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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  December 15, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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coordinating this, and we are trying to work out an agreement whereby our staff can interview people working in the joint terrorism task force to see if we can piece the facts together. that is all a classified investigation, so hopefully we will have an agreement to proceed. >> you talk about policies that relate to the foreign powers or white supremacist groups. can you relate that to walter reed in particular, since a lot of the public information about this case so far does seem to highlight the fact that people at walter reed knew about some of the problems? >> we did not get into that today. today was about basic procedures.
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the general in charge of walter reed basically told us she operates under the rules of the army generally operates under, which went into great length about. live without getting into the case, let me say we did explore the issue of what kinds of information and what are known as training files, the educational files, versus the official personnel file, and is evident -- i am not commenting on this case specifically, but it is evident there can be derogatory information or concerns expressed in its day in the educational or training files and does not make its way
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to the personnel files, and the reason that is important is that it is the personnel files used to decide whether to event someone, -- whether to advance someone, whether to promote, and it would be going to the agencies on initial review. >> do you have copies of the personnel file? >> we have requested those caribbean we have not received those or any other documents yet from the executive branch. that is something we need to have soon. -- we haven' requested those. the sooner we get the information, the better.
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there has been movement since last week, so we are going to pursue it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> next, special envoy richard holbrooke discusses u.s. policy in afghanistan and pakistan. james conway briefs reporters on the war in afghanistan, and nancy pelosi and other house democratic leaders proposed jobs. tomorrow, republican congressman, whose district includes the prison that will house transfer guantanamo bay detainees. we will get the tea party movement with dale robertson and north carolina center discusses
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the fight over health care -- senator discusses the fight over health care and the senate. >> still in time for the holidays, american icons on dvd, c-span's three original the visa on the iconic homes of the american government. it is only $24.95 plus shipping and handling. for this and more gifts, visit >> now richard holbrooke. to achieve military correspondent for "the new york times" moderate this discussion about u.s. strategy in afghanistan and pakistan. from the council on foreign relations, this is an hour. >> i would like to welcome you to the council of foreign relations meeting this evening, and this is an interesting event
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because we not only have the audience here, but we have the council of foreign relations members participating from around the nation. it is also being televised on c- span. it is a multi dimensional even with lots of participants. as you know, many of these events are done off the record. this is done on the record, with ambassador holbrooke, and i am going to say a few words about him and also point out an interesting feature about this event. i think he is well known to this
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community. i first encountered him when i was a somewhat younger person and he was the youngest assistant secretary of state' fr asian affairs, and he went on. he was a key architect of the talks that helped end the fighting in bosnia, which was a major contribution of stability in that area. he was the loss to the month to seize milosevich in a valiant unsuccessful even -- attempt to help him meet nato demands. he has been a columnist for "washington post" and now he is
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taking on what is maybe the most challenging assignment since maybe his young days in vietnam's, but he is a special representative with an interagency team grappling with the issues of afghanistan and pakistan with the understanding they are interrelated, and an interesting feature of this evening coffee event is he has brought a good portion of this team here -- this evening's event is he has brought a good portion of his team here. basically, if he gets any difficult questions he does not feel they can answer, he is going to have one of his aides
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stand up and take the heat. since his afghanistan policy has been rolled out five president obama, there has been enormous emphasis on the military side of the equation, which is what our focus on, how many forces will be sent, and less so on the civilian side. what is interesting to me about the policy is if you really go by three years to 2006, we had a debate about when the iraq surged work, and i think it is generally conceded the iraq surge had an important of five
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on reducing the violence there and even encouraging political progress, and on the surface there are a lot of similarities. the goal is to partner with indigenous forces and help them take on the fight. we talked about creating a political space and time for the government to stand up. we have some of the same commanders, and the name of the surge was unconsciously endorsed by the obama administration which called it a new way forward, but there are also enormous differences. afghanistan you do not have a centralized government. it is a very for country, and that makes the afghan -- a very poor country, and that makes it more problematic, so really true
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and of the discussion, we know we aren't in -- we are in this fight because of out kited, and it is unfortunate to stabilize afghanistan, and in in order to stabilize a afghanistan, we are sending 30,000 troops. how does your effort contributed to this, and how does it work in concert with military effort 7? >> thank you for posting this and for coming. the question i run into is why are we in afghanistan.
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i think most of you know the answer, but i want to state clearly from the outside -- the outset that we are in afghanistan because it was from afghanistan we were attacked in 2001. it is true the people who did the attack were driven east into pakistan, and that is why we talk about afghanistan and pakistan as a related situation, and i would say it right up front that successful in one country requires success in both. we would not able to succeed in afghanistan unless our pakistan policy is successful. while our troops are in afghanistan, the hard core of our enemy are next door kerrigan why are we in afghanistan? we have examined and looked closely at the policy review,
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and i would note that in all the policy review i have been part of way back to the vietnam policy when i work for some of the people i can see in the room and with others, this has been the most narrow, the most detailed, the most methodical review i have ever participated in korean president obama himself shared numerous meetings, and we had meetings with the principles and death duties common and we're going to have another one -- with the principles and duties, and we're going to have another one. the consensus of this discussion over and over again was that you could not separate taliban from outside--- al qaeda.
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if it weren't just another group with certain for the view we do not agree with, it would be a serious problem, but it would not justify our commitment of what will ultimately be 100,000 american troops and a good number of allied troops numbering in the 34,002 35,000 at least. the separation of the taliban from al qaeda is not currently on the horizon. the leaders are deeply international, as are certain other groups, which are critically important, so if the taliban succeeds in
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afghanistan, they will bring back with them to afghanistan. out keitel will have a larger to rain, and they will have the largest victory imaginable to inspire more of the kinds of people that threaten our homeland. that was before russia now, and from that came the core gold soon -- that was the rationale, and from that came the score goals -- core goal. we are not going to abandon afghanistan has started to happen in 2004 end 2005. this is a critical part of what the president announced at west point. i do not want to talk too much
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about the strategic issues, though i am happy to answer your questions, because my mandate was clearly the civilian side of the war. when they announce my job it was stated petraeus and i would be counterparts. he has more airplanes than i have telephones, but we work very closely together, and i have the most enormous respect for herman. -- for him. there is one important caveat, and that is the american commander reporting to general petraeus he also reports to the chain of command of to nato headquarters in brussels, so it
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is a little more complicated, but the relationship is there. >> let me ask a question of this point. you give a good explication of the reason you see it for the involvement, but in terms of how we execute this strategy, a number of important questions of ras, but of a one is the issue of sanctuary in pakistan -- a number of important questions arise, but one of the issues is pakistan. we did not have insurgent leaders across the border with significant numbers of fighters moving back-and-forth more or less of will. it seems the pakistani have taken on the pakistani taliban,
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but according to recent comments from general petraeus, they have not relate stepped up for the afghan taliban what will they do to take this action because it is hard to imagine the united states making the progress they would need to make by july, 2011. >> i agree with your comment. i would say this is a matter of the highest concern. we have had more high-level visitors than any other country in the world since january 20. we feel pakistan did not get the attention is required, and the attention it got was focused in the wrong areas. we have to look at pakistan in its entirety. it is the second largest muslim country in the world.
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this true in the western areas are extremely dangerous people who ultimately threaten the united states, some of whom are recruiting people for international terrorism and some of whom cross the border to fight allied forces syrian -- forces. at the same time, we need to broaden our approach. secretary clinton went over there. edward muller was there. general petraeus was there kerrigan i look forward to going back next month. i was with the pakistani ambassador this afternoon at some length going over this, and we want to broaden our attention against pakistan's so we are increasing our civilian aid substantially. it was a great imbalance between
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military and civilian aid, but we are also increasing our civilian aid. i was just to introduce my team so people would get a sense, but in every case would cover issues involving pakistan. they passed of the ill that was $7.5 billion over five years for of pakistan's civilian aid. that was a true landmark phil, somewhat misunderstood, -- a true landmark bill, somewhat misunderstood, but it was designed to bring water and education and held to the people. karachi, four hours of
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electricity a day during the summer of this year. this was creating an economic spiral. textile mills were closing because of lack of energy. this was creating instability. there were a lot of political problems, and in the west, the situation you describe, and we wanted to take an integrated approach to pakistan in its own merits carranza and -- in its own merits. in regard to the sanctuary is, i believe, and general petraeus also shared this view -- 5 believe the pakistani is have made considerable progress this year. they took on the terrorists and dispersed them. the fighting is continuing.
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there are all sorts of activities to stand up to the taliban in the west. is it enough salmon we want them to do as much as they would do, but i am not going to demand of a sovereign country what they have to do. they know what they should do in terms of their own interest and ours. we are engaged in a most intense dialogue under the most complicated c@bbumstances. all of you who suffered south asia -- who served south asia understand that the interaction creates complicated dynamics and the history between pakistan and afghanistan since 1947 has been exceedingly complicated, and let us not forget the origins of what we're dealing with go back
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to the 1975 and 1985, and they are direct lines all the way through, and all of them are inherited, but i want to stress how central pakistan is to stability in the region by virtue of history, geography, ethnicity, and destiny, and our commitment to work with the pakistani is as close friends and allies is undiminished. a lot of what you read is stirred up by the media, but that is the fact. with your permission, i would love to let these people introduce themselves. >> let me ask a few more questions. >> fear getting agitated. >> let me squeeze in a few questions, and then we will
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introduce the team. not to worry. >> you will get your chance. >> i want to continue on this theme of what needs to be done. clearly, an important concept is the desire to not have to fight the taliban and reintegrate or reconcile important elements of them. the question i have is ferris some of this going, maybe not that successfully -- there is some of this going on, maybe not successfully, but in terms of your efforts, have you been doing anything specifically in terms of reconciliation with taliban leadership? have you been reaching out
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directly or indirectly with an eye towards creating a political contract? >> this is an interesting issue, and i think we need to be honest here. we checked the mission statements when we took office, and the mission statement was to defeat the taliban, and the resources allocated was about 30,000 u.s. troops and an equal amount of non-u.s. troops, so the mismatch was spectacular, and then you have to analyze could be achieved, what are the resources, and at that level, is
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it conceivable? petraeus's analysts will lead to newspapers. he addressed the problem and came up with numbers based on the doctrine which were absolutely enormous. all of us agreed that was neither necessary nor desirable, nor would it achieve its stated goal. we needed to concentrate on what we were trying to do, and we're not going to try to eliminate every member of the taliban, for several reasons.
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nor were they all the votes these of al qaeda -- devote these -- nor were they all devotees of al qaeda. they are people who fight for money. they are people who fight for grievances. the taliban's greatest calling card when they came into power in mid-1990's was the lack of any effective justice system, and that is still a problem we need to deal with. a couple of my colleagues of work aggressively on this. >> have you had these kind of contact?
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>> the taliban can be divided into three groups. the majority of them are not ideological. they're people who fight in organized units on a local basis, and then there is the hard core. the leadership of the hard court is as in pakistan. our goal is to include reaching out to what is called the reconcilable elements. that is the reintegration program. one of the main reasons we were not able to do that effectively is that 800-pound monster that site over our hens. from the day we took office, but he liked and -- the election
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hungover everything we did. there are many specific rounds -- specific programs, but in certain areas including rule of law and anti-corruption, they were so integrated with the political system that we could not get them going. in his inaugural speech, karzai said clearly he was going to revitalize the program. we have been talking with our analysts. we have people working on it in this room. what are we going to do? we are going to work out a revitalization oven very ineffective past programs that offered an opportunity to people fighting in the taliban.
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there was an extremely good article in "the washington post" yesterday would outline how it had failed. people got no kind of benefit. that is a major issue for us, so in regards to this issue, you are going to see a significant change in policy in conjunction with the afghan government in coming weeks. >> i want to ask you a question, and we're going to get your team, but before the election of president carter say, it is no secret that many members of the obama administration are very critical that it was reported vice president biden walked out on them.
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you certainly were critical of him for not taking action. you have had your own difficult meetings with him. now he is the acceptance leader of afghanistan. what is the challenge in working with the government of afghanistan in this context? is it possible to work successfully with president karzai? is it possible to work with other levels of the afghan government to perhaps bypass this, and how can you do that if karzai promotes the ministers and governors? >> i see no problem with him. he was elected.
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it was a messy election. i said repeatedly it would not be perfect. hillary clinton said eloquently that to ask the country to hold an election under these circumstances, that the talabani said they would cut off the fingers of anyone that voted, it was a daunting task. no country had such a low level of education, war for 30 years, had attempted anything like this, so it was likely -- it was difficult. it was always clear he would be the heavy favorite. no one doubted it. our effort was to make the process as smooth as possible. some people interpreted that as
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supporting karzai, and others interpreted it as opposing karzai. neither is true. we supported and open process, and it came not as it came out. in november, secretary clinton and i sat an audience as he gave his inaugural address, which we thought was a good address. presidency darzedari came from pakistan, and it was a nice symbolism. where do we go from here? we have absolutely no problem working with his government. is it as good as it could be? is it as good as we would like it to be? he had a long section of corruption in his inauguration. president obama said clearly
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that he looked for actions. we spoke this morning about rochon, about the next series of elections. you do not work just with the president. we have had excellent relationships with many ministers. the minister of agriculture is a terrific minister. we have major agriculture program, which is a most important program.
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we are working directly with the minister and the department of agriculture vigo -- people on every single problem. we had 10 americans working on agriculture when i took this job. we have over 100 now and building, and that does not count at least five of agricultural development teams from the national guard from states like texas -- i think nebraska has one. what are the others? kentucky, indiana, texas, nebraska, and california. these are terrific. we had 200 people working agriculture. we ended erratic eating poppy crops. we were just driving farmers
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into the region week ended -- we stopped ending poppy crops. we were just driving farmers into the arms of the taliban. we were ignoring agriculture, and if you get an agricultural economy revitalized, you're going to start to withdraw the incentives to some of these unemployed, so we're going to revitalize agriculture. in this effort, we are not working directly with president karzai. we're working with the ministries. i could give you many examples, but i start with agriculture,
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because it is a top priority, and only priority that is higher is training the police and army, something i know you will want to talk about, so we work with the president. we work with his ministers. when you encounter a ministry you cannot work with, one you think is incompetent, you have to adjust accordingly. that is the nature of the job, and we do that, but this is the whole government effort from afghanistan and washington. >> i think this is a did time to introduce your team, and -- this is a good time to introduce your team, and i would like to move on to the part of the program were the members and press get to ask questions, but why don't you introduce your team first. >> what i would like to do is ask each one of them -- they have been waiting weeks for
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their moment. i would like each one of them to stand up and announce which agency they come from end what they do very quickly. we do not have one agency here. they are located in langley, and i cannot remember their name, but they could not join us. there are 10 agencies, certainly the largest ever assembled in the state department, and in my career, this is the best team i have ever worked with, so in no particular order, it is almost the entire right side of the room. >> [unintelligible]
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our work on the issue of communications. >> i work on finance issues by creating an environment non conducive. >> it is nothing short of central. there was one person at the beginning of this year working on financing. there was a theory that all the money came from drugs. but was not true. when we got the intelligence community, said it -- they said the largest source was from adults. there was also extortion. ñiwith the support of the undersecretary of the treasurer and tim died there, there are something like 25 people -- timber ratner -- tim geithner,
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something like 25 people, and we will work on this in january. >> i am the senior adviser on pakistan issues, and i came from the council of foreign relations. >> i am the senior adviser for agriculture from the u.s. department of agriculture. we are focusing on working with the u.s. military on improving johnson and afghan confidence in the government, particularly agriculture -- improving after in confidence in the government, particularly agriculture. >> i help coordinate a small team focusing on international engagement and diplomatic initiative, in part to help coordination and to overseas
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human rights and other issues >> the back story is when they appointed me, other countries began to follow suit, and we now have 28 different countries. the last one was belgium last week. some of these are very important, but we welcome them all, whether big or small. we will meet them again in early january, and this is the central mechanism from which we are focusing our national effort. this is a work in progress, but dan and his team are working with an international secretariat to coordinate international effort on assistance and diplomatic issues. >> i am with the u.s. agency for international development. i work on development and assistance issues in afghanistan and pakistan.
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>> i am the senior adviser on afghanistan, and my primary area of focus is political development in afghanistan. >> i am from the state department, and their work on the playing civilians going on the increase in afghanistan. -- on employing civilians going on the increase in afghanistan. >> they were on since month touriss. we have more than tripled by the end of this month, and we keep going this year to short circuit the hiring process. our deputy secretary and i work hand-in-hand on this, and we
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tripled the number of civilians with one-year two hours. school-age children are a big problem. this is the largest, fastest film of we have ever had, and the interesting thing to me was -- fastest buildup we have ever had, and the interesting thing to me was that recruitment went up, and this includes some of the detainees from places like agriculture. >> i am the special adviser to master holbrooke. i do his trips to the region, and i also work on communication as well as our new mobile products we are introducing.
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>> we found that telecommunications technology -- quite simple ones have a tremendous rally to -- tremendous value in cutting down corruption. they discovered they were getting paid 30% more than their paychecks. you can understand -- imagine where the other 30% was coming from. this is the central issue kerrigan -- central issue. the new york magazine listed this as one of the good ideas of the year, and it is one of the great innovations we have done. >> i am a state department foreign service officer, and i focus on governance and coordination. particularly, we are trying to help the afghan government
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become more responsive to the needs. >> i think we should move through -- >> i think we should let them finish, and i will let you finish so the audience can ask questions. >> i am the homeland security advisor, working mainly on security and border issues. >> i am the chief of staff. i do whatever needs to be done. >> i am detail from the fbi -- police advisor. >> my name is matt stieglitz. i am on the tell from the department of justice, working on corruption -- i am working on the department of justice, working on corruption and other issues. >> i am from the office of chairman and joint chiefs of staff. i work security issues. >> i am from the state
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department covering issues in afghanistan and pakistan. >> i am paul jones, deputy to hold burke and we were just visiting -- to holbrook, and we were just visiting with those going out with harker -- with those of the military camp. >> we are going to try to squeeze in a few questions, and please wait for the microphone, identify yourself, and state your affiliation, and let's see if we can keep the questions concise. right there. >> good to see you again. we saw each other during the election. >> thank you for your work.
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you did a great job with that election. >> yeah, right. >> i was in iran going village to village, and i spotted many of the same things i saw in pakistan. i got to the villages. there's a tremendous disconnect between the top level, the upper level and the people in the villages. i hope also that the work on delivering mechanisms to get it out to the rural area of. only 40% of the children of school age are in school. thousands died from minor things. thank you.
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>> my question is about kashmir. i asked this question weeks ago. we all know the down there is no solution to resolve the kashmir issue. are you serious to resolve this issue? i ask this question before, but he told me my question was based on racism. god willing we would keep fighting for the next 60 years for kashmir unless someone would help us. >> led new be very clear -- let me be very clear. i am not working on that
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problem. [laughter] i did not even mention the problem i am not working on. when i go to india, and i go there frequently, and i look forward to going there soon because we keep the indians very closely informed of our efforts because india is a hugely important factor, but when that question comes up, your colleagues tried to get me to mention the k word, and i will not do it because everybody says i am secretly working on it or i ought to be, and they are wrong on both counts. i am not working on that problem. the president addressed very clearly, as did the secretary of state in recent interviews, and my job is to work on the civilian side of afghanistan and
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pakistan. we all know how important that issue is. everyone knows it, but it is not what i do, and it is not what the countries in the region expect me to do, and i understand why you ask it, but that is the simple fact. >> you made some eloquent comments about how important pakistan is, and you mention the aid to pakistan, but we have to be spending in the same time at least 10 times if not 20 times that amount in afghanistan. don't we have it backwards? ehud implied pakistan is even more difficult. -- you just implied pakistan is even more difficult. is our focus in the right place? >> i cannot think we are short
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shrift in afghanistan, but i respect your question. i have been fighting for this since the day i came men -- the day i came in. we pledged $1 billion of the tokyo conference in april. we have 2.5 million refugees from out of nowhere. hillary clinton was out there with the first $110 million. in this case with of almost 50%. we are out there all the time, but as i said in the opening remarks, we do not give enough
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aid to pakistan in my view, but it is extremely difficult because of the complicated history between the countries, and one of the best examples is a book from 1946, and if you read the whole fein, you see how many times there was a misunderstanding, but i know from the general sentiment, we should give more money to pakistan, but it should be an international effort. this is not the truman doctrine. the european union is a tiny fraction, and in tokyo they
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gave $500 million, which was a big step forward. i was talking with pashtun about this, and i think she is going to be very good. i never met her before. i was tremendously impressed. the answer is absolutely. is little out of character. that means get the international community. we have got to get the same thing in pakistan, and that will require a national understanding in the united states led by a bipartisan effort, and for me that as one of the highest
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priorities, to get up to that level. >> could you discuss the benchmarks you have in mind for the success of your program and how you assess the chances of success? >> they set of benchmarks to measure process. those were hammered out in a process directed by the national security council with input from some of my team. quite honestly, they are pretty technical, and for me to go into them now would be diversionary. all of you can imagine what they are, so let me leave it at that.
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they are publicly available and have been shared with the congress. i am glad to see jane here today because she has been very active in helping focuses. >> the woman over there. >> "the washington post." i would like to raise an issue that is hard to quantify. i have no doubts about the goodwill or expertise of all the efforts going into pakistan today, but as someone who has lived there for much of the past years, i did not discount something else, which is an
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extraordinary sense of what dianne sadly call compliant self destructiveness. i cannot quantify this, but i think there are a lot of afghans who hate us more than the taliban and certainly more than they hate al qaeda. my question is with the surge coming and with many good intention highly qualified people who go into this country, some of them will live. -- some of them will dianne. what are you doing to change the
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notion that we are the enemy? it is not for nothing that afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires, and i think you understand that much better than i do. thank you. >> i do not know if i understand it more than you, because there is no reporter in the field by an meyer more, and i am astonished to see you year. you're always in some remote area, and we have only met once common but you remember -- we have only met once, and i am glad to see you here. you talk about an interesting thing. the defiant self destructiveness of afghans. i have even seen that in the united states.
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then you alluded to the fact that some afghans' fate of more than they take the taliban -- hate us more than they hate the taliban, but you know that is not universally true. afghanistan is a poor country with a high literacy rate but sophisticated politically. they have lived politics for centuries without realizing that is what they lived. they do not like the taliban. they know what the black years were like, and they do not want to return to it. what brings them together is their sense of being afghans. there has never been a separatist movement like with their neighbors, pakistan, iran, and the soviet union. they all have separatist movements. what they found was historical
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narrative, but they drove out the others, and i greatly respect that. otherwise, the country would not exist. on the other hand, its role in history has been extraordinary and dramatic, but very few people support the taliban. i would say that the united states failed to say what they were doing there when there when dinner region when they went in, particularly when when everything seemed possible and drama unfolded. as things turned the other way
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and civilian casualties became a dominant issue and the u.s. had no explanation as to why they were there, things turned the other way. two of the people who introduced themselves have been focused with me and with judith on this issue, and david petraeus and mike mullins have been focused on this, and we have changed the articulation of our presence very substantially in both countries, but particularly in afghanistan. i hear you loud and clear. everyone of our colleagues worry about this every day, and that is why we stopped destroying copies -- poppies. i could not understand why we were spending more money
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destroying poppyco crops than building agriculture, but we ended that program. . we know from information we have received that by removing that era attend, we removed our recruiting tool. -- that your intent -- irritatn, nt, we removed a recruiting
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tool. but it's not doubt why we are in this country. we are in the country for the reasons i stated. it is in our national interest because of al qaeda. but to succeed, we have to address these issues. some people that are not here today, and people out in the field, that is what they are trying to do. >> way back there. >> i am from voice of america. most of the people in afghanistan believe that the conflict in afghanistan and pakistan is an impediment -- the you have any plan to work on that issue? >> i am not sure i follow you. are you talking about the iran the line? -- durand line?
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>> yes, sir. >> it had been suggested in i have looked into it. there many areas where the border is not agreed on. but it is my reluctant conclusion we really cannot achieve much in that area right now. most of the international boundaries in this incredible area of the world's, china and india, plus pakistan and afghanistan, plus some of the former soviet republics, some of the boundaries are not agreed upon. we have the durand line and it is a serious issue but it is not one that i think that we can fix in the middle of a war.
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i understand the importance of that but we're not going to put that on the front burner right now. >> one last question. it is not my question but it is said and by a member who have been participating for video means. it is from jonathan paris. i guess it is about pakistan. given that the obama administration several times during the last few months has talked about pakistan, are you concerned about pressure on the pakistani army to go after the taliban will ultimately undermine the cohesion of the pakistani army? and eventually the the stabilization of pakistan? -- that the stabilization -- de
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stabilization of pakistan? >> i do not believe so. the border is not even agreed on and the patterns of kinship along the disputed border. are we concerned about these users? you bet. pakistani officials have said publicly prior to the president's decision and cents to send 30,000 additional troops, they said very clearly and very honestly, in 2002 you drop the taliban and al qaeda east into pakistan without consulting us were preparing us, and we inherited the consequences. we need to be consulted. and stan mcchrystal, with our strong encouragement, and ambassador i eikenberry as well, go to islamabad pretty
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regularly. they talk to the government and the military about these operations. this time around, we're much more conscious of the fact that if we have an operation office of baluchistan, the more successful it is, the more in my blood pressure on our ally in pakistan. and we have to coordinated -- the more it might put pressure on our ally in pakistan. and we have to coordinate it. we have to move the ball for here in terms of close coordination. and i've talked to several pakistani generals about this. they are very pleased with the constant flow of information between us and them. as i said earlier, the chairman of the joint chiefs and centcom have both been in islamabad.
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we are in constant communication. that does not make it perfect. and this is an important question. we are fully conscious of that and we're working on it continually in close collaboration with our pakistani friends and allies. how long >> like to thank ambassador holbrooke. -- >> i would like to thank ambassador holbrooke. and with that, i remind everybody that this is on the record. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> on c-span tonight, marine
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corps commandant james conway briefing reporters on afghanistan. nancy pelosi and other democratic leaders proposed a jobs bill. barbara air and reich discusses the economy. and legal and technical issues involved in tracking terrorists communications. >> c-span3 has live coverage of two congressional hearings to margaret the first looks at illegal sports broadcasts on the internet. that hearing begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, on homeland securities subcommittee committee -- committee meeting on an incident where tea s.a. officials mistakenly put procedure manuals on the internet. that is live on c-span3.
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you can watch the hearings live or anytime on our web site, c- >> there is a month left to enter the 2010 student can contest 3 $50,000 in prizes for middle and high school roses -- high-school students. create a five to eight minute video on one of our country's greatest drinks or a challenge the country is facing. must incorporate c-span programming and show various points of view. winning entries will be shown on c-span. do not wait another minute. go to steer -- go to the web site for information. >> marine commandant james conway described the challenges involved with enacting the president's new strategy in afghanistan three he recently returned from a trip to afghanistan and iraq. this is an hour. >> good afternoon, all. i will be brief so that the gentleman next to me will need
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very little introduction. we welcome back to the briefing room general james conway, the commandant of the marine corps. sir. >> thanks, david. it must be a slow news day, folks. good to see your friendly faces again. i think we have got the better part of an hour. what i would like to do is start maybe with a quick few comments on a trip i recently made to afghanistan, pakistan, and iraq. came out through france. and then maybe talk for just a moment about the deployment sequences taking place and perhaps where we are there. that is not to say that i would not be happy to field any questions on those things if you have them. we with this year for thanksgiving. we do christmas or thanksgiving every other year, did christmas this year, so we were in theater for face giving. we reversed the process this time by going to see the troops first before we went to see the commanders in kabul, and that seemed to work fairly well.
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on thanksgiving day, we traveled to eight different for operating bases around afghanistan to visit our marines, pretty much in place where they live. we flew on ospreys and yankee helicopters. that was one of the last little victories. two of our newest aircraft are into flight and doing very well, zipping us around the battle space. someone asked me before i went over if i would take a look and morale, because there had been some reports about sagging morale and that type of thing, where troops are out on the leading edge. i can tell you my observation is that morale is just fine. we were talking to both troops coming out as well as troops coming in. i think you all know we do seven-month deployments, and we are at the deployment window at this point where the first troops that went in with the second brigade. i could not tell the difference. the people going out are happy to be going home, satisfied they
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have made a difference and very proud of themselves, as rightly they should be. the people coming in were simply happy to be in afghanistan and to do their port -- do their part and go into this seven- month sprint that we think that we have with regard to our units on deck there. if i got a problem, it is with the other 190,000 marines who want to go to afghanistan. they are awaiting their opportunity, combat veterans out of right. where we visited, things were going very well. we had a chance to visit with sub governors, iraqi generals, iraqi police chiefs, and there are smiles on their faces as well, because they see the difference is being made in the marketplace, with the schools, with the population being much more secure. we have got a very effective training program taking place in the south now to train the police.
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we have an old retired marine gunner that simply knows how to teach people to shoot. and he is working hard with these folks. and out of the class of 53, 52 are going to graduate. the one guy that was in question could not see, and they're working to get him a set of glasses. if they're worthy being policemen, we're going to help them -- help make them such. so it was a very good visit. i had the opportunity to visit with the leadership in bagram and kabul. i would be happy to talk with discussions there. dave rodriguez was not in the country, but i had a chance to meet with a couple of my generals up there and with stan mcchrystal, ambassador i eikenberry, et cetera. we visited iraq, and i will tell you that this year, september 23 was a portent day for us. we had more marines in afghanistan than in iraq.
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and that separation continues to open three to date we have just under 5000 marines and a record because of our turnover, we are at 13,000 in iraq -- in afghanistan, and you know that that is going to grow to something under 20,000 when the deployment is complete. the equipment, at 95% out of iraq. our folks in this last rotation have been doing a magnificent job phasing down, breaking trail for the much larger army, shipment of equipment that is going to follow. evacuating are stuck both through kuwait and jordan as well. -- our stock both through kuwait and jordan as well. a lot of it is going to afghanistan. a lot of the things coming out of iraq are getting a very rapid rehab in theater and are making their way to afghanistan to be able to support the additional troop requirements there. what i told the troops in iraq is that the most dangerous thing that our corps is doing today is
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happening in afghanistan. the most important thing we're doing today is happening in iraq. and that is because we are sealing the win there. they are making sure that although the clock is ticking down and we are on the other guys' 5 yard line, that they do the right things to close this out. the reason that is so critically important is that it is the first battle of this extended war against extremism. our philosophy has worked. the idea from the very beginning that we needed to insert a wedge between the extremists and the moderates in the country showed itself, in 2006, when the sunnis out in anbar rose up and said, we have seen these guys. we know what they had to. we're tired of the murder and intimidation, and we will turn on them. with your help, we will slaughter them -- at their term. and that is what started to turn that thing. and that has spread itself across other parts of the
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region. and in a less overt way, other nations are using their security forces to go after some of these same people. the way we see afghanistan is through the filter of iraq. as we come out of iraq under a victory pennant, facing now what we see in afghanistan, is the way that we would want to do that. the way we would hope and expect american forces to be able to do that. although afghanistan has a lot things that is different about it, we have validated our tactics, techniques, and procedures that we used in iraq, that we thought would work based upon our own doctrinal manual spirit it is a publication called the "small wars manual" that was written really back in the 1920's and 1930's. but it's a very applicable document on insurgencies in is still useful today. after iraq, we came back through france. we had good conversations there with the chief of staff of the french army.
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and then we came home. we came home to listen to the president make a decision, and i think the right decision. he announced, of course, the increase of some 30,000 troops, gave the secretary of defense some flexibility in providing a few more thousand that would save lives -- i think that is the operative phrase that the secretary will examine when he looks at deploying any additional troops that might be requested. and we are in the process now of executing those orders. i think you all know that the first units out of the block were marines, 1st battalion, sixth marines. and some of their attachments and support troops are in transit as we speak. and they will close out and about two days. we actually had some leftward movement on the scale based on some good work that transcom is doing. and they are going to be in theater even before we thought. we're going to give a couple of other units the opportunity to be home with their families for
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christmas. after the first of the year, we will complete the rest of the deal as far as marines into helmand province. we think our movement will substantially be complete by a very early spring -- and part of that delayed because there is a headquarters turnover that would happen at about that time. but the combat units will be in early, and we will start expanding those zones of influence where we all already work, primarily up and down the helmand river valley and the helmand province. with that, i will in my foreign and their comments and see what is on your mind today. >> could you talk a little bit about whether you've got infrastructure in helmand to receive that many marines? and if not, what is the plan? >> david, i will tell you up front that we do not, but that is not an issue with us. i remember reading -- and you know what i am talking about. i stood and took a picture with a marine at what he called his racke, all hole about that deep
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in the ground. it would keep him below the shrapnel line. poncho liner over the top of it, and he was completely happy with that. and that's how they are living out there. let there be no doubt. i was discouraged some months ago, probably 10 months ago now, when i saw line coming out of a centcom directed that said about afghanistan that the infrastructure must be created before the troops can be deployed that is not a description of the united states marine corps. that is what we do for the nation. that is what being expeditionary is all about. we spent a lot of time and money and gray matter attempting to determine what do we need from an organic capacity that will allow us to move rapidly, live on what to everyone else is a moonscape, and do what has to be done. there are things that need to be
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sustaining us. that -- there is a supply line out there that will get us the fuel. we need to have water for our troops, although we're doing our own well digging, and we're purifying. winter is coming on. we have to provide some level of heat and comfort, probably heating tents when all is said and done. but the enemy does not have those kind of things, by and large, that you see at some of our larger fob's. we are out living amongst the people with our own organic methodologies. and i have to be honest with you. we are not imposing things on the great young americans that join our corps. we visited those people in iraq that were living along the same lines, and said, are you going to rotate back to al assad or back to taqadum? sir, i do not want to do this. this is great out here. this is what we're supposed to be doing. we do not want to go back. so we're blessed that we have young people like that that believe in the mission and are
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able to do those things. >> when i was at helmand province, i heard few complaints about living conditions, but there were complaints about the rules of engagement predicted that they are too restrictive now, that in some ways their hands are tied in going after taliban forces. they understand the need to protect civilians and so forth, but they think it has gone too far. that is one of the complaints we have heard repeatedly. any other was the lack of afghan soldiers to partner with. when larry nicholson started this operation in the summer, he had 4000 infantry marines and only several hundred afghan soldiers. could you just address those two points? >> first of all, with regard to the roe's, as you can imagine, it was one of my first questions as well to larry and the other commanders -- what is the impact here? and first of all, let me tell you that i understand and believe in what stan mcchrystal has done.
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in iraq, you had what you call the collateral damage of an attack. we had to have that degree of collateral damage approved all the way up the iraqi chain of command theory that there are -- but there was a mentality in iraq that said, if you do proper compensation and make apology, then in some ways it's god's will. it's insha'allah. that is not the attitude in afghanistan. it is a different culture. if 15 taliban run into my house and you put a bomb into the square of that thing and you kill a woman in a child, is not the taliban's fault -- it is your fault that you killed that woman and child and you have got enemies for life. the thought process behind the roe change is valid and we've simply got to adjust. we are pretty good at that business to begin with, okay? we tend to hit what we aim at, and we spend a lot of time and combined arms. that is how we prefer to fight. what has happened since they had
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been introduced is that we have proven ourselves. larry nicholson would tell you. he gets very little at a bagram or higher headquarters about the bomb that they dropped last night because we have reconnaissance marines watching that site for two or three days. we patterned the life around it. we were certain that there were only bad guys and we hit them. there will be pops up and those kinds of things. when you have fire that hits you from a tree lying 150 not -- 150 meters away, you have got to be sure that you are only going to kill the enemy. but in a word, is not as restrictive as behalf we thought it might be at the outset. there's an investigation ongoing with the loss of some of our tt's up in the 201st corps. we lost four marines up there in a fight. and there is some question as to
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whether those fire missions that were being asked for arrived in a timely fashion. that investigation is not yet done. but we will be interested to see that if what we're applying down south applies everywhere to our marines -- in the marsoc, in the tt's, and so forth. >> it was clear that there was widespread frustration among the marines. do you. if frustration for many of the marines? >> no, i did not. i think that was the initial sort of blowback to the thought that we could have our hands tied. and that is not the way we go about business. i did not hear any of that. i think in time it will be proven that we're going to shoot artillery. we're going to drop bombs. we're going to fire tanks if they are in support of us to do what we have to do. and we're not going to put marines up against a structure just because we're scared of asking even. with regard afghan troops, it still is not where it needs to be. we now have about 4000 that are working with larry in the south.
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we have a promise, however, that there is going to be a to-toe -- as it were, a 215th afghan corps that is going to be built. it will be associated with our terrain and that opposed to the earlier thought of building infantry battalions and artillery battalions pretty much simultaneously, they're going to build rifle companies, afghan rifle companies. they're going to get them into the fight. they will be operating alongside of us and those numbers will dramatically change in the next few weeks and months. >> the former commander of rc south said the situation in marja has a direct impact on the security in canada harper what bant -- what can the marine corps do to take this taliban stronghold away from the bad guys?
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>> you win the confidence of the people by being the strongest tribe. there can be no place in our area of operations where we do not go. marja is one of those places right now. it has to be cracked open. the people there, i think, will welcome us when that happens, because the reports that we get is that there is a murder- intimidation campaign at work there, that people are being kept in against their will. marja will be one of those areas of direct concern for us in the coming weeks and months. >> are we talking like fallujah one, fallujah two? >> that is all i want to say about it because it is a pending operation. >> general, based on what you saw in this recent trip to both theaters, what is your assessment of the ied threat now? is it getting better, worse? what observations you have on that? >> ok, i think i can say this.
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we are encouraged by what we're seeing. you know, we have working dogs that in the heat of summer don't do much for you. they simply want to go where it is cool. and those dogs were initially trained against military-grade explosives. what is being used in afghanistan are larger ied's, volume-wise, than some what we saw even in iraq, where the tendency was for military-grade explosives. and the dogs had to be trained differently in order to smell out those fertilizer-based explosives. they are susceptible to weather. in the winter of the year, that particular type of explosive may not be as effective as it is in the dead of summer, we can try out, put it into a container, and make it work. i will be honest with you. because of tactics and
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techniques that the enemy uses against us, and i am speaking for the marine sector in helmand, not for what the army is seeing in canada are -- the strikers had been hitting pretty hard over in kandahar with some massive types of ied's that you would be hard pressed to survive even in an mrap. we're encouraged that through different means that we can take away that weapons system at a point and place of our choosing. it is still going to be dangerous to us. it's the most used weapon and produces 70% of our casualties. but we are encouraged by the trendlines. >> it have enough mrap's in helmand right now? >> we are getting what we need. the new mrap, the m-atv was put on hold by u.s. forces afghanistan because of some mechanical issues that they are having that made it a little dangerous. one of the issues were not applicable to our marines, because we did not buy the gunner's cap.
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i was up 400-pound piece that tended to float around in an explosive. it could be very dangerous. but we did not buy that. the other thing had to do with fire suppression. our people on deck and fix that. today we have 83 mrap's and more to follow, that are working out in afghanistan. our preferred vehicle is one that we have sort of created, if you will, which is the cat 1 mrap from afghanistan, the cougar, that we've put a seven- ton suspension on. a seven-ton was a very popular vehicle with our marines, because it get off road and go any place. instead of buying more mrap's that one day we will not need as a marine corps, we said, let's take a look at those we've got. can we do something with this suspension system that comes off the mtvr to make to be able to go everywhere and do anything? and we have. it is heavier than the m-atv and this terrain for the most part supports its use. we're building over a thousand
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of those in theater. i cannot give you the exact number on that. but mrap's are the number-one delivery item for the people in transportation command and we're turning that crank just as hard as we can. >> as you talk to commanders in helmand, do they give you a sense of how they expect the enemy to react as you move additional forces in the, in the winter and spring? >> we think that in most cases they're not going to take us on. they have tried different approaches. in the early going, it was direct engagement. they lose. there has been an ied campaign, and again that is not as effective as it was perhaps at one time. they tried an indirect-fire phase, but they don't shoot very well. they did not get good registration. they do not have enough rounds to stay very long. if they do stay long, they know they are probably not going to walk away from it. so our commanders are feeling
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pretty good about things right now. that is not to say that there will not be some places where they stay and fight. and again, i do not want to in any way leave you with the impression that these are not good fighters. they are intense. they are not fanatics in the sense that we saw some of those people in iraq, but they're simply good at what they do. they were raised fighting. they have been doing it for 30 years. they are better marksmen. they're better at infantry tactics. they are courageous, not fanatical, and they will buy for one another. so where they will stay and fight is, we are going to have our hands full. right now we just ran an operation, cobras anger, up at now zad. we killed a dozen or so, but we think most of them tried to e&e the area. we got word recently there may be some foreign fighters that are coming in. that will be harder than it had been there in the first place.
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it is a mixed bag. it is important to them, they are going to stay and fight for it. if it is not, they are an insurgent. >> can you talk about the osprey and utilization rate in afghanistan. in iraq they were still sort of getting used to how to fully load the aircraft. >> i will start with our three deployments of osprey into iraq, one on the heels of the other. we then took a break and put it aboard ship with the meu that went into the centcom theater. it was there for availability. but from our on internal purposes, we were finding out a lot about salt sea air and systems aboard ship and all that type think that we needed to answer for the long-term use of the aircraft aboard the in the use -- in the's. when that meu left the theater, it flew its ospreys into afghanistan. there will be ospreys in afghanistan now for as long as there are marines in
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afghanistan, because the aircraft has an incredible capability. this is not just a replacement to the ch-46. it is so much more capable than that that we actually had the debt -- we had to adjust our aviation techniques and tactics and procedures to match the capabilities of the airplane. used to, two ch-46's would take off and stay mated for the entire day. today, two ospreys take off, go different directions doing different days, because they can join very quickly on each other if there is an issue. we are using them in some of our operations, if you will, to land troops deep and to very quickly build up troop numbers on the debt. they can do that so much faster than any other means. so when you are so let -- because when you're selection for that action -- your
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selection for that course of action is an air assault, this aircraft has tremendous capability. if i sound excited about the airplane, we are. it is really showing its capacity here in an area that really lends itself, because when i first went there and flew around in a ch-53, i came to realize just how expansive this area is. it is the size of texas. and so getting around in something that large requires a fast-moving airplane that is very non susceptible to enemy fire. >> last year the gao came out with a report laying out all the mission-capable shortfalls in an iraq that franklin no one but you and other marine corps officials never really
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disclosed. everything was hunky dory. what is the mission -- what is the mission-capable rate at this point? what are they predicting? and is there going to be another cannibalization of parts issue? >> everything that you read in that gao report was old news, ok? the whatever combination of reasons, both the gao and the congressional inquiry that followed chose not to use information that we provided them about the fixes that were in place to the very issues that they cited. we thought that was a little bit one-sided and that intelligent people would make different determinations, given the facts of the matter so we continue to work it. we are the last to paint something in rose colors if it is not going to, you know, help accomplish the mission or be dangerous for employment with our marines. so in terms of availability rates, they started out in the 68 to 72 range in iraq. we discovered some things about
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a little part called the slip ring that was wearing out in that unique kind of iraqi talcum dust that had not been an issue for us in the u.s. western desert. we found some things with regard to shipboard life that we had not anticipated but that is part of this whole learning process. today it is in the seven's, approaching the 80's at times, in afghanistan. and the answer to your question with regard to the future is what every other new platform has experienced. it starts out with these lower than what we would like availability rates, but it climbs the ladder to the point where we are 92% -- 94%. and we think that the osprey is on that trajectory for that right where we would want it to be. we are not finding major systems problems that need to go back to the manufacturer. they are bushings, and they are coatings, and they are things that wear out in use when you fly the wings off the airplane.
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>> let me ask about the joint strike fighter, too. there is a senate armed services committee hearing on this tomorrow. what is your level of concern these days, contrasted with earlier this year when you were fairly -- fairly enthusiastic about the stovl's purported performance? >> we had the first test aircraft at pax river. the sec it is going to be there before the end of the year. my focus is on the promise that the contractor has made to us that we will have ioc of our first squadron -- and by the way, i think you know where the first service to get an operational squadron -- in 2012. that is an important period to us because the british and the italians, buying the same versions that we are, are keenly etched in that. we have accepted risk now for a number of years not buying fourth generation airplanes to await the arrival of this aircraft. we have a small bathtub out
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there, a vulnerability with regard to attack and fighter aircraft. all of our planning is 2012 backwards. when we ask that question, we get the same answer. we're going to make 2012 for you. it may be december of calendar year 2012, but we're going to make 2012 for you. and what the contractors tell us is that the ground test birds that we have used are going to be tremendously more impactful than they have been in the past, and that a lot of things that we could see when we start flying the experimental aircraft in the vertical takeoff mode will be less problematic for us. i still fully expect to get an invitation in the spring of next year to go watch the first vertical flight at pax river. and if that happens, the contractors and the program manager tell me that we would be generally on the schedule that they think we need a body. >> what does your bs meter tell you, though? you have heard this from the companies in the program manager before. are you getting more skeptical?
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>> i am not apologetic optimists, okay, i have got to tell you that at the outset. -- i am an unapologetic optimist, okay. but we are concerned about that. i just saw bob stevens last week and we stood closer than you and i are, and i asked him that question. he is not a bs kind of guide. he tells me he has got his a team on it, he still thinks he can make 2012, and all focuses are in that direction. so i have got to take the man at his word. everyone understands how important this is and we're not going to let up. >> what are you concerned about at this point? >> our focus is 2012, and i think that they are related. so long as that does not slip, then i am not going to be critical of the other things that they have been some of the areas of the program.
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costs rise and all that, that is someone else's concern, although we're watching it in a per-unit kind of consideration. but our focus is that we want to get those planes in and operational so that we can start doing the same thing with the f 35 that we have done with osprey. >> staying on that issue, 4- looking, but the osprey and the joint strike fighter, the navy is now having concerns about the heat on deck -- you know, that if you're burning -- turning the engines on the ospreys, before or after flight, you're overheating the deck and they're worried about a densely wearing them out. same problem expected with the f-35. are you getting into a situation where you're going to have your airplanes but you're not going to have any -- and >> know, we do not think that is an issue. -- no, we do not think that is
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an issue. if you alter the direction of the blast deflector a little bit, it is not as large an issue pretty other fix that we have got are some relatively inexpensive pads that will absorb the heat. and we're going to experiment with it. we do not want to minimize the navy's concern about these type things. but we fly carriers on and off the deck. they have the vertical thrust. -- we'd like harriers on and off the deck. they have the vertical price. we think all those things can be fixed in time. >> any indication that they are allowing you to put your ospreys and joint strike fighters -- >> i think that it wants to put the ospreys and joint strike fighter jock aboard ship. collectively for those reasons and others, we're going to find a way to get it done. >> prime minister hatoyama said
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that he will put off the decision on the futenma this issue until next year. can you tell me how does that affect on moving marines from okinawa to guam? >> the fax said there. we have a new japanese government that is looking at all the treaty or rape -- agreements and obligations of the proceeding government. in this case, with regard to this treaty, we what -- we await their formal notification. we hear about all kinds of churn. there are reports coming out of japan and okinawa about this minister or that saying this or that. but we've got to give the government a chance to reach their logical determinations and give us a formal response. and when they do, we'll see what our nation and what our department will reactions to that ought to be geared -- ought to be.
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right now i think it is the surprise that our position is that the futenma replacement facility as absolutely vital to the defense that we provide a of the entire region, and we agree with the original planning that where we are right now needs to be coming out of the very populated area to a more sparsely populated area. at this point, it is their move. there is a joint commission that is at work that will probably receive some additional guidance from both the japanese government and u.s. government. i am not privy to what those folks are saying these days. >> can i go back to some of the numbers you mentioned originally -- 1-6 coming you expect to be in theater completely by the end of this week. >> before christmas. >> and you expect to grow to 20,000 by when? >> less than 20,000 by spring. part of that is going to be a headquarters that we put in.
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but we will not put them in prematurely because we've got a headquarters there right now. by spring, the 20,000 marines will be fully up and operating. >> are you seeing marine elements going above 20,000 during this transition that is going on? and you have any commitment by july 2011 that some of them will be coming out? >> no, i did not see us exceeding 20,000. now hopefully or later, and the reason that that is an important figure to us is that we are on the verge of achieving 1 to 2. in iraq, our standing complement was something on the order of 26,000 marines. if we can keep it below 20,000 in afghanistan, and we now have the ability to input the effect of 27,000 additional marines that we started growing at the
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beginning of 2007, that is having a pretty good impact out there in the field in terms of our deployment to dwell. so we think we can be at 7 and 14 probably by mid or late next year. and there's goodness in that for our troops, for our families, so we're encouraged by that. the second part of your question was -- >> july 2011, any commitments? >> that is a long ways off. we've got a lot of work to do between now and then. but as i understand what the president has said and as i have read the secretary's testimony statements and so forth, i think that what you will see is reduction of forces, u.s. forces, where the afghans are ready to take over. my belief at this point, 18 months out from that, if that that is going to be in the lesser contested areas. helmand does not fall under the
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category. what that means to us as marines is yet to be determined. we intend on making good progress, but i have to be honest, i would be surprised if we're in that initial tranche of turnover by 2011. >> the project officer for the infantry automatic rifles said that you had concerns with fielding the weapon. what were those concerns? do they still exist? and do you think that fielding the auto rifle will in some cases sacrifice firepower? >> yes, ma'am, i do have concerns, and those concerns have not been abated at this point. i got it that assault with a two-round magazine is not perhaps terribly accurate -- that a saw with a two-round magazine is not perhaps terribly accurate shot to shot, but it is a light machine gun. if you take another weapon that fires three-round bursts, every
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fourth round's going to be an aimed shot. in terms of accuracy, there's probably no comparison. but talk about suppression. the other guy's got a light machine gun and i've got an automatic rifle, i'll be going to be hard-pressed to keep fire superiority over him. to keep his head down instead of him keeping mine down, because that 200-round magazine just keeps on giving. so i got the accuracy argument, but now let's talk about suppression. let's talk about what it does to squad tactics and see how the troops feel. you're not only changing the kit but away potentially that we fight. with this new automatic rifle, every 30 rounds, you have got to change magazines. you're not going to do that in an exposed position. you're going to have to drop down, change that magazine, and come back up again. i support -- fire superiority is fleeting. i am concerned about the sustained effects of all that.
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moving at night, the other squad members carrying those additional magazines for that automatic rifleman might be hard pressed to get him what he needs in a timely fashion. are they going to throw them to where it they think he is? they are going to be a little bit occupied themselves in a firefight. i don't get so far down in the weeds that i am doing lance corporal work here. but it is a big deal when you start changing how a marine and pursue squad fights. and we're going to treat it as a big deal. -- a marine infantry squad fights. and we're going to treated as a big deal. we also have to be able to justify to the congress and to you folks that we're moving away from a tried and true weapon system that the army is going to continue with, and yet we are going another way. there's another additional burden of proof that has to be met simply because of the expense to the taxpayer. there's a number of things out there that we've got to accomplish.
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>> the see the marine corps going -- if the jltv are too heavy, if there concerns about them, to go to an interim vehicle in the near term car -- in the near term? >> we could. our concern is not just with the jltv. our concern is that right now, and arguably so -- since 2003, we have been serving as a second land army, okay? we believe in large doses of salt-sea air, okay? and there's not much of that in anbar or in helmand province. we are a long way from the water. what we offer to the nation is an assured access from the sea. and we're strongest working with our brothers in the navy, not our good friends in the army. so we need to get back to that. barda that is shucking some of this weight that we have picked up, analogous to a land army, in the process of defeating the enemy's favorite systems and putting fire on our own
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objectives, the maneuver that's necessary over these large expanses, that type of thing. as we look at our next set of vehicles, we want them to be helicopter transportable. we want them to fit in what we call lower-vehicle stow on the amphib ships. we did not want to wait these ships out before we cube them out. and all of that is at risk if you stay with heavy vehicles. enter the joint light tactical vehicle, hanging in there around 22,000 pounds. emphasis on the light here, and we ask ourselves, is that the vehicle that we need to be buying? people point to the curb weight. that is interesting but not relevant when the vehicle goes into combat. it's got to be loaded. it's got to have the protections and that type of thing. it did go back and check the parameters, the joint light tactical vehicle was dependent upon technology to give us
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composite or plastic armor or something that would be light and yet serve the same purpose of steel. it just has not happened. experts will tell you that is still five years out. do we do something in terms of the bridge? we are looking at it. once again, and knowledge as to what i talked about earlier with a seven-time, we have got tens of thousands of up-armored humvees out there. are we going to give them to the iraqis in the afghans or push them over the side on the way home? it would probably not be wise to do that we're looking at a capability, and i will not talk about the manufacturer, but a capability that would elevate that humvee, so it is not flat- bottom and it is well above the ground compared to what it now. it is eight to 10 inches now. we need something two or three times that for blast mitigation. with the be-shape bottom -- v- shaped bottom that whatever
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protective compartment for the group. and there are some manufacturers out there that think that they can do that for the 10th of the cost of a new vehicle. that is what the marine corps does. we try to be good servants of the nation and use defense dollars wisely. it really come up something that will give us the capability for a few years, we will look at it until the joint light tactical vehicle comes along. >> how would you describe the discussions with those companies? are there multiple companies that are making those modifications? >> we think that there are three we have got one that is are given to we're in the process of blast testing it to see what the comparison between that and the figures that we now have on some of the jltv's that we now have, on the m-atv's. we ask that the m-atv be blasted the failures because we want to understand the difference between what it will sustain and what the iss will sustain, because it is important to us as commanders of marines to know what is going to put our
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people on the safest vehicles, given conditions. we want to do the same thing with these other vehicles and say, what is the disparity here -- what is the best buy for the money that we can peel the fastest and still feel comfortable that we can accomplish our missions? >> you talked earlier about the mef going in, that two-star command going into helmand. was that always the plan, or was this an adjustment that you made as you along? and how was that going to impact the command structure there? >> as mike mullen said it once upon a time -- we do what we must in iraq. we do what we can and afghanistan. we have boot at that point now -- we are at that point now where afghanistan has moved from being an economy of force function to our main effort. so in the process, we are looking at expanding the capacity that we have had there. nimroz province is a big enigma to us at this point.
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barack, on by the italians, but they probably don't have enough -- farah, owned by the italians, but they probably don't have enough forces there to do what needs to be done routinely. we're expanding that way a little bit as well. you start to stress the command- and-control capacity of the established headquarters. and when these headquarters were established, it was about nation building not about fighting a counterinsurgency. this goes back to 2002 or 2003. the nations of nato were simply dividing up the country for pr teas and that type of thing. -- prt's, and that type of thing. and we're going to put 20,000 marines into an area of operations -- that is bigger than a brigade, smaller than in mef, a marine expeditionary force, so it probably needs to
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be an mef forward, something very much akin to what we did in anbar. the what follows with a subdivision of rc south into rc southwest or rc south and central was going to be a decision that stan mcchrystal has to make in terms of what is the best allocation of resources and command-and- control networks. >> you potentially see the mef board becoming another regional command them? >> that is an option. got to be an option, you know? it could also work for the commander that is there. he is also a two-star. we would probably scratch our heads about that some. but all probably three or four courses of actions that general mcchrystal and certainly general rodriguez will take a look at in terms of what is the best distribution. but there are other factors that crank in as well. you have got to look at the alignment of the afghan forces laid out, what is the area of responsibility for their afghan 2 15th corps?
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we like to work with a single governor and not start splitting up his province so that we have to deal with two or three governors. there are a lot of things that will go into that stew before the decisions are made. but we've got the capacity to take on an rc southwest is something like that if that is the final determination. >> he talked about pushing f intoarah. -- you talked about pushing into farah. when you sent the trainers in the initially, do you think they had and all -- and not live to go in there? >> there are couple of types of trainers. we've got some marsoc people out that way. if you asked admiral olson, he would probably tell you that he is short of a little bit of lift. we have suggested, those guys are marines. redraw that boundary and they become an inherent part of our
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al-. and we would look at their report -- the requirements in a scheme of priority and support them the best we can. that is not happen today. we are not totally comfortable that they have had the support that they needed. we had some casualties up in a marsoc unit that was a long way out. that is what they do in part and mission pro -- and mission planning probably ought to provide for some of the things that were lacking that day. we're concerned about medical evacuation if somebody goes down. and we would encourage that that be a stronger part of the planning so that we don't lose anybody because he bleeds out. let me get somebody that has not -- please. >> cannot clarify what you said about the futenma issue, just to make sure? are you saying that the decision made by the japanese government yesterday does not influence the replacement of the marines of replacement from okinawa to guam? it does not influence it? >> can elaborate and tell me
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what decision that you're talking about precisely? >> our japanese government made a decision to delay the implement thaof the agreement about futenma replacement. they said they would make a decision next year. doesn't that influence the -- >> if that is going to be the formal notification to our government -- i frankly had not heard or even read that the japanese government had slapped the table on a decision. but if that is their decision, then i think it is unfortunate in terms of what we are attempting to plan on our end, because what we have said -- what the treaty says is that work on the futenma replacement facility must be substantial in order to us to kick into gear and begin moving marines to guam and doing the necessary
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drawdown that our countries have agreed upon. there is always been some question in our mind, based upon the scope of the work and some things that we needed to do on guam for arrival, as to whether or not we would make 2014, a part of the treaty and what both governments were striving for. any delay at this point only puts that date in greater doubt, because we do want to see a firm statement and an action that will show us that we have a replacement facility that is being filled. that is part of the treaty. >> on operationability -- some of the local okinawa politicians have been throwing ideas around, one being to have a land-based facility. >> it's probably too early to start talking about alternatives. i think that that is the
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japanese position, our government is going to have to tell us what is that they want us to begin planning. but in that context i will not comment on any alternatives. it is going to be interesting to watch the formal response come in from the government of japan, and then we will await the formal reaction of our own state department and of the president's administration in terms of where we are on this thing. it sounds like it is more and more up in the air which is unfortunate. >> can you talk a little bit more about equipment reset as far as you pull out of iraq and into afghanistan? >> i will tell you that you probably touched on my hot- button issue at this point, because we are concerned. we're facing sort of the board tax -- vortex that is caused by
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several factors. the movement of equipment into afghanistan from iraq that we previously thought was going to be able to come home, going to our reconstitution or reset phase and get put up on a first- tier basis. we've had a lot of equipment destroyed. most of the other place by -- most of that is replaced by our oco funds, and so i cannot really say that it is a dramatic factor, but it impacts on availability of equipment. .
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so that that depletes our home- station allowances and causes us to be, again, woefully under in the united states. we may have to reconsider it, but we made a conscious decision not to draw down. we had three squadrons out there with a great deal of marine equipment. that to us is a sort of national reserve be a that is our ability to respond to something -- that come to us, is a sort of national reserve. that is our ability to respond to something. -- back, to us, is a sort of national reserve.
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-- that. we leave our equipment there. it saves money, but it also means a better equipment is not available for resale, so there is a little bit of a crisis proportion there, and today, it is fair to say -- i will not give you the figures, but it is fair to say that our home readiness is not what we want it to be to be able to train or deploy to another crisis elsewhere, so we made the point that we need to start laying in some more procurement dollars against that he quit so that we could have a better -- against that equipment. we were at about 75% of need, and today, it is only about 50%, some money or reset after the fight, we would like to hang our hat on that. there was a time when charlie got a lot of money for what he
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was doing come and after it was over, he could not get any money for what he was doing, so we do not want to do that and find ourselves with hat in hand with a lot of broken-down equipment. >> [inaudible] >> that is what we need for infusions for our requirements, but it is a lot more money than we thought it was going to be, just because these factors are taking us there. >> we will try again. >> ok. >> where are you going to be in the next 18 months in helmand province? >> you mean, at the end of 18 months? >> yes, during the next 18 months, to building are you going to be able to do? -- how much building are you
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going to be able to do? >> we do not know what we do not know, days. in terms of what we are going to be able to do -- we do not know what we do not know, dave. while i was there, i was told by the general that they had increased pay by 40%. he told me that the month below -- before, they fell 2000 short in terms of recruiting, and this year, i have told us there was over $3,000 -- 3000. so if that continues to takeoff, and suddenly things are looking much better in terms of force availability in the south, i think we can do a lot. we have got to authority to take the gloves off with regards to our police training programs, and so, we are going to turn of the volume on that. 50 sounds great, but that is really a fraction of what we
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need to in some of these areas that we are going to go and villages, -- a fraction of what we need in some of these areas. what we saw in iraq was very effective, coordination centers that said, hey, please, you have got it. -- police, you have got it. if you cannot take care of it, call in people, and then you start to take care of the responsibility, so the key to all of that is the support of the people. you have got to win them over and get them off of the fence so they do believe there will be support. not charging them unfairly to go to market, but if we can get that momentum going, i think the sky is the limit in terms of what we can accomplish, even in an 18-month period, and i encouraged by recent trends, but we have to make sure they continue -- i am encouraged by
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recent trends. >> ok, folks, have a great christmas. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> on c-span tonight, house speaker nancy pelosi and other democratic leaders proposed a jobs bill. an author discusses the economy. and the house hearing examines the legal and technical issues involved in tracking terrorist communications. >> on tomorrow's "washington journal," a republican, whose district includes the prison that would hold transferred guantanamo bay detainees. and we will talk to a tea party representative, dale robinson,
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and then senator kay hagian, and c-span. and then, three documentaries on the iconic homes of the three branches of american government. this is only $24.95, plus shipping and handling. for this plus other gift ideas, visit >> house democrats today announced plans to a vote on legislation at creating more jobs. it includes infrastructure spending in small business tax credits. the proposal is similar to ideas outlined recently by president obama. this is 15 minutes. >> good afternoon.
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it is with great enthusiasm that we present our jobs for mainstream legislation, which will be filed today and will be passed on the floor tomorrow. this legislation that brings jobs to main street by increasing credit for small businesses by rebuilding the infrastructure of america, by keeping police and firemen and teachers on the job. for those hit hardest by the deep recession, we will have unemployment benefits, the extension of cobra, the extension of a section of medicaid for people so they can have their health benefits, and, of course, food stamps for those in need. if is a bill that creates jobs, that meets the needs of those who are unemployed -- it is a bill that creates jobs. we hope that when we pass this, after the first of the year it
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will be passed by the senate and signed into law before the president gives his state of the union address, and please now welcome steny hoyer. >> we have worked very hard to address the extraordinary fall in our economy that was left to us by the lasted administration. you have heard me say in the last month -- that was left to us by the last administration. last month, 11,000 people lost their jobs, still too many. we have made progress, but we have not had success. we believe in is our responsibility to continue to fight to keep jobs, -- we believe is our responsibility. -- it is our responsibility.
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whatever it may be, we need the jobs and the investment in infrastructure. that is what this jobs bill is about. that is why we are bringing it to the floor. we are confident we will pass it, and we hope the senate addresses it in the near term. i now want to yield to my distinguished friend, the majority whip, jim clyburn of south carolina. >> thank you. this jobs bill will build in some things for the american families. by doing this, we hope that the american people will know during this holiday season that we're serious about addressing the issues, that we plan to the first of the year to present to
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the president of the united states a bill that will sustain the reduction in job losses that we just heard about. to go in january to go from 725,000 jobs or shoo, that is taking us in the right direction, and that is what this is about, sustaining that. with that, i will lead to -- >> one thing before we introduce him. thank you very much. as we said, this is legislation to create jobs, to keep us on the road to recovery, and it also decreases the deficit. because of the hard work of the appropriations committee, mr. obey's committee, it is paid for and will, again, grow the
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economy to reduce the deficit, and i want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the great work that mr. obey and his staff have made. mr. obey. >> a thank you, madam speaker. as has been indicated, we have gone from a job loss of 750,000 jobs a month down to about 11,000. that is terrific progress, but it still is not enough, and what we are trying to do, therefore, is basically two things. first of all, to continue the emergent clete -- emergency help, by extending people's ability to hang on to health care through cobra, for instance, and then secondly, we want to redirect $75 billion, which had been focused on the needs of wall street. we want to redirect that to wall street and use the -- we want to
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redirect that to main street and use it to preserve the jobs of teachers, policemen, prison guards, you name it, and at the same time, provide another boost to infrastructure projects all around the country. if we do not do this, we are going to see unemployment in the construction industry in some states approaching 35%. that is clearly unacceptable, and congress has the obligation to move. >> as you know, one man has been a star in meeting our transportation needs. >> thank you, first of all, madam speaker for your leadership and your laser like focus on jobs and for dave obey for his ability to sustain the sex -- the success.
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i have a report card. we now have over 230,000 direct jobs, construction workers on highway and transit projects and another 130,000 jobs in the supply chain providing cement and asphalt and pipe and read more -- rebar 4 350,000 real jobs created because of the recovery act -- for 350,000 re- jobs -- real jobs. unemployment compensation not spent. people's insurance restored, health insurance restored, and paying in excess of five and dollars million in taxes because of receiving payroll checks, not
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unemployment checks. this will sustain those jobs, will sustain the investment out into this coming year. without this investment, the highway trust fund will decline. states will not be able to provide their 20% match, and we will have regression. the house acting on this now assures that state programs will be fully funded, highway trust fund revenues will be fully invested, the sustainability of job creation will go forward, and we will be gaining jobs rather than losing jobs because of what the house will do in this recovery program. >> thank you. as a member of the leadership and policy committee, the chairman also chaired another committee, education and labor,
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and he has been tasked to take all the suggestions from the members on how we go forward on job creation, see how they can be paid for, and we thank him for his hard work. mr. miller. >> thank you and for the rest of the leadership, steny, jim. this yields to the concerns we have every week as members come back from their community. hopefully, these positive indicators continue on unemployment, but we hear in the private analysts community and many people concerned about unemployment in this country, economists and others, that that could be overwhelmed if we do not do something to support local government, that we could have a wave of on employment created by the cuts they may face because of the fact that there are close to $300 billion underwater in their budgets, and this bill makes an effort, i
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think a good effort, in making sure we can assure the health and safety of our community and the education of their children. we are watching every year now as look at and reports from across the country from thousands and thousands of school districts -- as we look at reports from across the country. we cannot afford to lose that because of unemployment in school districts. we cannot afford to lose that because of the downturn in the community. most will tell you is in this type of environment that you want to make the investments in your future. we want to continue to make sure that we do not lose hundreds of thousands of teachers across the american landscape and then children are put in an environment where they cannot continue to make those kinds of gains, so this addresses the need, as you heard from our leaders, of the health and safety of our community, the education of young people, and also to provide opportunities
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this coming summer for young people look at graduated in many cases from school and are looking for jobs and who have not been able to find them, giving them the opportunity to receive training and job opportunity. i think the mix of this legislation with the emphasis on infrastructure jobs and public- service jobs is what we need in our state, in our localities, in our economy at this time, and i am looking forward to a good vote in our caucus on behalf of the jobs for main street bill. >> thank you very much to all of our colleagues. as i mentioned, the non- emergency part of this legislation is paid for, the infrastructure, the credit for small businesses, the issues that relate to teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other parts of it paid for by tarp funds. with that, we will take any questions that you may have. >> when are you anticipating the vote? >> tomorrow.
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on the floor? >> i hope. and i think. we hope to pass the extension tomorrow which we need and also to pass the short term cr which is simply for the purposes of allowing the senate at the time -- allowing them the time that they need. >> and the defense bill. >> and the defense bill. yes? >> if we pass them all. >> if we pass them all, that will be the business we go to the senate, and that would conclude our business. from our house standpoint, they are still debating the health-
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care bill. >> only two months of unemployment? february? >> well, we are revisiting that tomorrow by passing the six- month extension of cobra and the unemployment insurance in the legislation that we pass tomorrow. the ball will then be in the senate court to pass jobs legislation that not only creates jobs but meets the needs of the unemployed. yes? you know that. >> we will have a six month extension in the jobs bill. >> it will cost about $40
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billion minus the extension, which is being debated right now. >> senator lieberman is single- handedly changing health care. does he have too much power? >> that is a senate matter. >> c-span3 has live coverage of two congressional during tomorrow. the forest looks into illegal sports broadcasts on the internet. that house judiciary committee hearing begins in the afternoon,
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and a subcommittee hearing on the release of sensitive government documents. the head of the transportation security administration will testify about an incident where tsa officials mistakenly put procedural manuals on the internet. that is live on c-span3. you can also watch the hearings live anytime on our website at "booktv" this weekend, obama is really a champion of wall street. his book is "obamanomics." an interview by california congresswoman mary bono. >> and author was our guest on
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"washington journal" recently. this is 40 minutes. host: barbra let's talk aboutt the recession today and it's -- and its impact on the lower and middle class. your book is called "nickel and dime." if you were to take care of a family could you find -- guest: i did the work at a time of very low unemployment. now you know, now you can't just walk in off the street and fill out an application form and expect to be offered a job every now and then. it just doesn't happen and the word i'm getting is some people who have been for a long time in the low-wage job market. now you go down to get a job
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say at best buy or something -- they are you'll be competing with people with masters degrees who want the same job. no way you could do that today. host: how are lower and middle class americans liveing in this recession? guest: it's not a pretty picture. i have been in the last months trying to figure out ways people find of coping or maybe not so constructively responding, an there are all kinds of things. there are higher rates of suicide. people saying i can't do anymore. i can't pay my bills. but we need more hard numbers on that. here's an interesting thing. at first i thought it was so bizarre i wasn't even going to write about it. but more urban hunting.
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people -- i have sbrufte people who eat squirls. and raccoons that they shoot in their own yards. more suburban, really urban. but that's a new thing going for things much smaller than deer to eat. the big thing is is you give up on medical care. it's not even a possibility. you can't fill prescriptions if you were to be able to afford the doctor's visit, so what's the point? and obviously that means for a lot of people with chronic conditions like high blood pressure, they are really going to have a much more serious problem than they would have had if they could have just kept up with their pills. the other way of coping is moving more and more people into the same space. really crowding people in.
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i know of apartment complexes in virginia where there could be two families in a two-bedroom apartment. and that's increasingly common. host: another thing the front page story the death and trauma of joblessness in the united states. emotional havoc wreaked. these people were poor before the recession started. is this really a recession to them or something deeper than that? guest: well it's interesting, because some of the people i've talked to are like what recession? we've always been in a depression. and if you look back at my book "nickel and dime" that was completed in 2000. and that was the height of prosperity really in this country. that was a peak.
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so all the conditions i described for low-wage workers, those were the best of times and they with respect very good. now, it's just that much worse. so people, you know, there are more and more people who will also say yeah, this is different. before i had two or three jobs and i could have put it together. now i only have one of those jobs and i can't pay the rent. host: you wrote that it's knocking the working poor from low wage working poor from low imagine that had in this country, it goes on to say that the current recession -- that american poverty is far more luxurious than the third world variety but the difference is rapidly narrowing. can you explain this? >> yes. i think that's something we like to reassure ourselves by
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saying well, nothing -- the being poor in america is nothing like being poor somewhere in the third world. but we are hitting world class poverty kinds of levels when you have homelessness that is puts you on par with people on the streets of calcutta or many other places in the world. when you have people crowding unsafely into apartments with not enough sleeping room for everybody. that's like world class levels of the poverty experience. no medical care. you know, we are, i mean i hate to say it. we're getting up there in terms or down there in terms of the degree of misery poverty brings. host: we're talking to barbra ehrenreich the author of nickel and dimed" and other books.
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shiella on the democrat line, you're here? caller: the lady you've got on there. she's right on. i have a medical condition, a couple of them that lost me my job. and my health care and benefits and everything else. and right now i've got something going on and if i go to the doctor's, she's going to want tests. i might be able to get up at $70 for the charge for the office call, and i might be able to get the money for the test but then what do i do? so i just forget it. i'm not going to go there. why do it when there is nothing
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you can do about it afterwards? host: where else are you cutting back? caller: just everything. fortunately, i have a part-time job that is helping me out, in my church is helping me out -- and my church is helping me out. the company i was working for, i could not do the job anymore, and i asked if i could switch to something else, and they said, "yes, we will put you over there, but we will not give you 30 hours per week so that you can maintain your health insurance." host: your thoughts? guest: this is a horrible story,
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and unfortunately, i have heard a lot like it. people losing jobs because of a health problem. i mean, you know, most americans don't have any guaranteed sick days. you stay out of work because you're sick or you're child is sick, that could be the end of a job for you. now you've got no health insurance if you ever had it at all and the bills are piling up and piling up and piling up. so these two things, the medical problems and the job problems just start reenforcing each other. >> next on the republican line, you're on. caller: a few years ago i went to a book discussion on -- host: we're here. caller: i went to a book discussion a few years ago at a
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library on "nickel and dimed" and it was an affluent group, and they cared nothing about the workers, what they were really excited about was the part quoted in your book about playing the toilet and playing the sink, and all they were saying was that boy, we're going to have to keep a close look at our maids, and i said to myself, it looks like we got another jungle like upon the and sinclair a book written looking for worker's rights but ends up people concerned about the food they are eating, could care less about the workers. guest: sorry to hear that. i certainly didn't write the book so people would have better ways to spy on their cleaning person, if any. no. i would have to say to balance
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that out a little bit. i get a lot of feedback from people who are relatively affluent saying that they now notice the people around them that are doing so much of the work that makes their lives possible. you know, it's possible to just go to work and not realize that somebody clean that had office at night and that she's not paid very well. to open your takeout food from wherever and not realize somebody had to chop it all up and make that salad. it takes a new level of imagination to think of all of those people involved until your support really making your clothes, whatever. as human beings. with dreams and disappointments and all kinds of things. host: what are your thoughts on the health debates happening here on capitol hill? and there was a public option and now there's not and they talked about expanding medicare and now it looks as if they
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will not put that in the bill. where do you think this debate should be going? >> well, i would have been right from the start i would have liked to see a single pair option. we all just get this and think our wallets and you can get all the medical care you need for whatever doctor you want or hospital. that is what it seems to me. that should have been the starting point and then compromise from there. i can't believe we started with a fairly weak public option, option. and then that's being shipped away, too. i can almost not bear to follow this debate. host: phoenix, arizona, p.j. on the independent line. caller: i would like to ask host: go ahead. caller: first of all, i would like to say i enjoy your program very much. and your guest, i think she is
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describing in part of global economy fallout. i have been in the nursing career for 30 years. i loved my job. i was what you called a career nurse. what i am noticing particularly in the southwest of mayor akay, a lot of the nursing jobs, we have great-trained educated jobs are being given away to foreign immigrants. i have personally observed this. a lot 06 these i mean deprants that are coming and taking our american nurse jobs do not have the same high training and skills. also american nurses are being restricted, again, this is in southwest, restricted as to how many hours they can actually work. would you like to respond to my comments, please. guest: yes. i have one big thought about that which is we are not generating enough nurse ins this country, because we don't
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have the capability of educating them. we don't have enough nurse educateors. nursing is a very crafted profession for many people and aren't just in a slot where you can go to school and get an r.n. anymore. so this represents well, let the philippines educate nurses or whoever and then we'll take them over here but i think we have to really look at the source of the problem. host: did niece on the line? caller: i've been the biggest fan. i loved your book "nickel and dimed." i have two questions for barbra. one is i've never seen a more mean-spiritted time in this country. inflation and saw $800 back in the day. i i've never seen such a mean-spiritted time where it seems there's only have's and
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have nots. the second question is 12-15 years, the hugest criticism of our public education system starting with no child left behind, i'd like to ask barbara what her take is on this because i also teach at college level. i think that sometimes the the more things stay the same the more they differ. kids are kids. some may differ and some may not. but we're constantly being told that our children cannot learn and teachers aren't doing their jobs. the department of labor is where you go to obtain decent employment and i think it's an insidious campaign. they take on unions and the serious stuff but don't fill it with what is happening with the families? and i'm very concerned about this lack of any kind of
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efficacy in this country. and especially her take on the education. i teach on many grade levels. including from high school, to another program and the college level and i'd like to hear what she has to say. host: go ahead. guest: that's a big question. but i am very concerned about what's happening to public education. or education for little kids in general. i think no child left behind has been -- produced an atmosphere that you're just there to memorize a lot of things and pass tests. i think it really zapped children's love of learning. and i've heard from teachers that they hate it. they want to be able to talk about lots of things but they are always teaching to the test, and i think that's --
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we've made a big mistake. host: larry, you're up on the republican line. caller: this is larry johnson. i'm concerned about the way our country's been run by democratic and republicans. ok? i think that if we can stop the power, because we're supposed to be one nation under god. you went to church and stand up and some lute. we're all one nation under god, how many we can't forget power of to have -- guest: well, i think that it's a very nice idea. i mean, i'm completely with you on that. we have ideas of national unity and patriotism and how we are all connected as americans yet the values and ideas are
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constantly undermined by the glaring inequalities in america. that's just where we are right now. we may want greater unity and aspire to that, but we're being divided between the c.e.o.'s and their tens of millions a year and the people worrying about how to get milk on the table for their kids. host: east paolo aalto, milton, good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say her book was assigned to me in a college class and outside of my field but one of the most important classes i've taken and one of the best books, "nickel and dimed" my dad is a died in the wool news-250eu7 but i loved it and.
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-- i wanted to ask broadly, seems like the protest generation from the 1960 eats has kind of seen its corpse and sometimes the youth get accused for being apathetic for not being in the streets but if we want to identify with your work where would you say is the most important place to start? guest: well, there's many places to start. right now in this recession, the starting point has got to be health for those people who are going down fast. emergencies -- emergency relief even if the government has to general rate those jobs. if the private businesses have trouble then you could have the
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but we've got to start somewhere. it doesn't necessarily mean people running in the streets around protesting. but it certainly means building large constituencies for change that are willing to use their vote to get that change. host: you're part of a -- you started a group called united professionals. it's in a country where we're going to bring together white collar people who are unemployed or anxiously employed. that is a very shaky situation. and we just felt well there aren't millions usually for those people. so mabius we'll have an onenline support and advocate group. which you can find at professionals host: and sundaya on the democrat line good morning.
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caller: good morning. i have a question for bash bash. my -- for barbra. my husband and i both. host: we're listening. caller: i'm sorry. my husband and i both work every day. i drive a school bus and he works in automotive. we have never made $40,000 a year. plus can the american people and people in our situation. we can't afford to take our children to the doctor. what can we do to make things better? guest: well, this is wrong. here you are working as hard as you can and you're remaining in what effectively is poverty. that should not be the case. if you're working you shouldn't be poor. you should be earning enough to live on. up with of the ways we sought to address that. by we, i include myself, but also a lot of people in that situation, church groups,
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through saying the minimum wage has to get higher. you cannot live on $7 and change an hour. too many people are trying to do that. even with two incomes at that level, it just doesn't work. that's simple justice. i don't think anybody would disagree with me on that. host: you wrote about the piece that in fact hourly wage growth which has been running at about 4% a year underwent a dramatic collapse in the last six months alone, the misery at the bottom just keep guest: well, i think there is a price, even for people who are quite affluent, and we have a chunk of the population, who can barely get by. what kind of place do you want to be living in? i do not want to be living in a
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place even if i am on the more comfortable and of it, because it is a more heartbreaking place, it is a more dangerous place, and it is a place where skills do not get recognized. host: florida, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, a c-span. i have a couple of comments. i guess the author has never been to a third-world country where you can see poverty, real poverty. if you go to the most depressed parts of any american city or even rural areas, they seem to have cars. they have running water and plumbing. they have a cell phones, television, cable. when i was unemployed, i shut off my table.
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i shut off my phone. her i did things to do in order to stay solvent. -- i did things in order to stay solvent. marines this year had to basically get i.d.'s from people, because so many people showed up in escalades and very expensive vehicles to pick up toys here that were supposed to go to the needy. and so now they require the people who show up actually with their children to get these, so it's more, you know there's some poor people and yes there are some unfortunate, but there's a lot of people that put themselves in that position, and they don't have their priorities straight. a cell phone is not needed. sat lithe tv is not needed. some of those things they could spend money on food or books or health care for their children. guest: well, just one little
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point a cell phone is needed. fewer and fewer people have land lines. but even if you don't, you're sure not going to get a job. you're not going to find a job. so that's a key thing. i don't know about these people who drive fancy cars to pick up free toys. they should be stopped. i'm sure. but i think you have a -- an overly rosy view of things and maybe haven't been in enough homes of people who are suffering in this recession. seeing the mattresses on the floor, because there aren't enough beds or bedrooms. seeing, you know, the people worrying about what is going to be there for dinner, if anything. and i say those are world class poverty issues. and i have been in india and latin america and many other places and seen pretty raw poverty.
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host: bernie, good morning. caller: beautiful morning. host: what's your question or comment? caller: i'll try to be brief. i have terminal diarya of the mouth. barbara, i read your book "nickel and dimed" and wished i'd thought of it first and agree with you on the single pair program and the education system, i did see you on book notes some time ago talking about your new book "bright-sided." i'm looking forward to the time when you will sit down and write the antithesis of that book. i'm not a positive-thinking preacher. i have a system called attitude control which does in fact make use of conservatively help psychology and really a believer in the fact that it really does help a lot of people. when you were writing your
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book, you visualize that's a concept of self help psychology. i really wish we would teach more about attitude in our schools and colleges because yirled how important psychology would be to my success. i don't have a website yet but i have an email address, beautiful day at and i'd love to see you write something positive in that regard. once again, i agree with you on so many issues but do take exception to your book that down play it is power of positive thinking. host: barbara? guest: yes. the new book is called "brilingt-sided" how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined america. and yeah we probably wouldn't agree too much on methods of mood control, but i want to say there's one thing here.
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we have been talking about poverty and people struggling in this recession, and i hope you will agree with me that poverty is not something you can cure by changing an attitude. i think we've had that theory for a long time in this country. .
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it says that the emotional toll of lost jobs, flat pay, an uncertain futures appears to be driving an increase and other problems. what are your thoughts? host: i have seen that kind of thing in my reporting, too. but unemployment has actually hit men harder than women. and so, a lot of men with child support responsibilities are finding out that they cannot do it. if you do not have the job, you do not have the money. i think one of the appalling things is we do not have something where we have help for dependent children anymore. families can no longer support them. host: you also talked about the destruction of the black middle class. it is not just men, it is african american men. . host: you wrote about the destruction of the black middle class.
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not just men, but african- american men. guest: that is a group that has really been pounded. african-american men. african-americans worse in general than white americans. what we have seen in this recession is a precipitous, a decline for the black middle- class. first having to do with foreclosures, because there was racial targeting of african americans for the dodgy mortgages so popular in the middle of this decade. that is falling apart. and for reasons not fully understood, more likely to lose jobs and a layoff. host: we will go to your phone calls and get your thoughts and comments. new york, joan on the democrat'' line.
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caller: here are my thoughts. we used to have the private sector and the government and they were kind of separate but now they have become the same thing. and because of -- with all of the elected officials taking campaign contributions and lobbyists paying them off and everything, people were always saying wait until the election comes, we will show the incumbent, we will get them out of their but the only problem is we just get more people in there will also get paid off. it seems to me, the only hope is if somehow business could adopt a different kind of model. this almost brought us down. they probably will bring us down the way they are going. the business could have a different model where they come back to the united states and come up with sustainable non- toxic products and quick ripping off us and other countries, maybe there would be some hope
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for us. guest: i'm all for that. it would take a lot of pressure. look at how the financial business right now is fighting against any kind of increased regulation after what they did to us the last year. it takes pressure, it takes more and more people like you who will raise their voices and say, what is going on here. it seems like business and government are locked in together and have a lock on power. host: one thing you brought up is how expensive it is to be poor. what is it like now bring this economic recession? guest: here is an example. if you are making very little money and you lose your home through foreclosure or maybe you never owned one, but anyway, you don't make enough money to rent an apartment on a monthly basis. so what do you do?
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you go into a residential motel which will take you in right away, you got a roof over your head but then you will be paying on a weekly rate what would be far more than what you would have paid if you could get a month of the rate budget rent, if you could get the first month rent and security deposit to get appeared -- security deposit. or you might have no furniture or microwave oven, so you are stuck with convenience stores as a source of food, which is not only not particularly yummy but it is an expensive way to eat. host: jeffersontown ship, the jurors appeared marlene on the independent mind. -- jefferson township, new jersey. marlene on independent line. caller: in new jersey, community colleges have been nursing courses that are full. as far as that, the government made a decision to bring
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immigrants in to lower the wages and the lifestyle of american citizens. i say that because i just spoke to my daughter. she had so many friends with master's degrees in computers that cannot get jobs and get people with h1b the visas pouring in here. when will the government stand up for american citizens and not immigrants? guest: it is not the government making those hiring decisions. that is private industry -- or nonprofit hospitals, in many cases, that are making the decisions to hire immigrant workers. i really don't know what would be motorboating -- motivating them. that is one thing you can't put on the shoulders of government. host: knoxville, tenn., linda. caller: credit scores as the new
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scarlet letter. in particular, there is a structural systemic change in the way companies screen applicants for better jobs. they used to just resumes, now the computer does and the also with the credit score. not 700 and -- in particular, what happened to me is that it is a recession, you get laid off, payments are becoming late, you get behind in its credit card, this war goes down, down. what you discover is even when times get better you can't even get in the door to get back for the $80,000 a year kind of job you used to have. it is not just private companies that use credit scores. government contractors used credit scores. this is a long term quantitative change.
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if you fall below the threshold, you will never get back up there again. guest: a very good point, i am glad you brought that up. the last number i saw, 43% of employers now due credit checks on people before hiring. what a catch-22 that is? you need a job, you are desperate, you are falling behind in your bills, of course your credit is taking a beating, then you find you can get a job because of that. i think that illustrate a very disturbing pattern in america. when you start sliding downhill in america, it is not so likely that somebody is going to reach out a hand to you, although there is held in the form of food stamps and unemployment insurance, but you will find a lot of people on line to push you down further and faster. such as the people who will not
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hire you if your credit is bad or the credit card companies, you start using your credit cards to much, that is now going to charge you 30% interest and huge late fees. host: 1 last on corporate loss vegas, white on the republican line. -- one last phone call. last vegas, roy on the republican line. caller: the country would not have been in this and less like agencies that we already have in place, secured and exchange commission, a government accounting office, if they had done their job, do you think we would still be in this mess and would still be in this mess and have all of thes guest: well, of course, there are certain areas where there is negligence, like the one that was to determine certain creditworthiness of the institutions, but they were being paid by those institutions, so the law


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