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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 25, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EST

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growth of islamic growth -- radicalism growth in the u.s. after that, stacey paul more from of the chronicle of philanthropy looks at charitable giving in the u.s. and whether or not the recession is having an effect on the amounts people are giving this holiday season. "washington journal" is next. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: welcome to "washington journal" this friday, november 25. here is our question -- if congress did nothing on the deficit in the coming year and let $7 and trillion g7 dollars trillion in tax cuts and programs expire would that be better in your opinion then some sort of bipartisan deal? you can call us with your thoughts --
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we will get to your thoughts in just a minute. let me show you what is up and head in congressional legislation. they have to deal with $49 billion in jobless benefits extension, $175 billion in one- year social security payroll holiday extension -- so, if congress did not address any of these issues and let them expire, including the bush tax cuts, would that be better for the economy? that is what "the washington times" reports about today and cites some people who say it
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could be better.
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what do you think? this means money out of your pocket, of course, because the payroll tax cut would not be extended and 1-year jobless benefits would not be extended. democrat from lakeland, florida. caller: good morning, c-span, and happy buy nothing day. i do not know why we could not have a etch a sketch say where we take everything to 0 every year and just all over. we adjust printing the money. host: christopher, a republican is next. caller: i think no budget deal is better for the economy because if they let it go, maybe we can get something done. yes, i totally agree. thank you. host: we lost him. we will go to jim, independent
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in dorm, north carolina -- durham. caller: i think the bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be eliminated. i think they should stay on for the lower and middle class. i think that we need to reach some sort of compromise, and medicare and social security need to be on the table. i think we need to come up with some solutions that are going to be best for the country, and that means probably getting out of that debt -- afghanistan and iraq fully. i think we are not going to achieve our objectives there and i think these countries are going to go the way we go whether we stay there for six months or 60 years. host: it sounds like in your opinion you don't think congress doing nothing and letting these spending cuts go into place and
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tax cuts expire -- $7 trillion. you don't think that is a good idea? caller: no, i don't. i think most economists think we need to stimulate the economy. and taking that amount of money, -- taking that amount of money from the people's power to spend i think is going in the wrong direction. at the same time, most economists are frightened if the massive transfer of wealth from the lower and middle class to the 1%-ers. one thing i think appeals -- it to the occupy wall street movement. host: of the money from the payroll tax relief? caller: actually, i have been laid off twice since it happened so every cent that and taken
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goes out for expenses. host: ok, all right. here is the issue for payroll tax cuts. "the financial times" says a battle resumes over it.
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it could, as some sort of deal to offset the cost of those payroll tax cut. but as we told you earlier, "the
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washington times" says no budget deal just might be a better deal for the economy. we want to get your take. a democrat in massachusetts. what do you think? should congress do nothing? caller: i am in favor of letting the tax cuts expire. the congressional ballet they have been playing the last couple of years is leading right down this track. this way, the republicans can blame the democrats can't the democrats can blame the republicans -- this is america. everybody should be willing to pay more taxes in order to maintain our very high standard of living. host: "the washington times" points out that the biggest chunk of the expired provisions would be the bush tax cuts, which would add $4 trillion to
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deficit reduction. if you just extend it for middle-class americans are those making less than $250,000, that would mean about $1 trillion in the -- that would mean that you would add almost $3 trillion to the deficit, it would only mean a savings of about $1 trillion. do you have thoughts on that? i think we lost him. cedar lake, indiana. caller: you know what we need to do with this debt deal? leavitt swinging so high no one would find it for days -- leave it. know what i am saying? host: also starting in 2013, $1 trillion in the defense the discretionary programs. mr. obama has promised to veto attempts by some in congress to try to roll down the mandated cuts.
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jerry, democrat from dearborn, michigan -- caller: i think all of these tax cuts should be allowed to expire. we should get to the point where we are taking and $7 trillion, which would help us bring close to balancing the budget and bringing us up to -- we really have not a spending problem but
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a revenue problem and we should bring our revenue much closer to what it has been in the past, especially under reagan and under clinton. host: the congressional budget office says it is at 16% of gdp right now. if you let everything expire, it would be closer to about 21%. caller: we should be up to about 24% to bring us into a balanced area. host: what about spending cuts? caller: i think spending cuts are ridiculous because we don't need them, in truth. if we let our revenue raised to 24% or 25%, all of those problems with the way. host: what about the argument that if you give the government more money in revenue, they will just end up spending it rather than putting it toward our deficit reduction and that? >> , deficit reduction and that will take care of itself if we bring our revenue problem up to
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the correct level, and it has not been in the correct level for quite some time. certainly not under bush. we did not pay for our wars and we have not paid for our drug part d. all of these things have been non-funded and now we should fund them correctly. host: "the washington times" saying if you let the tax cuts expire and allow the spending cuts to go through, talking about $7 trillion to reduce the gap between what our government brings in in revenue and what we spend. but we still have to do with our debt. here is with a real clicking away of the debt. texas, go ahead. caller: good morning. take what questions -- two quick
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questions. i love your show. but the first thing i would like to say is i think that people would be willing to accept any kind of cuts. i know i would. but when you see shows like what they show on "60 minutes" where politicians are making deals behind closed doors and betting on the people, which is what they are doing with the health care law or what ever, they get behind closed doors and they make money off of this stuff and people see that and they don't trust politicians. i think republicans, democrats, whatever, would love to do anything that is going to help the country. but first, you have to get the thieves out of the white house. one quick point. i lived in texas 30 years. it is a good state. i like it. for a black man in taxes -- texas. i liked barack obama when he first came out, all that he said he was going to do, but he kind
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of let me down when he donated all this money to these banks which committed fraud to all of these people. my last thing is, as far as i am concerned, i am voting for ron paul. host: here is a tweet from robert, who has this to say. canton, ohio. jeff is a republican. caller: good morning. good to see you this morning. thank you for c-span. i am just calling. i kind of agree with the last caller. there was a lot of high hopes for mr. obama when he went into office, but i think a lot of people realize that socialism basically is not what the people in this country wants, and that is basically what they are trying to do, in my opinion, get the government to pay for a lot of the other things. and i don't feel that that is
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the mood of the country at this point. host: what about our question then? caller: well, the economy seems to be doing all right in a lot of ways, i think. that what the super committee was trying to do would have been a great thing. at some point we are going to have two real things in and stop spending. i disagree with the caller before the last one who said we really do not need to cut any spending. he feels just increasing revenue. i feel that is definitely wrong. i think there is a lot of wasteful spending out there. i don't make a lot of money, but i do feel that maybe they should look at raising taxes a little bit on the very wealthiest at least, maybe not people who make $250,000, but people who are making a million dollars a year or more, what is 1% more. i think that would help. host: what about the entitlement
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programs like medicare? our guest yesterday was saying you have to do something about medicare and these entitlement programs. you cannot raise enough revenue to address the growing costs of healthcare and the baby boomers retire requests and more caller: -- retiring? . caller: i agree -- i have not been able to work for the last year and a half. by a lawyer would love to have me back but i am physically not able anymore -- my employer would love to have me back but i am physically not able. there are many my age who worked physical jobs for 25 or 30 years, they are wearing out and you sort of have to take care of them. i kind of agree with probably going to have to raise the minimum level -- or the minimum age at which someone can collect regular retirement and maybe
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start taking a little more money out of those who are maybe 20 years out. i do not think it would be fair to do it to 40-year olds or maybe upper-30-year olds. host: or raise the retirement age in little bit? caller: as well. host: on medicare, here is "the new york times" this morning.
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washington, d.c., you are next. caller: i have more of a political perspective on the economics. just on an aside, to start with a sense of humor, i know i need a bath generally that last a while before and employment in the view but i am thinking these. to people on the street and i think they are doing their job without having to take a bath. i feel like newt gingrich has taken a lot of us already for a bath. $30,000 a month for however many years from freddie mac. if that is not lobbying, i and ready to kiss somebody's backside. host: we will leave it there. speaking of newt gingrich, a lot
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in the papers about his comments at the last debate on immigration here is "the wall street journal." and then "the washington post" and "the wall street journal" weighs in with their opinions. "the washington post" saying -- and then "the wall street journal" offending mr. gingrich -- defending mr. gingrich. saying and that what mr. gingrich has laid out is even too severe for them but at least it is tethered to the national
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world. that is "the wall street journal" opinion on that issue this morning. some more headlines as we continue to take your phone calls this morning. is no budget deal better for the economy? what is your take? john, independent from pennsylvania. caller: i seem to be in the minority, but i am definitely against letting those expire. the common sense reasons for that -- and i don't understand
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why more americans don't understand it -- is the last place that we want to hand money to is the federal government. history and the facts have shown time and time again that they are the most inefficient managers of money in the world, and we don't need that kind of ways. host: "the washington times" article says not only letting the tax cuts expire but also going through with the spending cuts, including the $1.20 trillion in the sequestration. spending cuts and letting the tax cuts expire. is that ok? caller: no, not. the spending cuts are necessary. the person is said we do not have a spending problem, i do not know what planet he lives on. preposterous. the one, i have is that we need to recreate the middle class in this country.
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there needs to be an opportunity for people to make a living wage. rather than giving the money to the federal government to wait, i would rather see it directed to the private sector to create jobs and rebuild the middle- class. we can't survive without it. lastly, a lot of these entitlement programs -- i am a big fan of workfare kind of environment, if you are going to receive federal benefits like housing, food stamps, that anybody who is able body -- we have plenty of money in this country to take care of the truly needy but the waste and fraud going on in these programs, if we insist that these people spend $40 a week visiting nursing homes, cleaning up parks, to get their entitlement or they benefit, you would see them drop off the government rolls into the private sector very quickly, and that would create additional taxation. host: jim has this tweet.
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san antonio, texas. john, republican. caller: how are you doing today? , don't think too many people especially those in congress, understand much about money, as many have said. is no budget deal better? i do not think anybody understands it. there are no cuts in anything hartley, it is cuts in the growth, ok? if you want to cut them, stop cutting the programs have had on the books the last 40 or 50 years. cut the whole thing entirely. and then look at trying to reduce the pay of government employees. whenever you have a company that pays their workers more money than you bring in, surely you've got to go bankrupt or shrek -- find something else to do with your business. right now government employees are making two or three times
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more than those who pay their wages and in taxes. every time the government hire somebody they have to create a tax to pay them. host: those are john's thought, republican from san antonio. more headlines for you. the front page of "the new york times" -- also this morning with foreign affairs knows, here is "the washington post."
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and then the front page of "the washington post" this morning says -- and then, on a light turnover, a
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picture that made the front page of many papers this morning. there braille giffords helping serve returning members and retirees in her hometown of tucson -- gabrielle giffords. tulsa, oklahoma. andy, republican. go ahead. caller: i am calling about the bipartisan super committee that worked so hard to present a budget and then congress voted it down and there were some congressmen that did not even vote, and it always bothers me. but i am just so disappointed that it did not go through i. i don't know what our elected officials are thinking when they take their time to vote and they
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don't vote, and i am very disappointed in my fellow republicans that did not vote for this bipartisan super committee recommendation, which i thought was a very good program. and this is just my way of voicing my opinion, and that is all i have to say. thank you so much for taking my call. host: as you said, the so-called super committee, the deficit reduction committee, missed its deadline of november 23 to come up with some sort of deal on the deficit. what happens next, according to "the wall street journal" --
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julie in california -- california, dynamic, democratic caller. caller: good morning to you and have a post-thanksgiving to you. the answer is, no, it is not good.
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if they expire, the payroll tax is going to cause -- you know, the, and middle-class working person will have less in its hands to buy groceries, pay for their mortgage, or even small, personal items in their family -- gas. everything is at a standstill across this country because of the banks have actually literally just tie up their doors. and president clinton has stated in numerous times on television and on his global initiative aat there aren't $3 billion -- there are $3 billion accessible and banks and are not lending to anyone. they are at a standstill. with the recession and the european crisis in egypt, in syria, libya.
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president obama went to both of these meetings, one near indonesia, and then also apec and did not come out with any deals but he has signed a bill into law for the veterans and the military getting out of service, for these businesses to get tax write-offs and deductions when they hire somebody coming out of the military. host: diane, let me jump in. for the payroll tax, president obama reduced it from congress as well as president obama. president obama now wants to extend that tax cut through 2013 and lower it to 3.1%. how would you use this extra
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money in your pocket? caller: i would use it to pay for groceries, gasoline. here in california we are up to $3.81 for unleaded, and of course it goes increasingly. we are constantly taxed left to right. refineries closing down somewhere, which is nonsense. i would use it that way. of the other thing i wanted to mention. i hear all of these accusations about the super committee, that nobody knows what is going on. this is a bunch of nonsense. the republicans take a flying hike to stop america. this is a wake-up call to karl rove or anyone else working to fight against this president. number one is, the super committee, i have watched c-span religiously, and they broadcast. i saw patty murray, i saw mccain, john kyl, and it was
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very transparent. clit accusing people of things. and this is like a real me society. like the man in texas. obama offended me. so sorry, sir. host: diane, gotta go because we have to get more voices in. here is another tweet -- "the washington times" reports that if congress tries to extend the budget busters, the payroll tax extension, an unemployment benefits, without offsetting their costs, wall street analysts say they would almost certainly be punished with further downgrades of the nation's credit rating and consider will -- considerable market turmoil. standard and poor's corp. downgraded the u.s. by a notch this summer --
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lyle, an independent. your thoughts. caller: definitely most of the bush tax cuts should expiry. not only that, back in the 1990's and in the 2000 era, a lot of the companies started paying incentive bonuses. they paid these in the form of stock options. of course, when things were going well, the employees ride these stock options up to ridiculous amounts and cash -- cash them in and they pay a lousy 15% tax on that money when they should be paying whatever the total compensation package calls for. as far as jobs go, all you have to do is study the situation of boeing corp. that not only gave
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away johnson this country for no reason at all just to get an order for 20 aircraft and then after that japan airline went bankrupt. the national labor relations board now is opposing boeing opening this assembly plant in the, i believe it is south carolina, and what i say is where was the national labor relations board and where were the unions when the boeing was exporting all of these jobs. host: i will leave it there. other headlines -- shh "chicago to be an" front- page -- "the chicago tribune)
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front page. the front page of "usa today" this morning has this story -- colleges use aid to court students. and then "the financial times" this morning has this story.
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that is the front page of "the financial times" this morning. duane, a republican. caller: it sort of bothers me, i guess, when some of people and for congress has done nothing in relation to the budget. the republican-controlled house passed a budget in april and the democratic controlled senate has done nothing on it. the house has already also passed 20 or 22 job-related bills that have been sent to the senate, and they have done nothing. and it bothers me that you keep
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inferring that congress only has a 9% approval rating. it seems to me that the republican house would have a much higher approval rating if you would let people know how many bills and how much action they have taken. host: next is a amanda, democratic caller from little rock. caller: i just wanted to say about every time -- every time -- every time a the -- every time the rich people and republicans mess with the economy they all read -- always want to put grandma on the cat food diet. why don't you all never want to cut the oil people, they get these checks and stuff and these rich people in the mansions, why
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don't you all ever want to cut that? but they want to put the middle- class pay for the mistakes of the rich conservatives, because i haven't seen not one republican president has balanced the budget not once. they always run up debts. and i would not trust a conservative republican if jesus and god were on each side. host: independent from hanover, pennsylvania. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to say in regard to do it -- to the current tax laws in place and talking about the bush cuts that they are talking about right now, is if we don't approve that and continue that, we would just be going in reverse. it has been proven and basically
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demonstrated for the past 15 years what the current tax laws have done to our economy. and it is time for a change. i am a big plan of the simpson- bowles program, two billion people who dedicate a lot of time, and they should take far more interest in what they have come up with. i have three things to say. what i am very concerned about in this day and age is, we have so-called elected officials, congressmen and republicans, who vote for their own income raises. paying freshmen on the floor $180,000 a year, to the work about four months a year. we the people have no say in that. these people are not held accountable to even receive that kind of pay, demonstrating over and over they cannot do the job. i think that is one area that should be slashed in half.
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host: want to let you know our "contenders" series continues tonight at 8:00 p.m. george wallace ran for president four times and lost, one of those cut short by an assassination attempt. from montgomery, alabama, live at 8:00 p.m. for a washington, maryland. cedric, republican bill caller: good morning, c-span. i am going to put some information out there. i think a lot of the callers are very uninformed, especially about the economic crisis and the money and banking. if you would invite ellen brown who has written a book called "web of debt" that explains in this system the united states
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and the rest of the world uses, it would go a lot to help us understand why we are in this crisis economically due to a lot of activity by bankers, worldwide, central private banking, how the system is skewed. or you could even in by professor michael hudson or professor william black from the university of missouri. these people have information that a lot of c-span callers are not in tune into. host: byrd, democrat from ohio. -- bertha, democrat. caller: kasich is here in our government and they are both growing us down so far, privatizing everything. and we have a white pride here, making sure everybody stays white. the tea party people --
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host: leroy, republican from texas. no budget deal better for the economy? caller: the budget deal? yes, i agree with that. i am one of the 10% that pays 70% of the taxes. the bush tax cuts of course cut taxes of the bottom end as well as the top end. what is it, 50% of the working people don't even pay income taxes. i, quite willing to have my taxes raised, even though i am part of the group that pays a 70% of all income taxes, but i would also like to see a 2% sales tax coming in so those people who vote democrat, asked
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for more government aid, at least are paying for some of it. and also, an underground economy in this country is in the trillions of dollars and a 2% sales tax would get some money from them. host: we would have to leave it there, the final word on whether or not know budget deal is better for the economy. we would take a short break. when we come back, we will talk about black friday, cyber monday, all of those and what they do for our economy. but first, of c-span2 book tv, we will feature birmingham, alabama. here is the democratic mayor william bell sr., talking about how the history has shaped the city today. >> birmingham was sort of the last stand of the segregated south. almost 50 years ago we were
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caught up in civil strife among people who were trying to overcome the jim crow laws that existed in our community. there were some who thought we could never overcome that stigma in our society. it was marked with bombings, lynchings, just social conflict. but out of all of that, came a desire and a will of the people to really put that behind us. and it took us some time to come to grips with our past, but we are very proud of the fact that men and women of good will banded together to overcome all of those obstacles. because of that last stand, so to say, birmingham itself was one of the last southern cities to really get its act together so we could become the great new southern city in the community. we have overcome all of these things now and we are ready to take a right place in the sunshine of the sunbelt to move the entire region forward.
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we have between 220,000 to 240,000 made up of all races. back in the 1960's if you were to ask who lived in birmingham they would have broken down black and white and now we have asians, hispanics, africans. we have people from all over the world live and work right here in our community. because of that, they bring their cultures, they bring their heritage, and it is starting to formulate a blend of cultures. we have great restaurants. you can find some of the best restaurants in the country here and many people do not know that. >> this past july 4 in a ceremony aboard the uss constitution, simon winchester, author, became an american citizen. >> so, i decided that i would take all the necessary steps of the exam, because there is a 10-
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question exam. i confess, i got one of the question is wrong. >> which one? >> i had an australian friend who is also up for citizenship and i rang her and i said, kiley, i got one of the questions wrong. not the one about what color is the white house. no, that it is one that i got. i might feel a full confessing it, but it is, what is the national anthem. i blurted out "america the beautiful," and the immigration officer said in my view, it should be, but it is not. >> offer of his 21 books, his latest "the atlanta" is in paperback. what to the entire interview sunday night on c-span2 -- c- span's "q&a." >> the new web site has 11 video choices, making it easier for you to watch today's event live and recorded, and also easier to get our schedule, with a new features like a three-network layout so you can quickly scroll
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through the program schedule on the c-span networks and even received an e-mail alert when your program is scheduled to air. there is a section to access the most popular series of programs like "washington journal" "book -- and you can quickly find work to watch on cable and satellite systems at the all new >> in the name of the greatest people that have ever tried this earth, i draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and i say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever. >> for most of his life, george wallace was an ardent supporter of segregation, outspoken against the civil rights movement. the four-term governor of alabama ran for president four times and lost. one of the efforts cut short by an assassination attempt.
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this week on "the contenders," george wallace from montgomery, alabama, live tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with ylan mui from "the washington post" to talk about consumer confidence and holiday spending. the national retail federation has this chart, the percentage of people plan to shark -- shot a black friday did you see it going up in 2011 from 2010 and from 2009. it has continued to go up since 2008. what do black friday weekend, cyber monday, what does it do for the overall economy? guest: the holiday season is very important because consumers account for 70% of total gdp in one way or another. so, a holiday season but the biggest time for consumer spending, and therefore it is really important for the economy. mastercard estimating that this weekend will top $20 billion in
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retail sales. that could be a big boost to the economy and certainly big numbers we are seeing for the holiday season. host: consumer confidence in november 2011, it rose to 64%, the highest since june, and 60.9% was the number in october. what does that say heading into the holiday shopping season? guest: a little bit of mixed messages. the 64 number for the index is a little better than it has been but certainly -- it is still sort of a depressed number overall. what we are finding is consumers are sort of cautious, but that they are waiting for the other shoe to drop in the economy. they have seen things not appreciably worse, but we are waiting to see what happens with the super committee, the payroll tax, unemployment benefits. on the one hand we are being
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sort of cautious but on the other hand we are managing to eke out gains in sales, retail sales increase in the past 16 months in a row. people are still spending money but in the back of the mind they are thinking we need to hold on to a little savings in case something goes wrong. host: according to the national retail federation, this is what consumers are planning to spend. what types of this -- give spared consumers planning to buy this season? the red is 2011. food and candy, a little more than 30%. personal care and beauty, between 20-1/3. a gift cards and six tickets, only -- almost 60%. the big-ticket items, books, c. d.'s, video, video games, toys, clothing and or accessories. consumer electronics, consumer- related, kind of a low number, 30% to 40%. what do you make? guest: there are some blockbuster items. certainly people were lining
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outside of best buy this morning for $200.42-inch flat screen tv but at the same time you are seeing gift cards. there are a number of items that have become increasingly popular. host: what does it mean that people by -- what sort of items are today, have they been buying leading up to the holiday season, versus what they would buy if we were not just coming out of recession? guest: i think what you are seeing is folks are buying more with a plan. we had many reporters out in the wee hours of the morning talking to folks who were in line waiting for those blockbuster items. and they've got a strategy. they are not out there just looking to browse. they are out there with a plan, with a budget, and also making sure that they are not going to break the bank. so, i think you're seeing people shop with a plan, within a pre- ordained budget rather than the impulse shopping.
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host: how do they plan to pay for these kids? if you look at the national retail federation, debit card, check card, is in red and it looks like it is on the rise reverses a check and credit card. here is the blue line, credit card. so, people plan to pay for it right away. guest: with cash. we have seen it through while the recovery, that folks are de- leveraging, shying away from credit cards, both because it is more difficult in order to qualify and also because people are wary of adding extra credit. we find a total revolving credit, credit card debt, declined throughout the past -- i believe it is the past two or three years -- and finding debit card use is on the rise. people are paying with cash and may have to dig into their savings a little bit today with cash. but they would rather do that. host: what do peoples savings look like compared to years in the past? guest: compared to the 1970's
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and 1980's, a very low level. but compared to where we were right before the recession and financial crisis hit, we are at elevated levels. right now the personal savings rate is 3.5%. a little bit better than it was the previous month, but it is not at a 5% level we had been at immediately following the recession. what it is telling me is that folks are having to spend a little more money may be unnecessary items, maybe some pent-up demand at that people are willing to dig into their savings in order to purchase, but that they are still trying to maintain the buffer, again, if something goes wrong. host: ylan mui is here to talk about consumer confidence and holiday spending. we divided the line below the differently because we want to know your plans. let us know what you plan to do
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this holiday season and what you think it does for the economy. a piece in "the new york times" op ed pages. guest: there is something called the paradox of thrift. that means for the economy as a whole, it is encouraging for consumers to spend because our economy is a consumer-driven economy.
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so, when people put their wallets away, that means the economy slows, it means -- you saw after the 2008 holiday season when hundreds of thousands were laid off. there is real world impacts. however, the paradox on a personal level, it is a very irresponsible thing to do. certainly, the level of debt we were carrying during the economic boom was not sustainable and it is something we are paying for now. so, balancing those two things is very difficult. one thing that has been promoted and we might be seen in the future is that the american consumer may no longer be the driver for the global economy. we are seeing consumers and asia increased their spending, the rise of the middle-class is in some of these emerging markets like brazil, india, and china. those countries may be able to sort of pick up some of the purchasing power we have left off and wheat could begin
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creating products to sell overseas. host: you touched on this and little bit but temporary workers in holiday season. according to, 30% plan to hire extra seasonal help, one-third plan to permanently higher after the holidays and 53% plan to pay more than $10 an hour and 14% plan to pay more than $14 an hour and the big retailers are posting nine out of 10 jobs. how does this compare to past years? guest: retail hiring was a little better this year than it was in previous -- well, i will say last year because it was really bad in 2008 and in 2009. it is a little better. i think the key thing is retell often is a job safety net for many people. it can be a second job, it may be a job they turned to if they lost a different type of job. so, it is an important industry for folks for many different reasons.
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i think the big question would be how many of those stay on after the holiday season because temporary employment is an issue. host: will we see a change in the unemployment rate based on temporary hiring? guest: i think not just an retell but overall. a lot of companies are hedging their bets and maybe taking on extra workers to meet current demand but are cautious on making a long-term permanent commitment to workers. so, one thing you are seeing is company's overall may be transitioning to a hiring temporary workers, contract workers, instead of hiring people full time. that can lower the unemployment rate temporarily, but it remains to be seen how long those workers remain employed? host: black friday, cyber monday, and then small business saturday with to the obama administration endorsed with a statement put out november 23, saying "my administration is committed to helping small
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businesses drive the economy toward recovery and long term growth." can you compare those three different efforts and what the expectations are for them? guest: small business saturday has grown a lot but it is still very new. it was created last year by american express to highlight local businesses. there are saying we will leave black friday to the big box guys, we know we can not compete with their flat screen tvs, but we will take a separate day for ourselves. we have seen it grow. it is anticipated 89 million people will small -- shot at small business saturday at the smaller retailers. and for businesses over designated last year, sales were up 28%. that are seeing a big response. it is something growing but still relatively new. host: what about cyber monday? guest: it is no longer just monday. it is cyber week now. retailers are rolling out deals from sunday through friday. some already started things
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getting day rolling out deals. many more online retailers participating in cyber monday. but really we are seeing it extended for the entire weekend -- week after thanksgiving. caller: i'm going to be spending less. my income is about 75% less than what was a couple of years ago. host: you have taken a real hit. caller: yes. in the statistics come they are not including self-employed people. host: let's take that point. guest: it is a variable. that is part of the challenge of being self-employed. you don't always have that kind
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of security. about two. % this holiday season -- about 2.8% -- that is not a big number. 2.8% is a number that is cautiously optimistic. there will make that number not a blockbuster. host: we have a tweet. matt in washington, c.cpland.c., plans to spend the same. caller: i have no money, same as last year. i almost went out to get the $200 tv.
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i spoke with my cousins. they said you should buy it online. i decided to be more of it planning spender this year. small business a center but i'm going to be at small business saturday tomorrow. host: you might be interested in the business section of "the new york times." decemberuntil early that prices are likely to be the lowest for electronics. stores offer the steepest discounts on the weeks after thanksgiving to unload inventory. that is according to some who tracks deals. guest: the blockbuster deals are
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very limited. there are 50 of those 42-inch $200 tv's at best buy. their work 200 people online -- there were 200 people want hoping to get that deal. so you buy other things to make up for that. host: are those other things on sale? guest: they may be or they may not be. host: seattle, washington, mike. do you plan to spend less? caller: yes. with my current occupation in sales, we do not necessarily know how long our commissions is
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going to go on with the industry. it sounds like when you take the pulse across the country that there are so many people that are unemployed, not working that well like to be spending and they will be spending less. it is better for us to be more conservative without spending, spending less. we may in a sense get the children and high ticket item, one or two, as opposed to what we have done in the past where we would stock up and give them a gift for being good in school but what also stocked up inside the house for christmas. think about black friday, go out
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and buy christmas gifts. but those gives away -- put those givefts away. we have decided to cut down on the number of guests and focus on those electronic gifts. my heart goes out to those that were in a position where maybe they have fat a house where they were foreclosed on and they're looking for -- or maybe they was had a house that foreclosed on. we will talk with our children about, let's go out and shop for some of the other children that may not have what they should. i look at this country.
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we are all in one big melting pot. it will take all of us to stick together. i have held back from doing the major shopping -- our income is pretty good. with the occupy wall street movement, they are suffering. it will take all of cost to look out for each other and to move this country forward. host: that was mike in seattle, washington. we have eight tweet from li -- we have a tweet from liz. guest: that does happen. it is a pain for consumers. the popularity of gift cards has
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cut down on the number of returns. and one of the most giving gifts. host: there is a speech today in "the washington post." companies like groupon offer black friday and cyber monday sales. you omamay buy something for $25 that has a $50 value. guest: the shopper gets plenty of gift to go around. some of the other retailers are mimicking this. safeway has daily deals on different food products. the success of groupon has influenced the way retailers are offering their deals on line as well. host: marty is next and plans to
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spend more. caller: i think christmas is for the kids. i remember growing up, we would always look forward to it. i want to pass that down to my children. you're one of my favorite hostesses. host: people are saying we will spend the same or less. marty was in the minority. guest: they may end up spending more than they had planned. host: don plans to spend the same. caller: good morning. happy thanksgiving. i will spend about the same. i found out that moderation is
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kind of a key factor, with everything -- spending, economics. sometimes we spend a little ittle less. a l host: if don and other spend the same, then what are the expectations for the holiday season? guest: 2.8% increase. host: is that enough to help retails for the rest of the year? guest: the holiday season accounts for about 20% of total retail sales. there'll except that because it it is a positive increase. is it a number that will scare
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away all thoughts of a double- dip recession? host: "the baltimore sun" reporting prices at low point for lcd tv's. any thoughts on this? guest: lcd tv prices are important. retailers relied on them for extra margin. now prices have gone so low that retailers cannot make money off of them. the margins are quite small. this has been a concern for best buy and circuit city, when it was still around. next.laurie is caller: good morning. i plan on spending next.
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the last couple of years, i have made my christmas presents. i even made my own wrapping paper by using a can of gold spray paint and newspaper. i was frugal. host: adam plans to spend the same. caller: good morning. we are both retired. we are elderly. we are the only ones who have been hurt by the administration. we got no increase in our income at all over the past two years. we'll have to spend less. i did not understand this administration. we are the only ones who w
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have been put at zero increase. host: what sort of things are you holding off spending your money on compared to the past? caller: it is all different things. we have grandchildren and we spent a lot of money on them and lovingly to that. our income has been frozen for the past two years. we are the ones that the administration said they are trying to help the elderly. host: i asked the question because there is a piece on holding off on a hair cut to buy a new car. caller: that is a kind of ridiculous. host: the spending habits will be scrutinized for clues into one of the most important drivers of the u.s. economy.
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caller: i understand all that. how can we spend more to try to help the economy when we have less? have to live within our income. host: i understand your point. i wonder if you're holding back on things like hair cuts. guest: we pay people to pick up the dog poop in our backyard and to fix our clothes.
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sales of basic sewing kits either doubled and tripled because people were trying to mend their own clothes or often. caller: good morning. i was laid off in june. so this year we're spending less. we're shopping online. you cannot pay me to go in a store. my 14-year-old is a techie. we have a budget. he made a purchase last night. .hat's it for the holiday i'm thankful we are able to keep our home and my car intact. it's the longest i have been laid-off. i know my father and mother and
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sister and brother in the military -- we are just grateful to be in good health, smiling, and i'm doing well. guest: one thing we've been tracking is a tale of two christmases. the recovery has not been even across the economic spectrum. the wealthier consumers have recovered and have returned to spending much more quickly than shoppers at the lower end of the spectrum. walmart brought back layaway. they eliminated the program and brought back because they found their customers were asking for a it. so they brought the program back and planning for to be successful. they have stolen toy share from
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target. host: we have an e-mail from joe. guest: the money being spent -- we spend it on one thing or another. the issue is whether we spend it at all or just hold onto it. if we spend it, that keeps stores open longer. they hire more people. that is how the chain works. host: you said consumer spending is about 70% of our economy. compare that to other countries. guest: it is becoming a growing part of the economy in emerging markets like brazil and china. the american consumer has been
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the driver of the american economy and of the global economy, as well, through the dement increase for additional services. it is paying for it truckdrivers who brings the merchandise to and from the store and the gasoline that fuels the truck. host: as more people go to online to shop, does that mean overall less jobs? guest: i think that is on clear. you have folks in warehouses of packing all those boxes to ship them out. online sales are an important part. they look at them as all working together to increase sales. online sales expected to grow 15% this year.
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overall sales are a bit moderate. host: scott is next any plans to spend less. you are on the air. caller: i plan to spend less because i do not have it. hello? i just don't have it. i do not have the money. you in worker -- union worker. i like the walmart layaway plan. lower grade of food. to do just what it is -- it is just what it is. host: when did you go to walmart? we go on to ohio. do you plan to spend the same?
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caller: i'm saving more money by spending the same. you'll have more. if you spend a lot of money, you will be broke. host: there was a story between the gap and the middle class and affluent has become apparent on the shopping weekends because the target, walmart is targeting their consumers that have limited dollars, but nordstrom, macy's open up but very little sales to target their more affluent shoppers. guest: nor sherm's says there will not celebrate christmas before thanksgiving -- nordstrom's says they will not celebrate christmas before thanksgiving. they will celebrate christmas after thanksgiving and give a thanksgiving its due.
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neiman-marcus has the holiday wish catalog that has extreme guesifts that can cost millions of dollars. you're having a real division in the economy right now. part of a problem is that incomes have remained stagnant. there's not been wage growth. they are getting the same paycheck as before. that is something that weighs down on consumers. host: have we seen the benefit of the payroll tax reduce? has it shown up in consumer spending? guest: yes or no. if we do not have a, things would be worse. arrived, we had higher
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commodity prices. part of that benefit was cleaneaten up. now, if we don't have the payroll tax cut, would that have made it much more difficult? probably so. next year's peril tax cuts could make a bigger economic difference -- next year's payroll tax cut could make a bigger economic difference. it will be stimulative. there is some debate over whether that is the best way to increase spending in the economy, whether it's better to target to low-income spenders.
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some may save part of that money. some are saying it is needed from the status of standpoint. host: steve plans to spend the same. caller: we have been spending about the same every year for quite a few years. we look for sell prices. host: do you go into the holiday season with a budget? do you save an of time - -ahead of time? caller: i pay cash for everything. we are on social security. we set up a certain amount. that's what we have been doing. host: that is steve. we go on to john, who plans to spend more.
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why do plan to spend more/ ? caller: to help the economy out. with the payroll tax, you should not do that. that affects people's retirement, social security. host: so you think it is taking with from social security. do we know the impact on social security? guest: there is a concern we're diverting money from the social security trust fund. the fund is large and some people feel like the need is now. that is some of the debate over the payroll tax cuts. this is one of those long-term onscussion that wayeighs people's minds.
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part of the debate in washington that can decrease consumer confidence and impact the way consumers spend money. host: what are the demographics of the consumer? who spends more older people or younger people? guest: i think it is more about income level. the top 20% of turner's account for about 40% of total spending. they do not spend all their money. folks on the lower end of the economic spectrum tend to spend more and save less. they are spending a larger percentage of their total income. what is the best way to stimulate the economy -- that is
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some of the factors economists are taking into account. caller: i am spending less this year. i'm spending more on my children. someone best friends -- people are barbers. but with my beer goes, i have to be in the barbershop every two weeks -- the way my beard grows. people are cutting their own hair. i have noticed that. i will get around spending more money throughout the year. do you have any way to know as far as the small market stores that are selling clothes for
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$10, how much money they're making? guest: that is hard to say. some are privately owned businesses. programs such as small business saturday that is coming up tomorrow are intended to help some of the smaller merchants compete with the bigger stores. host: what about the chain stores where you can get things for a doll or around that? guest: we saw them do quite well after the recession or in the throes of the recession. people were trading down from some of the discount big box stores and into dollars stores. they have had a struggle
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recently as they were feeling the pinch again. some of the dollar stores are reinvested and remodeling their stores and increasing the amount of foods because that's something they see as a necessary purchase. they are looking for ways to grow in this economy. host: neal in minnesota. caller: i'm not going to spend too much. i don't see myself increasing at this point. but i do go to these dollar stores more than i used to. host: so you cut back in other ways. caller: i do cut my own hair. host: before the recession, how much we spending on holiday spending?
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per se.i'm not cheap for holiday spending, i would wait after the day after thanksgiving and still get the sales. it depends on what is out there. guest: he has a good idea about the day after christmas. people rely on stocking up on it in a tort that did not sell during the holiday season. instead of looking for sales after christmas, folks are coming in with a gift cards and with a gift card, you're willing to spend a little bit more. it is a gift. many stores are brink full-price merchandise to cater to gift card holders -- many stores
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have full-priced merchandise. a gift card cannot expire for least five years. there are new protections for consumers. host: you wrote a piece about retailers and swipe fees. guest: this has been a surprising debate, something retailers have long complained about. each time you take your card and swipe it, the retailer must pay the bank a portion of that transaction for the ease of having the swipe fee. host: about 5%? guest: it varies.
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for debit cards, it was typically 1% or 2%. the savings to retailers and a big hit to the pockets of banks. that is why you are seeing some banks test out a $5 debit feet. there's still some talk about what the price should. -- what the price should be. retailers feel the limit is still too high. the rate was reduced. they said you took some things into account at we believe is to be lower. host: when might that be resolved? guest: it will be awhile. it could stretch out for
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possibly years. the law still stands. retailers trying to get a second look at it. caller: good morning. spending the same, meaning nothing, zero. that's been my trend for the past 15 years. that was prior to this depression. i do notice that i am receiving -- i'm inundated with these preapproved credit card offers from the banks. would you like to comment on that? host: are you a good saver? caller: i would not say we are saving right now. no, i am not able to pay off my credit card bills. i do pay them on time.
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i cannot pay the balance off every 30 days. guest: that is one indicator that we look at to see what the state of lending is in the country. you found that the direct mail pieces declined because banks were not making those offers. there is a sign that lending is loosening up. host: do they liked m a they that does not pay off the balance every month? guest: customers are too good, and the banks are not making any money off of them. host: planning to spend less is
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julie. caller: yes. hi. i wanted to say that we spend a lot less now. a lot of the -- they don't give you a good sales they use to used to get. the stores are not hiring a full staff. nobody has the money to spend. host: are retailers offering less sales? guest: one thing that happened with consumers after the financial crisis was that many stores were caught off guard. there were stocked with a lot of merchandise that they had to clear up very quickly.
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you saw some remarkable reductions in price on things that were unplanned, 50%, 60%, 70% off. they are still offering deals and blockbuster sales, sales have been planned and are anticipated. consumers -- many people had gotten used to clearing this merchandise and offering these low prices. now where bactra more normalized inventory schedule -- now we are back to a more normalized inventory schedule and some people are holding back. host: ylan mui from "the washington post," thank you for joining us. up next, a homegrown terrorism.
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we will be right back. >> the story of the civil- rights movement cannot be told without birmingham, alabama.
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looking behind the scenes of this southern city. september 15, 1963, a bomb kills four young girls. under the house's working conditions, people fought to work at the cotton mill in jacksonville. day after the mill closed. how smart with the king jr.'s -- martin luther king's letter set the tone. tune in on sunday as the curator continues with a discussion on birmingham during the great depression. this week and on c-span2 and 3.
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>> the new c-span website. easier for you to get our schedule with new features like a three-day work layout so you can scroll through all the programs. and receive an e-mail alert a year program is scheduled to air. you can access our most popular series and programs. a handy channel finder so you can find where to watch our three c-span networks on cable or satellite systems at the all new >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with steven emerson, the executive director of the investigator project on terrorism. tell us what this was all about.
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guest: he was a dominican convert to islam several years ago. he was conspicuously making threats on the internet. he had nine terrorist websites registered to him and he made his views known, which is not your typical profile for someone who is about to carry out an act of terrorism. he was a militant and starting to plan a terrorist attack using sources on the web including a magazine which was in english and had an article in the last issue on how to make a bomb in your kitchen. i think that there was some influence there.
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i don't think he carried out as an act of revenge. but the spread of radical -- islamic radicalism is the reverse of the global village phenomenon when we project our image overseas. that is coming back now because of the internet. ught? how was he call guest: he was initially tracked because of the technology that tracks website that mentions the word "jihad" or certain key words. there are tens of thousands of websites that are dedicated to radical islam. groups reconstitute new sites when they know that maybe they have been tracked. he developed nine sites and he had blogs.
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there was a constraint on how much law enforcement can do it inside the country. there was a confidential informant who was trusted by him because where do you see a person doing everything alone from a to z. that ci belong to the new york police department. he was an interesting guy. he was very smart but he was done insofar as telegraphing his intentions to kill. host: who made the arrest? guest: nypd. there's some dispute over this. i know the feds were involved.
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host: why the dispute? guest: over jurisdiction. their reports over how serious it to take it. but i know there's no love lost between the nypd and the fbi. there's a lot of -- i wouldn't say acrimony. the work together -- they work together sort of like a husband and wife together. host: he was it done what terrorist suspect -- he was a lone wolf terrorist suspect. guest: hard to talk about the fbi in one voice. it depends who they are talking to.
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i spoke to people who did think it was a threat. there was a threat on the last anniversary of 9/11. some people in the fbi said it was not a real threat. there were differences in the fbi as to who -- what thtey ey thought. host: what is the track record for law-enforcement to getting lone wolfs before the make and attacked -- before they make an attack? guest: a would-be terrorist, somebody who is self radicalized -- he may be
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influenced by what he sees an views on the internet and what he sees in mosques, but somebody who is on their own and acting now. the record is pretty good, but not as good as someone who is going back and forth to pakistan were being directed from someone in a foreign country. easy to track because there are international phone calls and there are people involved. host: and a homegrown lone wolf is harder to track. guest: there were 18 e-mails asking for is a on more luc blessing on the attack for the infidels. two of them were returned.
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i would have considered him a lone wolf. he succeeded in carrying out a devastating attack. he killed 13 innocent people. there were warning signs when he was openly displaying his desire to kill infidels at walter reed. none of the nine supervisors reported. they were afraid of being a racist. host: the phone numbers will be on your screen. start dialing now. let's go back to jose pimentel. here is a piece. q mentioned he got help from a confidential informant from the new york police department.
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guest: that is the complexity. if a confidential informant suggests and pushes a person over, then the case will fall apart. a confidential informant can collect information, offer a and can be utilized if there is a previous pattern by the suspect that he is inclined toward caring not radical -- carrying out radical attacks. most of the arrests have been made -- i would say that is true. probably close to 80%.
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some attacks have been stopped. the times square bomber, the bomb didn't go off. the bomb on christmas day to not call off because the chemicals did not detonate. bomb didn't go off. host: critics say some of these suspected loan will terrorists -- lone wolf terrorists would not commit the act. but because there are fbi informants involved with them, they go one step further than it would have, and some say the would not have carried out the attacks. guest: you can use that argument against any type of conspiracy, against colombia cartels and
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against the informants -- these informants are no different. there are very strict guidelines. the critics are generally from civil-rights groups, and you can ask me my definition of those groups. they are out to stop actual arrests. they claim the fbi is fabricating these plots. there is no evidence whatsoever. if an informant starts promoting an act of terrorism, the fbi or the local authorities would drop the case. host: what has been the role of the muslim community? guest: if you ask -- the fine with the local community is -- define what the local community
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is. i think they are largely misled by the groups that claim to represent them. i could name names. the muslim public affairs council to the islamic society of north america. they're part of the muslim brotherhood. that's not me talking. they claim that they assist the government. in almost every one of their websites, to not talk to the fbi it unless you have a lawyer present. they don't believe that the conviction of those islamic terrorist or the pennybacker case -- paintball case in
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northern virginia should have resulted in a conviction. very hard to read what the community itself believes. it is not clear. you will not get someone to say, "i support terrorism." in minnesota, there was an effort to help the federal authorities by somali and muslims whose children were going training with a group. there was a rally by somali americans, by the parents of those kids who complaint and protested the role of terror and other islamic groups, that they were telling the committee not to cooperate with the fbi. there was a famous poster
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saying, "don't talk to the fbi." they call informants spies. informants are used in every crime case, every type of grace whether it is criminal or grand larceny or drug-related. they claim the informants falsely are involved in fabricating terrorism. it is their statements that are so in san yurt that lead the people caring out acts of terrorism. host: over to phone calls. sheila. caller: i do believe it is fabricated. i do know some friends that were in the law department in new york and chicago.
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a lot of it is lies. always taking advantage of other races and people of all colors and different countries. when you say homegrown terrorism, it has been vetted from the beginning of the europeans coming to america. guest: the origin of the term " homegrown terrorism" or apply it decades ago to right-wing and left-wing indigenous u.s. terrorists. the days of the militias, one that would carry out acts of terrorism. we have applied euphemistic
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ally because there is a political correctness that has been applied to the use of the term "radical islam." that term has never been uttered once in three years by any top official of the obama administration. it is the only type of terrorism that prohibits the use of the motivating factor in which case the police and radical islam. host: we have a tweet from jan. guest: the material that was picked up in osama bin laden's home showed they were preoccupied, almost obsessed with caring the attack on the
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anniversary of 9/11. so anniversaries do count, but so did iconic buildings. i didn't like to use the term "lone wolf," because it doesn't tell you who they are. are we talking about environmental terrorists? this was an argument -- started under the bush administration when they stop using the term "radical islam." this is no more stereotyping all muslims been using christian terrorists or protestant terrorists or jewish terrorists. they all exist. host: leonard in michigan. caller: yes.
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there was a program on cnn news that stated that there had been in mississippi a murder, a lynching of sorts by a group of a caucasian individuals. there were six involved and only one was prosecuted. guest: i apologize that i am not aware of that. and i apologize because i would like to be aware of the iit andi will check it out. if race was a motivating factor, that would be a hate crime. it doesn't mean there aren't other forms of religious terrorism. there is a paucity of people who
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investigate ratradical islam, that is why i specialize in it. in this case, the department of justice or fbi just released hate crime statistics. 65% of all hate crimes committed against jews and 13% committed against muslims. almost 10 times more stories about hate crimes against muslims because the groups that control or dominate the leadership of the muslim community thrived on the notion of being victims. they legitimate themselves on the victims of hate crimes. hamas.t for the m host: let's go back to jose
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pimentel. he appears in court today. he faces a number of charges including the crime of terrorism and he is being held at the manhattan detention center without bail. guest: his defense attorneys will try to get bail. he is being held in a detention center. they may set bail at $1 million and he may be required to come up with 10%. or maybe held over because of a flight risk. that is one case. the may attempt to dismiss the charges -- they may attempt to dismiss the charges. some people say there may not be
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a conspiracy because it was him and a confidential informant. you do not want the person to carry out the attack. you have the proof. you want to get them to the point where they are about to carry it out and you have the evidence. usually a tape-recorded or a video, audio, or a c.i. will testify to the effect. i know there are recordings in this case. miked.bly c.i.'s are he wrote in his blogs. any terrorist stating in their
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blog that they intend to carry out an act of terror. we move in the global village. it is not only outside groups. there are hundreds of americans in yemen and there were not study the game of chess. they were being radicalized to carry out acts of terrorism. this stems from either the group itself, like mohammad atta, a graduate student living in munich. hamas. brought in after afghanistan, against the u.s. there is a constant mantra that
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is being repeated and in the brotherhood of literature that dollars -- that dominates the literature. that notion that there's a war against islam is the number-one, denominator in inducing islamic terrorism all over the world. host: and use of the internet. guest: that is a great way to spread the message. you down with copies of the magazine or you watched radical islamic television and you can do that today. there are some cases where the internet is used to help radicalized. que.sed to be only the mosc we collect tapes of radical


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