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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 22, 2012 7:00am-9:59am EST

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with contributor reid cherlin. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--] era >> the white house will propose lowering the corporate tax rate to 28%. the treasury exactly geithner will outline the details later this morning. look for our coverage on cspan.org. mitt romney is gaining on rick santorum in michigan showing a dead heat in recent poll heading into the primary. the candidates square off in arizona, the last time they met on the debate stage three weeks ago. protests erupt in afghanistan yesterday after word emerged that nato personnel burned an undisclosed number of crans.
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those are your morning headlines this morning. our question for all of you on today's "washington journal," is it the supreme court's decision to take on a case of affirmative action as a factor in college entry? if you're a ren, dial -- -- republican, dial -- host: joining us on the phone is adam liptack who covers the stories for the "new york times." front page this morning justices take up race as a factor in college entry. adam, give us some background on this case. let's begin there.
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guest: the best way to think about it is 10 years ago in a 5-4 decision, the supreme court drew a line that a lot of people have learned to live with. that line was at public universities, you can't use quotas, you can't assign points based on race but you can take account of race as one factor of many unquantifiable holistic and that's ok. and that's the admission system that we've been living under. the fact that they took this new case suggests that if they have another look at that and the majority may well and there's a different set of justices on the court than 10 years ago that they court may say you can't take that kind of as race period. whatever it's motives is no good, such a ruling would say, and that of course would be a quite dramatic transformation with the way american higher education works.
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host: what are the chances that the court could actually rule that way? guest: you know, they're pretty good. ordinarily when the court takes a case, you don't know what they're going to do, but this is a case that in many ways is id owe sin accuratic, it wouldn't warrant the court's attention. it involves the texas system which is a blend of this kind of holistic approach that also allowing any kid who graduates in the top 10% of his high school involves a plaintiff who quite arguably doesn't have standing to sue because she's about to graduate from louisiana university and for them to reach out and take such a weird case indicates an eagerness on the part of the five more conservative justices to have a look at this area. host: let's talk about the justices and how they might rule. guest: we have a 5-4 decision written by sandra day o'connor written in 2003.
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she has been replaced by samuel alito in 2006. justice alito in somewhat similar case involving government classes of race has voted against allowing taking race into account and that suggests that one vote alone in the 5-4 decision if it flips, flips entirely. now, that presupposes that he's joined by the other more conservative justices, chief justice robert scalia and thomas and also by the court's swing justice, justice anthony kennedy, but anthony kennedy although he's sometimes -- he sometimes is a little more on the fence about issues about race, has never in his career on the supreme court voted to uphold an affirmative action program. host: what about alaina kagan? guest: we don't know much about kagan. she's brand now the court but so far her votes have been reliable liberal. so you would think she would join the court's more liberal
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block -- host: but on this case she has decided to recuse herself? guest: you're quite right. it's early in the morning. on this case, she's recused it. she's not in the mix but in a way, it doesn't matter because the conservatives need five votes to get where they need go and whether that means it's a 5-4 or 5-3 decision, that's a practical matter. host: what will be the consequences of a decision that would overturn what they had ruled on back in 2003? guest: well, the practical consequences would be that you'd see a lot more white and asian students and a lot fewer blacks and hispanic students not only at public but private universities. it would take away a tool that admissions officers like to create a racially varied and
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they say therefore academically diverse student body. and, you know, it would -- i don't think it's an understatement to say transform american society. host: how do we know that? what's the evidence of that? guest: the evidence is that on average, and i stress on average, blacks and hispanics have lower test scores and lower grade point average and if that's what you look to solely, you're going to have a different mix. host: all right. so let's talk a little more on who is for and against this type of ruling. talk about the different sides and what they're arguing here. guest: well, the argument in favor of taking race into account is that it makes for a more vibrant classroom to let people of different backgrounds get to know one another, that it remedies historic injustices. and that it's an acceptable and
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just way to run society and government shouldn't interfere in academic freedom. the argument on the other is that the government should have reason to put its thumb on the scale and universities are run by government, and that any time you let in a kid who is on, you know some objective scale, less qualified, you're discriminating against another kid. so one of the people in my story said his daughter is applying to college. she's white. and it would be a terrible thing if she were discriminated against based on her race. host: when is the court like throw hear this case and make a decision? guest: chances are it'll hear the case in october or november probably just before the presidential election and the really controversial case tend to be decided the following spring or early summer. so may or june would be a good bet for a decision.
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host: what are the politicians in this? you write in your story that you think possibly the candidates are going to be to weigh in on this court case? guest: the politicians complicated. the polling gives you a different sans depending on the questions you ask. there are great jorts against anything that looks like a quote system. anything that defines numbers to people. and anything that you could tell who was helped and who was hurt by individuals. it's much closer when you get into this kind of taking race into account as a general matter. but articulating where those lines are drawn and what the difference between those two systems i just described is hard.
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host: you run down for us the official name for this case is and what can you give us more background on the texas university and how this came about? guest: sure. the case called fisher v. university of austin. it was brought by abigail fish for the 2008 who did not get in under the program that most texas high school students rely on which is if you're in the top 10% of your high school, you're automatically admit to the the texas higher education system. she contends the fact that she was white, she would have gotten in under the second kind of path way in.
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texas said it should be allowed to to have a two-track system. that the top 10 system works well, that generates a lot of racial and ethnic diversities. many high schools are racially ho modges now. you get more kids in the top 10 than you would if you listen at test scores and g.p.a.s across the board. and so the lower courts ruled against that saying that the 2003 supreme court decision allowed texas to take account of race in that passion and now the supreme court to the surprise of many, i must say has decided even though the case is id owe sin accuratic, it's going to look at it. host: and one final question for you, adam. back in 2003, sandra day connor
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did write in the majority opinion that this accommodation was meant to last for 25 years. she thought the could would have to delays again but more like 2028 and here we are in 2011. guest: on the one hand, it indicates that everybody agrees that what we should be striving for in the long run is not to have government classifying people by race, that things should sort themselves out without having to put the thumb on the scale and that day would come. sandra day o'connor said it would happen 15 years from now. i think it may well turn out that they will come next june. that the court requires american society to move beyond race in this dramatic fashion. host: thank you, adam. guest: good to be here. host: we want to get your take on this issue. joe is our first caller.
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he's a republican in salt lake city, utah. caller: i take affirmative action as totally outrageous, totally wrong for the country. and what it does, it takes unqualified people and puts them above qualified people. which weakens the country and weakens the whole process. it's a sham. and the qualified people don't get in because some guy because of his north factor of his race -- minority factor of his race can jump ahead. and a case in point is barack obama. you've got a guy elected to the united states presidency who has no clue what he's doing when they passed over the electric passed over qualified people who should have been in there. so it totally wrecks the system. a lot of animosity unfair, not what our founding fathers had in mind. if you're qualified, you earn the right and you go. otherwise, you know, just
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because you're black the blacks think that they're supposed to be entitled to everything. host: all right. that's joe's opinion in salt lake city, utah. let's hear from a democrat in dallas, texas. go ahead, corey. help me with your name. caller in dallas, texas, you're on the air. caller: hi. my name is sabian. host: good morning. caller: i heard what the dude just said a while ago just because you're black, i am a black african-american and i stand proudly with pride and integrity but at the same time, y'all forget about the past. where y'all teach us in church where we have to forget about the past. y'all not understanding how we feel. we've been going through this. this ain't just started. this ain't something that's oh, everybody act like it's a shock. no. this haven't just started.
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it's been going on. and i'm just now turning 18. when i turn 16, they came out with the movies, talking about the head chopping and all of this, and that scared the mess out of me to be 16. i'm paranoid now. i look at my window, i can't sleep at night time. 4:00 in the morning, i'm up. i cannot sleep none at nighttime. that's how my instincts feel. host: ok. julie in florida. what are your thoughts? caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i just want to say that i do believe that people in our government should be treated equally, however affirmative action is a necessary evil because the fact is in our country, nobody has been treated equal for many, many years and it's very obvious in today's time still, and a good example is when you see our government papers being given out there, they're given out in three different languages. that's unnecessary evil.
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in order to make people evil, we need affirmative action to help our minorities to be on an equal level with the rest of the playing field of the majority and until our world treats us equal, we need these necessary evils. host: this is the "baltimore sun" this morning and let me get your reaction to what they write. some argue that the top university should be given edge to high school students who come from low income families. texas opted for such an approach after a federal court struck down its race-based affirmative action policy. the state adopted a top 10 policy that said high school seniors in the top 10% of their class would be admitted to the university of texas at austin -- host: a higher percentage when
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the university had used race-based affirmative action in other states adopted similar plans after voters or state officials limited the use of affirmative action. what do you think of that approach? caller: well, affirmative action in its use i think is what helps the minorities no matter where they're coming from or what -- if they're originally american or not, and whatever the universities choose to use as long as it's giving everybody a better chance because people who are in the low income it doesn't matter what their races because you have just as many whites that are low income as other races and when you come from a low income base, you do not have as many opportunities and this is a fact when it comes to race. we have not had as my opportunities to have a level
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playing ground. we're trying to bring people up to a level playing ground. we as people in this country have to remember that whites have a better start and until we can get people of other races to that point where they have an equal start to where we came from, say 200 years ago then we will all be equal and we can let this go. but to me, the same way you use affirmative action to help everybody to get on a better equal ground in our country to be more diverse -- if we were to take away and just have english say in our language to build across everything, that is going to put the many races and give them a lower starting ground because first, they're going to have to learn english and that's going to make them not be on an equal playing ground for everybody else. host: all right. and we have comments going on our facebook page as well. if you -- here's one from
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raymond -- the supreme court should have nothing to say on it either way. education is for the states to handle. from california, tim, democratic caller. morning. caller: good morning. this is tim johnson in palm desert. good morning greta and a happy washington's birthday to you. a colorblind society with an ideal ardently sought by -- fought by civil rights advocates back in 1954. affirmative action was established under lyndon johnson and his then raising hackels ever since. the idea was to level the playing field so that racial minorities would have a chance to compete as long as active discrimination was a palpable reality, there have to be active
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mitigation. conservatives soon became converts to the colorblind ideal or a version of it that meant no mitigation and no intervention to level the playing field. they have been saying all along that mitigation is discrimination. it's like saying that inoculation is some kind of disease. well, that's just how conservatives think. host: all right, tim. here is a tweet here from theo who says it's hard to imagine that you fix racism with more racism. income-based tests are fair and address the underlying issue. you're interested in the history of affirmative action on the court level, these are the major supreme court cases in today's "washington times." regents of the university of california vs. bake 1978 to address affirmative action by a government agency.
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the governments ruled 5-4 that a u.c. davis amounted to unconstitutional discrimination against the white applicant. host: it goes on. steelworkers vs. webber. 2003 with adam liptak. so the court will then look at the decision and some other court cases from 2003 2007, 2009. all of this in the "washington times," by the way, if you're interested in reading on the background of this. all this brings us to today, when the supreme court yesterday said that they will take up affirmative action in college entry and as we heard from adam liptak, they will hear the arguments probably in october and november before the election and decision coming later next year. james, a republican in
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fullerton, mississippi. good morning. caller: good morning to you. i was raised as poor as you could get. i worked in the fields for $2 a day. and i didn't get much education but i paid attention to what i've got and i quit school at age 16 because i thought i would get a better job in time. i did. ok? but that's besides the point. i didn't have an education. but i used my head and as far as smaller schools these people with all the education, to me, when you look at what we've got in congress, in senate, in the
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representatives and the president at this time, education didn't work for us. host: all right. snansy, an independent in new jersey. good morning. caller: i do believe affirmative action should continue to be a factor in college because we are not a post-racist society in america and discrimination still exists. for example, joe who made the comment that discrimination doesn't matter. well, i mean that affirmative action doesn't matter, well, chris nation, white people benefited from discrimination, and the people that benefited the most from affirmative action were white women.
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i don't know what he's talking about. other people can say george w. bush was, you know affirmative action for white people. so that's all i have to say. have a nice day. host: charles says you can get into colleges by paying for courses. affirmative action and financial aid is really about overcoming economic exclusion. more on the courts today in the papers. "u.s.a. today" has this piece written by peter fund, televised supreme courts health care case, bad idea, he arrest. -- arrest. -- arrests. -- argues. it grows more subjective each time an actor switches from one angle to another or decides when to cut to a reaction shot. --
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host: we don't control the cameras in congress. the cameras that are in there are controlled by congress. so we have no -- there's no director per se here at c-span that decide where is the court is aimed at. those are the rules by congress. people usually behave differently when they know they're on television. moreover perception of on screen images is not always the same as the view formed when content is evaluated without video. goes on to to say this -- host: the trade-offis acceptable. --
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host: much of it either provoked by or widely districted by television. supreme court must operate on a higher plain to preserve the dignity of its process. and it should be spared the burden of tv's reality. many of you know that c-span has taken a different view and we have written a letter to the court to justice roberts and cc'd the other justices asking to have cameras in the court for this decision. you can find this on our website, by the way, if you go to cspan.org. let me read a little bit from c-span's viewpoint. --
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host: additionally, a five and a half-hour argument begs for camera coverage. interested citizens would be understandably challenged to adequately follow audio-only coverage of an event of this length with all the justices and various counsel participating. so that's c-span's view. you can go our website. if you go to our website, you can find on there how all the justices view this topic of whether or not there should be cameras in the courts. we have it all documented there along with the timeline of c-span asking for cameras in the court. so cspan.org. it's all there. john, democratic. caller, back to your viewpoints on the court's decision to take up affirmative action cases as a factor in college entry. go ahead. caller: good morning. host: good morning, john. caller: yes.
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i'm in america georgia. mr. adam liptak left the impression when he stated that minorities [inaudible] the impression is that affirmative action was designed to allow someone who is less qualified in a school system or a program other than somebody else who is more qualified and that's not the intent of affirmative action. affirmative action was designed to have a qualified minority whomever to be admitted to an institution. qualified. now, because there are so few slots in these schools and if you don't affirmatively, bring in the minorities, none of the qualified blacks could get in. so the whole idea is not that --
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and the most of the callers that i've heard earlier were trying to say that the less qualified person got their position. that's not necessarily the case. unless you know who it is that got your slot, that person could have been more qualified than the white who is brought the complaint. host: ok, john. here's an e-mail from a viewer who says it is important consider the nature of the test that we use to gauge academic potential. -- host: rich is a republican in ohio. good morning rich. what are your thoughts? caller: yeah. on the president being fair on the president, we're pretty hard on only picking qualified people
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and some people have really good credentials like bob dole was a war hero, really should have been his turn. but because it was such an important job, we picked just the best person which we aren't going to because we confuse the issue. and why don't we have reverse discrimination on sports teams and make sure that there's equal qualifications going there or height requirements that are discriminatory in basketball? would it affect the game? some of these things have big effects on our country. i'll hang up and hear your answers. host: columbia, south carolina. richard wants to add his voice on this. go ahead richard. caller: affirmative action has nothing to do with lowering standards. it simply means for those so qualified. thank you. host: we'll keep taking your phone calls, your questions, your comments on this. first, on campaign 2012, the "detroit news" has endorsed this
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morning. detroit news endorsement is for mitt romney. pick a presidential candidate to lead the nation to prosperity and choose a nominee to give the g.o.p. a fighting chance of defeating president barack obama this fall. both count, mitt romney is the best choice. earlier at the top, the latest polls in that state showing that mitt romney is erasing some of the lead that rick santorum had. here is "the new york post" this morning with the latest michigan poll, one of the michigan polls, showing that romney with 32% and rick santorum with 30%. essentially, a tie for those two. the latest national poll shows romney 26% santorum, 36%. we also found another michigan poll this morning that shows similar results.
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that romney had 32%, and santorum 30%. a tie heading to the michigan primary on february 28. and then the hill newspaper had this to say about the debate in arizona. romney and santorum face pivotal debate tonight. and super tuesday. so the last debate, a lot of people talking about what the two different leading candidates, that is rick santorum and mitt romney need to do in tonight's debate. and then also this morning, here is a piece in the "u.s.a. today," but it's in many of the papers, a quarter of the super pack dole is in five donors. -- p.a.c. dow is in five donors. -- dough is in five donors.
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edson, about $10 million. he's giving to pro gingrich superp.a.c. and then $2.6 to pro ron paul superp.a.c.s. michael an independent in new york. we're talking about this affirmative action case the supreme court has agreed to take up. what are your thoughts? caller: well my observation is the following. i'm a senior professor in the graduate business program here in new york city. when i went to harvard business school in the early 1980's, we had 4% women in the m.b.a. programs.
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so out of 800 students, i think we only had 30 or 40 women. and what's came out and said this -- the courts said this wasn't fair and things should be changed. now, i'm teaching classes where you had 40% women who never had this opportunity. but what i'm worried about is economic discrimination. let me give you an example. city college of new york was a free school. and minorities got into -- and they had the number one school for nobel prize winners were white. now what i'm worried about is economic discrimination. let me give you an example. we spend $1.2 million to be in afghanistan, our best and brightest. 1.2 million. now we're taking students in and they sign up for a lone, $75,000
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for the first year, $75,000 for the second year. so they go into the workplace only $150,000. so they can't buy a home. they have to go back to their parents. and this is an elite school where people get $130,000 a year. so really what we should do is cut the military by 50% and give to the best and brightest of our children both female and male. and blacks and spanish and asians 60%, 70% discount and get out of the war in afghanistan which is absolutely madness. it's $1.2 million for soldiers. host: ok. napolis, dan, a -- annapolis dan, a republican. caller: you had some callers talking about the purpose of the
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program is to get equally qualified students. -- to be admitted. the program doesn't do that. in fact what it does, its purpose toward lower qualified students and i'll give you a very specific example. the united states naval academy for the last couple of decades has been providing a summer seminar to high school students who have an intention of joining in the naval academy. and what they do is for white students who make a minimum of 600 on each of their s.a.t. tests, verbal and quantitative, what they do is they send them an invitation. what they do for black students is anyone that makes a minimum of 450 on each of their s.a.t. tests, they send an invitation. so they specifically reach down to a lower quality of students to try to get the numbers that they're looking for. so i just want to let you know
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that the idea that the program gets equally qualified students is not the case. host: all right. more on 2012 politics for you this morning. the obama-biden campaign for that statement this morning that obama has named several national campaign coaches. we mention this because many people on the list and here it is. senator michael bennett governor lincoln chaffee bill daly, senator dick durbin. it also includes senator russ feingold from whitney and he's our guest coming up here on the "washington journal" on friday. he's out with a new book. and so if longtime c-span viewers will remember him from his senate days and if you're eager to talk to him about what he's up to these days on friday on the "washington journal." willy, democratic caller. jacksonville, florida, go ahead. caller: yes. to this affirmative action argument has been going on for a
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long time, and an african-american tried to defend it and conservatives as well. but the reason that affirmative action was established in the first place, ok, is because of access. host: because of access? caller: access. for instance did -- african-americans did not have access to higher education. that's why you had the black -- the bottom line for this inception, america has never stood for liberty and justice for all. and we know this. host: willy, what -- caller: it took me 300 and 363 years to get the right vote, ok? all right? so this garbage about well, this
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person is underqualified. it's about access that have been denied by law in this country by one race of people. that's what affirmative action tried to correct. host: willy, what's your take on the "baltimore sun" this morning saying some states have sort of put forth kind of a compromise? that is that you don't do affirmative action based on race you do it on economic levels and therefore, race is out of the picture, but you end up getting more minorities and also low income white students as well? caller: well, to be honest, i believe at this stage in america , ok i think most organizations or corporations believe, do believe that sbe investigation is a good thing. it's good have different ideas. people coming from different backgrounds.
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everybody's not going have the same qualifications, but access -- getting back to my original point, access of course, it discriminates. but it's correcting something about a people that we're discriminated against for 363 years. host: ok. got your point. "wall street journal" front page. the obama administration will propose lowering the top income rate to 28% from 35% but would likely raise taxes overall by eliminating dozens of popular deductions and efforts to restructure the corporate tax code. the proposal which will be announced wednesday will lower tax rate to manufacturers to no more than 25% according to a official down to the current average rate of 32%. it raises taxes on oil and gas companies that would lose many large deductions and subsidies.
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it would require them to pay for the first time on their foreign earnings. the white house will recommend simplified filing for small businesses lowering their tax rate by potentially ending some of their breaks. this fwouf go through congress and so the "wall street journal" writing this morning that the gridlock that we've seen up on still could be an obstacle to this -- capitol hill town an obstacle. but this is something that the republicans have said we need as well. "wall street journal" with that story this morning. >> in other news, the protest in afghanistan, "washington post" front page. the u.s. apologizing, saying the incident was not intentional. and next to that is a story about housing in this country. the feds push on housing crosses the line, says its critic. -- critics.
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they are injecting itself over a noisy debate -- host: president obama out toed that payroll extension cut yesterday and had people who will be impacted by the extension behind him at the podium. we covered that but here's the headline from it. it includes updates to jobless benefit system. the bill which passed congress on friday that the president said he will sign allowed program to help move the jobless back into the workforce. sets programs and offers employers wage subsidies and retraining jobless workers. the bill requires states to reassess the eligibility of workers for unemployment insurance confirming that a person receiving long-term benefits is actively searching for a job that reassessment provides an opportunity to
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tailor career counseling. so to the long-term job list. and some more housing news for you about fannie and freddy. here is the business day section of "new york times." legal fees mount. the taxpayers have advanced almost $50 million in legal payments to defend former executive of fannie mae and freddie mac. and then the housing regulator overseeing fannie and freddie has released a new plan. the financing agency laid out steps to wind down the companies largely by increasing fees charged to borrowers who take out mortgages. the hope that is the cost of receiving a taxpayer mortgage goes up, more borrowers will turn to private lenders whose loads do not carry government backing. so plan unwind, fannie and freddie coming from the administration. and then overseas, u.s. hints at help for rebel. the obama administration hinted
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for the first time yesterday that it might give direct assistance to syria's rebels. and an updaten to situation from randy -- iran from the "wall street journal." they rebuffed the nuclear inspectors. the headlines were that iran let them in. the headlines today is that they were rebuffed. chicago, independent caller. good morning. caller: hey, good morning. how's it going? thanks for taking my call. i think it's something i think america needs to understand about the reason why affirmative action laws exists in the first place. and you know, bottom line, you know, when you give america the chance to discriminate especially based on race, they're going to do it. if there's nothing there to mitigate their ability to do it, it's going to happen. and sadly, you know, maybe this is what america needs, so it can be reminded that it's not this
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great raceless society just because we have a black president. we can see how this black president is being treated and disrespected more so than any other president in history. but i mean just by the treatment of barack obama, we can at least get some idea that this -- that america's not this raceless society. given the opportunity, you take away any -- you take away the affirmative action laws that allows to even qualify blacks to get in school. remember back in the 1960's and 1950's, even in well qualified blacks getting into these schools were discriminated against them. so you take away these affirmative action laws and i can guarantee you a lot of these schools in america are going to get a lot whiter. it's going to happen. host: all right. that was our last call on the issue. up next, we turn our tension to women's issues and their role in campaign 2012 with eleanore sm erik al. we'll be right back.
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-- eleanore smeal. we'll be right back. >> on from c-span, from the world economic forum in davos switzerland, a role of women. >> as a man gets more powerful and successful, he is better liked. as a woman gets more powerful and successful, she is less liked. from early childhood through marriage, through adolescence, all the way through, we reward men every step of the way for being leaders, for being assertive, for taking risks and we teach women as young as 4, lay back, be communal.
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and until we change that at the personal level we can't change this and we really have to go out there and say there's an ambition gap. we don't want girls to be as ambitious as our -- i mean, our boys to be ambitious to contribute in the home and we need girls to be as ambitious to achieve in the workforce. >> watch the entire discussion tonight at 8:00 eastern. and we'll have more from the world economic forum this week. thursday, the heads of the world bank and international monetary fund talk about the economic outlook for this year. and on friday, a discussion on the economic future of africa. plus, the c.e.o.'s of several major corporations talk about their role in the global recovery. >> hi, there i am head of l.c.v. project. it is to collect programming outside of washington, d.c. how do we do it?
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we staff each one of these with one person, with a small video camera and a laptop editor so they're able to roll, record, produce and edit things on the road. that's what we're doing. why do went to do the is? get out of of washington, d.c. and collect programming for all of our networks. we're doing a cities tour. we will desen on each city with all three vehicles, one will do history program in history sites, the other one we'll do book tv programming with bookstores, and the third one does community relations event. it is important to us because we work with our cable partners in each one of these cities. the last thing is all this not only goes on the air but it gets a kifed on our website, the c-span library and what we're also doing is doing extensive social media. you'll see us on facebook. you'll see four square which is location based and tell people where we're going. you'll see us on twitter as well. it's a chance to get out message
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not only on air but also online and through social media as well. that's why it's important we want to get outside of washington, d.c., get into places we don't do normal programming and getting outside of the beltway to produce programming for all the c-span networks. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we're back with eleanore smeal. she's the president of the feminist majority foundation. let's get into it right now. i want to show our viewers what former pennsylvania senator rick santorum had to say outside of columbus, ohio. come back, get your reaction. >> what you don't know about obama care and one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in america.
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why? because it saves money. and health care. why? because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done. because we call the ranks of the disabled in our society. host: eli, what's your reaction to hearing that from one of the presidential candidates? guest: oh, alarmed. i mean obviously he's a person that questions women's access to basic health care. host: this was a piece written from the a.p. it says advocates were that couples are choosing abortions without considering that their child would lead a happy fulfilling life. host: this group goes on to say they can still have a fulfilling life and that is behind what
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rick santorum had to say there, that there is a dignity of human life that he's trying to go after. guest: well there, is a dignity of human life and there's also a dignity of women's life and women have a conscience, couple too, the government shouldn't be making these decisions. individuals should be making these decisions with the best medical advice that they can get for the day. no -- i mean these the folks who keep saying they want small government, yet they want to intrude in the personal lives of a people. >> and then you have the conception issue. -- contraception issue. here is a piece written by melinda. republicans can't shake birth control issues. she says that the -- in an interview santorum has given in 2006, last summer, recently, he always stresses he supports title 10 funding for contraception. he said he would pose any effort
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to ban birth control. do we really believe a guy who allows he would bomb iraq is hiding his true intention regarding the pill? guest: this column is also -- wants to challenge griswald vs. connecticut. in other words, reverse this, make the state decide if they can ban contraception. why does he wanted to repeal the decision? you see, it's double talk. it's essentially where the government of virginia, where they want to appear more moderate when the heat gets hot, but they are questioning really, whether birth control should be generally available in our country. >> so what do you make of all this conversation that women are becoming -- women's issues are highlighted in this campaign 2012? guest: oh, it's shocking. it's shocking that we're going back to the 1970's. and this is a decided -- this
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isn't a decision people have made. american women like 98% use birth control and they want to make it controversial and also since we don't have a conscience, you know, in other words, the only people who can decide this is big brother. not the individuals. and yet, these people who are saying they want a limit small government but not when it comes to women's lives. they want to prove their moral by regulating women and frankly endanger their health. when you're talking about limiting access to prethey it will testing, you're also talking about taking away from women modern science, not only for better and heliier pregnancies, but the health of a woman and for reducing infant mortality and illnesses. so this is really a dangerous trend. host: michael warsong who is the commander in chief executive officer of global catholic network writes today an opinion
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piece in the paper and he says it's not about women's issues. he says it is the government which does not accept the religious choice and can punish that choice by imposing fines. that is coercing us but under the constitution and federal liberty laws, we cannot be forced to give up our beliefs in the public square. that is why the fund for religious liberty seeking to overturn this illegal mandate, referring to the obama decision -- the obama administrations ruling on contra septic coverage. guest: that is not costing them anything. host: in their case, they are the insurer. so it would cost them. guest: no, no, no. the fact is very clear that to allow the use of birth control without copays or deductibles reduces costs for insurance companies. it's not costing them anything and that is all the -- all the tables say this.
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that's a false argument. it's a false argument. they want to put on to other people their religions beliefs. the individual -- religious beliefs the individual employee, the individual student, they have lost in public opinion. women and men have made up their mind. they want to use birth control. host: what about the issue of religious freedom? guest: the freedom -- religious freedom of the individual or of the government? that's where we're talking about. should some bishop that sits on high have the only conscience that counts or does the individual person have a conscience? and has an individual faith and belief and moral zphass women have moral compasses. do our religious not count? do our beliefs not count? and does our health not count? and that's the important thing. women's health, we know that with birth control being
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accepted -- accessible, women's health improves, and infant mortality rates go down, infant illnesses go down. most importantly, and certainly women's health improves. so this is -- this is one of the things that just gets me is 25% of all contraceptives aren't even prescribed for birth croment they're really prescribed for things like ovarian assists -- cysts. are we going to limit this usage? is a woman going to prove what she's using and in trying to prove it be injured? all this is big brother. not individuals being able to deficit. we're talking about religious liberty, i thought it was for people, not institution who is have made up their mind regardless of what the facts are. host: politically the "philadelphia inquirer" has this headline. obama boosted by g.o.p. birth control stand. that poll showing as you
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referred to that catholic voters and majority of americans, especially women, are in favor of this ruling. and that possibly the g.o.p. candidates are alienating women. from your perspective, are democrats doing enough to take advantage of -- if you will, of this popularity of the obama stance? guest: i think they're very aware of what's happening in the polls the last time i saw, it was a 50-point gender gap. and there was 77% of women were for and 6% against it. it's a big gap. sure, they're aware of it. but more importantly, they're aware of the need for women and they're looking out for women's interest. this is a big advance. it has non-discrimination clause on women. women pay right now 48% more for the average insurance policy. it gets rid of that discrimination. it provides for maternity care.
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where a lot of policies don't. the preventive care package which we're arguing about not only provides birth controls without co-pays or deductibles sexually transmitted disease testing, mammogram, cancer screenings, these are all things that saves women's lives and improves their health. host: let me show you the breakdown of women voters in the 2008 presidential election. guest: sure. host: 78 million registered women votes. 58% voted for president obama. 43% voted for mccain and 1% voted for others. this is from the census.gov website just to give us views some context. back to the birth control issue. we understand that house democrats want to hold a hearing on this ruling in response to
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the house oversight hearing last week where there were no women on the panel. guest: that's right. host: this hearing would be held by the democratic committee put together by minority leader nancy pelosi. here's politico with an update on that story. it says first house democrat couldn't get a woman on the panel. now they've invited her to testify at their own unofficial hearing and they say the republicans won't let them televise it. pelosi organizing a democratic steering and event to allow sandra fluke who -- host: and so that is from politico and we have looked into coverage of this hearing. so go to our website, cspan.org to find out if this will be -- if cameras will be allowed and
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when and where our cameras will be there. let's get to phone calls though. guest: sure. host: we have lines lining up on this issue of women issues and campaign 2012. molly, democratic caller in toledo, ohio. caller: good morning eleanor. i have a comment. number one, i'm going to make a prediction right now. president obama will be re-elected. he's great. i love him. i am a white woman -- host: molly, hold on for one second. we're going to try to fix -- guest: there's no sound. host: eleanor's volume a little bit. i'll listen and we'll try to fix her volume and then i'll get your question to her. go ahead. caller: ok. i basically have a comment. number one that president obama will be re-elected. i want to also address the hypocrisy of santorum. four years ago there was a program, 2020 -- $28 million --
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$20/20" against medical malpractice. when they discovered later his wife had sued her chiropractor. now if that isn't hypocrisy to the nth degree, i don't know what is. number, two i have catholic friends i have catholic friends that use birth control. i want the pope, the bishops and the priests out of women's lives. take care of the pedophile priests, and have the catholic church worry about them more than what women do with their bodies. host: molly, before you go? do you still think the obama administration is doing enough
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on this issue, pushing back enough politically against rick santorum? caller: in the coming months he has to get tougher. they have to basically get down in the mud like gingrich, santorum with his evangelical -- he gets out there every day. there is another reality show. they are evangelicals. they had their 20th child. host: do you agree with molly? the obama administration needs to get tougher? guest: let's get real. the obama administration is the reason we have these no call pay birth control -- this note co-- paid birth control for women.
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it was that accommodation that took away the fanny -- phony argument of the bishops. the reason he is going up in the polls is the american public is figuring out what is going on here. there has been a lot of misinformation even on the affordable care act. this is an advance for women. everywoman's group that has been fighting for years -- every woman's group that has been fighting for years is enthusiastically behind it, and this is an effort to derail the entire act. the bishops opposed in the first place. it is now clear that they are trying to take away benefits from women that help their health. host: i want to get your take on another issue this one coming out of the virginia state assembly. the house again delays hot- button measures.
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this is the headline this morning. then, if i could bar a your -- borrow your "washington post" there is an article talking about governor mcdonnell backing off his stance. until this weekend the governor and aides said he would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. now, the governor who opposes abortion will the long-term make that commitment. guest: this is not an ultrasound bill. they can insert into the woman's vagina a probe against this ultrasound against her consent
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because it needs -- and is being called raped because it meets the definition of rape. by the way, this has become very divisive with republicans, not only at the state level but also at the federal level voting for these intrusive on necessary, against a doctor's recommendation orders because they want to prove how pure they are in trying to obstruct women's access to reproductive health. host: david, a republican in monroe carolina. go ahead -- california, go ahead. caller: i want to know how you feel about the president allowing the baby to die, an
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innocent baby to die, and also how you feel about margaret singer, the racist white woman who founded planned murderhood who said she did not believe black women had the right to give birth. host: i will have eleanor smeal respond. guest: that is a distortion. the president never did that, and margaret sanger never said that. these are extreme and ridiculous really, charges. no one is for killing babies outside of the womb. that is not an issue here. we're talking about abortion that mostly happens in the first trimester. when they want to insert this probe into the vagina, we are
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talking about size of sells that are the size of a grain of rice or beans. if you're not talking about a baby. also they're not attacking contraception, birth control. -- they are now attacking contraception, birth control and this whole thing of margaret sanger is a distortion of reality. the reality is birth control today, and let's talk about today, not some time in the past it helps women's lives controlling their reproductive lives, and having them as a family make their own decisions, not some politician. host: here is an e-mail from jane. i keep hearing the contraception edict is needed because women need access to birth control. as far as i can tell, most women already have access to birth control, including women who
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work for catholic institutions. since all women currently have access to it, why should religious institutions as well as any private employer have to provide contraceptives free of charge? guest: all women do not have access. it is very expensive. it could be $55 and hire a month. it is the highest out-of-pocket expense. the reason you want to make it available is so people can make these decisions. as i said, it is not just used for birth control. we know that the preventive health care package saves problems, saves money. so, it is not a cost to the insurers. it is a benefit to women's health. host: what about getting access to it from other institutions like planned parenthood?
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guest: planned parenthood is not free. it is on a sliding scale. what these people want to do is cut off all funding to planned parenthood. remember the republican controlled house of representatives voted not only to eliminate all funding for planned parenthood, but all family planning. why are you forcing people to have children against their will that they cannot afford to take care of? it makes no sense. it makes no sense to you are trying to control women's lives as if they are some pawn literally injuring women's health. host: james an independent in saint louis, missouri. caller: as an independent, i personally do not believe in
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abortion, what to do with these kids that are born, that are disabled? what about the kids in africa? does he send money to them? what do we do with these children? i do not think we should kill babies at all but what should we do once we have them? that is the problem. it is not the solution. our morality it is out of whack. everyone is ready to jump on the next person, what we do after the fact? do we give them to the catholic church? will there adopt all of them? -- de adopt all them? host: new jersey, a republican. caller: 1 kathleen sebelius issued a ruling, i called both of our senators and asked for them to respond to me in writing what they felt about the
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constitution and the bill of rights and the number one item of the bill of rights. he responded regarding abortion. i did not call about abortion. i called about the constitution and the health of athe woman. looking at this from a 10-year point, let's say we cost $1 billion for birth control. however, because of the breast cancer that is a side effect, we spend $3 billion. that would mean we are spending $4 billion. the fact also is if a younger girl 15 or so, uses of the birth control she has four times more of a possibility to get breast cancer than a mature woman.
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guest: he has his facts confused. for every dollar spent on birth control, the government saves $4. host: why is that? guest: the cost of maternity is far more than the cost of birth control. it is not even a close call. then the cost of having children you cannot afford or being in for health -- women to know instinctively when they can't bear -- do know instinctively when they can bear children or not. anyway we know mathematically that it saves money. that is number one. number two this whole cost thing is a phony issue. when they talk about religious liberty, the first
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constitutional amendment is there should be no establishment of religion. it does not say people cannot exercise their own beliefs. we are not forcing anyone to use birth control. it is there choice. he linked it to cancer. we know the reverse of what he said. the use of birth control reduces the incidence of ovarian cancer. when kathleen sebelius issued this ruling, this was after the institute of medicine, a nonprofit that has scientists and doctors and whole panels who studied it, and they recommended that it would be better for the health of women if it was part of the preventive care package. so it does not like the president or kathleen sebelius just decided that it was -- just decided.
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it was on the basis of real knowledge. host: a democratic caller in milton, west virginia. caller: i want to comment on the man says go back to the constitution, yet they do not want to give gay rights. that is one thing that upsets me about republicans. i am a democrat. very liberal. my daughter was diagnosed at age 14, and we had insurance. our co-pay was $1,600 a month for the medication. at the time, my husband was working, and we were able to take care of that, but as she got older my husband lost his job, and we lost the insurance. she is now a grown woman and got on birth control which helped a
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little bit, but she needs specialized care. right now, she is 22 years old and is pregnant. when she became pregnant, she comes to me, and we talked about it and lead to the pros and cons, and she made the decision to keep -- and we did the pros and cons, and she made the decision to keep the baby. she does need help with having this child because of her income, but as she is going, she is trying to make herself better to where she can take care of this child herself, but until she is at that point she needs help. my problem with the republicans is when she does have this baby they will not want to help her to succeed to go to the next level. what i want to say is women should be able to make the choice. they will make the right choice
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for themselves. host: ok, lorraine. mike a republican in arizona. caller: good morning. i'm very interested in your conversation. my observation is because of the emotional content of the subject matter alone, it seems to me that a political solution, which is everyone -- what everyone is talking about, i guess, is impossible or has a very high probability of being impossible. i agree with the guest that the question is one for women to decide however a fix or some kind of heaven on earth solution, if it is arrived at, it cannot be reasonably done in
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a safe, simple fair manner, if it is dictated by the government. my deepest cynical thought is that politicians who are against abortion they are not necessarily against it, but they see the political rating on the wall -- right-wing christian fundamentalists that focus heavily on this -- whether the politicians is sincere or not it makes no difference. they will use of abortion and concept -- contraception as political subject matter. guest: they are using this as a political issue and they think it is appealing to their right wing base, and it will cost them in this election. i'm just hoping they do not get
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it through. let's be real. these bills are harmful. the bills in virginia that are now being voted on, the vaginal bill should be defeated, but they also have a person could bill which would say he cannot interfere with a fertilized egg. it would give personhood from the moment of conception. what does this mean? it could criminalize birth control, in vitro fertilization, miscarriages -- i mean, this is an outrage. it has to be defeated. right now, there are going away from the electorate. they lost this bill in mississippi last year by double digits. now, they're trying to get it through the legislature. people say it will not be enforced. you should not put a bill like
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this on the table, especially when you have presidential candidates saying they want to read bill -- repeal not only rovers as wav, but griswald -- roe v. wade but also griswald. it is a wake-up alarm. who thought we would have to fight this in the 21st century? host: raymond independent akron, ohio? chicago, peter, a republican. caller: i wanted to talk about the fact that eleanor brings up abortion but where do we stand and people that have fertility
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problems and want to give birth. guest: that is what i'm saying. some of these laws all locked in vitro fertilization. if you pass this person had amendment, which outlawed in vitro fertilization. -- outlaw in vitro fertilization. if you pass this it has consequences that are broad for americans. that is why polls are reacting this way. that is why it was voted down in mississippi. they are trying to take it away from people to vote on so we are very worried, because these bills are molding not only in mississippi, not only in -- moving not only in mississippi not only in virginia, but in other states. i believe men and women should vote out politicians who are telling you one thing, but they
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are getting collected to help the economy, and they're getting in there just to pass -- over 1000 bills were introduced by state legislatures dominated by republicans in 2011. 162 past. they were elected because of the economy, and all the sudden all of these bills to regulate birth control are introduced, and to many are passing. host: as president of the feminist majority foundation, what is their role in campaign 2012 to fight against measures you opposed? guest: we're trying to inform the public. all the major women's groups have been together to inform women and men what issues are at stake. one is birth control and
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abortion, but there are many more. the affordable care act, which has many advantages for women cancer screening medicare, medicaid -- these are the folks in the house that voted to essentially end medicare for people under 55. they want to narrow the availability of medicaid which pays for two-thirds of all people in nursing homes. these attacks are not only on the child-bearing ages, but also at the elderly years because they want to limit medicare and medicaid. there are many different issues. for example voters oppression -- there is an outrage so people want to vote, right? they do not want to hear people voting so they are changing voting laws which effect people
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of color, young women because they're making it sold a student identification does not count you need government-issued id or if you are an elderly woman you have to get a government- issued licenses or a birth certificate. many elderly women do not have the birth certificate or might not find their marriage license. they are suppressing the vote because there is a bet koresh to these policies. host: a democrat in -- a backlash to these policies. host: a democrat in south carolina. you are on the air. caller: good morning. thank god for c-span. mrs. eleanor smeal i'm really happy to see you.
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this might sound kind of weird but men have to realize that women are the reason why they are here. if it were not for women, there would not be children on this earth. we're in -- women have a right to determine what happens to their own body. i live here in south carolina, and i see the treatment of women more vivid than in other parts of this country. i think it is a sad thing when men do not realize that the reason why you were born on this earth is because of a woman. host: but may add an e-mail to the conversation -- let me an e- mail to the conversation -- male persons, especially the organize church or government, should have absolutely no voice in this argument.
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do you agree? guest: i agree in the quality, but excluding women's voices is an outrage and totally disrespectful for women. why they so afraid to hear from one woman who is a law student -- why are they so afraid to hear from one woman who was a law student at georgetown? she has a story to tell. a policy at georgetown cost of friend of hers her ovary. the basic disrespect and indignity of one has to be in this picture. it cannot be all male politicians deciding. we are only 17% women in congress. host: some statistics were put together. women hold only 17% of seats in congress.
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only 22% of state by collective positions. the united states trails much of the world. let me ask you this, what women out there today represent the future of the movement? guest: one of the things this is doing is growing the movement. all kinds of college students are entering. look at what happened in virginia. spontaneously, through facebook, young women lined the walkway to the general assembly to just stare at the legislature's. -- legislators. you have to face us. we want to look you in the eye. so, it is organizing. this could be a political year for women. there are women running for the senate. we have five new senators.
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it is not a huge number, but better than where we are. i believe many women will enter politics who have had it. host: is there a woman currently with the natural -- national stature to be the face of the movement and fight back? guest: there are so many. in virginia, chanel hearing, a member of the house, she introduced an amendment that has to be with woman's consent. i use her name because she is at the state level. there are people at the national level. eleanor holmes norton walked out in disgust and in protest to call attention to the fact they were not allowing a woman to testify. what kind of nonsense is this? i think it creates leadership,
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and this young woman, a third- year law student at georgetown, she bravely came forward. students from catholic university of america have come forward. they know these issues. they can speak them as well as any of us, i can tell you. they are speaking from their heart. host: on that testimony from her, the democratic steering committee, led by nancy pelosi, are trying to hold a hearing with sandra and they are looking to do this on thursday. if they're allowed to have cameras, look for our coverage on c-span.org. caller: i find it strange that men are calling in on these issues. being a 54-year-old woman when i was younger, we have to pay $12 for it, and i believe it
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should be free. i am astounded by these men. if they are so worried about birth control and pregnancy they should go after the men for child support. host: eleanor smeal? guest: absolutely. it is incredible but they want to take this advance away from women -- that they want to take away the sedans from one in. i cannot get over -- this advance from women. i cannot get over the fact that 90% of women support the. is more than consensus. when you have anything that is 98% of women that use it, and how many men use condoms? that is also in opposition of some church teachings. now that we know it is not only good for birth control but
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also treating serious illness it makes it more preposterous. by the way, she said it was $12 when she was a kid. some of the leading birth control pills are $65 or more, and that is just for the pill. you have to have a doctor's visit and all the other things that go with it that cost a lot of money. host: i will try to get in one last phone call, but here is an e-mail from john. the argument of religious liberty and the requirement of providing birth control fails when considering positions in the church in the past. thankfully the u.s. government has intervened in support of the rights of individuals. host: let's go to virginia. revlon, a republican.
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caller: 8 only takes one man to make 1000 babies if he finds the women. we have to pay taxes for the stuff, though we will always have men out there to take care of lots of women. host: what is the next focus of the debate? what are you watching? guest: we will be there tomorrow for the hearing. we are very active on college campuses. we are involved in her votes which involves the league of women voters and a host of organizations to educate. host: how will you do that? are you spending a certain amount of money? guest: every group is putting as much as they can into education immediately. we are very worried.
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host: campaign ads? guest: in some states, some people are. there are possibilities of 11 referendums that would outlaw birth control and these other things. we will fight them. we were on the ground in mississippi. we have our mississippi college units. planned parenthood organized. all the women's organizations the various organizations that have strong positions will be organizing their membership, etc. we will defeat them. this is really women's lives and we will be there, i can guarantee you. host: eleanor smeal, thank you for talking to our viewers. we continue on politics, talking about the role of super pacs
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with the president and ceo of american crossroads, but first an update from c-span radio. >> over a draft fees charged by big banks will be the focus the new consumer watchdog agency. the consumer financial protection bureau said they will ask banks for information on how over-draft fees affect consumers, how protection is marketed, and what information consumers receive. the probe could result in new rules or losses as banks are found to have violated consumer laws. a new proposal that would lower the top rate of taxes but generate more total revenue by eliminating what the administration refers to as "and dozens of loopholes and subsidies." timothy geithner formally unveils the blueprint this morning. also this morning, president obama and former first lady
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laura bush will help break ground on a new museum devoted to the history of black life, art, and culture as part of the smithsonian institution. the museum is scheduled to open in 2015, near the washington monument. you can watch live coverage of the ground-breaking ceremony at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> i am mark farkas. i have of the lcv project which stands for local content pickles. the purpose is to collect programming from outside of washington, d.c. we staff each one of these with one person, a small video camera, and a laptop so they are able to record and edit from the road. i want to get out of washington,
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d.c., and collect programming for all of our networks. we are doing and lcv cities tour with one doing historical sites, the other booktv programming, and the other community relations event, which are important to us because we work with cable partners in each of these cities. all of this goes on the air and it's archived on our web site, the c-span video library, and we are also doing extensive social media. you will see us on facebook, our partners on facebook. you will see foursquare, which is location-based. he will see us on twitter as well. it is a chance -- you will see a son twitter as well. it is a chance to get out our message on air and on social media. that is why it is important to get into places, outside the beltway, where we really do not do programming.
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>> watched the next local content vehicle stopped in shreveport, louisiana the first weekend in march. -- louisiana, the first weekend in march. >> "washington journal" continues. host: steven law president and ceo of american crossroads is back at the table this morning. let me begin with this story. justice breyer and ginsburg rethink citizens united, the two judges in minority on that decision, and it says here that it makes it difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. what is your reaction? guest: i think the real problem we face is the law itself, which says political parties can have
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a attenuated role in politics, and what that has done is push money out into on regulated on limited areas. -- unregulated, but limited areas. what we really have is a system that at --unlimited areas. what would really have is a system designed by congress. it cannot under the first amendment be limited. that goes back to 1976. i think that is not likely to be redone. for people that would like to see more money spent inside of the system, whether it is by candidates or political parties, what they can more effectively do is raise the limits that can be contributed to political parties which would take us back to before the mccain-fine gold legislation. host: here is some statistics a
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recent study from "washington post" -- guest: well, there is obviously a little bit of spin in the article, but they were referring to the organization that we run that is a 501 cf which got involved in the debt limit debate, and we see that as a critical point dealing with the issue of debt and taxes.
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president obama said there would be no conditions, then made raising taxes the absolute requirement for any deal he would agree to on the debt limit. we got involved. we end up spending about $15 million of advocacy, both aimed at the white house and the congress, and we encourage people to write and tell them they did not want taxes associated to the debt limit extension and that they want real solutions to deal with the debt and deficit this administration and allies in congress had created. because of that advocacy largely, the number one condition president obama put on raising the debt limit raising taxes, did not happen. we got a debt limit deal on the deficit reduction side that was not as great as we wanted. we continue to fight for that. we think it was money well-
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spent to putting pressure -- for putting pressure on washington to deal with their spending habit. host: how much did american crossroads raised in 2010 and what is the goal in 2012? guest: the two groups raised over $70 million. i thought it was about 40/60 roughly in the amount the two groups raised. our goal for 2012, between 2011 and this year, is the total of about $300 million. that is our goal. we expect to have a robust national debate. host: according to the center for responsive politics, this is where your numbers are right now.
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it's called how much our contributions, typically -- host: how much our contributions typically? guest: it varies a great deal. we have online donors that give as little as $10. we have people that write checks from their retirement accounts. it varies a great deal in terms of small and very large. interestingly, just last year, and into this year, the number of donors has increased substantially. we're almost on par with where we were in 2010. host: how much of your resources to you plan to spend on the presidential campaign? guest: obviously, the presidential election and issues surrounding it will be front and center on everyone's mind. people are concerned about the
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debt, the state of the economy regulations taxes, and we will be talking about those issues, and president obama's efforts on those issues. one example i briefly mentioned -- de obama health care law. it is in the process of being implemented over a multi-year period. many are not aware of what will happen. a lot happens in 2013. we will spend a lot of time educating people on what the law really means because a lot of them have not felt that they will not have the choices they had before, and that their health-care costs will go up. we want people to know about that. host: is that where crossroads gps comes in?
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guest: we will spend a lot of time talking about that, the debt. the president put together a budget that eds trillions in debt, continues on our dependence on the chinese government, and we're very concerned about that. host: you are also looking at house and senate races, with most of your money going against the democrat running in the seats that you have targeted. why is that? why go negative, rather than staying positive with the candidate did you support? guest: this is a larger issue that people are beginning to focus on. i've been in washington, politics and government for a long time, and people spend time thinking about how to influence policy, advocating solutions or pushing back on them, and one of the things we found is that
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people pay a lot of attention in election years. an awful lot of people in office only pay attention to what people think in election years. a lot of voters pay attention to issues when there discovered nationally. -- discussed nationally. a lot of these things like reducing the debt load are things to put on the national table and to pave the way so that in 2013, if american crossroads does its job, and we get a congress more favorable to free enterprise, we will have conditions lawmakers that these are important things to look at. host: what about negativity -- so far, $64,000 against senator
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from tesco. in the new york district, $330,000. why go negative? -- 3 ended $75,000 against the independent. -- 3 ended $75,000 against the independent. why go negative? negativity works? guest: we put money into things we want to change. we are going to be critical of the policies, particularly of this administration and allies in congress and point out our disagreements. host: give us your top targets in the senate? -- your top targets in the senate. guest: there are a number of things. a much larger number of democrats' seats are up, some of
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them in states that are pretty good territories. we have an excellent shot in kanas. north dakota is a great pickup opportunity. that will be somewhat competitive. we think we of a great shot their parents -- there. misery. we are very excited about misery. -- missouri, we are very excited about that state. another state that is almost never on the republican radar screen is hawaii, where the former governor is running for the senate seat. we do not know how the primary is going to go on the democratic side but that is an unusual pick up opportunity as well. we think both the virginia and montana senate races will be huge battles. they're very tight right now
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and probably will be tight all the way to the end. you have in me-matched candidates. -- evenly-matched candidates. then we have other places like in florida, where a large number of people are looking for the nomination. august we have territory to defend as well in now that -- obviously, we have territory to defend as well in havana and messages. host: you will be defended -- nv and massachusetts. host: you will be defending republican incumbents as well? guest: yes. it makes it much more difficult for outside groups to play our role -- that was an agreement reached by senator brown. it also leaves out what unions
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do the best and most of, on-the- ground activity. massachusetts will be huge there because even in that out is one way we are spending time thinking about. host: unions are gearing up to spend up to $400 million. the first phone call for steven law, floyd, a republican, butler, tennessee. caller: yes. i have a comment more or less about the republican party which i have been a proud member of all of my life. i go back to truman. i am an old man but i am an eisenhower republican. i am ashamed of the republican
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party today. it stands for nothing ever believed in. host: give us an example. caller: for example your last guest on the program. look at what they are doing to women in this country. religion has no business in politics. host: the need take them and asked steven law about social issues -- let me take that and ask steven law about social issues with far less guest saying this will alienate female voters entered the republican party's chances of getting the white house. guest: what we saw in 2010 is something we are seeing today, which is economic issues dominate. because of the state of the economy, concerns about the debt the state of the recovery, that this top-of-mind for
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everyone. to some extent, talking primarily about social issues is not a top-of-mind issue for a lot of voters, but the same time i think the obama administration unwittingly or not, kicked off a huge fire storm when they issued the hhs rules. host: yet politically, it looks like president obama has been doing fine on that issue. this is the editorial page in "the detroit free press." gingrich and santorum are addicting
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guest: we are in the state of the primary where all of the candidates need to lock down the cause-oriented voters, and all candidates have to be careful that they will have to appeal to voters in the middle. the presidential election this year, and probably most years, will be one in the middle. the people that are potentially gettable are in the middle and the candidates need to keep that in view. at the same time, you mentioned organized labor spending at least $400 million to help reelect president obama. i think the role of organized labor, the power of public- sector unions, degree to which they get paid, the degree to which their pensions are causing
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states to have to pay higher taxes, those are issues to focus on. host: let's go to a democrat in loudoun, -- loudoun county virginia. what is your name? caller: my name is aposh. i have been listening to c-span for almost three years, and following politics since the second term of president george bush. i respect every politician that gives a much of their time and effort for the social welfare of this country, but one thing i can knock understood -- cannot understand is when bill clinton
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left there was a budget surplus, and when president bush left office there was a huge budget deficit. the country went through an unprecedented recession. it seems like -- i know we have to spend money to get back on our feet -- feeet. every solution is blocked by republicans, in respect of of what the agenda is. host: ok. guest: first, a great first question on c-span. your charitable public toward politicians -- view toward politicians is a great view to have.
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talked about the debt and deficit. candidate obama railed against the previous administration, and then prove he can do a much better job of running up the debt, increasing it to a degree that far outmatched any prior president in history in fact all prior presidents combined. this will be one of the key issues. what will we do to rein in out- of-control entitlement spending, the washington culture that never reduces in size, and budgets a percentage of growth beyond the base? president obama decided to take a pass on that issue, deciding he did not want to do anything bold or take leadership. this is an issue that is starting to tangle him up. people are not concerned about the debt because of the fiscal wait it places on our country but because it is a proxy of
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core leadership. people across our country are doing everything they can saving money yet in washington they see the same and president obama wants to continue that, and i think they will hold that against him. host: irving, a republican. west virginia. caller: good morning. i'm a first-time caller. i have watched many hours of c- span. i have one brief comment relating to a word used by dr. phil, and this has to do with
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the debt. in the last 20 years how is it working with us with more than $16 trillion. host: you blame both parties? guest: i am blaming both parties, and i am a registered democrat. host: calling on the republican line? gcaller: i told your screener i was a democrat. host: just checking. guest: when republicans controlled all of washington, we were not careful. i give president obama -- president bush credit for trying to engage in the social security
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entitlement reform. that got nowhere in congress, but he deserves credit for stepping up and been serious about it. unfortunately, it requires a presidential leadership we are not seen from president obama where you have to step up, delivered a bold plan, and take the first punch. try to push the plan that could get bipartisan support in congress. that is what it will take. a congress and the president working together to solve this problem. right now we're not seeing that. unfortunately, from the white house, we see more and more debt-laden spending, more and more charging to the credits card. host: this tweet for you, mr. steven law.
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guest: i have a law degree, but i hate to play one on television. american crossroads and crossroads gps are nonprofits, so we do not pay taxes. our activities are tax-exempt. it is like labor unions, trade associations. host: indianapolis, independent caller. caller: i support the get out of our house party. it is our house. i see both parties say a lot of things, but they do not do what they say. the people are all conservative. when we see people pointing fingers and not getting anything done i have a question for
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stephen. how is it the corporation's enjoy personhood, yet they do not have the responsibility -- corporations enjoy personhood, yet they do not have the responsibility that people are held to? guest: that is an arcane question about corporate law that i do not know the answer to parent corporations pay taxes. they can be held liable for -- answer to. corporations pay taxes. they can be held liable for mistakes. corporations do have liability of their own. the only thing that a corporate structure allows is that there is some protection from liability for officers and directors of corporations, but that does not absolute. there are more exceptions to that, continuing to puncture the
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corporate veil. corporations -- i do not know whether there are people, but they certainly carry a lot of the same liabilities' an individual would have. host: "washington post" and a lot of papers are breaking down who was giving to super pacs. it shows a handful of wealthy americans that have given to certain groups. harold simmons is one of them and according to "washington post, he has given $12 million to american crossroads. this is a tweet from mary. guest: first of all, when president obama ran for election in 2008, and when he will run against -- again in 2012, he will have a 400 million-dollar
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donor in organized labor. the way the political spending of organized labor is done is by a tiny oligarchy of labor leaders to decide how the money will be spent. after the 2008 election, one of the major funders of that effort said weak demand payback. that is the word hethey spent a huge amount of money to elect people to abdicate and pursue their agenda. there were not enough sweeteners for them or enough things that the administration did that they wanted. they got a lot of things done that they wanted and pushed out by a lot of regulations and now you see laborers say we are in for at least another 400 or more of this cycle. i think that is what distresses
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people. when you see one particular special interest group spending $400 million to elect somebody and then demanding a specific payment in return, that is the kind of thing i think people get sick about of washington. host: this viewer uses " oligarchy" as billionaires on the republican side. guest: i think you see it oligarchies on both sides. george soros was spending tens of billions of dollars -- tens of millions of dollars to be very active. i have not seen any complaints frabout george soros. on both sides, there has been a tremendous amount of activity
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outside. now there is a certain amount of concern because republicans have figured out how to do it and we are getting better at it. all of this is very much a creature of federal law. when congress pushed money out of the political party and the candidate process, people who opposed that legislation said a would create more outside spending. host: let's go to flint mich. a democratic caller, good morning. i think i lost there. maryland, the republican line. are you there? caller: good morning. i just wanted to weigh in on the gentlemen. i do not have the privilege of looking at it on television. i wanted him to speak about being certain whether a
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corporation was a person or not. i think any u.s. citizen can tell you they are not and yet they poured money into political campaigns and do not have the voice that we have. just to say and little bit about what has been going on in washington, the american people want to see them get to work. the public has been stalemating everything that the administration has wanted to do. that does not bode well for this next election. another four years will be in place for the obama administration. i am happy to see that is the case. guest: first of all one thing that you said which i strongly agree with. what is underlying the question you raised is in the end, the
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voters will decide what kind of government they want in 2012 and beyond. i think that is important to emphasize. there is a lot of money in politics whether it is from organized labor or unions. in the end, the voters are the ones who are going to make the choice and look at all of the information and filter out what they think is it fair and what they think is unfair. there is more and more information than ever before. we are a provider of that information on the other side. it is going to be the voters who will make their own judgment and hopefully turned out and vote. in the end that is what makes our democracy work. from our perspective, we think the first two years of the administration when congress and the president did whatever they
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wanted was not good for the country. we do not like the stalemate we see in washington. that is what the american people voted for in 2010. in 2012, we will have a fresh discussion of what the american people want. host: justin has this tweet -- guest: in the end you cannot let outside totally independent speech that is not connected to officeholders' or political parties. that is what it said. the decision has become this central figure in people's minds but it is important to understand. before citizens united, you had organized labor conducting voter
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turnout going back before fdr. all of these activities have been. i think the main significance of citizens united was in invalidated these activities that had been going on already. it made people feel more comfortable because the supreme court was saying this was acceptable and the government cannot restrict this activity. host: florida, dave is an independent. you're up with steven law from american crossroads. host:good morning. caller: good morning. i guess we have to rewrite the oval office because there is not an outline of what the president's duties are. we are in a global economy, but i do not see a lot of good things happening.
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host: give me an example. caller: we are funding banks to give money abroad. we are funding -- let's see. charities, or whatever, contributions to foreign countries, and they have no accounting going on. host: so, the bank bailout it. guest: sure. one of the things that began to get people up in arms in 2009 and 2010 was the sense that washington was basically giving away their tax dollars and charging to the tudors huge amount of money to interest groups that had great representation in washington, d.c. we advertised on it and will continue to talk about it -- the president's green energy program which has become a form of playing games with our tax dollars.
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today, it was reported that the white house is stonewalling on further information about a scandal and other grants and loan guarantees under this program. this is a really serious issue and it is the kind of thing that makes most americans get very cynical about washington. when they see people giving money to a president, getting a job inside the administration, being able to steer government funds to companies. that is the epitome of the kind of corruption that makes people disgusted with washington. host: joe weighs in on our questions and says this -- bob, a republican in maine good morning. guest: good morning. i have a lot to say.
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i have been a republican since i was a teenager. i am now 81. i worked for -- i left that party this past year because taheyhey are a bunch of no's. i have never been so disgusted in my life. host: i want to clarify. the republicans are the party of no? caller: that is right. host: let's get a response. guest: i think you need another airline for republicans who are no longer republicans. a couple things. it is important to understand the context of the elections to know what is going on now.
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in 2009 and 2010, the president had a virtual blank check from congress. whenever he wanted, he could get. in fact, they agreed upon a huge amount. the stimulus, raising our cadets and deficits. -- our debts and deficits. the american people decided that made them nervous. they did not like that direction of the country. in droves, the voters elected people to congress to put a check on washington. when we talk polls the thing that resonated was we need to put a check on the president's agenda. the republican congress is doing that by stopping significant amounts that the obama administration would like to do. after the election, president
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obama seemed to be contrite. he suggested there might be a change of policy, that he might try to move more toward the middle and find accommodation to advance policies that would represent a more centrist approach. this president has not chosen to do that. he has decided to stay in the left corner and not to negotiate on serious issues. the condition he put on the table was the one that the new republicans could not take. it takes two to tango. the president has not chosen to do that. host: a democratic caller from washington. caller: hi. my thing is where you guys at when bush was running up the deficit? guest: i was in the department of labor during the time and we
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would regularly receive our guidance from the omb. it was almost always a reduction from our base. we treated it seriously and said if that is the rule, we are going to stick to it. we would submit budgets that were well below the mark. when the reports came out about the unified budget, all of these other agencies got increases. we cut spending. the other thing that happened that i think is important to point out is we would submit it reduced budget, and then senator arlen specter who had a tremendous amount of cloud would add in a huge amount well at and beyond our cuts. we would cut mandatory grant programs. he would add it back in. we would cut spending for job training funds. he would add it back in.
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you have a lot of blame on both sides. " we have seen since president obama took office has been an exponential growth since the bush administration. host: "politico" has this story about the reelection efforts. this is one senator who was around during the spending that happened under republicans' watch. american crossroads, have you decided that you are backing his re-election effort? guest: historically, american crossroads has not gotten involved in primary fight. we did do advertising last year praising senator hatch for his leadership on health care reform. i think there are few people more valuable on that effort then hammed. we did do some advertising on that.
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we had an event a couple of weeks ago focused on the obama administration's rapid expansion of executive power, and he was our keynote speaker. we appreciate his leadership on labor issues. whether it amounts to us getting involved in a primary -- host: we will go to syracuse new york. go ahead, randy. caller: i am calling from the 25th congressional district in new york. in the 2010 election, the democratic incumbent was being funded by george soros and literally getting hundreds of thousands of dollars. the republican challenger was being outspent. thanks to american crossroads, they came in at the last moment and they gave her enough money to help her find her campaign.
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she was fortunate enough and we were fortunate enough for her to win that election. she has provided us with excellent representation. she does a town hall meeting every single month. thank you, mr. law. i am a republican is still happy to be a republican. host: let me get a question from a tweeter. guest: actually, i think the example that was given is a perfect answer to that. the instance that the caller referenced is really significant, where the incumbent at a huge cash advantage. they had outside support. groups like ours frequently even out the odds. you saw this in race after race
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in 2010. the committee chairman of the house had huge resources. no challenger could raise money because the incumbent could raise a huge amount of money and shot out the challenger. we were able to even out the odds and able to defeat incumbents. although i appreciate the kind comments, we do not give money to candidates. because we accept unlimited outside contributions, we cannot give them money. we spend money of our own advocating for them. we do not actually give it to them. host: steven law from american crossroads thank you for talking to our viewers. coming up, we turn to our weekly spotlight on magazines. "gq" magazine's recent addition had the top 50 most powerful people in washington.
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we will break down that list coming up next. first, we want to let you know about an event later in washington which is the unveiling of the new smithsonian national museum of african american history. we will bring you live coverage of its close to 10:00 a.m. this morning. it was first proposed by a black civil war veterans almost 100 years ago. now, five special commissions and two special acts of congress later, they are set to break ground on the smithsonian's national museum of african american history and culture. the groundbreaking ceremony for that museum later on today on c- span. coming up next our magazine article. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> officials and afghanistan say at least three people have been
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killed by police as they opened fire on anti-american demonstrators. this is the second day of rioting what the u.s. said was the inadvertent burning of all the books at a nato base. -- of holy books at a nato base. violence continues in syria where government shelling in the city of homass has killed two journalists. a french journalist and a veteran u.s. war reporter have been identified by the french government. france's for a minister says of the attack showed the intel liberal oppression among syrian forces. and update on the economic situation. it has downgraded greece further into junk status, from triple c
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to c. the agency says the downgrade indicate "default is highly likely in the near term." those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> tonight on c-span, from this year's world economic forum, a discussion on leadership roles for women. >> as a man gets more powerful and successful, he is better liked. as a woman gets more powerful and successful, she is less like. week reward men at every step of the way for being leaders, for being assertive, and taking risks. we teach women as young as four to the communal. until we change that at the
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personal level we cannot change this. we have to go out there and say there is an invasion gap -- an ambition gap. we need our girls to be ambitious to achieve in the workforce. >> watch the entire discussion tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. we will have more from the world economic forum this week. on friday, a discussion of the economic future on africa. plus the ceo's of major corporations talk about their role in the global economic recovery. >> "washington journal" continues. host: a spotlight on magazines takes a look at a recent magazine article. this week, we turn our attention to "gq" magazine's the 50 most
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powerful people in washington. reid cherner is a contributor to "gq" magazine. why do you do the list in the first place? how do you define power? guest: not all of our readers -- most of our readers are not in washington. there is a constant running conversation here about who is powerful and who is not that often runs contrary to what you might think of who is really powerful and who is not. every two years, the magazine takes a look at talking to insiders and journalists to see who is making a difference. host: you do an informal survey of washington insiders. guest: yes, we do. than our editors go through the list.
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-- then our editors go through the list. this is a snapshot. if we did this list right now it would probably look different. we are doing a weekly power list on our website for who is important this week. as you know, it tends to change. people are up and people are down. host: when did this list take fruition? what is the criteria for making the list? guest: we started over the summer. you have a significant lead time showing up in the print version of the magazine. there are not firm criteria for making the list. we were looking for who is interesting, who is the person behind the person. you will notice that eric cantor
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is number one. some people said how come the speaker is not number one or the majority leader? i think a lot of people in washington would say that is right, not that speaker john boehner is not powerful, but that actually mr. eric cantor is wielding power in interesting new ways and deploying new tactics in the face of saying no to president obama. in our view, that deserves the number one. it is all of course subject of. host: when you talk to the insiders inside the beltway about eric cantor, you mentioned whether or not he becomes house speaker -- does he wait for john boehner to step down or does he try to oust power from him? is that something you heard from the sources that you talk to? guest: yes, but you have to keep
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in mind everyone wants to seem like they know what is going on. i cannot personally say whether that is true. i heard a lot of people -- i have heard it from a lot of people. having that things said about you can be power in it of itself. host: speaker john boehner makes the list, but he is number 12. why? guest: when you look around, there are a lot of different power centers. certainly, the house is one of them. something tells me i do not think speaker john boehner is not that upset that he is number 12 and not number one. we see these key moments in the house. day today, you might see a lot of -- day to day, you might see
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a lot of eric cantor coming out of the white house. he is certainly very powerful. what we've tried to do with the top-10 is provide a much more representative list of what house, military, etc. host: number2 on the list, the minority leader in the senate. guest: pretty much the same reason eric cantor is number one. mitch mcconnell is regarded as an extremely smart guy and people really like him. people know that he is extremely tough and not shy about saying no when he wants to. when you are in the minority legislature, your ability to say no and to stand up in front of the cameras and announce your intrench in this is a powerful
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trade and not everyone wants to do that. host: top two slots for republicans. guest: no one with the last name obama or biden is included on the list. host: i wanted to show a tweet. guest: right. rather than waste a bunch of slots on the president the vice president, the first lady and the second lady, we are looking at everyone who is not the president and the vice president and how they stack up. given that we have a democratic president, it is the minority leaders or the leaders of the minority party in congress that are wielding a lot of power. host: third on the list. guest: he has been with president obama for a long time
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and is now a senior adviser and the white house. he is, as you might have seen in a news plate -- in a newspaper profile over the weekend, the former chief of staff saying if there is one guy that the president listening to, it is him. host: is that why bill daly left? guest: i think there is always a tremendous amount of turnover in the white house. bill daley did not necessarily come out looking great after them. " numberfour and number five on the list. guest: leon panetta is one of these guys that has done almost everything in washington. he wielded a tremendous amount of power in the clinton administration. now he is back.
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after killing osama bin laden he will have to oversee slicing the budget which is not really popular with anyone. he is someone familiar with pulling the strings and the budget levers. secretary clinton, of course. it is hard to imagine a time when secretary clinton will not be on the list until she goes into retirement. by all accounts, she has been a very powerful secretary of state. by nature of going from chief rival to chief ally is something in it of itself. host: the insiders that you talk to for this list -- is that what they say on both sides of the aisle about secretary clinton? guest: yes. i have not heard anything negative about her as secretary of state which is pretty remarkable. some would disagree with
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obama's foreign policies but in terms of the way she has carried herself, people have been very pleased. host: we are talking about the top 50 most powerful people in washington with reid cherner from "gq" magazine. let's go to michigan. we will continue to dig down into this list. kevin, go ahead. caller: i was wondering where the lobbyists come in on the list since they are the most powerful in washington. guest: that is a good question. we have several lobbyist on the list. they are not in the top 10. there are some of the most powerful lobbyists in town. you are absolutely right that -- from the chamber of commerce, right. it is no secret that the
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legislation in some ways is not bought and sold here in washington and these are the people who buy and sell power in a lot of ways. depending on who is in office, he will have republican lobbyist who lobby republican members, getting a lot of contracts or with democratic members, going the other way. now split control of congress. it is always a boom time for lobbyists in washington. host: grover norquist -- his name has been in the papers. he makes number 18 on your list. guest: he is the anti-tax figurehead in washington. he has a pledge that almost every republican lawmaker has signed pledging never to vote to raise taxes.
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at a time like this when you have huge deficits, there are only two ways to close them -- cutting spending or raising taxes, or probably a mixture of both. that pledge is thanks to grover norquist. host: another tweet -- guest: yes. actually,we do. i believe there was a list of the 50 people who are the least relevant. i did not work on it myself. i think that is a very interesting point. for everyone gaining power there are people losing power. people will tell you people just coming back and back. host: you can reemerge in washington. guest: yes. host: who did not make the list
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that would surprise the worse? guest: i have had people say to me "where is harry reid?" you cannot argue that he is not powerful. he is someone who made our list two years ago. if he sticks around, he will have a good chance to get on the list again. we have 50 slots. we do not do 100 for a reason because we want to narrow it down who is influencing the conversation and making the decisions. the nature of making those choices. host: nancy pelosi. guest: same situation. i think it is hard to argue with democrats in the house that she wields a tremendous amount of power right now.
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she certainly wields a lot of power over her caucus and it is a very powerful person and an accomplice legislator. bug right now -- host: not a player? guest: there are hundreds of people who fall into that category that probably do not fit into the top 50 right now. again, we are doing a weekly top 50 list every week that are influencing the conversation. host: let's go to mike in ohio. caller: good morning. i have six people that are running the whole thing. number one, the president of the united states. the speaker of the house whoever it is from what party because they determine what legislation is going to come to the floor for consideration.
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the senate majority leader who does the same thing in the senate. the fifth person on the supreme court who is usually anthony kennedy who decides every single law that is approved or disapproved by the courts since most of the decisions are 5-4. the other people are actually meaningless. any one of 100 senators who can anonymously hold up a law or action in the senate and shut it down. the last one is the media who controls what the people around the country hear. it does not matter what is going on. they drive what is going on. we could have catastrophe's all over the world. and the media will spend three weeks on michael jackson's funeral or michael jackson's trial. they refused to cover ron paul.
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they made a joke out of kucinich who was in favor of a single person -- host: i think we got your six. guest: that is an efficient list. you might call that the civics textbook list of powerful people. in many ways, we have affected your hierarchy in our list. we are looking at -- we have senator demint on there for example. as i said, it is a snapshot. as we get further along this year we know we are going to see a lot of power being wielded by the supreme court. the media, that is an excellent point, too.
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i get frustrated as well as a member of the media. i do understand the frustration that you see a lot of coverage of the story of the day and not some of the nitty gritty policy making in washington. host: there were some that did not make the list -- there were some from the media that did make the list. beforeit saysa -- he might be the most important political journalist working today. it is no contest." guest: right. chuck is a popular and powerful reporter here in washington. people see him as the heir to tim russert who passed away a couple of years ago and was the
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face of journalism for nbc. chuck todd is doing a lot of live shots from the white house every day and has his own show. the present the news in and approachable way. host: mike allen is another one from the media who makes the list. here is a tweet from mary who wants to know -- guest: i think that is an excellent question. the american voter would probably be in the top 50. it is hard to put them as one entry on the list. but i think it is an excellent point. how powerful do you feel? do you feel like your votes are making a difference? it is one of the frustrations.
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host: let's go to steven, a democratic caller. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? i just want to let everyone know in alabama -- there are a lot of people who watch your show all the time. i think everybody is just running down obama. i have been in this situation where i could not get health care for a type ii diabetics. i appreciate him. host: linda an independent from florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i am calling with my own snapshot. i think the gentleman has his
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personal snapshot. guest: it is a team effort. but go ahead. host: go ahead with your question. caller: i think the media would be number one. i think his 50 are taken from the media. eric cantor, number one. who is number two? host: did you talk to just media types? guest: no, we didn't. we talk to people inside government, working with government, and some reporters but we really talked to a cross section of people. host: here is another tweet from one of our viewers who wants to know -- he is on the list. guest: i think looking at who
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the biggest movers are is a great question and a good idea. host: what do you think that means? guest: who is on the way up and who is on the way down. that can be kind of hard to measure. the closer you look at things the more marked it gets. we do know people like senator dodd who was a powerful senator from connecticut is now running the motion picture association from americaof america of. that is a big move and deserves to be on the list. there are certainly a lot of revolving door action going on every day. host: number6 is ben bernanke. guest: there is a lot of discussion about the economy. everyone wants to know who is right and who is wrong.
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bernanke is someone who i think has frustrated both sides to a certain extent but is still viewed as a truth teller in the debate. he may have the only a effective tools to impact what is happening with the economy. host: just going through the list real quickly here. let me go to number 7. david petraeus, director of the cia. guest: he oversaw operations in afghanistan. he is now running cia. it is hard to get more powerful than that in terms of the role that america plays in the world. general david petraeus now has more of an insider job rather than being a battlefield commander. he is in the oval office frequently. that is a different kind of
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power and a complementary kind of power. host: the house majority whip behind eric cantor comes in at number 8. number9 -- here is a name that people will probably recognize. counselor to the president. guest: we highlight people who is among the people have not heard of it you live outside of the zip code. pete has been a close adviser to president obama for some time. he was chief of staff when obama was senator. he is the consummate insider when it comes to how power is wielded. he is someone who is seen as a fixer who avoids cameras. you do not hear his name a lot but people who are close to the business know that he is
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powerful. host: number10. guest: the chamber of commerce represents most of american business. they are enormously well funded and their mandate is to oppose anything that they think would harm the bottom line for businesses in america. that is meant in recent years opposing the president's health care initiative and has put tom donahue who runs the chamber in a personal one-on-one contest with obama sometimes. many people say he has won. host: i went through -- going through the list as you were talking, there is only one female in the top-10 and about 10 women total on this list. guest: it is a criticism that we take seriously of course. we view this list as a snapshot.
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we took a lot of nominations from a lot of people. we wrestled with who should be in it what slot. we did not sit down and say we want to the overall group to look a certain way. that is something that we take seriously. obviously, there are a lot of women who are wielding power. if you look at the weekly list on our website, there are a lot of women. host: paul, you are up next. caller: c-span is great. this is for the guest. does "gq"s stand republican? it sounds like a lot of people are against obama. i love the magazine. host: let me get him to respond
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to what you were alleging. guest: i think the answer to that is no. if you read the list, it is pretty balanced. we do not take a position politically. host: chicago, the republican caller, go ahead. caller: good morning and thank you, c-span, for such a great service that you provide the people. there was a question of whether we should be looking at when you ask the order of how you feel about your vote and it does not count. i do not think that should be the question. when the voters go elect their representatives, the legislation passed -- is benefiting the people? is it in accordance with the party that got elected? therefore, that voter bloc
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should deal that they have effectively executed their civil duties. guest: i think that is an interesting point. you are saying basically government seems more responsive to party blocs that are elected there is an argument for that. we see in the house of representatives the party that is in power calls the shots. they bring bills to the floor. it is not always the most balanced kind of debate. no matter who is in power. that can be satisfying to voters who want to put a certain party in power but can be frustrating to others. host: let's go to washington, d.c. a democratic collar. go ahead. i am going to put you on hold.
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you have to turn your television or your radio down. here is a tweet. guest: i think that is an excellent point. we specifically looked at who is powerful in washington, d.c. i think if you're going to look at who is powerful around the country, you have a lot of controversial governors. host: nancy go ahead. nancy in illinois. i think we lost there. let's talk about after number10. timothy geithner. he is not in the top 10. why not the top 10? guest: i think there are a lot of people impacting economic policy right now. i think tiger has a good -- i think tim geithner has a good position on the list. he is an economic adviser rather than a direct actor in the way
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that bernanke can be. not to say that tim geithner does not have plenty of input but he is often not so far out front. host: jay from washington, d.c. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: i have been a fan of "gq" for a while. it seems like they do not do the work to find out what is going on in this town. it is not all politicians that run this town. this piece is created to create national buzz for the magazine and is unfair for the people who live here. it is unfair for our city council and a lot of other restauranteurs. >> guest:guest: i think if you are
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going to argue for sports figures for washington, d.c., to be included ovechkin was on the list a couple of years ago. your points are well taken. it is an interesting experience being a washingtonian. there are a lot of challenges here in washington that are vocal and do not get covered because of all of the bigfoots down the street. the tea party does not get its own slot, but senator demint is on the list. he is the tea party senator if you want to call him that. the tea party is certainly extremely powerful. we are seeing that debate played out right now. host: he comes in at number 6.
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number13 on the list -- karl rove. bill in oklahoma, and independent, go ahead. caller: what is the racial and gender makeup of hutus is these people? guest: i did not do a survey of the gender and racial makeup of that group, but it is the editors. the riders had some input but the choice was ultimately made by the editors. host: good morning, jeff. caller: how come you did not mention the corporations? the corporations also lobby their congressman and state write the bills. we end up on the wrong end. host: there are some lobbyists
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that make the list who in some cases represent corporations or other groups. caller: it is all corporations getting their way. guest: i think that is why we have the chamber of commerce tom donohue. host: tom donahue coming in at number 10 on alleged. washington alan is an independent caller. good morning. caller: i would like to talk about protecting other people from power. i would like to see an article on this. the grand jury clause of the fifth amendment does not apply to the state's. note 12 person trial juries in states. -- no 12-person trial juries in
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state spendin. the long dissenting opinion in one case, just briefly secret nominations which may undermine however convenient arbitrary powers executed are the most convenient may gradually increase. host: ok. guest: i am not much of a legal historian. it sounded interesting. i cannot quite follow the thread there. host: a possible vice president candidate makes number 40 on the list. guest: sure. senator rubio is enormously powerful. what you might call an up and
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in the senate, he is well liked and charismatic. he is a real coveted endorsement. we will see if he gets the vice president nod or not. host: this tweet -- guest: i doubt that highly. we did not take their income into account. host: and let the, a georgia, a democratic call there. caller: yes 256 other representatives and senators are millionaires. the power comes from them being rich and the lobbies and the people they are being tied with. name me one policy that the republicans have put in to help the majority of the american people. you have these people on the list taking away from the people who are paying them -- they talk
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about vote, kids, and their grandkids. they take $174,000 and free health care and stuff. host: i think we got your point. what was the aim of putting together this list? why is power important? guest: basically, not to be too crass about it, but you have all of these lawmakers and lobbyists and influential people coming to town to see who will come out on top to shape the agenda. the goal of the list is to take a look at right now at this moment the 50 people who are able to influence that debate, who are able to shift the way that the discussion is going who is able to get laws past and
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influence decisions in the way that we live. that is the point of the list. the frustration that everyone is powerful in washington is in millionaire or billionaire is something that we hear a lot. it is a very old frustration and one that will probably not be remedied 27. host: you can find the list on the web site. you are putting together a weekly list of those powerful at the time. guest: we just launched a political blog. you can find that on the main page. just scroll down to the bottom on the left. once a week, we have a weekly power list which is a lot of fun. you can also send your suggestions. host: reid cherner with "gq" magazine thank you.
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that does it for today "washington journal." coming up, we are going to be going to their groundbreaking ceremony to the new smithsonian the national museum of african american history and culture. the museum will have the task of chronicling more than 20 years of black life in the united states. seven levels planned to provide a sweeping history to highlight the achievements of the famous and everyday life of ordinary people. it represents traditional african architecture. for nine years, the staff has worked to build it from scratch fine manfinding donors and planning exhibits. it will focus on three areas. history, culture and community.
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it was first proposed by civil war veterans almost 100 years ago. president obama will be talking at the ceremony today. live coverage here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> ladies and gentlemen our program is about to begin. please turn off all pagers and cell phones. thank you. ♪
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>> the new national museum of
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african-american history and culture will be the 19th in the smithsonian institution. president obama and laura bush will join us here. you are seeing video of the upcoming museum. the museum is the work of a national architect. his design for the museum barrault's motifs that are no late 19th century. the result is on colored at pedestals that will contrast at the alabaster buildings in the nearby federal triangle. the staff has been collecting artifacts and working to raise $250 million to fund construction. congress has pledged to fund of the other $500,000 -- $500 million needed. president obama and first lady laura bush along

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