tv The News Hour With Jim Lehrer PBS August 7, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour this friday, the lead story is, the good news on the unemployment front as job losses ease. then we have the other news of the day, including an interview with the pakistani ambassador about the u.s. missile strike that killed a key taliban leader.
members of congress get an earful from constituents about health care reform. and the analysis of mark shields and david brooks. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by: >> tiny little thing, it's just... not big. ah... okay, i found it. ( cheers and applause ) okay. >> we are intel, sponsors of tomorrow. >> what the world needs now is energy. the energy to get the economy humming again. the energy to tackle challenges like climate change.
what is that energy came from an energy company? everyday, chevron invests $62 million in people, in ideas-- seeking, teaching, building. fueling growth around the world to move us all ahead. this is the power of human energy. chevron. the national science foundation. supporting education and research across all fields of science and engineering. 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: the u.s. economy served up a surprise today. new data from july showed unemployment actually fell, and the number of jobs lost was
smaller than expected. jeffrey brown has our lead story report. >> reporter: it was the 19th month in a row of job losses, as businesses cut another 247,000 employees. but that was about 80,000 fewer than expected. it was also down sharply from june, and was, by far, the smallest monthly total this year. >> 247,000 jobs, that's a lot of jobs. that's big loss. but given the context of the sort of job loss that we've been having, again, this is a good trend at the moment. >> reporter: keith hall, commissioner of the bureau of labor statistics, appeared at a joint congressional hearing this morning. he said: the bulk of layoffs in most industries, such as the auto sector, have already happened. and employees worked more hours last month, after sinking to a record low in june. the overall unemployment rate was down slightly, to 9.4%, as thousands of people stopped looking for work.vñ
but white house officials said they still expect it to top 10% this year. >> i would say that we're not in recovery yet, but this is the path that we have to go to get to recovery. we expect to see moderation first, before we actually start getting improvement in the labor market. >> they face a potential loss of unemployment benefits but senate majority leader harry reid promised action. >> soon after congress returns to washington, we'll need to address this matter. unemployment benefits are a sound investment. there should be no disagreement that we should help those who are suffering as a result of an economic crisis they didn't create. >> reporter: congress has already extended unemployment benefits three times during this recession. for a closer look at today's numbers, we turn to: diane swonk, chief economist at mesirow financial, a diversified financial services firm in chicago; and jim ellis, assistant managing editor at "business week" magazine. diane swonk, companies are still shedding jobs but not as
quickly. so, relatively speaking, better than expected, right? >> certainly better than expected. we also saw an increase in the hours worked which is one of those big precursors to hiring. firms are much more likely to take the employees they have and work them longer hours before they actually make that commitment to actually hiring workers. the other good news in the data was an increase in wages. that was really reflective in part on the higher men mum wage and a bounceback from some of the weakest wage numbers we've seen in the post world war 2 period. >> so jim ellis when you look at particular industries or sectors, where were the losses this time? does anything jump out to you as looking better this time around? >> there's nothing that really looks radically better. i mean we are happy to see that in the areas that have continued to go down and have been going down for quite some time lick manufacturing, they, the numbers were not any worse.
in other words, this is less bad. and that's a good thing. there was an unusual number in the sense that auto showed an uptick, motor vehicle, manufacturing. but a lot of that had to do with the fact that both general motors and chrysler have pretty well cut back a lot of activity because of their bankruptcies. and so that number was sort of an anomaly. in other words, we're not seeing a lot in the sectors that surprise us. what we're seeing that really surprises us more is the fact that maybe the makeup of the labor force as far as the discouraged workers are concerned is larger than we expected. >> diane swonk did you see anything that jumped out at you in terms it of particular industrys or sectors? >> well, the two sectors that have been the stars so far and sort of continue to show pretty much gains throughout the 19 months of the recession were medical, health care and education. and those two sectors continue to show gains. i'm concerned about that. and i think it underscores some of the concerns we all have about the headwind wes still face in the u.s. economy. real estate revenues have been cut dramatically.
pink slips have been handed out. and those layoffs for teachers won't show up until we get back to school in late august and early september. we've also got a lot of people losing health-care coverage. and when they lose health-care coverage it is putting a lot of burden on the costs of emergency room visits on hospitalsment and we know hospitals are beginning to layoff a lot of administrative personnel. they have to absorb those extra cost. every percent increase in the unemployment rate is another million people without insurance as well. that's nothing to say of what people do in terms of cutting back on their insurance coverage when their overtime hours didisappear. >> so jim ellis, the unemployment rate actually fell but that in itself is a bit of a mixed message at least this time around, right? explain the -- discouraged worker factor. >> one reason that probably the rate fell even though the number of jobs that the economy has dropped is because a lot of people who are not working are now not classified as unemployment.
officially unemployed. and that's what they call people who are marginally attached to the workforce. in other words, discouraged workers. people who would like to work and are fit to work and have looked for work in the past 1 months but now have stopped looking either because they feel that there no jobs out there for them or because of something in the last four weeks that kept them from withing out and pounding the pavement looking for work. those people aren't considered unemployed technically and they fall out of the system. however there is a lot of them. there is about, right now, almost two million workers who fit that way. and that's probably one of the reasons that the rate, the 9.4% rate looks better than the previous month. however, those people are still out there and as soon as the economy starts to pick back up, they're going to flood back into the sort of job hunting role. and that's going to probably help push up the unemployment rate. >> but in the meantime, diane swonk in the meantime they're out there and they're out there for longer periods of time.
things do open up? >> it's more difficult simply because the longer they're out given the job losses we've seen over the past year, there's more people to compete against for that same small number job coming back. >> exactly. >> i mean right now we've got i guess about a third of right around 5 million are what they would call, you know, unemployed for more than 27 weeks. that's a huge -- we're talking about people who have been out of work for more than six months. and right now the average period of unemployment is running at 5 weeks. this is unprecedented, at least unprecedented in the time that they've been keeping that data stream. and so i think that that is the thing a lot of people don't understand amount of that nowadays unemployment isn't what it might have been a generation ago where you are out of work for seven, 10 weeks and you got back in. nowadays you are talking about many months out of
work. and that is what pushes people to losing their homes, pushes people to basically losing almost everything they have. >> so die anne swonk, you come back to the rate itself, and certainly we're still hearing a lot of caution it may go, still may go well over 10% is that still a consensus figure, do you, when you look out, what do you see and what is the predictions i guess in terms of when things might turn around at this point? >> well, we'll see positive growth in the second half of the year but this is when we see a rel break between wall street and main street. profits can come back where you are holding down wages and the economy stabilizes. but the labor force, the labor condition kos continue to deteriorate. and even as we see jobs come back, i think by december or january, i don't think those gains are going to be enough to pull down the unemployment rate. in fact, something we talked about earlier, all those discoveraged workers coming back into the labor force, unemployment could easily right well into the first half of 2010 closing x%, even as the labor market improves. and as it's doing that for main street, wall street
will get better profits but for main street what you'll see is as people come back into the labor force and are you creating more jobs, again those lines, there is competition for every job out there will continue to intensify. >> reporter: jim ellising quick last word on the same subject. looking ahead at the jobs picture. >> and the last four reconnections there's always been a one to six month lag after the economy turns before employment turns up. we've got months to go with bad unemployment. >> all right, jim ellis and diane swonk, thanks both very much. >> thank you. >> find out how hard hit states are coping with record numbers of jobless claims on our web sitement newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: in other news, wall street was happy with the employment report. the dow jones industrial average gained well over 113 points to close at 9370. the nasdaq rose 27 points to close at 2000.
for the week the dow gained 2%. the nasdaq rose 1%. president obama signed an extension of the "cash for clunkers" program to stimulate auto sales. the senate approved another $2 billion last night, a week after the house did so. the program had all but run through its initial budget of $1 billion. secretary of state hillary clinton rallied south africa today to help struggling economies across the african continent. it was her second stop on a seven nation tour. in johannesburg, clinton told business leaders they have a "responsibility and an opportunity" to contribute to africa's economic success. >> we believe that south africa has so much more economic potential and it cannot exist as an island of relative prosperity amid a sea of untapped opportunity elsewhere on the continent.
>> woodruff: earlier in the day, clinton met privately with former south african president nelson mandela, who turned 91 last month. across iraq, a string of attacks killed at least 51 shiites. the worst was in rasheediyah, north of mosul. 38 iraqis died when a suicide car bomb brought down a shiite mosque. 200 more were wounded. and in afghanistan, one u.s. service member and three british paratroopers were killed in the latest fighting. there was new advice from washington today to scale back closing schools because of the swine flu also known as h1n1. more than 700 schools closed in half the states last spring. but federal officials said today that's not needed, unless large numbers of students get sick. and, education secretary arne duncan said schools do need contingency plans. >> we absolutely hope that no schools will have to close.
but real telecommunicationically, some schools will close this fall. and if they do, it is incredibly important to all of us that our students continue to learn. educators need to start thinking now about having temporary home schooling plans in place. using both phones and the internet. whether it's for just a few students or potentially for an entire school. >> woodruff: officials also said students who get swine flu should be allowed back, 24 hours after their fever is gone. the previous recommendation was to stay home for a week. senator mel martinez of florida has announced he'll resign this month, more than a year before his term ends. the one-term republican is one of two hispanics in the senate. he had already said he would not seek re-election next year. it falls to florida governor charlie crist to appoint a "place-holder" to serve out the rest of martinez's term. crist is already running for the seat, but he said today he would not appoint himself.
>> woodruff: and still to come on the newshour tonight: grassroots anger over health care reform; and shields and brooks. that follows the death of a taliban leader. he's believed to have been killed yesterday in south waziristan, pakistan. we begin with this report narrated by alex thomson of independent television news. >> the charismatic commander who as leader of pakistan's biggest taliban grouping created such instability in the country that the u.s. put a $5 million bounty on his head. that offer came to an abrupt end on wednesday after a cia drone's missile targeted a home in the south region of pakistan. the taliban commander and aid confirmed he had been killed. masud took over the group in
december 2007 and soon became a major thorn in the side of the pakistani government which blamed him for the assassination of the presidential candidate benazir bhutto. and for attacks on the vey lankan crickity -- cricket team. >> you put into question pack stan's security, it was creting a lot of problems for the military, for the police and at the same time they also painted him as the bogey man, the man who was behind every single attack if pakistan even though it wasn't necessarily proved that he was. >> masoud supporters are already believed to be meeting to decide on the replacement raising fears of revenge attacks. however long it takes to replace masoud, the violence in this region will continue. >> margaret warner has more. >> warner: and for >> woodruff: margaret warner has more. >> warner: for more on all of this we turn to pakistan's ambassador to washington husain haqqani. and steve coll, president of the new america foundation and writer for the "new yorker." he's the author of "ghost wars: the secret history of the cia, afghanistan and bin laden."
welcome to you both, mr. ambassador. let me begin with you. how confident are you, is your government that by masoud is dead. >> 100 percent zrpt can only be achieved after dna testing and a lot of physical evidence has been processed. but other than that, there are a lot of pointers as a result of this, most people believe that he is, indeed, dead. and his own group has announced that. >> and if that's the case, how significant would that be in terms of your government struggle against this militant movement? >> if he is indeed dead then that is definitely a major advance in proving pakistan's determination and the determination of the united states to eliminate extremists and ter rusts from our region. of course the death of one individual is still just the death of unindividual there are others who are part of a
broader movement and we will have to continue to make sure that we eliminate the hard-line irreconcilable elements and that we reach out to those that we can reconcile at some point in the futurement but the fact remains that the pakistani authorities have now shown their determination. we have fought effectively the terrorists there. and if he is, indeed, dead then his followers will certainly feel this as a major setback. >> steve, turning to you, how big a deal is this, do you think it, how significant a figure was masoud and what made him so. >> he was a significant figure, one of the most important leaders of the resistence to the pakistani state and to the united states, particularly in his home territory and among his people. what made him distinctive was he was able to organize a pretty broad and vicious coalition and he was ruthless himself. he ordered murders without remorse. he has a lot of blood on his hands by all accounts, not just that of benazir bhutto
but hundreds of traditional tribal leaders and others who is out to oppose him. so between 2005 and the present he was able more than other leaders in that region to organize an effective and violent movement. he will be replaced whether his successor will be as effective in those ways as he was, we'll have to see. >> and explain what the pakistani taliban is, what its aims are and how much of a threat it to the pakistani state. >> well, it announced itself in december 2007 and masoud was part of the unveiling and it essentially is a confederation of like-minded islamist revolutionaries who seek the overthrow of the constitutional order in pakistan and replacement of a sharia designed regime of their own making. and it evolved into a guerrilla movement, a terrorist movement, it has popular and political aspects, it has violent narrow terrorist aspects as well. and it is also tied up with criminal rackets which is one of the ways it's funded
itself. >> so mr. ambassador, would you say that the pakistani government welcomes this development? >> well, let me just say that under muslim custom you never wohl come the debt even of an enemy. you do not comment on the death in terms of celebration in any way. but the fact remains that the elimination of anyone who was ordered murder in our country, who is responsible for terrorist acts, who has violated the constitution and the law of pakistan with impunity is certainly going to advance the cause of bringing peace and stability to an office in pakistan. >> warner: and you are a student of the militant movement and the islamic militant movement. what do you think made him a leader? he was a relatively young man. >> well, masoud brought a new dimension to the islamist militant movement. we must understand there are differences betweenician
lambists who want islamic law and are willing to participate in political prophecies to obtain their militants, among militants there are the ruthless militants connected with al qaeda with global objectives and there are militants who have local objectives. masoud fell in between. what he did was he used international rhetoric and american rhetoric, rhetoric against pakistan an its neighbors and others per served by muslims as having caused grievances for muslims. and at the same time he operated by rallying his own tribe. so he tried a new model, connections with other networks but a network that is essentially tied by his own tribe. and so he was very effective because of being able to draw on other networks while at the same time using his own network for great effect. >> so steve, connect the dots here now between him and the united states.
in what way would he be considered a threat to u.s. interests. and also how closely tied was he to al qaeda. >> he clearly collaborated with elements of al qaeda in the period after their retreat from afghanistan across the border after 2001. >> may i just interrupt. was he involved, for instance, did this group shelter al qaeda leaders. >> they are accused of that by the government of the united states that why he had a $5 million reward on his head in addition to the%cx & reward by the pakistani government it was for his collaboration with al qaeda. he also facilitated tactics against american soldiers across-the-board never afghanistan and he targeted western facilities in pakistan and by seeking to destabilize pakistan he was judged by the united states government to be working against american interests for all those reasons he was seen as an enemy of the united states. but his collaborations with al qaeda i think the ambassador said it well, were peculiar to his region and to the relationship
between his tribe and uzbeq and some other arab elements of al qaeda. we're not clear, i'm not clear anyway, on how close he was to the senior leadership of al qaeda to osama bin laden and others. he clearly could lab waited with some parts of the organization but there are other islamist leaders along that border who also have ties to al qaeda and who are only his allies, not his subordinates. >> i have to ask you about persistent reports that though your government has publicly complained about the cia drone attacks on pakistani territory, that, in fact, your government actually urged the u.s. government to add pasoud essentially to its target list, not just to go after al qaeda figures or figures directly involved against u.s. forces in afghanistan, but, in fact, because he was such a threat to the stability of your state and causing such havoc, that you all wanted him added to the list. that the case? >> well, margaret, i don't
think that that is a question i'm in a position to answer. all i can say is that pakistan and the united states do cooperate and in this particular instance it is our cooperation that has brought the results that are being reported right now. >> so you're saying your cooperation did, in fact, lead to this strike and others. >> i am not going to go into the technical details of the strike because for me that was not the story. i know it is the story for you. but for me the story is the big picture and the big picture is that pakistan and the unites states work together to eliminate terrorism and extremeism from -- >> and picking up on something you said a little earlier, that of course the struggle would continue. can you share with us any information, your government has about what you think his demise, masoud demise would mean to the effectiveness of the rather potent group that he did head. >> well, masoud was as you already said a charismatic leader. he also had become a
recognized figure. his name had become a household word. so in those senses his elimination will definitely have some impact on his group as a charismatic leader whose demise does for any such group. but at the same time, of course, they will try and regroup, find a new leader. i may not be as effective. and then we will have to see how the various allies work with the new leadership, and how the followers pond to the new leadership, does the new leader have the same capabilities, negative capabilities that masoud had? so it's not the end but it is certainly an important event in the struggle against extremism and terrorism in our part of the world. >> warner: thank you both very much, ambassador husain haqqani, steve coll. >> woodruff: on our website newshour.pbs.org teachers and parents can use a lesson plan on governments negotiating with the taliban. this is pledge week on public television, we're taking a short break now so your public
>> woodruff: anger, protests and plenty of debate. that's what some lawmakers faced this week in the battle over health reform. and that was on their home turf. health correspondent betty ann bowser has our report. the health unit is a partnership with the robert wood johnson foundation. >> hands off our healthcare. >> reporter: it's been just one week since members of the house hit the road to find out what their constituents think of their party's health care reform bills, and what some of them are running into is a lot of august heat. yesterday nearly 200 protesters both for and against current reform proposals, showed up outside this health clinic in denver where speaker of the house nancy pelosi and local congressional representatives came to sell democratic reform ideas.
pelosi, for her part, seemed unfazed by the rucus. >> what you see i think is a display of the democratic process. where people come forward and express their views and we all respect that. >> reporter: elsewhere, protests have been even more disruptive. >> long an odd have kate of health-care reform was booed ander. >>ed at during a town hall meet egg held in romulus, michigan. the gathering became so contentious that police escorted some people away. >> we get a half hour? >> earlier in the week texas democrat jean green was shouted down at a town hall meeting. >> that's not right. >> white house spokesman robert gibb said white house spokesman robert gibbs said much of that anger is being orchestrated by right- leaning groups and big money interests. >> i think you had groups today, conservatives for patients rights, that have bragged about organizing and manufacturing that anger.
>> seems like when congress gets involved, things just cost more. >> reporter: conservatives for patient rights founded by a former hospital ceo has spent millions to front tv ads opposing the democratic healthcare plan, the group's website targets congressional town hall meetings and urges people to go and protest. but the organization denies there is anything manufactured about the anger people are feeling. nancy rumfelt is affiliated with the group and several other activist organizations. >> there's been lots of protests done by the left, on the iraq war and stuff and people didn't question how helpful was that because it's their first amendment right to do that, just as its ours to do this. >> reporter: andrew ward says he supports these groups but is not controlled by them. >> i'm not bought and paid for. i'm not part of an angry mob. i'm not part of a vast right wing conspiracy.
i'm here because i am who i am and i heard about it and want my voice to be heard. yes, i'm part of the republican party, but im not bought and paid for. i wasn't told to come here. i came here on my own because i'm a worried american. >> reporter: president obama's "organizing for america" campaign has sent emails to supporters saying the protests are organized by "insurance companies, special interests and partisan attack organizations" and are "using scare tactics and spreading smears, trying to incite constituents into lashing out at their representatives and disrupting their events." other left-leaning groups have also begun to mobilize their forces. doug lindslay was contacted by moveon.org to attend the denver rally. >> i don't think the shouting itself is all that helpful, but its hard for me-when the other side starts shouting-its hard for me not to go ahead and do the same.
but if someone was doing it when congress people were speaking to us, i'd certainly ask that they be civil and wait their turn to ask a question instead of shouting out, which i've seen a lot of in the last week. and its very , its not good for the democratic process in my humble opinion. >> reporter: diane lucas is a pediatrician and an activist for a single payer plan, something not on the table in washington. >> we see our mission as education. i'm out with my clipboard signing up people so they know what's happening in colorado and on a federal level. >> reporter: back inside, pelosi was asked about the disruptions and whether the leadership should re-think how it's selling the party's health care proposals. >> members know best how they communicate with constituents. some do it congress in your corner, government in your grocery store, town hall
meetings, press conferences. but there's been no change in strategy. the plan for august is to listen carefully to what people are saying, what ideas they may have, to improve legislation as it affects them. but to be confident in the principles were putting forth. >> reporter: it could be a very long, hot month for congressional democrats. >> woodruff: finally tonight, the analysis of shields and brooks. syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. >> thank you for being here. >> well, mark, let's pick up on betty ann bowser's report. what do you make of these protestors showing up at town meetings in congressional districts all over the country? >> well, first of all there are legitimate and authentic concerns about the plan, and
questions about the plan. and we see that in public opinion polls. but there is, i think, a danger here that civility becomes a sign of weakness and that the public debate is debased when a shouting done. it doesn't become a question of my opponent is ill-informed or just mistaken or has the facts wrong. it becomes one that he is -- he is il legitimate. he's part of the vast conspiracy. and i really think that is a danger. it has obviously i think the speaker, it her fondest hope that there will be a communication but i think this has changed the debate from the merits of the bill and the proposals to a coverage to you about the protest and the shout downs and so forth. >> david, how do you find this. >> well, first of all i have been sitting at this table long enough to hate that
kind of shouting. i hate it when they shout down lloyd docket or whofer. i hate it when the code pink lady was stand up during the hearing of the iraq war and shout people down and have to be arrested and carried away. but i do agree that the concern is ream. if you look at the polls, it's much more than any astroturf consideration. >> the concern. >> the concern over health-care reform. the polls right no is a slight majority are very suspicious of the basic approach. and if you compare where the polls are now to where they were when clinton care died in the 1990s, it's exactly the same. we are at the low point of clinton care already. and my suspicion is that will only increase because the basic problem the proponents have is there is no good bill sitting out there. so the president is going to spend the month going around but he has nothing actually to sell. and so that leaves him sort of empty-handed which is one of the reasons i think they are sort of shifting attention to the protests rather than the bill. >> but is it a legit pat worry on their part that what's being proposed could
lead to government takeover which is what so many -- >> there a lot of misinformation out there that if they going to cut off granny and all that stuff which is mystifying to me. my concern is, which is backed up by the cbo and everything else, that we need health-care reform. this does nothing to reduce costs. that is not the argue they're making pain because it's to the an emotional hot button argument. they're going to kill your granny. so there is a ton of misinformation going out there. but that doesn't mean there is real serious concern with real evidence sort of underlie wig i assume is motivating most of the people. >> but mark, the debate don't really seem over what is in the legislation t seems to be what people are throwing around. >> throwing out, it deliberate, this information, this isn't just accidental, this information there are television spots now being funded where why can i -- i can to the get a hip replacement surgery says the older person, character actor, but it will pay for
abortions which i oppose. it's÷-wrong on both grounds. there is no basis for that. david is right about the scare tactics about youth -- euthanasia. it just changes the whole terms of the debate. i don't disagree with david that there are legitimate concerns that have been growing concerns. but this is generated a lot more heat than it is light. and what it is doing is suggesting that you're not -- your motives are impure if are you and rod advocate of health care. >> let's not pretend this just started. every time we have a major issue this happens. go back to the iraq war. there were people claiming there was the project for the new maernt sent reand richard pearl was part of a big neoconnecticut spirs see there is uglyness that went on, there is uglyness that went on in those rallies. >> you are saying it is the same concept. >> i think every time if you look through american history every time there a major issue, and this a major issue, you get people totally over the line and spreading misinformation. and that doesn't justify it, believe me but we shouldn't
pretend it just started from one group. >> no, but this is, i think this is organized in a way that the others weren't. i mean when any of us gives a speech, we are asked almost semi regularly about what about 9/11. and wasn't that, in fact, organized and the plane kos not have knocked down the twin towers. i mean that is a regular -- and it is usually somebody that -- this is not something where somebody is shouting you down and denying you. the code pink ladies david mentioned would speak, would shout at the congressional hearings but then they would be quickly removed. this stops the debate. that's what is going on right now. that's the difference. >> so when the fellow betty ann interview, one of the gentleman said this not good for the democratic process. >> it isn't. >> is that right. >> no. >> yeah, i think we can both agree on that. we're not shouting at each other all these years, so yeah. >> so nothing, so what is the effect on health-care reform is there any effect, does it just stop the
debate. >> it changes the wol debate. i mean the coverage, betty ann has done great coverage about the case pro and con for the pros -- proposals. she's reduced to being a fight reporter and interviewing the people on either side. i mean not reduced to that but i means that's the story. and so the story is to you about the protests instead of about the proposal. >> all right. something else to talk about today. a little bit of good economic news, david. unemployment numbers came out and surprise, they were a little bit better than what people expected. >> not as bad as we thought. and if you are losing 240,000 jobs, this comes as good news, i guessment and i think it is a piece which is the depth of the recession, we have sort of, it went down we had a total collapse and now we are here sort of at a flat level. now the debate has erupted a retroactive debate about the stimulus bill and how much the stimulus bill is a part.
i guess my paper had a story today. the consensus seems to it be had a small role, maybe increased growth by 1%. but having spent relatively little of the actual 187 billion that was there, but i think what essentially means is we will see growth in the second half of the term but the economic mood will not change. and as part of, going back to health care, when you look at major reforms they tend to happen at periods of high economic growth. it's almost unprecedented to think of major social reforms at times of economic anxiety because people pull inward are risk adverse, that is the pa of the political -- >> suck logically it's good news. i mean one-third as many people lost their jobs in july as did in january. and more people lost their jobs in january than any month since 1940. so you know in that sense it's an improvement, judy. but the reality is according to the senate for budget and policy priorities which is a liberals group, that
unemployment doesn't peak for a long time until after the end of the recession. for example, in 2001 recession unemployment did not peak, that is did not reach its lowest point, until, or highest point until 19 months after the recession had hended. it was 15 months in the 1991 recession. so the layoffs being less or fewer are not to be con fussed with hiring and jobs going out. one-third of the people who are unemployed right now have been unemployed for more than half a year. and that is more serious and more great than any time in the history of recordkeeping on the subject which guess back over 60 years. >> two other things i want to try to touch on. bill clinton's trip, david to north korea, what do you make of this trip over there. he brings home the two journalists, what does that say about what his role may be with this. >> i was so impressed, can control the empathy. the great impasse goes over
therend he is so toic, he show those emotion. had to turn off his clintonness, his he sense. i thought it was a good news story. he got these two women out. people are saying he made some psychological concessions. i don't see any long-term effect from that. i see some actual gains, some concrete gains. two women were liberated. it didn't make the north korean regime look any better. so i think it was a total win. >> so we can separate it, park, from what is going on with policywise. >> yeah, i agree. i agree with david. and what it shows to me more than anything else is a restoration of what had been a great american tradition. and that was quite honestly, judy, that you negotiated with adversaries. that ronald reagan did it with the soviet union, richard nixon did it with china. george herbert walker bush did it. it was suspended, diplomacy or diplomatic engagement became something that was conferred as a prize. and i think bill clinton did well. i'm happy that the two reporters are home.
>> and finally, sonia sotomayor confirmed. she's going to sworn in tomorrow, david, the 9th supreme court justice. step back for a minute would, does this is a? >> well, you know, i guess i have a somewhat unusual view which is i think we overplayed the race and woman angle in the story. i think if you look at her opinion and you just read the opinion you wouldn't have been able to tell what race or gender she was. they were just opinions of seemingly intelligent woman. and so i think when historians look back the all this, i think they will think we overplayed, for understandable historical reasons, the race and gender aspect of this rather than the all the other parts of her personality and the way she thinks. >> well, what were those 30 republican senators voting against. >> they were voting against the fact that shes with a liberal. and i disapprove of that. i think presidents should be allowed to pick who they like. barack obama disagreeed with that. but the eight republicans with who voted for her said hey, he won the election. we may not agree with her,
we'll vote for her. i think that is the right thing to do. and i hope we gaekt to that as a result of the really good heroic action of these 8 republican senators. >> any group in our country's history which has held itself exexcluded or estranged these the establishment whether it's ethnic or religious, when one of its own emerges to a position of national leadership and is recognized in that, it really is an affirm mation not only of the individual's achievements but also of the entire group. somehow people, the establishment, the rest of the country will now look differently at us. i think that's how latinos felt and understandably so about justice sotomayor. i think the republicans made a terrible mistake. the republicans have a serious problem in this country. they have lost support dramatically, hemorrhaged support among young voters, women and latinos in particular. and they've got to figure out a way to get back. they lost women in the last five elections.
they lost latinos better than 2 to -- the fastest growing ethnic group in the country. they have lost young voters in the last three presidential elections by a 2 to 1 marvin -- margin this last time. >> woodruff: david thinks they voted against her because they think she's too liberal. >> 22 democrats voted for john roberts to confirm him and he was obviously a conservative justice. but i think that four of the people who voted, that david mentioned voted are retiring, judy. senators greg bond and martinez and boyne very much so it is a distressing thing. i think is short-sighted on the part of the republicans. >> do the republicans have a problem. >> it a minus but that not why people will vote for or against t will be the bigger economic issues. mark is right they have a problem but i don't think this will be a determining factor. >> woodruff: all right, are you a determining reason for having the program every friday. david brooks, mark shields, thank you both. have a great weekend
>> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day, the u.s. unemployment rate fell slightly in july, and job losses slowed. a string of bombings in iraq killed at least 37 shiites. scores of others were wounded. this week and one american and three british troops were killed in afghanistan on newshour.pbs.org two online-only conversations tonight. on art beat, jeffrey brown talks to "washington post" film critic hank stoover about director john hughes who died yesterday. and to julia child's grand nephew, alex prud'homme. he co-wrote her memoir, which was adapted for the new movie "julie and julia." here's an excerpt of their conversation. >> she had this very sort of optimistic view of the world. we end the book with a screen where she is talking
about giving up her house in france and she's telling me about the lessons she learned from the french. and it boils down to take the time to do things right. she said, you know, cooking is fun. it's a great way to get together with people. you are all sharing this sensual, artistic experience. when you think about t it is a philosophy that can apply to not only cooking but to pretty much any endeavor in life. >> woodruff: alex prud'homme, talking about julia child. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you on-line, and again here monday evening, have a nice weekend, i'm judy woodruff, thank you and good night. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by: chevron. intel. supporting math and science education for tomorrow's innovators.
and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. 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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org