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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 22, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the senate will come to order. are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if are 60, the nays are 39. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. ♪ host: it was a procedural motion but a key hurdle in the health- care debate. by reaching that 60 vote margin the senate will be back the monday after a thanksgiving to begin a full debate on health care bill. good morning. some of the headlines include
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"harry reid seeking passage before christmas." "republican governors and said that the plan to opt out of the public option is not workable. -- workable." all of the issues that we will be talking about this sunday morning. we will begin first with your reaction to the floor debate yesterday and the senate debate that is about to begin. for democrats, 202-737-0002. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-628-0205. we will also get to your e-mail comments and you can send us a comment through twitter using twitter.com/c-spanwj. this piece from our guest yesterday, "two reluctant democratic senators warned that
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their support for a motion to open debate did not guarantee that they would ultimately vote for a bill. their remarks echoed previous comments from other senators, including ben nelson and joe lieberman. first, the wood -- we -- the senator from louisiana yesterday. >> my vote to move forward on this important debate should be in no way construed by the supporters of the current framework as an indication of how i might vote as this debate comes to an end. it is a vote to move forward to continue the good and essential , and important, and comparative work that is under way.
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after a thorough review of this bill over the last 2.5 days, which included many lengthy discussions, i have decided that there are enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward, but much more work needs to be done. host: in this column, "staffers were calling it the louisiana purchase. it was an awkward moment, not least of which the figure is three times the original louisiana purchase price, fairly representative as this -- of this senate debate that is in southern gothic style. it was gripping, bringing out rank partisanship and self absorption and all the other
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anthologies of modern politics." john, good morning. caller: i think that both sides are being completely irrational. medicare, for every $3 that pays out that only pays in $1. it seems like neither side wants to talk about the truth, like we need things like rationing, curbing costs, which are up to 60%. if you do not deal with those real issues of moving more towards a system like that, the system will blow up. economists on either side are saying this. there is no money to pay for this stuff. in disappointed, we are selling out our kids.
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it is the fault of you and i, at the end of the day it will take adults like you and i. host: thank you for the call. boats to bring the health care debate to the floor are coming in late november and through december, harry reid is hoping to have passage by december 21 or 22nd. joe is joining us from columbia, maryland. caller: thank you for taking my call. i was on capitol hill last night. i engaged several people in discussion about the bill. host: you have read all the pages? guest: yes, sir -- caller: yes, sir. and the house bill. the thing that i think it is good that goes forward for debate in the final bill, if it
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reaches cloture, there has to be another cloture vote before there can be a final vote. with all due respect to the minority leader, his statement that voting now means that it will go through as it is, that is not correct. are there valid things to debate about? yes, there are. there are a lot of big changes in it. as far as costs, to the gentleman that spoke before, that is correct, anyone who has any type of health care insurance, there is a type of rationing the goes on now. the question is, how do we shake things so that we can get the most people on and not have an
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unintended consequences. host: joe, what do you do for a living? caller: i am an engineer for a living. i have good health care, but a lot of people do not. host: next is john from oklahoma of. as we look at "the washington post," "two key committee chairs along with harry reid, who is up for reelection next year." john, good morning on the republican line. caller: good morning, steve. i have a suggestion for both sides, they are acting like kids. i have a suggestion for the congress. if they are going to put something up for a vote, they should put it up for a vote to
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the people. there are so many people out there like myself that watch cable news and all of that stuff, listening to the radio and reading, i am old enough and smart enough to understand that when you have got 100 senators and half of them vote one way and half of them both the other, you are not going to get anything done. why not call a special election for the 10th of january, or whenever. let the people vote on it. this is our house to the they are debating in. we pay their salaries. they make $180,000 per year. the average salary out here is less than $20,000. when they put something like this up for a vote, i do not
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trust 100 people to decide what is right for me and what is not. i am ex-military, a retired schoolteacher on social security. fortunately i have my veterans affairs benefits, so i do not have to worry about doctors' bills, but i earned those in the military. i spent a year in korea. i was willing to die, if necessary. host: thank you for the call. if you are watching us on the parliament channel, we welcome your calls as well. for our listeners on c-span and xm potus, for republicans, 202- 737-0001. for democrats, 202-737-0002. later in the program, lamar alexander and tom udall will be
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joining us to take your calls for reaction to the floor debate. this is from "the new york times." "republicans tried to make this tantamount to a vote on the bill itself, trying to shake the confidence of democrats who had wavered. "if we do not stop the bill tonight, the only the baby will be having as about higher premiums and higher taxes, as well as cuts in medicare rather than improving senior care. -- senior care." blanche lincoln is one of the wavering republicandemocrats. here are her comments from yesterday. >> i will not allow my decision
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on this vote to be dictated by pressure from political opponents or liberal interest groups that threaten me with money and political opposition. the multitudes of e-mail and advertisements we have received, unbelievable toxic threats about what they will do and how they will behave. the fact is that i am serious about changing the health care system. as are most americans. i would not seek to avoid the debate because people are using a narrow political attacks. i will vote in support of cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill. and but madame president, let me be clear, i am opposed to a government administered health
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care plan as a part of health care reform. i will not vote in favor of the proposal introduced by harry reid as it is written. and host: "all sides in the health-care debate have already spend $170 million on advertisements this year, the most ever on a single advocacy issue in a calendar year. -- calendar year." this comment comes from twitter -- the republicans are cooked, well done. durham, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i heard the debate last night. i watched it. i have been keeping in touch with what is going on on cable, cnn, msnbc.
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i never look at fox. why does mcconnell, that he needed one democrat, when all the democrats needed was three or four republicans. i cannot understand how the republicans always vote one way and the democrats all vote the other way. you know right there that they will vote along party lines. i agree with lincoln. she sounds sincere to me. based on the fact that i have watched cable news, i think she was very strong to say that she was voting her conscience. fighting to the american public needs to reform health care. i think that the insurance companies have taken advantage of us all these years. host: thank you for calling.
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by the way, margaret carlson and tucker carlson will be joining us in about 15 minutes. above the fold, good morning, democratic line. caller: good morning. i would like to talk about the exclusion or inclusion of abortion in the health-care bill. in the 1970's i work in emergency rooms in cleveland, ohio. once or twice per night women would come in who had tried to perform their own abortions. terrible pain, terrible infections. every one of those women was admitted to the hospital, every one of those women needed surgery. my point is, before people exclude abortion procedures in health care, they should really
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think about the complications of what a self induced abortion -- abortion does to a person. host: how many cases with doocy per year? caller: i would say 5 per week. host: 5 per week? caller: right. it was a very poor population and it was very common for women to try to abort their own fetus's. host: so, part of the issue on the public option for you, it should abortion be included? caller: definitely. you cannot bring religion into health-care decisions. this is a personal decision that it will an estimate. i can tell you that in today's world, a woman is admitted to a hospital and has surgery, the
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cost will be close to $50,000. compare that to the cost of a few bills, like ru486. probably less than 20 cents. seems like cost is being debated so much on television. host: can i ask you your religion? caller: i am jewish. host: this part of the debate deals with the catholic church, patrick kennedy has been banned from receiving communion. a bishop received an instruction not to give him communion because of his views on abortion. host: i think that is -- caller: that is one of the problems. religion should not be included in health care decisions. closed of 94 recall and
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observations. on thedailytimes web site, "how can democrats say that the plan will cut the deficit"? a pair -- according to the deficit office, it will trim. "does that mean that by medicare benefits will be/"? "a commission will be charged to finding other sources of savings, likely to focus on reducing payments for benefits not required under medicare and often offered by medicare advantage plans." you can go to their web site for more specifics. jeff, good morning, republican
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line. caller: i am thoroughly disgusted with both sides, republicans and democrats. i am so close to becoming an independent, it is pathetic. i have been a republican since reagan. none of these people have any idea what is going on outside of their own environment. they say one thing, then another. people are losing their homes because of health care debates, but that is not why. people are losing their homes because there is no work. instead of trying to get jobs back, they are debating over health care. they are trashing the constitution, taking the religion out of things. they do not understand what is going on. the world does not revolve around health care. republicans are saying that it
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will lower the costs, but it will raise the costs. but it will all cost money. if no one is paying taxes because they have no jobs, where are they going to get the money. host: thank you for calling. a twitter comment -- i hope that they take the best from both bills and create a mix that we can live with. from iran, the associated press confirms that the country has begun a large-scale air defense warnings procedure to protect nuclear facilities. it will spread across the central, western, and southern parts of the country.
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the procedural way for the iranian military to be prepared, the west is accusing iran of embarking on a nuclear weapons program. iran denies this. gary, good morning. caller: my quick question was going to be about the twitter. host: what was the question? of caller: it was about the bill. i have six children. we are in a situation where we are budgeting our income. our premiums are rising continuously year after year. when harry reid got on the floor and stated that tommy thompson had endorsed his bill, that was a key statement for me,
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as an independent. some type of bipartisan agreement is simply just going to have to be reached. the american people are leaning somewhere in the middle of this debate. they want some type of concession between both parties on agreement. when you have lincoln, landrieu, lieberman, continuing this debate, standing firm on principle, still at the same time staking their convictions despite their constituents voices being heard. you have to look inside of this debate and asked if this is
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going to cut costs. host: one veteran here shares your view, this is from twitter. lincoln has received herself a one-way ticket back to arkansas with her vote. over 60% have said no to the bill. harry reid is on the cover of "the national journal." "congressional quarterly" weekly, "the president's details on afghanistan and policy their." 60-39, the only senator that did not show up, a republican from ohio that is not seeking reelection. caller: steve, do not cut me off, i have some quick bullet
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points. let's start with a shout out to lincoln, landrieu, even lieberman for getting up and just moving the boat forward. just moving the debate forward. that is what has happened. let the debate go forward. even if you disagree. if branch lincoln is listening, sometimes losing is winning. it does not matter. the thing that you cut it so much in life, losing it can be the best thing that ever happened to you. now, this is the other thing, this is constructive criticism for you, and i do not mean this in a harsh way, on february 10,
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2007, have called to out on something -- host: you keep good records. caller: this is the thing, you push negativity. i am surprised. i do not understand your program, you show up on these amazing issues. kenai just request that c-span to this one thing? going forward with this health care bill, if you could acknowledge that this is a major issue, i am asking, why not equipped yourselves with the understanding of what is in the bill and not in the bill. this is why we can become so powerful.
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get your staff, everybody, equip themselves and gather some knowledge. host: i am glad you called. we have done that, in large parts. if you go to our website combat c-span.org, this past spring we have been creating since then the health care hub. the floor debate yesterday, the house debate, details comparing both versions of the bill. if you want to read the entire bill, that is all available online in addition to what we do here every morning. still with us? caller: all i am saying is that you do a great job with it. c-span does offer this forum where people can truly express what they feel.
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but to separate a person's opinion from the fact. host: we appreciate your calls and comments this morning. going back to the comments from "the washington post." "the big shake down is yet to occur. that will happen in two weeks. republicans know that a single defection will kill the bill, so they tried to pressure the holdouts. mitch mcconnell of kentucky -- " here are his comments. >> this bill cuts medicare, raises taxes, raising insurance premiums for the 85% of americans who have insurance. if that were not bad enough, if
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you look at the operating provisions, it is a $2.50 trillion expansion of the federal government. the cost to individual americans is going to go up. we thought that this was all about trying to bend the the cost curve. to regular citizens, the cost is going to go up dramatically. host: senate democrats win a key vote to continue health care debate. "one part of the plan that would allow states to opt out of the public option is not workable." that is from the governor from south dakota. "you still had to pay for taxes, and it would be very difficult for any state to get out of the plan. -- planned."
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-- plan." john has this comment -- $300 million to purchase 1/6 of the u.s. economy is a better bargain than the original louisiana purchase. caller: i wanted to make a comment. mainly on the health-care issue , where the gentleman before was talking about the abortion issue in the plan, he mentioned the cost between having an abortion or using the pill. in this day and age, it would be wonderful if a person to care of themselves and took the pill or used condoms or whatever. but they do not do it. talking about freedom of choice,
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people make choices when they are used to a child being born. host: another comment saying we should replace the public option with strong enforcement of anti-trust laws. richard, good morning. caller: i disagree with the bill and nothing the government should stay out of insurance. i agree that it should go to a vote, this is an important thing. we pay for them, it should be voted on by the public. one more thing, that guy from illinois and what he said about abortion, abortion is murder, no matter how you look at it. that gentleman that worked in an
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er or wherever, that is their choice, they did that to themselves and i do not feel bad for them. abortion is murder. thank you. host: some of the details on health care bill as written in "the washington post" says " there would be a creation of insurance exchanges for individuals who do not have access to affordable coverage from their employer." "people that shout dictatorship, do not want to debate, just repeat the talking points and threatened with revolt." arnold, tennessee. good morning. caller: how are you? host: fine, thank you. caller: i just want to say that we have all the money. this nation has more money than needs to handle all their problems. but before we can have health care reform, we are going to
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have to have federal reserve reform. we are going to have to have pentagon spending reform. if we will reform those areas of our government, we will have all the money that we need for health care, for our infrastructure, we will have what we need to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, close to the naked and heal the sick. -- clothe the naked and heal the sick. this is a moral issue. god is aware of what is going not in -- of what is going on and he will hold accountable. host: thank you. as we show you these floor proceedings, these comments from twitter -- finally, six american style. this is how government is supposed to work. eight years is a long time,
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bring on the debate. coming up -- together again, tucker carlson and margaret carlson. one more issue we want to share with you from the associated press, 12 afghan security border guards were killed along the pakistani border, the attack coming amidst reports that over one dozen militants with expected ties to the taliban were in the operation on sunday, underlying the struggles in the country's southern border. we will be talking to met to hoh about what -- matthew hoh about what is next for afghanistan, but first some of the other programs being talked about this morning on the sunday morning talk shows, all of which can be heard on sunday morning radio show -- c-span radio this morning.
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>> afghanistan, breast cancer screening, health care. on "meet the press" will be senator richard durbin, kay bailey hutchison, dianne feinstein, and joseph lieberman. also, the founder of the susan g. coleman race for the cure for breast cancer. on "this week" george stephanopoulos will talk with ben nelson and tom coburn, as well as marshall blackburn and debbie wasserman schulz. un "fox news sunday" there is republican congressman alexander, democratic senator arlen specter and debbie stab and now -- stabinow.
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senator alexander will also be a guest on "washington journal" this morning. on "face the nation" there will be charles schumer, jon kyle, and dr. jenifer ashton. on a "state of the union" they will include mitch mcconnell, sherry brown, michael bennett, and keen shaheen. at 90.1 fm, nationwide on satellite radio, channel 132, you can follow us on twitter as well. >> later today on booktv, three new books by and about sarah
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palin. matthew continuity on the persecution of sarah palin, stephen gillin follows the transfer of power, and the lbj first hours as president. the financial crisis on "after words." interviewed by vermont senator, bernie sanders. the entire schedule can be found on line, including our 4 day book-tv weekend. >> monday, and that neutrality, federal communications commission drayman -- chairman maps out his goals for the agency on "the communicators." >> thanksgiving week on c-span,
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and look at politics in america, topics including the midterm elections and 2012. what is fair in politics, the role of the media, and assessing the obama presidency. tuesday night, the first state dinner as president obama's welcomes the indian prime minister. also, three weeks of originals he's been documentaries -- american icons. >> "washington journal" continues. host: i wrote on my facebook, back together again. margaret carlson and tucker carlson -- how long have you to know each other? guest: a while. margaret introduced me to television, actually. she was the first person i ever did any kind of show with. guest: he ahd on a beanie hat
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and i brought him along, little of the 1990's on cnn. [laughter] host: dana milbank called this the mint -- the louisiana purchase. your reaction to what you saw yesterday and how it is playing out. guest: we thought that with all the attention paid to earmarks and how horrible they are that you would not be giving away huge chunks of money to get a vote. only now it is done and they are kind of proud of it. look, we got mary landrieu ended only cost this much money. guest: this always happens with legislation like this, but we lost sight of the point, to provide health insurance to the uninsured and save money. [laughter]
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guest: now it is an abortion bill and a punish the immigrants bill, in addition to other things. guest of the pope -- the president's political future is inextricably tied to this legislation. that is what it is about. no one is even attending at this point. host: is a good bill, margaret carlson? guest: when you said that he has got to get it through, it can be real sausage. seeing this bill being made is really unpleasant, very unappetizing. you wonder, knowing that the president has to get it, how bad can it get before he will not be in favor of it. it is not as bad as it could be, but is by no means as good as it could be. if you leave it without the public option, what you are doing is cementing the system that we now have without big
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reforms like changing pay for service. you are driving all of these people into the arms of the insurance companies, because the etna bureaucrats are so much better than government bureaucrats. a system that is broken. the alternative of the strong public option, without that that is the only way to look at it. guest: i do not know anyone that says that this is a good bill. i read all the papers, watch television, i have not even heard that idea expressed. guest: and when you say something like that to someone in the administration, this is what i hear, i hear it from so many that i think it is a talking point -- we have to get started. we have to put down a marker. we will fix it later.
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guest: that is not the benchmark. remember the president's address, where he said that so many presidents took up the quest to reform health care, that he would be the final one. that is clearly not true and i think that maybe it is pushed into the new year, and i hope that it will be, there will be time to reflect on what we are doing. guest: these senators told the bill in their grasp. mary landrieu, getting 300 million you said? lieberman, nelson. this final bill to get their votes will be shaved disproportionately by them. host: at the same time we are told that the president will release details on afghanistan during the week of november 30.
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we are told that he wants an end game and we are told that he does not want to pass this onto his successor. guest: he is certainly not in control of the last question. presidents do not get the shape the course of history with any one decision, they are not that powerful, as we know. i think that more than an end game, he needs a rationale. and lot of lives have been lost , but it was in the service of ideas that they thought they supported and understood. but what is this war about? bringing democracy to afghanistan? subduing the taliban? if he can articulate that. host: we are approaching the 1000 person mark in terms of casualties eight years into the war. guest: if you gave general
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mcchrystal everything that he asked for, we would be swallowed up in afghanistan by breakfast. it is a huge country with a tribal government if you want to call a government. it is run by someone that we all like knowledge is corrupt. can you picture sending anyone's child to support the karzai regime? in his brother, out in the open as a drug kingpin. without knowing that you are going to kill al qaeda, how much as the taliban negotiated? is it pakistan that we need to worry about? are we going to interfere with that? is the counterinsurgency what we want to do? or could it be the joe biden plan? sending in more special forces and drones, pinpointing what we need to do. we are never going to bring
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anything even approaching what we have in iraq to afghanistan. host: eric holder defended his decision to have the trial for khalid sheikh mohammed in new york. margaret, you wrote "americans believe that our legal system is the crowd and jewel of democracy, until we need a monster like cali shake muhammed. then we see wild west justice. i get it. if weapons were allowed and whether it -- weddings and funerals, there would be no counting the wounded and dead in my extended family. guest: oh dear, i do not like to have my columns not read out loud. [laughter] my first instinct is that american justice is too good for him. we do not want to treat him like a common criminal.
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then i think that treating him like a common criminal is exactly what he does not want, he wants to be treated like a martyr and a soldier. we have a great system. by the way, it can convict the guilty, as he is. it is still a close question for me. the perception is that it is a privilege to be protected by our constitution and that the military tribunals do not do that. one technical buying is that the military tribunals, thinks the supreme court rulings, have come to resemble american courts. there is not that much difference. it does help us to be seen as a country that can try someone like him. guest: i do not know, i am comfortable with military justice. i am uncomfortable with this double standard that if you attack military personnel or an
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installation, you are brought to justice in the military system. but if you hit american civilians, you are in the civilian court. it seems like it is set up as incentive. profound incentives if your goal is to generate publicity, which is obviously the goal of these terror groups. no one is getting out. if you are busted for terrorism, that is it. you want to have your lawyer on television every day making your case, and that is what will happen. host: send us your phone calls, twister comments, and e-mails. margaret carlson of bloomberg news and tucker carlson is with us. tucker, your web site is about to open. what is it going to be?
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guest: we are trying not to publicize too much, it does not exist yet, but it is a news source, a news organization, we have hired a number of reporters to cover politics in the white house. we think that with the crisis in the daily newspapers there are fewer people covering more stories at the federal level. the u.s. government is attempting to do more than at any time before in my lifetime. there is a lot to write about, fewer people to do it. we're going to add some people to the mix. host: with the business model changing so much, margaret, you started at grant, now you are on bloomberg, you have multiple platforms. guest: like my irish grandmother, she took in ironing, i take in articles. one model is to have many jobs at the same time.
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i wast i wastime" -- i was at "time" for 15 years and it was hard to leave, but after the buyout it was a shell of its former self. still, at par to pick up your own life. that is what the media has come to. luckily, tucker, you will have an anchor. people, and office, everything seems to be laptops. guest: i remember some of margaret's first advice to me, back at cnn, never have just one job. this is not a business that in the end is going to take care of you in your old age. you have got to get multiple income sources going. this was 15 years ago and i have never deviated from that advice. guest: television is especially cruel. even before the business got in trouble. except for c-span, which is rock
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solid. host: thank you for getting up early. sue is joining us, thwelcome to "washington journal." caller: thank you for taking my call. i represent close to 50 different health insurance companies, i am working on medicare part d for my clients. i wish that we all stop for a moment and look at this health care bill as citizens, as a majority. if we could just drop our partisan filters and look at this health care reform bill would american eyes -- with american eyes. the answer is what will help the majority of us.
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45,000 deaths per year is unconscionable. we need have some reform talk about, past and worked on. when medicare came into force in 1965, it was not perfect and. ask any senior, they will not give up the medicare. we need this bill passed, we need to change, the only people that i think it will hurt are the health insurance companies. $170 million in lobbyist? that is the most millions of dollars ever spent by lobbyists. guest: 66 cents of every dollar paid into an insurance company goes out in benefits.
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not a very efficient use of money. i like the colors optimism. i agree that we should do something, it is not a good system, but i hope that this bite at the apple accomplishes a majority of what needs to happen. guest: the idea of it being a more efficient system with the federal government taking over -- is it too early in the morning to be laughing? [laughter] the government' and defend the country and build some roads, but they are not very good at new once. guest: when you are out at the town hall meetings, people say please keep government out of my medicare. guest: you are absolutely right.
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people do not understand that the basic assumptions of our relationship to the state will change forever. when the government says that they can force you to pay for someone else's health care, force you to buy into the insurance system, the country will never be the same. guest: i can force you because i do not want you being paid for by me, which is more expensive than buying insurance. the people you say will be paying for it are paying for it anyway as. guest: here is my point. when your health is my business, and it will be under this system, what can i not tell you to do? these are all my concerns. they are directly tied to be. it seems that we could get into
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fairly coercive situation immediately. host: the president issued a statement from his press secretary, beginning consideration on health care insurance legislation, bringing us one step closer to ending insurance company abuses and reining in the spiraling costs, providing stability and security to those without insurance." he went on to say that the president looks forward to a thorough debate. will this be on his desk before the end of the year? oguest: there are 20 days left? maybe fewer? mitch mcconnell said the they needed at least 60 days.
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so, even when you have your mind made up, every time table has flipped. i would say that the president would get the thorough debate, but maybe not the deadline. host: the insurer already paying for the uninsured? guest of the government is going to be telling them -- guest: the government is going to be telling tucker what to eat. guest: since we are all going to be in it together, you are already seeing hints of it in the parts of the legislation that we know about. the idea the the federal government should be discouraging me from eating certain snack foods. i am 40, i have certain kids -- i have four kids, i feel that i can make decisions about what i want to eat.
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am i a crackpot? guest: you can take that advice or leave it, as we do now. guest: it is coercion whenever it is the federal government. >> they can -- you can still eat your ding dongs and ho-ho's. guest: i am finally off of the ho-ho's. [laughter] host: pittsburg, kansas. good morning. caller: listening to this interesting conversation between your two guests, i am enjoying a very much. i have a suggestion, that is that tomorrow morning i am going to go in changeover to the democratic party. i did not want a 100 years war going on. tomorrow morning i go back and change back to the gop.
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just like everyone else, i think we have a rasputin syndrome president. we all know that if we killed off the seniors, fdr, churchill, dugal, oh heavenly days. .
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guest: i think there's potentially great dissatisfaction with this president's overreach, by the flakyness of the congress. there are a lot of ways you could beat the democratic party, but the republican party is sadly disorganized, as someone who thinks we needs vigorous debate. ier in sha takes precedent at the end. >> what's -- guest: what's coming is an anti-incumbent election. when you look at this off year election, it seems to me that's what's coming. it's an anti-bang, anti-establishment, anti-incumbent. and you're right. if the republican party weren't rung by talk show hosts and they
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for putting up some alternatives to obama, not just people, but the policies, he would -- you know, i wouldn't say the wheels would be coming off. it's only been 10 months. but we have such a hyper moving way of thinking of these things. guest: he's packed a lot into 10 months. guest: he has. that's why you might say the wheels are coming off because he's trying to do a loot of things. the more you try to do, the more there is to criticize. host: there's a piece this morning inside "the new york times" on the sarah palin book tour. pointing out that she is visiting areas of the country that the mccain ticket did well last year. shari is 54 years old. she says it may not be this year, it may not be next year, but we're going to take the country back. my goal is to make sure he, obama, is a half-term president. guest: or a one-term. or is he going to be impeached?
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the palin phenomena is quite something. host: you wrote in your piece that palin lights the match at the republican bonfire. guest: she does more damage than good for the republican party. she could be the nominee because of its disorganization and its lack of any stars or much, but she's not going to be elected. the poll numbers say about 70% of people think she's unqualified. what is it about her that excites people on the one hand and makes others pull their hair out? i think she came to us as a vice-presidential candidate with all this credibility that you automatically get being chosen by your party and senator john mccain as a vice president. so everything since kind of takes away from that.
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but you still think, can somebody who behaves in such a -- if i might use the word, flaky way, be a vice-presidential candidate? and could she be a candidate for president? that, i think, is the fascination with her. host: the editorial this morning, "the washington times," tucker carlson gunning for sarah palin. most of the media hate her. guest: that's true. i don't really get it. i don't think sarah palin is in danger of becoming president. i don't think she's qualified to be president. guest: a nominee, though? guest: i don't think she will be. i would be shocked. i would bet my car that she does not get the nomination. i bet she doesn't even try. what i am so struck by is -- so in other words from the democratic poiving she's a pretty non-threatening figure. a lot of people love sarah palin, a lot of people listen to her. but she's not going to be passing laws. people hate her so much. "newsweek" has sort of stayed on
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its wrap. this front page editorial about how she's hurting america. it's so disportion gnat of the response, and i'm not a psychiatrist, i don't really understand it, why they hate her. as margaret said, if you're a partisan democrat, you could make a pretty good case she hurts the republicans. so why be so mad about it? host: the pit bull in the china shop. her 15 minutes will not be likely over any time soon. the only person who can derail sarah palin is sarah palin herself. let's go to call ma zoo, michigan. good morning. caller: i was calling in regards to the basic tone of this debate about the health care reform bill. it seems that from the caller that i've heard and the people that i've talked to is debate is framed around opinion and a lot of people are really losing the facts on both sides.
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i just think to have a serious debate, the public should be informed of the facts, not the opinions of the people reporting the facts. and one more point is that, you know, a lot of people say i don't want government between me and my doctor. well, right now, insurance companies are dictating what services you're qualified to receive based on your insurance policy. host: thank you. we'll get a response. margaret carlson? guest: well, i agree. i'm not sure which is better in between you, but i would prefer the government bureaucrat than what i've seen of insurance companies, which have motive to discriminate, motive to deny. my first job out of high school when during the summers at college was writing insurance company letters, and i was really fast typist and that's how i got the job. not that i made -- there was no editorial content. you would pick from about five different leverts. but all -- letters.
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but all of them said no in one way or another. you would just type them out. so maybe that affects the way i think of it. but i'm also in charge of my brother's health care, and i know that for me, to get through his -- the reports from the insurance companies. the requests for benefits, the denial of claims, and i'm a lawyer. it's too hard. it's hard to do. a lot of it is you're being turned down. the only way to not be is to have more staying power than the insurance company. host: coming from what you said earlier, tucker carlson, saying sarah palin is as qualified as obama, which is hardly qualified. guest: well, she's more sfeernsed. i think she's as smart as al gore. the idea that she's the dumbest person that ever drew breath or that she came from a tent on to the national stage, i have
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higher standards for, i guess, the office. i would like to see someone with a lot of experience become president. barack obama obviously didn't have enough experience. you're seeing the effects of it right now. i guess -- i'm not arguing on behalf of sarah palin. i'm merely saying, you know, it's not -- she's not such an outrageous figure this crazed extremist that the response that she's getting is warranted. i think it's weird, actually. guest: most pop lists are faking it. they're actually very intellectual and fairly knowledgeable. she's the real thing. i agree she's smart. she doesn't work to learn and study. like, i actually got up earlier today so that i could read the papers before i got here. i cannot picture sarah palin reading much at all. i mean, during this period of time since she was nominated to this incredibly -- i mean what a gift to her. she hasn't really learned or
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give the impression that she's tried to learn anything. host: our next call is karen from germantown, tennessee. good morning. welcome to the "washington journal." caller: have a nice thanksgiving. i'm really enjoying listening to these two. first of all, you're civil. tucker, you mentioned being civil when you have a discussion. that's something you need to be absolutely adamant in all of what you do. while you were talking about sarah palin, we have as much to fear of sarah palin becoming a democratic nominee -- i'm sorry, the republican nominee, as i do. and i'm a democrat. i wanted to ask both of you something. have you read the health care bill? guest: no. guest: i haven't even attempted it. guest: i haven't lifted it. caller: what we're doing is depending on what is funneled to us, and what is told to us. as a citizen, since it's going to affect me, i want to read the health care bill. for sure. and then i'd like to have both of you make a comment about
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wonderful senator lincoln and wonderful senator land rue who at least said as the bill stands, they would vote for both of it, and i admire both of them for saying that, because remarkably, i believe in the public option. as far as insurance goes, i'd like to get a list of all the senators and representatives and how much money they get are the lobbyists and from the health insurance providers. thank you for taking my questions. i'll listen off air. guest: let me just say, if you were to attempt to read the health care bill, it would be a little bit like trying to read the bible all the way through, which i've done. you get to the measurements of the arc. you know i mean? you realize, this is pretty tough slog. legislation, if you actually look at it, tends to be in many pages references to previous legislation. it's actually not that illuminating in experience to
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read it. the idea is to know what's in it. which is a very different thing. as for the senators, i don't think they're really in same category at all. i think the lincoln vote really is up in the air. she might go one way, i think she'll vote for it in the end. this one, she's been bought. there's no mystery about it. guest: and senator lincoln has a very top election going. and she said and the caller says, she's for a public option. she said she won't vote for a bill with the public option. host: in order to get the 60-vote margin, one of the senators, the longest member of congress, senator robert c. byrd of west virginia, passing karl hayden of arizona. he served 50 years in congress
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and turned 92. host: we'll go to north carolina. good morning. caller: i'd like to say welcome to your two columnists. i read them pretty regularly. i'd like them to comment on the -- well, i don't know if it's a fact or not. if the senators have taken their inducements for voting for closure outside of the capitol, that they be subject to criminal sanction for corruption. i'd like to hear the columnists' comments on that. guest: that's a very interesting way of looking at it. $300 million sitting across the table at a restaurant is a crime. well, who knows. maybe harry reid and the senator did have lunch. it's not an appealing way to make our laws. guest: no. it's disgusting.
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but it was also foreseen by the people who di advised the system, the framers. and i think they understood that when you have 535 members of congress in the combined chambers, you have 535 separate interest. that's why you have the president, whose job is to keep the national interests in mind. host: in "the new york times" this morning, robert bride has appeased who created major hasan? one of the points he makes is that the wars in afghanistan and iraq may be inciting terrorism at home. we talked to the senate of the -- talked to the chairman of the senate armed services committee carl levin. >> are you satisfied with what secretary gates has announced with the internal investigation? are you satisfied they're looking at everything that needs to be looked at from this point?
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>> not from what i see. i heard what secretary gates said. it sounds like it's a thorough investigation. the president wants to report on intelligence by the end of november. that's prompt and proper. so i would think yes. but that does not eliminate the need for congressional oversight. we have a responsibility here, not just to make sure that the f.b.i. has a proper investigation and the intelligence service here here including hurt and properly invest gated, what happened, what didn't happen, perhaps what should have happened. but congress has a responsibility also to oversee the military actions and lack of actions under these circumstances. host: you can watch the entire interview with carl levin today at 10:00 eastern time. "world news" also re--
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"newsmakers" also reairs at 6:00. you wrote an oversensitive army. guest: i hate to use the cliche connect the dots, but there were a lot of instances where hasan signaled that he was having a very difficult time. contemplating killing other muslims. kind of understandable, actually. and it makes you think there's a much bigger question here. but he had given it his final paper at walter reed in which in general, it is a medical paper, he gave one saying that -- which was a cry for help, that the army had to watch out for other muslims in the army who had problems actually -- they should be singled out and taken out as conscientious objectors because they would not be able to carry out their duty to the united states. there were many times, he was
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e-mailing with a fairly radical cleric. there were signs that this was a big problem. the army, i think being -- not wanting to discriminate in any way against muslims, overcompensated and ignored the very real signals. host: in fact, margaret writes this. imagine this. if major nidal hasan were gay and revealed half as much about his state of mind as he did, he would have been expeled from the military a long time ago. guest: it's just another class of -- political correctness is a huge problem here. i'm glad we're admitting that this crime and these murders had their root in a religion/ideology or a perversion of religion that has become an ideology. he was an islammist and motivated by that. we spent almost four years in the most brutal war in human history. a majority christian country fighting a majority christian country, germany. i have not read of large numbers
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of soldiers saying i can't kill fellow christians. the idea is absurd. it's a volunteer army. if you join it, you're here to defend the united states. if you can't carry that out -- guest: but the army does need to single out those that are saying they are -- guest: i agree with you completely. guest: almost every jihaddist is a muslim. you not be overly politically correct where you ignore that fact. guest: general casey said the most important thing is we don't affect the diversity of the army. i beg your pardon? your job is to affect the country. i don't care about the dumb diversity goals. host: james is twittering in, i'm still waiting for some people to be fired. we'll go to chris in houston. good morning. on the republican line. caller: first i wanted to
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mention i agree with you completely. i do not believe sarah palin is really prepared to be president. but then again, if bush could do it, maybe palin could do it, too. host: you're calling on the republican line. are you truly a republican? caller: yes, i am. but i believe there's other republicans that are more qualified for that sort of leadership role. host: so who do you think best represents your party right now? who are your spokes people? caller: i would go with someone more like newt gingrich or possibly huck abee. host: thanks, chris. did you have another point? caller: yes, please. i wanted to make a point on health care real quick. i just wanted to mention that health care to me seems like it's a 10-year plan, a package for the entire 10 years and that it provides coverage for six to seven years. with the fiscal deficit at $12 terrell today and 10 years from now projected to be $24 terrell,
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double what it is today, and that's without health insurance, my question is are we providing the falsehood to security? are we reinforcing negative behavior? what are we going to do after the 10 years of coverage expires? guest: well, it's magic. host: it's magic? guest: by spending a trillion dollars in the middle of the worst recession since 1935, we're going to somehow save money. that's the claim. i don't think i've ever seen a bolder claim in american politics. i think it's so crazy -- this is my view anyway. it's so obviously untrue that somehow the people saying all this stuff -- people say it anyway. and they're being taken seriously. i think you can make a case, and people made it five years ago. we're a rich country, we shouldn't have whatever number it is that's unininsured.
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that's immoral. that's a fair case, ok? but to make the case that government takeover and organization of this entire sector of the economy will somehow save us money. that's not a credible case. it's just not true. host: here's what senator tom parkin had to say, the chair of the senate health committee. he was defending this. we also heard from the senate floor yesterday, senator harry reid. so let's show you what senator reid was saying yesterday. ok. to tomheart attackin on the senate floor. >> i think the american people, when they really learn what's in this bill, will be very thankful that we're moving ahead. this is a moe -- moe -- pivotal vote. as we move ahead in the debate, the american people will learn
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more and more about what's in this bill. this bill is a good deal for america. reduces the deficit. will cover, along with medicare, 98% of the people in this country. it will crack down and stop a lot of health insurance industry abusers. and it will, for the first time, provide enormous support for prevention and wellness to keep people healthy in the first place, to change the paradigm away from a sick care system, to a true health care system in america. that's what this bill is all about. we're rounding third. we're heading home. as our leaders said, it's a long way sometimes from third to home. but we're going to get there. host: we'll go back to your calls. ron is joining us from north carolina. good morning. caller: how you doing? good morning. host: good morning. caller: my question is, the
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deficit, $12 trillion. it was cleared by george w. bush from the invasion of iraq. it's something we have never done, invade a country like that, a small country. what do you think about that? host: well, you're ron, so thanks for the call. guest: yes, george bush did those things and yes, we were left with a huge debt. but you can only say blame bush for so long and you have to cope with what you're left with. and that's where we are. but back to the previous caller. there is a principle of capitalism. you spend money to take money. there's an economic principle at work in the health care bill, which is you spend money to save money. if everybody isn't in the system, once you get everybody in the insurance pool, your overall health care costs will go down. now, that's a long process. but that is the principle that
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is embraced by most economists. guest: i get that. i just think there are two assumptions that are wrong that. the government is the federal organizer of this system. and the second is that there is no cost to the overall economy by hiking taxes to pay for this. i think that there is a cost. i think even democrats, certainly the clinton people got this, and they said it out loud, there is a cost to raising taxes. it slows economic growth. at a time like this, boy, that's not a small thing. host: the argument is that savings will come from taking control of the current loose health care spending. it's not magic! guest: but look what happened just this last week with the mammogram recommendations. so apparently there are these studies that suggest that women ought to wait another 10 years
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to -- the standard ought to be 10 years later to start getting mammograms. as far as i know, that wasn't a political -- i don't know anything about it. i don't have a position on it. but i was fascinated to see the public outrage and outcry over what i think was a scientific study and people said, i don't care what the doctors say, i want my mammograms. i'm not criticizing them for wanting that. i'm just saying the idea that government is going to be able to look the public right in the face and say, i'm sorry, you can't get this treatment. good luck. no way. guest: insurance companies say that. guest: but for one thing, they can't put you in prison. guest: i don't think the government can put you in prison for that, however powerful it may be. it can take away your doritos. guest: not for saying that. it's a much more coercive force than any private sector institution. the government is subject to the politicians are stoubt re-election. do you think they're going to be
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able to hold the line on costs? when the public is mad about it? guest: no. host: it's not a question of whether or not health care is broken. it's a question of whether or not the federal government has the power to intrude into people's private business. as for me, i say keep your nose out of my business and your hand out of my pocket. guest: well, he's channeling tucker here. keep your hand out of my doritos and my mammograms. host: to maggie in new york on our republican line joined by margaret carlson and tucker carlson. go ahead. caller: hi. thanks for c-span. the first thing i want to say is i have never in my life seen such maliciousness toward human beings, especially women have against sarah palin. ms. carlson just made a very
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cute remark how she couldn't imagine that she could read or read very much. my second remark is that health care is tantamount to a hostile takeover of the government, and anyone who doesn't see that is looking through some strange kind of glasses. and another thing, palin, she has twice the experience of obama. i mean, what's that all about? anyway, i'm furious. i'm absolutely furious. thank you very much. caller: maggie, what's angering you the most? caller: well, i'll tell you. between the animosity towards this poor woman, i mean, every time i hear somebody, they always say, oh, it's her angle, it's her hair, laughing like cackling hens at her. they're not even ashamed of themselves. guest: well, i don't think sarah palin puts herself forward as someone who is reading. tucker is a man and simple thet tornadic republicans at least, and i don't think you would make the case that sarah palin puts
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herself forward as someone that the reader describes. guest: no, i don't think she's posing as an intellectual or a great lover of books. there are things that bother me about sarah palin. i actually don't care what she reads so much as i don't like the fact that she's accusing her opponents of sexism. if i wanted to be a whiner, i'd be a liberal, i guess. come on, sexism. i don't like the fact that she brings her kids on tv. i don't like that at all. but whatever. i just don't see her as someone who could ever evoke in me red hot passion or anger. again, i just don't understand why people hate her so much. i think religion has something to do with it. i'm not an expert. it's just a guess. but i feel like the fact that she's an open evangelical does excite some people. host: tucker carlson, his own program on msnbc.
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he's the author of "my adventures in cable news." what was your message? guest: oh, i can't even remember. i'm not big on messages. i don't know. my goal in writing it, reich my goal in writing most thing -- like my goal in writing most things, was to be a good read. guest: and you told people what it was like behind the camera. guest: well, i did. that probably wasn't a wise thing to do. guest: i think that's why all our shows were canceled. everything tucker and i were on were canceled at cnn. guest: yes, it's true. host: but you're here this morning, including margaret carlson's book "anyone can grow up: how george bush and i made it to the white house." this came out five, six years ago? caller: it did. no message really, except that i was trying to play on anybody can grow up to be president and there were many people in george bush's life who would have thought that could never happen to him and i think there are many people in my life who
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thought i would never be covering the white house. so that was the story of the book. host: you can be seen at theweek.com. caller: and it's also in print. one of the last remaining successful magazines in print. "the week." guest: it physically exists. i get it at home every week. host: and they are changing every week. guest: sometimes they come like this. they're so thin. the bureau here in washington is, you know, a handful of people, where when i was there, it was 25, 30 people. you know, it is there -- when i get the paper in the morning, i sometimes think it's yesterday's paper, because i look at it and i think, oh, i must have picked up yesterday's paper. so a news magazine has the same problem. which is by week's end, the task
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of the old news magazine is gone because you don't need a round-up of the news. so it's almost opinion -- so it's all mostly opinion and essays. so it's just a harder -- it's such a harder business. host: greg is joining us from buffalo, new york. good morning, greg. caller: good morning. just a few things. good morning, steve, how are you? caller: good morning. caller: listen, i think it's time to get someone back on c-span's "washington journal." that pandemic flu is starding to change. new case, as they would call it. it's getting quite serious. if you go on the internet, you can see it's getting more deadly. we need to get someone back in here. host: we're trying to get kathleen si biel yuss. we're also in talk with the folks in the c.d.c. in atlanta.
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guest: is that your point? guest: that was one of them. what happened to lou dobbs on cnn? i bet you the liberals are having a good old time. host: we have two veterans of cnn. an $8 million buyout reportedly for lou dobbs. guest: i'd leave cnn for $8 million. i don't know what actually happened. i know lou. i've always gotten along with lou. cnn is a very liberal network, obviously. i think his ratings were in decline. i think they were under a huge amount of pressure from special interest groups who read dobbs' anti-immigration -- pretty aggressive anti-immigration stance as anti-hispanic. i'm not an expert on what it was. for the record, you can be strongly against immigration and not be anti-hispanic. that's an unfair charge. i think he might be run for something. host: there's a story in "the new york post," one of your favorite newspapers, that he may run for president in 2012.
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that was in last friday. guest: we're really behind them. dobbs for president. host: john cline says he wants it to be a place for solid journalism. guest: they're looking now to say, oh, there's an oning in the middle -- an opening in the middle. with lou dobbs, you're not that. his aggression turned into a hatefulness that wasn't -- it became unappealing no matter where you stood. it just got to be too much. but if msnbc is liberal and fox is conservative and that's what they're getting it, there's an opening. and so you need not to have somebody as impassioned as lou dobbs, if that's the road you're going to take. host: you say the government is bad at running things, but you give no day tasm in fact, government is a lot better than private companies in many areas, like fire protection, roads, defense. guest: i guess i made that
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point, that government is good at -- because it has the power to do whatever it wants. but it has the power and the ability to mobilize large numbers of people. big, blunt things. defending the country, building the roads. i agree with that. my point was it's terrible at nuance. i can bore you for hours with data on that. but come to washington. live here for a year. i think you'll agree. people who love government and support it and are much more liberal than i agree with tasm guest: the writer makes a point. health care is more like an essentially need, like fire protection and the police, than it is like a luxury. so government should have a bigger role to play. guest: it's a need, but not a right though. if it were, you'd have to answer to questions. one, where did that right come from.
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two, does that mean that your right is my obligation to pay for your health care. guest: does the constitution say that i will have a fire department? come to my house? guest: new york it doesn't. i wouldn't argue that fire protection is a constitutional right either. guest: but should it be private? guest: it is private in many places. volunteer fire departments. but do i have a moral obligation to pay for your health care? can you throw me in jail, take away my freedom, if i refuse to pay for your health care? that's a pretty basic question that i think we should answer before this bill goes forward. host: viewers saying cnn was getting pressure from the obama station to get rid of lou dobbs. from that comment, we'll go to james on the democratic line. go ahead, please. good morning. are you with us? james, we'll try one more time. i think he hung up.
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guest: maybe it's my brother. his name is james. host: the congress is out this week, back november 30678 what are you looking for in the health care debate. guest: oh, boy. i'm looking to see if there are more payoffs to moderate democrats. i'm looking to see if there's any person or group around which opposition to this coalesces. bill crystal, very famously helped derail hillary care in 1994 by being the guy that stood up and said no, don't accommodate this, just say no. however you feel about that, it was pretty successful. it worked. and there's no one on the right doing that now. i'm interested to see if anyone will arise to do that. host: before we let both of you go, last night on "s.n.l.," talking about the president's trip to beijing. here's an excerpt from the program. >> i would like to thank president jintau for his kind welcome and generous
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hospitality. i hope during this visit we can have a productive dialogue about the serious issues of concern that remain between our two countries. issues ranging from the unfair valuation of your currency to the trade imbalance and most importantly, human rights. i believe there can be a great partnership between us, but it will require compromise and understanding. >> thank you, mr. president. i would like to add that i completely understand why you feel entitled to come here and lecture china on our shortcomings. after all, my country does all -- does yow the united states a great deal of money. oh wait. hold on a moment. i believe i have that back wards. in fact, now that i think about it, it is your country that owes
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us a large sum of money. is this correct? >> yes. >> now it's coming back to me. i believe it's $800 billion. >> that is correct. >> such a large sum. >> yes, it is. >> and yet you haven't even mentioned it. that's so odd. >> look, you're going to get your money. >> are we? are we going to get our money? because from what i read, your country is in the middle of a serious recession. >> well, while this is true, there are signs that our bailout has steadied the financial markets and our stimulus package has been effective in fixing the job crisis. >> i'm curious. how many jobs has it created?
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>> so far, none. >> i see. >> but our health care reform plan we're confident is going to lead to enormous savings. >> how exactly is extending health care coverage to 30 million people going to save you money? >> i don't know. host: tucker carlson, you know the writer? guest: yeah, that was written by jim downy, really a great guy. been al"s.n.l." for more than 30 years. he wrote that. guest: tucker gave him the last line. guest: i wish i could claim credit for anything that downy did. guest: but it's a funny line. host: the debt we owe china is a big issue covering both human rights and trade and the economy. guest: it's a real problem. remember that saying about who owns the dollar?
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maybe we own china because we owe them a trillion dollars. they have to be rooting for us. guest: we have about a billion uninsured. in our country. which that puts it into perspective a little bit. host: margaret carlson of "the week" magazine and bloomberg news. tucker carlson, your latest venture coming out in january, the dailycollar.com. we hope you come back again. guest: thanks, steve. host: later, we'll have two u.s. senators, lamar alexander, republican of u.s., and tom udal. what will happen after the sfath returns in thanksgiving. first, a look at some of the news of the week as viewed by leading editorial cartoonists from around the country.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome matthew hovings h, former marine corps captain. let me begin by sharing with our audience what you said when you officially resigned. quote, i have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purpose of the united states presence in afghanistan. also, i i have doubts and reservations about our current strat and planned future strategy. but my resignation is based about why and to what end. can you elaborate? guest: sure. very simply, what are we doing there and what is the purpose? we're not fighting al qaeda
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there. al qaeda should be our priority, but they're not present enough in afghanistan and they don't exist in any form or manner that will be defeated by army brigade combat teams. our trooms are fighting men who are fighting us because we're occupying their valleys and villages. additionally, we're taking part in a civil war. it's been going on for 30, 35 years in a violent fashion. and the only way to end that civil war is by political settlement. adding more troops or keeping the same amount of troops we have in there right now will not end the civil war. it will only prolong it because it doesn't provide any incentive to either side to settle. host: the president was telling reporters in asia this past week he does not want to leave this to his successor. they asked him, what is the end game. how would you answer that? guest: i think the end game is find a political settlement and solution. right now i believe our forces in afghanistan do two things. one, they provide and -- they
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provide support, basically prop up the karzai regime. because of our support, the karzai regime has no incentive to negotiate with the opposing side. additionally, our presence as foreign occupiers so inflames the opposing side, the posturing side, that they will not settle, they will not negotiate until we leave the country or begin to leave the country. so in order for us to get to any political settlement to end that civil war, we need to consider withdrawing our troops. host: let me share with our audience, maureen callahan has the piece, goodbye kabul. our top priorities should be destroying al qaeda, killing osama bin laden. you go on to say that al qaeda has not been in afghanistan since 2001. guest: correct. correct. since 2001, al qaeda has evolved. they're actually evolving before then, i believe. their organization does not
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require territory. they don't require ground. they don't require base camps. it would be wonderful if they did because then we could easily bomb them. it's an organization that exists on the internet. i keep using the term ideological cloud because they float throughout the internet. they recruit individuals. they recruit these independent autonomous or disassociated cells that don't require vast amounts of land. they don't need or want safety. if they want a safe haven, they've already got them. the idea that our presence on the ground the afghanistan is going to do something to defeat al qaeda, affecting al qaeda at all, is specious. host: this came up with senator carl levin, who is the chair of the senate armed services economy. rick maize has the question. >> is there any possibility you see at this time that there would not be a troop increase? >> i have argued for holing off
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any combat troop increase while these other factors are focused on so that we can see a transition to afghan control of their own fate. the afghan army has got to grow a lot faster. it has not been growing fast at all recently. there's got to be a much better effort on equipment and so forth. so i just don't know what, if any, the additional combat, what number of additional combat troops would be coming. if so, what would be american and what would be other nato countries. it's something i just do not know. can't predict with any competence. what i can only do is say i have an urging upon this administration, which is to both afghanize and natoize this effort. host: senator levin. "newsmaker" airs at 10:00 eastern time here on pan span. to his point about the president's announcement, you are hering now, it would come the week of november 30. guest: i have no greater insight into this than anybody. i think the president is the
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only one who really understands this and knows when the right time is to make this decision. i will say i am pleased that the president is taking his time, that there's seemingly a real honest debate in the white house regarding our stratswri in afghanistan and pakistan. i was very disappointed over the summer. that's one of the reasons why i pushed myself to resign was because i felt it was a done deal. i felt it was going to be a troop increase in afghanistan. more importantly that we were going to have some kind of open-ended commitment to afghanistan that would never resolve the issue of the civil war there. that's one of the reasons i resigned. i'm very pleased to see that. there is a debate going on that we are not going to continue this march of folly into more and more years of conflict in afghanistan. host: what was your thought process and what was the reaction inside the state department? guest: sure. i went there with some doubts and reservations, but this is what i've been doing as my
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career. it's what i expected my career to be. i had not been to afghanistan, so i needed to experience and see it myself. it was a continual process for the five months i was there in both the east and the south of seeing different examples of why it didn't pake sense for us to be there, why our presence in afghanistan was not doing anything to make the united states safer, and that our troops are fighting people who were not fighting us for any ideological or reasons or any real ties with the taliban or any hatred to the west. the reaction i received from the state department was completely professional. i've actually received a lot of encourage. from members of the state department and also to members of the department of defense. i had many people agree with me. but overall, even if folks don't agree with me, the relationship has been nothing but professional and respectful for these last few months.
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host: we've seen your name on newspapers. we've seen you on the cable shows. share with the audience your own background, including your years in the marine corps. guest: well, i graduated in 1995. i went to work for a couple years after that working in finance for publishing company in boston and basically was bored. so i became an officer in the marine corps, was stationed throughout the united states as well as japan, including time in the pentagon. i worked directly for the secretary of the navy at one point. i was a combat engineer officer, as i said. with that came deployment to iraq as well as deployment to iraq as a u.s. department of defense civilian who was with a state department team that was imbedded with a u.s. army division. host: you resigned from your station on september 10678 was that significant?
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guest: no. that was actually just the way the timing worked out. if there is one thing that pushed me over the edge with the resignation it was the afghan elections. those were august 20. so after a week and a half, two weeks of watching those events unfold, i spoke to my boss beginning september, said i'm really thinking of resigning. i've reached the point in my conscious where i can't participate in this mission any longer. so i turned out by the time i got down to see my boss in canada -- kandahar, it was september 11. host: as always, we welcome your phone calls and e-mails. you can log on to twitter.com /c-spanwj. the democrats line, good morning. caller: good morning. i have a comment first and then a question. my comment first is that where i stand at, i don't want either war, iraq or afghanistan.
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i think we need to be out of both of them because it has trained us financially and plus i don't see an end -- i'm almost afraid it's going to be like another vietnam. that's my comment. my question is, as we get out, i don't see where we can win either one of the wars. can we get out of it somehow and don't look at being, you know, a failure, even though we don't complete the mission that the president wants. we are engaged. can we get out of both of these wars without -- like we just took out and you know, left the country to do what they have to do. because there's so much crookedness that seems like it's going on in that we're not getting the proper support that we need from the president there in afghanistan. you know, everybody keeps saying that they're crooked and they're doing things, you know, that's
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not really helping our soldiers and we're there losing lives for people that's not helping us. host: we'll get a response. that word engaged coming up again. guest: one of the things i've realized, as i speak publicly, is you kind of get characterized as either being all in or all out. i don't think there's anybody reasonably on either side of the debate who is either all in or all out. in terms of end game for afghanistan, what i'd like to see happen is stopping combat operations in valleys and villages where they're fighting us only because we're occupying them. that combat is accomplishing nothing except engendering more combat. but the main thing is finding a political solution. bringing both sides of the civil war to a table and getting them to negotiate and coming up with some type of political settlement so that we can leave afghanistan within one, two, three, four years time. and we can do so in a
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responsible manner ennot in a way that reflects or reminds people the way the soviet union left in the late 1980's, where they seemingly cut and ran. host: this issue is the cover of "c.q. weekly." lives, money, morale. the death toll approaching 1,000. you could see that within the next couple of weeks. mary is joining us from georgetown, south carolina. good morning. caller: thank you so much for taking my call. i'm calling from georgetown, south carolina. and i would like to commend mr. hoh for taking his stand to decide to step down from that particular job. he was there, he saw what happened. what i want to really say is that i empathize with people that have children, sons and daughters, that are over there fighting and many of them have lost their lives.
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i agree that being over in afghanistan is not really proving anything. and i really respect president obama for taking his time. hopefully in the future, they can do as mr. hoh suggested, get together at a table and try to talk about peace. regardless of how people worldwide may feel about the people of afghanistan, they are human beings and they too -- everybody needs to get together and talk and try to bring about peace rather than to continue on with the killing. and also, i hope that democrats as well as republicans and independents would continue to respect president obama and try to continue to pull together to make the united states a better place and also pulling out of the war. host: thank you for your call. let me take her comment and turn it into this committee from a viewer that says, what is the
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scope of our defense regarding afghanistan? and what are we defending? guest: the state of purpose of our being there, the original purpose was to defeat al qaeda in the wake of september 11. as i said previously, since 2001, al qaeda has evolved and changed. the presence for our ground combat troops won't defeat al qaeda. what we're defending right now and what in reality we're doing is we're propping up one side of the civil war, the karzai regime. mary, i appreciate your kind words. thank you. going back to mary's call about the lives being lost and the mission of what we're doing, the purpose of what we're doing. that begs a great philosophical and moral question, i think, that we need to have in this country, a debate on. and the purpose of our troops being there. do we want our troops fighting and dying, our young men and women fighting and dying, for a regime that is illegitimate and crypt, and that does nothing to
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serve our actual national strategic interest or values. so i think that's a great question we need to ask ourselves, is it worth our troops dying to prop up the karzai regime. host: that's one of the questions in this "c.q. weekly" poll, comparing the mood of the public from february of this year. 541% of those questioned saying the war is not worth fighting in afghanistan. that's up to 52% this month. joe is joining us from akron, ohio, on the republican line. good morning. caller: how you doing? guest: good, thank you. caller: here's what i think you don't understand about the war, and it's something both bush has talked about, clinton has talked about, the prime minister of england has talked about all the time. this is part of the new world order. this is what's going to happen. we need to fight these wars. these men want this to happen and they're going to make it happen. i want to know what you know about the new world order. if you don't, you would understand it, you know why we're fighting.
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thank you. guest: um, i'm not entirely too sure what he's referring to. i know the phrase any world order. i will end up actually defering your question and answer it this way. since 1991, since the end of the gulf war, since the end of the cold war, have we changed the way we've done business in a foreign policy and defense policy around the world? i don't think we really have. i think our state departments moved some bureaus around. our defense department moved around some combatant commands. but as far as how we defend real national security threats to our nation. have we really eff involved in the last 20 years in how we take those on? i think that's another debate we need to have. how do we actually address these threats around the world? why do we keep going back to tactics and procedures that really don't fit the nature of the enemy we're fighting? host: our guest is matthew hoh,
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former marine corps captain. he resigned his position in september this year as a response to the u.s. policies in afghanistan. edward is joining us from birmingham, alabama. good morning. caller: good morning, matthew, and thank you -- i want to applaud you for your resignation on principle. i think we need more people like that. i want to approach this -- my comments and get your response from a guns and butter kind of thing. a lot of the debate, as you've seen on the health care debate and other things, is all about deficits and money and so on, so forth. i'm of the opinion that we don't need to be there in afghanistan or iraq period. we can be an ally or offshore or provide support in other ways, but to fight these as wars, like
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vietnams. and the ussr, they share a common border with afghanistan. fought them for 10 years to their demise. from my perspective, it's an endless waste of human being and money and we could use that money much better in many other ways. host: again, while that comment was coming in, this twitter comment regarding vietnam was, do you see the request for more troops similar to the generals' demand for more troops in vietnam? guest: i do in a lot of ways. i see more parallels between the soviets' involvement in afghanistan than our involvement vietnam. there certainly are parallels. it is a very good reference. but first, edward, thank you for your comments. getting back to the money point. that's a very big issue. just the fact that we're even
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debating the cost of the war shows a bit how much, do we really need this war? if we're actually debating the cost of it, do we truly need to be fighting the cost of this war if money is coming into it as a key factor? the cost is overwhelming. i believe we'll be spending well over $100 million a year. i believe it will cost a trillion dollars. the key things people don't understand is that the afghan government cannot upt itself on its own. it does not have have the revenues to support itself on its own. i do see it, unfortunately, helping to stabilize the afghan government for this years to come with financial resources in order to keep it afloat. hopefully that is in tune with some type of political settlement that brings about some measure of peace and security in that country. host: david is joining us from middletown, new jersey. independent line. good morning. guest: good morning, c-span, the best channel on television. good morning, steve, and good morning, matthew.
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host: good morning, david. what's on your mind? caller: i'm a world war ii vet and i want to honor you for your service, matthew. i'm an 85-year-young world war ii vet. host: where did you served? caller: i served in the army air corps in europe and with a unit in germany. interesting enough, in august of 1945, was leaving germ noy go to japan and we heard on the radio, 2:00 in the morning, that the japanese had surrendered and you never saw more happy guys in your life than the guys in the outfit who were heading for japan. but what i want to bring up is this. we had 16 million of us served in world war ii, and out of the 16 million, there's only two million of us left at the
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present time. and we're losing almost a thousand world war 12 veterans a day. but i want to talk about what's happening in afghanistan. i want to ask both of you. have you read the book "lessons in disaster". have either of you read that book? host: david, not only has this network read it, but also he was featured on our "booknotes" interview in an interview with -- mr. bun di is available at booknotes.org. guest: that's why i got the book, because i saw the interview on c-span. host: go ahead, please. caller: oh, i'm sorry. i was working for the united states electronics command in fort mammoth as a civilian
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defense department civilian employee. and i was there on an inspection , on a p.r.c. 77, portable radios that were going to vietnam to our troops, and this was in 1972. and i was talking to this gentleman who was working in the maintenance department and he was going to vietnam for six years if a row, he was there 10 months, and came home for two months. and every time he came back, he was saying, we have to help the people of vietnam. we have to help the people of vietnam. host: i'm going to stop you on that point. thank you for your call and for sharing your story with us and we'll get a response. guest: thank you, david, for your service, first of all. in regards to -- i guess, david, your point is going with learning lessons from the past. it's true.
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you hear this phrase all the time while you're growing up up about how we repeat the mistakes of history, and then you reach a certain point in your career and your age and you start realizing that we do that. i'm not sure why we do that. if it's human being riss. -- human being rouse. i'm not sure. but the idea that we can learn from history is true. host: true di rubin saying the need for a u.s.-pakistani military cooperation against militants has never been greater. guest: i said earlier that al qaeda should be our priority. we have to find a way to work with the pakistani government to ensure its viability and its
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stability. i think we need to demonstrate to the pakistanis some measure of trust that we are not going to cut and run from that region, that we are not going to abandon them or abandon them to the problems like we did in the 1980's and 1990's. i also want to state clearly, though, that putting u.s. combat forces or u.s. military forces in pakistan would be a huge, huge mistake. host: kirk is joining us from grand prairie, texas, for matthew hoh here at our washington studio. caller: good morning, matt? how are you? we actually know each other. i was in the cmok in 2006. you and i had the good fortune of being on one convoy. it was good times. guest: i remember that. we took some machine gunfire in a narrow street. it was great. caller: involved in burning that area around there. and it was a key factor in the
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success, that was kind of the start of the movement in the area. just got back from tour there -- another tour there in september. guest completely there now, isn't it? caller: yes, and no. different from a lot of the reports you hear in the media. the problem in afghanistan right now is our rules of engagement that have overtly too much concern for civilians in the sense that it hurts our fight there. we are afraid to pursue civilians into buildings. if we are afraid to go, then that's where they're going to hide. they're going to hide among the civilians because they know we are afraid to take them on there. guest: thanks, good to hear from you.
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there are some elements of truth to that. we have the most disciplined military the world has ever known. it's a military that has been given the hardest task, any military in the history of the world has ever been given, to engage in wars like this. there are some aspects that are true. one of the things i hope people understand is that we've been in afghanistan for eight years and we are in a civil war. the folks who are on the opposite side, the people that are on the op opposite side, are against us. they're against a central government we support. while civilian casualties are horrible and we need to minimize them as much as possible, it's not going to change their views on who we are and it's not going to make us come around to their side just because we're trying to win their hearts and minds. same goes with development projects. we've spent hundreds of millions of dollars in afghanistan building roads, schools, bridges, health clinics, so on. that is not going to change people's fundamental values and their fundamental beliefs and which side they're on in a civil
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war. it's not going to pull them over. it's just not. that begs another question as to whether or not we want our troops fighting and dying for a corrupt government like karzai's. we engage american forces in combat. combat to combat. it will never change. there will always be civilian casualties and that's something we as a nation must know and we must accept if we're going to go to war. we can't go to war and expect it to be clean. we can't go to war and expect for it to be pretty or for it to be video game-like or to be like a movie. all your viewers who have been in combat will attest that. there's absolutely nothing good about war. unfortunately, it sometimes is a necessity. but in this context about afghanistan, is it worth the violence from what we're getting out of it. host: what do you think the president will announce at the end of this month or early next month? guest: oh, i don't know, steve. i know i'd like him to announce
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-- i think we'll see some level of troop increase. i do think we will see some type of withdrawal plan hopefully tied to some date. hopefully within a year or two, if we can get something like that, that will be so much better, so inif i fitly better than what i thought was going to happen over the summer when we were looking at a minimum of a four- or five-year commitment or some open-ended commitment to afghanistan, which really would have served none of our interests, but also none of the interests of the people of afghanistan or the region. so hopefully what the president comes out with is some type of withdrawal of our combat troops within the next year or two so some type of political settlement can begin there. host: what's next for you personally? guest: i'll stay involved in this debate as long as it makes sense. i'm not really sure -- my plans
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were to be a civil servant. i'm not sure if that option is still available now. i'm thinking about going back to school and maybe teaching. host: will you write a book? guest: i don't know. host: matthew, hoh, thank you for your time. guest: thanks. host: later, lamar alexander, republican of tennessee, as we take more of your phone calls and dig into details. what the debate will be back when they come back after thanksgiving. of course, health care in afghanistan, some of the urens we talked about on the sunday morning programs and bob bijackson has a preview. >> the new breast cancer screening recommendations will be an issue on all the sunday shows. first up, "meet the press" hosted by david gregory. the guests will be senator richard durbin, the majority whip. texas republican kay bailey hitch son. dianne feinstein.
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joseph lieberman. and nancy brinker, the founder of the susan g. comben race for the cure. george stephanopoulos will talk with ben nelson and oklahoma physician tom colbert. also martha blackburn and florida democrat beb bee schultz. the guest on "fox news sunday" includes lamar alexander and missouri republican kick bond. also arlen specter of pennsylvania and michigan's debbie stab now and dr. healey, a former director of the national institute of health. we note that senator alexander will be on guest on "washington journal" in about half on hour. bob schieffer with charles schumer and jon kyl. cnn's state of the union hosted by john king will include mitch
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mcconnell and democratic senators sharon brown of ohio, michael bennett from ohio, and new hampshire's jeanne shaheen. you can listen at noon eastern on c-span radio, 90.1 f.m. here in washington, d.c., nationwide on x.m. satellite radio channel 132, and on the web at c-span radio.org. you can also follow us on twitter. >> later today on "book tv"," three new books by and about sarah palin, including a book signing with the former vice-presidential candidate and alaskan governor. matthew continueinetti on the persecution of sarah palin. and scott con roy on sarah from ak average steven gillon follows the transfer of power following the kennedy assassination. a u.s. financial crisis on
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"after words." naomi prince on "it takes a pillage." she's interviewed by bernie sanders. find entire schedule on booktv.org. >> monday, the wireless spectrum and improving broad band service in the u.s. julius genachowi ask maps out his goals for the agency on "the communicators" on c-span 2. "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome tom udal. guest: thank you. good to be here. host: the only senator not to vote was the senator of ohio. is there anything in this health care bill that you don't like? guest zpwest well, there are two things that i have real concerns about. i guess you can phrase it you
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don't like. one would be i represent a state that's 10% native american. when you talk about health care reform, there needs to be major reform in in indian country. one of the things that isn't in there is the reaught slation of the indian health service. that is something that should be in there. we've talked about it being in there. i've been pushing to get it in there a long time. the other area would be i don't think we're strong enough on rural health. i think we need to do a lot more to get providers and doctors and physicians assistants and nurses out into those rural areas. we need to get telehealth out into the rural areas. and so i would really like to see a greater push. so i would say i don't think it's strong enough in terms of not like it, strong enough in the rural areas. host: your republican colleagues saying this is not an $848 billion. it's closer to a two trillion
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dollars health care bill. where to the numbers come down? guest: i don't know where they get those number. when they like the congressional budget office, they agree with the numbers. we waited for this, the republicannings asked for it, the leadership was demanding that things be held up. then we get the congressional budget numbers. basically this thing is paid for. in the first 10 years, you help the deficit in terms of $131 billion. i think it's a good sol lid number that's paid for. i trust the congressional budget numbers. let's note that that is a bipartisan group of hard working analysts over there. host: we're going to get right to your calls. you can send us a bill.
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guest: you're talking final vote to get it into the conference. probably before christmas. i would think. host: there's talk of reconciliation. what does that mean and will that be political? guest: leader reed has said reconciliation is not on the table. he's trying to focus on giving a bill that we can conference with the house or that we can amend the house bill and play some ping-pong, as you know in washington how that be happens. but the basic idea is to get a bill where we have the normal process rather than going to the budget process, which is much more constrained. but what you can get through that with 51 votes.
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host: do your republican colleagues have a seat at the table when it comes to crafting this bill? they say they don't. guest: they had a seat at the table all the way through committee process. we had a significant -- if you look at the finance committee and the health committee, we had a significant involvement in terms of amendments and we went through a lengthy two- and three-week period where they were up late and dealing with amendments. and some of their amendments were adopted. and then they chose at that point in time to uniformly -- you know, we had 40 -- we would have had, if george voinovich had been here. 40 republicans against this. every single republican that voted voted against it. so they've chosen to be united. so they're not at the table at this point i don't think. host: do you know why senator voinovich was not there? host guest: i actually don't.
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i hope it wasn't a family emergency or something. i know he's usually very conscientious about those things. host: tom udall was elected with the senate last year. gary is joining us from texas on the democrats line. good morning. guest: good morning, gary. how you doing? caller: fine. how are you all today? guest: good, good. caller: senator, i have a question about the health reform bill. that would be do you have demig do you have anything in there that states about the government subsidizing research for h.i.v. cures instead of h.i.v. vackveens? guest: you know, h.i.v. cures as opposed to h.i.v. vaccines. i think there is a significant component in terms of moving forward with research in newer areas, trying to do everything we can do make sure we support
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n.i.h. and the research agencies. but i don't think this is the big that really does a lot on the particular issue you're talking about. i think later in the year we were probably going to take up n.i.h. re-authorization kinds of issues and n.i.h. legislative issues. and then usually the appropriations progress, the congress has been very support i have and i have been very supportive of an n.i.h. research in that particular area. host: you brought the issue of health services. are you spliesed we spend double on seniors versus health services for indians? guest: oh, i'm -- i would say outraged when you look at the health services that are provided in indian country and what we do in other places. number one, thry times more is
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spent in federal prisons on federal prisoners that we spend on the federal health service. you're talking on a per capita basis. we probably on average spend five times more, six times more in a program like medicare than we do on native americans. so it is a heroic agency. they have very good people. they are totally underfunded. they don't have the resources today need to do the job. we have got to reauthorize that agency. it's fwen years and they haven't hat an authorization. this is something i feel very strongly about. the senate has already passed a bill in the last session. the house has passed a bill. host: our topic is health care. our guest is new mexico senator tom udall. terry is joining us from fort worth, texas.
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good morning. caller: i was just wanting to ask a question about the new type of health care that they're developing right now. i know that george bush got rid of a lot of doctors from the veterans administration and brought in a lot of interns and physicians' assistants. our health care has gone to crap. they've dumped all these people. i've got a bunch of people that's gone to iraq and afghanistan several times. i'm not sure i agree with it, but that's neither here nor there. i didn't agree with vietnam, but i went. is this indicative of what they're going to do to our health care? guest: no, it isn't. let me first of all, thank you for your service. you indicated that you had served in the armed forces and we really need people like you and the people that are in afghanistan now and iraq are heroic and every time we see
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them returning in airports, i just feel so good about the effort that they're putting out for our country. veterans health care is something we have to move aggressively on, and we have. if you look at the veterans health care budgets over the last couple years, they dramatically increased. the biggest problem we're running into is the mental health problems, the post traumatic stress syndrome as the soldiers return. we're not doing the screening when they get out. we're not working closely with their families. we're not working with them. we've had dramatic increases in the funding, and my understanding from talking to my veterans help people in mexico and others is that we're starting to put in place that mental health infrastructure to work with the ones that are having problems when they return. the other health care issues are also very important, and we're
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trying to do everything we can to put the resources into that department to bring it to the point of first class health care for all of our veterans. host: this program is seen overseas, including live coverage on the bbs parliament channel. sarah is joining us from london. good afternoon to you. guest: hi. can you hear me? guest: you bet. caller: i wanted to say good morning to senator -- guest: udall. caller: my question is when exactly is this bill supposed to take effect? what month and what year? guest: that's a bit of a complicated question and i can't give you an exact answer. the earlier provisions, many of the insurance provisions, for example, where we say you can't discriminate against somebody based on an preexisting condition.
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the insurance company can't drop an individual who has a serious illness. the fact that we're going to put a cap on overall expenses. those things take effect immediately upon the passage of the bill. now, most of the other provisions, it's 2014 until those are put in place. and so we're talking about some concrete things that will happen for people that are going to be very good under the current insurance system, and then we're talking about some of the other things, the insurance exchanges, the public option, getting those up and running. and that's the reason for the delay. i mean, if you're going to get an insurance exchange going in every state, that's going to take a while. and so that's the difference that we're talking about here in terms of immediate going into effect and later. host: another part of the bill is the public option.
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senator reid saying the states will have the right to opt out of the public option. this morning "the washington times" is writing that many governors say that's untenable and they quote governor rounds of south dakota who says,, if the citizen of south dakota are paying into this, it's unfair for south dakota resident not to have the option. he's confused as to why this language is in the bill while there are any states if any that would opt out. guest: the reason is to give states the realistic option. if the governor doesn't want his citizens to participate, he can ask his legislature to pass, sign it, and out. host: but the residents would still pay for it. guest: no, the residents -- the public option, and there's a real misunderstanding out there. we're entering an insurance market where you have these big,
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huge insurance companies that are making billions of dollars of profit right now. to insert a private non-profit into that system, you're going to have to invest a little bit in terms of government resources. and so what you're talking about there is over a 10-year period giving the money that they're going to end up paying back, but you're just getting them set up. the actual non-profit, or whatever it is that's set up, is going to be run on premiums. and they're going to dedicate themselves to health care and all the resources are going to go to that. and so that's really what we're talking about when we talk about a public option. so the citizens are going to be held harmless on this. they're not going to have a situation where they're paying for it and they're also opting out.
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it's going to be a choice for them, like all the other choices in an insurance exchange. insurance companies that people know of and then the public option in there. host: lisa was commenting earlier about george voinovich, the only senator not to know yesterday. she says he missed the vote because he was celebrating the 30th anniversary since being elected the mayor of cleveland, ohio. joe is joining us on the republican line. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. guest: good morning, joe. caller: i watch the program i guess a month or so ago about a businesswoman in california. she spoke about like five insurance companies or 10 insurance companies providing insurance. i mean, wouldn't it be easier for the government to get involved and say to california, you know, open the doors, let some more insurance companies in, this way you free up some competition. i don't know if this is going on in other states orningt but it
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seems kind of weird that we got a limited number of insurance companies. and the second one is in new york, we have new york healthy. wouldn't it be easier for the federal government to kind of support or, if you will, -- what can i say. give money to support their program to make it cost effective for, you know, people in new york and i don't know if other states have that program. sure makes sense to turn it around and make it another health care business. guest: joe, we're doing both of those things in this bill. right now, most states in the united states have one or two insurance companies with control , most of the market in the state. in new mexico, two insurance companies can control 65% of the market. what we're trying to do in this bill is set up an insurance exchange using my home state of
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new mexico as an example where there will be many more companies, and in addition, there will be the non-profit public option that will also be a competitor. dedicated -- it's a non-profit dedicated just to health care. so with this bill, we're going to provide many more options for people on health care. host: let me pick up on that point, because this other viewer is saying if citizens live in a state and that state has opted out, are they then exempt from the mandates and taxes related to the health care bill? guest: yes. as far as the public option, because the public option is going to be set up and run on premiums on its own with the people that participate in it nationwide. so basically, what you're talking about is in the public option is having a private non-profit that's going to be provide health care. its sole dedication is going to be to provide the very, very best health care. it will be run on premiums.
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it will not be run with the government injecting money into it. it's going to be run on premiums. that the people pay. that choose it as an option. host: leslie wants to know will i be put in jail if i refuse to buy health insurance in guest: no, you're not going to be put in jail if you refuse to buy health insurance. there's a minor fine that starts out the first year. what people should liken the to is we live in a civil society. to drive an automobile, you got to have auto insurance. so if you don't have auto insurance and the police stop you, they ask you for your proof of insurance. you get a ticket, you get a small fine. i mean, we're mandating that individuals get insurance. we're trying to make it easy for everybody because we're helping small businesses with premium credits to allow people to get into -- to allow employees to
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cover pelosi. we're subsidizing some of the private insurance that people will buy, up to 400% of poverty. we're really designing a system that is going to work much better for people because the bottom line is quality, affordable health care for 98% of american citizens. that's what we cover with this bill. host: north beach, california. good morning. caller: good morning, senator and thank you for c-span. the next 30 day, the most important bill the my loif time. i am a self-employed person. i am very close -- i have a repair shop. my insurance, which has been with blue shield for the past 38
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years, has increased from $300 in 2000 to $1,100 to cover my family. what you are debating is very important in my opinion. the republican senators onboard to help you pass this. it's absolutely crucial not to set aside the public option. a few weeks ago, blupe shield was on c-span. he was claiming they are a non-profit organization. that's nonsense. in the past fur years continuously from 2006 to 2009, my premiums are $19,000 a year, and besides that, i have paid over $8,000 in medication
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expenses. host: let me just ask you, do you have a preexisting condition? has that been a factor? do you have a preexisting condition? has that been a factor? caller: absolutely not. the past seven, eight years, the only medication i am taking is to reduce my blood pressure. no hospitalization at all. to surgeries at all. this year alone up to november, we will be paying $19,000 in premium. blue shield has spent less than $2,000 in our medical expenses and we've already paid $7,000 in medication. host: we'll get a response. thaks for the call.
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guest: that's why vag public option, having insurance exchanges be a part of this will bring more competition to the market, will move us down the line. we're in a position to have citizens choose lower costs, affordable, quality health care through all those options we're going to put on the table. so this bill is trying to go right to the heart of the problem that you mentioned there. host: leonard murphy saying if citizens are mandated to buy health insurance, does that include you? guest: the people that are covered -- basically what this bill does, steve is the people that are already covered by a health insurance policy, i'm covered under the federal employees -- two million federal
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employees. we're covered under the federal health insurance policy. you keep those policies. we're trying to deal with the people that aren't insured. we're trying to improve the system that aren't insured. we're trying to strengthen medicare and make sure that it's going to be there for the future. i mean, we're doing all of those things at once. we basically say to people that have a health care policy right now, you can keep it, and we're going to probably improve upon it for you. host: i want to conclude with the question we'll ask of our next guest, is the bill deficit neutral? guest: the bill is definite neutral. the c.b.o. has said, after extensive study that the bill over a 10-year period will reduce the deficit by 131 billion dollars in. the 20-year period, will reduce the deficit by $650 billion.
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these are bipartisan analysts. usually the republicans have hanged their hat on the c.b.o. numbers. i don't know why they're headed off in another direction. i mean, they ask in the committee that each of the committee tass considered the bill, let's do a c.b.o. analysis. and now apparently they're using other figures. but the c.b.o. is hard working, bipartisan. it's giving us good numbers. we need the stick with those and pay for it. host: thank you for stopping by this morning. guest: thank you. you've got some great callers out there. thanks a lot. host: we hope you'll come back again. we'll continue the conversation with republican consider lamar alexander as the "washington journal" continues. it is sunday morning, november 22. we're back in just a moment.
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♪ host: we continue the conversation on the issue of health care. senator lamar alexander, thank you for being with us. i want to pick up where we concluded with senator udall. he says yes it is. guest: i say no, it's not. host: why? guest: what the program spends
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after it's fully implemented and not increase the debt. i'll give you a couple examples. one is the plan doesn't include reimbursement for doctors. how are you going to have government programs like medicaid and medicare and a new government program and you pay doctors through those programs and not reimburse the doctors promerly. if you believe that we're going to cut doctors' fees by 23% in 2011, then you might think it's balanced. another thing would be the plan is based upon at least a half trillion dollars in medicare cuts. and the congress has never cut medicare in that amount. it means that if you have a medicare advantage plan and one out of four medicare recipients, that that will be cut. so it's based on a number of assumptions that congress won't follow through. and david broder wrote a column
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about a well respected survey that shows that one out of 10 americans actually believe that this will reduce the debt, and i'm in the nine out of 10. i don't think it will. host: the vote yes today was abprocedural vote. it basically said we want this to get to the floor. we want a debate. why did you and your fellow republicans vote against just to get this to the floor for a debate? guest: because as senator mcconnell said last night, we want to change the debate. we don't want to end the debate. this bill is an arrogant bill. it's 2,000 pages. that assumes that we have the wisdom to be able to change the entire health care system at one time. we think it's much too complex. and that instead of doing that, we ought to set a goal reducing health care cost and we ought to take specific steps towards that goal. for example, give small businesses a chance to pool their resources, the congressional budget office. they can offer more insurance at lower costs and save money.
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there are a number of other steps we could take. most americans, if you presented them a problem, they just would say let's identify the problem, take some steps to fix it. we wanted to change the debate, not end the debate. we think the bill is so fundamentally flawed with so many premium increases, tax increases, medicare cuts, transfers of costs to states, that it's a lot like the immigration bill was in 2007. it was a big comprehensive attempt to change all the policies. we bit off more than we could chew. we got on the floor with 64 votes, but the you remember, we couldn't get off the floor. because when it came time for a final vote, it only got 46 votes. host: you're a veteran of this program. you know our viewers are teague up to talk to you. we'll go to bill from illinois. you're on the air. caller: good morning, gentlemen. first of all, i agree with mr.
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lamar on the fact that i think the fact that the government should have went after the health care cos before they started the proceedings to do with any bills to insure people. number two, i'm hoping that the republicans can somehow attach to this bill that if it costs -- if it ends up adding to the national debt, that any senator that votes in favor of it should have to give up his pension. they keep laughing and smirking whenever the republicans say it's going to cost the u.s. taxpayer, but why not put them to the task and make them put something on the line to prove that they are definitely right? guest: that's actually a pretty good idea. thank you for the suggestion. i've also suggested that any senator who votes to expand the medicaid program, which is the program that's costing states so much and ruining higher education. we noticed the other day that
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california tuition went up 32%. if this bill passes, college tuition will go up all over the country because states are strugtology pay for either medicaid or higher education. i've said that any senator who votes to expand medicaid in this way and send the bill to the states ought to be sentenced to go home and serve as governor of that state for a couple terms. host: you're a former governor. one of your colleagues in south dakota mike brown saying that the public option is not workable for states. guest: well, the problem -- host: the issue of opting out. guest: right. i don't quite understand that. we already have a big government program with an opt out in it, and that's called medicaid. it's in fact our largest government program. 60 million americans are in it. 50% of doctors won't see new medicaid patients because the doctors are so poorly reimbursed. so this bill would assign another 15 million people to
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what i would consider a medical ghetto. it's like giving you a ticket to a bus line with a bus that doesn't run but half the time. i think the governor may be saying if we can opt out of the benefits, can we opt out of the taxes? how does this work, i think he's probably saying. the government option really means that many employers are simply going to look at their options and say i can't afford all this, i'm going to write a check to the government for my fine and write a letter to my employees and say, congratulations, i'm not offering health plans anymore. you're in the government program. host: rosemary is joining us from georgia. good morning. caller: two quick yes or no questions, please. is there specific language in the bill to prohibit illegal aliens to receive subsidies for the public option? and number two, depuzz it not afend republicans, democrats,
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independents alike that senator landrue was paid off for her vote? guest: well, the answer to the first question is there's an attempt to do that. under our law, anyone who shows up to an emergency room usually ends up getting treatment. second, it's very cynical and a part of the arrogance of this bill that we be getting a senator's vote by giving $100 million to that state. this bill is full of hypocritical and arrogant activities, just the idea that we can fix the whole system this way, the idea of dumping low income americans into a medicaid program that none of us senators would want to be a part of. and then sending the bill for much of that to the states, telling the american people that it cost $850 billion when really, when it's fully implemented, it's $2.5 trillion,
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today assuming that we're not smart enough to figure that out. this is just another example of an arrogance. they say the bill is historic. i think it's historic in its arrogance. host: the viewer saying, who wrote those laws, decreasing payments to doctors providing medicare and medicaid assistance? guest: well, the congress did some years ago. but they've never been enforced. what happens is every year, we come along and say, well, we can't do that. and what's happened this year is that the house of representatives just two days ago -- and this goes to the deficit question you asked me when we began the program. they just said, well, we're going to add about a quarter of a trillion dollars to the deficit, to the national debt to reimburse doctors in this big health care program that we're passing and we're going to play like it's outside of the health care program so we can say the health care program doesn't add to the debt. that's another example of arrogance.
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host: you're from the south. this morning, above the fold of "the washington post," sweetness for the south. he writes, it's a $300 million fix, which is 20 times the original price of the louisiana purchase. guest: that's another example of the cynical and arrogant act. that's why i think in the end this bill won't pass because i think the american people don't like the bill to begin with. they see it as higher premiums, higher taxes and we're scaring the daylights out of them by running out the debt the way. when we start passing out $100 million just to go to the vote for a bill, i think that's going to add to the cynicism and cause the bill to collapse of its own weight. host: why do you say it won't pass? guest: because, as i mention, i can vividly remember being on the senate floor during the immigration debate. it started out with a big -- a lot of well-intentioned enthusiasm. some of our best senators
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working on it. kennedy, kyl, mccain, all sorts of people. we all wanted to solve the problem. we bit off more than we could chew. we tried to do a comprehensive fix of the whole system. when it calm down to voting on it, a vote that needed 64 votes, it only got 46. it collapsed of its own weight because the american people said you're biting off more than we can chew. host: our next call is harry joining us from maryland. republican line. good morning, harry. caller: good morning to y'all. good morning to senator alexander. i really respect you. i'd like to say that right now, i'm 57 years old and i have never seen anything quite like this. maybe back in the johnson era. but this thing with obama is moderation? there's nothing moderate about the guy at all. the approach we take -- every step we take seems to be bigger and bugger government, bigger
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and bigger debt. if you can save money by fixing it, why go any further? just fix it now and take that money and maybe do some of these thing things that they talk about that we like to do with the uninsured. but, you know, as far as these moderate democrats, the semiconservatives. you got fell sob, landry, casey of pennsylvania. they're going along with something that is so far left to me it's scary. i mean, it's just absolutely scary. and the thing i think that really shows their lack of backbone is they really want to reform things. they go to some sort of tort reform also. i'll let you go ahead and respond to that. but i really respect. keep up the good fight. guest: thank you. those are very interesting comments. you put your finger on something about medicare, the program for
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seniors, which about 40 million americans depend on. this bill has about $450 billion in cuts in grandma's medicare. now, the president said that -- i mean, that's a fact. $450 million over 10 years in grandma's medicare. but the cynical part is not spent to make medicare solve. despite the fact that medicare, according to medicare trustees, is going to go broke. so your point is exactly right. there are savings that might be gotten from medicare. one out of $7 according to the government accountability office and this government program goes to waste. but if we're going to find savings and medicare, we should spend it on medicare. host: please relate this current bill to ten care.
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it happened after i was governor. hooray, tennessee is going to cover twice as many children for the same amount of money. i remember thinking, i bet that doesn't happen. our democratic governor has done a good job of bringing it under control. but it was a promise to cover more people. for the same amount of money without reducing the costs. and it literally nearly brumented our state. -- bankrupted our state. we should start with step by step efforts the reduce costs. that's what we've offered. if people are waiting if senator mcconnell, the republican leader, to roll in a wheelbarrow with the 2,000-page republican comprehensive bill, they'll never see it. we believe in going step by step.
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host: let me ask you about an issue you were involved with. as the governor, you helped lead the effort to bring saturn to spring hill, tennessee. saturn is now shutting down. what impact will that have on your state and your thoughts? guest: well, it will hurt. i wrote a little obituary for saturn, said it led a good life. host: 25 years, less than that. guest: there's a lesson there. saturn came in about the same time nissan put its big manufacturing plant 14 miles away. they've been side by side in competition. and nissan has become the most efficienting plant in north america. saturn now has closed without ever having made a profit. people will lose their jobs. but saturn did us a favor, because tennessee had no auto plants except for nissan at the time it came. those two plants have turned our state into a state where a third of our jobs, manufacturing jobs, are auto jobs.
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is it reminded the world that tennessee with its right to work law, central location, good roads, good place to make cars. now vokes wagon is in chattanooga. so we'll miss saturn, but during the time it was there, it was helpful in raising our standard of living. host: will it be replaced by another company? guest: i hope so. i had maked pen ski would make a go of it, but i can't imagine that saturn plant -- the largest in manufacturing 25 years ago when it came. general motors put another bid into it not long ago. i can't imagine general motors won't want to use it or won't sell it to some other car company that wants to take advantage of a the good circumstances there.
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host: evelyn is joining us from fort worth, texas. caller: good morning. i don't even know where to start. the cynicism and the scare tactics are republican all the way. the system we have now was a nixon invention in partnership with keyser perm then today. also the post office is now public and has been since nixon's time. this is just a republican attempt to -- well, as i see it, bring down obama. you know, there wasn't any problem in paying for an unfunded occupation in afghanistan and iraq. but now to help the people, there is. here in texas, we have one of the worst health care systems in the nation. what -- when i was working every
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year, our premiums and co-pays would go up but our coverage would go down. you know, if the republicans have their way in this state, nothing will get any better. it just amazes me the scare tactics that the republicans are putting forth to do whatever they can do not help the people. host: thank you. guest: well, i agree with you, the results of this bill are scary. but it's because of what's this in the bill. the bill does cut nearly a half trillion dollars out of medicare. that's never happened before. and if you have a medicare advantage plan, which one out of four medicare recipients does, their benefits will be cut. the bill does increase taxes by a half trillion dollars. and that will mean that premiums for insurance for most americans will go up.
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and not down. in so far as texas goes, one of the things republicans would like to do is something you've done in texas, which is to stop run away lawsuits against doctors. in tennessee, we have those malpractice lawsuits, and as a result, pregnant women in 45 counties don't have an ob/gyn doctor to go to. the women are having to drive to memphis or nashville to get their prenatal health care to have their babies. in texas, you've changed the law and you have doctors pouring back into texas. so in the rural areas of texas, doctors are more available. host: lamar alexander, you have a flight to catch. we thank you for joining us. guest: thank you for joining us. host: do you think there will be a vote on the senate floor before christmas? guest: i don't think there should be. it took us a month to debate the foreign bill. took us nine weeks to work on an energy bill. nine weeks on no child left behind. this is 1/6 of the economy.
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it has a dramatic effect. it's very personal. it affects all 300 million of it. so we need to take the time to discuss it. and my prediction is that as we do, americans will find out that it raises premiums, raises taxes, cuts medicare, collapses with it own weight and hopefully will get on the right track of step by step moving to reduce health care cost and gradually help people who are not now insured to become insured. host: can we have you back as the debate continues? guest: i'd like to do that. good to see you. host: in the headline this morning ining the "washington post," senate democrats vote to bring the health care defwite the floor. senator harry reid, the democratic leader, meeting with the reporters after the vote, which took place at 8:00 eastern time here in washington. >> we can see the finish line now, but we're not there. we haven't yet crossed that, and it's an understatement. the road ahead is a long
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stretch, but we can see the finish line. we have the momentum that's going to keep this process moving, i have no doubt. we know that not all 100 senators agree on how to move forward, but everyone agrees that we must move forward. we know not all 60 senators in my caucus agree on every aspect of this bill, but they agree on the vast, vast majority. probably more than 90% for sure. all democrats do believe now is the time to make sure all americans have access to affordable health care. when this debate begins on the floor, the difference is it will be clear to the american people. they'll see our plan, they've had since wednesday to look at it. they'll see more. our plan saves lives, saves money, and saves medicare. they'll see the republican alternative, which i'm sorry to
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say, is non-exiss about the. host -- non-existent. host: the comments from the senate floor making clear that more horse trading lies ahead and major changes might be required in the bill is to be approved. and it suggested that the senate majority leader harry reid of nevada, who relied only on members aligned with his party to bring the bill to the floor, may yet have to sway one or more republicans to his side in order to get the bill adopted. we have about eight or nine minutes. more of your comments on the senate vote yesterday. essentially a procedural vote. the health care debate will begin on monday, november 30, and continue into december. senator reid hopes to have a vote in the senate before christmas, which then brings the final vote may be in january. we'll go to a viewer in tallahassee, florida. you're on c-span.
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caller: in reference to the mandates. 2,097 pages. number two, the mandates will fine you, which is totally different. if you're working with an insurance company, you can badger them, you can sue them, you can take them to court. this is the federal government. you're at their mercy and they can do whatever you want. i also don't understand why women in this country would actually give the federal government the right to tell them what they can and cannot do with their children. and so i find that appalling because they will tell you what to do with your children. host: front page of "the washington times," senate democrats win a key vote on the health bill. wilson is joining us from michigan on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning, steve. i want to comment on that medicare advantage thing. i'd like to inform all your listeners here, especially the seniors, that this will be one of the most vital things that they will lose. now, let me emphasize lose.
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that means eyeglasses, hearing aids, joint replacements, and other various things that are in different parts of the bill. so it's the same thing as ration, only more so. we paid for this medicare advantage to our retirement systems. foregoing wage rates. increases. you've actually paid for this, but you're going to lose it if that's the way it's been talked about. thanks, steve. host: mixing eggnog and advocacy. she writes the senate debate on health care is now on course to collide with the holiday season. one question will be whether to keep up their barrage of pointed commercials, even as chestnuts roast and stockings are hung. one other point from that piece is that $170 million has been
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spent on health care advertising, the most ever in a single year on one particular issue. mark is joining us from stonewall, louisiana. good morning. caller: good morning. i would consider myself a skeptical democrat. first of all, we're ashamed here in louisiana of what ms. landrue is doing, we think it's a problem here. and also, i equate this health care bill as heating your house by burning the house down. we cannot fix everything at one time. there are problems. i'm a miller democrat. he warned us about this type of action from the democrats when bush was running. he actually campaigned for bush and warned us against this type of liberalism and this is not what the democratic party was about, handouts. i think the obama administration needs to remember that the only reason they're in there is because the republicans didn't care for bush. i think america didn't. but also america didn't care for hillary clinton and that's
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exactly what they've got. host: that's what this viewer saying as well, health care is president obama's surge. like bush. he has to make the decision that will punish him politically. he'll soon have opponents in the house and more. photograph yesterday with senators dodd, harkin, and reid. the only person not in attendance, voinovich of ohio, not seeking re-election next year. julia from richmond, you're on the air. caller: thank you so much. i don't know where to start. this is not about health care. that's the first point. this is not about health care. anybody can go anywhere and get health care. i went to the emergency room many times and i've had to -- i paid $20 a month, $20 a week, whatever i had to pay it off. it's not about health care. this is butt obama. obama wants to take over the country. the only way he can do it is to
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crash our government, bankrupt it, and the only way he can do that and ever since he's been in office, that's all he's done, is kill jobs and that's the only way he can set up his government is to bankrupt ours. that's exactly what he's doing. everybody needs to open their eyes and look at this. host: annie is joining us from kingstown, indiana. caller: good morning. it's nicetown. host: i apologize. caller: i couldn't agree more with the last lady. this goes through, it's going to destroy our health system. if anyone would go to health science institute of baltimore, there is a global organization of doctors and medical scientists that talk about the causes of diseases and the natural cures for diseases. and it's free. all you have to do is
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hsibaltimore.com and they can understand how we can avoid diseases. when we put in a program where you are forced to go to doctors in order to find out what's going to deal with something after you get it, you destroyed the incentive for people like me that want to live healthy so i don't have to go to a doctor. host: thanks, annie. we're short on time. we'll go to joe in st. charles, michigan. caller: good morning. my comment about the upcoming health care bill is -- boo. everybody is doing their darnedest to scare everybody. i took 14 hours reading online that bill. like the previous michigan caller. going to take your ear glasses, take your hearing aids, your hip replacement. that was not in there host: that's what this viewer is saying. wow, i can't believe the g.o.p.
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going back to scaring the heck out of grandma. our last word comes from ronnie in texas. caller: good morning. i just want to make a comment from that lady that called in from fort worth, texas. talked about her insurance in texas not being good. if we go to this government health plan, and this is from a man who has had two angios and one stint, i'd be visiting that little piece of land i have there. host: ok. thank you for the call. for all of you with your comments, e-mails, and phone calls, the conversation continues again tomorrow morning on "washington journal." weir here every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. we welcome you on channel 130. tomorrow walter pinkus on just what the c.i.a. and the national security council are saying or not saying to each other.

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