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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 23, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

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>> guest: well, the situation in afghanistan is very rough, and that's why we have and i agree with the president instituted a policy where we send significantly more troops. there's a question as to whether there'll be 10,000 more sent at the end of this year. we just changed the command structure in the commanders. it's going to be a long, hard slog. there will be increases in casualties, unfortunately, this summer. as we move south in afghanistan i'm happy to say that the dire predictions about pakistan have not come true. the pakistani military is starting to act in a more effective fashion. the people in some parts of pakistan and i know afghanistan as well have rejected the taliban and even fought against them. it's going to be a long, hard, tough slog. and things are very difficult there.
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we have an election in afghanistan coming up this summer. and we want to make sure that that is a free and fair election, but it's -- look, no one should think that this is going to be easy. it's going to be extremely difficult. but we cannot allow afghanistan to return to a base where radical islamic elements are able to launch attacks on the united states and our allies. >> host: alfredo is joining us from hils berg, california, good morning on the the independent line with senator john mccain. >> caller: this is an honor to talk to you. you're the main reason why i'm an independent. family are all democrats, so it's kind of hard to go to a family function, we get into arguments. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i respect you so much. being a free mason, now, i can't tell you how hard it is to go to lodge meetings and hear the stuff i hear.
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not as top secret as you guys talk about, but just stuff, you know, we talk about it in the room. if you would have stuck to your guns with the taxes and immigration, you would have won. from the heart you would have won. you would have won. i respect obama, i don't respect a lot of what he's doing, but living here with a bunch of liberals it's hard, but if you would have stuck to your guns, you're the main reason why i became an independent. we saw you, my fiance is a time member, and we saw you fighting for her family in florida down there. you confronted these people bilking money from these native americans $80 million doing nothing. that's the main reason why i became an independent. >> host: thank you, alfredo. >> guest: well, thank you, alfredo. thank you for those kind words, and it's pretty clear that some of your frustrations are felt by many americans. and we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people
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who are registering as independent voters. thank you, alfredo. >> host: do you tweet? >> guest: oh, yeah. all the time. >> host: you do? >> guest: yeah. and by the way it's twitter that facebook and youtube that have had an incredible impact in this iranian situation. there's a tehran twitter that -- >> host: iran elections. >> guest: yeah. and one is tehran also that it's really interesting to hear, read the twitters from the streets of tehran particularly when things were really at its height a couple of days ago. >> host: you saw what happened in the late 1970s. what ultimately, do you think, is going to happen in iran? >> guest: i think ultimately that democracy will prevail. i think that the people of iran have clearly indicated their dissatisfaction with the status
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quo and the radical clerics' tight control of that country. this is a very old country and a very old culture and a very sophisticated one. people are not going to stand for that forever. i think you can draw a parallel between when the prague spring were repressed and the polish worker, and by the way, ronald reagan stood up for them right away as well as conservative republicans. but forever this governing body and this way that iraq -- iran is being governed is discredited in the eyes of the world. so i think over time you will see a significant change in iran. now, it -- how long it will take and under what circumstances are impossible to predict. but those young people who sacrificed their lives and their
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physical well being in the streets of tehran, their legacy will be fulfilled. it's just a matter of when. >> we have a political tweet from david ryan wondering whether you will run for president in 2012. >> guest: no. [laughter] i've had my, i've had my chance twice, and it's humbling, and i'm so grateful to have had the nomination of my party, but it's time for a new generation, and we've got a new generation of republican leaders out there, and i'm confident we're going to rebound. i can remember when the pundits said that one party or the other was done, that's the great thing about american politics. we're going to come back. >> host: next is tim on the phone from georgia. good morning. tim, please, go ahead. >> caller: sorry. yeah, i guess i'm coming back -- first of all, i've got a lot of
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admiration for senator mccain. i supported you greatly in the campaign, but i do have to bring us back to health care. i have to agree with the lady that said for $5,000 we can get health care for a family, and i know from here in georgia and a family of four a $5,000 credit on our income taxes would be very difficult to actually put adequate quality health care on a family of four. having done that myself where i spent over $12,000 a year for a family of -- to insure them adequately that's our biggest problemment and i just want to address my wife is in the health care industry. he's a doctor. she's a doctor. and i see the problem as more the insurance issue of not being able to pull smaller companies. we have a small business, and we can't afford to put adequate
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health care or provide adequate health care for our employees of three -- >> host: tim, what's your business? >> guest: we actually have a dental office. my wife's a dentist. and what i'm, what i would like to see instead of a single provider is actually a, maybe some guidelines for the insurance industry where we're able to take small businesses and go across state lines and pool those individuals or those smaller businesses into a larger pool to bring our health care costs down. >> guest: well, ken, we're in agreement. to start with, the $5,000 refundable tax credit is for every family in america, and there's 47 million americans who are uninsured. if you have the kind of competition that you are talking about, i understand there's 1300 different health insurance companies in america, and they would all compete across state lines which they can't do now
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and bring the cost of health care down, and the inflation associated with it. i would imagine if you're still on the line, you're fairly satisfied -- about 70 percent of the american people are satisfied -- with the health insurance they have. they're just worried about affording it. and i am convinced that if you keep the cost of health care down, provide competition, you can give every american family the opportunity to have at least some minimum health care. and again, if you -- i'd be glad to send you the statistics, $5,000 refundable tax credit for a family will be enough to give americans a minimum health insurance policy which they can then expand if they want to with their own money. but the fact is that we've got to give every american family, in my view, at least a $5,000 refundable tax credit so at least they can go out and shop around for a minimum that would handle catastrophic and others.
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so it's all part of a large trying to address the problem of the cost of health care. and again, ken, if you're not satisfied with your health insurance that you have today and i would imagine that you are, then i think you ought to be able to go some place and get the health insurance that best suits you and your families. that's part of this proposal. prevention, wellness, fitness, treatments on outcome-based treatment, it's a whole mosaic of a proposal, but to say that the government health care, government-run health care system with you and your wife being obligated to provide health insurance for your employees at a certain level otherwise you would pay a fine of some kind is not my vision for health care in america. >> host: let me conclude with two personal questions. this is from john who sent in this tweet, how does it feel to have a u.s. cruiser in pursuit
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of that north korean ship named after your grand dad? >> guest: very proud, of course. my dad and grand dad both served their country in war and in peace, and i'm very grateful to have a heritage including my young son, fourth generation of the exact same name graduating from the naval academy a couple weeks ago. by the way, the president of the united states at that ceremony gave a very good speech. >> host: finally, as the story goes when bob dole lost the election in '96 he turned to george mcgovern and said when does it start hurting, and mcgovern's response was i'll let you know. >> guest: i stopped hurting a day afterwards. you get back in the arena, be so grateful and humbled by the fact that you were the nominee of the party of abraham lincoln and ronald reagan, and every day i'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve. and it's kind of fun to be back in the arena. a lot of things are happening as we found out from our conversation this morning,
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steve. >> host: we appreciate your time. senator john mccain, republican of arizona. please come back again. >> guest: thank you. >> u.s. senate's coming back in just a couple of minutes at 2:15 eastern. senate majority leader harry reid working off the floor to come up with an agreement to bring the legislative branch spending bill to the senate floor. the house passed its version late last week. we'll have live coverage when the gavel comes down about 2:15 here on c-span2. also on the senate side, the health committee has a mark-up session on health care legislation, covering that live at 2:30 eastern also while we wait for the u.s. senate to come back in, a look at item in the news and viewer phone calls from today's washington journal. >> host: showing americans are seeing better times ahead. the dateline is mexico, missouri, susan page writing to say that americans are still in a tunnel but more are beginning to see a light at its end.
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meanwhile, from the front page of the financial times, pessimistic executives cash out of shares with regard to stock shares. the piece says: any prospects of global economic recovery shan't stock and commodity prices tumbling yesterday, while new data showed leading u.s. corporate executives were cashing out at a record pace. further in the story, share sales by so-called company insiders are outstripping the purchases so far this month by more than 22 times. >> host: and another headline this morning from inside the washington times, the economy section, global recession to worsen. that according to the world bank. that's why we're asking the question about the economy, whether or not there are mixed signals. the front page story on "the new york times" focusing on a story of iran. the peace from michael slackman: oversight council announced monday the number of votes recorded in all 50 cities
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exceeded the number of eligible voters there by 3 million. further tarnishing a presidential election that has set up the most sustained challenge to iran's leadership in 30 years. meanwhile the government continued with a two-track approach, even as the powerful guardian council of knowledge some irregularities in the genes of the election, it insisted that the overall vote was valid. we will be talking more >> host: we'll be talking more about this with senator john mccain who's the ranking republican on the senate armed services committee, and also bob schieffer will be joining us in our last hour. more from inside the washington times as we look at gm, ford, and chrysler and the bailout. some headlines courtesy of the newseum showing that feeling hard times, some people are set to survive. and the situation in the states including in colorado this morning from the denver post as the budget year to start with a $384 million hole. that from the denver post.
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first up is daniel on the phone from ft. washington, maryland, good morning. >> caller: good morning, steve. i would just say as a long time viewer and analyst of politics, u.s. politics more specifically, we have to -- there's definitely no light at the end of the tunnel as of right now. >> host: why's that? iraq? no concrete -- >> caller: no concrete actions have been done to correct the core issues, the federal reserve's secretness, secret nature. none of that is being addressed. in fact, they're even giving more power to the federal reserve which is not transparent, and our government is based on transparency. >> host: and the federal reserve meeting today and tomorrow for its annual meeting, and we'll be talking with john taylor who serve inside the bush administration now with the hoover institute out at stanford university in california to talk about his views on what the fed needs to be doing and may not be
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doing quite yet. front page of the "detroit free press", ford to get retooling aid. the story points out that the obama administration is set to announce retooling loans for ford motor company, nissan motor company and tesla motors, the first under a $25 million program to spur fuel-efficient vehicles in the u.s. we're asking the question about the economy and some of the headlines indicating there are some mixed signals. give us a call or -- >> washington journal is live every day at 7 a.m. eastern. we're going to leave this recorded segment as the u.s. senate's gaveling back in. possible this afternoon work on 2010 legislative branch spending. safety rapid response act of 2009. i do this in conjunction with my colleague from the state of minnesota, senator klobuchar. and i want to recognize her for strong leadership on this. she and i are both members on
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the senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry. on that commission, she's been extremely active. on this particular issue, we've had the opportunity to dialogue on any number of occasions. and thanks to her cooperation, her leadership, we have developed and are cosponsoring the food safety rapid response act of 2009, which is designed to improve foodborne illness surveillance systems on the federal, state, and local level as well as improve communication and coordination among public health and food regulatory agencies. mr. president, in the wake of the recent salmonella outbreak at the peanut corporation of america and my home state of georgia, the senate agriculture committee held a hearing to review the response from the centers for disease control and prevention and the food and drug administration. the mother of a victim of the outbreak testified at the hearing and shared her personal story and frustrations in
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dealing with numerous federal bureaucracies over this issue. this hearing brought to light a clear need to develop a more effective national response to outbreaks of foodborne illness, especially in the area of coordination among public health and food regulatory agencies, to share findings and develop a centralized database. the food safety rapid response act of 2009 will expedite much-needed improvements to identify and respond to foodborne illnesses throughout the country. key components of this legislation include the following. first, directing the c.d.c. to enhance the nation's foodborne disease surveillance system by improving the collection, analysis, reporting and usefulness of data among local, state, and federal agencies as well as the food industry. second, directing the c.d.c. to provide support and expertise to
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state health agencies and laboratories for their investigations of foodborne disease. this includes promoting best practices for food safety investigations. and, third, establishing regional food safety centers of excellence at select public health departments and higher education institutions around the country to provide increased resources, training, and coordination among state and local personnel. both senator klobuchar and i are very proud of the excellent work done at universities in our respective home states in the area of food safety and epidemiology. the university of georgia is home to the world-class center for food safety, which has for more than 17 years assisted the c.d.c. with foodborne disease outbreak investigations. the university of georgia center for food safety is known for its leadership in developing new methods for detecting, controlling, and eliminating
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harmful microbes found in foods and is the go-to organization for the c.d.c., f.d.a. and food industry when seeking solutions to difficult food safety issues. the center for food safety frequently provides f.d.a., c.d.c. and state health departments advice and assistance in isolating harmful bacteria such as salmonella and e. coli, 0157 from foods. i am hopeful that the food safety response act of 2009 will be considered as a part of comprehensive food safety legislation in the months ahead. both senator klobuchar and myself are cosponsors of the f.d.a. food safety modernization act, a bipartisan measure to enhance current food and drug administration authority to better protect our nation's food supply. whether produced domestically or imported, americans must be able
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to trust that the food sold in their grocery stores and restaurants is safe and secure. it is critical to ensure that the food and drug administration has the tools it needs to properly monitor and inspect the food that is consumed in this country. the f.d.a. food safety modernization act affords regulators the authority they need to better identify vulnerabilities in our food supply while maintaining the high level of food safety most americans enjoy and take for granted. the legislation calls for an increase in the frequency of f.d.a. inspections at all food facilities, grants the f.d.a. expanded access to records and testing results and authorizes the f.d.a. to order mandatory recalls should a private entity fail to do so voluntarily upon the f.d.a.'s request. the food safety modernization act strikes an appropriate balance for the various roles of
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federal regulators, food manufacturers and our nation's farmers to ensure that americans continue to enjoy the safest food supply in the world. america's farmers are committed to providing the safest food possible to their customers and have a decades-long history of implementing food safety improvements to prevent both deliberate and unintentional contamination of agriculture products as they make their way from the farm to the retail store or to a restaurant. however, we must also be realistic in our expectations. food is grown in dirt, and as a result, a zero-risk food supply will be impossible to achieve. it is a goal that we must strive for while at the same time being ever mindful of the realities of food production and the detrimental consequences of applying unreasonable demands on our producers or our farmers. as the congress updates our food
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safety laws, there will be an in-depth deliberations about specific provisions related to all aspects of food safety, such as product tracing, third-party audits and facility inspections. as we tackle each of these issues, a few principles must guide our decisions. first, regulation and inspections must be science and risk-based. relying on science and risk-based analysis will focus our efforts and resources to vulnerable aspects of our food supply instead of developing a regime that only establishes more red tape, burdensome record keeping or federal intrusion. second, it is important to provide protections against unreasonable demands for records as well as provide for protections against unauthorized disclosure of proprietary or confidential business information which the agency gains when reviewing the contents of written food safety
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plans and other records. finally, f.d.a.'s food safety functions should be funded through federal appropriations as opposed to registration fees that go into a general fund that may or may not be used to enhance inspections. costly user fees or flat facility registration fees applicable to all types and sizes of facilities should not be considered. such fees pose questions of equity, particularly for small businesses that consume a negligible share of f.d.a. resources. an effective public-private sector partnership is critical to ensuring a safe food supply. the private sector has the responsibility to follow federal guidelines and ensure the safety of their products. the federal and state governments have the responsibility to oversee these efforts and take corrective actions when necessary. we need to have the ability to
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quickly identify gaps in the system and act swiftly to correct them. both the food safety rapid response act and the f.d.a. food safety modernization act are important measures to achieve that goal. again, mr. president, i commend the senator from minnesota. it's been a privilege to work with her to this point. i look forward to continuing to move this legislation in a positive direction in a short time frame so that we can make sure that we are giving all of our oversight personnel and our regulators the proper authority and the resources with which to do their job. mr. president, i would yield back. ms. klobuchar: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i'm proud to stand here today with senator chambliss, the
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senator from georgia, in speaking out in favor of our bill to bring food safety to this country. it's interesting that we are introducing this bill together because, of course, this latest outbreak that got so much attention nationally with the peanut corporation of america started in georgia. no one knew that at the time as people got sick across the country. and it really ended in minnesota, where after three deaths in my own state, it was the minnesota department of health and it was the university of minnesota working together that once again solved the problem, figured out where the salmonella was coming from. our democratic senator from georgia and the senator from minnesota got together to introduce this bill to say we want to do everything we can to prevent this from happening and when it does happen we want to
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do things as soon as possible so we have less people that get sick, less people that die. and a lot of that has to do with best practices. so i am proud to stand here with the senator from georgia today. mr. president, this past last week our country saw another food recall due to an outbreak of e. coli caused by refrigerated cookie dough manufactured by nestle. the outbreak sickened people in 29 states and it is the latest -- the latest -- in a series of foodborne outbreaks in the last two years. or at the least, the outbreaks that we know of. since many cases of foodborne illness are never reported or those that are reported are never linked to an identifiable common source. in the spring and summer of 2007, as you may recall, hundreds of people across the country were getting sick from salmonella. the source was traced to hall pea in a peppers -- to jalepeno
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peppers kpwortd from mexico. last dumber people fell ill -- last summer people fell from salmonella. nine people died from salmonella poisoning, three from my home state in minnesota. in both of thehe outbreaks, more than half of the people who got sick or died did so before there was any consumer advisory or recall. half of these people got sick or died before there was a consumer advisory or recall. in the case of the jalapeno peppers, people had been getting sick for almost two moneys before the advisory was issued about tomatoes. it was nearly three months before the first illness was reported in minnesota. in the case of the peanut butter people were getting sick for three months before the first
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recall was reported in my staeufplt it is only when they get sick or die before it gets solved. we have to fix it. i'm proud we were able to catch these two major outbreaks, but we have to be doing it other places as well. the breakthrough in identifying the sources of contamination did not come from the centers for disease control, it did not come from the food and drug administration. it did not come from the national institutes of health. the breakthrough came from the minnesota department of health and the minnesota department of agriculture as well as a collaborative effort with the minnesota public school of public health. this initiative has earned a remarkable national reputation. now with all due respect to their exemplary work, the nation should not have to wait until someone from minnesota gets sick or dies from tainted food before there is an effective national response to investigate and identify the causes. the problem is that the responsibility to investigate potential foodborne diseases
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rests largely r local and state health departments. that's okay if it worked everywhere the way it does in minnesota. there is tremendous variation from state to state in terms of the priority and the resources that they dedicate to this responsibility. in minnesota, it's a high priority and we have dedicated professionals who have developed sophisticated procedures for detecting, investigating and tracking cases of foodborne illnesses. the peanut butter-salmonella outbreak was so extensive and shocking that it put food safety on the agenda here in washington. it's a crowded agenda, as we all know, but food safety must be there. in march i joined with a bipartisan group of senators to introduce the food safety modernization act of 2009 which would overhaul the federal government's food safety system. other cosponsors are senator dick durbin, senator judd gregg, ted kennedy, richard burr, chris


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