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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  October 21, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> what you think a tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? can i treat the biodegradable plastic? can it be fuel for our cars? or clothing, or medicine that fights cancer? with our tree cell technology, we think it can. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> today weekend definitively
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say that the gaddafi regime has come to an end. >> this week on "inside washington," libya's gaddafi, dead. >> you lose all of your standing because you hired illegals in your home. >> the republican debate, up close and personal. >> i don't think i have ever hired an illegal in my life. >> 74% of the american people think we're moving in the wrong direction. what is it you are not hearing? >> even the presidential bus is a target. >> he is traveling around on a canadian bus touting american jobs. captioned by the national captioning institute >> president reagan called him
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"the mad dog of the middle east." he called himself "africa's king of kings." his 42-year reign ended with all market off the top touring in a storm drain and begging for his life report -- with muammar gaddafi covering in a storm drain and begging for his life reportedly. >> we did exactly what we said we were going to do in libya. it underscores the capacity to work together as the international community. >> evan, does the cat to death of muammar gaddafi vindicate the president's policy? >> yes. i was a doubter, i worried about mission creep. but it worked. gaddafi is gone. the country is not exactly stable, but it is free of gaddafi. >> charles? >> i give him all the credit for
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the success of stage one. we have to remember that the mistake the bush administration made was to declare "mission accomplished" when the dictator was toppled. we are good that. it is only the first stage. the hard part is the substitution of the regime to follow. that is going to be where the real test is. whether it turns out well or badly, as we saw in afghanistan and iraq, is extremely hard to tell at the point when the regime has just been toppled. >> nina? >> i give the president a lot of credit. i, too, was something of a doubter. it was a limited policy and he stuck with it when he was taking a lot of shots. charles is right, now we wait for chapter 2, of which we have a very little to do with writing. we can offer a little bit of
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help, paper and pen, but chapter 2 is really in a large measure up to the libyans, and because we don't have an enormous amount of control, we don't know what is going to happen. >> mark? >> tough to go with a celebratory sendoff when you go off this mortal coil and the cars are honking at 4:00 in the morning. charles stands virtually alone with john mccain of those on the other side of the political divide willing to give him credit for what has been done. all the republican presidential silent on thewere subject or critical. but this gives libya a chance for democracy, a chance to get out of the wreckage that the despot created. >> america is now popular in libya. how long is that going to
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last? >> about an hour and half. there was an austrian prime minister with the russians helped to put down a rebellion in hungary, and he was asked how he would respond to rush in the future, and he said, all but " we will astonish the world with our ingratitude." it will depend entirely not on remembrance of americans, but with the islamists, and there are some in the interim government, it seized power or not. that is entirely up in the air. we are not sure who the players are and how strong the relative actors are in this play. >> i heard a man whose brother died in the explosion over lockerbie, scotland it, say that the way the obama administration dealt with this should be a blueprint for the future -- to use technology and intelligent and so forth a rather that
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suit occupy countries like iraq and afghanistan. >> the big breakthrough was the drone. but it is a double-edged sword, because other people can build drones, too. i fear when they combat flying our way. >> that is almost an inevitability, because they are building them smaller and smaller. >> and somebody who was skeptical about the president's in all but without the cost digita -- constitutional safeguards we use it for going to war -- the president was careful yesterday when he made his statement. he said this was without the involvement of a single u.s. service member -- >> on the ground. >> i don't think anybody doubts that there were cia people who
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were helping an instrumental in the toppling. >> osama bin laden, anwar al- awlaki, and now muammar gaddafi. as the president get any credit for this? >> presidents don't get credit for this stuff. jimmy carter managed to negotiate peace deal and he got blip.enietst >> democrats were seen as weak and soft on national security for the longest time. you don't do that now. >> the secretary of state is over there now, warning pakistan to get its act together. what are your feelings on that, charles? >> it is our 182nd warning. i am sure a able be received like the first 181. -- i am sure it will be received like a first 181, with content
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and neglect at best. the pakistanis understand that america is here but will be gone in two years. they will be in the region for the next hundred or 200 and we will be gone. they do not take our interests into account as much as they but otherwise. that is a fact of life. i am not sure anything will change in our relationship. as long as the haqqani bad guys are in the interest of some of the pakistanis in control of afghanistan, and they were about afghanistan becoming an appendage of india, the policy will remain as an. > -- will remain the same. >> he does get credit. what is fascinating is the recent poll what he gets low marks on the economy and mediocre marks on his job rating. to-want on it terrorism, he gets a favorable -- 2-1 on
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terrorism, he gets favorable ratings. the question is how silly and that is. -- how salient that is. if the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general petraeus, and the secretary of state cannot deliver the message, i am not sure what can be done. >> no administration seems to be able to figure out what to do about this. >> the latest republican debate. >> we went to the company and said, look, you cannot have illegals working for the company. i am running for office, for pete's sake. >> i think that is an uh-oh moment, mitt romney responded to rick perry's claim that romney knowingly hired is the wrong people to work on his home in massachusetts. the democratic national committee is already running
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with this. >> this is a crack in an otherwise amazingly smooth passat in these debates. -- smooth facade in these debates. pieplant tactics -- fitby blu -- by blunt tactics, perry got under his skin just enough to do damage. >> if perry were smart, he would come back and say, "oh, you were running for office and that was the only reason?" he is not smart about this kind of thing. i did think that watching it, a damaged mitt romney, but it also damaged the whole franchise. there is nobody you would want to have at your house. >> it was the bickersons, let's be honest. whenever you say about rick perry, he was not decaffeinated
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-- [laughter] he came out ready to go. and he did penetrate that unflappable exterior of mitt romney, and when they started to look like the housewives -- [laughter] >> charles said he is still texas and that is not enough on a national scale. >> whenever you ask him what should be an easy question -- health care or the rise of china -- he retreats to his energy plan. it is not as if he's being asked gotcha questions. he knows about energy, education, immigration, although seahe booted a lot of the question about immigration. you wonder if he has sat down and thought about national issues. yes, as he is not nimble in debates. he had a great opening of there
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and he missed it. he had several others, in fact. and with the absence of that nimbleness he would be eaten alive in a one-on-one with obama. but the grounding on issues, you worry about that. he could come up to speed, and he's extremely good at retail politics. but every time you watch him in a debate you wonder if he is going to make it. >> the median home price in the united states dropped 30% since 2006. >> equity was paper equity. it was a bubble and it burst. it was not as if -- the price of a hous -- it was not as if the price of a house in 2006 was its real value in gold. it was a bubble and it collapsed. >> 5 million americans have lost their home and another 3 million will lose -- >> usually when you have a
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president in a week re-election the situation -- at% unemployment -- which obama and it certainly is, you have a strong field on the other side did you compare this to 1980, when howard baker, bob dole, ronald reagan, and george h.w. bush were running, and you go, where are these republicans in the field? >> is this the best they can do at this point? >> these debates are content- free. so was the presidential debate in 2008, the last one, because no politician will get into the kinds of things you have to do to fix this stuff. it is merely a test of personality -- not insignificant, but nothing to do with content. >> on the question you raised, this is so important, what has happened to home prices.
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yes, charles is right, it is on paper, but the reality is that we have not had raises in median income in the country. the substitute for that had become credit. and especially easy credit, being able to get second mortgages. people were spending their equity and their homes to compensate for the fact that they were not rising economically. that is gone, and that sense of security is gone. now you have to voters who are worried simply about their children's future, their own future, and their country's future going into 2012. >> which is what olympia snowe was talking about at the beginning of the broadcast. the census bureau told us that 46.2 americans are living below the poverty level, the lowest in more than half a century. >> i would point out that we have had for the last three years a democratic president who promised he would fix this. >> besides everything else -- >> i am asking about republican
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candidates. >> the republicans have a lot of a strong politicians -- ryan, daniels in indiana, christie. they decided for whatever reason, some personal, some political, that they are not going to run. this is a relatively weak field. it is disappointing, because there really were heavyweights who would match the 1980 lineup that republicans had. republicans lose this cycle, they will have a very strong field in 2016 when all of these guys are going to run. it is remarkable in a year when the president is so weak at the economy is so much hurting that the opposition -- as in 1992 with the democrats, where all the heavy weights stayed out and then clinton slipped in. >> the problem is comparable to 1992. in 1991, when people were making
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the decision to run, george h.w. bush was unbeatable. barack obama was -- conventional wisdom, he can't be beaten, so he better wait until 2016 did the only ones eligible to get elected are the ones who run. >> the president of the road in a carolina and virginia. >> don't be bamboozled. don't fall for this notion that somehow the jobs act is proposing to raise your taxes. it is just not true. bus,t's park the campaign put away the talking points, and do something to address the jobs crisis. >> senator mcconnell and president obama on his bus tour of north carolina and virginia. the strategy to pass the bill in pieces is not working so far. thursday, the senate rejected the $35 billion bill for states and municipalities to teachers,
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firefighters, cops keep them on the job and hire some more. >> the republican approach seems to be that if you cannot do everything, do nothing. this is not a panacea it by any means, but it is addressing a problem we have not faced in this country in the history of recorded statistical information. the average unemployment is 40.5 weeks, which is twice as long as it has been in the past. we have half of the people now -- close to half the people -- being out more than six months. this is devastating psychologically, personally, professionally to be out of work that long. when you are asked "what you do" and you cannot say anything, but that is devastating. the idea of playing political games is unacceptable. >> i sympathize with what mark has said, but the idea that the
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solution to chronic unemployment is hiring more state workers on a temporary basis is insane. the only way to get a cure for long-term unemployment is to get the private economy running. republican ideas of reducing regulation, reducing the corporate tax, trying to get the private economy stimulated, is the only plausible answer. you may say that it will take too long, but unless you start that, you never going to have a recovery of the private sector. >> what about doing what roosevelt did in the depression and investing in infrastructure -- >> what was unemployment in 1937? it was as high as it was at the beginning. >> austerity in 1936. >> i was just reading about this period in the roosevelt administration. we had this idea that he did stop at it all worked. it did not all work, but when he did, he tried something else.
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"ok, this doesn't work? we will try something else." we did have an economy of the kind that charles is suggesting, a much deregulated and low-tax economy, in the early 2000's, and it didn't work. it led to what we have now. i am not sure what to do, but you see this in the polls -- obama is trying to do something, i suspect he would get some credit for that. >> we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. even obama speaks about that is a huge liability. a discouraging investment in the u.s. that is obvious, easy, and it is lying out there, and he won't touch it. >> i love roosevelt, but what got us out of the depression was world war ii. what will get us out of this, i year, is a crisis in europe that
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brings the entire global system crashing down and out of that rubble, governments will be forced to do something. >> mr. apocalypse. >> after the apocalypse. >> i always cling to this hope that real reform will happen, but unless we have a crisis, i don't think it is going to. >> europe is in the process of doing what we did over the debt ceiling. >> cops, firefighters, teachers to work -- what we ought to have is another series of tax cuts for those who need it least. that worked so beautifully well that my goodness, let's have a city of tax cuts -- >> you pretended you were worried about the unemployed. hiring a teacher in alaska is not going to help the unemployed guy in pittsburgh. >> i feel like i am the bill murray in "groundhog day," because we come back to the
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same things -- >> tax reform. everybody agrees you take out the loopholes and lower the rates. it worked in 1986, and republicans and democrats. nobody will do it, especially the president. he should have been beating on this. the number one item in that bowles-simpson report was tax reform. he had that a year ago in december, he did nothing. >> why did they just put their arms around -- didn't they put their arms around bowles- simpson? .> they should have t >> he asked a question -- why didn't they? >> political consultants' never ask their clients to do something hard. >> he is the president of united
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states. >> "oh, that would be a mistake." >> he almost did something like simpson-bowles with john boehner, and john boehner backed out. he had his consultants, his constituency, who said it now. -- said no. >> i am not an apologist for the white house, but he cannot do tax reform with one side. when you have somebody like grover norquist, with americans for tax reform, having every candidate signing a pledge that you will not increase revenues -- that is the position right now of the republicans. i don't in any way commend obama's lack of courage on this, but the position of the republicans, and gigi, is simply this, that anything that increases revenues is an acceptable. we are collecting 15% of gross
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domestic product in revenues and are spending 25%. if you cut it back to 21%, deficits and debt in perpetuity. it has to be done by both sides, and yes, the leadership has been lacking. >> you said it the republicans will not sign on. tom coburn is an extremely conservative republican. he was on that committee. in the bowles commission, you would have had $1.10 trillion stripped out of loopholes, but returned only $1 trillion in tax cuts, meaning he would have a surplus in the treasury of $100 billion. coburn signed on to that. any republican offered a deal like that would do it. the problem is, you need a president to appoint the commission, says he waits until the recommendations to do anything -- you'd need a
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president who will embrace it and present 8. you would have republicans agree to that. he never even attempted it. >> it is too bad that mitch mcconnell is holding the reins. talk about a tactical i list -- tactical nihilist. >> charles has rewritten history. before the congress was the kent proposal.judd gregg five republicans who co- sponsored that in the senate were pulled off of it by mitch mcconnell. we had to get 14 votes on simpson-bowles to even make it 8 serious recommendation bid that was put in by republicans. this is not all virtue, all vice -- >> the vote bowles-simpson
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laughed was obama's and that is why it failed. >> i have never seen an outlier bus -- uglier bus that the canadian wine. he is traveling around on a canadian bus touting american jobs. >> it was made in canada, but the secret service bought it in nashville, tennessee. >> the problem with this bus is that it looks ominous, is scary- looking. i don't know why they made eight it black. >> what is really going on is that the secret service is calling the shots. i am deeply synthetic to this. -- deeply sympathetic to this. think of how hard their job is now. the secret service job is always hard, but in this atmosphere,
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the time we live in, protecting a black president of the united states with all the hate that is out there, i am willing to give the secret service an awful lot of leeway -- >> maybe he should not usea bus in that case. it looks like a vehicle it would transport the condemned man on a way to the gallows -- [laughter] >> i will ignore the previous remarks and return to evan's. he is absolutely right. buses have never been popular in the united states. we like presidents on trains. >> the secret service bought two. the republican nominee will ride in the other one. [laughter] last word. see you next week.
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