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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  November 1, 2013 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> what do you think of when you see a tree? a treatment for cancer, alternative fuel for our cars? do you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser. growing ideas. >> if you like your plan you can keep your plan. >> this week, a lesson in politics. never make a promise you cannot keep.
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>> tell that to 16 million americans. >> damage control. >> hold me accountable. >> the american people are mad as hell. the nsa scandal, is there anyone out there we are not spying on? >> we do not spy on anyone except for valid for chris's. -- purposes. we only work within the law. >> cutbacks of food stamps. >> after these cuts, the average benefit per person will be $1.40 per meal. >> if you are looking for good news, try boston. >> this is for you, boston. [applause] >> you guys deserve it. >> the greatest place on earth.
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>> president obama said it over and over. if you like your insurance plan you could keep it. the health care act will not change that. it turns out that millions of americans who are buying limited coverage are receiving letters after all. the president's response. >> if you're getting one of these letters, shop around in the new marketplace. you will get a better deal. >> the law requires that health insurance now covers hospital, maternity, mental health, and prescription drugs. >> if insurers decide it is a downgrade we said under the law you have to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage. >> why not tell that to the american people to begin with? >> that is a good question. >> thank you. i thought so. >> you ask a lot of good questions. i do not think there is an answer. it obviously was not true. that is it. >> why put yourself behind the
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eight ball like this? >> it was a campaign and for 98% of people it was true. but it is not for the 3% and we are hearing from them and it is a big embarrassment for the white house. >> when did he know it was not true? that goes to the larger question about the quality control in the white house. if they have it all. i could understand if you had a statement like that, you would believe it is the case. at some point along the way if someone told him it is not true completely, so who gets to him, who pulls his coattail as they say in the community when something is getting off track? >> no one. it is clear he is an isolated president. you try to build in some way to
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work around that and obama has narrowed the circle so no one has a clue. this happens again and again on spying, foreign-policy issues. he seems to be the last man to know. >> have you seen the latest poll? he is at 42%. a 5% drop in one month. here is another number. 63% want to replace their own member of congress. the highest number ever recorded going back to 1982. -- 1992. peter hart said this is a howard beale moment. as madrican people are as hell and they are not going to take it anymore. how will that anger manifest itself down the road? >> we have seen the debate but the american public have seen some ugly months in washington. the government gets shut down by the republicans, that makes him
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-- them mad. mad. the issue goes away and all of a sudden they look at the obamacare rollout and the president not telling the whole truth and that infuriates them even further. i remained skeptical that even though 63% or 67% say throw the bums out including my own that this will happen. let's face it. the reelection rates are always in the 90 percentile. i think we are more likely to see that happen again unless we have a wave, we have seen waves and the only way we get to a wave where one party gets the brunt of the anger is if the government shuts down again. >> i think she makes very good points. very persuasive points. >> thank you. >> there is one, that 63% number. throw them all out being the
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highest ever. higher than it was in 2010, and 2006 when the democrats replaced the republicans in the house of representatives. as the dominant party. you can see that building. we have people right now, american voters who are despairing of democracy and essentially saying to both sides compromise. here's the thing. you can make it worse. if you kept the democrats, you could get control of the house, people are so mad you could have a wave election and vote them out of the house and get control. that makes the democrats want to not compromise at all, to want to grind down republicans and stick to their issues. >> next summer, we will have a chance to see that wave. politicians have a keen sense of peril.
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at this point most of them know that something politically dangerous is out there. i suspect we will see some adjustments. >> the secretary of health and human services said they would have this obamacare website figured out by the end of november. if she does not they are indeed in deep do-do. >> they have set the date and if it is not correct in functioning, you have more than disillusionment, you have a real fury. on the part of voters. i will say this, i do not pretend to be objective about kathleen sebelius. it was so refreshing to hear someone say i am accountable. >> i agree. you're right. it was refreshing. if you look into it she also did not know anything. she said i was as surprised as
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anyone else. either that is not true or there is something fundamentally wrong that the head of the department is caught by surprise by this. >> inside the white house there is a health care policy person. someone had to be tracking this kind of thing. this is his signal achievement. will the rollout be ready? and for that person to not say we are on track or off track or call the secretary of hhs. >> surely somebody knew. >> something is wrong. terribly wrong. >> they knew but no one has been more singularly responsible. they were a lot of people who were part of building up but no one was at the top. now we have someone at the top and what is more likely to help the administration get this thing together is they are bringing in real pros. they have a loaner from google
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and a loaner from oracle. these people know what they are doing, they should have been there in the first place. >> speaking of google. is the federal government watching? >> it is more important that we defend this nation and take the beatings than it is to give up a program that would result in this nation being attacked. >> they have taken a lot of beatings. that is the mindset of general keith alexander who is the director of the nsa. there were reports that the nsa broke into the servers of google and yahoo! according to edward snowden. he has found a new job. nice that the kid has found work. general alexander said it will be illegal for the nsa to break into any databases. what if they tap into underseas cable? and things like that. is that covered by the
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government oversight? >> the question is do we have a rogue agency in our hands or not? i am not sure. i accept the arguments they are doing all these things but this goes back to our previous discussion of who is minding the store. we have the director of national intelligence, what does he know and when did he know it and when did they tell the president they are eavesdropping on foreign leaders? why didn't he tell them or tell the president about the scope of the nsa activity if the director of intelligence really knew about this? you cannot keep the commander- in-chief in the dark on things like this. you cannot do it. >> there is a long tradition of plausible deniability. and not telling the top guy how you did it. at the same time, tremendous pressure to provide goodies.
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the morning briefing the a lot of gets, presidents complaint i have -- there's nothing in here that i have not already read in "the new york times." that puts tremendous treasure on the agencies to get some special goodies. where are you going to get the special goodies? from angela merkel's cell phone. they are showing they are meaningful. >> the president said we would not listen in. >> could he say we will continue to listen in? he could not say that. >> why would you listen in on angela merkel? to show the president -- >> they are not listening to her conversations. it is part of the mega data that is coming in and they scan it for what they call selectors which are indicators of trouble. they are not listening to her -- >> order the groceries.
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>> they say that, i got some political gossip. >> i would be surprised if they did not target other heads of state. what bothered me, what about the countermeasures of their own security services? why would they -- she is the repository of the crown jewels. >> a french gentleman said they are jealous because they do not have the capability. to do what we do. >> the story this week is not angela merkel. and listening to her for 10 years. the real story is there are powerful forces arrayed against the nsa. they are apple, yahoo!, google. you can mess with the french and the germans and the spanish but do not mess with silicon valley.
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that to me is the story. >> how reliable is this reporting, we have these big headlines and they go away and come back. we understand that there is more stuff to come. even marx plosive. how accurate is the reporting on this? >> "the washington post" has been careful about what they have released. they might have more. we have seen them do one story after another with months in between in which all indications are they have done some good reporting. they have got -- the white house is not denying their story. silicon valley was furious when they found out "the washington post" had gotten this. >> the post does not publish anything without running it by the government a lot. there is a long history of
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relationships. we're thinking about publishing this and you react. >> they are running it by a top plate group of lawyers. they are not just shoving it out there. >> i do not think we can leave this without getting the question answered, how could somebody who has a ged who is a failed army recruit, bounced in and out of community colleges go into the cia and get an overseas posting at another job as a contractor and making $200,000 a year and get access to the crown jewels? >> they need millions of computer gigs to do this. >> there was a story this week about security clearances on the
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people who went into the navy yard. the guy who went into the navy yard and shot everybody else up. >> it is a private firm, contractors doing the investigation. >> the same firm that cleared snowden cleared the navy yard. same firm. >> we will close the barn door. create more secrets and security. i do not think what we need is more secrets. >> let's be very blunt. this guy was hired, he was not coming out of some ivy league school. he obviously met the test and whatever else you say about him he left with a lot. he knew -- >> the hacker community is by and large people like him. >> i do not know how he got hired. there were some glitches in his background that somehow they missed. >> was the president thinking about running with hillary clinton in 2012 instead of joe biden?
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we will talk about that and cutbacks in food stamps. >> my food stamps do not last the whole month. >> that is a mississippi food stamp recipient. on friday of this week, 47 million saw their benefits reduced. a temporary benefit from the economic stimulus. that would be a reduction of $36 a month for a family of four and if the house has its way there would be more cuts coming. >> i wish some of those legislators could come with me to the neighborhood safeway and watch people who are on the program buy what they buy. and the things they put in their baskets. they would be ashamed of themselves. we are not talking about extravagant items. people are trying to get some food on the table. and you cut back on them and these are senior citizens,
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mothers with little kids, there's not anyone living high on the hog. this is a national disgrace. >> this is not a cut as we think normally. there will be cuts of the traditional sort coming. this one is an increase in food stamp payments. it was included in the stimulus bill. and so that 5% bump up is going away. there is no fight to keep it. there was one bill put in by democrats but they could not get enough support to go on the floor. this was a bipartisan agreement to let this 5% cut going to -- go into place and there could be more coming later. >> in the farm bill. when we have broader negotiations over legislation. >> the only hope is the supermarkets that will suffer because of this.
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they will not be able to sell their product and they will raise their voices. poor people cannot be heard. but maybe the producers can. >> it just grew like topsy way beyond expectations. i am not sure why that was. >> i can. >> there was a recession. >> people had less money to buy. >> i don't think that is exactly right. i don't know what you think is more than that. two dollars and $.40 a day, is there an effort to scam? >> i think more people were covered. they encouraged the use of it. >> i got to get a quick question here. there was talk of replacing joe
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biden with hillary clinton. do you think that happened? >> it has to be considered. in 2011 president obama was in terrible shape. george w. bush in 1991 considered getting rid of dan quayle and getting colin powell. but they were thinking it raises questions about my initial judgment in choosing a person. >> i agree with that. we have heard since then is it never got to the president for serious consideration but it would have looked like weakness and disloyalty. >> eisenhower was always picking about dumping nixon. this goes way back.
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>> we talk about congressional gridlock. on thursday of this week senate republicans got together to block the nomination of former congressman l watt to be the next rector of the federal housing finance agency and the judge of the district circuit court of appeals. she was some cum laude from the diversity of illinois and magna cum laude from harvard law school. why are these people not qualified? why are they an acceptable? wrecks you will have to ask the republicans who refused to bring up her nomination, allow her nomination to be voted upon. >> people are angry, they're talking about the nuclear option. -- the d clem is circuit is one of the most important circuits in the court of appeals and the three judges that have been held up by republicans.
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individual judges they're going after i do not believe so much as the importance of the position. that circuit handles or makes judges -- judgments on all the regulations coming out of the government. they do not want to have good judges of a particular persuasion and that circuit. and that is why they had that blockage on. mel watt is a policy question. anse who do not like aggressive federal housing administration, they will block that. that is what is going on. >> how do you get anything done, if you cannot get people into jobs? wrecks that will -- they will probably cut a deal. that is what hast -- that happened last summer. i would rather be the judicial candidate then mel watt. i think when it came to the housing appointment, that is a real fundamental policy
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difference. and you had conservative groups say they will score it which is one of the other reasons it was -- the republicans decided to stand firm. on the judicial appointment, the kinds of cases that court gets right now, it is 3-3 and they have retired judges command. the republicans are concerned that if obama gets an appointment that is going to tilt the court. that court also is a feeder to the u.s. supreme court. chief justice roberts was on that court. that is another reason that judicial appointment to that court, they are very sensitive. toare we not getting closer the day when they will blow up the filibuster? wrecks on appointments if they do not cut a deal. it would not be on show -- on judicial. >> let's get one thing straight
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about mel watt. this would be the first time in 160 years that a member of congress has been denied confirmation by the senate. outrageous. at the same time that fannie mae is taking on the nine biggest raised interest mel watt is the person to do it. quick senator lindsey graham is talking about locking other nominations including yellin's if he does not get more emphasis on benghazi. infor him it is a gimme south carolina. it is a sad reflection of where we are. >> you have senator rand paul who is talking about holding up the yellin nomination because he
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wants an audit of the fed. this is a bargaining chip the minority can use. disgust get public to the point when they change the rules to change this? >> a word on the red sox victory in the world series. >> it happened at fenway park. the red sox are world champions. >> six and a half months after the boston marathon bombings, red sox fans took their celebration to the marathon finish line. >> it was something painful the city went through and rallied around the red sox which is something that unites the entire city on a regular day. >> a wonderful touch. that is the end of the story but the story begins after a miserable 2012 season. the lousiest season and 47 years. >> a terrible season. what they did, it is very simple. they unloaded their prima donnas and sent them to los angeles where they'd did better than the
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dodgers. they hired these overachieving journeymen players. they they did not buy with an open checkbook. on the field they played well and they were the best team in baseball. as strange as it might seem. >> there is a lesson here in politics. you hire guys who will do the job or you. you do not want any prima donnas. >> my team was the nationals and i kind of rooted for detroit has they had a rough time but i was taken by the un-alloyed joy in boston. that made me smile just to see that. >> it was a nice touch when they went over to the finish line where the bombing took place. >> it definitely was. senator john kerry i believe is the person who first said this. the first time it is about the curse, second time it is proving you are supposed to be there and the third time is just pure joy.
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>> they have a feel-good story and sports based on old- fashioned grit and people playing together and no prima donnas. that is so out of the norm it is a wonderful flashback to earlier times. >> sort of like the four of us. you want to grow a beard? it is well taken. these guys were out there to play ball and have a pretty good time and it worked. >> it obviously worked and i will predict this. here's a prediction, you can take it to the bank. >> hall of fame. >> designated hitter. that the american league has, the pitcher does not hit, you have a hitter to hit in the ninth spot and the national league will adopt that. in three years. >> last word. see you next week. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
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