tv PBS News Hour PBS February 22, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: hundreds flee amid heavy rains and winds in northern california, as floods continue to plague the state. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this wednesday, editors from newspapers in the middle of america share their readers' thoughts on president trump's first month in office. >> woodruff: and, miles o'brien guides us through nasa's latest discovery of another solar system, with earth-like planets. >> in the hunt for potential alien life, the thought of finding places with liquid water is what really intrigues scientists. >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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afternoon, and made a stop at the cemetery. he got a firsthand look at some of the damage and briefly joined the clean-up. >> there is no place in america for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-semitism. i must tell you, the people of missouri are inspiring the nation by your love and care for this place, for the jewish community in missouri. and i want to thank you for that inspiration, for showing the world what america is really all about. >> sreenivasan: online fundraising has brought in more than $92,000 to repair the damage. muslim groups launched the effort, in a show of solidarity. in germany, the government is making it easier to deport rejected asylum-seekers. germany took in nearly 900,000 people in 2015. today, chancellor angela merkel's cabinet approved a plan that speeds up expulsions of those who don't gain asylum.
merkel's coalition has come under increasing domestic critisism over the tide of migrants, and it faces a general election in september. >> sreenivasan: the united nations warned today that nearly 20 million people face starvation in four countries, if help doesn't arrive before april. the secretary general said south sudan, nigeria, somalia and yemen are on the brink of catastrophe, and he called for $4.4 billion. jonathan rugman of independent television news reports on south sudan, where civil war has brought on disaster. >> reporter: parts of south sudan are in famine. the world's first since 2011. over a quarter of a million severely malnourished children, says unicef. almost three million forced from their homes because of ethnic conflict here. massacres and widespread rape as weapons of war. and all the aid agencies admit that this famine is man-made.
those men are salva kiir, the president wearing the hat, and riek machar, his former deputy. listen to this former minister on how south sudan's leaders outsource starvation as an issue for us, rather than them. >> i met one of the finance ministers for south sudan at the u.n. in new york and i said, "look, if this war continues, you are going to find your people are starving, because you're diverting all these resources." he said, "you, you will feed the people." i said, what do you mean, we will feed the people? he said, "i don't believe countries like britain will walk away whilst hundreds of thousands of people starve, so we'll carry on fighting the war." >> reporter: but confronted with this suffering, doing nothing is not an option, and for those arguing that aid needs to be tied to political reform, what
an appalling example south sudan is. >> woodruff: back in this country, federal officials shut down a protest camp close to the dakota access pipeline. about 150 people left voluntarily, but others were arrested. earlier, protesters torched their tents and teepees near the standing rock sioux reservation in north dakota, in what they called a "ceremonial act." the army corps of engineers ordered the site closed before spring floods. other protest camps have sprung up on private land, as construction resumes on the last stretch of the pipeline. >> sreenivasan: the trump administration is moving tonight to revoke federal guidelines on transgender bathrooms in public schools. they were issued under president obama, and called for letting students choose a bathroom based on gender identity. administration officials say mr. trump is acting because he believes states should set their own policies. 13 states sued to block the guidelines last year. >> woodruff: the organization that oversees the s.a.t. college entrance exam is beefing up security, after a rash of cheating. the college board announced today it will cut back testing dates overseas, to reduce opportunities for stealing the exams.
it's also increasing the numbers of audits at sites where the s.a.t. is administered. the changes follow high-profile cases in asia where students obtained copies of tests in advance. >> sreenivasan: and, wall street had a mixed day, after oil prices slipped and took energy stocks lower. the dow jones industrial average gained 32 points to close at 20,775. the nasdaq fell five points, and the s&p 500 slipped two. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: california braces for flooding after years of drought; newspaper editors from the heartland share their readers' views on the early days of the trump presidency; syrian refugees who would prefer not to move to the u.s., and much more. >> sreenivasan: let's turn our focus out west to northern california, where rain and flooding have wreaked havoc on a once-drought-stricken region. officials in san jose ordered some 14,000 people to evacuate overnight. floodwaters did stabilize today,
but neighborhoods were inundated. officials said they don't yet know when residents will be able to return to their homes. we're now joined by the mayor of san jose, sam liccardo. mayor liccardo, you have 14,000 out for sure, another 20,000 encouraged to leave. all of them want the information you can't give them yet which is when will they be able to go back home. >> yeah, the important message is we're not out of. this although the waters are receding, we have other storms coming in. it's not safe to go into the neighborhoods yet. we have a lot of contaminated water and we don't want folks going in if they're in peril. >> sreenivasan: do you have any idea of how significant the damage is? >> not yet. we're focusing on caring for the families and their immediate needs. we'll have an opportunity to get building inspectors in there to make sure the housing is safe and will have a better sense in
the days to woman. >> sreenivasan: why did it take to long to evacuate these folks? we were reporting on this on the east coast. yet we see late last night police were pounding on doors saying, come out, it's too late, you've got to move. >> it's fair to say we were preparing for a storm but what really flooded these neighborhoods was the overpouring of a dam, anderson dam, which released a torrent of water that exceeded our 100-year flood estimate. essentially the glad maps, the data we were relying on wasn't preparing us for this. and, so, we are clearly learning very hard lessons here and we've got a lot to fix going forward. >> sreenivasan: anderson dam which feeds the coyote creek area, engineers say it could take nine weeks to bring it down to the safe levels 68%, or whatever the capacity of the
reservoir, and now it's up to 100. is there going to be a huge volume of water that floods through the creek and keeps this the status quo in parts of san joseé and other parts of the neighborhood? >> much depends on the rain dom. we expect another storm this weekend. we hope it won't be substantial because we need to get some sun on this reservoir to get some of the water evaporated. >> sreenivasan: has the city requested aid from the state or federal government? >> i had a conversation with the governor's office a couple of hours ago. we're working with them collaboratively. so far, we have been able to manage this on our own. really an incredible work by a lot of firefighters, first responders who are working many overtime shifts to safely evacuate hundreds of residents by boat. really, great testament to their hard work, but we know we're probably going to need help in the weeks the come and we're working now with the state to figure out how we can do that. >> sreenivasan: how many people do you still have in
emergency shelters? is that number decreasing? >> we have more than 300 in shelters right now. the good news is really the overwhelming majority of the displaced residents were able to find help with friends or family members nearby. so we're going to do everything we can to help folks who are displace and see how we can help them get back on their feet. what's been a remarkable thing is to see how the community has reached out in various ways to help these families. volunteers, a lot of contributions and donations we're seeing pouring in rights now. it's a real testament to how the community is pulling together in tough times. >> sreenivasan: is there anything else if city of san joseé needs? >> we appreciate contributions through the local community foundation to help families get back on their feet, but, noorn anything, beyond a big bottle of draino, we could use some sun. we've got some sun today and we hope the good weather will persist as soon as possible.
in california we get 300 days of sun a year and we're in years of drought but we need more sun. >> sreenivasan: mayor sam liccardo of san joseé, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now that we're one month into the trump administration, we wanted to get a sense of how different parts of the country are assessing the president's time in office. to do that, we asked newspaper editors from three states to tell us what they're hearing from readers in their communities. and they join us now. lee ann colacioppo is the editor of "the denver post;" david haynes is the editorial page editor for "the milwaukee journal sentinel" in wisconson; and david bradley is the editor of the "st. joseph news-press" in missouri.
missouri is a state that went heavily for donald trump. he won by something like 20 points. what are you hearing from your readers about how he's doing? >> i think people are fairly well satisfied with what donald trump is doing now. i think he's done a lot of things he said he would do. he's made a few misstatements over the last few weeks, but what he's done, i think has been pretty impressive. >> woodruff: lee ann colacioppo, what about your readers in denver around colorado? >> we're getting a lot of really mixed results, mixed phone calls. we've got people calling up really upset, angry with the trump administration, angry with us when we've editorialized in the vein of he's lying, and then we've got a lot of people -- so we're really hearing from both sides. >> woodruff: okay, we've pursue that. david haynes, what about in
milwaukee? what are you picking up from your readers? >> well, judy, it always depends on who you talk to. liberals in our state don't have much use of donald trump. independents are a little bit divided, although they are concerned about what has been reported as some of the chaos in the white house. conservatives in wisconsin did not support donald trump in the primary. they went for ted cruz, so they're still a little wary and worried the agenda of paul ryan who is from our state may not get past in the way they'd like. but what i hear from trump supporters, mostly, is you and the media need to let him get his administration organized. i often hear him saying, you know, bill clinton didn't exactly have an easy transition either, but in the same breath they often will say, but, gosh, i wish he would stop tweeting at 3:00 in the morning. >> woodruff: what about that, david bradley, in st. joseph's, missouri? you mentioned a few misstatements, but is that just a small part of what you're
hearing? what are people saying about the tweets and the other -- some of the controversial statements he's made? >> i think people really are getting turned off by all the protests and all the antagonism going on, and i think they would just like people to sit back, relax, let him try to run the country and work with congress and try to get some things done that h he said. you know, he's done 24 executive orders, he's done -- he's appointed a supreme court justice for the congress to approve. he has met with several foreign leaders, four foreign leaders. he has talked with a lot of business leaders and labor leaders in this country, and he's gotten the pipelines opened up so they can finish the pipelines. he's done quite a few things, appointed 15 members of the cabinets. i know it's been delayed, but he's trying to get those through. so he's done a lot of things, i think, that are going in the
right direction. h he's made a mistake on his order on immigration from those seven countries. he's correcting that now. i think he's doing everything he can to try to keep the country safe. >> woodruff: lee ann colacioppo, in denver, again, are you hearing some of the same sentiments where you are? >> i would say that we are probably hearing more people who are concerned about the direction of the administration. we are getting a lot of protests. seems like almost every day. >> woodruff: we should say that colorado is a state that hillary clinton won by about five points. so let me come back to you, david haynes, in wisconsin. you were saying there's a mixture of reactions to the president there. what about on the immigration order, the tightening announced this weeks and then the seven-country travel ban? >> well, immigration, as in many states, is an issue that cuts both ways. we have a large population of
recent immigrants in the milwaukee area mostly from mexico. there was a big day without latinos rally here. but when you get out into the state, out into the rural areas where donald trump won by large margins, he won our state by about 10,000 votes, small margin overall but piled up votes in the rural areas. that's where dairy farms are in wisconsin, 40% are immigrants, the hands, many undocumented. you have a situation where a farmer has undocumented immigrants work for him and a neighbor chanting don't build the wall, so it's quite a dichotomy. >> woodruff: david bradley, st. joseph's, how much is an issue -- how much an issue is immigration and the president's attempt to tighten enforcement
many in the immigration laws resonating there? >> i don't think people are against immigration in our part of the world. i think they would like to see it done legally and they would like to go through the regular legal channels. we have a lot of immigrants working at our beef packing or pork packing houses in missouri, and a lot of them are great workers, but we would like to see them go through legal channels and, really, the main concern of people in our area, they want more and better jobs. they want a more pro business environment and not have so many regulations so we can grow the number of jobs and good jobs in our community. >> woodruff: lee ann colacioppo in denver, how much are you hearing from people about that, about, you know, kind of like what david bradley said a minute ago that some people just want the president to get on with it and start to do something about creating jobs? >> you know, i don't -- seems like from the job creation standpoint, that is not one of
the subjects that we are hearing a whole lot about. i think we're hearing more about concerns about the health insurance has been big in the discussion, immigration has been big. i haven't heard as much from people discussing the economy. i have heard -- the bigger part has been wishing so much of the kind of national talk wasn't drifting in to say the state legislature and city councils and other parts of the political spectrum. >> woodruff: do you mean they think more should be done in washington or less? >> more that the nastiness of the national debate has worked its way into legislative bodies here that are usually more civil. >> woodruff: well, david haynes in milwaukee, is there a sense that the national debate has gotten rougher in the last couple of months?
>> well, it's been going on in wisconsin for six years. we've had -- we're one of the most polarized states in the country, but i don't think there is any question that the national debate is more fractured and tougher. our newspaper, in fact, just hosted last night a community conversation, first of several we're going to do, in which we're trying to bring people together face to face across that divide and talk about it, but it's a tough -- it's a tough thing to do because we've kind of retreated to our echo chambers. there is a great deal of tribalism in terms of people are kind of locked into positions. >> woodruff: david bradley, back to you in missouri. what would you say, finally -- i want to ask all three of you -- what are people you're hearing from wanting most to see from this president? >> i think people in our area would like to see a better form
of taxation that's pro-growth, that helps us grow our companies and our jobs in our area. i think people will like to see less regulations, hopefully, that bogged down businesses from growing and adding more jobs and good jobs, and i think they would like to see a better sense of communication between all sides so they can talk to each other in a civil manner and get together and work together, not just a antagonize each other and just wind up trying to delay everything, and there is an attitude that anything he does is not right today, and that kind of attitude is not going to work if you're trying to work with a president and a legislature to work together. >> woodruff: david bradley, are they putting the blame on republicans or democrats or everybody? >> i think both sides are pointing to each other and i think they wound up -- i think there is a way to get together
and talk and hopefully try to work things out. i don't think trump is determined to get everything he wants, and i don't think the congress is going to get everything they want, but there is got to be some form of compromise there and we can make some headway to get this country off its stagnation. >> woodruff: very quickly to the other two of you. lee ann colacioppo, hopes for this administration from people in your area? >> i hear a lot of very similar to what he was just saying, i hear a lot of people just wishing that the nasty tone would come down and there wouldn't just be a stalemate in congress and that they would all be able to work together to get something done that would incorporate the thoughts of both parties -- compromise, basically. >> woodruff: david haynes, finally, in milwaukee, what are
the hopes? >> i think one of the hopes is that the white house can be less chaotic and more professional. it seems hob amateur hour right now, and for both conservatives there is concern that it's hard to get anything done if there isn't good leadership coming from the white house. >> woodruff: we want to thank all three of you for joining us. lelee ann colacioppo, the denver post-, david bradley, the news press in missouri and david haynes, the milwaukee journal sent nell. we appreciate it. >> thank you. enjyed it. >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a newly-discovered solar system sparks hope for finding alien life; and, an industrial town putting its hopes in president trump's promise to revitalize manufacturing. but first, nearly five million syrians have fled their homeland
for relative safety in surrounding middle-eastern countries. some hope to emigrate to europe and elsewhere, and undergo processing at united nations' centers throughout the region. those hoping to come to the u.s. have an uncertain future ahead of them, amid the trump administration's orders on immigration. from jordan, special correspondent mike cerre reports. >> reporter: the long roads for refugees hoping to settle in the u.s. and other countries, all start at a processing center like this one, run by the u.n. refugee agency, u.n.h.c.r., always a tedious and emotional process, recent changes in u.s. immigration policy added new levels of anxiety for many, many refugees, whose final security screenings and departure flights were abruptly cancelled, while u.n.h.c.r. officials could sort out the implications of the
executive order on again/off again u.s. immigration ban. paul stromberg is the deputy director of the u.n.h.c.r. refugee resettlement immigration office in jordan. >> the process doesn't allow, really, to speed up or slow down the people who are traveling, have completed this very thorough screening process that has lasted, for each of them, between one and two years. >> reporter: for many families, the ones who were about to leave at the end of that very extensive process had to be rebooked on flights. after six years of war, the vast majority of the nearly five million syrian refugees are living less than 200 miles from their homes here in neighboring countries, like here in jordan and lebanon and turkey, with fewer options of ever going back or going forward, as more western governments shut their immigration doors. but, as we discovered in the along the turkey-syria border, settling in the u.s. has never been refugees' first choice, for
geographic and cultural reasons. most syrian refugees have preferred staying close to their homeland and relatives, rather than immigrating to europe, let alone the u.s. >> look, they have syrian coffee here, and all the trademarks are syrian. >> reporter: rana, an english literature professor back in syria, is now a social worker, helping fellow syrian refugees get food and housing. she believes many refugees' cultural ties to the region are what's keeping most refugees from going abroad, as much as the financial and geopolitical obstacles. >> reporter: with no end of the
war in sight, neighboring host countries closed their borders with syria last year. the overwhelming strain on their economies and delays in foreign aid pledges have forced them to reduce social services, prompting more syrian and iraqi refugees to choose the immigration route, no matter how long it takes. >> there are over 650,000 registered syrians in jordan-- almost 10% of the population. so many would like to go to other countries. but first of all, those spaces have to be made available. they can't apply for them and get in line. they don't come here and demand anything, but wait for space that is made available by resettlement countries. >> reporter: the u.s. takes far fewer per capita than the other 30 resettlement countries, fewer than 18,000 compared to canada's nearly 40,000 and germany's more than 600,000.
the u.s. also has an additional vetting process not required by the others. >> as a refugee, you are dealing with several different security agencies, different security databases, biometric registration at different checks, at different points of the process. face-to-face interviews at different points, to verify what you are telling authorities. >> reporter: refugees stay abreast of the latest immigration developments on local news channels and through regular contact with relatives and friends already in the u.s. this syrian kurdish refugee family from kobani sold the last of their family jewelry to pay the rent for their apartment in an unfinished building. they are living here until they know where their future will be. >> ( translated ): i just wish i
could go to kobani and die. >> reporter: even if the immigration ban is permanently overturned or substantially changed, it's had a chilling effect on many refugees, who are now not sure if they still want to go to the u.s. if and when they get another chance. for the pbs newshour, mike cerre reporting from amman, jordan. >> sreenivasan: now to this week's edition of "leading edge." there is new excitement tonight about the search for possible life in a solar system beyond our own. astronomers have identified seven earth-sized planets orbiting a star, just a mere 230 trillion miles or so from our own planet. that sounds like a mind-boggling distance, it is. but researchers say the idea of life on one of these exo- planets, as they're called, is tantalizing. astronomers, using ground and space telescopes operated by nasa and the european southern observatory, made the
announcement. our own miles o'brien is here to guide us through the news. first of all, if something is so far away -- this is maybe a basic science question -- how do we know what we know and what we saw? >> it's a good question. you know, think about it for a minute -- if it's trillions of miles away, how is it even possible? so imagine -- the technique is called transit photometry. imagine you're a mile away from ahead light and a mosquito goes across, the head light is slightly dimmed when it goes across. the planet goes in front of the star, dims ever so slightly and with a lot of complicated and sensitive instrumentation, you can determine that's in fact a planet. they discovered three this way. they said, hmm, this is an interesting ultra cool brown dwarf to look at. let's put more instrumentation on it and sure enough there ended top to be seven earth-like
planets, about the size and mass of earth, orbiting this jupiter size ultra cool brown dwarf. >> sreenivasan: it's not a cold sun, just not as big as ours. >> about like jupiter. >> sreenivasan: when we talk about the habitable zone, how do we know there are planets within the group that exist within that range? >> they can measure the radiation off this cool brown dwarf and figure out the zone in which water would remain liquid. that's a key. everywhere we find liquid water, we find life, doesn't matter where we go. in the hunt for potential alien life, the thought of finding places where there is liquid water is what really intrigues scientists. so these planets are a lot closer to tr apist1 than we are to our son, but remember it's smaller and dirm, but they have thighs these tight orbits and
it's likely there might be water on some of them. >> in the few weeks we have been watching this particular system, what do we know about what it would be like to stand on one of these rocky and prabs inhabitable planets? >> we believe they are tidal locked. these planets face their star all the time. so you've got a sunny side and you've got a nighttime side. if you're buying real estate, i'd go on the sunny side of one of these planets. if you were to stand there you would see almost perpetual sunset kind of idea and these other planets would be perhaps larger than our moon in the sky, it would be a very interesting place to be. >> sreenivasan: and it wouldn't take 365 days to go around. >> no, the one closest is about a day and a half around, the farthest out about 20 days. so if you live out there, you'll get old quickly. >> sreenivasan: this the first
look we have. what do we hope to learn the with perhaps the satellites coming up? >> exoplant researchers are excited about this. let's listen to sara, m.i.t. >> the great news is we can observe in the near future. we no longer have to rely on what we think and speculation because nature is usually snarnt we are and if there is any way for life to get a foothold we like to believe it will. >> sreenivasan: the super bowl for exo-planet researchers. >> it is indeed. we're looking ahead toward a big improvement in the space telescope. james web is finally slated for launch in october of 2018. it will have spectroscopy equipment on it to analyze the atmosphere of the planets and identified the key building blocks of life whether oxygen,
hydrogen, methane or carbon and make a determination as to whether there is potentially hyphon these planets. >> sreenivasan: miles o'brien, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome, hari. >> woodruff: now to our series on the economic concerns of trump voters in a few hard-hit areas of the country. this week, we're listening to them describe their hopes for mr. trump, now that he is president. jeffrey brown is here with more. >> brown: our colleagues at "frontline" traveled to regions that once voted democratic but voted for donald trump in this election. last night, we heard from miners in west virginia coal country. tonight, a profile of a couple in erie county, pennsylvania. it's part of "how the deck is stacked," the newshour's collaboration with "frontline" and "marketplace," in conjunction with the corporation for public broadcasting.
>> okay, i'm joe orengia, and this is my business: joe's gym, erie, pennsylvania, current world champions. i'm a veteran, i'm on social security, and i'm a businessman. i've been undefeated world champion since 1993. i teach people how to get their life back. the only way you're going to get your life back is to get your strength back. i want to see erie the way it used to be. we've got to get our manufacturing back. for the sake of my children and grandchildren, i hope something happens. >> so, erie has lost nearly one in three manufacturing jobs, you know that, all you do-- i flew over. you're looking at the plants, but you see 'em! they're falling over-- the rain, the sleet, the snow, the wind.
these are great buildings, that are falling apart. >> i promise, we can fix it so fast. we're going to bring it back. we're going to bring back our jobs, we're going to bring back our companies. >> 50's and 60's, when i was a kid, it was awesome. my dad raised seven of us kids, as a coal miner, worked his butt off. they moved up here when i was one-years-old to go to work at g.e. my brothers and my nephews, they all worked at g.e., they wanted me to go down to g.e., but i said, i like this physical stuff. 'cause i was a bridge builder, ironworker and bridge builder, at local 348 union. i was one of their best climbers, so i always got the job of puttin' the buildings
together, which was fun; you climb up the column, big piece of steel comes up, you bolt it up, you walk out, unhook the cable and stand there and wait for the next piece. everybody had good jobs, everybody had good-paying jobs, you know. i needed a car, i had the money to go buy one. i was making my house payments, feeding the family. even when i when i retired from the ironwork-- i didn't have to retire, they didn't want me to retire. i says, i want to run a gym, i want to get my gym going. i put up the big buildings for the hammermill paper company, ten-story buildings in erie, i put them up. i was the connector, i put these-- ahhh-- i would have fun, i loved it! they're gone. and, the people are gone. >> it seems like about the last 15 years, things have really sucked, 'cause a lot of people
are leaving the area because the manufacturing jobs have left. there's no work. and i used to see all these guys walking down the street with their lunch bucket in their hand, going to work. now you see 'em walking down the street with food stamps. >> i had a lot of members here from g.e., i don't anymore. i think i have two. a lot of them left erie, they're not even around erie anymore. my wife runs a business. she owns custom audio, right up the road here. the minimum i put in here is eight hours a day-- last night, i was here 14 hours. my wife puts in a minimum of 60 hours a week, and sometimes 80. we have to. >> so, i'm sondralee orengia,
i've owned an electronics store for 33 years. a couple of years ago, i really cut back on the staff and we're just, we're really lean right now, and i think a lot of business owners are treating their businesses that way. >> what's happening to erie is, g.e. is transitioning to, down to texas and mexico, so those really good-paying jobs will be leaving. some of the other shops can't afford those higher-paying jobs. they can pay well, but not as well as what some of the other workers, you know, g.e. are used to.
>> i love people, all kinds of people. i want to see the american patriots, the american people that love this country, be happy and healthy. when your health goes, this goes. i've been knocked down thousands of times in my life, in everything i've done, and i came back stronger than ever. coming up! you got it, you got it! mm-kay. is that nine or ten? >> that's 10. >> 10? okay! she's an animal! i was actually a democrat way back, 'cause my family was. back when democrats made more sense to me. >> the democratic party's so strong here, and then you get someone like donald trump who is really a very different candidate. i mean, we've never seen anything like him before, and i think that scares people, but i think the people who voted for him, they are hopeful.
>> so that night during the election, i sat up until the local news came on. he won erie, which has not been won by a republican since the 80's. >> if things get a little, even just a little bit better, okay, let's give him another four years, 'cause maybe they will get a little bit more better. if things get worse, no. i've got to give him a chance. i'm still prob-- i'm still probably going to go back to independent 'cause i don't, still don't agree with a lot of either one of them, and i have my own ideas, and i try to go with the best person, not the best party. and that's it for today.
>> brown: we asked two economists who've served in past administrations to watch these reports. douglas holtz-eakin served in the george w. bush administration. he's now with the "american action forum;" and, jared bernstein worked for vice president biden. he's now at the center on budget and policy priorities welcome to both of you. jared, let me start with you. there's no denying the problem that we just saw. what struck you watching these videos? >> i saw considerable despair, but i also heard a great deal of hope there, and it was a kind of hope that has been very much amped up by donald trump's rhetoric around the campaign, the kind of jobs and sectors he's arguing he can bring back to those communities and, man, they really need those jobs and sectors. my concern, my fear, really, is that h he can't deliver on that hope and despair met with hope that doesn't end up being delivered, that's a problem. >> brown: let get a first
impression from douglas holtz-eakin. what did you see? what did you hear? >> i think a lot of the things jared heard. number one, these are stories of great distress. it's real, pallable and unmistakable. there is also a longing for a past that it's not realistic to expect to return. eerieerie pennsylvania is closey hometown. it's no longer the hub we had when we had the canal and were a central part of the u.s. economy. coal is not the same when western coal or natural gas competes with it. a realistic assessment talks about what can the future b not with their past. >> brown: doug, help us think about what a president can do and look at some of the things donald trump is talking about, at least. tax reform, for example. tax cuts. >> i think there is an enormous amount that the president can do on tax reform. we have a tax code that, broadly speaking, favors foreign
production over domestic production. a good reform would neutralize that and shift things back to the u.s. when they're driven offshore by taxes. that's a great tap. doesn't mean they will land in erie or coal country but it's something that should be done. >> brown: jared, would those kinds of things have an impact on the workers we saw? >> perhaps at the margin, but i think we put way too much weight on tax reform as economists. we've had very different tax regimes while globalization has been ongoing, and you've seen what's happened in these communities, so i don't think we can count on tweaks in the tax code and doug and i could probably agree on very good ones because the tax code is pretty messed up and hope this globalization toothpaste will somehow go back in the tube which is what i hear donald trump promising. i agree with doug. what needs to happen is the communities will have to adapt to globalization which doesn't mean you can get back jobs that are gone but you can make a play for new types of manufacturing
and energy. i don't hear that coming out of this administration. >> brown: you can push individual companies to stay and not move jobs offshore. >> that's a public relations, not a systematic economic plan. i kind of like it when the president takes the bully pulpit and says we need to keep jobs here. it raze naidz with me. it's old school but -- >> brown: old school liberal. yes, but it's not a strategy to help deliver the kinds of goods to the community we're talking about. >> brown: douglas holtz-eakin, what do you think about that kind of move and the deregulation he talks about? >> i think the bully pulpit is fine but businesses follow economic incentives. unless you change them, over the long haul, the results will be the same. bully pull pill great, but following through and changing the incentives they have and the kind of things that get produced in this community is the key. i think that, taking a good hard
look at the regulatory state makes sense. we've seen a dramatic decline in the startup of new businesses in the united states. it's something that's happened across sectors. it's not just in manufacturing or just in retail. so there's something going on there. we know that when you start new businesses, that's when you get the job growth, that's when you get the new opportunities, and that's something i think any administration should look closely at. >> brown: jared, you brought up the word-hope. the woman in erie says the people who voted for donald trump, they're hopeful. how important is this psychological factor is this. >> i think it's important but also omnipresent. i have been to places like this and you constantly run into folks like that who really have hope for the future and what it is is they want to participate in the economy. structural changes, globalization, these kinds -- the loss to have the unions, the kind of labor standards kind of eroding, they've really hurt these folks and what they would like is a chance to apply their
trade, like the guy who said i'm a hard worker and hard work is good. again, that resonated with me, but he doesn't have the employment opportunity. so what we really ought to be talking about is how he's going to get that. one idea is infrastructure. you can look at those films and you see these places really need infrastructure. this is something that the trump administration talked about but he doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. that's a concern of mine. >> brown: what's a thing, doug, if you could wave your magic wand, you would like to see? >> the reality is you can only have the infrastructure if you have businesses that are going to use it. that becomes an issue. in the reality is in the manufacturing sector it's been automation. it takes ten percent of workers to create t same things in the u.s. and export them so there are fewer opportunities. so you need to be the worker who can take advantage of those opportunities. it is unsurprising people with a college degree have an unemployment rate of 2.5%. that's the magical elixir in this economy and these
communities have too many people who have not had the educational foundation to take advantage of that and we're missing the programs to get people who want to work hard but do not have the skills up to speed. >> so here i have kind of flipped the politics a bit. i'm completely for people getting the skills they can, but you can get b all educated and still not have a job that will suffice for you in your community. so here is where i think donald trump has said something important and useful and it's not just about education or infrastructure, it's and trade. it's actually the case. he's right that these communities have been hurt by our large and persistent trade deficits. so we need to take steps to reduce those as well. again, i don't hear them really talking about it other than some tariffs which are bad ideas, but there are good ways to do that, also. >> brown: doug? i think the trade piece is vastly overblown. i don't think that's the source of the problems. the tape on erie, the problems
began in the '70s before nafta and the entry of china. these are deep, structural trends in the economy, places that had valuable resources, coal and transportation access that no longer have those as their economic playing card. they need to create a new one or the people who stay there simply aren't going to have an opportunity. >> brown: douglas holtz-eakin, jared bernstein, thank you both very much. >> thank you. thank you. >> woodruff: and for a look at the extended-length videos in our series "betting on trump," go to the newshour website at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: the trump administration today announced that it would soon make a major change regarding the contentious issue of transgender youth and which bathrooms they use at school. william brangham has that story. >> brangham: the departments of justice and education are
expected to roll back obama-era guidance that advised schools to let transgender kids use the bathroom that correspondes with their gender identity, not necessarily the gender they were born with. but if that guidance goes away, what does this mean for schools? evie blad from "education week" is back to help us sort it out. so let's do this chrnologically. last year the obama administration put out these guidelines, they said if you schools have transgender students in your schools, let them use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. what's the rationale for that argument? >> well the obama straiks argued the sex discrimination protections in title nine, the federal law, applied to gender identity rather than merely biological sex, and they had heard from many districts and states and some educational groups that there was a lack of clarity at the state and local level, so they put out this federal civil rights guidance to say not only do you have to allow these children access to
facilities that match their gender identity, you have to respect that on forms, you have to provide a safe learning environment free from bullying based on this identity, and you cannot disclose their transgender status if they don't want it to be disclosed. >> brangham: a lot of states welcome the guidance and said they're already doing the practices. a lot of states resisted, about a dozen or so sued. what was their argument against this guidance? >> right, well, so there is actually two big multi-state lawsuits, so more than 20 states are litigating the issue. the argument are several things. some made a student privacy argument suggesting that it violated the privacy of students who aren't transgender to share facilities with students who are, and some made a states' rights claim this was federal overreach and abuse of the power of the department, that they weren't actually interpreting federal law but rather creating
new policy through a back door. >> brangham: if we expect the trump administration to pull back the guidance, what does that mean tomorrow or next week if i'm a transgender kid in the school or country? >> 15 states have anti-discrimination laws that cover transgender students, so students in those states, their reality would remain the same. there are districts around the country who made the decision on their own long before this guidance to put rules in place that largely mirror what it requires. but for states and districts that don't have those kinds of rules, they're kind of on their own to interpret the federal law and to make their own determination on what they think they should do for these children. >> brangham: of course, this is happening in the backdrop of a very big supreme court case where a transgender boy in virginia sued his school district to say let me use the boys' bathroom.
does the withdrawal of these guidelines do anything to his standing in the supreme court? >> to this point, many transgender students who have won in federal courts have won over the argument the court should defer to federal interpretation of title nine so that does take one argument away. the student from virginia can still go forward his attorneys say arguing about the fundamental meaning of title nine, what was implied when written and should that apply to him today. >> brangham: one of the arguments that undergirds a lot of this is the fear some people expressed that if you allow a transgender student to use the bathroom according to their gender identity that you might have men masquerading as women, in effect, to get into a bathroom and somehow get up to no good. is there any evidence that's really something that's going on? >> i don't believe so. in the districts that have had these rules for a long time, they said they have had very
little problems with them. they say students' requests to use them are pretty rare. the most recent estimate on transgender students say that transgender children between the ages of 13 and 17, they make up about .7% of the population, so we're talking about a very small number of students here. but there is some argument on the other side that it can be difficult to implement and interpret these rules for such a confusing thing as gender identity, especially when it can be in flux for some children. >> brangham: evie blad of "education week," thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, a conversation with a photographer who captures the theater of american political life, from campaign rallies to protests. all that and more is on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: tune in later tonight. on "charlie rose:" ambassador
omar ghobash of the united arab emirates and his advice to young, moderate muslims on how to navigate the modern world. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> xq institute. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the wellbeing of humanity around the world, by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at www.rockefellerfoundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
>> mason: welcome to theprogram. i'm ant a president of cbs news filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with a look at the economy, with henry blodget, joe nocera and catherine rampell. >> we have full employment in the country. the problem is the jobs don't pay well enough. you have to ask what sort of policies would improve the pay for low-wage service jobs. the most efficient way is to raise the minimum wage which certainly isn't on the table. infrastructure spending would be great if we had a trillion dollars suddenly reinvested in our infrastructure, but talk about that has gotten a lot quieter since the election phase. i would argue regulation is not what's slowing the economy. what's slowing the economy or not allowing us to have the growth rate we want is there isn't enough money going to the