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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 19, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight... >> we are all ready to go to work. >> woodruff: ...on the eve of donald trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the united states, the nation prepares for a new leader of the free world. then, the president-elect's picks face the senate's scrutiny. former texas governor rick perry defends his nomination as energy secretary, while treasury secretary nominee steven mnuchin takes on his controversial financial record. and, faking normal: one woman's story about losing it all and discovering the invisible fence keeping older women out of the workforce. >> you're the loser.
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you know? how can you have this kind of background and be landing here? >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial
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literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> woodruff: the tumultuous campaign and stunning election victory have all been prelude to tomorrow for donald trump. he made ready today for his formal inauguration as president. john yang has our report. >> yang: president-elect trump arrived at joint base andrews outside washington, almost exactly 24 hours before he takes the oath of office. vice president-elect mike pence, was already in washington, talking up the transition. >> i'm pleased to have a chance to report, to the american people and to all of you, the progress that we have made at the president-elect's direction preparing a team that will be ready to serve the american people and making america great again on day 1. >> yang: but a series of reports, including from "the new york times" and "politico," said
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factors, slowing down the national security transition in particular. today, trump spokesman sean spicer said the new administration will keep some obama holdovers, at least for now, to smooth the handover: >> we've appointed 50 people to maintain critical positions, to maintain their office. we've looked through the entire government for areas where there is a critical need to maintain someone. >> yang: they include high- ranking officials like bob work, deputy secretary of defense, and brett mcgurk, the top u.s. envoy to the anti-isis coalition. at the same time, spicer accused senate minority leader chuck schumer for slowing the confirmation of even the less cabinet picks. >> why are they delaying elaine chao? why are they not moving on ben carson? why are they not moving on governor nikki haley? >> if there were ever a group of cabinet nominees that cry out for rigorous scrutiny, it's this one. every day there's another report of a major ethical lapse among the nominees for the cabinet,
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the swamp cabinet. >> reporter: spicer said it's all politics. > >> these people have had their paperwork in, their quality and caliber and integrity is unquestionable. and i think to see some of these attacks and the focus not be on issues like schools and teachers and homeland security is-- is a problem. >> yang: this morning, mr. trump made his final cabinet pick: naming former georgia governor sonny perdue to be his agriculture secretary. perdue was the state's first republican governor since reconstruction. he founded businesses that deal in fertilizers, and grain trading. with the perdue pick, mr. trump rounded out a proposed cabinet slate that includes no hispanic nominees for the first time in nearly 30 years. spokesman spicer insisted today that, in time, there will be diversity, if you look at the trump administration in its totality. >> he continues to put together an amazingly diverse cabinet. so if you're looking specifically
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at hispanics, as we move forward, we've got 5,000 jobs to fill. there is going to be a tremendous number of hispanic- americans that fill those posts. >> yang: later, at a luncheon at his trump hotel in washington, he indicated that woody johnson, owner of the new york jets, will be nominated as ambassador to great britain. this afternoon, mr. trump took part in a wreath-laying at arlington national cemetery, a tradition for incoming presidents on the eve of taking office. he ended the day by making a sun sunset appearance on the steps of the lincoln memorial. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, president obama issued a final round of commutations on his last full day in office. in all, he shortened the sentences of 330 more federal inmates convicted of drug crimes, the most ever commutations in a single day.
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the white house said he's now cut the sentences of 1,715 people during his time in office. that's more than any other american president. 350 inmates had been serving life terms in prison. the obama administration has punctuated its fight against the islamic state with a major air strike in libya. the pentagon says it targeted militants who were actively planning attacks in europe. the raid last night hit isis camps 30 miles south of the libyan city of sirte, and killed 80 fighters. two b-2 stealth bombers flew 30 hours, from missouri to libya and back, and dropped roughly 100 guided bombs. the planes had not seen combat since 2011. >> this was a decision made by commanders based on the specific mission requirements here. the capabilities of the b-2 specifically not just its payload but its ability to loiter. there were specific reasons why
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the commanders thought this was appropriate thing to use. >> woodruff: the pentagon says initial assessments are that the strike was successful. but it's unclear whether any high-profile isis leaders were killed. the death toll from yesterday's suicide bombing in mali has risen to 77. the bomber struck government forces and former rebels who've been trying to enforce a 2015 peace treaty. surveillance footage captured the blast as the vehicle breached a compound where fighters had gathered for a meeting. a group linked to al-qaeda claimed responsibility. a political crisis intensified in gambia today, with the defeated president refusing to step aside. troops from neighboring states entered the small west african nation to force him out, after the new president took the oath of office. paraic o'brien of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: a nation holds it breath. in the run-up to a defining
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inauguration. the swearing in of a political outsider, a reformer, on a promise to make a country great. this afternoon, the elected president of the gambia, adama barrow took the oath. the ceremony though took place at the gambian embassy in neighboring senegal. as it was happening, 300 kilometers south, we asked a the man beaten in elections last year, yahya jammeh, is digging his heels in. holed up in the presidential palace. in power for 23 years. once said he'd rule gambia for a billion years, allah permitting. in a show of regional unity. troops from the economic community of west african states on the move into gambia. the aim to pressurize jammeh to relinquish power. these pictures reportedly show ecoas forces in senegal heading for the gambian border.
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ultimate destination the capital. this is a decisive moment for the region. an early intervention by a coalition of west african countries dealing with a west african problem. the inauguration, a decisive moment for gambians, the >> woodruff: the u.n. security >> drew: disaster struck in the capital of iran this morning, when a 17-story building caught fire and collapsed. officials said at least 30 casualty figures fluctuated as rescuers searched the wreckage for survivors and bodies. state tv showed the moment the historic building in tehran crumbled, with firefighters still inside. one official said the fire was caused by an electrical short- circuit. in central italy, rescuers spent the day desperately digging into a luxury mountain hotel that was shattered by an avalanche.
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they found two survivors and two bodies, but up to 30 people could have been inside. aerial views showed the four- story hotel buried up the roof, and its sides smashed in. crew used heavy vehicles to clear paths through snow as deep as 16 feet. >> ( translated ): i want to say that we are all holding our breath for what has happened last night with the avalanche. we saw the videos of rescuers reaching the hotel. these videos bear testimony to the sense of duty of the rescuers but also to the very hard conditions they are operating in. >> woodruff: the avalanche followed a series of strong earthquakes in the area, but it's unclear if the quakes caused the disaster. mexico announced late today it has extradited the accused drug lord joaquin el chap owe guzman to the u.s. he allegedly founded and led the sinoaloa cartel. giewdzman was captured in mexico
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in 2014. he escaped and was recaptured a year ago. back in this country, the republican national committee has elected a new chair: ronna romney mcdaniel. she's a niece of mitt romney, the party's presidential nominee four years ago, and the choice of president-elect trump. she takes over for reince priebus, who's becoming mr. trump's white house chief of staff. and on wall street, stocks slipped again, as yields on bonds rose. the dow jones industrial average lost 72 points to close at 19,732. the nasdaq fell 15 points, and the s&p 500 slipped eight. still to come on the newshour: the nominees for treasury and energy secretary before the senate. a rocky presidential transition on national security. people who appear middle class but are on the edge of financial ruin, and much more.
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>> woodruff: the president-elect moved closer to getting his cabinet in place with another round of confirmation hearings today. the most contentious was for his treasury secretary, steven mnuchin, a banker who worked at goldman sachs and a hedge fund. there was important news that came out during the hearing. mnuchin said he would support raising the debt ceiling sooner rather than later, and not risk the country defaulting. the president-elect had previously suggested he might want to re-negotiate the government's obligations instead. but most of the focus was on mnuchin's business background and investments. lisa desjardins has our report. >> desjardins: he came prepared for a broadside attack. >> i have been maligned as taking advantage of others' hardships in order to earn a buck. nothing could be further from the truth.
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>> desjardins: steven mnuchin began his appeal to become treasury secretary by defending his record at the helm of onewest, a bank that democratic critics say was a "foreclosure machine" during the housing crisis. >> onewest extended over 100,000 loan modifications to delinquent borrowers to try to help them out of a bad situation. >> desjardins: but oregon democrat ron wyden disputed mnuchin's version. >> investigations found that the bank frequently mishandled documents and skipped over reviewing them. all it took to plunge families into the nightmare of potentially losing their home was 30 seconds of sloppy paperwork and a few haphazards signatures. >> desjardins: it was some of the most dogged questioning of president-elect trump's nominees yet, and it was tense between senators. >> senator wyden, i've got a
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valium pill you might want to take before the second round, >> mr. chairman i hope that remark doesn't set the tone for 2017 in this committee. >> desjardins: wyden also pressed mnuchin about new reports that he initially didn't reveal more than $100 million of assets on disclosure forms and left out his role directing some offshore accounts. >> how many employees did you have in anguilla? >> we didn't have any employees in anguilla. >> how many customers did you have there? >> we didn't have any customers that resided in anguilla. >> did you have an office there? >> we did not have a office ourselves there. >> so you just had a post office box? >> i would diligently look at these things, i can assure you i paid all my taxes as was required. >> desjardins: new jersey senator bob menendez dug in: >> one does not create offshore entities if not to avoid tax
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laws of the u.s., be more >> desjardins: but mnuchin suprised some, saying he agrees offshore accounts are a problem he wants to fix. >> first of all i'm committed to work on tax simplification to cut down, i agree with you completely, be happy to work to simplify tax code. >> desjardins: committee chairman orrin hatch called democrats' focus on the offshore accounts "hypocritical" and "ironic." >> evidently memories are short. at least two obama nominees who now sit in his cabinet had cayman island holdings. >> desjardins: democrats returned to mnuchin's role with onewest back in 2009. according to an independent california housing organization, onewest aggressively foreclosed on some 60,000 homes while mnuchin ran it. also this fall, two advocacy groups asked the department of housing and urban development to
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investigate possible discrimination, charging that onewest offered fewer mortgages and options to minorities. mnuchin sold the bank for $3.4 billion dollars in 2015 and has denied anything improper. he told the committee it was not just about profit but saving a dying bank. >> overall i helped many homeowners stay in their homes and escape financial ruin through my management of the bank. my experience confirms that we must identify and eliminate unwise and burdensome policies which contributed to the disastrous outcomes that came in the wake of the financial collapse. >> desjardins: at one point, the treasury nominee also pushed back at democrats. >> it seems to me in all due respect you just want to shoot questions at me and not let me respond. >> your answers will take too long, i'll put them together. >> these are complicated things >> desjardins: as the top
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economic official, there was plenty of policy talk, too. mnuchin said he would enforce current russian sanctions and would keep the consumer financial protection bureau, though he questioned its funding source. >> woodruff: and lisa joins me now. lisa, you were there for the hours of this hearing. did you come away with an impression of steven mnuchin? >> i have a good seat. i think what he was trying to telegraph to the committee is he is more moderate than his opponents are casting him. we'll have to see what he does if he's confirmed, but things like the cfrb, saying he would keep that, and he also said things like i want to increase the staff at the i.r.s. these are things conservatives have traditionally gone after, and he's said to this committee, i'm going to be more reasonable. he used those words. >> woodruff: crbc, the consumer financial protection bureau. i want to ask you about the status of one of the other president-elect's nominee to be the budget director, nick mulvaney has run into some problems over an ploy yes of his family. >> that's correct.
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he told the senate a month ago he found out a caregiver for his children who worked for him for a few years, he did not pay taxes for that person. he's now paying those back taxes, but it seems this might be a problem, the reason i think so is we haven't seen statements from leading republicans supporting him today. and i spoke to another republican senator, judy, who says there's another issue, they're concerned because mull saudi mullvaney in the past has asked to cut defense spending in a way they don't like. >> woodruff: we know republicans want as many of these nominees confirmed as soon as possible. democrats are not in the majority, but they have the ability to slow them down, and that's what they're doing. >> you heard that from chuck schumer in john's report. democrats said they will allow two nominees to be confirmed tomorrow on inauguration day. >> woodruff: just two? >> just, defense secretary james mattis and department of homeland security secretary john
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kelly. the two marine corps generals will be confirm, but not necessarily mike pompeo, senator ron wyden has an objection to the c.i.a. director designate. that's a real concern for republicans. they say that's a security risk. it might be a political risk for democrats. pompeo is likely to be confirmed soon, but it does not look like tomorrow. as for the rest of these nominees, democrats say they are planning to slow down the process, that they want more deliberation. how can they do that in the minority? well, under senate rules, they can use procedure to add lots of debate time for each nominee. it looks like they're planning to do that. watch the non-controversial ones like elaine chow and ben carson. >> woodruff: republicans not happy. >> it's not just a sense of typical strategy here, but real tension between the two sides. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, thank you. >> woodruff: there was also a hearing for mr. trump's pick for the secretary of energy today,
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former texas governor rick perry. perry called for the elimination of that very department when he ran for president in 2012 and then forgetting its name during a debate. much of the department's role is devoted to monitoring, maintaining and keeping safe the nation's nuclear stockpile. today, perry admitted that he did not truly understand its scope and mission until recently, and said he now has a different attitude. >> my past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the department of energy, do not reflect my current thinking. in fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the department of energy, i regret recommending it's elimination. >> woodruff: perry, who has previously denied the science of climate change, also spoke about his views on that subject. senators pressed him on whether he would even protect scientists within the department and their budget. and along a similar line of questioning, he also was asked
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about reports the trump transition team wants to cut funding for programs promoting renewable energy. here's how some of that played out. >> i believe that climate is changing. i believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is caused by manmade activity. the question is how we address it in thoughtful way that doesn't compromise economic growth, it affects the affordability of energy or american jobs. >> do you plan to protect the science research at d.o.e. related to climate? >> senator i am going to protect the men and women of the scientific community from anyone that would attack them no matter what their reason might be. >> how do you see your role, you're coming into a new position where we are talking about massive cuts in the kinds
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of things, that you have advocated for that you supported in your role as governor things that are critical to the future of the economy and lowering emissions and creating more efficiencies. >> i will be an advocate for that. i will be in the room advocating for these things. i'm not going to tell you i'm going to be 1000% successful in that. >> my question is: do you support these cuts, yes or no? >> well, senator, maybe they'll have the same experience i had and forget that they said that, but... >> we're counting on you. [laughter] >> woodruff: the next round of confirmation hearings starts again on tuesday. and moments ago president-elect trump spoke before the crowd gathered for an inaugural concert at the lincoln memorial. >> we all got tired of seeing what was happening, an we wanted change, but we wanted real change. and i look so forward to tomorrow.
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we're going to see something that is going to be so amazing. >> january 20, 2017, the inauguration of donald j. trump, the 45th president of the united states. day one of a new era. join pbs "newshour" for live coverage analysis you won't find anywhere else. friday january 20th at 11:00 a.m., 10:00 central, only on pbs. >> woodruff: now, to the national security and diplomatic transition from the obama to trump administrations. last week i asked outgoing secretary of state john kerry how smoothly the transition was proceeding and he bluntly answered "smoothly, because there's not an enormous amount of it." he also said he had yet to meet his designated successor, rex tillerson. today, with less than 24 hours
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left in his tenure, kerry's spokesman was asked if the two men had met. >> the secretary made it very clear that he was willing to met with mr. tillerson and as i understand it they just weren't able to get it on the schedule but he did speak to him on the phone. i think it was trying to work both men's schedules, they worked to make it happen and it didn't' work. it was difficult to get it on both men's schedules at a time that was mutually convenient for both of them. >> woodruff: apart from kerry and tillerson, some obama cabinet secretaries have met their successor, but as john yang reported earlier, the incoming trump administration was forced to defend the pace of its staffing of important national security and diplomatic jobs today after a series of reports detailed a disjointed
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transition. for that we turn now to the author of one of those reports, "new york times" white house correspondent mark landler, and to roger cressey. he's a deputy for counter-terrorism on the national security council staff from 1999 to 2001. he was there during the transition from president clinton to george w. bush. he is now a security consultant. and we welcome both of you to the "newshour." mark landler, to you first, and that story you wrote yesterday, you referred to the staff of president-elect trump barely having engaged with the current national security council staff below the most senior level. what is the level of contact between the two? >> well, the incoming national security adviser general michael flynn has met four times with his predecessor, susan rice, and there has been significant meetings at the deputy level, casey mcfarland with admiral
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haynes and one level below, that general keith keg log, the incoming chief of staff of the n.s.c., but below that level, all the senior directeddors that oversee departments in the national security council, there has been very little if any contact, and this is for a number of reason, one of which is the fact that the trump transition has been marked by a kind of a rotating path. the n.s.c. and the white house is now dealing with a third transition team since the election and with that constant upheaval, it's been difficult for them to establish relationships for the trump people to get the security clearances they need to begin reading classified information some a process that would have unfolded pretty intensively starting on november 10th or 11th has really only swung into gear really in the last two weeks. >> woodruff: jose crespo, what are -- roger cressey, what are you hearing? >> there is definitely lost
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time. there is some concern on the part of the career people that there is not enough communication with the incoming team so the new team is fully up on all the nuances of what they're inheriting. the reality is, judy, no matter who comes into office, they're always unprepared for what they're about to inherit. i think there is some concern there may not be enough preparation before the new team arrives tomorrow. >> woodruff: rotion rocking, rocking, -- roger cressey, staying with you, how does this compare the previous transitions. in 2000 to 2001 from president clinton to president bush, that was very short, but we met with conde rice, stephen hadley, the national security adviser. they went around the each office the meet the team that was there and also to get a better perspective on what each office was doing. the challenge for general flynn and casey mcfarland is get up to speed as quickly as possible. there will be career people that are staying. they're going to understand what
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the current state of affairs are and all the issues they'll inherit tomorrow. >> woodruff: general flynn is the incoming national security advise your to the president. casey mcfarland is his deputy. mark landler, give us a picture of the national security council staff. how many of those positions are going to be holdovers if any, and how many are going to be empty when the trump team comes in? >> well, roger knows more about this than i do, but at the level of the professional staff, you have a lot of directors in the n.f.c. the senior directors tend to be political appointee, most if not all of those jobs will be vacant and will be filled by the incoming administration, but below that you have a cadre of professionals at the director level. most of these people are see -- see cunsded from other agencies. they are at the white house for a set period of time. when the obama administration came in, they basically held
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over people in those positions, which provided the important continuity. the trump team has told me they plan to do the same thing. so it is not as though general flynn will come in and find an empty building. he won't. he'll find dozens of very well briefed, experienced senior-level people. what he will have to do very quickly is put in a layer of senior directors. now, they say they have identified and chosen many of these people. they just haven't publicly announced them yet. so that will all unfold presumably in the opening days after the president is inaugurated, but again, where they've lost time is in all of these people reading into the reames and reames of paper that lay out the straight's current policies, that lay out the major flash points they're going to face around the world, and that's time they could well have used starting as early as late november and early december of last year. >> woodruff: roger cressey, if you're part of this incoming
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trump team, what are you worried that you may not know? >> well, all special systems to the president are political appointees of the first year of the new president. so their job is to shape policies of the new president. the career people that mark referred to are there to provide continuity of operations to ensure that balls are not dropped, but they are not going to make any new policy pronouncements. the new people come in to do two things to, do a review of existing policy to see where they might want to change it, and then to put in place the actual new policy, the presidential review director to a presidential decision director. these senior people that have to be appointed, it's clear the top secret codeword will come in to do that. general flynn, casey mcfarlane can rely on their career people to provide up-to-date information on daily activities, but no new policy will happen until this new team comes in as a special assistant to the president level. >> woodruff: that's where you're talking about a delay. i want to ask both of you, mark landler again on this, as we look ahead to the trump
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administration, to foreign policy, it's national security policy, do we read something into that by what's happened right now? >> well, look, i think it's fair to say that this election brought a very unexpected outcome, that the trump people were probably starting off from a standing start. there was a lot of upheaval in the early days. you remember that the original transition team was led by governor chris christie, and that team was purged almost immediately after the election. i guess the one thing i would watch for is if this kind of upheaval, improvisation, frequent shifts either in personnel or in policy continue to be a hallmark of the new administration's style, if they do, as some people think they will, we could be in for a bumpy ride on national security. but it's also possible that once they get their team in place and they settle down on their key priorities, that we sort of return to regular order and things begin unfolding, and i'm sure roger will say, every
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administration faces a kind of baptism by fire, so i don't think it's fair to necessarily assume that these people are going to be off the rails immediately. >> woodruff: 15 seconds. what do you think in terms of what this says about the future? >> the government will continue to work even as these people come in and we wait for them, but the issue is there is always one thing that a new administration can fund, the bush administration, it was terrorism. for this administration it's going to be cyber security, not russian hacking. that's a symptom of the bigger problem. the bigger issue of cyber, how they deal with that. we may see something else we're in the anticipating. that's going to be their challenge. >> woodruff: roger cressey, mark landler, thank you both. >> thank you so much. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: now, our economics correspondent paul solman takes a look at what has become the new normal for many members of the aging middle class: financial fragility.
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it's part of his weekly series, "making sense," which airs thursdays on the newshour. >> everybody is pretending. >> reporter: and that's why you call the book, "faking normal?" >> right. because there's a lot of pressure to seem like you are doing well. >> reporter: elizabeth white is not doing terribly well, as she painfully chronicles in the book she's just self-published:" fifty-five, unemployed, and faking normal." white's been on the edge of the financial cliff for years, though you'd never know it from how she looks or the washington, d.c. townhouse she bought years ago. one she couldn't even dream of renting today. but you haven't been in a situation where you literally couldn't afford whatever it is, the condo fee, or? >> oh, absolutely i have! i'm right now have to park outside because i'm in arrears on the condo fee. right now! >> reporter: and she's refinanced to the hilt, taken in
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a boarder. well, you haven't used food stamps! >> but i have! i've had to! >> reporter: it's been quite a comeuppance for someone with her background. >> i have a bachelor's from oberlin, i have a master's in international studies from john's hopkins. i have a harvard m.b.a. worked at the world bank, came in through a program where they recruited 5,000 people. they took two americans out of that 25, i was one of the americans. >> reporter: but ultimately white decided to leave the bank to start her own business. >> i had a chain of stores! decorative home stores. >> reporter: really!? >> yes. i sold some of the things you see here, african, african-inspired products. i realized that there was an african american market that wanted things in their home that reflected heritage and culture. if you wanted to give your little girl a black raggedy ann doll, you couldn't easily find it. so i just curated that. from all over
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so i then bet the ranch that i could get this going. so i took a lot of my, not all of it, but i took a big chunk of my world bank money, to sort of fund this. >> reporter: retirement savings. >> savings. but it wasn't going... it was doing well, but i couldn't see my vendors of artisan producers, were not gonna be able to blow this out into a national chain. we're already struggling, with volume. >> reporter: did you sell your stores? >> no. closed it in the end, just didn't, didn't work. >> reporter: but steady consulting work allowed white to maintain an upper-middle class lifestyle for awhile-- until the crash of ¡08. >> within six months, i went from you know, probably close to $200? >> reporter: thousand dollars-- >> right. >> reporter: --a year. >> to zero. >> reporter: and after that, the jobs of the past were nowhere to be found. >> this is, to me, where the age
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discrimination piece happens. i find it much harder at this phase of life to get hired, than i did earlier. >> reporter: but you look so young! and i'm not just saying that to, you know, flatter you or something. i mean, you surely can pass now, you're 62 or something? >> 3. >> reporter: 63, and you could pass for your 50s, easily! mid- 50s, early 50s, right? >> early 50s is not considered young in the workplace. >> reporter: no it's not, as we learned in an interview with economist teresa ghilarducci, citing a study by the new york federal reserve. >> from 45 to 55, wages decrease by 9%. from 55 to 65, another 9%. so this age earning profile, where you kind of peak and then it flattens out and falls, that age of peaking is a lot younger than we ever thought.
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>> reporter: and that corresponds to age discrimination as measured in economic experiments by the likes of joanna lahey, who sent fake resumes to employers. the red dots show where on the resumes h.r. managers looked, and for how long. and when does age discrimination start? >> immediately. it starts at age 35. >> reporter: really? >> yes. it's a pretty steady process. >> reporter: and it's women more than men? >> it's definitely women more than men. >> reporter: no wonder career coaches tell you to wipe the dates off your c.v. but, says white... >> when they then ask you to fill out the application that's all algorithm-driven you cannot leave off when you graduated from college. and once you put that date in there... >> reporter: then it's... >> they know. they know. now as you get older, your network also is not what it used to be. >> reporter: because they're losing their jobs? >> they're losing their jobs, they are retiring, they're not hearing about things!
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they're winding down. people have died! >> reporter: so white has been scraping by with scattered freelance gigs. >> it's sort of, bits and pieces that allow me to cobble together income. >> reporter: but, nowhere near the income of the past? >> no, no. >> reporter: not even close. >> no. i mean, i have years of, you know under $30,000 thousand. >> reporter: help has come from unexpected sources. like her neighbor elijah, >> i was getting on the far side of where my mortgage company was getting like serious with me? >> reporter: because you were behind in your pay-- >> behind. he just said, "lizzy, i'll do it. i can do it." >> reporter: i'll pay, he'll pay your mortgage? >> right. so this is my elijah!
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>> i'm the people's elijah! >> reporter: the vietnam vet gets about $900 in monthly benefits, saves almost half. >> i'm not a things person. how much money do you think i'm spending on my attire? ok? >> as he says, "i have a few friends like you who are in the stuff world," is what he calls, "and you're always getting into some kind of mishap." >> reporter: grateful to get by with a little help from her friends. white was also embarrassed. >> you're the loser. you know? how can you have this kind of background and be landing here? >> reporter: there must be something wrong with you. >> there has to be. and, and then you read things like, "oh it's the latte factor, 's all that bottled water you were drinking." you know, it's a-- >> reporter: the latte factor meaning you were spending too much-- >> spent much! >> reporter: --money on, at starbucks. but you could've saved more, couldn't have you? >> absolutely! absolutely. i could've not started a business, if i'd stayed at the
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world bank, not taken that, you know, risk? >> reporter: but she did. her reward: financial fragility. something she now shares with a surprisingly large portion of the former so-called middle class. from washington, d.c., this is economics correspondent paul solman, grateful to be reporting for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: in next thursday's making sen$e: how common elizabeth white's plight is these days, and her tips for how to be normal in the face of financial adversity, instead of continuing to fake it. >> woodruff: tonight marks president obama's final full day in office, and we look back at those years now with someone who was there with him from day one: his press secretary, josh
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earnest. john yang met with earnest at the white house to ask him about the challenges of the job, and what he wishes for his successor. >> i joined the campaign in april 2007, so it's been a while now. >> yang: josh earnest was there when barack obama was a senator running for president, and he'll be there when the lights go out on the obama white house. >> thank you all. it's been a genuine pleasure. >> yang: flash forward, eight years. >> yeah. >> yang: what does it feel like? >> it feels like that was a million years ago, but it feels like that million years has flown by. >> yang: earnest took over from jay carney as white house press secretary in 2014. >> today, the flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation: mr. josh earnest. >> when he first offered me this job back in the summer of, of 2014, we were talking a little bit about what his expectations were for the person who was going to be in this role and he said, "you know, one of the things you should know is i don't intend to watch your briefing every day. and if there's ever a situation where you're prepared to walk
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out to the briefing, and there's something that you're not sure about or something you need to ask me about, then just let me know, and, and i'll make sure that you've got an opportunity to come in here and talk to me before you have to go there and address the public." it's something that i've used frequently, to make sure that the information that i'm conveying to the reporters in this room is not just accurate, but accurately reflects the president's thinking. >> yang: in 345 briefings, an exercise he likened to catching javelins, earnest has defended president obama's policies. >> that's consistent with the president's vision since he took office, and it's also consistent with his record. >> yang: bantered with reporters and even raised eyebrows and drew criticism by mocking donald trump's appearance. >> the trump campaign for months now has had a dustbin-of- history-like quality to it, from the vacuous sloganeering to the outright lies to even the fake hair. >> yang: some critics accuse the administration of criminalizing investigative reporting by aggressively targeting leaks. despite that, earnest says the
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toughest part, he says, is the unrelenting pace. i don't think people appreciate how early you and other members of the white house staff get here every morning, the meetings you have early to get things going. >> so that is the part of it that is challenging, day after day after day. it's not that there is any one long day. is that long day is then followed up by another day that's moving at a pretty good pace. >> yang: despite that, earnest says he'll miss the daily sense of purpose. >> when it's time to get to work, feeling this intense motivation to get the job done and get it done the right way. there's something that really stokes the internal fires about this job. it's hard to imagine how that ever gets replaced, if it ever does. >> we made a special one for him. >> oh wow! thank you, ned. >> yang: there are personal perks: like welcoming his beloved kansas city royals to the white house as 2015 world series champs. >> you look so powerful!" >> yang: ...or having his two-
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year-old son, walker, meet the president at halloween. >> that's potus! >> i know! that's potus. >> yang: but earnest says dealing with the press, day in and day out, is serious business. what do you wish for sean spicer, your successor? >> i hope he succeeds in this job. it's a critically important job that requires buy-in, not just the person who's standing behind the podium, but the whole white house staff that needs to be invested in his success. >> yang: as he prepares to leave the white house, earnest thinks back to when he moved to washington 16 years ago. he toured the white house in the closing days of the clinton administration. >> i remember walking into this room. and i took a picture behind that podium, uh, wearing my overcoat, and thought about what a special opportunity it would be to work here in the, in the west wing. in some ways, you know, my departure here really brings the whole thing full circle. >> josh, congratulations. >> yang: for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang at the white house. >> woodruff: you can find all of
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our conversations and other coverage of "the obama years" on our website, >> woodruff: now a veteran filmmaker takes on the art of poetry. jeffrey brown has our look at the new movie, "paterson." >> brown: where does poetry come from? it's not a question normally posed by a film. >> i remember giving the script, sending it first to ron. he called me and said, "wow, jim. i think you're really going for the big bucks here. a poet who's a bus driver in new jersey!" >> brown: the script that director jim jarmusch shared with his friend, poet ron padgett, was for the film,"
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paterson," and it is indeed about a bus driver, played by adam driver, making his daily route through the streets of paterson, new jersey. taking in what's around him, overhearing conversations, using the stuff of everyday life to write poems, which we hear him recite and see on screen. >> when you're a child you learn there are three dimensions: height, width and depth. like a shoebox. then later you hear there's a fourth dimension: time. >> brown: that and other plain- spoken poems in the film were actually written by 74-year-old ron padgett-- prize-winning poet, essayist and translator who's been publishing his work since the 1960s. he said he was taken aback at first when jim jarmusch asked if he wanted to write new poems for the film.
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then we hung up and i started thinking, "why not? why do i have to be such a chicken? why can't i just really accept this challenge?"' i'd read the script and i had an idea about this character, paterson. i found myself falling into what i temporarily fantasized to be his world. and i tried to make it by him, not by me, but also by me. >> brown: poetry was also a longtime love of jim jarmusch who, beginning in the 1980s in films like "stranger than paradise" and "down by law," established himself as a filmmaker with a very personal and distinctly non-hollywood vision. as movies seem to get ever bigger and louder, he's managed to set his own pace. >> i love the form of filmmaking. i love all the aspects of it, except financing and promoting. it's such a beautiful form to me. i know that i'm not able to make
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someone else's film for them, in say, a studio setting. i can't have other people's input who are thinking about the commercial viability of the film affecting how the film is made or what goes into it. i'd end up in jail, having kneecapped some executive who previously ran an underwear factory. i'm a filmmaker. this is what i'm learning to do. >> brown: in "paterson," jarmusch, with padgett's help, has also created an ode to an earlier "paterson"-- the epic poem written in the 1940s and '50s by one of america's most renowned poets, william carlos williams. williams lived and worked as a doctor in the area. in the poem's preface, williams writes:" to make a start out of particulars and make them general." the bus driver in the film" paterson" is no william carlos williams. he's never published a thing and is unlikely to. but he'd understand the
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sentiment. >> i started a poem about you. >> is it a love poem? >> if about you i guess it's a love poem. >> brown: and jarmusch picked up on the notion of taking the particulars of everyday life-- looking at them, listening to them-- and making art from them. >> we have images flowing past him, both visually and things he overhears. he kind of drifts through his job, which it's a routine, right? it's all very set for him. this allows him to just take things in. i think that's what poets, in this case he's a poet, all people who create things, this is what they do. they have to get input from something. >> brown: the stuff of life becomes the details of poetry. >> i hope so. i can't figure out where else to get it.
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>> brown: i asked ron padgett, who's taught writing to children, college students and adults, what people too often don't get about poetry. >> they've given the, quote, i think, "wrong" or misleading or narrow idea of what poetry is or can be. secondly, they don't value their own imaginations. they just suppress or don't want to deal with their imagination. and yet it's so close to being a poet in many ways. if we can only bust through those barriers, and maybe a film like paterson will help some people say, "huh, maybe i could write something like this, too." >> brown: the film "paterson" is now in wide release around the country. from new york, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: now to another in our brief but spectacular series, where we ask interesting people to describe their
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passions. tonight, author and futurist amy webb offers us a glimpse of things to come in the world of tech. her latest book is "the signals are talking: why today's fringe is tomorrow's mainstream." >> we don't stop to think about it but if you really want to freak yourself out, and you own a cell phone, go to google and look up your personal information. every single place that you've been since you've been online, while we don't think about those digital breadcrumbs, there are lots of third parties out there that are scooping them up and they are doing something with that data. if you stop to think about it, your phone knows you better and has a more intimate relationship with you than whoever it is that you're sleeping with. than your loved one, this is for pbs isn't it? i can't say that. we are entering a period in which you can be expected to talk to machines for the rest of your life.
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the thing that's coming is artificial intelligence, it won't just be you talking to a machine. a lot of it's going to be invisible and it's going to make our lives easier. it's going to allow scientists to leapfrog ahead in their research and i do believe that within my lifetime, life as we know it on this planet is probably going to look a little bit different than it is today. there's some really interesting bio information tools that are coming to market so one big trend is, how can we prevent against hackers. no matter how hard we try to tell people, you've got to change your passwords, most people don't change their passwords, what if we no longer have passwords, instead we are using our own biometric information. you're probably already doing that if you have a newer phone, you're using your thumbprint as a way to make payments some of the interesting things on the horizon are things like heat maps, all of the capillaries of your face are in very slightly different places which means that your face kind of gives off this unique heat map and that unique heat map is one way that we can authenticate you.
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one of the challenges with technology is that as it becomes more sophisticated, it also becomes more hidden, if you look under the hood of a modern car you see what looks like a flat surface. not every person who drives a car needs to be lewis hamilton's f-1 pit crew boss, but i do think it's dangerous for us to continue going forward without having some of that lexicon. we have to be able to have conversations with each other and with the people creating these devices because if we can't have the conversations, then we can't ask the questions and if we can't ask the questions, the problem is that ten years in the future we're going to look back at this moment in time and wish that we had done things differently. my name is amy webb and this is my brief but spectacular take on the future. >> woodruff: you can watch additional brief but spectacular episodes on our website, in a news update, the pentagon
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announced this eve thank four more prisoners have been transferred away from guantanamo to the united arab emirates and to saudi arabia. they are the final transfers before president obama leaves office. that means 41 inmates remain at guantanamo. tonight on charlie rose: vice president-elect mike pence on what to expect from the new administration. and that's the newshour for tonight. join us back here tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern for special live coverage of the presidential inauguration. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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program. >> most don't believe the country's heading in the right direction so why do they want to elect a president swearing he's going keep us going in the right direction. she represented the status quo. he represented change and it's our job now to deliver on the change. >> charlie: paul ryan for the hour, next. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information serves


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