tv Inside Washington PBS November 21, 2010 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> said there will be a new sheriff in town, and this sheriff will listen to the american people. >> i am proud to be part of this team. >> charlie arango learns his fate. -- charlie rengel learns his fate. >> i have to lead first by example. >> it is a national security imperative that the united states ratified the new treaty
this year. >> the first guantanamo detainees almost walks to protect passengers are getting a touchy about being touched. the sarah palin watch -- will she run? >> if you run for president, can you beat barack obama? >> i think so. >> if you saw things were going to calm down after the midterm elections, you were wrong. house speaker nancy pelosi backed down a rebellion. she will be succeeded by the john boehner as speaker of the new congress. mitch mcconnell decided it was better to switch on earmarks than to fight. a bill failed in the house.
charlie rangel got his comeuppance from the house committee. we have a lame-duck congress, and nancy pelosi is still speaker. the president would cut off the bush tax cuts, and republicans want to extend them across the board. >> as of this moment, the house democrats stand with the president on cutting them off at $250,000, but the senate democrats once again have left the reservation. j.r. flirting with the idea of extending them for everybody -- is a are flirting with the idea of extending them for everybody. >> we are all in deficit hawks now. >> in the end, the only way to solve the problem is with
entitlements and growth and raising income taxes, marginal taxes, by at least 13 persons on on what will amount to half of the small business income in america. it is not a wise way to promote employment and growth in the middle of a bad recession. that is the argue against it. the best solution is to extend them temporarily, and when the economy improves, and then you terminate them. >> although most people do not know it because god only knows what president trauma -- why president barack obama did not tell them, there were significant tax cuts in the stimulus package. to add more now, i think it is fiscally irresponsible especially for people making more than $250,000, but that
will not stop it from happening. if it is christmas time. >> wrong guy. [laughter] >> the next topic. >> temporarily extend them and then in the long term there are solutions, but congress is so dysfunctional now, it is possible that they cannot come up with a solution. i guess they will in january but i think they will kick it down the road. >> you have got to extend them temporarily because of the economy. the real debate should be about what the commission is recommending in entitlements, and that will include the tax rates. the deficit commission had recommended a whole new structure of tax rates. that is what everybody should be talking about, a real debate about cleaning up the tax code.
>> the wall street journal poll shows that most people object. >> it it did show that. we know that in order to deal with the out-of-control deficit, we have to cut federal expenditures, federal programs, and we have to raise federal revenues. the only people who do not want those raised or the taxpayers, and the only people that do not want their federal programs touched or the ones benefiting from them. it reminds me of the boston politician. everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. >> how about earmarks? this was a mitch mcconnell. >> you could eliminate every congressional earmarks and not save any money. making earmarks is a step to show that we are serious.
>> he was losing his caucus. to continue with what mark was saying, we have to have an adult conversation about the budget, and we do. the problem is, there do not seem to be that many adults in the american public. it earmarks are a perfect example. if you eliminate them, he would cut three tenths of 1% from the budget. it is symbolically important but it does not take you anywhere. charles is right to protect you have to deal with social security, medicare and medicaid. >> there is only one adult who can turn this around -- the president of the united states. the only way to get what we need to do is if the president runs himself for reelection, asking for a referendum, saying if you vote for me we are going to step up to these problems and deal with them.
he has to make a national referendum otherwise it is not going to happen. >> the other guy will tell you -- >> everybody thinks it is a big joke. >> there is another way to do it. you had a right in and bill bradley agreeing in 1986 on a tax reform that everybody, left, right, and center, will tell you that it was the best thing for the tax system and the economy that anybody had devised, and it eliminated loopholes, deductions, and tax breaks, and it would lower taxes across the board. the way to do it is to have a commission, making its recommendations. you have one choice -- yes, no. >> that is why we ended up with
the commission now, with no teeth in it. >> i agree. the seven were wrong. >> the only reality out there now is that we have a deficit that is so out of control, it is going to bring this country to its knees. >> i am proud to be a part of this leadership team. our consensus is we go out there to the american people. it is about jobs, reducing the deficit, and fighting for the middle class. as i look forward to doing that with this great leadership team. >> i talked to a number of democrats who thought she would retire. what happened? >> nancy pelosi decided to stay and there was nobody that was going to challenge her. nobody was a serious challenger. the ranks have been decimated by the election.
the fact is, nancy pelosi was the architect and engineer of the democrats take over. she raised the money and she was the national organizer of it. can she bring it back? there were 68 votes cast for postponing this vote from the democratic caucus, which is a vote against her. >> house ethics -- the house democrats defeated a republican attempt to cut off funding for unemployment benefits. >> but i think they are acting on principle. it does not give them a lot. it is going to get them a lot of hostility. you are going to get an indefinite extension. there is a large element of the population in europe currently on the dole.
it is a tough decision. it is not easy to do it. the democratic argument seems to me to be odd. it is a question of whether in the middle of a recession if these people have a chance of getting other jobs or not i think a lot of these folks who are in their 50s who have no chance probably should be supportive as long as it takes. >> we will get back to that in time. >> let me say. we are not nazis it either. >> the house ethics committee votes to -- it is kind of a sad sight, isn't it? " he cannot afford a lawyer. the whole thing is heartbreaking. he had a great career, and he has been a great patriot.
i wish she could quietly step aside and not put us through this. >> what is the new house going to look like? what is going to happen? >> we have a democratic caucus which is more liberal than the one going out, and it republican caucus which is more conservative. i think the real focus is going to be on how john boehner deals with the restless in the ranks. a tax crusader says he wants the government to close down. there is a certain element within the republican caucus that would like to do that. >> how does john boehner deal with that element? >> the rubber hits the road when you get to the debt ceiling. you cannot have a continued resolution forever.
you have to vote to have a higher debt ceiling. if enough of them to vote for that, or if not in a vote for it, the government shut down. >> there is this sort of never- never land quality. we were talking about walter who wants to raise taxes. hello? you have to get past -- washington is perpetually stuck in the past. at some point, there is some moment when the weather breaks. some time, the country has to wake up. >> the democrat from new jersey was complaining about the treatment that the media gave democrats during the last election. this is all kind of talk going
around. and what has happened to honest, objective reporting? >> i am not sure if there was ever honest, objective reporting. you would think with the internet and all these new outlets, more information should mean more choice. but i worry that the opposite has happened. it is now more possible for untruth to take hold. the thing that got out from the indian press, to drudge, and then to congress that obama was spending millions of dollars in india. people are getting information from the internet, e-mail, there uncle joe. it is possible that this untruth will take hold.
>> it is worrisome, and it is left and right. it is people who think that the bush administration was responsible for 9/11. they are not the same in importance, obviously. the fact that there is no -- they're not -- there does not seem to be an agreement on any sent -- on anything, rather than entertaining fantasies. >> we had abc, cbs, "the new york times, a washington post and so forth -- we did not have all of these myriad sources of information. there was a standard belief about most things in. >> the gatekeeper's were largely by coastal liberals, and
people would take their news from the front page of the new york times." nag you have competition -- and now you have competition. people are worried about a trip. george bush, a president, lied us into war knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction. it is not only widely held but it is repeated by columnists in the new york times. i don't remember my liberal colleagues being upset in about the death of truth at that point. >> of the truce was there were no weapons of mass destruction. >> it was a question of
reckless negligence taking our country to war. >> i have never heard a democratic leader, a democratic candidate for president say this. i think we are in a different time and a different era. nobody ever questioned if harry truman was a baptist, but when you get a large segment questioning whether barack obama is a christian, whether or not he is an american, and that number is growing, that is the private -- that is the byproduct of what you are describing, it is responsible information being circulated both in broadcast, internet, and in print. >> when you have a high official in the white house who believes in the bush administration 9/11 conspiracy, does that not
disturb you? jones in the white house. he was a truther. >> he got canned? he obviously did not know what he was signing. >> the first guantanamo detainee acquitted. >> we would like to express our sympathy for the 224 people who died and the hundreds of others who were injured on august 7, 1998. >> on august 7, attacks on american embassies carried out by members of al-qaeda planned by osama bin laden killed 224 people. another helped al-qaeda by a truck and bought explosives and so forth. he said he served as a cook and bodyguard for osama bin laden. he has been indicted on one
count of conspiracy. how could you not get convictions on 284 counts? >> and there is the possibility that his story is true, but i am dubious. i would certainly reignite the debate over this. and there is no decent appeal of this conviction. all of the big questions that would have probably come up if there was a military conviction, those questions got obliterated. he is going to jail for a minimum of 20 years, maybe life, but there was no discussion of the bush's administration torture policies in the courtroom. that was eliminated, too. that could not be avoided at the military commission. >> critics of this say he should
have been tried in the military commission. do you agree with that? >> and that would probably have been better. you have a collapse of the central obama ideal, that the way to deal with people involved in terror are civilian trial's end. the force of this case, 280 counts tossed out in a case where a guy purchases the truck, he buys the tanks, detonator, there is all kind of evidence that he was aware of it. he essentially gets off on one count. it tells you either try them or don't hold them, or try them in military tribunals. >> item with charles on this -- i am with charles on this. >> i think it is going in the
direction of military tribunals. >> the possibility is that of the senate will not ratify a new treaty with the russians this year. why is he opposed? >> there are a lot of reasons he wants assurances from the administration that he is going to keep our arsenal intact because testing is no longer permitted. the other issues that ought to be aired, obama says he has to have it this year as a national security priority. is anybody on the panel aware of the fact that we have not added over the course of the entire year? if it was such an integral part of our national security, wouldn't it be odd that it has not arisen once? >> the fact we are talking about it -- >> you would think that if it is a critical element, it might have been mentioned in 11.5
months. >> the fear now is the republican congress, and it is not going to get done at all. >> it is fair to have the senate which is charged with ratifying it have preference. they have had 18 hearings, hundreds of written questions and answers. they have been accommodating with billions of more money to beef it up. it begins to look like a shakedown of the truth. >> $4 billion was the latest figure. 29 meetings, exchanges, sessions with the president, the staff, to work out the details. why the announcement on the eve of the nato meeting? embarrassing. why is condoleezza rice for it? why is it dick lugar for it? it is the right thing to do. >> they are no longer
existential enemies. it no longer matters. if the russians wanted to spend themselves by developing a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons, it would make no difference at all to our national security. >> what are your feelings about the new pack dowt down rules in airports? >> i have been there and i am used to it, but it is completely idiotic. the reason is this. we know the problem in finding terrorists. searching for objects instead of looking for a terrorist is at the heart of the issue, and that is why 98% of all the stuff that is useless.
everybody in the line and knows it. political correctness. we put up with all of this nonsense and we know it is worthless. >> i don't think it is worthless. i don't like it like anybody else. but the truth is we had somebody on a plan with stuff and his underwear. that is why we are doing this in. >> i had an emotional experience the last time i flew. i thought we were engaged. [laughter] i will make one point. this would allow the united states to inspect the russian facilities, something we have not been able to do. >> who cares? >> 98% of all the nuclear arsenal in the world is active. >> do you stay up worrying about
a nuclear exchange with russia? >> we need to get along with russia in order to deal with iran. >> it is complete watered-down, our sanctions, to the point that they have no effect. >> sarah palin is thinking about it. >> i am trying to look at the lay of the land to see if it is a good thing, if she ran for president. could you read brooke obama? >> i think so. >> ok, she thinks she can beat barack obama. does anybody agree with that? >> i used to think it was a joke. >> i wonder. i think it will take a smarter it demigod to beat barack obama. i think we are getting to a point where the inconceivable is now possible. >> sarah palin is going to be on the cover of new york times
magazine and has another book coming out. >> i think it is mostly a celebrity nonsense. >> we live in an era where you can say almost anything. she has been very successful at that. she is a very gifted and attractive candidate. i still think she polarizes people so much she cannot win. this is a woman who has exactly two years of governance in a small state. that is her only experience it. >> can she win the nomination? if she wins it, can she wind? >> can she win the nomination? i am not sure. she is certainly a possible nominee. i do not rule out anybody winning because anything can happen. she does not have an ally in li- sao rakowski who was just reelected to the senate on every
count. >> this is the mandatory service segment in every show. if sarah did not exist, what would the liberals have to talk about? >> michelle bachman. >> and we could talk about donald trump. >> she communicates with people directly in washington. >> i thank you. we will see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.
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