tv PBS News Hour PBS June 30, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: president trump suggests that congress repeal obamacare even if they can't craft a replacement. we talk with senator roy blunt of missouri about the republican's push to salvage their bill. then, a new approach to policing in one of the country's most violent cities, by getting cops out of their cars and engaged with the community in camden, new jersey. >> we saw, almost instantaneously, a change in the atmosphere within neighborhoods. that's what people wanted from us, and it has helped us significantly, for us to provide better policing services to them as well.
>> woodruff: and, it's friday. from the travel ban to controversial tweets, mark shields and david brooks analyze the weeks news. all that and more, 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.
>> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> 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: senate republicans have begun the fourth of july recess, with president trump urging them to get rid of obamacare, even if they can't replace it yet.
in a tweet this morning, he said, "if republican senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately repeal, and then replace at a later date!" the white house said later it is still "fully committed" to getting a bill through the senate. the president's feud with cable news hosts mika brzezinksi and joe scarborough escalated today. mr. trump drew widespread condemnation yesterday for criticizing brzezinski's appearance and intelligence. today, the "morning joe" team on msnbc charged that the white house had threatened them with a tabloid expose, last spring: >> we got a call, that the "national enquirer" is going to run a negative story against you guys, and donald, the president, is friends with the guy that runs the "national enquirer." and they said, if you call the president up and you apologize
for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and, basically, spike the story. >> woodruff: the "national enquirer" said it was unaware of any discussions involving the white house and the "morning joe" hosts. the president answered scarborough's allegation with a denial. he said, "fake news. he called me to stop a 'national enquirer' article. i said no!" a scaled-back version of president trump's travel ban is now in force, affecting six mostly muslim nations, and refugees in general. it took effect late thursday. there were scattered protests in los angeles and other cities, but none of the airport chaos that had greeted the original order in january. meanwhile, hawaii asked a federal judge to expand the list of those eligible beyond immediate family members of those already in the u.s. china lodged a public protest
today over u.s. plans to sell $1.4 billion in arms to taiwan. the foreign ministry said that the move runs counter to president trump's commitment to the "one-china" policy. beijing considers taiwan to be a renegade province. separately, chinese president xi jinping was in hong kong to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's handover from britain. he greeted thousands of chinese troops at an army garrison, a display aimed at groups calling for hong kong's independence. xi made clear that china is not letting go. >> ( translated ): after 20 years of hong kong's return to the motherland, the practice of "one country, two systems" has gained universally acknowledged success. of course, we have encountered some new situations, new problems and new challenges in the practice. it is not horrible to have problems. the point is to figure out some ways to solve the problems. >> woodruff: the chinese foreign ministry also caused a stir, dismissing the 1997 agreement
with britain. a spokesman said it "no longer has any practical significance." there is word that the flow of refugees out of syria has reversed. the u.n. refugee agency reports nearly half a million syrians have returned to their homes this year. most have returned to areas where government forces have regained control after years of fighting. back in this country, a gunman opened fire at a hospital in new york city, killing one doctor and seriously wounding several others, before taking his own life. police said the shooter was also a doctor, who had once worked at the bronx lebanon hospital. emergency crews and heavily armed police descended on the scene. officials said it was an isolated incident, and not an act of terror. local and federal authorities in chicago unveiled new efforts today to cut the flow of illegal guns, including more federal agents. the announcement came as
president trump tweeted that "crime and killings in chicago have reached epidemic proportions." officials in chicago said there's actually been some improvement, but they also welcomed the federal help. >> significant progress is being made in the effort to combat the violence of chicago, but that the level of violence continues at an unacceptable level, and it is a battle that can only be fought with all hands on deck. that is state, federal, and local law enforcement. >> woodruff: as of sunday, there have been more than 1,300 shootings in chicago this year, down from nearly 1,600 at the same point last year. fire-fighting crews are making progress against a wildfire that threatened to engulf an arizona town. officials re-opened a major roadway in prescott valley today, north of phoenix, and hundreds of people were allowed back into their homes. a few thousand others are still in shelters. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained
62 points to close at 21,349. the nasdaq fell about four points, and the s&p 500 added three. both the dow and the s&p were up 8% for the first half of the year. that is the dow's best showing since 2013. the nasdaq rose 14%-- its best since 2009. and on a ligher note, crayola is asking for help naming a new shade of blue. the crayon copany's received nearly 90,000 submissions, and the top five contenders are: "dreams come blue;" "star-spangled blue;" "blue moon bliss;" "reach for the stars;" my favorite, and "blue-tiful." you can vote on crayola's website starting tomorrow, through august 31st. still to come on the newshour: senator roy blunt joins us to talk health care wrangling on the hill. re-building a police force in one of america's most violent cities. president trump meets with south korea's president.
and, much more. >> woodruff: now, to the ongoing struggle to craft a health care reform bill in the u.s. senate. republican lawmakers are scrambling to draft a new version of their bill before leaving washington for the july fourth recess. a short time ago, i spoke with senator roy blunt of missouri, who is vice chair of the senate republican conference. i begin by asking where are the efforts to find compromise stand right now. >> i think it's challenging and challenged. we'll see what happens, but this is a difficult topic that touches every american family, and the more members of the senate and the house both know about it, i think the harder it is to reach that conclusion you would like to get to. >> woodruff: there are, as you know, news reports that majority leader mitch mcconnell is trying to come up with accommodations to appeal to both sides of this argument, to
moderate republicans one of the stories is that he's considering keeping the tax on high-income individuals in order to pay for more of the gaps in medicaid coverage and, by the way, the congressional budget office is saying the cuts to medicaid are going to be much deeper than thought in the future years. >> well, i think what they're saying is, in the second ten years, you have even more substantial savings. now, remember, there are no cuts to medicaid. every year in medicaid, you spend more money than you spent the year before under this plan, but the growth is not as great as it would be if you continued to pay, for instance, 100% for single, able-bodied adults. we have a plan where the states are told, okay, we'll pay 100% for able-bodied, single adults, but only an average of 52% for mothers and their young children. now, there is something wrong with the way the system is put
together. >> woodruff: keeping the tax on higher-income individuals, is that being looked at? >> i think it is. i think everything is being looked at on the revenue and expenditure side to reach the pointy 50 republicans that might include the vice president being one of the 50 is -- or being added to that 50 is what it takes to get this done. >> woodruff: one of the other things we're seeing, a potential way of appealing to the moderates, adding $45 billion or so for oipoid abuse treatment. is that something else that's on the table? >> it's a problem that congress has really taken on the last couple of years. i started sharing the committee that appropriates money for health and human services two years ago. we tripled that year, the money that was being -- to be spent on opioids. legislation sort of followed that. then we doubled that, tripling. i think at some point there's a limit to how many times we can multiply that in a short period of time, but this is a real
problem. in missouri, more people die from drug overdoses than car sense. if you're a first responder in missouri as part of a fire department, you're three times more likely to respond to a drug overdose than you are a fire. so it's a problem. i don't know exactly what the right number is but certainly i think members of the senate and house are rightly concerned about it. >> woodruff: to appeal to conservatives, we're reading the majority leader is giving more options for coverage plans, allowing people, in other words, to have a choice of some less costly, cheaper plans in effect that would provide less coverage but give them more choices. >> give them more choices. it might also provide more up-front coverage. i think one of the lessons we should have learned from what's happened with the current plan is that there is insurance coverage but there is not really, many times, access to healthcare. if you have high deductibles, there is a disincentive to get the policy, because you would
have to pay the other, i think the average of deductibles on the individual market is $6,000 per individual before the insurance really kicked in and if two of you got sick, $12,000. makes it hard to make that decision, particularly when you think what your family needs is the first $1,000 that covers the kids getting sick with the flu or something like that. >> woodruff: what do you think the chances are that you're going to be able to come up with something that passes? i ask this because president trump tweeted this morning, he said if republican senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately repeal and then replace at a later date. >> well, pretty late theo come up with a new plan. the hypotheticals are never legislativively what you want to be talking about. you want to talk about what you're focused on at the time. i think it's fair to say it's hard to get 50 senators out of 52 to vote for a package this complicated. actually, judy, the more the
members know about this, in many ways, the harder it is to make that final decision because you've got so much information, and, you know, how many other things are impacted here by one decision here that, five decisions later, made a big temperatures in somebody's life. >> woodruff: if you can't get it passed in july, do you just set it aside? >> we've had a three-step plan in mind. we passed this bill that did as much as we could to clear the way for democrats and republicans to work together later. the secretary of health and human services would look at the 1400-plus rules that the law gave that person the ability to define and see how those could be better defined so they were better for families, better for access and then, when that's done, get down to the real work of republicans and democrats working together to do things you can do outside the budget restraints of the way we're trying to do this first step.
if the first step doesn't work, you go to, i guess, a two-step process and it will take longer -- >> woodruff: when you finally work with democrats and republicans together. >> and that's going to happen. that has to happen to expand the way more people can get more insurance in groups, to look at more transparency from providers. that eventually has to happen, but it doesn't have to happen to stabilize the moment we're in now. the insurance markets, the individual markets are collapsing. a third of the counties in america now only have one company that's willing to offer an insurance product on the exchange. the estimate for next year is over 40% of the counties, and if you only have would be choice, you really don't have any choice. you either buy that policy or pay the penalty, and all those things will happen if we don't change the current law. >> woodruff: last thing i want to ask you about, senator blunt, was the president's tweets. a lot of attention has been
diverted to the president's tweets, criticizing caibledz, brzezinski, many times in harsh terms. what's your reaction? >> it's no doubt cable news hosts can say things the president of the united states can't say. because when people are harsh to you, doesn't mean you should be harsh back. i think generally the president's tweets are not helpful to him. statement he's figured out a way to communicate with people the way no other has or he wouldn't be president. >> woodruff: do the tweets help the republican agenda? >> sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. i think there needs to be a much more significant filter on those tbeets. it's okay to have unspoken and untweeted thoughts. >> woodruff:er? roy blunt of missouri, thank you very much for joining us. >> nice to be with you.
>> woodruff: now to president trump's repeated-- and unsubstantiated-- claim that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. he set up a special commission to investigate, but one of its first acts has drawn condemnation from across the country. hari sreenivasan is here with that. >> sreenivasan: yesterday, the vice chair of that commission sent a letter to all 50 states, asking for voter data that includes addresses, party i.d., voter history, and social security information. the commission asked that data be sent to the white house by mid-july, but did not say how it would be used, other than to examine "vulnerabilities" in the system. we take a closer look now with rick hasen. he is a law professor at the university of california-irvine, and writes the election law blog.
rick, the "newshour's" been reaching out to states all day. we have nine lefnt nos, 18 that might comply in whole or part and a few other states that might continue looking at it. often we hear there are apparently laws on the books in certain states that prohibit, even if it's public information, who can look at the information and why it can be looked at. explain. >> well, some of this information, depending on the state, is available publicly. people can buy it. some of it is not available. in fact, just before we came on, i saw a story that chris coback cannot produce associate numbers demanded because this would violate the kansas law. this has not been well thought out. not only do we not know what the information will be used for, it doesn't appear the information can be legally provided by the united states. >> so chris kobach can't provide the information himself.
>> seems to be. >> sreenivasan: there seems to be a lot of focus on protecting the integrity. i don't see any description about russian meddling that might have happened. >> it's not clear exactly what the commission is going to do. initially the president said he wanted to look at the potential for voter fraud. a couple of democrats on the commission said they wanted to look into russian meddling. kobach said he might be willing to look at that but that wasn't on the list of questions sent to various officials. i'm concerned it's going to be something that is going to try to support the president's agenda, claiming voter fraud and making it harder for people to register to vote. >> sreenivasan: is this the kind of information campaigns would pay for? >> in some states campaigns do pay for this kind of information. the fact this will be sento the president's office is concerning.
rather than having outside, professional staff or social scientists that study this information, we know this information is going literally to the executive office of the president. we don't know how it's going to be kept, how secure it's going to be, on what kind of servers, don't have any information. but the kerns about privacy, identity theft, the information being used for political purposes, these are all legitimate questions to be asked. >> sreenivasan: is there a question on the role of the federal government? there seemed to be pushback from states when it came to the department of homeland security going out and saying we have this potential for hacking, we would like to help you secure your networks. >> absolutely. there has been a long tradition talking about federalism and states' rights and push welcome back from states like mississippi saying they are not going to cooperate with providing the information to the federal government. >> sreenivasan: rick hasen, law professor at the university of california irvine, thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks take on the week's news. and, the dangers of relying on statistics and numbers in medicine. but first, president trump hosted south korea's new president at the white house today. it is the first meeting between the two leaders, who are looking for a common approach to dealing with north korea. our william brangham has that. >> brangham: president moon jae- in arrived at the white house with tensions over north korea still running high. in the rose garden, president trump pressed again for ending the north's nuclear and weapons programs. >> the era of strategic patience with the north korean regime has failed. many years, and it's failed. and frankly, that patience is over. we're working closely with south korea and japan, as well as partners around the world, on a
range of diplomatic security and economic measures to protect our allies and our own citizens from this menace known as north korea. >> brangham: the government of kim jong-un has already test-launched more than a dozen missiles this year, all in defiance of international sanctions. president moon has long advocated for diplomatic engagement with pyongyang. and, since taking office last month, he's delayed full deployment of the u.s. "thaaad" anti-missile defense system. today, though, he, warned of a "stern response" to any provocations. >> ( translated ): the north korean nuclear issue must be resolved, without fail. i also urge pyongyang to promptly return to the negotiating table for denuclearization of the korean peninsula. president trump and i decided to
will employ both sanctions and dialogue in a phased and comprehensive approach. and based on this, we both pledged to seek a fundamental resolution of the north korean nuclear problem. >> brangham: meanwhile, the u.s. has sought china's help in trying to rein in north korea. however, yesterday, the administration announced sanctions against chinese companies and individuals over north korea. but, u.s. officials insisted they weren't targeting the chinese government. today, neither president trump nor president moon referenced china. on a different subject, mr. trump again criticized the u.s. trade deficit with south korea, and blamed a 2012 free trade deal. he called for new action to reduce trade barriers between the two countries. for his part, moon low-keyed the trade issue. and, he announced that the president and mrs. trump have accepted his invitation to visit south korea later this year. so where do things stand between the u.s. and south korea, and how will the two nations deal with the north? for that, we turn to robert gallucci. he was the chief u.s. negotiator back in 1994 when the clinton
administration persuaded the north koreans to dismantle their plutonium-based nuclear program in exchange for economic benefits. he is now a professor at georgetown university and chair of the u.s. korea institute at johns hopkins university. >> i think today's meeting is a success in the sense that the united states end and the south koreans indicated they value the alliance very much and the alliance is important to the security of both our countries and the stability of northeast asia. the way you framed that question, it's going to lead to the resolution of the issue with north korea, is a bit of a reach from at least what i could take away from the meeting. >> brangham: you and several other former cabinet officials and senators wrote a letter to the trump administration. were you urged they take direct immediate talks with the
north koreans, possibly send a high-ranking envoy to north korea? why do you think that's a good idea? >> for a variety of reasons. i think that people who favor negotiations do so partly because the alternatives are miserable. there are fundamentally three options in dealing with north korea, and there always have been since the end of the korean war. one is to contain the north koreans, and we've done that for decades and have been doing that for the eight years of the obama administration. i would say that's a containment or strategic patience type of policy. the problem with containment is it doesn't stop with north koreans from developing assets and capabilities and threat that we would rather not v. so a second option is to negotiate and to see whether we cannot reach an agreement with the north koreans where they agree to give up a capability which we believe they should not have and is threatening to friends and allouis, that is what we attempted to do in 1994
with the agreed framework. a third option is to use military force, something which we are proud to always say is on the table, something we haven't done and, by that, we do not mean launching another korean war. we mean the use of military force in some limited way to attack the capability. right now it's not only the nuclear weapons but it's those long-range, icbm-range ballistic missiles. >> brangham: in your letter you're arguing for point two negotiation, and some people in the foreign policy establishment say you cannot negotiate with the north koreans. i'm curious how you respond to that. >> i think it's a fair thing to say that negotiations with the north koreans are not guaranteed to succeed and, certainly, through the years of the bush administration, bush 43, the 2000s, there are many efforts by very capable people to negotiate with the north koreans and did not produce very much, and even the agreement which stuck for eight years, the agreed framework i mentioned
before, stuck for a while and stopped the plutonium program for producing nuclear weapons. ultimately, it collapsed as well. so there is reason to say that negotiations with the north koreans are not easy, they may not succeed, but they may be a way of getting to where we want to get to, limiting the capability of the north koreans to do harm to us and our allies without the use of military force and the risk of a major war in northeast asia. >> the chinese have floated another possible entreaty to the north koreans and that's for the u.s. and south koreans to stop the annual military exercises. how important is that to the north koreans and do you think that's a good idea? >> north koreans have said frequently that they are very unhappy about the u.s. rok military exercises, and i do believe they run happy about them. >> brangham: you recently had meeting with north korean officials and heard this issue.
>> it was the first thing on their agenda they were most concerned about. what's interesting is, from our perspective, the alliance between the united states and north korea is key to our country's security and the strength to that alliance are those military exercises so that's not high on our agenda to give up easily. is that something that could be on the table along with a nuclear weapons program with the north koreans, plausibly, but that's down the road. i wouldn't imagine negotiations would begin there. they would begin with talks about talks without pre-conditions. >> brangham: do you think the trump administration has any interest in any of the things you're taking about? >> i don't know what the trump administration is interested in. there have been mentions by the secretary of state, secretary of defense and even the president of possibly talking with the north koreans. i worry that, in their minds, are pre-conditions that will make negotiations someplace
between difficult and impossible. >> brangham: robert gallucci, georgetown university, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: next, a look at how one police force is re-thinking the way its officers do their job. in the aftermath of a succession of deadly police shootings, law enforcement officials across the country have grappled with how police officers might better interact with the public. in camden, new jersey, new procedures meant to bring officers into closer face-to- face contact with the people they serve seem to be having a positive effect. hari recently traveled to camden, and has this report. >> sreenivasan: officer vidal rivera is a native son of camden, new jersey, a street cop who can see the blocks he patrols through eyes that grew up here. >> out here, it was like a
market, like a flea market. you could go to any corner and get whatever you need, or whatever they were looking for. they was coming out to buy drugs. >> sreenivasan: he's referring to customers from philadelphia who came across the delaware river to buy drugs. they still come in, but in smaller numbers. by day, rivera is police. by night, a young professional boxer. but he says, as a boy, his mother didn't let him play outside. >> my mum didn't let me outside. it was just too dangerous. >> sreenivasan: your mother wouldn't let you outside the house? >> there was just too much going on. she feared that something could happen; someone high, driving a car, a shootout, everything. >> sreenivasan: rivera is part of a re-vamped force, re-built more or less from the ground up in 2014. the faces in the squad room during morning roll call are notably young; new officers recruited to replace an ineffective department. >> i remember being a kid, and
something happened. you weren't allowed to say nothing to the police. >> sreenivasan: you weren't allowed to tell the police because you didn't trust them? >> didn't trust them. it was the fear that you had. >> sreenivasan: historically one of the country's most impoverished and violent cities, camden is home to some 77,000 people, nearly all of them latino and african american. and a number of the department's newer officers have been recruited from the community. police chief scott thomson also grew up in camden, and he has been largely responsible for the reform. his entire career has been with the camden p.d. he came to see that distrust and thomson ordered his officers to leave their cars. patrol neighborhoods on foot. knock on doors. look in on shopkeepers. get to know, and become known to, the people they served. >> we saw almost instantaneously a change in the atmosphere within neighborhoods. that's what people wanted from
us, and it has helped us significantly for us to provide better policing services to them as well. one, we have greater lines of communication now, which has given us a tremendous ability to not only solve crime, but prevent crime from occurring in the first place. >> sreenivasan: the statistics back that up. since transitioning from the old force to the new, in 2104, the number of murders dropped by almost 70%. burglaries by 27%. robberies 33%. and even an eye-catching 143% spike in rapes that the department attributes to increased reporting as well as new, broader federal guidelines on what constitutes rape. overall, the city's crime numbers are the lowest in decades. those are impressive statistics for any police department, and residents don't dispute that. but, some say seeing them in a report, versus feeling the difference every day, are two different things.
>> i see prostitutes on my street, i see drug transactions on my street, in broad daylight, every day. >> sreenivasan: this local business owner was one of several people who asked not to be identified, citing concerns that his remarks could complicate relations with local police officers he knows. the crimes, he suspects, are visible to police as well. >> those must be caught on camera, but i can't tell that it makes a lot of difference in how much of it or little of it is happening. >> sreenivasan: surveillance cameras are a major piece of chief thomson's formula. some 200 of them are deployed throughout the city. the chief showed us the central command center. on these screens are the real- time video feeds from every camera, the location of every officer on patrol. there are also gunshot-detecting microphones placed at certain locations. meaning, police know the location of the shots to within a few meters, seconds after it
happens, and can begin responding before anyone even calls 911. still, not everyone is won over. a camden resident, who didn't want his face shown for any future interactions with officers, sees both the opportunities and costs of increased surveillance. >> i feel it's a violation of civil rights, on some level, with the cameras. because now you're unknowingly filming people who didn't give you permission to film them. but i've also been on the side where family members lost lots of other family members to violence and the cameras had assisted in the apprehension of the person who committed the crime. >> if the police department came to me and said, "you're going to have to give up all your privacy, but we're going to reduce crime, then make you a little bit safer," i would probably say "no." nobody came to me and asked me that. >> sreenivasan: is there a concern that people could feel like their civil rights are being violated? >> we don't have any secret cameras stored away in the city.
everything is overt. they're up there on a pole. they're not hidden. again, we're sensitive to the fact that there's people that may not necessarily want the camera there. what we have found is the majority of people do want them. >> sreenivasan: another major focus of reform is "de-escalation," training officers to use force only as a last resort. a tactic that played out dramatically in this video shot two years ago. a man was wielding a knife at a restaurant begins walking down the street brandishing the weapon. rather than taking him down, police formed a containment bubble around him, then followed him for blocks until he could be disarmed. that restraint and patience earned praise from the chief. >> we're handling them exactly the way that we want to. at the end of the day, you know, what's happening is, more people are being returned to their family. and every time that an officer pulls the trigger, it's life- altering for them. >> sreenivasan: his department's
records show that since 2014, the frequency of officers using force has dropped by 24%. and, citizen complaints of police using excessive force are down 49%. but do these methods put an officer's own life at risk? >> drop the knife, or i will taze you! >> what we're telling officers to do is slow it down. what we're training officers to do is actually safer for the officers. when historically, officers have been rushing in the situations because that's the training we provide, and it's been dangerous for them. and often, leaving them with the only option that's left, is deadly force. >> sreenivasan: that's counter to the more militarized approaches taken by other cities. what's the hardest part about
changing culture? >> for us, it was that transition from warrior to guardian. you still have to have the warrior mentality and the ability to trigger that warrior element when the time calls for it. however, that should not be your operating premise. that should be the anomaly. that should be the exception, not the rule. the rule should be you're a guardian. you're in this neighborhood. >> sreenivasan: throughout this story, i talked to a number of people sitting on their stoops and their porches, but none of them wanted to talk to me on camera. it wasn't because they felt that the new police were helping their neighborhood or hurting-- it was a mixed bag. it was because they felt that talking to me would invite unwanted attention, and possibly a reprisal. some feared a police force they still don't fully trust. and others feared drug dealers, who may have left street corners, but are now behind closed doors. >> there were just dime bags and needles all over the place. >> sreenivasan: tim gallagher is a social worker at guadalupe family services. he works on a block that's seen tremendous improvement, but he is still cautious. >> i think the remaining concerns are that it could happen again.
that the good cops who are here will leave, and that other cops will replace them, who won't really know the neighborhood. >> sreenivasan: good cops like vidal rivera, who is 6-0 in the ring, undefeated, but knows the fight for the streets of his hometown is just getting started. for the pbs newshour, i'm hari sreenivasan, in camden, new jersey. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen, david is joining us from the rocky mountsens, aspen, colorado. let's talk about healthcare. mark, we heard senator roy blunt of missouri saying it's going to be aired to get to 50 votes. what are you hearing? >> it's an understatement. a masterpiece of understatement. judy, never say never. i think it's about time to say
never. this is not being put together. quite frankly, the motion to proceed -- not to get inside baseball -- but that's what the majority leader means bringing up a bill, and i have never seen a motion to proceed, which is just asking that the bill be brought up for debate, fail. and mitch mcconnell's reputation as an inside player has taken a big hit, but there is not a majority on what to do. it's not there. one republican has spoken the absolute abject truth on this subject and he said, in the 25 years i've served in the congress, republicans have never not one time ever agreed on a healthcare plan. that was speaker john boehner this year, and i think it remains true. >> woodruff: david, what are you picking up? >> i'm hearing negligent you've vibes but not quite as negative as mark. i still there's a chance. what you hear is frustration
over, one, it's hard to take away a benefit people have already been give bin law. two, the republicans are more ideologically divided than they thought. three, it's hard to pass a bill without a white house. the president and vice president is basically ineffective and they're trying to do it without him. as calls come in, this is a proposal that hits a lot of republicans hard. if you're a 60-year-old white male in ohio this can be devastating both in the coverage loss and deductibles and the out of pocket expenses, so the calls are coming into the offices and that's making people skittish. i think it's an uphill fight. i don't think it's quite as impossible, maybe. >> woodruff: senator blunt was saying the more the senators learn about what's in her, the harder it gets. >> absolutely. and i just add, judy, there is no public argument, case to be made for this. senator blunt answered your specific questions well, but there is not a rallying cry for
whether it's pre-existing condition or, you know, everybody's child can be on until age 26. the obamacare, the affordable care act could make a public case for it that everybody is in, rates will not be higher. there's none here, and i think that's a real problem. david's point about there is no political air cover for the white house, quite the opposite. i mean, the white house has been a liability. the president has been unhelpful, uninformed and, this morning, tweeting, let's repeal, which c.b.o., the congressional budget office, has a score on, would put 26 million people uninsured immediately. so, you know, off of insurance. so this is not a recipe for success. >> david, that's right. i mean, the president did tweet this morning. if they can't agree, they should
repeal now and replace it later. >> yeah, it's the definition of bad leadership. he had a more sensible position not too long which is you do both things at the same time. if you repeal in the fantasy you're going to replace later when you can't replace now, that's not a realtyic way to make policy. i think senator blunt made a point, if you can't agree, there's not a mythical piece of legislation that's not going to pass. the basic problem is this is a bill that massively redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich, and there are a lot of senators, including bob corker of tennessee and portman of ohio and susan collins of maine who are uncomfortable with the level of upward redistribution this entails. then there are senators on the right, the ted cruzs, who want to get rid of job-killing taxes, and that's a diverse party, and mcconnell is trying to super hard to find some formula that will please both sides but it may be an unsovable problem.
>> i'll add one thing. you had an interview with senator john thune of south dakota, ranking republican, and you asked him about a mishap, which was dean heller, republican incumbent in nevada next year, the only state where republicans running hillary clinton carried, expressed his own reservations, doubts, opposition to the bill as proposed last friday and joining the state's governor who pointed out the rate of uninsured children in the state had been cut under one-half from obamacare because of the medicaid extension and backed the governor, at which point the president's own political action committee, staffed by the president's own political aides organized a $1 million expressed attack ad series on him, heller,
which senator thune objected to but senator mcconnell opposed. this is the political kif lent of coming down from the hills and shooting the wounded. so they had to back off, and, so, you're talking about white house congressional relations. i mean, this is just -- it's more than counterproductive, it's stupid. >> you're right. senator thune's comment was that would not be a good time to go after members of your own party. >> yeah. no, the relations -- it's interesting to watch even the reactions to the tweets and everything else. they can't get away from this guy. what's been interesting, talking to members of congress, it would be one thing if he would just disappear, but they have to spend so much of their time creacting, and it's hard to make policy, aside from making policy on capitol hill which is difficult to start with. >> woodruff: speaking of the tweets, david, we've seen eyebrow raisers and heard gasps, but i guess the president's
tweet yesterday morning about the morning joe msnbc cable hosts, where the president tweeted very personal insults, low i.q. and face lifts, so forth, it seemed to reach a new low. did we learn anything new about this president at this point? >> one of the nice things, if we can find a silver lining here, is it's possible for everybody to be freshly appalled, that we are not enmuired to savage, misogynistic behavior of this sort, and i saw a freshness of outrage. i must say when i hear roy blunt say it's unhelpful to himself, that's true, but it's morally objectionable and i wish more senators would say it. lindsey graham and ben sasse have said it but i wish more. it's not helpful and the issue is the corruption of public sphere and that's what donald
trump does with these things and it's hard for us to get back to normal when this is the way people talk to each other. >> woodruff: corruption of the public's fare. >> david is guilty of understatement. no, he put it very well. it's hateful, it's hurtful. judy, i don't know what a parent or grandparent is to say to a 10-year-old or 12-year-old who said anything comparable to this and was sent banished to their room or whatever else for it. i mean, the president of the united states can talk this way and there are no consequences. the irony is that he's more engaged on the back and forth with joe scarborough and nicco bra zen ski on this than he has been on healthcare or any other issue. he obviously, this is what matters to him, and it's just that classic -- not to be exceptionally biased -- but it's
sort of a new york bully approach to life. i mean you say anything, you do anything, because the important thing is winning. and i just -- you know, i don't know what else there is to say other than you want to put yourself through a car wash after you listen to the president talk this way. >> are there consequences, david? i mean, i heard what you said about some senators are just saying, well, it's not helpful, but other senators are going further and saying, this is really wrong? are there ever consequences or do we just go on like this? >> well, we'll see if people eventually get disappointed and get tired. i think one of the things that may begin to offend people is potential mafioso behavior. one of the things we heard this mornings in the op-ed piece in "the washington post" by two hosts is the white house threatened sort of extortion if the show becomes more trump friendly that a "national enquirer" investigation into their relationship will be
spiked, and that's sort of mafioso extortion behavior, beyond normal white house behavior, beyond political hard ball, it's sort of using your media allies, the "national enquirer" and the trump administration, to take take down enemies, and that's not something we've seen in america since maybe nixon or maybe never. >> woodruff: it's true, a mark, we haven't seen anything like this in a while. >> we haven't, but i think david's point about extortion certainly strengthens the position of james comey, that threats and hint of extortion is part of the modus operandi. >> woodruff: we should say the white house is denying it. >> the white house is denying it. jared kushner is denying it. somebody else is denying it. the fact the negotiations going back and forth, communications on this subjects you do this and we won't print an injurious and harmful article in the "national enquirer." one of the great publications of
our time. but, judy, i remember when republicans used to get upset and angry at bill clinton because he didn't wear a suit and tie in the oval office, and donald trump, supposed to be a great dealmaker -- i mean, joe and mika brzezinski have a morning show watched in this area but not a great national audience, 1% of the people, and he just made them a national -- everybody knows about this show. probably increased their ratings, juiced them up. so i don't understand where anything is but counterproductive in every sense. >> it is true, david, that it's hard to find -- you said there may be a silver lining and treasure outrage, but beyond that, i'm not sure where it is. >> no, and, you know, the big question for me is do we snap back? do the norms that used to govern politics reestablish themselves after the trump administration or are we here forever?
i hope from the level of outrage we have a snapback but the politics is broken and trump may emerge from a reality tv world much more powerful than we think and this is a prospect that this is where we are which is an horrific thought. >> woodruff: horrific thought. david brooks, mark shields, we thank you both. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: finally tonight, often lost in the health care debate are the individual stories of fear and uncertainty that come with a medical diagnosis. elizabeth silver is an author and attorney who was unexpectedly plunged into a world of statistics and probability, and offers her humble opinion on how to consider a prognosis. >> when my daughter was six weeks old, she suffered a serious stroke and spent two
weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. as new parents, my husband and i spent that time beside her, waiting for answers. and at the end, were given very few. at home, with a single click, we could watch videos, read articles, and most importantly, stumble across numbers that would send us either rejoicing or panicking. like many parents, we had nothing to hold onto but statistics. according to one i read, her stroke carried a 20% chance of death and 90% chance of severe neurological damage. i focused on the 90%, and imagined very different versions of our lives. over the next year, as we weaved in and out of doctors' offices, i recalled the aphorism that physicians are supposed to "treat the patient, not the paper." hippocrates, the ancient greek philosopher and physician, said that "it is more important to know what sort of person has a disease, than to know what sort of disease a person has." in other words, we must remember that patients are people with
stories. i took a step back and began looking at the statistics-- these abstract medical studies and numbers- and started to view them just as i would a story; a novel or a film. after all, a statistic is only a paricular version of a story. and as with all stories, there are always multiple perspectives and multiple truths. you can analyze them like literature: when was that statistic taken? who was the source group? was it self-selecting? what else do the subjects have in common? when looking at a statistic in a medical study, you don't have the full picture of your prognosis unless you have every perspective, every detail in the story. and that is something you will never get from a number. three years later, my daughter escaped all of her damning statistics and is living a full, happy life, as if it never happened. when i look closer at her story
in its totality, those statistics did not differentiate based on age, my prenatal care, or even the actual size of the stroke. we all know that statistics are useful, but if we rely on them with too much weight, this can only lead to a breakdown of trust with medicine. we end up focusing on the 90% chance of things going wrong, and in the process, neglect the 10% chance of things going right. perhaps my daughter's story might one day be counted in a future study, and her "success" will serve as a tick against those frightening, bigger numbers. because there is an alternate ending that includes the full picture, and it can be beautiful. >> woodruff: elizabeth silver. on the newshour online right now: we get a jump on the july 4th holiday with five book recommendations that explore america's complex history. that and more is on our website,
www.pbs.org/newshour. and tune in later tonight, "washington week" takes a closer look at health care reform. robert costa and his panel explore if there is a bipartisan solution. and tomorrow's edition of pbs newshour weekend looks at how climate change is impacting the working class americans. another ten inches, it will be in the house. >> s the not after hurricane sandy. this is after what kind of weather? >> yesterday i was retweeting streets from arizona avenue and atlantic avenue flooding simply because it was a high tide associated with a full moon, a storm, and you have the high tide rising in the streets coming through the storm water drains. at the same time you have any drain and the rain can't drain, and you get substantial flooding in neighborhoods built along bays in atlantic city. >> woodruff: saturday on "newshour" weekend.
>> woodruff: that's saturday, on pbs newshour weekend. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great holiday weekend. thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
. >> welcome to the program, i'm allison stewart filling in for charlie rose. we begin with politics and a talk with shannon pettypiece, white house correspondent for bloomberg news. >> after all of the pleas from republicans to dial back the tweets which have been going on for months now, even the president's close friends have been privately encouraging him to dial back the tweets, he just leaned in to the, you know, across the line tweets even further with a personal attack on someone that fits right in the vein of cyberbullying and essentially saying, if you attack me, or if you disagree with me, i will come out and very personally attack you in your most sensitive places on twitter, and make it a public feud. >> we continue with john