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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 26, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: a nasty winter storm already blamed for several deaths in the u.s. rolled up the eastern seaboard today, threatening to snarl thanksgiving travel. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this tuesday, the bloody civil war in syria. the main rebel group announced it will skip upcoming peace talks and vowed to keep up the battle against president bashar al-assad's forces. >> ifill: and our thanksgiving week series on food continues with a profile of award-winning cookbook writer paula wolfert, now caught between her love of food and her battle with alzheimer's. >> i can't remember what i read
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i know what the dish is supposed to taste like, i just don't remember the amounts. i can't... i can't remember. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.
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>> 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 holiday plans of many thousands of americans lay at the mercy today of a major winter storm that's arrived before winter actually starts. the system has killed at least 11 people since it blew onto the west coast last week. the storm rolled toward the east as a wintry mix of heavy rain, wind, snow and ice on the eve of the thanksgiving travel period. this morning, road conditions in eastern kentucky were already getting dangerous. >> it's been pretty terrible.
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it's... since i got on 75, it's been rain and. now, it's all been ice and snow. >> woodruff: the system had earlier crossed the west and southwest, dumping snow and ice from southern california into texas and oklahoma. by today, it was spreading from the gulf coast region up the length of the eastern seaboard. salt trucks hit the roads from north carolina to the northeast trying to get the jump on expected snow and ice. >> yeah, we're getting ready. >> woodruff: airlines braced for major cancellations and flight delays through tomorrow just as millions of people try to get home for the holidays. in new york today, some hoped to beat the bad weather by flying out early. >> it was many hundreds of dollars to change our tickets, but we had family plans in chicago that we can't miss, so off we go and we have to suck it up. >> woodruff: for others, it was too late. some were stuck in miami yesterday after flights to
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dallas and other western cities were canceled. >> i can't get home, had to spend the whole night in here in this airport on this cold floor. >> woodruff: they were feeling the frustration in milwaukee, as well. >> now we are trying to connect to kansas city to try to get back to texas. so, yeah, i wish i could just click my heels three times and be home, but this is pretty tough. >> woodruff: to avoid getting stuck at airports or on the roads, some people decided to take the train. >> my son said, "don't you think about driving," and i'm so glad we are not driving. >> woodruff: but, according to a.a.a., 90% of travelers will be on the roads this week, and nearly 40 million are expected to drive 50 miles or more from home. the u.s. supreme court will hear another challenge to president obama's health care law. at issue is a provision that employers provide birth control coverage under their health benefits. a number of business owners have cited religious objections.
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lower courts have divided in their rulings on the issue. two american b-52 bombers flew over disputed islands in the east china sea today. on saturday, beijing announced an air defense zone over the islands, which japan also claims. the u.s. rejected the chinese restrictions. meanwhile, china sent its only aircraft carrier on a training mission today into the south china sea. disputes in that region center on oil and gas fields. we'll have more on this right after the news summary. afghan president hamid karzai is making new demands before signing a security agreement with the u.s. the "washington post" reported today that karzai wants the u.s. to help start peace talks with the taliban and to release afghan prisoners from guantanamo. karzai made the demands during a two-hour meeting monday with national security adviser susan rice. she warned against delay in signing the security pact.
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>> if the agreement isn't signed promptly, what i said to the president is, "we would have no choice. we would be compelled by necessity, not by our preference, to have to begin to plan for the prospect that we will not be able to keep our troops here because they will not be invited." >> woodruff: the agreement would allow some 8,000 american troops to stay in afghanistan after next year, helping to train afghan forces. in thailand, thousands of protesters forced the evacuation of several key government ministries and announced they mean to bring down the government. crowds have already seized a number of government buildings. they vowed today to shut down more offices if prime minister yingluck shinawatra does not resign. she called for calm and offered to negotiate. france pledged today to send 1,000 troops to the central african republic in an effort to restabilize the nation. the former french colony has fallen into near anarchy since
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rebels ousted the president in march. now, the u.n. is warning of mass atrocities. in paris, foreign minister laurent fabius outlined his hopes for the mission. >> ( translated ): in this operation, what are we aiming for? first, assist an abominable humanitarian situation-- i mean, really abominable-- then restore security in a country that is imploding. thirdly, allow a political transition because there are transitional authorities. and fourthly, at some point, allow a kick-start of the economy." >> woodruff: the french deployment is in conjunction with a regional peacekeeping force being deployed by the african union. cbs has ordered "60 minutes" correspondent lara logan and her producer to take a leave of absence over a story on the benghazi raid. the october report cited a security guard's claim that he was there when the u.s. mission was attacked in september 2012. it quickly turned out that he
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told his employer and the f.b.i. that he was not there. a cbs internal review found logan did a poor job of vetting the man's account. wall street was relatively quiet today. the dow jones industrial average gained a fraction of a point to close at 16,072. the nasdaq rose 23 points to close at 4,017. still to come on the newshour: rising tensions in asia; the deportation debate; the free syrian army's uphill battle; wisconsin governor scott walker's lessons learned from a recall; henry louis gates' sweeping history of african americans; and paula wolfert takes on alzheimer's in the kitchen. >> woodruff: china's push into an area also claimed by japan has increased volatility in the region. china demands that before planes
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enter the disputed area they now notify the chinese government. this morning, the u.s. sent two b-52 bombers over the islands without giving notice. for more on this, i'm joined by julian barnes of the "wall street journal." thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: why did the u.s. send over bombers in an area over the chinese said we control? >> well, the u.s. right after that announcement by china said they're not going to change the way they operate in the region. the united states doesn't take sides in the teartor y'all dispute but we have an agreement with japan to defend japanese territory and the territory they administer. so the u.s. believes the status quo means that this -- that this defense zone alters the status quo and so that they cannot abide by it. >> woodruff: what was the reaction from the chinese after the u.s. did this today? >> well, the u.s. was prepared
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but did not expect that china would try to intercept or contact the planes. there was no contact by china when the b. 52s flew over the disputed islands. they flew from guam, they returned to guam without incident. now, china is sticking by this -- their establishment of the air defense identification zone and we'll have to see what happens with subsequent flights. >> woodruff: so does the u.s. just -- is this a matter of the u.s. not taking the chinese seriously? >> no, not at all. this is a matter of reassuring allies. the u.s. does not want to see the dispute over the islands escalate into a military conflict between japan and china. so it's very important for the u.s. to be a calming influence. so that's why we see the u.s. taking action almost to prevent japan from doing something. >> woodruff: what is the risk that the u.s. sees here? i mean, the risk that this could end up escalating. >> right. this dispute has gone on for more than a year.
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i mean, obviously it goes back far before that. but we've had repeated conflicts over these islands over the course of the last year. the u.s. is urging the status quo, urging calm. they -- but there's quite worry and miscalculation on either side. >> woodruff: they are worried. so what, then, are the chances -- what are the u.s. plans at this point in terms of future flights? are they going to keep on making these bombing runs over the area? >> >> defense officials say they regularly exercise in this area. this is part of international airspace. they fly there. they're going to continue to do this. they believe that this is administered by japan so that they can operate there. and they will continue to fly bombers and other planes. >> woodruff: we'll keep watching. journalian barnes of the "wall street journal." thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: now, to the debate within the debate over immigration reform. even as a sweeping overhaul remains politically out of reach, hundreds of thousands of
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undocumented residents are still being deported. and that has angered some of the president's most loyal supporters. the president was making his case for immigration reform on monday in san francisco when a dissenting voice rose right behind him, demanding an end to deportations that divide families. >> most importantly, we will live up to our character... >> when can i see my family? >> our families are separated! i need your help. there are thousands of others. >> that's exactly what we're talking about. >> every single day... >> that's what why we're here. >> mr. president, please use your executive order to halt petitions for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in this country right now. >> ifill: the man making the plea was ju hong, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant from south korea. others joined him, chanting for action even as the president waved the secret service away. >> obama! >> stop deportation! >> what i would like to do...
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no, no, don't worry about it, guys. >> stop deportation, yes we can. >> ifill: the administration has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants-- about 400,000 annually. protesters have pressed for executive action to halt the practice just as mr. obama ordered a stop to deporting undocumented immigrant children last year. but the president insisted yesterday that in this case, his hands are tied. the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like i can do something by violating our laws. and what i'm proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal you want to achieve. but it won't be just shouting. it requires us lobbying and getting it done. ( applause ) >> ifill: still, the prospect of "getting it done" as part of broad immigration reform seems remote. a bipartisan measure passed the
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senate in july, but house republicans have no plans to take it up before year's end. the issue, however, continues to play out on the local level. in boston, the newly-elected mayor said today he wants to pull out of a federal program that tracks people in the country illegally. but detention and deportation continues apace. for more on that, we turn to: maria elena incapee, executive director of the national immigration law center; and david martin, a law professor at the university of virginia. he served in the obama administration as deputy general counsel at the department of homeland security. welcome to you both. miss hincapee, why have deportations increased in your view? >> well, under the obama administration, we're seeing a record number of people being detained and deported. these are your working mothers, working fathers, they're people picking our fruits, serving our food at restaurants and there have been a number of programs
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like security community which is is a program the administration created and has enforced vigorously. we also see a lot of collaboration between law enforcement agents at the ground as well as with immigration agents. we are going to rate over 2 million deportee under this administration. >> ifill: david martin, why is that happened? >> congress has funded enforcement at those levels, the administration is carrying out the laws honoring the president under the constitution. so this is both a congressional and an executive policy. i want to emphasize that the administration has made an effort to redirect deportation actions to prioritize people with criminal involvement or recent border crossers or people with serious immigration violations. the best example of that is deferred action for childhood
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arrivals policy. the policy for the so-called dreamers. for people who came here as young children rand not accountable for their illegal presence in the country. that was a policy announced about 18 months ago that provides a form of status for those people. so all of that is part of the process. the president doesn't have the authority to simply waive off enforcement of the laws. that's not the kind of system we have. so there's been an effort to reprioritize it. >> ifill: ms. hincapie, is that reprioritization enough for you? that's what he today the hecklers in the crowd. "it's not up to me. go talk to congress." >> i think the young immigrant in the crowd was voicing a growing concern among immigrant communities because of the frustration of congressional inaction as well as the fact that this administration is deporting more people than any prior administration. and david is right that the appropriations congress is partially at fault here in terms of the amount of money that they're throwing away.
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$18 billion in last fiscal year alone. more than all law enforcement -- all federal agent -- law enforcement agencies combined. that's indlebl nation is spending that much time, that much money at a time we're facing such a federal deficit. but the administration with the deferred action for childhood arrivals program did identify that dreamers in particular young immigrants are eligible or considered to be low-level priority. the problem is that the administration isn't necessarily enforcing or applying even its existing policies and procedures. >> ifill: what do you say to david martin's point that the law is the law is the law? >> well, i think we believe in the rule of law as well. and we believe that the administration should be enforcing and hopefully under new d.h.s. leadership they will put in place an implementation of existing policies and priorities. so the way that the administration has identified who is a considered a low-level priority we shouldn't continue
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to see immigrant workers, people who are paying taxes, people who are raising a family, who are contributing to our economy in so many different ways, the same very people that would be eligible for immigration reform which the administration has identified as its top legislative priority. we shouldn't be deporting today the citizens of tomorrow. >> ifill: david martin, how much latitude does the president have to say, okay, these are criminals over here who are out of immigration status and these are mothers and children who are out of immigration status and these i will deport or detain and these i won't? >> the president does have discretion to set the priorities and that's pretty much what the president has tried to do. it's not just for people with criminal records but also, for example, for recent arrivals, even if they're just coming here to work. i think that's a sound overall policy. so the president does have authority. and it can be adjusted, some beyond what it is right now and also i share maria elena's
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concern. steps need to be strengthened to make sure that the priorities are really followed. but the president doesn't have the authority to do what some people were asking for yesterday: essentially to stop haul deportations of any of the estimated 11.5 million people who will here in the country. prosecutorial discretion is the authority to focus resources, to direct thwart priorities, it's not the authority to negate the law or ignore it. >> ifill: can i ask you another question about that? she alluded to the fact that these are record numbers of deportations. how does what this administration is doing compare to past administrations? >> well, the administration has not ramped up enforcement beyond essentially what it was at the end of the bush administration. there was a big runup in enforcement and especially in congressional appropriations for that. in the clinton administration and then the george w. bush administration. i did some calculations on how that was. the final year of the bush administration there were
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391,000 removals and returns by i.c.e., the immigration and customs enforcement agency. currently it's running about 400,000. it is increasing somewhat in line with the appropriations. but this may be record deportations now, but it's only slightly above the level that it reached in the bush administration. again, with congress's very active support. if we're going to change that pattern, we really need to get new legislation and also the focus has to be as well on congress and the appropriations process. >> ifill: maria elena, a final word? >> yes, i think congress is -- the final decision rests with congress. congress must enact immigration reform. that's where the permanent solution rests. however, in the meantime, the president does have, we believe, the legal authority and the moral authority to reduce the number of deportations so that people who are considered low-level priorities that would be eligible today for immigration reform if congress acted should not be deported anymore. >> ifill: david martin, is this a legal or moral issue?
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>> well, both are involved. the effort to try to infuse more of this moral perspective, people really disagree on what that is. but that perspective into our overall enforcement picture has to be done through working on amendments for the laws. we're involved in that process, it's a very difficult process, politically fraught but serious continuing level of enforcement has to be a key part of the overall package and the long-term effort to make our immigration system healthy. >> ifill: david martin at the university of virginia and maria elena hincapie of national immigration law center. thank you so much. >> thank you, gwen. >> woodruff: the head of the free syrian army announced today that his group will not be attending the so-called "geneva 2" conference aimed at bringing a political solution to the country's crisis. instead, f.s.a. commander salim idriss vowed to continue
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fighting to topple syrian president bashar al-assad. but, as margaret warner reports, that objective has become increasingly unlikely as the underfunded and outgunned group is forced to fight additional enemies. >> warner: last november we met colonel abdul outside aleppo. his free syrian army units were on the march, he told us, taking ground in the city and surrounding area and seizing the momentum against bashar al-assad's government forces. >> ( translated ): we have almost full control on the ground, though they are superior in the air and with rocket launchers, tanks and artillery. but we are spear juror on the ground and we have control. >> warner: but earlier this month, the well-regarded commander resigned his post. in this youtube video, he voiced frustration with all the in-fighting among the rebellion's disparate units and
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leaders, including jihadist brigades. >> ( translated ): you war lords stop chasing positions and status and carrying about being famous. return to the battlefields and leave behind your egos. >> warner: joshua landis, head of middle east studies at the university of oklahoma said the resignation of the general a favorite of the u.s. and the west, shows a rebellion in crisis. >> he was the go-to man for supplying the non-lethal aid and many people have proposeed that -- his quitting shows you the western attempt to develop a supreme military council and the syrian national council and so forth has largely collapsed. >> warner: right now the regime is attacking rebel-held areas in aleppo and the suburbs of damascus and used to cross from rebels in lebanon. another top commander was just killed in an air strike and last month, assad's forces retook the
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town of a fear a outside aleppo. the latest in a string of setbacks that began with the june siege and fall of qusair, where assad's forces were boosted by fighters from lebanon shiite militia hezbollah. >> they have extended their influence. >> warner: that assault established a play book for the months ahead says former defense intelligence official jeffrey white of the washington institute for near east policy. >> this is what i call the qusair rules. they use massive firepower, air artillery, armor. they use hezbollah forces to provide the infantry. if they can, they'll isolate an area and pound it into submission. >> warner: before this reversal of fortune, the u.s. and russia were pushing to convene a peace conference here in geneva hoping that the warring parties, having fought to a stalemate, would negotiate a political solution to their conflict. well, there's now a new
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conference date set for january. many who've been involved in the struggle to end the conflict are skeptical of its chances for success-- including fred hauf who ran the state department's syria transition operation until the fall of 2012. >> it's going to be very difficult, i think, to convene a geneva conference and to have a result that essentially amounts to peaceful, negotiated regime change in syria so long as that regime itself believes it is winning. >> warner: what's more, the free syrian army-- or f.s.a.-- now finds itself fighting on two fronts. against assad and against extreme islamist elements of the rebellion. groups like the al qaeda-linked al nusra front and isis, the islamic state of iraq and al sham. funded generously by wealthy
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individuals from the gulf, they're attracted sunni jihadist fighters from throughout the arab and muslim world and even non-like minded syrians. >> the jihadi groups are well financed, well equipped, well armed. their priorities seem to be to establish various forms of pseudoislamic governance on the villages and towns and cities where they're in control. ishs. >> warner: they're taking that control in some places from the more centrist f.s.a. forces says jeff white. >> the extreme islamists are very good at taking control. they have a very effective strategy of seizing ground, expanding that area of control, bringing in good governments and good governance in the sense that it's not corrupt or criminal. initially they were pretty clumsy. the first time they go in is to establish an extreme form of
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sharia law. now they're more clever. they also deliver services. >> warner: their growing power alarms the f.s.a.'s commanding general, saa salim it idriss who spoke from turkey. >> they are fighting against the free syrian army. they are trying to control territory which is we liberated before and they don't fight against the regime and they are, for us, very dangerous and maybe sometimes more dangerous than the regime. >> warner: sr. this because they're bet equipped? >> when the regime is trying to do some pressure on a front, they begin and start to do a lot of trouble from our forces in other regions so that we are forced to send fighters to face them. >> warner: idriss repeated a long-standing plea, that the u.s. and other friendly powers give his forces more weapons, equipment, training and money.
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the lack of those resources helped prompt the resignation of his friend, colonel akaidi, he said. >> when we don't receive support sometimes we can't weaken the pressure and humans have limits and sometimes someone as criminal as abdul-jabbar comes to the limits and says "okay, enough, as a commander i can't continue." >> warner: you're talking about the united states in particular not giving enough support? >> the supporting countries to the regime are doing very well and supporting countries to the f.s.a. and to the syrian revolutions in general, the support is very little. our friends, they hesitate. >> warner: earlier this year, the obama administration did approve the shipment of some arms and ammunition to vetted f.s.a. rebels you should a covert operation by the c.i.a. but to be effective, says fred hof, the mission must be ramped up and aimed at creating a unified, disciplined rebel structure. >> i think the answer is for the
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united states to employ the u.s. department of defense in an effort, really, to take control over the whole process. if. >> warner: but the ount argument has, for now, won the president's ear. >> no, i wouldn't hear it. first of all, america has very few interests in syria. most of the important militia forces on the ground are loyal to al qaeda or they're very salafist. they would see american intrusion as an imperialist act and they would begin blowing us up in the same way that they did in iraq. >> warner: so where does this brutal war go from here? jeffrey white thinks the regime is going to ware down the fragmented rebel forces. >> we can't match up the the regime. and the regime is going to keep winning these local battles. and the regime is implacable.
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>> warner: landis predicts a conflict that grinds on as far as the eye can see. >> no one is willing to intervene. they're going to fight it out and that's -- that's been devastating so far and it will continue to be. >> warner: for a country that suffered three years of war, at least 110,000 dead, more than two million refugees driven out and four million displaced inside syria, a grim forecast of more suffering to come. >> ifill: next, to our interview with wisconsin governor scott walker, the first governor in history to survive a recall vote, a distinction which has vaulted him into 2016 presidential speculation which in a new book, "unintimidated," walker chronicles his battles with public sector unions and offers his prescription for national leaders. jeffrey brown caught up with the republican governor during a visit to washington last week.
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>> brown: governor scott walker, welcome. >> good to be with you. >> brown: i want to start with the title "unintimidated." it sounds combative, tough, good guys, bad guys. why that tone at a time when many americans say they're tired of this kind of fighting? >> well, there's a difference between what you see in washington and what you see in states like wisconsin. in washington i think many ways probably partly so most americans see the fighting as being for the sake of fighting. they don't feel like they're fighting for something. they feel like it's fighting for a game sport. >> brown: you think they see that when they watch what's going on in politics? >> i think so across the board. i think the states that's really changed the tide for us in my recall election. people saw what we were doing was fighting for them. fighting for the hard-working taxpayers, taking on the status quo, taking onen the entrenched special interests and for other governors and us that's why there's a difference. >> brown: but i was in wisconsin i told you, for the recall election and i -- so many people
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on both sides said to me that they had never seen the state so divided, so polarized. i remember the teacher in oconomowoc who said "i feel like public enemy number one. that's how teachers have been made to feel." given all of that, how can wisconsin be a model for what you'd like to see in washington? >> well, because we've moved on. even in the mess of these protests i would go out to public schools and read with kids because it was a part of my reading program. i would meet in a lounge or library with teachers for an hour. remember the second or third question that particular day was someone who said "why do you hate teachers? why are you going after teachers?" and i said "you'll be hard pressed to find any comments i've ever made about teachers as governor where i haven't said anything but positive words about the good public servants we have. so the people making you feel under attack is your union leadership and they're doing it for politically intense reasons." >> brown: so you put all of that on the union leaders? because there was a lot of
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intensity on both sides. there was a tone of -- certainly a feeling among government workers and teachers in particular that this is all against us and we didn't cause the problems of this state. >> the irony of that is the reason why -- one of the big mistakes i talk about in the book was the fact that i didn't make the case early on for the need for the reforms. >> brown: you didn't make it early you have? >> i talked about hit in the campaign but from the time i was elected until the time when the reforms came up i admit in the book, i was so eager to fix things i didn't spend time talking about why we needed to fix them. usually moat politicians of either party talk about things but never fix them. what i learned -- one of the lessons learned is that you have to do both. you have to talk about it and fix it. >> brown: where do you see the republican party right now? you said for example you thought house republicans were wrong to push the government shutdown. >> well, i think the federal government is too big and too expansive, too involved in our lives. so what i think i'd like to see is a more narrow and focused government. for what's left, though, what's necessary, we should show that
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it can work. the optimism i show in the book is that while i don't see enough of in the washington i see in the plentiful measure all across the country in the 30 states that have republican governors, nearly as many states that that have republican legislative majorities and the difference there is governors-- not just i but other governors i talk about-- share the lessons learned from other places around the country are talking in terms that are much more optimistic. we're not just against things, we're for things. we have a plan to make our citizens' lives better. >> brown: there are a lot of people think it is the party of no when it comes to all kinds of issues. >> i can see how they see that by some of the statements that come out of people in washington. that's why in the states-- and not just overall, but think about it. it's not just 30 states. it's states like wisconsin, i i, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, new mexico, florida, nevada. what do those states have in common? they are historically known as battleground states in the presidential election. they were all carried by barack obama, every single one of them has a republican governor.
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>> brown: the republican party too conservative on social issues now? gay marriage, for example, abortion? >> there's room in that but i think -- if you look at all 30 governors, all of them on social issues as well as economic and fiscal are probably more conservative in mitt romney yet we won in all those states including battleground states. >> brown: not at the national level. >> the difference is we haven't had a nominee -- some would argue the nominees have been too moderate and republicans are conservatives at home. i think the bigger issue is we've add in particular -- i mention a whole chapter in this book where we have a void, you allow the other side to define things that aren't the top list of priorities. most people in my state-- i would argue most people in america-- want leaders who will tackle economic and fiscal issues facing us today. there are real crises here. and the last presidential campaign you'd be hard pressed to find a typical american voter who would tell you what mitt romney is going to do to make their life better when it came to economic and fiscal issues. >> brown: i think many americans looking at what happened in the
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election and since would say divided government -- the president wants to do this, republicans don't allow that -- you haven't had to deal with divided government in wisconsin. so what would be your -- what do you think could be done to get past it? >> my argument is i don't think that split government dividing things is a good idea. conventional wisdom in washington for years has been divided government is good because of the checks and balances. what i believe happens all too often-- regardless of which party because the same sorts of things happened with george bush in the end of his term when democrats were in charge of the house and the senate is there's gridlock. the better argument is give one party a chance, give name chance with the house and senate and the president, give them a few years to see what they can do and if you don't like it put another party in. >> brown: you say that even though we have a very divided country, a very divided electorate. >> but look at wisconsin and battleground states across the united states where they are evenly divided, the real reforms i think you'll see happening aren't happening in the deep red
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states. they're happening in the purple states, the midwestern states in particular, where we're tackling big, tough issues. >> brown: i have to ask you. should book be read as a further move to a national stage, in fact towards a 2016 presidential run? >> no. in fact, i think a lot of people would be surprised. this is not a campaign book. >> brown: you have said the next nominee should be a governor. your description sounds an awful lot like scott walker. do you have aspirations? presidential aspirations to be the party's nominee is >> i had to work pretty hard once or twice to become governor. i'll have to work hard a third time in four years to become governor. i'm really focused on being governor. but i do believe that chief executives that are successful make good chief executives. whether it's a current or a former governor i think in america today there would be 30 great candidates all across this country and a number of former governors who would be outstanding presidents should that opportunity arise in the future. >> brown: governor scott walker, thank you very much. >> good to be with you.
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>> ifill: african american stories have been told in fits and starts over the years, but seldom all in one place. in "the african americans: many rivers to cross," harvard professor henry louis gates, jr. offers an exhaustive but not exhausting journey through five centuries. the six-part series, which covers everything from slavery to "soul train," concludes its run tonight on pbs. part of the finale deals with the story of the black panthers, who turned to violence after martin luther king, jr., was assassinated in 1968. >> across the country, some african americans who patiently withstood injustice for decades now set their cities on fire in a spontaneous outpouring of despair and anger. but in oakland, california, people had somewhere else to turn. the black panther party.
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a militant group started in 1966 to defend the city's black community. >> people jammed the black panther offices "we want guns, we want guns, we have to do something about this." >> by april, 1968, the panthers had gone from mow moating self-defense to advocating revolutionary change. >> ifill: welcome professor gates. so it's not black history month and not the anniversary of the march on washington. why are we telling these stories again? >> 500 years of the contributions, achievements and sacrifices of 42 million -- of the ancestors of 42 million americans. that's not important? do you know that the first person of african descent landed in what is now north america in 1513? and we even know his name. his name was juan dorito. he wasn't a slave, he was free and he came with ponce de leone, he was a black conquistador and he was looking for the fountain
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of youth just like the white guys. (laughs) and he's been lost to history except for a few specialists so we start with juan dorito and we go 500 years, half a millen dwroupl this second election and the second inauguration of the first black president, barack obama. >> ifill: which is the story you'll tell tuesday night. but tell me, how do you decide in those stories, how do you decide which one to tell? >> we chose things that were emblematic of larger phenomenon. you cannot tell the story of every run away slave so you pick harriet tubman. you can't do every riot so we do the l.a. riots. this story of solomon northup which has been -- so many americans have seen in "12 years a slave." we picked karen stevens, the black man who was framed for drug possession on a greyhound bus, has m.s., in a wheelchair and served in prison for 11 years before he was pardoned. >> ifill: there's a theme that
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runs throughout all six parts of this that african americans, no matter how they came to this country, managed to create something out of nothing. whether it was culturally, historically, whether it was food, somehow created something out of nothing. >> yeah, i wanted to achieve two effects. one to show the effects of black agency. the fact that our people had a will to survive. we call one episode "making way out of no way." which you know is fundamental to the black tradition, that expression. and our ancestors deferred gratification. they had no idea that slavery would actually end. but they functioned as if it would. the they could not imagine that you would be the co-host of a national news program. >> ifill: i couldn't imagine it either, that's okay. >> interviewing me, a professor at harvard university who's executive producer of a six-hour series of african american history. that our people would ever get to that point. yet they functioned in such a way as to make it possible. i wanted to create the effect of
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overhearing a conversation about the black experience. among black people. in the special way that when you go to get your hair done or you go to a barbershop or you're in church people aren't worried about public perceptions of what they'll -- they're just their cultural "self"s, as i think of it. and we came up with seven new or in industries and they tell the tale. >> ifill: how do you fill a gap that isn't being filled in the schools? is that what this is about as well? >> oh, absolutely. the -- i received thousands of e-mails over the last five weeks but the ones i treasure most are from either teachers or students. and teachers saying "already i'm using it to teach slavery or reconstruction or the creation of jim crow or the harlem renaissance or the great migration." and why is it important? it's important because our schools shape who we are as citizens. think about the things you learn in first grade. "my country 'tis of thee" "i pledge allegiance to the flag,"
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"america the beautiful." your teacher doesn't say "today is citizen lesson, i'm going to teach you how to be a citizen." they implicitly teach you how to be a citizen. any time there's a racial incident in this country our leaders call for a town hall meeting, a conversation about race. no one has a conversation about citizenship, it happens implicitly, invisibly everyday. that's where the real conversation about race has to happen. kindergarten, first grade, everyday. everyday has to be black history month in the sense that our story has to be integrated in extrickbly in the story of america and that's what we've provided in the series. >> ifill: in the year that we've seen "the butler" and "12 years a slave" there are those who could say we're in the middle of another big black cultural renaissance of historical story telling. >> i was around when "new jack city" and "she's gotta have it" and "do the right thing --".
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>> spike lee's big moments. >> they all came out at the same time and everybody was talking about renaissance in black films. that was 1990 or 1991. i think it's the second generation effect of affirmative action. one of the themes of our final episode that to quote dickens it's the best of times and the worst of times for our people. the black upper middle-class has quadrupled since 1968 when dr. king was killed because of affirmative action. at the same time, the percentage of black children living at or beneath the poverty line is almost identical to what it was the day dr. king was killed. >> ifill: so there's this huge wealth gap even though we have a black president and we're supposed to be past all this. >> and for those of us able to take advantage of affirmative action and then replicate ourselves over the years we believe able to take advantage of more access to the means of production than any generation of black people before us. >> ifill: including telling our own stories.
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>> including telling our own stories. also we have a huge market. a huge group of black people who can afford to go to movie theaters, buy a ticket, tivo, buy d.v.d.s. you see these forces coming together. so i think that we are in a kind of renaissance, but it's the result, paradoxically, or curiously enough, of the civil rights movement and affirmative action. we're just seeing its effect 40 years later. >> brown: the story is "the african americans: the rivers to cross." the last episode airs tonight but you can get it on d.v.d. and online, of course. and the spiritual leader behind it all is professor henry louis gates, jr. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, for another in our thanksgiving week food series: a profile of food writer and cookbook author paula wolfert as she calls on her culinary skills to battle back against alzheimer's.
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paula wolfert has the hands of someone who's been cooking a long time. >> what i'm going do is i'm just going to fry this for flavor. rough fluff the kitchen of her sonoma, california home, wolfert is preparing a cauliflower recipe she loves. >> this is an armenian dish taught to me by a very famous armenian cook. i like the dish because it's so simple to make. >> woodruff: the 75-year-old wolfert has been writing about mediterranean food for four decades. she authored nine cooking books and has won numerous awards, including five james beard. wolfert made her mark long before the rise of the modern-day celebrity chefs, but her commitment to authentic recipes and ingredients still influence miss in the culinary world today. >> i like real food. i'm not a chef who makes up dishes. that's today's world. i was interested in real food of the countries that i had
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visited. and i had visited all the countries of the mediterranean by the time i got around the writing about the food. and in writing about the food, you have to explain the people. at that time people didn't do that very much in cook books, they just tried to make it look fast and easy and just get in there and make it but i was interested in how they really made the food. this is the very first clay pot i ever bought. and i saw this and i said what is this? and she said it's the cook's tripe. i said what's tripe? i think i was 19. 18. i didn't know what tripe was. you put all the food in here. firm tunisia it was about 12 women in the room and i said? french "who makes the best --" i can't remember the dish. and i could see all the heads turn. the same thing in greece. the same thing everywhere. in sicily. i always got a bunch of women
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together and then i would ask about rare dishes and that's what i want to learn. what should i have for no gluten >> woodruff: most friday mornings she can be found browsing the sonoma farmer's market. >> it's the best food in the country. the growing season is longer, the quality is here. the farmers care. for a cook, this is heaven. >> woodruff: wolfert lives with her husband bill byer, a best selling crime fiction writer. several years ago as she was touring the country to promote her most recent book wolfert says she started to suspect she was having neurological problems. >> i knew there was something wrong. i just wasn't sure what it was. i had memory problems. yinz sometimes when people questioned me with complicated
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questions. even about things that i wrote about myself! in in a book i just finished. the first thing neurologists said is it's mild cognitive impairment. but she did send know this big scientist because he does big tests, you know, these trials. and he read it and he said no, no, no, that's alzheimer's. >> when paula first started telling me she says "i'm worry, i think i'm losing my mind, i can't remember anything. i was in denial and i think most of the people who knew her. there was one time she came up and she said "you know, i forgot how to make an omelet." she was standing in front of the stove. it was very poignant. >> woodruff: wolfert began reading everything she could about trying to slow the progression of alzheimer's and she turned to the thing she knows best to wage her battle-- food. >> the kale, the avocado, the blueberries, the coconuts. these are the main ingredients.
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>> woodruff: every morning wolfert asemi-ables a shake chalk full of superfoods and supplements she believes are helping stave off further cognitive decline. some ingredients have well-known health benefits, like leafy greens and nuts. some have not been proven scientifically to boost brain function-- like coconut oil. but wolfert says she's never felt better. >> it is tough going because it's not delicious. i didn't make this to be delicious. i make this to be nutritious. my grandmother told me during the second world war, we were sitting in the vegetable garden. she said "if you want to win a war, you have to be willing to fight." this is how i fight. >> alzheimer's is just a crushing word. you don't want to hear that word. i have been incredibly impressed by the way she's handled this because i think about how i might have handled it and i
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don't think with anywhere near the kind of courage she's shown. >> i have to look at my own recipe because i can never remember anything. throw in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, okay. >> woodruff: wolfert occasionally cooks these days but she now relies on her own cook book. >> i can't remember what i read two minutes after i read it. that's the real problem. i know what the dish is supposed to taste like, i just don't remember the amount. i have to check the proportions and i can't -- i can't remember. i can't remember from going there to here and back again. i just -- it's just -- it's not fair that these things happen but they do so i just to what i can. if this works and making me nice and healthy i'll be buying it all the time. >> who knows what the future holds and how this will play
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out. i try not to think too much about it but, sure, we discuss it, too. what will the future be? that's what's so scary about this and that's what everyone is very conscious of. because your memory is your self and your ability toll recognize. i miss the testing years when you would be developing a -- >> they're over. >> i understand why they're over. >> my husband says "i couldn't eat like you, i'd rather die." i said "no you wouldn't! no you wouldn't! i want to be here as best i can and i can't do it without food. i did that for 50 years. that's fine, i loved every moment of it. i loved my friends, i love alice waters but that isn't where my shed right now. my head is with my children, my husband, my friends and sharing with the alzheimer's association whatever i can share because this is the most important thing i want to say.
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the shame that people have about their memory loss and the denial that exists and their friends saying oh, everybody has -- you know, it's senior moments, forget it. by the time they finally become like the old ladies or old men become it's too far -- you can't help -- those people can't be helped! it's too late! it's too late! we have to come out the way people with h.i.v. came out, the way people with cancer came out. we're not going to get enough money from the government or anybody else unless we stand there and say, hey, i'm not a zombie, i'm me and i need help and all the people around me who are suffering the way i am, we need help. but we have to come out and say it, we're worried. we need to do something. >> woodruff: we're cheering you on, paula. >> woodruff: wolfert says she
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plans to "do something" by becoming a volunteer advocate for the alzheimer's association. her doctors say they haven't seen signs of any further cognitive decline in the past six months. on our homepage, you will find wolfert's recipes for butternut squash soup and pan-roasted cauliflower. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. a winter storm rolled across the eastern u.s., threatening to snarl thanksgiving travel plans for thousands. and a pair of u.s. bombers flew over disputed islands in the east china sea, defying chinese demands that such flights get clearance first. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, why will more americans turn to emergency food aid this holiday season? we examine how the reduction in the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program will affect families and food banks. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org.
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>> ifill: this evening's frontline teams up with the "new york times" to examine what happens when police investigate domestic violence allegations within their own ranks. check you local listings for the time. on wednesday, turning canned goods into massive art projects to promote food drives. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
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>> 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
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