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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  January 13, 2013 3:00pm-3:30pm PST

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risks of being on monday. >> 2012 is the hottest year on record in history. >> i am not a football coach, but as remarkable player as he is, he was not in a position to continue playing. >> the most debated story in washington this week, rg3 and his wounded knee, and washington's broken hearts. captioned by the national captioning institute hello, i'm mark shields, sitting in this week for bordon peterson. president obama did not have to look very far to find his new treasury secretary, jack lew. at the announcement, the president and outgoing treasury secretary timothy geithner. >> our economy is better positioned for tomorrow than
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most of those other countries hit by the financial crisis. the tough decisions tim made and carried out deserve a lot of credit for that. i understand that tim is ready for a break. obviously, we are sad to see him go, but i cannot think of a better person to continue tim 's work at treasury than jack lew. >> unlike most treasury secretaries, jack lew earn his stripes and a washington and not wall street. he worked for tip o'neill in the 1970's and 1980's, and was clinton's: the director in the 1990's. evan, what does this tell us about the physical fights ahead? >> the good news is that he knows washington bit bad news is that he will do exactly what obama tells him, and from all indications, obama will not do much about fiscal restraint. >> nina, your sense of jack lew
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and what lies ahead? >> i think i agree with evan, but lew really does know the budget numbers. he did this in the clinton administration when we had a surplus, as the white house points out over and over again. jeff sessions in the senate is saying no way, and one senator can make a lot of trouble, but i cannot tell whether it is a lot of bluster or not at this point. >> colby, aren't most of the battle's going to be between the white house and capitol hill? dozens, with deep congressional experience bring a certain strength -- doesn't somebody would seek congressional expense bring a certain strength? >> yeah. i worked for two treasury secretaries, and jack lew is the type of person you want at that job. there is work to be done on the hill and in the administration. i am not prepared to say that nothing is going to happen on
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the fiscal front. i think the president will have to do something on the fiscal front to deal with the deficit, and i don't think he can get around ed, i don't think he wants to get around at. it will be how he approaches it will make a difference. >> charles, there are rumors circulating that republicans in the house will let the sequester said in and put him right back in the white house to do wit to -- deal with it. a plan is jack lew's a signal from obama that he will pursue the course he pursued in the first term, to spend as much as he needs to establish the entitlement state and tax at a higher level to pay for it. jack lew is exactly the kind of liberal historically who has been his warrior on the front in negotiating on this. there is no indication that lew would go in any other
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direction, and it is clear to me that by this series of agreements obama has made, unlike added a first term more features people of independent stature, he has gone from a team of rivals to team of underlings. >> well, that is one nomination, but the nomination of former srepublican senator chuck hagel to head the department of defense has generated heat and light. zbigniew brzezinski, general john johns, brent scowcroft, as well as colin powell and former defense secretary bob gates. the senate has rejected only nine cabinet nominees to will chuck hagel be the 10th? >> i don't think so. i thought he would have an easier time that he has, but when all is said and done, there are lots of people from the bush administration, high-visibility people -- npr on friday morning
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, one spoke extreme in the -- extremely well of hagel. but the way that republicans are approaching cabinet appointments at the moment is different from what we've seen and the past. i am not sure whether it is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, and they will have their day in the sun, or whether they are serious about this. if they are, then harry reid has a proposal to change the rules and the senate and it might -- there are a few democrats who might have reservations about it. >> will take a week confirmed, evan -- chuck hagel be confirmed, evan? >> i think he will. he has a proud guy, but he doesn't like to be muzzled. he has a sort of assertive, ornery side to him, and in tough confirmation hearings, that can
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be trouble. >> in times of partisanship to where the lines are so hard and, colby, this guy has basically been a free spirit, as evan puts it, and has taken some from column a and some from column b. and made people angry. >> he is republican, and some might say that gives bipartisanship to the cabinet. actually, he is a republican who is not a well received by other republicans because the positions he has taken. i remember when will strauss was rejected by the senate -- i don't think that is going to happen now. chuck hagel will probably be a proxy for an emperor of other issues that will be discussed about the administration approach to foreign policy. this nomination will carry the weight or burden that other issues will not carry because of issues around his nomination.
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not justice, but the administration's position -- not just his, but the administration's position on iran and other issues. >> colby is exactly right, and that is why hearings are important. we are focused on whether they get a yes or no, but foreign policy is in area where obama is independent of the congress. he has a free hand, so you get a national discussion on those events. this is a good time, particularly since hagel is, as the "washington post" editorial- page, which is not exactly right wing, said, "hagel is a republican in name only." on these issues he is to the left not only of republicans, but obama. it is not a centrist appointment. it will allow the senate and republicans to have an open debate, which we ought to have, on where republican wants to go
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on and a second term, on iran, israel, and defense spending and a particular. >> next, the looming fight over gun control, as the vice president meets with the nra in the white house. >> there is no similar solution to how we deal with the kinds of things that happened up in newtown or colorado or the general gun violence that exists in america today and. the president and i and the cabinet understands that it is a complicated issue. >> vice-president biden met with the nra, among others, at the white house this week. he's expected to deliver gun control or commissions to the president as early as next tuesday. colby, will this be a showdown with the nra over an assault weapons ban? >> no, it will not be gunfight at the o.k. corral. they will oppose any effort to do any thing on guns, and they
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may prevail. and there will probably be some agreement on background checks. to be parochial about this, in the district of columbia it would mean nothing to us regardless of any proposal did last year, the metropolitan police department recovered 1600 firearms. the year before, 2000 firearms. since 2003, more than 20,000 illegal weapons have been recovered in the district of columbia. no legal weapons allowed, and yet we recovered over 20,000 weapons. no legislation is dealing with this problem and a lot of urban problems. >> charles? >> that is exactly the core of the issue, that is the conundrum of the reason the assault weapon ban of the mid-90s, which lasted a decade, had no effect, is because it left existing and
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circulation the weapons people already had. unless you're going to confiscate, which australia did, but we cannot under the second amendment -- part of our constitutional understanding is that the right to bear arms predates america, the establishment of the country, and the government will is to secure rights and not to take them away -- unless you repeal the second man and confiscate guns, as colby indicates like in the district of columbia, there are 300 million of them out there today. that is why the dance we're talking about, i would not object to any of them, but it will not make any difference. it is a placebo. >> evan, the vice president says the public wants us to act. >> they have given up already on assault weapons. you can see date and will not get that pits the thing that looks like a weapon of war.
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what they might get its magazines and some kind of background check, but not the big ticket items. >> we have never in this country had a real answer a ban on assault weapons without loopholes and applied to gunsels -- gun shows. in a political sense, biden, who has shepherded this stuff before, knows he cannot get a gun ban. >> in the district of columbia, all those weapons -- >> but it does not matter in the rest of the country where you cannot get it. it will focus on ammunition and magazines and putting more resources on too enforcement and trying to do something about preventing -- >> it is pretty amazing that they have already, this is early january, given up on the big- ticket item. >> they don't even have the support of their own people on it. >> what can the president do?
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>> he cannot do much critiques and allocate resources more. he cannot do it by executive order. >> the tragedy is the one place we could have an effect is on changing and tightening the laws of institutionalizing the dangerously psychotic and mentally ill, and there are studies that showed that states with stricter laws have less violence. i'm afraid it would be so overshadowed by an array and guns, or unless you confiscate, he will not have a real effect, that it will happen. >> the direct correlation, statistically, you are absolutely right, the states with the highest per capita gun ownership and the highest fatality rate from guns -- >> but ironically -- >> and the lowest has been sparked. >> but these are rare occasions, and the connecticut massacre happened in a state with one of the five toughest gun laws -- >> doesn't have a tough gun law --
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>> and the shooter in newtown did not have a mental illness comes yet asperger's -- >> asperger's did not give you hawhat happened -- . >> that is absolutely correct. >> give me an hour -- >> and i know better, having had it in my family. i know very well that that is not the cause of violence. >> 2012 was the hottest year on record. >> this is by no means the last record. we need to prepare up front. >> that is climatologist heidi cullen. 2012 what's the hottest year in the united states since we started keeping records.
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different major disasters, including sandy. evan, will 2013 be the year where congress and the administration and the american people act on global warming? >> i wish, but i doubt it. they are we building on coastal areas as if nothing happened. i don't know what is going to take to make us wake up. >> should we discourage the rebuilding of the coastal areas? >> now, rebuild, but take into account the environmental changes you will have to make and the physical changes you will have to make. it is not a question of climate change. i listened with great interest to a segment on the rush limbaugh show this week where he discussed his idea that there is no such thing as climate change, and he played the statistical been of setting other instances of when we had a warmer times and cooler.
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and that you cannot make the case there is climate change. >> is there a case for denial? [laughter] >> one of the great physicists of all times is one of the skeptics on this. i respect his views. look, i am generally an agnostic on this, although i believe that if you pump carbon into the air indiscriminately for a century is going to have an effect and will be of deleterious effect but even if i concede a meeting on climate change and i'm prepared to if the evidence is strong, here is the problem -- we have cut our emissions by half since 1992. nobody knows that. the reason is that we are using natural gas instead of coal, as a result of a fracking and the decrease and that the price of natural gas. the problem is china and india. we could stop in adding carbon tomorrow, we could end up with zero, and the planet would continue to warm as a result of a china adding a coal plant every week. unless you get china and india on board, we can do nothing.
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>> if we cannot do everything, we do nothing? is this not an incentive for some sort of collegial activity? >> charles may be at least partially right in terms of how much you can do limiting the damage. but a very small thing -- we give a flood insurance to people who live in places where we all know you should not be living. you should be building for the back from the shorelines -- not miles, but farther back. we don't have to have the country provide federally subsidized flood insurance for that. >> is it one of those other issues like gun control -- hey, we cannot do anything about it? >> yes, we have a dysfunctional political system that is unable to deal with these issues. >> but if you are overshadowed by china and india, why would dismantle your economy -- >> flood insurance or building
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tiny houses on the shore -- how hard is it -- >> i agree with you on that, but we're talking about how much carbon you put in the atmosphere. > actually, i am on charles' side on this bid on the big stuff, there is nothing we can do it but we do have to learn how to cope, and one way is to not build houses on the -- >> i agree with you entirely. it is insane, and it should not be subsidized. >> we are a long way from where we where on earth day. this is a matter of public education, and will take a while before public opinion starts to gel around this subject. you cannot get ahead of that. there will be changes, there will be a combination, but it will not happen now because the public is not there yet. >> white house to the hill to the bus stop, everyone in
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washington was talking about one subject this week, rg3. >> what i do know the extent of the injury, i will let you know. >> redskins quarterback robert griffin iii had a total reconstruction of his knee this week. by far was the most discussed topic inside washington. nina, last week you talk about your fears of injury. >> of him that specifically. he already had a concussion, and they played him. he had a knee injury, and they played him. this is gladiator land. it is my problem with football. we had a former football player who committed suicide, and the family asked the nih to look at his brain, and he had ing grain from the autopsy. it is more than a problem. it is really horrible. >> colby, the coach to be held
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accountable? >> it stops with him. sure, you can put to him and say he should take in and out -- taking him out of the game. now you have to concentrate on the rickety quarterback and get him ready for next year and get rg3 time to rehabilitate himself. we can spend a lot of time on this could the nature of the sport is injury. i came out of the game in high school and had any injury, and my son had the same kind of injury and had surgery. is not baseball, it is not tennis. is a contact sport. >> evan? >> what makes this art is that he is not just another athlete, he is a great guy. he is intelligent, well spoken. added to the pecos.
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-- added to the peso's. the fact is that it is a rough game and people get hurt. >> football, somebody once said, is not a contact sport. square dancing is a contact sport. it is a collision sport. it is the nature of the game, and the nfl is going to have a problem with all these suits. the lawsuits, the lawyers, the concussions, it will question the very existence of the game. >> speaking of sports, nina, tell us what you think will happen with the ball in the future. >> hard to tell, because people love their football. but it reminds me of boxing. in the early part of the mid 20 centric, boxing was the sport. it's sort of way because of the damage was doing to boxers -- it
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sort of went away because of the damage it was doing to boxers. the purpose in football is not just to have contact, is to hurt that person. i don't know how long people will tolerate. but increasingly it is in our faces. >> what is already happening is the classic divide. the upper middle-class no claand middle-class have given up on a football. but pororer kids, is the way ou. there is going to be an increase in class divide here. >> one of the reasons that soccer is sort of the sport of choice. nina is right about boxing, and i think what happened is muhammed ali. this great, a magnificent athlete, engaging, he had everything. and now as a result of the boxing, and what we call to the
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courage he showed in the fights he had, the result is that he got parkinson's. we saw with rg3 he got tremendous courage to he demanded to go out there, he said, "i deserve this, i have earned it." but a coach in his 60s ought to overrule a 20-year-old. >> yeah -- >> you might have that same effect in football when you begin to see the later life injuries and deterioration and the pain. >> that said, most people participate in football and managed to get out alive and don't end up killing themselves. kids don't play football in the city to get out of anything. they play football because they like to play football. football can also get you a scholarship to college, where you can get an education. yuko around this region and you
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don't have exclusively african- americans playing football. you see a lot of white kids playing football as well. sure, soccer is very popular now and is coming up even in the district of columbia. but i don't accept the class argument that soccer necessarily attract middle to upper middle- class kids. globally, soccer is the number- one sport and is played in all countries of the world. >> tip of the hat to the washington nationals, who did this right -- >> baseball team. >> they had their start pitcher to he had surgery, did 20 games, he wanted to go in desperately, but they stopped him, and they were contenders for the national championship. they may have lost because he wasn't there. they said, "no, it will be dangerous for you, we have
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invested in you, you don't play any more this year." >> charles, any discussion of the sports involves drugs -- >> and we saw a remarkable event this week where nobody for the first time in 15 years was voted into the baseball hall of fame, even though the best pitcher ever, roger clemens, and barry bonds, one of the three greatest hitters ever -- they got something like 30% of the vote, wary you need 75, and it is a message that you cheated and augmented all of your power is to date and may never get in. it is a message, and a good one. >> tune in again next week for "inside washington."
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