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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 20, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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and chris strewalt from the washington examiner. and ilan berman examines the latest developments on iran's nuclear program. "washington journal" is next. guest: from the beginning we knew that the bill had to save lives, money and medicare. we did that, we knew we had to stabilize for americans who had it and stabilize for millions who didn't. tkw host: democrats say they reached the necessary 60 votes k to move forward on health care legislation. good morning on december 20, the legislation will continue this afternoon at 1 o'clock, and scheduled to work through the night and take a vote
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tomorrow morning to set a christmas eve vote on the bill. we will hear from the congressional quarterly reporter for a bit, but first our phones are open to you, we want to hear if you think that the health care bill is being rushed. with your numbers listed, and we are online and you can e-mail comments and twitter. let's look at yesterday's look on health care, and how "the washington post" looked at, seeing that they proposed ranks and ending months of division and clearing a path for passage. majority leader, harry reid,
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provided the 60th vote and allowing for abortion and tighter restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions. they are calling ben nelson's deal a corn huskers kick-back. other senators lined up for deals and politco wrote, that nelson's might be the most plattant, a deal carved out for single state. and senator bernie sanders, democrat for vermont, denying it's a sweetheart deal, and the article talks about other deals for states.
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vermont and massachusetts were given additional medicaid funding and three states, pennsylvania, new york and florida won protections for their medicare program. some republicans are saying this is being pushed forward too fast, look at what leader, mr. mcconnell had to say. >> make no mistake that this will affect our americans lives. and they forced through a vote, and expecting that americans are not paying attention. and we see from the data that
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americans are overwhelming opposed to this bill. this bill is a train wreck of historic proportions. but they are so eager to claim a victory, they will do anything to jam it through in the next few days. host: let's go to your calls and see what you have to say, michael from louisiana. good morning, michael. caller: yes, ma'am. host: what do you think, is health care being rushed? caller: yes, ma'am, i believe with senator mcconnell and i think that the public option should be put back in the bill, i would hate to believe that i live in a socialist country. host: do you feel that if they ç put that back in, that our country would have a chance? caller: i believe so, otherwise
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our options would go down. host: the public option has been stripped from the bill. and senator ben nelson said he will not vote for anything that includes a public option. let's go to joe from maryland. good morning, what do you feel about health care legislation, it looks like we may wrap this up by december 24. caller: that's your opinion, i believe that this may get the light of day on the massive bill that congress has passed in the last 220 years. i think it would be appropriate that the american people at least know what is in this billç the amount of kick-backs given to favored states such as nebraska, louisiana and vermont. and let's see harry reid's home
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state of nevada, make this an unconsciousable bill. and i predict that any democrat who votes for this bill, whether they are in the house or senate, they will be taught a lesson at the next election. i guarantee they will not be reelected for their current positions. and i suggest also that it's unamerican for the democrats to pull ranks w3on this particular bill and not inform the ç american public of what is in it. woe unto any democrat who supports this bill because you are be termed out of office. and i think this is a turning point çin the american democra. we are nótda democracy, we are a republic democracy. i believe that every single
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democrat who votes for this will no longer be in their position come the next election. host: ok, let's go to vivian from pennsylvania. caller: no, it's virginia, good morning. and good morning to c-span. i can't understand what is wrong with america, they don't want health care for the people. i don't believe in abortion, they don't want abortion but they don't want to take care of a child once they get here. i don't understand why the republicans are so dead set on killing people, but don't kill them in the womb, let them get here, let them die.w3çç and c-span qdon't you have cameras on the floors at all times when the senators are in? host: we do, you can watch our
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coverage. caller: they were debating the war in iraq, and one senator asked if he could have more time andç john mccain complain why he never seen anything like that in 28 years. your cameras went blank, they found the transcript but the cameras went blank for a minute or so, and when it came back it was robert byrd. what is c-span are you republicans now? if you were so dead set on asking the questions, why didn't you ask the questions about the iraq war, and maybe we would not have had it. because everyone knows that was a lie.
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host: ok vivian, i believe what you are referring to when two democratic freshmen didn't allow colleagues to debate, and they confined the comments to 10 minutes and when they went over and said to move on, and senator mccain took bridge with that. looking at the "washington times" t(and the critical ñrhea care vote, çsenator nelson of nebraska was providing the sixth vote needed. right-to-life groups and republicans accuse qdemocrats tç overturn the hyde amendment of allowing federal funds to pay for abortions. assuming that the senate bill passes the issue will likely
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remain at the center of debate as the house and senate plans emerge into the final bill. let's look at president obama's comments yesterday. >> under this bill families will pay under these premiums, and businesses will save money now and in the future. this bill will strengthen medicare and strengthen the life of the program. because it pays for and gets rid of waste in the health care system, this will be the largest reduction plan in over a decade. we learned thatthis bill will reduce xdour deficit by $132 billion over the first decade of the program. and çover $1 trillion in çthe decade after that. finally this reform will make coverage affordable for over 30 million americans who don't
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have it. as i said before, these are not small changes, these are big changes. they are fundamental reforms. they will save money, they will save lives, and i look forward to finishing with the september and -- senate and the house to make this real. host: caller, go ahead. caller: good morning, i want to reopen the bid, nebraska wants the pay-out, and that's a perfect example of how they will run this health care. and how will they make money in this country and more money doled out and that's a perfect example of how the house runs up deficits, not usually the president. so don't blame reagan or bush or when we had a house and
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senate run by republicans in the 90's, we had a balanced budget. but this is a perfect illustration of how political it will be, how the pay-backs fall out. and how ridiculous to pay the premiums with the rest of us due, and that's the sell-out that the senator made and made the abortion issue to get reid reelected. you must be kidding me. host: looking at the post, and the abortion issue and under the new provision, states can opt out of plans to cover abortion in exchanges. these are set up for those who lack coverage in their jobs, and receiving federal subsidies
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to buy insurance. the nelson compromise is a softening of the house language, the stupak amendment allows for the payment of any part of the cost of the health plan that includes abortion, and to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion. the reaction is from two different sides of the spectrum, zçthe anti-abortion group dismissed with it as ça phony compromise. neither side happy with what is worked out. let's go to independent line from michigan. caller: good morning, i wish all senators would read this
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bill, i find it irresponsible ç to pass such a massive bill and not take the time to read it and all americans could be hurt in the pocket book. our local politician said this was a good bill, and i called him and if he would be the first to sign up to take it. and he sent okme an e-mail he can't take this federal health care and he said t(he had to ge what the employees have, and i said they should change the law and they should be the first to take this new health care. host: it's written that if the bill doesn't allow for the public option it should be ç voted down by lieberman and
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nelson. and showing how the bill stacks up, it's reported that the package would not worsen the ç nation's fiscal situation, but that this bill would spent billions çóover the next çdeca to extend coverage to the uninsured. we have ricardo. caller: hi, it sound like this ç bill is passed for the uninsured people, it sounds like a nice christmas present. i would have to say to open that christmas present with extreme caution. make it in clear language so people can understand what this bill is about. in my opinion, you know it's kind of deceiving where
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everything is being rushed by a holiday. and then are they going ççto in recess, çis that çthe thin that's going on? host: çyes ç, after that they will go in recess çand come ba in january. caller: and say, yes, we took cake -- çcare of the matter a moving on. no, we are rushed in this and it's not right. that's my opinion, and i t( believe that people deserve the right to know what is in this bill. and in my opinion make it very clear çand understandable. and xdthat's it. host: larry, democrats line in ç new york state.çw3 caller: hi, we have to have a ç little perspective on what is the meaning of rushed. the history goes back almost 100 years, the republicans have opposed from the great depression to medicare to today.
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it seems to me that ted kennedy had it right when he said, a half a loaf is better than none. it's çnot a perfect bill but i will help with the problems that myçthe american people ar facing.ç it's time çthat the american people see that they i]are tryi to do the best they can, and the republicans are an obstacle since day 1. i say put this full steam head and move this thing on. host: looking at larry's comments, there was an article in the "post" of çmrs. kennedy and t(qtalking about her husba' perspective of health care. and i]writes that her late husband was passionate about health care reform, and that this year the stars and
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competing interest were finally aligned to allow our nation to move forward in health care reform. he believed that health care reform was çessential to the financial stability çof our xd3 nation's working families and of our economy as a whole.çó and saying that ted said that it's good to get half a loaf than no loaf at all. the children's health insurance program and cobra, continuation of health coverage. she said that the bill before the senate, while imperfect would achieve many of her late's husband's goals and wants to see it passed. let's go to california with grace on the independent line. caller: yes, i have never voted
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a çstraight ticket in my life. and i have always voted for theç betterment and the change çof the country that i felt çwas going to benefit the most people. i agree with what ted kennedy stood for. it is better to have half a loaf than nothing. we have many experiences of looking at other countries that are far less affluent than we are. and they are doing much better in their health care. if you look at sweden, if you look at canada, france, now i understand that we can find money to fight wars. then why can't we find money to] take care of our own? host: joey, republican line from i]rhode island. caller: hi, about the kennedy
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half loaf. that the fine, i feel that, well as far as kennedy, nixon wanted to do health care, a sv republican, and no way we won't do it on your watch. and this hasn't been going on for 100 years. everyone had health care from day 1. as a matter of fact more people are being treated today than ever before and more lives are saved than ever before. and to rush this bill for an agenda, i think it will break this country. it seems like we are trying to bring this country to have it go to euro dollars or whatever, it seems like we are trying to bankrupt ourselves, it's important to have clear heads.
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and as far as other countries, 14 million is what the doctors pay, çtort reform is costing this country less money. tort reform çis a big deal. thank you. the "washington times", senator richard berg, north carolina republican is saying, you have ben nelson playing, the price is right. and he accused democrats of buying votes for their health care bill. that was his take on the brokering between senator nelson and democratic leadership. let's go to chicago, doris. caller: good morning, i have a comment on the health care bill. but first time i am a life-long democrat. and ben nelson and stupak, they
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are the dog poop of the party. and hurray for bernie sanders, the independent from vermont. he was so p-o'd for cobern and the democratic bill, guess what he got? $10 billion, and that was for federally-funded health care centers, they care for you, if you do not have health insurance it pays for what you can w3afford and based on your income, and it gives scholarships to fund health ç care workers who need health care clinics. he is my idol, he did not put in a gun law, he did not restrict women's rights, he's working for the american people
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and i thank him. host: chad, the independent line in seattle. caller: good morning. host: is health care being rushed? caller: yeah, you look at obama's speech, you can tell right away, his lips are moving but you can tell he's lying. when someone walks away, they say, what about the option. host: the public option. caller: yeah, and he walks away. yeah, he was lying the whole time. if he really cared about çpubl health care, there wouldn't be an expansion in afghanistan, $500 billion. that would have taken care of
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everything. and this trillion, bernanke, he keeps expanding to $2 billion excess to new cap on the budget. it's, it's spend and spend and spend. you can't spend your way out of deficit, and you can't spend your way to hell. host: let's take a look at a piece in the "new york times" by vice president biden, why the senate should vote yes on health care. the vice president writes, if i were a united states senator, i would not only vote yet on the current health care bill, i would be so with the sure knowledge and vote yes to make health care reform a reality. and while it does not contain every measure that president obama and i wanted. i would vote yet -- yes for
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the change that is needed for generations. he says is america better off today because of a chance of a public health care bill was missed in 1993, from my friends on the right, the soaring spending on health care likewise provides no, let's not make the same mistake again. from vice president biden. let's go to kentucky on the independent line. çmorning, a congress has turned to a a congress of brivery. that's all i have to say. host: ok, betty from illinois. caller: good morning, i just really have one thing to say. the republican party has had a chance time after time after time. and they still have not voted for health care reform.
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they have never even brought it to the floor when they held the senate and the house of representatives. now they just keep saying no.w3 i don't really care how many amendments will be put in this bill just for them. drop the public option, whatever, they are still going to vote no. mitch mcconnell says so. and to those senior citizens out w3there who are decrying th bill, please, please feel free to give up your medicare and your social security. they are after all government programs and i would t(implore you to please give it up. host: on twitter, joe writes that reform doesn't mean it will hurt the deficit, those taxes could be used for other purposes. going to barry from massachusetts. i think we have just lost
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barry, to shelly from tampa, florida. caller: yes, of course this is -- hello. host: hi, you are on the air. caller: of course this is being rushed, if it weren't rushed they wouldn't have to take a vote at 1 o'clock in the morng. when have they been taking a rushed vote, and you are told that nothing good happens after midnight. and else -- nelson said he would reform health care, and medicare is going bankrupt, we have heard this for months. you can't just add another program, and the one thing that people are not screaming at the roof tops. they say health care reform now but nothing is enacted for four years.
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it's all tax loaded up front, that's why they can say it's deficit neutral. and finally because of tort reform, because i am married to a surgeon and i know how much we pay in malpractice insurance, nothing is being addressed. tort reform is a flip on the radar screen and we are not going to do anything about it. but people don't understand that these surgeons that go to medical school and residency and higher training, they are not going to go through that all trouble becoming doctors to be paid zero, while the lawyers are paid money hand over fists to sue them for basically nothing and to work for nothing. because the government, the system that works the very
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least. i think that people need to wake up and if you short change the doctors, there won't be doctors. host: let's go to barry. caller: hi, i have strong feelings about a lot of this. we do need health care reform, ] this isn't it. what we have before us now okisç
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caller: it's pork, it's ridiculous, nothing is free. and as far as ted kennedy is concerned, he was a great guy. he was independently wealthy. he didn't live on the level of his constituents. he had a wonderful way of being able to scrape up a few bucks to initiate something that becomes an entitlement, unfunded. nothing is free. ultimately the taxpayers have to pay for it. there is a movie, i think it was "mr. smith goes to washington." that was a wonderful movie, i would like to see mr. smith going to washington, hit the lever, flush them out. get some character in there. host: ok, thank you for your calls, we çwhélbuqçbe back i moment with drew armstrong who
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will speak with us more about health care. be right back. >> obviously it's the leaders of each chamber that willbu appoint the members to sit on this commission, and you are someone that knows the process, should you be on this committee? >> of course i should. >> who else? >> it would seem to me that people who need to be involved in this are the people who are in involved with these issues most intimately, those are the chamber and ranking member of the finance committee and ways and mean committee of the house and chamber and ranking leader of the budget committee. it seems to me those would be logical people to put on such a commission. >> senator, you also want to have a couple of members of the administration on this commission, and i would like to
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hear your thoughts about the reception this idea has been getting. how enthusiastic and who is their role on the commission? >> as we see it the secretary of the treasury would be there and recommend and that would be the head of the office and management of budget, that would be a logical person to include. there would be bipartisan co-chairs. and on the democratic side, the co-chair would be the secretary of çthe treasury. >> your role is for everyone to link arms and jump off the cliff together. do you feel that the administration is enthusiastic about that idea, when the
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administration is taking action at the beginning of the next election cycle? >> you know i can't speak for the administration, i have been in many hours of negotiation with them. i think they are warming to the idea that there needs to be a process like this. not necessarily this one that we proposed, but something like it to take on this debt threat. >> that's senate budget member, ken conrad, who has proposed a new çcommission for the debt. you can see this on "news makers" on c-span and available online. our next guest is drew armstrong, a staff writer çford congressional quarterly.ñr thank you ñrfor being with us.qy you have had a busy weekend,
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set the stage what it was like yesterday and friday of the democrats reaching a compromise. guest: this started on friday night, senator harry reid, headed in and he was holding negotiation sessions with ben nelson, the hold-out senator from nebraska. and they were in senator reid's office for 13 hours, until 10 o'clock on friday night. and at the last minute they came back there late at night to try to finalize the deal on some abortion language that had been holding up moving the bill forward, senator nelson had serious concerns. they went home and nelson didn't say much and had to sleep on it. and they came back and announced they had a compromise, and introduced the
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package of deals and now we are in this ticking clock of passage on christmas eve, it will be a lot of late nights and early mornings but seems it's on the rails. host: we can take your calls at three different lines with your questions and comments w3from drew armstrong from cq.ç who were the key players with senator reid able to broker that kind of deal? guest: there were a few others, you had chuck from new york and senator barbara boxer, they were there representing the left side of the democratic caucus, nelson one of the conservative democrats. he was worried that public funding would go to pay for
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elective abortions under insurance plans. he wanted to find a way to tighten up those restrictions, in a way he saw consistent with other parts of federal policy. he was pushing for the tightest restrictions on the federal funding he could get. and he said this was a deal-breaker for him. and he wanted the language tighter and tighter. the concern if you made it too tight on abortion rights, you would lose some left part of the democratic caucus, who are for keeping the rights and not taking away the women's right to choose. it was trying to strike this balance of what nelson wanted and what the left side democratic caucus could accept. host: and barbara boxer was brought in to participate in
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the talks. and boxer said that while she preferred the abortion language that reid first proposed, she would not stand in the way of advancing the bill. guest: we are in a situation because democratis have 60 votes and they need those 60 votes for the motions. headed up to now. one senator could stop this leverage. and ben nelson is a guy in the center of congress who will do that and hold out and assert himself in the middle of these debates. and he did this on this issue and a number others, and they had to find a way to satisfy him. and the concern is if you go too far in satisfying someone on the conservative side, you
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lose folks çlike boxer or the senator from vermont on the public option. it's been a tough balancing act on the democrats. but the reality is that the folks on the left of the caucus want to do health care badly enough they are willing to take trade offs. host: let's look at senator nelson and the comments he made. >> change is never easy, but it's what is necessary in america today, and that's why i intend to vote for health care reform. each of my colleagues make different of how to fix the system. i know of no members who suggest that the current system is satisfactory. i know of no member who feels we need to change our health care system. where we differ, is in the way
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that we fix our health care system. i believe in the free marketplace is the foundation of our economy, and it's çthe primary focus for our health care debate, and that's why i opposed the public option. host: they are calling ben nelson the corn huskers kick-back. how do you explain this? guest: politics is a messy process, and it's important to recognize we are in a political process, not a policy process. that's not to endorse some deals going on. when we started this a year ago, it was a policy focus process. the bill was written by experts, you had folks from harvard and m.i. t. and saying
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this is how to fix the system, and that's who the lawmakers were listening to. this was a funky process, and now we are in the political process, it's not about getting the best bill, but about getting the best bill possible. and that requires some compromises and some folks who have to be satisfied. nelson in addition to his concerns about the abortion language, managed to get something for his state. the way that federal medicare dollars are allocated, there is an expansion in will bill, and in nebraska's case it will be paid for by the federal government, and that's worth several of millions of dollars. an advantage of being a hold-out senator, not only do
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you get hot buttons, but a few bucks for the folks back home. and we saw that with mary landrieu, she was able to win several hundreds dollars for louisiana, and that was called the louisiana purchase, and now the corn huskers kick-back and probably hear something about maple syrup. host: let's go to mike . caller: hi, i would like to implore the people in nebraska to get rid of ben nelson, he sold himself like the cheapest whore, and he really needs to get out of there. he took his eye off the ball, he took the whole nation's eye off the ball. we need a viable health care system in this country, and he just deflected the entire
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discussion by holding out for the stupak amendment. and then sold himself for an increase of $45 million a year. host: who is someone like senator nelson responsible to? guest: the people of nebraska elected him and his job is to get stuff for the people of nebraska. this is an important thing to recognize, the lawmakers are representing their constituents but they represent in many cases the american people at large. this balance of representing what they feel for the nation and for their constituents. the way this works in politics, you see people doing good national policy and if they can get something back at home, they will take that opportunity. it's not always a pretty
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process, and we have seen that with the attention to health care de, last year or more. it can be a little ugly, you get to see the sausage getting made. and it's not always something that makes voters happy or proud, and i am sure there will be people in nebraska who have some objections to that. and there are people that are pleased for the additional dollars he got for the state. host: in cq, it's reported that some states would benefit others down the road. and in we need to phase back from 100% and some states back to 90%, and they will say wait, there is one state staying at 100, nebraska, and he says that i will be happy to support our state staying at 100%. and some democrats say that what nelson has done has
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benefited them as well? guest: yeah, i think everyone will try to spin this in the best way, that nebraska gets this, why don't we. and other states will ask for 100% medicaid match. and the governor of new york has said, why not us too. this is a case where you set an example, and then everyone says, why can't i have that. host: ted on the independent line calling from seattle. caller: hi, about the new bill. isn't this basically the insurance company's profiting, what is there in the bill that is for the person? i mean -- i am hearing myself, sorry. host: that's ok, i think we get
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your question, we will pass it to drew armstrong. guest: a huge amount of the health care system is run by private companies, you have private hospitals and private physician practices. for every dollar in the system, there will be people profiting off of that. and making money, that's the way that the health system works, it's a mix of for-profit and ççnot ça profit enterpri. there is a lot of comments that this is a give away, for dollars to buy insurance, and that's pretty significant going to people. whether or not you believe that should go to an insurance company, you are getting health care insurance through those dollars. and there is a limit on profits in the bill and senate,
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limiting how much they can spend on administration and profits and other non-health care related dollars. so there is -- it's tough to argue there is not a lot for people. there is a lot for people, but it's a fair point, for every dollar spent a portion of that go to for-profit companies
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guest: the catholic health care association has endorsed the compromise. as a number of other religious leaders. there is some conflict in the religious community backing both sides of the compromise. and probably some more complex compromise that we can go into. regarding the debt issues, that's another interesting point. right now the projections made by the budget office, that's the actuaries and accounts thatç analyzing every piece of legislation through congress, if it will save money or cost and what are the long-term effects. they scored this as a budget saver, a deficit reducer over a
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10 and 20 window. with -- when you look 10 and 20 years out, there is uncertainty of long-term implications of when their policies will last through and go into effect. there are concerns by conservative members of congress about what the budget ramifications of these health care programs be in the long-term. right now the only score keeper is cbo and they say it's a win for the budget. and that's what they go by, the men with the calculators are saying it's going in the right way of reducing the budget. there are a lot of people claiming it won't. but this is what the çscore keepers go by and they make the rules. host: carl from chicago. caller: yes, good morning.
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i want to say this about ben nelson. i believe that what he did was put a poison pill out çthere a didn't want to vote for them, and believed that reid swallowed it to have a chance to pass this. and the second point, i am a democrat, life long from illinois, and i will be contacting dick derby, it's time that the democrats reorganize çand have some part discipline. the chairmans are responsible for the parties and what they are bringing forward. and also if you are inna cause na -- caucus and i understand that position, but a member shouldn't in an isolated
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incident put themsz -- themselves in a position to stop what we are doing as a party. if you choose not to want that, don't block things for a vote. i will contact him, we have to exercise the discipline with these people. guest: well, your caller from chicago bring up an interesting point. there is a significant debate of how to deal with this situation when you have 60 people and one person can stop it. in addition to nelson, earlier in this process we saw senator lieberman, an independent of the democratic caucus, and he had issues with the public planç and medicare buy-in and he was able to change those. there were people calling in
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for lieberman to be stripped of his membership. and if he's not going to vote with us, we need to take this away. he made the changes and will vote for them. the problem with punishing people or threatening people, you may need them later.ç and again i made this point earlier, but this is a political process now, not just about health care but also about i]the larger politics of the senate and congress. where çyou need to hang on to never vote with you again or ll- will become a thorn in the democratic party side. to the point that having them in the caucus is no longer valuable in any way, then throwing anyone out or punishing them is nya viable option, because you will need to work with that person in the future. and in the senate especially,
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the culture has been that of a little more independence among each individual member as opposed to the house. where it's more of a party-line top-down culture. and so i think that you will see there are calls and d d poi why doesn't he vote with the democrats, and we need the help, vote against the bill on final passage but help ñrcultur go forward. senators want to try to exercise their influence as they can, and will be more independent minded by the culture of the institution.q and folks like s5(man and harry reid, feel they will need them on a vote for afghanistan or iraq or financial xdoverhaul, where those senators may be
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strong allies to the democratic caucus and some other senator will be the difficult one. host: al, on the independent line in new york. caller: good morning, i have a question that i would like you to answer and then a comment. my question is this, the money that will be accumulated and held for i believe four years before this program comes into effect, will that be untouchable? whereas social security fund is always raided and that's why ç are unfunded again.ç and can -- this will be in a general fund çor in ça specif lockbox fund they cannot touch.k and my comment is this, i éhznk that the american people see the ççwisdom of rebalancing congress so that the balance of
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power is not in one party. and i believe that's çthe way should çwork, and yes çówe caç guest: yeah, çói will risk to ó into some arcane budget procedure çhere, çif folãçcanç bear with me. the way legislation -- there is a policy in congress, not a yçç statory çpolicy, but called pa go, pay ças you go, çand whe and if the ççhealth care legislation becomes law, those programs will be locked in. i was talking çabout the budgetary office earlier, and they qwill look at those programs and we have 10 years q of liabilities on this program
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and that program and another program. if someone wants to come in andç find spending say for farm subsidies, and they had proposed raiding some of the programs in çhealth program to do that. they would have çóto pare back those programs and the result would be pared back services and spend çit çósomewhere elseç no(úthese programs are not in lockbox, they can change things and the culture as the senate is so far, pay-as-you-go spending, and spending does traditionally have to be offset by new programs. so it's not in a lockbox, but you have to balance the red andç
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black essentially and there was another question on the balance of the democratic party. i think what we'll see there, it will be interesting to watch how exactly this program does affect the balance of the democratic party and what it will be. it's hard to say that any party has lock-step control even when you have 60 votes which is what you need for the procedurals. we talked about the senate being independent minded, it's a caucus where they had to bring in a diverse viewpoints. the result when you have a big 10, you don't just represent one ideological point of view, so there is a lot of deal
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making that has to be done and changes that have to be made and compromises that people are forced to go into. and that's just the nature of getting 60 votes in the senate, that's a fact of life to them. host: portland, oregon with michael. caller: good morning, çi am york times" piece for the health care bill, and included in the bill is an additional 1% tax for çindividuals çearning over $200,000. and simple algebra tells me i am better off earning 181,000 as opposed to $200,000. and i have a question for mr. armstrong, in your estimation would you say çxdthat the democrats have a larger caucus than the republicans now? guest: yeah, there is that tax
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on folks making over $250,000, it's raised by .4%, that was done as an excise tax on wealthier americans. i am not sure how much that will raise, and yes the democrats have 60 votes and the republicans 40. and they have 58 xddemocrats an two independents in their caucus. and we will see what happens in the november elections. . .
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>> he was not an imposing figure. he emerged as a nominee when the party was populated by big pictures. his mark man ifest. a country of vast designs tonight on c-span's "q&a". book tv tonight.
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host: we are join by joe law wednesday and thank you to both of you for being with us. talking about the action of the past week in washington and beyond. we saw news out of copenhangen and other things. joe lawrence has a piece today.
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you write never under estimate the power of a deadlineç6q >> if anyone is going to be happy, it's not going to be for a very long time. it's almost impossible to satisfy people.ñi
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they have the 60 votes. if they want to view this, an nbc poll says it's down to 32% of americans think it is a good idea. as joe rightly points out, the upside of this takes time to come into being.
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that is something that will affect a lot of families. this preexisting seclusion will disappear for children and grown ups. you can read polls each way. that's a lot more than said it would help them. 54% think congress think
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congress should try to get a bill. >> polling issues is very hard. people have real lives. they don't spend all of their timewaying senate regulation. this is getting excited if you were able to hold up the longest, people get a again win sense that something is very long. the way that this process has worked has shown all sorts of red flags to the american people. this is plawed legislation that's been created in a happen as ard way. looking at some of the liberal wing of the democratic party.
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you write about how howard dean has urged democrats to start over. how powerful do you think the counter swell will be? >> we are starting to see a softening of leg isslation. we know that the senate is the senate if you have a senator that doesn't want to play ball, there's nothing you can do about it. some of these people are having
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second thoughts about how bad this bill is. there is some concern that you are making people buy insurance and the only entities people can get it from is insurance companies that don't have a very good regulation there's so much to see if it works. if it doesn't, they can come back. for the left, there has been some heart break in this. in the end, people point out this is about establishing the government's responsibility for healthcare. this says the federal government has a responsibility for healthcare. for the west, i liken it to the
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bill if americans had a flat tax. i think six months from now, the left is going to say it really isn't what we wanted and we got this one thing >> there are these concrete things. 3100 more people covered.
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>> they try to bob and we've and hide from the american people who have made it clear. they do not support when they know in this bill. we have an expanded version of it now it's important that we are having it read. we have to figure out what's in it. i'm here with a message for the american people this morning democratic leaders sprung a new piece of legislation on the american people that will have a profound i am pact on this nation. this is not renaming a post office. >> clearly the republicans see
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the process. the deals being traded at the end was a pretty wredged process. in the end, they got to give away what they wanted. it's a whole change of how we operate. republicans are taking the deep except six about this leg
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slation. the thought that there was no pain's yaded of this gain. this was nothing. it was interesting to see mitch mcconl to complain about the christmas even vote. >> the doe lay to this point as democrats try to get their caucus together. they start running a 30 hour clock. fáu$e republicans obstruct, then they are delaying. to this point, this has mostly been three attics. host: i want to get some phones. john on the republican line from florida. caller: i got three different
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things here. all the sections and stuff, you would have a hard time. they have put people in jail here if you buy votes. that's what obama has done. they want to destroy our medicare by giving half a trillion dollars to give illegal aliens health insurance. we seniors are going to be dying in the hospital or in our homes. every time you all have somebody say something about
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the illegals, you cut them off. host: my apologizes. that is not a policy here. guest: in terms of medicare. , the only thing that will be cut is the spending growth. some of the extras are like gym memberships and eyeglasses in terms of the rest of the question. guest: about buying votes. guest: it's not pretty. it happens on both sides of the aisle. sometimes this is what have you to do to get where you are
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going. it's possible some of these things will be mitigated over time. like states with special favors will be pulled back or other states will get the same treatment so it won't seem like such a blatant buy. >> i think senator nelson has done something different by come rhymizing on the question of abortion. it's a difficult question to raise the issue of abortion, politics you raise the issue
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and you can't walk away from it. the larger issue is that the cuts won't take place. the idea that somehow congress is going to become budget hawks not likely. for this congress to lob it off on somebody else is the height of the issue. >> there are so many people at the bottom end of the income scale who are not getting care because they are younger. they just don't happen to be
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old enough for medicare. medicare is a stall water. that's a problem they'll have to face. host: nashville on the democrat line. caller: good morning. the republicans plan scare tactics and are big liars, and under no circumstances do they want to support the healthcare the second comment. i keep hearing everyone speak of that 32% of americans don't want this healthcare. i have never been polled in my life.
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how can they say that i know people are not being polled. i know just like yesterday, they had to send the clerk you note bill for seven hours that was delaying the time from the democrats. it's all about breaking barack obama. they do not want him to have a victory. they want him to fail because he is a black man because they figure if he fails as a black man, there will never again be
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an opportunity for another black person to be?÷ the president of the united states. host: let's get a response from our guest. guest: i think republicans do object. they don't like this legislation. this isn't some bill where you say, i agree in principal but i have minute objections. this is a make or break question whether or not federal government is involved in healthcare is the issue. healthcare isn't something they talk about. they don't have people they can set up on healthcare and say this is our guy on healthcare in terms of a policy, they have
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lost messaging points because they haven't had people who can say this is how we think it should work. that was the first time really a republican candidate talked about healthcare. separating them from employment. it didn't work for him. he brutalized john mccain on that issue. the message to republicans. don't talk about healthcare. talk about taxes. guest: i don't think this has anything to do with president obama being a black president. to republicans, elections have consequences. people voted for this guy. he proposed this during the
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came pain. i understand why they are putting up a huge battle but they are going to lose. host: looking at some other news of the week. copenhangen. what are your impressions of what happened there. we saw the deal breaker going on at the end climate change con frention. a lot of other countries are saying not much really has moved forward. contributing money hoping emissions would stop their development to the senate which
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has yet to pass a climate change bill. there does seem to be some hope. it gets the signal to the world that we are becoming active on this. >> i think it was a perfect obama solution. a lot of talk, some artificial drama. walk away. nothing is that different. people feel better. there'sçó dpt+tñi photoñr the pressure comesñ- senate. it's not on the senate on this. you couldn't pass a cap and trade bill through this senate in 2010. 2011, we'll see what happens in
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the election. in a recession with a bad political climate, that's a non-starter. host: let's look at comments president obama made yesterday about copenhangen. >> i want to briefly mentioned comments we made yesterday. all of the world's major economy accept their action. this breakthrough lays the foundation in years to come.
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>> that's true. one there are republicans working on this. whatever happens, it's going to have people from both parties. jim webb really put a shot across the president's vote. the government will create
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another pressure point on the senate this will take years. now subject to greater except six than ever. >> i wanted to get back to the medical decision. caller: isn't it true that this is phase two? phase one happened in the american recovery investment act. signed into law that they
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intend on obtaining every person's medical records in fact that grants have already been put out for to force them on the system. the only way they can make sure of the funding is to pass. they can go through these. for obtaining these, the doctor actually said -- he's one of these harvard
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professor, said the best way to get nationalized healthcare is through medical records. his plan was first you have to get medical records and the sharing. they changed the use. meaningful use. in its on health it .g everyone v. you will see the number of boards over our medical records. now they need our insurance to force the people to live the style that they need to bring the cost down so supposedly we live healthier. it's all government run.
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>> in fact, yes. obviously, this creates a different relationship and anter action between the federal government. we are talking about one of the things thattk created such an uproar was wornte doctors would be obligated to say that people seemed emotionally unstable that they should own a gun. they have created these shock waves this is an either or
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question. >> good morning. we need to get rid of the republicans and democrats on both sides. put good citizens in there where in the constitution do they have the right to make this? why this insurance? they don't.
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this cap and tax and healthcare are both front loaded. i just saw on the news that china stated that the american dollars could fall. we owe them $2.3 trillion. they said the united states is not going to be able force these bonds. all this stuff going on is going to wake up. >> we'll leave it there. >> i would say the country elected barack obama. he's saying exactly what he said he would do. the hole is to out perform them
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pride and incentives to move in the direction of new energy a whole new energy. china is way ahead on all that. the industry is much higher than ours. the plan and the facility in illinois getting a lot of response this week i have us your impressions. one of the things the president is doing to keep a liberal base in check is the qut know issue there have been several issues
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left over. bad filings in the area. the war still fighting. 100,000 troops. the healthcare bill, they don't get government insurance option. but guantanamo, they can close and bring the prisoners to the united states. the problem for the president is that to americans, they think it's a bad idea. they think if you have these badies somewhere, keep them there. it does appeal to the left for
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the people in illinois, it's an economic development. they have this huge prison sitting there. it is isolated, secure. it already has dangerous prisoners in it. it seems like the best way of dealing with something he's going to have to deal with.xd
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it's amazing that citizens would think they are going to detour on other people's soil that we cannot keep them on ours. other countries are less than us so is that we can keep those folks from. that's my first point.ñi with regards to the copen haguing and what chris called the age of obama. the republicans are more like parents that do preventive
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spanking where as the democrats use the naughty chair. >> exactly. that's quite right. i think the president does think things take a longer time. the president is willing to engage in this long-term diplomacy. it's good to think in those terms. the premier of china doesn't face those concerns. president obama does. if his party gets a preventative spanking in 2010, he's not going to be able to act out on these long term things he talks about going
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from shok to transas gas prices go up and down this is probably good for the country. i'm not sure it is good for the. >> i'm 72 years old and i'm one of those who haveñr paid into medicare all my life and now i'm going to loose it. are you still there? >> i sure am. i'm listening to you. >> we get the first flight of that when they tried to change the mammogram thing with the younger women. why would you take that away? >> if you put in what you have
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4sqjyrññi it is all in place. by the time it gets to court to say hey, it's unconstitutional but we have all the funding in place. we have the agency set up. we are going to go back and tax it forward with public option. host: let's get açó response fr jill lawrence. guest: you are required to buy automobile insurance in those states. it might surprise people to realize that people insisting on the mandate are insurance companies they want the additional customers it's going to make it possible for them to abide by a new regulation where they won't have to exclude the
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chronic regulabáit will all be spread out among a different group of people some of whom are younger and more healthy this is an insurance company to schmidt to the regulation for 35 million, it's well worth the exchange you are not goes to loose medicare. it's a trade off. on the question of constitution nalt an enumerated power. states do require you to carry insurance. this will, however be the very first time in american history
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that we have said that the federal government thast has obligated you under penalty of law to pump a product. that's a huge change. i don't think we should under estimate the federal government acting as an insurance agent for the american health insurance agency that could come along and say you must buy this product. it is something that's never happened before. it's unlikely the courts want something in place is going to ter it down once it has gone into affect the if we were playing by strict rules, you wouldn't be able to do this. >> jill lawrence, a columnist for politics host: the next caller from florida on the republican line. caller:
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>> it has been expensive. something expensive. we should remember. estimates vary for how much medicare is in debt because the numbers are so huge. we know it is 10s of trillions of dollars that medicare is under funded. it doesn't have the money. part of the fiscal nightmare in washington.
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the baby boomers are getting ready to start turning 65. it's a fiscal storm that will make this blizzard look small scale. >> i should point out that taxpayers are paying for medicare advantage i think it was florida, pennsylvania and michigan. so those plans are not going to disappear at least right now.
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guest: yemin is sort of the back water of the peninsula. it's a neighbor to saudi that has struggled to have a functioning government. we have 47% or 47% of all detainees in guantanamo are
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solving the problem is significant one. if they really expect to close, having a functional government. >> when americans hear stories like that? >> i don't know americans think we should get involved with trying to stabilize yet another government. they are not too happeny it's a question without answer. people could revise their terrorism. not going to play well.
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we are committing new resources this. >> another caller from florida on the democrat line.r jim, are you with us? >> i'm calling about the healthcare issue and wondered why nobody every shows on any television program a clip of 1965 when the republicans were fighting this issue in the same way in medicare and just seeing the comments on people. i haven't talked to one person who doesn't like medicare. a lot of the problem is coming
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from issues like no taxation coming back from all of our exportering to china. no one takes the time to investigate any of it. scows me. there is so much time back and forth focusing on the history which couldn't redicts.
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they've been fighting the attempts on growth it's considering more than we can afford at this point. it's been noted but probably in all the noise maybe not enough or people haven't noticed it. >> the medicare cuts has been big on all of this. in 1965, republicans were opposed to it. once something becomes imbeded in the record of entitlements, it is not pried out. the reason is that democrats in talking about making medicare better is too rich a target.
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it's such a juicey plum. it's impossible for any politician to look back at it. the other thing is that when you make it part of this whole lash up where we are going to cut medicare and grow other health insurance, you are taking away from me to give to someone else. when we sold medicare in 1965. it was sold as you earned this. you worked hard and we are paying our debt to you. now it is you are just one of millions entitled to healthcare just for being alive. host: lee on the ind line. caller: thank you. i'd like to refer to your
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female guest there and remind her while you may be in most states mandated to have insurance, you are not mandated to own a car. which begs the constitution nam question again. there's no way this would pass any constitutional case in court. i am a disabled man. i am go tong medicare in march. that makes things great for me. as 209 caller before that said something about what the republicans were doing in the 1950's and 1960's concerning medicare.
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>> it's worry some that they all worried. i point out that massachusetts has a mandate to buy insurance. i'm not sure there are any challenges but so far the plan of this mandate. one of the reasons why this is so bignd complicated. you can't do one thing without doing something else. if you have insurance company abuses you want to fix, you can fix them but then you have insurance companies saying that helps sfare the risk. many people wouldn't be able to
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afford that. it then leads to how are we going to raise this money. it's one thing after another. that's why it is so big and so hard to under and why republicans are trying to do let's do one thing at a time and democrats are saying no. you could fix medicare. but, if you don't have a trade off on the other side as we have seen, if you don't have a sweetener on the other side to say we have cut medicare spending but -- keep your team together. med i care is getting a lot of benefits too. they are going toñr have preventative square and won't have to pay anything for it. the doughnut hole on pry scrippings drugs.
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the aarp like this is bill. >> the aarp is is in a very interesting situation right now. they made a big shift to back a democratic plan that i can't imagine if you were to take a poll of their members would cut the medicare spending. they would become a key lobbying group on all of this. the aarp has found itself in a comprimised position and lost a lot of members. you get the drug companies and health insurance on board. then really what you are doing is laying the wait on until you can findly get it through in
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the end. host: susan on the republican line florida. caller: i'm a senior. i'm concerned about the healthcare bill and i'm concerned with the way the congress is acting and the people who have to vote without reading the bill. i don't like it that ben nelson and the another senator from. i don't like how the two sflarts had to be bribed for their vote. we have to find the money. the last issue is the abortion issue. i have to tell you, i don't
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know what is going on with it. i am willing i am willing to go to jail. that's how i feel about it. that's how a lot of americans feel about it. this country is fired up about it. people are disgusted with washington and other parties. it's something we kind of saw in 1972 where people said we are sick and tired. we are revisiting with tremendous furor. people on the left are angry because they have not gotten everything they want from the president. that will fade over time. people who are getting engaged in this process for the first time are mad at how washington
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works. >> in terms of protests, you couldn't have found people more upset. they thought it was immoral. your money would be used for things you don't want it to be used for. >> calling us from nashville. good morning. i have three interlocking statements to make. it's a perfect gift for the disabled and long overdue.
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number two, the abortion issue is really a control from male evangelicals. they should not be able to dictate federal policy. we still do have an issue of separation of religion and state. i would encourage every american to go to google to type in transafghanistan pipeline. every dollar used is a dollar lost for healthcare. we must refuse to send our sons and daughters off to be killed to build a pipeline. we do not need to invade other countries to obtain their resources. >> well, i think that abortion
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as i said before with senator nelson, this is not an issue that invites come rhymize. it invites strong, hard feelings. i think senator nelson has taken a risk on invoking the issue and then traded away on it. senator leeberman is going to take heat. he campaigned with john mccain for president. his attitude is -- what are you going to do to me. on the question of abortion with senator nelson. this strikes me as something out of the norm to raise abortion as an issue and then drop it. that's something i think he'll probably pay a price for. >> i've been impressed with the creativity people have shown. first the opt out for the
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public option and now for theñf abortion issue. he comprimised. it's true. they strengthen the fire wall between federal money and private money on premium payments. they do everything they request to make sure no federal money is going to abortion. states are different. you can't say that the faff rite republican argument is that one size does not fit all. for this case, that's completely true. new york and california will probably never outlaw abortion or abortion coverage. to my mind, it's the best that could be done. i think it will probably peel off, it has probably divided proponents of abortion to the fact that it will get to the house where it is good enough. host: john on the ind line.
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caller: just -- the whole thing of being forced to buy insurance from a united states government. this is totally out rage youse. i was raising this issue six weeks ago. i know what you are going to do. you are going to take this bill and shove it down our throat. i was for a single payer which was never represented at the table in this discussion. $84 billion on the interest alone on the money that's being collected for premiums. this was never on the table. this is a ridiculous bill and way to solve this problem. i hope both parties get thrown out of this congress in the
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next election. i'm not voting for another democrat or representative on this. host: do you get the sense that after the holidays we still have more healthcare work to be worked on. do you have the feeling that passions on all side also slow down a little bit? ? ? v:
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guest: let's have a trigger on data and showing that premiums are still going up too much. i think there is a last stand and i think that a break at christmas will do everyone some good. guest: right, and you could tell when the speaker left for copenhagen. she was angry , she çwas mad.ñç she has marched her çpeople ofk of two cliffs, cap and trade and health care, passing unpopular bills in some districts that will jeapordize or position next year. i think she will remain as
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speaker, but will have a different caucus, but she enforced it and did a terrific job of being speaker of the house. in terms of this one year. now there are risks down the line, but she got the job done. i think she looks over pennsylvania avenue çand sayinç this is the best i can qçdo, w can deliver this to my caucus, and i believe once they get in the conference, the speaker will have her pound of flesh. host: our guests, chris stirewalt and jill lawrence for, we'll be back with ilan çrw6berman from american foreign council talking about iran. be right back.
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>> he was not an imposing figure, he was not a giant of his time. yet he emerged as a nominee at time that it was populated with large figures. >> robert merry looks at the life and times of our 11th president, tonight on c-span's "q & a." >> book tv tonight, on "afterwards" greg mortenson, interviewed ;byby congress wome
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mary mack, and coming in january, çóblogger and author, michele malkin. >> this morning on fá "communicators," dan glickman.xá >> "washington journal" continues.ñr host: our ñguest is ñrilan ber foreign policy council, thank k you for being here.i]ñ guest: thank you. host: we hear about iran,
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guest: he believed in the idea of islamic republic but not in this fashion, he was a cleric in the aftermath of a rigged election and the need for the people to have a voice in the evolution of iran's bureaucracy. so his death is a blow to the green movement, because one of
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their most senior, most powerful proponents have padded the scene and the question where they will get this now. host: the washington journal saying that mr. montazeri had involved himself in the establishments. how is information getting out there? guest: i think they knew a great deal. if you talk to iranians in iran and the west, they know intimately who is what's happening, who is up and down. part of the reason for that because the current supreme leader is a johnny-come-lately, and a lot of iranians and muslims don't believe in him. and being much more cleric, and
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they look to those clerics than the iran leader for spiritual guidance. host: our guest is ilan berman, author and co-author and contributed and edited other books. you can give us calls to join the conversation with the republicans, democrats and independents. continuing on with this story on saturday, after months of denial. iran acknowledged that three people were beaten to death we their jailers. and this was one of the most oppositioning of declare of authorities after the afghan june vote. guest: this is an example of what is happening in the regime.
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the june vote did not create the revolution but catalyzed what is happening on the iranian streets. iran is a country in the midst of a profound history of the country, half of the country is 23 or younger. they have prostitution and drug abuse that is rampant. this is not a healthy country. when iranians have no memory of who created the islamic republic. what they saw and correctly so a blat ant -- blatant rigging and they have representation of the country and the regime sees
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this as a huge threat. and that's why you have seen the regime increasingly abusive. and it looks a great deal like the ideological mass is slipping. host: let's go to our caller, doug from boston. caller: yeah, all we need to know about your guest is that he was a research associate for the jewish system of affairs and hangs with the lunatics on the committee danger. the man is identified as jew, nothing wrong with that but c-span should let us know that. two questions, what will
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happen if iran pulls out of mpt? guest: first on the comment, you are right i worked for the jewish institute of international committee affairs and i am a current member and proudly so, because i believe that the threat is profound and is not something that left or right have a premium on. in fact if i am a conservative. i have equal right to be worried about that. just as you as a liberal. with regard to the latter question, iran's entry into the mpt. the mpt has been useful for iran, they are signatory since 1970. and the mtp the way it's structured allows countries to
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come 90% of the way of having a nuclear weapon. because it allows them and incentivizes country to help them to build the infrastructure that you can use to piggyback off of, to have a nuclear weapon. civilian refined. and weapons grade is larger, and the political capital of intellectual know how comes from increasing uranium to weapons grade. and after that it's sending it through the refuge again and again. it was allowed to take a treaty that was not intended to create a nuclear weapons capability and to use it to bring them in striking distance to move forward. host: steve joins us on the republican line.
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caller: yes, i wanted to say that c-span usually keeps on the news, m֖ and the democrats are the second and third party, and there is a country called hyper theranin that is a nuclear power plant and israelis could do a raid on montabe and pick up some iran leaders and let them rule over penguins in the artic. guest: as attractive as that, the nuclear power plant idea is intriguing because it points to a larger issue. because it's false to say that the international community has attempted to address the regime prior to the obama administration. the bush administration offered
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twice to provide iran with the reactors. their goal was about the development of a sustained nuclear capability and in my estimation and others one that is offensive one. it's intended to not only generate energy but to allow iran to generate nuclear weapons if they want to. and the argument that iran is doing this for energy needs, they have the highest nuclear gas and at the head of the class of energy. this is a conversation about what this regime feels will give them prominence on the world stage. and they believe that nuclear resolves the problems at home. host: we see from forbes, you
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write that iran could learn from europe, there are signs that a new consensus is emerging in europe. guest: i wrote this piece as a follow-on to austria and europe. as americans we have a simplistic view of europe, they don't agree on much. but there is an enormous amount of movement on iran. the dutch parliality passed a bill outlawing the reigning clerical army, the dutch parliament outlawed them and asked the european union to consider a europe wide band.
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and there was legislation passed to make it illegal that iran use the shipping lines. and there is a review process of the sanctions they are likely to propose at the european level or international level in january or february. the point of the piece to point out that we are exceptionalists and that's not the case, there are momentum emerging in europe, the europeans look more serious than we do on confronting iran. the initial paragraph was obviously tongue in cheek, but it bears noting that the obama administration is on the cusp
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of a serious review of engagement of iran. it's not a secret that engagement has not met much dividends, and the question is what we do next. the thing i was trying to hammer home, what we do in the next steps we could learn a lot to look across the pond. host: we have ben on the independent line. caller: i am amazed at the state's intent of our country and how it pertains to iran. for a country to sign a treaty for international law and dictating what they can do with their nuclear resources. i don't believe that the intent is to make us saver.
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-- safer. i watch legislation in congress and it sounded like putting forth legislation for competing oil companies. what you hear is war propaganda and we are worried about them sending a nuke to america. and with iraq not being worried about them getting them. what is disgusting is that the people passing this legislation, they have to know they are not making us any favors. we are making it harder not only for the regime but for the average iranian who has to pay more for gas. i have to believe that elected representatives would sellout security for money. and that's sad, and i think that's why the people of america are getting fed up with
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politics. guest: i don't believe that the motivation behind sanctions has to do with commercial interest. but will caller brought a point, it's illegal under iran to take away the program, they are entitled to the nuclear program they are doing. but this hits upon the reason why we are worried about iran with this capability. the debate since we found out about iran and their nuclear program, it's not about us denying them, we have offered them the nuclear technology that we are required under the mtp. but we are worried about the technology, we don't trust the character of the regime. this is the world's leading state sponsored terrorism, they
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have been for the last decade and a half. and they help in places like iraq and afghanistan. the real worry is what we don't know, if they develop this capability, what will they do with it. what can we expect from a regime that presents themselves hostile to the united states. and in general what will they do once they have greater strategic reach. host: the story from the press of iran, firing missiles on attack. and iran has accelerated their program in recent years, part is to provide a technology and power and to provide services and there is great concern of the concerns in the west. guest: that's right, and this
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missile test that took place last week was the third in less than a year. and the reason it's significant is that the missile they tested, the go-2 is a solid fuel missile. the reason why that's important is that we have solid fuel missiles you can fuel and forget. you don't have to take them to the pump, this is a missile is what you need in order to build a sustainable arsenal of missiles that are ready all the time. and they can be tipped with nuclear weapons too. and this brings the question of6 a great deal of obama rationale and you can argue the politics either way, but the idea of canceling the third side of the
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czech republic was predicated on the idea that iran was not moving forward on their intercontinental missile capability. this points to the fact that iran is working heavily on their missile defense and the question is our policy keeping up with this. host: we have eric from wyoming. caller: good morning, one of bush's biggest blunders was after 9/11 and iran came and said we will help you gather al-qaeda and help get the terrorists for you. and then you had the absence of eagle, and that drew iran away from america even more. and then we live with russia and
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[inaudible] destruction policy of ours, and we are worried about iran having nuclear weapons, we could blow that country apart in minute. if we deal with russia and pakistan and korea nuclear weapons, and now going into iran. we have no fear of iran. and then you look at cheney before he became vice president and was c.e.o. of halliburton, that was doing business with iran that is against united states policy. cheney should have been arrested for going against united states policy and dealing with iran. guest: the last question that was standing, i am not one to issue arrest warrants. but i can tell you during the bush administration they called
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in halliburton subsidiaries and told them to cut this business because of that conflict of interest that you cited. when it comes to our perception of what we can do with iran, this image of deterrence, is actually a dangerous one. a former director likes to say that the soviets and irans were different, the soviets were rationale. and i don't mean to suggest this is a consolidated regime. but there are some elements and the iranian president is part of that click that actually don't seek to avoid conflict, they seek to cause conflict.
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and because of the radical nature of this regime, their ideology that is expansionist, and it's only to assume that if we have nukes and they have nukes and that everyone would be right. this is different, and we project the last conflict on the current one on our peril. host: we have sandy on the independent line. caller: thank you, and kudos to the last independent caller. i see a pattern and the people in this country need to wake up. first of all i noticed that this country never invades another country that has nuclear weapons. the country that they invade does not have nuclear weapons and what ends up happening is
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this country steals their natural resources. i am sick to death to hear this propaganda. i know what is going on, we went into iraq to steal their oil. and now we are in afghanistan building a pipeline the other side of iran's border. and i know what is going on happen, in the next months israel and the united states are going to go in there and evade iran and steal their natural resources and take control of the strait of vimudeth. i am tired of the lies and there are people in this country watching what is going on. i wonder who are the real terrorists? how do you expect a country to tell them they cannot defend themselves. when you know countries like
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this one go in and invade them and steal their natural resources, can you please answer that for me? guest: i will try, look, i think you need to be careful how you define the military option that may be put on the table. no one, and i mean no one, either in the united states or in europe or in the middle east is talking about an invasion of iran. they are two and a halftimes the size of iraq and we didn't do a good job in iraq. we are talking about the potential performance for ourselves or another country to use military force to delay iran's nuclear program. over the last 20 years they have built a large, resilient nuclear program. so the most realistical is not to get rid of their program, it's simply a delay of it.
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what needs to be pointed out is that there is something fundamental happening in iran. and we, the united states is very concerned about the intersection of that green movement and the nuclear program. let's be clear, the road to a nuclear iran and a democratic iran lead in opposite directions. the more they feel free for less intervention of the outside. this is like the model that japan followed in 1989. and what you see on the street bears this out. the closer they get to a nuclear ability, the less oppressive they become. we should pay as much attention to what is happening on the iranian street as the nuclear program. what is happening on the street
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will dictate what the country looks like over the next years. host: let's look at an article from the wall street journal, at the height of iran's arrest, a young doctor refused to sign death certificates at an iran prison that were falsified to cover up murder. he told friends and families that he feared hear his life and then found dead. do you know about this story, and the piece talks about how the controversy of what happened to him is turning him into a martyr. guest: that's right, the story is touching but it's more significant for what it signifies. on the one hand you have iranians and young ones, and he's on the younger end of
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middle age that is looking at what the regime is doing, we can't sit along and be silent. and on the other hand what you see what happens to them that the regime is brutal and willing to throw their military muscle around and to demonstrate to the people that it's not going anywhere. when you see signs like this and see the ideological outliers crop up on the street, and the regime being forced to brutal methods, it's a sign that the regime is tipping and not in the people's favor. host: how does this filter to the people outside of iran? how is information spreading in the country? guest: iran is a remarkably
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sophisticated country when it comes to communications. they are the most wired country in the middle east. the projection by the end of 2011, iran will have 35% internet penetration, that's head's above of most countries around them. what is happening in iran is profound. you have a communications revolution that is being used now by an ideological revolution. the protest that emerged after june 12 was on twitter and other media, they were so powerful because iran has the secondest largest blogging sphere outside of china. this is important for the community for them to listen to and for the west and western
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media to listen to. they may not be able to provide you with primary source information but with secondary source of what is happening in iran. we need to be more savvy what happening on the iranian streets because that will tell us which direction this internal protest is going. and we have the ability to do that. host: sean is on the republican line from louisiana. caller: yes, ma'am, i have a statement for mr. berman and a question. i would like to comment on a earlyn early statement, i totally agree and i would like to see a democratic iran and how long do you think that will take? and will we wait for these radicals to strike and how will that play on our troops stuck in iraq? guest: the way i see the
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situation in iran, there are two clocks ticking. the nuclear clock that is ticking until they have a nuclear ability is ticking fast. and the democracy clock that is ticking down to a grassroots formation within iran is ticking slowly. although much faster in the last six months than before. the promise of any serious strategy starts with slowing down the first clock and speeding up the next clock. if iran acquires nuclear ability it depends on who has their finger on the trigger. and will we wait on the options and timelines as we worry about the iranians and their threats and that capability. i am not someone that believes that the moment that iran goes
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nuclear they will use it. in the run up to the iraq war, six years ago, there was only one declared nuclear aspirant in the gulf, only one country and it was iran. and today there are 14 countries including jordan and egypt and iraq, etc. you are seeing a dangerous domino effect happening, as iran emerges to a nuclear power, everyone else is scrambling for a counter weight. a lot of countries are doing this because they are worried about what an iranian bomb means for them and they are looking for a capability to deny it or counterbalance it.
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our challenge is huge, not to just have a robust policy to persuade iranians but to dissuade iran and everyone else behind them, that this is not in their interests and the costs far outweight the benefits. host: georgia, we have ronald on the democratic line. caller: hi, good morning, thank you for taking my call. i think the most credible part of information based on iran's nuclear program is based on iaea. and my understanding is that they looked at all the information and they have no evidence at all that iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons. and i think that the lesson from the last administration that we need to make our decisions based on evidence and not on fear.
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and so the question i would ask your guest, do you have -- i listened to what you have said this morning and you have not given any evidence at all that iran is actively seeking a nuclear weapons program. they have a nuclear capability. so my question is what information do you have that the iaea does not? guest: it's not information that i have that the iaea does not, they are clear that iran is not in compliance of international law. they are increasing uranium yet they are supposed to stop. and there is evidence at the iaea and it's important to pay attention to the other
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information. for example the documents that surfaced in london about iran working on uranium triggers that can only be used for a military application. and there is circumstantial evidence and most of their facilities are located for nuclear interests. and they have interest in nuclear warhead designs, that's for a military program. and the list goes on. and we talked about missiles, iran is working heavily on missiles that have the capacity to carry non-weapon payload. and the point here is that it's very rare in all things that you find a smoking gun. that you see an ayatollah
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sitting on a nuclear warhead and says this is what we are doing. but the preponderance of the evidence is on this program, being a program that is energy and weapons related. host: let's go to los angeles where we have anthony on the independent line. caller: good morning, mr. berman, some of us clearly understand the implications that the masad is really a team that has been in iraq and now in pakistan. it's working with the c.i. a. with fatad against hamas, and the list goes on. and it's on the internet that
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israel and apac is in fact targeting iran and trying to do what we did to iraq. so this is -- and the israeli masad is pointed to what some of us believe, it's on the internet that they were involved with 9/11 as well. is continually our tax dollars paying for israel's existence over us? guest: well, let's be clear, i don't think that the mainstream opinion that any intelligence service of an allied country was involved in 9/11, not the masad or the c.i. a. but the larger problem and discomfort that the caller and others feel is that we don't quite know what will happen. and the longer this conflict
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plays out the more likely israel will feel compelled to act in its own self-interest. and the question is what are they likely to do? and it's useful to point out for israel iran is not a side show, iran is a country that has pledged to wipe israel off the map. when you have rhetoric like that coming from a hostile country, it focuses your attention. our challenge as americans is to figure out what our policy should be, and it has to be robust enough that allies like israel are convinced that we can confront a threat that we and they feel. otherwise they may make other plans. host: ilan berman thank you for being with us, author and vice president of american foreign
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policy council. we will be right back and take more of your calls for the rest of the hour. >> he was not an imposing figure, he was not a giant of his time. yet he emerged as the nominee at the time when the party was populated with big figures. >> his mark on history includes manifest destiny, robert merry looks at the life and times of our 11th president, tonight on c-span's "q & a." >> book tv tonight, on "afterwards" greg mortenson on his book, stones and schools. and coming in january, blogger and fox news contributor
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michelle malkin. >> on communicators, dan glickman. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our question for you for the rest of the hour, will copenhagen make a difference? we are talking about the u.n. climate watch that took place and president obama's role this. we will take your calls at the republican, democrats and independents line. we are also online, twitter, and you can e-mail us at
9:42 am maybe you can speak about copenhagen or other aspects or other ways to weigh in on that. looking at the "new york times," the story seen results as flawed but important step. the united nations climate talks converged to take deal making and it was a attemptn attempt than binding pledge, many said it was flawed but essential step forward. jumping down, many delegates left copenhagen in a soured mood, because it lacked so many
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elements, including firm targets and a deadline. leaving many provisions uncertain. let's go to our first call, fred , from portland, oregon. what do you think? caller: i think something needs to be done right away, if the arctics melt and will turn the polar into another region, whether that's normal or eroded by pollution, i don't know. host: fred, do you think that the work done at copenhagen over the past weeks will make a difference? caller: not the way they are going about it. no one is actually making any real effort to change things.
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it's all circumstance, it's like sell me your carbon and i will give you a free reign to smoke it up. it's -- can i say one more thing? host: go right ahead. caller: ok, after 9/11 if we had the sympathy of the world, why did we turn into a monster? host: ok moving to reed, republican line. caller: good morning c-span, i wanted to say that if america anyhow exactly what was going on there and put it all in context, we would run. everyone would run. i got three different links from people in e-mail over the last day and it showed the demonstrations holistically,
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our media shows trying to maintain law and order, what our media did not so -- show but to pan back and show 18 different communist movements, i am talking about red flags and the words communism and the word capitalism is bad. and this is a green movement, it's like a water melon, green on the outside and red on the inside. like the gentleman that called before me, we don't know what going on. how can this president go over there and put people's liberties and futures at jeopardy for an emotional argument. the science is not in on it, and that which is in is a history of cheats. thank you
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>> host: let's go to the washington post, hope and funding for saving forests around the world. it's unlikely to halt the proliferation of projects around the world. the burning of forests in africa and southeast asia accounts for 15% of global greenhouse gases each year. and saying that officials from visiting countries backed the idea of creating financial incentives for leaving standing trees that are in this line. next caller. caller: thank you c-span, i was listening to the conversation on global warming, and i want to make one comment on that.
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and whether or not it's necessarily linear. and global change goes through flux, sometimes hot and sometimes cold. but i wanted to respond to a comment made by an earlier independent caller about america trying to -- going to war to take natural resources. if they did a little research, when iraq put the contracts out to bid, it was primarily chinese and russian countries that staffed up some of the bid in -- bids in the contracts and the united states pretty much stayed out of that. we tend to want to bring democracy to these countries so they can be free people with free markets. and the fact that the iranian
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regime has stated that it feels that israel should be wiped off the map, is evidence enough they plan to weaponize their nuclear program. host: lets get back to the copenhagen summit, and this author writes that working out global details and how a global system would work and two key measures of emissions cut and how much rich nations would give to finance it are tied to broader questions that were not resolved. next caller, david from mississippi. caller: good morning. what i wanted to say was
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woodrow wilson he started all of this u.n. movement and it's really to enslave the people of the world through global government. and this is the only time in history that we are able to do this. and all the people that don't understand global warming is part of enslavement that will take place with the 14th amendment and other enslavement tools. don't think that copenhagen is done, this whole country will fall, and there are all kinds of guidelines of copenhagen, we will all be into this thing and who knows if we will be riding a mule up and down the highway. but the green peace people are the biggest cause of the world's problems and if the people don't know it, we will fall into slavery and probably there but don't realize it.
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host: we will go to jan. caller: hi, thank you to c-span for letting us voice our opinions. about the copenhagen thing, i think it's very important for people to pay attention. and i think we should try to pass some kind -- i don't know, do something where the american people get to see what our country is getting us into it. to see the copies of the treaties, we need to see copies of these things that our leaders in washington are trying to get us into. the copenhagen treaty has a tax in it for all in the world. someone from [inaudible] he got a copy of the treaty, he went to copenhagen and got a copy of it, this is a world government,
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i agree with the previous caller. they are trying to implement a world tax on every financial transaction that happens. and we have to stand up and start paying attention and make our leaders, the american people who pay for this, see copies of what they are signing. host: looking at the political coverage this weekend to review what happened when president obama was in copenhagen, with the agreements reached and it was so big and that president obama is not required -- is not sure if he is required to sign it. saying that i don't know what the protocols are. we have edward, good morning. caller: good morning c-span. i can't hear you --
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host: we are waiting for you. caller: with respect to copenhagen -- can you hear me? host: we can. caller: ok, i think everything has to start some place. clearly global warming is taking place. it can be absolutely proven in a high school science laboratory that co 2 traps heat. we know that the co 2 in our atmosphere is constantly getting greater that traps heat. and if we don't do anything about it, we will eventually melt all the ice on the earth that will cause significant weather changes. host: edward, do you think what happened at copenhagen in the past two weeks work towards your concerns?
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caller: i think at least all the countries got together. of course every country works toward their own self-interest. it's just like everyone in the united states is concerned about their own self-interest, wall street is concerned about their self-interest. finance companies are concerned about their self-interest. the racist states in the united states are concerned about their self-interest. everyone works -- everyone's concern is always in their own self-interest. hoor -- host: you are looking an at picture of the world leaders involved at copenhagen, and barack obama and the world leaders working on brokering a deal late last week.
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a story in the washington post today, talks resulted in an imperfect deal if it provided anything, a glimpse into a new world order of the united states and other powers notably china. the talks boil down to the u.s. and chinese premier hammering out a pact that both could live with. our next caller, george from mississippi. caller: hi, i would like to make two statements in answer to your question about the copenhagen conference. it will not have any effect because there was nothing signed and any agreement that is not signed does not have the power to back up anything. and one other statement i would
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btokççstates ç has four enemies, iran, north ç korea, çórussia and china. the first three d8can and will attack ççc8c'the united st because we are completely weakened.çç a big mistake going the last day of ççthe meeting xdand okbargç conference t(between china and three other nations. they got mad at him, china is our biggest predator, we are more to china than anyone else. and because of that slap in the face, china can immediately call for repayment of all of our loans or çokthey x@çcan st lending us money, and then the united states is completely gone. the u.s. does not have the respect çokthat it had previou. obama thought he had power and
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could walk in, çand walk in at the çlast and save everyone w3 the knight in shining armor.ç but we do not çhave that powerç anymore. no, copenhagen is not going to make any difference because there are no ;çteeth çto anyt. host: let's go i]to a piece in ç the washington post, it çqsaysr that the deal mayç show how world ççn3trade and proliferat will be negotiated in the çyea ahead with china on one side and united states on the other.( it will be a new nuclear world, saying jake schmidt that w3comi into this conference was 193 countries çóand coming down it was to the leaders of the two
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superpowers. we have aaron on the independent line.i] caller:pdhi, good morning.ç i wanted to firstç u7ççóstate disinformation çfrom the previous caller about the president barging in. the president and his staff were told it 7owas too late ç meet with qother industrialized nations, that they were at the airport and he understand he was meeting with çone of theç countries, and when he showed up and walked in the room and there çwere those countries t were set to leave. the audacity of these countries to hide in secrecy and lie to the united states about the%]
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location just shows really çóth amount of -- the amount they have invested into the talks about xdclimate change. and i would like to thank one ok caller çearlm) vçoo3that ççç about this being an attempt to enslave the american people.ok i okthink without comedy like that politics would get boring. i would like to thank the gentleman that put fáin sarah palins that entertain us in the political world.çó host: qwe okçhave caller, joe.ç caller: ñrthis çis interestingç our coureññri w3ñ3%qçfeel isç approached by ?ndçthe great unç th0only way çi feel çwe will come out of this is ,gthat we facts, which çxdis çw3somethi3 need to have.w3ç
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ifxdçówe are going to be united we are tugged in so many different directions çand that will make us çça xdweak counç when this xdççççóunknown t( half of çus will be unaware of how to respond.ç i think t(our government çneed% really çót(give the v:american the chance to know what they ç are t(looking at. host: thanks çfor all of your !çknrççóxdourse of ç that's it okñrfor oçj.zárr'gto journal" today.qçw3çççç tomorrow we havezvçççi]çñr group ççefforts to #oçdiscur much /7]money they spend on political activities. and hear from t(john della-volp talking about a new poll çñr towards politics.ç


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