Sunday, August 8, 2010

Transcript: ABC's 'This Week' (8-8-10)

Transcript. Excerpt below:

AMANPOUR: But five months after elections, Iraqi politicians have not yet formed a government, and violence continues. Last night, three explosions at a market in southern Iraq killed dozens of people. And today, two car bombs went off west of Baghdad.

Joining me this morning from Baghdad, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno. General Odierno, thank you very much for joining us on "This Week."

And I want to start by asking you about the handover. You have just handed over all combat operations to Iraqi forces. Are they really ready to stand up once you draw down by the end of this month?

ODIERNO: Well, this is something that we've been working for a very long time with the Iraqi security forces. For the last 20 months, we've been slowly and deliberately turning over more and more responsibility to them, and they have stepped up. They continue to do broad-scoped operations across all of Iraq. We continue to help them as they do these, and that will continue after 1 September, our assistance. But we do believe they are ready to assume full operations in Iraq.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about the violence. This weekend alone in Basra in the south, there has been a big explosion that's caused dozens of deaths. What is it? Do you know what it is, in fact, was it a terrorist attack?

ODIERNO: Well, I think it probably was. We're still sorting through that, because there was conflicting reports, but my guess is it was probably some sort of an improvised explosive device that went off.

I would just say, this is a reflection -- we have ups and downs here. As I step back, having been here since the dark days of 2006 and '7, to where we are today, what I see is a broad change in the security environment here in Iraq.

Transcript: Obama DNC Speech (8-5-10)

Obama shows off new stump speech at Chicago DNC fund-raiser. Transcript:

He's not in this to help lobbyists or special interests. He's not one of those politicians who's going to put out his finger to the wind to see which way it's blowing. He is somebody who is committed to you. You can trust him. He is going to be an outstanding senator, and I need you to fight for him so he can fight for you in Washington -- because we've got a lot of work to do. (Applause.)

Now, look, the last few years have been incredibly challenging. Over -- almost 20 months ago, I stood in the Capitol and was sworn in as the President. And that month -- some of you might have been there -- it was cold, remember? (Laughter.) It was cold, but a hopeful day.

But even as everybody was feeling that sense of hope and optimism, we had lost almost 800,000 jobs in that month alone. The economy was contracting at about 6 percent. Ultimately we discovered that we lost 8 million jobs in this recession -- the worst by far since the Great Depression. And had we not taken some steps immediately to address the crisis, we might have tipped into a second Great Depression.

Now, this would have caused enough hardship, but it was also compounded by the fact that we had had 10 years of sluggish growth, 10 years of inadequate job production, 10 years of incomes and wages that were flat-lining even as the costs for middle-class families were going up on everything from health care to tuition.

So the middle class, working families across America, were already feeling under enormous pressure. A lot of them were just barely hanging on, and then suddenly this storm sweeps in.

In the last six months of 2008 alone, 3 million Americans lost their jobs. And so these aren't just statistics. Behind each of these numbers is a story of heartache and frustration. A factory worker who might have just been a few years short of retiring -- suddenly he's lost his job, maybe he's lost his pension. A single mom who's sent out job applications to everywhere she can think of -- she's still waiting for the phone to ring day after day after day. A college graduate who thought her degree would land her a good job with a decent paycheck -- suddenly all she's got is a mountain of debt.

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