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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 24, 2010 5:00pm-7:59pm EST

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last time because is at a time in which the veto occurred. after the president cited. you could actually change the and push that again. may be questions about taxpayers a standings on some of these question. the questions about budget reform, or entitlements g these are all constitutional question. the larger questions of course, things like constitutional amendments. here i just want to say something very brief, which is that constitutioshould be part of t stregbut we shouldn't overplay the hand that i think oftentimes there's a misunderstanding about that. look at past five this moment, they did give rise to constitutional amendment. usually at first, but they should be seen as technical legal, but more as a way to constitutionalize your successful political victories. that is political, the politics comes before the constitutional
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a minute, we should be setting the groundwork for those things now and developing into what they ought to be. that's the way president reagan looked at in his second term. and we should be looking at it the same way. in general, i would just close in saying that i think we need to focus on also how tthink constitutionally. i know dave mcintosh has been thinking about as well but we have to keep in mind the kinds of intellectual muscles we're talking about are extremely weak. we need to think strategically, step-by-step, baby steps in some cases. we need to avoid self-defeating votes in debates that get us focus on things that action might take our attention away from the larger things at 10. they really are no silver bullets or easy solutions. technical argument did not necessarily always solve sutantive constitutional questions. those will be settled in politics. and politics we must a member that nothing trumps argument and
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persuasion. this is a historic moment come in my opinion, a rare opportunity where the american people step back. that means whathappens now should be seen as a setup for what comes next. the election 2012 in particular, which happens to be the anniversary of 1912. it would be a large-scale debate nationwide about where progressive liberals are ting the country. the possibility that in that debate, presidential level, possibly realigning election if you will is enormous. it puts a lot of burden on constitutional conservatives and a lot of responsibility that i think in and on other things, constitutional statesmanship, which we are to think long and hard about. thanks. >> thank you, matt. we will train next to michael greve. >> i think there are a lot of bad things that the obama administration has done. i think the worst thing is done for the country is to collapse
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in 60 seconds flat, the way democratic government is supposed to work is that if one party gets wiped out, as republicans did in 2008, they will have time to regenerate themselves, rethink their program and the premises. we just haven't had time for that, and it shows, and it's nowhere more obvious than the federalism that i've been asked to talk about. the conventional view is something like well, conservatives ought to be in favor of federalism. limits of the federal government, government is closer to the people, devolution, decentralization. and that agenda is supposed to have government, a lot of push and release on life with the latest election that i want to point out two problems with that view of the matter. the fit thing is to notice that that agenda, federalism devolution and decentralization,
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splits the conservative coalition down the middle. what conservatives think of, social conservatives in particular, that means self-government. way businesses think of is trial lawyers. state attorneys general, hellhole jurisdiction, exploitation, 50 regulators, hounding you. and they are right to think about federalism that way. the second thing is as conservatives used to moan about, unfunded mandates, washington at patches all these strings to theselimited funds, an that will ruin the state. so what's the response? well, we should have funded non-mandates on also known as block grants. these things are fun, so long as governor thompson experiments our welfare reform, but that was almost 20 years ago now. what these programs now mean is that california and new york
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experiment on our money with programs that are sustainable, known to be unsustainable, and experiment with those programs in hopes of a federal bailout. in they come as news to come we've already built out the state six times in a row now, with various programs under cover of them, they're always called bailouts but that is what they are. i will have a few more remarks on that. now, under the surface these two problems have been sort of bubbling for some time under the bush administration conservatives have a fund of dealing with it, which was where in favor of federalist except when we are against it. that will no longer do. what you now need is a federal formula that first unites conservative constituencies instead of dividing them. and second, a federalism formula that doesn't ruin the country and ideally offers a way out. we are nowhere near that.
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we have barely begun to grasp the problem. so now what do you do? therare a few constructive steps. there was a review of while ago called rogue states that have sort of seven concrete steps, things you might want to think about. that's a very good start. if you're being asked that's what concrete steps that i will give you two rulesof thumb, and one concluding thought on this front that the first thing is, i want to construct a neon sign that says decentralization does not mean smaller government. and i want to hang that sign over the office of every congressman in conress. look at the dodd-frank bill. what does it actually do? the answer is, before you even get to elizabeth warren and her fabulous commission, and this board and that board and the
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other 50 things they constructed at the federal level, this thing liberates state regulators to hound financial institutions that was in 64 have been indian from federal compared to state interferences. that means more state power. that means more state regulatory authority. if that's your federalism model, then by all means, go ahead. or is your model the federal aviation act, which liberated the airline on the regulated the airline industry by adequately preempting any and all state law relating to the services, routes, and so forth of air carriers. the lesson is this, if you manage to do anything at all for smaller government in washington, d.c., that doesn't mean the pro-regulatory constituents are get. theyere just migrate to the state that if you want to make
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smaller government state, you must preempt the states and you must preempt that maneuver. to repeat, decentralization does not mean smaller government. i want to construct a second sign, and it should say when it comes to federalism, this into the states and then do the oppote of what they say. .. if they demand more subsidies, new bonds, something of that nature, say no. if they ask for more flexibility, do not think what they might conceivably want to
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deal with their new-found flexibility. ask yourself whether you really want the flexibility. those are the rules of thumb. i have one concrete suggestion. we should begin drafting and introduce a bankruptcy code for state's right man. to my mind, that is the only problem we will have to address over the coming years, because sooner or later, and i mean sooner rather than later, some states will default on their payment obligations. most likely illinois. california is next in line. they do not have liquidity problems. the question is, how do you deal with that? the choice is art palatable -- not palatable. do you bail them out? there is not money to bail them out. at least not in the federal
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government. plus, you cannot prevent those events so long as california is allowed to govern itself and laws that incentivized reckless behavior stay on the books. suck it up. this is, in fact, what wused to do. we used to do it in the 1840s. we did it after the civil war. we did it during the new deal. the states went bust and municipalities and we just let the creditor suck it up. really we're going to do that again when the chinese show up and say, wait a minute, we bought california bonds. you have to make us whole. or when pimco stands tre and says, wait a minute, our investors are going to go bust or when the banks show up and say we ended up with all these debts on our hands or with all these obligatis. we're going to tell them to suck it up. i think it will end like europe, which did not really have a
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choice between bailing out greece or not bailing out greece. it only had a choice between bailing out greece or bailing out the french and german banks and that is an utterly unattractive choice so that brings me to the last option. you could have an orderly process to settle the accounts and to make people whole to the extent that you can. when a state goes bust it will be too late to design a process like that. it's really complicated. there's constitutional questions so i think starting that work now would be an act of federalism foresight and responsibility. >> thank you, michael greve. david mcintosh? >> thank you, thank you, matt. what i wanted to share with you today were some observations about havingerved in both the executive and the congressional branches. the ability to move towards a
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more constitutional popularly branches. and i would posit the way to get to that political unity that michael referred to in addition to the -- on the question of federalism but on other issues is well is to design what i've referred to as constitutional conservatism. my experience in the executive branch was that we were very attuned to constitutional prerogatives othe president, i asserted them under reagan and first bush. and developed a theory for not only constitutional prerogatives but constitutional limits on executive action. then shortly after that i was elected to congress and realized congress operates roughly on a british parliamentary system where there's a vague notion of a constitutional structure and we'll try to do our best based
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on the received wisdom from the senior members and the body about what we should and shouldn't be doing. very little thought actually on what powers were enumerated to the legislative branch. and as long as you did something similar to that which had been done before you, you were fine. and didn't have to think about it. so it's not surprising that nancy pelosi came back with that response. are you serious? she for all her time in congress had never had to think about what the constitutional limits would be on her prerogatives as a member of congress. i do remember that chris cox and i having both come out of that executive branch experience would from time to time be sitting at the back of the room looking at each other as a republican congress started to vote some limitation on a democratic president, bill clinton, which we knew if we had be -- congress -- democratic congress had tried to do that
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for ronald reagan we would have been fighting because it violated the notion of a unified executive. and ended up being the two lone no-votes in the republican house. having understood the perspective from both branches. that being said, what are some things that we should and can do? first, i think we need to pick up on the things that have been mentioned here by both matt and michael. and that is educate now a willing group of elected leaders about the constitution. and i just came from a federali society conference all about constitution and the modern era. and the obama agenda. and somebody drew the distinction which i think is very apt between the constitution and constitutional law. oftentimes constitutional law, as it's evolved in th courts
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ends up becoming technical, confusing and viewed as -- by congressmen as something that they are not an expert in. the constitution and the enumeration of powers for the legislative branch isomething that they can and should become familiar with. and should strive to adhere to. that's the momentum from the tea party movement where 5 million copies of the constitution have been sent out across the country in the last two years. they want government to adhere to that notion that it has limited powers and that they are enumerated in that document. the flip side of that that there is a part of our society that is outside of the government. we've taken that for granted. most of our lives. but, in fact, i think we have a governing coalition in the last two years led by president obama who believed he was responsible for every segment of our lives. whether it was government or
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private sector or free enterprise. he was the guy running the country. and, therefore, could have opinions on all sorts of things that go beyond any notion of what the federal government should do. so the flip side of educating people about enumerated powers and constitutional limits is also to educate them about the values and the benefits of keeping things out of government. what we refer to as the private sector or free enterprise but it also iludes family, churches, community groups, institutions that exist and should do much of the building up of our country. and then i have to come back to something michael really stressed. and i agree completely. we've got ado an ethic of no bailouts because with the bailouts comes control or at least a myriad of regulations. but of those private institutions.
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but you also have the phenomenon that i think is the spoiled child syndrome where once somebody has received a bailout, their behavior in the ture is going to continue to get worse. and so just as you were referring to with the states you hand them the money to bail them out of the current crisis without doing anything to change the structure and they'll be back in a dozen years with a bigger problem and more money, more request for money. what are some specific things -- so on the outside, i think particularly groups like our host today, we need to focus on ways of bringing to the discussion andping the elected leaders who now have received the message from the people we want you to pay to the constitution -- explaining what that means. but the legislative branch, democratically branch in our system can do right now to reassert greater atttion to that constitution?
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and i thought of thre different ways that i'll briefly describe and mention a couple of examples. but the first is support direct challenges in the judiciary to unconstitutional legislation. the greatest example right now is the health care bill that's being challenged by multiple states. it would be wonderful if this new congress passed a resolution saying we agree with the premise of these challenges that an individual mandate really isn't in the commerce clause or any other section of the constitution. you're seeing salami slices on mccain-feingold is well, if they can muster the courage to actually express a constitutional view of the first amendment, that would be another area where they could be very helpful. second is legislative awareness or oversight that matt mentioned. i think in addition to looking at particular progra and the way they are operating and
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asking the constitutional questions which is critical and was delighted that matt included that on his list of suggestions for peop, i think they should also hold some oversight or hearings on what are these constitutional provisions? what does it mean to have enumerated powers? what is federalism and our proper role in that? what is the commerce clause? and historically, overexpansion after the new deal and what should it be in modern america? what are limits on the spending power or the taxing power? to continue to bring to the fore in people's minds, these are important issues that we need to think about. and then the third one is legislative action. i have two favorites. one of them is -- was mentioned earlier. it was the extension of the congressional review act that don nichols and i worked on in 1995. what we found is that that
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really only works when you've got a congress of one party and a president of another coming in. and the president of the same party coming in and reversing the decision by the previous administrati awe saw in the ergonomics rule at the beginning of the bush administration. so the current proposal, it takes it to the next step and flips the presumption. and it's important to step back and realize the pblem that's being addressed here, which is essentially one of violating the nondelegation doctrine. congress not being specific enough and clear enough in its delegation of a legislative authority is one symptom of that. frankly, whether they should have delegated that is another issue that i think this addresses. the procedure it does is to say for important rules before they can actually be binding on the public, we're taking away the delegation. they have to come back and be approved by the -- by both houses and signed into law.
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so when you have the clean air act spelling out that there will be 100 different major regulations that have a huge impact on the economic system in our country, congress can't simply sit back and we'll toss all those issues to epa. the biggest impediment to that are the sophisticated groups in our society that have spent a lot of money lobbying the clean air act and have confidence in their ability to lobby the epa once they know they've gotten the deal that they can live with, they don't want another bite at the apple. either by their competitors or other interests. so they essentially don't want to have to defend the final rule back in the legislative process. you're going to see that frankly with a lot of largeorporations who invest a lot of money in having very good and sophisticated lobbying groups here being concerned if we've reached an agreement essentially with the government on how much regulation will that be done.
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my proposition to them and there should be anoer panel and another debate is that if we correct the nondelegation problem, you'll be just as well off as you are now because you're sophisticated about this and there will be less of a problem of overregulation by government. the second one is the funding limitation. those very important words, none of the funds appropriated in this act. and that is a way in which congress can very effectively assert its view of the constitutional proprietary of the program and maybe while they're going through a rewrite of the underlying authorization bill. and so i would encourage members in this new congress to think about areas where there is a strong question of the constitutionality, an appropriateness in of a program. use that spending power to put a break on it and then engage in the debate and fix the
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underlying law. with that, those were the things that i wanted to share with people. thank you. >> all right. thank you, david. i'm looking at the clock and thinking that given many people's interest in constitutional matters, this is the panel i think where everyone in the room can have some expertise. i'll just throw it open to questions. and we'll send the microphone arenas. -- around. yes, all the wayn the back there. >> this is for michael greve, on the issue of municipal -- not municipal, state bankruptcy legislation, i think that is an absolutely brilliant suggestion because it would really focus attention on the public sector unions and the difrent arrangements in the different states. and one thing i've learned recently looking at this, is in some states you have the
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benefits and the contracts are constitutionally mandated. whereas, in other states, they're not and they're actually trying to pack away at them. but so ithe face of this enormous admiration to actually see that so that the creditors could understand what trouble they might be in if there were bankruptcyi would like to know, number one, has anyone ever thought about that in congress? has there been any movement towards doing that? and i'd also be interested for one or two of the topic examples in which the states have already been bailed out from problems. >> thank you for the warm endorsement. there have been discussions about this -- this step in the 1930s. well, since you asked, that led to what is now chapter 9 of bankruptcy code which governs municipalities, states.
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-- states were on the agenda but were exempted on account of unanticipated constitutional problems so i want to bring this up again. the reasons why i want to raise this now and bring it up now is, of course, precisely -- i mean, one of the reasons is the one you mentioned. short of bankruptcy, there isn't any way of getting out of the legacy costs. because the public union contracts are either constitutionally protected or protected by state supreme courts under ordinary contract prciples you can't get out of them unless these people make a concession sua sponte and what david mention creating a bailouts. one of the premises of the american federalism which is really unique, no other federal
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system in the world, is that we will not bail out states. it's a long story how we got to that poin and created this credible commitment against bailouts. it comes out of the 1830s. it held through thick and thin through american history that i believe it's now gone. the bond markets -- if you look at the rates and the ray the bond markets behave, nobody believes that. we won't bail them out. why is it that illinois can borrow money at all, let alone at 7%. come on now. i mean, everybody is betting on the bailout, right? so rolling out sort of a bankruptcy code for states in full regalia and saying, no, we're serious about this. that sends a signal to the bond markets, no, we actually are serious about our once upon a time commitment and to make these people a little more hazard than to drive the states
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more hesitant to drive thselves. into the ditches. as to the bailouts that we've already had, one of the reasons for obama-care is it's a -- it's one large bailout for states, right. they will shift it into the exchanges and be done with them. that yanks $500 billion of obligations off their books, hallelujah, that's one example. the american recovery act or whatever that was called, that's another one. $23 billion, they tossed out, you know, for another bailout, that's the third one. schip, when it was originally passed in 1996, whenever it was under the clinton administration, right, that was a de facto bailout because you took kids off the medicare accounts and they put them under a more generous program. the increases on the fmap on the medicaid and those are
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additional examples and on and on it goes. >> next question, yes -- yes, back by the window. >> rick again. what do you think about -- i know there's this court case or court cases going on, on the ability to recall a senator using state law. can you comment on that? i think that in combination with instant runoff-type voting called rank choice voting or -- it's kind of like an elimination round type of approach. that would basically -- you know, you list your first candidate, your first candidate loses your second choice would apply. your second choice loses and your third choice would apply. that's basically the way it happens in the private sector. you can recall a worker at any time. and then when you're hiring somebody, you don't just get one choice. you have several choices. if muhammad doesn't want the job, you give it to karen. karen doesn't want it and you
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give it to lorenzo, et cetera. >> any of you care to field one or both of those questions? >> i think -- actually, the recall -- on the recall question, i can say it just doesn't square with the constitution. there are three ways to get rid of a senator or representative. if you count death, it's a fourth. >> three constitutional. >> right, three constitutional ways. they retire, resign, they are defeated for re-election or they're expelled by super majority of their respective houses. i can recall, oh, more than a decade ago a movement afoot on arizona to recall john mccain. it got nowhere and i think that -- that if the attempts were seriously made in any
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state, senator representative would be quite safe in ignoring it, no court would enforce it. the leadership of the houses of congress wouldimply ignore it is well. on the second question, i think that alterations in our traditional plurality voting system first past the "post." there are many alternatives that are proportional representation and so on that are perfectly constitutional, square with the constitution but would have serious effects on the two-party system. and we have to think hard about whether we want to jettison that. >> and i would add, as an example thking creatively in this moment. you'rebsolutely right with the recall not squaring with the constitution but i see no reason why and i would encourage state legislatures to actually subpoena members -- to come back and explain their votes and perhaps explaining what they've been doing. they would turn it down. they wouldn't do it.
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they are perfectly legitimate straight from the muscles so to speak of thinking constitutionally and not assuming which has been so long the case that these are merely legal questions. legislatures, at the state and federal level, i think, need to flex their muscles a bit. and even if they won't win the battles it shows they e thinking outside of the box. >> it's an interposition that even a federalist could get behind. [laughter] >> other questions? yes, here. >> jack park for michael grev for the state bankruptcy receivers like jefferson county, alabama. [inaible] >> and the second question, one would think, you know, on a 2,000-page bill like the -- [inaudib] >> there wouldn't be a delegation problem. in fact, at last big -- nothing but delegation. and once the regulations come
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out, the standards for evaluating them, chevron, are not favorable to challenges. is there anything we can do to reinvigorate either, a, the nondelegation doctrine or -- [inaudible] >> the standards under chevron? >> you want to go first? >> i'll try to go first. this is precisely -- i mean, that's why i sort of caution -- i mean, this is one of the reasons why i said, look, let's ink about this now. it's actually a horrifying thing at some level to think that a state could end up in receivership, in bkruptc receivership, right? just like a municipality. yeah, there are serious constitutional problems. but i wouldn't -- i mean, let me put it another way. i believe that we will renegotiate the american federalism bargain as a result of this crisis in a fundamental
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way. i do not know what federalism will look like when we're done with it. but it will look nothing like what we're used to. we will have to do some and contemplate some very, very dramatic changes. i'd be happy to elaborate on that. there's only one aspect of it. but if we just sit there and say, oh, no, we can't do that because of states rights, yeah, ll, then you're back -- what's your alternative? they ran you back to the unpalatable alternative of, you know, bailing out banks, you know. in a made-up proceeding where the only certainty is that the guys from goldman sachs will sit on all sides of the table because they always do. but everything else is up for grabs, that's not a good thing to do. you know, or, you know, create some real chaos out there so let's think about what an orderly process bankruptcy life would actually look like.
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on the delegation issue, i wouldn't look for that for a resurrection of that doctrine anytime soon. i will, however, say this. i'm no an expert on 2400 pages of obama-care or however many pages that was or for that matter, i will say this. there are dozens and dozens of agencies, boards with very poorly defined authority, bizarre appointment procedures. >> more than dozens and dozens. >> more than dozens and dozens fair enough. i didn't want to exaggerate here, okay? i don't think it's out of the question at all that in some of these big enactments, there are real viable sort of separation of powers and appointments, challenges lurking. there are certainly some in dodd-frank. that i'm confident of. obama-care -- i just don't know sort of how that beast works.
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well enough to answe to give you any specifics. but that rather than the pure delegation challenge is what in legal terms i would look to. >> let me just add to that a couple additional thoughts. one, obama-care is an interesting and unusual example in that it was passed and signed into law without consensus among the american people that it was good policy. and that failure to adopt has continued. and we saw that expressed in the most recent election. so you now have a congress that at least in part no longer supports the policy and a president who does -- part of the answer will be the next election. will it continue to be something the american people are rejecting and want their leaders to reverse.
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the otr part -- i think we have to be careful as we look at mechanisms like the she hachevr doctrine and where it causes problems in other context. so the one i favor and it may not be expect as they've written it but it's a good start is this ins act that says congress is going to -- four different regulatoryrocesses bring them back for a legislative -- basically affirmation, basically an up or down vote where basically the agencies would have the force of law. and i think that's a good way and in other applications so i'm not troubled by it having momentum simply in the health care context. >> a quick pnt, matt? >> yes, i want to make a quick point. i agree with what's been said especially michael with the death of the doctrine of
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delegation. i would just keep in mind that's in sync with a legal doctrine and a political doctrine. which is to say right now the political argument about delegation is alive and well but they don't call it and there was a rejection of the notion of these bureaucrats are running our lives and we didn't vote for them. i think congress has a huge opening here to act legislatively and put things in motion like the rens act that actually force some responsibility and openness and transparency into that system. that is a revive -- that's kind of a political revival that i'm talking about that i'm talking about that some day might have some legal implications. >> i think we can take one more quick question. >> the hard question. >> i think it's so refreshing to hear a discussion of the constitution that's not al about the supreme court. but i'm going to ask about the supreme court.
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i don't have people suggested the justice sotomayor in her conference hearings had to ape regimentalist remarks and what has that suggest that they n the public debate about the constitution? >> i think it does suggest that, david? >> yeah, i would agree and actually it's become such an issue that there's polling been done as you described the regionalist position or limited judiciary position. as obama's view of judges doing what is just and between the particular parties. and it's 2-1 in favor of the originalist and limited judiciary. now, the courts are s up to be insulated fr popular opinion. so whether justice sotomayor having expressed it in her confirtion hearings will actually lead to decisions based on that is another question.
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[laughter] >> every kind of encouragement would be good. perhaps she can be invited to keynote next year's federalist society my colleague. -- meeting>>. we've had some interesting debates. it would be great to have her. >> it's good to have been reminded today that our constitution creates not only a limited government but a government energetic within its limits. and i thank all our panelists. i thank again art >> the u.s. capitol live the day before thanksgiving. and democratic rep has been elected to at third term in a northern california congressional district. the reelection means no california congressional seat will change party hands. there is still only one house race left to be called, and the
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first district. congress is all for the holiday. when they return monday, they will focus on the ethics hearing of charles rangel. censure is recommended commack and if approved, -- is recommended, if approved, it he will have to hear it be charges read aloud. members are expected to take up food safety when they return. you can watch the house to live on c-span. and the 112th congress will be sworn in, and including rick crawford. he will be joined by terry suell, anita da silva.
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>> these are some of the programs c-span is airing thursday. jeffbridges talks about his work. jane goodall on her love of nature. chief justice john roberts. and later, a discussion on justice john paul stevens. and bill clinton presents an award medals to tony blair. thanksgiving day on c-span. >> with polling data from eight arab countries, james zogby discusses his findings. it is part of our extended holiday weekend of nonfiction books on c-span2. >> a discussion in u.s. foreign
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policy and economic policy from this morning's washington journal. this is about 30 minutes. decade alone, the world has changed dramatically, the rise of non-islamic terrorism and the widespread distribution of digital technology, the financial collapse. amid this enormous change, what do you think the leverage that the united states has for foreign influence has? guest: well, the main lever in international politician today is economic power. it's not that military power doesn't count. it still does count and it counts a great deal. but the major change in world politics from the 21st century where we are now to all previous history is that g.d.p. or gross domestic product or economics now counts more than
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military might. and, susan, here's the proof if you can have proof in this business is that for the first time in history we have a global power that is not a global military power. and i'm speaking of china. that's never happened before. if you were a world power or even a major regional power it was because of your force of arms. be and when we look at the emerging powers today, there are countries like india and turkey and brazil whose economies are just sprouting. host: less gelb has written -- les gelb has written a piece. u.s. foreign policy for the age of economic power. if you allow me to -- it's available in the new foreign affairs issue of -- if you're
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interested in reading more, and we also have it linked on our website. you hearken back to the global policy approach used by presidents harry truman and dwight eisenhower. will you talk more about that, please? guest: yeah. it's really interesting because when you enter a period like this for a country like america, great country like ours, people say, how does that mean, how do we readjust our foreign policy? and the fact of the matter is that our two presidents after world war ii, harry truman and dwight eisenhower, conducted a policy almost precisely along the lines i'm talking about. they had three principles. one was that our domestic
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economy came first, that it was the basis of our diplomatic power and our military power. if we didn't have a strong economy we couldn't play an important military role in the world. so make sure we continue to build up our domestic economy and build up the middle class. and they did that. secondly, they said we have to take care of ourselves first but our allies and best friends second. so they concentrated american resources on western europe and japan. and they made those areas of the world into flourishing domestic free market economies, democratic free market economies. and when you added the power of western europe and japan to our own, we had most of the power in the world of all kinds,
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military, economic, diplomatic. and it meant that even if the soviet union and communist china made some gains on us here and there they could not defeat us. we had that basic underlying strength. and third, they didn't disregard military and security matters. not at all. but they said the way we'll handle them is through containment, deterrence, economic and military aid and through international institutions like nato, the world bank, etc., which we created and which we led. so the kind of foreign economic policy i'm talking about has already been done and done successfully. host: well, let's -- i want to introduce phone calls, twitter messages and also emails. we welcome your participation with leslie gelb joining us from new york city. before we get to calls, let's take your thesis and apply it
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to the situation we've been talking about for the past 45 minutes and that's the korean peninsula. everyone knows the basic facts. in fact, it involved harry truman who you point to as an example. we fought a war there. the south korean economy is booming. we have a trade situation with them over beef imports. talk to us how an economic-based foreign policy could change the balance of power situation there? guest: i was afraid you'd ask a smart question like that. look, the situation in the korean peninsula is mainly a military and security situation. and that's true for many parts of the worldike iran. i'm not saying those problems, those security problems go away. what i'm saying is this -- underlying the situation in the peninsula as mike green said before, we have a south korea
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that's become a terrific functioning economy. they're doing really well and they're a democracy. in the north you have a regime that really is -- except for its military arm and oppression -- falling apart. they're a mess. so over the long run there's no question who is going to win, our guys. but the problem is get tore the long run and that is a problem because the north is a nuclear power. they're sort of crazy in the risks they take and they have the largest standing armies in the world. and the reality is this and everyone on our side understands this reality that if fighting broke out that both sides, north korea and south korea, would be destroyed within 24 hours. and so even though we don't like it, even though we can't
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stand the regime in the north, our ally in the south, the south koreans, don't want to have this war because by winning it they would be destroyed. so the trick is for us to contain north korea and to hold on long enough for them to collapse. it was the same theory that george kenan, truman and eisenhower applied to the soviet union. contain them. contradictions within their system would eventually get bigger and bigger and they would ultimately collapse. and that's what we're planning for in north korea as well. host: for les gelb, our first call is from michael, democratic line. caller: good morning, sir. number one, i kind of see the united states where england was in the late 1800's where they had the strongest navy in the
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world but yet they were on the economic decline. i mean, would -- if you look at the 21st century today, with the world going back to a state of multipolarity, with the united states in debt to china for trillions of dollars and with the rise of the other nations, how does america find its place? particularly since the economic engine is declining. we're going back to where nontraditional powers are rising, as you said, before. guest: we're still the strongest power in the world. militarily no one touches us. we spend more than what the rest of the world puts together. in terms of the operational, technology capability, no one is near us. china is decades behind us.
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economically we're still the top economy. we have about 21%, 22% of the world's g.d.p. china has about 13%. and they have half a nation living in total poverty. so we're still number one. but we're not as strong relative to others as we used to be. and that's mainly because our economy has declined. its vitality, its promise. and because people feel that our political leadership is no longer capable of making the hard decisions to keep it a top economy, the best economy. i think our decline has to do on that. host: in your piece you point to where presidents in an earlier age used global strategic values to promote the economy. for example, eisenhower's interstate highway program.
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another example could be j.f.k.'s space race for strategic positioning againsting the soviet union. i'm wondering what opportunities do you think president obama and modern-day presidents in general have to use strategic goals to spur the economy at home. guest: yeah. i think the key there, susan, is this -- to explain to people what they really know and what they understand as soon as are you say it which is our military power in the world, our security in the world depends on our economy. we could not play such an influential role if our economy is sinking. so you're telling the american people, let's concentrate now on restoring our economy on revitalizing it. that's essentially what the presidents did in the examples you just cited. look at this. the soviets launched sputnik.
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american politics goes crazy and say, oh, the soviets are going to take us over. they launched this sputnik missile. and einhower very cooy and calyaid, wl, the way we'r goi, the way we stay on top is to improve our education in math and science. and so instead of doubling the defense budget, which is a lot of people were calling for, he doubled the budget of federal help for math and science and it paid off. it really paid off. and later on when theoviets principle creasing their military budget he said the best way to deal with this is to build highways and railroads in the united states. so that in the event the soviets ever came after us we would have strategic mobility here. as you said kennedy often turned international crises into arguments for making sure we're strong at home
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economically. and, susan, the truth is every time i talk to people about this they agree. they understand. president bush has made this point. president obama has made it that our military power rests on our economic strength at home. i'm not saying anything we haven't recognized, but i'm saying something we haven't acted upon. host: next call is from bethany, oklahoma. ron, republican line. good morning. caller: thank you for accepting my call. thinking back in past, macarthur and -- firing macarthur in the middle of the korean war back then when truman did that and stopping paton from going, taking on russia and putting them in their place kind of reminds me of joshua and caleb in the bible when moses was talking to
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them. i believe as a nation we need to pray for peace but we need to be strong. we can't make the same mistakes we made in the past and allow the countries to push us around. kind of libeling -- kind of like the tail wagging the dog. we need to be strong in our economics firsthand. and our air force can handle so many of the conflicts around the world without wasting our troops on the ground. i truly believe that. the korea thing is coming up again and slapping us in the face. we fired macarthur when he wanted to deal with it way back. and deal with the chinese and put them in their place back then. they were our enemy then. they crossed the border. they slaughtered thousands of our -- my father was a soldier. my brother was a soldier and i'm a soldier.
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i still pray for peace. and i believe we were in iraq too long. we've been in afghanistan too long. we need to hunker down at home and be sovereign here and take care of business here economically and hold strong and build our nation back up. host: mr. gell shall, what do you think of -- mr. gelb, what do you think of that? guest: well, this caller and i are on the same wave lengths length. we need to maintain a strong military and we do. as i said before, no one comes near us, no one can touch us militarily. but we are way overcommitted militarily. we've been fighting two wars. there's a threat of another one with iran. there's a threat of another one with north korea. and that stretches even our mighty army, navy, marines -- marine corps and air force.
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the caller is also right that a lot of these conflicts should not be managed by pouring in u.s. land forces. we can deal with them from the air and with commandos, but we immediately start pouring in the ground troops. and then, boy, we don't want to get out until we win. and then, you know, finally -- i'm all in favor of being firm, and right now i think the south koreans and president obama are being firm. the south korean president lee said that if they have any indication the north is going to attack again, the south will go hit north korean bases first. he's put them on notice. president obama has sent a carrier battle group to the region and, boy, that's a formidable operation. and the north koreans, i assure you, will notice it. those are good, firm military
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reactions. but as far as starting to fire bullets and drop bombs is concerned, as i mentioned before, the underlying and basic reality on the korean peninsula is this -- if war starts both sides get destroyed. not only the bad guys in the north but our friends in the south. host: next question, daytona beach, florida. john, independent, good morning. caller: hello, how are you today? host: very well. your question or comment, please. caller: i have a comment and it's time for a little truth if you guys can handle it. north korea is in a bad situation economically is because of america's global imperialism and our economic blockade of their country. and iran and afghanistan are not wars, they're occupations that will last well into the next century. global imperialism by america is constant, never ending and
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never will stop. now, this is the truth. we have no natural enemies at all. that's right. we have no enemies. the best ning to happen to north korea and south korea is for them to unite, like vietnam did. when vietnam expelled the french imperialist and american imperialist. that's the truth. the united states needs to cut back their military spending which is insanity since we have no enemies and america was complicit in 9/11, of course. and complicit in the rise o al qaeda which is no threat to anyone. the t.s.a. screenings and such at the airport, this is all meant to decrease the freedoms that -- if we ever had any -- of the american people. it's not to guard against terrorists. host: all right, thank you. guest: i wish the world was
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like john described but i don't believe it is. i do believe we have enemies and states and groups that want to do us and our friends and allies great harm. and we have to act that way. host: les gelb has thought about foreign policy and has been involved in it from just about every angle. his bachelor agree is from harvard. he's written numerous books on the topic. he has taught at places like wesleyan university, worked on capitol hill. he, as i mentioned earlier, has been in the state department and also the defense department . and for many years in various positions both as a columnist at "the new york times." he spent a number of years at the council on foreign relations where he is now the president emeritus. as we were talking about still writing and very much involved in thinking about foreign policy. his latest piece, which is the subject of our conversation, is in the new issue of "foreign affairs."
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u.s. foreign policy for the age of economic power. for les gelb, lookout mountain, georgia. good morning to linda. republican. you're on. caller: hello. good morning, mr. gelb. and thank you, c-span. with regard to the china economy. north korea's economy is less strong and borders china. if that might be so, then china's primary interest would be internally to continue to remain focused on their g.d.p. rely on north korea as a strong military force, could one say that? guest: yeah. i think there's truth in that. from the chinese calculations, which we surmise from their behavior and sort of from what they tell us, they don't want the north to collapse because they feel that it would become
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a basket case, there would be refugees from the north streaming into china and it would become a massive problem for china. so they're trying to prop them up. but also they don't say this. it's part of the strategic game. and north korea is their ally and they don't want it to lose because in effec china is seen as losing. so they play this double kind of game. they tell us they're trying to tamp down north korean aggressiveness. and on the other hand they don't do very much to solve the problem. host: let's put some numbers on the screen. just looking at this administration's request for areas of foreign policy, both diplomatic and military. the white house has requested for f.y. 2011 $56 billion for foreign aid, including $4 billion for afghanistan, $3 billion -- aid to pakistan and
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afghanistan to combat al qaeda. and $2.6 billion for iraq programs. and for f.y. 2011 is $708 billion including $159 billion for afghanistan and pakistan strategy. leslie gelb, do you want to comment on those numbers? guest: those are good numbers. i would up the pentagon budget a little more than you have, but i would make it about $740 billion-plus because i add in expenditures for things like the energy department, which is involved in making and maintaining nuclear weapons. and i would say to round it off the pentagon is spending about $750 billion which, as i said before, is almost as much as the rest of the world put together. and the administration, the obama administration is not cutting it -- the pentagon
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budget is going to be reduced, but county fact is they're planning on increasing it by 1% and % a year for the next five years. host: the next call is from truth or consequence. great name for your town. caller: hi. it seems impossible to me the kind of message that north korea is trying to send to us may be off the mark. more than likely that the message is for their own population. thank you. guest: yeah. this caller raises a question that fascinates me. how do we know what's going on in the north? and he's saying, well, maybe what they're doing, their aggressiveness, they're torpedoing the south korean naval vessel in march, they're attacking this island now, maybe they're doing it for internal reasons. that's one of our theories,
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there is an internal power struggle, the succession power struggle going on there and they're showing they're tough against the south in order to strengthen their internal hand. that could be a reason. or it could be that they want to resume bargaining with us and they're doing it in the crazy way they've always done it by starting out with military threats. but the truth is for all the $85 billion a year we spend gathering intelligence, we don't have the foggiest idea as a matter of fact what's really going on in the north or why they're doing it. it was the same in the vietnam war. and these very important issues, our intelligence isn't producing the kind of information on motivations that we need to make good policy. host: next is california. carol is an independent. you're on, carol.
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caller: hello. i want to shift this subject over to iran and see how this reflects back on north korea or a policy towards north korea. . there should be as a distinction between war with iran and bombing our grandpas nuclear facilities. -- bombing or rent's -- iran possible nuclear facilities. it would fix a lot of problems in the middle east, and the unintended consequences have been so minutely examined, i think there are very few left to
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consider. what effect would this action is that of ron what happened with the rea, what message would ascend to north korea and how could it affect north korea's behavior and the relationship wi them? thank you. host: anything for the color? guest: yeah, sure. this caller raises a bunch of questions and makes a number of points that i hear from americans all the time. these are kind of the questions we ask because we think that everything that goes on in the world is something that we ought to solve. in the case of the iranians, i talked to a lot of the iranians. the iranians we want to help. the last thing they say it to do, the last thing they said it do -- say to do, is for the
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united states to attack iran, because they say this would drive them and it would have to drive them into the arms of the ahmadinejad and other bad guys we want to remove. the country iran would unite behind the bad guys. on top of it, it would likely unleashed a wave of terrorism in the world, the likes of which we have never seen. in the case of korea, the first people to decide what needs to be done in korea are our allies, the south koreans. they live there. it is their lives, their future. we have got to first and foremost listen to them about their peninsula. if we overrode to them, if we
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disregard them and said, "let's just get rid of the north koreans and solve the problem once and for all," and the result was, and the result would be, that assault would be destroyed -- that the south would be destroyed, that to save the south korea we destroyed it, we would never have another ally in the world. so i would like to get rid of these bad guys. they are awful to their people and they are threats to our friends, allies, and ourselves. but we have to do it in a way that does not end up punishing our friends and allies more than they're being heard now. host: on twitter -- guest: ha. i get frustrated by the same thing. i think the south koreans dug in
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their heels to much on the trade negotiations and on the trade pact, and i think they should have given more on the economic side in order to knowledge our 50-plus years of providing them with security. i think it is all one bundle of wack. i am n sure what happened in the bargaining, but i hope that the south koreans will realize it is in their interest and ours to have this trade agreement and for them to bend a little. host: arizona, linda, republican, good morning. caller: i wanted to make a comment and ask a question. number one, the world said we would never allow this to happen again. 3 million starved to death. where are the people of the world? no. 2, in -- just a second, i lost my thought.
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oh, yeah, what happens when you drop a bomb on a nuclear facility? what really happens? guest: the last point, what happens when you drop a bomb on a nuclear facility -- it depends on the nuclear facility. but there is a danger in many cases that if you do it, it will let loose plumes of radiation that could be very, very dangerous killers for hundreds of miles around. that is another consideration. now, as far as your frustration with what goes on in the world, boy, do i share it. but that is the curse of a foreign policy. and the more we think that we have to solve all these problems, the greater the curse will be. host: earlier you talk about china's growing economic might and add comments that their
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military was not growing as exponentially. justin in tampa emails -- guest: i did not say that china's military power was not growing and growing very fast. i said we were still way ahead of china militarily, and we were decades ahead, and i stand by that. but your caller is absolutely correct that china is moving forward on the military front very fast, faster than any other country. but they are way behind. it is not just a matter of buying some arms. it is protecting them for operational usage, integrating them, a whole bunch of things
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that will take them decades to begin to match us. they can put a navy in the south china sea, and they are building up a very big one, but it is no match for the united states navy. host: i would like to dig in a little bit more on the non-state threat from, for example, islamic terrorism. you write, "terrorists willing to commit suicide are another propition entirely to the can destroy ports and trade towers with conventional means and can inflict untold damage if the acquired nuclear material for a so-called dirty bomb. in their time, roads and to risk could be controlled in moscow and -- roads and terrorists could be controlled in moscow and beijing." guest: it is the hardest kind of
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got to deal with, -- hardest kind of threat to deal with, people willing to give up their lives to kill others. you can walk into any real red station with explosives strapped- any railroad station with explosives strapped to you, and the technology has reached the point where they can cause enormous damage. you don't even need to clear weapons. but when you have people willing to do this, who bought such hatred in this regard for lives, it is -- who have such hatred and disregard for life, it is hard to run them down. any expert on terrorism, and the counter terrorist -- any counter terrorist, will tell you that the main weapons we have to use against them or intelligence, finding out what they are doing, it will trade them, listening to everything they say, and secondly, could police work. -- good police work. as far as going in and
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attacking nations, that is the last resort. if we found out, for example, that iran was sponsoring terrorism against us, that would be another matter in terms of taking military action against them. the same thing in afghanistan. when we knew that afghanistan was harboring al qaeda, al qaeda was responsible for 9/11, we went after the taliban government in kabul. that was the right decision. it is a whole other question whether we should have stayed there and fought a major land war. but to go unpunished them for being involved in terrorism -- but to go and punish them for being involved in tourism was the right thing. one thing to remember, susan, is that most nations and the world are cooperating on intelligence and police work, even russia and china. host: boston is up next for leslie gelb. doug is a democrat. caller: greatest military and
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the world, using a half-million dollar missile to knock out a mujaheddin, and this monstrosity called nato should have been disbanded. the only reason we are in afghanistan is that they don't want to admit that a person wearing pajamas and wearing flip-flops' is against the united states, and as for the demonization of iran, everyone knows it is being promoted out of israel. that is all i have to say to you have a nice day. guest: well, susan, i hope you invite me back so that we can talk specifically about iran and afghanistan very complicated stuff. but iran is not just a threat to israel. the imagin of iran as a major threat -- imaging of iran
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as a major threat is not just israeli propaganda. it is a fact. saudi arabia, which does not happen to any friend of israel. host: mason is a republican. caller: let me identify myself. i am a republican and i am black. i am concerned about this keeping our economic strong. we are living in a country where the democrats malate contra boo -- mainly contributed to do things that hurt us, billions on the economic level, house and have-not -- haves and have- nots, rich and poor, and the racial division.
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the current president thinks he is strong enough militarily in carrying out our military function to convince the rest of the world that we will defend ourselves and then other countries -- and defend other countries. at the same time, economically, we need to strengthen ourselves within and unite -- either bring strength on these ethnic groups, three ethnic groups, white, hispanic, and blacks, but blacks are the main one and we need -- he need to work with and encourage blacks to strengthen themselves economically, and that will help the country become stronger economically. guest: i agree. host: with that, we will move on to rhode island, becky, independent. caller: mr. gelb, i do believe that gross domestic product is important, but we see that the democrats in control of our government -- i used to be a
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democrat, and organizations like council on foreign relations advocate that the u.s. be bled dry, from the working poor and middle class, at any means of supporting themselves and maintaining freedom in the economy and our lives. i'm sorry, but this global list dream of "if we just make china out very wealthy, they will become a responsible government" -- that is simply naive. we need to focus on the united states and bringing our jobs back, and yes, they can be brought back, and stop coddling wealthy countries. we are giving foreign aid to the wealthy countries like india and china. we need to bring the focus back to ourselves. i believe china provided the facility to north korea up to serve as a distraction. we need to demand that china start being accountable for its
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neighbor north korea. guest: well, i used to be president of the council on foreign relations for 10 years, and i did not advocate any of those things the caller seems to associate with the council. as she has heard and as i have written my whole life, the first priority has to be the strength of america at home. our education, our economic competitiveness, our democracy. i don't want jobs to go abroad, either. i'm not in favor of that at all. we have lots of different views inside the council on foreign relations. but i don't think any of them wants to see america weakened or jobs thrown away to other countries. host: last call, jim, democrat'' line. caller: i don't think force should ever be applied for
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anything. that is one of the reasons we got in trouble in the middle east. i know isolationism will never work. we are a global thing. we are all in this together. and we are so hung up on the no. 1 in everything, especially when we are no. 4 in education, and it is not the way to go but up priority should not be protecting our country so much to the way to protect our country is not through -- we shoulour party should not be protecting our country so much. the way to protect our country is not for force but negotiation. guest: well, we are not fourth in the world among industrialized democracies and education. in math and science, we are no. 20. that is how far we have slipped. we are even less if you come to
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proficiency in language and history. what that means is two things. one, we are losing economic competitiveness. if you don't want jobs to fly away to other countries, we have to have educated people here at home. that costs money. that involves discipline. the second thing is, it weakens our democracy. you don't have an educated public, they turn on cable tv and listen to all that nonsense there, and there is no basis for making the judgments that democratic people must make. host: last comment from you, if you wouldn't mind, just to put this at niin context. there continues to be a debate, sometimes a partisan one, about the concept of american exceptional debris can you tell us what you think about that philosophy?
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-- american exceptional some. can you tell us what you think about that philosophy? guest: i am of two minds about this. i believe in american exceptionalism. we have been an incredibly exceptional country. no other country in history has ever taken in the immigrants we have come from all over the world. it has been a great strength. we resuscitated ourselves every generation by bringing in people from abroad. we do have a real democracy. it has gotten out of hand now, but we have a real democracy. we are the only real leader in the world, we are. there is no other country that is prepared to make any sacrifices to make major assistance to others -- countries and civil war, countries facing human rights, countries facing economic needs. we are always in the lead.
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if we're not leading, if we're not strong enough economically to lead, nothing gets done. in that respect, i think exceptionalism is good and important, not only to us, but to the world. but when we think that exceptional aism means we ought to be able to do anything we want or ought to be able to solve any problem, then we get into trouble. peaceleslie geld's latest in "for an aff >> here are some programs c-span is airing thursday. jeff bridges talks about his work to reduce youth hunger. jane goodall on her love of nature and animals. chief justice john roberts, and lawyers discussing the impact of
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retiring supreme court justice john paul stevens. president clinton presents the liberty medal to tony blair. that is thanksgiving day on c- span. >> this week marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of president and the. -- president kennedy. we will talk to to people protecting him about the conspiracy theories. >> the settlement moratorium fund of israeli construction in the west bank and others are stories coming out of the middle east. a delegation from the washington institute recently traveled to israel, palestine, jordan, and israel, and provided an update. this is one hour and 30 minutes.
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we were returning a few days ago. over the course of the next hour and a half, we will of a chance to discuss our observations and findings from this trip, and to discuss with your question sfax about what we discovered and -- your questions about what we discovered and where we think the u.s. policy is going. just a few words of backgrounds about the trick that we took. this is the institute's 25th anniversary, and to mark this important milestone, a broad range of trustees of the washington institute joined the
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three of us to travel from cairo to oman to jerusalem to room a lot. i would very much like to express our gratitude to the government set of egypt and jordan, israel and the palestinian authority, all of whom been over backwards to welcome and accommodate us throughout our trip. this is a very busy time in the middle east in many different respects, and we really were treated warmly, roiling -- as it were -- with great hospitality in every venue that we visited, and we express our gratitude to the leaders and advisers in all those places. i would also like to officially think the u.s. embassies and consulates.
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they were across the board helpful and considerate with their time and their personnel, often running interference for us when we were trying to make arrangements and confer meetings and hosted us and provided the news for us to meet with a broader array of political diplomatic and cultural figures in those cultures. i am quite grateful to the fine american diplomats in that part of the world. as a set at the outset, i traveled along with my two colleagues who are here, david r. wright, a distinguished fellow and director of our project on the middle east peace process, and scott carpenter on my left, scott the director of our project devoted to
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amplifying the voices of mainstream muslims in the context against radical extremism. we're joined at various parts of our trip by a roving band of washington institute scholars who happened to be in the middle east for various reasons. quite proud that when we were in oman for our brief one-day visit, we were joined by two who had been in jordan as unofficial election observers come out one with the democratic national institute, and david with the international republican institute, observing jordan's parliamentary elections which were six weeks ago today. we had the benefit of their on the ground insight into that experience. and in israel, but we were joined by two other senior
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officials of the washington institute, one doing important public opinion polling work in the west bank, and another who joined us after visiting lebanon and ended up his trip in israel, and i think he went -- i guess you can go to part of that country -- and the mess on the tail end of that trip. that is all by way of background to what we did. we traveled for eight days. it is that the first time that we had traveled so we will well burst with the people and the sites that we visited. we met with very high political figures at every site. i like to say that we met with one king, two presidents, for
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milli -- four prime ministers, and more navy brass that you could wave a football team. and then we went beyond officialdom and created settings for us to meet with political activists, liberal activists, thinkers, writers, cultural leaders, journalists, scholars, and we did this in egypt on a couple of occasions, and we had a chance to do this with palestinians, and then a chance to do this quite extensively with israelis. we tried to get beyond just the official line, as it were. let me offer a series of my own brief observations and then i will turn to scott and then to david for their on more specific observations about egypt and
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about the israeli-palestinian arena. there were many surprises. i will not going to to many of those, surprises like the extent to which egyptians view the situation in the as being at the very top of their national security agenda -- the situation in the sudan being the very top of their national security agenda. the most important impression that we came away with is the sense from both arabs and israelis, it is important to note that the arabs that we met with -- the arab leaders committed to the peace process, firmly on america's team. we did not go to damascus or beirut. we didn't go to other middle
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eastern places. we were in cairo and oman. what is clear is that both arabs, these arabs and israelis, are longing for clear american leadership. to confront regional threats. especially but not solely for iran. everyone were asking the same question, where is america heading? what is america's objectives? does the withdrawal from iraq mean the withdrawal from this part of the world? what is america's real goal with revelation to a run? is the containment of prevention? we got the sometimes with fingers wagging, such as the speaker of the egyptian parliament who set 30 years ago, you americans were carelessly --
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you carelessly lost the shah and now today you may carelessly lose egypt. and then we got a friendly, warm embrace from the king of jordan, who was eagerly, almost plaintively wanted to know where america is really going in this part of the world. it was clear to arabs and israelis that tensions were unexpectedly strong and biting at against iran, and it welcomed that, but it was also clear that no sanctions are having their ultimate goal, which is triggering any change or even rethinking our grandpas nuclear policies. nuclear policies. we heard from arabs and israelis alike about the growing iranian
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influence in the arab-israeli a redneck, whether home loss -- arab-array -- arab-israeli agreement, whether hamas, or others. even beyond the discussion of the nuclear issue. this common worry dominated discussions with every leader with whom we met. secondly, we were impressed by the fact that there seems to be the foundation for real politics in this part of the world. i am referring specifically to our visit in egypt and jordan. in egypt, holding parliamentary elections later this month, we met with courageous reforms who
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offered a message of liberal change. in jordan, where were your wife to days after their parliamentary election, which was -- where we arrived two days after their parliamentary elections, this was a positive note. the jordanians permitted international election observers to monitor the election. we had quite an exchange with the egyptian political leaders about the importance of their agreeing to universal standards for elections, including the role of international monitors this election. the pushed backward and continue to push back as we followed this closely in the last few days, pushing back on everything but the religious freedom report to further requests for international monitors. but beneath the official levels we were pleased and emboldened
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by the idea that there is real politics beyond just what you hear in the newspapers, that there are many people eager to engage in real politics in these countries, and this is part of the good sign of something that we ought to be encouraging. third, wn you travel in israel in the west bank there is and easy -- erie coma -- eerie calm. despite the missiles looking down from syria, lebanon, and gossip, and the reality that there is considerable hamas activity on the ground in the west bank, there is remarkable calm. israel is experiencing the lowest level of terrorism ever
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in the west bank. for all the international condemnation that israel suffered from its wars in lebanon and in cause of it in 2006 and 2009, with the passage of time it certainly appears that israel has succeeded in deterring both hamas and hezbollah. and if, perhaps when, war comes again on those fronts, today the idea projects a level of confidence that it is preparing to deliver the swift crushing blows that either was not capable or chose not to do in those earlier conflicts. and perhaps it is that level of confidence combined with the aftereffects of previous conflicts, -- one hesitates to say it kept the peace -- but has perhaps kept deterrence operating.
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fourth, the sense of tranquillity is felt in the west bank as i said earlier as a result of several key factors. the security sense is opera to the security fences operating and it works. one can debate different aspects of that but it clearly works. the continued presence -- it is much less is thahad reached -- then in the past. they've taken sizable troops out of the west bank but there is still an idf presence in parts of the west bank, steer periodically they operate at night time and various palestinian urban centers. less so than before, but it is performing what they consider to be important missions. thirdly, a remarkable improvement in the palestinian authority. i'm sure david will talk more about this. and fourthly, the development of professionally trained
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palestinian security forces working constantly with israel in a way that even goes beyond the level of cooperation that we had in the old days. they're much more sober levels of cooperation, the training under general dayton and now general muller, has clearly has a maitre -- a major impact, and even at a political and strategic level. on this. paying, -- on this point, there are clear decisions taken by palestinian leaders about the and by ability -- in the viability -- inviobility about
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israeli targets. there are obstacles, not least is which the need for peace diplomacy to catch up with on the ground progress. i do not think anyone in the left with the impression that there can be no linkage whatsoever between the eventual peace diplomacy and the improvement in security. but it is important to note that this improve its security occurred -- that this improvement in security occurred in the period in which there was zero diplomacy. we're talking about the total absence of israeli-palestinian diplomacy for about 20 months, except for the two-week period beginning in december. even with that, there has been remarkable improvement. and cooperation on the ground.
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my observation here is, yes, the diplomacy eventually has to catch up, but we should not underestimate the depths to which the israelis and palestinians have internalized the wisdom of maintaining security and security cooperation in the west bank. fifth, compared to will recent trips in the region, everyone in our group came away with very positive impressions across the board in our meetings with palestinian leaders, who radiated optimism -- or at the very least, did not radiate a traditional complaining, demanding, "what have you done for me lately" mood.
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much more positive in terms of self-reliance, internal development, in terms of -- the entire ambience across the board. we're talking about the high political level, the president and his advisers, the prime minister -- just generally a very radiating, of very positive, upbeat mood. it is not though -- it is not as if any one segment concession. no one on the palestin andian -- no one on the palestinian side signet concession. despite the fact that there are no negotiations currently under way, despite the fact that it has been 20 months since any serious engagement, you had this
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up meet -- is up be buoyant mood. that is -- this upbeat, buoyant mood. this is nothing to take lightly. the process of institution building has taken hold, there's a lot more now -- palestinians have lines of credit, if they have -- they want to build on, and this is something that was a very tangible plus. sixth, our trip concluded with meetings with israeli political leaders, prime minister, the president, other members of the inner cabinet -- just at the moment when it appeared that the united states and israel were on the verge of resolving, at least
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temporarily, the settlement issue in a way that should clear the path to the resumption of peace talks. in our meeting with the prime minister we went over in great detail the substance of this understanding which is still not yet finalized. and it was clear that his hope was that this will finally put to rest the issue that has reared its head now what time is now at least in the 18 months and prevented any diplomacy, any negotiation. he made it important distinction about how the u.s.-israel agreement is different than the previous moratorium. first demint point merely to say that the agreement was not finalized.
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there remained important things to cross about what the united states is proposing -- we can get in a greater detail. but it is not an extension of the previous moratorium, because it was unilateral. this moratorium, should it come to pass, is the direct result of bilateral u.s.-israeli agreement. an inherent part of that agreement is that the end of this moratorium, the united states will not ask for an extension of moratorium. at the same time, he specifically dampened expectations that during the 90 days in vision for this moratorium, anyone should expect to start break through, that suddenly an agreement on
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borders, agreements on territory, an agreement on security is going to emerge during this 90 days. he underscored his view, which is, there's a lot of groundwork denise to be done on the security issue, -- that needs to be done on the security issue, which is israel's first order of priority in real engaging with the palestinians, and that it would be a mistake to believe that before day '91 arrives, there will be an historic breakthrough on these issues. it is, i assume, the belief that progress can be made to keep the parties engaged at the table, and the light at the end of the timing -- tunnel will be bright enough that it will maintain their commitment to continue
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negotiations. but he was very clear in trying to lower expectations about what is possible. on balance, and with this i will conclude my remarks, on balance -- overall, there are some very positive trends which deter -- which deserve greater trends -- attention in washington and nurture. the dominant message, however, remains -- come back to washington and ask your leadership where they are going. we are to a great extent dependent on american
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leadership. and while the middle east has been a high priority issue for your administration, the arabs and israelis say to us, from the very beginning, and what your president has made important speeches and statements, we still do not know on fundamental issues, of war and peace, of security and stability, we still are not clear about where your government is going. and so that is the message we will be bringing back our leaders here in washington. scott. [applause] >> i like to welcome you here. it was a great privilege to travel with them. their experience in the region is much better than mine. i i learned from them. you get to learn a lot about
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people when you travel with them. i have to say, their ability to go beyond 24/74 a long period of time was very impressive. i wanted to share tidbits from my rationale and thinking about why was that we visited cairo first. we did choose to go to cairo first. i think the rationale there was obviously egypt, as the most populous nation in the region as the most populous in terms of -- and growing population, the challenges in terms of its economy, the role that it played in the middle east peace process historic plea, it was the best place to start in our 25th anniversary in commemoration of the celebrated
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peace between israel and egypt. we knew where we were going first. we did not know when exactly we would arrive in egypt. we've had been planning this for a long time and the date kept shifting around as we conform to everyone's schedule. we arrived in egypt right after our elections. right before the egyptian elections, and precisely at the time in egypt where the ruling national democratic authority is struggling with its candidate selection process, and if that were not good enough, at the precise moment where the obama administration is trying to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the peace process. for that reason, for example, if we were unable to meet several leaders because at that moment,
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they left. to come here. the quick take away is that the countries that we visited, my impression, was that the egyptian leadership is the least confidence. it projected the least confidence in itself come but that the level of participation in foreign affairs but also domestically. official egypt seemed intent on convincing -- betraying a sense of normalcy and in all of our meetings. -- portraying a sense of normalcy in all of our meeting. but in my view, they projected weakness and lack of confidence. i think this is centered fundamentally on the degree to
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which all of egypt is focused on this transition period that is coming up. there is in my view a level of attention and concern related to the transition in egypt from officially jumped -- offical egypt that is creating an insularity and worry about how to affect this? it will be the first transition in 30 years in this country. there is a great deal of lack of uncertainty as to how things are going to workout. that is the context under which we arrive. what we wanted to talk about is we're egypt was going, of course. we wanted to get their impressions on the obama peace process and the initiatives that
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the administration was taking. but mostly, we one of the sense of where egypt is going. what is going on in the political sphere, with the aspirations of the government, and where they hope to take it. instead we really heard almost exclusively about the peace process. i want to talk about two things. one, this impression that there was a weakness in their ability to project in foreign affairs, and secondly, about the insecurity that i thought they are feeling at home, and clearly demonstrating at home. as rob touched on, we met with parliamentary folks, the speaker of the parliament, we met with people in the ministry of foreign affairs, we met with representatives from other institutions within the egyptian elite. we met with egyptian business
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people. we were hosted for dinners where we were able to talk with lots of cross-cutting those, but mostly within the egyptian elite. and then we did meet with some liberal reformers and i will touch on that in a second. the most impressive thing for me, one key indicator of this was that we met -- this was parliament, we not only met with the speaker but four or five committee chairs of various committees in the parliament, including the education committee chair, the investment committee chair, privatization -- the number of others. in a meeting of the people's assembly and the eve of an election, we could not talk at all about anything related to domestic affairs. it was all about the peace process. not only that, but as rob was
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saying, about the american lack of leadership generally. this notion that somehow the united states was contributing to the marginal insulation of egypt in the region. in particular, the sense that we had in our policies contributed to the rise of iran. it was not the normal rhetoric about saddam hussein and then you took down the taliban with rival, no, we told the shah to leave tehran. going well back in history, the rise of iran was our responsibility for telling the shah to leave. as robb noted, the take away from that was that we had better
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be careful that we not lose egypt in the same way. on the peace process, what was interesting to me as they take away this is -- as they take away was that the leadership in each it seemed to like dynamism on this issue. when we met with the minister of foreign affairs, an explicit statement -- if there was not progress, they would pursue the arab league initiative, which would be to help the palestinians go to the security council and seek recognition from the security council. if that did not work, and the u.s. used its veto, they would go to the general assembly and ask for a general recognition there. knowing full well it would just create a great deal of embarrassment for the
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administration and would not get anywhere at all. this approach in public in an mediate disavowal of the process in private, which struck me of an example with the this was lacking. the sense that because the president seemed to be week after the elections here, somehow they could pressure the obama administration to twist netanyahu's arms and do more on the settlement issues. again, while fully recognizing that that would probably not going to happen. sudan, another example. on the one hand, the united states is powerless come up that loss, we're not doing anything, but all in sudan, please -- it
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is of paramount concern to --. the united states must intervene to stop the referendum from taking place there. on the one hand, this notion that the united states was powerless, but in the case of sudan, asking that the united states intervene specifically to do something about the growing problems, not in the north, but in the south, from their perspective. on the hole in the area of foreign affairs, i sense that the egyptian establishment was looking to lay the blame for the egyptian marginal station at washington's doorstep. the other thing striking to me from official egypt was, even in our quiet time with various elites, you could not have any
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conversation about domestic issues. weather was labor unrest, any candidate selection process, no one wanted to talk about any of these sensitive issues. this was a large departure from previous trips i have made to egypt where you could talk about there is a great deal of circumspection. this in security? when we would try to talk, we would rurn to the peace proce ss. it proved nearly impossible to get anything on this issue.
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the dinner i attended was organized solely with only talk about the peace process, which was educational but proved a it of a disappointment. i was most struck by the person who spoke the longest, one of the chairmen of the investment committees. our delegation in consisted longley of new york -- largely of new york investment capital. it is a bit of famous opportunity. i wanted to not get into issues related to the electrical process are what is happening in egypt.
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he tried to give the speaker to talk a bit about domestic observers. that discussion was stiff armed , unfortunately. thankfully, we read able to meet with members of the egyptian civil society and political activist young people who expressed a couple of different sentiments. one was that what the national democratic party was doing was its own a fair -- affiar. -- affair. it does not happening within broader society. they need to invent some critical process to make a
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better for them. we also heard this. this is on the whole dialogue with the egyptians on where they were going in terms of political and domestic reform. another message that was clear is that egyptian civil society is not looking to the united states to lead it in any way. we need to do what we can change things. it is something we should seek
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to nurture. my overall impression was that egypt is completely and entirely focused. it is worried about to ensure the plan which seems to be just around the corner. in the meantime, a restless population is looking for a change. expectations are rising. the ability to deliver services is that keeping pace for t. everyone we talked to seem to be holding their breath. that is not a recipe for confidence in international affairs. without a successful resolution of these internal dilemmas, the ability to be a creative and
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energetic partner of the united states will be sharply limited in any endeavor we choose. thank you. >> thank you. it was a delight to travel with both of you. they brought this trip forward to fruition. without her and her team, we cannot have done it. i want to thank her and my colleagues. keeping with what rob said, i am sure he wants to talk about jordan and more of the top we
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got from the keen to, which was very upbeat. thegoing to focus on israeli/palestinian issue. rahm mentioned some people we met. b mention hoss -- ron labeo some of the people we met. abbas was very welcoming. [unintelligible] we are trying to new people's the renault officials. i would like to say my main impressions. let me say a word on the end.
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one is the ground cooperation. i tried to get data. they have some hard facts. i would like to talk a little bit about what is going on in the ground. i see it driven by a few factors. one is clearly a converging interest between israel and the palestinian authority when it comes to hamas and limiting them from acting in the west bank. they got a call there was a little bomb factory. 10 people were arrested. it is not done for our benefit. they said it was true.
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the operation is fantastic. there is an over arching convergence of interest. one is clearly what i would say culture of accountability. that is a driving scene of the prime minister. you cannot really speak of a bottom up without a top-down approach we are doing this because of it. there are a key element here. it depends on your point of view. some people say feed do things of this self interest in mesa tactical -- less tactical.
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it is sustainable over time. no one thinks the government is building a two-stage solution. i sought in a positive light. i will take of the bullets points. i think be pressing the signs, 1700 new projects have been completed and implemented. 120 new schools have been built in the west bank. you do not need this idea of double shift.
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there is no more double shift. 1,400 kilometers of water and networks, 15 new health facilities. 1,700 kilometers of roads paved this is a big issue. a big focus. 50% tax revenue collection has gone up. a 50% increase at the time of a recession. it says that the institutions are starting to work. on economics, and a drop in dependency on foreign aid. - one went right into the
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budgetary support. next year it is 1.2 billion. i do not see people facing these things. they think this is a case they can make even for a republican congress. poverty in has decreased by 1/3. unemployment is trending down. there is 8% to 9% growth. what is the main on securities? 73% of palestinians say security forces were for the palestinian people. their graduation exercise is attended widely by family. this is something that has more and more by the end of the
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public. 63% say they feel secure in their own town. according to the commander in 2007, there were 700 shooting incident in 2007. in 2009, it was down to 19. this year, we thought the number was even lower. most import lane is the corporation -- importantly is the corporation. the training is done in the e iman -- yemen area. there is not been one case and then using firearms against israelis.
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they have been reopened. you have heard me before. this has meant that preachers who were agitating for suicide bombs have been removed from mosques. it is an effort to start reforming the colleges where they train them. this is an important mosque initiative. it is one the most important part is going on. the israelis from a few years ago. it is at 43. it is devoted to the west bank. there is this cooperation.
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israel has reduced rates. for the palestinians, the numbers went to 0. there are statistics on an average 24-hour time frame. the palestinians will say 0. the israelis will say we share intel and that their son that they cannot share. i think it was the security doctor. there is no pelorus them. they are no malicious. there were some elements of the quartet. if the war willing to compromise on.
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they were firing. i do not think they are trying to arm themselves. you can look at going back. that is just in terms of data on the ground. where are we now on the 90 day issue? i know this is a knowledgeable audience. what can we say we know? in the middle of last year, the parties were finalized. the texts are coming out from the u.s. but if there were four points in the tax cut. some are pretty minor. some had been worked out. there are some issues not in the text that kept the shadow.
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if the air not done quickly, -- if they are not done quickly, it could leave things to unravel. what are those non-sexual adams -- non-textile items? i think it is clear that he made hillary clinton a verbal assurance that during the 90 days there is been meaningful progress on the territorial issues. it to be done in parallel. it may negotiate them. i think it'll be a parallel set of agreements.
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as you can imagine, no surprises there. the u.s. has a clear verbal commitment that there will be progress. i do not think anyone believes that in 90 days you can solve the territorial issue. i think this is meaningful progress. the administration believes that without this, it is keep looking at the issue differently. he calls in the light at end of the tunnel. i think that is accurate. they believe that the settlement
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issue of a difference and they will not be asking for another extension. water these non textile issues? -- what are these non textile issues? to keep them from joining a six, the ministers clearly conveyed a desire to ramp up housing in east jerusalem. no one is arguing about it.
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the united states administration can only recommend to congress about these a 35 planes but there clearly, if you like some hedging that if it did not that it will come from somewhere else in the budget. i assume that part is not clear there the eighth fallback understanding on this so he can present to this cabinet that it is hell or high water the third elements is that they have been hearing reports that he is not as much focus on the territorial issues. they do not see it as walking back. it is very hard for a washington
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audience to understand this. i thought i needed to drill down what exactly the concern. israel believes that the main asset is the border and terceira asset. clearly, if your focus on security and borders, will the chips be useful on jerusalem refugees? netanyahu talked about progress on all fronts. everyone wants progress. everyone in this room was progress. the question is, what is doable? that is where you get into some people trying to get him not to use that phrase. is this a semantic point? it is semantic, the administration will live with it. those are the issues.
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people will say that you wrote about this. does this mean it is off? i believe it will come up again. this is the one issue that the palestinians were concerned about. he said israeli troops to be braced there. it is a traditional arrangement. you could try to read between the lines. how did netanyahu played this politically? the papers say that 14 of the factions that signed a petition? my team has come up with 10 names that we say have sign on to this position. whether it is in our 14 is sizable. what does he do?
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i think the efforts could escalate. it is a time -- cited the times th he cannot reach an agreement. not bother reading him. he clearly has a future as a public speaker. who knows. they tend to come back. i when not where that out. of the fishing could escalate. for some believe they started to late. you did see a situation that the demonstrations will circulate. what does he do? tactically, he is done something that is useful for him. he is going for a round of talks.
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what it has done is that it has kept the more recalcitrant evidence. that was when the biggest lessons. he has 28 seats for them there is no threat against him this way. you can say they got into terry l. conversations. anything could happen. . maybe they have a conceptual understanding. this of the a huge move.
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it would tell people about the contours' of a deal. how he juggles it is something we will see. it i clear she has been offered something or there has been hence. it seems it is more as a fifth wheel. if you want to join, fine. we are of business people. then you buy a majority shares. what she once has not attacked the car. they have an understanding about a common destination.
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>> i agreed that this will always be the number-one issue. there is redundancy the facing to be sacrificing feet in their -- speed in their country. is it because of this famous warned that people are talking about? we do not have the source of operational questions. clearly, and the issue, we were told 70% of the defense. they can pay -- play this game.
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it is crucial. i think he said it well. the sanctions are working. they are pleasantly surprised. i will focus on a provocative way to end predell. it is in terms with the role. i felt the news had not reached all the corners of the middle east where we were. we raise the questions. i tend to think that what could happen is that netanyahu may emerge as the lobbyist for the arabs in the new republican congress. he will cut off egypt and jordan and israel.
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he emerged as someone that tries to work with republicans who met with whoever is there. he met with them very early. he may say to be careful. it is easier for him to do it. t.think he might do it for the netanyahu is summoned boys they may listen to. that was an idea that i'd bounce around with people. i did not feel the full news of our midterm news permeate. i think that is a little peace
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to end them. thank you very much. [applause] >> if you could use the microphone in the middle, press the button and identify yourself. >> thank you for a comprehensive look at the situation. i like to pick up on something you said about the general feeling of calm on both sides. did you get into any discussions about how long that calm could be expected to
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continue with out. progress on the front? >> this was a common discussion. we had with the israelis and a political level and military level. nobody would offer and how many months and weeks. i think i tried to relate with the general consensus that no one suggested that these two trends were totally independent of each other. there is some linkage out there and.
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he has said, we will deal with the situation as it is for the. no one gave a date for the most positive assessment is the one i gave you. it is remarkable that this has been achieved in a time when there is 0 diplomatic engagement the argument they need diplomacy to get this started is not true. it is false to a system that it can go open ended, especially if the perception is that whatever narrow door might be open will be slammed shut. what does that mean? imine to have time in front of us when the parties can gauge.
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-- engage diplomatically without fear that it will collapse. that is the case predell. will it take is to the end? i cannot give you a time frame or not. it to be a function of the perception of the possibility of diplomatic engagement they clearly have not reached the low point now. they may have good reason. they have not reached it. there is clearly a long way for them to go. this is a hopeful assessment that i come away with. >> you are a seasoned observer of the israeli politics.
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do you think the netanyahu has a map in his pocket that he is going to be willing to put down? is there any sense that what they are looking for is a security treaty that will be formalized in? >> i do not know if he had a map in his pocket. you have to look at where the blocks are. the roughly converges exactly with the israeli security barrier. 92 sermons on the other side. -- 92% is on the other side. you have to assume that.
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i look into voting records. the settlers have voted to the one. if you want to drill down, i did do it, report. i got every settlement on their vote. i'd think most people would say if he could get a block he could get 80% of the settlers. the remaining 20% are scattered. we can get into this for them it is too soon to know. he may try. he does not know. he may have a problem 1c opens the map. that the become a code word for
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the opposition for them and makes me believe there is a back channel that would enable them to make a lot of progress. i tend to believe him for them he has told other that he sees a changing radically -- radicalization. he tells people that the palestinians will probably blow it again might have learned in .he past for th
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the need to have a strategy. who wants to expose himself once and expose the political capital. she can fracture it. she fears lieberman that if he fractures to assume, a lot of the rights will go with him. agreement of 1998 ford people the right to abandon him. his decision making is there yet.
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if you say give me one piece of paper, someone said they have it for you. this is what i think he does not want to give even the will not be presented, that is the way he feels it will be perceived. this is a day. he is at a crossroads. it of the interesting to see where she goes. the second point about the treaty is interesting. there is a zionist at those - ethos of self-reliance.
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others say it still be a hop, skip, and a jump three deterrence policy recruit a deterrence policy. some say that as defeatism. some will say they can all work together. a do not think we are there yet. >> will we see more israeli discussions?
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one way to get around the decision question is the old which are notits to the, deposits to the other side. it is important to note that despite israel's will earn a reputation for leaking, the conversations between the president and the prime minister have been extremely close holds. they have been very well kept between them. they have kept their level of confidence on the types of
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levels, stations they can have with each other. yes, sir? >> thank you for that for the. >> how has the movement -- is it on their radar? has it impacted the way they are working on their countries? is this entering their calculus at all about to deal with it? >> no sure -- in short, no. i did not see there is a relation one way or another. i do think that there is more of a sense with in egypt and have
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that scope. there is still more space than there was before. there is something there. i do not think what is happening is pulling in the domestic political debate in either country. >> did you get a sense of what
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specific expectations they have about the u.s. leadership? it is not engaging. they have done a fair share. >> if you are looking for consistency, you are in the wrong business. regardless of what people thought about the invasion and 2003, everyone was concerned about what the message of americans withdraw from iraq has meant. does this mean that america is decreasing the assets in the persian gulf? are they decreasing it with a run -- iran?
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are they decreasing ability to restore security and give them greater opportunities to spread the influence? we heard that across the board. we heard the cairo speech was excellent. where was the implementation. it could be forced. perhaps even formulized the takeover. where's the united states?
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the region is not moving in a positive direction. the isolation strategy of previous years sapodil. they will make the pilgrimage to damascus for t.
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>> they have made efforts. they have huge influence in the world that i cover and that we both live in. are you going to try to get that message out? >> i will be in los angeles next .eek a coc
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i do not you say there are no issues out there. i saw there is the report. the western world has no connection. i have issues, too. i think there is a terrorist. and i think it see it was the of the era town council. these are things we need to be vigilant about. i think it is one metric. i think there are 30 metrics
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need to look at to give us a better picture. abbas' hope is that they reconvene the committee. i will still go across the country. someone wi say there is a photographer and a meeting between president obama and net and yahoo! in march. that will give more attention than 100 memos.
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it is not matter. symbolism is important. mr. not pretend it is the only metric. i had seen these in a broad context. outgoing to keep speaking across the country and give the of dates when i can. >> i think that is exactly right. this is an evolutionary process. we heard positive reports about changes in moscow mos -- in mosque supervision. both of these things occur at
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the same time. that is why any good analytical work. then we will come over here. >> you have to press the button. >> what about the rule of the muslim brotherhood in egypt? >> what a striking to me is that the government has been tracking it down.
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i think the number is over 1200 at the local level. it is for the government to be able to show that the success that the muslim brotherhood had 2005 that the public support has dropped significantly. that is one of the narratives that will come out from these elections. we had a session here yesterday or refocused on each attendee
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election ship them the brotherhood voters are perhaps the most hard-core. they are the ones who strive the hardest. the vast majority of egyptians are the politicized. did get the 2005 elections and conclude that the brotherhood did reach the peak in the ability to produce results, it only succeeded in getting less than 20% of the seat from th. it will create the challenge the do you cannot allow other liberals to emerge in
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competition. the muslim brotherhood for now does not seem to be a political threat to the egyptian regime. >> is there any discussion of gaza and the egyptian approach? did you meet with people? how wide a spectrum did you leave it? >> my question is, what is your reasoning for why it is that
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netanyahu is not taking the initiative and leading toward peace? while we not act on it? -- why will he not act on it? >> i will leave my colleagues to correct me on this. now that i think about it, and all of our meetings with officials in egypt, i tuna remember -- i do not remember gaza featuring heavily in the discussion. it is much more focused on what the united states can do to get the israelis back to the table. i do not remember anything on efforts to do more or to promote palestinian reconciliation between the authority and hamas.
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>> this was a highlight, watching a diplomat at the height of his power to produce lead. -- sleep. >> we are grateful. some want to cut diplomatic water boarding. that is another mter. i tend to talk to the people. we are very crunch for time.
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e, t hatcting for peac is a fair question. back not and now a new project netanyahu's seems to agree on the objective. -- president netanyahu's seems to agree on the objective. you still need a strategy for the objective. you can avoid any sort of head on collision. he knows the politics best. i hope on both sides that there is more of a conditioning of the societal landscape. i feel that is really missing. i had a lengthy back and forth on the state issue. i said i him many times.
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i know your answers before you are going to save them. when you do not give a justification of why, they fill in the blanks for you. they will interpret your lack of a rationale as meaning you think the jews do not have rights. you may think it is doing it because it has to be worded in a way that should stay with the jews. for the eve caveat is on finis fadel issues so as not a backdoor way for them. he may say it is a bargaining chip. these are all things people can relate to and fix. we do not give any reason, and the people who gain are only the right-wing people in america and israel who interpret it. this is something he needs to
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fix. these are historical and legitimate claims on both sides. thre is some way to get at people's angst. sh is afraid he will unleac underminet iwlt will his coalition. we need that to get people to believe again after what happened in the 1990s. we all know why each side feels jaded, but without the support of the middle, leaders cannot do it on their own.
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they feel if i and knowledge what the other one does, it put pressure. that is what i look of the missing piece. >> let me close with two comments by to the people with whom we met. i thought these were very important in a broader spectrum. top chief ofrael's intelligence to after giving his briefing about intelligence threats included for the first time included 100,000 missiles.
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it was a strategic threat to israel's well-being. it is right up there with a run -- iran nukes. in a different way, and that samedea a good by the prime minister of egypt. the san that israel -- they said is struck everybody with his comment that said the conflict if we are not careful is in the process of morphing into a jewish moslem conflict. -- jewish/muslim conflict. it will take of our power to resolve. this is from someone with no interest in having this civilization no clash dominate the way people and his country
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in the region view regional politics. he is on the wrong side of that. i thought it is important for all of the upbeat messages that we come back with. it is important to underscore these very powerful messages, one from israeli and one from arab. thank you for joining us today. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> to provide coverage of public affairs and nonfiction books. affairs and nonfiction books. it is all availabl

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