new. the decision we have to make is, will it be a place tha where economic opportunity is for everyone or just for the elite? will it be a place where transparency rains and backroom deals are balanced from -- vanished from all halls of power? will be a place where main street replaces on wall street as the center of the economic universe? that is where hope 2.0 come in.
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winston churchill said that america can be trusted to do the right thing after it has exhausted all other possibilities. well, we have exhausted all other possibilities are trying to do the right thing. thank you. [applause] >> all right, now. andy stern. he is an organizer. a strategist, a thinker. he is the president emeritus -- that means he is retired of the 2.2 million-person service employees international union, the fastest-growing union in the country. he joined diit as a social service worker in 1973. he became its organizing director, was elected president first in 1996. he led them to play a
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significant role in building the progress of infrastructure that helped to transform our debate over the last years. then in 2008 elections, the union moved in big fashion to stand with the young senator barack obama from the very beginning. he has recently been named to the president's national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform. from that post, he will help lead the debate that will dominate our politics over the next two years about the priorities we take, the choices we make, if we get a recovery and would begin to get our fiscal balance back in order. andy stern. [applause] >> thank you. good morning! >> good morning. >> before i begin, we all all
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round of applause and more than that, a heartfelt thanks for bog b and roger. when the lights were very dark in washington, and someone had to stand up, they did, they have, and they continue to. thank you, bob. thank you, campaign. i want to make five simple points. first of all, i love this country, and i am a true over the top believer in the american dream. secondly, this is not our fathers or grandfathers economy. in fact, this is the third economic revolution in world history. 3, in global economies, countries are teams and team usa lacks a growth-oriented, long- term fiscally responsible
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economic plan. four is when all must worry and spend too much time writing and not winning people -- students, workers, poor people pay the price 35, to win, we have to remember how we achieve change in our country. sometimes in the midst of these conferences and debates, and criticism, progresses to forget to say what i know underlines a the most fundamental reason for our activism -- is that we love this country. i happen to think america is a gift card and its greatest gift is that people come here from all over the world, like my grandfather. all he ever expected from america was he was going to work really hard. all he ever hoped for was that his work would be rewarded. but what my grandfather dreamed about and so many other,
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immigrant and native-born that we all know, was that his children, his son and his grandson, would lead a better life than he did. that is the unique and special and once-in during american dream. but today, 79% of all parents say their children and grandchildren will not lead a better life than their parents. that is not the america we want. that is not the america we need. and that is why we need undo 21st century economic plan. -- that is why we need a new 21st century economic plan. this is not our fathers or grandfathers economy. we are as far today from the new deal as the new deal was from the civil war. we can not drive into the future looking in the rearview mirror. progressives need to learn and build from the past but have the wisdom and the strategy is the courage, as bob talked about, to
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build a new future. today, our country, joined by the rest of the world, is living through the most profound and to begin economic revolution in the history of the world. there have only been three economic revolutions -- agricultural took 3000 years. the industrial took 300 years. this revolution, which is what it is, this profound moment of change that makes the huffington post a second-most read publication in our country, as we go from a national to an international economy, and from a manufacturing base to a service-finance, green, internet, bioscience economy, this revolution will only take 30 years. no single generation of people that ever witnessed this much change in a single lifetime. american people sense the change. they know something is different. and today, like us, are in search of a new pathway for.
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and as we have witnessed in the absence of a sensible and realistic way forward, people, even us, sometimes resist the future or tried to turn back the clock. america needs a 21st century economic plan because we now know the market-worshiping, deregulating, dehumanizing, american financial plan has failed and should never be revived, worshiping the market again. it has failed america and every one of the works here. so today, team usa, our red, white, and blue team, now faces a challenging, and irresponsible, and unsustainable, disasters, reaper future. has no fiscally responsible, ford looking
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economic plan. -- forward-looking economic plan. progressives cannot shy away from a fiscally responsible future. but the deficits we now confront of a broader resul result economic crisis. it would be insane to imagine that fighting for wage and job growth right now. in the long run, analysis is no substitution for action. as i remember, things were pretty bad for workers before the economic crisis, during that jobless decade at that time or the gap between the rich and the poor grew wide and fast. regardless of how we got here, the challenge of this decade for progressives is to craft a 21st
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century, fiscally responsible economic plan that produces wage growth and job growth, particularly in the private sector, that makes long-term investments in education, infrastructure, clean energy, research, and jobs, and produces a budget that has spending for discretionary and entitlements all lined with revenues to reduce a planned deficits at a level that is prudent and progressive. that will be the debate in the next several years. when we sit on the sidelines and do not have a plan, and the crisis hits, poor people, students, working people pay the price. look at california. look at the country of greece. look at the state workers that have lost their jobs. the people on the 99th week of unemployment and beyond. when we do not have a plan, it is not the elite, the
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corporations, it is not the rich and powerful and politicians that the the price. it is us, and the people whom we serve. last point. change is not a spectator sport. too many americans seem to believe, and i want to use a sailboat metaphor here -- there are probably people here that understand it way better than i. we believe that sometimes if we just select the right leader and put his hand on the tiller, as we did with president obama, then he will steerer our country in the right direction. but i think we all know that if you have a sailboat and you can -- have your hand on the tiller and there is no wind, you can push the tiller back and forth as much and as hard as you want. you are only going to go in circles. it is the wind. it is the wind that fills the sales and allows the captain to
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steer the vote. i grew up when the winds of change are blowing rapidly it w. it was rosa parks and people on known to the state whose courage created the winds of change that blue lyndon johnson into a place he thought he would never go. it was the writings of betty friedan and that motivated women to stand up for themselves. it was anti-war students, stonewall riots and don't ask, don't tell now, muckraking bloggers now., ands and we are the winds of change. not a lobbyist on wall street. not the politicians on the hill. it is people. it is us that is the wind of
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change. that is what we learned in the battle for health care reform. when we lead, when we stand up to whoever it may be, we can win. our future -- it is not a matter of chance -- it is a matter of choice. let's have the courage to stand up and hold accountable the big insurance companies, senators from arkansas, bad congressman from new york and north carolina. let's have higher expectations from our leaders. whether they are in the state house or the white house. margaret mead once said, never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. in fact, it is the only thing that ever has. on my desk is a plaque that says a the best way to predict the future is help create it. so let's lift our voices, use our leadership, and let us be the winds of change that lead america in a different
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direction. because if not us, then who? and if not now in america, then when? thank you very much. [applause] >> i saved the dynamo for last. faydrah lamkin is the chief executive officer fort greene for all. it is an extraordinary green forion -0- freen for all. it is designed that in this country that the people who got locked out of the last industrial revolution will have a seat at the table in this one. and feydrah is the perfect
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leader for this effort. she knows how to inspire and she knows how to do the hard work. she comes out of the afl-cio labor council in california's silicon valley. all as moved freengreen for into a central part of the debate. phaedra ellis-lamkins. >> when my team came they said, we have our requesttfor you to be somewhere on your birthday. and i was like, ok. tell them i do not want to go. it is my birthday. then when i heard who it was, i said, without question, i want to be there. >> happy birthday. >> no, no. you will take up my time, andy. the reason i wanted to be here is because i consider this room the church of change, that i thought, what better place to be
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on my birthday than a roomful of activists who have a vision for how our lives can be better? because i, unlike others, have a very selfish reason for joining this movement. i did not join this movement because i woke up and realize other people deserved a better life. in fact, i grew up in a small town. the reason is famous -- it was voted the worst place to live in the bay area. being the privilege betof between chevron and anheuser- busch. the doctor said to my mother, you need to move. she has asthma and allergies. this is not a great place. i remember my mom was plotting how we would take toilet paper from the doctors restroom so we would have it at home. the idea that we would get up and moved so that we would have
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an environment where i would not have as low was beyond our own bebelief. i have three nieces you are 7, 9, and 11, and i am there on his behalf. i have a sister who is an addict. their father just got out of jail. my mother and i have significant responsibility for them. my mother was on public assistance, their mother is on public assistance, and they grew up in a community that did not have options and statistics tell us they come to ca, too, will bc assistance. our righteous movement is a movement that says they deserve better. we say that shalamar,
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preservedand layala of future as bright as one who grew up in a better community. the reason i am at this church as change is because i want you to know the story of those girls. because when somebody says, why did you do this? at the root of a that is everybody deserves better. we have a moment that is ready for change and a movement that is not. we have a movement that has not realized what this movement is. i thought about, who are we? we believe that a coalition of working-class white men, people of color, environmentalists, that we are capable of change. we recognize there is honor and being a coal miner and west virginia and we do not blame the coal miner, but we recognize that the need of the coal miner, the white west virginia coal
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miner, and the black woman working in chevron in richmond, that they have the same needs and an agenda can meet both of their needs. that is who we are. i came out of the labor movement. i am used to people yelling at me. so, members, politicians, it does not hurt my fieelings. you want to take over the world. i said, absolutely we have a plot to take over this country. absolutely, we do. it is not a hidden agenda. it is an agenda that says that all people deserves equality. at white coal miners and black women in richmond, california, want the same thing. what they want is for us to divide ourselves. what they want is for us to say that one is better than another, that it is immigration versus coal mining. and what we say is our vision of america has all of us, not some
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of us. when we think about what green is is green for all, not for some. that is the difference. i thought about, how we make this happen? we have made mistakes. we thought an election was a victory. and what we forgot is that candidates do not deliver change. they became part of the system, which is important, but we are the people that hold them accountable. for us not to recognize that while i voted for barack obama and i would again, that he is not enough. if we do not pushing to say, the handling of bp has been atrocious at best. if we do not say, it does not mean that we do not support him, it means that we recognize that people liked shalamrar, jasmine, and layla are not getting their needs met. we want to raise our expectations. what is important? we hope that people at -- we hold people at the center of our
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agenda. it is that the quality of life of our families gets better. we have to be vigilant. so when people hear it, i want people to know at green for all there is no institution more important than the people of louisiana in this moment. that the fishermen who have not had their claims that, that i want them to know that we are worried about them. when bp a as processing one to three claims per hour, and 300 vietnamese fishermen wait all day to have their claims are. we will not rest. this movement will raise their voices. our votes, are church of change says it is not ok. -- our church of change says it is not ok. i believe and the president, but i believe in the needs of the people of the gulf coast or. more. when i look at about things about things like what is happening with bp, what we have+ not said as a movement is that
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if a foreign country came in and did that, it would be seen as an act of war. because they are seen as a private contractor, it is deplorable and unamerican. if we say they are not right, this world is wrong. we want to keep our folks at the center of our agenda. i want to think about holding people accountable, even people we love. then i want to place team sports. we sometimes think we are playing individual sports. we did good things on the climate bill. we were feeling like a rock star. what i forgot is that we need our future and our success to be intertwined. and the more people whose success depends upon hours, the more likely people worked for our success. so what we have to be able to save from the congressional caucus, to groups on the ground, is that when one of us wins, all
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of us winds. the people that are at the core of our mission and our agenda, we are vigilant on their behalf. the only people we serve are those people. and so, the reason i believe in green jobs. when i first heard about green jobs, i was like, it seems like a little bit of a household. -- a hussle. . . the beauty of green jobs is it allows us to bring people together and meet everyone's needs. it allows us to honor those who work in the labor movement to bring environmentalist in and a whole group of people together. that is what glam beck is afraid of. -- that is wh glen beck is afraid of. bp as an example of what is wrong. i came back from the gulf and i have been angry ever since.
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it represents the past economy. it was an economy that had a cozy relationship between industry and government agencies that were responsible for regulating. did not create this problem. the bush administration said the interest of the oil companies is in our best interest. that is not what is good for america. bp said they are be on petroleum. what they did it shut down production of a u.s. factory in march of this year. 400 workers lost their jobs at bp. they said that they are the new company for petroleum because they want solar wind and power but they shut down the only factory in the country that did that. bp is not right for taking jobs from american workers. it is the american worker that will become the future endangered species. the american worker who can support themselves, who can take
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care of themselves. what we have to do as a movement is we have to be ready for our moment. 11 people died in west virginia because they wanted to support their families. it is un-american. no people should have to put their lives at risk if they want to support their families. those folks have to know that this progress of the open is on their side. we need to be clear that we do not need an expansion of offshorerilling. we need a bill that punhes polluters and create incentives for clean energy. we cannot afford to be distracted. we will not be distracted. we will halt any person regardless of where they are accountable. we believe in the president of recognize our success is measured by the quality of life improvement and that is our only measure back. we will do it collectively and with a team. the difference between us and
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bobby jim doyle is that he says he is outraged but he still says -- bobby jindal, but he still says drill, baby drill. i was in meeting where someone said we have to think about how to talk about this-friendly. we have to think about how to do it differently. we cannot be the movement that says drill, baby dru we are outraged. we have to be the moment that says comprehensive clean energy legislation looks different because it keeps the most of vulnerable americans safe. the reon i am here and i think my grandmother is because i believe that my niece's have a moment and i need you to be ready. i need our open to be strong and i want us to be bold and i want us to say that this is our country and we are true patriots and we kicked at the foundation for the american worker an american child and no movement
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or person is more important than the american worker and the future of this country. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> are you all warmed up? [laughter] we will do something very different. we will ask you to get a box lunch and engaging in a discussion about progressives and -- in the obama age. we will have a debate first and engage you at your tables. we will ask you to lay out your hopes and fears and concerns and how we go forward. thank you very much.
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-director of the campaign for america's future. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. i want to thank -- this will not be the only time we will think the members of local 25 of unite for taking care of us today at this hotel. [applause] thanks for lunch. on behalf all of our partners, i want to welcome you to america aa future now. as you well know, this conference used to be called
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take back america. for many years now everyone of you in this audience has been working hard to take back america from the special interests. we also helped to develop a progressive agen that barack obama ran on and one on in 2008. -- and won on in 2008. here is the question for debate, how is it going? after three years of trial and error, what do we say about the evolving relationship between barack obama and the progressive movement? we have invited to smart leaders -- two smart leaders to have a friendly debate about lessons that shouldave been learned. then, everyone in the audience gets to participate as well. some of us thought this would be easier than it actually has
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been. obama won with a huge mandate for change, and strong majorities in the congress candidate obama's agenda was our agenda. we a know that power concedes nothing without a fight, and the special interests mobilize to stop progressive change. even the phrase take back america has now been appropriated by the key party reactionaries. they are the shock troops protecting corporate power against any kind of reform. who do not get me wrong, we have accomplished a lot. -- do not get me wrong, we have accomplished a lot workin with barack obama's, but as many speakers have said, the corporate interesthave put their stamp on are every bit 3 install on other priorities.
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we confronted the worst economic crisis and are longtime -- lifetime, and prevented another great depression, but with unemployment still obscenely high, too many in congress are giving up on job creation for budget cutting. you can say the same about every one of the fights we have been engaged in. two years ago our friend robert cutlener wrote a book called " obama's challenge." it is the idea that back obama coming to power in the moment of crisis would be a transformational time. progressives know we need a powerful moment, but many in the heart of hearts hope that barack obama would leave that movement to stand up to the cporate interests. faleery sumners, and timothy
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geithner, and rahm emanuel do not see themselves as part of the movement, and we often see them as part of the problem. i urge you all to read his newest book, "a presidency in peril." here is the questi is for debate, is this obama's problem or is it ours? what can present rigid what can progressives do to make sure that -- what can progressives do to make sure president obama does what is necessary, and how do we make sure that the guys behind obama on the cover of the latest book you not botched the opportunity for a new american renaissance of a better future for all americans? to give you our first perspective on this, let me
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introduce d'arcy burnearcey ber. she ran for congress and 2008 from washington state, and while she was doing that she organized 58 otherouse and senate candidates to campaign for responsible plan to end the war in iraq. that was unveiled at ts congress. two plays and central -- she plays an essential role in helping the progressive caucus because there are real force for change. please welcome her. [applause] >> when i was approached about talking about this, i thought i really have the ec side of the debate, saying that progressives have to do what
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ever it takes to make this president do the right thing. and having listened to the panel of people that preceded peake, i continue to think i have the ec side in this crowd. i am not here just to make you comfortable in feeling like you are already doing all the things you need to be doing, and that we as a movement are on the side of the angels because we are not doing enough. last summer bill clinton was a keynote speaker. he was in the middle of a speech about how everyone there should support the health care bill regardless of what was in it because it was so important to the obama presidency. in the middle of the speech when he was saying we should not be picky at the tails, someone stood up in the crowd and demanded that he answer a
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question about "do not ask, do not tell." his response was to say that the reason he had made "do not ask, do not tell" the policy was because progresses had not been there to pressure him to do the right thing. he was getting so much pressure from the right and no pressure from a left that he felt like he did not have any choice because he did not have the back of he needed from the movement caught -- back up he needed from the movement. our country was founded on the radical proposition of a government by the people. one of the underlying assumptions is that we will have an adversarial system in which you will have an aggressive advocates from both side of any
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debate fully engaged in the fight. theeway that congress approaches their fight is all about that at the serial system. and-- adversarial system. we are not advocating for our side the way that they're right is advocating for tir spirit and i sit in offices of members of congress and listen as a phone calls come in, and there will be 10 tea party phone calls to everyone of hours. the right has built this infrastructure that provides inrmation to members of congress through lobbyists and think tanks. we have not done enough to counter that. we have a president who was
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fundamentally a consensus builder. there are times when being a consensus builder is a very constructive thing. we need to ask ourselves what choices are we giving him for where to build a consensus when we do not fully come to the table. when the choice is between what the blue dogs once and the republicans want, we have a problem. that has been far too often the case. it is not our job to make this president or his administration comfortable. [applause] it is our job to make them do the right thing, even when that is extremely uncomfortable for
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them there a two very distinct ways that the obama presidency can be undermined. one of those ways is the way the republicans do it, by trying to keep the administration from accomplishing anything, but the other equally important way to undermine the presidency is to let them do the wrong things. w shhe, a mere weeks before the oil spill, called for offshore drilling -- by allowing that to happen, quite frankly the environmental mmunity did him in a tremendous disservice. [applause] now, am sure th does not apply to anybody in this room, but there are a lot of people in washington, d.c., who think that it is more important to get invited to white house cocktail
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parties the and it is to actually call this administration accountable. you will be glad to note that there are those of us who have not been invited to any of this cocktail parties and do not plan to be, because this is not a spectator sport. we aa movement have our hearts and the right place -- the right place, but far too many of us after the election in 2008, there were far too many of us who said our job is done, our job is not done. and this is going to be as frustrating fight. it isn't hiring fight. its an uncomfortable fight for everyone who was involvvd. -- it is a tiring fight. i have a 7-year-old son, henry, and every night i go home to him
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and had to answer to him for what kind of a country it is we are building. have i done everything i could to make sure that what was happening in washington was the right thing, even when it was uncomfortable for me, even when i kiss off my friends. have i done everything i could? we were talking about the third economic revolution. i agree completely. we are in the state at tremendous transition in terms of how economies and societies function. i take partial responsibility. but that change has a natural tenden to have well and power ecru in the hands of a very small number of people, and right nothe fact that progressives have not fully engaged in the fight is
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accelerating that process. barack obama is right about a lot of things, but i will tell you something he iswrong about -- the corporate problem is the right solution. [applause] if we as populists do not counter that, who will? we had a revolution to escape the idea of hereditary aristocracy, to found a country in which in theory all persons are created equal, and i wonder every day, the reason i go to work, whether we can preserve that? what is this idea t of governmet by the people and for the people can be preserved? that is our job and the job at the people in this room. it is really true, if we do not
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do it, who will? we have to make him. the best thing we can do to support barack obama is to make him do the right thing. [applause] >> thank you. now i am proud to introduce the winner of last year's citizen leadership award and. pplause] as you all know, she is the executivdirector for the center of community change -- he is the executive director for the center of community change. and he is an organizer. he is also an electoral -- and
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intellectual. he has are real power to bear in the fight for health care reform, jobs, racial justice, and you know the big march down on the mall on immigration reform? she was at the lead. please welcome him. [applause] >> first, i want to sit think you to roger and -- to say thank you to roger and bob. [applause] i also want to appreciate darcey who is a magnificent leader in this prressive movement. i thought about this debate, and reflected on the fact that i have been arrested at the white
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house for criticizing the administration for the lack of leadership on immigration reform. i have been an early in a consistent critic for the white house on that figure to articulate a big enough and bold in a solution to our country's unemployment crisis, especially in communities of color, and i wondered if they might be thinking over as 1600 pennsylvania avenue, is this the best they could come up with to defend us? we agreed pretty much across the board. i want to make a couple of points that i hope will be provocative. first, we have achieved much more in the last 18 months and progressives typically give ourselves credit for. the change is woefully inadequate given the level of crisis that our country faces in
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the scale of the crisis that the world, france, but we do ourselves a deep disservice by failing to acknowledge the magnitude of our accomplishments. second, the important question before us in the time we're about to enter is not what the obama administration does or does not do, it is whether we can mount and create and inspire the kind of a movement that can create a cycle of transform it progressive change in this country. the key difference between the 1930's an 1960's, areas in which we want to express its gains, and the 1970's an 1990's, years of enormous disappointment leading to a conservative backlash, was not so much whether we had better leaders in the white house, it s that we had stronger, more vibrant social movements on the outside.
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whether president obama turns into a transformative the leader, or a disappointing leader like bill clinton or jimmy carter is only partly about how you response to t crisis our country faces. it is mostly about what we do. let me pick up the first point about what we have achieved. i confessed to feeling somewhat puzzled about how much we have collectively accomplish in the progressive movement and how badly many of us feel about it. if you think back, what is the policy scorecard during the last 18 months? we have achieved legislation to cover 4 million additional kids with health insurance, including 400,000 legal immigrants. the economic recovery package, bill is in sufficient -- bill insufficient and lot large enough.
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achieve health care reform that extends coverage to more than a 4 million people and provides basic protections against insurance company abuses. this has been a progressive dream for over a century, and we finally have won it. it also represents a major step against inequality in our country, and will make a huge difference in the lives of the poorest people in the country. we seem to be poised to win financial reform legislation. each of these wins has significant disappointments, but let's keep in mind when we consider the disappointments that the aero a change in the untry has been going in the wrong direction for a very long time. not just during the bush years, but also the clinton years, which brought as well the reform, nafta, and punitive crime and distribution bills.
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it is true that there have bee a lot of major disappointments. the failure of major of legislation. the employee free choice act. four major public jobs initiatives to address the unemploent rises in the country. the fact that even with the most major environmental crisis of our lifetime congress continues to snooze on energy and climate change legislation. all of this is a disappointment, and i completely agree with darcey that when the administration fails to lead or maintains policies from the last administration that we have an obligation to speakup, speak loudly, and be critical. i would said the defensiveness of the administration about the critiques they have received from a progressive community has
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portrayed a poor understanding of the impornce of the independent movements to achieving anything significant in our country. if you believe my arguments that the change we have achieved is larger than it appears, it is also true that we have a big challenge ahead of us. the issue in my view is not mainly president obama, it is us. the central election of american history is that it takes a big, vibrant social movements to get anything major accomplish. olition, women's suffrage, none of those victories were fast or easy wins. none of them were delivered on a silver platter by a single political leader. it required psion and power and intensity from below, in each case over many decades. the problem is that in this time
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we have not seen enough progress of mass movements. there have been some very encouraging signs of life with demonstration and wall street and washington and all over the country, but it is true that the largest populist uprising on economic issues in the country, the most ovisible, have been on the right and not left. that is a problem we have to take responsibiiity for an assault. i want to give an historical example to illustrate the points i am making. and when he was senate majority leader, lyndon johnson did everything in its power to water down six the civil rights act of 1957. he cowtown to the seventh southern democrats. -- southern democrats.
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costs fast forward to the 1960 -- he roused congress and the country to action in the famous speech where he reaffirmed we shall overcome. that speech would never have been delivered unless there had been a civil rights movement that had made the moral case and force the country to take a hard look in the mirror. presidents doot create more wrote urgency's, social vements do. the progressive movement in my view has a lot to learn from today's emigrants right movement. this year alone more than 1 billion people have marched in cities around the country demandingustice, demanding an immigration reform bill and demanding the president stopped deporting half the million hard- working families each year. there has been no wave of civil
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disobedience, resolutions around the country. there has been direct action at the whe house. i was arrested on may 1. some of the marginal people in our society have the courage to go into the streets and take action and put their bodies on the line and demand change. that is what it is going to take to keep progressive momentum going over the next few years across a range of issues that we care about. last point. i'd think it is critical that progressives have a sober and realistic view of the nation we live in. i remember in all of the festivities when the president was inaugurated, the sense of euphoria you felt in washington and all over the country. it was justified, but the problem is that the election of the president was interpreted as a sweeping mandate for fraud and
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progressive change in the countr i do not think it was. i think represented a rejection of failed policies and bankruptcy-of and openness to something different but the country is still significantly divided and there are large numbers of people who hold what appear to us tbe very contradictory opinions who are up for grabs. that is why organizing and recruiting new people to our movement, not just mobilizing existing active this is the critical ingredient that will determine whether or not we win the future. progressives who think the country region who think it is only banker on politicians are in our way have one point of view. -- progressives who think it is only one view of a politician have one point of view. we celebrate victories along the way, even as we acknowledge how much further we have to go.
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thank you very meant. -- very mh. [applause] >> i am going to give both debaters two minutes to se of. >> everything he said. [applause] [laughter] >> it iit is clear the elections of 2008 were not sufficient given the crises we face. and there is a very large sets of very important problems, but underlying it all is this tremendous transition in the way theountry and the economy
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operates, and everything that implies. we will make the world knew in our lifetime. there are not that many generations of people who have an opportunity to do that. we do not have a choice about whether we will do it or not. the only choice that we have is wheth we are going to engage inand light so the world that we create is one in which every child has a better chance at life than what thei parents did or one in which we have a new aristocracy and everyone else is trying to figure out when congress is less rigid gog to let their unemployment benefits exre again. that is the choice that we have. i completely agree that we have got to create a real movement in this country. it is not enough for us to elect one man and expecting to
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fix it. it is our job. [applause] >> everything she said. it is turning out not to be a very exciting debate. [laughter] the only thing i would put into the mix is that we're probably entering a time now where it was no longer be possible to win legislative policy changes without winning the argument in the country. my own view is that on health care reform and on the recovery package we won the policy, we lost the argument. those things are still things we can influence in terms of how they play out in the coming months, but that is not likely to be the case with smaller majorities in the house and the senate and a resurgent conservative movement in the country. it is incumbent upon us to win the argument and build the power
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that it will take to win the next transformative changes in the country. this second point i would make briefly is that it really does matter what we fight for. our job is not to come up with the piece of legislation that can get the0 votes in the senate and olympia snowe is not the test of what is moral legislation in this country. our job is to make the moral case in the country for what is right thing to do and to build a constituency that can move the goalposts in the country. [applause] hollen > now we are going tot everyone involved. to manage the next process i want to collop gloria cottall ua
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totten. they are really a grassroots operation. gloria lead us to the next level. [applause] >> thank you. this is your chance to get involved. i will have a hard time calling unpeople because of the with the likes are. we will spend the next 20 minutes having discussion at your table about this great debate. you guys should have been more controversial. is it us or is it him? that is the key question. 15 or 20 minutes. then we will take your comments and questions and have an
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interactive discussion from the floor.
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>> we're going open up the floor for comments and questions now. if you have any brilliant ideas you came up with -- we really just want to take the great debate and have it be interactive. >> hello. i think it is pretty clear that barack obama has compromised on everything that is progressive. ss of things like single payer health care. he also sabotaged glass-
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steagall, which would have been an intervention into wall street. he is bought and paid for by wall street and not doing anything about british petreum. i think is apparent that if he is not going to do anythinto expropriate the british on this to are polluting our golf, he should just step down. thank you. -- polluting our gf, he should just sat down. >> i am with people for the american way. i agree with our panists as we talk about the progressive movement stepping up to the plate to polish politicians to do what we want them to do. too often, we rely on them stepping in and making the right decisions based on what our needs are instead of making sure we build the type of infrastructure necessary to
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publish and take the momentum from great election cycles and actual having infrastructure on the ground where people can plug in, use the of light -- use the energy they had during the eltion cycle to make surour voices are heard. also to push republican legislators to do the things we need to do for them to be successful. a lot of what has happened during this administration is there has been a lot of right wing obstruction. making sure we have boots on the ground in those districts and communities where we have republicans representing in making sure we hold them accountableo things like immigration reform and other issues that are backlogged. give some of our democratic friends some backbone in order to move forward. >> thank you very much for the
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generous mention of the books. i have to say people are much more eager to read and buy a book that is selling cautious hope than one that is selling benevolent exasperation. the first book did much better than the second, though it is not over. let me try to rpond to something that was said earlier. why, given that obama has accomplished so much, do we feel so bad? i think the answer is the piecemeal things he has accomplished do not add up to a sustainable winning politics. everybody in this room and millions of other peop are working their hearts out to build a movement. but you cannot build a movement between now and november. if he does not do more on jobs
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and mortgage relief, and full of things that affect regular people where they live, it all goes down the drai in the midterm. then the moment is loss and crazies takeover. that's why we feel so bad. the tight low -- a tight rope that some of a progressives what is as follows -- we criticize tim geithner, the oil companies, wall street, everybody but obama. because we feel a little bit do you see about criticizing obama. -- feel a -- goosey about criticizing obama. we play an inside game and outside game and don'tave that right yet. we have to hold this administration accountable big- time not just for peace deal things but deliver -- but to deliver a politics that is sustainable so that it does not
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get short circuit in before it has a chance to get started. we have to redouble our efforts to rebuild a movement. if you look at things a the past 50 years where we have made progress, gay-rights, women's rights, civil rights, the rights for disabled people, every one of those was the result of a movement. if you look at the areas where we have gone backwards, econom justice, that's the one where we did not build a strong of movement, notwithstanding the heroism of the labor movement. my only conclusion from that is that as powerful as racism was and as powerful as sexism was and as powerful as contempt for gays and lesbians was, wall street is even more powerful and we have to be stronger than wall street. we have to tell it like it is with our president. [applause] >> let's go over here.
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>> i amepresenting the gathering for justice. all lot of the work we do in the communities we work with are really below the grassroots, non-traditional leaders, undocumented mothers in arizona, the recent parolee or the young person in juvenile hall. all of these people are doing social justice work and might not look like a campaign, but might be in the relationship their building in the neighborhood, in the mother's circle or the youth group. my question to the room is how do we include those people in this conversation? how can there voice come into this boys of policy and business suits? the work is hpening on the grassroots, but how do they hold obama accountable? the gap is so wide that as people are not being seen an the voices are not being heard. how do we bring that into this room and hold obama accountable?
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[alause] >> i am proved that green is grn. i am out in the field in texas and nevada and oregon bringing brainpower on line to serve america. i'm putting money into clean oil, raising algy. i'm working hard on what we call the tent millennium of man and it's me we start restoring this planet. it is up and running and has been up a couple of months. u can get on the site and learn about real green things that are creating jobs and people are having success across the country. but there is more to it. bill, asng to style a opposed to the comments that this movement would not be the
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place to create a legislation, we want a bottoms up bill that by the end of this year will restore ecosystems, the forrsts, rangelands, and restore our grid so we can get green power instead of relying on a coal and gas. we want to r a campaign that will put the bill into law pad a lot of land and spend money on restoring the oceans, restoring the eco in the economy. that is the basis of that word -- it means ecology and that's the natur resources is so degraded tt it's hardly useful. we look forward to working with you on that and thank you very much for your efforts. >> >> i am with beyond nuclear, which is an advocacy group.
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that is beyond nuclear, not beyond petroleum, don't throw me out of the country at. what i would like to know, being a group that does actually call our congress people, some of whom are not very evolved and it seems like a very few tile occupation. i'm sitting next to somebody who has to call cantor, so you can now imagine what kind of thing goes job that is. i would love to hear some more specifics, not just about what we should do. a lot of us are aware but what we should do, but how to do it? my issue is anti-nuclear. we have mr. emmanuel and people like that surrounding obama and we try to get into energ planning meetings and everything possib and the door is basically closed. they do not want to hear from us and it's not what they want
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to hear. i would love to hear more about the movement building ideas that can create change on the ground and will make people in congress feel uncomfortable because they want to keep their jobs and will let obama hear from us in a way that is not blocked by his many advisers, none of them agree with us. [applause] >> i am with american income life and want to speak briefly about corporate interests. i represent the corporate interest. it may not be the one you are thinking, it may not be wall street or the fact had bankers, but there are so many progressive companies who believe in the social contract who want to respect workers' rights to organize and who believe in economic justice and shared prosperity. i would challenge this group to
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systematically make and start to include progressive businesses at a local level, a regional level come and at a national level to be partners in the conversation with our progress of partners. i say that because we have money and you have people. together, it is what will win the conversation in america. i look at financial reform and employee free choice as to examples. when we spoke out a organize 1700 businesses to speak out, it changed the conversation. with main street alliance and the shared prosperity spoke out in the chamber and said consumer finance protection agency does not harm small business, it changes the conversation. as we build capacity to win the conversation in our neighborhoods at a local and
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ate level, and then went policy battles at a national level, we cannot do it without a business with of reason and responsiblcorporate partners. i would challenge the progressive movement to start to include it systematically, not only for our money, but for our voice and sharing that with you. >> thank you for your leadership in that sector. >> i'm fromhe national community reinvestment coalition. sometimes it feels like we're concerned about pop culture but we spend all our time talking about celebrities. from awhat i took away conversation -- our orientation is a much toward the white house and those in power with good reason we forget to actually go where culture is being created. we would be talkingbout these
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things if we were into pop culture. much of the conversation at our table focused on how do you play the inside game and the outside game but also how do you move away from whiping votes around a particular piece of legislation, which i think many organizations get caught in the trap of and set out a clear vision and set of principles around which you are going to compare any piece of legislation that comes along? i would say that around financial reform and economic justice matters, we one part of the policy and i think we still have the opportunity to win the debate and continue to win the debate. thanks to bob cutler has been working on this issue for many years, that's an area where progressives can continue to put
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a lot of energy and emphasis and still win the fight. >> thank you. that gives you the last word. thank you, everyone. we're going to go almost immediately into the next session. i will ask you to hold your seats and we will bring the panelists up and i will do it quick introduction. i'm sure you will be excited to hear what they have to say. >> please take your seats. we
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♪ get up, stand up ♪ >> okk. -- ok. it is my distinct pleasure to introduce our next panelists will probably need no introduction. i will do it anyway. this next session is called the "driver in reform -- the feeding resistance." we are thrilled to have with us -- driving reform -- defeating resistance." we're thrilled to have with us ilyse hogue and markos moulitsas. t political community blog in the country. i'm sure very few of us are not familiar with it. he will soon be the author of his third book, due out in september called "the american
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taliban -- how war, sex, sin and power bind g hottest and the radical right. -- bind jihaddists and the radical right per "is a columnist, author and critical voice for the progressive movement, reaching llions of folks every day. pleaseelcome markos. [applause] >> it that afternoon. -- good afternoon. you may have seen me yesterday morning on "abc's this week." i would like to apologize for not water boarding liz cheney. you think it's a good idea, i think it's a good idea, but the producer nixed the idea. i made my name being a blunt commentator, not just talking
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about republicans, conservatives, but also talking about problems within our own internal movement. i want to talk a little bit about that and a little bit about how i got into this game and how things are changing. the story really is -- it is a positive ending, but the beginning is more harsh than it is. i began eight years ago, in 2002, which is a lifetime. think back to 2002, wn we were not allowed to criticize bush on anything. it wasn't a question of criticizing him on foreign policy, butny issue. criticizing him was showing weakness, showing division, showing a divided america and the terrorists one every time we criticized george bush. it was a very difficult time. i started daily kos not because i thought was going to become a
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big incdible community. at the time, ands such thing existed. this was when joe klein was the paragon of liberal thought in the media. [laughter] he told us that anybody who is reasonable knows that his top -- anybody who knows is saddam hussein is a threat to the international community because he has weapons of mass destruction. those were our liberals. they did not exist. for somebody like me who began the site and quickly filled an audience, i realized there was a definite market niche that was not being filled. people wanted strong, progressive voices and they did not exist. that didn't mean there wasn't a progressive movement th time. this is the beginning problem. people like me would look out and see the environmental movement and the women's movement and labour and so on and there were all in these little segmented silos doing their thing. we were divided and the
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conservatives were united and we were getting our asses kicked. there's no way to sugar coat it. everything we've looked at showed the what we were doing was not working. the people who were in charge of those organizations did not seem to understand that the world was changing and they needed to evolve. by world is changing, i'm not talking about -- talk about a conservative movement that billed itself as a unified, cohesive, holistic movement starting in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. so 30 years into this, you think we would start getting their hands that may be being in our own silo's was not working. but it wasn't coming from within our movement. in the late nineties, you had the rise of the first truly, holistic, progressive organization which was, which was started because of the impeachment of them moved on the war and gradually moved on to basically the entire progressive ser.
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you saw the blogosphere come up. it's very professional noand looks a lot different. at that time, it was very amateur and we were small and nobody paid attention or took us seriously. but we were group -- but we grew and we were holistic. the news of the democracy alliance command and to organizations cropped up that are funded by new donors. the cent for american progress, media matters, so forth. ese organizations or holistic in nature and so there was progress. we were starting to emulate what the right wing had been doing in starting to have a sense of life and hope that maybe things would get better. 2004 came and we lost. that was a good thing. at least for our movement is a good thing. it was terrible for the country. i almost killed myself. it was terrible for me. election in 04 was my son's first birthday. i thought that was going to be a
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signf good luck. instead, i was trying not to cry as i sang happy birthday. it was a bad, bad day. good thing he was only one and will remember it. but the problem was, had john kerry one, it would have sent a signal to the existing progressive in the structure that things were okay. it was a question about one time but of george bush winning in 2000. this showed that an unpopular president winning and pot -- waging unpopular policies had beaten a candidate who talks a lot, but john kerry is a fairly impressive person if you can get him to shut up. [laughter] rmally does not a bad problem. but they destroyed a war hero. they were able to take a president who was unpopular and had him when fairly easily. there may be is a problem in our movement. movement.


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