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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 24, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EST

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the third is someone that i hired, a computer forensic expert that has continued to work to build on the debt of the other two have gotten. to releaseo you plan this information, what you discovered? to my i am deferring attorney. i am sure you -- sure he will have a plan. host: pursuing legal actions? guest: we are looking at legal actions, yes. host: what are they? guest: i have to defer to him. host: timeline? guest: i do not have a timeline, but in the not-too-distant future there will be information he can release publicly or will want to release publicly. host: linda. virginia. caller: thank you, c-span.
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sharyl attkisson, i think you are wonderful. i do not know if she saw the press conference held by the president before he left for hawaii, and he began to address the news people this way. he said "i have a list of nice," and he said he would call on this person and then said you are naughty, i am not going to call on you. to me, this is the meaning to the press -- demeaning to the press and i would take that and run with it because it not only shows is the integration of the press, but the arrogance he has adopted in the presidency. -- nancy nancy poulos pelosi said let's pass this bill , then read it, but i have not seen nsa or statement in "the wall street journal" or anything
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essay oren an statement in "the wall street journal" or anything that said let's look at nancy pelosi. she stood up in front of immigrants and said do not listen to them, you are welcome into this country. bring more. thing -- congress has criticized obama because he has not sat down with congressman and did what president johnson did, have a meeting, may be have age rink together, and really understand -- drink together, and really understand where these people are coming from. he has not put himself in the place where he can get give and take. he is an arrogant man. i also want to say something about the two black men that
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served in congress. the gentleman that said the policeman that shot brown, more or less he should not be innocent-- hitting people. brown was not innocent. we have tapes of him running into a store and assaulting the owner. i would not call that a person who was not a criminal. host: a lot there. she did not mean to do men that served in congress. -- thank you for your opinions. i do not have comments on two of your three points. i am not a political reporter. as far as the press conference, it is interesting as what i'm sure the president intended as a lighthearted exchange in a way revealed that illustrated how they view things and how they administer favors and information at the white house, probably not just this
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administration, but handing out goodies, as i have said in the past, to those that are nice, and retaliating against those who are naughty. and compton said the president had called reporters in, including her on two occasions, and used obscene language to discuss his displeasure with things the press was doing, and i feel that was inappropriate, not the language, per se, because i'm not naive enough to think that talk does not go on all the time, but to act in a way where the reporters are subordinate to the whims and wishes of the administration, when in fact, my view is we are watchdogs of the federal government and administration and we are on equal footing in some respects. not in terms of stature, of course, we're not elected officials, but in terms of our
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goal to protect the public's interest, and watch out for that sort of thing. it strikes me when we have written letters to the white house in the past couple of years and pointed out that they have made things that raise constitutional concerns in their behavior toward the press. we have rejected many things i have done, but it is almost as though we the press are asking for a favor by the administration -- please abide by the constitution, do not treat us this way, but instead we should be treating ourselves as if we are on equal footing and demanding we reserve our rights and be treated the way the constitution intends. we have made ourselves somewhat subordinate unnecessarily to the administration. host: you write about having a back-and-forth with one administration official where "he replied to me he has no intention of giving the answers you want
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guest: he was basically saying ati believe that was tommy the white house. i was insisting on answers to questions about public information, and i was continually stonewalled, so at some point when i rewrote the questions and sent them, and reminded him they were outstanding, he said he would not answer them unless i took certain actions and i said i'm not required to take actions, you are required to give us information and i said we pay your salary. he wrote back and said "thank you for my paycheck." i said that is not the point.
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we expect information that is public to be turned over on request. in the past, officials have tried to control information -- in other words, we do not want to give this to you because we do not like how you will use it. they do not have that power and control. the law says so. that is what some freedom of information laws and state laws specifically say. it is not up to the entity to ask how it will be used. public information is public information and we should resist all the attempts to try to control how we are going to use it or whether it is released based on what we plan to report. sarah in host: sterling, virginia. democratic calling. her on i wanted to ask if she has done investigative reporting on congress withholding funds for the upgrade of embassies around the world.
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this has been going on for the past 20, 30 years. we only have marine security guards inside of the embassy to protect it. rent-a-cop on the outside and that is something the state department has to deal with with the host country. every time people have gone from the state department, they have to go down to -- begging, and it started with helms asking for money to upgrade the security and that was a big story nobody bothered to investigate and thus you have something like benghazi. on embassy in tel aviv sits a main street. it has no protection whatsoever, but they do not have the funds to move the embassy or upgrade anything at all. host: ok, sarah. we will have sharyl attkisson jump in. guest: i have seen reporting on that. it has been well-covered by some outlets.
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she is right about that as far as i can tell, but in benghazi it has been well established and administration officials have acknowledged it was not a matter of funding. in fact, some of the measures rejected by headquarters would not have caused the government anything, such as retaining the special military team, the security team that was offered at no expense to the state department for as long as they needed it. specialists, basically swat team terrorists specialist would have been there had they been allowed to stay. it was no cost to the state department. they rejected that. in the case of benghazi, while she is correct that there have been shortfalls and our embassies that are not well protected and there have been complaints, i am not sure that was a key factor in benghazi. interestingly, it was a similar situation years ago in bombing that occurred in west africa,
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and some of the same people were in charge of the state department. patrick kennedy, others that were there at the time. some of the same mistakes were made about financial problems, and yet again, some offers of help had come from the military but were rejected at the time when one of the ambassadors said we are not well-protected. we need a new building. there are always funding questions and there will probably never be enough money to suit and satisfy every single diplomatic post around the world, so decisions have to be made and resources have to be meted out. there were so many red flags about terrorism, including rights that occurred before the u.s. attack with specific warnings that the benghazi compound would be attacked and al qaeda was in town. it was common knowledge. the idea was not more money needed to be spent, but how did we miss warning signals?
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host: arizona. andy is watching. republican. caller: good morning. sharyl attkisson, i just finished your book. i think it is outstanding. everything you have done -- i think it is a shame what this administration has done to suffocate you. other point, the book out, hasdead in benghazi," why n't anyone asked who this gentleman was that told him to stand down? we love you. keep up the great work. guest: i do not know about the bob person. do you? host: i do not. i do not know the reference either. you know the book? host: --guest: i may have, but i
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have not read that one. host: you write in your book the questions that you had. do many of those questions still remain and when the special committee finishes the work, it what questions do you hope they -- what questions do you hope they answer? guest: some of the questions remain, but new questions have arisen as more information comes out that conflicts previous information. i still would like to know what president obama did that night. we do not need to know every step he took and every little word he uttered, but the lack of to tell us of them anything that happened overnight, the decisions the commander-in-chief made while americans were under attack on foreign soil -- there can be nothing i can think of that is more in the public interest, yet it has been shrouded in secrecy. it is an important request to
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answer. you made a request to white house photography to get pictures of where he was that night. was that granted? guest: no. we requested white house photos taken that night because if you know how the white house works, a photographer is omnipresent. he would have been there taking photographs of the president that night, so we asked for the pictures, and they are paid for with tax dollars, and they release them when they want the middle east. when theyoffice -- want them released. the photo office suddenly started referring us to a deputy press secretary, josh earnest, who is now press secretary, and they said he would have to approve it, and he would never return a call or e-mail. we would try to maintain communication with him or try to
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make munication with him over a long period of time, and you would not answer. we would go to the press office and say you have given us an impossible task, talking to someone who will not talk to us. you need to give us another route, and they would say you have to talk to josh earnest. that was a dead-end road. it is unacceptable. press officers work for the public. they are publicly paid to be responsive. those white house photos belong to the public in my view to the extent that they would not reveal national secrets. to this day, they remain secret. i will be just insane whatever they shall. host: any other answers? guest: we still do not know they answers to the question about who decided to put out the anecdote about the youtube video knowing that they had concluded it was an act of terrorism and the video was not to blame.
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at one meeting was the idea distributed? whose brainchild was it? we know jay carney, the white house secretary, hillary clinton, president obama, they were all on the same page. there had to be some meeting where this idea was disseminated, and we still have little information about that. matt in michigan. independent color. caller: thank you for taking my call. a brief follow-up on the benghazi investigation you did. there isn't a point once you discovered that your communications and computer had been monitored and hacked, that you thought seriously about dropping your investigation, and to this day do you ever fear what may happen to you in the future based on uncovering very sensitive information?
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thanks for taking my call. guest: no. i never thought about changing course. in fact, if anything, it makes me more determined, and i do not worry about my future or fate based on what i am doing. host: do you know if the hacking of your computers and tapping of your phone continues? guest: i have not had analysis done. i have not bothered to do it because what my forensics experts taught me was if people that are the sophisticated who did what they already did, if they want to get into your computer system, there's nothing you can do to get them out. in the end, it is pointless, so i do not waste my time trying to figure all of that out. i just assume, kind of as i always did, that someone could get into your computer. i think most of us know that, whether it is your corporate bosses who have the right to get into your computer, or hackers
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-- you have to operate as if it is being watched., republican caller. caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. -- her views on the lack of vetting obama when he first ran for president. the mainstream media, when sarah palin was announced as a vice president nominee, they dug in her trash, but when obama was announced, they did no vetting. he had no experience in management. he never had a job. why didn't the american -- mainstream media that into some him inble degree -- vet some reasonable degree? guest: i am not challenging what you are saying, but i do not
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personally know there was no vetting. if we look, i'm sure there are some stories that might have looked into controversies in depth, but i think what he means is there were not as widespread of media coverage of the controversies like there might have been if a republican had the same controversies in his past, and he is probably right about that. i call that substitution gain in my book, and i cannot explain why that is the case, but many times when you look at how a topic or politician is treated by the media, and you substitute that person with someone from the opposing party, and you say to yourself would that have been treated the same way if this person had done the same thing, i think you will have to conclude the answer is the treatment is sometimes disparate, and there was a sense of the media in general, certainly not everyone, but
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rooting for this president. a lot of people were excited, including journalists, about having an african-american president, someone that promised more transparency than ever. the idea that a president will issue a directive that gives you more tools to do your job and try to reverse something that had been going wrong in recent years -- that is very exciting., we were a little bit asleep at the switch in some respects, we in the media, perhaps we wanted to see something succeed and we saw a need for it and we did not dig with full vigor into some of the controversies that probably where there. roger in sanford, florida. you're on the air with sharyl attkisson. go ahead. caller: thank you for nonpartisan c-span and the work that you do. thank you, sharyl attkisson, for your courage and braves --
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bravery. have you thought about collaborating with jayna davis, an investigative journalist to uncover the cover of by the clinton administration in oklahoma city on april 19, 1995? of that anniversary attack on our homeland will be next april. it will be of great value to the public interest for you to collaborate with geena davis to bring that truth out in which the clinton administration covered up the involvement of al qaeda terrorists that collaborated with timothy mcveigh, and had the american and itknown that truth had not been covered up by the clinton administration, then the entire war on terror would have been recognized much earlier by the american people and 9/11 might not have happened, and the
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steps would have been taken to prevent future al qaeda attacks and 5000 soldiers dying in the iraq war. host: all right, roger. sharyl attkisson? guest: i am not familiar with that, but i will look it up and do some reading on it. host: oklahoma. democratic caller. ms. sharyld morning, attkisson. i love you on cbs. i want to know on these network shows, when they have exclusive interviews -- does the network pay these people for it, and one more question, you would have been perfect on "60 minutes." guest: thank you. [laughter] what types of explosives. cbs had a policy, as far as i knew to not pay for interviews
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and exclusives, but that does not mean other favors might not take place. pay to flyight someone somewhere, of course, might pay to have their family fly in, have their hair and makeup done -- things like that, but generally paying for an interview or exclusive is heavily frowned upon in the news industry. there has been a blurring of lines. i talked about this in the book. now, notsee interviews necessarily exclusive, on the so-called news, that look nothing more like nothing more more-- that look nothing than advertisements, like the ceo of taco bell getting an interview to talk about the new cool ranch doritos flavors. i think there might be some
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financial interest at play to explain why that apparent newstisement appears as a segment. there are many examples. soap had a news story at a time when i was seeing -- when nbc was seeking sponsorship. there are things taking place on the news that are not really direct payments. host: here is a question from twitter --viewers on why was our ambassador in benghazi, or was he arranging with cia for weapons to transfer to syrian rebels, now known as issiis? guest: i do not know exactly what he was doing. there was a gap between principal officers serving in benghazi so you intended to be there for a couple of days
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during the gap. the state department knew about this despite the fact they implied they almost said they are not even sure they knew he was down there. that was part of communications. could find for sure was that he was there dealing with feed a principal officer at an important post between other principal officers serving their. host: one last phone call. leo from jacksonville, florida. an independent. forer: hello, and thank you taking my call. from the broader perspective of what you have been discussing -- we, the public, we do not need, nor do we want, nor should the media be attempting to shape or direct public opinion. my question that i will to know your thoughts on, what can we do to bolster objectivity and transparency in what gets reported in the media?
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i believe in being informed and coming to my own conclusions. guest: good for you. i believe in that, too. even when i think i might have facts of a story, able to prove a corporation has provided false information, it is still up to you after that truth or those facts are reported as to how much you want to believe and what conclusions you draw from it. i agree that to often it seems -- and i did run into this at cbs, often, they want to shape whatever the public's conclusion is going to be, and i found myself saying a couple of times it does not matter what the public concludes. we have to put the facts out there. wem not trying to tell them have to find the same conclusions i may have drawn based on evidence and documents. i wholeheartedly agree with him and i would just say i do not have the answer, but keep drawing attention when you see journalism that you think is unfair or trying to point you
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falsely in a direction that is overstepping its bounds. point it out and draw attention to it. host: where can people find your reporting now? guest: i try to cross-post anything i write on a website. host: also active on twitter. the book is "stonewalled -- my fight for truth against the forces of obstruction, >> on the next "washington journal,," peter whener discusses whether 2015 will be a better year. after that, shane harris. exploring the military path use of cyberspace. plus, we will take your phone calls, facebook comments, and tweak. -- tweets.
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health and human services secretary sylvia burwell says 1.9 million new people have enrolled in the health insurance marketplace, with a total of 6.4 million consumers today. december 15 was the deadline. >> good morning. when it comes to the affordable care act, my focus is on access, affordability and quality. today, i want to speak with you most about the substance on access and affordability, with an update for you on open enrollment in the federal marketplace: through december 15, approximately 3.4 million americans had selected plans. about 1.8 million renewed their coverage and about 1.6 million
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signed up for the first time. last tuesday, we began the process of automatically renewing the vast majority of consumers who chose to not come back to the marketplace by december 15. i'm pleased to announce that we completed re-enrolling nearly all of these individuals by december 18th. approximately 2% of people were unable to automatically re-enroll because they had discontinued plans or who otherwise could not go through reenrollment. it's important to note that if a consumer who was re-enrolled automatically decides in the coming weeks that a better plan exists for their family, they can make that change at any time before the end of open enrollment on february 15. through friday december 19th, nearly 6.4 million consumers selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled into their current plan or one with similar benefits.
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more than 1.9 million signed up for the first time. we still have a ways to go and a lot of work to do before february 15, but this is an encouraging start. now, each of these numbers tells a story. i recently met a woman in arizona named donna gratehouse. for seven years, she couldn't get insurance because she has a pre-existing condition. she looked into signing up through a state high risk pool, but couldn't afford the $1,100 monthly premium. but when the marketplace opened last year, she found coverage for $155 a month. that is after tax credit. after reviewing her options this year, she chose to stay in the same plan. i want to share with you some of donna's own words -- "literally i'd be walking around outside and think that if i fell and tripped on a curb i'd be in big trouble financially.
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i have the peace of mind now knowing that if i fall down and break my leg i'll be taken care of and won't go bankrupt. that was a constant fear i had before." when i first joined the department, many of the questions i received reflected a skepticism about how the marketplace would perform. today we have more clarity -- consumers are interested. issuers have invested. a month ago, people were raising questions about whether consumers would actually want marketplace insurance. today, after doing things like reading the news, working out their family budgets at the kitchen table and talking to friends, 1.9 million americans chose to come to the marketplace and obtain marketplace coverage for the first time. there were also questions about whether insurers would decide the marketplace is a good place to do business.
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there are 25% more issuers offering marketplace plans to consumers, who can now choose from an average of 40 health plans, which is up from 30 in 2014. there were also concerns about whether these plans would be affordable -- and they are. while some predicted that premiums would skyrocket, in fact, while not all, most premium growth has been relatively modest. and nearly 8 in 10 returning consumers can get covered for $100 a month or less. there were also questions about the technology. and today, while our work is not done and we must continue to be vigilant, the consumer experience on is considerably better thanks in large part to our team which is working very hard to restore trust in a product folks had questions about. again, we still have a ways to
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go - but we're headed in the right direction. the marketplace is stable. people have chosen to shop. insurers have chosen to invest. there is choice. there is competition. people are shopping for coverage and people are signing up. i maintain that the reduction in the uninsured is the metric that matters most. last week, we released the cdc's latest national center for health statistics report. it found that as of this past spring, roughly 10 million americans gained health coverage since last year the largest increase in four decades. as part of that number, millions of americans have access to medicaid because 27 states plus dc have expanded. pennsylvania has joined the fold, and the governors of wyoming, tennessee, and utah have expressed an interest in expanding. as i close, i want to say a word about the kitchen table.
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because i like to think of our progress in terms of what this means to moms and dads as they sit down at the kitchen table and plan for tomorrow. thanks to the affordable care act, working families have come to count on the financial security that comes with having quality, affordable health coverage that's there when they need it - whether they're able to get covered because of the marketplace or whether they have better coverage than before because of the affordable care act. they're working out their family budgets with affordable health coverage built in. they're able to look across the table during this holiday season, knowing that their 25-year-old son or daughter has the security of being able to stay on their family's insurance plan. they have the security of knowing that if they lose their job, they won't necessarily have to lose their health coverage with it because of a preexisting condition. and they don't have to worry about losing their home or going bankrupt just because they get sick. some are finding they no longer have to choose between saving
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for a medical emergency and saving for college. all of these benefits are welcome changes for working class families. thanks to the affordable care act, finding quality, affordable health insurance is one worry they can cross off the list and this can be a great thing for a family's piece of mind, in addition to their financial security. while we have more work to do, we're moving in the right direction. working together, we're expanding access. we're delivering affordable choices to consumers. and, in terms of health care quality, we're moving forward toward our goals for better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. the numbers and the stories show that this law is working, and families, businesses, and taxpayers are better off as a result. and really that's what this is all about. with that, happy holidays, and i am happy to take your questions. yes.
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>> can you tell us of the reenrolled, how many people came to the exchanges and reenrolled themselves and how many people auto reenrolled? >> i didn't include that number in my initial comments because we are still in a preliminary phase with that number. preliminarily, we think we are in the mid to high 30% of folks who came back in, but that is still unclear. we do want to give you a indication of where we think that will end up but we are checking and double checking. that is the percentage that came back. 30%, if we work off the 15 number or it's probably better to work off actually the 19 number which is 1.9 of the 64 signed up for the first time, so
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it is the remaining portion approximately in the mid to high 30's of that will be what came in, and then the rest were auto enrolled. >> so 30% of 4.5 million, or what? >> yes. >> so the 30% that came back was of the 4.5? >> i want to be clear. preliminarily it is in the mid to high 30's. we have not settled on that number, so i just want to be clear. >> i know earlier there was a few issues in terms of some people who were stuck in waiting rooms and had to provide information to get a call back. can you explain how large a number that was and what you learned from that before the crunch you expect around february 15? >> one of the things we expect
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at crunch time, the number of people one would need to hire to not have a waiting room is something that any business would not analyze that you would want to do. the numbers are in the tens of thousands. the number is approximately 500,000 people. all those people have now been reached out to. in other words, you are given a message that said you're going to reach out to you. so you know, you now will have coverage january 1. so all those folks will have coverage as of january 1. we reached out to all of them and were in the process of working through with each of those people. some have already come back in using the technology. everyone has been reached out to. the other thing that is important about those folks is that they will all have their coverage start january 1. if you got in that queue, you are covered for that period.
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>> one point of clarification, i think that you set of the auto renewals, something like 2% were not able -- can you just clarify that? it's a little difficult to fully tell what is going on without some baseline data. can you tell us how many of the 6.7 enrolled as of october 15 were ffm customers versus states? >> can you clarify the second part? the first part is the 2%. around the 2%, that's the number of people that went through but were not auto reenrolled. a number of those people, like in oregon, that didn't happen because you know they came in. those are the kind of categories that are in the 2%. which number are you looking for?
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>> on october 15, you said there were 6.7 million people enrolled nationwide. so far we only have data on current enrollment for january 1 from the ffm. >> a 6.7 includes the state-based marketplace. today our conversation is on the federal marketplace. until we get the state-based marketplace numbers, we will be able to build up to those numbers. >> i'm just asking how much of the 6.7 million was only ffm. >> we will have to get back on what part of the number the 6.7 was based. >> you referred to the three governors who are talking about expanding medicaid with certain conditions and thresholds. what is your timeframe as you can best tell us for when you
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might have a decision, and what are the absolute thresholds? >> with regard to the timetable, it is dependent on each state, and each state in their interaction and engagement. the timetable is in the hands -- there's a set of processes but right now in terms of the timetable, that sits with the state. with regard to medicaid and how we think about it, the thresholds really come to implementation of the statute that we were given with regard to how and the conditions of expansion. different states are doing things differently, as we see in terms of whether it's arkansas or pennsylvania or even the conversation and was a governor of tennessee has expressed. so providing flexibility but making sure within the statute in terms of the types of coverage, essential health benefits and the things that were in the statute.
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>> how concerned are you about arkansas and it possibly unraveling their? >> we will continue to have conversations and be in touch and want to work with every state. for those states that are are ready and, we want to make sure they stay in. for other states such as the three we mentioned, we want to have a conversations when the states are moving. for other new states, we will continue to try and open conversations. are going to continue having the conversations to make sure we are doing two things, predicting and trying to find a way we could have as many of these uninsured get access to affordable coverage and do it in a way that works with each state. >> thanks for doing this. i'm wondering as you look ahead at 2015, you have a republican congress that has been for more enrollment at the end of 2015. what are you looking at as the
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biggest challenges ahead? >> we tend to try to think about in terms of the key goal. access to affordability and quality, and the key things one is working on in that space. in terms of medicaid, continuing on a path of medicaid expansion and a successful marketplace. we focus deeply obviously on both of those right now. i'm speaking to the issues of offense because that is how one needs to think about focus and objectives. the second is delivery system reform and the concept of making coverage and care more affordable and of a higher quality, and taking the steps needed to do that. so there are two buckets, wallet he and affordability, and the last element is making sure that the access we are creating actually translates to care and
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wellness. so there are many elements, and it's one of the things that you see, even for people who have the employee based care, many people don't know or take advantage of some of the prevention efforts that you can do, or they discovered when they take their child in for a wellness visit and you don't have to do the co-pay for the annual visit. the last categories making sure that the access translates. with regard to the others and the defensive part which is part of your question in terms of the things that will be incoming over the next year, think about it in terms of keeping the eyes on the ball of offense in keeping the conversation focused on the substance. at is the place where one can have the policy conversations and debates to make progress. i keep repeating myself, but it is affordability, access, and quality. if we keep focused on those issues, that is how we can
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continue to improve the results we have now and improve the affordable care act. >> thanks for doing this. yesterday the supreme court -- i'm wondering if you're thinking about contingency plans ahead of the changes in case it goes against you guys. are you talking with states on this? >> where in a position where nothing has changed in our open enrollment. is important to reflect that nothing has changed in terms of the subsidies and assistance people can get to have oracle care. the second thing is, we believe our position is the position that is correct and accurate. when i travel to states, one is in new york and one is in florida, the idea that the congress intended for the people of new york to receive these benefits for affordable care,
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but not necessarily the people of florida, i think we believe we have the right position, and that is what we're doing. with regarding to our planning and focus, it is as i described previously with a special focus right now on open enrollment and making sure as many folks as we can have that access and enrollment in affordable coverage. >> considering the preliminary estimate you mentioned a few minutes ago, about 30 some odd percent of current customers taking some active steps to reenroll, does that conform to your expectations, or was it higher or lower? did you have any notion of how many would automatically enroll and how many would take steps? >> because we are all experiencing the market lace for the first time, the question of having an analytic -- analytical basis and knowing how people are going to behave is something we are all learning as we go
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through process. the second thing i will say is just in looking at what happens with people and employer-based plans and other things, would probably would not have expected a number that high in terms of people's behavior, in terms of most people just let what happens go. we will see where it is. one thing that is important, and i think you all know this, we emphasize very strongly and try to communicate with people in a very strong way about coming in. most people receive anywhere from 3-10 touches, depending on where you were or what you were doing, what access we had. so we were deeply focused on that, in our communication is directly as possible and in our broader communication. we wanted to maximize on as many people as possible because we
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believe it is important to shop and compare, to come in and make sure many people like the plan. as the example i gave from arizona last week, she liked her plan. i met a gentleman in philadelphia who went in, compared, same thing. the idea that people actually take the initiative to make sure that they are getting that they need and deserve -- we want to make sure everybody does that. and second they make choices and come in and find the best plan for them in benefits and affordability. >> i appreciate your statement about king and your belief that the law is on your side. but given the inherent unpredictability of a supreme court challenge, it seems somewhat even irresponsible not to do some contingency planning or to discuss with states what
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they could or should do in the event that potentially hundreds of thousands or millions of people could lose access to subsidies if the court rules a certain way. are you not having any of her stations are doing any contingency planning in the event the court rules not in your favor? >> what we are doing is focus deeply on what is in front of us right now. that is the open enrollment period, and focusing on that as well as the medicaid expansion and other issues. we believe we are in a place where our position will prevail. i'm going to stick with where i am. we are focused on open enrollment and we are focused on the issue that we have a position that we believe is the position that will prevail. >> a bit of a follow-up question to that.
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one issue republicans have raised as a concern is that if the court rules against the affordable care act that the subsidies people are depending on the we yanked from them. is there a possible world in the future where people lose subsidies, assuming -- i know this is not what you are expecting, but if the supreme court rules against the affordable care act, is there a place where people could lose their subsidies midyear? >> with regard to hypotheticals, i think anyone can create any kind of hypothetical in life and in policy and anything. what we're doing now is focusing on where we are right now, which is the law of the land is, that is where we are right now. the subsidies are available, people are shopping, they are coming in and getting their we know that last year, 85% of the people in the system received the subsidies and were able to benefit from those to get the care that they need and make it
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affordable. that is what we are focused on right now. one can create any kind of hypothetical for about anything, but i think what we are focused on is where we are right now and the reality that we are working on. >> thank you for doing this. i wanted to follow-up, what is your reading of what the law requires in terms of states being designated as a state-based marketplace? though are concerns about the renewal process of medicare. there are concerns that hundreds of thousands maybe dropped from medicaid because of not return paperwork and things of that nature. i'm wondering what you're hearing about the renewal process on medicaid. >> that something where focused on on a state-by-state basis. we been working with the states throughout the year to reduce in some cases what were the blogs that resulted from last year,
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working to do two things. one, reduction of the backlogs that existed in a number of states, and each state has that blogs for different reasons, generally speaking. some different reasons. our focus has been to make sure that were getting rid of that back wall, and to improve the process of communication between and the system between. we have made progress. it is a place where we need to continue to focus and it's something we do continue to focus on a state-by-state basis am including conversations at all levels of the state to make sure that we are communicating clearly and listening well, because we want to help states get through these backlogs. often these are issues that are state eighth in terms of their systems, they are not our systems, but because we have the opportunity to work with a number of systems, we tried to use the best case practices. were going to continue to focus on it.
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when i'm out visiting stakeholders, and in the business i've done, that's one of the more important things. i always try to meet with stakeholders because that's how we hear what people are actually experiencing on the ground. >> what would be required in terms of designating a state-based marketplace? would there be some way to simplify that process? >> that is a hypothetical. again, right now we have a system, we have the federal marketplace, and that's the system that we are working in. >> many of the state exchanges are reporting numbers, so why doesn't washington have those numbers? when will you be releasing a report for the whole country?
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>> it's our expectation that next week we will have the monthly report. >> why don't you have them now? >> we continue to work -- i think what you hear is when we get the numbers, we continue to work. many states extended their timetable, so part of it is making sure we get the right numbers from the states and the numbers that they have. we are working with the states and plan to add that next week. >> i believe it was last month the administrator said numbers would be coming out breaking down honey people that are newly eligible for medicaid had enrolled as part of the whole number. i believe she said they would be
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coming out soon, within a month. i'm wondering if you have any sort of timeline. >> i will have to go back and see what the director was referring to in terms of that. in terms of the medicaid numbers and determining who is newly eligible, that is something i will have to understand what she was referring to. what we had focused on was the percentage increase as of october last year in terms of knowing who was eligible or not, based on the expansion. we talked about expansion as terms of when they do it at a point in time. pennsylvania had between 400,000 and 500,000 that would be eligible but because the population moves their income basis, you have to go at a particular point in time. i will look to see what the director was referring to in that specific comment.
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thank you, and happy holidays. >> michael grimm pleads guilty to tax evasion today. joining us to talk more about we have details on the guilty plea and felony charges. he represents staten island and brooklyn. what are these charges. what is he pleading guilty to? >> in late april, it was revealed that congressman graham from staten island and brookland was being handed a 20 count federal indictment involving his ownership and operation of a health food store prior to his election to congress. he has been accused of withholding more than $1 million from the government and tax evasion, tax fraud, wire fraud,
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hiring undocumented immigrants, paying employees of the book, lying under oath, a whole host of allegedly in conduct. he had been maintaining his innocence. he was able to survive reelection in november. he was set to go to trial in february. today, he went to court in brooklyn and decided to plead guilty to one of the 20 counts of misconduct lodged against him and he chose to plead guilty to tax evasion. >> he pleads guilty to one count what happens next in this case? >> it is unclear why he chose that over others. he may be alleging that he only did one thing wrong. he is only speaking to that
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particular count. he says this is something that many people do and it wasn't done out of malicious intent. it wasn't done to hurt anybody or try to skirt the law. he acknowledges that it was a mistake. he did it. he is sorry. he tried to downplay the fairies and as it in court today to the judge and in speaking to reporters outside the courthouse. what comes next is that he will be sentenced in early june. he could face prison time. in the meantime, he still plans to serve in congress. so, we will see if he is able to survive this. it is not clear if he is going to be censured by his colleagues or if the leadership will ask him to resign. >> this is a million dollar mistake that we are talking about here. one of your colleagues tweeted that he is not going to be resigning, or at least he says he will not. let's take a look at that tweet
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saying, resigning, absolutely not. happen before i was in congress and for the past four years of and a strong effective member of congress. what is their reaction? what are their options? >> they have a few options. the bottom line here is that a member of congress can continue to serve while under a conviction. certainly not when they are in prison, but he -- these new developments in his case don't preclude him continuing to serve. there are options that leadership can do. they can strip him of his leadership. he is not serving on another committee. they can strip him his vote on the house floor. that is another way they can render him irrelevant. leadership can tell him that he does not have any other options and step aside.
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they can continue to alienate and marginalize them -- isolate him, rather, intel he has no choice but to leave. if people do not want to make deals with him. we saw that with another congressman, a republican from florida last year who was arrested for cocaine possession. he tried to survive it. he took a leave of absence to go to rehab. he thought he could weather the storm. it was not viable for him in that situation. >> he was just reelected. who is waiting in the wings in case he either does not go up for another election or if he is forced out of office? >> both congressional fund-raising arms, the national republican campaign committee, they are being quiet. certainly, they are working behind the scenes to prepare the strongest candidate possible in the event he has to step aside and a special election is
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triggered. the democrats have a lot of stake in this. they feel a democratic challenger from brooklyn could challenge him in this last cycle. he ended up not being as strong he ended up not being as strong as a candidate. it couldn't have found a candidate strong enough to be a congressman. seems like he would have been a shoe in. it was not. michael mcmahon is staten island born and bred. important to the district. he served from 2008-2010 in office and respect out of office by michael grimm. -- spoke to roll call today. he is being recruited.
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he declined to say whether he would accept the challenge should opportunity arise. dumain'suld find emma a ro khanna. thank you. >> thank you. -- at rollcall. thank you. >> thank you. humor.ext, politics and then a look at the death penalty in the u.s. criminal justice system. later, a conversation with cheryl atkinson. >> here's a look at some of the programs you will find christmas day. the stupid a star at 10 a.m. eastern with the lighting of the programs-- all of our begin at 10 a.m. eastern with the lighting of the national christmas tree.
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just after 12:30 p.m., celebrity activists talk about their causes. the bill of rights and the founding fathers. on c-span 2, venture into the art of good writing with stephen pinker. and searching the history of wonder woman. and reading habits. on american history tv, the fall of the berlin wall. speeches from president john kennedy and ronald reagan. at noon, fashion experts on first ladies fashion choices and how they represented the styles of the times. and tom brokaw on his years of reporting on world events.
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christmas day on the c-span networks. go to >> less than a week after sony will "the interview" from movie company hase reversed itself and has allowed a limited release in the u.s. ogen talked about politics and humor at an event at harvard university. he is joined by lizz winstead. [applause] >> hello, everyone. i am maggie williams. welcome to the john f. kennedy junior forum in the institute of politics. our mission is to inspire students towards careers in politics and public service, but we have some laughs along the way.
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over the years, this form has hosted chevy chase, john stewart, stephen colbert, al franken, and i hope you will enjoy this discussion as much as you have enjoyed the others. leading our conversation tonight is a young woman who knows a thing or two about humor, named this past january as the first african-american woman president of our 138-year-old harvard lampoon. [applause] she started her writing career at age seven when she began her memoir entitled, i am the only one who knows about anything. [laughter] she is a senior and studies economics, which is a writing comedy. she was a directors in turn in the state of wisconsin. please welcome alexis wilkinson. [applause]
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>> thank you so much, maggie. i can die now. basically we are here tonight to discuss the role of politics and humor, and i think what is becoming increasingly apparent about the role of humor and politics. from tina fey -- some people would argue that influence the entire country -- to the daily show and the colbert report. with that in mind, our guest tonight our liz winstead, the cocreator of the daily show. she has campaigned tirelessly and hilariously for contraceptive access and
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abortion rights. she has appeared on comedy central, hbo, cnn, msnbc. please welcome liz winstead. [applause] seth rogen as an actor, him he nominated writer, comedian, filmmaker. he has appeared in a number of block busters. he is also a canadian. seth has been an ardent supporter of marijuana legalization, gay rights, and
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alzheimer's awareness, testifying to congress about the importance of research. please give it up for seth rogen. [applause] ok, i'm going to ask them a couple of open-ended questions and we will watch a couple of video clips and then we will move on to q&a. i will start with liz. you started as a standup comedian and then went on to write. some 80% of millennial's watch the daily show.
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that is a crazy percentage. can you describe how you came to create the show and what your original vision was for the show? >> oh, boy. the short of it was i thought i would be a standup forever. i was on the road and making a living doing standup. i was fine about it. i was kind of a hack. dopey jokes like great dane should have to wear underwear in public. really, it is so embarrassing to say, but it is true. i had this moment --i was set up on this date. it was before tender. i went on a date and the guy
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shows up and he is wearing a yankees hat and a yankees jacket and i'm already doubting because i'm from minnesota, i'm a twins fan, and i have a theory about guys who went double sports gear that they won't go down on you. he said to me -- isn't dolce vita in black and white? that's a negative. i thought i should and do the date. but i continued. we went to the movie. he fell asleep in the movie.
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he said to me -- isn't dolce vita in black and white? that's a negative. i thought i should and do the -- end the date. minnesota, so i thought i would go on. we went to the movie. he fell asleep in the movie. i hated him so much for falling asleep that i smeared my greasy popcorn hand on his yankees jacket. i felt horrible guilt. i said let's go have a drink. we get to the bar and it's the night of the first gulf war. the tv is on. a lot of you weren't even born, but it was when there was just cnn. all of a sudden, cnn had graphics and a theme song and hot people talking about war. i thought to myself, are they
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reporting on a war are trying to sell me a war? it felt really weird. when i felt like, -- i thought, we're screwed as a nation. i started looking at the world through a different lens. i started reading more stuff in talking about the media. i did a couple of one-woman shows an comedy central said you want to create a show that's on everyday about the news? i said, i do, but the one thing that is key is that we make fun of the newsmakers, we actually use the news of the character. we look at the way they do the news and make fun of that. the manipulation is part of it. >> ok. awesome. thank you.
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today, a lot of your work involves merging politics and humor. let's go to a clip from your organization. lady parts justice. [video clip] >> oh, there's a screen. ♪ [laughter] >> madame fallopian tube. all the other uninvited guests in my chamber. the state of our uterus is strong. the end of last year left is unstable. when the government shutdown, there was panic. with no politician in place telling me what to do, our vaginas ran amok. that was then. tonight, i assure you that the government is back to work and that republicans and republicans alike are tirelessly fighting so that everyone will have the same rights as those of saudi arabia.
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[laughter] [applause] >> lady parts justice is dealing with a contentious and divisive issue. legislation is now closing family planning clinics, leaving women without options, so what made you want to be in this fight? >> i think leaving women without options is bad. also, i realize people were not aware of what was happening. planned parenthood is a strong brand.
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when you are busy, you don't understand what the assault is. i feel like -- when i hear people talk about this issue that are -- they talk about circumstances that are not true. one, that there is some age of abstinence we have to get back to. people have sex. they dupe mistakes happen. -- they do. happen. whatever. why not make sure all access is given and talk about it in ways that are fun and interesting and also get men involved, because it turns out that women cannot get pregnant by themselves. >> what? >> yes. it is true. i feel like if women can't control everything about their destiny, they will never be a part of the power structure. i would like to be more a part of the decision-making process.
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[applause] >> thank you. let's move on to seth. [applause] >> oh, man. >> you are most known for outrageous blockbuster comedies and smoking cannabis. i know you care deeply about alzheimer's research. can you explain how you came to be involved in that conversation and what it was like to testify to congress about it? >> my mother-in-law was diagnosed with early alzheimer's when she was in her 50's. i had just started dating my wife around that time. i really knew nothing about it. i knew how was for trade in
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movies. -- portrayed in movies. i very quickly got a crash course in all things alzheimer's. one of the most interesting things and startling things was that there is literally no treatment at all. there is nothing you can do. then you start to look into how much funding it gets, and it is ridiculously overfunded in comparison the things that kill much less people and have many forms of treatment. so, no one is doing anything, and as far as diseases that are cool to talk about, it's polio, just not hip in any capacity. there is a lot of shame associated with it. there is aware of microphone thing happening. the whole thing is --.
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there was no competition. it was mine to take. [applause] as i got older, you realize -- not everyone -- i'm a famous person in people pay attention to what i say, and i generally say stupid shit. maybe i can deflect that onto something they could use some elimination. i wonder how to do that. i'm not very educated. it was a struggle for a long time. very organically this thing came into my life where i could talk about it on a very personal way. i did not have to memorize facts
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or statistics or anything like that. i can speak from my own experiences. all of a sudden, i was raising awareness. they invited me to go to congress and talk about it. that is discerning in a way, i guess. they have these panel set up so they can hear people's personal please on issues and no one shows up to them. that is like the norm. there are 17 people on this panel and two people were there. when i started to wonder why there were only two people there, everyone was that's what happens. people do not show up to these things. what a great job. you're defended in your choice to not show up to it. in a way, that was disconcerting. at the same time, people hate the government, and that is why. it seems inefficient and people are getting paid to do ship they are not doing.
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for a brief moment, alzheimer's went viral, i guess. the speech got a lot of views on youtube, on c-span, the second most-watched video after obama's inauguration. not a lot of competition. [laughter] in a way, it showed that i can, even if for a brief moment, shed some light on something, and that's a microscopic step towards relevant change. >> ok. also. thank you. the next thing i want to ask you about is your new movie, the interview. you and james franco are hired by the cia to kill north korea's leader. let's watch the trailer for that. [laughter] [video clip]
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>> who is this? >> the secretary for communication and north korea. our leader is interested in doing an interview. >> did you do say china? >> i will be traveling to north korea to interview north korea's president. ♪ >> i am agent lacey with central intelligence. you two are going to be in a room alone with north korea's president. we would love it if you could take them out. take them out. >> for coffee or dinner? >> take him out. >> you want us to kill the leader of north korea? >> yes. >> what? >> hello, north korea. >> i watched every episode of your show.
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i especially enjoyed the miley cyrus camel toe episode. >> you are entering the most dangerous company on earth. -- country on earth. >> i have a gift for you. >> this dog is killing me with his cuteness. crazy >> i wish we had an escape plan. don't we go to japan? i'm a good swimmer. >> it is really far. >> people have done it. michael phelps. >> that is not true. >> nice tank. is that real? >> it was a gift to my grandfather from stalin.
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>> in my country it is pronounced stallone. >> i never heard this before in my life. >> i love katy perry. >> really? ♪ ♪ baby you're a firework ♪ >> i spend a lot of time with kim, and i think he's not a bad guy. >> you're not pulling out. >> i've been pulling out for years, son. >> all right. [applause] ok. unsurprisingly, the actual north korea has flipped. [laughter] they called it merciless retaliation. something like that. borat and kazakhstan -- they
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weren't happy with it. i don't think they have nukes. how did this idea for the movie come about? how did you think north korea would respond? >> the idea came about from -- we -- it was anecdotal conversation. we were talking about mike wallace interviews of osama bin laden. journalists are in a position to be in a room with elusive, dangerous people. nothing they should. i'm not saying they should kill them, but were they so inclined, they would be in a good position to do that. that became -- we would just talk about, you know, and then meanwhile we were fascinated with the north korea, as a lot of people are. it is a bizarre place. the more you read about it, the more bizarre it is. the more mysterious it is. the deeper you dig, the deeper the mystery goes.
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what is going on over there? eventually, we combine the ideas. we would make a movie about a journalistic who gets an interview with a leader and is asked to kill him. as we get more and more looking into north korea, learning more about it, we started to see the crazy rhetoric is the name of the game. the opening scene of the movie makes fun of that idea. when they ultimately came out with this rhetoric, it was not that surprising. it confirmed the theory of the movie to some degree. yeah. [laughter] >> are you fearful that they will actually do something? >> not really. no. i would hope they have better things to do. don't take that as a challenge. [laughter] again, i would hope they have better things to do. >> is this streaming in north
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korea? >> i don't think the movies being released there. i suspect low box office revenue there. [laughter] >> ok. the next topic with you both is that there has been a lot of talk about gender dynamics and comedy, feminism, and that is people are looking at pop-culture and humor and holding people accountable for things being said. the question i have for you -- you obviously have worked and comedy for a long time, late-night tv, political satire, and for that genre there is a real thirst for women. when stephen colbert is leaving -- the black self in me was happy, but the woman part of me
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was not happy. what you think can be done to correct that? >> well, since i have so much power. [laughter] i think we have made great strides from where we were and where we are going. i think there was an old guard for a long time. the old guard is retiring. when you look at young show runners taking over, they have come up the ranks with women and with people of color and those people are now along for the ride. i think the predisposition that women are not funny is not there. i feel good about that. you will now see tons of women and people of color. it is really cool. i think that -- it's always
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amazing to me. i look at late-night into different ways. i look at stephen colbert and john stuart and belmar as different animals. generally, when i watch the daily show, i get many writing submissions from women. they did not have the chops to do that show at the time. that has changed. you know what kind of packet to write for it. if you think about it, if you're going into the world of tv writing or film writing or whatever >> there are few jobs for big, nerdy, funny political junkies who also have historical working knowledge of life, politics, and who can say that nixon said that, reagan said that, this is weird, fdr radio clip. those people existing work on
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the shows. you have to be a combination person. on top of having all that knowledge, you are examining the landscape of the media and politics. a lot of people just go, there's more sitcoms than shows like that. i think that it is hard -- if you look at the ratings of the daily show, they are different than modern families. i think that people interested in doing those things are not as great. women doing those things are not as great. people doing them well is not as great as that. it gets hard. the pool gets smaller when you assess what you need to make
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your show great every single night. it has to just to do with the cool people. >> seth, you are known for these romantic comedies with a bunch of dudes. they get out of it by being pretty stupid. you took to twitter to defend the movie neighbors. the washington post link movies like that to the santa barbara murders. you tweeted, how dare you and -- you imply that. many people pointed out that your character's wife -- she is actually in on all the action that is crucial to the plot. all that is just to say, do you think about the gender dynamics until making? -- of film making?
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how much of that should go into what stories you want to tell? >> as we got an older, we have thought about it more. when we were in our early 20's making super bad, it was so -- pharmacist perspective -- it was removed from that perspective. the rules of the women in that movie was very clear what they should be. as we gotten older, yes, with neighbor specifically, we put a lot of thought into how do we allow the character to be as important to the comedy, the
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story, and how to we not make the story about a couple who is in conflict, but make a comedy team out of a husband and wife who really get along with each other and like each other. the article she wrote had some good points, and i probably overshadow that with my rage because on that movie specifically, i was hurt that movie specifically is one that we put a lot of thought into not doing that. i think a lot of people responded very well to that and understood that was a key element of that movie. you know, being told that you are in in any way responsible for a mass murder socks. -- sucks. that is also where i is coming from from some degree. as we gotten older and smarter, i guess, we realized that -- it is the nature of how movies are structured themselves that lens itself towards sexism, honestly. the traditional structure of a movie that is romantic -- the structure that works for 100 years, which is why people keep doing it, is very much the structure that a lot of movies
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follow the do not paint women in the most independent plot driven light. once we were like, not do that, it is interesting how many conventions we had to unravel. a lot of the standard movie mechanics are trying to put this into a bad rule, and we had to fight against that. we do it more and more. it is something that we are trying to be more aware of. >> the more you get women in writers rooms and women as creators and in life in general where they're making decisions, then the roles of those women will also be reflected in film. i think that is the problem. if you have a life where you don't have women all over it, then you don't create movies
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from the perspective of a woman. how many women are running studios? it's a fallacy that perpetuates still. people say, there are women comedies and there are men's comedies and movies like bridesmaids and stuff. they have started to break the mold. unless we stop having women in these positions where we can write about experiential things, we will be stuck in that same formula. >> do you feel comedians should have license to push the boundaries? they have a social responsibility when it comes to joke telling?
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>> i think -- i mean, i think you have to know what you're talking about. i think you have to be able to defend your own material on an intellectual and moral level. i don't think -- i would never make a joke that i think would get a laugh that has a political view that i don't personally
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believe in, because i might get asked about that one day and i don't want to look stupid. it's like -- i do think that a lot of people who try to be edgy or political who feel they're unfairly targeted by the political correctness crowd or forget that they have to be funny as well as edgy and political, and i think that if you really look at the people who complain about that and the people who don't, their view of the people who are complaining about it are hilarious and motives the people who are truly hilarious and incredibly edgy never complain about it at all. i think every time you make a joke that you know in your head is slightly controversial -- there's almost like a group of people that have to react negatively to the jokes in order for that joke to be valid. you know the group of people think this thing that you think is not necessarily what they should be thinking, you know. and they will say their thing and sometimes they'll say something, though, that offends more than just those people by accident. i do see comedians apologizing sometimes. i've never done something that i felt like i had to apologize
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for. but i've seen people make jokes, i think, yeah, they should apologize. it's some admission maybe they went too far. we screen our movies a lot. there are jokes that go too far and that are probably in bad taste. by the time they reach mass consumption we filter those out. we may realize -- we didn't even realize it and somebody will say something and just the way it will play in the room, we're like, oh, and we try to be sensitive to that personally. but i personally don't feel like, you know, i -- that -- like there's some political correct squad that is trying to prevent me from doing my job in the best way that i can. if anything, what i'm able to get away with, generally speaking. >> and i always adhere to it's -- you i would never tell anybody not to say anything. what i -- we were talk about
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this earlier and i say it often -- is you must understand, though, that when you say something, the second a second it passes your lips, everybody else gets to intercept it the way they intercept it. so with that, it's always mindful and not a bad idea to think about what your intention is, be able to defend it, know that there's going to be haters no matter what, know there's going to be people who are going to misconstrue. i put a tweet out there about a year and a half ago that was like a horror show for me. and what it was during the time when the republicans were having those hearings about the i.r.s.
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and saying that obama had only targeted republicans in the i.r.s. scandal. right. it was also a time when the religious right had the habit of blaming storms on gays' and lesbians' behavior, right. so -- >> there's no proof it doesn't. [laughter] >> right. we can neither confirm or deny. >> san francisco's really rainy. [laughter] >> having that knowledge in my purview, the oak tornado was coming down the pike. it hadn't landed yet but i said i wonder if the tornado is only going to target republicans. i go have a drink. i come back to my twitter feed and it is hit. there are children who have died and i have a tweet that's out there. people are -- you're a tornado person, we wish people are -- i got it. people don't know how many
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people actually do that storm comparison. it wasn't worth me to defend it, because it was just too much of a thing, so i took it down and i said "i tweeted this, let me have it, like i get where this thing exploded into another thing" and i moved on with my life and of course people don't let it go. i went and looked like it and i said hotel -- and i was like that is just -- up. so i took it out. there have been tweets where i've gotten an amount of anger that i was totally, i will double down on that. i'm like, i'm sorry. every time someone's offended doesn't mean that i'm, thoroughly thrilled to offend them because i think they're wieners, or i just think it's right and made a larger point or
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whatever. so you just have to take it all in because you're putting it all out there and sometimes you never know where you're at unless you do hit a barrier and say, wow, that was we're. -- was weird. >> that was too much. >> yeah. i say you got to own it when people come down under a take lumps like everybody else and -- >> yeah. >> feel good about knowing you can defend it and take the hits if you can take the hits, i guess. >> all right. thank you. ok. so before we go to audience questions, i have a few like non serious rapid fire questions, so, you know, lightning rounds. whatever comes first to mind. so lizz, do you think hillary clinton is more of a samantha or a charlotte? [laughter] i can't decide. they're opposite characters. >> i think she's -- do i have to pick one of those? >> do you think of miranda? >> what? [laughter]
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>> i mean, please, please. >> what if i said i didn't watch "sex in the city," so i'm stumped by your question. [laughter] >> i think she's a mr. big. >> good answer. >> i'm going with that. >> tearing down gender walls. >> oh, my god. i'm wrecking your game. all right. that's ok. i know the viewers want to hear and -- yeah, yeah. things that i wish my life was. >> so, seth, do you know public relations? -- the pledge of allegiance? >> no. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god. that's the controversial part, and then i don't know the rest.
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that's only for movies and -- >> awesome. >> ok. lizz. >> i'll do better. >> you got this. obama, worse good president or best bad president? >> you know who he is. [laughter] >> all the hair and the drinking was -- >> that's not a crack. >> worst best president, best worst president? i would say best black president. >> oh. >> with that logic, he's also the worst black president. >> i take that back. you know what? you know, i always feel like he's a president who has given us as much humor as he gave us -- he gave us health care, so he passes for me. >> yeah.
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>> great. so seth, is -- if marijuana were legal in all 50 states, which do you -- which state do you think would have the best weed? >> that's a good question. >> fracking helps. i don't know. probably i would imagine where there's like a strong farming, botany community, like vermont or something like that. yeah. pastures, green pastures and stuff like that. vermont. yeah. >> ok. awesome. >> ben and jerry ice cream. >> all about the food. ok. liz, this is a two-part question. is it better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all and which state do you think has the worst abortion laws?
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>> is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? yes. because vibrators are expensive. >> true. >> and the worst abortion laws? believe it or not, it's hard. oregon is the only state that has not curbed any abortion access since row v. wade. so i guess -- you'd think it might be texas. >> but you'd be long. -- wrong. >> curve ball. >> because it might be louisiana and it might be north carolina. because just -- or it might be mississippi. i think any place with one click -- one clini -- clinic
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in which there are five states, there's only one clinic to have access, so i would say the southeast region and ohio could be thrown in there. i don't know. i'm confused. i'd like to stay right here. you have good ones here. >> you can't even read "dirty dancing" in texas. i've heard. >> you can't sell sex toys in texas. >> what? >> i know, we wanted to go down there and do a vibrator buy-back program, and we said no questions asked, just put it in the bucket. >> ok. awesome. >> thank you. >> so seth, this is the last question. >> did you just thank me for that? [laughter] >> i did, i did. good information from you. texas, who knew? so seth. >> yes. >> pick options here. james franco still hits on underage girls on instagram or
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franco has now gone on to tumbler. >> i'll say tumbler. any evolution is a good one. [laughter] >> all right, all right. ok. so now we're going to start the audience q-and-a. there are mike, one, two, three, and four. there are three rules to this q and a. one you need to introduce yourself. keep it short. n. semicolo elipsis.
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>> my question tonight are there any candidate you ever want to win even if you disagree the cut as they provide you with good material? >> no. [laughter] put social issues above comedy. it is hard sometimes. i might have voted for honorable horton eger -- of voted for arnold schwarzenegger for a laugh. >> i'm from minnesota. i can't do this accent anymore. i don't. >> it is tempting. >> it helps us get a movie made. we have a movie about
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politician who goes off the rails i went nuts -- and went nuts. got one. aughn --e v >> hello. i'm wondering what your thoughts were. dennis rodman as a diplomat for the u.s. second, if the leader of north korea were to give you an invitation to screen your movie and north korea with the assurance you would return back alive and in one piece, would you go to north korea? -- let'ss some magical pretend magic exists for a second. it might. if there was a magical spell they could put on us and 100% will be ok, i would do it.
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the sisi the reaction in person. -- just to see the the reaction in person. >> we did all the research. we would never really know. >> i would do that if magic existed. [laughter] what was the first part? >> dennis rodman. >> we wrote the movie before it happened. originally was casted, but he died, so we recasted. [laughter] north korea is seduced by its leader and eventually like some. it happens. like, at first it was irksome. it adds credibility to the whole thing. it makes for a far stretch story
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to plausible. kind of validated the whole thing and grounded it in reality. >> all right. >> hi. i'm a sophomore at the college. i think satire tends to be critical as opposed to constructive and sometimes just silly. satire'shink it is rolled to be constructive or suited to that role. i wonder how we avoid being the jerk in the group project who only shoots people's ideas down and tells them how it won't work? how to avoid that? >> i agree with you on this one. satire is constructive. if it isn't, people will not enjoy it. it will go away. that person will no longer be viewed as some you want to
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receive a satire from. they are preaching to you. they're not saying anything. it is just mean-spirited. if you're trying to make -- the daily show -- every little joke is a little different. >> we are talking things by directly or either indirectly, bolstering things that are not stupid. there is -- action reaction reality. comedically, it is a lot easier .o be critical of something you see comedy. that is what comedians do you they complain about stuff. negative's hasn't is -- comedy's essence is negative. >> it is rooted in negativity. by rejecting a negative, you are bolstering --
1:52 am bombs are that is kind of the implication i would imagine. i think that is more of what we tried. >> louis ck is saying a lot of valuable stuff. i think my life is better for me listening to his comedy. he is complaining about stuff in life. he is teaching me about what it is to raise a dad -- to be a daddy raised to kids. i feel i learned a lot from satire. >> i did, too. what youe to observe want to expose means that you do a lot of research on it. you get a lot of new wants. -- nuance. it is the thought process.
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it gives people insight into things. >> good question. often when people ask a question like that, they have something specific they are thinking about tiered is there something specific? specific use of comedy or satire? >> not necessarily. just thinking of the daily show in stock. -- and stuff. it is obvious with alternative says. sometimes there isn't an obvious alternative when we are saying, that is a stupid idea. >> ok. i'll close this out quickly. part of the reason i have started this movie and gone into
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this medium is it is not a satire role to solve problems. but if you are someone who loves knowe and then says, you what? i want to throw that out into the world and have some way where people could go and try to fix it themselves. that is what i want to do. it wasn't the role of a tv show. i knew that. i'm happy that exists. you could do it that way. we can't go further. we had to let other people talk. we could talk afterwards. >> hi. my name is tess. for the harvard review and the correspondent for the harvard internet comedy group.
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i will be figuring out what my future career plans are. do -- what do recommend i go into keeping and might my parents will be watching this online? >> comedy our politics? -- or politics? >> i mean, do what to laugh or be serious all day? >> you could do both. inject a lot of your political beliefs into that. >> or be the funniest politician there ever was. know it is electing anyone because they are hilarious. one is electing anyone because they are hilarious. >> often times they do not know they are. >> hi. i'm a student representative on campus. mentioned folks who
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are unfairly targeted are not very funny. as established funny people, even many of you pointed out you -- how do you know when a joke is gone too far? we havewe are on set, to go too far onset in order to make sure we went far enough. we could tone it back. everyone has to be mature about that we have said jokes onset and we look at them. no. [laughter] our bad. new thing. with test test it audiences. we listen. they won't laugh a lot if the joke is mean-spirited or they feel morally wrong. you could feel it in the room. if you think something is messed up --
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>> we videotape the audience and we watch it and see it. >> we sit in the theater. you could feel the energy gets sucked out of the room the second it happens. it is a physical sensation. boringif you pick it is -- >> we don't want to offend most people. some people no matter what will be offended. sometimes it takes testing of jokes to realize we might have done something that would be hard to defend. people in the focus group after were saying it is messed up. ok. we hear that. who you ares on developing material for. mean?oes "offend"
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she would not talk about religion? -- should we not talk about religion? abortion? executing world leaders? there will some -- there will be some people who will say there has to be some limits. she'd you never talk about -- should you never talk about rape? there is only what you feel in your gut that you cannot defend and don't want to put it out there. >> that is exactly right. we have to talk about our work a lot. an asshole. [laughter] we put a lot of thought into what you could defend and can't. we make movies generally speaking that are designed to play in a theater full of
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people. that is our litmus test. how is the theater full of people responding to it? basically do they all laugh at it? afterwards do they point anything as being something that is specifically offensive? -- some people would be like, this whole movie is offensive. they are not who the movie is for. you look at who the movie is for. people who would go to pay see that movie. they are put off by something. they are right. if it doesn't get a laugh, how do you defend that? it means it is not funny. how you feel you want to defend something and how you write something is also
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super crucial to who is in the room with you. do you have a diverse audience test? what does that mean? if you have a writing staff that is reflective of the world you live in, everybody does a different kind of check. it is important to have a that's why i think it's important to have a diverse writing staff because you look at what this all means. you say, we are willing to take that same place, but what is your check in at that point? a very brave to be in a room full of white people and say, satirical, but a lot of people are marginalized. i think it's important when you talk about the creative process. >> my name is branson. i'm a sophomore at the college.


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