Sunday, December 13, 2009

Video, Transcript: Obama on '60 Minutes' (12-13-09)

President Obama appeared on '60 Minutes' (12-13-09). Read the transcript or watch the video below:

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Transcript Excerpt:

Kroft: In your West Point speech, you seemed very analytical, detached, not emotional. The tone seemed to be, "I've studied this situation very hard. It's a real mess. The options aren't very good. But we need to go ahead and do this." There were no exhortations or promises of victory. Why? Why that tone?

Obama: You know, that was actually probably the most emotional speech that I've made, in terms of how I felt about it. Because I was looking out over a group of cadets, some of whom were gonna be deployed in Afghanistan. And potentially some might not come back. There is not a speech that I've made that hit me in the gut as much as that speech.

And one of the mistakes that was made over the last eight years is for us to have a triumphant sense about war.

There was a tendency to say, "We can go in. We can kick some tail. This is some glorious exercise." When in fact, this is a tough business.

Kroft: Most Americans right now don't believe this war is worth fighting. And most of the people in your party don't believe this is a war worth fighting.

Obama: Right.

Kroft: Why did you go ahead?

Obama: Because I think it's the right thing to do. And that's my job. If I was worried about what polled well, there are a whole bunch of things we wouldn't have done this year.

Kroft: Do you feel like you've staked your presidency on it?

Obama: There are a whole bunch of things that I've staked my presidency on, right. That are tough, and entail some risks. There's no guarantees. But that I'm confident we have addressed in the best possible way.

Kroft: The West Point speech was greeted, it was greeted with a great deal of confusion.

Obama: I disagree with that statement.

Kroft: You do?

Obama: I absolutely do. Forty million people watched it. And I think a whole bunch of people understood what we intend to do.

Kroft: But it raised a lot of questions.

Obama: Now, it-

Kroft: Some people thought it was contradictory. That's a fair criticism.

Obama: I don't think it's a fair criticism. I think that what you may be referring to is the fact that on the one hand I said, "We're gonna be sending in additional troops now." On the other hand, "By July 2011, we're gonna move into a transition phase where we're drawing our troops down."

Kroft: Right.

Obama: There shouldn't be anything confusing about that. That's-

Kroft: Well-

Obama: First of all, that's something that we executed over the last two years in Iraq. So, I think the American people are familiar with the idea of a surge. In terms of the rationale for doing it, we don't have an Afghan military right now, security force, that can stabilize the country. If we are effective over the next two years, that then frees us up to transition into a place where we can start drawing down.

Medicare buy-in plan runs into Senate Resistance

This is a crazy idea. We can't pay for Medicare now. How could they consider expanding the program? Payments for Medicare already take up a sizable chuck of the budget now. This would be the opposite of health care reform. It is expanding a socialist program that cannot be paid for.

in reference to:

"A plan to let people as young as 55 buy into Medicare, heralded as a breakthrough in the Senate's health care debate, ran into resistance Sunday from lawmakers who can make or break Democrats' efforts to reshape the nation's health insurance system. Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut declared the early Medicare buy-in a bad deal for taxpayers and the deficit. He pleaded with Democrats to start subtracting expensive proposals from the overhaul, saying, "We don't need to keep adding onto the back of this horse or we're going to break the horse's back and get nothing done.""
- Medicare buy-in plan runs into Senate resistance (view on Google Sidewiki)

The Drone Dilemma

The Drones are the only thing we got going in that region. It would be a foolish mistakes to scale back their use. This is the kind of logic used by Clinton and Bush in failing to prevent 9-11 and destroy al Qaeda.

in reference to:

"A clandestine CIA search-and-destroy program, which launches missile strikes from remotely piloted drone aircraft, has killed more than a dozen senior leaders of Al Qaeda during the last two years. Among the dead: Abu Khabab al-Masri, reputed to be Al Qaeda's top expert on weapons of mass destruction, and Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban and reputed mastermind of the murder of Benazir Bhutto. U.S. government spokesmen won't even confirm the program's existence, but a U.S. national-security official—who, like others cited in this article, declined to be named talking about sensitive information—says the program has been so successful that some counterterrorism officials want to expand it. They say the drones have been effective not just in killing terrorists but also in keeping them on the run and disrupting their ability to plan new attacks. They have asked for authority to target terrorists in more densely populated areas of Pakistan."
- The Obama Administration Debates Drones | Newsweek Politics | (view on Google Sidewiki)

Despite U.S. laws, thousands still virtual slaves in America

This is the result of a culture that puts profit before people.

in reference to:

"But an investigation by The Kansas City Star found that, in spite of all the rhetoric from the Bush and Obama administrations, the United States is failing to find and help tens of thousands of human trafficking victims in America.The Star also found that the government is doing little to stop the flow of trafficking along the porous U.S.-Mexico border and that when victims are identified, many are denied assistance.The United States also has violated its own policies by deporting countless victims who should be offered sanctuary, but sometimes end up back in the hands of traffickers.After spending millions of taxpayer dollars, America appears to be losing the war in its own backyard.Even some top federal anti-trafficking authorities in the Bush and Obama administrations acknowledged serious problems.“The current system is not yet picking up all the victims of human trafficking crimes,” Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told The Star two weeks ago. “It has been a growing problem and in a world of growing problems, it’s time for the nations of the world to take it on.”America’s failure to live up to its own high standards isn’t for lack of will or good intentions or even money. The Star’s investigation pointed to problems that are more systemic: an uncoordinated, inconsistent approach to finding victims; politically charged arguments over how to define trafficking; and a continuing disbelief among some in local law enforcement that it even exists."
- Despite U.S. laws, thousands still virtual slaves in America | McClatchy (view on Google Sidewiki)

Chinese car Market Overtakes US

More evidence of the rise of China and the decline of America.

in reference to:

"China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest market for automobiles, the first time any other country has bought more vehicles than the nation that produced Henry Ford, the Cadillac and the minivan."
- Chinese car market overtakes US | | Cincinnati.Com (view on Google Sidewiki)