tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 31, 2013 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
day, but yet there was no system to incorporate the data, so i, to on the intelligence side, i want to hear what you're doing too, but we don't have time to get into it right now with this question, but get back to us in writing with what you are doing, and talking about dod here, and then, finally, i hope that you can help us on this, you know, establish the metrics, come up with a timeline that makes sense, looking for additional resources or something, let us know, but if it's going to take another ten years because we're doing more pilots and more research and so on, that is unacceptable. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator coburn, and i'll wrap it up. >> can you explain to me the difference in the field work contract and the supply services contract you have with the aces, one, and number two, are contractors completing background investigations; then
other contractors evaluate the completeness of the investigations? are these from the same company? >> i can answer the second part, but opm is better suited to answer the first part because they have that contract, and, yes, contractors perform background investigations, and, yes, contractors perform quality reviews on these investigations, but only government employees make a determination as to whether to grant security clearance to someone. >> so -- but my question is is it the same company that is validating the work of their colleagues doing the investigations? is that correct? >> i'd have to defer to opm. >> yeah. no. the companies that are doing the investigations have an obligation under the contract to also do a quality review, but then we do another quality review, and the purpose of their quality review is we would like them to catch errors before the file gets to us, but we do a
quality review as well. >> so opm is the final validating of the completeness of the investigation? >> not -- to some extent. i mean, another thing that validates the completeness of the investigation is gets into an adjudicators who may want more, and, ultimately, it's a collaborative effort. they may send something back to us, but we are the arbitrator of whether we have provided someone with an investigative product. >> is every investigation validated by you? >> every investigation is reviewed # for quality, yes. >> by opm? >> by opm. >> one other question, and i'll submit the rest of the questions. there's a reinvolving fund for where you charge agencies for this. that has $2 billion in it. has it ever been audited? >> on -- i'm told that it has not by the oig because they told
us they don't have the resources which is why we support -- the administration supports their request to draw from the revolving fund to give them the resources they need to do that. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] >> okay. i suspect you'll have a number of questions for the record. we thank you for your verbal answers today. i want to tell telegraph the picture. we have a new senator sworn in, corey booker is taking the oath of office, and we'll have first of several votes beginning at ten after 12, and we'll wrap up at 12:20. the last question i'll ask each of you to have a chance the think about it is the -- sometimes i say when you say something awful that's happened, and you hope something good comes of it, sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't. a few things could be much worse than losing a loved one, and a bunch of families -- 11 families
lost loved ones, and in the navy yard not far from here, and they'd like to know something good comes from that. i think the american people feel that way as well, and one of the last things i'll ask you to do is just to reflect on what you said here, what you heard here today, what you've been asked here today, and see if you can, give the families some insurance out of the tragedy they suffered through and good is going to come and what that might be. know that's coming, okay. dr. coburn. >> i just wanted to follow up. i'm not clear. when you say "opm validates," do you use a contractor to validate? >> federal employees. when you say "validate," federal employees do a quality review, and we do as well. >> all federal employees do evaluation on background information on everything that comes in? >> yes.
>> okay, thank you. >> i want to come back to, i think a question was maybe asked by senator a yacht and want to give you a chance to respond to it. it dealt with using social media in the continuous evaluation program. do you have thoughts on that, briefly, please. >> yes, senator, i can. what i was referring to there is we are seeking to provide as much of a comprehensive capabilities as possible in the overall background investigation of the individual. the more information we can gain, the more enlightened a decision can be on whether or not to grant the access to classified or access to a sensitive position. one of the obvious sources, potential sources of information, is social media, publicly available, electronic information, and what i refer to
in terms of the research was the idea that we need to look at both what is possible sources of information are out there, which ones are of both benefit to provide aviewed kateively relevant information to classify information, and how do we do that in the best way to protect the personal rights of the individual as well as the tenacity and coverage of the united states government. >> okay, thank you. i got a couple questions. a serious of questions if i could for you, and before i ask the questions, let me make a short statement, but when an investigator fails to discover or disclose crucial information during a background invest gages, it's an obvious failure. what could be more troubling is jo's report that efforts by agencies to measure and improve the quality of investigations have fallen short. the office the personal management is supposed to review the invest gaitive file and make
sure it meets minimum standards. the agency responsible for granting security clearance has a responsibility to review the file, yes when they looked into what federal agencies were doing in 2008 to review the quality of background investigations, 90% of the investigation at dod was using to evaluate an applicant for a security clearance were missing required documentation, three questions. first, how much were they making a security clearance decision without having all required information, and what motive did agencies have for doing this? that's the first question. >> the answer is we do not know because gao performed this analysis of the completeness documentation in 2006 and 2009 so we do not know outside dod the information that you're
asking for, and this is the type of oversight we say is needed. >> all right. second question, what type of information is missing? can you give us an idea? >> employment verification for discussions with the employers. social references, especially the number of social references in order to determine qark, completeness of the application, which should be the very first step as we noted before that should be done before you move forward. >> all right, thank you. >> and the third question, has gao had the opportunity to take another look at issues since 2008, and if not, is there noted improvement? >> we have continued to monitor opm's actions to implement the recommendation we made at that time. as i noted in 2010, we were very encouraged there was agreement among omb, dod, and the dni
regarding metrics for r quality of investigations as well as adjudications and other aspects of the process. there was somewhat of a plan to move forward beyond that. we have continued to monitor, but at this time, all we know is that that plan has fallen apart. >> okay. thank you. the -- my next question is i think for mr. lewis, and according to some news reports, the company that hired alexis -- the experts -- phoned his hotel room in rhode island, i believe, in august saying he was unstable and the company was bringing him home. in other news reports, the human resources directer of the experts talked to the mother of aaron on august the 9th, and she informed the company of her son's past paranoid behavior and stated he probably neededded therapy. i would ask, first of all, if the company had hired -- that
hired alexis became aware of the increasingly troubled behavior, do you think that the contractor should have a duty to report to the behavior to the department of defense, and did they report it? >> senator, in this particular case that you just described, in terms of a national security perspective, it behooves everyone to report any unusual activity they see whether it's a colleague, coworker, or so board nant that works for you. >> and the second half of the question was, did they report it? >> to the best of my mog, sir, it was reported to the mother, as you described there. i'm not positive whether or not they reported it to dod. >> i'm going to ask both of you and mr. lewis to answer that question for the record. i'll give mr. lewis a chance to answer it right now.
>> the contractor is required to report any derogatory information coming to their attention regarding a cleared employee. the defense security service has done a follow-up review at the experts, and they've determined that the company was aware of indications of mental instability. mr. alexis is part, and they failed to report that information. >> okay, thank you. mr. lewis, stay with us in this area of questioning. what do you think should be the role of dod contractors in monitoring the suitability of their employees to hold a clearance? >> this is part and parcel of her responsibilities of a cleared contractor. for a prerequisite to get a company cleared, they have to
execute a security agreement, and participant of that is the national operating manual, and they've been required to do this literally for decades. it's an established process, and contractors must execute that responsibility. >> okay. thank you. i have to think about a question. i've given the question time to think about it. what can we say, what do you say to those who lost a loved one? their husbands, their wives, their moms and dads, brother, a sister, what can we say to them that might give them some comfort to know that out of the horrible tragedy in their lives, really our country's life, what can we say today to make them feel good is going to come out of this? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would first say that we owe the survivors of the tragedy and the american people a
comprehensive and thoughtful review. what information do we look at? when do we review people in the suitability clearance process? how are decisions made? how can we improve upon aspects? the review talked about will be done collaboratively. there's the navy reviews, want department of defense reviews, overarching review which all agencies are involved in. this is not a siloed effort, and we will act on any improvements as quickly as possible whether it gaps, we'll close them, where there's failures, we'll correct them, but this is -- if i was one of the families of the victims, i don't want to hear about processes and procedures. i would have concerns there's a blue ribbon panel-type creation opposed to actual improvements doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again, so i would just say to them that i live near the navy yard. on the morning of september 16th, my wife and 2-year-old son were playing in the park across
the street when they were cleared by police as the tragedy was unfolding in the navy yard. we lost a husband of a senior member of our acquisition community, so i would tell them getting this right is personal to me, and we'll do everything we can to improve the processes, and everything under our power to ensure nothing like this happens again. >> good, thank you. >> i echo what joe said, and our hearts really were broken that day for the families, the folks lost, the federal employees, and the contractors. in addition to what joe said, this is getting attention at the highest levels, the president is one that ordered this review, and i am sure, and i know that he feels strongly in the way that joe articulated that this is an awful loss and have to do whatever we can to prevent it from happening again. >> all right, thank you. >> i also would like to echo the comments of director and
mr. jordan. there's no real words to describe the loss both to the nation as well as the family members that are sitting behind us. i can give you a guaranteed commitment not just from the dni, but each one at the table that we'll continue to work to find the solution. this is an evolutionary process sm as we find gaps in the processes and the way we do our business, the techniques, available information, we'll continue to utilize those to come up with the best possible process to improve how we do our business on behalf of the u.s. government as well as the u.s. citizens. >> thank you, sir. steven? >> in addition to what my fellow witnesses have had to say, i would just add that we need to make a commitment and effectively ensure that what happens between investigations is something that is tracked.
we vet people, we entrust them with our classified information and access to our sensitive facility, and we have an obligation to ensure that we're looking at people between investigations and taking appropriate contributive action as needed. >> thank you. >> i would say it's unfortunate that the tragedies that we saw at the navy yard focuses attention on this process, but we have seen the dedicated leadership from these executive branches, agencies in the past, and when they make their mind up to take on a problem and solve it, they do it. now it's time for action, not just review. >> the -- a lot of folks in the room know that the general accountability office, gao, is regarded as a watchdog, an arm of the legislative branch of our
government to be a watchdog for the exans of the federal government. it's a huge job. a lot of people do it, probably not enough, as i'm told by the controller general. what we need is your continued vigilance to help us do our job, and that's the oversight's role. i think probably the most, the most quoted thing ronald reagan said was, one, he said, tear down this wall as he stood at the berlin wall, and it was torn down, and he used to say when he was trying to negotiate reductions in nuclear arms with the soviet union, he would say, trust would verify. i was on the committee, the staffs as well, trust you and the good will of the folks of whom you work responsible for carrying through on these reforms and to make sure it's not just words, but there are actions to back it up, so we are
trustful that this country is going to be with gao and even you talked about doing verification along the way. as you go off to your next assignment, we wish you well, and we, again, appreciate the preparation time you've given to being with us today even more, even more we appreciate the commitment of those who follow you, and those with whom the rest of you serve to make sure that these words are words and promise is a promise that we keep. that having been said, this hearing is adjourned. thanks so much.
[inaudible conversations] >> the chair lays before the senate a certificate of election to fill the vacancy created by the death of senator frank lawsuitenberg of new jersey. the certificate the chair advised is in the form suggested by the senate. if there's no objection, the reading of the certificate is waived and printed in full in the record. if the senator-elect presents himself at the desk, the chair will administer the oath.
right there, come on up. okay. would you please raise your right hand. put your left hand on the bible. do you swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance of the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which you are about to enter so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. welcome. [cheers and applause]
>> this is a tough time for nsa where they said, what are you doing or why are you doing it? here's what we do. when we get together, we don't -- well, maybe a couple times we whine -- but we actually say it is much more important for this country that we defend the nation and take the beatings than it is to give
up a program that would result in this nation being attackedded. we would rather be here in front of you today telling you why we defended these programs than having begin them up and have our nation or our allies be attacked and people killed. >> this weekend on c-span, intelligence officials defend the nsa's surveillance program on a house intelligence committee hearing. saturday morning at ten eastern. live sunday on c-span2, your calls and comments for kitty kelly, best selling author of unauthorized biographies, nancy reagan, the british royal family, the bush family, and others at noon on booktv's "in-depth," and on c-span3's american history tv, each weekend in november, remembering john f. kennedy, eyewitness accounts of the events surrounding the no vehicle beer 1963 assassination. sundays at 3 p.m. eastern.
>> next, mother jones magazine washington bureau chief talks about the founding and mission. from "washington journal," this is 45 minutes. >> welt mother jones has been around since 1-9d 76 -- 1976, and this morning washington bureau chief joins us from the dc offices. good morning, thank you for coming on. >> guest: good morning, glad to be with you. >> host: talking about the history, the mission of your publication. talk about how mother jones got started and how you came up with the name mother jones. >> guest: well, i was not there when it happened. it was back in the 70s, and it was a bunch of folks, progressive journalists and activists who wanted to put together a magazine, a media entity, that would do some real kick ass reporting not happening within the mainstream media, and
they really wanted the emphasis to be on investigation, not on, you know, ranting and raving and analysis and so on, and they put together the magazine, and it was, you know, started out monthly, and very soon it was breaking news about corporate mall feasance, political corruption, money in politics, our core issues ever since, and, you know, the name was named after a mary jo harris, called herself mother jones, a labor leader and activist calling herself a hail raiser a hundred years ago or so, and they were kind of stuck -- they had the project all plotted out, and the magazinemented to do, and they were stuck on a name, and they were about to do the mass mailings to get scribers, how you did it back in those days, and they were ready to go, and they needed a name, and someone at the table suggested this,
great name, and, yeah, that's what happened. >> what is the mission of mother jones today? >> guest: well, our tag line is "smart journalism," and that's what we aim to do again and again, illuminate, educate, engage on subject matters that we think are very important. they can be money in politics, climate change, the state of politics, the influence of power in america, and, like i said, the early mission was, you know, we don't -- we are reporting driven. as you look behind me, i don't know what you can see out there, but we have ten reporters in the bureau alone. we have reporters in other places as well, and, you know, we don't focus on commentary. we don't focus on a lot of local analysis. we do some of that, but mainly we focus on stories we find important, things that are in
the news and report them out in a way that is unique and different that's what's happening in the rest of the media, or they can be different but important that are not getting the attention that we believe they should be getting. >> host: what do you think the status of investigative journalism is today for magazines? too many magazines that focus on opinion writing? >> guest: well, i think there's a lot less investigative reporting. i use that praise not in a pa -- pejorative way. the news room and budgets are skeesed tremendously over the last ten years, and they just don't -- devote all the research as they should. in the meantime, i see the nonprofit journalism, and mother jones is notary public profit, so if someone gives us money, there's a tax write off, not much, but a little, and us and a
center for reporting out there fill the gap, but i do think that overall, our media landscape is being driven increasingly by the news of the moment, celebrity news, political news, real news, and there's a lot less time and energy, resources available for doing deep dives or looking at things not in the immediate spotlight in front of us as were all on our twit of-like hamster wheel. >> host: viewers have questions or comments, the bureau chief, the lines are open this morning. republicans call 202-a 85-3 # 88 is. democrats 202-585-3880. independents, 202-585-3882. we'll talk to him for about the next 40 minutes or so on the "washington journal," and as we lay out the lines, i want to
talk to you about how you prefer to describe your magazine. is it progressive? is liberal the term? what do you say to folks who call your magazine as listed on here frequently asked questions page left pinko rag? >> they are wrong. i mean, we are a progressive-driven organization. you know, and i, the way i look at it is i tend to see our political values, overarching values as determining more of what we covered in how we look at the world and what subjects, what areas we decide to focus on, and we don't do a lot of commentary as i noted, you know, the political value, bises of people who work here as reporters are not as important because we really are about digging out the facts, and the killer apps these days tell
people things they don't know. there's, you know, with the rise of the internet and the growth of blogging and tweeting and everything else, you know, getting opinions, you know, getting the views is easy these days. everybody, you know, an opinion is like a backside, everyone has one. you know, getting well-developed stories that require reporting and, you know, require time and expertise is very difficult, and, you know, we get most of our traffic on line when we produce a story that people say, oh, my god, that's where it comes in, and those stories, whether you're conservative or liberal, does not matter as much, but, you know, we don't hide the fact that we consider ourselves a progressive organization, and that shapes
the way we see the mission. >> talk about your latest piece this morning on mother jones website. ted cruz's dad calls u.s. a christian nation saying obama should go, quote, back to kenya. tell us about this piece. >> well, this story came about because i spent a couple days looking at videos the raphael cruz, the 75-year-old father of ted cruz, he lives in texas, e van evangelical pastor, from cuba, was a businessman before turning to preaching. i found extreme rhetoric in videos of him speaking at republican and tea party groups. people may say, wait a second, you know, you can't blame the son for the rhetoric sins of the father. that's usually the case. i don't want to be held accountable for what my parents had to say, but there's a big
exception here. ted cruz uses his father extensively as a campaign surrogate, campaigns with him in 2012, the campaign in texas, sent raphael cruz to republican groups, tea party groups, to speak on his behalf, so it is like your campaign manager, running made of somebody made these comments, and so i found remarks, saying things that united states is a christian nation, doesn't use the judeo-christian nation that a lot like to use and said president barack obama, this is a quote, is destroying the concept of god. he says the president is destroying the concept of god. he says that voters should send obama back to kenya, sends like
a birther there. he's given sermons saying women should not be the spiritual leaders of the homes and family. that's the job only for men. women do it only if the men don't do it is, you know, against gay rights, but he calls gay rights a conspiracy to make government your god. i don't quite follow the logic there, but that's what he said. he calls the president repeatedly a marxist, comparing him to fidel castro, and i list a lot of this -- >> host: did you -- >> guest: i show the videos. these come from videos. there's no question that these are the sort of things that pastor, ted cruz's dad says on behalf of his son at republican and tea party events. >> host: did you talk to the office about the statements? did they give you a statement? >> guest: yes. i -- i spent a lot of time with them yesterday in which they said he does not speak for the
senator when, in fact, he does. look at the videos and say i'm here on behalf of my son, asked me to get you out to work for the campaign, and they also say that the -- they had not seen the article in the remark, and it's in the article saying i was mischaracterizing pastor cruz's remarks. i don't know how they saw that before the article, but none of this is mischaracterized. it's him saying he believes the united states is a christian nation and we should send barack obama back to kenya. i don't really know how you miss k characterize that when he says obama believes god should be destroys and a government should be your god. i think as a campaign person said this, a press secretary said this, senator ted cruz should explain whether he believes the things his father is saying and respond to them
rather than just sort of say that i'm mischaracterizing them, but readers and viewers, go to the motherjones.com site and watch this. don't take my word for it. you can watch raphael cruz talk about obama as a kenya markist who wants to destroy god. >> host: talking with david corn, the washington bureau chief of mother jones, spotlights mother jones today on "the washington journal" with a few comments on twitter so far for you. i used to hide my issues of mother jones, and how it has david corn are accepted american journalism. the times have changed, and one -- >> guest: well -- >> host: go ahead. >> guest: i mean, i take that as a compliment, thank you. over the years, mother jones broke a lot of stories. people who are old enough
remember recall the exploding pintos story. the ford moe tosser company knew, knew that the pinto car was prone to explosions from the gas tank in certain collisions and chose not to do anything about it because it was expensive and they wanted to pay off the losses, you know, mother jones has long been in the forefront of independent american journalism, but i'm happy to hear that tweet say that -- that they believe that the magazine has become more establishedded, if i can yows that word. >> host: answer jim's question on twitter. he says, david, i discount anything in the magazine due to the ideology. does that concern you? do you disparage free republic? >> guest: well, free republic is a website where people post things. it's not journalism. i don't see the comparison there, but listen, you know, people are free to draw whatever
conclusions they want. look at the story i did last year on mitt romney's 47% remark, i mean, as i say, you know, i was covering the campaign, and i bring my perspectives on how i cover things, but that story literally spoke for itself, and so if that person doesn't want to take that into account because of, you knowings i'm known to be a progressive, i can't do anything about that, but i read the national review, the daily caller of american spectator, an i, you know, judge swrowrnlism on the basis of the facts they put forward, and sometimes i find them lacking, but sometimes that's a good piece of reporting. robert has done great reporting on the government shutdown so i think, you know, the viewer here is missing out if that's his or her attitude. >> talking calls and comments as we talk to david corn. we'll start with lydia from woodstock, illinois on our line
for independents. lydia, good morning, you're on with david. >> caller: hey, good morning, and thank you, i appreciate being on halloween. it's significant because grover as an 11-year-old had the taxpayer protection pledge, and my theory is that he wants government to be small enough to drawn in the bathtub because the his role model for government and rather than campaigning sits on taxpayer with the pledge blanket waited to be rewarded for his loyalty to the great pumpkin obviously who is grover norquist. explain what role grover has in washington, d.c., and why there is a verb in washington, d.c., and that verb is groverize.
>> host: mr. corn? >> guest: there's a lot of peanuts references in that question, but, you know, i guess at the heart of it is who is grover norquist. why doesn't anyone pay attention to him? grover has been a republican strategist lobbyist as well for doidz here in washington and created the american of tax reform group which has gotten, you know, house republicans particularly, senate republicans, and congressional candidates to pledge not to raise any taxes, and he's put, you know, the fear of grover into them when it comes to considering raising revenues to do something about deficits, and we heard repeatedly from, you know, sen trysts and moderate republicans that the republican party's too in hoc to the antitax pledge getting in the
way of maybe a grand bargain that the president would like to see with entitlements, tax revenues to deal with the long term debt issues, and it really has put a monkey wrench into the works here which is what groverments to do. the caller refers to this that he wants to decrease the size of government so it becomes so small you can drown it in the bathtub. i don't know if he wants to drawn people receiving student loans, who are receiving, you know, medicare or who are beneficiaries of cancer research. people are getting food stamps, kids in head start, are they all in the bathtub to be drowned too? it's a glib phrase, but as we learn recently when they shut down, and as we see repeatedly, you know, there's a lot of people in america who benefit and depends upon government services, and the idea of making it smaller for the sake of
making it smaller, you know, appeals, i think, to folks who may have been in the av and libertarian club in high school, but, you know, that's not the way the world works, and it's, you know, not the way i think most americans see the government. they don't like big government. you know, they don't like the idea of big government, but they want it to be active and provide a pretty healthy and robust social safety net. >> we're talking with the washington bureau chief of mother jones. mother jones, how long has you have a washington bureau and how long have you been the chief? >> guest: they started the bureau around 2007 and october 2007 i was the washington bureau chief, worked at the nation magazine, and i jumped at the chance to work with, at that point, probably about six people here, now we have 15 people in the washington bureau. we have ten reporters, five editors. the editors also do reporting and editing when so moved to, so
it seems to be one of the bigger bureaus in washington these days. >> basedded in san fransisco; is that correct? >> the magazine itself and website are basedded in san fransisco. >> host: hog is the bureau in san fransisco? >> guest: i don't know. all together we -- because there's an office in new york, one or two writers elsewhere, 85 people on the staff all together, and it's bout double the size of what it was five, six years ago. >> we're talking with david corn and if you want to talk or have questions and comments, call us. linda is waiting now on the line for republicans from brandonton, florida. linda, good morning. >> caller: good morning, c-span. this is linda from braditon, florida. first time caller, long time listener. i wanted to ask, you know, he was the first one that came out and started calling bush a liar, george w. bush, and he just kept
saying, keep repeating that, keep repeating that until everybody keeps calling him a liar. i want to know when he'll call this president a liar. we have so many things, benghazi, the nsa, the irs, and now the whole health care bill, it's a joke. >> can you tell me what the president lied about when it comes to benghazi? >> caller: well, the first thing, we don't know what he was doing. >> guest: talking about lying because that's -- you raised the issue of calling someone a liar, so you just said the president was lying about benghazi, so can you -- >> caller: right, david. everybody covers for him. he doesn't have to answer for anything. all he does, out campaigning all the time, and he's supposed to be the president. i want to ask, why is he
president? he doesn't lead. he doesn't do anything. he just agitates people. he's a community agitator, and he has a run that divided this country, and we don't want to be part of the leftist progressive views. >> host: let's give david a chance to respond. >> guest: well, i mean, i don't know how to respond to that. you know, i -- she wanted to talk about lying, but she didn't have an example. you know, if you want to get into this stuff,ic you need to be, you know, have some specifics, but, you know, she said the president doesn't do anything as a president. i suppose you can ask the auto industry if that's true, if they don't believe he was leading on the bailout, and you can ask, you know, the folks who put together the mission that killed bin laden. there are things the president, and any president can be criticized for, but it seems to me what we see her is a tremendous, tremendous hatred on the right for barack obama so
that people like linda, who i'm sure speaks in good faith, can't give us specifics. she just comes up with wide ranging critiques. the president is not doing anything, not a leader, just out there campaigning. look at the schedule every day. it's on the interpret, if you care to, and you can see the meetings he's doing, and what he's working on, and who he is talking to and putting together budgets, whatever, you know, it's just -- you may not like the president or positions or what he's done, but it seems to me to be, you know, not a productive argument to make the case that he just doesn't do anything. >> host: let me ask you the "wash post" this morning, the fact checker column talked about the president's statements in the past that if you like your health care plan, you'd be able to keep it, and that comment itself getting four pinnochios this morning. talk about this issue the
president has right now with some of the previous statements and what's happening right now with the health care plans. >> guest: well, i think, you know, when you make bold statements like that, it's easy to say, hey, you were wrong, and what's happening with the insurance cancellation plans, coverage of mother jones and another story pending to be out later today, is not, believe it or not, as simple as critics like to make, make it to be. you know, a lot of the plans, you know, if they were grandfathered in, you know, which they could be, they would not be canceled, but insurance companies have the right to change plans and to cancel, and maybe to offer you something better, more money, less money, maybe more money, but a taxpayer subsidy, and, you know, i think the president probably went too far in talking that way, but the big issue here is that because
of the opposition inspect country, you think the player, medicare for all was even stronger politically, the president went ahead with a plan which private insurance companies are the major providers of health insurance in the country. they are regulated, i think, in a positive way and have to devote premiums to health care, but regulated, and they have the right in a lot of ways to jack up prices, cancel policies, and in some ways, the president married himself to the private health insurance industry. i think that's kind of unfortunate and continues to cause problems for him, but it is not hhs and others canceling the policies. it's the health insurance companies and they are trying to blame obamacare for it. >> host: tom from illinois on the line for democrats.
tom, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> guest: hey, tom. >> caller: can i go back a little bit to when clinton was in office, how much money did we have? a surplus? >> guest: yeah, well, we certainly had a surplus. >> 5.6 trillion; right? >> guest: you know, that's the type of thing i look up before getting into numbers, but if you have it in front of you, go ahead. >> caller: well, i don't have to have it in front of me. i've been on date since 1998, so i've watched the republicans. i would never vote for a republican. i vote straight democrat. how much money do we waste in iraq for no reason? >> guest: it's clear republicans. to talk about deficits and debt and all that, you know, the wars in iraq and afghanistan are the
biggest contributors because george bush raised taxes to cover the cost of those wars. you know, as any good fiscal conservative might do, no, he basically said to america, we can put these on our credit card, and we can let other people pay for it, and if this crowds out, you know, spending oned food stamps, environmental protection, food safety, cancer research, oh, that's for somebody else to worry about down the road. let's cut money from social security beneficiaries to pay for, you know, to pay for the wars and the interest we racked up putting the wars on the credit card m i think that's really, you know, go to the center for budget and policy parties, lots of good charts that show that the wars in iraq and afghanistan are the big drivers. >> host: david from mareville, indiana on the line for independents. david, you're on with david corn. >> caller: yeah, i actually
just had a few comments here. it goes back to the tea party, though, but we can't -- i think we need to remember who made the tea party, and it was from the republicans who actually, you know, wanted to block obama and, like, block this, block that, and i think the far right agenda created a far right party, and when they lost control of it, they had to point fingers at everybody else. now, we have the same special interest friends, supplying the fuel for the tea party also, but like the tea party is about cutting, and i think they are cutting blindly. you know, when you mess with the budgettings you lose more scrobs, you're losing, you know, more tax revenue, and i think, you know, they are so obsess about, like, you know, our debt, and, you know, it's not always about debt. you know, debt is sometimes
good, and we've been spending a lot in the last few years, out of the recession, kind of going back to normal, but i want to make a point here. back in 2000, there was the debt at 224 million -- billion dollars. >> guest: billion, uh-huh. >> caller: our u.s. national debt was 5.6 billion, and now today, we are at -- sorry, 5.6 trillion, and today we're at 17 trillion, and our interest on debt has only increased about 25 billion, so there is not that much of an increase, and -- >> david corn, jump in here. >> guest: well, he's making a go ahead point. i mean, right now, you know, the tea party types are screams about debt, debt, debt, you know, national deficits.
now, i understand why in general it's not good to have too much debt or run deficits; although, every household in america does, if you have a mortgage, you know, you are running deficits in some ways. you bought something to pay off gradually over time, or if you have student loans, car loans, or if, you know, put anything, you know, on a credit card from month to month. right now, interest rates are tremendously low, our economy's sluggish. it's a good time to be borrowing money as long as you borrow it for the right things. if you borrow money to buy beer, that's not helping you in the long run. it may be fun, but if you borrow money to, you know, send a kid to school, to go to educate yourself in a way, to house your family, those are good, solid investments so if you use money now, which we've borrow at a cheap rate, and hopefully there's not another shut down or default to raise rates, which is, you know, tremendously
negative impact on what ted cruz and others brought about, but if you borrow money now to rebuild the infrastructure of the country, to invest in education, invest in some, you know, basic science whether it's biomedical science or other forms of science to create jobs down the road, those are all good reasons to borrow, and so this today port impolice tick and an tag niche is fool hardy. you can't say i'm for jobs, jobs, jobs in the american economy to work. at the same time, you strangle it of funding. you know, the whole government shut down by some estimates cost 24 billion dollars in economic activity. people lost jobs, lost paychecks, with respect hired, and we're still reeling from that. >> host: on the subject of the shut down, how do you any the 2014 election will shake out?
thanks to the shut down. >> guest: well, communist dog, thank you for writing in. i think right now that there is absolutely no telling. as anybody who watches c-span knows, the news cycles get quicker, and quicker, shorter and shorter, and we'll have another government budget and debt ceiling fight in january and february, may happen again coming summer, next fall, before the election, and so i think by and large this government shut down drove everybody's numbers down, but particularly republicans, and they were lucky there was no election coming immediately after that because if they had, there was a slight chance they'd lose the house so i think it pushes them down to low levels of approval in popularity, but there's plenty of time and plenty of events we can't foresee that will happen between now and november 20 # 14
to make any prediction completely useless and irrelevant. >> let's look ahead to 20 # 16 then. >> guest: even better. >> host: you brought up the 47% story, a story that wop a george hulk award. how do you think that story is going to be remembered as candidates run in future elections? >> guest: well, i assume that everyone will be more careful on what they say. looking back in the 47% video story, once the dust settled i was thinking about it, and it struck me, wow, you know, why hasn't this happened before because we had years of people running around, everybody has a video recorder, not everybody, but most have video recorders of some sort in their pockets with their smart phones, and yet nobody had really been caught in such a manner as mitt romney, up to that point, so i assume it's going to make, you know, candidates, when they get behind closedded doors, a little more
worried about telling people what they really think. i don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but hopefully, you know, the more candidates actually speak consistently behind closed doors and in front of closed doors, the better we'll be, but i tend to think that by and large, you knowings there will always be slip ups. how many times did we have a candidate say something they didn't realize the microphone was on, a whoops moment m i think it's human nature to sometimes forget that, especially these days, that everything you say could, you know, within moments, reach millions, if not billions of people, so you got -- >> host: do you hear from the bartender who supplied the video for that story? >> guest: yeah, yeah, yeah, you know, and scott -- he outed himself last april as the source of this, and he got a -- he went
on to get a pretty damn good job with the united field workers working on international labor rights and labor conditions, traveled around the world now on a couple trips to help invest gait labor conditions and in third world, developing, emerging economies. he's happy. often whistle blowers get the short end of the stick, but he managed to parlay this into a job that he, last time i spoke to him, was absolutely over the moon about. >> host: talking with david corn, the washington bureau chief the washington jones putting a spotlight op mother jones today on the wars journal following the similar show we did this month at the national review. here to talk now with david corn is vita on the line for republicans from hayward, california. good morning. >> caller: good morning, david, welcome to the show.
i'd like -- >> guest: good morning. >> caller: how do you feel about the corporate media and how they are dictating what is being said on the massive media outlets from cable tv, from "meet the press," from charlie rose, cbs, washington journal because nobody's holing them accountable for the information they put out and to the public atmosphere because this, of course, is not coming from the politicians, but it's coming from the media and what the misinformation and the stories that they tell. >> guest: yeah, right. >> caller: and not asking the questions they have to be asking, the people they have on the show. >> host: okay. >> guest: thanks for the question. i know exactly where you are coming from. i tend to have less a
discouraged or discouraging perspective on mainstream media. in part, i know a lot of people work for the big outlets who are great reporters. i did a book called "hubris" about the selling of iraq war with michael, who, at the time, worked at news week and now is the chief investigative reporter for nbc news. obviously, a tremendous fan of his work, and i know reporters throughout cable networks, "new york times," "washington post," who really produce good stories on things i know you care about, vita. i think overall, you know, there are limitations to the main stream media. ..
>> alert people at other sites like media matters who because of the web can get up there very quickly to see that the media blows it hear it is not right there and sometimes even able to force changes or corrections to also be part of the debate you see them on c-span talking about a story of "the new york times" and a way to shape a conversation that is ongoing. i think there is immediate reaction to use social media groups fact check .org. it is easier now than it has ever been for people out
there consumers or voters to find good information. the how -- the down side is they fled with information with data in templates so you have to be a good media consumer in those of us have to be smart to find ways to penetrate and cut through the clutter to reach the audience. >> what is your subscription numbers and online readership? >> the magazine i have not checked recently maybe 200,000 with a circulation. the web site "mother jones" started as a magazine but
75 percent of the copy here at the bureau goes right to the web site it is 24/7 news media operation. so we are blended with the bi monthly magazine also now by the nanosecond new site and. we will get several billion unique visitors per month our traffic has gone up steadily over the course of the last year was recent attention with things of washington so we feel we have a major working with the mainstream media with the impact we have and the stories that we cover. >> 501c(3) you still
except advertising? >> yes we do. our revenue comes from revenue in the magazine come on line, and donations. lot of donations come from subscribers. small donors to give on top of their subscription fee then we have people who give more, a fund-raiser where we auctioned off packages and raised a couple hundred thousand dollars. we have a diversified stream of revenue that is really important these days it is a good model. >> what does your advertising sage? readjust showing history of ads there is the 2014 law calendar for the cat lovers against the bob.
[laughter] >> bad dirt -- magazine advertising is different than of wind. sometimes of libel see something pop up for the conservative group like the ann coulter book. if they look for a media consumers go to sites on the left right where in the middle be magazine it is more targeted to people looking for a progressive audience sometimes people come, with unconventional products so as in the nation are probably the best bets. >> host: one more call in with the bureau chief of "mother jones" from minnesota come on the democrat line. >> caller: good morning.
i is a very, very upset as an american with the shutdown. the threat than the actual shot down. i do not seek -- see the tea party as negotiating but extortion. and the last time the american people paid the price tag. do we have some legal system that checks into this extortion? >> guest: anytime you can get jon peters much shot on charges of extortion but the tea party is a minority of the republican party be at
the tail that wags the dog and they don't believe in compromise. i go back to the story of this morning -- this morning of ted cruz father the speech he gave on behalf of his son ian he says we have had even a compromise. we don't want to compromise. in this seems that is monastery -- and not a fair reading they have a system hard to pass legislation checks and balances to force people to come together to work things out. they did not envision people misusing the rules to say no. with the default were the debt crisis by having a government shutdown.
this is a new tactic brought about by the minority and only now do we see glimmers that some republicans some senators say as much as we'd like barack obama we don't buy into the hostage taking political form of terrorism. coming in the years ahead as we discussed earlier this fight will get worse the republican party will have to decide for themselves if they are reasonable to compromise or hearing ideas or let the two-party hostage takers grabby economy into the ground and then pull the
rest of us over the cliff? >> host: washington bureau chief of "mother jones" his comments are of today on cruz's father. thank you for joining us. >> guest: i appreciate it. and allegedly not doing what they're supposed to do. there's also another i.g. investigation going on along with that. do what is the answer? >> one has to be doing the job that we do better. the oth number two. the other has to be to useable. .ata available where is the form? twenty dollars you can get90% oe
90 percent of the information on the internet. we pay $2,400. is that right?that's that is about what we pay.s a $4,0. a little more than that. f 4,000.or and for $20 you can find out 90 percent of this stuff on n right now. theuestio the question is maybe we need to step back to say first of all, we have way too much stuff classified topeop nue people need clearance and number two, how we do that is not utilizing data that is readily available. we have had a response frome gog director clapper they willng start court meeting with the irs. most people would say that is a no-brainer you would want to check it is in the paid form have you paid your
taxes but it looks like m nobody ever cross reference that with the irs.e nobody checked to see if thes ae data was accurate. so i guess my question is said by final point is this. expectat creating the exhortationtative e your clearance is tentative on the baousis of you passing t some type of renewal and and that not knowing when that will be, the cia used to have random polygraph tests.andom they don't even have that. i can pass any polygraph test i was to drugs id me and you will never know it.vironmenm we will be tobe create an empire to lessen the number of people that need clearance reid do better tohen e clear them that created expectation you will be randomly checked to see if you still deserve to have the clearance.eserve the
that is the system and theearan. details of not saying it'sult. but not difficult but how we ingng and how much it cost to hold contractors available to do the job we pay them to do is not happening. i would just like a response how to resolve this? you have laid out where we areyo bad how to resolve it?o y? we have all these areas.reas. this form three pages of instructions relive, five pages of names, 17 pages of employment, 29 pages on relationship. p 20 of pages for inactivity. two pages to rational health seven pages police report eight pages of finance fiverds. by page's association. ree three signature pages. i know you are reforming the form. but the point is what we want to do was go for gold. fir
so not allst of this first of all, from equality the insurance check and number two is can we create a process that gets to the on a u gold and not rely on the form that is already outment there that the government already owns? coe you amazed 8400 people this have a tax debt that makeskes them in full verbal to top-secret data and they have a clearance today? does that bother anybodybody he? here today? that puts us a risk. so whoever wants to answer my bride commentary or educate me in a different direction of a book to have it.
>> john foster dull >> john foster dulles died when the airport and virginia was being built. of president eisenhower immediately announced it would be named dulles airport. when kennedy took over he did not want to name it after him but there was pushed back and finally the decision was made -- was made. you can still see the film
clip of kennedy opening the airport with eisenhower and dulles and he pulls back a curtain and there is a giant bust of john foster dulles that austrians in the middle of this big airport. so i went to see it and i could not find a. where is the big bust? nobody had even heard of that. it was a long process thanks to the authority i could discover that the blast had been taken away from its place now an a closed conference room opposite baggage claim number three. this is a wonderful metaphor for how the dulles brothers out one time exercised earth shattering power to make him break government has spent airbrushed out of might entire history.
welfare reform your issue why is tspite the economic uptick welfare reform is leading the poorest welfarans and deeper poverty. why is that?e from a in 1996 when the welfaream likd program was basically a reformed it was changed from ifr the entitlement programs like food stamps in the old days if there was a recession or economicnt up with. problems the number of people who were able to get welfare benefits went up with the need.are. so that's there's a fixedrs, yo amount available. so now during the recession if you look at the numbers lasat the budget has not changed since 1996 spending $16 billion for the last 20
years of with inflation the value of the budget has fallen almost 30 percent at the same time that the need has grown during a recessionst - >> host: one of your most of the pieces of welfare and welfare return was a brave new welfare about your trip in georgia. >> a couple of years ago ing thb spent some time in georgia theob because i had gotten in the war during the bush and frustration for drawing theat wp most amount of people during the welfare years so i went to look at what was happening because they claimwer these people we're going to f ts work and actually none of preve them are going to work they thoo were finding reasons toor. prevent women with children to get benefits although most were incredibly poor.were e they would w fix the numbers a little bit so one person would get a job but there's
so few people in the program find a sgle persa big job. in georgia i was canvassing public housing projects.e subs soid occasionally people would get a child-care subsidy butat that was about it.e as part of said poverty rate is pushing 40%.hrough ts progra they were really struggling in just not able to get anything through this program. our phone l >> host: domestic policy reporter for "mother jones." piece -- thatstory ends by noting
maybe it's time for welfare to be reformed in a way that gives poor kids a fair shot at a decent future. what are some of the ways that can happen? know it is sort of controversial to say this but there are quite a few people since welfare was reformed, about 1.3 million poor families including children that the mother is not working and they are also not getting cash benefits. how to those people actually get by day by day? the food stamp program has expanded because of the recession and more people are getting food stamps but you cannot buy diapers with food stamps. --have this kind of rowing we have this kind of growing disconnect the population. because we know that child poverty has very lasting impact and affect the way kids perform in school and their is science showing children's brains can be
affected for a lifetime from the stress of poverty -- at some point, we will have to figure out how to help these families. that their to say mothers should be working but what we know about these families is that many of the women are disabled and not getting any disability payments. they are people who are really at the bottom of the income level. for their children to have a shot in life, we will have to give them some cash. younot sure exactly how would craft a program like that but the old welfare system kind of works that way. it was not a lot of money but it was enough to raise eagle above 50% of the poverty level. -- to raise people above 50% of the poverty level. in many states, they don't even list a poor family above 10% of the federal already level which is like $5,000 per year for a family of three. this issue of welfare was
something that senator mike lee, republican from utah, brought up in a speech earlier this week. this was at the heritage foundation and as part of that notes that we need a new comprehensive antipoverty upward mobility agenda designed not simply to help people in poverty but to help and empower them to get out. he says that utah is home to an enormously successful private welfare system led by churches, businesses, immunity groups and volunteers. do you think that sort of system can be transplanted to a national level? guest: well, that's interesting. i am actually from utah. lds recognize that the church has a tremendous and well organized welfare system. i am not sure that you tuck can
be a model for the rest of the country. the church there is big and has a lot of money and is really well organized and works pretty well with the state government to do those things. one of the reasons we have the federal welfare program is that we cannot -- the churches could not do it all. they try and there are lots of good people doing this but it was not enough. you talk to people in churches and they say they are plugging a hole and the private system is not organized well enough and they cannot bring the kind of resources to bear that the federal government can. host: a few colors are waiting --we are featuring several reporters from "mother jones." dan is from california on our line from republicans. caller: good morning. wondering about the
comparison between depression and our welfare system now. do you think the welfare system compare to the depression as far as what people are getting, how much? guest: comparing it to the depression? i'm not a complete expert on the history of the program but i don't believe the welfare system existed during the depression. there is probably more to it now than there was them but not much. ie average benefit check, think, if you can get cash out of the welfare system, a family of three in the states can -- can't get more than about $300 per month. host: how have those numbers changed since the 1996 reform? guest: not at all. the checks, if anything, have gotten smaller. host: we will go to becca from
sweetwater, oklahoma. caller: good morning. i am caught actually calling from texas. i'm in a state where our governor has chosen to not accept the extended medicaid money offered by the government just to do anything opposite of what obama thinks. there are so many people that need this. i am a recipient and i love longer will be getting medicaid. wondering how it's possible that a state can choose not to take money when they have so many needy residents, guest: that's a really good question and such an important one. states like texas are really going to have an interesting couple of years of they decide -- if they continue not to take the medicaid expansion. the main reason texas can do this is the supreme court.
the chalice of the affordable care act in the supreme court led to a decision -- the challenge of the affordable care act in the supreme court led to that the affordable care act was constitution but the one thing that was killed was that some states have decided to opt out and some of them are the states with the largest number of uninsured people in the country like texas. the big problem is that the crafters of the affordable care act never envisioned a state would turn down that much money. texas is eligible for williams of dollars in medicaid funding -- for the audience of dollars in medicaid funding for the residents and they are turning it down which does not make any sense on any level. and because oft that, there will be a large group of people in those states not only cannot get medicaid but they will not be able to yet private insurance with subsidies through the exchanges because their income level is actually too low and the way the system was set up was that people under
138% of the poverty line would be able to get medicaid. toyou make too much money get the old medicaid and not enough to get a subsidy, you will be uninsured. the states are really going to have to wrestle with that. i think residents like you -- i don't know -- i think it will be up to the voters if they want to keep the people in office made that decision. guest: a few comments on twitter -- guest: i think we have to recognize that there are people who, for whatever reason, are not able to work. if you look at the people who are in this kind of disconnected group -- they are not working
and they are not receiving cash benefits through welfare -- they are in pretty bad shape. i have met some of these people and many of them suffer from mental illness and some of them are taking care of other relatives who are sick. they cannot really abandon their grandmothers and go to work full-time and care for their own children. there are many reasons why people -- this whole issue of self-reliance -- it's nice in theory but in practice, you are still looking at millions of kids who are living in extreme poverty. it's not their fault. at some point, the country has to decide if we wanted to those kids a shot at a better future or will we expect five-year- year-olds to become self-reliant somehow and pull themselves out of poverty? how well run the welfare programs we have been talking about? here is a fox news story that says --
guest: food stamps is a pretty big program. i will have to take the government's word that there is a small amount of fraud but if it comes at the expense of people who are honestly getting benefits from the program, i'm not sure that's an enormous trade all. the groups they are talking cutt making a $40 billion to the food stamp program and the budget negotiations -- $220 million out of 40 billion is not that much money. host: tim is up next for george on our line for independents. yes, a question i had
was basically, as an independent, i listen to a lot about republicans speak reform but i would like for you to really explain to these people that when you do that, you are hurting the kids more just like with food stamp reform. many parents need that to feed their kids because of the unemployment and because of the problems you mentioned. i think it needs to be explained that this is something used to help. the republicans have branded it as people who are lazy, no good and worthless to society. i would like for you to get on here. , to no avail, to explain it to them. maybe you could do better or it i appreciate the effort. guest: thanks very much for those comments.
yes, when republicans talk about wanting to reform safety net programs, they always seem to present it as if they are doing poor people a big favor. they make it look like it's a great favor to cut the food stamp program from a family somehow just getting by. more, theyyou suffer will rally and get themselves out of the situation is what they make it sound like and it does not make any sense. they said the same thing about welfare reform in 1996. they said we will take these people and not going to give them any support and they will be forced to use self-reliance to pull themselves out of harvard take. we will be doing them a big favor. a bunch of people quit the clinton administration in protest over that. they recognize that, over time, this will cause extreme suffering for people on the lowest levels of the income ladder. it did not happen right away but we are seeing it now. we have the vague growth and
these people are really suffering -- we have is that growth and these people are really suffering with kids. if you look at the numbers, in or 1997, about 50% of really poor kids were getting some sort of assistance through the welfare program. that number is down to 23%. we have vast stretches of the country where there is really deep rtm people are or not addig any money and it did not help them. it did not do them any big favor. these kids are still really poor and they are struggling and their families can barely keep the lights on. that did not work. the idea that we would apply that model to the food stamp per gram just models the mind. mencimer is the domestic policy reporter for "mother jones." what else have you worked on recently? guest: let's see -- most recently, i was writing a little
about the judicial nomination fight coming up in the next couple of weeks. get some ofing to his nominations to the dc circuit, the appellate court in dc. there are bunch of vacancies on the court right now and he has been trying for several years to fill them and the republicans really don't want him to fill those seats. they are trying some new tactics to make sure that obama in his last couple of years will get almost no judgments -- almost no judges put on the dc circuit onch has a big impact regulatory cases and when people challenge federal regulations, they wind up in the dc circuit so that court is heavily republican right now. there are eight judges on the court and four of them are republican appointees and for our democrat. they also have five or six senior judges who hear cases on
that circuit most of them are republicans as well. guest: you are one of the original dc bureau reporters for " back to 2007. how has the bureau changed since 2007? guest: it's so much bigger, it's amazing grade when i started here, there were four of us reporters and a couple of editors and now we have so many that we are overloading our internet everyday. we cannot even keep up with the traffic we are producing. it is really great. job, i wast got the supposed to come in as an investigative fellow and i assumed i would work at home and do some investigative projects. a couple of months later, they said we've got this office and we will have daily stories on the website and we will do all kinds of stuff. it was a little bit of a work in progress back then. six years later, here we are with all these great people. we have our 47% video success
last year and people are talking as an"mother jones" innovative and interesting place in a way that we just weren't six years ago so it is exciting. several folks are waiting to chat with you. frank is waiting on our republican line from florida. good morning. caller: good morning, how are you? hi, stephanie. should workpeople for the welfare. i think the government should set up a program where they can go out and do something to get their food stamps or money or whatever. they had this back in the 1920s. unless you think it is a disgrace to work for food stamps. i think there is a lot of misconceptions about food stamps.
but most the numbers of the people getting food stamps are working. -- i'm not sure of the numbers but most of the people getting food stamps are working. if you have a minimum wage job and a family of three, you are below the federal poverty line. many of these people are already working. in places where they are not, don't wantcause they to. it's because there are no jobs there. it would be great if people -- most people on food stamps would rather not be. what you are referring to about the jobs program is that there was a time in this country when we had -- there were federal jobs and there was talk about this when we had the debate over the stimulus package in 2009 after the financial crisis. i think it was during the roosevelt era, we had the civilian conservation corps. the government would hire people to go out and do stuff like build cabins in federal parks
and they found jobs to employ people because the unemployment rate was so high at that time. we just don't do that anymore. no one wants to pay for it so it would cost money to make people work for their food stamps. i don't see anyone really considering that right now. host: from twitter -- virginia is waiting from huntsville, alabama, on our line for democrats, good morning. caller: good morning, stephanie, hi -- i wanted to talk with david. i do get the "mother jones" magazine and i want to thank c- span for having you on c-span this morning. i hope they will do this more often like maybe once per month. about the welfare -- i have questions to ask you. i also have some comments. i thank the lord that i have
orer had to receive welfare anybody that i know in my family. i was gainfully employed with the federal government for over 40 years. i have often heard them talk about welfare but i have never have known anyone to receive it. i want to ask you this -- what can we as american citizens do about the federal government not helping people that are disabled and that need the not so muchram, because they are lazy, but because they are just unable to support themselves. thatanie, i honestly feel many things happening to our country is happening because of what the bible says about a nation mistreating their poor. they are trying to destroy the middle class. guest: you are touching on a lot
of hot topics right now. i think you make some really good points there. what can you do about it is a good question. voting is probably your best tactic. it's interesting what you mentioned about the bible because many people in congress and in the political scene who have said -- i think it was rick santorum who was running for president last year -- who actually said it is good for people to suffer. -- he did not think we should help people who are poor. because the bible says suffering is good for them and builds character and i think that is kind of a theme you see running through republican politics -- people who talk about the bible and being good christians but they seem to have forgotten the part that you mentioned that requires being good to the poor. i think a lot of this debate has come up with a new pope who is trying to remind people that the lotstian church does a
about caring about people in poverty and we just don't have that right now. host: caller: hi, how are you doing this morning? host: good, go ahead. caller: i just waited to mention -- i'm almost 40 years old. it seems like the d for the forcratic party stands dependents. you have all of these people calling wanting medicaid, stamps, wanting disability, wanting all of these benefits run the government. do not get me wrong. you need to take care of people who are poor. but i just feel like so many people take advantage of the somebodyat giving
money to do things is incentivizing them to do nothing. well, you know, i think that is a lot of the debate over welfare reform in 1996, that a lot of people felt like that, that we should not incentivize people to stay home and not work areas that i think there are a lot of misconceptions about that. as it turned out with welfare reform, a lot of people getting will fair back in the 1990's were working. know, the welfare benefits in the 1990's, you could get maybe $400 a month for a family of three. no one can live on that. it was a fiction that $400 a month could keep you home. that money is even less today. i do not know anyone who had the opportunity to take a job versus get food stamps and would take the food stamps. it is just not enough money.
obviously you can make more working and have a better life. it's a pretty easy ovulation. i'm sure there are people out there who may be working the system. a pretty easy calculation. i think they are in the minority. the bigger problem is economics. there are not enough jobs. if there were more jobs, they would take them and they would be happy to get a food stamps and welfare. mencimer, thee leading
separated. >> agriculture was the devil's bargain. we began by domesticating wheat that is how we talk about it but the fact is we to domesticated us and we gave up the freedom to wander and hunt and gather as we have done 50,000 years that maybe better or worse with agriculture in some ways to argue that as a value judgment but evolution made as to be that way and we surrendered the conditions. >> people argue about agriculture that there were too many people said it was popular that one day one person said he would invent a agriculture. that is one story. another that just from living together the
disturbance of the soil and contacting this whale walking around villages all-out and the weeds to grow then be applied eked that which was crass but once that happened people started to raise grain we became highly dependent on that and city living than we were domesticated like the livestock in some ways. span3. continues. journal host: sealock just down pennsylvania avenue between the white house in the e capil is the offices of
the washington bureau of of "mor "mother jones" we will take you back to talk about "mother jones" dark money reporter, it think you for coming. that te? what is dark money for those who have not heard the term? >> a term we have used to m describe hall of thetate, local, cigarette money that flows through the election at the state local and of is mone course, the national level. it is money -- money that mr. nonprofit groups like carl rose group group orwe hseen priorities usa aligned with president obama in b.c. andy wht dark many that we don't know who the donorsanye are, or in many cases how it is spent so we have made it a priority to shut -- to shine a light on this money
back yet we know so littleso lit how it is shaping. >> homage to that is what the public database given to esu by sources? hon >> all of the above.ed formsnd if you really want to know crash course in work.per pac's there's a lot of mining of those information sources. there is a lot of information out there. a lot of corporations tell us how they spend the money. they hide it on their website. you do not really know how to look or to find it. there is a lot of that out there. as you mentioned, publishing a lot of work, getting your name that peopleoping
who care about this issue -- and they are out there -- will send you information you cannot otherwise get, that you cannot find in a database for a nonprofit group or a corporation's website. there is also a lot of building up a network of folks here in washington and elsewhere, sources, who are familiar with this stuff and may not want their name attached to it, but can give you the lay of the land or tips or insights as to how this money moving machine works -citizens united world. host: do reporters care about the follow the money issues? what do you think the state of journalism is on that particular coverage front? guest: yeah, there are two levels from what i can see. there are a lot of great reporters here in washington covering this.
the folks of politico, the folks at national journal, the center for public integrity. you have a lot of good friends, on thisors as well, beat. where you do not see a lot of coverage, and frankly where some of this money and have a lot of impact, is on the state level. this is in the state legislatures around the country. i just came back from a reporting trip to lansing, the capital of michigan, my home state. somes fascinating to test things and think, how did the state not dig this up two months ago when it happened? those publications are decimated in many states. if you want to talk to andy kroll a about some of his work for "mother jones," our phone lines are open.
democrats can call (202) 585- 3880. republicans --(202) 585-3881. (202) 585-3882. you can begin calling now or post your comment on facebook or twitter or e-mail. andy kroll, your book is called "the triumph of the drill." tell us about this story. guest: the story came out of the idea or the conundrum that you have the oil companies who are some of the largest profits in the history of the world, and at the same time receiving these really generous tax breaks and subsidies totaling many billions of dollars from the federal government. it does not make sense. why do they need that when they have all the money in the world? more money than they can count. more money than they know what to do with. that was the piece of looking at it and say, what are the ways
they preserve what they have? how do they preserve these breaks? what are they worth? what is the history? the piece is a visual spread from the actual basic numbers about these tax breaks, and then we get to conspiracy theories about how oil subsidies might have had a role in the assassination of john f. kennedy, it goes all over the place. but how does the oil industry keep these seemingly unjustifiable tax breaks alive? the numbers from that story, from the charts. the annual estimated tax breaks for the big five oil companies -- chevron, seven hundred million dollars. exxon mobil $600 million. conoco phillips $600 million. bp 300 million dollars. shell, 200 million dollars. plenty of other charts throughout your story there. we want to bring in vanessa from washington, d.c., calling on our line for republicans.
vanessa, we are talking with andy kroll from ""mother jones." think for joining us. vanessa, are you there? lost vanessa. we will go to mark from ocala, florida. good morning. caller: good morning, guys. i like the host and andy, i love your level of enthusiasm for digging out the truth. for bobby kennedy after john was shot. i grew up in a household that listen to martin luther king's speeches live. at age 18 i voted for president carter as a young marine. i could not wait to get on active duty. i was stationed at okinawa. i do have a question for andy. i just wanted to give some background. as a young marine, i could not on tv, and i ended
up in central america in 1978 in honduras. then i went to argentina. i learned so much about the world and our economy. what andy talks about ties all of this together. by johnly another book perkins is a great book. host: what is your question for andy? to complement them -- their open sources with "mother jones" are so excellent. still on duty listening to things. hequestion for andy is, what might know concerning dark money and the connection to the reagan administration, bain capital, and the el salvador plantation owners. mitt romney was warned perhaps not to do this, and that is how
the creation of bain capital started, so they could prevent people from making a living wage union workers like myself and college students in latin america. kroll, something you have looked into at all? guest: i cannot say that i have looked into that subject. i guess i pulled a piece out of what mark had to say there. he mentioned mitt romney, bain capital. this is really an election where we saw this issue of dark money and just aer pac's, flood of outside money into our elections. it was a fascinating period to be a reporter. for the first time really since watergate when we got the scandal that led to the laws we have today in large part, we saw the money pouring in in a completely unprecedented way. it is only going to get bigger or worse if you do not think
that is the way it should be in 2014 and especially 2016. host: let's go to matt on our line for independents in plano, texas. caller: think you for telling -- taking my call. good morning, andy. --anted to ask i do not think it past congress? is that correct? we ended up with a neutered version of it that did not cover congressional staff. that surprised me. i remember hearing stories about staff involved with the scandal in a bank. that is the biggest problem. you look at all the money coming into elections and the so-called
notpendent tax that are independent. it worries me that congress is using these committees to, you know, enrich themselves. can weed out some of this dark money going into congress. so, we start getting them in are just going to see more. it's just going to continue. host: andy kroll, we want to point out a highlighted piece from june 2012, before the 2012 elections. the dark money piece. in that you note that the basic istern of political finance scandal and reform. what part of that pattern are we in now? we arei think absolutely
in the pattern where the laws and the safeguards that were built up in the wake of the watergate scandals are eroding in the following way. funded,e a very well- very smart conservative movement that has chipped away at these laws. there is a lawyer i read about hashe piece, a fellow who liked that charge. the money is coming in from the outside, from supposedly independent super pac's, as the caller mentioned. now the supreme court is poised to open up more money for the parties in a more conservative way on this collection versus federal election committees. we are more in the scandal part of the equation. on the reform side, they are not tailing many wins right now,
where is the folks who want more money coming in right now, absolutely, they have momentum. host: can we expect balanced news coverage from your organization, specifically on the issue of dark money question mark do you investigate folks on the left as well as the right? guest: absolutely. that is one reason i like this job. we go after both sides of the aisle. we recently wrote a piece, looking at some of the most the country,ems in and they are planning what they call a $40 million surged to push back against the conservative side of this, against mitch mcconnell in the senate, who has been a big leader in the campaign-finance effort. i can tell you from my e-mail that people i wrote about were far from pleased. but they were
people on the progressive side. some of them i have been on c- span to talk about before. this is absolutely a bipartisan issue and we cover it exactly that way. aj is from memphis, tennessee on our line for democrats. you are on with andy kroll. caller: hello. host: go ahead. caller: this is aj. i would like to comment on how the country is selling itself out to these -- to these big companies. comment on how is selling out to these big superpowered companies and they are buying the country with their money. i truly do believe chief justice roberts set this all up by putting out a bill that they could do that.
i think this is nothing but greed. greed in the country to buy people, by the country up, and then they run the country like they want to. kroll, i think aj was referring back to the citizens united case. if you could talk a little bit about the continued impact of that case. guest: absolutely. at in partnited was c's, that unleashed this torrent of arc money into our elections. citizens united is an interesting case to study. chief justice roberts, his highlight on the court. a lot of court experts wrote of him being on a sort of progression of slowly dismantling the campaign-finance laws, the foundation of those laws we got inhe