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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  February 2, 2010 1:00pm-3:00pm EST

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>> it doesn't reach here in the country. doesn't create employment. on it's a scandal. complete scandal. >> reporter: afghanistan has been subjected to almost 30 years of near constant war, and the evidence is all around. the amount of rebuilding required here is massive. there has been some progress, but there's also growing anger at the perceived waste of money on many projects. for a lot of people here, tangible improvements to the quality of their life are still on the ground. dan rivers, cnn, kabul. and the "cnn newsroom" does continue right now with t.j. holmes. >> all right, thank you there, betty. it's t.j. sitting in for ali velshi today. we're going to be taking you through the next couple of hours here, digging deeper on topics here, and as always, you can hit us up at ali velshi on twitter and t.j. holmes on cnn. we want to start with the story that has rocked the medical world. parents, this is one every
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parent will be interested in, because the study and the doctor that started the whole debate about the link between vaccines and autism has now been discredited. yes, the doctor and that initial study. we want on go right ahead and bring in our senior medical correspondent, elizabeth cohen. this had a lot of people going, wow, when this came down. now, let's give everybody a little background here. this is the study, and this is the doctor that kicked off this whole debate. >> that's right. i was telling you as a mom and a medical correspondent, i get zillions of questions from my friends saying should i vaccinate my children? i'm afraid they may get autism. s so, parents are concerned. this is the study that started it in 1980. "the lancet" published a study by andrew wakefield showing a link between autism and vaccines, in 2010, the "lancet"
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editors retracted the study from the published record. they said it has become clear that several elements of the 1988 paper by wakefield are incorrect, therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record. now, it's interesting, because they won't answer questions. when we called them and said can you sort of elucidate further? they didn't really answer any questions. >> explain to us how rare it is and how extraordinary of a step it is to take -- to go that far and essentially wipe this thing from the record? >> it is really rare. i'm not sure that i can remember a case -- >> wow. >> -- since i've been a medical reporter, which is nearly two decades, there have been a few, but not many. we called some editors of medical journals and we asked how often does it happen? and they said it is extremely rare. "the lancet" talked about the study not being properly randomized, in other words that the study subjects were not selected at
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when gow a styou do a study, yoo select them at random, you can't pick them to prove the thesis. >> since the initial study, people have, of course, fortified their positions, they either believe the vaccines lead to autism or people don't. the study has been discredited in a lot of ways over the years, but, still, is it going to change anything now that we essentially have an official retraction of the study? >> but you're right, people are in cams about thi ps about this mccarthy camp, there is a link. but i don't think they're going to change, there have been many studies sings ty since the orig that find links. there were protests in england over the past couple of days in favor of dr. wakefield. you can see they are supporting dr. wakefield. they believe there is firmly a link between you acism and vaccines, many of them have children with autism and they
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believe the vaccines did it, and "the lancet" withdrawing the study will not change their minds. the news we got today with "the lancet" retracting the study, it makes it official, if you will, but over the years, so many doctors part of the initial study have come out and said we don't want any part of it anymore. there have been some serious official -- i mean, the cdc as well who have discredited the stu study. where are we now? parents are going, what do we do now? >> most of the authors, most of andrew wakefield's co-authors have backed away from the study and disassociated themselves. the institute of medicine, the american academy of pediatrics says that there is no link, the science isn't there. the parents need to make the decision on their own. they can go with what all the major groups are saying, they can go with "the lancet" retracting the study or they're
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free, you know, not to vaccinate their children. that's a choice the parents are allowed to make. >> what happens to the doctor now? >> that's a good question. you have to wonder if he'll still have the same following, but certainly the protests make you think he will have the following. >> thank you. this is the topic you're getting the most questions about. i imagine you're about to get a whole lot more. >> yes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. but a major, major news story today, the original, the doctor, and the study that started it all, have officially been "x'd" from the books if you will, we'll continue to gfollow the story. we're closing the book on the colgan air crash. you'll remember this one. and the blame is going squarely on the pilots. federal investigators are waying weighing in after more than a year after the buffalo tragedy. so i was the guy who was never going to have the heart attack.
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i watched what i ate. i worked out. personally, i thought i was invincible. once it happened, i realized it's a different story. i'm on an aspirin regimen now because i never want to feel that helplessness again. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone. so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i was the guy who was doing everything right. i was wrong. talk to your doctor, and take care of what you have to take care of. [ male announcer ] learn more about protecting your heart at this is a honda pilot. and this is the chevy traverse. it has more cargo space than pilot. including the most space behind the third row. and traverse beats honda on highway gas mileage too.
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more fuel efficient and 30% more room. maybe traverse can carry that stuff too. the chevy traverse. amer. compare us to anyone and . a lot of you will remember that colgan air crash. it was actually continental express flight 3407 that crashed near buffalo right about a year ago, killing 50 people. well, we're starting to get answers as to what exactly happened, and the ntsb placing the blame squarely on the pilot, again, you'll remember 49 people were on board that plane that were killed. one person on the ground was killed. but we have been hearing -- been hearing the past couple days about exactly what happened this. meetings by ntsb, and they're saying that the pilot and copilot could have actually prevented this crash from happening. here's one of the quotes they're
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using. they say, "the crew did not perform in a way consistent with the training they received." they're saying that the pilot, marvin rennes lo was casual and relaxed and conversing with the first officer, rebecca shaw, who was startled and confused when the plane entered a stall. so, they did not hold back in a lot of ways and putting a lot of blame on those pilots. they opened that meeting, actually, saying we are not here to really impugn the character of these particular pie lots, not saying they are not good pepe people but they did not perform the way the training would have taught them to perform. and they are talking at this hearing about what could help in the pilot experience. take a listen. >> the military was famous for world-class training and not
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only that, but they had a very sensible and robust-out mechanism to take people out of the system who did not have what it took to be a good and competent pilot. unfortunately in the civilian world, our washout system is not quite so good. our standards are if you meet the standards, you can have a license. it doesn't say if you pass the test first time, the third time, the eighth time. it doesn't say how many times you can flunk the test. it just says if you pass the test, you're in. all right, let me bring in former d.o.t. inspector mary schiavo. and that's a little scary to hear, it doesn't matter how many times you flunk, as long as you pass one time. you are the former inspector general there, at d.o.t., i assume nothing there surprises
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you that you hear about the conclusions about what went wrong in this crash. >> well, no. and also the ntsb at their prior hearing, i was at the fact-finding hearings on this accident. it was clear they were headed in this direction. and they do find fault with the pilots in about 3 out of 4 times in crashes. however, there were some additional factors in that the manua manuals, the colgan flight manuals had mistakes in them, and the pilots actually hadn't had hands-on training, they had never felt a stick pusher before, that was pretty shocking. the first time they felt it they had 50 lives at stake. >> as a guy who flies frequently a lot of people fly frequently as well, we scratch our heads saying that something like this is possible. that is the first time they felt it in a real-life scenario. but, again, ma'am, are you telling me that some of this stuff -- is that an isolated incident, or something like that
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inexperienced of a pilot is commonplace 1 >> it's commonplace industrywide in the regional carriers. in the past it used to be a small percentage of the carriers, but now it's 53% of the flights in the united states of america. so, the gray hairs in the cockpit, you find those only on the big flights. sometimes on the transcontinental or the inter transoceanic, but a lot of our flights are being made by the young people earning the smaller salary scales, and as soon as they can escape the smaller planes, they go to the bigger planes. the bigger planes, the more experience. >> mary schiavo, don't go anywhere. we're going to talk to you again after this break. we're going to talk about the last place you want to have an emergency, of course, is 30,000 feet up in the air. but tens of thousands of flights are taking off even though they
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need fixes. yes, aisle or window is the least of your problems.
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♪ baby i know how to fly ♪ can't hold me down i'm going to hit the skies ♪ all right, don't know if you want to go flying after you hear this story. a "usa today" investigation just out that finds 65,000 airline flights over the past 6 years should not have happened because the planes were not maintained to faa standards. 65,000 flights. it's possible you were on one of them. millions of passengers were on those flights. the reporter on this story, from "the usa today," was gary stoller. he joins us now on the phone from connecticut, and also rejoining the conversation is former department of transportation inspector general mary schiavo. gary, let me ask you this simple question, after doing this
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study, are you more nervous about flying these days? >> i wouldn't say i am more nervous about flying, because i've known about these problems for many years and reported on them. i think certainly there's a reason for many consumers to have deep concern about the maintenance on their airplane, to have at least 65,000 flights flying in unairworthy conditions is certainly not a good thing. >> how are these things, these flights, allowed to take off? i guess we say they shouldn't have taken off, but i guess what mechanisms or lapses are in place that allows them to take off? >> often the faa will only find these problems after the flights have taken off. it could be many months before the faa looks through records and finds the problem. i also found that the faa would find a problem, mention it to the airline and the airplane would continue to fly despite the problem. >> mary, let me bring you in here.
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where is the breakdown would you say? a lot of this is because a lot of people would be surprised to hear that they are outsourcing the maintenance, even outsourcing it not only to some other company, but foreign company. >> that's right. and gary is right, spot-on in this article. what's occurring, we've kind of got a perfect storm. the airlines are outsourcing more and more maintenance issues, it was prevalent in the 1990s, but it's increased threefold, the airlines are allowed to farm out, including to non-faa approved repair stations. >> mary, why? >> all they have to do is recertify, and they are pretty much on an honor system. we don't have any more inspectors today than we had 15 years ago, and yet the airline industry is much bigger. >> it sounds nuts. >> it is nuts. the faa has a way of doing business, and they have said
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this publicly in hearings, et cetera, that they are in partnership with the airlines and the airlines should be allowed to self-report. if they find a problem and they report it, they receive amnesty. so, the faa has taken a bit of hands-off approach, and in deference to the faa, they only have 3,600 inspectors to cover the world. for example, in china alone there are over 100 repair stations. and so they have to cover the world with a very small workforce, so they allow the carriers to self-report. and if the carriers turn themselves in, then they don't get a work action. but what has happened is they have now farmed out so much of the maintenance that quality control has really suffered, and no one can really police it, because a lot of it is simply outside the united states. >> well, let's put on the screen here a response from the faa, and gary, i'm going to bring you back in after we read this statement here, but the faa says u.s. airlines regard safety as their highest responsibility.
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the maintenance programs reflect that commitment to safety. now, after your reporting, gary, do you have a problem with that statement? >> well, i believe airlines do want to have safe flights. no one wants to have flights that have problems. however, these problems just keep recurring. the inspector general for the department of transportation has pointed out that airlines and the faa have poor oversight over a lot of the repair-station work, so the oversight is not being done, the work is not being done. yes, i believe the airlines would like to have safe operation, but there are so many problems. >> the last thing to both of you, quickly, if you can, do the airlines need some kind of help? of course, they are trying to keep a business running and we historically over the past few years, several years at least, they have been losing, hemorrhaging money, in a lot of ways, do they need federal help to raletz tise the standards, b a lot of it seems to be cut corners. gary, you take it and marry can
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wrap up. >> some of the fines or maybe all of the fine money at the faa when they find a problem actually be invested back into the airlines' programs to improve these maintenance programs. that's one idea. whether it work -- whether it will work, i guess we don't know. >> mary, you go ahead, what do you think will work? >> i'm going to use the big "r" word, regulation and re-regulation. the airlines are in a situation like they were in the '30s, they're bleeding red ink. they need help on safety. they have lost control on some of the operations. the airlines were regulated because they asked for it in the '30s, i think we're in a situation where we have to seriously consider whether we don't need more federal oversight on these operations to make sure we don't backslide. we want to keep safety where it is, number one priority. >> mary schiavo and gary stoller from "the usa today." it is an interesting, albeit, scary read. thank you both for being here. hopefully we will continue this
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conversation later. thank you both very much. what do you do out there? send a text? grade the mini bar? chances are you've done one of those things, but you have to realize how much you get ripped off when you do so. we'll break down how much you arepaying through the roof. i had a great time. me too. you know, i just got out of a bad relatio... it's okay. thanks. goodnight. goodnight. (door crashes in, alarm sounds) get out! (phone rings) hello? this is rick with broadview security. is everything all right? no, my ex-boyfriend just kicked in the front door. i'm sending help right now. thank you. (announcer) brink's home security is now broadview security. call now to install the standard system for just $99. the proven technology of a broadview security system delivers rapid response from highly-trained professionals, 24 hours a day. call now to get the $99 installation,
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take a look at some of the top stories we're keeping an eye on. just say no to sex. it's an age-old debate.
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the sex-ed that teaches abstinence only does it work? university of pennsylvania researchers say now such programs may influence kids to delay sexual activities especially if they don't just preach morals. turning to the president and who is taking his message beyond the beltway and straight to the people. he's taking it to nashua, new hampshire, and he wants to boost spending to small businesses. cnn will bring it to you live. "we are the world" is back. this time they are raising money for charity. pink, kanye west, the jonas brothers a few to take part. the song first came out 25 years ago to raise money for africa. well, a lot of you out there in this position, you can't believe the size of that cell phone bill. you can't believe how much you got to shell out for popcorn at the theater. you can believe this, though, you're getting ripped off. stephanie elam, my dear, dear
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friend, good to talk to you. always have good advice for you when i get to talk to you on the air. and i don't understand why you don't just call me and tell me this stuff. just call me and tell me. >> i could text you. i could text you, but then you're probably not going to like it as much, t.j., because what cnnmoney has found out, cnnmoney has done a little digging here, and they found out that text messaging actually has quite the markup let's say, oh, 6,500% of a markup. that's because they're short, quick, and cheap to send the text messages and they cost the carriers a third of a cent to deliver, but most of us pay for a text plan with our cell phone bill, so it usually costs 20 cents going out or ten cents coming in and most of us have a bundle that says you know what, unlimited texting. they are making money hand over fist when it comes to texting, t.j. >> it only costs them very little to allow you to send the thing, but they're charging you
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a lot for it. are we better off doing the text plan? >> i would say you probably are, simply because if you go over, you are hit with another limit. it depends. my niece just got a cell phone and she texts me all the time, i went to unlimited texting. that's not the only place, because it happens. it's true, she'll say, hi. the next place to find out you are getting ripped off a bit is at the movie theater. >> we know this one. >> most of us know this one. the movie theater popcorn, 900% markup, a medium bag costs them 60 cents to make and it costs $6. they are saying, we really make our money off the concession stands, and not the movies, so they are in the business of selling junk food and popcorn and soda pop. that one we knew about. but the hotel mini bars. are you a mini bar guy? >> i'm a mini guy bar guy. >> i knew the answer to that
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question before i asked it. but you are look the a 1,300% markup to use the hotel mini bars. the things in the drawer and the refrigerator are usually marked up 300% to 400% of retail. you don't know how much it would cost because it's some almonds they harvested on the top of a mountain no place that i'd heard of. but the hotels are saying you are paying for the convenience of having it in your room. the other thing you have in your room there, movies, and the hotel movies are also marked up. they're marked up by 200% just because, you know, the movies in the room can cost you 10 to 15 bucks if you went to the store and got one, 5 bucks. that was up there, too. and don't even talk about getting a bottle of wine at dinner. that's also marked up. you don't want to go there. cheaper to get a bottle. >> obviously, i need to call you, because i'm wasting money left and right. stephanie elam, always good to
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talk to you, my friend. >> you too, my friend. take care. the job market is tight out there, but if you're looking for work, why not check out the list. "fortune" magazine out with its best 100 companies to work for. in case you didn't get enough of a dose of stephanie elam, here she is again. >> reporter: it's a bear business that's gone to the dogs. what company lets you work side by side with your four-legged friend? find out after the break. oh sure, we have plenty of employees that... you can label as "different." like janice. uh-huh. yeah. fashion deficient. and tom... copy incapable. it's open kimono time. looking good, dan. oh, we want to make sure all our ducks in a row. yeah. volume control syndrome. but we focus on the talent and skill that each person...
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brings to the team. i mean, no one's really concerned about labels. not even mine. labels get in the way. disabilities rarely do. visit to evolve your work force. a day on the days that you have arthritis pain, you could end up taking 4 times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthritis pain all day. who's not answering. announcer: there's a better way. intuit quickbooks online p9 organizes your business in one place, and helps you stay on top of your business anytime, anywhere. get a 30-day free trial at >> reporter: what company lets employees bring their dog to work? build-a-bear workshop and kids are welcome, too. >> i feel so well-taken care of here, because of the family
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environment that we have. >> reporter: at the toy store's headquarters in st. louis, employees can opt for a compressed workweek. but other benefits make working more bearable. a concierge takes care of dry cleaning and on-site oil charges. build-a-bear workshop is 80th on "fortune" magazine's list of the best 100 companies to work for. we saw, of course, people being pulled out of the rubble of haiti's earthquake days, even weeks after the day the quake happened. why did they survive when so many others did not? >> reporter: we see story after impossible story of survivors beating the odds. this 5-year-old boy was pulled out after 8 days. he was severely dehydrated. this clerk at a hotel store was found after 11 days. he survived on food and drinks left in the store's wreckage.
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that's according to his brother. this man says he was entombed in the rubble for 14 days with a fractured hip. he says he had no food and survived by rationing water from a two-gallon jug. and then there's this seemingly impossible image of this girl. rescued after 15 days. rescuers think she had access to water from the bathroom where she was trapped. in all, more than 130 were rescued, since haiti's earthquake, three weeks ago. so, what really dictates someone's ability to survive these type of situations? what you might guess, the first and primary requirement is air. imagine being trapped in a situation like this in a closed space with not enough oxygen, you're probably just going to have hours. in fact, a lot of rescue workers when they show up at a site like this, they'll bringitors and
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they'll look for a carbon dioxide pocket, if they find it, it's possible someone is alive and breathing. water is the next element. there's no consensus how long a person to survive without it, in fact, a study to find out would be unethical. anyone found after three or four days most likely has access to water, even if only licking the dew off surrounding surfaces. food comes next. people have gone up to two mo d months as part of a hunger strike or a fast and survived. and earthquake survivors talk about eating rotten apples and other food next to them. this woman may be the longest survivor ever trapped after a disaster. she reportedly lived for more than 60 days buried in the rubble in her home in an earthquake in pakistan, 2005. i met her myself. can i see your legs? how much weight did she lose here in her legs?
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wow. there's no -- there's no muscle mass, no fat. skin and bones. there is no large study of all these survivors. and maybe there shouldn't be. because they're all extraordinary, each and every one of them. all by themselves. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, port-au-prince, haiti. well, it seemed like the government of haiti wanted to come down pretty hard on ten americans they're accusing of child trafficking, but now could there be some leniency? we're getting the latest on those ten americans. i drove my first car from my parent's home
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in the north of england to my new job at the refinery in the south. i'll never forget. it used one tank of petrol and i had to refill it twice with oil. a new car today has 95% lower emissions than in 1970. exxonmobil is working to improve cars, liners of tires, plastics which are lighter and advanced hydrogen technologies that could increase fuel efficiency by up to 80%.
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wire still we're still following the story of ten americans arrested for trying to take 33 haitian children out of haiti in to the dominican republic. they're accused of child trafficking. they say they were just trying to help out. our karl penhaul has been following this story, he's live for us in port-au-prince. they were scheduled to have a court hearing today. so, i guess, now where are these americans? is that court hearing going to happen? >> reporter: well, certainly, t.j., from what we know, the
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americans are here at the headquarters of the judicial police, this is where they've been held in a jail since they were arrested. what we understand, they were never due to go into a court, because the court system has practically collapsed since the earthquake. that even according to the hatian prime minister, so the judge was due to come here. that as far as we know has not happened so far and haitian authorities are no longer saying -- whether it will or not take place in the court, the information minister has now told journalists to shut up about the americans. he said i can't tell you any more. when i know any more, i will tell you. certainly what we found out in our own investigations yesterday, we went to the village of calabas, about an hour's drive up in the mountains, there we found the parents and relatives of 21 of the 33 children, and what we found out there is that most of these kids are not orphans as
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the americans, in fact, said they believed, but, in fact, have one or the other or in some cases both parents in the very least, or some very close relatives that are helping out, they were never in orphanages. but the parents said, we handed our kids, we gave our kids away to the americans, because we were simply too poor after the quake to provide for them. we hoped the americans would give them a better life. >> given that, karl, the parents and relatives said, yes, we handed them over to the americans. is there any sign, any signal from the haitian government that maybe they could allow a little leniency here for these americans, if it seems like they didn't have any ill-intent? >> reporter: on that front, i do not believe so, t.j., because i put it to the haitian prime minister, jean-max beller i've, and he said, it looks like some of the parents were in agreement. he was very clear. he said american baptists or
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americans or foreigners of any shape or stripe cannot take haitian kids away without documents, without passports, without official permission. the americans did not have any of that permission, and he also said haitian parents cannot just give their children away. this has to go through a legal process. so, what he said, to me, was he believes that this is a clear case of kidnapping, and he said not only the americans could be prosecuted, but also the hatian pare haitian parents that gave the kids away, 33 kids are in a charity, an orphanage for kids -- and the government is now carrying out an investigation, the circumstances, that parents gave their kids away, and they could also file a legal case as well, t.j. >> wow, karl, we appreciate you being on top of that story and a little saturday issue, and we were able to get the story from you just fine. but, karl, thank you very much.
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we will continue to check in with you. we are awaiting the president of the united states, president barack obama. he is holding a town hall, getting out of washington. holding a town hall and talking about incentives to help small businesses, to help them to start hiring people. going to be hearing from him, we're expecting around 2:15. we'll keep an eye on it. when the president takes the stage, we will take it live. stay with us. cop? no. you didn't hear from me, but this malibu is a best buy. i heard that from consumers digest. it offers better highway mileage than a comparable camry or accord. estimated 33 highway. i saw that on the epa site. so how come the malibu costs so little. it's a chevy. you have cop hair. the award-winning chevy malibu. compare it to anyone and may the best car win. but now that i'm breathing better with advair... i can enjoy the zoo with my grandkids.
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hey, ask our doctor about garlique, okay? garlique's clinically tested ingredient maintains healthy cholesterol naturally. eat right. exercise. garlique. checking some of the headlines today.
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pennsylvania congressman john murtha is in intensive care after gallbladder surgery last week. the congressman's office would not comment on his condition. have an autism alert here for you. a once-landmark study linking autism to childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella, has been retracted. a 1988 paper led to a dropout in vaccinations. and now the lead researchers is being accused of acting unethically in his research. and the paper has been retracted in full. president obama wants small businesses to know help is on the way. he's getting ready to hold a town hall in nashua, new hampshire, we're expecting that next hour, 30, to 35 minutes from now. he's trying to spur lending to main street businesses. we'll bring it to you live when it does happen. ♪ you're simply the best well, would you believe we have a battle of the exes? the 3d movie "avatar" and the
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war thriller hurt locker each got nine oscar nominations this morning. their respective directors were once married. let's get to entertainment correspondent kareen wynter live in los angeles. that's an interesting twist there. is it a part of the divorce if he wins,s could she get his statuette in the divorce? >> they'll be splitting it right down the middle. seriously, this is a friendly battle. they both support each other, but, yes, james cameron and kathryn bigelow were once married and they are going head to head for the big award. the best picture category, james cameron's major blockbuster, grossed more than $2 billion in ticket sales worldwide and going up against a little war film doing quite well, "the hurt locker." so kathryn bigelow, has a little bit of momentum going in to this race, because she recently won the directors guild award for
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that. but friendly competition were and they are both supportive and they want to take home the coveted prize. >> you say the momentum goes to "the hurt locker." everyone seems to be saying "avatar" is a shoo-in, but we shall see. this is interesting, this is the first time we're seeing ten movies being nominated. go through some of the ten that we wouldn't have seen had it still been five like we've been seeing over the past number of years? >> can you believe it? they broadened it from five to ten? everyone and their mom. >> yeah. >> is in this category, it seems. so, the disney pixar film, for example, "up" it's very, very rare to see an animated film in the best picture category. in fact, the last time this happened, t.j., was 1991 with "the beauty of the beast." there's your list. "avatar," "the hurt locker," "inglourious basterds," "precious," "the blind side," it's all about ratings.
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the akkcademy wants to boost ratings. they've seen a little bit of a decline over the last several years. last year it jumped a little bit, but they want to have a megayear in terms of audience. >> is that strictly it, trying to include more movies that are popular, nothing wrong with the independent films, the kind of artsy films that didn't do so well at the box office, a lot of people over the years, what movieias nominated, that was strictly it, to boost ratings? >> to boost ratings and, again, to broaden the audience. there are people now who may be in to animated films, so you have "up," you have the smaller film, the film that could, the film that is really doing amazing, this accordmy award season, "the hurt locker," it's picked up so many awards and that's also interesting, t.j., because it lost money in its u.s. theatrical release. it was made for about $11 million and right now it stands at around $16 million in terms of grossing, but you have your whole mixed bag there. different films and it's opening
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the doors, and, again, it's hoping -- they're hoping the academy that this will translate in to more viewers. i want to also mention "the blind side," a big, big film. people had their eyes on sandra bullock. she really cleaned up seven s.a.g. awards and the golden globes, so she may be a favorite going in to this race. she released a statement this morning to say how truly honor she is to be in this category, first nomination. and jeff bridges for "crazy heart," he plays this washed-up country singer, amazing performance. he actually sings in the film and plays guitar, again, another movie to watch. t.j.? >> we'll keep an eye on it. and we'll get you back on and maybe on the weekend. and we'll talk about the razzies, we don't have time to get to it here. >> it's a whole different segment. >> thanks, kareen, we'll talk to you soon. >> thank you, t.j. james cameron and the cast of "avatar" will be live on
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"larry king" tomorrow, all the blue beams and everything, spawning a global dialogue. "larry king" tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. a major offense on the gays serving openly in the military, leading the charge, the commander in chief.
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♪ don't think this is what you
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say ♪ a new push under way to end the ban against gays serving openly in the u.s. military. defense secretary, robert gates, today ordered a one-year review of don't ask, don't tell. the aim here is to try to reduce he number of gays being from the military. he's asking on orders from the commander in chief, president obama. bill clinton vowed to lift what was then a complete ban on gays in the military during his first presidential campaign, but he ran into a brick wall of opposition, so he announced the compromise, don't ask, don't tell instead. >> the issue is not whether there should be homosexuals in the military. everyone concedes that there are. the issue is whether men and women who can and have served with real distinction should be excluded from military service solely on the basis of their status, and i believe they should not. >> that was in 1993.
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today, president obama has taken the lead in the effort to end don't ask, don't tell and to allow gays to openly serve in the armed services. he minced no words calling on congress to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy in his first state of the union address last week. >> this year i will work with congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. >> i want to bring in two guests on this topic. from new york, joining me, nathaniel frank, the author of the book "unfriendly fire, how the gay ban undermines the military and weakens america," a senior fellow at the palm center in santa barbara, california and joining me as well is tony perkins of the family-based research council and also a veteran of the marines. thank you both for being here. mr. perkins, i'll start with you. certainly a statement that you put out about the president's statement saying that it would
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jeopardize, by repealing the ban, and i'm quoting, jeopardize our nation's security to advance the agenda of radical homosexual lobby. now, i want you to explain that. how is repealing the ban jeopardize this country's security? >> well, first, we have to ask the country what's changed since 1993 since this policy was enacted, which was a compromise policy, as you described earlier in the package. nothing has changed other than the fact that america is involved in two wars, and we live under a constant threat of terrorist attack. this is not the time to be tinkering with the military and making it a playground of social experimentation. the military is there for one purpose. it's to fight wars, to defend this country and our way of life. it's not there to advance any kind of social policy which is what this president is attempting to do. >> well, let's say that is what the president is attempting to do, if we do concede that point. if everybody happened to concede that point, but still how would allowing gays to openly serve in some way put me, you or my
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co-workers or the people in georgia or anywhere else at risk and make this country less safe? >> that's a good question. congress has had 14 hearings since this policy was enacted in 1993, and they come to the same conclusion, that in order to have strong unit cohesion, to have strong unit, the cohesion and the strong military environment. you know, most people haven't served in the military. they don't understand what's it's there for or in terms of the environment that it's created in which these people live. i mean, most people have not lived 80 people in one room. they don't understand that aspect of it, but also they don't understand the military is governed by a different code -- a different law. you have uniform code of military justice where not only is homosexual behavior illegal, so is adultery, and those standards are there because they need to have -- >> let me -- i want to go. forgive me for cutting you off. i wanted to bring in mr. frank on a couple of points he was
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making. does he make a point that we sometimes think that the military should mirror what maybe is happening in society, but the military is a unique environment? >> well, i think it's astounding to suggest that someone like admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said today he believes the policy should be lifted and our service members can handle the change, that someone like him doesn't understand the military. we also have john shall kashvili. gays serving in the military always have and not serving in the military but serving openly. polls show two-thirds of the military know or suspect gays in their unit and others are kidding themselves if they think they haven't shared quarters with a gay person.
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there's nothing radical about a policy that catches up with policy on the ground. >> it's not a question of whether gays serve in the military or can serve in the military as to whether people who engage in other sexual behavior can serve or have served. the focus son the behavior and not the individual and their orientation. >> of course it's a question of -- >> no. >> of course, if gays already serve -- >> what you're calling for is a change in military code and law which would drop all sexual morays, the standards that's -- >> that's incorrect. the usmj does not ban homosexual conduct and doesn't say anything about homosexuals and what it bans is sodomy, including oral sex. 80% of service members including the military engage in oral sex. it doesn't single out gay people and this is not about the usmj. >> that actually is a federal statute. >> let me jump in here for a
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second. we wanted to throw in polls here, and everyone has polls here or there, if you will, but some that cnn did we'll put on the screen. some of our latest reporting on this, which a lot of people were asked, they were in favor of the don't ask, don't tell policy. 37% said they oppose it had and thought it treated gays too harshly and others thought it treated gays too leniently and another poll simply asking people should people who are openly gay be allowed to serve in the u.s. military? and 81% said, yes, they should be allowed. mr. perkins, let me bring it back in. are you' posing it because you're afraid of what will happen to the military or opposing it more as a social concern of the expansive role and rights of homosexuals? >> it's a combination of both. if you've seen what this administration has laid out, a part of the agenda to actually tear down the defense of marriage act is the first to impose this adoption of this new policy on the military, but if you talk about polls, let's go back to the military times in 2008 had a poll of active duty
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military members. 58% said they were opposed to overturning this policy. and many have said that this will cause them to reconsider whether or not they stay in the military. it will have an impact upon recruiting. i mean, this is an issue of retention and recruitment for the military and ultimately could lead back to the imposition of a draft in order to fill the numbers and quotas in the military. >> mr. frank, i know you have something to say at least about the poll that he quoted and you interjected about something -- talk about the draft, we go from letting gays serve openly to a possible draft, you just suggested. go ahead, mr. frank, i'll let you respond. >> these are fear tactics. polls show in canada and britain that when they ask service members if they -- if they wanted to serve with gays, two-thirds would absolutely refutes, but when they actually lifted the bans anyway, two people, two people, not the thousands predicted by the polls, actually left because polls don't predict behavior, they express values and the
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polling sin structive, but we're not asking the right question. when you ask the military about their sentiments, you need to be sensitive to their concerns, but the question is not do you feel like serving with gays? is are you capable of serving with gays and the joint chiefs chairman said don't underestimate our troops. the mill industry not about what some members in the military want. it's about what's good for the whole and what's good for the whole is we need these 13,000 troops. >> mr. perkins, you think that the military is capable, are men and women in capable are capable of handling the change? >> i think what we're looking at is what are going to be the long-term consequences, and what we're saying is that this is not the time to try this experiment at a time when we are stretched. i mean, when you talk to young men and women who are serving in the military that are doing their second and third tour in iraq or afghanistan, constant deployments, this is not the time to question whether or not will tim pact retention? will tim pact recruiting? if it just impacts it by 5%, that could be a drastic impact
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upon the readiness of our military and could put this nation at great risk. >> mr. perkins, to wrap here, i'll let you have the last word, mr. frank. to you, mr. perkins, when you were in the military do you remember serving with anybody that you knew was a homosexual? >> no, i did not. >> would that have had an impact on how you performed? >> certainly it would if you were a review the, and we've seen this when we began to mix the sexes in the military and we've had cases of sexual harassment where men have had positions of authority over women in training. that situation has been abused, and if you have this in basic training, it can be a very volatile situation, so i think these are some things that, again, i don't think people understand the dynamics of the military and the conditions in which these men and women live, and their concerns should be heard in this process, and, unfortunately, those who are in the chain of command today, taking their orders from the president, do not feel free to
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express their opinions. you've had over 1,000 staff officers, general officers who have spoken out against this policy who are retired and can speak without fire of retaliation. >> those officers have not served under don't ask, don't tell. >> wrap it up, mr. frank. go ahead and wrap it up there. >> yeah, lifting the ban will also allow a lot more gay people to come in, so there's no evidence that recruitment will suffer, but there is evidence that it will actually help, and i think this is a moral concern for social conservatives, very little to do with military effectiveness. >> gentlemen, i appreciate you both. appreciate the civility of the conversation. glad we could -- really, we all need to be sitting down and having a conversation about this, an important topic. certainly we'll hope to have you both back at some point to discuss this further, but, again, mr. perkins, tony perkins and nathaniel frank, thank you both for being here. >> have a good day. >> you, too. >> stay with us. quick break. we are right back. nter... and choose any car in the aisle. unreal! oh yeah! whoaaa-- ( alarm sounding )
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were a year ago, even worse than what analyst expect. january 26, had a massive, massive recall suspending sales of six of their eight models. those eight models make up about 60% of their inventory, but when you look across the board, even some of the toyota models not part of the recall, they weren't faring very well either. one of the bright spots, i suppose, in this report is that lexius sales increased 14.2% over a year ago numbers for january. but when you compare to the competitors, this is very bad news for toyota. its market share falls below ford for the month of january. when you look at what happened for some of its domestic competitors, ford came out earlier today and said its sales were up 24%, gm sales were up 14% in january from a year ago. chrysler took a hit. chrysler sales down 8%, but the headline here is really toyota sales down 16%. really all because of that massive recall that the company is dealing with right now. t.j.?
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>> peter, i'm going to bring you in, but i want to remind our viewers what we're keeping our eye on at the bottom of the screen. the president of the united states taking the stage in nashua, new hampshire, there for a town hall meeting in which he'll be talking about incentives to give to small business to hire people essentially, so he's just taking the stage. the president kind of getting out trying to sell that package or sell some of the things he talked about in the state of the union address last wednesday, but part of that is in fact a jobs package, jobs, big ideas on bringing jobs to small towns like this around the country. going to go ahead and listen in to the president here as he talks about those jobs and incentives for business. >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you, guys. thank you. this thank you guys. thank you. thank you so much. everybody, please, have a seat. thank you. well, it is -- i love you back.
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it's great to be here. great to be back in new hampshire. some of you may remember i -- i've spent a little time in this state. i've had beers at peddlar's daughter. i manned the scoop at ice cream socials from dover to hudson. i've walked main street in concord, visited with folks in all ten counties. i even once flew in the airport in milan which has got to be one of the only airports with a functioning wood stove. we cement a bunch of times in this gym, caused traffic jams several times, and just have a lot of good friends here in this state, here in this city, and here in this -- here in this
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high school. so i -- i'm just grateful to all of you for taking the time to be here. i've got a couple of special thank yous to say. first of all, please thank tim dining for the great introduction and for all the great work he's doing day in and day out. i want to thank david ryan, doing a great job aspirins pal here at nashua north. mayor donna lee lezeau is here. give her a big round of applause. your outstanding governor john lynch is here. give him a big round of applause. three great members of congress, senator jeanne shaheen, congress
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congressman paul holts, congresswoman carol shea porter. and behind me i've got the outstanding administrator for our small business administration who hails from these parts, karen mills. give karen a big round of -- so i want to spend a bunch of time hearing from you answering your questions, but if you'll indulge me i want to make some brief remarks on the front end. you know, i've had the privilege of getting to know people here in new hampshire. i've seen firsthand that spirit of independence and spirit of self-reliance. i know how hard all of you work and how tough and resilient you are. but i also know that people here in new hampshire have been tested by the last two years, just like people all across the
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country. we've gone through the deepest recession since the great depression, and folks here have had their lives uprooted by lost jobs and foreclosed homes, shuttered businesses, vanished savings. many good, hard working people who met their responsibilities are now struggling in part because folks on wall street and people in washington didn't meet their responsibilities. so when i took office we knew the first thing we had to do was to break the back of this recession, and sometimes that meant doing some things that weren't easy, doing some things that weren't popular. lord knows it wasn't popular to prevent our financial system from collapsing. we had to throw a lifeline to some of the very firms that had helped cause this crisis in the first place, but it was the right thing to do, because if we hadn't taken those steps the entire system could have gone down and taken our economy and millions of families and
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businesses with them. we couldn't afford that. now because of the steps we've taken, the markets have now stabilized. nobody is worrying about another great depression like they were just a year ago, and the worst of the storm has passed. but i don't need to tell you the devastation remains. today one in ten americans still can't find work. that's why jobs has to be our number one focus in 2010. and we're going to start where most new jobs start, with small businesses. these are the companies that begin in basements and garages when an entrepreneur takes a chance on his dream or a worker decides it's time she becomes her own boss. there are companies like arc
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energy which i just visited before i came here. it's a terrific -- there you go. a little booster. these folks are hard at work on a new manufacturing process for ultra efficient l.e.d. lights that will make them more affordable for people all across the country and around the world, a technology that created that is the only of its kind in the entire world. they are this little business just on amherst street, but they have got the potential to revolutionize an entire industry, right here, in nashua. right here in nashua. now, small businesses like arc energy have created roughly 65% of all new jobs over the past decade and a half, so we need to
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make it easier for them to open their doors, to expand their operations, to hire more workers. that's why i've already proposed a new tax credit for more than 1 million small businesses that hire new workers offer raise wages, and a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small to invest in new plants and equipment. and while we're at it we should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment so these folks can get the capital they need to grow and create jobs, and when they start making a profit, they can put -- put those profits back into the business. now that's particularly critical right now because bank lending standards have tightened since the financial crisis, and many small businesses are still struggling to get loans. that's why today i'm announcing a proposal to take $30 billion of the money that was repaid by wall street banks, now that they are back on their feet, take
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that $30 billion and use it to create a new small business lending fund that will provide capital for community banks on main street. it's the small local banks that work most closely with small businesses. they usually provide them their first loan and watch them grow through good times and bad. the more loans these smaller banks provide to credit worthy small businesses, the better deal we'll give on them from this capital fund we've set up. if you combine it with my proposal back in december for waving fees and guarantees for sba-backed loans will help us do more of what our economy needs, making sure that small business is once again the engine of business in america.
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i'm convinced that we can make this happen. this is just one example of what we've been doing to create jobs this past year. as some of you might remember last february we passed the recovery act which had three parts. one-third was tax relief for small businesses and for 95% of you. 95% of working families. one-third of the recovery act was emergency relief like increasing unemployment benefits and the helping states keep teachers and police officers and fire fighters from losing their jobs. and one-third was putting people to work on infrastructure and renewable energy and medical research and more. now, if you hear some of the critics they will say, well, the recovery act, i don't know if that's really worked because we still have high unemployment, but what they fail to understand is that every economist from the left and the right has said because of the recovery act what we've started to see is at least
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a couple of million jobs that have either been created or would have been lost. the problem is 7 million jobs were lost during the course of this recession. so we've still got a big hole to fill. it's going to be absolutely critical that congress acts over the next several months to make sure that we don't lose sight of the fact that even thought the economy is now growing again, almost 6% last quarter, people have not started hiring again, and we've got to do everything we can to put people back to work because we need a sustainable recovery over the long term. now, i've got to be honest with you. there's no magic wand that makes the economic problems that were years in the making disappear overnight, and sometimes it's
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easy for politicians to exploit the anger, the pain that people are feeling right now. i have to point out though that some of the very same folks in congress who oppose the recovery act and claim that it hasn't worked have been all too happy to claim credit for recovery act projects and the jobs those projects have produced. they come to the ribbon cutti s cuttings -- they find a way to have their cake and vote against it, too. but, look, we're making progress. but it can't come fast enough. we want to accelerate it. and we know that if we truly want to have long-term economic growth in this country, then we need to start addressing some of the struggles that middle class families have been dealing with for years, long before this particular recession hit. this past decade has been one of the toughest our middle class has faced in generations because folks have seen their paychecks
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shrink, their housing prices fall while the cost of everything, from groceries to health care to college keeps going up. so a lot of you are working two jobs. certainly everybody in your household is working. you're working longer hours, but you feel like you're treading water, and in some cases it's not adding up. a lot of people put their kids to bed wondering whether they will be able to give them opportunities in life that they got from their parents, and the thing, new hampshire, when i was up here campaigning, i told you. i didn't run for president to kick these challenges down the road. i didn't run for president to play it safe. i didn't run to just to keep my poll numbers high as possible for the next election. i ran to solve problems for the next generation. i ran to get the hard things done. that's why you elected me.
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so i won't rest until businesses are hiring again and wages are rising again and the middle class is thriving again and we've finally got an economy that works for all americans, not just some americans. i won't rest until we do what we know has to be done, to secure our leadership in the 21st century. i don't want to cede our future to china and india and european countries. i'm not willing to settle for second place, not for the united states of america, but -- but if we're going to win the race, here's the thing. i can't do this alone. democrats can't do it alone. the president can't do it alone. we've got two parties in this country, and that's a good
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thing. it means we've got heated debates and vigorous disagreements, and as messy as democracy sometimes is, it means bad ideas can be discarded and good ones can be refined and we don't go too far in any one extreme. that's the genius of american democracy. so i was very pleased when the house republican caucus graciously invited me to attend their retreat last week. we had a good time. for more than an hour we had a frank exchange about the issues facing our country, and we aired some of our grievances. we shared some ideas. there were plenty of things on which we didn't agree, but there were also some things on which we did. and even more things that we should agree on if we could just focus on solving problems instead of scoring political points.
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for example, we all agree that education is the key to a twe21 century economy. we all -- we all agree that the best anti-poverty program around is a world class education, so -- so why don't we work together to transform our schools, so that every child in america can compete with their counterparts around the world, from beijing to bangalore. let's work together to upgrade our community colleges which are the gateway to a clear for so many children, from so many working families. and i know we've got a lot of young people who are about to head off to college in an era when a high school diploma is no longer a guarantee of a good job. let's make college affordable for every qualified student.
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as i said at the state of the union, no graduate should have to pay more than 10% of his or her income on student loans each year. we can see to it that they don't. we can see to it that they don't. we've got legislation pending right now that could make this happen. the republicans and democrats may not see eye to eye on the threat of global warming, i happen to think the evidence is overwhelming. some disagree. that's -- that's -- we can have a respectful argument there, but -- but shouldn't we agree that american home-grown energy is good for our security and that new clean energy jobs are good for our economy? can't we all agree that these
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jobs shouldn't be going to china or germany or spain? they should be right here in the united states of america. so let's invest in innovation. let's put people to work on solar panels and wind towers and cutting-edge batteries, because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy, and america has to be that nation. these are key parts of the foundation we need to build for a better future for our families, for our country. another foundation stone is fixing a health insurance system that works better for insurance industry than it does for the american people. i do not quit. we are going to get that done.
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nobody -- we've got to get it done. we have to get it done. nobody -- nobody should be satisfied with the system that allows insurance companies to deny care to folks with pre-existing conditions, that allows insurance companies to kick people off their plans when they get too sick. nobody should accept a system where small businesses are forced to pay outrageous premiums to get their workers covered and seniors have big gaps in their medicare prescription coverage. nobody should accept another decade in which health insurance premiums double and millions lose their coverage all
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together. there was just a report other day that showed even greater numbers of americans now are having to rely on government insurance, not because of my plan, but because employer-based insurance has declined to an all-time low. now, these are the things that i hear about every day in the letters i get, from families going bankrupt, from small businesses crushed by their health care costs, so i am not going to walk away from these efforts. i will not walk away from these people, and congress shouldn't either. we should keep working to get it done, democrats and republicans together. let's get it done this year.
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now, finally, we should all be able to agree that we've got to do something about our long-term deficits. now these deficits won't just burden our kids and our grandkids decades from now, they could damage our markets now. they could drive up our interest rates now. they could jeopardize our recovery right now. responsible families don't do their budgets the way the federal government does, right? when times are tough, you tighten your belts. you don't go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. you don't blow a bunch of cash on vegas when you're trying to save for college. you prioritize and make tough choices. it's time your government did the same. now, that's why -- that's why i continued to insist on making
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investments for job growth this year, why i continued to insist that we put more money into education. that's why i say we put more money into science and technology for innovation. that's why i continue to believe that we've got to invest in our infrastructure so that we are building the kind of america that can compete in the 21st century. those are smart investments. that's like buying the new boiler, if it's busted, you've got to get a new boiler. if the roof is leaking, you've got to fix the roof. there are some things you've got to do. but, you can put off buying the new curtains, even if it would be nice to have, you know. that remodeling the bathroom, i mean, everything is working. don't need it right now. i mean, what we've been having is folks who want to buy the curtains but don't want to fix
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the boiler, and our priorities have to change. that's why i've proposed cutting more than 120 government programs, consolidating ones that are duplicative, reducing ones that are wasteful and eliminating those that just don't work. that's why i've proposed to cap government spending over the next three years, spending related to medicare, medicaid, social security and our national security will not be affected, but all other discretionary government programs will. that doesn't mean we have to do less. it just means we've got to do more with the money we've got. that's why i'm grateful that both the house and the senate have now voted to reinstate what's called the pay-go rule. it's a very novel concept. it means pay as you go. by the way, that is not to be
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confused with paul's wife pago. that's a different -- although i really like her, too. so, the pay-go rule helped create the record surpluses back in the 1990s. remember that, that was way back then, instead of the record deficits that we had when i came into office, and the concept here, as i said, it's very simple. you want to start a new program, go ahead, but you've got to cut another one to pay for it. that's how we'll make sure we're spending your money wisely. you want to cut taxes for somebody. that might be a good idea, but you've got to find a way to close the revenue hole so that everything actually adds up. that's how we'll get our deficit under control. that's something that democrats and republicans should be able to agree to, if we could just stop playing politics. get past the washington game.
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now, let me just -- let me just give you an example here because, you know, we released the budget. right away the other side says look at all these trillions of dollars of debt, absolutely. i mean, i'm concerned about it very much. it keeps me awake at night looking at all that red ink. most of it is structural and we inherited it. the only way that we are going to fix it is if both parties come together and start making some tough decisions about our long-term priorities. but last week the senate blocked a law that i had supported to create a bipartisan fiscal commission that would come up with a set of recommendations for cutting our deficits in the long term. this is a difficult thing. it's only going to be solved if we do it together.
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this law failed by seven votes. when seven republicans who had co-sponsored the bill, had co-sponsored the idea suddenly walked away from their own proposal after i endorsed it, so they -- they make a proposal, they sign on to the bill, i say great, good idea. i turn around and they are gone. what happened? look, it's one thing to have an honest difference of opinion on something. there's nothing wrong with that, but you can't walk away from your responsibilities to confront the challenges facing the country because you don't think it's good short-term politics. we can't afford that. we can't afford that.
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the message you all sent when you elected me, the message that was sent this past month, whether you're a democrat, republican, independent, you're out of patience. you're out of patience with this kind of business as usual. you want us to start worrying less about our jobs and more about your jobs. you want us -- you want us to worry less about our election and more about solving your problems, and for once you'd like a government that reflects a sense of responsibility and decency and generosity because that's how you try to live your lives. that's -- that's the spirit that
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let students here at nashua north to spring into action in the wake of the tragedy in haiti. i want to congratulate you guys for planning fund-raisers and selling ribbons and collecting money at lunch, all to help folks that they have never known in a place that most of them have never been. that's the -- i'm proud of you for that. that's good work. that's good work. it's that same spirit that snow squalls drive business owners like tim and like the ceo of arc energy. i told you about him, told you about the company. these are the two guys that are running it right here.
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now, kadr founded arc, but he also years ago founded a company called gt solar. with just $1,000. it now has 343 employees, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and as he was growing that company, nursing it from $1,000, he made sure his employees shared in the company's profits. when the company hit hard times, he cut his own salary first. when talking about his business philosophy, he explains that many ceos take a me, me and me approach, but his approach has been we, not about benefiting just himself but lifting his employees, too, and his community. we've -- we need that kind of spirit. we've come through a tough year
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and a tough decade, but that fundamental decency, that sense of determination, that grit, that willingness to work hard in pursuit of a good idea, the determination to do what's right, that's been at the core of the american experience, and that should fill us all with optimism about what lies ahead, so let's put aside the small things. let's come together, let's do what's hard. let's welcome what's hard. let's welcome the challenge. let's do what's necessary to help the middle class succeed again, to give our shot -- our kids a shot at their dreams again and to fulfill the promise of this great country, in our time, in our generation. that's our task. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. thank you.
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all right. thank you. thank you. thank you, guys. thank you. thank you. all right. okay. when in new england, we've got to -- we've got to do the town hall. you guys -- you guys have been -- thank you. thank you very much. thank you. god bless you. now, some -- a lot of you guys have been in these before so you know the drill. i'm going to call girl-boy, girl-boy. there are microphones -- there are microphones in the audience, and i will try to get in as many questions as possible, and it would be nice if you introduced yourself so that -- so that
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people know who you are, and don't yell out. just raise your hand and i'll call on you, although she seems very eager, so go ahead. all right. we're going to start right around here. >> i'm from fairfield, connecticut. >> hey. uh-oh. how did this connecticut person sneak in here? >> all right. go ahead. i love people in connecticut. >> due to the great health care in this country i'm a three-time cancer survivor. >> we're proud of you. >> but like -- but like many cancer patients was pushed out of a job. i was lucky enough to be able to retire early, buy into the retirees' health plan and then start my own successful business. however, this is not the case for most people with chronic illnesses. health care for cancer survivors is more expensive. how are the jobs bill and the proposed health care legislation
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going to account for the level of variability of the need of cancer survivors? >> first of all, we're proud of you. you look great. you agree, huh? you should, you know. >> health-wise i'm great. >> no, you look good, too. thank you. >> there are a couple of aspects of this. first of all, we shouldn't lose sight of the enormous potential in the new branches of medicine to go after cancer. i was over at nih, the national institute for health. we've increased funding drastically. this is an area that should be one of our competitive advantages, right? we have the best scientists in the world. we've got the best ooununiversi
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in the world. we've traditionally led in innovation and the more money we're putting in, they are starting to come up with drugs that only kill the cancer cells and don't kill healthy cells, or that can be tailored to a particular kind of cancer that's matched up because of new genetic information, so there's enormous potential here to go after cures, and that involves the kind of research and investment that we've made. in our health care bill one of the most important components was the idea, the basic prin principal, that nobody should have to go without health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. nobody should have to go without health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. now, this is something that's very popular if you just say it in isolation, but when you start
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explaining what is required to make that happen, then sometimes some people get a little nervous. you can't have insurance companies have to take somebody who is sick, who has got a pre-existing condition if you don't have everybody covered, or at least almost everybody covered, and the reason, if you think about it is simple. if you had a situation where not everybody was covered but an insurance company had to take you because you were sick, what everybody would do is they would just wait until they got sick and then they would go buy insurance, right, and so the potential would be there to gain the system. the reason i point that out is because a lot of the reforms that we've proposed fit together, so we want insurance reforms that make sure that a cancer survivor can still get health insurance, but to do that we want to make sure that everybody has health insurance
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which in turn allows us to cut back on some wasteful spending and help upgrade hospitals and doctors and how they perform medicine because now they are not dealing with as many emergency room patients, so the cost control aspects of it, the coverage aspects of it and the insurance reform aspects of it all fit together. here's the problem though is when you've got all those things fitting together, it ends up being a big complicated bill, and it's very easy to scare the daylights out of people, and that's basically what happened during the course of this year's debate. but here's the good news. we're essentially on the five yard line for those who like football analogies. we've had to go into overtime, but we are now in the red zone, that's exactly right. we're in the red zone. we've got to punch it through.
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what i have said is that both the house bill and the senate bill were 90% there, 10% of each bill, people had some problems with and legitimately so, so we were just about to clean those up and then massachusetts election happened. suddenly everybody says oh, no. it's over. well, no, it's not over. we just have to make sure that we move methodically and that the american people understand exactly what's in the bill, and what i've done is i've said to the republicans show me what you've got. you've been sitting on the sidelines criticizing what we're proposing. i'm happy to defend insurance reforms. i'm happy to defend the fact
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that we need to provide 30 million people with access to coverage. i'm happy to defend the need to provide small businesses and the ability to pool so that they can have the same purchasing power that the big companies have and drive down their premiums and drive down their rates for their employees. i'm happy to have these debates. i just want to see what else you got, and if you've got a good idea, great. you know, at the republican caucus, they held up -- they said we've got a plan. it's going to provide everybody coverage at no cost, and i said, well, if that were true, why wouldn't i take it? my wife michelle thinks i'm stubborn sometimes but i'm not that stubborn. okay. let me think. i could have everybody get health care coverage that's high quality and it's free, which i bet is really popular, but i'm not going to do that. i'm going to go through the pain
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of really working through this hard process in congress getting yelled at and called a socialist because, you know, i just -- that's how i roll. i'm a glutton for punishment. no. look, if that were easy and simple, first of all, somebody would have done it before. seven presidents have failed at this. seven congresses have failed at this. if this was simple it would have already been done. it's not. this is 1/6 of our economy. it's extremely complex, but i want everybody to understand here. the health care proposal we put forward is basically the same shape as the proposal that was put forward by tom daschle, the former senate democratic majority leader, bob dole and howard baker, two republican senate leaders.
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so it can't be that radical. it's a very straightforward principle that says we're going to set up an exchange, a pool, where people who don't have health insurance and small businesses who can't afford it right now can buy into the pool. if -- if even after we've driven premiums down because of increased competition and choice, you still can't afford, it we're going to give you a subsidy depending on your income. we're going ask that everybody get health insurance, but if you still can't afford it, we'll exempt you. we'll give you a hardship exemption because there's some folks that it's just too tough. we are going to insist that the insurance companies all abide by certain practices like making sure that you take people with pre-existing conditions, that you don't drop people just because they get sick. we then say that we have to control the costs of med cane so we're going to set up a panel of
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experts, doctors and health care economists who are going to scrutinize how we reimburse things like medicare to make sure that doctors encourage to work as teams. don't order five tests if you could just do one test and then e-mail it to five different doctors. pretty straightforward. now, what i just described is the essence of what we're doing, and according to the congressional budget office it would save $1 trillion in our deficits which is the single most important thing we can do, by the way, to reduce our deficit over the long term. almost all the growth in deficit has nothing to do with my recovery act, and it has everything to do with the growing costs of medicare and medicaid. almost all of it. you project out 20, 30 years, almost all the growth is because health care costs are just going out of control, and we've got an older population that's going to
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need more care, and if we can't figure out how to get a better bang for the buck, we're going to lose, so here's my thing. you got a better idea. bring it on. but what i will not do is to stop working on this issue because it is the right thing to do for america, and you need to let your members of congress know they shouldn't give up. they should keep on pushing to make it happen. all right? okay. all right. it's a guy's turn. it's a gentleman's turn. this gentleman right here in front. go ahead. hold on a sec. we've got a mike coming over right here. that's right. >> okay. i'm gary meyer. i live in hampton, new hampshire, and i was a quality leader who worked with lien and
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i know there's a lot of non-valuated work both within health care and within ed case and within a lot of businesses and government. you also talked eloquently about the need to have more jobs and to be more energy efficient. >> right. >> all these things together require that we get a health care act reform passed in the senate, a better one than we have today and that we also get a clean air act passed. would you be willing to meet one-on-one with senator gregg to get these things passed in the senate? >> listen, the -- you know, i -- i'm willing to meet with anybody, including senator gregg who i offered a job to. i don't know if you guys remember that. i like senator gregg. i think he's a serious person, but you know that fiscal commission that i just talked
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about. that was gregg's proposal. that was his proposal. it was senator judd gregg and senator kent conrad, and they had been advocating this for years. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, had just a few months ago said this was the way to deal with this. so i said great, let's do it. and suddenly they are gone. now, not judd. judd is still supportive of it, so what we're going to try to do -- we're going to try to do it by executive order. my point is the easiest thing to do in politics is to point fingers, to figure out, you know, who to blame for something or to make people afraid of things. that's the easiest way to get attention. that's what reporters will report on. you call somebody a name.
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you say look what a terrible thing they have done, and they are going to do more terrible things to you if you don't watch out, and you'll get a lot of press attention, and in some cases you can win elections, particularly when unemployment is 10%. what's hard is to figure out how to solve these problems. our long-term deficit, if we can't control health care costs, i don't care who is talking about eliminating waste from the government, we can't solve the problem. a lot of people -- let me just give you one exam. if you ask a lot of folks what accounts for the federal budget. they will say foreign aid and pork projects, and if you just eliminated all the foreign aid and the pork projects, somehow we'd bring our deficit under
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control. foreign aid accounts for 1% of our federal budget, 1%, not 25%, not 20%, 1%. earmarks, all these pork projects, a lot of them people like, a lot of them are wastes of money and we've got to be able to distinguish between the two and make them more transparent so they are not stuck into bills without anybody knowing about it, but they only cost -- they amount to 1% of the budget as well. what really accounts for our federal budget is medicare, medicaid, social security, defense, tra interest on the national debt and then everything else from national parks to the environmental -- the epa, the environmental protection agency, and in order -- if you just wanted to cut the deficit to balance the
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budget, only on non-discretionary or on discretionary non-defense spending, so if you wanted to exempt out all the entitlements, exempt defense, you'd have to cut all those other things by 60%, 60%. can you imagine? so, we've got to have an honest conversation about all the aspects of the budget, and that's what this commission was designed to do. that's why i think judd gregg was absolutely right. i support him on this, and we're going to set up an executive -- by executive order a commission to do this, but i want good ideas. it is not in my interest to bloat government with wasteful programs because every time i spend money on a program that doesn't work, that's money that i'm not spending on early childhood education that would make a difference in a child's life or on college scholarships
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to send kids to school. we've got to use our money more wisely, but that can only be done if both parties are responding to the interests of the american people and not their short-term politics. all right. a woman's turn. all right. that young lady up there, yes, you. yes. you sound surprised. >> oh, wait, wait, wait. i was calling on this lady in the black blouse right here, i'm sorry. sorry about that, but it's nice to see you though. i may call on you in a second. go ahead. >> my name is ashley stebbins and i live here in nashua and attend nashua high south. there are -- during your campaign there was a lot of promises and transparency but lately a lot of stuff in the
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media says that most of health care has been behind closed doors. i was just wondering how you would grade yourself on your transparent government. >> well, you know, i -- i've got -- i've got to be careful about grading myself, but i will tell you that a recent independent watchdog group took a look and said this has been the most transparent government, most transparent administration that we have seen in a very, very long time, perhaps in the modern era, and -- and here's the reason. let me just list off the things we've done. this is the first white house everywhere you know every single person who visits the white house. now that seems like a small thing, but that means any lobbyists, any company, anybody who comes to visit the white house, you know who it is. the recovery act that i just talked about. we put every dollar of spending in the recovery act on a
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website. you can go and look up right now every dollar that's been spent in the recovery act. you know where it's been spent. who got contracts, how it's been spent. that's all there. plain as day for everybody to say. so we've put more information online. we've declassified things that used to be classified. we've revamped the classification system so it's not used for us to just hide things that might be embarrassing to us. we posted salaries for everybody in the white house all on a website which, as you might imagine, when it comes out, everybody is looking in the white house. hmm. but seriously, we very much believe in transparency and accountability. now, when it came to the health care debate, think about all the hours of congressional hearings, all the meetings that were on
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c-span. they were constant. it took a year, remember? i did town hall meetings all across the country in august talking just about health care, so when people say, well, the negotiations weren't on c-span, what they are frustrated about, and i take responsibility for this, is that after congress had finally gone through its processes, the house had voted on a bill, the senate had voted on a bill, it is true that i then met with the leaders and chairman of the house and the senate to see what differences needed to be resolved in order to get a final package done, and that wasn't on c-span, and -- and, look, you know, i made that commitment and i probably should have put it on c-span, although one of the tricky things is trying to figure out, well, if it's on c-span, are people actually going to be saying what they think about trying to get the bill done or is everybody going to be posturing to say
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things that sound good for the camera. having -- but i think it is a legitimate criticism to say if you say that all of it is going ton on c-span, all of it should be on c-span which is why at this point it's important for me to say that when the republicans put forward their proposals for what they want to do on health care and we put forward what we want to do on health care, i very much want that on c-span and i want everybody here to watch. i want everybody here to watch. because i think -- i think it will be a good educational process, you know, for people to weigh the arguments about the relative merits of the bill instead of listening to millions of dollars worth of insurance industry ads that have been put out there or whatever pundit on the left or the right is saying about these different issues, so we're going to keep on doing it.
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have we gotten it perfect? no. have we done better than any administration in recent memory, absolutely, and we'll keep on trying to improve on that, all right? good. it's a gentleman's turn. this gentleman there in the back in the tie. you got all spruced up for the meeting. i want to make sure i call on him. >> my name is dick swett. i live in bow, new hampshire. >> hey, dick, you've got a big fan club here. >> i used to occupy the seat that paul holds now and he's doing a good job. >> he's a good guy. >> he is. >> first of all, thanking for coming to new hampshire. we're very pleased and proud that you are here, and we're grateful for the opportunity to talk. now in your discussions you've said that you're ready to listen to anybody with a good idea. >> mm-hmm. >> well, i'd like to go out on a limb and say i think i've got a
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good idea. i'd like to share it with you. >> please do. >> when we talk about energy issues in this country, we are talking about jobs. we're talking about dependence on international oil, some coming from difficult places that are feeding terrorist organizations that are causing harm to our citizens. we are talking about a problem of keeping our money here at home as opposed to sending it overseas when we purchase that foreign oil. i think what we can do is we need to put all of these issues together in one basket, and first set a date by which time we can be independent enough of foreign oil. i can't say that we could be completely independent, and i think you understand the reasons why, but if we can invest in technology here at home to develop clean technology, place that technology in developing countries, not only just where they can have energy and electricity to -- to be productive with but establish with that an economic system
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where they have jobs and they are opening up new markets, that we can sell our products into and that we can build our relationships with their leaders through, and at home, if we can focus on making ourselves more energy efficient because we are a very inefficient country when it comes to the use of energy, just like all of the industrialized countries. these two things i think done first can help us to avoid having to do cap and trade and other aspects with environmental controls that are going to have negative impacts on our economy. we need to make productive use of our technology and our people so that we can clean up the economy, put people to work and then if that isn't sufficient enough, we then go to the kinds of programs that have been talked about at the copenhagen summit. >> well, let me respond by talking more broadly about energy. first of all, those are such good ideas i've already adopted them though i didn't know they


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