tv PBS News Hour KRCB April 26, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama declared use of chemical weapons by syria would be a game changer, but cautioned more concrete evidence is needed. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, we debate the options on the table for the u.s. if it's confirmed assad's regime has used sarin in the civil war that's killed more than 70,000 people. >> woodruff: then, margaret warner looks at congress's sudden push to get airlines back on-time after spending cuts caused wide-spread delays. >> brown: in bangladesh, the death toll in this week's tragic
collapse of a garment factory has passed 300. ray suarez explores the role of american retailers in keeping workers at their overseas suppliers safe. >> woodruff: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> brown: and the world of country music lost one of its titans. we remember george jones who died today in nashville. >> ♪ he stopped loving her today >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... 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. >> brown: the syrians insisted today that they have not used chemical weapons. president obama issued new warnings, while saying the u.s. and the world continue to seek conclusive evidence. all the while, the civil war in sya raged on. explosions and heavy fighting rocked damascus today as government forces pressed an offensive to retake parts of the syrian capital from rebels. at the same time, the war of words over chemical weapons escalated. syrian government officials denied u.s. claims made
yesterday. white house letters to senators said u.s. intelligence assesses "with varying degrees of confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale, specifically sarin." the disclosure put new pressure on president obama to take action. he met today with the visiting king of jordan, and said the findings are preliminary. >> we're going to be pursuing a very vigorous investigation consulting with our partners in the region as well as the international community and the united nations to make sure we are investigating this as effectively and as quick, quickly as we can. it's obviously horrific as it is when motors are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed. to use weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations that is going to be a game changer. >> brown: the president has also said any use of chemical weapons
would cross a red line. and on thursday, republican senator john mccain said, "it's been crossed." >> the president of the united states said that this would be a red line, if they used chemical weapons. those stocks of chemical weapons, some of which are in disputed areas, must be secured, and we must give the opposition the capability to drive out bashar assad once and for all. >> brown: but other lawmakers today were more cautious. democratic congressman dutch ruppersberger of maryland attended a closed briefing on the matter. >> we feel that there has been some chemical weapons that have been used, but we're still investigating who did it, where it's coming from. and right now we're just in an evaluation stage. i don't think we as the united states want to go into another war. >> brown: a spokesman for the syrian opposition welcomed the administration's findings and president obama's promise of further investigation. >> the positions that the u.s. and u.k. took in the last couple of days are very advanced and we welcome them.
we will invite investigators, we will co-operate with investigators. we are certain that the evidence will show the syrian regime actually used those chemical weapons against innocent civilians. >> brown: it was unclear how long further investigation might take. the president said today, "we have to make these assessments deliberately." we pick up the debate now, with kori schake, a research fellow at stanford university's hoover institute and professor at the u.s. militaracademy at west point. and david kortright, director of policy studies at the university of notre dame's kroc institute for international peace studies. well, i'd like it to ask you both, starting with you kori schake, where are we in this? what do you make of the evidence of chemical weapons so far? >> it looks to me like the sestles pretty strong, and that the british, french, and rells came to the same conclusion. i think it strengthens the merits of the case against the assad government, but the president's not wro that we should be reful and deliberate
and as we go forward. i'm a little bit worried, though, that the administration is trying to set a standard so high out of concern for not repeating the mistakes of iraq that we will make a different set of mistakes this time and prevent action out of fear of taking wrong action. >> brown: we'll pick up on that. first, david kortright what, do you make first of the evidence that the of that at least we know publicly so farp? >> well, it seems that the evidence is very thin. so far, all we have are some tissue mples, some blood samples. ese hve gone through several different hands so the chain of custody is very unclear. to really be certain about this, we need to have actual physical evidence from a site. we need to know when and where these attacks took place. and that will require on-the-ground inspection. the u.n. was asked about a month ago to send some inspectors. syria has refused. there are discussions about the terms for those inspections to go in. i think the inspectors are sitting right now in cypress.
i think the top priority is to get more evence, send in an inspectioeam, wrk out the modality so we can find out what really has taken place here. that's the top requirement. >> brown: let me just stay with you to pick up on the idea that ms. schake brought up about the president raising the bar at this point. what do-- how do you see the president's response so far? >> well, the bar has to be raised to the point where it's convincing. the evidence has to be bulletproof because in order to deal with this, if it is, indeed, a serious use of chemical weapons will by the regime, there has to be internation actn. we have t taket tothe dismusmed we have to convince not just u.k., and france other ands about the of but all of the members of the city council of security council, most especially russia, that there has been indeed this kind of violation. then we can work diplomatically through the u.n. and begin to take more measures to isolate and weaken the regime through
diplomatic actions. >> brown: kori schake, are you saying we are at the point where we have enough evidence, enough to go on to take some action and what should be done? what are the options at this point? >> in truth, it's not clear to me enough of the evidence has been made public that we can make judgments about it. so we need to know that, and we don't know it yet. but it sound like the intelligence services of the united states, britain, france, and israel have come to that conclusion. moreover, the government of syria has come to that conclusion. the syrian government it's reason the u.n. started an investigation was that the syrian government claimed that chemical weapons had been used by the rebels and invited the u.n. to investigate. once the u.n. took them up on it, they refused t allow them in the country. so even the syrians adnit that chemical weapons have been used. i agree that further investigation is probably needed, but it does-- if i were the syrian government, what i would have done to be most
diabolical choice would be to use just enough and make it difficult enough to prove that you persuade the intelligence agencies but you have a difficult time making the case in public. but then you can put the president of the united states position where he has threatened grave action but doesn't carry out. and that may dishearten the rebels in syria. if i were the syrian government, that's what i would want to do. >> brown: that's the syrian government. what do you think the american government should do now given the state-- what do you think-- what kind of action should be taken? >> well, i think there are lots of action we should take. does seem to me if the syrian government has killed 80,000 civilians and has used chemical weapons, that that makes a very strong case for creating humanitarian corridors, take some of the pressure off of the surrounded states, like turkey.
establish safe areas inside of syria. alout syrian rebels to guard and police them, and us prevent the syrian government from using military force against them, in particular, the way the syrian government has been terrorizing its own population. it's firing artillery, and using helicopter gunships. we have the ability to prevent them from doing that and i think a minimum on safe areas, on the borders of syria's territory, we ought to be doing that. >> brown: all right, david kortright, your response. >> that's, i think, very dangerous. we don't need another war in the middle east. let's focus this discussion on the chemical weapons threat, the possibility of use of these weapons. that is a dangerous concern. and let's concentrate on what it will take to get the evidence that's needed and then if it's there, to put pressure on them diplomatically through the u.n. there's a lot we don't know yet, and the-- just a few incidents that have been reported, even the u.s. intligen agcy
itself says there's varying degrees of certainty about the evidence. we shouldn't be talking about military action, i don't think, under any circumstance. even if we were confirmed now that there are chemical weapons that have been used, using military force will not deal with that situation. syria has a huge arsenal of these weapons. if you attack them militarily, that could cause explosions and the release of some of these toxic gases. so military force is not the way to go about this. we ed to first get the evidence. if it's there, let's mobilize the u.n. security council. begin to take measures, including possibly targeted sanctions. we tried to get sanctions against syria at the beginning of the crise. but russia balked. if we have serious evidence that syria used chemical weapon this might begin to move russia and get them on our side in terms of putting pressure on the regime. that i think is the right step to take. that would begin to weaken them
and isolate them diplomatically, and perhaps begin to get a solution to tis crise. we don't need another milar agemengt here in the middle east. the pentagon has said it would take as many as 70,000 troops on the ground to be able to get some certainty about control those weapons. we're talking about another full-scale war. >> brown: kori schake, feel free to respond to that, but i want to put it in the context of all what the congressman we heard in our setup talk about the american financial, the lack of an appetite, i think, of more intervention after 10 years. >> absolute, the american public is war weary, and they should be war weary. the problem is the syrian government is taking advantage of that war weariness to do truly atroacials, inhuman things. it's a war crime to use chemical weapons. right. so they are capitalizing on our desire, as president said, for
the tide of war to be receding. unfortunately, we don't get to choose whether the tide of war is receding. the government of bashar al-assad is making that choice and the choice they have made is its to kill 80,000 of their own cizens, and the longer tha we let this civil war burb on, the greater the likelihood that the rebels will take assistance wherever they can get assistance. we already gun to see the al qaeda-related organizations who are willing to help fight the evil that the syrian government is doing. and, thereby, win a foothold of support in the syrian public. that is just not in america's interests, even though we are war weary. >> brown: and david kortright, a very brief last word, please. >> well, use of these weons wld be war crime and we should take action against it. that's why i think we need to get the evidence solid, and go through the u.n. security council. start with don teminations, begin sanctions and get russia
on our side to put pressure on the regime. that's most important thing we could do in countering the use of these weapons. >> brown: of. >> brown: all right, david kortright, kori schake, thank you very much. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": congress steps in to get airlines back on time; u.s. clothing makers' efforts to keep foreign factory workers safe; shields and brooks analyze the week's news and larry gatli on country musicegen geoe ones. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the surviving boston marathon bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev is now at a federal prison medical center. the 19-year-old was transferred overnight to a facility in central massachusetts 40 miles west of boston. he had been treated at boston's beth israel deaconess medical center since his arrest one week ago. tsarnaev is facing federal terror charges in the april 15th attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. in afghanistan, 45 people died early today when a bus coided with the wreckage of a truck that the taliban attacked. the bus rammed a stranded oil tanker that had been left in the road for several days.
it happened near the borders of helmand and kandahar provinces. in addition to the dead, ten others were injured. the government of japan will let japanese airlines resume flying their boeing 787 dreamliners. the transport ministry gave the official approval today. the dreamliners were grounded in mid-january after incidents of their lithium ion batteries overheating and smoldering. they could return to service in june, with newly installed systems to minimize the fire risk. police in new york city think they've found a piece of one of the airliners destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. a police spokesman said today it's part of a landing gear, with a boeing identification number. surveyors found it wednesday, wedged between two buildings in lower manhattan. they've secured the scene to document it with photos. the pace of the u.s. economy picked up at the start of the year. commerce department figures today show an annual growth
rate of 2.5%, or the first quarter. that was up sharply from the end of 2012, but wall street had hoped for more. as a result, the dow jones industrial average gained more than eleven points to close at 14,712. the nasdaq fell ten points to close at 3279. for the week, the dow gained 1%. the nasdaq rose more than 2%. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we turn to the agreement in washington to address air traffic slowdowns-- the result of furloughs at the federal aviation administration. the house easily passed a bill today to provide money for the agency. it came after both parties heard mounting frustration from passengers who faced flight margaret warner has the story. >> two-thirds being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. >> warner: just before leaving town for a week-long break, the house voted by a lopsided 361 to 41 to let the f.a.a. use some
$250 million in unspent to get air traffic controllers back on the job. last sunday, the f.a.a. began furloughs of its 15,000 controllers and thousands of others, cutting their work schedules one day every two weeks. that triggered hundreds of delayed flights, the agency's head, michael huerta, insisted wednesday that mandatory budget cuts-- the so-called "sequester"-- had forced his hand. >> the hardest thing that we have to do is reduce these hours. but in order to hit the target we need to hit, we don't have... we don't really have any choice. >> warner: democrats and republicans disagreed over how many of the flight delays could be attributed to furloughs, but they agreed on the need to act. still, even some who supported the house measure today, criticized the process. >> as i've often said, this is no way to run a government. >> warner: republicans, like tom latham of iowa, accused
president obama of playing politics. >> we are taking action to end the administration's political games that threaten our passengers' rights and their safety. the fact that we're here today trying to sol this problem is the result of the sequester. i remind you that the president, the president brought the sequester to the table. >> warner: democrat steny hoyer- - the house minority whip-- rejected the criticism, and he challenged republicans to address cuts in other agencies. >> we ought not to be mitigating the sequester's effect on just one segment when children, the sick, our military and many other groups who will be impacted by this irresponsible policy are left unhelped. >> warner: at the white house today, spokesman jay carney said congress is taking what he called a band-aid approach to easing the impact of the sequester. but he said, the president will sign the bill. now a look at the quick turn of events of the past 48 hours to
ease flight delays and what triggered it. alan levin covers the aviation industry for bloomberg news and joins me now. alan, thanks for joining us. this kind of quick action on capitol hill, which kind of quick agreement is almost unheard of these days. at bught it about? >> well, i think the-- when you bring pain to the public, that's when congress reacts to sequestration. a lot of the other cuts are a little bit more theoretical. they don't touch people in a big way. and you also had here some fairly significant lobbies, the airline, some big unions, also weighing in heavily as well. >> warner: how bad-- we heard a lot of people complaining. we saw long lines at airports. how bad were the delays at their peak this week. how many passengers were actually affected? >> gosh, i don't have a passenger total, but that's a
very good question. this is the time of year when you get more thunder storms and bad weather that affect flight delays so they tend to ramp up, and i think overall the total delays we saw were pretty typical for this time. year. now, having said that, we did see an increase in delays of about-- between 400 to as many as 1600 flight delays due directly to thissa these furloughs since sunday. so it's not an insignificant impact. >> warner: and i understand it wasn't just that the air traffic controllers had their days cut back, but a lot of other people who, say, do maintenance on radar systems or other things that are vital to the smooth operation of this system. >> that's true. the f.a.a. has thousands of technicians who keep, you know, the radars and landing systems running. and there were some delays in
new rk and elsewhere as a result of equipment that went out, and they just didn't have employees to get that back online. now, that was much less significant than the controllers, but it definitely had an impact as well. >> warner: you cover this industry and this business. is it possible to know whether the transportation department, as want republican-- many republicans charge-- actually did have more flexibility to move money around to keep certain vital people on while sti making theind uts th needed to? >> well, it's hard ton with 100% certainty. one of the key things that the republicans were saying had was that f.a.a. had $500 million in money that they could transfer to these controllers, but it turns out, the bulk of that money goes for contracts to keep up air traffic controller
equipment. so it would not have been that simple. now,, y kno culd they hve moved money a little about around here and there? that's still an open question. >> warner: was there any price paid here during this week by the airlines themselveses? i mean, financially, either lost-- just lost revenues or fines or penalties for late flights? >> well, a few years ago, the government imposed fines for flights that are more than three hours delayed on the tarmac. when these furloughs went into efct, e gvernment sd hairp goi to waive enforcement of that. so there was no cost on that. now, airlines do incur fairlying significant costs when they have delays. we don't have any numbers. that won't come out for months, probably. but i'm sure they-- it probably
cost them into the millions of dollars this week. >> warner: so when the president does sign this bill, whether it's this weekend or soon, how quickly will it take the whole system to get back to normal? >> we're actually still waiting on word from the f.a.a. and department of transportation on that. i suspect it shouldn't take more than a day or two or three to get people back to work. but it appears they're still sort of working out some of the details about just how quickly that will be. >> warner: alan levin of "bloomberg news" thanks so much. >> thank you. >> brown: next, to the bangladesh building disaster. it's now the worst-ever for the country's booming clothing industry with more than 300 killed. ray suarez has the story. wailing relatives tried to console one another as the death toll from wednesday's collapse
of an eight-story building kept climbing. this father was left weeping with his son's coffin at his feet. others held up photos of loved ones still missing. >> ( translated ): for the last three days, i have been looking for my sister, but no trace. i want get my sister back alive or dead. >> suarez: so far, rescue crews have pulled more than 80 survivors from the rubble. one government official said 41 of those were found alive in a single room overnight. at a nearby hospital, an 18- year-old worker described her ordeal. >> ( translated ): first a machine fell over my hand and i was crushed under the debris, then the roof collapsed over me. i was rescued last night but my hand had to be cut off. >> suarez: and, with high humidity and daytime temperatures reaching 95 degrees, there are fears that time is running out for those still trapped. meanwhile, a local television
station released video showing police inspecting the site on tuesday, a day before the deadly collapse. large cracks were visible, but garment factories at the site continued running anyway. some of them make clothing for several major retailers in north america. today, thousands of garment workers protested poor conditions and called for the building's owners to be punished. some demonstrators clashed with police, but the rallies were mostly peaceful. this new disaster came just five months after a garment factory fire in bangladesh killed 112 workers. for more on all of this we get two views. avedis seferian is the president and c.e.o. of worldwide responsible accredited production or wrap, an organization created by the american apparel and footwear association along with buyers and brands around the world. and scott nova is executive director of the worker rights consortium. a labor rights monitoring organization.
avedis seferian, we saw the terrible carnage coming out of bangladesh this week, coming right on the heels will of that fire a few weeks ago that killed so many who couldn't get out of the building once that fire started. is there a rule book, a code, are there guidelines that everybody plays by? are there standards that garment factories around the world are supposed to follow? >> this really is an incredibl incredibly-- incredibly sad tragedy, and our heart go out to those who were impacted. our thoughts and prayers with with those who lost loved ones and we hope for quick recoveries for those who are injured. the question on everyone's mind is exactly what you just asked-- is there a set of standards? and the answer is there are internationally recognized minimum standards for operating manufacturing facilities, whether it be apparel or elsewhere, and organizationeds
like rapp. we promulgate those things. we try to foster those standards and encourage factories to put in place the kindof system they need to make sure they do meet these standards. we're out there providing them with resources through training mechanisms and obviously certifying them through audits to make sure they do meet the standard. all in all, try to trying to create to your point the rule book that all manufacturers ought to abide by to ensure that tragedies like this do not happen. >> suarez: so, scott november athere are best practices. are they being complied with? >> they are not. bangladesh has reasonable labor laws on the books. they have a national building code. the problem is the national buildingicos in bangladesh, the labor laws are works ofification. they're ignorld by the factori factories. bangladesh is the rock-bottom cheapest place in the world to make clothing. wages of 18 cents an hour.
ruthless oppression of any workers to organize unions and expleept disregard for the safety of workers. and brands and retailers in the u.s. and europe have rewarred bangladesh for those practices by pouring businesses into the country making it the second rnlest apparel producer on the globe but at a tremendous cost to workers as we saw this week. >> suarez: mr. seferian, if retailers in the united states want to talk to the people who make the cloact clothes that th, is it hard because of not only the network of subcontractors but further down the chain sub-subcontractors, that sometimes means there are three or four steps before a completed pair of pants or shirts makes it to the united states? >> sure. the global supply chain is everywhere complex and becoming more so day by day. from our perspective, however complex the chain may be, however many layers there may be, at the end of the day, what
matters is the worker at the production facility be able to work in a safe, healthy, ethical environment. our work focuses on the factory level. our trainings, our certification, our entire organization is geared towards working for the workers and making sure the standards at the production facility are where they need the to be. >> reporter: how has that supply chain been for people who tonight want ton the convenience use of the opaque nature of these relationships? >> indeed. part of the pmpt outsourcing of brands from retailers is distance themselves from the conditions in which their clothing is made. they get incredibly cheap prices, incredibly fast delivery. factories striving to meet the demands by igging north the right of workers, and cutting corners safety. when the inevitable disasters the retailers throw up their hands and say my lord!
i can't bee atas happening in these facilities. it's the brands and the retailers who have the most poor of power in the system. if they want to ensure their factories are safe they have the power to ensure their factories are safe. >> sreenivasan: in europe they have the clean clothes association which is trying to do the same work. can you give us an example of a place or national industry where shining a lot on past practices has improved conditions, has saved workers' lives? >> i think a better example is to talk about what efforts are ongoing now to prevent such tragedies and you mentioned in the lead-in to this, the recent factory fires that have been happening. rapp has been in bangladesh for a very long time. we opened our own local office in february of 2011, and as of september of 2011, we have had
in effect a very effective fire training programs which we rolled out to factories with over 600 workers trained and managers trained. the idea is we don't want to just handle these by creating better escape procedures, better evacuation procedures. we want to train factorie factom preventing these things from happening itself. the cien of best practices that will be impactful when they go forward are to get people to understand how to let them not happen in the first place, the management system approach to make sure people understand the kind of working environment you ve to create to prevent the tragedies and not keel with them happening ampt fact. >> suarez: as you mentioned, ctd november, there are pressures to lower unit costs, to keep costs of productions low, but are there incentives to play by the rules-- recontracting, reorders. if you want to do well by your workers cthat be profitable to
you as well? >> what the factories have been taught by the brand and retailerses is what matters to the brands and retailers is delivery speed. i don't think this is an issue that can be solved by training. the fundamental reason workers are dying in factories in bangladesh is the building buile struck thialy unsafe. they do not have fire exists. though amount of training can train a worker to walk through flames. we need a massive program of repair which exists of 5,000 dangerous factories. that program of repair d renovation has to be funded by the brands and retaylor who have the restowers pay for it. they have to compel their suppliers in bangladesh to implement it. then and only then will we see an end to these tragedies. >> suarez: very quickly, because we are out of time-- yes
or no. are american retailers ready to do that. >> there are shining examples f good factories out there. we need to make sure those examples are followed by the others so the industry as a whole has. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that is syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. gentlemen, let's start with the lead story tonight, and that is syria, even the administration, mark, is now saying that chemical weapons have been used by the syrian government. the president, though, says a red line has not been croed. so what's-- what-- what's going on? >> well, i think the president is in the position of having said that he's drawn this red line, and it appears the red
line has been crossed. i don't know if the line is changing. maybe it's less red than it was. he's reflecting, judy, i think the lack of will and enthusiasm and interest in this country for intervention in another war in the middle east. and secondly, it's clashing with the sense of horror and fury at the human cost and toll of death and suffering there we're seeing. 80,000 people dead. i think the president is in an awkward position politically right now. >> woodruff: is that what it is about, reluctance to go to war. >> he made the mestake of setting a red line. if you say, you do x, and you do y, you're handing control of your policy over to whoever is doing x. i'm against red lines. i think he nicely walked back today saying if they cross this line it will changey calculus. what that suggests is a proper way to think about this, it's a
multipronged problem, and the chemical weapons are one piece of that problem. they're not the whole piece. so then you've got to go to the other layers of uncertainty. what can we do? we talk about a no-fly zone but does that prevent chemical weapons. suppose the assad government does fall, what happens then? why are the christians shifting to assad? that part of the population is worried about what will happen if t government flls. the uncertainty over whether there are weapons. the unsupporter of whether we can do anything about it and what we should be rooting for, and so that does urge caution. >> woodruff: does it matter, mark, how much chemical weapons were used? >> i think there's further evidence of it. the secretary of state was on record as saying twice instances of the syrian government having used it. i mean, this is quite different
from just killingpeople. this is a universal declaration on chemical weapons. and if they in fact are using them, you cannot stand aside indefinitely. and in any way pretend the-- contend the moral leadership of the planet. >> woodruff: as we heard in the earlier segment, jeff's interview, david, you hear the experts say there is still more testing to be done to find out exactly what happens. >> there seems to be that. saddam used chemical weapons and-- i personally don't think that should as you be a red line. also hanging over this is iran. because that's the president's other red line. and if that-- if this red line, which he's already declared washes away, then the iran red line probably looks like it washes away. he has to be thinking about u.s. credibility versus iran. i'm not suggesting-- i don't seem to have any answers but nobody else does. and that's why i think the caution the president is showing is probably right. >> woodruff: yeah. >> no, no, i think he's in a
very difficult position. but i don't think the situation in syria can be ignored. i don't think you can-- and i think that there has to bean insistence upon determining the evidence of the earlier discussion with jeff that we have to determine whether that's the case. >> woodruff: bring you back home. the federal aviation administration, david, the deal today in congress to give them some wiggle room so they can address these flight delays, end these furloughs for the air traffic controllers. what does this say about the way washington works? >> i think it's important to protect the upper middle class. i think we should keep subsidizing corporate suites. this is what makes everybody into a populist. it is true. kids are getting kicked out of headstart but the airplanes are flying. i understand the e industry, you know, if that is delayed the whole economy is
hurt so i understand the pressure but it looks bad, the people who are bound to have the most lobbying power, which is to say people who fly a lot-- get a fix, and the people who go to headstart don't get a fix. and i should say before, the whole sequester thing is stupid because it doesn't solve the debt. it cuts spending in the places we don't want it. it doesn't cut spending in the entitlement programs-- speaking of other interest groups. it's stupidity on stilts at this point. >> woodruff: "stiewdity on stilts." >> this was a meat axe approach. any changes would have to be comprehensive and across the board. they woul involve increases in revenue if it was going to be addressed. the administration caved like a lawn chair. they folded on this. it's a scalpel. it's interest group changing. it's not aids patients.
it's not cancer patients. it's not n.i.h. research. theyon'tave political action committees, and this was-- and the congress looks bad in the process. the congress-- this passed the senate without a single dissenting vote on either side. and it looked as the congress is going out on recess, that looks-- it looks like a matter of conence. so i just-- i really think that the whole thing is just lousy. >> woodruff: well, does it say, though, anything, david, about the #-r-- what's going to happen to the large erp sequester? does this mean democrats have any more negotiating power than we thought they did? >> maybe a little less than we thought. if the president spent all those months warning it will be terrible, it will be terrible, and then when it comes times timewhen something sort of is terrible, they cave in on that, then the sequester probably doesn't seem that painful to the country. so i think the sequester is here to ay. there will probably be a series
of pseudo-fixes or patches bu it's hard to see them getting on any sort of serious budget. >> you know how they can change it. that's to bring enough political pressure. the meat safety inspectors was an exception. understand aeb, people didn't want to eat silled, stained meat. that was an exception. now there's an exception for airline travel. you threaten the safety and security of another-- enough people or make it unconfidential enough for them there, will be patches made. >> woodruff: second week after the boston marathon bombings. we watched a lot of back-and-forth this week, david, we're starting to hearing noises will maybe the administration should be held responsible for the fact the tsarnaev brothers weren't on a watch list, weren't prevented somehow from doing what they did. >> right. >> woodruff: is the administration responsible? >> i don't think so in this case. they were on one of these gigantic cawch-all lists of i think half a million people or something it's older brother
was. he showed up somewhere. but to filter that down to predict that he's actually going to do somh to filt terdown to actually take him off, deny him certain rights, i think a reasonable person would have to conclude they had no real evidence to put him on that kind of hyper look. i think-- you know, you have 300 million people in this country. it's just hard, even with the gigantic apparatus we have, to track every random, disgruntled 24-year-old-- or whatever he is. >> i couldn't agree more. first of all, the younger brother was an american citizen. the older one was here with legal status. and he was-- they came as refugees. and so we get a warning from the soafes is that a kid from chechnya bears watching. there the russian authorities shisay. not a disinterested party, and certainly not indifferent or
neutral when it comes to chechnya. the f.b.i. did follow up. they did the right thing. you can only keep somebody in that file for 90 thaez. those are the rules. those are the regulations. i tnk they did the right thing. i think they worked well together. the president said a week ago thursday we will bring people to justice and on friday night they were brought to justice. and i think the monday morning quarterbacking at this point is not only unseamly. i think it's unfair. >> woodruff: and russians to some extent viewed as having an axe to grind with what they did. so the george w. bush latest presidential library opened yesterday in dallas. david, pretty rosy fond memories all around. what did you think? >> i'm for opening libraries in the 21st century. iteems like the exotic thing to do. bush's approval ratings are up. he's up to 47%. people like him out of office because he seems like a decent guy. he's not pushing himself on the country with a cause. i think people are feeling more
fondly toward him. i think when you look back on the administration-- iraq, afghanistan, are obviously going to remain polarizing issues. i do think you have to say the security apparatus he created post-9/11 has been endorsed basically by the obama administration. that was a permanent contribution to the country. i personally think he was-- had the potential to be a decent domestic policy president before 9/11 happened and turned him away. i think he was heading in a way the republican party really should be heading, both with immigration reform but also a sort of compassionate conservatism was a kernel of a good idea. and maybe it 9/11 hadn't happened it would have been interesting to see how he developed that. >> woodruff: interesting the distance he puts between himself and his former vice president. >> he did. i thought-- the american people are enormously forgiving, and presidents do look better in the rearview mirror. probably every president has. bill clt was at 39% approval after he pardoned marc rich in 19-- in 2001.
and now, he's the most popular figure in the country. he's done a lot in the intervening 12 years to earn that respect. george w. bush has been a very private former president. twice barack obama won the white house by running against him, in '08 and again in '12. he's never carped. he never cticized. i think that has played well with people. it's hard to look back and say that iraq was anything other than a disaster, and and you can see the shadow and echoes of iraq in the disiks right now as we approach syria or anyplace else-- iran. it's-- you know, that is-- that was a defining moment for this country's foreign policy. >> woodruff: and for his presidenciy? >> yeah, i think it was the poeps-9/11. iraq and afghanistan, it's hard to defend the iraq war as we see it right now. i do think preventing another terror attack, creating that
apparatus, that's on the plus side of the ledger. i'm not sure it will outweigh when history judges but i do think he gets credit for that. >> the one thing i do agree with david with is mitt romney lost in 2012 in large part because he at no point did not show any empathy. by 81-18 voters on election day said barack obama cares more about people like me than mitt romney. and they could have used a large dollop of that compassionate conservatism. it will be interest to see in 2016 if anybody sounds that theme in seeking the republican nomination or seeks his endorsement. bill clt was the defining figure for the democrats in 2012. it was bill clinton's third term that barack obama won to some agree based on that speech and george w. bush was a nawb person. >> woodruff: speak of clinton, he said yesterday he had been called by george w. bush a few times during the second term and
talked about politics, and he said he hoped there was no record of what they said. >> alexander butterfield, where are you when we need you? that would be a great conversation to listen to. >> woodruff: david brooks, mark shields. thank you, both. mark and david keep up the talk opt "double header" posted in our newsroom purpose that will be posted it's rundown later tonight. >> brown: finally tonight, remembering a giant of country music: george jones. >> ♪ just because i ask a friend about her ♪ just because i saw her then went all to pieces ♪ she thinks i still care >> brown: it was that distinctive voice and the ability to convey heart ache and sorrow in song that made george jones a country music legend. he turned out number one singles
in five separate decades and inspired generations of artists, including many of today's stars, to try and replicate his sound. >> well, i'd be lying if i didn't say i would like to be remembered. i hopi amnd i but a few anyhow. >> brown: jones began singing for tips on the streets of his hometown of beaumont, texas at age 11. he first performed at the grand ole opry in 1956, recorded some 150 albums in all. the hard times he sang about often reflected his own hard living. he got the nickname "no show jones" after years of missing concerts while struggling with alcoholism and drug addition. jones was also married four times, most famously, to fellow country superstar tammy wynette. they recorded the 1976 hit "golden ring" 14 months after their divorce. by itself ♪ by itself it's just a cold metallic thing ♪ only love can make a golden wedding ring. ♪
>> brown: one of his best-known songs was the 1980 hit "he stopped loving her today" about a man who carried his love for a woman to the grave. >> ♪ he stopped loving her today they placed areath upon his ♪ door and soon they'll carry him away ♪ he stopped loving her today. >> brown: george jones was 81 years old. he died today in nashville. more about the work and life of george jones. it comes from another well-known country singer and songwriter: larry gatlin. he and his brothers were among country's biggest acts in the '70s and '80s with dozens of hit singles. i spoke with him earlier today. larry gatlin, welcome. what made george jones
distinctive? what made him so important in country music history? >> first of all, he was very unassuming. we all-- you know, all of us said, george, you're the best. and if not the best-- my dear friend coach phillips many years ago, somebody said coach phillips, is earl campbell in a class by himself? and coach phillip said if he's not in ray class by himself it darnure tonight take long to check roll. that's how people felt about george. he just had that-- that-- that edge to his-- the way he phrased things and kind of ♪ go up note note like that. every song i wrote was with george jones sing in my ear. >> brown: it was that much of a direct influence and impact? >> like i said, if he's not in a class by himself, since jones comes before "r" in the alphabet, that would be marty
robbins or "p" for ray price. we can go to the "vs" vince gill. some of those great singers. he is also considered by almost everyone as the best pure country-- and here's what he was. he was the most unassuming. it almost embarrassed him for you to-- for us to fawn over him like we all did. i never worked a lot of shows with him. the brothers and i-- my brothers and sisters sang in a backup group with tammy after george a tam d proaken up. so most of the time i was with him would be backstage at award shows and things. the last show we did with mr. jones was in florida two-- two summers ago at the strawberry festival. i went back, knocked on the bus to go pay my respects. they opened the door and ushered me in. i said, "mr. jones, i came to pay my respects." he said, "larry, you know how much i've always loved you
boys." ah! you know? >> brown: that did it, huh? >> we lived great life. >> brown: we mentioned in the setup some of the hard aspects of that life. in addition to the struggles with alcohol and drugs. he made millions, he lost millions. a lot of that heartache he sang about was real? >> absolute. i mean, you know, people ask me, they say, "are all of your songs personal experiences? i say, "yes. they're not all my personal experiences but they are someone's." and that's what songwriters do. that's what singers do. george jones could sit there and sing the alphabet and makeyou think that he w singing it directly to you, and that's the only song you'd ever really wanted-- ♪ a, b, c, d, e, f, g ♪ and it you would be crying because it was george jones doing what george jones can. we had a lot of funny stories. he drove the tractor downtown.
he finished the lawn and drove it to downtown nashville and sold it for $25. he did have the demons but the last years of his life, miss nancy came in there and i wrote her an e-mail today that you, miss nancy, sweetheart, you gave some wonderful years to my friend's later life. and, yeah, he had demons. we all have demons. but she kind of got him straightened out a little bit. and i think it added to his life-- >> brown: that's his wife. >> absolutely. >> brown: you know, we're all used to these days to the crossover stars, musicians doing a lot of different genres. he really-- he kind of buck that, rit? heust stayed with the style that he himself loved. >> absolutely. he was flattop a flattop guy and black suit and white shirt and black tie. and he just-- you know, he just stood up there and sang like
george jones. i've often said i thought george jones was what-- to country music what frank sinatra was to pop music or tony bennett or johnny mathis. he was a purest. he did what he did, and he let everybody else do what they did. he was the best at it. ke i say, arguably-- here's the deal-- if tiger woods put the golf ball in the hole a the fewest amount of times he wins. that's an objective endeavor. when you start talkin talking ao the greatest singers are, it's subject if everybody could come in. i think if you took a poll, the old possum would be pretty much on the top of that lift almost every time. >> announcer: all right, larry gatlin on the life and music of george jones, thanks so much. >> god bless. thank you. >> woodruff: some nice memories from larry gatlin. >> woodruff: those were some nice memories of a legendary singer. again, the other major developments of the day: the syrians rejected u.s. claims thaey've used chemical weapons against rebel forces.
president obama said the search for conclusive evidence will continue. the u.s. house approved a bill to end furloughs of air traffic controllers and the resulting flight delays. president obama is expected to sign it. and the death toll in the building collapse in bangladesh went over 300, amid fears that time is running out for those still trapped. >> brown: online, we continue the discussion on older entrepreneurs. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: you don't have to be young and crazy to dream up an idea for a successful business. some of the best entrepreneurs put their wisdom and life experience to work. read the truth about seniorpreneurs on our making sense page. in today's lunch in the lab, what to do about space junk in the earth's orbit. scientists gathered this week to address the issue. find out more on our science page. and on art beat, a conversation with jazz saxaphonist charles lloyd. the 75-year-old musician reflects on a life surrounded by music. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for night. on monday, we'll look athe 20th niversary of the holocaust museum.
i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here mondaevening. have a nice weekend. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life.
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. >> rose: welcome to program, we begin this evening with the conversation about the new digital age, reshaping the future of people, nations and business with eric schmidt and jared cohen. >> the fact of the matatter is, you always have new techlogist, we conclude in the book that the empowerment of people is overwhelmingly good from their perspective. you just have to have good answers to the privacy questions, the governance question, the trance national border question. >> we have more visibility into the chance that await us than any other time in history tri, these are really tough problems that await the next 5 billion people, you need every engineer, you need every thoughtful person and everybody who is currently studying and interested in