tv PBS News Hour PBS January 16, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the u.s. supreme court takes up a landmark case on same-sex marriage to decide if gay couples can wed nationwide. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. also ahead, europe on high alert, belgian, german and french police arrest dozens in anti-terror raids. with threats of attacks on the rise, what's next for the west thwarting extremist plots? as the e.p.a. pushes cleaner energy by moving american electricity away from coal wyoming fights back as the hard black rock is the state's lifeblood. >> we've been here for
generations and the epa coming in and telling us what we can and can't do doesn't settled well with a lot of us. >> wyoming can file 100 lawsuits a month if they want. and its not gonna change a thing. >> woodruff: and it's friday mark shields and david brooks are here, to analyze the week's news. those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: we begin with one of the two major stories that dominated this day: europe on edge. law enforcement agencies across the continent targeted terror suspects in raids and arrests across at least four countries. the crackdown was spawned in part by the paris violence of a week ago. >> woodruff: from belgium, to germany, and again in france heavily armed police were out in force. in verviers, belgium, authorities said late-night raids that killed two suspects had disrupted a plot to attack police. they said they found a well- organized, well-equipped cell. >> during the house search in
verviers, several weapons were found including four military weapons of the ak-47 kalashnikov type, several handguns, ammunition and explosives. several police uniforms were also retrieved, and also mobile phones, fake documents and a significant amount of money. >> woodruff: german authorities raided 11 homes in berlin and netted two turkish suspects. they're suspected of recruiting fighters for the islamic state group in syria. the dragnet also reached to bulgaria, where a french national appeared in court over alleged ties to one of the gunmen in last week's attacks in paris. watching the day's events, the head of the european police agency, "europol," warned the continent now has up to 5,000 muslim radicals. >> the scale of the problem, the way, the diffuse nature of the network, the scale of the people involved makes this extremely difficult for even very well functioning counter-terrorist agencies such as we have in
france to stop every attack. i think that is really very, very difficult. >> woodruff: the heightened tensions across europe had jewish schools in belgium and the netherlands closing their doors, as a precaution. and back in paris more funerals today, hundreds gathered to say farewell to the editor of "charlie hebdo", one of 12 people slain in last week's killings. secretary of state john kerry paid his own tribute at a makeshift memorial outside the magazine's offices. meanwhile, french president francois hollande insisted again that his government will not back down in the face of islamist terror. >> ( translated ): we are at war against it. it is not a war against a religion. it is a war against hatred. the attacks committed in paris are an insult to islam. and in the world, it is the muslims, i keep repeating this who are the first victims of terrorism. >> woodruff: hollande drew
support from washington, where president obama and british prime minister david cameron formed a united front. >> i know david joins me when i say we'll do everything in power to help france seek the justice that is needed, all countries working seamlessly to prevent attacks and defeat these terrorist networks. >> we know what we're up against and we know how we will win. we face a poisonous and fanatical ideology that wants to pervert one of the world's major religions, islam, and create conflict, terror and death. with our allies we'll confront it wherever it appears. >> woodruff: across the muslim world, though, there were more marches and angry protests against "charlie hebdo's" decision to print another cartoon of the prophet mohammed. in the day's other major story, the united states supreme court agreed to decide whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. it sets the stage for a
potentially history-making decision later this year. we'll explore what's at stake, after the news summary. president obama issued a stern new warning to congress today not to impose new sanctions against iran, over its nuclear program. he said the odds of reaching a deal with iran to curb the program are already "less than 50-50", and he warned lawmakers that their actions could end all hope. >> the likelihood of the entire negotiations collapsing is very high. congress should be aware that if this diplomatic solution fails then the risks and likelihood that this ends up being at some point a military confrontation is heightened and congress will have to own that as well. >> woodruff: the u.s. and five other world powers are trying to get a framework deal with iran by march. they missed two previous deadlines. in a bid to push the process along, secretary of state kerry
met with iran's foreign minister in paris today, for the third time this week. britain and the u.s. are beefing up cooperation on preventing cyber-attacks. the two nations announced plans today for joint cyber-security "war games." they're also forming a so-called "cyber cell" to share intelligence on hacking. the u.s. military will deploy more than 400 troops to train syrian rebels, so they can fight islamic state militants. hundreds of support personnel will also be sent, to locations outside syria. the pentagon spokesman, rear admiral john kirby, said today it will take some time to get the troops battle-ready. >> if the training is able to start in march, you could be looking at some opposition groups getting back into syria and into the fight before the end of the year. i think that's certainly a possibility, but we've got a lot of work to do before we're
there. >> woodruff: the goal is to train 5,400 rebels in the first year. president obama already authorized more than 3,000 troops to train iraqi soldiers in the fight against islamic state forces. the international criminal court will make an initial examination of possible war crimes in palestinian territories. that could include actions by israel and the militant group "hamas" during last summer's war in gaza. the palestinian authority accepted the court's jurisdiction last month. israel condemned that move, and today's announcement. fighting escalated in eastern ukraine today, dimming any prospects for new peace talks. government forces and russian- backed rebels stepped up their battle for the airport at donetsk, a city held by the rebels. so far, two cease-fires have failed to stop the violence. european space scientists had some good news today: an unmanned british spacecraft that disappeared over mars long ago, has been found. "beagle two" was spotted on the
martian surface by a "nasa" craft orbiting high overhead. we have a report from alok jha of independent television news. >> reporter: lost on another planet for 11 years. this audacious piece of british engineering has now been found, in the barren wilderness of mars. beagle two's mission was to look for signs of life on mars. it separated from the european space agency's mars express mission on christmas day in 2003. what we know now is that beagle two seems to have reached the surface of mars in one piece and two of it's solar panels even deployed but then it never got back in touch with home, frustratingly it seems to have been recording data on its descent and even recorded on the surface of mars too but we'll probably never know what it
found out. christmas day in 2003 was devastating, not least for beagle two project leader colin pillinger. he died last year without knowing what had happened to the lander. >> woodruff: "beagle two" was named for the ship that carried charles darwin on his voyage of discovery in the 1830's. back in this country, medicare and medicaid chief marilyn tavenner unexpectedly stepped down today. she presided over the troubled roll-out of healthcare.gov under the president's health care law. and later, she overstated the number of people enrolled for coverage by 400,000. tavenner told staffers today she is leaving with "sadness and mixed emotions." penn state university and the n.c.a.a. have reached an agreement that restores more than 100 football wins to the school. they'd been officially erased by a 2012 consent decree, in the
child molesting scandal involving a former coach. alumni and fans challenged that decree in court, and news of a settlement came today. it means the late joe paterno will regain his status as the winningest coach in major college football history. and wall street went into the weekend on a high note. stocks rallied after oil prices surged back above $48 a barrel. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 191 points to close at 17,511. the nasdaq rose 63 points, to 4634. and the s-and-p 500 added 26, to finish at 2019. but for the week, all three indexes lost between 1% and 1.5% percent. still to come on the newshour: same-sex marriage at the supreme court; why 2014 was the warmest year ever recorded on earth; how wyoming is at loggerheads with the e.p.a. over energy production in the state;
the justice department makes a major shift on assets seized by local police; plus, mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> woodruff: while aspects of same-sex marriage have been debated at the u.s. supreme court. today, the nine justices agreed to hear arguments at the heart of the debate. should gay couples be allowed to marry nationwide? they will consider cases stemming from four states. the arguments will be heard in april and a decision announced in june. for more on the court's move, newshour contributor, marcia coyle of the national law journal. marcia, a big day! >> absolutely. >> woodruff: so we know gay marriage is now legal in 36 states. what's the significance of the court taking up cases from michigan, ohio, kentucky and tennessee. >>tennessee. as you probably remember,
last october the court had seven cases and declined to review those cases. the big difference between october and today is the fact that, in november, a lower federal appellate court broke with the trend across the lower federal appellate courts and upheld state bans on marriage by gay and lesbian couples as well as bans on the recognition of legal out-of-state same-sex marriages. so that created a circuit split, which is one of the key criteria for granting review by the supreme court. >> woodruff: so that was a couple of months ago. other than the fact it is a split, any sense of why the court would jump on this and say, all right, we're now ready to look at this? >> i think they were waiting for the right cases to get to them, but i really do think the circuit split was something very important for them because the supreme court wants to ensure
uniformity of federal law, uniform application of the federal constitution, and here you had the sixth circuit saying in four states these bans were okay, but you had all these other circuits saying they're not okay. >> woodruff: so what is the main question they're going to be wrestling? >> the justices fashioned two questions. even though they took four cases, they're not going to hear four separate argument. they con doll dated those cases, and there will be a decision on two questions that they told the lawyers in the cases to brief and be prepared to argue. first there's the 14th amendment require states to license marriages by same-sex couples and does the 14th amendment require states to recognize same-sex couples married out of state. >> does this tell you how
they're likely to go on the next question? >> hard to say. in 2013 the court took up the definition of marriage and the federal sense of marriage act and that definition said marriage was between one man and one woman, and the court, in a 5-4 decision, struck the definition as it is applied to legally-married, same-sex couples. so the court was divided there. but the majority had two strands, equal protection and federalism, that marriage had always been the province of the states to regulate. so it's going to be very interesting what the court's dealing with today are state laws, not the federal law and we'll wait to see how they view the rule of the states today in this type of issue. >> woodruff: always dangerous to speculate, but i was reading today the sense is that it's clear how some of the justices will go one way or another but not at all clear how some in the middle will go. who are you watching? >> i think i will be watching
justice kennedy as always although he wrote the 2013 majority opinion in the federal defense of marriage act and he's been very strong in prior cases involving gay rights under the constitution. but i'm also going to watch, i think, the chief justice to see what he does. his dissent in the 2013 days focused on the federalism aspects. but i'm not sure, you know where he really stands here1and what's going to go through his mind in terms of the fact that this is one of the most important social civil rights issues of our time and i think he's going to be very conscious of that, conscious of the fact that 36 states now allow same-sex marriages and conscious of the court of its standing in institution and society as well as he has a lot of integrity in terms of how he views the constitution. so i think he's going to be a very interesting figure to watch
in this. i think justices scalia, thomas and ali allito are leaning toward same-sex marriages based on what they wrote in the 2013 case. >> woodruff: i know you will be at the court and watching. >> it raises the stakes, and they already had a potentially major case on the docket, the challenge to the affordable care act. >> woodruff: this is the second big one. >> second really big one this year. >> woodruff: marcia coyle, see you in airplane but certainly before that. thanks. >> my pleasure, judy. >> woodruff: scientists report 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history for the planet, and that dates back to 1880. this was announced today by both nasa and noaa, the oceanic and atmospheric agency. five months last year set temperature records. the ocean surface was unusually
warm around the world except for antartica. in the u.s., the western part of the country baked under extreme heat shown here in yellow, although the eastern half of the country saw below-average temperatures as seen in blue. and there were temperature records set in several european countries. we get further insight and information on all of this from one of the lead scientists involved with the report. gavin schmidt studies climate change at nasa's godard institute for space studies. gavin schmidt, we welcome you to the program. >> thank you very much for having me. >> woodruff: so spell this out more for us. how did 2014 differ from other years? >> well, 2014 was only a little bit different from previous years, but what we're seeing is a long-term trend that is producing record warm year after record warm year. the previous record was in 2010, before that 2005, before that
1998. so this year is part of a long-term trend that is just going to continue. >> woodruff: but when you say it's only a little different, i mean by a fraction of a fraction, is that right in. >> right. each year makes a record. it's like people running a marathon, they only beat the record by a few seconds each time, but times are getting faster, the globe is warming up. >> woodruff: am i right? i believe i read today that the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997? >> yep, that's right. nine have occurred in the last ten years. 1998 was a real standout year, and that's still in the top five. but we've warmed about 1.5 degrees fahrenheit since the questionbeginning of the 20th century and we can view those changes
due to greenhouse gases, placial carbon dioxide, we have been putting into the atmosphere. >> woodruff: to be clear, the western part of the country very hot but the eastern part of the united states cooler. but you still had, overall this record. that's right. in any one year, there is a lot of variability. sometimes you have an el niño event in the tropical pacific, that could make a difference. you also have weather and various natural variability going on so you'll always see some place that are warmer and some places that are cooler. but the average over all of those things to get a sense of what the whole globe is seeing on a long-term scale. >> woodruff: so what do you and other scientists believe is going on here? >> well, so, year to year there's a lot of noise a little chaos in the climate system, but the underlying trend the trends we've seen since the 1970s, particularly, that's being
driven, pushed and pushed mainly by carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere which are adding to the greenhouse effect which is making the planet warmer. >> woodruff: carbon dioxide meaning manmade emissions? >> yes, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels coal oil, natural gas and deforestation, mainly in the tropics. >> woodruff: so to the skeptics who are out there vocally, when a report like this comes out saying wait a minute, there's no proof there is connection to what humans do, you say what? >> you know, science works by putting all the bits of evidence together. we've looked for, also, different fingerprints of change. we've looked to see whether the warming is caused by oscillations in the ocean, whether it's caused by changes in the sun or volcanoes or all sorts of different things, but what we find is that the picture you get when you think about what's happening with greenhouse gases fits the data not just at
the surface but in the higher up in the atmosphere, in the ocean in the arctic all around. and, so, we have a fingerprint of change associated with human activities, and that frirng pript fits the evidence that we're seeing in the data. >> woodruff: separately yesterday we saw in the journal "science" that in this report humans are causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and to life, to animals' life in the oceans. when you put that together with the temperature findings what does that tell you? >> well, human impact on the planet with the population that we have and the huge exponential growth in population, e.r. having an impact on the planet whether overfishing, habitat loss, whether deforestation, all of the graphs look very similar. it's flat for a long time and then shoots up.
we're in that exponential growth phase and we have to be very, very careful that we don't exceed our reach and damage systems that can't be recovered. >> woodruff: any glimmer of hopefulness in all this? >> i think the glimmer of hopefulness is we're having a conversation about that. we're discussing these things hopefully in a sustainable manner. we're talking about ways to mitigate and adapt to the changes and these kind of conversations we're having now help raise awareness and help us make sure that the people who are making decisions are making decisions in the full light of the scientific evidence that we have found. >> woodruff: gavin schmidt who is the director of the goddard institute for space studies at n.a.s.a., we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the rise in greenhouse gases and
temperatures are the reasons why the president has issued new restrictions on coal-fired power plants. but now that republicans hold control of congress, one issue high on their agenda: blocking or delaying the epa's plans. we get a report on how that's viewed in a key energy producing state, wyoming. it comes from leigh paterson of inside energy, a public media collaboration on energy issues, working with the newshour. caring for a few hundred cows during wyoming winter is hard work. the winds are normal. ranger dave hamilton say it's part of the disconnect between people who live off the land and those who regulate the environment. >> we seem to have people who have never ever even set foot in the state of wyoming, that don't understand farming don't understand ranching, rules that
affect us all. when, in fact we all want to keep our land together. i can't make a living if i destroy my land. >> reporter: in 2010 the e.p.a. sued hamilton for building an irrigation ditch it claimed violated the clean water act. his lawyer says the agency was seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties. but when the case went to court, the jury ruled in hamilton's favor buzz farming and ranching are exempt from the clean air act. >> we don't want air like china or water with so much benzene all the fish are dead, but i think the problem is if we would have interaction that creates solutions. what we're having is you can't do this, we don't know what you're going to do about it but you can't do this because we're going to fine you. >> this is about protecting our health and homes. >> reporter: in june, e.p.a. administrator gina mccarthy announced the clean power plant,
the agency's newest proposal to cut carbon emissions. >> altold in 2030 when the states meet our final goals, our proposal will result in 30% less carbon emission in comparison to 2005 levels. >> reporter: people in wyoming care deemly about issues that affect hand and energy resources. the plan is threatening because it aims to slash carbon emissions by 30% by moving electricity generation away from coal. this hard black rock is wyoming's lifeblood. mineral extraction accounts for nearly 75% of the state's revenue, about a third coming from coal. funding things like schools road construction and a huge state savings account. wyoming has a long history of coal mining and these days the state provides nearly 40% of the nation's supply.
but the top executive at this mine does acknowledge concerns about emissions from burning coal. marshall is the c.e.o. of cloud peak energy, one of the largest coal companies in the country. >> i believe the science is clearly not settled but there are theories out there and if they're right, the co2 emissions are significant then they potentially could be a big impact on the world and its climate. i always think, what if the impact and climate change is twice as bad as people are thinking? >> reporter: he thinks if the information is shown here at the first and only carbon capture power plant, components like this absorber tower are bolted on and remove the harmful co2 out of the emissions. >> let's develop the technology so if it's appropriate to play the card, we have the technology we need. >> reporter: the dam opened in
canada last year, but installing this technology on a wide scale is most prohibitively expensive. so coal country is fighting back against the clean power plant. in august wyoming along with 11 other states sued the e.p.a. hoping to derail the proposal, but this is just the latest chapter in a long history of conflict. since the year 2000, the state sued the e.p.a.12 times over issues like regional haze and mercury emissions not even including the lawsuits it's joined on behalf of other states. professor bergman specializes in environmental toxicology. >> you can file 100 lawsuits a month if they want and it's not going to change a thing. this is going to get fixed. it absolutely must. >> reporter: he says wyoming lawmakers need to recognize the realities of a changing climate. >> the consequences for the coal industry, for instance are going to be severe and they have to begin addressing
foret -- adjusting for it now. if they don't we're going to be blindsided. >> reporter: the sole u.s. house representative for the state of wyoming does not share the sense of certainty. >> the climate is changes. the climate is always changing. and man kind's role in the change of climate is simply not as well established as one would have us think. >> reporter: the chair of a brand-new subcommittee focused on energy and environmental policy, she says she will work on how the policies affect the people. senator john grasso who chairs the republican policy committee believe the clean power plan would result in job loss and higher utility bills so blocking it is a priority among republican and leadership positions.
>> we will have the power of the purse and can use it in way that will allow us to send messages to the president that is certain policies and law making is having a negative impact on jobs and the economy mostly in rural america and in energy-producing areas of our country. >> reporter: at jake's tavern, a popular hangout in coal country, energy worker brandon allee says the issue is more about wyoming's rugged independent mentality not politics. >> the idea is we have been here for generations and the e.p.a. coming in here and telling us what we can and can't do or making it hard for us to do what really needs to be done doesn't set well with a lot of us. >> reporter: wyoming exports more energy than any other state, so there's a lot on the tine lion in the debate over the
clean power man. for the pbs "newshour", leigh paterson, in wyoming. >> woodruff: u.s. attorney general eric holder today announced a major shift in how state and local police departments are permitted to seize and auction off property from those who are not convicted of a crime. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: the practice by police departments is known as civil forfeiture. and it's raised nearly three- billion dollars for local departments around the country. but the practice has been controversial because property has been seized from people who are only suspected of a crime, but not convicted. to talk more about this is sarah stillman, a staff writer for the new yorker magazine. her reporting nearly two years ago brought to light some of the abuses of the policy. i tried to do it justice with a tiny description but explain civil forfeiture and what's gone wrong with it so we have an idea
of why this is so significant today. >> civil forfeiture is basically a tool for law enforcement to seize people's property their cash, their cars other goods, and basically appropriate it if they believe it has been used in the course of a crime. the problem with it is that often that's been based on suspicion alone so people don't actually have to be proven guilty of a crime before their property is taken. the belief today is eric holder basically announced they were more or less ending a federal policy that allowed local and state law enforcement agencies to take people's goods, turn them over to the federal government for forfeiture and then they would get to take that money back for themselves. >> sreenivasan: what kind of an impact will that have in the different thousands of police departments that use the federal law as part of the reason why they should be able to seize some of the profit from someone they pulled over or involved in the a crime? >> it's a starting point. it means there will be more accountability at the local levels, but a lot of this takes
place at the state level where you're seeing abuses. some of the cases i wrote about involve an elderly couple in philadelphia for instance, whose son had sold about $20 worth of pot on the porch -- or was alleged to, hadn't within proven guilty of the crime -- and the family learned of that after their home was raided by a s.w.a.t. team, the home was to be seized and sold at auction to benefit the city with those funds. so you're still seeing abuses at the local level that won't be stopped because this is essentially ending a federal paragraph of cooperation. >> sreenivasan: when we're talking about 2.5 or $3 billion in seizurerses, any significant dent like that will have resistance from law enforcement agencies, right? >> absolutely, because one of the issues is law enforcement has become very dependent on these funds and we've seen in many cases local police departments don't have a lot of
resources beyond the pool of money they get from forfeiture which can be quite sizable. ill looked at small towns in texas where almost the entirety of police operations, everything from money they were using to buy guns, to buy a lot of the things you're seeing in these massive s.w.a.t. raids, alof that was coming from forfeiture funds. >> sreenivasan: are we seeing a shift in the political climate? because there was a little bipartisan support today for trying to re-think these laws. >> i think it's tremendously exciting. i think it's one of the areas -- there are so many criminal justice reforms going on now that are bipartisan. you see a lot of support on the left and right, people are calling for comprehensive reforms. there's been conversation about federal -- there has been legislation proposed and there's also many people looking at this at the state and local levels to push reforms. >> sreenivasan: what's motivating that? the shift we were concerned 20
and 30 years ago more when the laws went on the books to say let's get the criminals off the street, take away the cash and cars and maybe make money off it and now it's more an encroachment on our personal freedoms? >> we'll be assessing a lot of what came out on the war on drugs from the 1980s. it came out of a good place in many respects which is people should not be able to profit from their finds but this funding law enforcement a lot of that is out of control. in detroit, a bunch of kids were at a party in an art museum, a huge s.w.a.t. team raids the place and seized all of the young people's cars without ever actually going through real procedures in court to prove them guilty of anything. so i think we're really rethinking police militarization and these issues are intertwined. >> sreenivasan: while the particular anecdotes sound
heinous, i imagine law enforcement will come back and say some of this does help us to make sure they don't have access to the resources to keep committing the crimes. so how do you figure out what's appropriate forfeiture or seizure and what's abuse of power? >> two things. one important aspect of the reforms are there are exceptions for issues of public safety, where there are firearms involved or things of that nature. i think that's important to understand. i think there is a lot of ways in which the reforms that are being called for are still part of a larger conversation that needs to be in the public sphere. >> sarah stillman, "new yorker" magazine, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: this week, congressional republicans met to
plot next steps with their newfound power in washington. and there were more steps taken by potential 2016 presidential candidates, as they gear up to run for the white house. for all that and more, we turn to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and new york times columnist david brooks. it's so good to see both of you. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: so before we talk about politics i want to ask you about what i discuss with marcia coyle earlier, mark, and that is the supreme court announcing it is going to take up the same-sex marriage question. thoughts? >> well as marcia pointed out, along with the affordable care act, which the court is also considering, the two big ones, but judy, david's made the point before about the velocity with which this issue has moved. on may 6, 2012, joe biden, the vice president of the united states said he was comfortable with same-sex marriage and it upabsolutely exploded. how could he do this?
he put the president in a terrible position. that was three years ago. now rob portman announcing he was going to run for republican he would have been the first republican candidate to endorse same-sex marriage. this issue moved so fast. 36 states. there's a little bit of anti-climactickic feel even though it's of great importance constitutionally. >> you have to go back to the years of prejudice against gays and lesbians and it's washing away. you ask how did it happen. partly, act activism. that'spartly people getting to know each other. tv shows with gays and lesbians changed rapidly. then the two issues that have been central in the last ten to twenty years is gayes in military and gay marriage.
so by saying we just want to be married and serve in the military, people were coming out and coming out with full indignity that showed respect for the institutions of the country and once that's embraced, the country has begun to embrace them as individualsenned the institution of gay marriage. >> woodruff: we heard marcia say it's going to be huge when it comes out. politics, the week where congressional reps met in their retreat. mark, this is a time when you have not just speaker boehner but now the brand-new republican majority leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell, trying to corral these big numbers in both bodies. what do you see? do you see the republicans coming together? or do you see them still having to deal with some right-wing conservative critics who are
just going to continue to give them a hard time? >> well, speaker boehner had 25 members of his own caucus not support him to speaker. that's a bit more than one out of ten. more than in recent american history that that's happened where a speaker has failed there. so even though his numbers were enlarged, the republicans in the house, his own position was somewhat shake wherey at the outset of this congress. you have the tensions within the party. after the 2012 election, the republican party went through a soul-searching in which they came out with a serious document saying the party is too narrow-minded, outs of touch, not main-stream, mean-spirited, unappealing to non-whites and to women and younger voters, and we have to do it, we have to endorse immediately comprehensive immigration reform. and you've got a party that just won a big election totally the
opposite. in the first action they take is a house passes a bill that is restrictive and punitive even to as far as dream actors are concern, those brought here as children and who have grown up and gone to school. >> woodruff: and the president's executive action. >> and the president's executive action. and it can't pass the senate, mitch mcconnell knows he hasn't gotten the votes. eth not the issue republicans wanted at the outset to deal with. i think boehner felt he had to deal with it because reps made it such a center piece of their campaign. i don't see it -- they're working out the difficulties and the wrinkles very much in public and i think rather awkwardly. >> woodruff: you see them united or -- >> well, majority party on fringes and both right and left protesting what was going on. i agree with mark they win the big victory and what do they decide to do?
they decide to pick a campaign they cannot possibly win. so the house pass as bill that cannot possibly pass. what's going to happen? they will have to walk embarrassingly down the hill in defeat. that's going to happen. why do you do that? the reason is because you have an opposition mentality that says, let's make a statement. we want to let the president know we're standing up to him so make a statement instead of passing the law. but if you're the majority, you have to think that way. i don't blame mcconnell and boehner, i blame the rank and file. you have to state to the majority, are you here to make statements? go to fox. if you're going to pass law, you have ability to influence that. >> we've seen this before, jude y, picking up on david's point, is they have to come to reality, they have to fund homeland security by the 27th of february, and there's not going to be a government shutdown. and every story we read, whether out of belgium, northern europe whether across the globe is
about terrorist threats or plots or actual events and the idea that homeland security would be put on hold and not fully funded or more funded is absolutely incredible, so they have no bargaining chip and no bargaining power to suffer this sort of symbolic defeat. >> woodruff: let's talk about another part of the republican story, that is the race for president. we've seen so many names david. i think one of the remarkable things this week is mitt romney a lot of pushback from other republicans including i think one of his campaign co-chairs about his looking seriously at running again. >> yeah. well, the donors don't seem to like him, the republican committee people don't want him to run again and the field is a lot stronger this time. he ran against people who couldn't possibly win so he's run more or less by default. so there are people who run and get nominated and there are
people who have people who passionately believe in them and these people will walk through hell for a certain guy, man or woman, and if those people exist for mitt romney, they're, like in a phone booth in massachusetts somewhere. he never generated that sort of intensity. people liked him as a decent guy but he never generated intense followers. so when he announce eds he was running again, people looked at him cooley and said, you had your shot buddy. >> i wouldn't be so quick to write him off. another example of someone who was renominated was richard nixon and didn't have passionate intense followers but mitt romney followed the nixon formula which is after he lost in '60, nixon campaigned in 64:00 and '66 across the country. romney after 2012 became the national republican surrogate everywhere, went everywhere and was welcome everywhere, as long as he was contrasted to barack obama, and barack obama was at
the lowsest point of his presidency, maybe buyers remorse on the part of some voters. i think david is right there's more options now. we're not talking about herman cain and donald trump, but we have a field with no dominant figures in it and you're in a competition. jeb bush accelerated this system. you have competition force fundraisers, for talent who work in the campaign and to inspire and engage voters, i mean whoever can do that that's the competition. >> also, first of all, people are sick of the status quo so they want change and freshness, but the mood toward all the other candidates now, they're sort of intrigued by marco rubio or ted cruz or chris christie they're interesting figures and you want to see how it will play out. mark and i greed the john kasich jug gnaw is unstoppable.
>> i think john kasich is undervalueds a candidate. mark disagrees slightly. (laughter) >> but the interesting figures are out there so you don't need to go back to somebody you've already known too well. >> woodruff: it's not that there's a frontrunner but several folks that could develop. >> this is a party that's always had a frontrunner. in the last 60 years, jude y with one exception, the republican candidate who led in the gallup pole one year before the convention became the nominee. there's a natural order republicans follow. they're very conventional and predictable. it's like the quantas qulub, the rotary club. if you've been sergeant at arms, you're going to be the nominee. this is a party that's historical in 2015, doesn't have the frontrunner. it's fascinating to watch the frontrunner. >> woodruff: unlike the democrats. >> they've never nominated the frontrunner. they always nominated somebody at the back to have the room who
fights people whether george mcgovern or barack obama. >> woodruff: so you're telling me we'll have an exciting race this time on the republican side? >> i think the republican race is fascinating and i do not write off mitt romney. mitt romney's speech tonight before the republican national committee may be the most important speech of his career. he's got to say something new and different and engaging tonight, if he just does the barack obama's -- (indiscernible), de's going to fall flat. >> woodruff: this week the "newshour" announced and said on the air we have made a decision not to air the pictures the cover of charlie hebdo, the french news weekly, of course, the genesis of the tragic attack in paris last week. there's been a lot of viewer comment about it. the majority of it negative. some of it positive. i'm curious to know from the two of you, how do you think about
this in i mean, our explanation is that we believe the offense that it could cause outweighs the news value. but there's a big debate about it. so i wanted to hear from the two of you. >> i agree with the viewers, whatever they say. but, you know i've changed my mind about this. my newspaper, the "new york times" made the exact same decision. i thought the news value, you have the show the subject of what this fuss is about. as i thought about it before, when you look at the actual cartoons, some involve sodomy or things that violate every standard of decency we have. so if people want to see the cartoons, they can go somewhere else. my basic attitude when it comes to speech, we should almost never opinion viet somebody off campus, we should almost, almost never pass a law, but we should
always have social standards, what's polite, acceptable, and maintaining standards of deansy, we don't curse on the air andeth a way of behaving respectfully and that encourages conversation and the call is ultimately the right one. >> woodruff: and we wouldn't permit a cartoon on our program that offended another religious group or minority group. >> yeah i think that anything that's -- i believe in the first amendment and the stipulation obviously but it wasn't that these photos or these images weren't available. they were widely available to anyone who wanted to see them. i think when it comes to ridicule and satire, i'm a strong supporter, particularly strong supporter when you're doing it to the powerful the mighty rich, and those who have control over people's lives and, you know, when it's deliberately and needlessly offensive and especially in the
case here, it struck me of those who are marginalized and in many cases, powerless and poor. i thought the people at "newshour" made the right decision. >> woodruff: we wanted to hear about the two of you think and glad we were able to talk about it. >> we agree with our bosses. thank you both. see you next week. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. the u.s. supreme court agreed to decide whether there is a constitutional right for gay and lesbian couples to marry. the issue will be argued in april. law enforcement agencies across europe rounded up more than two dozen terror suspects in a series of raids. the crackdown was spawned in part by last week's attacks in paris. and president obama warned congress against imposing new sanctions on iran.
he said it would destroy any chance for a negotiated deal to curb tehran's nuclear program. on the newshour online, good news for "dead heads," to mark the 50th anniversary of the grateful dead, the four original members of the rock group announced they'll reunite for a final performance at chicago's soldier field. find out how you can see that show, plus learn who's sitting in for legendary frontman jerry garcia, who died in 1995, on our home page. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> ifill: tonight, we explore the world of terrorism post-paris. the standoff between the white house and congress over iran, the jump started presidential campaign. the supreme court on gay marriage and we preview next
week's state of the union address. that's a lot to get to but we will tonight on washington week. judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend tomorrow, a very different story from belgium, the nation with the least restrictive assisted suicide laws in the world. last year alone, more than 1,800 people there chose to die by euthanasia, an average of about five per day. megan thompson reports. >> in belgium it's not just the terminally ill that can request euthanasia but psychiatric patients, et cetera. is that pushing the boundaries? >> i don't think so. she's a lawyer and co-chairman of euthanasia control and evaluation commission which oversees the practice in belgium. >> the law utilizes terminally ill patients on the one hand and on the other hand for patients
who are not terminally ill but completely hopeless there is a respect to the individual autonomy. i think it's a major advance in the way society and philosophy see this important issue. >> woodruff: that's tomorrow night on pbs newshour weekend. and we'll be back, right here, on monday, when we travel to nevada to see how the president's actions on immigration affect families. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff, have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: i.b.e.w. the power professionals in your neighborhood. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer.
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