tv PBS News Hour PBS April 11, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: wall street suffered another day of losses with internet and biotechnology stocks, which not long ago spurred a boom, now driving the declines. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. also ahead, jeffrey brown and poet laureate natasha trethewey travel to mississippi and alabama to find "where poetry lives," and discover how song and verse were instrumental in the civil rights struggle. >> words meant everything. words, music! what's not word? what's not the spoken word? selma and the movement would have been like a bird without
wings. >> woodruff: and it's friday-- mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze the week's news. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> charles schwab, proud supporter of the "pbs newshour." >> and by bnsf railway. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. 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: president obama formally nominated his choice today to be the next u.s. secretary of health and human services. and he praised the woman who's held the job for five years, during the battle over health care reform. >> kathleen will go down in history for serving as the secretary of health and human services when the united states of america finally declared that quality affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these united states of america. ( cheers and applause ) >> woodruff: president obama and a boisterous crowd joined in giving kathleen sebelius a rose garden send-off and defending his affordable care act. sebelius was a popular former governor of kansas when she came to h.h.s. in 2009. but she took heavy criticism
over the calamitous launch of the government website for health insurance enrollment, leading to multiple mea culpas to congress. >> i am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of healthcare.gov, so let me say directly to these americans-- you deserve better. i apologize. >> woodruff: still, her tenure ended on a high note as she announced yesterday that at least 7.5 million americans have now enrolled in the insurance exchanges. >> she's got bumps. i've got bumps, bruises. but under kathleen's leadership, her team at h.h.s. turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done, and the final score speaks for itself. >> woodruff: sebelius herself suggested the opportunity to implement national health reform has been worth it.
>> this is the most meaningful work i've ever been a part of. in fact, it's been the cause of my life. i knew it wouldn't be easy. there is a reason that no earlier president was successful in passing health reform, despite decades of attempts. >> woodruff: to replace sebelius, the president tapped sylvia mathews burwell, head of the office of management and budget. the senate unanimously confirmed her for that job last year, but republican opposition to the health care law could mean a tougher time this go-round. senate minority leader mitch the white house confirmed today that iran's new ambassador to the united nations in new york will not be allowed to enter the united states. a spokesman said the envoy was refused a visa because he was involved in seizing the u.s. embassy in tehran in 1979. denying visas to u.n. diplomats is rare, and iran said the decision was "regrettable". australia's prime minister has
raised new hopes that search teams are closer to finding what remains of malaysia airlines flight 370. visiting china, tony abbott said the signals detected underwater are helping make their search area even more targeted. >> we have very much narrowed down the search area. we're now getting to the stage where the signal, from what we are very confident is the black boxes starting to fade, and we are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires. >> woodruff: air crews dropped more sonar buoys today, but did not pick up any new pings. planes also kept up the visual search for debris on the surface of the indian ocean. investigators in northern california are searching for answers after a fiery truck-bus collision killed ten people yesterday.
many were high school students on a trip to visit a college. explosions could be seen from miles away after a truck veered across a median and slammed into the bus. survivors escaped by breaking through windows. some were in critical condition today. protesters in eastern ukraine held out in two cities today, as a deadline for surrender came and went, without police action. the pro-russian separatists have occupied government office buildings in luhansk and donetsk. they're flying russian flags and calling for a referendum like crimea's. ukrainian prime minster arseny yatsenyuk visited donetsk today and said he's open to political changes. >> ( translated ): the main goal is to satisfy people who want to see more powers given to regions. this can be implemented within the framework of constitutional reforms by abolishing local administration and structures, and passing all powers to executive committees which will be elected by the local population.
>> woodruff: yatsenyuk also warned the protesters they may yet be forced out if they refuse to give up. pope francis took personal responsibility today for catholic priests who sexually molested children, and he begged forgiveness. it was the first such statement by any pontiff over the abuse scandal that now spans two decades. the pope spoke in vatican city to a french catholic network of organizations that protect children's rights. >> ( translated ): i feel compelled to take upon myself all the evil that some priests, quite a few in number, but obviously not so many in relation to the total number of priests, to take upon myself all the evil, and ask forgiveness for the damage they inflicted for the sexual abuse of children. >> woodruff: last month, the pope named some of the first members to a high-level commission to advise him on how to prevent sexual abuse in the church. first lady michelle obama and the vice president's wife, jill biden, pledged new help today for some 5.5 million americans
caring for wounded troops and veterans. former first lady rosalynn carter and former senator elizabeth dole joined in announcing a series of initiatives. they include expanded counseling, job training and financial assistance. president and mrs. obama have released their income tax returns for 2013. they paid just over $98,000 in federal taxes on income of about $480,000. that's an effective tax rate of just over 20%. they donated nearly $60,000 to charity. still to come on the "newshour": what's behind the latest stock market drop; humanitarian crises in syria, south sudan, and elsewhere; the bipartisan backlash against common core school standards; mark shields and david brooks on the week's news; plus, how poetry and song were instrumental to the civil rights movement.
wall street extended its decline today following a major sell-off thursday that included the single worst day for the nasdaq since 2011. the tech-heavy index has dropped more than 8% from the high it reached after the dot-com bust of 2000. today, the nasdaq fell 54 points to close below 4,000 for only the second time this year. the dow jones industrial average lost 143 points to close at 16,026. and the s&p was down 17 at 1,815. there are questions now about whether the long market rally may have hit a wall. hari sreenivasan picks up on that and the specific concerns in tech and biotech. >> sreenivasan: for that, i am joined by hugh johnson, a market analyst who runs his own investment management firm.
first off, what's happening with these tech stocks and maybe more specifically the biotech ones? >> well, if you take a look at market history, you know, what we've had more recently, as judy suggested, is right on, and that is we've gone a long period -- you remember 2013, the market up 30%, nobody expected that. that's a long time for the market to be going up without an adjustment or correction. so i think this all a starts with the basic sort of common-sense perception that this has got to be at least a correction in an ongoing bull market. now, it's a little bit more than that because, you know, if you have stocks going up a straight line, basically, as they did in 2013, they're going to reach levels that are arguably very overvalued and i think this starts really as a valuation issue. really, the prices of stocks got the levels that did not reflect underlying fundamentals, reflected unrealistic growth
rates and started to sell. when some stocks start to go down, it tends to be sort of contagious. it spreads. it makes everybody worried we're going to have a repeat of 2000 or maybe 2008, which is fresh in the minds of just about every investor. so it really starts with valuation. valuation is really, i think, the number one issue. >> so were the tech stocks or biotech more volatile in these valuations? >> yeah, they're really more volatile because the expectation, particularly when you look at the internet stocks, new technology, social media stocks, you can also look at the biotech stocks, they've reached levels that reflected growth rates which are much higher than the wider spred or broader market, reached levels that in my judgment reflected unrealistic prospects for their fundamentals. at the same time that happened, those companies themselves told us the kind of prospects that wall street with expected is not
in the cards and that kind of touched it off. it really was those stocks in particular that reached levels. it was not quite so widespread and, as a result of that, you see the climbing primarily technology, primarily biotechnology and a few other sectors, it spread a little but not a lot. the safer sectors where there's not an earnings problem -- utilities, telecommunications, staples, things like food stocks, household product stocks -- they didn't have anywhere near the decline. it was the so-called high-flyers. >> sreenivasan: is it a correction or the beginning of a bear? >> it's probably only a correction. for you the make the case it's the start of a bear market, you have to make a t case it's a decline in stocks to be accompanied by a recession. i think it's hard to make a case that we have a recession in the
cards for 2014-2015. the consensus forecast for the economy like 2006, 2007, good growth in 2014, even stronger in 2015, when we take a look at things that tell us where things are going, index of leading economic indicators, those indicators tell us they continue to go up, continue to tell us that the economy is going to expand through 2014 and '15. so based on those tea leaves, you have to come to the conclusion we don't know for sure but a conclusion that this is probably a correction and fairly severe one, one that's going to test us in an ongoing bull market, not the start of a bear market that will be accompanied by a recession. >> sreenivasan: hugh johnson. thanks so much. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: we turn now to those whose lives have been upended by war. in syria, more than 6.5 million are displaced inside the
country, many without access to aid, and nearly two million more have fled to neighboring countries. in central africa, new humanitarian crises are emerging in south sudan and the central african republic. all of this as aid groups struggle to deal with harsh and deadly conditions on the ground, as well as a massive shortfall in finances. earlier this afternoon, i spoke to antonio guterres, the former prime minister of portugal and the current united nations high commissioner for refugees, about some of the most pressing issues his organization faces. u.n. high commissioner for refugees, antonio guterres, thank you for joining us. >> pleasure to be here. tell us what the main challenge in syria is there now. >> it's a never-ending conflict. we have the largest displacement
in the world, 6.5 million people displaced inside the country, more than 2.6 million refugees coming into the neighboring countries. and as you can imagine, it's not only a terrible tragedy for the syrians, it's becoming an enormous threat for the stability of the region and a global threat to peace and security. >> reporter: and what is your agency able to do right now for these refugees? >> what we're doing is essentially mobilizing our partners, 125 organizations together with the governments, you know, to try to give shelter, protection, water, food and to put as many children in school as possible, but only one-third of the refugee children are at schools, and to provide healthcare to these people, knowing that whatever we do is not enough, knowing that these people have suffered so much that they deserve from the international community a much stronger solidarity, a much stronger proof that we
understand. >> woodruff: what more do you need now for the syrian refugees? >> we need more support from humanitary organizations but also massive support to the host countries. countries like lebanon, one-forth of its population. the impact of the economy and society and educational systems is huge. the destabilizing impact in relation to the political life of the country is also huge. so massive international solidarity is needed, and let's be honest, the world has not been able to provide to these generous host countries the kind of support they deserve and they badly need at the present moment. >> woodruff: there was a u.n. resolution passed earlier this year to allow more aid into syria. has that made a difference? >> some, but still far from being able to provide enough assistance to the people that either have been displaced by the conflict, and many of them
living outside even worse than the refugees themselves because not only do they not see their needs being addressed, but their insecurity is enormous. we have displaced people inside syria that have moved six, seven times, and the war is coming offcomingafter them. >> woodruff: syria is bad enough but also crises on the african continent. the central african republic, a crisis unfolding where you have christian militia forces attacking muslim civilians trying to leave. what is the latest information you have from there? >> it's exactly that. there was never a religious problem in the south africa republic. it was created by those who tried to manipulate the feelings of the people and the fears of the people, putting christians against muslims and muslims against christians and it is horrible. today you're witnessing the risk
of a religious conflict of the muslims from the western part of the country and the eastern part of the country, a majority muslims, has been apannedded by the state. a terrible humanitarian situation, in a country where the state practically disappeared and is essential to increase security, increasing quickly the number of military police that are there from the african union waiting for the u.n. force to come, and, at the same time, helping the republicans themselves to have a minimum of police and system and help to allow for all the criminals around to be prosecuted, condemned if that is the kay and jailed and not creating anarchy and chaos around the country. >> can money make a difference? it's more than money. it's a strong political commitment to increase security
and that requires more forces on the ground. without more forces on the ground, it will be impossible to present the kind of generalized violence we are witnessing in the central african republic. >> woodruff: another part of the african content, south sudan. i was looking today. more than 280,000 refugees crossing the border with uganda, kenya and ethiopia just since september. this is a crisis affecting a number of countries. >> yes, and it breaks our hearts. i was recently in a small place in south sudan -- >> woodruff: you just came back. >> -- controlled by the opposition. and all of a sudden, two young men came to see me and said, where were you in 2005 in the refugee camp in uganda is this and at that time was when the agreement was signed and we were enthusiastic about going back, and they came back to south sudan and all of a sudden are
displaced again. we were full of hope, full of joy to go back home, wanting to rebuild the country and, now, the truth is the political leadership of the country is in opposition, created a situation where all these people are in a dramatic humanitarian situation with hunger, with all basic needs not being taken care of, and because of the violence, forced to flee again into neighboring countries. >> wha>> woodruff: what is your message for americans and others who are listening who think i would like to help. this is such a big problem, what can i do? and does it make a difference? >> americans have been extremely involved in south sudan. many american volunteers have been working there supporting the people and that is, of course, something we should praise. support, financial support,
humanitarian aid in sudan and in neighboring countries, but political commitment to force the parties to make peace. i think the countries of the region and those that have invested so much, like the u.s., in south sudan need to do everything possible to make sure that this completely stupid war -- there are no different programs, just a struggle for power and the control of resources, that this completely stupid war is ended. >> woodruff: do you look for contributions to the commission, to the refugee work you're doing? >> of course, we badly need support. all our african operations are dramatically underfunded because the attentions are very much on the syrian crisis. but it's support to all u.n. agencies working both inside south sudan and in the countries around. >> woodruff: a massive undertaking and we thank you very much for talking about it
with us. u.n. commissioner for refugees, antonio guterres. >> thank you. this month oklahoma became the latest state to take a big step toward repealing the common core education standards. the oklahoma state senate passed a bill just last week to do so. this, as more than a dozen other states are considering repeal, and still others are reviewing how they use the standards when it comes to teaching and testing. it's a big shift from the broad, and often bipartisan support it seemed to have just a few years ago. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: common core was initiated in 2009 by the nations' governors, seeking national standards for math and english literacy. u.s. secretary of education arne duncan supported the move, spending $350 million to develop common core tests. >> i believe this new generation
of assessment is an absolute game-changer for american education. >> brown: in relatively short order, nearly every state, plus the district of columbia, agreed to create curricula based on the common core guidelines. but more recently, a backlash has begun. last month, indiana became the first state to drop the common core standards it had already adopted. governor mike pence explained the move in an indianapolis radio interview. >> hoosiers should be very proud and take every opportunity to be engaged in the fact that we're the first state in the country that's really going back to the principle that education is a state/local function. >> brown: now, oklahoma and other states are moving to follow indiana's lead. the criticism initially stemmed from republicans leery of federal involvement with some labeling the program "obama- core". pennsylvania congressman john kline chairs the house education committee. >> that's the ultimate fear-- that the federal government does get in the curriculum business
and tells the states what they're supposed to teach. >> brown: there's been criticism on the left as well, particularly over testing requirements. new york's democratic governor andrew cuomo has said execution of the standards was "flawed". >> brown: the program still has its champions, though. one is the republican former florida governor, jeb bush. last sunday on fox news, he made a push for common core. >> if you don't have high expectations, high standards, you're not going to go anywhere. the idea that it's a federal program is based... is just not true. it's just not. it was voluntarily created by governors. >> brown: meanwhile, the repeal move is gathering momentum. it's expected to clear the oklahoma legislature in the next few weeks. and we go to oklahoma now to explore all of this. we're joined by two state representatives, republican jason nelson is co-author of bill to repeal the standards. democrat emily virgin is opposed to such repeal.
representative nelson, why is something that looked good in 2010 no long interest right way to go? >> well, what i think most legislators in oklahoma have looked for in 2010 was higher standards. i think a lot of states struggle with setting high standards and maintaining them, not watering them down over time, and i think the hope in 2010 was that common core would do that for us and, as it turns out, the fordham institute looked at and compared the state's standards against common core and we found out we didn't gain anything but did seek control to an outside entity. so the bill says the state has to maintain a control over its standards, that we're seeking now, but we include higher ed in developing new standards, so the public and legislators voting on the bill have confidence the standards will be higher than what we've had in the past. >> brown: representative virgin, you still countr suppore
common core as voted in earlier. why? and why do you think there i this opposition now? >> i do support the common core as it was voted in with bipartisan support in 2010. i think the opposition is age mainl coming from a -- mainly coming from a lot of fringe groups. unfortunately the republican party in oklahoma is giving in to those groups. when we have school districts across the state like mine in norman that have spend thousands of dollars and spent a lot on professional development implementing these standards over the last three years and this bill would essentially pull the rug out from our teachers and administrators. the problem with this bill right now is that we have a very short period of time to come up with a completely new set of standards, and i don't think that's enough time. i don't think it's fair to the teachers, school districts and students that have spent much time and hard work implementing these high standards. >> brown: jason nelson, this is something we've heard across the country is part of the
backlash is political, that's what happened is turned against common core that was bipartisan at one point. >> well, to say education policy is a political issue is an understatement of the year, certainly in oklahoma. the reality is the people in oklahoma want their kids to get a great education. common core promised that and, quite frankly, didn't deliver. so the state is left to look to another solution, we believe including higher ed and career tech in that process, doesn't just give us a good set of standards but standards that exceed those that have been offered by the common core. so, you know, what was a good idea last year will be a good idea next year in the standards and to the extent school districts have initiated and implemented good practices and standards in line with the common core, we want them to be able to continue that, but to the extent we've imposed on our local school boards and school
districts and educators things that aren't productive in our classrooms and beneficial to kids, we don't want to force them to continue to do that. >> you're rejecting the notion it's fringe groups or outside groups really pushing the agenda here? >> well, there's groups -- what i would say would be from the right and left. there's educators that i know like the common core and there are educators i know that don't like the common core. what the bill seeks to do is put back into the hands of the state board of education the responsibility and authority of developing the standards and, really, reversing the course the legislature took in 2010 when we specified a very specific set of standards. >> brown: emily virgin, to be clear and fair, criticism does come from the left, comes from teachers unions and various sources here. >> absolutely, it does come from both sides. mainly in oklahoma the opposition has come from the right, but i have heard some from the left, also. but i think that's a sign of a good set of challenging
standards is that we're seeing some opposition from both sides. we still haven't heard anything concrete as to what is wrong with these standards, and i have never seen any type of evidence that says that they're not working. we know that we can't go back to what we were doing before because that wasn't working, and this was put together by a group of governors and educators who are involved in the process, and these are higher standards that will make sure that students in oklahoma measure up to the rest of the country and that they don't have to rely on remedial courses when they enter college. >> brown: jason nelson, that's one of the questions here. you're talking about high standards. common core talks about high standards. one of the things you hear is this is just kind of a rebranding. okay, don't call it common core, now it's going to be oklahoma common core. >> in fact, that's already happened. i think it was last year the governor by executive order said that the standards would be referred to as oklahoma academic standards and, again, if a set
of standards and the practice of teaching is a good idea today, it will be a good idea tomorrow and we would want teachers to continue to do that, but we want educators and parents in the business community and in our career tech system to be able to develop those standards and that was not the case totally last time. there was a national testing consortium oklahoma was a part of and common core was developed by a group from outside the state. i think oklahomans are capable of developing standards where educators, parents, anybody who's interested can goat involved and make sure the standards represent the aspirations of oklahoma families, businesses and educators. >> brown: if this goes down, emily virgin, what do you think will be the implications for students in oklahoma? because part of the impetus of this, of course, was to make sure some states don't fall behind. >> correct, and students in oklahoma will not be able to be measured with the rest of the country that have adopted these standards. that was one of the big bonuses
of the common core. we've got standards will be the same across the country. we would be able to measure ourselves against other states and against students in other states and we won't be able to do that if we pull out of the common core. oklahoma will also have a really hard time if we adopt really different from common core, we'll have a hard time finding textbooks, curriculum and professional development for our teachers who have already implemented this in their classrooms. >> brown: briefly, are you expecting it to be repealed, in fact? >> that's yet to be determined. we passed a bill in the house and then it went to the senate and became pretty different than what we passed in the house, and we're expectinghat to go to conference committee, so we may have to wait until the last few weeks of session and i think that's just not fair to our students and educators who are relying on a consistent set of standards. >> brown: all right, we'll watch what happens in your state and others, representatives
jason nelson and emily virgin of oklahoma, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome. so we're going to talk about common core in a minute, but, mark, i want to start with what everybody's been talking about today and that is kathleen sebelius out as secretary of health and human services after the big brouhaha over healthcare reform. what's her legacy? >> well, first of all, let me admit up front, kathleen sebelius has been a personal friend for 46 years, i've known her. i like her. i have not talked to her about this, but part of her legacy, in a strange way, is a washington story nobody really talks about and that is -- bob gates did in his book -- and that is each succeeding white house brings more and more power to the white house. cabinet officials become
essentially figureheads to a great degree, i mean, state probably less than others. i've thing is micromanaged from the white house. the idea that the healthcare plan, the biggest initiative of this administration, the most historic action was not going to be managed by the white house was just absolutely -- it just couldn't be true. they were on it and in it up to their eyebrows so, when it went wrong, somebody had to take the hit, and that was kathleen sebelius. she took it. she was secretary of h.h.s., stepped up manfully, to use a bad add verb, she took responsibility, accountability, apologized, and if it works -- because the rule is very simple, anything that goes right the president gets credit. anything that goes wrong, it goes to someone else. if this works out and healthcare turns out the way supporters and
many americans want it to, all credit goes to president obama. fit doesn't, kathleen will be blamed, fairly or unfairly. >> will she get some of the credit, though, david, if this works out in the long, long run? >> i guess so. if it works out in the long, long run. we remember perkins who was instrumental in passing social security and she gets credit for that. if it works out in the long run, and i'm skeptical, she will get some credit. mark's right. i haven't been thrilled the way the president off-loaded blame during the whole web page fiasco. i think he public lig should not have done that. i think he should have taken it on himself as a leadership technique. it's fair to say a couple of things. sometimes to move an organization, you have to be a
dynamo and it seems she was that. also true, secretary do not run their agencies. the agencies run agencies and the secretary can only run what's going on. it was always going to be hard to get government workers not silicone valley tech geeks to start up a pretty ambitious web site and, so, i'm a little less down on her than is the common currency right now in washington. >> i would take exception with david in the sense that, i mean, i'm sure david talks to a lot of people. i think that kathleen got high marks from the kind of cliques in the cabinet in washington. the people whom i know and i respect, whose performance i respect were high on kathleen. the people who worked for her were fiercely loyal and very committed and kind of emotional. she was twice elected as a democratic governor of kansas,
the reddest of the republican states, and one of the five best governors in the country, according to "time magazine." she was a person of considerable accomplishment when she came here and key to barack obama. without barack obama -- when hillary clinton became the woman candidate in 2007, kathleen sebelius was one of the few major women office holders who endorsed barack obama. >> now they've named another woman, david, sylvia burwell running off the budget management to take her place. does this allow the administration to get a fresh start with healthcare? >> i don't think the changeover of the cabinet secretary will change anybody's opinion. it strikes me as a good choice. burwell overcame disadvantages, went to harvard, got a scholarship, but decide those disadvantages, she's done well (laughter) she's worked through the clinton and obama, and has sterling reputation for intelligence, policy knowledge, experience and
management implementation skills. so if you walked around the obama white house looking for people with the top reputations, she certainly would be among them. >> i think it was a good choice, put the republicans, who made obamacare and affordable care act their senate piece on what they stand for -- and that's it, they stand for opposition to it -- it's going to be tough to oppose her voted 96-0 to confirm her. >> woodruff: unanimous. that's right. it was going the be tough to oppose her. it's not a new start, but you don't have the face there any longer you can blame and use as a target i politically. you can't blame her. >> woodruff: this week we also observed the anniversary of another big, big piece of legislation, the 1964 civil rights act. the whole week we've heard a lot about it. how do you believe the civil cil rights act changed this country? >> it's one to have the greatest pieces of legislation of the
20th century, aside of the legal effect on how we enforce laws, it sent a marker of discrimination of all sorts was not going to be tolerated and, of course, it's been an imperfect journey along that route, but the intellectual shift happened with that law and the people who are motivated by unfairness were on the defensive and it accelerated the increasing fairness of society. the one thing i've said about the coverage of it, seems to me a little politically heavy, a little l.b.j. heavy. some of the momentum, to me a crucial event was the march on washington. when phillip randolph initiated the march, there was opposition from civil rights groups. only after birmingham that you got momentum behind this. to pass legislation, it helps to have a gigantic social movement
first and hard to do it without it. >> woodruff: out in the country. >> walter of the united workers was the organizer, architect and producer of that. but it was trance formational, the civil rights act. i was there the night it passed the senate in 1964. >> woodruff: you were there in the -- >> i was. 1965, way down the predicate, it changed, judy, that an african-american family could go into mcdonald's and buy a hot dog or hamburger or whatever. it was federal law that there was discrimination in movie theaters and bus stations, in transportation, in hotels, motels. that changed. but 65 was the key. that was the voting. >> woodruff: the voting. that was actual power at the polling place, and to me that was the key. without '64, you would never get to '65. and lyndon johnson was central.
he was dominant, make no mistake about it. he was a man like all of us with faults, but he was a legislature/executive unmatched. >> woodruff: 49 years later we're still talking about voting rights. as mark said, david, the law that passed the year after the civil rights. >> right. >> woodruff: what's the main unrealized promise of both those pieces of legislation? >> well, it's the inequality of the commissions this many years after the civil rights, african-americans still have lower graduation and incomes. there are still inequalities, and not only of opportunities but defined along racial lines, and that's a remaining challenge and more a challenge of economic opportunity and social policy, less of some of the legal stuff. but it remains a core stain on our society is the color of skin
is really an advantage or disadvantage to you during the course of your life. >> i agree with what david said. i add that colin powell put it bluntly when he spoke in north carolina to a group of businessmen, on the restrictive voter i.d. law, he says there is no voter fraud, there is none. and all the voter i.d. laws that have been passed since the supreme court decision last year limiting the voting rights act are intended for one purpose and that's to suppress non-white voters, and that remains a part of unfinished business in our politics. >> woodruff: when we're talking about voting, and it's this year, of course the mid-term election 2016, it's never too soon to talk about that. two prominent maybe candidates, former florida governor jeb push repeating his support for immigration reform and the common core which we heard jeff's conversations about. conservatives juferred on him. what does that mean in do you think he's going to run?
what's your thinking about jeb bush? >> i personally don't think he'll run, just a guess, based on no knowledge, simply because he's not shown intense desire in the past. i've never seen a candidate where that intense desire flowers in middle age. you're born with it or something. i think he's right on both subjects and reminiscent of where his brother was and where the republican party used to be not too long ago in support of common core write much higher than state standards and in support of an immigration policy. it's harder than when his brother was in for the republican party. >> there are five minutes to midnight conservativities and five minutes to sunrise conservatives. to midnight, bad to worse. to sun rise are things are bad but will get better. jeb bush is very much in the second category in the republican party and especially the congressional party is
overloaded with five minutes to midnight conservatives. they're hoping obamacare implods and things get worse and unemployment rises. i think in that sense he brings something to the race that it desperately needs. there's one number to look at to decide whether he runs. he has billion a 40-inch waist. if it goes to 38, i'll say he'll run. >> then he'll be a 5:00 somewhere conservative. >> woodruff: hillary clinton, the other possible presidential candidate had a shoe thrown at her, mark, in las vegas yesterday. she ducked. what does it say about her character? >> she handled it superbly. quite a few unscripted moments in politics. one was yesterday. she showed humor, grace and a certain self-deprecating quality. >> throw a flip plop, not a big shoe. throw something challenging.
>> woodruff: looked like a heavy shoe. >> throw something symbolic, not to hurt anybody. >> woodruff: you guys are both a cirque du soleil every week. david brooks, mark shields, thank you. >> woodruff: finally, the power of words in the fight for civil rights. this week, we've explored the legacy of monumental moments in the country's struggle toward equality, from marian anderson's historic performance on the steps of the lincoln memorial to landmark legislation spearheaded by president lyndon johnson. tonight, jeff continues his travels with u.s. poet laureate natasha trethewey to discover "where poetry lives," this time to her native mississippi and ending with a march in selma, alabama. (singing)
>> it was a journey of memory including the painful one of killing medgar evers in the driveway of his mississippi home in 1963. >> to me you're standing on hall load ground. >> this day his widow, daughter and others paid honor. >> this one man gave his blood to help free not just our people but a nation. we're grateful. >> brown: it was a journey of language, the power of words to move a nation. >> if i could have your attention -- >> brown: the annual civil rights pilgrimage founded 40 years ago to commemorate key
events from the rear and bring politicians from both sides of the aisle together from activists from then and now. this year poet laureate natasha trethewey and i joined in for that turned out to be a deeply personal experience for her. natasha grew up in mississippi the daughter of a black mother and white father. >> i feel like i grew up in sort of the intersection between several war history, civil rights history and then that moment into which it was born and it is the scaffolding that holds up all the things i'm concerned about as a poet. commit commitment to social justice undergirds my poems. >> brown: more than three days, more than 100 participants traveled by bus to the mississippi delta. clarksdale on to jackson and into alabama for a march in selma. in jackson, they visited a an
historically black liberal arts school founded by christian missionaries for freed slaves. >> people gathered after the assassination of medgar evers -- >> brown: they heard from dr. king one of the organizers of the 1964 freedom summer who delivered the sermon at the if you recall for james cheney, andrew goodwin and others murdered nearby that summer. >> the angels gathered -- >> brown: natasha read a poem based on witnessing a cross burning on her family's lawn. >> we tell the story every year how we peered with from the windows, shades drawn, though nothing really happened. the charred grass now green again. we peered from the windows, shades drawn, at the cross trussed like a christmas tree, the charred grass still green. then we darkened our rooms, lit
the hurricane lamps. at the cross, trussed like a christmas tree, a few men gathered, white as angels in their gowns. we darkened our rooms and lit hurricane lamps. the wicks trembling in their fonts of oil. >> brown: afterwards, natasha and reverend king talked about poetry's role in the movement. >> do you think of poetry? i think i certainly do see it as another kind of -- another norm form of sacred language. >> it's there, and in the music of the freedom songs, we could hold on to each other. we could express our fears together that we could never quite say out loud. i'm afraid, but i'll go ahead. >> right. but we could sing we're not afraid because we were. so music is a form of -- a poetic form of telling the truth.
♪ we shall overcome >> brown: in jackson down the street from the state capitol, there was a service at the galloway united methodist church, one time a segregationest congregation who lost many members when it opened doors to blacks in 1967. house majority leader eric cantor was one of the republican representatives who made the trip. in his case for a second time. >> i think it increases the sensitivity for all of us to never ever again allow something like this and the hatred that produced the civil rights movement for the struggle for justice to make sure that we continue that fight and not ever allow that hatred to come back in. >> brown: the state of mississippi, in fact, is currently building two museums about its history with a focus on civil rights.
♪ hallelujah... ♪ >> brown: but william winter spoke of more troubled times. >> we wasted 20 years, and i apologize to the people of mississippi for not having asserted more leadership. you freed us, too. >> brown: the last day of the pilgrimage was spent in selma, alabama. one sign of the enormous changes here, terri sewell, the first black val kick torian of selma high and now the state's first black congresswoman. for her, this trip wasn't so much about memory as legacy. >> old battles are new, progress is always elusive. it's important we never forget what happened on this bridge and that we are ever vigilant in fighting for the right to vote. (singing) >> brown: 49 years ago, the brown chapel served as a starting point for the 1965
selma to montgomery marchs for voting rights. john lewis described what would become known as bloody sunday when police used billy clubs and tear gas against the 600 marchers who crossed the edmund pettus bridge. >> i thought i was going to die. >> brown: we talked after the service. i was listening to you inside talking about what happened here 49 years ago. it sounds like it's fresh memories to you. >> there's not any way that i can forget what happened here 49 years ago. it's just as fresh as the morning dew. >> brown: fresh as -- just as fresh as the air we breathe here in alabama. i grew up not too far from here. >> brown: how important was language and words to what happened in these marchs? >> words meant everything. words, music. without words, without the
spoken word, selma and the movement would have been like a bird without wings. >> brown: there were more words and music a as this year's pilgrimage concluded with a march over the bridge. when we first talked about the project, this event is the first you told me about. >> for me it had to do with my own work, my own poems, but in a larger sense what i think about the necessity for american poetry in general and that is for a kind of recording of our cultural moment and to record the history of a people. (singing) >> brown: as the pilgrimage came to an end, john lewis on a bullhorn neary he was beaten nearly half a century ago told the crowd the movement continues today. >> woodruff: online, you can watch the full reading of natasha's poem, "incident," and read her reflections from the
trip. that's on our poetry page. again, the major developments of the day: stocks fell again, with the nasdaq down another 50 points, or more than 1%. the dow industrials lost 140 points. and the white house confirmed iran's new ambassador to the u.n. will be barred from entering the country because of his role in seizing the u.s. embassy in iran in 1979. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen has been preparing for "washington week ," which airs later this evening. here's a preview. the president's point person on healthcare steps down. what challenges will her successor inherit? plus the debate over inequality, political dynasties and the civil rights act 50 years later. tonight on washington week. judy >> woodruff: tomorrow's edition of pbs newshour weekend looks at cities turning to private companies to collect court fees, and people being jailed for not paying. correspondent john calros frey profiles the experience of one family, the fugatts in
childersberg, alabama-- who found themselves in trouble after getting minor traffic violations. >> reporter: fugatt says he did the best he could to pay off his family's fines, but says when he couldn't continue to pay and he and his wife missed at least one court date, they were arrested and jailed. >> i felt completely like a criminal. i mean, i didn't sell drugs. i didn't break into anyone's home. i didn't kill anybody. i had an expired tag. >> reporter: so you and your wife were found not guilty of the traffic violations, but still you were being arrested. >> we were being arrested, yes. i was very upset, very angry >> reporter: they were released several hours later when a relative paid a portion of what they owed. >> reporter: that incident contributed to the fugatt's decision to become part of a lawsuit against judicial corrections services and the town of childersberg. the suit alleges that incarcerating people who can't pay their fines violates the constitution. >> woodruff: and we'll be back, right here, on monday. jeff reports from myanmar for a
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: >> at bae systems, our pride and dedication show in everything we do; from electronics systems to intelligence analysis and cyber- operations; from combat vehicles and weapons to the maintenance and modernization of ships, aircraft, and critical infrastructure. knowing our work makes a difference inspires us everyday. that's bae systems. that's inspired work. >> i've been around long enough to recognize the people who are out there owning it. the ones getting involved,
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this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and susie gharib. bad end to a rough week, the nasdaq closes below the key 4,000 level. and the s&p has its worst weekly drop since january 2012. leaving many investors wondering whether the bull market is still intact. big miss, j.p. morgan the first major bank to report earnings, what hurt the bottom line into the first quarter and will it continue into the second? and the crisis widens, new general motors raising questions about what ceo mary barra may have known about the recalled cars, this is "nightly busines