tv PBS News Hour PBS September 22, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: forced from their homes, facing floods, hurricane maria leaves puerto rico in the dark after the powerful storm devastates the caribbean. then, searching for life in the rubble as mexico's death toll rises, rescuers hope to pull survivors from flattened buildings four days after the deadly quake. plus, checking vital signs as republicans' health care reform push suffers a set back, i sit down with democratic senator tim kaine about options for the future of obamacare. >> everyone who has a big idea should put it on the table. graham-cassidy is an idea, fine, it's on the table.
bernie's got on, it's on the table. i would like there to be a publicly offered insurance police that anyone can get if they chose-- that's on the table. >> woodruff: and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to talk about the health care news and president trump's war of words with the leader of north korea. 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: senator john mccain
today dealt a major blow to republicans' latest effort to dismantle the affordable care act. in a statement, the arizona republican rejected a reform proposal by fellow g.o.p senators lindsey graham and bill cassidy. the move leaves his party's leaders with diminishing hope of repealing president obama's signature healthcare law. we get the latest from our lisa desjardins. , so lisa, what reason did senator mccain give? >> senator mccain said, first, in good conscience he could not support the bill because it's been rushed through and he thinks now is the time and tissue is so large it requires bipartisanship. "the issue is too important and too many things are at risk for us to leave the american people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. a bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach. what they're saying is leaving this up to states for another two years is unacceptable. what he wants is a full debate
through committee, months and much more thought spent on this issue. >> woodruff: where does this leave republican efforts? they've tried again and again to get it done. >> so many metaphors, the zombie bill, keeps coming to life, i think this is down on the mat if this is a boxing match because cert mccain is a vote they needed. he's a hard no. rand paul is a hard no, his office confirmed to me today still a hard no. susan collins today said she is leaning no. we're waiting to hear from alaska senator lisa murkowski who supported a bill -- who voted no on a bill that was not this broad in scope. so it's very unlikely this bill will get the support it needs in the next two days. >> woodruff: so these are the key republicans. there have been bipartisan efforts, some other republicans, democrats have been getting together to see if they could come up with something that could work across the aisle. where does that stand? >> that's right.
last on the program we had heard from senator alexander who was leading the effort that the bipartisan effort was frozen. well, now that might be changing. we heard from iowa senator joni ernst today, unexpected republican, she told her constituents in town hall she wants that bipartisan talk to restart next week and says she does not think graham-cassidy will come up for a vote and does not think the votes are there and there is a renewed attention to the bipartisan effort, perhaps. democrats said they actually were ready to make compromises in that effort. they will have to show the cards if we get to that. >> woodruff: patty marie leading that and lamar alexander of tennessee leading that. thank you. and in the day's other news:
rescuers in and around mexico city combed through mountains of debris, desperately searching for signs of life. the death toll from the 7.1 magnitude quake has now climbed to at least 293. more than half of those have been in the capital. we'll take a closer look at the scope of the destruction later in the program. north korea's leader ratcheted up his war of words with president trump today, warning that he would face consequences "beyond his expectations." kim jong un's statement came days after president trump threatened to "totally destroy" north korea in his united nations address. a newswoman read kim's response aloud on north korean state tv. >> ( translated ): now that trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the d.p.r.k., we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history. i will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged u.s. dotard with fire.
>> woodruff: later, north korea's foreign minister suggested that they would next test a hydrogen bomb in the pacific ocean. president trump reacted on twitter saying "kim jong un, obviously a madman... will be tested like never before." iran's president also had a defiant message for the west today, vowing to continue building up its arsenal of weapons. at a military parade in tehran, a new ballistic missile capable of reaching israel was unveiled. president hassan rouhani spoke to the crowd, pushing back against president trump, who singled out iran in his address at the u.n. monday. >> ( translated ): whether you want it or not, we will increase our defensive and military capabilities as a deterrent, as much as we deem appropriate. we will not just strengthen our missile capabilities, but also our ground forces, air forces and naval forces for the defense of all peoples, muslims or non- muslims in our nation and our
land. we will not seek permission from anyone. >> woodruff: today marked the first time iran had showcased the medium-range ballistic missile in public. but its military test-fired the same type of weapon back in february. there was word today the u.s. department of homeland security notified 21 states that russia potentially targeted their election systems in the run-up to the 2016 election. but most were not successfully breached. meanwhile, president trump and the kremlin are both dismissing reports that russia planted thousands of paid advertisements on facebook in a bid to help candidate trump with the election. facebook said yesterday it's turning over copies of the ads to congress's russia investigation. this morning, the president tweeted: "the russia hoax continues, now it's ads on facebook." the trump administration is revoking obama-era guidelines on investigating campus sexual assaults. education secretary betsy devos
had said the previous policy was unfair to accused students. until the education department drafts permanent rules. critics fear victims will lose protections or feel pressured to stay silent. former f.b.i. director james comey was heckled today while delivering a convocation address at howard university in washington. protesters sang civil rights songs as comey took the stage, delaying his speech. calls of "no justice, no peace" continued as comey launched into his remarks at the historically black university. >> it's hard sometimes to find people who will listen with an attitude that they might actually be convinced of something. instead, what happens in most of the real world-- and about four rows of this auditorium-- is that people don't listen at all,
they just try to figure out what rebuttal they're gonna offer when you're done speaking. >> woodruff: it was comey's first public appearance since testifying before congress about his dismissal by president trump. federal officials are investigating reports that health and human services secretary tom price used costly chartered jets for official business. the agency's office of the inspector general said today it's looking into whether the flights complied with federal travel regulations that generally require officials to minimize travel expenses. price's office said he sometimes uses chartered planes when commercial flights aren't feasible. british prime minister theresa may tried to revive stalled brexit negotiations with the european union today. she proposed a two-year transition period after britain leaves the e.u. in march 2019, to give both sides time to adjust to the changeover. she also indicated a willingness for britain to pay a financial settlement, but stopped short of specifying an amount.
may spoke today in florence, italy. >> let us not seek merely to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. instead let us be creative, as well as practical, in designing an ambitious economic partnership that rests the freedom and principles of the e.u., as well as the wishes of the british people. >> woodruff: brexit talks are set to resume next week in brussels. but several key sticking points remain, including how much the u.k. should pay to leave the bloc, and how to protect the rights of e.u. nationals living in britain. london's transportation agency is stripping uber of its license to operate in the city, over public safety and security concerns. the ride-sharing service's license will expire at the end of the month. the regulator specifically took issue with uber's approach to reporting criminal offenses, and the way in which it conducts background checks for its drivers. uber said it plans to appeal the decision.
stocks edged mostly higher on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average lost nine points to close at 22,349. the nasdaq rose four points, and the s&p 500 added more than a point. for the week, both the dow and the s&p 500 gained a fraction of a percent. the nasdaq fell a fraction. and nasa has bestowed a new honor upon katherine johnson, the african-american mathematician whose life inspired the hit feature film "hidden figures". a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened a new research facility bearing her name, at nasa's langley research center in hampton, virginia. the 99-year-old-- who calculated the trajectories for america's first space flights in the 1960s-- was on hand for the festivities. what an inspiration. still to come on the newshour: hurricane maria's wrath moves on after ravaging puerto rico,
search for survivors stretch into the fourth day after mexico's deadly quake, senator tim kaine on health care reform, and much more. >> woodruff: hurricane maria continued its march across the caribbean, still as a powerful category 3 storm. puerto rico is dealing with a dam failure in the western part of the island. 70,000 people are in the process of being evacuated. damage estimates have already reached $45 billion for the caribbean islands in the storm's path. and all told, at least 27 have been blamed on maria. john yang has more. >> reporter: across waterlogged puerto rico, many of the 3.4 million residents have been forced from their homes. two days after maria made landfall, knocking out power and communications, the personal
stories of facing the storm's wrath are just emerging. these women live in salinas, along the southeast coast. >> ( translated ): a lot of trees and many, many houses destroyed and boats on the ground. the power and the water are out everything, everything. we don't have anything. we've got nothing and we don't know for how long we'll go without. >> ( translated ): it came when my son said that "we've lost everything, it took our house." it's tough but, we're going to start over. >> what are you going to do now? >> ( translated ): we're going to the shelter. >> reporter: governor ricardo rosello reports "complete devastation." damage estimates reached $30 billion on puerto rico alone. the u.s. military and federal emergency management agency began airlifting aid-- water, food, generators and temporary shelters. >> we're able to fly on our mobility aircraft: firefighters, search and rescue and other civil support as well.
until probably today there was no real understanding at all of the level, the gravity of the situation. >> reporter: today, maria kept churning north, lashing the turks and caicos. the eastern bahamas are next, and then is forecast to make a slight turn east into the open atlantic. damage to saint croix in the u.s. virgin islands and the tiny island of dominica was also extensive. both islands have no power and curfews are in place to prevent looting. it could take years for some of the caribbean islands to fully recover from hurricanes maria and irma. that includes the nation and islands of antigua and barbuda. sir rodney williams is the governor general. a family physician, he is currently on a medical mission in the united states. he joins us from annapolis, maryland. your excellency, what are conditions like on antiqua and
barbuda? >> we're trying to rebuild and the question is how do we deal with the people from barbuda in particular because we are concerned about their well being, their protection and social needs, and the persons from all the people from barbuda and a antigua, some living with family, with friends and some in shelters, i must say the government agencies did a good job in educating the population prior to and during the hurricane. now it's time to rebuild. we have actually accommodated 500 school children in schools in antigua and also put their teachers to those schools so they can be feeling comfortable. presently, the government is working on some accommodation to make them more private and more comfortable. by restructuring a hotel, there's an old hostile being
renovated as well, and on the island they're putting things in order so that the ai bar barbudn be comfortable. >> yang: how long do you think they will have to stay there? >> a lot will depend on what they find on the ground. right now, they're cleaning up air booeda -- barbuda. they have been able to bury the dead animals and cleaning up the debris on the island. persons from barbuda have been allowed to go back on a daily basis to protect their assets and return at night to antigua. there are teams on the ground looking at barbuda and at what is needed. from my understanding, they are trying to ensure that the
rebuilding of barbuda takes into account the type of island that we want to bring back. we've got to develop innovative ways and ensure that we have some of the best engineers and technicians who will advise us as to how we will build the country, the island, because we're going to have to make sure that the buildings we put up are durable and that they're sustainable in the long run. >> yang: sir rodney williams thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me on, sir. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, the death toll in tuesday's earthquake in mexico neared 300 today, as rain hampered rescue efforts in the capital, mexico city in a moment, william brangham
will have a look at how the city has sought to harden itself since the last big quake in 1985, but first, william joins me again tonight, from mexico city. sir williams, what can you tell me about the rescue efforts of people who are reportedly supposed to be trapped in an office building behind where you are? >> it's an extraordinary story giving people hope, using a series of high-techology, apparently even an israeli piece of equipment and team was able to zero in on cell phones. they believe they have found at least six people in that office building behind me that are trapped there and they are all believed to still be alive. the family members of the missing are just a few yards away from -- over this way. they have been told, and they are telling the press that food and water is being able to be sent to the people who are
trapped but efforts are underway now to try to get them out. >> woodruff: finding out they're there is one thing but getting them out in time is something else altogether. what are you hearing about the prospects? >> that's absolutely right. it's obviously a race against time. rescuers said they think they have nine different access points that they can use to access where they are and so they are slowly working their way into it. the tricky part is it's a very fragile building behind me. unlike the other sites, it's not swarming with people, it's just a few people up there because they're worried about collapsing the structure. if they can get through one of these access points, they might be able to reach the people inside. >> woodruff: this is still an active rescue site, but i understand at a number of other sites they've stopped the searching. >> that's right. the mexican president said today of the 38 sites that used to be rescue operations, only ten remain active rescue operations. there is one other larger concern that's been going on
here which is not just for the buildings that have been collapsed but what to do with the thousands of other buildings across mexico city that are damaged. while most attention remains on search and rescue while most of the attention remains on search and rescue across the city, there are an untold number of victims like silvia barroso. >> ( translated ): i was in the house doing chores when it started shaking. it was really, really strong. inside this vast makeshift community response center. >> we're feeling desperate. we really can't go anywhere. we don't have money to replace. everything has gotten wet from the rain here. there are tons of people coming and going. >> >> reporter: there are likely thousands and thousands of people like barroso. the government estimates at
least 2,500 buildings were damaged on tuesday, and they've received reports of 4,000 others. these are buildings that weren't flattened, but will likely remain uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. mexico city is, of course, no stranger to big earthquakes. the worst quake was in 1985, 32 years ago to the day of tuesday's quake. mexico city was terribly damaged. thousands of buildings-- including many newer ones-- collapsed fully. the official 5,000 person death toll is considered a gross underestimate. after the '85 quake, government officials said reforms would come: better rescue and response, better public education, and stronger, enforceable building requirements. daniel rodriguez velazquez has consulted the mexican government's disaster prevention board. he's an expert in urban planning, and he says many of those reforms did in fact come: >> ( translated ): before 1985, building standards didn't consider such large earthquakes. that's been an important change, the stronger building standards for the city.
>> reporter: many point to the fact that me city largely survived intact from tuesday's quake-- yes, 45 buildings collapsed entirely-- but the vast majority of this sprawling city of over 20 million remains untouched. this high-rise building under in fact, on most blocks it's hard to even tell there was an earthquake at all. daniel rodriguez agrees those post-1985 reforms did save lives and saved structures. but he worries that, in the rush to clean-up, the lessons of why some buildings failed will be lost. >> ( translated ): we need to see if the buildings that fell met construction standards. there's suspicions that many buildings were built through corruption to bring investment and generate the image of a modern city. we need to have the scientific and technical information to be able to determine the causes of collapses, and when applicable, criminal responsibility. >> reporter: in fact, just a few blocks away, rodriguez showed us what he's concerned about. four families lived in what was
a five-story apartment building here-- it looked like this on tuesday, and now it's being completely demolished. people here said no investigation had been done. javier morales acosta lived here with his wife, daughter, and grandson. he was at work when the quake struck. >> ( translated ): my first thought was of my wife and family. my wife was at home. i tried to call but she didn't answer so i knew something had happened. >> reporter: his wife was injured but got out alive. she's at the hospital now. he says they've lost absolutely everything. >> ( translated ): we haven't been able to recover anything. when something like this happens, the first thing people ask you for is i.d. but everything we had is buried. >> ( translated ): there is a rush to bring in heavy machinery and clean up the rubble, to demolish buildings, because just like in 1985, it's a political move. the government is in rush because a presidential election cycle is just starting. >> reporter: morales' house-- and all his family's belongings- - are being carted away in an
afternoon as officials here face the competing demands of trying to learn from this disaster versus cleaning up and getting back to normal. in mexico city, i'm william brangham for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, senator john mccain's announcement that he will not vote for the graham-cassidy republican healthcare bill tosses the fate of current obamacare repeal efforts into serious doubt. we look at what this could mean, and at a couple other issues, with senator tim kaine, democrat from virginia, who was his party's vice presidential nominee last year. senator tim kaine, thank you for talking with us. let's talk health care first. senator john mccain's announcement today he will not vote for the latest republican effort to overhaul obamacare, the graham-cassidy bill.
is this the death, now, for that proposal? >> judy, i wouldn't call it that. until we get to the end of next week, we have to be very diligent and repeat efforts to repeal the affordable care act and, instead, force it then to the bipartisan discussion that my committee, the health, education, labor pension commit yon tear leadership of senators alexander and senators murray were having, we owe it to the american public to improve health insurance and healthcare, but we've got to do it, i think, in a bipartisan way. we were doingrit. we were very, very close to a bipartisan deal to stabilize the individual insurance market going forward, but the president and the speaker and leader mcconnell kind of blew that effort up, at least temporarily, this week. so we have to defeat graham-cassidy, and my hope, as senator mccain indicated, then we'll get back to doing way we should which albeit in a
republican senate but have discussions with a full committee on the floor. we shouldn't jam something through on health care at the 11th hour that affects the most important expenditure of anybody's life and one-sixth of the american economy. >> woodruff: two other questions on that. one of the arguments republicans were making to advocate for this proposal was that states have more flexibility in how they spend their healthcare dollars. a kaiser study said virginia, your state, would have received something like $4 billion more under this proposal. you're a former governor. why does pt that make sense? >> well, because the reasoning is true, states need more flexibility, but the graham-cassidy bill is states need more flexibility but every one of the 50 state medicaid directors said this would be a horrible idea. they said you can't do something like this with no c.b.o. score and people not knowing the
consequences and you shouldn't be cutting this much out of medicaid. the second, did virginia benefit? we didn't benefit, if you look at the 141 pages of graham-cassidy. there is, in the early years, a slight uptick, if you block the affordable care act money to virginia there is a slight uptick, but the moneys go away completely. so an uptick in the short term and the money goes away. the real sucker punch for virginia is separate from repealing the graham-cassidy act, the program was there before obamacare and cap it and take $120 billion out of it over the next ten years and virginia medicaid recipients nearly 60% are children and they would have been badly hurt by this piece of medicaid. so if you look at the whole bill, virginia gets hurt and that's why our governor and medicaid director are against it. >> woodruff: senator, several more things i want to ask you about. still on healthcare, you say
what's needed is a bipartisan approach, but senator bernie sanders, a number of democratic colleagues came out in favor of a medicare expansion bill that really didn't have the earmarks of bipartisanship. isn't the sanders' proposal that many of your democratic colleagues signed on to, that is not a bipartisan approach. so how does that move you in the direction of something that's going to win approval? >> well, let me tell you, judy, about bernie sanders' proposal. he put an idea out on the table, yes, with democratic co-sponsors. he didn't say vote immediately. he didn't say i want to vote before the c.b.o. scores it. bernie's a member of the health committee with me. he's putting an idea on the table. graham-cassidy's an idea on the table. bernie's got one on the table. i'd like a publicly offered insurance policy any individual could buy if they chose, more
choices than less, that's on the table. first, stabl stabilize the marka biparent way and once stabilized, we can, with care and deliberation that is warranted given the seriousness of health and healthcare to regular people, we can consider the ideas and possibly find concepts from a number of proposal that we can put together to help americans. so putting ideas on the table is fine but don't try to jam them through and hurt people with no score, no debate, no amendment, no meaningful opportunity for the public to participate. >> woodruff: senator, quickly, now, wearing your hat as a member of both the foreign affairs and armed services committees in the senate, what is your assessment of heightened tensions between the united states and north korea this week with president trump calling kim jong un leader of north korea a mad man, the leader kim in turn calling president trump
deranged. what is the state of these relations? how worried should americans be? >> well, it's very troubling. i will say, i am a fairly frequent critic of president trump, but i do think the national security team that he has after a lot of bad people were chased out is actually a very solid team. there's no good military option here, but we've got a good military team that is looking at what we need to do to keep the country safe. however, even the secretary of defense, secretary mattis says over and over again that we're diplomacy first, never out of diplomatic options, and what the president should not do is poison the diplomatic well. big rhetoric calling names, starts to poison the well. and the president is even contemplating backing the united states out of a nuclear deal with iran. if he does that, when the i.a.e.a. and other nations say iran is complying, there is no chance iran would do a
diplomatic deal with the united states if they felt certain the u.s. would back out and not follow it. >> senator mccain, thank you so much. >> absolutely. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks take on the week's news, and from the newshour bookshelf, new reads to look out for this fall. but first, to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. anything better than seeing you guys once is seeing you guys twice, three times. so the health care story. the senate republicans have been trying to so hard to once again resurrect an effort to repeal obamacare. they thought or at least they sounded like they were getting somewhere but today john mccain throws down the red flag, says
he's not voting for it. where does this leave all this? >> it's pretty grim. i should say there is nothing intrinsically wrong with having state flexibility and sending the health care thing back to the states. we're a diverse country, might profit from different systems. there is nothing wrong with reducing the rate of increase we spend on health care. i would like to spend more on education. the way the republicans have done this is without a deliberate process in way that seems to have magically offended every person outside the u.s. capitol building no matter what party and the way that raises anxiety on every single level, and, so, it's very easy for john mccain to say you haven't followed regular order, you haven't worked with democrats, you haven't held hearings and, so, i'm going to be against this thing and that's him being very
consistent with the way he's been and susan collins and lisa murkowski will probably follow suit and down the tubes. what do you say? >> i agree with david. it's no accident the republicans find themselves in this position. it's really since the retirement of john chaffee in rhode island in 1999 or david turnberger from minnesota in 1995 that there's been any republican senator who has any deserved reputation who are working on health care. they've just been an "against" party. that's all. who's the sponsor? lindsey graham. i happen to like lindsey graham. his credentials, hirlt, national defense, worked bipartisan on global warming, campaign finance. is there a lindsey graham on health care? bill cassidy got to the senate a
year ago, not exactly a long-toothed, long-term legislator. i mean, all they've succeeded in doing this year is taking the affordable care act which had always been controversial and never had majority support and now has majority support in the country and convinced voters that democrats care much more about health care than they do and democrats had an advantage, they believe in medicare and medicaid. they believe in federal action. there is no coherent republican organizing principle or philosophy about health care. everybody should have it be private. it's an extraction. it doesn't work in the real world. voters have concluded it doesn't, and pat roberts, to his credit, the senior senator from kansas said this is not the best bill possible, it's the best possible bill, and this is the last stage out of dodge. because of the quirky rules to
have the senate they need 50 votes till the fiscal year ends, after that 60. they're trying to pass something and they won't. >> woodruff: the republicans. they're caught in a divide. i think there is a possible there's a model that can work but if you get people to entertain the idea of reform, you have to give them universals coverage. we're at the point where even a rot of conservative healthcare says if you get universal coverage, then we can work on the reforms. but the republican party and republican congress congressional party is basically out of touch with voters. their voters are not libertarians, they are insecured economically and want security in medicaid and medicare and now even obamacare offers some of them security and they will not support their own republican party when it takes that away. >> woodruff: when we're
talking about senate republicans, president trump is headed to alabama tonight to campaign for the man he endorsed in that runoff senate election down there luther strange. he's the appointed senator. what's made this race so interest is the man he's running against is moore, the state chief justice who made a name for himself by trying to get the ten commandments publicly displayed in the state capitol building. this is a race that probably otherwise wouldn't be getting a lot of attention but roy moore is now ahead in the polls and, last night, i want to show everybody just a clip from the debate that moore and strange had last night because trump's name was front and center. let's listen. >> i know you may get tired of hearing this and you may resent that the president is my friend and is supporting me in this race but i think it's a good thing that the president of the united states has a personal relationship with the junior senator fra alabama.
>> the problem is president trump's being cut off in his office. he's being redirected by people like mccollum who do not support his agenda, who will not support his agenda in the future. >> and to suggest that the president of the united states, the head of the free world, a man who is changing the world, is being manipulated by mitch mcconnell is insulting to the president. that's why he's chosen me. >> woodruff: mark, what does this tell us about the republican -- the state of play among republicans in the senate right now? >> well, first of all, judy, we must understand this, alabama, trump's sixth best state in public polling, he's the most popular there, leading republican campaign manager who's deeply involved in this race on behalf of strange or at least on the side supporting luther strange told me they -- mitch mcconnell senate leadership political action committee -- that the chamber of
commerce of the united states will spend over $12 million on behalf of strange against roy moore. what tells me is luther strange is presenting himself as donald trump as new best friend, and that roy moore is running as i am the real trump candidate, i'm going to go to washington and let donald trump be donald trump. he's trying to make it a referendum on mitch mcconnell who this week in the "wall street journal" nbc poll was at an all time low 11% favorable. what strange's side is counting on is donald trump, the president going there to alabama and convincing trump voters who are more comfortable with roy moore to vote for luther strange. >> woodruff: meanwhile the president's poll numbers ticked up in the last month or two. >> yes, because he's done something for the democrats and is popular. but on the other hand, donald
trump ran as the anti-establishment candidate an has to play a little by washington rules who are supporting guys in the senate who are supporting you, supporting strange. roy moore is a trumpian of the letter, before trump, and the guy who made his name on the ten commandments, on some gay marriage issues, it's alabama. so he's saying i'm actually the trumpian. so i think what we see in the republican party is this populist tide is not ebbing. if more winds, then some signs alabama is unique, more unique, but some signs the party is still getting more populist, caused by two things -- first, mcconnell is still the enemy for a lot of republicans, the washington republican establishment is still more the enemy than ever and the things that fuel the populist rise, the opioid, crisis, the economy, all those are rising not ebbing and
the populism trump tapped into might be getting more extreme. >> woodruff: the president made his debut, first big speech before the united nations general assembly this week and notable because he came out and said we'll destroy north korea if they make a wrong move. does he come away looking more like a statesman? he's followed that with days of squabbling, in effect, with kim jong un, the leader of north korea. how do we -- how do we now look upon president trump as somebody who's leading foreign policy? >> an embarrassment. i mean, you compare the words of presidents in the past, you know, john kennedy in berlin, wherever free men live, they come to berlin, are citizens of berlin.
ronald reagan, mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. they're expressing it compellingly and a sense of pride in the national direction. that was totally missing. i gave him a b for bombasting, bullying and belligerence. you know, it was not a speech in which americans could take pride or direction or comfort in. >> i don't mind tough talk when reagan called the soviet union an evil empire he was telling the truth and that's fine. the problem with donald trump's rhetoric is it's self-destructive. first of all, it may put the north koreans in a corner where they can't back down because of their own psyching needs and creates a context where north korea can do whatever they want in the atmosphere, and suddenly we look like the bad guys. that's the interesting thing about the speech was so nationalistic. >> yeah. if you're the country who is
the top dog in the world, which we are, you need international organizations and alliances to exthe end your power. if you take that away, you diminish yourself. so his nationalistic pose makes sense if you're vladimir putin, a second-rate power, but if you're a top-rate power it's self-destructive and we have less leverage rather than more. >> woodruff: wheark, what do we look for in the weeks to come? right now, it is literally a war of words. a lot of people are listening thinking are we going to go to war? >> i certainly pray not, i hope not. i take some comfort, quite frankly, as a citizen in your interview with tim kaine, the senator from virginia, who said that he who had not hesitated to criticize president trump's policies had great confidence in the defense team of chief of staff -- general -- i'm sorry --
of secretary mattis, general mattis, general mcmaster and general joe dunford, the joint chiefs of staff, they provide him confidence an direction and maturity, and that's our best hope. >> woodruff: so he's surrounded by people who are getting high marks. >> he's got very good people, but i have been watching the vietnam series on pbs and countries can do really stupid things. the veneer of civilization sometimes gets slender. world war i there were very talented diplomats and leaders but events spun out of control. so i don't think we're going to go to war, there's still reason on both sides, but we look at the realm of history and have a little cause for concern. >> and watching the vietnam series which is a superb series for any of us who haven't started watching, you can do that. all right, david brooks, mark
shields, thank you both. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: now a look at some must reads for this fall. jeffrey brown has this special edition of the newshour bookshelf. >> reporter: and this time we're turning for recommendations to two authors with new or recent books. louise penny is the author of the murder mystery series featuring the quebec chief inspector of police armand gamache, her latest installment "glass houses" was published earlier this month. and pamela paul oversees book coverage at "the new york times" and is editor of its book review. her latest work is "my life with bob," a book about the many books in her life. and thank you both for joining us. and actually i want to start with a quick question about the books in your life. louise, what kind of reader are you and how do you pick what you're going to read next? >> i read everything. but you know the only sadness in
my life now, i write crime novels as you said, is that i can't read crime novels anymore, even though i love them. because if i read a great crime novel that's the only book i want to write now, is the book i just read. if i read a really bad one, i'm just all upset. and part of my brain is always turned on of course trying to figure out how it worked. >> reporter: pamela, i know you get millions of books being sent to you every day, so how do you pick what you're going to read? >> well there's work reading and there's fun reading, i'm going to focus on the fun reading. i always admire the single minded dedication of like the hardcore detective novel reader who will just read every single novel in a series or by an author. but i'm like louise, i'm really omnivorous, and for me, deciding what book to read next is really a question mood. it's almost like on a gut level. i need to read something, and i have to figure out what that book is, and if i try to read something that's not, that doesn't sort of match that mood, it doesn't work, it doesn't take and i end up putting it down. >> reporter: okay, our category is new or soon to come books, or fall books.
louise, you start. let's take a couple of nonfiction books. >> all right, my first choice is toni morrison because i'd read anything by toni morrison of course. if she wrote cereal boxes i'd collect them. "the origin of others," which is a collection of essays. and the theme is race. it's about belonging, our yearning to belong, about community about why race matters even. and how we came up with the concept of other. us and them. and why is it that once we had come up with that concept are we predisposed to look at the other with suspicion. so that's my first pick. the second one is daniel mendelsohn. and his book is called "an odyssey." he is a critic, a reviewer, but he also teaches an undergrad course in homer's "the odyssey." and his father, 81-year-old
mathematician, joined one of his courses, and so it's really an odyssey into literature, but also into their relationship, so i'm dying to read that one as well. >> reporter: pamela paul, let's start with nonfiction for you too. >> sure, well i've spent the entire summer, really actually the entire year escape reading and i think fall is a great time to re-engage. and luckily there are a lot of books, a number of books that really try to take on serious topics that have been in the news, cultural news, political news, social headlines, and delve a lot deeper than the twitter feeds and headlines have been able to do. so a couple that i'm really interested in are franklin foer's new book, which is called "world without mind, the existential threat of big tech." frank foer was the editor of "the new republic" until shortly after it was purchased by chris hughes, formerly of facebook. there was a major sort of falling out between them. what he does in this book is not just write a memoir about that
experience, but really takes on the issue of how technology has sort of infiltrated journalism, the media and really our daily lives. and what some of the negative impacts of that, those changes are, so i think that's one. another book i'm recommending is mark lilla, "the once and future liberal," which is a controversial book. again, you might not agree with all of it, but it's about identity politics. and it's interesting to read that along with ta-nehisi coates' forthcoming book, which is called "we were eight years in power." which is a lot of the work that he's done in "the atlantic," but it's his first big book since "between the world and me." and i think together these books take on the issues of identity, race, class, and also electoral politics. >> reporter: okay. there's four coming books in nonfiction. louise, a novel. >> all right. "happiness." this is a canadian one. >> reporter: which you couldn't
resist? >> i know, and you didn't necessarily ask, this is an older one, too. all right, i have to admit that. >> reporter: we're breaking the rules. >> we are, i'm going rogue here. i read a lot, i know how cruel the world is. i read a lot to just, to feel good about it. as odnes said, that goodness exists. so "happiness" is a hilarious book about a self-help book that actually works. >> reporter: we should say the author of course. >> i'm sorry, will ferguson of course, will ferguson. this book is put out there and it works with, everybody's emotional ills are actually healed and everyone becomes happy. except for the publisher, who's thrilled for how many books are being sold, but he's a cynic and he's trying to figure out who wrote the book and why it works. it is, i highly recommend it. >> reporter: one other quick, new novel? >> okay. this is by ayobami adebayo and it's called "stay with me." she's 29 years old, it's a debut, she's nigerian and it is big hearted, it's lush, it's an exploration of a marriage that
starts out loving, begins to have a problem when she can't get pregnant. a second wife is brought in. she gets pregnant and then all sorts of family secrets are brought out, but i love the fact that it is so big hearted so again, it goes in with the happiness thing. >> reporter: all right, pamela paul for fiction you're going happy or tragic on us? >> no, it is another book that i think really grapples with contemporary issues and that's jesmyn ward's "saying unburied saying." jesmyn, i don't know, i feel like she can do anything. her first novel was "savage the bones" and this her latest novel. they all take place in a fictional town called bois sauvage in mississippi where jesmyn ward lives and where her family is from. it's a bit timely and sort of post-katrina novels. this is about the people who are left behind and the people who stayed behind and why and what they're lives are like. it's about race.
it's about class. she has been compared to william faulkner, toni morrison and herman melville in the reviews of this latest book. and while i think she is her own voice. those aren't terrible people to be compare with. >> reporter: no, they're certainly are not. pamela, let me give you one more: any category you want. >> all right. well this is, this is about fiction, but its nonfiction and that is bruce handy's book "wild things," which is about the joys of reading children's books as an adult. and i am a huge fan of children's books. and i do think that you read them in a different way as a child, and then if you read them in a different way with your children. and then if you read them on your own, you also see in them different things. and i think one of the things that he makes clear in his book is that children's literature is really that's when we become readers. and those stories really stay with us. and the themes that they raise--
whether it's maurice sendak's books, or "the chronicles of narnia," or "little house on the prairie." those are stories that really stay with us for life and he explores why that is and really just the joy of reading them again. >> reporter: eight books to get our readers started and we're gonna have more online for now. pamela paul, luis penny, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thanks so much. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now: recognition has not always come easy for yoko ono, a conceptual artist and wife of the late musician john lennon. but this summer, the hirshhorn museum celebrated ono with a whole season of appreciation. we look at her career and how she's been honored now on our web site: pbs.org/newshour. robert costa is preparing for "washington week," which airs later tonight on pbs. john mccain gave a big thumbs
down to the graham-cassidy he'll bill today. one of the main reasons he wants to work with democrats on a plan to overhaul health care. could that happen after seven years of partisan bickering and rising tensions between the u.s. and north korea as president trump and kim jong un exchange insults. we cover it all tonight on "washington week." judy? >> woodruff: and we will be watching. and on tomorrow's edition of pbs newshour weekend, the latest updates from mexico and puerto rico and german chancellor angela merkel seeks a forth term in sunday's national elections. >> andreas says merkel's case for a fourth term rests on her leadership of the european union, at a time when the u.k. is withdrawing from the e.u., and american leadership of the west is in doubt on issues ranging from battling climate change to standing up to russia. >> i notice sips accompanying her on her trips that in china and the u.s. and the gulf states, they all said you are the one responsible for the euro, you are responsible for
fixing europe. >> woodruff: that's tomorrow night on pbs newshour weekend. and we'll be back, right here, on monday with a look at the political stakes for health care reform. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> 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.
>> rose: welcome to the program, tonight we again with jens stoltenberg, the secretary general of fato. >> it is high, the iming of increased presence in the baltic region lands, romania, bull garia, with increased capability to reinforce troops forces quickly, that provides the key task of nato. we don't deploy forces to provoke, we deploy forces to prevent the conflict because as long as any adversary knows an attack on one ally will trigger the response on the whole alliance, then no one can attack us because we are strong. we are the strongest alliance in history. so as long as our intent is credible, that it