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tv   [untitled]    February 2, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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having to rise and have third children see them going to work and that it's part of being an american. [ applause ] so unlike governor romney, i really care about making sure that, in fact, every person has a right to pursue happiness. they don't have the right to be given happiness by the government which is impossible, despite barack obama. obama believes he's so smart he can take from the overly happy and redistribute to the underhappy. that's nonsense. one of the major themes this fall will be a campaign between a paycheck and job candidate, newt gingrich and a food stamp and unemployment candidate, barack obama. >> newt gingrich republican presidential candidate in las vegas. at the white house today press secretary jay carney asked a lot of questions about issues dealing with the debt and deficit, the economy and re-election issues. also the issue of donald trump.
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>> should the president seek the endorsement of donald trump? >> you know, i'm not going to comb over that question. that's good, right? >> you ready for that? >> there's a danger in speaking off the cuff. but, no. i think the -- i need you up here. you guys are pretty good. look, the only comment i'll have on that beyond the one i just made, i think the president gave his views about mr. trump at the dinner that many of you attended last spring. >> thank you. >> that dinner, of course, the white house correspondent dinner which by the way is one of the most watched events this past year on c-span's website. check it out at
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our video library, and we'll leave it at that with white house press secretary jay carney. this is "washington today" on c-span radio. in other news on wall street the dow fell 11, nasdaq was up 11 and s&p was up 1. the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a level signalling a steadily improving jock market. figures come one day before the government is expected to report the january was a solid month for hiring. unemployment applications fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 according to the labor department. economists expect the january employment report to show employers added 155,000 jobs last month. that unemployment remained at 8.5%. the obama administration is taking steps to make fees in 401(k) plans more transparent. the treasury department and department of labor each set
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forth new rules on proposed regulations applying to 401(k) plans. treasury's regulations would make it easier for people with plans to receive part of their fund as an annuity. such plans can be a useful option. people may out live their savings or fearful, hold back and spend more than necessary. the number of people placed on a no fly list and banned from flying to or inside the u.s. has more than doubled in the last year according to the associated press. list includes known and suspected terrorists jumped from having 10,000 people on it one year ago to about 21,000 people now. according to the a.b. according to data most people on the no fly list are people from other countries. about 500 are americans. western ambassadors on the u.n. security council embracing a revised resolution aimed at stopping bloodshed in syria. they are also predicting rapid
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approval of the text following the removal of a explicit demand that president bashar assad step down. it supports the arab league's decision to force a political transition leading to a political system but, again, it removes that clause calling for assad to hand power to a deputy in advance of create agnew government. back in a minute with more "washington today." on after word this friday, a conversation with deborah. she's a reporter for the "atlanta journal constitution." she will be talking about her latest book "wanted women." she tells the story of two well-known muslim women here in the u.s. to explore two distinctly different perspectives on the war on terror and islamic fundamentalists. one woman, somali born fights against islam with her writing. while the other who was educated here in the u.s. is a strong
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proponent of jihad. deborah discusses her book with the brookings institution. author of "wanted women." this friday, 7:00 p.m. eastern on after word here on c-span radio. welcome back to "washington today" on c-span radio. hundreds of people injured today in egypt. fresh round much violence that erupted in the aftermath of yesterday's soccer riots. protesters had rubber bullets fired at them. 70 are dead. jeff dyer of the "financial times" reports iran is more willing to launch terrorist attacks inside the u.s. in response to threats of the regime inside iran. james clapper said the alleged iranian plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to the u.s.
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which was uncovered last year reflect eed much stronger suppo from officials in iran. we'll talk with him in just a couple of minutes. the obama administration asking intelligence agencies for additional assessments of the risks of transferring five senior taliban detainees to a third country as part of an effort to broker peace with afghan militants. in the testimony today before the senate intelligence committee intelligence officials did not specific which country might be involved but news agencies have reported that the detainees could be sent to qatar which is acting as an intermediary. some of the back and forth that members of the intelligence committee have been facing before house and senate committees. leon panetta getting a lot of attention with his plan to withdraw american troops from afghanistan by the summer of 2013. here's how the exchange unfolded before one house committee as
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congressman michael conoway took questions. and general petraeus. and the ongoing concern about iran and interests threat of nuclear weapons. >> with respect to afghanistan, has the i.c. changed or amended their analysis as to the capacity of the karzai government to control their country over the last couple of months that would have given rise and kmoirks davii know, da said overanalyze. have they changed that? >> again, look with respect, congressman, i think it was a startling overanalysis not necessarily a startling statement. if you go back and read what he said. sir, if i do, this is exactly in line with the policy that we started back in the summer of
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2011. transitioning leadership and progressively complete it by the end of 2014. >> i understand, david. it's attributed to leon he would have all troops out by 2013. >> he did not say that. he said all troops out, i think, withdraw forces by the end of 2014. of course the president has stated and during security relationship that would indicate some would continue beyond that. as have the leaders of other major coalition countries that signed agreements with president karzai. >> the i.c.'s assessment of capabilities has not changed from what it's been over the last several months. >> no, sir. >> with respect to iran and the leadership there, given it appears to be, they got nothing to lose at this stage as they move down this list or this path, can you give us some sense as to what exact serious collapse and a change in regime
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there would have on iran and their intentions? >> well, sir, i respectfully take issue with the notion that they had nothing to lose. i think they have a lot to lose. and i think as the pressure, international pressure ratchets up as the sanctions, particularly the ones that are in the process of being implemented take hold they have a lot to lose. i think the economy is already paying, it's already seeing effects of that with the devaluation of their money and high unemployment rates, the draining of their banking reserves, the difficulty they have conducting international financial transactions. they are already paying a price. there is also causing, we understand, there is debate and dissension within the iranian leadership hierarchy. there's a question as we discussed some yesterday at
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another hearing about the extent to which the iranian leadership, notably the supreme leader himself just how disconnected so with reality, what kind of information he's getting. i think there are growing signs ever dissent among the iranian populace because of the impacts that all of this is having on their quality of life. >> and syria? >> well, syria, of course -- one reason that the iranians have extended a great deal of time, energy, resources and people on trying to prop up assad is because of having access to that territory and also as another client so they are very concerned about keeping assad in power. >> on capitol hill before the
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house intelligence committee james clapper the director of national intelligence and cia director david petraeus pet taking questions from members including congressman michael conaway. joining us on the phone is jeff dyer. thanks as always for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> let me begin by first asking you to take a step back and talk about one of the headlines that came up yesterday from james clapper who warned again about threat friom iran as he testified. what did you take way from that? >> the interesting thing is what he said about the alleged plot that was revealed last dwreer assassinate the saudi ambassador here in washington. at the time officials say they didn't really know how far up the chain the decision to go after the ambassador was taken. some think it was a bunch of renegade members. what came out of the hearing this week, mr. clapper said that he thought that actually the
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decision went right up to the top, tied to the khomeni. that's the first time anybody made that link. very dramatic attack on american soil which might have been decided by the iranian leadership. >> let me underscore that point by sharing with our audience you quote from the testimony yesterday. james clapper saying that the u.s. probably will be shaped by quote tehran's evaluation of the cost it bears for the plot against the ambassador as well as iranian's leaders of perception of u.s. threat against the regime. fill in the pieces. what do you mean? what did james clapper mean? >> you can read this two different ways. the way we are in the environment, increasing speculation about an attack on iran now, by israelis or american forces, covert action by iran. some might read this as a drum roll towards greater military action against iran. the flip side, you can read at
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any time other way. it's as if he's saying we should be under no illusion if we do attack iran some way they will re retaliate on american soil. >> with the killing of bin laden earlier this year how strong or is how weak is al qaeda tonight? >> as mr. clapper said the other day in congress and has been saying for the last six months there's very strong signs that al qaeda has been substantially degrade, its ability, its communications have deteriorated, their leadership is much weaker, ability to put together a big scale attack against america or its allies is depleted. but the organization still exists and a more dissipated, fragmented fashion and does have the capacity still to conduct attacks in various places around the world but the chances of
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them pulling off a 9/11 attack is much less. >> we're talking with jeff dyer. i want to share with you what we learned today from the nato meeting taking place in brussels. the support for an earlier planned withdrawal of troops from afghanistan. we got word of this yesterday from defense secretary leon panetta and general secretary joining u.s. and france protein posing afghan forces take lead in all combat operations by the middle of next year. this came up at today's hearing. what did you learn? >> well, there has bean lot of indications from military officials in the u.s. in the last few months. it would be transition to u.s. and nato forces doing combat activities and moving to this training role. but the statement from leon about a netta was the first concrete statement saying we'll move to this role and our soldiers will not be fighting a real war in afghanistan next
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year. my reading is almost political, him saying to america that starting the process by which america will pull back substantially from afghanistan, essentially the beginning of the end of the war. >> let me conclude by bringing back tissue of iran and the concerns by the israeli government. we heard stories over the last couple of days that israel potentially could strike iran to try to bring down its nuclear capabilities. how real of a threat is that? >> i can't say too much confidence what's going on with the israeli government. these stories are appearing on an increasing basis. there's a small faction within israel that feels strongly that the window is closing and the chance for them to take military action against the iranian nuclear program is quickly disappearing. at the same time the u.s. and europe put in place these
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sanctions which will not come in to effect until the middle the year. they have a strong argument saying to the israelis you have to wait until june or july when these sanctions begin to bite, a chance to show you that it might work. there's two different stories going on. there's this argument saying don't do anything just yet. give the sanctions a chance. and in israel a lot of politicians and analysts say there's only a few months left for us to have an opportunity to take divisive military action. >> james clapper yesterday before a congressional committee and then again today also the former general and now cia director david petraeus pet. did you learn anything that you did know before these two gentlemen talked about intelligence and defense and security matters. >> about the american assessment of the iranian nuclear program. we knew already what they said
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about afghanistan, in line what we new already. one thing that really did stand out was mr. clapper's statement about senior members of the iranian leadership could have been involved to kill the saudi ambassador and they were more than willing previously realized to conduct operations on american soil. that was the thing that stood out. >> jeff dyer who is here in washington,er writes for the "financial times", covers national security issues, his work is online at thank you for being here with us on c-span. >> my pleasure. >> this is "washington today" carried live today on c-span 3 and heard coast to coast on xm channel 119. >> senate republican leader harry reid threatened to move his own payroll tax extension as democrats across the capital called the republican plan to obstruct the extension. the deadline is approaching by the end of this month.
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house senate conferrees tried to hammer out a resolution and also on unemployment insurance benefits and a way to keep the medicaid doc fixes from seeing a cut to their federal reimbursements. as always as expected a number of disagreements to offset what is expected $100 billion cost. democrats are pushing a surtax on millionaires and republicans remain in types that plan. senator reid critical of republicans for bogging down the payroll tax conversation today with a debate on what's called the boiler mac rules which are regulations to remain toxic emissions from boilers. it's hurting small businesses and could potentially kill thousands of american jobs as it's currently written. this one issue part of the larger debate on the payroll tax issue, you'll hear from two members, two conferrees.
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>> we've got work to do and we're on the clock. today is the 2nd of february. we have 27 days before our authority expires. to extend the payroll tax cut for 160 million working tax paying americans to extend the insurance benefits for up to 5 million americans who lost their job through no fault of their own, and to make sure that some 48 million seniors in our country continue to have access to the doctors they've come to count on under medicare. but the little secret that all 20 of us know in this room that most americans don't know is that we really don't have 27 days. in the house we have no more than 13 legislative days left before the end of this month. and so at least on the house side and i suspect the senate is
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fairly similar in terms of the number of voting legislative working days you'll have, we're actual work to be done before the clock runs out. not on us because i dare say that 20 of us aren't going to feel the iraqis of failure. but the 160 million working tax paying americans who won't get the tax payroll tax cut extension, the almost 5 million measures who are desperately looking for work, lost their jobs and 48 million seniors who expect to be able to go to their doctor. as i said at the beginning, there already some areas we found the sweet spot. those three items we mentioned there seems to be clear agreement that we should extend those. there's some areas where there is clear controversy. we touched on some of those yesterday with regard to these changes to the unemployment insurance programs with the
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short time we have when some of these ideas have been out there for quite some time. we should do those that are common sense, the improvements we can all agree on. we should not let controversial items put at risk the life line that 160 million working families are counting on, the life line that desperate some 5 million desperate americans are counting on so they can continue to make the certainly for a job, and 48 million seniors who are wondering what in the heck did i do to be caught in a situation where i may not be able to go to my doctor anymore. i would encourage us with no more than 13 legislative days left before the clock runs out on us, that we focus on the sweet spot, and that's getting the work done that most americans expect of us, and i know that there are issues both ways, and it is a bipartisan issue in some respects. but i don't think we're going to
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resolve it easily. the 20 of us, because this has been going on for quite some time. i would urge us to refocus on the three things that most americans expect us to get done by the end of the month. i really urge that movement. >> thank you. >> mr. brady. >> we'll go to the third round. >> thank you. let me talk about some of those extraneous workers. even a small in texas, population 1,483, i checked it in morning in the forests of southeast texas, major employer there is a paper mill. hires 700 workers, union workers with the steelworkers as a matter of fact. they produce paper products. in fact, this morning if you stopped by starbucks or put a juice box in pur kids' lunch you're probably familiar with what they produce. they compete internationally. very tight margins. for many years, they were barely
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break even but they have a plant manager jim, they've worked with the unions, they've as productive as anywhere in the country. and now they are profitable. in fact, not only are they profitable, but almost half of everything they produce they are competing and sell and winning in china. the one out of from two union workers at that mill is competing and winning in china. one of the ways it became competitive is it became self-sufficient. they use refluable energy, biomass, debris from the forest floor which keeps it healthy. so they're completely self-sufficient. american manufacturing using union workers, renewable energy competing, winning in china. but this rule so poorly written and rushed through jeopardizes that plant and these jobs. for two reasons. one, it puts a timetable and an expense they can't afford, about $20 million to update and
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upgrade these two boilers with their lines. secondly, the regulation is so poorly written, that those wood chips and forest residue is considered to be incinerator waste, not biofuels. not fuels and renewable fuels. so that waste will either go to a landfill or it will stay on the forest floor where it either becomes -- provides forest either risk of fire or more disease. it makes no sense to move forward with this rule. the house provision is pretty common sense. it says look, let's take a little more time to get the rule right and then let's give just a little more time for plants like this to upgrade. and in this case, talking about the plant manager, it allows them to update the first one, evaluate the results and do a partial upgrade. they'll hit the standards but they'll do it without becoming uncompetitive in this global
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marketplace. and they'll be able to keep using renewable energy. the point of that is these workers aren't extraneous to this discussion. they're concerned about the payroll tax because they want to have a pa i roll. they want to be on it. they don't want to be in the unemployment line. they want to stay competitive worldwide. pie thought is, we've had so many speeches in congress, and at the state of the union committing to american at home. here we have a common sense opportunity to actually protect those types of jobs and. 20,000 of those american pulp and paper manufacturing jobs here in the united states with just a thoughtful pause, give those companies just an inch more time to do this. i think this is a critical part of this provision. >> some of the debate on the issue of payroll tax cut as you heard from xavier becerra from california and kevin brady of
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texas. they are running out of time because the deadline is the end of this month as lawmakers deal with a number of side issues and ultimately feed to get to the big issue which is how to pay for the tax cut through the end of this year. if you're interested in watching the conference committee, it's available at as is all of our program. house lawmakers yesterday voted to freeze their pay and salaries of congressional staffers as well as civilian employees, scoring with the washington post is calling a symbolic victory for congressional republican who have targeted government compensation as an example of excessive federal spending. the vote last night in the house was 309-117. republican supporters scoring the two-thirds majority needed to approve the measure. now, the bill was introduced by congressman sean duffy, a republican from wisconsin. it would extend the two-year freeze on federal cost of living raises for an additional year starting next january.
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it will take effect through 2013 if it pass the senate. that is a big if because senate democrats saying they oppose the law and also some disagreement from the president who said under its current form he would veto this measure. it's an issue we asked many of you on our listener feedback line. here's what some of you had to say. >> i look to the federal government -- i work for the federal government. i think the statistics on the so-called new federal workers make 16% more senior ludicrous. i have many, many examples of people in the private sector making twice as much as people doing the same very important jobs, especially in i.t. and computer industry in general. and i think since we've had our pay freeze frozen for the last two years, i think that you know, it may be at the highest
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highest highest levels they can afford it, but at the mid level employees such as myself, it's a huge burden, and we're in the middle class. we get no aid for college. and continue to pay the same or more tax rates as the super wealthy. so i think the debate at this point, yes, congress should have taken a pay cut or a pay freeze when federal employees did, but we've already put our two years of freeze in. and most of them have other incomes that they have had for a long time. and what's my comment. and hope you put it on the air. bye. >> yes, i think we should freeze federal workers' pay. what they need to do is look into the federal workers that basically a lot of them may not tell you but there are a lot of them making a lot of money, do nothing. they need to look into those
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positions and eliminate them and we need to cut the congressional pay in half, as well. >> i think, unfortunately, federal workers do a good job in these economic times. everybody is having to having pay freezes and see bonuses being cut. and i'm sure that they will understand why this measure is being done. but i also think that it should not just be the federal workers. everybody needs to do their bit, the people on wall street who are getting the bonuses do not deserve them and should not get them. thank you. >> this is tommy from baltimore, maryland. as somebody that lives in an area where i think there's a lot of government -- consider what kind of effects that's had on the economy.


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