tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 26, 2010 1:00pm-6:30pm EST
idea when it is used the way it was used in the chrysler and gm cases, as though this is one thing on which, as a stephen knows, we do not agree. what i will do in my 10 minutes or so is very quickly talk about three things. one is the car cases. the second is the resolution, so i will just be following on some of the things stephen talked about, and then whether or not bankruptcy would be a good solution to a state's financial crisis. just hypothetically speaking, if there was a big important state with serious fiscal problems. i know stephen has some problems with this as well. the car bankruptcies were not done in the traditional chapter 11, negotiate, do a reorganization, fashion.
they were done as a sale of the assets under section 363, which is why they were referred to as 363 sales. this is not unusual in contemporary bankruptcy. lots of companies are dealt with street into 63 sales. one of the fun things is that they sort of flipped the academic dialogue on its head so that people like douglas baird were the big champions of these sales and bankruptcies douglas said markets work. we now know that we do not need chapter 11, you can just use markets to solve these problems. all of a sudden when chrysler and gm can along, he started saying i am not so sure that is a great idea. these 363 sales undercut bankruptcy. just to be mean to a fellow panelist, stephen six years ago
wrote an article about this issue, 363 vs chapter 11, and said, "we should be set thi suspicious of a model that issues negotiation and traditional reorganization in favor of sales." now after the fact he says, yeah, sales, everybody is doing them, so why shouldn't the government do them. >> even if everyone is doing them -- the my >> this is true. the only person who has been really consisted about this is the person who said that 363 sales were corrupt before 2008 and in chrysler and gm they were all so corrupt. this ought to be the treatment, that car bankruptcies has really complicated the discourse in bankruptcy scholarship. inside the world and outside of it, the general objection to the
sales has been that they seem to violate absolute priority, particularly in chrysler its seems the senior creditors got stiffed. they were supposed to be paid first but they only got 29 cents on the dollar. employees got a lot more on that, trade creditors -- that actually is may be right, but it is not really the real problem in my view in what the case was. the real problem in the case is we do not know if absolute priority was honored or not. and the reason we do not know is because these sales were structured as auctions. they were first of all sham sales, and they were also sham auctions. the auctions were structured in a way that it was essentially impossible if you had wanted to go head-to-head with the u.s. government and put up a competing bid, it was impossible to do that. the rule in the two cases was if
you want to make a competing bid, that is fine. anybody can make a competing bid as long as you do the same thing the government did. as long as you promised to pay off the employees and the trade debt. you could not, for instance, come in to the chrysler case and say we see the government's $2 billion bid, we would like to pay $2.5 billion. you could not make a bit like that. so they were ostensibly auctions, but not real options. so we simply do not know what everybody ought to have gotten in those cases. lots of problems. the cases have created -- they distort credit markets, particularly with respect to important industries where you might think the government will come in and do something like this again.
they potentially distort chapter 11 because they distort what private parties could do as well. one of the things i -- >> can i embarrassed myself again, mr. skeel? >> as long as you promised not to embarrass me. >> you run no risk whatsoever. i run a considerable risk. chapter 11 evaluation he is -- in order to have that happen, you restructure the financial arrangement of the corporation. there are two different kinds of creditors in the world, the secured creditors and the unsecured creditors. the secured creditor in the ordinary world is protected up to the value of his property. all that i think is pretty straightforward. how does 363 fit into this. when you are talking about
ction, what is being auctioned off? is it secured property only? it sounds to me like we are auctioning off the entire company. >> good question. what in theory was being auctioned off was essentially the entire company. not everything but all of the good assets. the argument that it was completely kosher, what was done -- the argument would be all of those asse collectively were worth $2 billion, which is what the government paid they were all sold. the $2 billion was distributed to the old creditors. the senior creditors were owed $6.9 billion, so they got the whole $2 billion. all that is completely kosher. if in fact that is what happened, the $2 billion was the right price, the thing that troubles people is when you look at new chrysler, the company
that bought these assets, what you see is the same employees as old chrysler, the same employees getting a substantial portion of their $10 billion fund paid off. all the trade creditors of the old company are there with chrysler, getting paid in full. what it looks like from that perspective is that new chrysler is being used as a way to pay off old creditors. so to repeat the bottom line, if $2 billion was the real value of those assets, the fact that new chrysler wants to pay the trade creditors, wants to pay the unions, that is their business. they can do whatever they want. new chrysler can pay them if they want to. if new chrysler bought those assets on the cheap, they are taking money away from the old senior creditors and giving it to the employees and trade creditors. it's pretty complicated.
>> that begins to help me. in an ordinary bankruptcy, rather than one of these huge bankruptcies, and let's say the whole company is sold off, i guess in your jargon it would be a 363 sale. >> right. >> how is that auction structured so that we can compare it to the structure that you just described with the auction of chrysler? >> that is a great question. typically is structured as a sale. assume it is for cash to keep it simple. it is not unusual for the buyer to keep some of the old creditors. if there are suppliers they really feel are important to the business, they may continue to keep those creditors. this is consistent with stephen 's view of the case. one of the questions about chrysler is if it is pushing that model too far. chrysler cap to 80% of the old
creditors, and got rid of the 20% it did not want -- the senior creditors and the tort claimants, oddly enough. what chrysler did on that score was different not in kind but in degree. it was the amount of the old creditors that were carried over to the new company. >> in an ordinary 363 where the entire company is being reorganized as sold off to a single buyer -- not chrysler, but an ordinary 363 -- who approved the sale, and on what criteria? on what criteria is the sale approved? >> the judge approves it. one of the things that concerns people, and i think concerns stephen in general, as well as myself, chapter 11 has an elaborate system of procedural safeguards so if the judge does
not have to be making these decisions -- there is a vote of creditors, there are rules as to how you divide up the creditors into different classes. there is a disclosure statement that has to be produced. you do not have any of that with 363. all you have with 363 is you propose a sale. 363 does not give any criteria for approving the sale. there has to be notice of a hearing, and the court can approve the sale. the case law has developed some criteria for approving sales. the two traditional requirements are that there has to be a business justification for the sale, a reason why you are doing the sale now rather than negotiating a reorganization plan in the traditional way. you also cannot do what is known as plan of reorganization. the sale cannot simply be a disguised reorganization. in both chrysler and gm,
plausibly they both would have been seen as sub rosa plans of reorganization. those are the two criteria. >> that helps me. >> that was the first of my topics. in about an hour i will be done with my other two. the second thing i wanted to talk about is the resolution rules in dog frank -- in dog- franc. -- in dodd-frank. when three key is turned, the treasury route -- the treasury -- to take over a firm that is systemically important. there is a process for designating systemically important financial institutions and regulating them differently. the resolution rules do not
require that the institution be present -- the pre designated. the institution then decide that if we think is important, if they fail, it will mess up the economy, and invoke the resolution rules. irresolution rules are structured with the intent -- the resolution rules are stricter with the intent of requiring the liquidation. there are all sorts of provisions built into the resolution rules that are designed to end taxpayer bailout. so when president obama says this legislation and a taxpayer bailout as we know them, he was thinking of the resolution rules in particular. will they and bailouts? no, they will not in bailouts. -- they will not end bailouts. companies can still be bailed out before we reach the resolution point, although there are interesting restrictions on
what the fed can do. resolutionach the fro point, the fdic can choose what it wants to pay. it can pay out creditors it wants to bailout. it will bail out the shadow banking system designated debt. derivative systems will be held out if one of these companies fail the resolution rules are based on an assumption that what the fdic does well with ordinary banks, which is take them over, close them very quickly, sell their assets in a completely non environment with note traditional role review -- the assumption is that is a good model for the financial institutions as well. in my view that is simply wrong. the fdic, even with the banks it now controls, was an ok job with small and medium-sized banks but not with big banks.
one reason is the fdic's modus operandi is to find a buyer and sell the bank to that buyer. when you are talking about citigroup, the world of potential buyers is not very big. you're kind of damned if you do, damned if you do not. what you have just done is create a bigger financial institution. if you do not find a buyer, you're in trouble. so the resolution process, i think, is a bad idea. lots of different dimensions. it also at think has some pretty significant constitutional issues that some of you all out there are much better in position to talk about than i am. as stephen mentioned, there is a 24-hour review in secret before the court decides whether the resolution will be allowed or not. there are almost no bases for rejecting the application for a
resolution. the only bases is the government was confused. one of your two bases for resisting is gone. the other is that the company is not in default or in danger of default. almost by definition the in, youy wants to step and are not in danger of default before, you may be in default now. the solution is to change the special treatment, the derivatives, get in bankruptcy. if you put a stay on derivatives in bankruptcy, a lot of these companies would have to file for chapter 11 before regulators ever stepped in. if there had been a state -- a state when at taig was in
trouble, there would have been a bankruptcy. finally, i will just wave at the last issue, which is, do we have a bankruptcy regime for states? as most of you know, we have a bankruptcy regime for municipalities. in fact, a municipality is only an hour or so away from here. could we do that for a state? i do not know a lot about constitutional bloc, but i think absolutely. -- about constitutional law, but i think absolutely. i do not think there would be a problem with it, at least as a legal matter. whether it would solve these problems is a harder question. my sense is vallejo is havi problems because of the question of the political will to go after the contract they would
need to go after to reduce their debt in a significant way. but as a possible solution, a bankruptcy regime for states is something we should think about. i am not quite as optimistic as to how effective it would be. >> thank you very much. i apologize. i took you over. professors with the, you are up. >> this panel is bankruptcy and the rule of law. building on what steven and david talked about, they said i am going to talk about the whole thing for the context of the rule of law. the talking about bankruptcy and dodd-frank from a rule of law perspective. what is the rule of law? we can argue for a long time about it specifically, but we
have a general sense of what it is. rules announced beforehand equal treatment of everybody under the law, arbitrary discretion, been constrained. we know what the will fall looks like. why does it matter? we have a lot of research on why the rule of law matters because it is the cornerstone of economic freedom and prosperity. enforcement contracts, regularized bankrupt the processes. a big one if you look at economic literature is non- entitlement of banks in the government, a very quaint notion nowadays. enforcement property rights, all these sorts of things. if you want to know the difference between the united states and a lot of places that are not rich, it is because we have the rule of law here, and they do not have the rule of law there. crusaders for the rule of law around the world have been talking about for decades things
like putting in regularized bankruptcy proceedings in countries that have traditionally soft problems by big firms by bailouts and cronyism. what did we see in the financial crisis? it is not a pretty sight if we think about it from the context of the rule of law. ad hoc, arbitrary politically motivated interventions. i do not think there is any serious argument that the auto bailout was legal. there is no way you can get general motors and chrysler out of the definition of the tarp. the chrysler and gm cases as well as dodd-frank show us in a bright relief what has been going on and how dangerous it is from the context of the rule of law. in particular, the ad hoc
arbitrary interventions that motivated a response to the crisis in anyway now are being institutionalized in dodd-frank rather than being retreated from. let's talk about chrysler and gm. i think the big problem in gm and chrysler was a violation of absolute priority. secured creditors, absolutely party rule being the idea that senior creditors are supposed to get paid before junior creditors get paid. in that case, the senior credits -- the senior creditors got 29 cents on the dollar. the junior creditors, united auto workers, got 55 cents on the dollar. i am not familiar with any other case. nobody has ever told me of any other case were secured creditors got 29 cents on the dollar and unsecured creditors got 55 cents on the dollar. maybe there are cases, maybe
they exist, but it strikes me as if it is extraordinary that that was the case. the state says there was a real violation of procedures and which the dog -- the proceedings were conducted. if you are a secured creditor and you get knocked down to partially unsecured status, you're given an unsecured claim in the case. the secured creditors should have gotten 55 cents on the dollar in the unsecured portion of their claim, at least as i understand it. the most disturbing part -- in one sense a good thing, in one sense a bad thing -- is when it came to the general motors case, general motors did not get pummeled. secured creditors were treated and paid in full, as i understand in one sense that is a good thing because maybe some people had second thoughts after they took the secured creditors
to the woodshed in chrysler and decided it was a bad idea. but from a rule of law perspective it's the worse thing, which is that it appears what happened was they looked at the horizon and decided to -- the government decided to accomplish what it wanted to accomplish, and chrysler it was necessary to attack the secure creditors. in general motors, it was not necessary. it is almost worse in some sense that they decided to plunder the secured creditors in one and not the other. at least there would have been some are to tillable particulates -- some articulate principles. i was really glad when they filed for bankruptcy because i said finally they are getting out of a loud mouth and getting into bankruptcy mode. instead, -- they are getting out
of the bailout mode and getting into the bankruptcy mode. instead, they ended up with a hybrid with the worst of bailout and the worst of bankruptcy. the obama administration has made it very clear throughout that intervening and helping the company was going to be contingent on than making more green cars, basically controlling the production and marketing strategies of these companies from washington. one of these recent -- one of the reasons these companies needed to file for bankruptcy if they had an overextended -- an overextension of dealerships. one of the reasons they were going to have to file for bankruptcy and it would be good for them to do so was so that they could close these unnecessary dealerships. what has happened subsequently is that process has become
completely politicized. why? because if you have gotten every congressional district from the country, one of the largest local business people is the local chrysler and general motors dealers. these guys are on the phone to their congressmen, and congressmen have intervened to keep dealerships and have successfully kept dealerships from being closed as politically influential constituents. general motors was going to close a plant in montana where the montana palladium, a mining operation, and they were going to get their palladium from elsewhere. the owners of the mining lobby congress and got congress to order general motors not to close the mine. barney frank famously intervene because there was a manufacturing plant in his district in massachusetts that they were going to close, and he suggested that would be an unwise decision.
especially considering that gmac falls under his jurisdiction. as far as i know, that manufacturing plant is still open. not to mention the talk about this saving the american auto industry, but it is not quite that simple. honda dealerships, toyota dealerships around the country are owned by americans as well, and one report was that a honda dealer was upset that all the money the government gave to gm was being used to subsidize the purchase of gm cars, and he was finding the american government was subsidizing his competitor and thereby harming his own on the dealership, which of course was his dealership and his employees. why? because the uaw -- it was really because the uaw wanted them to do it. one of the things i think is absurd about this is that among the secured creditors to got
fleeced in chrysler, were the bondholders, teachers, and fire workers union. the uaw got 55 cents on the dollar. i were a wall street journal op- ed where i said that this is the kind of thing that hugo chavez would do, and i got an outraged e-mail from a lawyer in new york who said, "that is an insult to hugo chavez. when hugo chavez takes people's property, he compensates them for its." so i want to make apology to hugo chavez. what seems to be pretty clear is that a lot of the secured credit
was held by banks. coincidentally, most of those banks were also tarp recipients. and those guys did not make a peep about the fact that they were getting fleeced, right? it is hard to draw the obvious influence that their independence was compromised by the fact that they were welfare wards. the president went on national television and announced the indiana pensioners that were standing on their contract and property rights, and basically used the tarp banks as a club, where they bought their contentions, use them as a club -- use their concessions, use them as a club. john allison, the president of pnc bank, describe the process -- of bb&t bank, described the
process. the public would not be able to draw an inference as to which banks were the bad ones and which ones were the good ones. it is not a pretty story. we heard the question earlier today from "the wall street journal" reporters talking about the bullying of getting bank of america to buy merrill lynch. none of that looks like the rule of law to me. that looks like the antithesis of the rule of law to me, and i do not think we should forget that. so what about dodd-frank? it seems to institutionalize in many ways the pathology in the last few years, the idea that the role of the government is to pick and choose winners in the economic markets. take one provision which places price controls on what banks can charge for interchange fees for debit cards.
it only applies to banks with over $10 billion in assets, so they will find their prices slashed by about 80% relative to those who have less than that. basically why? just because apparently politicians like small banks and not big banks. no other explanation has ever been given. that provision was passed with no hearings, no consideration, and 's just an obvious effort to choose economic winners. that has been challenged in the case that judge baird referred to in the last panel, which is challenging on the basis that it violates that it is a regulatory taking that violates economic protection, violates economic due process. i think it is a worthwhile case and we will see how it goes. the consumer financial protection bureau is really a dangerous principle. what it creates is an
independent agency within another independent agency. the way their budget is allocated is that every year the director of the bureau said they demand to the board of governors of the federal reserve of how much money they want that year. as long as it is less than 12% that the federal reserve grants. it is ruled over by one person, not a bipartisan commission. it has that loosely defined powers, and it has all kinds of problems with it. one of the problems you can anticipate will happen is that the way in which the deputy director is appointed will likely give rise to a peekaboo challenge down the road, situations where the deputy director steps and and the deputy director is appointed by the director is the director
cannot do something. if the deputy director takes action pursuant to the role of the director status, it will probably violate the status of that ever happens. the good thing like -- the good thing about it it is likely to self-destruct. where does this leave us? i think what we have done is we have unleashed an area of incredible politicization of the economy and crony capitalism. millions and millions of dollars is being spent now by the financial industry and everybody else. will we will also likely see is big banks seem to have pretty easily acclimated themselves to the cfpt with the recognition that they will bear the administrative burdens and costs and everything else that will be waited on banks as a result.
they also know they will probably be able to -- they will use it against smaller banks and competitors. mortgage brokers who obviously contributed to the crisis but also provide a salutary check on banks in terms of competition -- the empirical evidence shows -- banks will be able to run mortgage brokers out of business. joe will burton has an interesting paper where he shows that he is responding to chrysler and gm that the overall market response at the time was that there was a clear signal that people understood that union firms were going to be bailed out in the future likely going forward. non-union firms, the markets anticipated, would not be subject to the same sort of benefits. finally, let's talk about california. i think what we are seeing here is that political leaders have learned a lesson here, which is that moral hazard pays.
if you are california, give me one good reason why you would act responsibly. california looks like it is too big to fail. if you are sitting there in sacramento, what is the basis for believing washington will not bail you out, especially when you have so many sti you members in the federal government. -- seiu members in the federal government. why would you, when you know that the federal government will say no to a situation like that. over the next few years, they will be -- we will be reading what we have sown in the past few years, both in dodd-frank as well as the bailout of states and perhaps some municipalities. >> thank you very much, professor zwicki now, professor
cole. >> thank you for inviting me to participate with several of my good friends. i think it is nice to be able to follow these guys. in particular, todd and i have known each other for 20 years, and i have always wondered why anyone would invite both of us to the same conference, because we sound a lot alike. i have always thought the only difference between us is that he has not had the good sense to grow dreadlocks yet. [laughter] but i finally have encountered an area of disagreement between todd and myself. i agree that this is about the rule of law and i want to tie this back to the whole purpose of this conference, and that is the constitution. article section one-eighth of the constitution confirms on congress the institution of the rule of law on bankruptcy.
what is important about this constitutional provision for the purposes of this discussion -- the efforfirst is that this provision of the constitution, despite its wording, does not create the rule of law out of thin air. the ink and paper does not create the rule of law. that comes through the application of the bankruptcy law, and the way we approach bankruptcy. the second thing to recognize about this particular provision of the constitution is that it basically went without being revoked for almost 100 years. without a lasting bankruptcy provision. in other words, we do not need this. we do not need bankruptcy. and yet we are behaving as though it is essential to our economy and the way we do things. the interesting thing about the debate between stephen and david
is that the whole time they are talking about the problem, particularly with respect to the auto bankruptcies is that there is an 800-pound gorilla in the room of their discussion, and that is that they were not talking about the politics of it. but the fact of the matter is those bankruptcies would not have come out the way they did if it were not for the relationship of the trade unions and the political power that the uaw has. that is just the bottom line. i do have one area of disagreement with todd, and that is with respect to dodd-frank. i agree that bankruptcy creates a regime where we can have some transparency and see the application of the rule of law with respect to resolving a common problem that we call on insolvency. the problem is that if you
engage in ad hoc behavior in that regime and upset those rules, set aside the absolute priority rule when everything -- whenever you feel like it or it is politically expedient to you, what is the purpose of that transparency? how much good did the transparency do senior creditors and chrysler and that bankruptcy proceeding. it does not matter if it is transparent. if the government is going to come in and manipulate the rules because it is politically expedient to their favorite constituencies to do that. the wording of article one section 8 creates at least the perception that the rule of law is going to be obeyed in bankruptcy. if you were not going to obey the rule of law, the application of bankruptcy, and if you think bankruptcy is important your economy, i think
it behooves you to depart to depart from the bankruptcy. it behooves you to step out of an arm and engage in the type of manipulation or bailouts, or through some other mechanism. what you're doing when you use bankruptcy to achieve your political ends, which is what happened in chrysler, you are undermining the trustworthiness of that process. you are undermining the anti- expectations of creditors all across an economy who can no longer rely on their pricing of credit with respect to a particular debtor who might have a relationship with a politically favored constituency. if you are going to do that, manipulate the rules, manipulate the absolute majority rule, why
not do it openly? just simply decide you're going to rearrange things, bailout companies, rearrange the right of creditors in a way that would do it, as todd suggested. one of the things i like about dodd-frank -- todd says one of the problems with it is effectively institutionalize this abuse of power. but the thing i like about that institutional as asian is that at least it creates some reason to anticipate this kind of behavior. in other words, you can price and institutionalized practice. you cannot priced it if the rules are going to be abandoned every time the government encounters a favored political constituency inside of an environment like bankruptcy.
so i disagree with todd when he said that i do not think bankruptcy is the appropriate vehicle for everything. we do not use it for everything, and it is not necessary to resolve every crisis. i disagree with todd with -- at least not frankdd-fran institutionalizes that behavior and cabins it in a particular framework. and then we can talk about whether the government must departing from the strictures of its in any particular case. finally, i want to talk about the bankruptcy on the state. i do not think that we can easily amend chapter 9 of the bankruptcy code to cover california. i think when we suggest this, we
are going to the framework of the debate between david and stephen. i think david and steven are focused on results and not recognizing the importance of process. one of the problems with the amending article mind to include -- to allow states "washington journal of -- to file for bankruptcy is to recognize the difficulties at the 11th amendment to the constitution poses for such an amendment to chapter 9. the 11th amendment protects state's sovereign immunity -- protect a state from being sued. states can exercise sovereign immunity. ve suggest that they can weai of immunity for protection against -- the strictures
against sovereign immunity and the ability of bankruptcy to resolve this common problem that we call insolvency. whats the alternative? i am not sure there is a good alternative. i do think that talk has put his finger on the moral hazard problem. the moral hazard problem, as a californian, recognize that it is much larger than what todd has identified. sure, california has seen the government bailed others out. why wouldn't they bail us out? but it is bigger than that. the california electorate has essentially been irresponsible, and so have their representatives. we have a state here where 15% of the budget, less than 15% of the budget, it is discretionary. so much of what we have done with constitutional amendments, through the initiative process, have built in spending strictures that cannot be
circumvented, and so the moral hazard problem is much larger than what todd has even ggested. what is the solution? the big problem are the commitments we have made with respect to the unions, the public employees unions in the state of california. essentially we are going to have to revisit our agreements, especially our commitments with respect to pensions, our various labor contract. but i am not sure we can do that through a simple amendment through chapter 9. i think it's just going to be a much messier process. >> ok, thank all of you. before i go to general questions, i have two topics tied to what is going on here, and i would like quick responses so we can get to the audience.
first i want to talk about the car bankruptcy's and then briefly about the possibility of bankruptcy declared by a state. first, i have heard maybe it was not so bad. i have heard professors skeel and zwicki say it was bad. you have each got a minute. you are now in charge of the government for a minute and you have chrysler in front of you. what are you going to do? you did not like what they did. ?rofessor lubben >> in my ideal world, i think gm and chrysler should have filed two years before they did so that the debt markets would have been open and we would have not been in this situation in the first place. i think given the state of the debt market, is when those automotive cases happened, they
had to do it. in my ideal world, they would have filed two years earlier. a normal chapter 11. >> what would you have done with chrysler in particular? you get a creditor paying 29 cents on the dollar -- getting paid 29 cents on the dollar, and the workers getting paid 50 cents on the dollar. >> they were paid 59 cents on the dollar by the new owner of chrysler's assets. so it goes all back to the question david asked. what do you think the value of chrysler's assets were? david says they could have been worth more than the $2 billion they were paid. i would argue it was less than the government paid on those assets. chrysler had been on the market for two or three years. the private equity firm that owned them at the time of bankruptcy was basically paid to take off their hands. so i'm not sure chrysler would have had $2 billion worth of value there. in which case, the secured
creditors got perhaps, if anything, a subsidy from the u.s. government. >> professor steele, what is your solution? >> stephen introduced another topic, so i have to spend 20 seconds responding. i was not even going to talk about this today. chrysler was on the market for over one year for a deal that would pay all that info and something to equity. it was a completely different deal that was marketed. so the auction and bankruptcy was really starting from scratch in terms of the kind of deal we ended up with. what what i do? i would have done one of two things. i would have either just let the companies go their course and file for bankruptcy like they should have. they were is a risk there that we would lose chrysler. there was a very -- there was a risk there that we would lose chrysler. gm would have survived. it would have been in as good shape or even better.
wait, wait, let me say my two things. first, let them go through the normal chapter of the process without the government's helping hand. the second is for the government to provide the funding, or for a dip loan but silent funding. not to exert control with it in the way that they have purported to do with some of the other bailouts. >> do you have a response? >> i was going to ask the gm one because i do not think gm would have needed the largest debtor possession loan in history at a point in time when even a small company could have got one. i do not know how you could say they would have survived at normal chapter 11. >> i think with some government arm twisting, the loan would have been forthcoming. but i will be back at that. >> professors a witty, i heard you -- professor zwicki, i heard you say some harsh words.
>> similar to what david said on this, let me say a different way. to the extent that the crp -- the tarp never made any sense at all, we had 42 definitions of what it was supposed to do within a week after it was introduced. but to the extent it ever made any sense, the idea was that if we had a liquidity problem in the credit markets as opposed to a solvency problem, that it was supposed to prevent a bank run caused by liquidity problems, but not to popup institutions that were insolvent. i think steve makes the point, which is about whether or not dip financing would have been available. we know if credit markets were functioning properly, there would be no problem getting financing for gm. that is a very high likelihood. if financing were not available for gm, it would seem to be simply because there were liquidity problems in the credit market, getting money into gm.
i actually said this testifying in congress. i think it reasonable case could be made that of general motors' need it tarp money in order to get over the hump of dip financing, i know credit stable -- credit marking but stabilized -- was stabilized, that would have been a logical use of part money or something like tarp money. i think it is limited to what david said, that it does not include deciding which dealerships could close and stay open, whether they can make green cars and the whole other package of stuff that came along with it. >> i would agree almost completely with tied's assessment, except i would take david's point about letting them go through the bankruptcy process he referred to. the very first thing that i
wanted to respond to when steven was speaking is when h suggested that we would have a loss of value if chrysler had been allowed to go through a normal or traditional bankruptcy. how do you know this? how could we ever know whether or not there would be a genuine loss in value? we had taken to the minute delay the bankruptcy process -- we had a completely manipulated bankruptcy process. mostler -- if they're not sufficiently deployed in that entity, and the best thing for our economy, including the workers associated, as for those assets to be redeployed in our economy. it is not to prop up a company that is not officially assembled. so let the bankruptcy process operate, but the absolute priority rule be maintained and respected. so if we have that process, then we will know through the operation of that process
whether we are destroying value or preserving it. the people involved, any onlooking assembling creditors or potential buyers who might want to keep these assets together will decide to do that based on whether or not the most efficient combination of those assets. but we have to let the process work, and that is how i would have handled that. >> the question has been surfaced, althoug not investigated in depth, and we can talk about it for a few minutes. what if a state is so insolvent that bankruptcy would be the ordinary solution were it not a state? should we have states be allowed to declare bankruptcy? under the current bankruptcy code, municipalities and counties can declare bankruptcy. vallejo has done so. orange county has done so. for the purpose of bankruptcy in that situation, it is to allow the municipalities or county to escape from some of the
obligations that have become too burdensome. in california we have many obligations that are very burdensome, in part because we refuse to tax ourselves up to the level to pay for even part of that. the idea of having a state declare bankruptcy is an attractive one, just like municipalities or a county. but the problem of sovereign immuni is in fact a difficult one. it was alluded to receny by professor cole. i will give you the briefest thumbnail of the sketch of sovereign immunity. the state of georgia was sued, the supreme court said it could go forward, and the 11th amendment of the constitution was adopted almost immediately thereafter. the terms of the 11th amendment are somewhat ambiguous, but by 1890 the court had clearly held that an in-state citizen could not sue and on contending -- and on consenting states. and and out of state citizen
could not sue under contending state. the out of state citizens and the in state city in since sued, and the united states said the sovereign immunity of united states protect them from having to pay off on their obligations. those cases are still good law, the most recent of which was 1932. someone found bonds from the state of mississippi in his attic, realize that by then the law was he could not bring suit, that a foreign citizen could not bring suit, but there was nothing in supreme court case law that a foreign country could not bring suit. so he bought them to the country of monaco. monaco brought suit against the state. "behind the words are postulate which limit and control."
in other words, the words of the amendment be damned, i know a case when i see it. we know states cannot be compelled to pay off unless they consent to do so. a state can waive its sovereign immunity. so a state, if we were allowing a state to go to bankruptcy, the state of california could say we declare bankruptcy. but why would a state do it when all it needs to do is stiff everyone of its creditors or even do it selectively? >> i will bite. my take on this is that the sovereign immunity law has become increasingly complex in the bankruptcy area, post a decision. given that reality, there might
be some desire to file for bankruptcy, and there is also the added benefit of providing a structure, potentially rejecting contracts. the most important cases would be the union contracts, and you have more power in chapter 9 to reject a union contract than you do in chapter 11. because congress made a change to the law, but they only made it in chapter 11, not in chapter 9. those might be two attractive reasons why a state might want to file. chapter 9, to extend would be very useful for the point of rejecting contracts, perhaps providing some cover and structure for rejecting contracts. the other way would be useful is for binding holdout creditors to a plan, so of california said we are going to refinance all of our debt with these new bonds and a vast majority of creditors agreed to that but there were a
few holdouts, the bankruptcy structure provides a way from binding the holdouts to the plan. it does not provide a solution to the problem the judge alluded to, the political issue of matching up taxes with expenditures. >> also, when you have by saying sumy -- by saying sumi and u are going to lose, -- >> what is interesting about the whole bankruptcy perspective is basically california is general motors, right? you have a massive retiree- based and to emily -- and dwindling revenue base as people are trying to prop up all these people $100,000 pensions and they are 50 years old. so they basically are general motors. >> those people i am afraid are largely fictional.
they are not largely state employees bought local employees. there are a few. >> the thing that will continue to grow that you cannot control are the pension and retiree benefits over time. as you said, the way i can understand it would work now is it would basically be what -- california can just be argentina, and basically say we are paying some of our debts and not our other debts. we are paying some in hall, some not at all, some partially. my understanding is that in a lot of bond issuances, the state has already waived sovereign immunity. it varies by state, bond issuance, but beginning with the 1840's, there were some bankruptcies, state repudiations of debts of canals that they did not pay off after that. they adopted the practice of
waiving sovereign immunity. so sovereign immunity has already been waived with respect to some of those bonds. you can see the assets of data. here i do not think you can see the state house there are. one of the big things is public employee rights in particular, that have been hard wired in the constitution, number one, and number two, in vested pension obligations are treated as property rights rather than -- you can't not -- you cannot adjust pension obligations. you cannot do anything about already vested pensions which are protected as property rights. that seems to be something the states cannot do anything about.
so they would not be hand in. they are hand in at some point by the federal constitution, some by the state constitutions, on what they can do with certain types of obligations. >> particularly, the intractable problem, and california is different from argentina and that california cannot print its own money and does not have its own federal reserve that can print its own money through the lowering of interest rates or through the purchase of long- term treasurys. in addition to the other structural impediments, it is limited in its options. now, when i look at the problem, i wonder what the advantages of bankruptcy might be. as stephen mentioned, you can detect labor contract. but rejection of labor contract inside bankruptcy is just another term we use for breach
of labor contract outside bankruptcy. there is no difference at all except for in bankruptcy, if you are insolvent, you're paying pro rated damages. but if you are in the an insolvent state outside bankruptcy, you will breach the agreements you i assume will pay why do you need chapter 9 and bankruptcy? you might need it because of the particular procedures. chapter nine in particular's focus but if you recognize that already, i am not sure why you need to use bankruptcy to accomplish this. you might be able to do it through the combination of a state constitutional convention and negotiations for labor unions that are the big source of the long-term credit obligations.
>> it has been very edifying, gentlemen. one quick question. does the contract clause limits the government to allow states to get out of contracts by the bankruptcy process. the second question is -- i am sort of confused. everyone would assume congress could pass laws that would charge creditors $0.29 on the dollar and then pass another appropriations but decided to give money to be uaw. i do not think there is any violation of the absolute priority rule there. what did they do that with different from that? if they can just past two appropriations, one that buys gm for $0.29 on the dollar for secured creditors, and one that
says that we will give separate money to the trade unions, how is what they did different? >> they called it a bankruptcy, that is what is different. there would be a takings problem. >> there was a body that came out of the new deal, they tried to rally mortgages. the supreme court ruled that mortgages was a property right. only up to the value of the collateral. >> if they just went to bankruptcy court and offered $0.29 on the dollar, and no one showed up, at least there would have accomplished that. if they had to put the past an appropriation, we would not be having the conversation -- >> this is what equity receivership was. if you are bidding your debt and
you buy the whole company, you can do whatever you want. that would have been fine. the problem here, to use this particular process, and then to violate the fundamental role in the process. >> this is the point that marcus was making earlier. one of the really problematic things was the mixing of bankruptcy and bailout, which i do not think had ever been done before. typically, when the government stepped in, they did it outside of bankruptcy, which is the point that marcus was making. that is the real irony. why did the government to that? why did they not just pay $0.55 to the union? they could not do it. the political hostility to bailing out detroit was so high, the obama administration could not do it directly. so we ended up with an incredible irony.
bankruptcy, the most transparent process we have, was used for a disguised bailout. i believe that is what it was done that way. >> fundamentally, there is an empirical question. new money came into the case. there are two scenarios. scenario one, money was taken from the secured creditors and given to unsecured creditors. scenario two, which is secured creditors got everything they wanted, burned, new money came into the process, so the money that was given to the autoworkers' was new money, not taken from the secured creditors. fundamentally, that is an empirical question, whether the
money was transferred, or if new money came in. if it is the former -- and looks to me like it was -- it gives me exercise. it is just a bribe for the uaw. >> i thought you danced around the major question here, which is whether bankruptcy is a corporate during a financial crisis. two points. a lot of what the government seemed to try to do during the crisis, what dr. frank is trying to do is -- don frank -- dodd- frank is trying to do is, bring them under the receivership of the fdic, faster, less transparency. one question is, first of all,
the ad hoc expansion of the f.d.i.c.-type of system, and now the more legal extension of it, is that a big deal? is the record of the fdic a bad one? would you call the fdic resolutions of the past corrupt, objectionable in some way? another way to ask the question is what about lehman? it was a disaster, the use of the bankruptcy process for an enormous financial institution on which these creditors depended. so both in terms of what the government did at the time, and going forward, in dodd-frank, isn't there an argument that they are just tried to rationalize the system by extending the traditional approach to all financial
institutions, rather than banks, narrowly defined? >> a quick answer. >> on lehman, my take is, to the extent that you think it was a disaster, it was a disaster because bankruptcy attorneys were called into the room eight hours ahead of time. if they had time to plan a normal corporate bankruptcy, it would have been a lot smoother. >> hopefully, this is a question about 336 sales and how they have been used recently. historically, they have been used for the sale of minor assets. it is more of a recent phenomenon that they are used to sell core assets. lawyers in california that i have spoken to have talked about the major reason they are going in that direction is because of how long it takes to
do your traditional chapter 11, the new of the company, as well as the difficulty to get financing, do the traditional chapter 11, since banks are struggling and more reticent to help businesses get through the reorganization process. how do you overcome those hurdles when you are arguing it makes more sense to do a traditional chapter 11, and should be 363 not be used for core assets? >> why do we have so many 363 sales? one is the concern about the length of chapter 11. one reason was just a liquidity in the market. it was possible to sell things in the 1990's that you were not
able to in the 1980's. there are a variety of reasons for those 363 sales. i would not say we should not allow major sales of assets. if what you are doing is restructuring the country -- which i would define as more than half of your old creditors and shareholders will be new -- we ought to go to chapter 11. i think there is a case for streamlining. chapter 11 is a little bit too cumbersome, as it is now. >> i do not necessarily see 363 sales as a problem. number one, it was a bogus the sale. secondly, they were also trying to decide what the creditors would get through the process of this sale, so it was kind of a peculiar 363 sale that i am not sure you want to generalize
from. >> last question. >> i have been thinking about the government's interest as a tax claimant, looking at two examples. there was a wsj story about how treasury permitted the new gm to carry forward the old gm's costs. essentially, a $50 billion benefits. . it would go along with the basis that the government is in the business of helping businesses who are not claimants. warren buffett tried to buy tax credits from fannie mae, and treasury blocked the purchase. the explanation that was given is that it would, on net, cost the treasury a couple billion.
it seems to be counterfactual that the government, in that case, was more interested in the tax claimant. i was wondering if you could have any thoughts about what this means for issues of this topic, or otherwise, the government bailed out a tax claim it? >> i think the real beneficiaries of the government's position on gm's tax losses will be the canadian government and bondholders. theovernment, it is just moving money from one pocket to another. i am not sure if that perspective matters.
>> i will did go. they are subsidizing gm. -- ditto. it is a $50 billion deduction, so it is probably more. >> a question about contract clause, as it relates to the state. my understanding is, if the state bridges a contract, repudiates a contract, it does not violate the contract clause -- >> wrong. it starts out with the contract clause, apparently designed to prevent the states from keating the contracts, thereby freeing up their citizens from paying off the bankers. the court holds, however, that
it also falls in contrast between the state and individual. it is state, in the sense of state actors. the 11th amendment to tax it, but the subdivisions of the state, in the counties and municipalities, if they breached a contract, they repudiated it. municipalities here in california are in such deep trouble. >> this has been a fascinating panel. i have learned an enormous amount. this is a fabulous panel for which i thank all of you. [applause]
>> coming up, former u.s. ambassador to the united nations, and john bolton, on threats different governments pose to free-market economies. that is followed by the run breaking of the george bush library in texas. then the u.n. world food program director on global food security and party. shortly after 6:00, a look at civil discourse and current
politics with a democratic strategist. >> can politics be civil? donna brazil and monica crowley try to answer the question this afternoon in an academic discussion. here is a look. >> if you look at the course of the united states, what we have experienced, how far we have come in a short amount of time, i think it is due, in large part, to what we tend to be known here today, the train wreck of ideas. you can have a conversation about how those ideas should be expressed, but the train wreck, a clash of great ideas from the right and left, regardless of your point of view, drove the united states to the point of preeminence in the world in 200
years. think about the rolutionary times. you go back and look at what our founding fathers called each other, your hair would stand on end. what we call each other today -- we are piper's compared to what jefferson and adams were calling each other. in fact, they were such bitter adversaries, and had such bitter policy rivalries, that they were both obsessed with outliving the other. jefferson died in virginia, and unbeknownst to john adams, a couple hours later, he would die. his final bitter words, and jefferson lives. >> you can see the entire discussion this afternoon on c- span. >> this weekend on "afterwords" james zogby questions muslims on
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washington, d.c. through my lands. for all of the rules and how to upload your video, go online. >> tomorrow morning on "washington journal" isabel sawhill on reforming medicare and medicaid. and national journal of environmental reporter amy harder on the latest the regulations. sunday on "newsmakers" former senator norm coleman. he is now part of the american action network, which spends money on conservative candidates. he talks about the future of the republican party. you can see "newsmakers" at 6:00 eastern.
>> now former u.s. ambassador to the nation, john bolton. he discusses the different types of governments in the world and the threat they pose to different republics. he spoke at a conference hosted by " the new criterion magazine. iike to welcome new to the main events. a lot also like to mention -- i would also like to mention that versions of these talks will be published in the "new criterion" february. if anyone has let his subscription lapse, now's the time prescribed. there'll also be an audio pipe cast available on our web site. it is an honor as well as a pleasure to introduce ambassador john bolton.
your programs give you a fair outline of some of his many accomplishments in his long career of public service. his important work of the state department, at the department of justice, and at their paris the figures, a pro-american voice for sanity at the united nations. [applause] i hope that is for sanity in not the united nations. [laughter] it did not indicate the quality that his admirers especially prized. his courage and willingness to speak not only truth to power, but truth to the rancid forces of political correctness and animals. how refreshing was to ha a state department delicate described the north korean leader as a dictator and that life in horse korea was a
hellish nightmare. he was not congratulated for that but it is the trick. splendid that our ambassador to the united states should it merck -- observe that there is no suchhing as the unid nation, there is the only the international counit which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, the united states. my only quibble with his wary attitude toward you and concerns his observation that the secretariat building in new york has 38 stories. if you lost 10 stories today, it would not make a bit of difference. i would put the number higher myself. we live in age when global governance is enjoying a new lease on life, not only in the quarters of the united states in the european union, but also in the hallways in and about 1600 pennsylvania avenue. the assault on national sovereignty and american liberties is proceeding on many fronts on issues from the
environment, the tax policy, the gun-control, and national security. it is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that americans could one day be answering to the unelected and unaccountable officials in brussels or the hague o these and other issues. what we're facing is an international attack on limited government whose ultimate object is the absorption of the united states into which european-style socialist superstate. john bolton has been one of our most strenuous our particular it and effective advocates for the national american -- american national sovereignty and the liberties it guarantees. please join me in welcoming a master john bolton. [applause] >> thank you very much, roger, and thank you for coming today. i want to thank the panelists this morning for a series of
really intesting, fascinating discussions on a wide variety of subjects relating to the question of individual liberty and initiative. bowsher has asked me to look at this -- roger has asked me to look at this from an international context which is important to, both for what this says about our country and the threats that we face from around the world. by coincidence or not, today is the 21st anniversary of east germany's decision to open its frontier with the wes obviously that was a signal moment in our history, given that that really reflected the beginning of the end of the cold war followed two years later on december 31, 1991 when the soviet union itself was dissolved into is cstituent
republics. the the end of the cold war produces dull lot -- now the end of the cold war produced a lot of jubilation, reflecting what some would call the vindication of the week theory of history, that progress -- we are always moving forward. but it was particularly evidence after the collapse of the warsaw pact and the soviet union. people were writing things about the end ofistory, because obviously democracy and the free market had triumphed and there was not anything else left. it was all over and we had one. there were no further threats. it turned out, not surprisingly, that that is not true. whatever our views here in the united states, there are a lot
of other people in the rest of the world to actually do not share of the washington consensus in are not wild about representative government and the market. that leads us into a debate about exactly how we're going to respond to those other governments and their supporters, and why i think it is critical for us not to take the utilitarian arguments in favor of individual freedom as the only important arguments, important though they are. utilitarian argument for markets in particular is this is h to maximize national wealth, liberty, and all things bright and beautiful. i certainly believe that, but it does now get me from time to time that maybe the utilitarian argument does not always capture what is going on, at least in the short term, being defined
as several generations of human life. it is important to remember the moral argument for individual liberty as well, even if in any given period of history, it does not seem to be working out quite as well as it should. and to me, a moral argument was thinkut, although i don't he intended to put it this way, of brett named john ruskin, who in 1870 rte the following, one evening while as yet in the nurse' arms, i wanted to touch the t earned -- tea urn. my mother said, let him tch it. that was my first lesson in liberty. [laughter] ruskin was a socialist. my guess is that the obama remedy would be a nation commission on tea urns.
steps to take care of innocent children from callous mothers and all the rest. i viewed it as a central insight into what liberty means for us, which is not merely the liberty to make decisions, but the liberty to fail, too. because markets are not good just when they are going up and turn bad when they are going down. that is the nature of markets, and i would say human life more generally. the moral component of liberty is particularly important to us when we look around the world, because i think there is a lot of bad news out there about the utilitarian side of the totalitarian and autritarian states. they do not do badly sometimes when it comes to milizing resources and posing threats.
in the 20th-century, we looked at the first two world wars -- i described the successful end of the cold war. we looat the first two. the defeat of germanynd the central powers in world war room and one, and the defeat of nazism in world war ii, and it looks like a pretty good century. we are three and -- 3 and 0. it did not turn out as easily as we remembered it. if hitler had restrained himself from attacking the soviet union, if he had consolidated his power over europe and focues britain instead of launching the attack against stalin's soviet union, it might well turn out differently.
if the russians had not been bled so badly in world war ii, they might have been ablto hold on to their empire. we forget that one of the consequences of world war ii was the end of the european colonial empires, because britain was on its back after the war economically. france really never qualified as a major player in the war. the dutch had been wiped out. and ultimately the collapse of the soviet empire, which is what happened in 1991 was launched by the massive human and economic cost of world war ii. these are factors that ought to give us a little bit of pause en we look ahead at the challenges that we face around e world and that are precepts of representative government and
free market economies. i just want to run through, in the time we have, several examples of this so that we can continue -- begin to think about what it means to both preserve our own system of liberty versus these other visions. not all of them threats in the short term, but these other visions that are out there. let me start perhaps in probably for some th the european union. i am not a big fan of the idea that self-government in europe is as free and open as it is in the united states. number one, most european systems are parliamentary. they did not have the separation of powers. you win a majority in parliament, you control the executive branch. so much for the tension we see between president and the
congress. and even in countries like france where the constitution has a strong president and a strong parliament, it was always envisioned that in most cases they would govern in the same party. by and large, the parliamentary systems use proportional representation. they do not have their representatives tied to geographic constituencies. they run on the basis of party list that are comprised that are put together by the leaders of the party at the national level. i will leave the u.k. of this for the moment. so that if a party gets 8.9% of the national vote, it gets 9.9% of the representation in parliament according to a list that the average voters had nothing to do with. so do people vote for governments in york shire? they do. we still in many states a vote for judges and vote to recall
judges. i think that is a good thing. i can see a little of that at the federal level as an experiment from time to time. [laughter] eupeans are horrified that we vote for judges. starting from what i think is a different basis in many respects, now look at the phenomenon of the european union, which encompass the -- virtually all the domestic policy decisions of the member governments conducted in brussels in mass meetings of diplomats and bureaucrats from around the european union meet next to no transparency or visibility, cerinly next to no democratic accountability on the part of the people who actually live in the european union. the figures were compiled in britain sometime back, and they are absolutely shocking. they vary a little bit depending on who you are listening to. but something like between 2/3
and 90% of all legislation that parliament passes today is enacting into u.k. law decisions that have already been made in brussels. that is phenomenal. in other countries, i am sure the percentages are roughly the same. that is why in europe today they talk about the democratic deficit, because none of the members of the so-called executive of the european union are elected by anybody other than other government bureaucrats. the european parliament is a joke that has a virtually no influence over the workings of theuropean union, and it does not look like that will change unless we see the breakup of the eurozone. but here you have got a largely democratic society creating a structure that is fundamentally anti-democratic and living with
it happily, in ways that perhaps were not intended at the outset of the european union but continues to progress in a direction that i think most americans would be part -- disturbed with. i think that is one of the reasons, among several, why the european union has moved away fromhe united states over time, because these are people who see their interests in what happens in brussels and the governments of the european union as being divorced from the interests of the nation states that making up. -- make it up. let me turn to russia which may be the biggest example that i can think of of how a country that started with a totalitarian or and authoritarian government passed out of that into a form of democracy. and maybe a passing right out the other side back into
authoritarianism and maybe totalitarianism. freedom of t press is going down. freedom of political activity is going down. control of the media and the economy are being re-centralized in the kremline. . russia is today still refer to the leader in the kremlin as they did -- russians today still refer to the leader in the kremlin as "the boss." of course they will do it. i think we can see in russia's increase belligerence where they are clearly seeking a return of a hegemony if not reunification of russianrectoion policy, while certainly not communist, may be best dcribed as a reversion to russia of the 19th century and before is entirely comfortable with
centralized control over both politics and the economy. this may be an example of democracy blasting 10-15 years depending on how you measure it 10-15 insatingasting years depending on how you measure it. let's take china is another ample, a system under the communist -- the most authoritarian in the world durin appi a hat period, cpaping century of unrelieved turmoil and conflict inside china beginning with the collapse of the last chinese dynasty. we have heard for years now, really decades, that china's making progress, iis becoming a freer society much of which
is based on what has happened to the chinese economy. to be sure, central control there has diminished. there are possibilities for on to the to prin entrepreneurship. fret least 25 years now, i have been reading about how wonderful loca elections are in china, where the cadres elect the village leader. and how inevitably that will spread throughout china at the national level. 25 years in a culture that has lasted six millennia. not be in a hurry. i think 25 years is a pretty long time, where the idea of popular sovereignty would begin it to catch on a little bit more. and some would say, it did catch
on a little bit more right up until june, 1989 in tenement square when the people's liberation army voted on what it thought about increased political eveliberty. the communist party is the dominant political force in china without question. within the structure of the communist party, the people's liberation army remains the dominant political force. the chairmanship of the central military commission is the real locus of power inside china. and that does not appear to be getting ready to change, so while a lot of people talk internationally about the peaceful rise of china as in that wonderful phrase that it will be a responsible stakeholder in world affairs, i do not see that as inevitable at all, nor do i see it as a place where foreigners are necessarily treated equally and there are -- there is opportunity to make
money. you can see in research reports by the u.sand eurea chambers of commerce in hong kong and beijing evidence of increased discriminati against foreign investment. at the same time, you can see evidence of china's increasing military buildup, its extension of claims in the yellow sea, the south china sea. its acquisition of blue water naval capabilities. this remains an extraordinarily centralized and highly controlled governmental system, and one that i think is being -- becoming increasingly threatening to american interests. let's take a couplof smaller cases. let's take north korea, for example. here is a state that is essentially a prison camp. it controls everything. it has been sanctioned internationally for decades and yet it possesses a nuclear,
chemical, and biological weapons that have indeed it -- has intimidated its neighbors. how poor is north korea? from the time of partition in 1945 until today, when both north and soutstarted eqlly poor. in fact, the north and was better off because it had more of the industrial capacity. until today, we find that the average north korean is four to 6 inches shorter than the south korean. now, this is society that both during the bush and obama administration's we have been saying, we can help you with the economic betterment of your country if he will only give up clear weapons. what could we have possibly been thinking? to say that to a government that does not care that its population is literally shrinking so that it can keep nuclear weapons?
that is squeezing everything that they can of their population in a centralized government. when i hear the utilitarian argument in favor of individual freedom, if you a kim jong il, utilitarianism works his way. iran, you have a theocracy that since the islamic revolution has turned it -- turned the country into an economic basket case. and within a short period of time, it is within reach of getting nuclear weapons. the obama administration, as the bush administration, talked always about the islamic republic of iran. how sweet. forgetting that the first word of the islamic reflects the belief that iran is governed by jurisprudence that
comes directly from allah. this is what theocratic rule means. an increasingly militarized rule as the army takes control. if the word comes from god, and the only people that will understand it are the mullahs -- the idea that we would have free and fair elections in iran under that system is naive to say the least. at my favorite in atlanta erica -- in latin america -- hugo chavez. it has taken him 10 years to get to the point of manipulating elections. he is a kinder and gentler version of fid castro. he did not do it all went. he is doing it slowly.
but venezuela continues to sink under this increasingly centralized control, and he poses a threat not only to u.s. interests in the rion because of his ties with russia and iran, especially on nuclear matters, but in threats to the fragile mocracies elsewhere in latin america. he has interfered in the elections in mexico, colombia, ecuador, peru. he supports the farc terrorists in colombia. economy thatin, is an has incredible riches, but which are being diverted for the purpose of maintaining chavez and the military in power. as long as oil stays the price that it is, the implications for the venezuelan people are not going to slow chavez down. then there is al qaeda.
it is not even a state at all, and yet they are able to threaten and carry out terrorist organizations all around the world. that is simply a quick run through of some of the threats we fe from people who do not believe history has ended, who did not follow the washington consensus, who are not wild about individual liberty and who do pose problems of one sort or another for the united states and our friends. what about the united states itself? i think we have still got in this country the most libertarian country in the world. not perfectly so, but nonetheless one where we do prize individual liberty and initiative more than in the aggregate than anyplace ee in the world. consider the followi -- would you think about having the
united states and any other country vote together to merge the two countries, as the europeans seem bent on doing? suppose all the provinces of canada were admitted to the united states estates. what do think the balance in the senate would be today? pretty frightening, if you want my opinion, with all due respect to our friends in canada. the lefthera thar saying, we have got global problems and global problems need global solutions. we need to get past these antiquated notions of national sovereignty, and we need to look at solutions that get you to shared sovereignty. what they are saying fundamentally is, you americans
have t much control over your government. and what you really need is to share a little bit of that with us. i think most americans do not think we have enough control over our government, even after last tuesday's election. so that they recognize that this idea of sharing its sovereignty is very directly and impingement on theiruthority as citizens and that the removal of sovereignty, even from as distt place as washington it to even more distant place is this something that will only work to their detriment. that is why i think ideas like the internatnal criminal court or a number of of proposals that were being proposed at copenhagen to deal with climate although they have been rebuffedy the united states in the short term, are very much
going to be on the international agenda going forward, and i think the risk in the next two years with obama gridlocked at home domestically, he will turn his attention internationally, where he is traveling out, and think that this might be a way to achieve some of the games that he is that going to be able to get domestically. -- some of the aims he is not going to be able to get dostically. what do we conclude? the economy with almost any kind of market basis, create such an enormous potential for dead weight loss that governments have a lot of room to do so foolish things, and given the chance, they usually do. for totalitarian regimes, the lessons they should of learned from the last century are don't attack your enemies too early or
too often. with a little bit more patient you might have a better chance of succeeding. and then third and finally, i think the most important lesson of the last century is do not mess with the united states. now that's a pretty good rule, although not sufficient. there have been a conflicts where we did not prevail, usually because we did it to ourselves. we did not fight to the stalemate in korea. we stopped after the chinese intervention voluntarily. we did it to ourselves in vietnam. i would argue we did it to ourselves and the first persian gulf war by not overthrowing saddam hussein. but the big question going forward is whether this third role, not mess with united states, still applies. as happy as i am about last
tuesday's election, this battle is far from over. it is still a jump ballver the direction of the united states, both in our domestic policy and internationally. and if the time comes around the world where people cannot worry about messing with the united states, not only is the rest of the world going to be in worse shape, we will be in a lot worse shape, too. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, john. i am sure there'll be some questions. we have a little bit of time, so please go to the microphone. >> that was a wonderful presentation. i am just wondering the extent to which you think the current republican leadership shares your assessment and in particular the potential
candidates for president in 2012? >> well, as happy as last tuesday's election returns were, i think that they will have a fairly insignificant impact on foreign and national security policy. obviously congress has of role in the treaty process, in the budgetary process, but responsibility for and direction and control of foreign policy essentially remains with the president. and i do not think that will change no matter which direction obama goes in, whether he does a clinton and tries to move center or continues to pursue an ideological agenda. i do not think we know the answer to that question. i think a big unknown is whether facing difficulty in making
progress on what he wants to do domestically, he decides to ramp up some of the things he has talked about internationally. -- where the president has aot more flexibility and where congress, other than helping to shape the general political debate in the country which is very important, they cannot really constrain him as effectively as they can on domestic policy. so that is one of the things i am most worried about in the next two years. combined with the fact that, although the president has unambiguously and resolutely tried to avoid foreign policy questions, facing them only when he had no choice like what to do and afghanistan, the rest of the world has not been waiting for us to get our economic house in oer. hower much it is important to us what kind of health care systeme have in this country,
ought to decide and kim jong il do not care -- ahmedinejad. they see this as a very weak administration and they are calculating policies based on that. what is suggest is that you have not simply the level of threats and problems we have had in the first two years but you will see are rising and accelerating level of threats as in the cases of extraordinary good fortune we have had invoiding a terrorist attack just in the last 18 months, even just in the weekend before the election. yes, sir? >> i have a question about it ron and nuclear weapons. do you think there is anything short of a military strike by israel or the united states that can stop this regime from approaching building a nuclear
weapon, given the fact that our last chance a movement in iran and obama ignored it. >> i think right now the most likely outcome with respect to iran is that its nuclear weapons. even the obama administration admitted several months ago that iran could have nuclear weapons capability within a year. i think there is a lot we do not know about their program. it could be closer to that. they have proceeded more deliberately in recent years because i think they do not believe that they are threatened. certainly, in the last two years, i do not think they are threatened at all by the obama administration. i fear that the president believeshat the fallback position on iran is that we can contain and deter iran once it gets nuclear weapons. i think this is badly mistaken. i think the calculus of
deterrence with respect to our regime like iran opposing an asymmetric threat to us and our friends and allies in the region and around the world is very differenthan the countless of the cold war standoff with the soviet union. even if i am wrong about that, the nuclear weapons problem in the middle east does not stop with iran. if iran gets a nuclear-weapons, almost surely saudi arabia will, egypt, turkey, perhaps others. in a short period of time, 5-10 years, you could see half a dozen countries in the region with nucar weapons. and if you did not like the bipolar nuclear standoff of the cold war, a match of a multi- polar nuclear standoff and a latile middle east -- imagine a multi-polar nuclear standoff in the volatile middle east. i think we are seeing that in the efforts of sanctions, which the administration agreed to after a year and a half of
opposing them. the continued negotiation that we will see before the end of this month will come to naught. you have two alternatives. one is that in iran with nuclear weapons. other is a preemptive military strike by the u.s. or israel. the burden of that decision falls on israel. it is extremely unattractive and undesirable to contemplate having to use military force against iran's nuclear program, but when you compare it to them option of having in iran with nuclear weapons, that is why you have to look at it. the choice that israel basically faces is not a choice between the world as it is today versus the world after a strike against iran's program. if that with a choice, that
would be easy. the world as it is today is disappearing. the choice is between the world after a strike on the nuclear program and a world where iran has nuclear-weapons. i thinkhere is not a lot of time within whichhat choice will be made, and so we could well have a very, very difficult series of desions for the president to make, whether the famous 3 a.m. call that he will have to make his mind up about. ok. thank y9oou very much. [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> thank you for
book sunday night on "q&a." >> american history tv starting saturday. here historic speeches by national leaders and eyewitness accounts of the events that shaped our nation. is it museum -- visit museums, historical sites, and listened as historians still into america's past. american history tv. every weekend on c-span 3. tomorrow morning on washington journal, --
"washington journal" begins at 7:00 eastern. on "newsmakers" former senator norm coleman. he is now part of the american action network. he talks about the future of the republican party. you can see newsmakers sunday morning. >> now a ground-breaking ceremony for the george bush center in dallas, texas. he is joined by his wife laura, dick cheney, and condoleezza rice. it will include a library, museum, and policy institute. this is about 60 minutes. ♪
w. bush foundation boa of directors, and former secretary of commerce, don evans. the president of the george w. bush foundation, ambassador mark langdale. the chair of the george w. bush institute advisory board, and former secretary of state, con doleezza rice, and the 46th vice-president of the united states, dick cheney.
>> it has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your president. there have been good days, and a half days, but every day i have been inspired by the greatness of our country, and uplifted by the goodness of our people. i have been blessed to represent this nation we love, and i will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other -- citizen of the united states of america. ♪
a we're going to put presidential center, at the large, modern, southern methodist university in dallas, a pledge to promote the ideas of freedom and personal responsibility. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] ♪ >> today, we renew our commitment to a world without malaria. with partners across the world, we are helping the people of africa turned the tide against malaria. ♪
>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for "god bless america" and our national anthem, performed by soloist laura smolik and smu belle tones and southern gentlemen, under the direction of dr. pamela elrod. the colors are presented today by the third corp fort hood sergeant audie murphy club. [no audio]
we rejoice, oh, god, for the george w. bush presidential center at smu. we pray, our lord, that it will be a place to answer the call to action in order to make this world a better place. we pray that it will be a sanctuary to enhance learning, inspire patriotism, and offer insight into the world's future. we pray a very special prayer of thanksgiving for the leadership of president george w. bush, and laura bush. we thank you for their shared commitment to our country, and to the tenants of democracy. we pray that this center will be an inspiration to those inches public-service as a life's vocation. moreover, we pray that those who study and learn in the context of this great institution will have a deeper appreciation for the history and
the future of the united states of america. god bless us now, and bless the very fabric of this presidential center. in your holy name, we pray, amen. >> please welcome the chair of the george w. bush foundation board of directors, secretary don evans. [applause] >> mark, thank you for the blessing and inspiration. what a wonderful crowd, for an incredibly joyous occasion. good morning to all of you. welcome to the ground-breaking ceremony of the george w. bush presidential center on the beautiful campus of southern methodist university in dallas, texas. [applause]
>> it is pretty good. what a thrill to be here on this historic day, joined by more than 3000 friends, supporters, and the bush-cheney alumni. [applause] >> i would also like to send a word of welcome to the several hundred members of the smu community who are watching down the block at mustang mall, as well the supporters from around the world participating via live web site. today's celebration realizes the culmination of a lot of planning and hard work by literally, thousands of individuals. it began with the library's collection committee -- the library selection committee, whose efforts led to our partnership with smu, and this incredible piece of property. the design committee, chaired by mrs. laura bush, created a plan for a beautiful and elegant, and forward-looking building
and grounds that will complement this campus. the foundation board has overseen the establishment and development of the bush center and its many components. the institute advisory board members provided counsel, resulting in the launch of several initiatives and the hiring of distinguished fellows. and the national finance committee and donors, whose hard work and sacrifice have built a solid financial foundation for the bush center, and the activities moving forward. while much has been accomplished in a short period of time, today marks another major milestone, as we turn our sights to the future. we break ground on a center that will serve as a resource for thousands of visitors each and every year, and as an epicenter for research, innovation, and action that will result -- to borrow the words of a fearless leader of ours -- "will result in a freer and better world."
today is indeed a celebration, a celebration of president and mrs. bush, and their service to our country, of the enduring principles that motivate their life's work, of the future the bush center will help make possible, and finally, a celebration of each and every one of you for the love that you have for president and laura bush, and the love that you have for america. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for your friendship, your service, your generosity, and your commitment that has made this wonderful and glorious day a reality. now, please join me in welcoming to the podium my good friend, the president of the george w. bush foundation, mark langdale. [applause]
>> thank you. >> let's get them, baby. yeah, you bet. [applause] >> thank you, don. we are gathered here today, on the campus of smu, to celebrate the start of the construction of the george w. bush presidential center, an important institution for this nation and the world. it will include the 13th presidential library in the national archives and records administration system. it will contain the archives of the official records of the 43rd president, a museum that will tell the story of the two terms of president bush, and unique to a presidential center, the bush center will include a policy institute. this project has been many years in the planning, and would not have been possible without the service to country that so many of you gave, and the support the so many of you here have provided throughout. we thank you for that. we start with an incredible sight -- 23 acres on the campus
of a respected university that is on the rise in a world-class city. we're grateful to smu for providing this site, and for the deepening partnership that we are developing in so many areas of mutual interest. laura bush has chaired our design committee. her keen eye and gracious style is reflected in the building, and the landscape that will come up on this site. robert stern, one of the greatest living architects in america today, has designed a building that is human in scale, and appealing and approachable. the design is not a monument, making a statement from the outside, but a building reflecting the important message that is within. a classically proportioned courtyard with an appealing fountain beckons the visitor to come inside, and freedom hall, the centerpiece of the building, says it all. this place is about the message inside, the message of enduring universal principles that are
important to all of us. this project is designed to attain lead platinum designation, the highest statement of sustainable building and design practices. this sustainable design example will be an important message to send to future visitors, but is also a reflection of what the first couple have always believed. many of the sustainable design elements reflected in this project -- judicious use of the footprint of the building to preserve green space, reusing storm water runoff for irrigation, attention to shade and sun, use of native landscaping -- all techniques laura bush used 11 years ago in the design of their crawford ranch house. there is a lot about the bush center that reflects the values, substance, and roots, of george and laura bush. there will be touches of pecan, the state official tree of texas, and muskie, the unofficial tree of west texas. [laughter]
>> a tree that is tough as nails, and could put up with just about anything. limestone quarried near midland, texas, where george and laura bush grew up, will embellish and frame the architecture. all of this will be set within 15 acres of texas native plant landscape, that pays homage to the texas landscape that george and laura bush loves so much. it will fit perfectly right here on this distinguished campus of smu. plaid and red brick, and timeless limestone, the building will reflect the essence of american georgian in a forward- looking way, appropriate for the first presidential library of the 21st century. inside, the building will permanently house the official records of our 43rd president, two consequential turns comprised of a long list of key decisions, difficult decisions. these records will be available to scholars and historians to research and reflect upon the
challenges this nation faced, and how president bush handle them. the records have already been transferred to dallas, and they're being catalogued by 15 archivists, under the direction of alan lowe, and nora. the center will also contain a permanent museum, where those who remember the challenges of the first decade of the 21st century, and students who are learning about them for the first time, will experience in one space the challenges that president bush faced from 9/11, to the financial crisis of 2008. the story will be told to the key decisions that president bush made during his presidency to advance the ideals and principles that are so important to all of us. president franklin roosevelt dedicated the first presidential library in highland park, n.y., in 1939. at that dedication, he said the purpose of a presidential library is so that future generation can study and learn about the decisions of our
presidents, so they can learn how to make better decisions in the future. we've kept that vision in mind as we have designed this center, and believed it serves that worthy purpose, right here on the campus of smu. we will do more than that. president bush commission us to develop a policy institute, alongside the library, as a place where world-class scholars and leaders to gather, and work together to improve people's lives. they will do that here, in the office and conference facilities that will contain the latest technology for connecting and disseminating the good work of the bush institute, and always, the good principles that guided president bush's presidency, will guide our work here. in fact, they already are. programming began last year. we have 20 scholars and fellows, and practitioners, working on education reform, advancing human freedom, advancing economic growth and
global health. we are all privileged here today, to witness a small part of american history, of a continuing history of the american presidency, in the groundbreaking of the 13th presidential library, and the george w. bush presidental center. on a beautiful spring day in 2013, we will return here to dedicate its opening. another presidential election will have taken place. by tradition, all current and former presidents, a very exclusive club, will come here to commemorate that occasion. the official records of the 43rd president of this nation will be placed here, testimony to a consequential time in american history, the history that president bush and laura bush will continue to shape through the work here, at the bush center. it is now my pleasure to introduce to you our partner in this project, the official custodians of the historic records of america, the 10th archivist of the united states,
david ferriero. [applause] >> thank you, mark. president and mrs. bush, vice president cheney, and other distinguished guests on this platform and in the audience, on behalf of all of us at the national archives, sharon fawcett, the assistant archivist for presidential libraries, the director of all presidential libraries, alan lowe, director of the george w. bush library, and his wonderful staff, i want you to know how proud we are to be in dallas today. the presidential library system was created along with the national archives during the administration of president roosevelt. the intent, from the beginning, was to have presidential libraries throughout the country where scholars and school children could learn about their government, the presidency, and, perhaps, be inspired to public service. the george w. bush presidential
library is the 13th presidential library to be administered by the national archives. the other 12 libraries have created a foundation upon which this library will build in years to come, but this library will be the best yet, and have features the others do not have. and, and nod from this librarian to another librarian, laura bush, for your fine work, in making this the best ever. [applause] >> first, in addition to large paper artifact and digital photos, the bush library has nearly 80 terabytes of electronic information, including more than two hundred million e-mails. as you told me, in june, when we met, mr. president, not one of them is yours. [laughter] >> this is the first presidential library with the major digital collection, a collection that is larger than the holdings of all the other presidential libraries combined.
having an archive of electronic records of this size and complexity poses new preservation and processing challenges for us that will require new solutions and innovations because this information is of tremendous value, and will be of interest to generations of researchers and the general public. second, the museum at the bush center will be quite unique, and gauging the audience directly in the experience. the galleries will be arranged by examining key presidential decisions, and exploring the four principles of freedom, responsibility, opportunity, and compassion, that president bush has enunciated. within that framework, the exhibit will also show the decision making process the president followed when the many challenges of this administration were before him. the museum will employ interactive, digital technology to reach our diverse audience, both on site, and virtual.
finally, the library will benefit greatly through its close partnerships with the bush institute and smu. with the institute, we look forward to working with its fellows in the research, taking part of its programs, and showing the students to come here the work the institute is doing around the world. at the same time, we areroud to be a member of the smu family, and we are greatly appreciative of the wonderful welcome we have received from the faculty and students here. under the leadership of president gerald turner, and with great students like jake torres, smu has reached out to the library in so many ways. we look forward to the many partnership opportunities ahead with students and faculty. throughout the entire presidential library system w seek to educate, and to inspire. we believe that from civic understanding comes civic engagement. the national archives is proud to be a part of that important effort. now, i would like to thank
president turner for his leadership, and bring him to the podium. [applause] >> thank you, david. on behalf of the board of trustees, faculty and staff, and alumni of the university, i welcome all of you to our beautiful campus, the home of the george w. bush presidential center. we thank you, president and mrs. bush, for making this day possible at smu. thank you. [applause] >> if this is your first visit to campus, we hope that you will stay with us long enough to be able to experience the energy and vitality of our campus, as well as the beautiful oaks, and stately collegiate georgian buildings. but having the bush presidential center on our campus provides a unique opportunity to develop joint programs involving the faculty,
staff, and students at the university, with the fellows and the visiting scholars of the bush presidential center. last year, four conferences of the bush institute on important global issues resulted in the partnership of the institute and the university, and gave us a glimpse of the tremendous potential that is available for the future. in addition, groups of students have already visited the temporary library site that alan lowe has made possible, and they have enjoyed classroom visits by president bush. some of them barely survived that experience, when he walked in. having the historic resources of a library and the museum will provide opportunities for research, not only for our faculty and students, but for scholars worldwide. close to home, these resources will provide educational experiences for the almost 200,000 k-12 students who live in the metroplex.
but, it is a joint program and interaction with fellows, visiting scholars, and leaders at the institute that will constitute most of the intellectual dialogue and debate that will carry the impact of the bush presidential center, far into the future. today is another milestone along a timeline that began for us in december of 2000, when we determined to try to bring the bush center to smu, the alma mater of the first lady. although the process at times was challenging, we have never wavered in that quest. we knew that smu would benefit from the presence of the presidential center on our campus, and we believed that the presidential center would benefit from its association with smu because of the economic resources, vitality of dialogue and research programs,
and our location in the heart of one of the most dynamic regions in the united states. this ground-breaking foretells the great celebration of the center's opening in 2013, and the development of a vibrant educational partnership both now, and for generations to come. it is an honor to have the bush presidential center on the smu campus. and now, to bring greetings from our students, it is a privilege to introduce the president of the student body, jake torres, a senior majoring in english and spanish. [applause] >> thank you, dr. turner. it is a wonderful day to be a member of the mustang family, and a special privilege to be here representing the 11,000 students of southern methodist university. it was a great day for smu when we were chosen as the future
home for the george w. bush presidential center. educational opportunities and partnerships have already been made available to the students of smu, and will continue to benefit the smu community for years to come. over the past two years, president bush has made surprise visits to classes, as dr. turner mentioned, and students have attended bush institute conferences, and even served as interns for president and mrs. bush, and the bush foundation. many of us chose smu because of its location in dallas, a small class sizes, and its excellent faculty, but we also selected smu because of its commitment to provide opportunities outside of the classroom that benefit and enrich what we are learning inside the classroom. the fact that i am here today, and then joined by several hundred fellow mustangs, is a perfect example of how the bush center is advancing our education and experience a way that none of us will ever forget. thank you for allowing us to
share in the special moment, and to president and mrs. bush, on behalf of the smu student body, welcome home. [applause] >> thank you. it is now my honor to introduced the chair of the george w. bush institute advisory board, former secretary of state, and what we really like, an academic, a former provost at stanford, dr. condoleezza rice. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. well, thank you for that warm,
smu welcome. mr. president, mrs. bush, mr. vice president, and my fellow members here, i could not being more delighted to be with you and more honored to serve as the chair of the george w. bush institute board. on behalf of my fellow institute board members, the advisory board looks forward to continuing the great work that has already begun under the excellent leadership of jim glassman. i want you to know that the institute looks forward to continuing to be a place where smu students feel welcome, where they can participate in the work of the institute, and where faculty from smu, from around the country, scholars and practitioners from all over the world, can come together to
explore powerful ideas, and to find ways to put them into action. the hallmark of the presidency of george w. bush was the fundamental, bedrock belief in the inherent worth of every individual. and, because every individual is worthy, every individual deserves to live in freedom. the president and mrs. bush believed that america had a special responsibility to use its power and its generosity, and its compassion, to advance freedom for those at home and for those abroad. a belief that free people are most creative and most fulfilled in free economies, where their activities and their creativity can lift millions out of poverty -- a belief that every individual has the right to be free from ignorance, and
the transforming power of education is owed to every child, because every child can learn -- a belief that human beings also need to be free from disease, and that healthy societies are more likely to be partners in peace and in prosperity -- a belief that society is that do not fully bring the potential of their women to there will be poorer for it, and ultimately, that societies that treat women badly are dangerous societies, and the belief that no man, woman, or child, deserves to live in tyranny. that tyranny must be spoken of and broken down in every corner of the world. a belief that the voices of the so-called powerless can be so powerful but they have brought
down walls, and that they have brought down dictators. the institute will seek the best ideas to put these principles into action, and then go about the work that is left to us. the institute, and my fellow the advisory board members believe very strongly that we are all doing this in the belief that while we have to deal with the world as it is, we do not have to accept the cynical notion that this is the best that we can do. president bush was sometimes considered an idealist, and at the very least, an optimist, but i would say that president bush and mrs. laura bush were more than that. they were optimists, idealists, and realists, too, because they have seen that so many times,
even then our lifetimes, when the in possible one day seems inevitable the next. so, we will do our part to advance toward the world not as it is, but the world as it should be. i am really excited, and look with great anticipation to the further work of the institute as a part of the george w. bush presidential center. it will be a great future. thank you. [applause] >> i have the honor of inviting to the podium, and asking you to join in honoring the 46th vice-president of the united states, richard p. cheney. [applause]
>> thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. well, i have often been over- looked during my tours as vice president. [laughter] >> so, i am delighted to be here today. i want to thank condi, the president, and laura, and all of the rest of our friends who are gathered here on this historic occasion. it is great to be back in dallas, a city that my wife and i called home for five years. flying down here yesterday, as i got to thinking about my time as a texan, we love dallas, we miss it, sometimes, and happily, we now have another very good reason to come back often, to
see america's newest presidential library and the man whose name is on it. [applause] >> of course, the george w. bush presidential center is not much to look at just yet, but the workers are ready, construction will move fast after today's groundbreaking. this may be the only shovel- ready project in america. [applause] [laughter] [applause] >> my congratulations on the start of the center, mr. president, as well as the
success of your new memoir. the robust sales it has already had do not surprise me in the least. two years after your tour at the white house ended, judgments are a little more measured than they were. when times have been tough, and critics have been loud, you have always said that you had stayed in history's judgment, and history is beginning to come around. [applause] >> 10 years have passed since governor bush asked me to be his running mate. in the days before that decision point, we spend some time getting to know each other better. i suppose he was taking my measure. i know i was watching him pretty closely, too. there are some basic attributes to look for in a fellow who might become president. to dust off a phrase from the 2000 campaigns, i saw those
traits in this guy, big time. [laughter] >> one of the things said struck me from the beginning, and continued -- one of the things that struck me from the beginning, and continued to impress me during our time in office was george bush's refusal to put on airs. it is a happy experience, and a rare one, to find that the most powerful person you know is among the least pretentious, that at the commanding heights, a man can be so respectful of his office, so serious in his duty, and yet so unimpressed in himself. kipling rated a fine virtue for one to walk with kings, yet keep the common touch, and no one has ever done it quite like our 43rd president. [applause] >> i have seen him dealing with
the various auguste figures to come through the oval office. i have seen him dealing with the folks who look after the presidential household, and it is always the same. we could offer give a president for carrying himself with a certain expectation of privilege, but with this president, no such allowances were necessary. there were no affectations about him at all. he needs everyone has an equal, and added to that you do not expect to find in government, -- an attitude that you do not expect to find in government, much less at the very top, but it is a classy way to operate, very american, and wonderful to see in the oval office. it is also quite familiar to anyone who knows the family. he is courteous, fair-minded, and kind, capable of great strength, and great gentleness, and all of this, very much, his father's son. mr. president, when you and i started our association in austin, we knew that it
responsibilities awaited us, and though, of course, we could not have imagined all that was to come, some how your life had prepared you for some of the most serious decisions any president ever had to face. when the worst came, you did your job with courage, with clarity, and with strength of heart. when i think of september 11, and the days that followed, when the images that always comes to mind is the president standing on a flat and fire truck, throwing his arm around a recovery worker and saying through a bullhorn that the people who knocked those buildings down would soon hear from all of us. [applause] >> far into the future, visitors here will still see that bullhorn, and when they do, i hope they will picture the world as it was that day, and
realize how it was transformed in the months and years ahead. america went from being on the defense against terrorists, going on offense against them. history is always an account of what happened, but sometimes the greatest story of all is what did not happen, and because you were determined to throw back the enemy, we did not suffer another 9/11, or something even worse. [applause] >> i have a few more thoughts on the man and his presidency, but i will save them when we are all back in dallas again, for the grand opening of the library. enough for now to say that it was a privilege to serve beside him for those eight years, and a daily pleasure to share in the
journey. i know that all of the alums here feel just the same. i know that the american people will always think highly of him, because they can't tell a decent, good-hearted, stand-up guy, when they see one. i know that all of the texans in this audience are ready now to lead the cheers for our friend, the 43rd president of the united states, george w. bush. [applause] >> thank you, buddy. thank you, you all. thank you all. [applause] >> ok. thank you very much. thank you.
for those of you who are not privileged to live in texas, welcome to the great state. and welcome to one of the finest universities in the whole united states, southern methodist. i cannot think dick enough for coming. i have been doing these interviews, trying to peddle my book. [laughter] >> i am asked about dick cheney. here is what i say -- "dick cheney was the right pick in the year 2000," and as i stand here, there is no doubt in my mind that he was the right pick then. he was a great vice president of the united states, and i am proud to call him a friend. [applause]
>> i want to thank all of the people who made this event possible. i want to thank my pal, ambassador mark langdale, secretary donny evans, for the leadership. i do want to call out a smu alumnus, ray hunt, for being such a efficient and effective leader in this effort. i appreciate ambassador jim glassman's leadership of the institute. i want to thank my pal, the former secretary of state, condoleezza rice, for joining us. [applause] >> one reason that smu is such a superb at university is because its leadership is superb, starting at the top with gerald turner. [applause]
>> thank you to david for joining us, and alan lowe, our archivists. >> i am grateful that our preacher, mark craig has joined us, and i want to thank the student body president, jake torres. [applause] >> now, mr. president, a word of advice. it is not too early to start thinking about your memoirs. [laughter] i am proud to be associated with you and the student body. it is a great group of future leaders for our country. [applause] >> with us today is a man i befriended during my presidency, really one of the courageous leaders in the world, someone who understands the importance of democracy and freedom, who
>> i really do not miss much about washington, but i do miss being your commander in chief. [applause] >> i want to thank all of the people from our administration who have joined us today, and i thank you for your noble service to our country. [applause] >> and, i appreciate the 160,000 donors whose generosity insured that this building was fully paid for before we broke ground. [applause] >> and, i think all of the people joining us by webcast. it is hard to believe that there is this much excitement about
shoveling dirt. [laughter] >> today's groundbreaking marks the beginning of a journey. we take the first step toward construction of this presidential center, which will be a dynamic hub of ideas and actions based upon timeless principles. the truth of the matter is that this moment is a continuation of a journey that began many years ago. just over one decade ago, the american people want to the polls to choose their president in the 2000 election. just under a decade ago we figured out the results. [laughter] >> a lot of us cannot believe that i'm the only president to have won the same election five times. [laughter] [applause] >> back then, none of us could have predicted what would lie ahead for our country.
we witnessed our nation attacked, and our country united in resolve. we felt the grief of war, and the joy of liberation. we remember vividly young girls going to school in afghanistan, and voters waiting purple figures in the air. we saw that with a clear purpose, and accountable action, we could help aids patients to live, struggling societies to develop, and storm victims to rebuild. through the triumphs and the sorrows, the good days and bad, the decisions we made together were guided by certain principles. we believe that freedom is universal, and the hope of every soul, and the alternate path to peace. we believe that free markets
are the best way to empower individuals at home and to lift people abroad out of poverty. we believe you can spend your money better than the united states government can spend your money. [applause] >> we believe that america's interest in conscience demands engagement in the world because what happens elsewhere inevitably affects us here. we believe the call to serve and the admonition to whom much is given, much is required. i believe that the ultimate responsibility of leader is to not do what is easy, or popular, but to do what is necessary and right. [applause] >> the decisions of governing are on another president's desk, and he deserves to make
them without criticism from me. [applause] >> staying out of current affairs and politics does not mean staying out of policy. i strongly believe that the principles that guided our service in public office are the right principles to lead our country into the future. these principles do not belong to any president or any political party. they are fundamental, american ideals that arise from our founding, and have inspired millions around the world. all three elements of the presidential center will play a role in advancing those principles. the archives will preserve the record of our administration's efforts to apply these principles during a period of historic consequence.
the museum will bring those efforts to life for generations of visitors. the institute will apply these principles to the problem of our time, demonstrating with a measurable results how they can transform and improve the lives of people at home, and around the world. last november, i presented an outline for the institute, and i am pleased to report that we have had a productive inaugural year. we have recruited a team of world-class scholars and fellows. we have developed ambitious plans for our areas of focus -- education reform, global health, economic growth, and human freedom. for example, we launched an innovative new effort called the alliance to reform education leadership, which focuses on improving the quality of school principals and administrators. we've begun a study of new ways
to integrate maternal health services on the continent of africa. we started compiling a repository of documents and interviews from freedom advocates around the world, which will spotlight the triumph of dissidents, and we hope to inspire others to join their cause. one of the most exciting parts of the presidential center is the institute's woodman's the initiative. laura and i believe that women are often society's most effective agents of change, and one of the institute's core missions will be to support the efforts of women to lead the freedom movement in the middle east and in other parts of the world. we are fortunate to have laura overseeing this initiative, and i have been a lucky man to have her by my side for over 33 years.
[applause] >> it is now my privilege to bring to the podium a fabulous woman, and a great first lady, laura bush. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you all. thank you so much. and, thank you, george. thank you, everybody. thank you of all. thank you so much. thank you all, and thank you, everybody, for joining us here today. george and i are thrilled to share this moment with so many good friends, so many cabinet members, and white house staff. vice president cheney, thank you for joining us. dr. rice, thank you very much for being here. i also want to recognize
president uribe from columbia. thank you so much for joining us as well. ambassador langdale and gerald turner, ambassador jim glassman, who will be the executive director of the george w. bush his institute, thank you all very much. you have just heard about some of the bush institute's goals from fostering opportunity, to improving access to health care and education, and expanding freedom around the world. the reason we have included a woman's initiative at the institute is clear. the success of each of these important goals will depend upon the contributions of when in. vibrant economies rely on the creativity of when and entrepreneurs. free political systems require the insights of women in government, journalism, and law. >> helping nations depend upon
wives and mothers to make informed decisions that will keep themselves and their families safe. every successful society depends upon women that can lead. mothers are our first teachers, which means -- i am inspired by the women i have met across the world. in africa, there are hiv- positive women who educate other women so that their children will be borne hiv-free. in saudi arabia, where cancer carries a stigma, a doctor works with the global initiative to raise awareness about risk
cancer. in thailand, dr. cynthia mong runs a clinic. as the ambassador for the un literacy decade, i have met women around the world who are helping other women lead healthier, more prosperous, and more fulfilling lives by giving them access to basic quality education. this past march, george and i hosted a conference on u.s.- afghan women's council here at smu. ahe council's work is powerful example of the work with the women in afghanistan. under the taliban, women were routinely abused.
today, afghan women now leave as provincial governors and as elected members of the national assembly. they work as entrepreneurs, as lawyers, and community health workers. many also serve in a profession close to my heart -- teaching. these inspiring leaders remind us that investments in women are always worthwhile. they remind us that laws and customs that deny women their basic rights and that the nine society of women's contributions are never acceptable -- and that denyin society of women's contributions are never accepteacceptable. last year, the murder of an iranian music student who spoke
as a protester was gunned down on the streets of tehran during a protest. it showed that other women often pay the ultimate price in pursuit of freedom worldwide. for most of the past two decades, the leader of burma's democracy movement was a prisoner in her own home. the free world rejoiced this week at her release. but it came only after she was banned from participating in burma's recent elections. she has been released before, only to be placed back under house arrest by the military regime. this time, we hope that she is freed without conditions and that she is allowed to continue her peaceful work until the day when all of burma's citizens live in free freedom. [applause]
a around the world, all of us who live in freedom have the obligation of condemning barbaric acts against women. an electorate that shuts out women is not a democracy. in a population that denies the rights of women is not a free society. the goal of our women's initiative is to stand with of the women who, despite these challenges, are determined to carry on their courageous work, to promote democracy and freedom in the middle east. we will join with civic leaders, corporations and foundations, to help women become more engaged and better educated and to be participants in government, business, and civil society. through a partnership among african nations, western
nations, and ngo's, the institute will lead an effort to deliver integrated health services to expectant mothers, helping to protect their own health at a critical time and to keep their babies safe from hiv and malaria. today, nearly 800 million adults are illiterate and two- thirds of them are women. if we want women to be the bedrock of a stable democratic society, they must be able to read. here at the bush institute, the women's initiative will championed literacy and we will keep working to them proved the education that girls and boys receive -- to improve the education that girls and boys received here at home and around the world. at the u.s.-afghan women's meeting here, one of the participants was an afghan woman. during the taliban years, she operated underground literacy
centers at great risk to her own life. today, she runs more than 40 women's centers across afghanistan, teaching hundreds of thousands of women to read. at the conference, she asked participants to invest in the future of afghanistan and to support the ongoing progress of women. yes, it is difficult, she said, but be patient with us. do not be sorry for us. be with us. through the women's initiative, the bush institute will stand with her and all who are working to guarantee equal rights for women. thank you all very much for your support of the bush institute and thank you for joining us here today. [applause] >> and now, thank you for coming, ladies and gentlemen. the speeches are over. it is time to shovel dirt.
[applause] >> joining president and mrs. bush at this site to break ground, we welcome the co-chair of the george w. bush foundation national finance committee ray hunt, building architect robert a.m. stern, landscape architect michael than ball gomberg, chair of the smu board of trustees, karen crowe throw, and the director of the george w. bush presidential library alan lowe. re. you got it. thank you, sir. ok, everybody ready? it is time to shovel dirt.
republican governor. tom corbett takes over for tom rondell. he retired from the army national guard. >> take a look at the new members of congress with the c- span video library. find a complete list and the congress tab. every new number is listed with the they are district map, there campaign elective spirit is on your computer any time. it is washington your way. >> this year's student can video documentary competition is in full swing. up load your video to c-span for the deadline of january 20 for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. for all the rules and how to up load your videos, go online. >> this weekend, the polling
.ata from eight arab countries he discusses his findings of the findings in the "the washington times." >> tomorrow morning, brookings institution senior fellow isabelle sawtelle on reforming social security, medicare, and medicaid. then daniel goure. and amy harder on the latest federal regulations. "washington journal" begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern. on sunday, former u.s. senator norm:. he is now -- senator norman coleman. he talks about the future of the
republican party. you can see "newsmakers" sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. and sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> this morning, we talked with bradford fitch, author wrote " the citizens handbook on electing government officials." this is just 35 minutes. . >> "washington journal" continues. host: "the citizens handbook for influencing elected ofcials." the author is brad fitch, he is our guest this morning. how much influence does an average constituent have with members of congress? guest: they have a lot more influence than they realize. one of the myths is that special interest really control washington. in reality, most of the decisions members of congress make about most of the issues were actually made as a result
of the influence of citizens. they could be citizens coming in as part as fly0ins or lobby days, people will go to town hall meetings or one citizen or individu who writes a thoughtful letter that captors demand -- attention of a member of congress. host: you read about the real influence of lobbyists. you said the popular trail of lobbyists' influence is largely inaccurate. you go on to say that lobbyis, often a former congressional staffers and members of congress, the trade on their previous relationships to gain access to those in power but once they get that access ey are armed mostly with the facts surrounding a topic and how it might affect a group of people. citizens have the same tools. access to the members of congress and knowledge of how an issue might impact their lives. audience may be
cynical about that. gues i can appreciate that. the next paragraph goes into that further, "how -- how lobbyists to influence members of congress. with the facts. i will go into how citizens a more effective than lobbyist. i want to -- run a group of wooded a survey of congressional staff a few years ago and asked a question if your member of congress has not already arrived at a firm decision how influential might this following strategy be on his or her decision making? a lot, some, no influence at all. 99% said that constituent visits, meeting with an invidual one on one, would have some are a lot of influence. in comparison to lobbyists, over 60% said citizens would have a lot of influence and only 50%
said lobbyists would have a lot of influence. there is actually dated to support the idea that citizens make a difference and lobbyists are in many respects abrogating the data to try to explain to members of congress -- aggregating the data to try to explain to members of congress what impact it may have. host: how important is it that one is a constituent of a member of congress or senator? guest: all-important. i get questions about how to influence legislators who don't represent me. the eily complaint, but their complaint is mr. madison and hamilton. we live in a republic. the system is set up some members of congress are responsive to constituents. one of the most important things you can say -- the first words out of yourouth are, i am a constituent and i care about this issue. of its goal -- host: another issue of one to
get out of the way before we go to calls. first of all, does joe six pack joe average, get access to a member of congress? and won a number from the constituency say i would like an appointment -- can one caller from a constituent is a of an appointment? guest: it is that it ego as a group. also that if you mt in a district office. many people think of washington were all the legislation happens but my members of congress need with constituents in their district offices. people literally just have to pick up the phone and call or they can go to a town hall meeting. which of the phenomenon last august where we had not the people at town hall meetings. one of the best educations was working for a suburban maryland member of congress. went to over 100 town hall meetings. we were lucky if we got 30 or 40
people. if you want to influence members go to town hall meetings. tell me the stafford that you want to ask a question and what you want to ask and you will have an opportunity. host: if you have a genuine question for your member of congress, a letter, e-mail, phone call? guest: the research i referenced and is batting we did showed it was not the vehicle that made the difference. e-mail or letters have the same amount of influence. it is whether or not it was individualized. if the constituent took the time to tell a personal story and said this is how this legislation is going to influence me. if there is a quick turnaround time, a vote on the floor to mark, the phone call as a little faster piper mail takes one week or two weeks because it has to be irradiated these days as a result of the anthrax attacks in 2001. a female is process qukly. but on calls it through the
fastest. host: before we go to calls on how to influence, campaign contributors are less influential than you think. guest: i know that is another one of the myths. it is a dirty secret that even politicians don't want to get out is campaign contributions aren't really as an influential as you might think. i asked the chief of staff and the book and asked who has more influence, a person gives you $1,000 or a constituent who comes in on a fly-in, and he said it depends on who makes the best argument. does it give you access? sure. but a vote that way because they contribute? it just doesn't happen. they look at issue to try to determine what is the right way for me to vote that is consistent with constituent of use and will will help me in the lls of the next time i stand for reelection.
host: who do you hope lies in this book? guest: everybody, of course. -- host: luby think buys this book? guest: everybody, of course. people who think their voice does not matter. people who want to have impact on the legislative process and think it's perhaps they can't. this will hopefully give them tools and inspiration. ho: you worked for both republicans and democrats? whom? caller: started my career as an intern for a conservative republic -- republican and ended with a progressive democrat and now i am a practicing independent and t commonweah of virginia. host: south carolina. caller: this topic is a very interesting. when it comes to lindsey graha
m, you would not influence him. the number one question we ask him is who is he working for because it is certainly not his constituents. guest: can certainly understand why you feel that way. i had the good fortune for the last 25 years to work with members of congress and staff. a popular view that members of congress are not listening is not true. they actually are trying to listen to their constituents and be responsive in any way they can. i will giveou a good example. i was interviewing a senior chief of staff for a senator right after the anthrax attacks into doubt in 115 individuals lost their lives. as a result, the canceled all the delivery of mail to capitol hill. the chief of staff was telling me, my boss feels completely disconnected because he doesn't have the opportunity to hear what his constituents are saying. it really does make a difference
when you get involved. members of congress to listen. but they also follow their head. they think about an issue and look at -- when sometimes they might not be listening they are listening but they are making up their own minds, too. host: democrat. sarasota, florida. guest: i would love to believe this man hopeful -- i hate to say,onsense, because lobbyists are often, where conservatives are concerned, are writing legislation. the new members of congress, new members of the state legislatures and all of that, they rely on lobbyists and the, the bureaucrats in place. this whole thing ibuilt around money. i've been to town hall forums and i had to prop up my arm -- mr. buchanan, i knew his
manager, they went around me in any way to avoid serious questions that i kw i uld ask. this propaganda it is unfortunate. i would love to believe this man. i think he is out of touch -- host: alright, we got the point. mr. fitch? guest: and i out of touch? i hope not. althoughy family would say so. i could understand why people believe this. i was watching a cable television program last year, and they were doing the typical pundits are roundtable and they were decrying that congress had given itself $93,000 in petty cash increase. $93,000 petty cash increase. there is no petty cash. no such thing. complete fabrication. much of what we are seeing unfortunately is not their real congress. one of the things you have to recognize is most of the tngs
legiators make aren't around balancing the budget, aren't around health care or the war in aq. those are big issues and they do make decisions on those issues. most of the decisions they make are influencing a smaller group of constituents. they are determining whether optometrists or ophthalmologist will be about to perform procedures on veterans, when the horses can be transported on single becker or double decker trucks o whether ethanol can be 15% or 10% in said gasoline. that is what most of congress does. that is not front-page news. i can understand that people believe congress does not listen where they are unresponsive. but when they mix it up and get involved in the legislative process, they will get a very responsive reaction from their legislature. its coat that caller brought up the fact that a think lobbyists are denied host: he thinks --
the caller things lobbyists are writing legislation. guest: i kind of like the idea that people for the american farm bureau and representatives are contributing ideas to bills affecting farmers board or the osteopaths are cringing to legislation to combat effects osteopathy. it does not mean a finalize legislatio and on the decision lies with the elected officials. host: something you address in your book is the issue of committee staff. what is the importance of committee staff for a constituent? guest: the committees are rebels are made. at audubon bismarck, if you like laws or sausages, don't watch how i there is made an committees are the sausage factory where they are done. they are the experts. often the smartest people in washington. if you can call the bureau cat -- bureaucrats, but i am glad there are people working on these issues. they are hard to influence, to be honest.
they don't open their doors to constuents and they don't meet regularly but they are influenced by the legislators and policy makers. they are influenced by the sues themselves. the wonks of washington. host: flint, michigan. caller: i completely agree with the previous caller. he has probably been swirling with my his whole life and meet the not understand the purpose of democracy. i am unemployed and i did not have a lot of money to purchase democracy. i don't think mr. franklin or jefferson could imagine big money politics and a person who has all the money has all of the power. you artotally out of touch. the guy previous was completely correct. money can purchase things. host: we got a point. want to add this tweet
the guest: of course, i do. host: there isynicism. guest: i can see that. part of it is i think t congress gets a bad rap. i think people do not understand institution and the people who come here are better than they ever tried on television -- except on c-span, the average rate accurately. i will give you quote for the late, great journalist, tim russert. he was asked what is the one story we should cover in washington and we don't. without risk -- missing a beat, he said most of the people who come here are decent, good americans, who just happen to disagr with other decent, good americans. i have worked with these members of staff for 30 years and they are hardworking people. they were the equivalent of two jobs. the pew research center did a survey of members of congress about 10 years ago and asked how many hours do you work and members ofongress, 75% say they worked 70 hours a week or more.
this is a hard job and most of them are dedicated to trying to do right. i know it is not portrayed that way. hollywood does not give it a wreck -- good rap. but the real congress, would you do not often see, are just a bunch of hard-working americans. host: kansas. ken o the republican libra have you ever call or visited a member of congress? caller: i have called but never did get i net dennis moore once. it's good your news senator? caller: yes. host: when you wrote or called your member of congress, did you get a response and were you pleased? caller: i got a response to every letter, however, they seemed to be form letters and not really addressing exactly what my concern was. that was part of my frtration. guest: we see that in my organization, and we try to help members of congress do a better
job reping to mail. we did a survey of the american public in 2007 and amazingly 44% of adult aricans have indicated they contact the member of congress within the last five years. that is extraordinarily -- extraordinary. but only 47% of them were satisfied. and last five to 10 years we have seen an explosion of interest in communications and capitol hill. but the number of peoplehat are actually staffing the members of congress, permanent staff, has been set by law and not increased since 1974. 300% to 400% in interest and not an increase in stafng. the price of gasoline was 55 cents in 1974. it shows you the type of problems they are facing. technologically, they are also
challenged. anytime a member of congress increases spending, they are accused of spending and on themselves. that means the computers, hiring more staff, they are getting beat up for that. it is not a fair rap, but what happens. host: you called in for a different reason. go ahead and ask your question to brad fitch. caller: could you repeat where we could get a copy of this book? the guest: the publisher is capital.net and it is available on amazon.com. host: the author is brad fitch. if they go to your congressional management foundation -- guest: we have not putting up there yet but i think we have to now. host: oklahoma. bob, democrat. hi. caller: i think i am just joining a chorus of people that theory here ith's
is nonsense prattle that we teach children. you are completely leaving out e role of party discipline. if what you say is true, then why would the republicans vote as a unit and democrats vote as a unit? guest: that is a great question. you are absolutely right. certainly in the house of representatives when a bill gets to the floor there is strong discipline. the issues have been worked out. but at the committee level, when you do work through these bills, you see a lot across party lines. certainly in the senate you will see more. a lot more discipline in a few years but i worked for a senator for five years, and i can tell you how many hours we spent in his office going over one vote and one issue.
it does a ranch with members of congress on some of these boats. but i could certainly see on the floor of the house, yes, party discipline is strong. but, again, most of the issues that people are trying to influence members of congress about are not those major issues on the floor. if you look at a member's schedule coming this spring, you are not going to see them meeting with people on the big health care debate or the w in afghanistan. you are going to see them meeting with nurses and teachers and doctors and florists and all of the different groups that come to washington. host: do you find when there are postcard campaigns or groups in a constituency that all belong to, say, liberal or conservative philosophical group, do you find postcard campaigns be affected or not? guest: we often get a question about what influence of those campgns have but it depends on the issue itself. because members do what what
influence that group has. i used the example of ophthalmologists and optometrists. a great case is that it. if you years ago the veterans administration changed regulations on who can perform minor medical procedures on veterans. they expanded to allow optometrists to do this. ophthalmologists were up in arms. they believed they should be the only ones. so they launched a campaign. it really only took about 10 or 15 guys in white coats to come up to capitol hill and talk to members of congress and say, look, you don't want of thomas -- and i love optometrist, by the way -- doing this procedure. it did not take a big campaign. other times you do wanto see that large volume can really sway members of congress and get their attention. host: phoenix, arizona. james, republican line. guest: -- e. hammer --
caller: i want to prove m fitch is right on the money. i and christian and have the merit a lot of years. look, 4% of the united states population has alternate lifestyle, gay and lesbian, and look at their voice. if they get involved, look at what they get. it proves that the statistics that this man is telling, you need to believe him. it is just that everybody is upset with the current state of affairs. you know, i understand we want to yell at somebody. but, you know, the is going a good job and i believe what you are saying. you, with the statistics. if i don't believe you, i could check your facts. host: mr. fitch, would it be helpful to call the speaker's office, call the majority leader's office, if you are not a constituent of that state or district? guest: the leadership offices are not designed for that.
if you want to influence the speaker, influence your member of congress to talk to the speaker or the minority leader. they do have the ability to interact with members of congress. you wanted able to talk to the committee chairman or speaker, a minority leader, the path of influencing is through your individual senators anmembers of congress. host: if you call and say i saw the representative at the ball on saturday and he or she said to call. does it help? guest: sure, because you might be telling the truth. if your staff for does n respond, they are in a lot of trouble. a member of congress was describing how he waan inflnce on middle east policy, when he was first base coach of little league and one of the moms was chewing his ear off. he had to stay there. could not leave. sh made a lot of good points.
seeing members of congress and just bumping into them and talking to them at haw -- ad hoc, they like it. one thing we forget about politicians is they want to be ved, they want to say yes. one person said every member congress is like a middle child try to please his father. it is just the staff that is not want to say yes because it creates more work. but they do want the interaction. they are that type of folk and they do want to feed off of it. host: democrat. maryland. go ahead. caller: i agree with some of your callers that thisan i not in touch. i talked to my congressmen and senators and worked hard with a group of people to get health care passed, and we talked to republicans, and they only agree with you is -- if it is their ideology.
democrats will work and listened to you. i find it all the tim i asked republicans to write me back letters and tell me why they vote the way they do. they don't care what their constituents want. they just want to back their ideology and won't list to you. my congressmen and senators, i find they are more open and they will listen and talk to you. and i just don't think the gentleman here knows what he is talking about. host: allight. guest: connie, let me give you one story. i was interviewing a member of congress about what influenced him on a decision and he told me he changed his position on whether or not to back federal funding of stem cell research from being a no to yes.
i said, now, you are a pro-life republican. what motivated you to change your position? he said, he was approached by a young man who came on a lobby day to capitol hill and he was 17 and he said i've got juvenile diabetes and it is my hope that someday this research might result in a cure for me and others like me. the congressman said, i felt i owed it to him to research my position and to be sure of myself and after researching i decided i should back this type of research. members of congress are not as they are portrayed on television. sometimes, frankly, peter, members do this to themselves. they beat themselves up or they run against congress. just a let me, i am the only one that is honest. i never understood that. like the coca-cola salesman saying, don't drink pepsi, it rots your teeth. they sometimes do a disservice
to themselves when they do not recognize the good that they and their -- and their colleagues and agent. -- enge in. an e-mail -- guest: that is one of the myths i tried to debunk, that members of congress did not know what is in the bills. these are political animals whose entire careers depend upon how their tes are interpreted. every member of congress know exactly what they are voting on. they don't read the actual bills, they have lawyers do that.
but they get the brief summaries, overuse -- sometimes detailed summaries, section by section, that tells them what are in the bills and they are examined and there aides are coming over them. do occasionally provisions it's not in by people, especially the big bills? we had a recent example of the healthcare bill -- that does happen occasionally. but most of the te, almt always, members of congress are keenly aware of what they are voting on and they do know what is in the pieces of legislation. host: about 10 minutes left with our guest bread fitch. tennessee. roger, independent line. are you with us? caller: i am with you. i just want to say that i had contacted mr. lamar alexander, one of our senators, and he has
really helped me out. unfortunately at t age of 40 i became disabled, and he really responded to me almost daily on a personal basis. host: you had success when you contact your senator? caller: -- guest: roger brings up a really valuable point. the are two types of people who interact with members of congress -- people with an opinion and people with an interest. if a woman gets up at a town hall meeting and says we have to get out of afghanistan, the member files in one part of the brain, but the woman says we need to get out of afghanistan because my son is stationed there, it has completely different impact. they have a moral and ethical irresponsibility that they did not if it was just somebody
offering an opinion. roger had an interest. he had skin in the game. members of congress are very responsive. most people don't know that more than half of the staff in the personal offices for members of congress are really constituent- driven and are doing nothing but a constituent work. casework, where somebody has a problem with a federal agency and they need help and they need a liaison and staff members usually in district offices, and then t legislative correspondents and assistance to respond to the thousands of communications that come to capitol hill. host: mr. happy ones to know via tweet -- guest: yes, absolutely. it is really vital that you do build a relationship with staff. if you go into a town hall, there is always going to be a staff member and that is a good opportunity to say hello and to meet the district or state director. if you come to washington, grab
that business card of the legislative assistant with the issue interest that is important to you. host: houston. michael, republican line. caller: mr. finch, first, thank you for reading your book. honestly i think it will serve many people would take the time to read it very well. often things are a mystery. how things work -- and they can't educate themselves readily and easily if they took the time. i venture to say that a lot of people are calling -- when they say you are out of touch, i could not disagree more and everything. what i think is they are the ones who are generally out of touch and just taking the popular press of you were sound bite you and taking apology and treating it as fact and expounded on that to their fellow citizens and things like that. people need to take the time to
get involved with the government process if they want to influence it. my wife does this. she writes frequently to members of congress d the senate. from our district and from our state. and she does get responses sometimes they are not always agreeable but that is part of the process. we are built on compromise, and people who think they are going to get there with all the time are deluding themselves. anyway, i wanted thank you again. i think you are in touch and thank you for writing your book. i will be picking it up very soon. guest: thank you, michael. michael touched on the practicals of what people should do and how they can prepare. one of the things we talk about is do a little research on your issue, to know what you are talking about. there is a part in the back where we have the advocate pledge that i encourage people to take. the first article is, yes, my member of congress have a
constitution of response ability to listen to me, but i must know what i am talking about. i do encourage people to know the issues. and if they are going to a town hall meeting, bring talking points to handout. i was interviewing a senator for a book and i said, what do you get from town hall meetings? i met in the aggregate. he ss, i get things le this. he held up a piece of paper. i said, whether you going to do with the piece of paper? i will hand it to one of my legislative assistant and ask him to respond. there were 50 people athe town hall meeting. one person bought a piece of paper. where do you think that's task is put on the to do list because that member handed a piece of paper, and that made the difference of elevating that person's influence simply because they brought a piece of paper to a town hall meeting. host: buffalo, you are on "washington journal." caller: mr. fitch, i do not know
if your book was reviewed in any of the major newspapers or stock in bookstores around the nation, i am pretty sure it will be carried in the fiction department. guest: [laughter] host: why do you say that? caller: i have to agree with most of the callers. i consider myself a sophisticated follow were of politics. but i have to agree that mr. fitch's material is nonsense. he will probably make a few dollars. that is what america is all about. but let me ask this, if i could. since you feel that the constituents is really what the congressmen want to satisfy as opposed to the corporate person who shows up with $25,000 or $50,000 for the campaign, what is the position, if any, in your
book -- for example, do you favor public financing and the elimination of all money? have you taken a position in your book about the money that flows? and we are talking billions and billions of dollars, for example, in the last midterm election. what is your position on money question guest: i take your position. i am a practicing independent. weon't touch on any issues in the book, nor in my role at the congressional management foundation. let's talk about money, for a second. i give you one example -- if money interest really dominant washington, we would have immigration reform. back in 2006 we had a piece of legislation supported by mccain and kennedy, you had a republican president, you had every major interest group in washington that had given millions of dollars that were in favor of immigration reform, from american farm bureau, a
chamber of commerce, society of american flosts. they all supported it. we did not have immigration reform. you may debate whether or not the debate was fair and the word and is the wisdom around, you might say maybe people were misled. but if money interest really controlled it, why didn't that money influence immigration reform? it is because the american people got upset and they wrote a lot of letters and send e- mail and made phone calls and they did not want that bill passed. it's come mark from minnesota delights host: mark from minnesota e-mails -- guest: you cannot hand out checks on the floor of representatives. a lot of people are thinking of the converts, frankly, of the way it was 2 years ago. i started on capitol hill back in the 1980's, and there was a lot more stuff that was going on
back then that would probably curl your hair. they passed a lot of ethics legislation to restrict that. there is this one story that i tell that is really important, that i think shows the influence of one person's voice. if you years ago george w. bush was signing a bill in the rose garden that dealt with hunger and one of the people there was dr. david beckman, he runs bread for the world. it is a non-partisan -- it just wants to feed hungry people. he took the opportunity to lobby the president and said, mr. president, thank you for this legislation, but i want to bring to your attention another important provision in your budget of the millennium challenge account. it got $1 billion last year and we are hoping to increase funding 10% next year. the president said i am not an expert but i know someone who is. he beckonedver senator richard lugar from iiana and the ask him about the millennium challenge account and the senator said i know a bit more today than yesterday because a
constituent of mine, connie week from indianapolis, would be a letter about this and said this is very important, -- important she was 87 years old, lives in a retirement indiana -- retirement community in indiana. it does not have an army of lobbyists. toy knowledge, has never gone golfing with a member of congress. one woman with one voice who thought we to feed the hungry. the next the of the bush administrationncrease the proposed funding for $1 billion up to $2.5 billion. did that one letter do it? i don't know. but you have to ask yourself, when you are communicating with members of congress, maybe one letter will make a difference and ben neighbors and friends to do it at what -- as well, i know it will make a difference. host: congressman may spend 70 hours a week working but --
guest: maybe not 95% of the time. but, yes, they have to spend a lot of time raising money and most members of congress claimed they hate it. it is just a necessary evil these days, given the expense of campaigns. host: our guest has been brad fitch, and here is his new book -- >> coming up, global food security and poverty. shortly after 6:00 p.m. eastern, a look at civil discourse in kern politics. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, former
republican senator dirk -- the discuss whether republicans and democrats can work together in congress. there, the ethics of war. >> democrats gained one more seat when a u.s. house race was called in california. one more race from the midterm elections remains unsettled. new york's first district, a democratic tim bishop leads the republican challenger by a little bit more than two hundred votes. they will go to court next week over the count. the republicans have gained more than 60 seats in the house. when the 112 congress is sworn in january 5, the senate will have 16 new members, 13 republicans, and three democrats. ron johnson of wisconsin is one of those republicans. he defeated democratic incumbent
russ feingold. mr. johnson is a plastics company owner with no previous experience in public office. rob portman is also drain the senate, replacing george voinovich who retired. before joining the senate, mr. corbett had been president bush's budget director, u.s. trade representative, and a member of the u.s. house. >> this week marked the 47th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy. this weekend, we will talk with troubling and kent hill, secret service agents whose job was to protect the president on that day. we will talk about the conspiracy theories and mr. blaine's new book. >> the c-span network provides coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. it is available to you on television, radio, online, and on social media networking sites.
find our content any time through c-span video library. we take c-span on the road with our digital bus local content video. it is washington your way, the c-span networks, now available in over 100 million homes. created by cable and provided as a public service. >> can politics be civil? democratic strategist donna brazil and what the crowley tried to enter that question this afternoon. in a panel discussion, here is a look. >> you look at the course of the united states and what we have experienced and how far we have come in a very short or brief amount of time. i think it is due in large part to what we tend to the monitor today, which is the train wreck of ideas. -- what we tend to bemoan here today, which is the train wreck of ideas. the clash of great ideas from
the rate, from the left, regardless of what point did you your coming from, drove the united states to the point of preeminence in the world in a short two hundred years to two hundred 50 years. think about the revolutionary times. if you go back at what our founding fathers called each other, your hair would stand on end. what we college other today pales in comparison. we are piper's today compared -- what we call each other today pales in comparison. they had such a better policy rivalry is that they were obsessed with our live in the other. jefferson died in virginia. unbeknownst to john adams, a couple of hours later, he would die. his final words were bitter words -- "jefferson lives." >> you can see this discourse on
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you can donate to our program. i like to welcome our speaker. i would also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. after the speech, i will ask as many questions as time permits. i like to introduce art head table guests. to our right, mike walter president of walter media. correspondent for news. dan glickman, a senior fellow, a guest of our speaker. the national press club's secretary and professor of law and journalism at the george washington university. he is the chairman of the press club correspondence committee. richard leech, a guest of our
earlier this month, crusaders against global hunger received relatively good news from the united nations. the number of people experiencing hunger worldwide fell from 1 billion to a mere 925 million. from rebuilding haiti, the world's largest distributor of food to the port is involved with beating the lives of the so-called bottom billion. the organization's goal is to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries. 10,000 people work for the organization. must have been in remote areas serving the poor. requires great logistic and great diplomatic skills. josette sheeran became the 11th executive director of the united nations world food program in 2007. she has served as undersecretary for economic energy at the u.s. state department, where she was responsible for economic issues
including development, trade, agriculture, finance, energy, and transportation. before joining ustr, she was a managing director, a leading wall street technology firm that works with fortune 500 clients. the former managing editor of "the washington times" when the press award for journalistic achievement. she it has also been a member of the national press club and has served on the speakers' committee. today, she is discussing 10 ideas that can feed the world. welcome to the national press club, josette sheeran. [applause]
>> good afternoon, everyone. it is indeed a great moment to feel like i'm coming home, back to my own roots here at the national press club, where i've spent many an hour exploring the ideas that have helped defined the world that we are in today. today we're going to talk about my optimism and why i believe we can end hunger, yes, in our lifetimes. i like to begin by taking a journey with you to the front lines of hunger. i will start with this. this is a cup from our school feeding program and is representative of the fact that will then talk about 925 million people who are hungry, what that means is about one and of every six people on earth wake up each morning and are not sure how to fill this cup with
food. for the children we reached, often this is the only secure access to food they have in their lives. most of the people in that number are women and children. and still today, every six seconds a child will die if not being able to access enough food to stay alive. my own personal awakening on this issue came in 1986. i was home with my first child who was newborn. i was watching an image on television of a mother and ethiopia whose baby was crying out very weakly for food, and she had no milk in her breast and she also had no food. i thought, there cannot be anything more painful than not being able to answer a child's call for food.
there was enough food for everyone to get access to something to eat. during the food crisis a couple of years ago, there was enough food for everyone in the world to have 2700 kilo calories. tens of millions have been an abject hunger. what also struck me is the solution to hunger is not quite rocket science. many nations have unlocked the keys. many hungry nations. they have defeated hunger. does require a great scientific breakthrough, like discovering a cure for rare cancer. people need access to an adequate amount of nutritious food.
but what struck me is a work exploring famines and will cost them is actually famines are caused by a lack of access to food. in fact, in a famine in 1974, there was food in bangladesh, but people cannot afford it. their livelihoods have been destroyed. the other thing that strikes me is that food is big business. when nations solved the problem, it creates value in an economy. this is not permanent charity. this is not something that needs to be propped up with help, but topic that creates jobs all the way through the value chain an opportunity. it is a win-win. when you have functioning food economy, not only do you end hunger, but you create wealth. back to this cup.
being on the front lines of darfur, or up to 3 million people a day need access to food. the floods moved down. they came through pakistan with 100 water breeches, kind of a katrina every three days. to haiti, cambodia, and elsewhere, we solve the problem at the worst end of this challenge, those who may die tomorrow if they do not have an intervention by the world. i would like to say and speak from my vantage point in the way hunger is approached and i think we're seeing -- results in the fact that the
numbers are going in the right direction, the first drop in 15 years. i do believe we can create a sustainable models and new kinds of partnerships are forging and changing the face of hunger and forging solutions that can change the dynamics of this first millennium goal. just a few weeks ago in rome, we have the prime minister of a small nation off the coast of africa. other than its great resources of its people, it has no natural resources. when it reached its independence, many believe it cannot survive as a nation. it has droughts and many difficulties. we celebrate them graduating from meeting the support of the world food program and the fact that it will reach the
millennium development goal of halving the problem of hunger and overcoming illiteracy and hunger including with its young people. i think we also must be imbued with a strong sense of purpose. it was 50 years this month that president eisenhower gave a speech foretelling the beginning of the world food program. you cannot have peace and stability without food security. and i will tell you that when i testified in the european parliament, i have this red cup. the last time he had seen this cup was in world war ii in spain.
so this cup moves through the world, transforming lives and presenting opportunities. people do not have food. they don't really have three options. they can migrate. they can revolt, or face starvation and death. i want to just mention up front a really profound thing to the united states. since that speech but eisenhower and since the founding of food for peace by president kennedy, there has been profound leadership in the united states in fighting hunger, bipartisan agreement,
and activism throughout our land. gandhi once set a piece of bread is a face of god, and i see america as part to intervene when children out of living and being born in a place with a dictatorship or bad government or that is at war or a victim of a disaster does not have access to that food. i want to thank president obama. we saw a complete turnaround at the g-8 summit to make food security the top item following the food crisis very necessary, such as the action to rally the world in 1974 behind us. hillary clinton gave bigger viewership in new york last week. i will talk a little bit more about the particular problems of children under 2 and how to revolutionize their access to adequate nutrition.
secretary of agriculture tom vilsack is a great advocate for this. one of the most innovative leaders we have seen on the food security issues and a just wanted to recognize a number of people from the department of agriculture, aid john browse. also on capitol hill, joanne, senators durbin, all these people -- i was in a school in kenya and a stoplight third grade class and asked if they have any questions. i said, how was what?
she said, is he okay? if not, i cannot go to school. i thought, wow. they talk about this as a powerful far off tribe that can help them. the connection is so profound to the lives of those children. the u.s. is first in fighting hunger in the world privileges say that 70% of those reached in darfur. there is a retooling in the way the united states -- the hungry with food. -- reaches the hungry with food. in our world war returns such departures come we have seen the lead time in the ability to reach those on the front lines with the contributions from -- reduced to three days in pakistan. very quick action. innovations by the team and by everybody working on this.
but today i want to talk about 10 actions that really are new approaches that can unleash permanent solutions to food. i will just say, because i know i have friends here from the agricultural business trip i'm not talking about the input side. the access side to food. carel presume we'll take of the need for greater production. our partners work on this. the first is the world's commitment to humanitarian action. the change of approach in that action is very critical. today, we can see with pretty much accuracy that we have tools that will respond with the appropriate action in a commensurate situation. if it is a place like darfur where they have no food, we will bring in the food per if it
is a place like some places in haiti where there are some food markets after the earthquake, but people have no cash, we can bring in a doctor or cash. we can bring in a voucher or cash. it is dangerous action. 34 of four drivers were kidnapped and missing in action in darfur a couple of summers ago. we lose people regularly. the person was shot through the head because some people would prefer that people to not get access to food. this is a very important protection action. we need the support of the world. every penny we race is voluntarily race. -- raised. if we can prevent people from selling off their cattle and the homes and pulling kids out of school, they will do anything to eat.
if we can prevent that, this is the foundation for recovery and long-term sustainability. the second things i like to mention is the power of school meals. this is a simple idea the united states brought to the world. if you provide food in school, you provide a safety net for children that is affordable and that has so many other benefits, particularly for girls. we see in our school feeding programs around the world that if you put a cup of food and attach some russians, such as a -- bag of rice or some oil, the number of girls in school will skyrocket and in places where
girls don't go to school, their parents are separate ordering them to go to school for the economic benefit. it helps the family. so the girl's job is to go to school. meanwhile, she is learning. if we sustain that, she'll stay in school until she is 16 and get married later. it is a very powerful tool. in our new book with the world bank, it really recommends that this is the best safety net to put in place for countries that cannot afford more complex systems and the results are proven. but the most exciting thing about school feeding is that in the 45 years to world food program has been doing this, 34 countries have graduated from the program. i was talking to myron before we came up.
he posted as a reporter in in the 1966. 500 million people, many of them sustained by the food aid broadened by the united states and the world food program. today, india is a contributor to ours. i have a list of the nations that have gradually from the program. a sustainable solution and one that benefits those economies. the third idea is safety nets. it doesn't sound like a bold idea in the united states. 80% of the world has no safety net. when disaster hits for a food crisis, there is no backup plan. one would think that civil society. i talked to an ambassador from
an african country who was posted in rome. she remembers her childhood competing with the catalysts for blades of grass because nobody in the community had any food. -- competing with the cows. so in countries that are so poor there is no backup plan. what we have found and i have just spent a lot of time in brazil steading their model, is you can put into place a food safety net that is linked to the schools, to local farmers, in brazil, is linked to good grades, it is linked to vaccinations, and it costs half of a % of gdp. brazil is beating a hunger faster than any nation on earth today. this is an affordable way to do it. it is creating opportunities for small farmers. we fill the world food program
has been partnering with brazil and to build in this kind of safety nets so that when disaster hits, the world is called on later in the game and only went is at great magnitude. again, even in the u.s. during the financial crisis, i know we have honker. i know we have hunger. we have hunger in the u.s. but we also have built over many years that safety net of religious institutions and community food banks and great organizations like bread for the world and others. in addition to programs like snap. the fourth idea is connecting small farmers to market. wfp is in this business because today over half of our budget
is cash. and with that cash, over 80% of it will spend buying food from the developing world. over half the people in the developing world who need help who don't have enough to reach our small farmers, most of them women, because in many places, 80% of the agricultural work is done by women. we're one of the largest purchasers of food. the small farmers are not getting the benefit necessarily of their labor on the markets. why? find me a small farmers in africa that has any place to store their food, and you'll have showed me something i have yet to find. and so when they harvest, if they cannot sell within a few days, that food will be run and lost. we have post-harvest loss of
about 40% in much of africa. today, in partnership with the gates foundation and the howard buffett foundation, and now nations coming on board to help us, the world food program is not only buying locally, but buying from small farmers in 19 nations. i will tell you the power of this is huge. i just back from uganda, a place that has suffered so much. this was the birthplace of the resistance army. was ground zero of the ebola virus and other things. there was not a warehouse and were to be found. and so in this place where many thousands of people have been dependent on food aid for over 20 years, wfp has put up a warehouse with the support of
japan and the u.s. that can receive grain, clean it, dry it, and bag it. i was there -- the celebration over this. when i opened one of the first bags -- there was a shoe and a few mice and all of that. [laughter] but it comes out of that system and it is beautiful, tradable, great-a quality maze. the farmers, if they could sell it on local markets, maybe they would get $100 per metric ton. it is a business model. it is a sustainable solution. when it comes out after $40 of servicing, they get the lowest
price on the markets that day was $4 per metric ton. this opportunity creation. that is kids going to school. people being able to change their lives, and the farmers know it. we buy from them. we're doing this in many countries. a very powerful tool that is reaping results much faster. i am looking at howard offered jean vitter -- howard buffett jr. the fifth idea is the first 100 days -- first 1000 days. you hear a lot about this. this is the time from a gestation to two years old. all the evidence is in. if children in that zone to not received adequatnutrition, the damage is permanent. this was put forth in -- and lasted two years ago.
-- in lancet two years ago. it is compelling evidence. i think is world vision that has a presentation with the x-rays of children's brains of places and never let up -- light up. so now we have the burden of knowledge. if we do not act. in emergencies, we will reach those kids for a spurt in pakistan -- this is where some of the most exciting partnership potential comes in. i just want to show this. this is a highly nutritious, ready to use food we produce and pakistan bird is made with chickpeas and dried milk and is for by with -- and it is fortified with lots of nutrients. this can protect a child brain. this is a climate-proof food. you don't have to be refrigerated or add water.
you open it and squeeze it into a child's mouth and their brain and body will be protected. in some cases, it is just not going to cut it for a kid to years old to get a bowl of rice when they have been deprived of nutrition. so we're calling on all the nutrition companies in the world. we are partnering with many. we're working with the university of mississippi and others aid and others to develop a new generation of tools. for those of us who can go to whole foods and get power bars, there's not a product available that if your child is week that you can buy out there at an affordable cost. start now you'll find the face of nutrition changing. the keys to make sure talk that we do this. we know that children from
studies will earn 50% le they are not nursed on 2 later in life. then it would if the work near st. same group of kids. we know the lost to onomy can be 11% of gdp. i was happy to see the secretary of state leading this effort. some paper was involved in the launch of feed the future because it is good for -- timothy geithner was involved in the launch of feed the future. it is not really an overstatement to say feed it woman and you feed the world. women produce 50% of the food in the world. they get dramatically less of the training. when you train them, studies show that yields will rise a up to 22% in very short time. and also, that the children
will get access to food. there will be a fairer distribution of future in our budget we make sure women get the doctors so they can reach their children. we also -- will make sure women get the vouchers so they can reach their children. they should cook the food without facing rape and beating, as we see in darfur in other places. giving women the power to feed their families safe it is not that difficult. we've done is with the business model in darfur. woman did not have to go 10 climbers out to get wood in darfur. the average time the go without being beaten or raped is two weeks max.
it cost $7 million to make sure there's safe access to cooking products. the technology revolution. technology can revolutionize the face of hunger. integrated in the community. today, they get a doctor from loss on a cell phone to spend in a -- today they get a voucher from lost on a cell phone. it saves money. we have a mobile shop that comes up. private sector business to connect to those refugees. in zambia, a hugely innovative voucher program, giving storekeepers and farmers access to the solution. even for us, the world food program spends less than 0.01% of the money on press.
we want to get everything we can into this cup. so we went on youtube and asked the world -- we set up a competition to produce hunger videos so we would have tools hunger to tools hunger and we had thousands of entries of great videos. we cannot afford to make one. i will talk about some other technology solutions. we have a dream which is to use technology to connect the billion people in the world who have too much food to the billion people who do not have enough. is 25 cents a day for the solution. we can wait until everyone is under great governments or we can decide citizen to citizen to make sure that everybody has a cup of food. so we think the potential with technology is huge. the eighth thing is building
resiliency. we're seeing the number of natural disasters go up exponentially. i will give one example of this. the world food program instead of handing out food aid into malia, work with community to use it as an investment bank and have the people plant 40,000 trees to block the timbuktu desert, which is taking over everything from the rice fields. i went there recently. those rice fields are so protected and yielding some much that all they wanted was a machine to pack the race and salad. they have more than they could eat. if that resiliency after was not put in place, it would not happen. and so mitigating rest, preparing for climactic problems, we have done that same type of products in ethiopic at a huge scale,
restoring 800,000 hectors of landver time so that and supporting that many people to be able to eat. we think there is tremendous power in committee-based solutions to the climactic problems that are being faced. the ninth is partnerships. we cannot do without the -- we cannot do we do without the private sectors. one of the great delivery companies in the world has helped us with warehouse is facing. 6% more efficient warehouse can get more money to save those kids and work with them. we have been helped and this is a date bar we brought to gaza to increase the nutritional needs of the children. we're also link with unilever, kraft, heinz and project laser
beam. we have a powerful addition and again, i wanted to mention the partnership -- our millennium village of partnership there really can change the way we do things. the power of individuals to change the face of hunger. in haiti, the needs were huge. we were a little bit desperate to raise the money very quickly for what we needed. we talk to one of the online games company. they had their game farmville give a high-energy biscuit to the farmers every time somebody contributed they would get a boost in score or something.
within days, farmville raised enough money to deliver 5 million meals to kids in haiti. again, very powerful potential. freerice.com is a great story. was an individual who wanted to make a difference. he created a game online, a board game that is to get the definition of the word correct, 10 grains of rice dropped into a bowl. today, billions of grains of rice have been raised and the fed kids all over the world body one idea that was born in the freerice.com game. it is used by many to prepare for sat tests and elsewhere. what a great to stop hunger. the importer said of -- hunger
will not be defeated until a leader of a nation says a child will not die under my watch, and i will put the right policies in place to make sure we can defeat hunger. we note china was the biggest project. today they contribute to wfp. today, brazil contributes to wfp. in his address in becoming the head of the african union, the president of mulawi said that in five years, no child and never would die from hunger. that type of leadership has mobilized africa to figure out the action steps to get that done.
this can change the face of hunger in the world. as was opened here, we have seen the numbers of hunger going down, but it is still not under 25 million t-- 925 million too many. i still think we can and hunger. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we have a lot of questions. that is a great thing. how likely is it the number of hungry people in the world will continue to decline? what is the biggest danger that will make it increase again? >> the world needs to produce 50% more food in the coming decades.
the population is growing. this has been one of the great challenges. so until recent years, we have seen productivity going up, prices going down, but we've seen a reversal of that in recent years. we have a challenge on how to sustain enough affordable food production for the world, and we saw during the food crisis that if you have energy prices high at the same time as you're having a financial or food issue, these things can begin to interact in a way. if you remember when oil was more than $100 billion -- $100 per barrel -- we of major challenges in making sure we have access to food for all people. again, the type of global
action has led by the g-8 in g- 20 and others, keeping it top of the agenda. this is a win-win situation. i think the time has come for the african farmer, the world cannot reach that goal without the african farmer having the investment needed, and so i think there's opportunity -- is as great as the danger. >> what is the one most important thing the u.s. government hunger can do government hunger? >> the u.s. government can do to combat hunger? >> i think leadership. the u.s. now has returned from a nation that at one point struggled with hunger issues and malnutrition issues come to a nation that exports -- we produce more than we need to sustain our own nation. but the leadership of being able to share that knowledge and the technology to help the world feed itself is very key.
and i think the leadership to demonstrate that this is not just a moral cost. -- a moral cause. it is good for education, investment, all of those issues. i love the whole government approach of taking and feeding the future. the other thing is to sustain the incredible commitment in reaching those who fall through the cracks. the nine states -- tears over $1 billion a year to help those who would be lost -- the united states is over $1 billion a year to help those who would be lost. -- without an intervention. the support of that is widespread. >> what is the role that corruption plays in hunger? >> well, again, there is no reason why some countries should not be able to feed themselves. we see corruption, that policies, we see governments
that do not care. is not top of mind that some of their people are not eating, or we see people that are forced away from food because of discrimination or conflict. so we think all of those factors play a big role. the moral question that will have to ask ourselves is that if the child is trapped where there is a corrupt government or one that wants them to be starved out for whatever reason, should the child pay for that? and i will just say some of the places we work are some of the most challenging in the world, like somalia, where in most of the places, there is extreme -- is extremely dangerous and the needs of women and children are not high on the list of what is happening there. so it requires the world being willing to stand by those in the most difficult situations
and we need that support because often we are really in a very dangerous environments like that. >> in your role, are you willing and more able to confront leaders in countries where corruption is the biggest problem, either in public or private to take them on in that challenge? >> which typically control our own food lines and distribution. we require thatwf. wfp has a zero fraud policy. if someone has falsified our record, they get fired. you know, we have to do that. but we do not hand food over to governments that are corrupt, or any government, frankly. we run our own accountability systems. we certainly in the places
where we work, i have very strong discussions with governments, especially those that are capable of feeding their own people, that they need to take responsibility for that. we have partners in the u.n. the deal with the big policy issues on corruption and poor policies. for us, it is compelling morley that children should not be dying under their watch and raising awareness of that. -- compelling morally. >> we saw food riots in mozambique. where's the unrest? >> during the food crisis, one of the leaders of liberia that just came out of 20 years of civil war, a devastating situation. refugee situation. many people dependent on the goodwill of the world to stay
alive. they have come up with a great leader. president johnson. they said during the food crisis when prices doubled and tripled overnight that in liberia, there is no public opinion polls. the only poll is the price of food. and this is true in many nations. the price of food is high. what is our government doing? the price of food is good and people can't afford to eat, then it is a sign that things are going well. what struck me during the food crisis is liberia was experiencing the effects of forces outside of liberia. 70% food dependent. it was buying from global markets. there wasn't even food to buy a one. they did not have enough cash to to compete with those who could put more cash on the table for food. so i think and what we saw what mozambican, a combination -- in
mozambique, there was a combination of factors that drove up the price of food. what it took in liberia to stabilize that situation was a $40 million investment, to make sure kids had food in school. this is where quick global action to be able to support nation's can really help avoid many years of struggle and strife. the civil war that started with the price of food 20 years earlier. it is important to watch. >> what has been the biggest humanitarian aid challenge faced in pakistan? >> massive challenge on every level. we are seeing natural disasters on a skill that is just not in memory. if you can imagine that pakistan is the size of italy
and it was under water. over the course of a month, 100 water bridges. and so we had a new humanitarian disaster every day breaking as this water moved down toward a the sea from northern pakistan. this is the weakest population i have seen. they are deeply poor and the women are suffering terribly. we have seen a lot of generosity. the yen stays announce -- the united states has helped to reach the people with urgent help. by and large, we are not seeing the levels of giving from the world or online that we saw in haiti. we are very worried about needing to get t attention of the world for this disaster.
there are over 10 million people that have been assessed as not having food. the world food program is reaching 6 million of them. but they have missed the harvest. the next planting season possible is april. we're talking about a year of people dependent on the goodwill of the world to be able to survive. we're word about the sustainability, the disease outbreak, and the weak state of the total that we saw there. -- the weak state of the children that we saw there. >> we will try to touch on as many places as we can. russia hasn't export ban on wheat into next year -- russia has an export ban on wheat. >> i think we will
weather the storm of the russia banned because of good harvest in the u.s. and elsewhere in the world. what we saw during the food crisis in 2007 and 2008 was a drought in australia affecting supply, driving up price, and then a whole series of that kind of negative market reactions, such as courting, closing down exports that all began to feed on themselves into creating a difficult situation. we think that the situation is quite different right now. and there has been a lding voice on this. to report they have said, we're seeing stocks rebuild. when the food crisis hit in 2007, emergency stocks or at an all-time low in the world because everybody had been drawing down, the world have
been consuming, in part for energy use. we're seeing stocks are rebuilt piercings some good harvests elsewhere that can help compensate. we are in a new world. when i first came to the world food program in 2003, we would check and adjust our commodity prices about once every year when two to every years. that is how slow things would move. and there would always pretty much go in the right direction. you could buy more food for less with greater ease around the world. in june of 2007, when i first set we may be facing the perfect storm, we were seeing prices going up about 10% every three months pre with thought, we had better watch this quarterly. things moving so fast. in that summer, the prices started to move 10% a month until late double by january of 2008.
we started watching them monthly. today we're watching them daily. i am getting, blackguard the reports of swings -- i am getting on my blackberry the reports of swings. we will not be taken by surprise as the world did with the quick change. this is to say that there are no mechanisms in place, including the secretary general's high-level panel of all the food-related agencies coming together to monitor this. i will host with the president of the world bank about what we're seeing and what it means. are we seeing this dynamic? so we're on this case. within the structural issues are different. but we're not taking anything for granted. when i was in darfur, i heard "trusted god, but tied down your camel."
>> cost cutting -- what could that mean for programs like yours? >> we think it is critical to demonstrate that we can deliver with controls and effectively. it has been our philosophy not to spend a lot on promotion, but to spend a lot and trying to get the fundamentals correct. this has become difficult in places like somalia, where they kill people that try to deliver food often. but it is something that is steeped into our whole structure and culture. we were the only institution in the u.n. that is held to a 7% cap on our overhead. this forces us to drive things
down and be efficient and to make sure we are delivering food to kids with the majority of our money. but also these new innovative ways of dealing with the challenge. not every situation requires us bringing food from long distances. some do. some do. but not every situation does. but if we can use a voucher or cell phone, that is critical. we want to show the sustainability. we want to hand over to communities their own ability for self-sufficiency. we want to see nation's takeover. that is what we can at the celebration with the african nation. we're looking for alternatives were we have refugees to more efficient ways of delivering. and why we watched our own cost-cutting measures. we have been able in the sudan
to cut down our program tremendously by refocusing and retarding and providing savings. we feel these actions are critical. >> the obama administration has made domestic nutrition one of their key issues. the focus disadvantaged parts of washington, d.c. contrast domestic nutrition with the world hunger issues of but ministration. >> leadership always starts at home. after world war ii u.s. realize half the recruits were malnourished, and in signing up for military service. the u.s. got on the case of malnourishment and the cost to society. i will just say -- i spent most of my time overseas. i have seen a serious and sober attitude in the u.s. for the
challenges we face in the u.s. including repositioning food stamps with a greater focus on nutrition. i think that is powerful. i also think michelle obama's leadership on attrition. i tell my friends that nutrition is now cool. there used to being in their own little place. they are more like scientists then being used to having the big public stage. nutrition now for those who cannot afford and also for those who can and are now nourishing themselves were losing touch with the understanding of what to read and to properly and nourish ourselves per we have a challenge in the poor world and the rich world and those who are challenged in america and those who have too much food. i want to give the one small example.
in japan, i am a fan of school lunches and i go to them all over the world. japan has the oldest school feeding program in the world. it is a course in school. the kids have to construct the menu and a half to be able to have certain amounts of each item, proteins and oils and all of that. they don't get right, they flunk. but the nutrition education is quite profound. they have that with the lunch program. that type of plant and looking at the content of what our kids are getting. it is important. >> a couple questions on journalism. we'll get one in in your quicker happen journalist better cover hunger issues? >> i think during the financial crisis, we saw some profound reporting. we have a reporter from
bloomberg who was part of a great series looking at the nature of hunger and famine and the dynamics behind it in the global economy. this is very important. the financial times did a great job being on the case of the food prices early on. there has been books recently about what drives hunger and the relationship between global markets and local markets. i think is important. i also think it's important that journalists get out to the front lines and understand what vulnerability is. but still think we talk about affordable people it is a debate and maybe we will get on with meat and potatoes. when we had half as much food for the same amount of money, we were serving kids for what half a cup of food and the rotating -- that kind of story is often not accessed by the
press. to let people understand the nature of the result of the giving and the support for it. i think is important to connect up. i also find in she monetary situations -- is saw in haiti. if we went one day with a kid without food -- the outrage in the press. i share the outrage. but the understanding of some food supply chains and how you actually reach these people and what the humanitarian efforts take, is really important. we are advocating for some front-line effort with the press to really come out and understand the nature of the humanitarian operations, so they can also accurately report what
is happening in the whole effort to make sure people are reached with lifesaving goods. but we need to bring attention to it, and i think there should be a lot more attention to the huge program that the u.s. is leading in the world to help change the face of on. >> we are almost out of time, but before asking the last question, we have a couple of important matters to take care of. first of all, we would like to present you with the traditional national press club mud as a token of our appreciation. [applause] not quite big enough to feed you for a whole day. i would like to remind members and guests in our upcoming speakers. we have senator john cornyn and senator robert menendez. on october 6, margaret hamburg, commissioner of the fda.
on october 8, brian monahan, president and ceo of bank of america. for our last question, one of our audience members ask, once you have soft the world hunger issue -- once you have solved the world hunger issue, can you solve your all modern, the washington times? [laughter] >> i keep saying our goal is to put the world food program at a business. it should be the goal of everyone who is running an aid program not to perpetuate ourselves. we're there as a bridge. i am not sure it will have been in the next 24 months or so were in the next few years. but that is the goal that i am for and will give it my all as long as i can.
[applause] >> thank you for being with us today. thank you for coming. i were also like to thank the national press club staff. for more information about joining the press club and had to acquire a copy of today's program, please visit our website at www.press.org. we are adjourned. thank you. [gavel] [applause]
>> coming up a look at civil discourse with donna brazil and monica crowley. at 8:00 p.m. eastern, a conversation on whether democrats and republicans can work together in congress. then the ethics of war with speakers from france, england, is real, and the u.s. service academies. >> 24 new governors are taking office as a result of the midterm elections. one of the new republicans is niki haley. she succeeds gov. mark sanford whose term limited. she has been in the state house since 2004. her occupation is an accountant. pennsylvania also has a new republican governor, tom corbett to replaces ed rendell.
he is the state attorney general. he retired from the army national guard. >> this weekend, pulling data with a pair of countries -- polling data from eight arab countries. this is part of our extended holiday weekend of non-fiction books and authors. the c-span networks, we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history. it is available to you on television, radio, all mine, and on social media networking sites. and their content any time to c- span is the library. we take -- and find our content any time to c-span -- any time on c-span is video library.
>> tomorrow morning, brookings institution senior fellow is a though sawhill. then daniel goure and amy harder. "washington journal" begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern. on sunday, former u.s. senator norm colman. he talks about the future of the republican party. you can see "newsmakers" sunday morning at 10 a.m. and sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> a discussion now on whether civil discourse still exists in politics. emory university posted dawn of
brazil and -- emory university hosted dawn of brazil -- donna brazil. >> hello, ladies and gentlemen. of like to welcome you to day, "civil discourse," sponsored >> today you have the opportunity to hear from pportuno hear from a diverse and dynamic group of individuals. this event will tell the into the complex delicia between education than civility, media interest and responsibility. social media since the impact
students the most but the decisions discussed today will affect all citizens regardless of age or economic status. our hope is that you will share with your friends and colleagues, the lessons that you will learn. i am excited that the discussion is starting today. it speaks to the fact that our school strives to be at the forefront. this is a discussion that should be occurring across the country. what better place than at the university? >> good afternoon and welcome to the panel on civil discourse here at emory university. we have an exciting panel.
i would like to take a moment to reflect upon the meaning of civil discourse. every day, we communicate through our words and actions. do we truly understand each other? are we aware of our words true meaning and intention? do we merely speak over one another in an effort to have our own point heard, understood, and is valued? as a society, perhaps we have forgotten the most importt aspects of maintaining a civil discourse, the art of listening. perhaps listening today will help us to understand the context of our new and changing world, the changing politics. the need to understand the diverse and sometimes contradictory coulters to which we are exposed on a daily basis.
today, we are fortunate enough to practice our art of listening with a panel of experts. we would likeo introduce the dean. he served up at the washington university school of law for six years. he joined the faculty of vendor built in 1987. he was the acting dean from 1996 to 1997. he held positions in the are australian government where he was responsible for policy advice and other related human- rights discussion.
critical time in our history. if you read the economist, you will have seen how the cover, this very very effective cover, was full of populism surrounding president obama. peopl saying nasty things and things that are not simple. ha it is fitti that this conversation takes place at the law school. at the law school, we discussed daily.
-- we discussed daily matters of importance in the world. we get from the right and left a poultice, often the idea of lot is ridiculed. this is seen as an empty vessel in which raw politics can be carried out. on its face, theule of law is a debate a round instituons that support liberty. that is a heritage supported and shared by many nations. this is not exclusive to just one nation or just of the united states.
there are nations that are built around institutions that have been molded by time and de. they are pluralist, tolerant, and civil. these are precious and delicate institutions. the founding fathers recognized that a delicate quality. they appreciated the passenger of the people -- the passpassio of the people. great burdens were put on the people as it was in all of emerging forms of responsible government. throughout the early debates in civil society, society, although it appeared to be flodering in the early experimentation of the
republic, it was to be reinforced by yves eliminating preferences -- buying eliminating prejudices. people were taught to be virtuous. the very term "commonwealth," is that citizens were to look beyond their own interest. although political structures had to guard against temptations of self-interest, sexual interest, education would be there to support the best angels. in every age and in every democracy, voices have been shrill and politics dirty. john autumn's said that sometimes they have failed.
institutions were weak and had been eroded by shrill voices. the application of those shrill voices now together with the media grafted upon a population which is poorly educated about civic matters. it is curious when an institution has failed and civic education and has failed to have the kind of educatiothat we will have to attend. they don't penetrat sufficiently to protect our institutions. the marketplace of ideas which is the metaphor for the first amendment operates on the idea
of a tn hall. unfortunately, the town hall has become a rock is bizarre which can undermine the pillars of the republic. weeed a change. it is thisonversation that addresses this issue today. i felt sure that we will have a wonderful afternoon and i can assure you that it will be civil. thank you. [applause] coul>> we would like to introdue some of our panelists and the moderator. could you please take proceed as we read off your biography? dr. patrick --, the calhoun
professor of american history specializes in villages, intellectual, an environmental history. he has an undergraduate degree fr oxford university and went on to a ph.d. in american history from the university california, berkeley. is the author of t two books on british and american history. >> dr. monica crowley is a panelist on the mclaughlin group. she is a nationally syndicated radio host. she holds two master's degree and a ph.d. from coluia school of international affairs and worked as a foreign-policy analyst. >> dr. kathleen cleaver. she practicesaw in new york
before joining the emory faculty. she dropped out of college to join -- and then became a leader in the early by panther party in california. she coedited "liberation, imagination, and supply party -- and of the black panther party. dr. -- is a contemporary author and scholar of middle eastern affairs. he has served as a senior level adviser to leading policymakers and is a frequent contributor to cnn, npr, bbc, and nbc. he's the author of "the rise of
muslim capitalism." dr. -- has a ph.d. from the university of chicago. she is the author, editor, and translator of 8 books on indian religion. she is co container of the peace initiative at emory. she has served as the chair of religion from 2000 until 2007 and currently is the chair of development and excellence at emory. >> professodonald brazil is a prominent political analyst and a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist. she is also a contributor and
commentator on cnn. finally, i would like to introduce our moderator today. he is the james m. cox professor of journalism at emory university. he has worked in mississippi, boston, philadelphia, and the atlanta for 35 years with the bad. -- for 35 years. his book has won the pulitzer prize. >> popoand you. thank you for being here. we come together at a very emotional time.
and by all external evidence, we are a deeply polarized nation in the middle of economic destruction, technological of people and cultural change. what we don't know is the response to tse forces. -- we are a deeply polarized nation in the middle of technological upheaval. i don't think that any would say that this is the most expressive or polar ice time and our history. we achieve this through personal attacks, unbridled diatribes that led to war which l to liberation and ultimaly to the founding of this nation. in the years that followed, the argument that could not be
worked out to debate that settled through pools. blood ran in the square. demand from up the road drew large and cheering crowds across the nation, outside his house, as he delivered speeches which delivers speeches and the most in elegant imagery to hammer african americans and their culture. he spoke in a tone that sometimes appears over the airwaves today. he would say that he pitied people and that he had come to
enlighten them. he will tell audiences before posting that he and his fellow southerners had to shoot blacks to "take the government from them. "this is the white man's country and shall be governed by the white man." later, a procter -- proxy said that minorities control the government and he wanted to take back his government. "i will fight it to the last ditch." the academy amerced in the 1960's as ground zero for free speech. so much that in the same year that the dogs and hoses were released on civil-rights
demonstrators in alabama and the same year that a bomb hit four girls, -- was able to do a tour of college campus and speak with some but stirred little interruption. after the turmoil of 1968, the resignation of president nixon, we went from the 1970's and into the 1980's when the tenor of our political discourse appeared to improve. at the same time, or cultural dialogue coarsened. nbc today show," moved from the news division to the entertainment division. they employed p.t. barnum techniques to gain market share. provocations that many as you
will remember the company shouting matches the shouting matches became the outrageousness of jerry springer. the low cut dresses of -- of the 1960's adult films became the pg-13 films which shows a young adults sniffing lines of cocaine off of the chest of women. a loosening of self restraint continued into the 2000's. we went through the time in the 1960's when much she small and sports was despair's for a while. gordon gecko became the symbol of the end justifying the means. people were perfecting the kind
of motivational trash talk and they pounded their bodies into the skulls of other athletes. where we've surprised by the discovery of concussions? does that become a metaphor if we don't find a way to restrain things seem to survive if they are meaner, stronger, if they become trash talk. there is some trash talk which some people clarifies the issues, this is in the mississippi legislator. many believe that it only provokes our worst instincts and the same way that this is a precursor of concussions. what if we decide that a speech is a precursor of hate crimes? what are we going to do about it? will we find some other way to elevate the discourse? what will it say when history
judges? would say that we saved the american dream or we weakened it? these are questions we will discuss today. i will open up with a question to the panelists, bas on their own knowledge of history, on theirown observations, whether or not they are alarmed today by the tone and tenor of discourse and by the reach of this discourse into everyday life. if they are, i would like to know why. if not, i would like to know why not. >> would you like to take that first, professor brazil? >> let me say what an honor it is to be on this panel was such distinguished scholars. some of the people of i admire. it is a great pleasure to be in
the city of atlanta. a city that is so prressives that it arrived in the 21st century six months before the country. i like to say thank you for your southern hospitality, especially those of you who reached out to bring in many of my relatives and other from the gulf coast during that horrible moment in our lives during hurricane katrina. let's talk about what happened last tuesday, what impact this would happen on the civil discourse. what happened was an electoral earthquake. the loss the democrats suffer has changed the balance of power. this is also the third major change that voters have made in washington in just the past four years. can the two parties work together for the common good?