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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 2, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. a weak jobs report showed businesses are still slow to hire. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, unemployment insurance has run out for more than a million americans. we look at the latest figures, and the debate over extending jobless benefits. >> woodruff: then, tom bearden reports from gulf shores, alabama, where the once-pristine beaches are now almost empty. >> people here are racking their brains trying to
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figure out some way to mitigate the economic affects of the bp oil spill. >> brown: ray suarez updates the surge in drug violence gripping mexico, killing thousands in the last year, including a candidate for governor. >> woodruff: mark shields and david brooks offer their weekly analysis. >> brown: and we close with remembrances of senator robert byrd from the memorial service held today in charleston, west virginia. >> this is a guy who continued to taste and smell and feel the suffering of the people of his state. he tasted it. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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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
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station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the u.s. economy lost jobs overall last month, even as the jobless rate was declining. the numbers were the latest sign that the recovery may be losing momentum. private employers managed to add 83,000 jobs in june, but it wasn't enough-- the economy still recorded a net loss of 125,000 jobs, as the census bureau laid off more of the temporary workers it hired last spring. labor commissioner keith hall offered this perspective at a congressional hearing this morning. >> although the... the private- sector job growth was not strong, it was job growth, and it has been growing now for six straight... six straight months. so i think, in context, that's a positive sign. and in temporary help work continues to add jobs, and it's added quite a few jobs.
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and that continues to be a... a good sign for generally future growth, i think, in employment. >> brown: indeed, the unemployment rate actually fell last month to 9.5%, the lowest in nearly a year. but that was because 652,000 people gave up looking for work, so they were no longer counted as unemployed. president obama, preparing to leave for senator robert byrd's funeral, echoed a point he's been making for the past few months. >> now make no mistake-- we are headed in the right direction. but, as i was reminded on a trip to racine, wisconsin, earlier this week, we're not headed there fast enough for a lot of americans. we're not headed there fast enough for me, either. >> brown: and there were other signs of a slower road ahead. factory orders in may fell 1.4%, the worst showing in nine months, and housing contracts fell 30% in may. in the meantime, some 14 million
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americans are still hunting for work. >> basically trying to find a job. i need a job, bad. >> brown: and some face new pressure-- congress left today for a two-week holiday recess without agreeing to extend jobless benefits to a total of 99 weeks running through november. a bill pegged at nearly $34 billion passed the house yesterday, but republicans in the senate blocked it. house speaker nancy pelosi said americans will know who's to blame when the checks stop coming. >> i think it's important to note that the republican senators, the republicans in the senate have stopped unemployment benefits from going to people who have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. it's just cruel. >> brown: senate republican leader mitch mcconnell insisted his side is acting out of principle. >> we can't support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt. so the only reason the
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unemployment extension hasn't passed is because our friends on the other side simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn't add to the debt. that's it. >> brown: so far, 1.3 million people have reached the end of their benefits. another 200,000 or more will join that list every week. and we turn first to what the latest jobs numbers tell us. for that, i'm joined by catherine mann, professor of economics at the brandeis university international business school. she joins us from boston. catherine mann, private sector hiring up but not very much, what does that tell you? >> well, you know, this is really a picture of a struggling economy. when su have job gains of maybe 10,000 in one sector or 10,000 in another sector, it's really not enough to put a dent in the amount of number of people of unemployed. s stated in the opening segment, you know, the only reason why the unemployment rate fell was because 650,000 people left the labor force. they're not even looking any more.
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so this really is not a good picture for the economy. you know, at this rate of job creation over the last six months, it would take us a decade to add back the jobs that were lost so far in this recession. >> you mentioned the various sectors, are there any bright spots? >> you have to look very hard. leisure and hospitality at 27,000 people employed. but you know, that's offset by 22,000 in construction having lost their jobs. a couple of sectors, businesses services and so forth, you know, in double digits. 17,000 and so forth. but again these are very small numbers for an economy of our size. they don't represent, they don't represent growth and employment if you look at the overall picture. >> brown: to pars it a little more what about differences that might jump out at you for men and women, age, minorities what do you see there? >> well, women continue to have a better situation
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facing them. their unemployment rate is about 2 percentage points lower at 7.5 percent as opposed to above 9 for adult men so women are better off. but across other categories in terms of the age bracket, sort of the high income earning years, the middle-aged person is not doing as well. they are not coming back into the labor force and of course those are generally speaking the highest earning years of your life so for many of these workers, the ones who lose their job permanently it will be very, very difficult to get back on track to earn the kind of, you know n your high end income earning years-- in fact, half of the people who are unemployed have been unemployed for more than six months. and getting those people back into the job market, back with the set of skills that are appropriate to what jobs might be appearing in the next six months, that's a huge challenge.
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>> brown: let me ask you finally just to fit these number into what we have been seeing in the past few months. there was a point not that long ago when things were beginning to look up and then we have he been watching very carefully month by month. people talked about the possibility of a double dip recession. try to give us the larges largest-- larger picture here. >> from the standpoint of the employment situation i would argue that we haven't really ever gotten out of the dip part. there's been very little employment growth. so the no chance of a double dip, a worsening situation from this labor market situation. probably it is unlikely. in the sense that even though employers aren't hiring any more, or hiring very little, they're really not in a position to fire anybody either because they are trying to produce more. they are producing a little bit more in manufacturing, for example. they are producing more and in some of these other areas. production continues, gdp growth is positive but
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they're doing it with the same number of workers. and that's what we are going to see continuing on for some time. >> all right, catherine mann, thank you very much. >> wish i could be more positive. >> brown: we'll try again next time. now to that debate over extending unemployment benefits. joining me here for that: christine owens, executive director of the national employment law project, an advocacy group representing the interests of lower-wage workers; and william beach, director of the center for data analysis at the heritage foundation, a conservative public policy research group. welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> brown: christine owens who is impacted by the actions or inactions of congress and how. >> by the end of this week 1.7 million long-term unemployed workers will be affected because their benefits will be cut off. they either will finish upstate benefits and not be able to move to the federal program or they'll end up one tier of the federal
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benefits and not be able to move to the next tier so 1.7 million workers by the end of this week. 2.5 million workers by the end of the first week that the congress is back. and over 3 million by the end of the month. >> and you work with a lot of people in this situation. what difference do the benefits make. what role does it play for them? >> they play a huge role. we know that without unemployment benefits people are far more likely to fall into poverty. they're far more likely not to be able to make their mortgage payments. in fact, we know that the principal cause of foreclosure right now is unemployment. they can't consume. they can't shop in their local stores. they can't buy school supplies for their kids. it really has a huge impact on their standard of living and their ability just to stay afloat. >> william beach, the main argument against news congress is that we can't afford it now because of the budget deficit. >> well, the deficits are rising rapidly, aren't they. and we do have to be attune to that.
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let's just lay a little groundwork. for those people who are newly unemployed, they still get 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. so the system is going to be there for all the people who we heard in the report are coming on to the unemployment roles. we're not out of the woods yet of the economy by any means. >> we also heard that there is longer, people are unemployed for longer periods. >> and we've created a bit of a problem by extending unemployment beyond that 26 weeks. we know that that changes the behavior of people who are unemployed. they don't look for work as much as they otherwise would be. if you have got that 26 week looming ahead of you, all the academic studies show you that go out and you really begin to make an active job search. not as much job training is undertaken or education so there are some incentives that are put in place that are rather perverse. >> you mean the benefits themselves act as a disincentive for people. >> after a point they do. and that is what the overwhelming body of academic evidence actually shows.
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and it ca in fact cut the consumption expends tures of household, about 55 cents of that is actually spent by the household so if you take it too long beyond its emergency and safety net puferptss, you can create just kind of the opposite result that you were hoping to. >> i'm sure you don't buy that. >> i absolutely don't y it. in fact, the recent academic studies show exactly the opposite. there's very, very limited impact of unemployment benefits. you know, we still have five officially unemployed workers looking for every single job opening, 5 to 1 ratio among people officially unemployed and that doesn't count all the people who dropped out of the labor market this month, the 650,000 people. the fact is even people like alan greenspan have said that when you have really high unemployment as we have now had for a couple of years, it is, we have to maintain extended unemployment benefits for unemployed workers because there are no jobs.
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we hear from workers who have applied for hundreds of jobs and have not been able to find anything. >> this of course is the-- people we just heard there are people unemployed for longer terms and we hear there are just are not the jobs. so how does the incentives play then. >> well, the same incentives are there. you have to in a very down economy like we have, we had it in 1ee as well, government must do everything it can to stimulate the economy in an appropriate fashion. we think that there has been inappropriately done and with the growing debt, the amount of money which is taken out of the economy by the government, not made available for private sources we may in fact be slowing the economy. the best thing we can do for all workers is to boost up the economics performance. that said, this is a tough economy. and that means that many people will never return to the job that they lost. the best thing we could have done 26 weeks ago, actually s to tell folks you need to get into all the programs that are available at the
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federal and state level, to learn new skills because what you did before is probably not going to be there when you return to the job market. >> brown: you just raised the stimulus question because this is another of the economic debates in this whole thing, the extent to which unemployment benefits serve as a stimulus to the economy. >> well, they certainly do. in fact, mark zandi who was senator mccain's economic advisor during the presidential came bain. >> brown: has been on this program a lot. >> has said thief ree dollar we invest in unemployment benefits generates a dollar 60 in economic output. congressional budget office puts it as high as 1.0 so it is like a 2 to 1 return on the unemployment investment that we make. >> brown: because people use the money. >> people have to spend the money. these are not folks who have other income. so everything that they get in unemployment benefits they spend. they're not saving this money, putting it aside for retirement. they are surviving on it. >> well, the benefits are 40 to-- about 40% of your wages,
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okay, your ending wage. and when you spend that money in the economy you are spending less of that than you were when you were a worker. for short term and might help the economy void up a little bit but other academic studies done by folks who are not 9 congressional budget office, mark zandi working for campaigns have shown that it is about 55 cents on the dollar that comes back to the economy. and that it can actually reduce the work effort of the spouse that's in the household. so the consumption side t just doesn't make any sense to me. if it was a dollar 46 for every dollar spent, why don't we just all get unemployment compensation and the economy would be boosted. those kinds of elasticitys as we call them in economics are just too high and mark knows this. >> brown: of course this sounds cold. i mean are you making an economic argument but you got people suffering so -- >> economists make their living out of sounding cold.
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what i want to say is this. there is a safety net which is very important and it sits out there with medicaid, food stamps, all these programs are still around. unemployment insurance is essential to that. so there's the side that i think we all can agree on not one wants to see it go away, but there comes a point when you are giving someone a subsidy, where you have to say to them this subsidy is going to end and it's actually maybe for their benefit that they know that that is going to-- that is going to end. now if they don't have work f they don't have a way of making their living, it's still our duty to make sure that they don't fall down. but the government has also a duty to lay out a deadline and say you have got to now find the training to get back on your feet. >> and if unemployment remains high for a long time, a distinct possibility, we've heard it just again here, does your argument hold. i mean can we afford to continue benefits? >> we can't afford not to continue benefits.
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there is a cutoff. the program doesn't allow people to stay on longer than 99 weeks. and that's a lot of weeks but that's because the economy is in such trouble. we have lost so many jobs. you heard catherine mann earlier say it would trach ten years it at the current rate of job growth. now we all hope that job growth will accelerate and it wouldn't take that long but the fact is we are in a deep hole it is not realistic to think that people can get jobs. they need these benefits and the economy needs for them to have these benefits. >> too be continued christine owens and william beach, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: a return to gulf shores, alabama; mexico's spiraling drug war; shields and brooks; and honoring senator byrd. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: the jobs report added to wall street's worries and extended the market's losing streak. the dow jones industrial average lost 46 points to close at
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9,686. the nasdaq fell nine points to close at 2,091. for the week, the dow lost 4.5%; the nasdaq fell nearly 6%. general david petraeus is now on the job as the new commander of u.s. and nato forces in afghanistan. he landed in kabul today to take command from general stanley mcchrystal, who was fired last week. petraeus arrived after six suicide bombers killed four people in the north, at a u.s. a.i.d. compound in kunduz. the taliban claimed responsibility. a nato spokesman said it showed desperation. >> these attacks as crazy as they are, they show kind of a frustration and resignation on their side it is indiscriminate t is useless, it is krasesy. and it-- it is crazy, and it is usually like the case we are seeing here, goes against innocent civilians. >> sreenivasan: back in this country, the republican national chairman touched off a furor with an attack on president
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obama's afghan policy. michael steele told a political fundraiser in connecticut: "this was a war of obama's choosing. this is not something the united states has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in." republicans and democrats alike condemned steele. later, he said the u.s. cannot accept anything but success in afghanistan. thousands of pakistanis demonstrated in lahore today, after suicide bombings at a popular sufi muslim shrine. the attacks thursday killed 42 people and wounded nearly 180 others. today, protesters carried signs and yelled slogans charging the u.s. presence in afghanistan triggered the attacks. they also criticized poor security at the shrine. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: much of b.p.'s cleanup operations in the gulf of mexico remained on hold today as the remnants of hurricane alex dissipated over mexico. the storm churned up more crude oil, and forced an oily influx onto the beaches and marshes of the gulf. that led mississippi to close the last of its waters to commercial and recreational
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fishing. fishing is just one of several industries along the gulf taking a big hit. newshour correspondent tom bearden returned to the coast of alabama this week to see what's happening to small businesses in one city along the beach. >> reporter: just after sunset last night, the heavy equipment began to roll out in gulf shores, alabama, the start of another all-night shift to pick up the oil that has washed ashore from the blown out b.p. well. the conga line of sand-sifting machinery moves slowly, less than a mile per hour, picking up tarballs and larger masses of coagulated crude. it's not what these machines were designed for. gulf shores bought one years ago to gather up cigarette butts, seaweed, and beer bottles. mayor robert craft says, when the cleanup workers hired by b.p. began to laboriously shovel up tar by hand, townspeople realized there was a better way. >> after about a half a day of
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watching them use... of watching them do the wrong method, we got out our machine and started demonstrating what we could do there in a much more effective way. so, we were able to convince b.p. that this was the only way you were going to clean this up in a timely manner. they were able to agree and bought more equipment. >> reporter: ike williams has been cleaning these beaches for years. b.p. hired him to run this operation. >> we have been 75% successful, on average, of getting the tar vs. sand total. we showed b.p. in that this was a way to clean up the tar. everything that we have come up with or giving us a chance to try, they have come up with every resource to try to put our beaches back to the way they were. >> reporter: this is the foundation of the entire economy here-- the white sand beaches that draw people from all over the country. there is no better way to illustrate what's happening here than to just look at the beach.
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on a normal fourth of july weekend, it would be packed. this is no normal fourth of july weekend. whit stuckey literally makes his living on the beach. he rents lounge chairs, umbrellas, and beach toys down the road at a resort on orange beach. but with the health department issuing advisories against swimming, few people want what he's renting. >> it is slow. the first of july, usually this weekend is sold out. so far, i have done $5 today; usually in the thousands of dollars range getting ready for the 4th of july. last year, we would have the property line with two rows of chairs, maybe three for the 4th of july. and we would have all of them rented out. right now, we have 70 sets out. and i have one set being rented for one hour. >> reporter: chaz baker is in
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the same business, and in the same boat. he's one of thousands of gulf coast residents who have filed claims with b.p. for lost income. some say they were paid quickly, but baker did not have a good experience. >> at the end of every month, i am going to go in and show that, month by month by month, that we are down in sales which directly affects me. i am a commissioned employee, i work... you know, if i don't make that commission, i don't make that much money, so without that commission, it is tough. >> reporter: bottom line is you had to fight for what you got? >> i did. i did. i went in there and said we are going to have to come to a better agreement than this because they were offering basically nothing. >> reporter: ted scarret, who owns the company that baker and stuckey work for got some money from b.p., but says he is still in trouble. >> we have been in the beach business for 27 years, and it is our bread and butter.
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>> reporter: he had finally gotten to the point where he could afford his lifelong dream of buying a large catamaran for a charter business. snorkeling trips, sunset cruises, and dolphin watching breakfasts are what makes it financially possible. the b.p. disaster put an end to that. >> we are shut down. it is shut down. we are not able to do any business. right now, that is the way it is. >> reporter: the economic situation has clearly gotten worse since the newshour visited gulf shores in may. there are few tourists renting the condos all along the alabama coast, and the ripple effect of their absence is felt everywhere. business at the gulf shores shrimp basket is down 50%. eddie spence says it's the same story in all the restaurants he
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owns near the beach. he says the oil came at the worst possible time. >> we get, like, 100 days of the season from memorial day to labor day, with june or july being our biggest months. we have got to make it during those 100 days or you are not going to make it through winter. a lot of people are talking about moving away. what is our town going to look like a month from now, a year from now? we all have to make livings, whether we move to north carolina, or up north and denver, wherever we have to move to. >> reporter: linda abston says she could lose her business entirely. she owns a hair salon called cut-n up. >> bottom fell out. we have no tourists. thanks to my locals, i have been able to keep the doors open. >> reporter: how much longer can
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you do that? >> for maybe three weeks. >> reporter: mayor craft says that's why it's vital that the compensation checks keep coming. >> i have used the term "life support" as opposed to a "funeral." if we can get life support for the next three months and keep these businesses alive, once we get beyond that-- and some working capital to get them to the end of the year, which won't be significant-- then we will survive and stand on our own next year. but if it does not happen, then we are looking at funerals, and they will be permanent and we will be losing the nature of who we are. >> reporter: spence says what would help most is more tourists. >> the best way they can help the people up and down the gulf coast-- come and rent a condo for half price right now or better than that.
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restaurants are glad to see people. the souvenir shops are glad to see people-- the grocery stores, the gas station. every aspect of every business on the coast here is suffering. >> reporter: in the meantime, the conga lines will have to keep crawling down the beach until the well is finally capped and the oil stops coming ashore. for the alabama gulf coast, that day can't come too soon. >> brown: in a special newshour online forum yesterday, a number of people raised the same concerns about b.p.'s reimbursement policy that tom heard in alabama. here's how b.p. executive bob dudley responded. >> we're writing the checks. we've written as of this morning 138 million dollars of checks. so we are going to make good for it we put aside $20 billion in an escrow account that will be used to pay claims, not only just for now but for as long as the impact is there on your businesses. and that will be not only after we shut the well off
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but this cleanup is going to take some time. so it's not a one-time claim. it's claims that will go through the months where your businesses are impacted. we also realize there is a seasonality of business down there and the summer is when a lot of the easternings come from. we are he going to take that into account and try to make people whole. we're there for the long term. there's no attempt to cap this. we haven't capped the well yet. in fact it's hard to talk about a limit to claims, certainly before we continue to have this spill in the gulf. >> woodruff: the interview with bob dudley was a newshour collaboration with google and youtube. you can watch all of it on our web site, >> brown: next, more drug war violence in mexico. ray suarez has our update. >> suarez: the violence and killings in mexico's drug war has accelerated in recent days in the run-up to local and state
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elections. 21 people died yesterday in a gun battle between rival gangs just a dozen miles from the arizona border. the firefight broke out along a known trafficking route for drugs and illegal immigrants. last monday, gunmen assassinated rodolfo torres, the leading candidate for governor in the border state of tamaulipas. he had campaigned on an anti- violence platform. mexican leaders blamed drug gang members for his killing and for the earlier murder of a mayoral candidate. >> ( translated ): we as a society and a government cannot permit these kinds of acts that threaten the lives, peace and security of all mexicans. >> suarez: the violence has also claimed mexican singer sergio vega, shot and killed last weekend near the city of los mochis. he was known for his "narco- corridos," ballads about drug traffickers. as mourners attended the funeral for rodolfo torres this week, president felipe calderon
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appealed for a unified response. >> ( translated ): it is essential that the national political forces and the different authorities of the state meet in an urgent way for dialogue, and give an unique and efficient answer, a serene and determined answer that shows a common front from all of us who represent the citizens. >> suarez: in late 2006, calderon deployed thousands of troops and federal police to drug hot spots across mexico. since then, an estimated 23,000 people have been killed. they include three people tied to the u.s. consulate in ciudad juarez, shot dead last march. today, mexican federal police arrested a number of suspects, including an alleged drug gang leader accused of ordering the attack. as for sunday's elections, the government is urging citizens to stand up to the drug cartels by turning out to vote. for more on the worsening violence, we turn to tracy
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wilkinson, the mexico city bureau chief for "the los angeles times." >> tracy, the headlines are shocking. 21 dead in a gun battle, 19 in a drug rehab center, 13 killed at a party. three and a half years in the mill tarization of the war against the drug gangs is the state of the violence rising, the tide of violence rising still? >> yes, in fact, as you mentioned, more than 23,000 people killed since december of 2006. we're still tallying up june but it's going to be one of the deadliest months yet so indeed the violence continues, the number of dead continues to rise. right now part of that is related to the elections but really quite apart from that, we have just enormous numbers of people being killed in part because the government forces are going after the cartel. but also because they're fighting among themselves
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for control of routes, territory, power. and so increasingly, i mean there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to this kind of violence and it continues to increase. >> along with the rising numbers, has there also been a change in the type of killings. they seem to be more gruesome, more meant to send a message. >> well, certainly yes, in the last couple of years we've seen not just killing because people have been killed in mexico forever. what we are seeing in the last couple of years is a much more gruesome kind of killing. beheadings, dismembering, hanging corpss up on highway overpasses, all of that, with messages left by the cartels. all of that to send a message, either to the law enforcement authorities who would go after them or to their rivals. or to the local government. so yes, it's much more, a much more gruesome but also with a very specific some
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would say terroristic message as part of it. >> as these deaths splashed across the front page of newspapers and on the evening news what do mexicans make of the calderon at that time gee to go after these drug gangs, do they still support it? >> well, many mexicans still agree that something had to be done. that the drug traffickers were gaining too much power. they were beginning to and have, in fact, infiltrated, penetrated political power and that is something that a lot of mexicans agree should not be allowed. but i think increasingly and we're starting to see the polls shift to the point where because the level of violence is so high and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, i think calderon is losing a certain amount of sport for his effort. and so we're starting to see some mexicans even talking about well, maybe, it would be better just to make a deal with some of the cartels which is a very disturbing phenomenon. but people are very frustrated.
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they're very angry and just uncertain what do dow about this. and calderon's policy which has been basically a mill taristic policy only recently starting to look at some of the social issues has just not been enough. it's not been the right path to take. >> suarez: has there been any partisan split, have any of the major parties campaigned against the calderon policy ? >> well, not campaigning for say against the idea that you have to end the dominance of the drug traffickers, but certainly suggesting there would be other ways to go about it. as i said, adding more of a social component, these sorts of things. so in that sense there has been a bit of a split it will be interesting to see in these elections. i mean we presume that the pre, the party that ruled
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mexico for generations until 2000 will gain, has the most to gain in these elections. they will come back. and what their strategy will be, to confront the drug traffickers will be very interesting to see. >> suarez: what's the significance of political candidates among the targets now with these recent murders. >> very important. clearly the traffickers, the cartels are saying look, we still control things. and we can determine who runs, who doesn't run who wins. and there are parts of the country where they have determined who the candidate is and in this case, i mean we still don't know what happened to the candidate in tamalipas, we don't know all the facts yet but one theory is one cartel saw him as being favorable to the other cartel and they killed him. more than anything it was then saying question do this. we can kill a major, major candidate who was guaranteed to it be the next governor of the state.
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and so that's a very disturbing trend. i think that as least as damaging as that is the more insidious way a lot of the cartels have been able to push candidates, determine who runs, finance campaigns and all their way of penetrating the political class and political power. >> suarez: briefly before we go, tracy, has it changed the nature of the campaign? have candidates had to be more care billion how they appear in public, under what circumstances they engage with the public? >> definitely. a lot of candidates have just stopped campaigning. the governments, the federal government has offered armoured cars and more protection for a lot of the candidates. so some have accepted, most have not. some just simply do not campaign or campaign very restricted ways. a kind of silencing that frankly a lot of parts of mexican society have experienced. >> suarez: tracy wilkinson
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of the los angeles times, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. good to have you with us. a lot of ground to cover. we've already talked about the jobs report on the show. but david, political fallout, the unemployment rate improved but the hiring is just not happening. >> right, i think it's going to be huge political fallout. you had over 600,000 people leaving the workforce. that suggests-- and we're only produce approximating 80,000 private sector jobs. that suggestion the economy really is going to be stagnant for a while. a lot of economists believe the unemployment rate will go up to ten so fall campaign will be waged in a terrible atmosphere and then you've got a huge debate between those who think we need another tim lus and those who think it is not the right time that is the central debate. we have seen it at the g-20,
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and we will see it more domestically. >> woodruff: is it just the democrats that get hurt. >> i think is. when the economy is bad the economy is the only issue. and what su have going into the fall is comparable to what happened at best for the democrats in 1992 when the republicans, when george bush was running for re-election, the first george bush. the economy had been down and it was starting to improve. but he got no boost. he got no lift out of it and remember asking his great pollster bob teeter and campaign chairman, he said it takes a full quarter t takes a full month of good news before there is any switch in people's attitudes. so what we're looking at right now, these are october, this july three months forward is october. you had better get some good you ins in a hurry and i don't know that any is coming otherwise people are discouraged about their own situation, about the direction of the country, their enthusiasm for the democrats, i just think it's bad news. >> woodruff: elena kagan,
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the president's nominee nor the supreme court before the senate judiciary committee, how did she do. >> she did well. by herself, by her standards she did excellently. she was witty, smart, charming. i'm not sure she said anything there was a one moment, john roberts mentioned he thought judges were like umpires and she took issue with that. and said no, it is a lot more judgement involved. and tom goldstein of scotus blog had a point that we have an impression it is conservative, liberal, 5-4. but only 20% of the cases are a 5-4 and most are not breaking down on political lines. so it makes it more important to know what they are thinking. but we have so neutered the process not only on ideaological issues but every issue, you can't know what they are thinking on nonideology issues and pragmatic issues. i thought she did a great job but it is a shame it has dissolved to this. >> woodruff: the conventional wisdom is that yes, of course she will be
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confirmed but maybe with fewer votes than sonia sotheby's -- sotomayor. >> i think that is true. she had the advantage of being the first latina, first hispanic supreme court justice. the support of mel martinez, cuban american in florida, he has left the senate since, defeat bid george lemieux, he has political ambitions of his own. wants to establish conservative credential. beyond that i don't think she got the support, i think, that justice to be kagan can expect with the renegade s in the fine-- state, susan collins and olympia snowee, lamar alexander and lindsey graham. and then for retiring, republican senators kit barnum, dick lugar of indiana and judd gregg of new hampshire. but i think it will be a smaller group than that
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supporting justice kagan. >> woodruff: i'm moving along to a number of different things here, david, to immigration. the president made the first major speech of his presidency yesterday on immigration reform. but hardly anyone thinks it's going anywhere. >> you have to have a political strategy. you can't just-- he said some nice things. a grow with him on the need for immigration reform but unless you have a strategy and a bill, it is just not serious and it is hard to see. in the first place the people who lead the immigration reform effort, mccain and kennedy are either not with us any more or not of a mind to do it but secondly and most importantly the country has shifted. the trust to do something, which wasn't even there a year or two ago is certainly not there now. people want the wall built. they want some border security before they will think about anything else. and they just don't trust the government to do anything unless they get that security first. and so whether you are a democrat or a republican, public opinion is much more hostile to the idea of comprehensive reform. and obama has no really answer to that. >> woodruff: and no penalty for the republicans for not wanting this?
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>> one term penalty because it is the most fastest growing constituency in american politics is that of hispanics. and i think there are more than an eco, a hint of anti-hispanic, anti-immigrant feeling but i don't disagree with david. i think the economic mood and reality of the country affects it much-- as much as anything. people are scared about jobs, jobs are scarce, for every job available there is are five applicants and there a sense of this is-- people, undocumented workers fairly or unfairly come in here and will work for less. they're a threat to jobs that americans might get. so the attitude, the magazine nam imity that has characterized americans for many issues is not present on this one. >> woodruff: the house republican leader john boehner was in hot water over not one but two things this week. former republican congressman joe scarborough made a comment that he's not
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a very hard worker and separately boehner himself made a comment comparing the president's sport for financial regulatory reform to trying to kill an ant with a nuclear weapon. david, is there any fallout for this for john boehner. >>it is interesting to see how quickly the democrats leapt on it and the president. it is clearly an effort, the democrats have terrible things going against them this fall but one thing going for them which is republicans are still moderately unpopular or quite unpopular. they going on attack and it was striking to see the president going directly on attack over this i don't think is there a long-term benefit. there is a debate in a republican party about how agress tough do with the counterplatform, some policy substance. i think eric cantor the deputy for john bayne certificate much more wanted to have money ideas. boehner says things are going our way, let's not mess it up. >> woodruff: meanwhile the chairman of the republican party made a comment yesterday about the war in afghanistan saying this was a war of president obama's chootion.
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it's not something the american people want. now today the republican national committee retracted that. >> yeah. just one quick thing on boehner and that is that this is been used in the past quite effectively by the democrats to try and make the face of the republican party, the rep office holder work very well for bill clinton's re-election in 1996. so unpopular when the democrats are able to make newt gingrich. >> woodruff: demonize. >> that bob dole became almost paralyzed and had to withdraw as republican senate leader to distance himself from newt beginning rach-- gingrich. i don't think you can do that with john boehner. i think what we are talking about is ambition in the republican ranks. i think eric cantor's ambition is not very well clothed. i won't say it is naked but it is pretty well exposed but as mar as michael steel is concerned, michael steel has had a gas filled year. he had his young donor meeting at the lesbian
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bondage club in west l.a. you must remember, that caused a stir, and caused the finance chief to leave, chief of staff to leave, political consultant to leechlt he predicted the republicans wouldn't win the house in 2010. it hasn't been sure footing for michael. i don't anybody looks to the party chairs to make foreign defense policy statements. and if it weren't the fourth of july weekend i don't know if the resignation would be news to tell you the truth. >> woodruff: anything about michael steel. >> it was historically inaccurate to say it was barack obama's war. it was stupid. he doesn't make policy. it was terrible all the way around. bill crystal my friend called for his resignation. i think it is right it has to be the last straw. i know the donors have been up in arms about their performance, not only the gaffes but the administrative performance. to me this has to be the end. >> woodruff: speaking of the fourth of july a poll, i noticed today. mariss college in new york did a poll which showed that
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a fourth of americans when ask you them from what country did the united states win its independence, one fourth of americans said they weren't sure or they didn't know. and 40% of 18 to 29 year oms in this country said they didn't know or weren't sure what does that say. >> i think it is an insult to abraham lincoln's leadership in the revolutionary war. to me the substance is we have traded history for social studies in schools. that we don't dot abc here is what happened when. and i notice this when i talk to kids including sometimes my own kids, they just don't get the dates. they don't have the scaffolding of history and they do a lot more social structure, they do cultures, they do this, they do that but they don't have the basic, the facts and lynniaj of what happened when. so those basic facts if, you don't have the scaffolding you are not going to remember and organize it and put it together in some sort of theory. >> we're a lot more sensitive but a lot less informed. what is terrifying the figure you cited 40% of the
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people under the age of 29. 80% close to, over those 45 do know there was something going on in schools. the people, the older people are less likely to have gone to college than the younger ones and the idea that somebody is going through college and graduating and not knowing a fundamental fact like that is terrifying and depressing. and -- >> i mean when i saw the poll a looked at it and looked at that time again and checked the validity and checked with another pollster, these are real numbers. >> not good news. >> woodruff: last thing, robert byrd, a giant of the united states senate, a funeral today in west virginia. mark, somebody you watched -- >> watched. when i worked in the senate in the 1960s it was the civil rights era and bob byrd was right in the front ranks of the democratic segregationists who opposed the civil rights act and all the segregationists said we're democrats from the south. and they led the filibuster.
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in 1964 they-- the republicaned elected someone against the civil rights act. jesse helms later to be a senator of north carolina, strom thur mon a long the way they became republicans and bob byrd changed his opinions but stayed a democrat. and did public penance. he was a rare political figure in that sense and he rose to the position of leadership in the senate by not raising money as has become the course of access to power now, you become the principal fund-raiser. bob byrd didn't do that. he did it by devoting all time, effort and energy to the senate. he never thought about a new hampshire primary, bong the "today show" or running for national office. he knew it was impossible. his whole life was the senate. >> is this the ends of an era. >> yeah, and one thing which i really want to emphasize, we have so many harvard law people on the supreme court
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we put so much emphasis on educational credential. here was a guy who went to college after law school. he couldn't go to college out of high school. he finally as a politician wanted to learn the law, became a lawyer and then wanted to get the college degree. it is a reminder of the power of order didact. he taught himself history, wrote the book on senate history. his lectures, speakers were filled or lectures on history. we place some of emphasis on credentials these days but the power of a lifelong -- is far greater than somebody who has a harvard yale or university chicago degree. >> populism rears its pretty head. >> woodruff: we have two pretty heads right now and we hate to say good-bye, but thank you. mark shields and david brooks. >> she was talking about judy and me. >> brown: and as judy said, the memorial service was held today for senator robert byrd in his home state of west virginia. hundreds of people, from the elite to the everyday, gathered at the state capitol in charleston to honor senator
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byrd's life and service. ♪ there was even a bluegrass band, in a tribute to byrd's own well- known talent as a fiddler. when the eulogies came, former president bill clinton recalled the senator's fierce reputation for winning federal dollars for west virginia. >> he did as good a job for you as he could. as far as he was concerned, there was no such thing as too much for west virginia. but the one thing he would not do even for you is violate his sense of what was required to maintain the integrity of the constitution and the integrity of the united states senate. >> brown: and clinton said it's important to put in context a darker chapter in byrd's long career. >> they mention that he once had a fleeting association with the ku klux klan, and what does that mean. i'll tell you what it means-- he was a country boy from the hills and hollers of west virginia, and he was trying to get elected. and maybe he did something he
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shouldn't have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. and that's what a good person does. there are no perfect people. there are certainly no perfect politicians. ( applause ) >> brown: vice president biden served with byrd in the senate for 35 years. >> he traveled a hard path. he devoted his life, though, to making that path a little easier for those who followed. this is a guy who continued to taste and smell and feel the suffering of the people in his state. he tasted it. >> brown: biden also serves now as president of the senate. he remembered an ailing byrd coming to the chamber last christmas eve to vote for health care reform. >> he never stopped fighting. how many people would have hung on as long as he did? how many people would have had the ability to get back out of that hospital bed and get in a wheelchair and come in and vote for this? he never stopped thinking about
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his people and the things he cared about. >> brown: the day's final eulogy came from president obama. >> years from now, when i think of the man we memorialize today, i'll remember him as he was when i came to know him-- his white hair full, like a mane; his gait steadied with a cane; determined to make the most of every last breath. the distinguished gentleman from west virginia could be found at his desk until the very end, doing the people's business-- delivering soul-stirring speeches, a hint of the appalachians in his voice, stabbing the air with his finger, fiery as ever, years into his tenth decade. he was a senate icon. he was a party leader.
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he was an elder statesman. and he was my friend. >> brown: after the memorial, byrd's body was flown back to arlington, virginia. he'll be buried tuesday alongside his wife, erma, who died in 2006. >> woodruff: again, the other major developments of the day: the u.s. economy lost 125,000 jobs in june in the latest sign the recovery may be losing momentum; and general david petraeus arrived in afghanistan to take over command of u.s. and other nato forces. the newshour is always online. hari sreenivasan, in our newsroom, previews what's there. hari. >> sreenivasan: be sure to check back later tonight to hear more from mark and david about politics, sports, and their fourth of july plans. find out how people who were denied health insurance can now apply for coverage in some states and on "art beat," jeff talks to artist chuck close, best known for his huge portraits.
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here's a short clip. >> when viewers confront an image that's nine foot high, hard to see the thing as a whole, and they're scanning it. what they're doing is they're doing much the same thing that i do when i paint it, which is seeing the journey that i took to build this image. >> sreenivasan: all that and more is on our web site, judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend and a happy fourth of july. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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