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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  October 9, 2009 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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good night, america. bret: next on "special report" recession and recovery. more than 15 million americans are out of work as the president searches for ways to create more jobs. democratic leaders seize control of the healthcare debate but can they keep the moderate elements in line? is the president close to a decision on sending more troops to afghanistan? the word leaking from the white house is that al qaeda, not the taliban, may be the focus. after u.s. authorities bust up an alleged terrorist plot on u.s. soil, republicans and democrats butt heads over how best to protect the country from terrorism. all that, plus the fox all-stars, right here, right
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now. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] bret: welcome to washington, i'm bret baier. new labor statistics put the debate over the administration's economic stimulus package back in focus. while some of the numbers were better than expected, other indicators point to more trouble ahead. wendell goler has the story. >> layoffs eased and the number of people filing for jobless benefits fell to the lowest levels in nine months, but the number of people out of work continues to rise and more than half the people in the country consider the economy the most serious problem and critics say the stimulus plan didn't work because it didn't keep unemployment below the 8% mr. obama thought it would. >> this stimulus was signed and we have lost 3 million jobs since then. now democrats doubling down on their flawed economic policies.
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>> in a letter to the president, minority leader john boehner and other house republicans called the doubling down the prospect of healthcare changes they fear will hike insurance costs and a cap and trade anti-pollution solution they call an energy tax and blame them to undermining job creations saying employers throughout the country are watching and the job killing policiess on the horizon are calling them to freeze hiring. the white house says the stimulus package added a million jobs to the economy's growth and republicans added only criticism on t. >> we're anxious to see their plan for creating energy jobs and provideing health insurance for those who don't have it and cutting costs for the millions lucky enough to have t. >> robert gibbs said the stimulus package was a $787 billion peg that aimed to fill a $2 trillion hole in the economy. while he denies plans for a second stimulus, gibbs says the president is always looking for
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ways to create jobs. >> we certainly are working on and looking at anything that can be done to strengthen the economy. >> on this day, the president discussed job growth over lunch with the c.e.o.'s of, cafts, eastman kodak and florida power and light. chief of staff rahm emanuel and valerie jarrett has been holding regular dinner meetings with c.e.o.'s. skeptics say they're not getting input from small businesses which the bush administration touted as the energy of the country while some economists say small businesses just benefit from a wave of big business outsourcing. the president is caught by a fundamental law of recession and recovery. unemployment rises for a year or more after a recession is technically over, so even if the worst recession since the great depression is over now and no one really thinks it is, there is still a lot of pain to come. bret: wendell goler live on the north lawn. thank you. new rules imposed by congress have made the economic downturn
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difficult for some of the nation's youngest workers. brian wilson has the latest. >> congress approved a hike in the minimum wage long before the u.s. economy entered the current recession, but when the mandated increase to $7.25 an hour took effect this past july, one part of the job market got hit hard. in just two months, 330,000 teen jobs simply vanished. the unemployment ate for all teens jumped to 25.9%, the highest on record since world war ii. unemployment for black male teens stands at 50.4%. employers simultaneously faced with a sluggish economy and congressional mandate to pay employees more apparently decided they would lay off the teen workers at the bottom of their workforce ladder. >> the value of the minimum wage job is the job training it provides, the skills that the workers develop that allow them to earn more than the minimum wage in the future. raise the minimum wage, as
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congress has done for teenagers and they lose those opportunities to get ahead, to get their start on the career ladder. >> this hits the economy in another way because teen workers have always been reliable teen spenders. not everyone agrees with the assessment, however. some experts say teen job losses are in line with other job losses. >> there really is no evidence right now that teens have been disproportionately impacted by the minimum wage increase that happened in july. what's going on right now is a massive recession, and that is what is making people lose their jobs. it is not the minimum wage that's doing it. >> some suggest one way to get teens back to work is to have congress establish a special teen wage of maybe $4 or $5 an hour. minimum wage purists say do that and bosses will fire the workers who might be making the minimum wage and replace them with part-time high school kids. here are two facts all sides seem to agree on. number one, the vast majority of full-time workers currently make
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more than $7.25 an hour. number two, the true minimum wage is zero dollars an hour if you're unemployed. in washington, brian wilson, fox news. bret: one day after the congressional budget office slaps a $800 billion price tag onto senate finance committee's healthcare bill, house speaker nancy pelosi asked the office to crunch the numbers on her version of the bill. as carl cameron reports, lawmakers are still a long way from compromise. >> democrats are starting their final push. nancy pelosi has asked the c.b.o. to cost out a blend of three committee house passed healthcare reform bills. >> the c.b.o. will have a number of versions. one will be what i call the robust public option. >> pelosi, the president and most democrats want the government-run insurance option but a few blue dog democrats threaten to join republicans and
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block the so-called p public option as too costly. c.b.o. estimated this summer that the house proposal would cost well over a trillion dollars. pelosi is also looking to raise more taxes. >> whether it is insurance taxes or the pharmaceutical industry, they have much more to put on the table to help he reduce costs. >> liberal and centrist democrats battle over who and how much to tax, the g.o.p. opposition hammers hope hammers home that consumers pay for t. >> all they want to do around here is tax something. if you tax insurance companies, guess what? ertheir customers are going to y higher premiums. there is no if's, ands or butt's about t. >> and in the senate, thrilled by the $800 billion price tag for the baucus bill with a non-profit co-op instead of a government insurance option, which the c.b.o. said would trim are the deficit $1 trillion over a decade got the democrats going
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at it again. >> the report came out from c.b.o. yesterday that was outstanding, $81 billion, bending the curve. that bill will be voted on by the finance committee on tuesday morning and be reported to the senate. >> c.b.o. cautions that its estimate of the baucus bill is film preliminary and not based on legislative text but conceptual language. republicans say it is a gross underestimation of true cost but since they plan to merge it with a more expensive senate health bill containing a government insurance program, republicans say it is irrelevant. >> it doesn't tell the whole story r the bill they are e fer referring to will never see the light of day. the real bill will be cobbled together in a secret conference room here in the capitol by handful of democratic senators and white house officials. >> white house chief of staff rahm emanuel is expected on the hill for the very talks next
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week. reid and pelosi have the choice now of trying to make a bipartisan deal and lose liberals and worry about how to take care of the moderate democrats who have been objecting to the notion of a public option across the board. bret: carl, thank you. the house has been voting on how to provide an investigation of charlie rangel. he is und irinvestigation on several fronts including failure to report income taxes. the congressional black caucus is defending rangel after wednesday's republican attempt to strip him of his committee chairmanship. the c.b.c. has written to nancy pelosi condemning that action. community leaders in the president's hometown say the president is ignoring that town. plus new developments on what the administration thinks is important and what can be overlooked when it comes to overlooked when it comes to fighting the war in afghanistan.
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overlooked when it comes to fighting the war in afghanistan. [bell ringing] the way the stock market's been acting lately you may wonder if you've been doing the right thing. is the advice you've been getting helping or hurting? are the fees you're paying really worth it? td ameritrade's fees are fair and straight-forward. their research is independent and unbiased. their investment consultants are knowledgeable and there when you need them. so why not talk to one? announcer: call today to schedule a free investment check-up, or visit a td ameritrade branch.
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bret: the obama administration is moving to reframe its afghan war strategy by sharpening its focus on al qaeda, but is the move of sending only as many troops to afghanistan as needed to keep the terror group at bay? we report, you decide. steve centanni is at the pentagon with he details. >> bret, tomorrow for the first time the president will formally discuss the troop levels in afghanistan with his national security advisors in the situation room at the white house. now, this comes as the white house, again, is drawing a distinction between the local threat presented by the taliban in afghanistan, and the global reach of al qaeda, and that coincides with reports that the u.s. might be willing to tolerate some level of taliban involvement in afghanistan's affairs and that pakistan could may a bigger role in our evening nal strategy, but a white house spokesman, robert gibbs, would confirm none of that, saying
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only that the focus has always been on al qaeda, wherever they may be. >> we have been focused on al qaeda as the primary, again, global threat that emanates from that region, based on its past attacks and some tips and continue to do so. >> al qaeda may present the global threat, but today it was the taliban claiming responsibility for a massive car bomb explosion outside the indian embassy in kabul. 17 people were killed. dozens were wounded when an s.u.v. packed with explosives pulled up to the outer wall of the embassy. it is the second major attack in kabul in less than 30 days a suicide bomber killed 16 last month on a road in the center of the city. back here in washington, the policy deliberations continue as the national security advisor general james jones met today with members of the house on capitol hill. a decision on the way forward in afghanistan is expected within a few weeks.
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bret. bret: steve centanni live at the pentagon. thank you. the senate judiciary committee voted today largely along party lines to send a revised version of the patriot act to the full senate for a floor vote. the controversial post-9/11 counterterrorism law is set to expire by year's end. as correspondent james ozen reports, it will not go back on the books in its current form. >> the last plays in our government that we ought to put burdens on administrators, on our investigators, would be in a national security case where people we know are out there desiring to kill us. >> we're not the prosecutor committee. we're the judiciary committee, that's supposed to balance the needs of those that defend themselves and prosecute and judiciary. >> no one on the judiciary committee doubted anyone else's patriot as they marked up the latest version of the patriot act, just occasionally, it seemed, each other's sanity.
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>> articulated is a different word. i believe it is that you have to be able to articulate it. >> i don't know why we get into this when you know you add a word and there has to be a judge that will interpret that word. >> the patriot act was signed into law 45 days after 9/11. democrats have added new language aimed at protecting civil liberties while republicans have sought to minimize the changes. >> you might say that there are strange bedfellows supporting reauthorization of the patriot act. >> in 11 votes, the panel decided that when tracking a lone wolf terrorist suspect, agents seek aguirre tap warrant will not have to prove the suspect is linked to a foreign power or terrorist group, in the case of roving wiretaps or use and discard cell phones, wiretap warrants will not be limited to specific phones and when authorities send national security letters to libraries are, banks or phone companies,
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the letters which an f.b.i. found had been misused in 700 cases will still be able to demand any tangible thing for an investigation but will face limits on what data can be stored or shared. >> they making substantial progress in resolving the primarily procedural problems that the f.b.i. first encountered when they first began using this authority. >> the justice department has said the obama administration ising willing to consider the changes sought by democrats as long as they have operational neutrality -- that is, do not include sensitive casework. bret: a bipartisan group sen couraging senate leadership to put tougher sanctions on iran. they have written to majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell asking them to set aside time for senate action, strengthening the administration's position on
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iran. the house has voted to expand hate crime laws to protect those attacked because of their sexual orientation. the senate is expected to act soon on the bill, which is attached to defense budget legislation. house speaker nancy pelosi says the past hate kime crimes provision is a step forward but republicans including john boehner are blasting the move, saying that hate crimes is a separate issue and attaching it to the defense bill is disrespectful to the troops and an abuse of power by democrats. how one state is using stimulus funds to create jobs an protect the public at the same time. plus, coming to the table to talk causes -- to talk, rather, causes a new round of clashes between palestinians and israelis. stay the sixties were all about freedom. ♪
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bret: in news around the world, israeli officials have mobilized thousands of officers in east engineer engineer because of escalating -- in east jerusalem, and some believe the new clashes are the result of more moderate efforts. >> palestinian demonstrators clash with israeli police again. israeli leaders believe the fresh violence is a result of negotiating with and going too soft on the radical palestinians >> i believe this is coming out of a feeling of the part of those radical parts of islam here in the country that perhaps they sense some weakness on our part. >> palestinians, however, believe that israel is strangling a desperate population, which only achieves goals through violence. >> the israelis are getting the palestinians one message, that they understand only the language of force. >> the government of president
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abbas has traveled the nonviolent path. in return, it got more israeli construction where the palestinians want to build a homeland. a ceremony was just held to announce new construction here. this will be a synagogue. down the hill there, more than 100 new units of housing for israelis here in predominantly arab east jerusalem, last that the palestinians want as the capital of their future state. the government of benjamin netanyahu is determined to keep east and west jerusalem unified, jewish and the capital of israel. president abbas has lost respect and is now viewed as a weak leader. his moderate fatah party continues to lose support. contrast that with his rivals in hamas who are committed to violence. their kidnapping of an israeli soldier won them the release of 20 prisoners and more popularity from the palestinian public. hamas supporters point to israel's withdrawl from gra za as a victory from their own
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campaign of rockets an bombs. with no rewards, the kinder is laid out for radicalism. tension is at the ready to provide the spark n jerusalem, fox news. bret: in italy, a top court has ruled that a law that grants president ber list scone ny from prosecution will be reviewed. he was accused of tax fraud, false accounting and fraud charges and berlusconi vowed to rule with more grit and says the charges against him are, are quote, laughable. in china, the communist country's one child policy combined with a preference for mail heirs has led to a widening imbalance in the population. dana lewis explains. every weekend in shanghai's main
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park, they come, grandparents and parents bearing posters of young chinese men and women looking for love. parental match making isn't easy says this man, shopping for a wife for his 33-year-old son every saturday for six months. they want a good looking son, a good home and a good job. because of china's one-child policy to control the ever expanding population of now 1.3 billion people, there has been a lopsided explosion of boys versus girls, a gender gap unprecedented worldwide. up to 130 boys to every 100 girls in some areas of china. traditional preferences for a son means some women abort a baby if a sonogram shows it is a girl. in the next 20 years it is estimated that 30 million chinese men won't be able to find wives and for the mothers and fathers who come every
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weekend, there is more than finding love for their kids. there is a tradition in china of the young looking after the old. their social security is on the line. the chinese government hasn't paid pensions and provided healthcare for most chinese so the job of looking after his parents falls on peter wong. in this beijing dating club, he scans the room for somebody in his words hot, or in this case, he says not. >> it is up to the older people to find a mate. >> in the big cities, finding mr. or ms. right is easier. many women migrate from small town china to beijing or shanghai to find work and marriage, and because more and more women are working, attitudes of parents who once only wanted boys are changing. >> in 2012 or 2013, more than 60% of the population will be in
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cities. that will be a strong channel for this tradition. >> for men left behind in the countryside, there will be a shortage of women and wives. the pressure is on for moms and dads in peoples park number five, the chinese lonely hearts club is the biggest world hide n shanghai, dana lewis, fox news. bret: australian authorities try to set firm limits at one sporting event and cot liberal anti-war group code pink be
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. bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. the staunch women's anti-war group code pink has add so kateed complete withdrawl from iraq and afghanistan. the group has organized countless protests and even one code pinker with blood-colored hands called then secretary of state condoleezza rice a war criminal during a congressional hearing in 2007. you may remember that one. one or the says the group is rethinking its position now on the afghanistan war. the christian science monitor reports that during a recent trip to kabul, local afghan women told code pinkers the situation is a lot more complicated than they think. one afghan member of parliament, who is also a woman's activist told the group's founders, quote "in the current situation of terrorism, we cannot say if troops should be withdrawn."
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those concerns convinced the founders that setting a deadline is not in afghanistan's best interest. quote "we would leave with the same parameters of an eaks an exit trat jy but we might be more flexible with a time line, some saying if the u.s. troops left and we would collapse and go into a civil war, a palpable sense of fear is making us start to reconsider that." some chicago community leaders and parents are upset with the obama administration for being excluded from the high-profile meeting in their city to discuss escalating youth violence. education secretary arne duncan and attorney general eric holder met with city officials wednesday, but philip jackson, founder of a chicago-based education reform organization wants to know why he and his fellow community leaders were not invited. quote "they are meeting about us without us." jackson also chided the president for his recent travel decisions, quote "president obama fueled up air force i to
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fly to copenhagen to try to win the olympics. why can't you fuel up a greyhound bus and come here?" finally,. >> trailian authorities are just -- finally, australian authorities with putting their foot down to curb alcohol related crime at one of the most popular racing events which began today. spectators will be limited to a measly 24 cans of beer per day, but if you're willing to switch to light beer, you can legally consume 36 beers per day, according to authorities. and for those who enjoy a nice glass of wine, he they will havo make do with just over a gallon a day. authorities are warning attendees to drive safely. they're so strict down under. our top story at the bottom of the hour, although employers are still reluctant to hire, the white house says improved job numbers indicate the stimulus is working. correspondent jamie colby takes a look at one place federal funds are being used to create
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jobs. >> connecticut has found a new way to clear the backlog of d.n.a. samples awaiting testing while creating jobs, also thanks to $1.5 million in stimulus cash. >> we had last year 800 suspects samples come in and that 800-sample submission was a 75% increase over the prior year. >> as connecticut's public safety commissioner explained, the stimulus bonus will double the number of forensic analysts on his payroll, expediting d.n.a. testing. >> over a year ago, the backlog in this lap was about 35,000 samples f all goes well, it is possible that we could entirely clear the backlog by the end of 2010. >> slow processing is not unique to connecticut. >> where i come from, we have literally thousands of rape kits that are backlogged, some going back almost ten years to the point where the statute of limitations will prevent prosecution. >> a delay in processing can
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also keep suspects wrongfully convicted behind bars. >> i feel amazing. it is just amazing. >> kenneth ireland spent two decades in prison before his august 2009 release. his exoneration, results of d.n.a. testing. >> so far, d.n.a. testing has exonerated 234 people throughout the united states, and that is just a small, small fraction of innocent people that are behind bars today. >> one of the contributing factors to the backlog here in connecticut is the enhanced training of crime scene investigators, who are now better able than ever to recognize, collect and preserve potential d.n.a. at crime scenes for testing. >> it's not just the police. it is the prosecutor and the defense counsels in both cases, even evidence may have already come in and been examined through their education and experience. they may request additional testing above and beyond. >> the connecticut department of core recollection is getting an
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additional $170,000 in stimulus funds for jobs and materials to speed up collection of d.n.a. from prison inmates. the extra funding will build up the state data base and could help solve cold cases. >> you, your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings will be safer because of this work. >> in connecticut, jamie colby, fox news. bret: retail stores across the country saw their first sales gain in 14 months in september. accord together international coun council of shopping centers, sales were up 1/10 of a percentage point. the commerce department statistics show august sales at wholesale level rose at a better than expected 1%, although wholesale inventories were down. the dow rose 61 and change. the s&p 500 picked up nearly 8. the nasdaq gained just over 13 1/2 points. new jobs numbers paint a mixed economic outlook.
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are we on the road to recovery or is there more trouble ahead? the fox all-stars@
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>> since the stimulus was signed, we have lost roughly 3 million jobs and our unemployment rate is nearing 10%. now democrats are doubling down on their flawed economic policies seeking more stimulus and more government spending when it's clear that their first bill hasn't worked. >> the president's budget, though i remind you, in addition to the recovery package, which has saved many jobs in our country and created some, the president's budget is a job creator, too. bret: there is the back and forth. here is the latest poll. this is from yin pack. there you see -- it is from quinnipiack. there you see what is most
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important. economy, 42%, health care, 18% and the others. this comes on a day when the number of people filing jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in nine months but the total number of americans unemployed continues to rise. more than 15 million are without work now. what about the economy and where we're headed? let's bring in the panel, meter is a university of maryland business professor and nina easton and charles krauthammer. peter, let's start you with. what about this jobs number today and the fact that the unemployment rate is going up. >> well, 21,000 new claimants for unemployment insurance is a small number but still a recession level. the economy continues to bleed lots of jobs. unemployment is near 10% but if you count in the part-time workers who would like to be full-time and the people who just have given up, the real
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unemployment rate is up near 17%. the economy may be recovering but it is a slow recovery and it sure is a jobless recovery. bret: when you hear nancy pelosi and others say the stimulus package has worked and has created the white house said today, created or saved a million jobs and possibly 2 or 3% of the economy's growth. are you buying that? >> no. most of the tax relief has been saved, and the spending, $90 billion out f you look at trends in construction spending, they're not there. we continue to lose employment. we continue to have unemployment grow among construction workers on commercial sites and in government construction and in addition, the rate of job loss at all levels of government, except the post office, continues to climb. >> this job loss issue will be a continuing problem for this administration. very interesting today, bret. there was an economist affiliated with a liberal think tank who said there is a distinct possibility that americans will fare just as
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poorly under this administration as under the bush administration that he critiqued. the reason is, and peter touched on this, jobless recovery r this administration, and in this way, neither administration is at fault. there are global competitive structural issues. they are phrasing this economy, and it is hard to get those jobs back. larry summers said to me a couple of weeks ago we are phrasing head winds when it comes to unemployment. unemployment will probably stay in the 10% range leading up to next year. what does that mean politically? you have the midterms coming up. this administration knows and they remember 1982 when the republicans lost 26 seats when the unemployment rate hit 10% so they're going to look for ways to at least stem the bleeding, but they are -- it's very possible that they are going to have the same kind of jobless recovery that they criticized george bush for. bret: charles, nina mentions the poll politics going into next
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year, but the politics now for the administration to talk about the unemployment rates, it is a tougher sell. >> when you hear the speaker of the house saying we have saved or created many jobs, you notice she said "many," because she didn't have a clue and it is unknown. we have lost jobs. you can always imagine the number but the reality is the one city in the country that is increasing employment is washington, where they're hiring bureaucrats who are going to decide how other americans are going to be running their lives, but otherwise, what we're getting is an increase in unemployment. the pace of increase in unemployment is decelerating so we are going to hit a plateau but it will likely only occur next year or late next year. it will be surely over 10% and that will hurt the democrats in the election. however, i think for obama personally, the calendar year
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actually helps him. i think if you're a president and you want a second term, you want to have your recession early. reagan did. it was a severe one. he got hurt in the midterm in 1982, but of course, there was a recovery, and he was re-elected. now, we are not going to have the springback that we had in the '80's because of the global issues and competition abroad. we're going to have a much slower recovery, but still, i think obama will be in reasonably good shape. our unlucky presidents are the ones that are recessions late, carter and bush one, and you don't get re-elected when that happens. bret: we know that the jobs are the lagging indicator here, peter, and we could possibly already in be recovery from this recession, looking back, once we get, there but what about moving forward? the white house says they're looking at options to create more jobs. obviously there is not a political environment here for more spending, but what could they do? >> well, some of them are
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looking at investment tax credits to encourage people to increase hiring and they will get payroll taxes rebated and things like that. those have proven to work in the short term. you can pick up a couple hundred thousand jobs but the bottom line is there is an absence of demand for what americans make. american companies need customers if they're going to hire people and invest. because of global competitive pressures and the fact that china is growing rapidly and enjoying a competitive advantage because it undervalues its currency, it is becoming the number one jobs issue. there are really only so many manufacturing jobs in the global. there may be about 150 million, and as a consequence, how that sources out is going to be an important function of international macropolicy, these global imbalances. >> we also have to learn how to become an eck sporting country and not just importing. our savings rate is going up, and so people are bringing less here. we've got to learn how to compete with china and export more, and that also gets down to
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all the trade policies. >> real quickly, the u.s. dollar, is it under attack, the stories about middle east countries having secret meetings that possibly take oil, the trade off of the u.s. dollar? is the u.s. dollar under attack? >> absolutely. conspiracies or not, the fact is that if we keep increasing our deficits by these huge amounts in order to combat unemployment, the threat to the dollar is real. anybody who is holding the dollars abroad and holding bonds abroad is going to be thinking with the debt increasing, those are going to be in jeopardy and if there ever is a sell-off, it is going to be catastrophic, which means we are in jeopardy of losing our status as a reserve currency in the world. that is the cost of of these hue stimulus packages and the huge deficits which accompany them. bret: the president says he will give the counterterrorism community all the tools necessary to do their job, but
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are some in his own party undermining that effort? the fox all-stars give us tw÷gzgp
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>> now that we know about these abuses about the rights of innocent americans, we should place appropriate limits on this authority. >> the last place in our government that we ought to put burdens on administrators on investigators would be in a national security case where people we know out there wanting to kill us. >> the judiciary committee voted along party lines today to insert some language into the patriot act. youer that law that was passed 45 days after 9/11? democrats say they tried to
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protect civil liberties with the changes they made. republicans tried to minimize the changes with the help, quietly, of the obama administration. back with the panel. charles. >> i think the big story here is how little the patriot act has changed, given the fact that we have a large majority of democrats in the house and the senate, and how liberal the leadership is. we're retaining the roving wiretaps. we're retaining the telecom immunity, the fact that the telecom industry is not going to be subject to prosecution for helping the bush administration. we are retaining the lone wolf provision, which means you don't have to show that a guy is a member of a group, a terror group, in order to wiretap him. all the major provisions are retained, and as you said, the obama administration behind the scenes is supporting the minimal -- it is supporting the idea of no changes, and that's a tribute to the bush administration. remember, this was passed a month and a half after 9/11 in
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the heat and the fury of that time. it totally restructured the way we go after terrorism domestically, and it got it right. eight years after, in retrospect, with liberals in the house and senate, it is remaining almost intact. we have not had a second attack in the eight years and we have not had any significant scandals of abuse of these powers in debating the liberties of americans t is really quite a remarkable achievement. >> charles doesn't want to do this but he should give some credit to the obama white house. i actually think this is a good moment to them. they stood up to more serious watering down of the patriot act and did it behind the scenes. they stood up to the liberal wing of their party. they added more oversight, which is fine, adding more oversight capability to the laws. you said it was along party lines but in fact, senator jon kyl of arizona and senator from
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texas, senator john cornyn of texas were very serious republican senators on this matter. they both supported it, so i think you can call it a bipartisan bill at this point, and i think the white house did stand down the liberal wing of its party. >> yeah, this is a second renewal t isn't much change. it recognizes in dealing with terrorism, you need a level of surveillance that you don't have when dealing with ordinary crime. with ordinary crime, you need an indication that something has happened to get a court order for a wiretap, but if we're going to keep bad things from happening, we have to be watching the general public, unfortunately. we have to be looking for indications that somebody, someplace is thinking about doing something. they aren't necessarily associated with a terrorist state or a terrorist group, because frankly, just two, three people, even one person acting alone. look at oklahoma city, just a couple of guys blew up a federal structure. in that kind of environment, you need a level of surveillance. the key here is to keep them
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from using the data that they gather for other purposes, sending it to the i.r.s. and what have you. now, the inspector general was criticized for not keeping great records. i'm glad they're not keeping track of all this stuff, because i don't want them putting everything into categories so they develop profiles on people and things of that nature. >> charles is this the latest example of campaigning versus governing? >> exactly. the obama administration, and the liberals have attacked the bush administration over rendition, over detention without trial and over the patriot act and all of a sudden, the democrats are in power and they actually have to run the government and they encounter reality, and they discover the wisdom of what the bush administration had done. it is a silent tribute, but what i think is unfortunate is that it is a silent tribute. the attacks on the bush administration retro actively
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continue and yet what the obama administration is doing in this instance and with the terror suspects is almost exactly what the bush administration had done. it is a way of saying a well done job. bret: and this was not a focus of the briefing today. that's it for the panel. stay tuned for some interesting math on the war front. .
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bret: finally tonight, we have talked about numbers tonight, numbers in the economy and numbers of troops that could be added in afghanistan. but numbers, well sometimes they are tricky. >> i saw something which might explain why our economy might be in bad shape. >> the ratio of marines to afghan soldiers when we were down in helmand province was five marines for one afghan soldier. >> five.


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