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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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fair to say that jewish .eritage is american heritage that's who we are as a people. and to me, that's part of the miracle. the miracle we all celebrate together, as you celebrate with your families tonight. o on behalf of my children and my wife and the president of the united states, let me just say, happy hanukah to everyone. thank you for having me. applause] >> earlier today at the white house president obama held his year-end news conference with reporter and talked about a number of issues including keystone pipeline and why he feels it would have little impact on u.s. gas prices. >> i don't think i've minimized the benefits. think i've described the
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benefits. at issue in keystone is not american oil. it is canadian oil. hat is drawn out of tar sand in canada. hat oil currently is being shifted out through rail or trucks and it would save and the il companies canadian oil industry an enormous amount of money if they could simply pipe it all the way through the united states down to the gulf. nce that oil gets to the gulf, it is then entering into the world market and it would be the world.ound -- i won't say
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"no." ere is very little impact, nominal impact on u.s. gas prices, what the average american consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come through. sometimes the way this gets sold is, let's get this oil and it's going to come here and the implication is that it's going to lower gas prices here in the united states. it's not. there's a global oil market. it's very good for canadian oil companies and it's good for the canadian oil industry but it is not going to be a huge benefit to the u.s. consumers. it's not even going to be a nominal benefit. now, the construction of the pipeline will create probably a couple thousand jobs. those are temporary jobs until
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the construction actually happens. there are probably additional jobs that can be created in the refining process down in the gulf. those aren't completely insignificant. it's just like any other project. but when you consider what we could be doing if we were rebuilding our roads and bridges around the country, something the congress could authorize, we could probably create hundreds of thousands of jobs or a million jobs, so if that's the argument, there are a lot more direct ways to create well paying american construction jobs. >> just some of president obama's remarks during his end of the year news conference. at the white house this took place. you can watch them in their entirety in about an hour, 6:55 eastern time here on c-span. after they're over, we'll be taking your phone calls and your comments at about 7:45 eastern. next, a discussion on what's
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next for north korean leader kim jong un and his country's suspected involvement in the sony attack. this is from today's "washington journal" and runs about 45 minutes. >> and that full event will air on saturday, december 20. now on your screen from our new york studio is gordon chang. he is the author of "nuclear showdown, north korea takes on the world." he's a lawyer, spent a lot of time in china. did you , when and why start following north korea? >> well, i was very interested in chinese foreign policy. china's most interesting bilateral relationship is with north korea. on many levels, it doesn't make sense when we view it from the outside. i was just fascinated what was going on. so i started looking at the relationships between beijing and ping yong. host: what's your take? fault from a at
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what you've seen and should the u.s. retaliate? >> well, north korea is responsible for this hack from all that we can tell. for instance, the code that was used against sony pictures entertainment was virtually identical to the code used against south korean businesses in march and june of last year and seoul traced those attacks back to north korea. the malware is written in korean. the north koreans first refused to deny their involvement. then they had a very unconvincing, it wasn't me. they've been gloating. so, clearly, it was the north koreans. we're going to find out from the administration today they probably will directly attribute it to them. >> what kind of response should there be from the u.s. in your view? should it be a military esponse, a cyber response? >> i don't think it should be a military response or a cyber response. there are a number of things we should do right away. r instance, we should impose
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sanctions that the bush administration put in place in 2005 when we cut north korea off from the global financial system. ose were so effective that when they wanted to ferry money around they had to use cash for their diplomats in their suitcases. we need to do that again. also, we need to start enforcing security council resolutions against the sale of ballistics missiles and nuclear technology. we haven't been effective enough in that. maybe the most important thing we need to do is call out the chinese, because the chinese have been involved in north korean attacks. these attacks on sony were routed through chinese internet protocol addresses. also, we know that a substantial number of north korea's cyber warriors are, in fact, based in the people's republic of china about three hours' drive from the north korean border. china has been very involved in training north korea's cyber warriors and protecting them and because the attacks went through china, the chinese knew
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what was going on before hand. >> do you think china instigated this? >> i don't think that they instigated that. we have no evidence showing that. we know that these two countries have cooperated for a very long time on cyber issues. so, for instance, north korea sends its future cyber warriors both to china and to russia for training and as i mentioned, we have unit 121, which is a cyber warfare unit, is based there. we don't know if this particular unit was involved in these attacks, but they probably were. in any event, we know there is close cooperation between beijing and pyongyang on this. this has been ongoing for many, many years. so the chinese knew what was going on. they undoubtedly knew there was going to be an attack on sony because they maintained the great firewall, which is the most sophisticated set of internet controls in the world today. north koreans couldn't be hacking sony from inside china
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without beijing knowing about all of this information crossing the great fire wahl. host: gordon chang contributes to "the daily beast" and and blogs at world affairs journal. he's lectured on north korea and china. he's testified before congress, given briefings at the national intelligence council, the c.i.a., state department, pentagon, author of the book, "nuclear showdown, north korea takes on the world." numbers are up on the screen if you want to participate in our conversation with him on the sony hacking case. 202 is the area code. 748-8001 for republicans. 748-8000 for democrats. 748-80002 for independents. you can also make a comment via social media at c-span wj is our twitter handle or join the conversation on
6:09 pm is our e-mail. "the financial times" leads with this editorial this morning. sony surrender is a setback for free speech. do you agree with that? guest: well, i certainly do. because any time you have a foreign government being able to affect discourse in the united states and especially in this way, with the threats that were made, clearly, this is a setback for free speech. the other question is what should sony have done? like everybody else, i would have liked to have seen sony keep the movie, but i can understand why they might have legal liability. they acted like most any company would act. really, it's not their responsibility to defend liberty in the united states. that responsibility belongs to the federal government and the obama administration and congress. so, clearly, we don't like what sony did. we don't like what paramount pictures did with that other movie, "team america world police" but the point is that it's not their responsibility to deal with these issues.
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it's the responsibility of the american government. host: jim tweets in, i find it difficult to believe that north korea has the internet experience and know how to reak a corporate firewall. >> well, you know, the corporate firewalls of many companies are really inadequate, and sony's obviously was. now, sony could have done a better job protecting itself, but, you know, the whole issue is about the north koreans and our perception of them. yes, their country is destitute. yes, it's bizarre. but, nonetheless, north korea s very, very good at cyber techniques. we've got to understand that and we cannot under estimate them. the united states gets into trouble whenever we under estimate potential adversaries and opponents. that's what we're doing right here. you look at the history of our relations with north korea since it was founded in 1948. most of the time, they get the
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better of us, and we need to start to understand that. yes, we may be the most powerful nation in history but, nonetheless, destitute north korea is usually able to get the upper hand in its dealings with washington. host: sam, evans, georgia, you're on with gordon chang. please go ahead. kmplingts gordon, this is sam here. we're making too big of an issue out of this. i mean, it's nothing. play the movie. let these guys run them out. come on. we know we can do better. i was in the military for 24 years, and i've been to all these places. let's play the movie. okay? guest: we'd like to play the movie. i'd love to see it. everyone says it's a dog of a film but, unfortunately, we're not going to get that opportunity. i can sort of understand why. at the end of the day, this is sony's decision to make and, clearly, they've made a decision most companies would make in their circumstances. after all, paramount made the
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same decision with the other north korean movie. host: do you think the decision to pull the movie was made in hollywood or in tokyo? guest: i don't know the answer to that question. i do know, of course, sony was very concerned -- sony in tokyo was very concerned about this whole issue of dealing with korea. right now one of the most sensitive issues between tokyo and pyongyang is the fate of japanese abductees, japanese citizens taken from the japanese homeland and from europe and transported to north korea to be used as language instructors for north korea's terrorists. the japanese, of course, want them back. i've talked to the mother of one of the abductees, who is very, very concerned. she's led a nationwide movement to get these people back. this is certainly affecting sony. so i wouldn't be surprised if the decision was made a the very top of the company. host: next call for gordon chang comes from dave in fort collins, colorado, republican.
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dave? caller: hello, guys. this is dave. yeah. i'm here. just a quick question. are we looking at the wrong shore? private citizens in america are censored and hacked by our own government monitoring our cell phones, looking in our own e-mail. suddenly hollywood gets a little taste of the american medicine and everybody's agast. are we looking at the wrong shore here? should we not be taking care of our own back yard before we look without? guest: you know, on any issue we should look at our own back yard. the point is, though, americans have the right to change their government, you know, we have the right to go to the ballot box and tell our government what we want, you know. and, clearly, this is what we do. if we want better policies, that's what we need to start doing. but this is a different issue. this is a foreign government basically dictating to the american people what they will see by the use of threats, by the use of cyber means.
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clearly, this is a different issue. i bleamb we always need to take care of our own society. there are many things we have to do. we need to get this balance between privacy and surveillance right. i'm not sure that we have. we need to do both things at the same time. host: this tweet, mr. chang, as a means of retaliation, shut off their internet. is that a potential? guest: you know, that's sort of my first emotional response is, let's turn off all the lights in north korea. but, no, we shouldn't do that. the reason is, we do not want to disclose our cyber capabilities, because we very well may need to use those in a war-like situation. i don't want our adversaries to know how good we are. i think we're very good, but i do not want to disclose that at this time. there are so many other things that we should be doing. i think that those will be effective. so i'd rather start there. at the end of the day, we very well may need to do something in the cyber realm, but i don't
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think that's where we should start. host: andy, atlanta, georgia, democrat. andy? caller: hello. host: please go ahead. caller: yes. in 1776 when the declaration was signed, freedom of speech was intended for good not to it's ate other people and grown into where people are saying the "f" word and in music and songs and the way we're using it, it's in the modern day era to where it needs to be updated. our forefathers wrote it during -- what i'm trying to say, it needs to be updated to where it's cleaned up.
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you understand what i'm saying? guest: i understand. host: go ahead. guest: i understand what you're saying. i think that is a view that many americans have. but, unfortunately, you can't have government dictating these things. it really is up to the american people to enforce standards of good taste and to punish those who actually go beyond the bounds. i understand what you're saying, but i don't see a way to do it, unfortunately. i think that what the american people need to do is to make sure that those standards of good taste are, indeed, enforced by themselves, by commercial means of punishing those who go out of the bounds. that's the only way i can see of dealing with the problem. it's unfortunate, but there are some problems that government can't solve. there are certainly problems like this government shouldn't solve. host: gordon chang, we read an article earlier that said this is really kind of the first time the u.s. government has taken such a direct approach. the president was briefed daily
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on this. as -- instead of some of the cyber attacks on denial of service that we've seen in the past. why do you think this case is different? guest: well, this case is gincht because it is emotional. it's gotten the attention of the american people. here you have an iconic american business. hollywood basically being intimidated by a foreign government. of course it's north korea, which adds another layer of interest to all of this. this has been going on for a very long time. governments like china, russia, perhaps iran, have been taking american intellectual property to the tune of somewhere between 20 to 475 billion. so essentially this has gone on and people haven't noticed. when you do something like this, it is become like a 9/11 event. mericans begin to understand the gravity of this. that's why i think right now
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we're talking about this where we wouldn't have been a month or two ago though maybe the issues now are no more serious today than they were a couple months ago. host: next call comes from ethel in cleburne, texas, republican, please go ahead. caller: yes. the people that make our movies and stuff began to put out trash. they got potty mouths. they've got to where they're showing too much sex. we have people that make fun of people in other countries. we're not even able to do it on our own president without being shut down on the news not showing anything bad about him. what's the difference between him and korea? and on top of that, there's a lot of talk going on among people about this bad language in the movies and what they're doing. we can't even watch decent movies. they're talking about quit going to the movies at all because of this stuff.
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you can't watch but one because it's got bad language and other stuff in it. host: that'sethel in texas. mr. chang, any response? guest: this is really important. ethel, if this ofedse you, what you knead to do is talk to your neighbors and start a political movement and get to hollywood and give them that message. for instance i talked to a mother of an abducte in japan as i mentioned and she felt helpless because her government wasn't doing anything to get her daughter back from north korea. she just said, i'm going to do something about it. what she did was started a movement that changed the politics of japan for more than a decade. that's what people can do in democracy. so whatever issue you have, whether language in movies or whatever, this is something that you can deal with because you are in a democracy. you do have the vote. you do have the right to speak out as you have just done. i encourage you to do that. now, other people may not agree
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with you but the point is that's the way we solve things in a democracy. it's important for us to speak up. >> now, this tweet, your response to this from wild and wonderful. in my opinion, this entire thing was a major tactical error by the kim regime. >> you know, i actually agree with wild and wonderful, because north korea has been undermining the united states for a very long time. we have not really paid it sufficient attention to what the north koreans have been doing. now i think because of this we are having a national conversation and out of this national conversation i think that we can have more effective policies. there's been bipartisan failure in washington for a very long time over north korea. we need have much better policies and i hope this is the pathway to it. what the north koreans have done is certainly got our attention. they've done something nobody has ever been able to do which
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is to get a hollywood studio to pull a movie after a cyber attack and threats of terrorism in the united states. so, clearly, we need to deal with this right away because these issues go to the core of american democracy. it goes to the issue of the freedom, marketplace of ideas in our country. that's where our strength is and why we knead to deal with this. -- this is why we need to deal with this. host: how is mr. un different from his father and grandfather as a leader? caller: i think he is more willful than his father was. i think that part of it is because he is trying to establish his position in the regime. head of the kim regime is a very dangerous job because you have 300 or so other people in the government who count. many of them want to be the number one guy. and so what we have seen is a series of executions going back to 2010 before kim jong un
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became supreme leader which have been continuing through today. and this is a very destablizing environment. that's why kim jong un has been much more active. during the three-year period of mourning which ended on december 17, kim jong un was much more provocative and much more willful than his father was during the three-year kim ing period where il-sung the founder of north korea died and kim jong-il took over. i think we'll see a much more active north korea. his father, who died in september of 2011, for all of the horrible, tragic, irresponsible things that he did, in some ways he was much more clever than kim jong un. this attack on sony as you just mentioned is a 9/11 event in terms of crystalizing our attention and our national energy. i think that was a mistake. i think that shows this son is not as clever as his father and his grandfather. host: what does north korea
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want? guest: first of all, kim jong un and the 300 or so people who constitute the regime want to continue in power. to do that, kim jong un has announced a policy of both nuclear weapons plus economic development. i'm not so sure they'll go through on the economic development part of this, because the regime needs to keep people in north korea more or less destitute so they don't have the means to respond. you know, essentially north korea wants survival and secondarilyy it wants to absorb south korea in a korean state governed from pyongyang. i think at the end of the day north korea wants in general if we have to summarize it everything that the rest of the world doesn't want. so when we're talking about north korea leadership, we're talking about the kim family and about 300 other people? guest: that's right. it's a very small group in a
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country of 23, 24, maybe 25 million people. it's very tightly controlled. it's a one-man regime. it's a very small number of people who actually count in pyongyang. >> is he a deity in north korea? >> no longer. clearly, his grandfather was onsidered to be a deity or demi-god. his father at least in the start was treated that way as well. kim jong-il, the father, was sort of abnormal and in a way that offended north koreans. so that is really starting to the takedown of the myth of the d-like status of the kim family. kim jong un has a lot of disadvantages in the sense that he's very young in a confucius society so that doesn't help, but people see him as mortal. kim jong un has sort of helped people see him as mortal because all of his physical disabilities. as we saw him walking with a
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cane. we saw all sorts of things. we've heard the stories about diabetes, hypertension, and all the rest of it. those stories have circulated in north korea, itself. so right now the north koreans don't view their kim family as deities anymore. but it is clearly, in the 1940's and 1950's they certainly did. host: lake station, indiana, thanks for holding. you're on with gordon chang. caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. i just have a couple questions the first one being if the guest could answer this, what is the north koreans' true capability to carry out their threat of physical attacks here in america, essentially asking if exit lags to the threats was warranted by sony i guess. may other question is in terms of north korea's population, is there really much of a rebellion, not rebellion, sorry, you know, what am i
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lacking for? guest: there is very little resistance to kim rule. i think people don't like the kims. at one time they loved him. now i don't think so. i think they just tolerate the kim regime. as i mentioned, they don't have the means to resist. they don't buy into the myths, mythology of the kim family anymore. if they get a chance, they're going to get rid of this guy. i think they will get their chance fairly soon. but you don't really see an organized opposition movement because that's not possible in north korea's system. when the north korean system fails, it'll fail all at once. it will melt away, because people understand that the government needs to be better. you know, in terms of the first question do they have the capability to attack theaters, all you need is one or two people to attack a theater and it's not that hard. so the north koreans probably could have attacked one or two theaters in the united states.
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but they are not known to have security anized apparatus operating on american soil so that threat to deal with theaters in a very explosive way i think was a hollow threat. i think the people of sony understood that but when you have a threat like that, corporate norms dictate the behavior they exhibited, which is unfortunate, but they did not want the legal liability. i don't think the north koreans could mount a large, sustained attack against theaters in the united states. host: from "the washington post" this morning, mr. chang, an e-mail to mike the linton, c.e.o. of sony entertainment, from bruce bennett of rand corporation. i have been clear that the assassination of kim jong un is the most likely path to a collapse of the north korean government, thus while toning down the ending may reduce the
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north korean response, i believe that a story that talks about the removal of the kim family regime and the creation of a new government by the north korean people, well at least the elites, will start some real thinking in south korea and, i believe, in the north once the d.v.d. leaks. do you agree with that? guest: yes. i agree with that. the north koreans weren't concerned with the theatrical release of "the interview" the movie we're talking about because the ordinary north korean citizen is not going to go to a local theater in the united states and watch it. what they were concerned with was two things. first of all, south korean activists have said they'd take d.v.d.'s of the movie, put them in balloons launched across the demilitarize which separates north and south korea so ordinary north korean citizens could get these and watch them. the other thing they're concerned about is what goes on all the time and that is smugglers taking d.v.d.'s into north korea across the chinese border for profit.
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the north korean leadership was obviously very concerned with people in north korea seeing this. you got to remember that people in north korea have a pretty slanted or very narrow view of the world because they only know very little about what goes on. and the leekage of d.v.d.'s into north korea has been one of the primary ways where north koreans understand what's going on first of all in south korea and also the rest of the world. so they did not want this d.v.d. getting into north korea. that was really i think what they were driving at with regard to this movie. once people start to understand that their leaders could be assassinated and that rand researcher talked about, then obviously they might decide to do the same thing. that's what the regime was really concerned about. host: monty tweets in, sony is a japanese corporation. where is japanese government's outrage? guest: the japanese government outrage right now is not to be heard, largely because japan is
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now in pretty difficult and tense negotiations with the north koreans over the return of the abductees as we talked about earlier. it didn't want to offend the north koreans. obviously, they feel as our government feels that it's not good to get the north koreans angry. i'm not so sure that's the right theory, because when you show that, you're starting to show weakness to the north koreans. that's the worst thing you can possibly do. but in any event, that's the way the tokyo government calculates its interest so, therefore, there is no outrage in tokyo over this incident, at least none that we can detect anyway. host: has beijing spoken up? guest: no, it hasn't. and, certainly, i don't think they want to get involved in this discussion, largely because then people are going to start to focus in on the close relationship between chinese and north koreans' cyber warriors. so the last thing beijing will be doing is to talk about this
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issue in a public way. that's the reason why i think the obama administration needs at a point like right now to raise this issue of china's involvement and complicity in these attacks. host: charles, michigan, republican line, on with gordon chang. go ahead. caller: maybe a solution for this would be for the united states government just to buy the film rights from sony, post t streaming for downloads, encourage any broadcasts, any broadcast median to freely show this film or like, you know, the cable -- any cable networks and stuff. that way we kind of win out ecause freedom of speech wins. take the money to buy it and do that would probably be a cheaper form than some sort of political or military response or anything like that.
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i mean, the united states government would be taking the responsibility and saying, you know, somebody wants to see it, they can see it. and we're not going to be stopped by some terrorist or whatever. host: all right. we got it. thank you. mr. chang? >> i'm voting for you for secretary of state because, obviously, that is something the united states needs to do. you know, north korea tried to prevent people from seeing this movie, so i think that the u.s. government, one way or the other, and one of the ways may be paying sony compensation for this so we can then start to have those d.v.d.'s go into north korea. because that would raise the cost to the north koreans. that would be proportionate. that would be appropriate. i know our government's not going to do that, but that is something that, indeed, should be considered. i think it would be one of the first things we should do. so i hope that president obama gives you a call today and says, talk about this idea. host: laura tweets in, they but average north
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koreans have d.v.d. players? guest: they have food. yes, there was the great famine in the middle of the 1990's where somewhere as was million 250,000 to 3 people died. but north korea has had pretty good harvests recently. also, the chinese supply about 45% of north korea's food. so north koreans have enough to eat. now, it is true you don't see fat north koreans by and large as one of your call-ins mentioned. i actually think that the north koreans right now are not in a food emergency. so, yes, they have food. but you also have to remember the people with the d.v.d. players, many of them are very wealthy north koreans, members of the regime, and those are he people we want to influence as an initial matter. yes, these guys do have d.v.d. players and we should be
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supplying the d.v.d.'s so they can watch this and other things that talk about life outside of the democratic people's republic of korea. host: guy, washington, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. there's one i haven't heard anybody call about. there's nothing to stop our government or any other government from using the a ernet to demonize or start war with a country that opposes ur policies. it's also -- i'm 78 years old. i've seen our government come up with things like this to smoke screen our domestic policy. right now our domestic policy is what really bothers me, but
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my main thing is that this can be used by the hawks. thank you for taking my call. guest: well, yes. this is really an interesting and important point, because foreign governments have been using the internet to try to change discourse in the united do es, and sometimes they it within bounds and sometimes they do it out of bounds. so, clearly, this is something that we need to start thinking about in terms of foreign participation in the discussions in the united states. so the united states should be using these means as well where we have legitimate ends especially when the united states has been attacked as it's been attacked in this case. then the internet is one of those tools that we can use. host: mark williams tweets in, mr. chang, with internet surveillance by nass, f.b.i., homeland security, and our military, i'm baffled how this hacking by north korea was missed.
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guest: i'm sort of baffled by that as well. that really points out, there's this issue that americans have about over surveillance of americans and at the same time we're letting these cyber attacks continue. it's not just sony that we should be concerned about. we should be concerned about the attacks on every major u.s. company to steal american intellectual property. this has been going on for a very long time and our government hasn't done nearly enough to stop it. one of the ways we can deal with this is, of course, calling out these governments in public and imposing costs on these governments for the cyber crime, which has been called the greatest criminal act in history. but, nonetheless, there's also, a cyber oints out, dimension to it in that we have superb facilities and superb organizations and capabilities and we're not doing those to -- we're not using them to protect
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what is the crown jewels of the united states, which is american intellectual property held by american companies. host: hilton is in richmond, virginia. good morning, milton. aller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. host: we're listening, sir. please go ahead with your question. caller: yes. i'm calling in reference to the sony picture, the movie. i really don't have a problem with the movie, itself, because they had a lot of movies made in the past in reference to the president, in reference to the vice president, in reference to the secretary of state. but the problem with the movie is that they tried to -- it's too factual. the guy looks like kim jong un or the character may look like george bush or something like that. i think when you get into that, it kind of causes things to be, just like i'm saying, to be too factual. and i think that's the reason why korea -- what they did is not justified. i mean, it's not justified to
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hack into the u.s. systems and take our property and benefit from it or whatever the kay case may be but maybe they felt that this is an imposition on their leader or what. i don't know. but it's not going to be good for us because when you take a movie away then you open the door to the black market and you'll have people downloading the movie. they'll be selling the movie on the street and you'll be losing a lot of money from that. so, you know, it's kind of like an iffy situation. host: thank you, sir. gordon chang? guest: well, you know, i think probably the interview, which is the film we're talking about, is a dumb movie. it's probably inappropriate, ill advised and all the other criticisms that we've heard in the last few minutes. but, of course, that's not the point. the point is that we should not be allowing foreign governments to dictate what americans see or hear, because this is not just about a silly movie. you know, right now this is a
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question of what's going to happen the next time the "new york times," for instance, writes a story that beijing doesn't like. well, beijing, the next time this happens, very well may decide to do more than just denying visas to "new york times" reporters, which it's doing right now. it may decide to turn off the lights in the headquarters of the "new york times" on 8th avenue in new york city. and so, clearly, what we're worried about is the next step. and there will be a next step if sony gets away with this. josh ernestt the white house press secretary yesterday talked about a proportional response. now, i have nothing against proportional responses, but the most important thing is that the response be effective. we need an effective response to prevent the next incident and the incident after that because i think if we don't do that, then we are going to have other incidents, which are so much worse than sony. host: ruth benjamin smith tweets in, mr. chang sounds like he has an agenda.
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he's pushing awfully hard for some kind of retaliatory action. guest: well, yeah. because if you don't do that, the alternative is you're going to have basically beijing, moscow, tehran, pyongyang, and any other capital dictate what the american people see or what they read. that's where this is going. look, i don't work for anybody. i don't have any affiliations. this is not something where i'm trying to say, well, i work for the motion picture association or whatever. the point is i have an opinion on this and the other people have opinions but i really look at this and i say to you we need to prevent the worst actors in the world taking away the first amendment for the american people. it's as simple as that. that's my agenda. host: joann is in san diego. republican line. caller: yes, gordon. i heard your interview on
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"imus" this morning. it was ex-lent. i wonder if you would elaborate. would north korea take out the cyber attack without the knowledge of china? you mentioned something this morning about china's list of 13 cities in the united states that they think should be destroyed. also, our lack of security over our utilities. judging from president obama's recent trip to asia, which i hought was kind of embarrassing, do you think he would retaliate against north korea? >> well, the president from the early indications in the last 24 hours will come up with some countermeasures. as i mentioned, josh ernest highlighted that yesterday. we'll probably see that today. so we'll see whether those measures are going to be effective or not. what i was referring to on "imus" this morning about the 13 american cities, last october chinese state media
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across its main platforms, people's daily -- p.l.a. daily, china central television, ran identical stories about how chinese submarines could launch ballistic missiles with nuclear weapons and incinerate tens of millions of americans and they mentioned 13 cities as well as talking about radiation jets in chicago. so that makes 14. and the united states didn't react to that. that's a problem, because what we are showing to the rest of the world is that this concept of nuclear deterrence, which has kept the peace since the end of the second world war, by and large, is eroding. this is a problem, because this whole concept of deterring foreigners from doing things, whether lofting a nuclear missile into omaha or whether it's taking out sony pictures entertainment, which is what we've just seen, this is going to be a problem as other countries think that they can do this. you know, we don't react by and large because for various reasons but, nonetheless, what
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we are seeing is erosion of peace and stability in the world. so i think we need to take a much more active response. otherwise, we are going to see continued erosion of peace and stability. we've enjoyed a very good period by and large since the end of the second world war. certainly since the end of the cold war. but now we are starting to see an erosion in the international system and we need to stop that as quickly as we can. ost: jason, springfield, illinois, democrat. caller: yes, sir. i would ask mr. chang, i his name, a couple questions really real quick. do you know of any provocations or similar attacks on north korea that we've used, using cyber warfare, or are we meddling in their affairs that you know of? guest: let me answer that one first if i could. the answer is no. i'm sure the united states has
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through nass -- thue n.s.a. and other means probed north korea's cyber facilities. certainly we spy on other countries with the n.s.a. but i don't think that we certainly haven't done what north korea has just done to the united states. the other thing we don't do, and this is not just north korea, the one thing we don't do is take information from the companies of other countries and use that -- give that to american corporates so this he can better compete in world markets, which is really what's been happening especially with the chinese. we don't do that. yes, we spy, but we don't do the other things that we have just seen. your second question? caller: a different question. have you -- you think there's been any large scale uprisings in north korea that we may not have heard about? is there anything that they've had to maybe quell? is there anything going on as of recently as far as the people getting together? hfpblgts thank you, jason.
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got the point. >> yeah. there have been maynor rebel lyons throughout the history of the -- minor rebellions throughout the history of north korea ch not too many have been recent but we have seen especially military officers getting together. we have heard reports of execution of whole units in the military and there have been popular uprisings. but they've all been put down. so none of them have really affected the kim regime except to make it more insecure. host: the final call for gordon chang comes from bobby in fitzgerald, georgia. >> yes. i got three short points of interest to me. first, how much of this hoopla has to do with the fact that it was a liberal entity that was targeted, hollywood? second, you mentioned fareed zakaria, his article. did he write it? did he plagiarize it? three, the stifling of the first amend isn't that the
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distinct thing with the obama administration and all that? isn't he the only one that could quell the first amendment? host: anything there you want to respond to, mr. chang? guest: yeah. i don't think it was because this was liberal. i think this was because this was hollywood. hollywood is iconic and it does get our attention. also, you know, seth roguean, james franco, are very prominent actors. i think that's really what got us. in a sense, this is i think something that cuts across the political spectrum. host: sandy beach tweets in, do you think if hackers told the nfl if you play this sunday we will murder fans that the nfl would cancel games? yes. hey would. guest: you know, i don't know. you have to talk to roger goodell, the commissioner of the nfl. if he thought that was a hollow threat he probably would continue on i guess. but i really don't know.
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this really highlights a very important part of democracy in the sense -- democracys are very resilient but we're also easily intimidated. we've seen this with sony. we've seen this with other incidents. clearly, the question about the nfl, i think, is absolutely fascinating because of course football is as iconic as hollywood. it's very important to many people. i'm a giants fan, for instance. i would not like to see a game canceled. but, nonetheless, this does show how vulnerable we indeed are as an open society. host: another tweet, what is the state of our cyber tools? could the u.s. take out other countries, companies, and/or their infrastructure? guest: yes. we can do that. we're very good at this stuff. we don't do it. that's the real issue here. yes, we spy, as i mentioned, but we don't do the other things that other countries like north korea and china are doing. the one thing that we did do in all probability and of course washington will deny this, we
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did implant the virus in the iranian nuclear weapons program, which is a controversial act, but, nonetheless, that is something that we did do and i think. but essentially we do not do what sony hacking, we don't do what the chinese do, which is to steal intellectual property to give it to our own enterprises. there are very important limits to our very awesome capabilities. host: gordon chang, finally, this afternoon, 1:30 p.m. the president, press conference. what would you like to hear from him regarding this situation? guest: i'd like to hear those three things i talked about -- cutting north korea off from the financial system, enforcing prohibitions on the sale of weapons of mass destruction, and calling out the chinese. i'd like to have him not use the word "proportional." i'd like to hear him use the word "effective" because at the end of the day what we need to do is effective to protect american society.
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host: we have been talking with gordon chang. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> more "washington journal" tomorrow with gregory korte of "usa today" joining us to talk about president obama's use of presidential memoranda, a form of executive action. then michael calhoun discusss payday lending and regulation of the industry. then we look at changes to u.s. mail service scheduled to take place in early january. we'll also be taking phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets all on "washington journal" live tomorrow morning 7:00 a.m. eastern time right here on c-span. tonight we'll conclude c-span's interviews with retiring members of congress. we'll hear from the chair of the house ways and means committee, dave camp, and armed services committee chair buck mckeon. they share their personal stories, legislative achievements, and thoughts about the future. >> i knew i wanted to get on the ways and means committee and obviously worked hard on welfare reform and adoption issues and trade issues.
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but at that time the steering committee was called committee on committees so you knew you were kind of in a government process. and it really is a campaign. it's about the votes on that committee who determines who gets a seat on a committee like ways and means. so you're talking to every member on that committee and there is a particular member that i really -- that wasn't really for me. i just didn't know what to do and sort of out of the blue i dialed president ford's office in california. >> did you know him? >> i had met him several times. i wasn't sure he knew me. i certainly knew him. his secretary answered the phone and said oh, congressman camp, hold. he got on the phone and said, dave, how are you? then he said, well, you know, i used to be leader. he goes, somebody owes me a favor. i'll make a call. and he did. and that person came to me on the floor and said, anybody who can get the former president of the united states to call me i'm for. he changed his vote and i did
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get on ways and means. i told susan ford that story also once. not sure she cared but it was really a changing moment for me and he was very gracious and the fact he was in his office and took the call when i had not scheduled the call. i literally called him out of the blue. it was very much a hail mary pass. >> you know, somewhere we need to go back and make things a little simpler. when my dad first went into business, he'd been working for a company selling off of a truck, meat, and finally he saved enough money and he bought a used fish truck. he and my mom worked all weekend to try to get the smell out of that truck. early monday morning, the war had already started, the meat was being rationed. he went down and he had some friends. he was able to buy enough meat to fill up his truck and then he started going around trying to sell it.
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one weekend and he was in business. one day he could have been out of business. but the end of the day he found somebody that bought everything he had and that got him started. now ther -- now to go into business you have to get different licenses and permits and, you know, this organization and that organization. everything is tougher. the taxes that come with all these things. so while this is the greatest country in the world, we've got lots of challenges. >> just some of tonight's interviews with retiring members of congress. watch them in their entirety tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. here are some of the programs you'll find this weekend on the c-span net works. saturday night at 9:30 on c-span, actor seth roggin discussing politics and humor with daily show cocreator liz winstedt at the harvard institute of politics. unday at 8:00 on c-span's "q &
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" katy pavlich on what she perceives is the hypocrisy of liberals with their war on women rhetoric. on book tv, william deresiewicz argues the top universities are missing the mark in education and students should learn lessons in how to think critically, be creative, and have a goal in life beyond the material. sunday morning just before 11:00 book tv visits lafayette, west lafayette indiana to interview several city authors and tour its literary sites. on american history tv on c-span 3, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war, historian damian shiels talks about irish american soldier patrick cleburne and his role in the confederate army during the battle of franklin, tennessee. sunday at 4:00 on "reel america" a 1974 investigative piece by san francisco's kron tv on the history of police brutality in neighboring oakland. find our complete television
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schedule at and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at send us a tweet at c-span #comments. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. this week on "q & a" author and town hall dot com editor katy pavlich on what she perceives as the hypocrisy of liberals on their war on women rhetoric. >> it goes back to like i said where the idea for this book came from was the 2012 dnc convention when they were and g this tribute video portraying him as a women's rights champion when he left a young woman to drown in his car and if he had not gone back for nine hours and tried to save
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his own behind, she would have probably survived. and you can't do an entire video at a convention claiming to be preaching and fighting about the war on women and glorify someone like that while not including that part of his life in a video about his women's rights record. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q & a." to mark 10 years of q & a we're airing one program from each year starting december 22 at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. earlier today president obama held his end of the year news conference. it's about 50 minutes. >> hello, everybody. really got a full house today. huh? well, all i want for christmas is to take your questions. but first let me say a little bit about this year. in last year's final press conference i said that 2014 would be a year of action and would be a breakthrough year
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for america. it has been. yes, there were crises that we had to tackle around the world. many were unanticipated. we have more work to do to make sure our economy, our justice system, and our government work not just for the few but for the many. there is no doubt we can enter into the new year with renewed confidence that america is making significant strides where it counts. the steps we took to rescue our economy and rebuild it on a new foundation helped make 2014 the strongest year for job growth since the 1990's. all tolled, over a 57-month streak, our businesses have created nearly 11 million new jobs. almost all of the job growth that we've seen have been in full-time positions. much of the recent pickup has been in higher paying
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industries. in a hopeful sign for middle class families, wages are on the rise again. our investments in american manufacturing have helped fuel the best stretch of job growth also since the 1990's. america is now the number one producer of oil, the number one producer of natural gas. we're saving drivers about 70 cents a gallon at the pump over last christmas. effectively, today, our rescue of the auto industry is officially over. we've now repaid taxpayers every dime and more of what my administration committed and the american auto industry is ontrack for its strongest year since 2005. we've created about 500,000 new jobs in the auto industry, alone. thanks to the affordable care act, about 10 million americans have gained health insurance just this past year. enrollment is beginning to pick up again during the open enrollment period.
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the uninsured rate is at a near record low. since the law passed the price of health care has risen at its slowest rate in about 50 years and we cut our deficits by about two-thirds since i took office bringing them to below their 40-year average. meanwhile, around the world america's leaders were leading the coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy ice il -- isil a coalition that includes arab partners. we're leading a commission to reject russian efforts in ukraine. we're leading the global fight to combat ebola in west africa. we are preventing an outbreak from taking place here at home. we're leading efforts to address climate change including last month's joint announcement with china that is already jump-starting new progress in other countries. we're writing a new chapter in our leadership here in the americas by turning a new page on our relationship with the cuban people.
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and in less than two weeks after more than 13 years our combat mission in afghanistan will be over. today more of our troops are home for the holidays than any time in over a decade. still many of our men and women in uniform will spend christmas in harm's way and they should know that the country is united in support of you and grateful not only to you but also to your families. the six years since the crisis have demanded hard work and sacrifice on everybody's part. but as a country, we have every right to be proud of what we've accomplished. more jobs, more people insured, a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy, pick any metric that you want and america's resurgence is real. we are better off.
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i've always said that recovering from a crisis in 2008 was our first order of usiness. on that business america as out performed our competitors. the past four years we've put more people back to work than all other advanced economies ombined. we've now had a chance to reverse an even deeper problem and make sure the middle class is the engine that powers our prosperity for decades to come. to get that we'll have to make smart choices. we have to make the right choices. we'll have to invest in the things that secure even faster growth in higher paying jobs for more americans. i'm being slautly sincere when i say i want to work with this new congress to get things done, to make those investments make sure the government is
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working better and smarter. we're going to disagree on some things, but there are going to be areas of agreement. we've got to be able to make that happen. that's going to compromise -- involve compromise every once in a while. as we saw during this lame duck session perhaps maybe coming to the four. in terms of my own job, i am energized. i am excited. the prospects for the next couple of years. i'm certainly not going to be stopping for a minute in the effort to make a life better for ordinary americans. thanks to their efforts, we really do have a new foundation that has been laid. we are at are positioned than we had been in a very long time. the future is ready to be written. the is that the stage for this american moment. i'm going to spend every minute of my last two years making sure
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we sees it. a presidency in the fourth quarter -- i am looking forward to it. going into the fourth quarter, usually get a timeout. i am looking for to a quiet timeout. christmas with my family, i want to wish everybody a merry christmas, happy hanukkah, happy new year. i hope all of you get some time to spend with your families as well. one thing that we share is that we are away too much from them. , josh has given me the who has been naughty and who has been nice list and i'm going to use it to take some questions. we will start with kerry. >> north korea seems to be the biggest topic today.
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what does a proportional response look like and did sony make the right decision in pulling the movie or does that set a dangerous precedent? >> let me address the second question first. sony is a corporation. it suffered significant damage. there were threats against its employees. i am sympathetic to the concerns they faced. having said all that, yes, i think they made a mistake. in this interconnected, digital world, there are going to be opportunities for hackers to engage in cyber attacks in the public sector am the private sector.
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our first order of business is we do everything to heart and harden sites and prevent these attacks from taking place. when i first came into office, i set up a cyber security team to do what we could at the government level. but a lot more needs to be done. we are not even close where we need to be. one of the things that i hope congress will work on in the new year is stronger cyber security laws that allow for information sharing across private vector platforms as well as the public sector so that we are incorporating best practices and preventing these attacks from happening in the first place. but even as we get better, the hackers are going to get better , too. some are going to be state
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actors. some are going to be nonstate actors. all are going to be sophisticated and many will do some damage. we cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace starts imposing censorship here in the united states. because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don't like or news reports they don't like. or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody who
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sensibilities probably need to be offended. that's not who we are. that's not what america is about. again, i am sympathetic that sony has worries about liability. i wish they had spoken to me first. i would've told them do not get into a pattern in which you're intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks. imagine if instead of it being a cyber threat somebody had broken into their offices and destroyed a bunch of computers and stolen discs. is that what it takes for suddenly for you to pull the plug on something?
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so, we will engage not just with the film industry but with the news industry around these issues. i think all of us have to anticipate that occasionally there are going to be breaches like this. they're going to be costly. they are going to be serious. we take them with the utmost seriousness. but we can't start changing our patterns of behavior any more than we might stop going to football games because there is the possibility of a terrorist attack, anymore than boston did not run a marathon this year because there was a possibility somebody might try to cause harm. let's not get into that way of doing business. >> have you considered taking a symbolic step like watching the
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movie yourself? >> i have a long list of movies i am going to be watching. [laughter] i never release my full movie list. but -- let's talk to the specifics of what we now know. it was announced today and we can confirm that north korea engaged in this attack. i think it says something interesting about north korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out attack on a moviestudio and starring seth rogen and james franco. i like seth and james, but a
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notion that they are a threat gives you some sense of the kind of regime we are talking about. they caused a lot of damage, and we will respond. we will respond proportionally and in a place and time and manner that we choose. it is not something i will announce here today at a press conference. more broadly though, this should be cause to work with the international community to start setting up some very clear rules of the road in terms of how the internet and cyber operates. right now, it is the wild west. part of the problem is you have weak states that can engage in these kinds of attacks. you have nonstate actors that can do enormous damage.
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that is part of what makes this issue of cyber security so urgent. again, this is part of the reason why it is going to be so important for congress to work with us and get the bill passed that allows for the kind of information sharing we need because if we don't put them place the kind of architecture -- put in place the kind of architecture that prevents these attacks from taking place, this is not just going to affect movies, this is going to affect our entire economy in ways that are extraordinarily scary. and by the way, i hear you're moving to europe. where you going to be? >> brussels. >> excellent. congratulations. i think there is no doubt that what belgium needs is a version of politico. [laughter]
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the waffles are delicious there, by the way. cheryl. you have been naughty. go ahead. >> looking ahead to your work with congress next year. you mentioned a possible compromise on tax reform. i'm wondering, do you see a republican congress as presenting a better opportunity for actually getting tax reform next year? will you be putting out a new proposal? are you willing to consider both individual and corporate sides of the tax ledger and are you still concerned about corporate vergence?'s -- in >> i think an all-democratic congress would have provided an even better opportunity for tax
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reform, but i think, talking to speaker boehner and leader mcconnell, that they are serious about wanting to get things done. tax reform is one area where we can get things done. i think in the weeks leading up to the state of the union, there will be some conversations at staff levels about what principals each side are looking at. i can tell you, broadly, what i would like to see. i would like to see more simplicity in the system. i would like to see more fairness in the system. with respect to the corporate tax reform issue, we know the companies are paying the full freight, 35%, higher than any other company on earth, and other companies are paying zero because they have better accountants and lawyers. that's not fair. there are companies parking money outside the country because of tax avoidance.
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we think that it is important that everybody pays something if in fact they are effectively headquartered in the united states. in terms of corporate inversion, those are situations where companies really are headquartered here but on paper switch their headquarters to avoid paying taxes. i think that needs to be fixed. fairness. everybody paying their fair share. everybody taking responsibility i think is going to be very important. some of those principles i have heard republicans say they share. how we do that, the devil is in the details. i will be interested in hearing how they want to move forward. i am going to make sure we include some pretty specific or proposals building on how we move forward. one other element i think is
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important, and i have been on this hobbyhorse for six years -- bless you -- we have a lot of infrastructure we have to rebuild in this country if we are going to be competitive. roads, water systems, sewage systems, airports. we are way behind. early on we indicated that there was a way of lowering rates, eliminating loopholes so everybody is paying their fair share and during that transition providing a mechanism where we could get some infrastructure built. i would like to see us work on that issue as well. historically, infrastructure has not done a democrat or republican issue and i would like to see us return to that.
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>> on cuba, when you're administration was lifting sanctions on myanmar, use our commitments for human rights reform. why not do the same with cuba? and do you have any indication that north korea was acting in conjunction with china? >> we have no indication that north korea was acting with another country. with respect to cuba, we are glad the cuban government has released slightly over 50 dissidents, that they are going to be allowing the red cross and united nations to operate more freely and monitor what is taking place. i share the concerns of
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dissidents and human rights activist that this is still a regime the represses its people. as i said when i made the announcement, i don't anticipate overnight changes. what i know deep in my bones is that if you have done the same thing for 50 years and nothing has changed, you should try something different if you want a different outcome, and this gives us an opportunity for a different outcome. suddenly, cuba is open to the world in ways it has not been before. it is open to americans traveling there in ways it has not been before. it is open to church groups visiting their fellow levers inside of cuba in ways they haven't been before.
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it offers the prospect of telecommunications and the internet being more widely available in cuba in ways that it has not been before. and over time, that chips away at this hermetically sealed society, and i believe offers the best prospect of leading to greater freedom, greater self-determination on the part of the cuban people. i think it will happen in fits and starts, but through engagement, we have a better chance of bringing about change than we would otherwise. >> -- at the end of your presidency? >> i think it would be unrealistic for me to map out exactly where cuba will be, but change is going to come to cuba. it has to.
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they have an economy that doesn't work. they have been reliant for years, first on subsidies from the soviet union, then on subsidies from venezuela. those can't be sustained. the more the cuban people see what is possible, the more they will be interested in change, but how societies change is country specific, culturally specific. it may happen fast. it will probably happen slower than i'd like. greg's i have a number of questions on cuba as well -- >> i have a number of questions on cuba as well. >> do i have to read all these down? -- right -- to write all these down? >> i want to see if you got any assurances from the cuban
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government when it would not try to sabotage the deal when president clinton made to similar overtures. they shot down planes. they have a pattern of being provocative. >> general provocative activities. >> anytime you have reached out a hand to them. when you talked to president castro, did fidel have a role in the talk? did his name come up? did you ask about how he is doing? people have not seen him in a while. there is talk about lifting the embargo and changes. are you getting involved in terms of money on a new embassy. >> i have to cut you off there. with respect to sabotage. my understanding of the history
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of the plane being shot down, it is not clear that was the cuban government purposely trying to undermine overtures by the clinton administration. it was a tragic circumstance that ended up collapsing talks that had begun to take place. i have not seen anything in the historical record that says they shot the plane down specifically to undermine the clinton government. it is not precedent it for the president of the united states and the president of cuba to make an announcement at the same time that they are moving toward normalizing relations.
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there has not been anything like this in the past. that does not mean that over the next two years we can not anticipate them taking certain actions we may end up finding deeply troubling either inside cuba or with respect to their foreign policy. that would put significant strains on the relationship. that is true of a lot of countries out there where we have an embassy. the whole point of normalizing relations is that it gives us a greater opportunity to have influence with the government than not. i would be surprised if the cuban government purposely tries
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to undermine what is now effectively its own policy. i would not be surprised if they take actions that a given time that we think are a problem. and we would be in a position to respond to whatever actions they take the same way we do with a whole range of countries around the world when they do things we think are wrong. the point is we will be in a better position to have an influence and there may be carrots as well as sticks that we can apply. the only way fidel's name came up -- i think i may have mentioned this in the interview i did -- was, i delivered a fairly lengthy statement at the
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front end about how we are looking forward to a new future in the relationship between our two countries but we are going to continue to press on it issues of democracy and human rights that we think are important. in my opening remarks, i took about 15 minutes, which on the phone is a very long time, and at the end he said mr. president, you are still a young man read at the end of my remarks, i apologize for taking a long time, but i said i wanted to make sure he was clear about where i stood. he said you are still young man and you still have a chance to break fidel's record. he once spoke for seven hours straight. [laughter] castron president proceeded to deliver his own
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remarks, which lasted twice as long as mine. and i said it must run in the family. but that is the only discussion we had. of fidel castro. i sort of forgot all the other questions. [laughter] >> how personally involved are you going to get -- >> with respect to congress, we cannot unilaterally bring down the embargo. that is part of the libertad act. there will be a time while congress to just sit. -- there will be a process where congress digests it. there are bipartisan supporters and detractors of this approach. people will see how the actions we take unfold and i think there is going to be a healthy debate inside of congress. i will certainly weigh in.
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i think ultimately we need to pull down the embargo, which has been self-defeating. but i don't anticipate that happens right away. i think people will want to see this move forward before there is any serious debate about whether or not we would make major shifts in the embargo. we will go to brampton. >> i wanted to follow-up on that by asking under what conditions would you meet with president castro in havana? would you have certain pre-conditions you would want him to meet. on a hack, i know you said you will not announce your response, but can you say whether you're considering additional economic sanctions on north korea? >> think i am going to leave it where i left it. we just confirmed that it was
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north korea. we have been working off a range of options. they will be presented to me. i will make a decision on those based on what i believe is proportional and appropriate to the nature of this crime. with respect to cuba, we are not at a stage here where me visiting cuba or president castro coming to the united states is in the cards. i don't know how this relationship will develop over the next several years. i am a fairly young man said so i imagine that at some point in my life i will have a chance to visit cuba and enjoy interacting with the cuban people, but there is nothing
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specific where we are trying to target a visit on my part. choline nelson. there you are. >> you spoke about 2014 being a breakthrough year and you ended the year with executive actions on immigration, cuba, and climate change. you did not make much progress this year on your legislation agenda. republican lawmakers have said they are less inclined to work with you if you continue to pursue executive actions so aggressively. are you going to continue to pursue executive actions if it creates more roadblocks for your legislative agenda, or have you concluded it is not possible to break the fever in washington? >> i think there are real opportunities to get things done and i take speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell at their word that they would like to get things done. the question is going to be are
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we able to separate out those areas where we disagree and those areas where we agree? if republicans seek to take health care away from people who just got it, they will meet stiff resistance from me. if they try to water down consumer protections that we put in place in the aftermath of the financial crisis, i will say no. i am confident i will be able to uphold vetoes of those types of provisions. but on increasing american exports, on simplifying our tax system, on rebuilding our infrastructure, my hope is that we can get things done. i have never been persuaded by
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this argument that if it weren't for executive action they would have been more productive. there is no evidence of that. so i intend to continue to do what i have been doing, which is, when i see a big problem and the opportunity to help the american people and it is within my lawful authority to provide that help, i am going to do it. and then i will reach out to members of congress and republicans and say i would rather work together. immigration is a classic example. i was really happy when the senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill. and i did everything i could for a year and a half to provide republicans the space to act, and showed not only great patience, but flexibility, saying to them look, if there are specific changes you would like to see, we are willing to compromise.
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we are willing to be patient. we are willing to work with you. ultimately, it was not forthcoming. so, the question is going to be, i think, if executive actions on areas like minimum wage or equal pay or having a more sensible immigration system are important to republicans, if they care about those issues and the executive actions are bothering them, there is a very simple solution, and that is passed bills, and work with me to make sure i am willing to sign those bills. both sides are going to have to compromise on most issues in order for their initiatives to become law. i have to sign off on them which means they have to take into account the issues that i care about just as i have to take into account the issues that
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they care about. i think this is going to be the last question. julian. >> one of the first bills mitch mcconnell said he would pursue was the keystone pipeline. when you talked about this in the past, you are concerned about the entire metal risks. what will you do -- also, given the precipitous drop in oil prices recently, does that change the calculus? >> i don't think i have minimized the benefits. i think i have described the benefits. at issue in keystone is not american oil.
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it is canadian oil. that is drawn out of tar sand in canada. that oil is currently being shipped out to rail or truck's, and it would save canadian oil companies and the canadian oil industry and enormous amount of money if they could simply type -- type it all the way through the united states down to the gulf. where it will be sold into the world market all around the world. so -- i won't say no, but there is very little impact, nominal impact, on u.s. gas prices,
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which the average consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come through. sometimes this is sold as if it is going to lower gas prices in the united states. it's not. there is a global oil market. this is good for canadian oil companies and the oil industry, but it is not going to be of huge benefit to u.s. consumers. it is not even going to be of nominal benefit to u.s. consumers. the construction of the pipeline itself will create a couple thousand temporary jobs. there are probably some additional jobs they can be created in the refining process in the gulf.
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those are not completely insignificant, but when you consider what we could be doing if we were rebuilding roads and bridges around the country, we could probably create hundreds of thousands of jobs or millions of jobs. there are better ways to create well-paying american construction jobs. with respect to the cost, all i have said is if in fact the project goes forward that it is not adding to climate change which does impose serious costs on the american people, some of them long-term, but significant nonetheless. more flooding, more wildfires, more drought.
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there is a direct economic impact. as we are rebuilding after hurricane sandy, we have to consider how to increase preparedness in how we structure infrastructure, housing, and so forth along the jersey shore. you can flip a dollar figure on that. in terms of process, a nebraska judge is still determining whether or not a new path of the pipeline is appropriate. once that is resolved, the state department will begin in all the information it needs to make a decision. but i want to give some perspective is there has been a tendency to hype this as some magic formula to what ails the u.s. economy and it's hard to see on paper exactly where they
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are getting the information from. in terms of oil prices and how i don'tts the decision, think it will have a significant impact, except perhaps in the minds of folks when gas prices are lower they may be less , susceptible to the argument that this will lower gas prices. it was never going to be the answer to lowering gas prices because the oil going through the keystone pipeline goes into the world market. >> is this something where you clearly say you're not going to let congress force your hand. >> i will see what they do. we will take that up in the new year. >> any new year's resolutions?
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>> thank you mr. president. last question, again. [laughter] six years ago this month, i asked you what was the state of black america and you said it was the best of times and the worst of times. you said it was the best in times in the sense there had never been more opportunities for black americans to receive a good education and the worst of times in unemployment and the lack of opportunity. we are entering 2014. what do you say to those black americans about those issues and race relations? >> like the rest of america, black america is better off in the aggregate than it was when i came in to office. jobs have been created. people have gotten health insurance. housing equities have been recovered. 401(k) pensions have been
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recovered. a lot of those folks are african-american and they're better off than they were. the gap between the income and wealth of white and black america persist, and we have more work to do on that. i have been consistent in saying that this is a legacy of a troubled racial past, jim crow, slavery. that is not an excuse for black folks, and i think the overwhelming majority of black people understand it is not an excuse. they are working hard, trying to get an education, trying to send their kids to college, but they starting behind oftentimes in the race. we should be willing to provide people a hand up, not a handout, but help folks get a good juror
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-- get a good early childhood education. help them graduate from high school, help them afford college. be better, they will able to succeed and that is going to be good for all of us. we have seen some progress with the education reforms we have initiative. they are showing measurable results. we have the highest high school graduation rate we have seen in a very long time. we are seeing record numbers of young people attending college. in many states, they have initiated reforms and you are seeing progress in math and reading scores are african-american and latino students as well as the broader population, but we still have more work to go. now, obviously how we are thinking about race relations right now has uncolored by ferguson, the garner case in new
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york. a growing awareness in the broader population of what people of color have understood for some time, and that is that there are specific instances at least where law enforcement doesn't feel as if it's being applied in a colorblind fashion. the task force i formed is supposed to report back to me in 90 days, not with a bunch of abstract musings about race relations, but some concrete practical things that police departments and law enforcement agencies can begin implementing right now to rebuild trust between people of color and the police department. my intention is to, as soon as i
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get those recommendations, to start implementing them. some i will be able to do through executive action. some will require congressional action. some will require action on the part of local jurisdictions. i think it has been a helpful conversation we have had. these are not new phenomenon. in part, people are able to film what would have been just stories passed around the kitchen table allows people to make their own assessments. we are not going to solve the problem if it is not being talked about. we have been moving forward on the criminal justice reform issues more broadly. one of the things i did not talk about in my opening statement is the fact that in the last year was the first time in 40 years where we had the federal prison population go down and the crime
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rate go down at the same time, which indicates to the degree it is possible for us to think we are about who incarcerating, how long we are incarcerating, how we are dealing with nonviolent drug offenders, diversion programs, drug courts. we can do a better job and save money in the process by initiating some of these reforms and i have been really pleased to see that republicans and democrats in congress were interested in these issues as well. -- and thing i will say this is going to be the last thing i say. [laughter] -- i -- one of the great things about this job is that you get to know the american people. you meet folks from every walk of life and every race and every
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faith. what i don't think is always captured in our political debates is the vast majority of people that are just trying to do the right thing. people are basically good and have good intentions. sometimes our institutions and our systems don't work as well as they should. sometimes you have a police department that has gotten into bad habits over a. and surfacedme hidden biases that we all carry around. you look for practical solutions, people want to fix these problems. this is not a situation where people feel good seeing somebody .hoked and dying i think that troubles everybody.
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alle was an opportunity for of us to come together and take a practical approach to these problems. i guess that is my general theme for the end of the year, which is we have gone through difficult times. it is your job, press corps, to that are mistakes made, the bad things that happen, the crises that look like they are popping, and i understand that. effortough persistent and faith in the american people , things get better. the economy has gotten better. our ability to generate clean energy has gotten better. we know more about how to educate our kids. we solve problems. ebola is a real crisis.
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mistake in the first case because it's not something that has been seen before. we fix it. we had some unaccompanied children who spike at the border . it may not get fixed in the timeframe of the news cycle, but it gets fixed. , as we what i hope reflect on the new year, this should generate us some new confidence. america knows how to solve problems. when we work together, we can't be stopped. and now i'm going to go on vacation. mahalo.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] obama heading to hawaii for the first family pot location over christmas break, heading to marine one after leaving his press conference earlier today. going to take your phone calls right now to see what you think about the president path from president's remarks. is up on your screen.
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also on facebook, you can read your opinions there. we have dozens of people weighing in on the president's news conference. we have colors on the line. as go to louisiana. johnny is on the line for democrats. what are your thoughts about what president obama had to say? a fineought he made speech. i have a question to ask is a democrat. i want to know that i do get my check under $1000. is our increase going to raise up? getting $600 or something disability a check and you just can't really make it off of that
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kind of -- i know what is possible, that it is hard to try to make it because you have other bills. you are living month-to-month off of one check and don't have enough money to supply your needs. not something that the president touched on, but this is apparently important to you. you're on disability and you're wondering about this from the point of view of the president? >> yes, ma'am. >> something that we can definitely look into and find out some more information there. we are going to move onto quintin. what did you think of from the president today? caller: the one particular subject that i am very interested in is the keystone pipeline. that is normally
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no, but hell no. host: you do not want it built? caller: i do not want to see the keystone pipeline go forward. host: from what we heard from the president, he sounded he may be changing his position a little bit, saying that there might not be a lot of jobs created here. are you happy with what you heard from the president? caller: yes, i am. host: you are in tennessee. how would that affect you, the keystone? caller: i'm not sure that it would -- it won't affect me directly because i am retired. work inren both industries that are not directly affected, but i think the general well-being of the united states will be degraded. president made a very good point and i think back
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to the eisenhower-truman era where we built the interstate highway system. i think we would create far more our pension and finances and whatnot to restoring our highway system, , old and needed to be replaced, or certainly need to be retrofitted. host: thank you for your call. carolyn is on the line in boulder, colorado. you are on the democrats line. what are your thoughts, the last comments from the president? caller: i think they were very fine. alabamarn and raised in
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at a time when racial tensions were high. abouterience was learning all of the different scenarios involved. i became very discouraged with person's view in general in alabama. i left alabama as soon as i could, as soon as i graduated. i went to pennsylvania. anyway, i am retired now and i live in colorado. what i would like to do, if i could, because i have time on my hands, a lot of time on my hands, i am very well-educated. i would like to offer, if i can, for free, it doesn't matter, any services that i may be capable of of applying.
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host: one of the last questions the president took was on race in america. what did you think about those comments? caller: i thought they were very fine. i voted for him twice. i have no problem with what he is saying. he is saying what is true. host: we will leave it there. we go to arizona. gilbert is on the line for republicans. i've been with the publican party for quite a long and i think that as republicans, we are taking everything too personal. just vote with .hem
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host: some comments on facebook as well. we'll take it comments from rodney. a couple of more comments here. let's get steve's take on this from florida on the line for others and independents. caller: i have quite a bit of thoughts, mostly scientific thoughts about what is going on in the old world. about the inferred -- in
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differential à la the. there all human beings. is no referring to race or any in differences of other people because we are all on a little, fragile blue ball as a metaphor, right? our ownn danger of self-destruction because of that reason. we've got 26,000 thermonuclear bombs to worry about, let alone other natural disasters we haven't even the resources to resolve. ofalso have trillions dollars that we are in debt to china and other places that we have borrowed. it is going to be a repeat of what happened during 1929 when the economy collapsed, right? and also a repeat when you want to sit there and say, hey, we
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need microchips. put microchips in people with transponders on it, other identification, you are a amle, everything. adolf hitler did it with the jewish people. they put numbers on them, they put them in in turn meant camps, and eradicated them. host: thank you for your call. let's look at some of the wide ranging last of the year press conference by president obama. abc news saying sony hacking. the fbi blames north korea. also an article from npr. hising there about wide-ranging news conference. looking at the "new york times." president obama thousand u.s. response to north korea's cyber attack on sony.
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one of the larger topics here in president's last press conference for the year. john is on the line in ann arbor, michigan, for the democrats. what are your thoughts on this press conference? i just have to bow down. barack obama is just so amazing. he brings me to tears. host: what specifically, john? that heon every issue addresses. i am absolutely on board. i agree with his stance on immigration, on the affordable care act, everything. me that there are so many people that hate him and i just get it. host: colby is on the line from north fort myers for republicans. what are your thoughts on the
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last press conference? caller: first off, thank you for taking my call. i think obama is actually one of the best presidents we've ever had and i have many reasons why. one of which is the man looks before he leaps. he does not act impulsively. think that the man has a big heart generally and wants to do right by the country. let's look at this for what it is. he inherited a big mess when he came into office. shambles withs in the banks falling and the american people, the taxpayers having to bail them out. we were not supposed to an all of a sudden there was a private meeting and bam. that was not obama's fault. i also think that president obama, you know, on this cuba
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deal, i really think that if you don't talk to someone or at least keep trying, you're not going to ever get any results. in order for the cuban people to not be oppressed for a long period of time, or forever, you have to extend your hand out. as far as the affordable care act, i think that is good because there are a lot of people that can't afford expensive insurance plans. i am one of them. republican,i am a i've got to say that this president has had his hands full of one of the biggest messes since the bush administration and we certainly don't need , excuse me for saying so, like ted cruz and people of his nature cutting the ropes on
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the banks to get predatory loans seniore 87 year old citizens' homes away that they have paid on for 40 years of their life. host: thank you for your call. we want to let you >> we'll be showing the press conference again tonight, at 9 time, right here on c-span. we'll be taking your calls onorrow morning also washington journal, when the conversation continues. 10this month is the anniversary of our sunday prime time program q-and-a. featuring an encore presentation, highlighting authors f leading public policy thinkers. fienburg's interview on the september 11 victim fund.sation on his07, robert novak 50 years of reporting in
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washington. from 2008, the value of higher education in america. and from 2009, conservative commentator coming up, q-and-a at 10:00, a decade of compelling conversations. >> next, c-span's interviews congressman dave comp and california congressman buck mckeon. after that, president obama and theabout cuba recent sony cyberattack in his end of the year news conference. the chair of the ways and means congressman dave camp, is retiring. he's represented michigan's district for 12 terms, 24 years. had erecently talked with c-span on his time in congress, his efforts to change the tax code and how a former president helped him get on the ways and means committee. he also talks about his


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