tv PBS News Hour PBS November 6, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: republican governor chris christie wins big in new jersey while democrat terry mcauliffe squeaks by in the race to lead virginia. plus, several major cities welcome newly-elected mayors. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this wednesday, the supreme court tackles issues of church and state in a dispute over the prayers that begin one new york town's council meetings. >> ifill: and imagine life where your ears never stop ringing. for millions of americans and a growing number of combat veterans, there is no sound of silence.
>> it would last maybe a day, sometimes three days, and then it would go away. and then one day, it just started and never >> ifill: 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: >> my customers can shop around; see who does good work and compare costs. it can also work that way with healthcare. with united healthcare, i get information on quality ratings of doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me and my guys make informed decisions. i don't like guesses with my business and definitely not with our health. that's health in numbers. united healthcare. >> bnsf. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more
just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> 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: voters and political experts alike spent this day absorbing the results of the off-year elections of 2013. the races were marked by low voter turnout, but the winners claimed bragging rights and mandates all the same. >> ifill: both parties scored wins, and several of the nation's major cities made big breaks with the past. some of the results also have implications that could reach all the way to the white house. voters in two eastern states
rendered a split decision tuesday in high profile governors' races. in new jersey, republican chris christie scored a 22-point re- election victory in a mostly democratic state, boosting his possible presidential hopes in 2016. he touted his ability to overcome partisan divisions and challenged congress to do the same. >> now listen, i know that if we can do this in trenton, new jersey, maybe the folks in washington, d.c., should tune in their tvs right now, see how it's done. ( cheers and applause ) >> ifill: in virginia, democrat terry mcauliffe scored a narrow three-point win, replacing republican bob mcdonnell. he, too, struck a bipartisan tone. >> i understand that emotions are raw. i have been there, i get it. so, while i promise you tonight that i will be a governor for all virginians, the real test is
my actions when i take office. i expect you to hold me to my pledge to work with both sides. >> ifill: republican ken cuccinelli, a social conservative in the tea party mold, fell short, but he reassured supporters that their message had been heard. >> the more virginians see their liberty eroded through a bigger government and an out-of-control health care law, which is the leading example of it right now, the more brightly-- not the less brightly-- the more brightly that flame of liberty is going to burn in virginia. that's why this battle is not over with this race. >> ifill: another tea party candidate was defeated in alabama's first congressional district, where bradley byrne beat out fellow republican dean young. election day also featured a series of big city races. in new york, bill de blasio became the first democrat elected mayor since 1989,
thrashing republican joe lhota by nearly 50 points. >> tackling inequality isn't easy; it never has been and it never will be. the challenges we face have been decades in the making. the problems we set out to address won't be solved overnight. but make no mistake, the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it together as one city. >> ifill: voters in bankrupt detroit threw their support behind mike duggan, the city's first white mayor in 40 years. >> i think mike duggan's got a plan to get the city back together. >> ifill: duggan campaigned on his experience saving detroit's largest hospital system and promised to help the struggling city find its way back to financial health. >> if you vote for me, the record is turning things around, getting them fixed. and we can get this city going in the right direction. >> ifill: in boston, martin walsh won the race to succeed outgoing mayor tom menino, who'd held the office for 20 years. voters around the country also
used direct initiatives to make their voices heard. in washington state, a measure to require the labeling of genetically-modified food was defeated, and an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the seattle suburb of seatac was on its way to approval. official results will not be certified until later this month. in colorado, voters agreed to a 25% tax on recreational marijuana, but they balked at raising income taxes to expand school funding. tuesday's voting also sounded the likely death knell for the houston astrodome. it may be headed for demolition after supporters lost on a bond proposal to convert it to a convention site. >> woodruff: for more on the contests in virginia and new jersey, we turn to jonathan martin of the "new york times." he joined me a short time ago from their newsroom. jonathan martin, welcome. and let's start with virginia since that's a state that's
lately been reflecting the way the whole country goes. terry mccauliffe, former democratic party chair, takes the governor's seat away from the republicans. what-- what were the voters saying here? >> well, i think they're saying that they want somebody in virginia who is more of a centrist than a movement conservative. virginia has always been a state that rewards moderation in its politicians. what has changed though in recent years the center has moved. it was traditionally a center-right state and now it's a pretty firm centrist state, and frankly in presidential election year it's center even at a shade to the left. i think the message here is that they want to have governors who are going to focus on kitchen table issues-- jobs, roads, schools, those kinds of things. and they found terry mccauliffe to be somebody who would do that.
>> woodruff: how did mcauliffe do it? which voters did he end up winning over? >> the key for terry mccauliffe was northern virginia. it's a third of the state's votes. the population hubs of fairfax, arlington, alexandria, prince william county, and he did very well there. he did especially well among women and among that subset, among unmarried women. and that you can chalk up to the fact that he ran a very aggressive tv ad campaign. as anybody who lives in the washington, d.c. area knows, focusing on his opponent's views on issues like abortion rights and contraception. and i think that's what really helped him, helped terry mccauliffe with women in northern virginia. you know, it's a very diverse state, and it's got elements that are basically aplatchia. it's got elements that are basically, the northeast, and it's got elements that are very much like the south, and the key, though, is that the population center is entirely in
the suburban, centrist progressive part of the state, and that's where terry mccauliffe cleaned up. >> woodruff: of course the man he defeated went out saying the tea party had sent a message in this campaign. contrast that with the kind of campaign republican chris christie ran in new jersey. >> reporter: well real fast in virginia let's give ken cuccinnia credit. he was outspent 10 to one, largely abandoned by his own party, and erased what most thought would be a landslide a much more competitive race than the polls indicated. in new jersey, judy, you saw somebody who, in chris christie, who is a politician that has what is very clear a remarkable hold on the voters of his state. this is a republican running in a very democratic state. a state that has not gone for a republican presidential nominee since 1988, and governor chris
christie won in a landslide. why did he do that? i think a part of it is because he had a bit of a halo after his response to super storm sandy a year ago. his-- his response to that was widely praised in his state. i think it's also because he had a forceful person expalt seen as somebody who is willing to get things done in trenton, not always a place where there is much that happens productively. and i think that, that trumped the traditional ideological challenges for republicans in new jersey. >> woodruff: he was a republican who ended up appealing to a lot of democratic voters. >> he sure did. if you look at the exit data he won a lot of democratic voters. he actually won the very people that his party's having trouble with on the national level-- african americans, hispanics, women. his people are very much aware of that and were going all out last night for just those demographic inroads because obviously he wants to try making a case that he perhaps in 2016
could take that kind of strength on to the national scene. >> woodruff: and that's what people are going to be continuing to watch him for. >> yes, indeed. >> woodruff: all right, jonathan martin, the "new york times," thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: we'll turn to the results in the mayor's races, right after the news summary. the supreme court returned today to the long-standing debate over the overlap of religion and government. the justices heard about the town council in greece, new york, opening meetings with a prayer. a lower court ruled against the practice because nearly all the prayers were christian. we'll have more on the history of the case and the day's arguments later in the program. the number of americans living in poverty is higher than the official census count by some three million people. the obama administration reported today that the real figure is 49.7 million americans, based on a new way of measuring. the higher number takes into account out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses that drive more people below the poverty line.
the obama administration's top health official told congress today that delaying implementation of the new health care law is "not an option." kathleen sebelius, the health and human services secretary, said even with web site problems, there's still "plenty of time" to enroll. we'll have highlights of her appearance later in the program. secretary of state john kerry scrambled today to revive stalled peace talks between israel and the palestinians. he met with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, and then palestinian president mahmoud abbas in the west bank town of bethlehem. and he said israel's settlement building is a major stumbling block. >> we consider now, and have always considered, the settlements to be illegitimate. and i want to make it extremely clear that at no time did the
palestinians in any way agree as a matter of going back to the talks that they somehow condone or accept the settlements. >> woodruff: netanyahu answered by accusing the palestinians of creating "artificial crises" to avoid facing tough decisions. >> anxious scientisteds have foundest that yasser arafat may have died of poisoning. al jazeera reported on the swiss team's testing of soil and bone samples taken from arafat's grave. it said the results moderately support the idea that the cause of death of poloanium 210, a deadly radioactive substance. arafat died nifrench military hospital in 2004. carbon dioxide levels hit a record high in 2012, and they're still climbing. the u.n. weather agency reported today the heat-trapping gas measured more than 393 parts per million.
that's 50 points higher than the level some scientists and environmental groups consider safe. carbon dioxide stays in the air for 100 years or more, locking in the likelihood that temperatures will rise. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 128 points to close above 15,746. the nasdaq fell nearly eight points to close just under 3,932. still to come on the newshour: the challenges ahead for yesterday's newly elected mayors; arguments over the balance of church and state before the supreme court; that ringing sound in millions of americans' ears; more questions about the troubled roll-out of health care reform; and new details on the trove of masterpieces found in a munich apartment. >> ifill: now, back to what voters had to say at the polls
yesterday. three big cities voted for big change, electing new mayors in detroit, boston and new york. for a look at the new faces and what they tell us about urban policy and politics, we turn to: bruce katz, director of the metropolitan policy program at the brookings institution; and emily badger, writer for the atlantic cities, a web site that covers urban affairs. in a nutshell, briewrks give me a sense of what these three races tell you about the direction of urban politics and policy. >> i think all these elections were about people who were able to get through to the voters and say, "we want our cities to work for everyone." because, frankly, we're still experiencing the aftermath of the great recession. we've got to grow jobs. you just had this report on poverty numbers. the number of people in poverty and near poverty went up 26 million people in the last decade. so mayors are on the ground. they're close to the ground, and what they're hearing from voters is we need work on jobs, we need
work on skills, we need work on housing and giving people access to opportunity. and these folks were able to get that message across. >> ifill: emily badger, it sounds a little like a cliche but is change a common theme in cities like new york, boston, and detroit. >> change is definitely a huge story out of new york. it's a huge story out of boston, in a large part because we're seeing this dramatic changing of the guard of who is sitting in this mayor's seat. bill beblawsio will be replacing michael bloomberg. the story is more dramatic in boston. where the mayor has been sitting in that job 20 years. i think there are a lot of people in boston with political ambition who have been waiting a long time for him to retire to have a changing of the guard there. what we're seeing is also the continuation of the departure of some mayors who have been on the scene for a very long time. this dates back to chicago with mayor daly. we've seen this early in the year in los angeles. i mean, this is sort of like an
opportunity to see some fresh faces in some of the largest cities in america where we've had the exact same people in charge for a very long time. >> ifill: i think tom menino is 24 years older than the guy replacing him. i want to go back to detroit. that's the one that is not like the other two. it is a city under stress, quite dysfunctional and on the brink of bankruptcy. >> and i think what happened in detroit is they basically hired a problem solver, someone with deep roots in the corporate, civic, and medical community, and that's how detroit is going to come back. it's going to come back from these anchor institutions. you already see it in the downtown, along the woodward corridor, and the midtown. they really elected someone who seems like he's got the experience and the expertise to grow jobs, give people access to opportunity, in an otherwise fiscally challenged, very dysfunctional class. >> ifill: a majority of blacks elects the first white mayor in 40 years, and that's because
what, pragmatism trumps all? >> well, i think this is really the story of cities, particularly today as the federal government is absent, pragmatism trumps party, place trumps party, collaboration trumps conflict because most of these mayors come in. they've got to convene other stakeholders in their city and in the region, work with their governors to get stuff done. >> ifill: emilie, i want to go to new york because the interesting thing about bill deblasio is he is an old fashioned liberal. he's the guy with the sandinistas. he's unapologetic which is a big difference from mike bloomberg. >> the most interesting contrast in the new york race was not the contrast between bill deblasio and joe lhota. it's between bill deblasio and mike bloomberg. he built his campaign saying i
will be the guy who will tackle the one thing people have been criticizing michael bloomberg for, and that is not paying attention to post, not paying attention to the poor, not focusing enough on the fact that all this great prosperity in new york is leaving a lot of people behind. >> ifill: not paying attention to the outer boroughs. the last time we saw a victory celebration in brooklyn. >> right, right. bill de blasio was adamant about the fact he is the progressive. he what happy to wear that mantle. i don't think it it he will be the type of liberal from 20 or 30 years ago. he's not going to take us back to the 1980s, the early 1990s as a lot of critics have sort of claimed. he is pragmatic as well, in addition to being a progressive, ching he's going to have to prove to some of his critics in the coming months, in the coming years. but this is a really sort of dramatic change in the direction, and i think what we saw was voters sort of demanding that change in direction in new york.
>> ifill: marty walsh in boston, elected with a lot of outside help from labor. >> sure. >> ifill: old-fashioned democratic constituencies, including really digging into the latino and black vote. >> well, boston is changing, like all cities are changing. they're really becoming majority-minority. they're just ahead of the entire country. so for mayors to succeed, they have to build these multicultural, multiethnic, multiracial coalitions. and that's what i think walsh was able to do. he does build on a very solid legacy of mayor menino. menino was in to affordable housing, children and fleernlg and the innovative economy before a lot of other mayors. there's a solid platform for him to build on but he was able to do it in this very expansive ways. >> ifill: i wonder if the common theme isn't that they all are interested in e e eonomic recoveries in different degrees. >> one of the things that's so interesting to me thinking about what's common is all of the
three winning candidates were elected by broad coalitions of different kind of people-- by low-income people, by high-income people, by different races biesh different age groups. and i think that really sort of says something about both the mandate that they're going to have going forward but also the idea that the issues that they're speaking to are not necessarily ideological issues. they're these very sort of fundamental issues about education in boston bsort of financial situation in detroit, about economic inequality in new york, that are really, you know, kind of speaking to a large swath of people. displiefl and these are issues that fundamentally play out in cities and localities, not in the federal government. >> well, cities are the engines of our economy, with their suburban areas. theatre centers of trade and investment, and they're really on the front lines of this demographic children environmental change. they can't duck. they can't be absent. you can't shut them down. they're close to the ground. they're close to these challenges. so we're seeing a level of pragmatism playing out
yesterday, but also-- what we're also seeing in cities in metros they're the vanguard of policy innovation and this corporate, civic, public partnership that is really powering places forward. there's a lot that cities can teach washington, frankly, about how to keep your eyes on the main challenges we have in this country. >> ifill: bruce katz of the brookings institution, emily badger of the atlantic cities, thanks very much. >> woodruff: the arguments before the supreme court today centered on the separation of church and state. justices are considering whether municipal governments are violating the constitution and endorsing religion by opening their sessions with prayer. we begin our coverage with a version of a report that originally aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." contributing correspondent tim o'brien has the story.
>> the august 20, 2013, meeting of the greece town board will now come to order! >> reporter: ever since john auberger was elected town supervisor 15 years ago in greece, new york, a predominantly catholic suburb of rochester, the town has begun its monthly meetings with a prayer. >> for the benefit of all greece and mankind in general, we offer these prayers. >> reporter: on this evening last august, the prayer was offered by tom lynch, an adherent of the bahai faith. >> oh thou, oh kind lord, this gathering is turning to thee. >> reporter: it was auberger's idea. >> it's important from primarily a historical perspective. our founding fathers believed in the right for us to pray and have that freedom of expression in prayer, and that's what we offer here today in 2013 in the town of greece. >> reporter: but the founding fathers also drafted the first amendment, prohibiting the government from establishing religion-no state sponsored church.
two greece residents-- linda stephens, an atheist; and susan galloway, who is jewish-- say for any governing body to begin its sessions with such prayers violates that first amendment ban. >> i think for the protection of government, as well as for the protection of religion, they need to be separate. i think when government gets involved in religion, it corrupts religion. and i think when religion gets involved with government, it can corrupt government. >> reporter: a federal appeals court in new york sided with galloway, noting that roughly two-thirds of the prayers offered contained references to jesus christ, jesus, "your son" or the "holy spirit." >> greece is opening its meetings with a presentation that is uniquely christian in an environment where people have come to petition the government. from the time the prayer practice started in 1999, up until the end of 2007-- an eight-year time period-- they had nobody but christian clergy. >> reporter: the lower court
found that of more than 130 prayers offered, only four had been offered by non-christians. the impact of all this is unclear given that hardly anyone ever shows up at these board meetings. the number of spectators rarely exceeds the number of board members. the most consistent spectator may be susan galloway, who for years has shown up with her video camera to document the proceedings. attorney khan took the unusual step of including links to galloway's video in the electronic version of the brief she filed with the court, allowing the justices to instantly view what the lower court found to be an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. >> blessed are you who has raised up the lord jesus. >> reporter: that the message is predominantly christian should be of no concern, says supervisor auberger, because anyone can give the prayer and say whatever they plplplse. >> if anyone at any time during my 15-and-a-half years as supervisor were to come and want
to be able to offer the prayer, then we would have definitely obliged them. >> reporter: you don't censor or control anything that they say? >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: what if somebody were to come in and say, "believe in jesus or you're going to burn in hell forever"? >> well, we believe in again diversity to be able to pray, to say the prayer in a manner that that individual decides. >> reporter: the obama administration is siding with the town of greece in the case, telling the court legislative prayer is permissible even with religious content, so long as it does not proselytize or advance any one, or disparage any other, faith or belief. the administration relies heavily on a 1983 supreme court ruling allowing state legislatures to hire chaplains to offer invocations at the start of their legislative sessions. both the u.s. senate and the house routinely begin their sessions with prayer. >> woodruff: now, jeffrey brown is here to examine what happened during today's arguments.
>> brown: and with me, of course, is marcia coyle of the "national law journal," who was, as always, paying close attention in the courtroom this morning. welcome back, marcia. >> thanks, jeff. >> brown: this is an area the court has wrestled with for a long time, right, how much religion or prayer to allow in official settings. >> absolute, jeff. this country has a very long and strong religious tradition, and there are those in our country who feel there ought to be more government accommodation of religion in the public square, and also those who believe that there should be a high wall separating church and state. and it's-- the supreme court struggles with trying to find the line that can accommodate both and give meaning to the establishment clause in the first amendment. >> brown: all right, the establishment clause, the key thing that they're looking at right. >> yes. >> brown: here it is: that's come into play in school
prayer, in a case like this, a lot of cases. >> nativity scenes, 10 commandment monuments on public brownd. the court has come up with a number of tests for establishment clause violations, and none of those tests appear to satisfy all of the justices at any one time. >> brown: another speaking of the justices, today the town of greece, as we saw in that piece comes to court having lost at the lower appeals level. what did their lawyer argue and what would he meet up with in the justices? >> their lawyer was thomas hunger of a local washington, d.c. firm. and he basically told the court this this case begins and ends with their 1983 decision upholding legislative prayer in the nebraska legislature. he said that the prayers here are really no different, that as long as the prayers, as the court said in 1983, do not proz leitize, advance, or denigrate and exw one religion, they are
constitutional. he also relied very heavily on the long mystery of legislative prayer in this country. and did get some push-back, chief justice roberts, for example, asked him how far can you carry an historical argument. don't certain things become artifacts? for example, the chief said, the motto "in god we trust." if that was proposed today, it might receive a very different reception than it go when we first adopted it for our money. but mr. hunger emphasized the history here is very significant because it shows first that legislative prayer has not led to the stabment of a national-- the establishment of a national religion and the history goes back to the very drafting of the first amendment. >> brown: he's point, as we saw again, the federal level, the senate and house open their session. >> that's right, they do. there was some concern, too, and he had to address this aspect of the other side's argument, that maybe prawr in local government meetings could possibly be
coercive. just so the mayor-- >> brown: because somebody has to come there to bring their case. >> absolutely, they may have a zoning request to be voted on or some other reason to be there. and justice sotomayor asked, not just mr. hunger supporting the up to, but the obama administration came in on the side of the town, and she asked the deputy solicitor general, whwho would not stand up if a minister said stand and bow your head in prayer before a local government body that was going to vote on your petition. >> brown: now what about the argument by the lawyer representing the two wim we saw? >> the two women were represented by eye well-known religion clause scholar, douglas lacot of the virginia school of law. he was saying there was coercion here. he disagreed with the other lawyers that the prayer here was separated in time from actions by the town board or things like
zoning petitions, so there was coercion. but he also said that he was not saying there can never be prayer at legislative meetings. >> brown: they're not going that far. >> so, he said what they are arguing is you cannot have sectarian prayers. you have to have nonsectarian prayers. >> brown: and then the definition of sectarian became an issue? >> exactly, and that raised concerns with justices who felt, for example, justice kennedy, will judges be drawn into deciding what's sectarian and what's not sectarian? and justice alito pressed him hard to give an example of a nonsectarian prayer, which he had some trouble doing. >> brown: very briefly, is it possible they'll decide this narrowly or is there a chance they only up the realm you started with. >> some thought this might be an opportunity to craft a new rule to give guidance for the lower courts, but it looked as though that's not going to happen, that they may ultimately turn back to
that 1983 decision and say, "this is legislative prayer." >> brown: we'll have you back when they decide. marcia coyle can the national law journal." thanks so much. >> my pleasure, jeff. >> ifill: now, the burden of living with a never-ending noise. a condition tone as tinnitus, also pronounced tin-night helpus, and what science is trying to do to make it easier to live us. we have a report from the newshour's science correspondent miles o'brien. a warning for viewers with tinnitus: there are a couple of moments in this story where listening to it may cause or worsen ringing in your ears. >> we're going to bauers i.t., a green bus transportation company. >> reporter: like any marine sergeant worth his stripes, jarom vahai is always looking out for his brothers in arms. >> i've been bringing veterans to them with their resumes and setting them up on interviews. >> reporter: these days, he is
on patrol near his home in san francisco. his objective: jobs for unemployed veterans. >> treated it just like it was a mission, just like it was something that i was targeting and i attacked. >> reporter: but jarom has found one hill he cannot conquer: the incessant ringing in his ears. it's called "tin-et-is," also pronounced "ti-night-us" for him, it began with a scene like this in iraq. on five separate occasions, he came dangerously close to powerful explosions. >> it would last maybe a day, sometimes three days and then it would go away. and then, one day, it just started and never stopped. it's just a high pitch, constant, kind of like that test sound. >> reporter: the veterans administration says tinnitus is the number one medical complaint
among combat veterans, but it is not just vets who are afflicted. 50 million americans suffer the symptoms at some point in their lives, and 12 million of them seek medical help because they hear noises like this... ( air flowing ) high-pitched sound. ...all the time with no relief. and i am one of them. for the past six years, i have heard this incessantly. ( tone ) so far, i have been able to cope, but two million americans are so severely affected by tinnitus, they cannot function. jarom's tinnitus is tangled in a gordian knot with posttraumatic stress disorder. >> to have those memories come back is terrible. and to have tinnitus as a
trigger and a trigger that never stops, it's very miserable. >> reporter: scientists say there is no cure for tinnitus despite what you might have heard. in fact, there is much more to tinnitus than what meets the ear. >> this is a b.t.i. scan. >> this professor of neuroscience at george town university. >> there is your ear. >> who says nearly every tinnitus sufferer does have some degree of hearing loss. after a lifetime of flying in noisy, small airplanes, i no longer hear eye frequencies. it means the raw data that is
sent to my brain's hearing center, the auditory cortex, contains less information that before. it has gaps. >> the brain doesn't like gaps or holes in its perception, so it tries to fill in the hole that comes from the loss of receptors in the ears. >> he says the auditory cortex apparently films the gaps by firing neurons that generate noise in the missing frequency range. the brain's executive center, the prefrontal cortex, is supposed to step in and turn down the volume. >> that's really handy, of course, in everyday situations. you don't want to hear everything that goes on around us. and then it breaks down sometimes. and that's when you actually get-- end up getting chronic tinnitus. >> reporter: at the university of california san francisco, otolaryngology professor steven chung is focused on another part of the brain that may come into play to create phantom sound, the basal ganglia. >> this very central part of the brain is very important in
determining what we choose to perceive and what we can perceive. >> reporter: chung believes the basal ganglia may play a key role in controlling owf awareness of the phantom nose noyes. that discovery came from surgeons implanted electrodes in the brains of parkinson's patients to reduce their tremors. surprisingly, many who also suffered from tinnitus got immediate relief from the noise. apparently, the electrical stimulus changes the volume. >> and much to our surprise and delight, in fact, we can both make tinnitus louder and softer, which means that you now have some method to modulate an internal sound and for this manner, an auditory phantom. >> reporter: i volunteered to become a subject in one of chung's studies. over the course of one long day, he and his team scanned me three times in three state-of-the-art m.r.i. machines.
>> take your time. >> a lot of scanning in one day. i'm scanned out. in theory, you can look at a scan and say, "there's the tinnitus." are we at that point? >> we may not be able to hear your tinnitus, but i should be able to see it on functional m.r.i. that's very exciting right there, isn't it? >> yes, indeed. it would be an objective measure for tinnitus, and that's what we're-- that's what we're working toward. toward. >> reporter: in the meantime, some tinnitus sufferers are trying to train their brains to deal with the phantom noise in a different manner. >> tonight is an opportunity for us to talk abouting? that i bet we've never talked about before as a group. >> reporter: i joined some veterans at a mindfulness-based tinnitus stress-reduction session in san francisco. >> i noticed that it would-- it does progress and get worse. >> reporter: it makes it hard at times when i'm in a quiet
place. >> over the years, it's just knottegotten progressively wors, where it's been getting louder and louder. >> maybe going from toe to head and head to toe. just noticing whatever is there to be felt. >> reporter: the class of pioneered by clinical psychologist jennifer ganz. >> you may notice as you're doing this your mind warneds. >> she teaches mindfulness with basic teditation techniques. she adapted it from similar treatments for people with chronic pain. ganz says those who report the eight-week course report less awareness of tinnitus and reduced anxiety levels. >> we can redirect the fear of the tinnitus sensation to the fact that you know what? this is just a sound. it's not here to kill us. we can let it go. >> reporter: but for me, it also helps to try and cover it up. and for that, i wear hearing aids. the amplification brings back the range of hearing my auditory cortex is missing, and my
hearing aids also have a white noise generator, which can mask the tinnitus when i'm particularly bothered by it. jerome has found the best tinnitus treatment for him is this little guy, his service dog, chewy. >> my pain comes and goes. it's really bad at times. but the tinnitus is always the there. it's always there. >> reporter: maybe some day a cure will be there. maybe. >> ifill: online, learn more about what neuroscience has revealed about the condition, and listen for yourself. we have more examples of what tinnitus sounds like. >> woodruff: the president and his administration continued to defend and explain its approach
to the healthcare law and its troubled web site today. president obama met at the white house this afternoon with 16 senators on that subject, a dozen of them democrats and most facing competitive reelection contests in 2014. earlier on capitol hill, his top cabinet head on the program came under scrutiny again. newshour congressional correspondent kwame holman reports. >> now, some have asked why not just delay implementation of the new law until all of the problems are fixed. >> reporter: kathleen sebelius conceded today there's pressure to extend the six-month period to enroll for health coverage. but the health and human services secretary insisted it's not the answer. >> delaying the affordable care act wouldn't delay people's cancer or diabetes or parkinson, doesn't delay the need for
the higher cost all of us pay when uninsured americans are left with no choice but to rely on emergency rooms for care. so, for millions of americans, delay is not an option. >> reporter: sebelius emphasized there've already been significant improvements to the healthcare.gov web site, but she acknowledged, it's a huge job. >> i would say there are a couple of hundred functional fixes that have been identified, and they are in priority grouping. and i would say we are into the list. we're not where we need to be. it's a pretty aggressive schedule to get to the entire punch list by the end of november. >> reporter: but the secretary faced skepticism that her agency can meet that timetable. the senate finance committee's democratic chairman, max baucus, suggested the administration's track record isn't good. >> i want it to work. i want to do what i can to make it work. but it's a two-way street. you you have to tell us what's going on candidly, fully, so we don't don't wake up in ?oaf, lo and behold still not there yet.
>> reporter: some republicans said it's already too late for promises. fellow kansan pat roberts told sebelius there's only thing for her to do at this point. >> your main goal should've been >> but in your zeal to implement this law, not warnings, not advice, not counsel would deter you from implementing the exchanges. you have said america should hold you accountable, which is why today, madam secretary, i repeat my request for you to resign. >> reporter: republicans also stepped up their criticism that insurance companies are canceling hundreds of thousands of policies, and possibly more than three million, according to one report despite the president's promise to the contrary. wyoming senator mike enzi: >> henry ford said that customers could have his model t in any color they wanted so long as it was black. sounds similar to what the president's promised with health care. >> well, senator, i think that the president's promise was in the law from the day it was written, and that is the grandfather clause that we wrote
as a policy, which basically said that plans that were in effect in march of 2010 that didn't change to the detriment of the consumer-- even though the insurance company could raise premiums, they couldn't eliminate benefits or take away items that the consumer liked-- that those are in effect and they can stay in effect. >> reporter: today's capitol hill hearing came amid reports federal and state officials are asking health insurers to cut back on canceling policies. one company now says it will extend existing coverage for about 100,000 customers by three months. still, the obama administration is resisting bipartisan calls for congress to block the policy terminations altogether. white house spokesman jay carney said d erday enacting such a provision would undercut the goals of the health care law. >> if you're going to assert that insurance companies can
continue to offer substandard plans-- bad apple plans, for that undermines the... the fundamental promise of the affordable care act, which is that everyone in america should have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. >> reporter: president obama himself took his pitch for the program on the road today. he traveled to dallas to meet with volunteers helping americans enroll in the online insurance marketplace. >> woodruff: finally tonight, the discovery and recovery of a treasure trove of looted art from world war ii, and the questions it's raising in the art world and elsewhere about rights and ownership. >> of course, it was very emotional for me to see all the works of art. >> woodruff: meike hoffmann is lead researcher on the newly- discovered collection of more
than 1400 paintings and prints, looted by the nazis. in augsburg, on tuesday, she recounted the moment she first saw the trove, speaking at times in english and then in german. >> ( translated ): when you're standing in front of these works, which, for a long time, were believed to have disappeared or to have been destroyed, it is an incredible feeling of joy. they are in relatively good condition. some of them are dirty but not damaged. >> woodruff: the collection spans the 16th century to the 20th and includes pieces by the likes of pablo picasso and marc chagall, as well as unknown works by german artist otto dix and french artist henri matisse, amid others. they were found in this munich apartment building in 2012, stored in the middle of trash piles. the elderly man who lived there is reportedly the son of a collector used by the nazis to obtain art they considered "degenerate." some of it was sold abroad.
>> they were the greatest thieves. >> reporter: the 2007 documentary "the rape of europa" explored the nazis' theft and destruction of artwork across europe. news of this discovery was revealed monday after a german magazine broke the story. some jewish groups have questioned why authorities withheld the discovery until now, but state prosecutor reinhard nemetz says there was no hidden agenda. >> ( translated ): we did not keep something secret with some immoral or improper intention. the reasons were purely practical ones which forced us not to make this public. in addition, there are legal reasons, too. >> woodruff: the collection has a potential value of more than $1.3 billion. still to be determined is who ultimately will have the rights to all the paintings. to take a deeper look at some of these questions about the art and the history, we turn to jonathan petropoulos, professor of history at claremont mckenna college and a specialist in nazi art looting and restitution.
he's the author of several books including "the faustian bargain: the art world in nazi germany." i spoke with him earlier this evening. jonathan petropoulos, welcome. first of all, where were these paintings, these works of art, originally? and how did they get into the hands of this elderly man in munich, a mr. gurks rlitt? >> well, it's a very exciting discovery of 1400 paintings that were found by the german authorities in munich, near the university, and we're still studying the origins of the paintings. but there seem to be two major groupings, about 300 of them came from german state museums that were perched by the naughties in the late 1930s, declared degenerate and given to dealers to sell off, and the remaining 1100 appear to be largely stolen from european jews and other victims of the
nazis. and they were in the hands of this gentleman, cornelius gurlitt's father, a very well-known art dealer named hildtybrand gurlitt. >> how did he get them. >> hildtybrand gurlitt was able to continue working as an art dealer in 1933 in nazi germany. in 1938, he was one of the fourth dealers hired by goebel's ministry, to sell off, or in nazi parlance, liquidate the collections. so gurlit had access to these purge, these works removed from german museums, and evidently, he held on to some 300 of them. later on, gurlit became an art agent, an art dealer for adolf hitler and helped hitler construct the collection for the
museum hitler planned for his hometown in austria. and gurlit had special privileges. he could travel to the german occupied countries in france and the netherlands. he had access to foreign currency. evidently, it was during the war when he was buying art for hitler and other nazi leaders, hildebrand gurlit kept them for himself. >> what was objectional about these paintings, these works of art? >> adolf hitler resolved the debate personally about expressionism and modern art, and adolf hitler thought that modern art was, a., created by people who were physically inferior, who couldn't see colors as they were and shapes as they were, and this was a sign of racial inferiority. or, b., they were political subversives, that this was international art, and art that was sold by jewish art dealers, and for either racial reasons, or political reasons, hitler
defamed this modern art, in order that it be removed from german state collections and partly because hitler and most of the other nazi leaders didn't value it. it gave a certain opportunity to gurlit and others like thoim coman deer works for themselves. >> woodruff: it sounds like and you a lot of other people believe these are really important pieces. >> this is a truly extraordinary find. the most important since the end of world war ii, when the allies discovered huge caches of art in salt mines and castles and other repositories, and there's never been anything like this, certainly not in the hands of one individual, a private individual. and these 1400 works, most of them are classical modernism, the matisse and picasso, the german expressionists. but not only the tremendously valuable by one estimate as we heard, $1.3 billion, they're going to cause us to reassess the work and years of these important artists.
>> woodruff: now, who will these paintings belong to? what will happen to them? >> well, we still have to sort that out, and i'm hoping that the german authorities release more information about precisely what works they have. there was a very important news conference yesterday, and that was helpful. they told us there weren't 1500 works as was previously reported but 1400, and started to give us a sense of what the works were. but we still don't have a list, and we still haven't seen images of the works. both are very important for those of us seeking restitution feel. we want to know what they have. presumably the works perched from german state collections, they'll go back to german museums and they'll be part of germany's cultural patrimony. but the other works, i think many of them are going to be subject to restitution, the german authorities will allow victims and heirs to come forward and claim the works.
and i expect there will be some disputed cases. and they will result in lawsuits. so we'll have to see how the legal aspect plays out. there is a precedent for pursuing naughty loot art in american courts. >> woodruff: it's a fascinating story. jonathan petropoulos, we thank you very much. >> thank you, it's a pleasur >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. a day after the off-year elections of 2013, the gubernatorial winners in new jersey and virginia embraced bi-partisanship. the supreme court heard new arguments on letting governmental bodies begin meetings with a prayer. and the secretary of health and human services, kathleen sebelius, rejected delaying implementation of the new health care law.
she said it's "not an option." >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, a higher minimum wage is a win for workers, right? not necessarily so, says one retired business owner in suburban seattle, where voters yesterday decided on a $15-per- hour ballot initiative. watch the third video in our "living wage" series on "making sense." and what is it about first-borns that make them on average more successful than their siblings? we published the research behind that phenomenon, and tomorrow we'll host a twitter chat on the topic. middle-children and babies of the family are welcome to join us. details are on our homepage. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, twitter hopes to turn 140 characters into billions of dollars as the social media site goes public. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again
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