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tv   Washington Journal 10192021  CSPAN  October 19, 2021 6:59am-9:35am EDT

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coming up today on c-span, the confirmation hearing for the u.s. customs and border protection ahead again and live at 9:30 a.m. eastern.at 2 p.m., the house returns for legislative business to work on bills from the energy and commerce committee. on c-span ms. psaki:, the senate is back for a judicial nomination and at 7:30 p.m., the house select committee on the january 6 u.s. capitol attack considers holding steve bannon in contempt for refusing to testify. also at 10:00 a.m. on c-span reporter:, the senate banking committee looks at u.s. sanctions policy. in the afternoon, a hearing with u.s. coast guard commandant carl schulz. >> coming up this morning, former assistant labor secretary for occupational safety and health david michaels on the osha role in president biden's
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vaccination and testing mandate for organizations with at least 100 employees. former fec chair brett smith with the institute force -- for free speech talks talks about pd threats to the first amendment. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: flags at half staff at the u.s. capitol in honor of colin powell, who died monday at the age of 84. with the death of the retired general, marca lost a decorated veteran, statesman, but also someone who cannot easily be defined by political parties, a man whose political views in civilian life did not neatly fit into the current ideologies of both political parties. welcome to "washington journal."
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we will touch on some of those political views of colin powell. we would like to hear from you and your thoughts on agreement with political party. do you ever disagree with your political party? the lines to you are (202) 748-8001 for republicans. for democrats, it is (202) 748-8000. independents and all other political parties, (202) 748-8002. we are interested to hear what you have to say. you can also send us a text. that is (202) 748-8003. make sure you include your name and where you are texting from. we are on facebook. you can send us a post via twitter and instagram. it is @cspanwj. do you disagree with your party's stance on things like vaccine mandates and spending on capitol hill or issues of abortion and the military
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withdrawal of afghanistan, those sorts of issues? (202) 748-8001 for republicans. for democrats, it is (202) 748-8000. on colin powell, this is a piece from cnn. the colin powell republican no longer exists in the republican party. he writes that powell's personal journey from much coveted presidential candidate in the 1990's to pariah in the trump gop tells the story of how the party recognized the changing face of america and the need to adapt its policies to one organized around the intolerant views of a single man who spent less time as a republican than colin powell did. colin powell no longer considered himself a republican at the time of his death. i can no longer call myself a
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republican, he told fareed zakaria earlier this year. i am just a citizen who has voted republican and democrat throughout my career. i am just watching my country and not concerned with parties. front page of the wall street journal and their reporting on the death of colin powell, a trailblazing general and top diplomat dies at the age of 84. colin powell helped steer u.s. national security in the post-vietnam era as the country's first black joint chiefs of staff chairman. his family cited covid-19 complications in a statement on facebook, adding he had been fully vaccinated. he had recently undergone treatment for blood cancer, which is known to weaken the immune system. colin powell urged the use of
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overwhelming power when conflict was unavoidable, views popularized in the media as the powell doctrine. he felt war should be a last resort with clear objectives, strong public support, and decisive action. writing about the political side or the lack of political side on colin powell, this is in the washington post this morning, the headline, country ahead of party. in 2008, he endorsed barack obama, the first black president . later soundly rejecting trump in january after a pro-trump mob stormed the capital. following the january 6 insurrection, powell disavowed his party in an interview with cnn. he was asked if members of the gop realized they encouraged the
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wildness to grow, he said they did not, and that is why i can no longer call myself a republican. i am not a fellow of anything now. asking you about your political party and whether you ever disagree with that political party. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. we will get to your calls momentarily. we will take you back 13 years ago today when colin powell on meet the press, then a republican, announced his endorsement for barack obama for president. [video clip] >> i understand what politics is all about. i understand you can go after one another. i think this has gone too far. i think this has made the mccain campaign look narrow. it is not what the american
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public is looking for. i look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign, and they troubled me. the party has moved even further to the right. governor palin has indicated a further rightward shift. i would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the supreme court. i am also troubled, not with what senator mccain says, but what members of the party say, such things as, well, you know mr. obama is a muslim. the correct answer is he is not a muslim. he is a christian. the right answer is, so what if he is? is there something wrong with being muslim in this country? no. is there something wrong with some muslim american kid believing he or she can be president? no. this is not the way we should be doing it in america. host: that is colin powell in 2008.
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starting a conversation this morning if you ever disagree with your political party. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. for all other political parties, independents, that is (202) 748-8002. the democratic party on capitol hill, the headline from politico recently, progressive democrats seek to purge the term moderate. congressman from new york city saying in this article, they write about that, referring to the small handful of conservative democrats working block the president's agenda as moderates does great harm to the english language and unfairly maligned my colleagues who are actually moderate. moderates and progressives are
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united to pass president biden's agenda. anyone trying to obstruct that agenda is at best behaving like a republican says mondaire jones. first up is karel on the independent line in massachusetts. caller: good morning. i was a democrat since i was 18. a couple of years ago, i am what they call in on enrolled -- call an unenrolled voter. can i make a statement about colin powell? host: sure. caller: i would respect his memory if he had resigned before he made that presentation in the united nations. i watched the whole thing. at the end, i said where is the proof? he had a vial of some white
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substance, and then they showed some aerial photographs that could have been anything. they could have been parking lots. they had some recordings of telephone calls that really did not make any sense. i have no glee when somebody dies or anything. he had to know, a man in his position, his intelligence. i quit the democratic party because to me they will fight tooth and nail with the republicans when it comes to social issues, which are important. when it comes to funding the military and bailing out wall street, the banks, they are the same. they are all the same. they fight tooth and nail when
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it comes to social issues because just to show the public that they are supposedly for the people. i don't go for that at all. thank you very much for c-span. host: randy is in wisconsin on the republican line. caller: good morning. i got a couple of things quick. do i ever disagree with my political party? sure, i do. there are things they do that i don't especially care for. then i look at what biden is doing now and the democratic side. all you biden people, put your signs back out on the yard. the great colin powell, he was a great leader. you and cnn have got to quit trying to show trump -- shove
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trump into this colin powell. colin powell made a statement against trump. he went democrat in 2008 when barack obama was running for president. he was a black man. president obama was a black man. that is why he switched, in my eyes. colin powell is a great man regardless of what party he is on. quit trying to associate the bad things he said about trump. host: back to your comments about the political party you are affiliated with, the republican party. where are areas you disagreed in the past with your party? caller: when they sign on these bills with the democrats spending money. they say they will not vote, and then the next thing you know they are voting along with the democrats raising taxes and spending. the government does not make money. they only spend your money.
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we have got to slow her down a little bit. get things going. host: john, maryland, on our democrats line. caller: thank you so much for this opportunity. i registered democrat a couple years ago. i had been republican all my life. it was more let's do wars and send the money to the rich. i am not real satisfied with them either. i think the grass is greener. can i make a covid comment because i have a feeling about that, too? host: go ahead. caller: i am also a vaccine hesitant person who got vaccinated because my workplace made it uncomfortable not to. i don't know if all the employers know that the emergency use authorization legislation gives tort
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protection for the drug companies, government agencies, health care providers, but does not give any tort protection for companies that enforce the vaccine mandate. i can see the lawyers just champing at the bit. if you have an adverse reaction and your employer made you get the vaccine, you have a great lawsuit. host: this is where you disagree some with your party. we are going to talk about this issue more in the next segment. it is mandates the federal government is instituting in the military and other places. caller: yeah. i don't know, if we had a good vaccine, i would feel different about it. we have this leaky vaccine. in china, they have a whole virus vaccine. you look at the china numbers,
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and they look a lot better than we do. i'm a science teacher. i did a graph of vaccination rates versus every covid measure, whether it is hospitalizations or whatnot. i showed it to my students. my students said there is no correlation. i don't know why this becomes the only variable people look at. my students said there must be a lot of other variables besides vaccination rate because when we plot vaccination rate worldwide, which we did, or statewide, the correlation is close to zero. host: we will talk more about that next segment. do you ever disagree with the views of your political party? (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. to the independent line, evan in
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indiana. good morning. go ahead. caller: all right. i am in crownpoint, indiana. host: ok. caller: anyway, i think my general is also my fraternal twin. we were born in the same year. i am a libertarian. i am not unregistered. i am a libertarian. i was a republican until 1980, all my life. i worked in the republican party. i was part of the county organization in the new york state county.
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the only reason i did not run for office was she sat straight up in bed and said you don't spend enough time with your boys as it is. i thought about it. she was right. now my spectator sport is politics. that's why i am calling. colin powell should have been our president of the united states. that's all i have got to say. host: we take it back to two years ago, 2019 on cnn, colin powell talking about the trump administration at the time. [video clip] >> you were a very important figure in the republican party. >> yes. [laughter]
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>> as such an important republican, do you worry the party is putting party or even trump before country? >> i had no political affiliation my first 35 years in the army as a career military officer. it was only when i left and when there was attention given to me about running for politics. i identified myself as a republican. i made it clear to people that i was a republican as national security advisor for ronald reagan. i was a republican who worked with george herbert walker bush. i am a moderate republican who believes we should have strong foreign policy. we have to look out for our people. we have to work hard to make sure we are one country and one team.
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on that basis, i called myself a republican. in the state of virginia, you can be anything you want any day of the week. the republican party has got to get a grip on itself. right now, republican leaders and members of the congress in the senate and house are holding back because they are terrified of what will happen. will they lose a primary? i don't know why that is such a disaster. they need to get a grip. when they see things that are not right, they need to say something about it. our foreign policy is in shambles right now. i see things happening that are hard to understand. a couple weeks ago, the president put a circle around southeast alabama saying it was going to get hit by a hurricane. he put it on top of the meteorological production.
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the meteorologists said no. in my time, one of us would have gone to the president and said you screwed up, so we have to fix it. we need to put out a correction. you know what they did? they ordered the commerce department to go out and back up whatever the president said. congress is one of the institutions that should be doing something about this. the media has a role to play. we all have a role to play. [applause] we have got to remember that all of these pieces are part of our government, executive branch, congress, supreme court, and the fourth estate. the constitution started with we the people, not me the president. host: writing about colin powell this morning with the headline, colin powell was the insider who stood apart. many people thought he should
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run for president and tried to get him to do so. he never found a comfortable spot for himself in the stratified and polarized political system that emerged during the course of his lifetime. he was too conservative for today's version of the democratic party. he could not embrace the nationalist and isolationist tendencies that can be seen in today's republican party. asking you this morning, do you ever disagree with your political party? some thoughts via text and social media. the text line is (202) 748-8003. this is from danny in springfield, illinois, i disagree with my political party every day, but not as much as i disagree with the other party. i am fine with democrats on their platform. i will take issue with their strategy. my many disagreements led me to change my registration to non-pa
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rty affiliation. this one is from greg, i have traditionally voted democrat, however i do not like throwing away money on society's problems such as welfare, section eight, and educational funding. jim is on the line in massachusetts. caller: good morning. i was calling to say i did disagree with my party. i used to be independent, but i voted probably 95% of the time for democrats. then i switched parties to republican because i became so disillusioned with the democratic party and all their social spending programs. that is what i disagree with the republican party when they started spending more money. i am more concerned on reducing the debt and things like that.
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host: next up to robin on the republican line as well. caller: i do disagree with the party because they entered the capitol. it looked so bad. they were following antifa and blm and even fbi agent's themselves who entrapped them and set them up and pushed them in and opened the doors for them. i am definitely a republican all the way. i think the democrats are going full blast socialism. it scares me to death. this mandate is sickening. this mandate is agenda 21. it is the death shot. i don't believe in it. i don't think it is right. nobody should take a shot. we are all different. we have all different physiologies.
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we should not be mandated to take any shot like that. host: we will touch on that in the next segment. on the issue of the january 6 attack on the capital, this is the front page in politico, trump sues the january 6 select committee and national archives to block release of his white house records related to the capitol attack. his lawyers filed suit in district court in d.c., calling it an illegal fishing expedition. it names the chair bennie thompson and national archivist and the committee and archives themselves. his legal committee contends that the january 6 panel's push for records from his administration, such as internal communications with lawyers and senior officials would shatter
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the notion of executive privilege. want to let you know, we are covering that select committee this evening meeting to review a subpoena enforcement against steve bannon. you can follow that live on c-span2. it is earl on the democrats line in atlanta, georgia, asking you if you ever disagree with your political party. caller: yes, yes. there is a lack of courage in the democratic party. we are watching the slow evolution of a title wave of nazism in america, and nobody has the nerve to call it what it is. it is nazism, pure and simple.
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there is no abraham lincoln in the wings to save us this time. we better get on the ball. host: an independent calling from california. welcome. caller: thank you very much. thank you for taking my call. god bless america. i am a 47-year-old american raised by conservative republicans. during the brock presidency, i changed my views. i became more independent, more towards the middle-of-the-road. that is what i feel america's not understanding. it does not have to be blue or red, donkey or elephant. i believe people can change their views.
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even in california, i was going to vote for mr. biden versus mr. trump because i did not believe that the country was going a positive way on certain issues like international and whatnot. what the country has to understand, it is not nazism like the other caller said. that was disgusting. people can have their own mind. i am not republican. i am not democrat. i am the middle-of-the-road. that is called an independent. i think that is what c-span is all about. that is what the country is all about. it is about democracy. would you like to say anything about that? host: do you think the independent view has been
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crowded out of the democratic party? caller: well, to tell you the truth, i saw adam schiff on the late-night show, and it was quite disgusting, talking about the insurrection on january 6. a lot of [sighs] non independent programs -- you are independent. c-span is you do for. they are nonbiased. they take everyone's call. that's why i keep calling. it is independent. that is what people tune in for. i don't think democrats or republicans are being blinded by anything. i think it is the choice of the human mind, which would be am i
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towards trickle-down, am i towards big taxes, big business, am i towards like biden said tax the rich? here is the thing, president biden said let the rich pay their fair share. well, they do. they pay their fair share. it is the corporate loopholes and tax breaks that people are not understanding. individual tax incomes, people pay their fair share. i believe in a flat tax. you put a flat tax on americans, there is not much. host: thank you for calling. democrats feel high anxiety in biden spending conflict.
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democrats are facing growing headaches over their sweeping social spending bill as they struggle to show momentum ahead of in and of the month deadline. present biden will meet with moderates and progressives today. he is facing pressure to take tighter reigns in the talks. democrats are dealing with a near constant whack a mole of new problems in recent days ranging from climate provisions to childcare to increasingly intense infighting between moderates and progressives. dick durbin characterized the mood within the caucus as anxious, not frustrated, as they struggle to figure out what could unite all 50 of their members, nearly every house democrat, and the white house. senator joe manchin has been a key figure in those discussions. he spoke about his role in those discussions and in the democratic party on capitol hill. [video clip] >> i have never been a liberal
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in any way, shape, or form. there is no one who has ever thought i was. i have been governor, secretary of state, u.s. senator, and i have voted consistently on my life. i don't fault any of them who believe they are much more progressive and liberal. god bless them. i am not asking them to change. i am willing to come from zero to 1.5. host: here is what jamie in north carolina says. i am an independent. i usually vote republican. i am upset the republicans did not pay more attention to the national debt. i am really -- the absurd critical race theory are more than enough reasons for
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me to change my affiliation says patricia in california. the main reason colin powell endorsed obama was sarah palin. cliff, no party is perfect. when it comes to party business, we should come together and discuss on all topics, not the ones we agree on. dorothy in cleveland. caller: i would just like to say that colin powell was a great man. my affiliation is democrat. i do see some time that the democrats have a hard time pushing what they want through. when i look at this republican party, i would never feel
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republican as long as i live. i don't want to be affiliated to no party that tries to obstruct my right to vote. another thing about it is when the republicans are in office, the tax cuts they give to the rich. the constitution says for the people. we have a planet that is on fire. we have so many problems. the roads need replacing and everything. these people that vote republican, what do they get out of it? nothing. they are paying taxes, but the rich get the money. we have so many issues in this country. we need a makeover. we are behind. a lot of nations have bypassed us.
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we used to be number one. we are too busy fighting with each other, trying to maintain power. if we are going to do a tax cut and help the regular people, and most of the people that do vote, they vote against their own interest. i see it right now that we need a whole lot of makeover in this country. what good is the debt or anything else if we are not going to have a planet left to put it in? thank you. host: princeton, west virginia, republican line. steve, hello. caller: i just wanted to make a comment about the liz cheney types in the republican party. she has this really naive vision of what the republican party can
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be today. she wants to see the ronald reagan type guy return. ronald reagan did not have the democrats so viciously attacking him like donald trump did. the cameras came on him when he was fighting back from all that. did he handle it well all the time? no, he did not. he showed it. ronald reagan, to just have that kind of attachment to think that it is going to go back to that scenario how things worked, the political arena in 1980, it will not. it is so naive. the mitt romney guy, [laughter]
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it is ridiculous. host: do you think political parties were any better back in that era in terms of their relationship with each other? caller: i do. you did see some, a little more cooperation between the two. the 24 hour news cycle, all the time. it is like they don't want to get up there and make america work. they want to get a headline so there democrat donors can say look what he did. he really stuck it to them. i am going to send him some more money. i have to believe that is what this is all about. nancy pelosi, she does not care
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about doing anything for america. you just had joe manchin on there. joe manchin has nowhere else to go except the republican party. he needs to switch because the democrats -- and he is just like liz cheney. what he is wanting is just not there anymore. host: the people that you know, a republican from west virginia, would they like to see joe manchin switch? caller: they would. he did do a lot of good for west virginia. i might be biased. of all the democrats, he should have ran to be the president. joe biden is as lost as anything i can imagine.
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i am just so amazed. any decent democrat like joe manchin probably did not imagine donald trump could ever be defeated. host: thanks for the call from west virginia this morning. we are asking you about your views, do you ever disagree with your political party? (202) 748-8001 is the republican line. (202) 748-8000 for. looking at the life of colin powell as well. a fighter for the american dream is how it is headlined in the washington times. retired general colin powell, the first black secretary of state, he rose from humble origins to the highest ranks of the military, died from complications from covid-19. he broke barriers as the first black chairman of the joint
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chiefs of staff. preston biden ordered flags lowered to half staff. he said colin powell believed in the promise of america because he lived it, noting his upbringing in new york city, he devoted much of his life to others. he was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus his family said. he had bent recently treated for blood cancer. he also had parkinson's disease. "we have lost a remarkable and loving father, husband, grandfather, and great american." he was remembered yesterday by vice president kamala harris. [video clip] >> he is the first black man to be joint chief, chairman of the joint chiefs, to be national security advisor, to be
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secretary of state. every step of the way, when he filled those roles, everything he did in the way he did it inspiring so many people. there has been a lot of conversation about that, how young service members and others in the military and around the globe took notice of what his accomplishments meant as a reflection of who we are as a nation. that is one of the most important things to take away, which is that he broke so many barriers. those barriers were not easy to break by any stretch. he did it with dignity. because of what he was able to accomplish, it did elevate our nation in so many ways. may he rest in peace. host: our question, do you ever
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disagree with your political party's views? on social media, sue says, i am a registered republican, but i feel the party has too many rino 's, so i disagree and challenge them to do better. al says most recently i disagreed with the democrat's refusal to extend the eviction moratorium and how the biden administration treated the haitian refugees when they were at the border. i agree and disagree with certain elements of both parties, however when it comes to supporting liberty, i find myself supporting thomas massie and aoc. rob, i disagree from time to time with the republican party, specifically critical race theory. i think they are throwing away a great opportunity to clarify
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history, which would favor the party more than hurt it. on our independent line, mac in south carolina. caller: i did like to say shame on those two undercover republicans, senator manchin and kyrsten sinema. i disagree with the light sentences these people are receiving for breaching the capital. i dream every night of this man beating me with the american flag. i am suffering compounded ptsd because of the breach at the capitol. i want to say to all the republicans, you know trump is dishonest. we don't need that. thank you. host: rosetta is on our democrats line in new york. hi.
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good morning. go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. i am calling because i don't think the democratic party is strong enough towards the subpoenas regarding trump telling people not to adhere to the subpoenas. i think they should go for inherent contempt, which means they would go to jail, not a fine. these are people of means. a fine would be insufficient. if you put them in jail, that will say something very loud and clear to the rest that you want to subpoena. host: thanks for that. just a reminder, she mentioned
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the january 6 panel. the select committee will be meeting this evening to consider the situation with steve bannon and the subpoena seeking his response. that hearing coming up tonight, 7:30 eastern, live on c-span2, streaming live at www.c-span.org , and you can follow it at the c-span mobile app. new york times, an opinion piece, is it time for kyrsten sinema to leave the democratic party? she writes, internet sign -- internecine conflicts led to the death of one senator and a duel. senators from joe manchin to john mccain to joe lieberman have feuded with their parties, with some abandoning their team altogether.
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she writes ms. synema could be on a similar path. the arizona democratic party has threatened a vote of no confidence if she persists in her obstructionism. democratic colleagues are slagging her in the media. her poll numbers with arizona democrats are falling. progressive groups are recruiting primary challengers for her in 2024, when she is up for reelection. earlier this month when she was home, activists detailed her into a university restroom and recorded themselves lambasting her through the stall door. this is linda on the independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. we have poor connections. i am in the mountains. i am an appalachian american, college-educated. i have no political party. a brief comment about the
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general that just past. i identify with him. he is a great leader. i have liked the general. i have been a good democrat, and i have been a good republican. i even dabbled in marxism in my use. now i am an independent. the upcoming election in the state of virginia on the state level, i will vote diehard republican. we have to take the power out of the democrats hands for a while and go republican. thank you for taking my call. come and visit us sometimes. we are not far from washington. we live in a different country. host: if you don't mind, hang on the line. you said at one time you were a marxist, at one time a republican, a democrat.
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what are your core values that have not changed over the course of your life? what do you think those are? caller: let me correct you. not a diehard marxist. i dabbled in it. it helped me in later years as i worked with unions. it was part of my life since birth. my family were coal miners. my core values are constitutionally we have rights, and i value those rights. i may take a little different view looking at the war between the states than some people. it was a good thing that had to happen to this country. unfortunately, it bred this monster we call washington, d.c. now. my core values are family, independent rights, and give to caesar what is caesar's. obey the laws, work with our
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government, live a decent life. pup others when we can. that is just about always. host: thanks so much for sharing that with us. we will go to kentucky next and lisa on the democrats line. caller: hello. thank you for c-span. the question is do you disagree with your political party? absolutely. i don't believe in this free community college. they make community college cheaper anyway so people can afford it. if you cannot go to a big university, you have to stop and think. we cannot have this. as far as the tax credit for the kids, it is already extended through december. i know believe in giving people free money to pay for their daycare. you know what, the government needs to open daycare's if that is the case.
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they sit on your income. as far as joe manchin not a grain with the climate change -- not a grain with the climate change -- not agreeing with the climate change, i don't understand that. if the republicans have any ideas to help president biden, i would like them. all i hear is freedom, freedom, freedom. i am pretty sure they have the same amount of freedom as we do. thank you. host: the line to send us a text is (202) 748-8003. on that line, j says, i did disagree with my party on nafta and the iraq war. now i agree wholeheartedly on helping the middle class. the binary system is deeply flawed. the u.s. is in need of a viable third party.
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democrats and republicans are both embarrassing. neither truly has my interest in mind. they just pander for my vote and leave me in the shadows. heather, i would not, self a republican, but i am not a democrat. i disagree with both parties on a regular basis. jeffrey, yes, i do. i think they need to put the brakes on the economy to bring down inflation. the washington post lead editorials on the death of colin powell, mr. powell's enduring impact. they wrote that he lost internal george w. bush arguments on whether to invade iraq. he agreed to lend his credibility to claims that war was necessary because saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction. he laid out the intelligence to the un security council. it was faulty. no chemical or biological weapons were found. mr. powell was left to absorb the blame that eventually went
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sour as he had warned. his bitter experience left a blot on his record with personal experience he described as painful. his pushback in 1993 by efforts from bill clinton to end the ban on gays serving in the military. mr. powell was capable later of taking responsibility and admitting his mistakes, which were outweighed by his accomplishments. he never let criticism dampen his generosity of spirit. from the battlefield to the bureaucracy, he instilled a healthy suspicion of power on tempered by character. he was true to himself and the values of his country when he recently broke with the republican party and denounced the wanton figure donald trump who has taken it over. on the republican line, matt in
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newton, iowa. hello. caller: a couple of things. i think it is natural and healthy that we should not be in complete agreement with our party. myself, i have swung from democrat. now i consider myself independent because i feel the left is getting too far that direction. i would also like to mention based on one of your followers comments earlier about subpoenas and if politicians choose to ignore them, she mentioned trump, i think this is where these political parties start separating. they want to try to hold one group accountable but not the other. we have subpoenas that have recently, if you watched c-span, you will hear the hearings where
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elections officials in arizona have ignored subpoenas and only provided partial information. there was that scuttlebutt from a couple years ago saying hillary clinton ignored subpoenas. if we are going to judge on that as a country, our leaders in washington, they have to do this equally. the continued divide from left to right is what is causing the issues in our country today. it has got to stop. we are just not getting that. i think that is what leads to the divide in the political parties. they used to be pretty close. now they have gotten so far that we see nothing but animosity in
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our house and senate on a daily basis. host: donald on the democrats line, michigan. caller: good morning. give a salute out to colin powell. i did not agree with him on the iraq war, but everything else he was -- and he loved this country. two joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, they are destroying joe biden's agenda. republicans, always when they lose office, they seem to wreck the economy for the next administration. this country is in bad shape right now. these trump supporters have sold their soul to a man. host: this is the headline from
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foxbusiness this morning. biden to meet with house moderates and progressives tuesday as democrats struggled to reach reconciliation. some comments on social media this morning. this one from stephen in michigan, i disagree with both parties when they are not serving the public interest. we need to get money out of politics. i am a democrat, but i could never align myself with republicans when they show their true colors by steadfastly sticking to a pathological liar. they have definitely put party over country says stephanie. as a democrat for 40 years, now nonpartisan, i agree and disagree somewhat with both parties. we will go to north carolina to our independent line. this is robert. caller: how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. caller: when they talk about trump, they know he is a crook. i sure know biden is a crook.
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everybody else knows it. he won this election because of all the ballots he sent out, i could have voted twice and all this stuff. you know he could not have gotten more votes than obama did. i don't believe in abortion. anybody does, i don't know how. have a good day. host: we will go to arizona, seymour on the democrats line. caller: i find that power is more important than the truth. we are the people. some of the issues today, colin powell, people don't want public education to be free. colin powell went to city college of new york, no tuition. that is how he got through school.
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that is how john assault got through school. not people who changed the tax codes on the top and make us feel we are entitled to something when they are the ones taking billions from the economy and laughing all the way. we have got to stop that problem. host: this is the hilt reporting , a story about north korea. north korea firing projectiles at the body of water located between the korean peninsula and japan. let's hear from kentucky. we will go to richard on the republican line. caller: do i disagree with my
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party? absolutely. so many things. i cannot name them all. we had a man who just passed away, colin powell, who many are praising his service and everything to this country. i agree with about 75% of it. i remember when he did george w. bush's bidding, a republican president, dick cheney's bidding when he sat in front of the united nations and talked about weapons of mass destruction. that is all i am going to say about colin powell. he is gone. god rest his soul. in today's republican party, they are weak. they are spineless. they do not fight for this country. i am sick of it. thank you. host: this is the new york times
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front page with a picture of colin powell in the oval office into thousand four. the story under that, model -- in 2004. the story under that, his was a classic success story. he graduated from city college of new york. joining the army through the rotc, starting as a young second lieutenant in the dawn of a newly desegregated army. he served two combat tours in vietnam. he was national security advisor to ronald reagan. helping to negotiate arms treaties with soviet premier gorbachev. caller: i just wanted to send my condolences out to the powell family. as i sit and look at the praise
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they give to colin powell, i wonder why can our government -- they will allow us -- host: james, are you still there? caller: i thought i was cut off. host: no. you are saying that the government -- caller: yeah, i was wondering in our social programs why our government would not go into our inner cities when we see how such a smart, honorable, intelligent man as colin powell and build some of this talent in our inner cities. i cannot understand it. host: appreciate your call. there is more ahead on "washington journal." next, we will be joined by david michaels, former head of the
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occupational safety and health administration under president obama. we will be talking about the upcoming emergency rule from that agency requiring private weekly testing. later in the program, for republican fec chair, brad smith, founder of the institute for free speech, talks about what he calls assaults on americans' first amendment rights. >> coming up today on c-span, the confirmation hearing for chris magnus to head u.s. customs and border protection begins live at 9:30 a.m. eastern. at 2:00, the house returns for legislative business to work on bills from the energy and commerce committee. on c-span2, the senate is could -- to consider christine o'hearn to be a judge for the district of new jersey. the house select committee on the january 6 u.s. capitol attack considers holding steve
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bannon in contempt for refusing to testify. also at 10:00 on c-span3, the senate banking committee looks at u.s. sanctions policy with the treasury department's deputy secretary. in the afternoon, a hearing with u.s. coast guard commandant admiral carl holds -- carl schultz. >> get c-span on the go, watch the day's biggest political events live or on-demand anywhere with our new mobile video app, c-span now. access top highlights, listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts, all for free. download c-span now. you can be a part of the national conversation i per dissipating in c-span's studentcam video competition. your opinion matters. if you are a medical -- a middle or high school student, we are asking you to create a short documentary that answers the
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question, how does the federal government impact your life? your documentary must show supporting and opposing points of view on federal policies or programs that affect you and your community. c-span's student video competition awards 100,000 dollars in total cash prizes and your shot at the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20, 2022. for more, visit our website at studentcam.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: david michaels is with us. he served as the director of the occupational safety and health administration and assistant secretary of labor, the lord -- the longest serving osha head. professor michaels, welcome to the program. guest: thanks so much for having
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me on again. host: we are talking about men deep -- about vaccine mandates, but i wanted to ask you about osha. you are the longest serving osha head, from 2009 to 2017. in terms of what osha does, how do they enforce workplace rules and regulations across the country? guest: i'm glad to answer that question because so many people don't understand what osha is or how it works. osha is more than 50 years old and essentially says employers have a responsibility, a requirement to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards. osha's job is to make sure employers follow the law. the most powerful tool osha has is a standard, a rule that says employers must do certain things to protect workers, and that is
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powerful because most employers are law-abiding and when a government agency issues a regulation, they say how are we going to comply? osha issued an emergency standard around vaccine or testing would have a big effect without any sort of enforcement done by osha beyond putting out the rules. osha does have hundreds of inspectors. the labor department has hundreds more. they go out and they walk in to workplaces and they note hazards and issue citations. the standard will be enforced by inspectors but for the most part, they will be self enforced. employers try to do the right thing because they know that is the law. host: osha is now a 51 year agency. it was created by the occupational safety and health act of 1970.
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it has 1850 inspectors. that's a lot of workers to cover. about one for every 70,000 workers in this country. in a job that requires their plates to be fairly full already, how will the administration be able to enforce this new mandate? guest: as you said, far too few inspectors. it would take over 160 years for osha to visit every workplace once. large employers will do the right thing but the other thing is workers who see a problem will call osha. they will let osha that their employer is not doing the right thing and osha can follow up by sending an inspector or a phone
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call and offer to spend -- to send an inspector. this isn't just enforced by inspectors randomly going to workplaces. i think this will have a huge effect. some employers may not follow this but as i said, most employers will do the right thing, and are already trying to start implement thing this new requirement. host: hoping to listen from our viewers and listeners. we will hear from the president momentarily. lines for the eastern and central time zones are (202)-748-8000. (202)-748-8001 is the line for the mountain and pacific time region. if you want to send a text, (202)-748-8002. our guest is david michaels, head of osha from 2009 to 2016.
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what was the most difficult or controversial issue that you had to face in terms of a workplace regulation? guest: one of the things that took a long time to get out was regulation around silken. -- silicon. when you see dust because of jackhammers or saws, silicon is getting in and it causes silicosis. that process was very slow and actually took 20 years to get that standard out. it was controversial because employers always think an osha standard is going to be hard to meet. they hire scientists to say things that are not true. that senator did come out in 2016. it has changed the way
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construction is done is that -- in that much of the machinery used has to pull silicon out of the air. it has been accepted by employers and construction workers and it is saving lives. host: do you think there are lessons learned from your experience that may apply to the effort by the administration with new vaccination rules? guest: absolutely. osha's standards are always well thought through. very expert people spending a long time working on it and before the standard come out, generally people say this is undoable and we will not be able to meet this standard but what we see time and time again is these are very reasonable standards. they are not burdensome on businesses. you will see that with this standard as well. host: let's hear from the president last week on that upcoming rule that osha will
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issue. [video clip] >> they labor department is going to soon issue an emergency rule with companies with more than 100 employees to implement vaccination requirements among their workforce. every day we see more businesses implement thing vaccination requirements, and the mounting data shows that they work. this is an organization that has implement the requirements, seeing vaccination rates rise by an average of 20% or more, to well over 90% of the number of employees vaccinated. let's be clear. vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us. host: david michaels, the president stressing the word requirements. he doesn't say mandate in that short comment. guest: in fact, osha is not
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issuing a vaccination requirement or mandate. as i said, osha's laws say employers have to provide a safe workplace. potentially infectious workers are hazardous to other workers. the theory behind this rule, which fits directly in osha's roundhouse is that the employer has to make sure that anybody who enters the workplace, workers, that they are not spreading disease. what osha will tell employers of over 100 workers, they have to make sure their workers or vaccinated -- workers are vaccinated or regularly tested to make sure they are not infectious. companies may say osha isn't requiring working from home workers to be tested.
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-- those workers take the virus home to their communities, to their elderly relatives, and that is helping to drive this pandemic. host: they president calling an emergency rule, anticipating this to me an emergency rule. typically how long do these emergency rules or regulations last? is there any way to guess or speculate how long this vaccination rule might be in effect? guest: the osha law gives osha authority to issue a rule for six months at a time. it also has to go through the normal process, which is what we went through with silicon. when you have a novel or new hazard, a very grave hazard as
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this hazard is, you can issue a rule very quickly, and you have six months to enforce it. that is what the law says. host: you were the head of osha during the obama administration. you advised the incoming biden administration on a number of issues. did you have any role in advising the administration on the development of this rule? guest: i did not. i was on a national academy of sciences panel to develop an equitable framework for the allocation of vaccine. that was important, to point out the importance of workplaces and especially essential workers, workers and essential history -- essential industries who have to show up to work. particularly overrepresented are black and brown workers. i did not have a direct role in advising on this particular rule. host: there have been reports in
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the last couple of days, on the effectiveness of mandates issued by a private company. in particular, i'm talking about health companies, medical facilities, hospitals across the country. guest: that's right. there is a rule coming down from a different federal agency, the center for medicare and medicaid services, which is essentially the system that provides medicare and medicaid funding. they say every health institution that has this funding will have to have all of their employees vaccinated. several states have put in rules like that. the health care system is moving very quickly to vaccinate all of its workers. we are seeing that only a very tiny percentage of workers are leaving the workplace because of this. when push comes to shove, there are lots of people who have said i don't want to get vaccinated, but when they are told if you want to keep your job, and obviously protect other workers,
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make sure you don't spread the virus to patients who could be killed by it, they get vaccinated. that is a great model, as president biden said. the vaccination rate is rising and it will continue to rise, and that is what we need to stop this pandemic. host: does this requirement ask the state that workers need to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test? guest: the osha requirement will say to employers, you must ensure that your workers are vaccinated or show a negative test. other rules coming out of the federal government will require vaccinations for certain groups of workers, but the osha rule will not. host: david michaels is our guest. we welcome your calls and comments. (202)-748-8000 for those of you in the eastern and central time zones. (202)-748-8001 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. caller: good morning.
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earlier, we were talking about what was the hardest regulation that your guest had to work on, and he brought up silica. he made a statement that the reason it was so hard was because the industry was hiring scientists to lie. i don't quite understand that statement, we are told that we need to trust the science but with him and osha, they have proof that scientists are lying to them. cannot go both ways? guest: you've raised a quick question. i've written a couple books on this question. there is an industry called the product defense industry, and they hire mercenary scientists, just as there are some scientists saying covid is not spread by people or that vaccinations don't work, there are always some scientists who will say things out of the mainstream. you have to think about those scientists.
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what happens in regulation, and this is true for occupational regulation and environment a regulation, there is a small industry of people who will say that chemical just isn't dangerous. it is the tobacco model. they hired physicians and scientists who wore white coats and said there is no proof tobacco causes lung cancer. that same model is used widely by many industries who want to avoid regulation. following the science is a shorthand for saying, let's look at what the science says and take it seriously. host: our guest is a professor of epidemiology at the george washington school of public health, and a professor of occupational safety. what are the issues you are addressing in that class in particular these days? guest: these days, i teach environmental and occupational policy, which is how do we take
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the science we know and apply it to public health protections in the workplace and the environment? there is a very thin line, we should separate those two. the exposure inside the factory gates are usually worse than outside. i have a piece coming out this week with dr. robert bullard, talking about workplace environmental justice because the issues we talked about around environmental justice, people living near factories are probably worse in the factories where workers have the worst exposure. it is true across the board that workers are often forgotten. just yesterday, the environmental protection agency announced a major program to control these fats chemicals -- these pfaats chemicals. these workers are still exposed to them in the workplace.
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host: let's go to our next caller in ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. i have an issue with tracing the spread of covid, because you can't really say where you got it from. if you go to the doctors, all they can say is that you got it and they can't tell you where you got it, how you got it, and then finally about the everything is supposed to be free. it's not free. i don't believe it is free. host: in terms of getting your vaccine? caller: yes. getting the vaccine might be free to us, but the government is paying these pharmacies to develop this, and i believe that is how it started.
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as far as the workplace, you can't trace it. it doesn't work, it's not effective. host: we will hear from our guest. guest: you actually can trace who spread the virus from person-to-person. it requires some scientific work. it is called genomic sequencing and there are very important studies done in hospitals and meatpacking plants that can show exactly the exact variant of the virus that went from person-to-person. that is how we know how this spread occurs within the workplace. we learned early in the epidemic, the cdc was saying it is only droplets which don't travel very far. that travel six feet and if you wear a mask, you are fine. studies showed one person infected another person dozens of feet away or yards away
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because we could see exactly, that was the virus that spread from one to the other. there is a lot of great science being done. host: i want to ask you about the potential conflict brewing between the state of texas and the federal government on the issue of vaccine rules and mandates. the latest executive order coming out of the governor of texas, governor greg abbott. he said no entity in texas can compel the receipt of a covid vaccine by an individual, including employee or consumer who objects to such vaccination for any reason, including prior recovery from covid-19, i hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition. he said it is yet another instance of federal overreach. the biden administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing covid-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten texas's continued recovery from
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the disaster. this could be a potential legal battle between osha and the state of texas, could it not? guest: there is so much wrong and what he said, the list is extensive. first of all, it is clear that federal rules and regulations preempt or trump in state law or regulation, whether or not the texas legislature passes it or the governor just pronounces it because he thinks he can. this a premise he clause of the constitution -- the supremacy clause of the constitution. if they went to court, the federal government would probably win. in an emergency situation, a public health situation, the governor can say everybody has to wear a mask or obligor workers have to be vaccinated, but there is no anti-emergency situation where he can say you can't require vaccinations.
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he is not the king of texas. the texas legislature will have to pass that law, and then of course osha has supremacy over that. the other issue is that he doesn't get what goes on in terms of covid and how it is spread. right now, the economy is not able to move back to normalcy because so many workers are afraid to go to work. the census bureau does a huge survey every two weeks and there are about 3 million workers out in the workplace right now -- they are out of the workforce because they are afraid of getting or spreading covid. employers are having tremendous difficulty getting people to come to work and this is an important issue. people have to feel like it is safe to get to work and they have to be able to come in every day and not get sick. it is worth talking about that the theory or philosophy behind governor abbott, governor desantis, these are people's
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right, they have the right to turn down the vaccination. it's an individual choice, and i get that. i think of it the same way as an individual choice to get really drunk so you can't drive safely. it is your choice to get -- to imbibe as much alcohol as you want but it is not your choice to get in the car and drive, because obviously you can hurt more than yourself. you can hurt somebody else. that is criminal. people go to jail and they should. i've lost friends. everybody knows somebody who was hurt by a drunk driver. the thing about covid is it is even worse. you could say you don't want to be vaccinated, but if you get sick, you may be healthy and you may have very little effect from that virus but you could spread it to others. colin powell died yesterday. someone spread that virus to him.
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he didn't get it from nowhere. perhaps it was somebody vaccinated, perhaps it was somebody unvaccinated who spread the virus to him. because he had a damaged immune system, he died. you not being vaccinated impacts people who are frail or elderly, who have worse immune systems. furthermore, your hospitalization, even though you say you don't care, those are filling up hospitals so people who desperately need medical care can't get it because hospitals are filled with unvaccinated people who got covid. this idea that you don't need to get vaccinated and i forcing people to be vaccinated, you are slowing down the economy, the opposite is true. we need to make sure everybody is not ended so we can get back to functioning normally. host: this new osha rule coming out on vaccines does not tell employers what they must do with employees who don't get
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vaccinated or refuse to comply with tests, does it? guest: that's right. many of us can work at home. obviously if you work in blue-collar jobs or construction, you can't do that but the employer will figure it out. if they are not willing to be tested or vaccinated, you've got to find something else for them to do. you can pay them if you want to. osha is not going to tell you what to do about that. the underlying rationale behind this is to get people vaccinated. that is what the government wants because that is what society needs you to do. when everybody is vaccinated, we will be able to control this epidemic. host: this is a federal regulation, a few viewer in florida asked this question. how many states and local government workers will be impacted by the new osha rule? guest: that is a great question. osha came up around the time of
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increased federalism. it sounds -- it is the opposite of what it sounds like. it gives the states a great deal of power. the federal government has osha. oversight -- has osha oversight in 29 states. there are 21 states that have their own state programs that cover all workers, including public-sector workers. it is a mosaic. about half of the country, the public sector workers will be covered in states like california or washington or oregon, where the state governments will have the same rules or perhaps more stringent rules. washington state has already said every public sector worker in washington state has to be vaccinated. that is why they fired the football coach at washington state university.
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other states like texas and florida are under federal osha's jurisdiction and the state government agencies and local government agencies are osha-fre e zones. it is unfortunate but those workers have no right to a safe workplace. host: the head state -- the head could touch -- the head football coach at washington state was fired after refusing vaccines under state mandate. several other assistant coaches as well. wilmington, north carolina, we will hear from alexis. caller: good morning. i have a question. i did not pay attention to your name but you are the osha man. host: david michaels. guest: call me the osha man. caller: i would like to know -- i think you were sort of explaining it, but there is this big hubbub in chicago.
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mayor lightfoot has said anybody that is not showing up for duty with covid vaccine credentials can't work, and i think the fraternal order of police have weighed in. how does osha fit in with all of this stuff? they are government employees, are they not? how does that work? guest: county police, chicago police are public-sector workers but they are not federal workers so federal osha has no jurisdiction over them. mayor lightfoot as their employer has said you have to get vaccinated to continue to work. illinois has a state osha plan that will likely issue a similar standard to osha's -- federal osha, saying all state and
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county agencies have to have either a vaccine or testing choice but in this case as the employer, mayor lightfoot has sibley said, if you want to work for the city of chicago, you have to be vaccinated. that is what many large employers have done. united airlines did this. tyson, the mammoth food packer which had tremendous problems with covid, they negotiated with their union, that everybody would get vaccinated. the union was able to get additional time off, for workers getting that vaccination. unions can certainly negotiate around vaccinations and get something for their members, in exchange for agreeing to mass vaccination. there are lots of different ways to approach this but the
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employer can always say i want everyone here to be vaccinated and the experience of many employers like united airlines is relatively small number of workers simply refused to cooperate and will lose their jobs. the headline for united airlines was 600 workers will be forced to leave the workplace. 600 sounds like a lot but united has 67,000 workers. that is under 1% of their workforce. that is regular turnover. it turns out not to be a big deal when some workers say we will not cooperate. it makes headlines but for the most part these mandates by workers -- by employers are working. i wouldn't want to be stopped by a police man who sticks his head into my car and he is not wearing a mask and he is not vaccinated. that policeman has become a public health menace. host: one of the headlines out of the chicago situation from yahoo!
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chicago mayor says police trying to quote, induce an insurrection with vaccine mandate opposition. let's hear from new york city, next. caller: hi, dr. michaels. i would like to know where osha was at the begin of the pandemic when there wasn't enough ppe for the health care workers who came to work and rest of their lives, and there was nothing by the federal government or state governments to do anything about this, and saint anthony got on tv and said it was ok for people to wear ppe among patients, which i'm sure contributive to more covid infections, more health care workers getting covid. i just want to say i think it is disgraceful that they didn't in the beginning and they risk their lives and now people are choosing not to get vaccinated. they have no choice in the matter and they're getting fired left and right and being told they can't collect unemployment
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if they do this. i thick it is disgraceful considering there are so many people who stayed home during this whole thing and collected money when they could have worked, and that is just my comment. i would like to know what you have to say about this. guest: you raised a really important point. at the beginning of this pandemic, osha was nowhere to be seen. that is because they trump up ration secretary of labor, son of antonin scalia, essentially said osha doesn't need to do anything special, just keep doing what were doing. osha did inspection at smithfield foods, where more than 1000 workers were infected, and south dakota. dozens of workers were hospitalized osha -- hospitalized. osha issued a fine of $15,000 to a company worth billions. essentially the trump administration and james scalia handcuffed osha.
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since then, osha has become much more active, issuing an emergency temporary standard to protect health care workers and issuing new requirements for health care facilities. osha is making some progress but certainly they were not there at the beginning. host: this proposed rule from the biden administration from osha is in its draft form and has not been issued yet. that means they are still taking public commentary? guest: yes. they are not taking comments through a docket where you send in your comments, but the white house is having meetings right now, called stakeholder meetings or meetings that anybody could ask for. they come in and they haven't seen the proposal but they know more or less what it -- what is in it. it started yesterday and will go on for a few more days. essentially different groups, employer groups, all will come
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in and say this is what we think should be in the rule, and in the white house working with osha will modify it accordingly if they are convinced in some of these meetings. that is why we won't see the rule for a couple weeks. host: a question from fred in virginia who says, where is the data that shows 100 employees is the magic number that makes it safe, or is this just made up? guest: i think that was an unfortunate choice. i would have liked to have seen this done more universally, to cover all employers. small employers always have some challenges. i think the white house and osha -- really the white house, decided this was something that large employers could handle more easily than small or medium employers. that was a decision made that way. host: next up is jeremy, from
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kansas. caller: hello thank you. it is the case that the public health policy way out of this pandemic is rapid antigen testing specifically? people can look at harvard epidemiologist michael mina, who wrote an op-ed in the new york times october 1 titled rapid tests are the answer to living with covid-19. obviously if this administration were serious about protecting workers health, they would make mandatory for all to be tested for infectivity by rapid antigen test in order to go to work. vaccinated and unvaccinated. that is obvious. that needs -- biden needs to roll out the defense production act now and make it available for hundreds of millions of americans to test themselves at
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home, work and school and then people need to go look at the vax-a-million just -- who points out that covid-19 mass vaccination campaigns are promoting the dominance of selective immune escape variants. in many ways, this policy of pfizer apartheid of putting vaccines together is the worst thing you could do in terms of evolutionary genetic selective pressure towards escape variants. host: we will get some response from dr. michaels. guest: i know the harvard epidemiologist and i agree with him, part of the answer, i think having access to rapid testing would certainly help people discover much more quickly if they are infectious and then we need to be able to encourage them to stay home, so we need a program that requires employers
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to have paid sick leave accompanying any sort of rapid testing because you don't want people who are infectious to go to work. there has been a shortage of these tests but as part of the covid plan that the president announced, the federal government has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into development and dissemination of these rapid antigen test's and i am told that by december, we will have huge numbers of these tests and that will make a difference as well. host: let's hear from mark in nebraska. caller: hello and thanks for taking my call. i've got comorbidity, so i got moderna and stuff but i was concerned about the vaccine mandates for everyone. i'm not for that only because i'm thinking like you said, that most people at risk are the
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elderly or people with comorbidities? why can't a mandate come out where if you have a comorbidity, you should wear a mask? why make everyone when it only affects less than 1% of the people that can be damaged by it, why can't the mandate go to people who are more at risk? i'm wondering once you start these mandates all the time, do you eventually see a flu mandate coming, the government mandating that? guest: it is so funny that everybody is so worked up about the covid vaccine mandate. we have tons of mandates going on right now in terms of other vaccinations. if you want to come to the university i teach at, you have to have a meningitis vaccination. most public schools have requirements of mumps, measles. you had to get smallpox vaccination to do many things until we finally illuminated it.
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this idea that there is all of a sudden this crazy mandate is something that has been turned up in this very polarized society and it is unfortunate that so many people have bought into it. this idea of saying let's just have people with morbidities or people who are more at risk wear a mask, there is something in occupation called the hierarchy of control. this is well tested to understand what is the most effective way to protect people and personal protective equipment isn't -- is the least effective way to do it. we know it doesn't work. you want to get the hazard out of the air so people are not infected and it is up to vaccination to do that. it is upside down to say people who are at risk should wear a mask. you don't know if you are totally at risk. there are people who did not
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have comorbidities and were not frail and still got sick and died. it is difficult to spend your life wearing and n95 all the time -- wearing an n95 all the time. host: are these mandating companies, assuming the companies affected by this forthcoming rule, protected from lawsuits like the hospitals, be disabilities, etc.? guest: yes. that is one of the real advantages of this rule. i talked to large employer groups all the time. many large employers who wanted to increase vaccination rates among their employees checked whether general counsel and they said if we require everyone to get vaccinated, we are going to get sued, and we may succeed and we may fail but it will cost money. but now, these employers can point to the federal government and say we are required to do this.
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if you want to sue somebody, sue the federal government, not us. this protects all of these employers and -- and let's them focus of what they need to focus on, the work they need to do. host: as we talk this morning, news about the booster shot, the fda may approve people to mix-and-match, quote, unquote, booster shots. according to reports, they are expected to make that decision in the coming weeks. what is your thoughts on the potential for mixing and matching booster shots? guest: i read the same literature everyone else does. it certainly looks like for the johnson & johnson vaccine, if you got that vaccine as your first shot, it turns out not to be. you get a second shot to boost your immunity, and getting the moderna or pfizer one seems to do better than just a second johnson & johnson.
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that will likely be the advice and i think that is good advice. host: is the current thinking that these boosters could be an annual or biannual thing for people? guest: it could be. we don't know. what we have seen is that the mrna vaccines wane in their immunity over six, seven months, perhaps longer. we may have better vaccines in the future. no vaccination is perfect. we look back on the success of the polio vaccine. at the beginning, there were quite a few breakthrough cases but we are doing much better and we don't need to get multiple vaccines. that is also because polio is not really around much anymore. we might move to a place were we have to do annual vaccinations as we do the flu, but these vaccines are much more effective than the flu vaccine. that's because the flu evolves
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and the variants of flu are very different every year. as the science develops, as analogy develops, we may move to every couple years or perhaps we'll get a vaccine with much longer protection. the main thing we need to do is stop the spread of this virus because it is killing so many people. even with vaccination rates going up and the variant a little under control, we are still at more than 1000 deaths every day in the united states. that is like three 747s crashing every day. we can't let that go on. host: let's get one more call. jim is in california. caller: yeah, hi. i am concerned about them wanting to push more vaccinations onto people, like the flu. they are already doing it here, making the students get the flu
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vaccine. i am more concerned about the information of what is in the vaccine because what makes me hesitant is the mercury and things like that they are giving the kids, causing adhd and whatever. you guys are all about the science but make us more educated and tell us what these vaccines. i am a military brat. i had vaccines all my life but i stay away from the flu vaccine. i believe in my own body. host: have you ever had an adverse reaction to those vaccines in your childhood? caller: i got out when i was 16, so i figured i was a young kid at the time. host: we will hear from the doctor. guest: you verbally never had diphtheria or whooping cough or polio -- you probably never had diphtheria or whooping cough or polio. there is a fear about mercury. there is no mercury in any of these vaccines. a study was purportedly done
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that suggested vaccines led to increased risk of autism. that has been totally refuted. the person who did that study was either a scoundrel or mentally ill. he made his numbers up and that has been shown, but that scared a lot of people and unfortunately led to a lot of people not letting their kids be vaccinated for very serious deadly diseases and i'm sure killed quite a few kids. it is really important -- we need to know more, we need to tell people what is in these vaccines but right now, every study tells us, everything we know says these vaccines are safe and the risk of covid is so much worse than the vaccine, when you weigh out that risk versus the benefit of vaccination. go ahead and get the vaccination. it is not only to save your life, it could save the life of one of your loved ones or people at greater risk colin powell. host: dr. david michaels,
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professor of ep dimi elegy -- of epidemiology. thank you for being with us this morning. guest: my pleasure. host: after the break on "washington journal," we are joined by former republican fec chair, brent smith. he is the founder and chair of the institute for free speech. he will be talking about what his group calls assaults against americans' first amended rights. -- amendment rights. ♪ >> this week on the c-span networks, the house and senate will be in session. watch on c-span and c-span2. we will have live coverage of congressional hearings. today at 9:30 come alive on c-span, the senate finance committee and sitters the nomination of tucson police chief chris magnus to be the u.s. customs border protection commissioner. at 7:30 p.m. eastern, the
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january 6 committee will vote to refer steve bannon to the justice department for criminal contempt after his refusal to comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee. then on wednesday at 9:30 a.m. eastern, live on c-span3, the senate foreign relations committee holds a confirmation hearing for a few nominees. among them, nicholas burns who president biden nominative to be the u.s. ambassador to china, and rahm emanuel who is up for ambassador to japan. on thursday, two oversight hearings at 10:00 live on c-span3, attorney general merrick garland will make his first appearance before the house judiciary committee on issues facing the just -- issues facing the justice department. homeland security secretary alejandra mayorkas will appear before the senate judiciary committee. watch this week on the c-span
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networks, or watchful coverage on our new video app. also head over to c-span.org for scheduling information or to stream video live or on-demand any time. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. weekends on c-span two are an intellectual feast. every saturday, you will find events that explore our nation's past. on sunday, book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction authors. learn, discover, explore. weekends on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: brad smith is with us, former chair of the federal election commission. he is also founder and chair of
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the, here with us to talk about his organization and their look at threats to american free-speech rights. good morning. guest: good morning, thank you. host: tell us about your organization, the institute for free speech. why did you found it, and what is your mission? guest: the institute for free speech, i originally founded shortly after i left the federal election commission in 2005 and the reason was that its mission was initially to focus strictly on political speech, that there was a sense that i noticed in the commission all the time of this certain denigrating core political speech, saying we need to equalize it, need to crack down on big money or something, whereas big money was funding the discussion of ideas in the united states and donors were pulling the resources to talk about political issues. that is at the very core of the
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first amendment. over time, our mission has expanded to defend the first amendment in other areas, but with a core focus on people's ability to discuss issues of public importance in the public arena. we are concerned now, for example, about the ability of people to speak about ballot issues, about legislation generally, events at their local school board. anything like that, that pertains to discussion of public affairs in america because without that, democracy is pretty much doomed. we have to be able to talk about things. host: you mentioned donors and political speech. how about your donors? who funds your organization? guest: we don't disclose our donors. we are funded almost entirely by individuals. we get very limited corporate support. some of our money comes from foundations but mainly it comes
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from individuals who are particularly interested in political speech host: let's start off talking about the school board protests, a headline from a week ago or so from the associated press. the attorney general says authorities will target school board threats, and your organization recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of pennsylvania -- of a pennsylvania family who felt they were being threatened while school board. explain that case to us. guest: that case is called -- in which we represent four plaintiffs who are suing the pennsbury school board, a district outside philadelphia. in that case, these individuals sought to comment during a public comment period at the school board meeting and very calmly began to comment on things pertaining to critical race theory in schools. the school board civilly began
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to shout over them. the legal counsel to the school board literally cut them off midsentence and began yelling over them and screaming at them, you are done. it's remarkable to see, and you can find the clips on youtube. you can go to our site for a full briefing on the case. the way it works is, a school board or public body does not have to have a public comment period, but if they do, that becomes a limited public forum and the school district can't only allow people who agree with its policies to speak up. it can't only allow people who say what they want them to say to speak. if you will have a public forum, you have to let the public speak. these people were rationally trying to make a case and they were shouted down, talked over, cut out. in many cases, the school board was editing the remarks out of official transcript of the meeting as if they never even spoke, and so that is a case
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where we are suing to vindicate their first amendment rights. if the school board is going to have a public comment period, it needs to allow the public to comment and ethic most of us agree that school boards should hear from their constituents. this is not a question. you can go find that video on youtube. you can go to our website to find the links, and it is shocking how these people were treated by what are supposed to be public are presented as. host: you mentioned that school board official who shouted down a member, some trying to speak in that meeting will stop a picture from the daily beast of another school board meeting where plenty of people were carrying signs, showing signs at the school board meeting. where is the balance? how should a school board, a town council, a city council battle -- balance the rights of
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the people who want to testify and speak out, and the rights of the organization itself to conduct its business? guest: you can limit people who are disruptive, making it impossible to carry on legitimate government meetings and we also have to have certain restrictions on protests. -- they have a right to protest and air their views. if any state body -- the attorney general's memorandum said he was threatening to get the fbi involved, and moreover, most of the alleged incidents that were discussed in this memorandum they got from the
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national association of school boards which appears to have been a coordinated effort to get an excuse to threaten people, most of these were perfectly peaceful incidents. the fact that a person gets upset or raises their voice is usually not a sufficient reason to shut that person down. they have to really be disruptive in a way that cuts off the ability of the government to function. certainly the mere fact that they disagree with government policy cannot be a basis to not allow them to speak. host: what should be done about people who actually gets threats against members of the school board or counsel? guest: those are traditionally handled as police matters and they are serious matters. you can't physically threat people, you can't get violent or disruptive so that other people cannot comment. those can be handled by local authorities and that is traditionally how it has been done in the united states, but again the key thing here is that most of these commentators, most of these parents showing up at
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school board meetings to take this issue are not violent. they are not even raising their voices, they are just citizens who are concerned and what is happening, we see in school district after school district is that administrators are refusing to even hear their positions, and that is bad in and of itself but it is also bad because long-term if you don't let people express their concerns, if you make them feel their concerns are trivial and you don't care about them, people will start to gradually become more and more frustrated and that frustration is more likely to boil over in inappropriate ways. host: you mentioned the fbi allegedly eventually becoming involved. the attorney general said this, and part. those dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear of their safety. that apartment takes these
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threats seriously and is considering using its resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur and prosecute them when appropriate in the coming days. the pub and will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise income look conduct directed towards school personnel. and your history and's, what you have seen, how much criminal conduct is being directed at school boards, and where is the federal involvement here? what is the federal responsibility? guest: the answer to the first question, how much is -- i think the answer is very little. it is a big country with lots of districts and you can find episodes of people getting out of line or making threats and we can find that all over the place, from leftist causes from right wing causes, there are people who get out of line and do things they shouldn't do, and that is part of the problem
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here. there is not much evidence that this is a major problem, that this is suddenly something that the fbi needs to be involved in as counterterrorism as opposed to isolating -- isolated incidents in which individuals who step over the line can be handled by local authorities, and i think many people view this as an intentional effort to intimidate and cut off criticism of these curriculum changes, sometimes called critical race theory or equity and inclusion -- they go by a lot of names but a lot of parents don't like this and they are concerned about this. at the institute for free speech , we don't take any stand on the theory but will we are concerned about is that parents have a right to be involved in their kids education and more importantly, to speak out on scorebook -- on school board policies they like or don't like. host: we are talking free-speech issues and first amendment issues with fort or f -- with
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former fec chair, brad smith who founded the institute for free speech. we welcome your calls and comments. for republicans, the number is (202)-748-8001. democrats, it is (202)-748-8000. for independents and others, (202)-748-8002. another issue is the potential voting rights legislation coming up in congress, a revision of the for the people act is being considered and may come to a per luminary vote, certainly in the senate revised democratic voting bill. this is this revision, the freedom to vote act is the senate version, the revised version. among its changes to the for the people act, it would require super pac's and other groups to disclose donors. it would require political ads sold online to have the same transparency as ads on radio and tv, including -- to ensure super
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pac's are not part of the campaign. your views, your organization's views on that potential legislation? guest: much of the legislation deals with voting rights matters and those are things we take no position on at the institute for free speech. not getting talked about enough are the kinds of speech and campaign issues that you just mentioned. several of those, i think there is a misunderstanding about a number of things. as you describe the legislation, it would require super pac's to disclose their donors. super pac's already disclose their voters -- their donors. that has already been the law. what they want to do instead is require the disclosure of people who are not necessarily supporting a particular ad, for example some but he might be a member of a group that is a not -- that is not a super pac.
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maybe they are a member of the environment a group because they favor a carbon tax and they are concerned about climate change, but they oppose subsidies to green industries. they could find their name appearing as the person responsible for an ad emoting subsidies to green industries. in some ways, it is misleading, but the donors to super pac's are already disclosed. another thing the bill does is the federal election commission has already -- has always operated on a bipartisan commission. this could be a powerful weapon. one party could in control of it and use it to attack the other side and prevent them from campaigning effectively. it is always required bipartisan participation. the bill as it was set up would have done away with that requirement and sibley given the president's party a controlling majority on the commission. that has been taken out but
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there has been a provision substituted which indirectly does away with the requirement for bipartisanship, essentially what it does is it says whatever general counsel decides will be the rule unless there is a bipartisan majority to overturn it, which means essentially you can have a partisan decision again. one of the problems the fec sometimes had was building the general counsel position. it is a very important position. the party often but heads on it. it becomes a situation where the general counsel -- where what the general counsel says goes. i don't see how the fec will ever fill the commission because the commissioners -- if they did, they could not be stopped. the fec would become exactly what it was designed not to be, which is a partisan weapon being used by one particular party. there are a number of problems in the bill. the bill also regulates any
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speech that purports to promote attacks -- attack, support or oppose a candidate. ribs the might want to run an ad that says kyrsten sinema should vote to end the filibuster, is that an attack on her? is that rig leading the amount of money that -- it has a number of vague provisions like that, that are incorrect. i think it will stifle free-speech. we think the law goes way too far, that the compromise version does not address -- host: before we get to calls, you served in the early years of the bush administration on the federal election commission. you chaired the commission from 2005. what were some of the things that worked well and did not work so well and how you would like to see that change?
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guest: i was appointed by president clinton to avery -- to a republican seat. the commission gets a lot of flack, i think on terror i think unfairly -- i think unfairly. most of the decisions are good, noting that when we regulate campaign speech, we are relating the core of the first amendment -- we are regulating the core of the first amendment. i think there has become a bit of an issue on the commission, in particular, commissioners are simply unwilling to compromise. one of the democratic commissioners has been intentionally trying to make it difficult for the fec to defend its decisions in court. that means that the fec ends up
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not defending and you get default judgments. and this is creating -- they need to establish a sense of camaraderie. it would be helpful that -- complains a lot about the commission becoming discount -- dysfunctional but she is the one who's been there all that time. she is like 15 years over the expiration of her term and it would be helpful to get a new commissioner. host: let's go to calls and hear from michael in michigan, democrats line. caller: yes, i've got two points. one, in terms of the critical race theory that the gentleman mentioned at the beginning of his presentation.
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critical race theory is a college theory and not being presented in elementary schools for sure. often times it is said that it is teaching kids to hate themselves. what kids? white kids? what about black kids who have lived under the tyranny of racism in this country? who in texas were taught that slavery was not a bad thing? guest: we don't take a position on the benefits or liabilities of teaching critical race theory or any other thing. one of the issues you have now is the rake -- there is a question of what is critical race theory. i think it is fair the parents are upset about a wide variety of doctrines they believe are taught in schools that go generally under that rubric and we don't need to start parsing this down as to whether this is
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precisely what my former professor at harvard law school meant when he was talking about critical race theory. it is more the general curriculum. we take no position on the point that the caller makes. recently state that parents have a right to be involved in their kids education and to speak out publicly on it and speak in public comment periods and engage in peaceful protest or peaceful statements or demonstrations about what should be taught in their kid's schools. host: next up in los angeles, freddie is on the republican line. caller: my question is more general. at the end of the debate or discussion, my uncle would say i made a three with you but i will defend to my death your right to say it. i almost kind of rolled my eyes because of course, that's obvious. everyone knows that. but something is happening in
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this country. i first noticed it in college in the 70's when i saw the letter to the editor who says freedom of speech is ok but you can't really hurt poor people are black people with your freedom of speech. you only have freedom of speech when it helps people and i say that is a stupid letter but then i see that is seeming to catch on more and more. why is it we all suddenly -- all of a sudden, freedom of speech is to emigrate it. there are more important things like critical race theory or whatever and i want to know what you think was the turning point that people were turning against freedom of speech? it is one of the principles of this country. guest: i agree with you that something has changed in the way that americans tend to view free-speech. it has been a fairly long process.
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old-timers like me, we used to say sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. we realize that words do hurt people and there has been a movement more and more to where you can't say third and think -- certain things or you shouldn't say third and -- say certain things. we noted that you first have to have speech ultimately to test whether your ideas are right. we have disinformation and we have to tap down on disinformation. often times we only know disinformation in hindsight and we have situations like with covid, where for a long time -- we believed it could have jumped -- leaked from a lab or jumped from animals and now the generally excepted theory probably did come from a lab and there was a time when people were trying to stop anybody from suggesting the lab leak theory. you can only get to the truth of
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things and good public policy if we can debate these issues and discuss these issues. the previous caller said we should be discussing race matters and i think that is right. people need to be willing to discuss these types of things. one of the criticisms is that crt tends to cut off that discussion. i don't know that it does but certainly we see that more and more, the people say i don't like what you are saying and i want to stop it. we also see it in the way people indirectly go after folks. it used to be if he didn't like what some buddy said, you just did your own speech. now when some buddy says something we don't like, there is an effort to destroy the person's ability to work, their ability to live, to get them fired from their job. we say we will hold them accountable for their speech. what does that mean, to try and use force rather than
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persuasion? that is what we are doing, using force to prevent them from working or ruining their small business or to simply hound them and make their lives miserable are protesting outside their home at night. these are all very dangerous and undemocratic attitudes that we develop. the first amendment applies a strict lead to government efforts to regular speech, but the first amendment ultimately relies on the citizenry is willing to hear other ideas and recognizes the call -- organizes what the caller said, we disagree on this one but you have a right to say it. host: do you think the citizenry, that we've gotten less receptive to hearing those other ideas over the years? guest: i think definitely we have. there is this tuning out of opposing views. some of this goes to how our media is fragmented and people can be presented only with views they already agree with.
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there are a number of studies that show that when people get in that echo chamber, they gradually become more and more extreme or imagine if you are in a committee meeting and you have a committee meeting with eight liberals on the committee, they will talk in a way. if there are six liberals and two conservatives, they will talk differently. it is the different -- it is the same if you flip-flopped it with conservatives. having that diversity of views matters and gets people loose -- used to listening to each other. we are all citizens of this country, we are not people because we disagree on issues that we care a lot about, and we need to be able to talk about these issues because if we can't talk about them, if persuasion doesn't matter, then what are you left with? you are left with force and that is not a good way to live. host: we will hear from nelson
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in california, good morning. caller: i agree with some of the things he is saying but the thing that these conservative think tanks -- i was a republican for four decades until they started going after liz cheney and adam kinzinger. i was a black conservative way before donald trump was a republican. he became a white nationalist savior with the republicans. if you can't say anything against what the governor of texas is doing, are not really having any integrity because he is stopping people from teaching rosie -- rosa parks. the state of texas was founded entirely on slavery. it was illegal in texas when it was owned by mexico but then the slavers came in like ted bowie,
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and then they tried to take mexico and make it a slave state and then they fought for the confederacy to make all america. host: brad smith, anything to comment on? guest: i don't know what the curriculum is in texas. i don't know personally anybody nor have i seen anybody advocate that we not teach about things like rosa parks or the civil rights movement or slavery, but here is the thing. if one thinks that is true, one needs to be able to go and talk to their local school board, they may need to organize a demonstration or protest to say we want a curriculum that is appropriate. imagine if you were giving the comments that are caller just gave and i or bill juster did yelling over them, you are done, you're out of here. that is what happened at that pennsbury school board meeting, when people tried in a public comment session to talk calmly
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about what they thought should be treated in schools. that is the kind of thing we are concerned about and it is vitally important that we be able to discuss these issues. what is the proper balance, when we go from teaching an honest history of race to something that seems tendentious or not grounded in fact. that can go both ways. some people think too much whitewash his history and some people think there is too much blaming americans. that is a tough issue and we need to be able to debate it. host: a question for you from jd in florida who asks, isn't voting rights a fundamental right of speech and why doesn't your organization fight for these encroachments -- or fight these encroachments? guest: voting rights have a speech element but generally i think the purpose of voting is to elect government. your vote is secret, so i think
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voting is very important but its main function is how we elect people. in terms of fighting for free speech, you have to pick and choose your battles. we are a very small organization, our budget is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 million. we are dwarfed by most organizations run washington. you pick your fights that matter and for us, we want to focus on people -- focus on things more directly later to people's speaking issues. not just the context of elections but more broadly, to talk about in our daily lives. we don't have any election period in the united states for they can call an election and you have six weeks to campaign. we always talk about politics and public affairs and that is what our organization has chosen to focus on. host: a little less than 15
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minutes left with our guest, brad smith, a hearing on the customs and border patrol nominee, chris magnus, the current tucson chief of police, that is coming up live at 9:30 eastern. we welcome your calls and comments until then. democrats and republicans, it is -- republicans, it is (202)-748-8001. democrats, it is (202)-748-8000. independents, the number is (202)-748-8002. brett smith come out i wanted to ask about the issue of misinformation. a pew research poll from a couple weeks ago from august shows that roughly half of u.s. adults, 48 percent now say the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it means losing some freedom to access and publish content. what are your thoughts on that? guest: i think the 48% of people probably think what they say would never be deemed false. that is the danger of giving this power to the government.
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the idea of the first amendment was that we don't give that power to the government or to anybody, rather ideas go out in the marketplace and there, they are tested. if we say some idea is false, then a year and a half ago, we would have said you can't talk about the covid lab leak theory. you can't tell people they should wear a mask because the original cdc guidance with people should not wear a mask. you could do that with other issues. you can't talk about russian collusion, that's false. you can't talk about -- you can pick your issue. most things in political discussion are really questions of politics and interpretations of facts, but even things that are factual statements have to be able to be challenged. people have to be able to challenge them.
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it is not only that you only know your argument that if you know what other people say about it, but also ultimately that you can't prove or test your argument and if you never allow dissenting voices, these things become stale and dry and we forget why they are important and it leads to poor public policy, poor public debate and a worse democracy. you sickly can't have democracy if you're going to go around saying what that guy says is false so we're going to stop it. you have to let these things before it out. if you think what they say is false, you go out and explain why it is false, and you need to keep in mind that if they have the political power and you set the tone that you can silence fall speech, they might say what you are saying is false and you might find that you are not allowed to speak your opinions. host: let's hear from lisa in texas. caller: good morning.
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governor abbott has sued our schools, biloxi school district and i see what on the local news, a handful of parents actually hired an attorney to speak on the behalf of their children not wearing masks. where does it end? guest: again, mask mandates are something we don't take a position on, but we do take a position on the ability of parents or others to be able to argue that we should or should not have mask mandates. one thing that people can do to make their speech more we do take a position on the ability of parents or others to be able to argue that we should or should not have mass mandates. one -- mask mandates. one thing people should do to
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make their speech more effective is to hire an attorney if necessary or spokesperson. we related to campaign-finance or something. -- relate it to campaign-finance or something, saying you should speak on your own. a lot of times speeches made it more effective by the ability to hire someone to do it for you. some people don't know how to stand up in a public meeting or make effective radio ads area often by allowing people to come together as a group to full resources and hire an attorney to represent them, we enhance public speech and the debate in public. ultimately, school boards have to make a decision. mask mandate or not? the government needs to make a decision. whatever decision is weaned -- is made, people have a right to criticize it. secretary cardona: on our republican -- post: on our republican line, doc.
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i live in the nation's capital, washington, dc. what i have noticed in the d.c. superior court, particularly with one judge. and, this is a very liberal town. judge elizabeth wayne gone on the d.c. superior court is ricotta find what i believe to be laws on the d.c. books. as it relates to the what you are talking about with preempting speech and having due process, talk to me about how you feel about speech being abridged that is not harassing, not hostile speech or threatening speech, but, just speech in general and how they d.c. superior court is re-codifying things at abridging speech and ignoring the
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argument, as you put it, which i really appreciate you saying that way. when you limit the speech, you limit the persons ability to make an argument. we have lost that in our society. the ability to debate issues and be heard. host: thank you don. we will hear from brad smith asked. guest: i am not familiar with particular rulings out of the d.c. superior court. historically, the rule in the u.s. was you could state your opinions. there were very rare exceptions if your opinion was likely to imminently incite a riot, imminent danger of inciting a riot. then, it might be limited. but those are very rare circumstances the fact that people might be persuaded by an idea, might act on it, is not a
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basis for censoring that idea. i favor old traditions. i think we are very fortunate that in recent years our supreme court has been very protect evolve free-speech in a wide variety of circumstances. i fear, as i talked about earlier, that our society is becoming more and more -- i think they presume they will be the ones never centered. i've forced them to quit speaking by distorting their ability to earn a living, threatening them, so on. these things are bad for democracy.
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used to be said way back in the founding era that given a choice we would rather have their newspapers and free speech. we are forgetting that. ultimately we get to good policies only by having good, vigorous, peaceful debate. >> in terms of preemptive speech, would an example be when d.c. and federal officials in washington consider the request of those arrested on january 6? there was a rally over the summer. it was fairly small, but, there were plenty of police on -- and other presence there. it is. for speech a consideration on those officials on what the potential outcome may be of a speech like that or an event like that? guest: under a supreme court
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precedent, you cannot limit that kind of speech unless it appears likely to incite imminent riot. i don't think that is there. i did not follow those events closely, but, i some reason -- saw no reason to think anybody was inciting a riot. the government cannot just generally suppress protests, demonstrations, a speaker on the theory that, again, maybe people will hear them and be persuaded. the government cannot do that. that is what the first amendment is intended to prevent. >> but the government can prescribe the size of a rally or the venue given to those who would like to make that speech or demonstration of any kind, correct? guest: when somebody wants to protest in public spaces, the government can put certain limits in place. they should not be based on viewpoint. you cannot say, we are going to allow the folks who want to prosecute the january 6 rioters
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to have their demonstration. and, those who want to say, defendant the january 6 patriots. they don't get to protest. you can't have that kind of discrimination involved. but, the government can put certain limits, at least, on time and place of demonstrations. host: we have a couple more calls. we will hear from valdes in mapleton, illinois on the independent line. >> good morning. i am a former soldier, enlisted, not drafted. also, a retired police officer. people have been talking about freedom to speak for many years, mr. smith. if you're reading of history tells you people tried to peacefully petition the government in the 60's and were beaten down, it is not a new phenomenon that people are going to classroom then dust -- just trying to speak.
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your organization should go back. you are seeing a group of people now feeling as if they will be in a minority, which is true. that is what they do not like. that is what they are uncomfortable with. i think you should expand. you seem to be only focused on certain issues when you knew nothing about what that gentleman from -- you talked about the texas curriculum that governor abbott tried to change. expand your thinking a little bit. thank you. guest: it is unfortunate that i was not around to form the institute for free speech in the 1960's. i was a great schooler. what we are focused on today peoples rights to speak about political matters. if people want to go and speak in front of texas school boards about the needs for more accurate treatment of slavery and ranch -- race relations and get shouted down by school boards we will try to defend their rights to. -- rights too.
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host: let's hear from iris in tampa, florida. caller: i fully agree with the concept of free speech. it was put in the constitution so we can have accurate dissemination of news and facts. however, in today's environment, free speech has been weaponized. people can go and say whatever they want. in a violent manner, to stir up unlawful actions. we stated that if that happens, then refer to the police. it is too late then. i think we have -- it has come to the point where we have to have some kind of guidelines for people to express free speech. i watch the hillsborough county school board meeting a couple of months ago. i listen to it for two hours. i was appalled at the violent
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nature of the parents who were against the masks and vaccines, how they threaten school board members. and, the school board members cannot say anything to put a stop to it. i was raised, my grandmother, we were raised that if you speak you have to be polite. you express yourself. but you do not do it in a violent manner. we need to protect free speech the way it was intended to be. guest: as i have tried to emphasize throughout, you are right that there is speech that gets out of line that can be dealt with by local police. the vast majority of cases in the u.s. are people speaking normally, politely, and rationally to school boards. to the extent that they are silenced, we will defend that action.
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to the extent that people acting properly and are not allowed to speak because we view their space as dented information or inciting people to bad things, if we do not let them speak, eventually, it is more likely it will boil over in the kind of behavior you rightly criticized. so, the first amendment has always been for the idea that you can basically say whatever you want within very broad parameters. that is something that has been very beneficial for the u.s.. we are going to be in big trouble if we start thinking that we can trust the government with the power to decide who has spoken too much or too little, who is telling the truth and who was not, it was spreading disinformation or his speeches particularly dangerous -- whose speech is particularly dangerous because of positions they take. the first amendment was meant to
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enshrine that for us and make sure we don't censor speech. host: from florida on the republican line, kurt, go ahead. >> you being -- caller: you being in fcc commissioner, i believe speech is regulated by the sec versus what you can say on broadcast media. would that extended to your opinion the internet? twitter, facebook, things like that? host: to clarify, he was former fec commissioner. guest: the fec regulates political campaigns. campaign-finance. the core difference, at least in theory, was, that with broadcast you have a limited amount of space, a limited number of networks. the networks only have a certain 24 hours a day to put material on. with the internet, twitter,
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facebook, there is no limit to how much people can speak. i am not sure you can effectively transport a lot doctrines regulating broadcast media to the internet and social media. it raises a lot of difficult, but different questions. guest: brad smith now chairs the institute for free speech at iss.org. thank you for being with us. that will do it for this morning's program. we will take you in a moment to a senate hearing and be back tomorrow at 7:00 eastern. the senate finance committee will be back to hear from chris magnus, the police chief in tucson and nominated to become the next customs and border protection please. hearing is about to get underway with live coverage on c-span.
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>> live this morning, the senate finance committee is holding a confirmation hearing for tucson

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