Sunday, September 25, 2016

MUSIC - Zydeco


Just discovered "Buckwheat Zydeco"



"Though disputed, it is commonly suggested that 'zydeco' derives from the French phrase Les haricots ne sont pas sal├ęs, which, when spoken in the Louisiana Creole French, sounds as 'leh-zy-dee-co nuh sohn pah salay.'  This literally translates as 'the snap beans aren't salty' but idiomatically as 'I have no spicy news for you.'  The earliest recorded use of the term may have been the country and western musical group called Zydeco Skillet Lickers who recorded the song It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo in 1929." - Wikipedia

Monday, September 19, 2016

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 9/16/2016

"Shields and Brooks on Trump's 'birther' lie, Clinton's 'deplorables' effect" PBS NewsHour 9/16/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including Donald Trump's admittance -- after five years of sowing doubt -- that President Obama is a natural-born citizen, plus Hillary Clinton's characterization of some Trump supporters as “deplorables” and the tightening national polls.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Next, to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome back, gentlemen.

MARK SHIELDS:  Thank you, Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  We're together in person.  It's good to see you.

Mark, let's start with the birther lie.  It's the only way to describe it.  Donald Trump talked about this for years.  Today, he did finally say that he believes the President, President Obama, was born in the United States.

But then he turned around and said Hillary Clinton started all this.  Where does this leave this story about the birther controversy?

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  I'm not absolutely sure.

But I think it's important to establish right at the outset that he wasn't only the loudest and the highest-profile and the most persistent and the most well-publicized birther, he, Donald Trump.  He lied.  He lied consistently and persistently.

And, today, without explanation or excuse, he just changed his position and tried to absolutely falsely shift the blame onto Hillary Clinton.  And this was an appeal to — he debased democracy.  He debased the national debate.  He appealed to that which is most ignoble or least noble in all of us.

And I think — I would like to put to rest right now one of the great theories of the Clinton, Bill Clinton, years.  Bill Clinton was accused of being a skirt chaser, a draft dodger, trimming the truth.  And we were told by all sorts of conservative religious leaders, politically conservative religious leaders, then, character, character was the dominant issue.  That's why you had to oppose Bill Clinton and support his impeachment.

We have a man running right now for President right now who's without character.  He's AWOL.  He and character are mutually exclusive.  And the silence, with rare and conspicuous and admirable exceptions, with Mr.  Moore of the Southern Baptists and Mr.  Mohler, is — is just deafening.

We found out that character is not an issue.  The Supreme Court turns out to be the defining issue.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  David.

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  Well, I agree.

What struck me was that, especially reading the comment, the statement from the Trump campaign, which we heard summarized by Trump himself earlier in the broadcast, you know, we're always used to spin.

Usually, there's some tangential relationship to the truth, but a corroding relationship to the truth, frankly, as politics has gone on over the years.

But now we're in a reverse, Orwellian inversion of the truth with this.  And so we have a team of staffers and then the candidate himself who have taken the normal spin and smashed all the rules.

And so we are really in Orwell land.  We are in “1984.”  And it's interesting that an authoritarian personality type comes in at the same time with a complete disrespect for even tangential relationship to the truth, that words are unmoored.

And so I do think this statement sort of shocked me with the purification of a lot of terrible trends that have been happening.  And so what's white is black, and what is up is down, what is down is up.  And that really is something new in politics.

And the fact that there is no penalty for it, apparently — he's doing fantastic in the last two weeks in the polls — is just somehow where we have gotten.

RETHINKING COLLEGE - Georgetown University & Skills-Based Boot Camps

"Giving students a leg up with job skills a resume won't show" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  When applying to a job out of college, having a top-notch resume isn't enough anymore.  College graduates from top schools apply alongside dozens of similarly qualified candidates.  In light of new hiring trends, a program at Georgetown University aims to make their students the best candidates possible, by teaching them skills that will give them a leg up on the job hunt.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now, what specific skills employers want from college graduates, and what a college can do to prove students are ready.

Hari Sreenivasan has the story as part of our special series this week on Rethinking College.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Graduation day at Georgetown University.  It takes four years, more than $200,000, and a lot of hard work to get here.

But now more employers are asking, what does a four-year degree really mean?  What true marketable skills can new graduates offer the work force?

Georgetown University is trying to answer that question.

RANDALL BASS, Professor, Georgetown University:  We're hearing from employers, how do you differentiate between two graduates?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Professor Randall Bass leads the college's Designing the Future Initiative.

RANDALL BASS:  If you have got a pile of 10 graduates who all have degrees from quality liberal arts schools, and they all look more or less alike in terms of their formal credentials, are there ways to differentiate them?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Last semester, Bass and colleagues at Georgetown offered a free experimental course for students who want to further distinguish themselves.  Instead of receiving a traditional credit, students who meet the requirements are awarded a digital badge.

RANDALL BASS:  What we see in the badges is a way of trying to help students tell a story about some dimension of their learning that might otherwise be merely a line on their resume.

ERIKA COHEN-DERR, Student Engagement, Georgetown University:  It's easy with a degree to show what you have learned in biology or in business.  But it's not easy to show what you have learned in terms of leadership.



"Why high-tech boot camps are appealing to students and lenders" PBS NewsHour 9/16/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  To get a job with a good salary, having a college degree is increasingly vital.  But degrees are also more and more expensive, and don't guarantee job placement.  Skills-based boot camps may provide one solution, by teaching valuable skills in a short period of time.  And support for computer coding camps is flourishing, both from private investors and the government.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

WOMEN - Forced Marriage, the Marriage of Kings

"Uncovering the problem of forced marriage in the U.S." PBS NewsHour 9/14/2016

aka "The downside of conservative, male chauvinist, religion."

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  She was never verbally or physically threatened or restrained.  But at age 19, Nina Van Harn felt like she couldn't say no when she was expected to marry a man chosen by her family.  And she is not alone in her experience.  In a two-year period, it's estimated that there were 3,000 such forced marriage cases in the United States.  Special correspondent Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, special correspondent :  For Nina Van Harn, raising her children today is a radical departure from her own upbringing.

NINA VAN HARN, Married at 19:  My childhood was part magical, and part complicated.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON:  She was raised in rural Michigan on a 40-acre farm in a tight-knit community that practiced a conservative form of evangelical Christianity.  Its members largely kept to themselves, more “Little House on the Prairie” than modern-day America.

Growing up, she always knew one day was coming.  She recorded its arrival in her diary.

NINA VAN HARN:  “Dear Kit (ph)” — that was the name of the girl in the journal — “You will never guess what happened today.  This morning after breakfast, papa sat Naomi (ph) and I down at the kitchen table and nailed us both with a load of bricks.  He believes he found husbands for both of us.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON:  Van Harn had turned 19.  She was legally an adult.  There was no gun to her head, no chains around her wrists.  But because of lifelong pressures from her family and her upbringing, she considers herself one of thousands of American women and girls forced into marriage each year.

NINA VAN HARN:  I knew that I wasn't going to say no.  This was God's will.  God had spoken.  And it was just not even an option.  I didn't think consciously in my head 'I'm being forced.'

THE MEGA CORP - Are They Going the Way of Dinosaurs?

"Will mega-corporations give way to a local manufacturing renaissance?" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Big companies today aren't creating nearly as many middle-class jobs.  Instead they're hiring out much of the work to contractors around the world.  But what if we could reverse engineer our technology to bring about a new era of local manufacturing in the U.S.?  Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks with Jerry Davis, author of the new book “The Vanishing American Corporation.”

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  A must-see stop on the grand tour of decaying Detroit, the plant that, for decades, clanked out auto chassis for GM.

GERALD DAVIS, University of Michigan:  General Motors at its height had 900,000 employees, career ladders galore.  They were providing a lot of benefits, creating good middle-class jobs.  GM today has about 220,000 employees around the world.  It's about as many as it had in 1928.

PAUL SOLMAN:  But sociologist Jerry Davis says the GMs of yesteryear, though models of productivity and even of economic equality, are history.

JERRY DAVIS:  What happened to General Motors didn't just happen to General Motors.  There are about half as many public corporations today as they were 20 years ago.

PAUL SOLMAN:  So, instead of General Motors, U.S. Steel, Eastman Kodak, and I could go on and on, what have we got?

JERRY DAVIS:  The big corporations today don't really have that many employees.  They're not providing career ladders.  They're not creating middle-class jobs.  Blockbuster had 80,000 employees and 9,000 stores across the country.  Netflix does the same thing with fewer than 4,000 people.

If anybody tells you they work at Facebook, probably they mean they are a contractor, because only about 12,000 people actually work at Facebook.  They are worth $300 billion, but very few people actually work there.

PAUL SOLMAN:  In a new book, Davis calls it the vanishing American corporation and poses a pivotal question:  What will rise from the wreckage?  Mega-firms that hire relatively few workers?  Made-anywhere product peddlers like Nike?

JERRY DAVIS:  They're the biggest sneaker and sporting goods company in the world, but they don't actually make most of the stuff with their name brand on it.  They design it, they market it from Oregon, but the production is done by contractors all around the world.  And that model is spread widely.

It's not just sneakers, it's not just garments.  Electronics, pharmaceuticals, pet food, you name the product, and you can find somebody to manufacture it and put your name on it.

HACKING THE CAMPAIGN - Election System Vulnerabilities

"How hackers could prey on election vulnerabilities" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  This week, emails written by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, which were critical of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, appeared on a website that's reportedly an outlet for hackers tied to Russia.  Judy Woodruff speaks with Dmitri Alperovitch of Crowdstrike and David Sanger of The New York Times about the recent wave of hacks tied to the presidential campaign and the impact on the election.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  This year's political campaign has a new and different wrinkle.  Cyber-hacking has led to regular public releases of documents and private e-mails involving the political parties and key players.

The Democrats are the most frequent targets.  But it's not only them.

The list of election season cyber-attacks is growing.  The latest target, former Secretary of State Colin Powell.  A trove of his e-mails appeared online this week after his personal account was hacked.  In one referring to GOP nominee Donald Trump and black voters, Powell wrote, “He takes us for idiots.”

Another referred to Democrat Hillary Clinton as greedy, not transformational.  The messages were posted on a site that's reportedly an outlet for hackers tied to Russia.

Clinton today did blame the Russians.  The White House wasn't saying.

JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary:  We don't necessarily want to reveal sources and methods that the FBI uses to conduct these kinds of investigations.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  All of this follows the July release of thousands of Democratic National Committee e-mails.  They were published on WikiLeaks just before the Democratic Convention.  And on Tuesday, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to more DNC files.  The Web site's founder, Julian Assange, claimed in an interview with the NewsHour last month that it's done in the public interest.

JULIAN ASSANGE, Founder, WikiLeaks:  And that performs an ongoing role leading to great works in investigative journalism, successful court cases, civil litigation, criminal process, and, of course, also contributes to public understanding.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Meanwhile, Politico reports hackers are also targeting state Democratic officials.  And congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, says Republican operatives have been hacked as well.

Still, in Washington yesterday, the president's homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, played down any threat to the integrity of the election, but added:

LISA MONACO, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security:  The efforts of malicious actors to intrude upon voter registration databases and other elements of our critical infrastructure, as well as our voting infrastructure, is of concern.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  The White House says if there is a response to the hacking, it may not be announced in advance, or ever.

For a deeper look at the actors and the politics behind the hacks, we turn to Dmitri Alperovitch.  He's co-founder and chief technology officer at CrowdStrike.  That's the cyber-security firm that investigated online breaches of the Democratic Party over the summer.  And David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.

HEALTH - 'How to Sweeten Profits' by Sugar Industry

A 'Greed File'

"How the sugar industry paid experts to downplay health risks" PBS NewsHour 9/13/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Researchers have discovered documents showing that the sugar industry paid researchers to downplay the health risks of sugar and play up the risks of saturated fat in the 1960s.  Gwen Ifill speaks with Marion Nestle of New York University about the revelations, the health impacts of consuming sugar and the complexities of studying nutrition.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Now, how the sugar industry paid experts to downplay health risks.

Researchers have discovered documents showing the industry tried to influence scientific studies back in the 1960s.  Early studies had found a link between sugar and fat and heart disease, but it now appears that the sugar industry paid two Harvard professors to point the finger elsewhere.

At the time, it wasn't routine to disclose such conflicts.

Marion Nestle wrote an editorial about the latest research in “JAMA,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association.”  She's an author and professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.

Welcome, Marion Nestle.

Let's start by a few…

MARION NESTLE, New York University:  Well, glad to be here.

GWEN IFILL:  Let's start with a few definitions.

What was the Sugar Research Foundation?

MARION NESTLE:  Well, this was a trade association for the growers of sugarcane and sugar beets.  It's now called the Sugar Association.  So it's a trade group.

Its job is to promote the sales of sugar and to lobby to make sure that nobody does anything regulatory to reduce the consumption of sugar.  It's a trade group.

GWEN IFILL:  So, yes.  So, when all the years when we were being told that fat and cholesterol were the prime culprits in obesity and early death and heart disease, it turns out that sugar also played a big role.

MARION NESTLE:  Well, it did.

If you look at the epidemiology, at the time, it was clear that both sugar and fat were risk factors for coronary artery disease.  But these investigators at Harvard who were paid by the Sugar Research Foundation kind of cherry-picked the data and minimized the problems with sugar and maximized the problems with saturated fat.  And that was exactly what the Sugar Association wanted them to do, as the documents show.

GWEN IFILL:  So, the goal here was to sway public opinion, in much the same way that the tobacco industry did?

MARION NESTLE:  Yes, it followed the playbook of the tobacco industry.

The number one playbook rule is, the first thing you do is you attack the science, you cast doubt on the science.  “Merchants of Doubt,” the book and the movie, explain all that.  And the Sugar Association was doing exactly that.

It was trying to get researchers to produce research that would minimize a role for sugar and shift the blame elsewhere.  And they were very frank about what they wanted, and the investigators agreed that was what they were going to do.  Pretty shocking.

RETHINKING COLLEGE - Latino Males

"A mentoring program that aims to keep Latino males in school" PBS NewsHour 9/13/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  On college campuses, Latino males are perhaps the most underrepresented group.  These men are often expected to provide for their families, which can mean a choice between getting an education and getting a job.  Hari Sreenivasan reports as part of our Rethinking College series on one program that's trying to combat the issue by creating mentorship opportunities.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now to the second installment of our week-long series on ideas to transform higher education for students and provide new opportunities.

Tonight, Hari Sreenivasan reports why some Latino males are being urged to turn down a job today in favor of four years of college tomorrow.

JUAN LOPEZ, Graduate Student, University of Texas:  The series is called Rethinking College, and it's part of our weekly education coverage, Making the grade.

MAN:  If I can have the mentors on one side and the mentees on another.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Graduate student Juan Lopez wants to bring to college campuses what he sees as largely missing, Latino males.

JUAN LOPEZ:  They're not seen as people who will succeed, especially minority males of color.

I want to go to college.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  So, on this day, Lopez and undergraduates from the university of Texas at Austin are mentoring high school freshman boys as part of an initiative called Project MALES.

JUAN LOPEZ:  Undergraduates mentor high school students.  Graduate students mentor undergraduate students.

BEHIND THE NUMBERS - What Pay Raise?

"The U.S. just got a big pay raise.  Why don't we feel it?" PBS NewsHour 9/13/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  It's a major issue on the campaign trail:  American angst about jobs and wages.  New census data from last year shows that for the first time in almost a decade, household incomes in the U.S. have gone up and the poverty rate has gone down.  Lisa Desjardins takes a look at those numbers and at why many Americans feel like they are inconsistent with their experiences.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  This campaign has often focused on the question of economic growth, jobs and wages, particularly for the middle class.

Well, today, there was some good news on that front, as well as for lower-income households.

Lisa Desjardins looks at those latest numbers, and why so many Americans say they don't square with their own experiences.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  It is a triple hit of good economic news.  New census data showed that, last year, median income rose 5.2 percent, the number of Americans living in poverty shrank by 3.5 million people, and the percentage of uninsured Americans dropped.

SOUTH SUDAN - Looting the Wealth

"South Sudan leaders used chaos of war to loot billions, investigation reveals" PBS NewsHour 9/12/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Founded in 2011, South Sudan is the world's newest country; but for much of its statehood, it has been engulfed in civil war.  The violence has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than two million people.  A report released on Monday by rights group The Sentry accuses South Sudanese political leaders of making a fortune off the conflict.  The NewsHour's P.J.  Tobia reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  South Sudan is the world's newest country, gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.

But, two years later, civil war broke out in the small East African nation.  Though a peace agreement was signed in 2015, sporadic fighting continues.  Millions have been displaced, while rival leaders fight for power and the country's oil and mineral wealth.

A two-year-long investigation into those leaders and their allies revealed billions have been looted from the country.

NewsHour producer P.J.  Tobia has our story

And a warning:  Some viewers may find some of the imagery disturbing.

P.J.  TOBIA, NewsHour producer:  Small, poor and dangerous, the U.N. has called South Sudan one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world.

Fighters loyal to the president, Salva Kiir, have been battling those backing former Vice President Riek Machar for most of the last four years.  Caught in the crossfire are Sudan's impoverished civilians.  More than two million South Sudanese have been displaced by the fighting.  Tens of thousands have been killed.

The U.N. found that, in just six months last year, 1,300 women were raped by fighters in one South Sudanese state alone.  A report released today by The Sentry, a rights group in Washington, accuses the leaders who've orchestrated this brutality of making billions off the conflict.  Actor George Clooney wrote the foreword to the report.  “Hotel Rwanda” star Don Cheadle also works with The Sentry.  Both were at the National Press Club this morning to talk about the investigation.

GEORGE CLOONEY, Co-Founder, “The Sentry”:  This is pretty explosive stuff.  We're talking about the president and the ousted vice president, along with all of their generals, that we're able to prove without any question that not only are they committing these crimes which they have already been accused of, but that they're profiting off of it.

P.J.  TOBIA:  The report outlines how South Sudan's political leaders, generals and their families have used the chaos of war to generate vast sums of wealth.  They have built mansions across the world, from Uganda and Kenya to Australia.

That young woman flashing the peace sign from the sunroof of a BMW?  She's the daughter of a former general, a former general whose state salary was never more than 45,000 U.S. dollars.

This man is the stepson of another South Sudanese general.  He calls himself the young tycoon.  His Facebook photos show a life of privilege unimaginable to most South Sudanese.  Here, he narrates a tour of a presidential suite at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas.

JOHN PRENDERGAST, Enough Project:  So, it's like a mafia in some ways.  A mafia has taken over the state.

P.J.  TOBIA:  John Prendergast is the director of the Enough Project, a rights group that oversees The Sentry group.

JOHN PRENDERGAST:  The mafia we see in the movies, that is shooting a few people.  In South Sudan, tens of thousands of people have died in this war, with horrific atrocities, mass rape, child soldier recruitment, all the worst of the worst of the human rights abuses that we hear about globally.  And this is how they stay in power.

RETHINKING COLLEGE - Paul Quinn College

"One college turns its football field into a farm and sees its students transform" PBS NewsHour 9/12/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  At Paul Quinn College, where once there was a football field, now there's an organic farm.  It's not just a symbol of renewal for this once-struggling historically black college in Dallas; it's where students work to pay tuition.  As part of our Rethinking College series, Hari Sreenivasan explores how students learn to understand the expectations of a career while gaining a liberal arts education.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Now we begin a special week-long look at the ways that some schools, educators and leaders are trying to transform higher education.  The goal? To prepare students for the modern work force.

The series is called Rethinking College, part of PBS' Spotlight Education initiative, which features special programming examining today's challenges.

Tonight, Hari Sreenivasan visits Dallas, where an innovative college president is growing a new kind of student.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  At a Texas college, a football field that was turned into a farm.

MAN:  We need to harvest about 10 pounds of radishes.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  The Tigers of Paul Quinn College lost more football games than they won on this field.  So, nine years ago, when the historically black college on the South Side of Dallas was in financial crisis and had a 1 percent graduation rate, a new president turned everything over, including the football field.

So, did you envision this when you first saw the football field and the…

MICHAEL SORRELL, President, Paul Quinn College:  No, no.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Michael Sorrell had no experience running a college.  He had been a lawyer and White House special assistant, but he knew Paul Quinn couldn't afford a football program.

MICHAEL SORRELL:  There's more than one field of dreams, all right?  Why should we tie everyone's future to athletic success?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  He turned the football field into an organic farm that generates more than 20,000 pounds of organic vegetables every year, veggies that make it into high-end restaurants and into the Dallas Cowboys' stadium.

MICHAEL SORRELL:  I think this has saved our school.  It saved it because it changed the narrative of the institution.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

PICS OF THE WEEK - Politics and 'Toy'



Basket of the REAL Deplorables



Na, don't believe it....it's a plushy toy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

PRAYER FOR 9/11/2001 - Bette Midler "Wind Beneath My Wings"



WOW!!  A Prayer for New York City

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 9/9/2016

"Shields and Brooks on high stakes for debate moderators, a dead heat in the polls" PBS NewsHour 9/9/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the presidential candidates' performances on NBC's “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” as well as that of the forum moderator, plus possible explanations for a tightening in the presidential polls and more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  But, first, the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome to you both.  It's good to see you again.

Let's talk about the presidential campaign.

David, we saw the two candidates together at the same place this week, but not at the same time, at this televised forum that NBC sponsored.  What did you make of it, of their performance and what they had to say?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  I thought they both lost.  I thought America lost.  Humanity lost.  A little piece of my soul died.  I thought they…

JUDY WOODRUFF:  That bad?

DAVID BROOKS:  I thought they both did poorly.

I thought she was evasive and cross and looked like she was imperious and was angry to be challenged.  She had plenty of information, but not a lot of relatability and not a lot of humanity and not a lot of vision for foreign policy.

He (Trump), if anything, was a little worse.  He is, and as he has wont to do, said about six ridiculous things.  The admiration for Putin is of long standing.  But to me, the thing that really made me think was his claim that in Iraq we should have left a core of people to take the oil.

Now, that is — first of all, it's impractical, but it's also moral idiocy.  Maybe you're selfish and you think, oh, I got some oil and I got some guns, I should take it.  But if you go through any realm of education, which is what we try to do with people, you learn that that's called imperialism, that's called plunder.  It's morally wrong.  It ruins your credibility.

The idea that a big country is going to go out and send troops into some country to take their resources, and then the rest of the world is going to somehow trust us is just a ridiculous notion.

And so he says things that are just plainly ridiculous.  But — so that's why was so depressed.

(LAUGHTER)

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, Mark, humanity lost as a result of this encounter or this performance this week?

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  Judy, I wasn't — it wasn't Lincoln-Douglas.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS:  And most importantly of all, I think David's point about the oil is well-taken.  I think it's valid and I think it's true.

That is not the United States.  That is pillaging.  That is the worst form of imperialism that he's describing.  It would mean leaving thousands of Americans there to protect the oil drilling.  I mean, it just is — it's indefensible on logistical, moral and political grounds.

But that aside, I think what it did — and you have moderated debates.  I have never moderated a debate, Judy, for good reason.  But I think it's raised this — Wednesday night, partially because of the unflattering press reaction to Matt Lauer's performance, has raised the stakes for the moderator, who is now put on notice, all of them, that they are not entitled in 2016 to sit there while somebody makes a statement that is factually untrue and is — can be proven false, as Mr. Trump did when he, in fact, said that he had always opposed the United States' war in Iraq.

And I just think that — it's tough to be a moderator.  But I think that, given this campaign and the questions about the integrity and honesty of the candidates, and the great doubts about them, I think that is now part of the job description.

Geesh... David, tell us how you feel.

NUCLEAR THREAT - North Korea

REMINDER:  "The Korean Armistice Agreement is the armistice which ended the Korean War.  It was signed by U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison, Jr. representing the United Nations Command (UNC), North Korean General Nam Il representing the Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army.  The armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, and was designed to "insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved."  No "final peaceful settlement" has been achieved yet.  The signed armistice established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (de facto a new border between the two nations), put into force a cease-fire, and finalized repatriation of prisoners of war.  The Demilitarized Zone runs not far from the 38th parallel, which separated North and South Korea before the war." - Wikipedia

But the armistice did NOT mean the end of the Korean War.  We are essentially still at war with North Korea.

IMO the United States should remind North Korea that using, or even building nuclear weapons, IS an act of war.  The United States should be discussing making a NEW declaration of war against North Korea, and emphasize the consequences of nuclear arms.  The threat of Nuclear weapons are not to be minimized.  Failing to make this case, and act on it, would be as bad as President Obama not wiping out Assad's tanks and aircraft at the start of the Syrian war.


"Does U.S. policy toward North Korea need to change?" PBS NewsHour 9/9/2016
Excerpt

SUMMARY:  North Korea launched its most powerful nuclear test yet, the country’s fifth since 2006 and its second this year.  Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the diplomatic fallout and Judy Woodruff talks to former State Department official Greg Thielmann and former National Security Council official Gary Samore about the country’s nuclear capabilities and the global implications.

ECONOMY - Waves of Change

"How one U.S.  company is trying to surf the tides of foreign trade" PBS NewsHour 9/8/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Trade has become a major theme of this year's presidential race -- how it affects jobs, wages and manufacturing in the United States.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman takes a look at one California-based surfboard company that has been bruised by its Chinese competition, and how the effects of foreign trade have impacted politics.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  In San Clemente, California, Brad Parks and Shad Eischen, confined to wheelchairs since their teens, about to shred the surf.

SHAD EISCHEN, Surfer:  I figured, if I'm still alive now, you know, this is the least thing that's going to worry me.

PAUL SOLMAN:  OK, sit-down surfing on a waveski, but plenty of challenge if you're paraplegic.

BRAD PARKS, Surfer:  I'm having just a blast out here just meeting new guys and being down here and surfing.

PAUL SOLMAN:  The man who designed and shaped their Waveskis is surfing legend Steve Boehne, who regular viewers might recall complaining about unfair trade here on the “NewsHour” three years ago.

STEVE BOEHNE, Founder, Infinity Surfboards:  Ninety-five percent of the boards being sold in the world weren't made by us in California, who started the surfboard industry.  They're being made in other countries.  And so my workers are competing for a job against a guy in another country who's making a 10th of his wages.

PAUL SOLMAN:  This has become a main theme of this year's presidential campaign.  But it turns out Steve Boehne was ahead of the curve, or at least ahead of most economists, who have argued since Adam Smith that trade is the key to economic growth by spurring competition and thus lowering prices, and arguing that, in our era, technology replaces jobs, not cheap foreign labor.

GORDON HANSON, Economist, University of California, San Diego:  But as we went into the 2000s, with the rise of China, the situation changed.

PAUL SOLMAN:  It's what economist Gordon Hanson learned from a soon-to-be published academic study he co-authored,  that Chinese imports really did hurt U.S.  wages and employment, but selectively.

GORDON HANSON:  What we were surprised by was that those effects were not distributed kind of broadly and evenly across blue-collar workers in the United States, but really concentrated on industries and workers and communities that produce goods that compete in the same arenas that China does.

TRUMP FILES - The Truth Behind Trump's Career

It's all smoke and mirrors.  'Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain.'

"Trump's ‘rollercoaster' of a career marked by self-interest" PBS NewsHour 9/8/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Donald Trump has tried to sell himself as a successful businessman who can boost American prosperity.  But specifics about his dealings and debt may tell a different story.  William Brangham learns more from Marc Fisher of The Washington Post and Tim O'Brien of Bloomberg to get a glimpse into Donald Trump as an entrepreneur.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  To understand Trump's vast and varied business dealings, we're joined now by two men who've spent a good deal of time looking into those businesses, as well as talking with Trump at length about his career.

Marc Fisher is a senior editor at The Washington Post and co-author of the book “Trump Revealed:  An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money and Power.”  And Tim O'Brien is executive editor of Bloomberg View.  His book is called “Trump Nation:  The Art of Being the Donald.”

Gentlemen, thank you both very much for being her.

Marc Fisher, I would like to start with you.

The Trump campaign is predicated in large part on the idea that Trump is a magnificent businessman who can bring America back to prosperity.  And you have done a long analysis of what his business career is like.  Is that a fair characterization of him?  Does he deserve that title?

MARC FISHER, The Washington Post:  Well, he's certainly had a good deal of success.  He's also had some terrible failures.

His business career has been a roller coaster.  He's been at great heights.  He dominated Atlantic City's casino gambling business for a time, but then he overextended himself there and actually ended up cannibalizing his own business and ended up with six corporate bankruptcies there.

Similarly, around the world, he's had a number of successes, but he's really changed his whole business model in recent years, so that he's taking on less debt, less risk, because that had not been going well for him.  And so he has really retreated and found a new avenue in recent years, where he essentially rents out his name and uses his name to allow others to take the risk, foreign investors and others.

So they take the risk on projects and he merely rents out his name and gets a guaranteed income stream from that.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Tim O'Brien, I would put this same question to thank.  And I should say, for the record, you are one of the few journalists in the world who have actually seen some of Trump's tax returns, but because of a court order of a suit brought that Trump brought against you for libel, you are not allowed to talk about them in too much detail.

But tell us what you can about them and whether or not they shed any light on whether he deserves this reputation for having a tremendous business acumen.

TIM O'BRIEN, Bloomberg:  Well, I do think that the tax returns are important.  I don't think he will release them.

I think the reason he won't release them is because I think they would go towards offering substantiation around a bunch of things that Trump has made central to his political campaign, his track record as a business person, how charitable he is as a philanthropist, his operations overseas, and the kinds of business and financial conflicts that would potentially come to bear on him should he end up in the Oval Office.

And I do think it does come back to yet another referendum on his business career.  And I think what's important to remember about him is that the Donald Trump of the '80s and the '90s was essentially a creature of debt.  And the last time he really operated a large business that involved, you know, complex financial and managerial decisions was when he was running the Atlantic City casinos, which he essentially ended up running into the ground.

He put those through four separate corporate bankruptcies.  And, as we all know, he almost went personally bankrupt in the early 1990s.  And the Trump who emerged from that is essentially now a human shingle, as Marc said.  He oversees a licensing operation where he puts his name on everything from mattresses and men's underwear to vodka and buildings.

And then he's got a golf course development operation, and then essentially a self-promotion publicity machine that made itself the most visible during “The Apprentice” years.

POETRY - Scotland's Bard aka Scotland’s Makar

"Scotland's national poet writes for those who've been asked 'where are you from?'" PBS NewsHour 9/8/2016

Love her Scottish accent.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Jackie Kay is Scotland's first black national poet.  Adopted as a child, much of her poetry and prose speaks to her own experience of not feeling entirely welcome in her own country.  “I wrote the poems that I wanted to read and I wrote about the experiences that I wanted to find,” she says.  Jeffrey Brown reports.

JACKIE KAY, Scottish Poet & Novelist:  “And this is my country, says the fisherwoman from Jura.  Mine, too, says the child from Canna and Iona.  Mine, too, says the Brain family.  And mine, says the man from the Polish deli.”

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  Jackie Kay wrote her poem “Threshold” for the Scottish Parliament and a special guest, Queen Elizabeth.

JACKIE KAY:  Let's blether some more about doors, revolving doors and sliding doors.

JEFFREY BROWN:  In the wake to of the recent Brexit vote to leave the European Union, it was a plea to keep doors and the country open to the outside world.  As Scotland's new national poet, Kay made it personal.

JACKIE KAY:  Scotland's changing faces — look at me!

I like the idea of trying to change the face of Scotland.  But, traditionally, when somebody thinks of somebody Scottish, they see a white man with red hair in a kilt and a — and they don't see me.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Jackie is the adopted daughter of John and Helen Kay.  Her birth mother Scottish.  Her father was then a Nigerian student studying in Scotland.

JACKIE KAY:  I was an illegitimate child.  And being picked to be a national poet is probably a pretty legitimate thing.

(LAUGHTER)

JEFFREY BROWN:  I will say.

She grew up in Glasgow in a loving home, but very unaware of her difference in the outside society.  She told her story in a bestselling memoir, “Red Dust Road.”

JACKIE KAY:  There weren't many positive stories about adoption.  And when I was growing up, we just saw negative stories about adoption.  Every story that you heard was horrendous.  And I wanted to try and tell a positive story about adoption.

So, I felt a bit like one of my favorite writers, Toni Morrison.  She said she wrote the story she wanted to read.  And I did that, too.  I wrote the poems I wanted to read and I wrote about the experiences I wanted to find.

EDUCATION - Adding Up Pre-Schooling

"Counting the benefits of teaching math to 3-year-olds" PBS NewsHour 9/6/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In Boston public schools, 3, 4 and 5-year-olds are getting their first introduction to math.  Before they walk through the kindergarten door, the “Building Blocks” curriculum is designed to encourage very young children to think and talk about math concepts throughout the days, by providing lessons through innovative games.  Special correspondent Cat Wise reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Students in Boston are heading back to the classroom this week, where the school district's youngest learners are taking on math in a whole new way.

Special correspondent Cat Wise reports for our weekly education segment, Making the Grade.

WOMAN:  Ready, go.

CHILDREN:  One, two, three, four, five.

CAT WISE, Special correspondent:  The scene may look like indoor recess, but these preschool students are jumping joyfully for a lesson in mathematics.

WOMAN:  Who's getting warmed up now?

CAT WISE:  Even the teachers in this Boston public elementary are warming up to the idea of math instruction for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds.

WOMAN:  Beautiful.

CAT WISE:  Sara Gardner teaches pre-kindergarten at Edward Everett School.

SARA GARDNER, Teacher, Edward Everett School:  The curriculum activities, they're fun.  They're fun.  And as a teacher, you really get to dig deeply into the development of math and math ideas in young kids.

CAT WISE:  Boston schools have adopted a curriculum called Building Blocks, which encourages kids to think about and discuss math concepts throughout the day.

Linda Ruiz Davenport directs math programs for Boston Public Schools.

LINDA RUIZ DAVENPORT, Mathematics Director, Boston Public Schools:  Getting young children involved in mathematics at an early age helps foster their curiosity about mathematics, particularly mathematics in their environment.

COUNTER TERRORISM - The Technology

"Can the high-tech hunt for terrorists stop lone wolf attacks?" PBS NewsHour 9/6/2016

NOVA - 15 Years of Terror

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Take a look at the room 9/11 built: The operations center at the National Counterterrorism Center aggregates data in hopes that analysts will be able to predict the next terrorist attack.  With the advent of “social media intelligence,” answers are everywhere, but the challenge is piecing them together.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports.

MILES O'BRIEN (NewsHour):  This is the room 9/11 built, the operations center at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) just outside Washington, D.C.

NICK RASMUSSEN, National Counterterrorism Center:  On a 24/7 basis, we have officers here working in shifts who are consuming, reading, analyzing, and assessing every bit of available information that there is to try to figure out what terrorist threats are aimed at the United States.

MILES O'BRIEN:  Nick Rasmussen is the director here.  The agency itself, and this room in particular, were created to encourage the myriad of intelligence, military and law enforcement organizations involved in national security to share classified information.

This is where they try to connect the dots.

NICK RASMUSSEN:  So, there are probably officers at NCTC from 17 or 18 different government organizations all across the government.  Basically, every three- or four-letter agency that you could probably name, we probably have somebody here at NCTC serving from that organization on a one- or two- or three-year assignment.

MILES O'BRIEN:  The nature of the work here has changed dramatically in recent years.

MAN:  These folks can get radicalized by one group and the baton can be passed to another group.

WOMAN:  The FBI had this man on its radar as early as 2013.

MILES O'BRIEN:  More lone wolves, fewer face-to-face meetings and phone calls, the Internet as a source of inspiration and planning.

MAN:  Self-radicalization doesn't have to take many months or many years.

NICK RASMUSSEN:  Increasingly, what connecting the dots means to me is dealing with the huge, huge volume of publicly available or open source or unclassified information that's out there that may have terrorism relevance.

And the work we're doing now with our partners in the intelligence community often doesn't involve really, really sensitive intelligence.  It involves looking at Twitter or looking at some other social media platform and trying to figure out who that individual behind that screen name, behind that handle might actually be and whether that person poses a threat to the United States.




"Why it’s so hard to fight extremist propaganda online" PBS NewsHour 9/7/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  How do you deter people from being seduced by messages of extremism on social media?  Science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at some of the strategies, including videos that provide a counter-narrative to the Islamic State and a computer program that uses digital signatures to track the movement of images on the internet.

NEWSHOUR BOOKSHELF - "Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching"

"An author's aspirations in the time of Obama and Trayvon" PBS NewsHour 9/5/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In "Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching," Mychal Denzel Smith discusses what it's like growing up as a young black man in an era that saw the election of the first black president in America, as well as the killing of Trayvon Martin.  Smith sits down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss his new book.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  “I started this book with the question, how did you learn to be a black man?”

That line comes from the new book titled “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching:  A Young Black Man's Education.”

Author Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for “The Nation” and other publications.  This is his first book.

And welcome to you.

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH, Author, “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching”:  Thank you for having me.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Let's start with that question, how did you learn to be a black man?  Why was that the question?  Why was that still the question today?

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH:  Well, so the book has its Genesis after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin February 26, 2012.

After that event, we were having a conversation about the lives of black men in America, and particularly young black men and the experience of walking through a world that's still — where racism persists, and the judgment on the basis of stereotype has this effect where one's life could be taken.

And we were having a conversation about the talk that black parents would give to young black men about how to survive in this country, how to comport oneself with authorities.

JEFFREY BROWN:  How to behave.

MYCHAL DENZEL SMITH:  How to behave.

And what it did was, it was flattening the experience of what it is to be a young black man in America, and to say that that's the only thing that we have to concern ourselves with.  Like, it's a big deal to — continually to exist in a country that upholds racist ideas and racist structures, but the interior of black men's lives are a thing that we don't really talk too much about, right, the nuances of our experience.

Walking through racism is important, but how are we dealing with talking about patriarchy and misogyny and homophobia and class race elitism and mental illness?  We're not including these things in the narrative around young black men.

MIDDLE EAST - The Interviewer

"What Israelis and Palestinians really think about the conflict" PBS NewsHour 9/5/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Corey Gil-Shuster covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a new way.  He asks the world what it wants to know from and about Israelis and Palestinians, goes to the streets of Israel and the West Bank to get the answers and posts the unedited responses on YouTube.  NewsHour contributor Justin Kenny recently followed along with Gil-Shuster to produce this report.

JOHN YANG (NewsHour):  We look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of Canadian-Israeli Corey Gil-Shuster.  He runs The Ask Project.

Gil-Shuster solicits questions from the Web and then hits the streets of Israel and the West Bank to ask serious and at times provocative questions.  He posts the answers, unedited, on YouTube.

PBS NewsHour” contributor Justin Kenny recently followed Gil-Shuster and produced this report.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER, The Ask Project:  If you were driving on the highway and there was a Palestinian on the side of the highway that seemed to need help, would you stop and help?

CHEN SHIRAK, Israeli from Tel Aviv:  If I'm by myself in the car, I won't stop to anyone.  It doesn't matter if it's a man, a woman, in the middle of the road.  If I am with someone, like my husband, and we see something, maybe we will stop.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  My name is Corey Gil-Shuster.  I run The Ask an Israeli, Ask a Palestinian Project.

If you were driving on the highway and you saw an Israeli on the side of the road that needed help, would you stop?

SAMI HABASH, Palestinian from Ramallah:  Why not?  Some day, he will help me.  But if I saw — if I see that he is shooting, I will shoot back.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  The project is about finding out what Israelis and Palestinians really believe and think about the conflict.

People from all around the world send me questions through e-mail.  I choose the questions, and then I go out to the streets of Israel and Palestine to ask random Israelis and Palestinians to answer the questions themselves.  I don't edit any content out of it.

DURA, Palestinian:  Most, the majority, they want two states, an Israeli state and a Palestinian state.

RISHON LEZION, Israeli:  They are very primitive.  And they cannot build a country like we did.

WOMAN (through translator):  For sure, the Israelis will be destroyed because Palestine is not their right.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  Destroyed as in killed?

WOMAN (through translator):  They should be killed, yes.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  What are you willing to compromise for peace?

DROR, Israeli:  Everything.  My pants.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  The question is, don't you think Israel is committing suicide by holding onto the West Bank?

NOGA TARNOPOLSKY, Israeli from Jerusalem:  I think that's a really bad question.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  OK, why?

NOGA TARNOPOLSKY:  Because it's a leading question.

COREY GIL-SHUSTER:  A lot of the questions I get are what I call gotcha questions.  They're a little bit over the top, or exaggerated, or have a very overly simplistic way of looking at the conflict.

And I ask them exactly that way, or try to as much as possible, because I think it's interesting for Israelis or Palestinians to hear what people from outside think.  And I want them to answer in an honest way.

ECONOMICS - State of the Unions

"Can unions adapt to today's economic challenges?" PBS NewsHour 9/5/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Union membership has been on the decline in the U.S.  for decades, and is currently half of what it was in the 1980s.  How are unions adapting in an era of stagnant wages and a growing “sharing economy”? Hari Sreenivasan talks with Harley Shaiken of the University of California, Berkeley and Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  For more now on the state of labor, we're going to by Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, and Harley Shaiken, a professor and labor expert at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Shaiken, let me start with you.

When we think of the labor movement, we certainly think that it's smaller than it used to be, but what are the challenges that the movement is facing today?

HARLEY SHAIKEN, University of California, Berkeley:  Well, there are many challenges that are out there right now, but it's a particularly critical and urgent time for the labor movement and I think for the United States more generally.

Over the last three decades, labor has declined from representing one out of every five members to one out of every 10 today.  But recent polls from Bloomberg and others indicate that over half of people polled would like to join a union.

How does that square with 11 percent being in unions?  And, here, I think we're looking at tough employer opposition, laws that don't facilitate a free choice, and some broader changes in the economy.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Well, Mary Kay Henry, how do you square that gap, if people are interested still in being part of a union, but the reality is that they're not?

MARY KAY HENRY, President, SEIU:  Twenty million people have got more money in their pockets just in the last four years because 200 fast food workers had the guts to make a decision to strike and possibly lose their job, threaten their whole family's stability, and make a demand that people laughed at four years ago, $15 in a union, and now it's a standard against which people are organizing saying, hey, why do I have to wait so long to get to $15?

Or, in Birmingham, Alabama, the city council raises wages.  The Alabama state legislature overrides it.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  In Scandinavian countries, they have almost set a wage floor, even without having a minimum wage, because about 80 percent of the people, say, in Denmark are already unionized.  Right?  The private sector says, to be competitive, I have to raise my wages up.

Is the inverse happening in the United States?  With such a small unionized population, it seems the private sector doesn't see unions as much of a threat or an incentive to try to pull their wages up by themselves.

MARY KAY HENRY:  Right.

And the absence of government, working people, and employers sharing a vision for what everybody deserves in the country, we have the grossest inequality that our generation has ever seen in this country.

And fast food workers are asking themselves, hey, if McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King can provide $20 in Denmark, where 80 percent of the people have a union, why can't they do the same thing in the United States of America?

Answer, GREED.  Company profits are more important than people, and politicians are paid (so-called campaign donations) to keep it that way.

Monday, September 05, 2016

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 9/2/2016

"Shields and Brooks on immigration and whether Clinton should lay low" PBS NewsHour 9/2/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  This week, Donald Trump took a surprise trip to Mexico before his landmark immigration speech.  But are his views too radical for the electorate?  Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is hitting a fundraising stride, though her email scandal remains in the headlines.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks for analysis of the week in politics.

REPUBLICAN TABLOID - Clinton Emails, Again and Again, Forever

"We now know what Clinton told the FBI — but should we?" PBS NewsHour 9/2/2016

COMMENT:  In my 22yr carrier in the U.S. Navy (now retired), I was cleared for Secret, and trained on classifications.  In the military, it is somewhat easier to decide.  BUT note, the person responsible for actually assigning the ORIGINAL classification to ANY COMMUNICATION (voice, document, email, etc) is the ORIGINATOR of the communication.  There is no magic filter-in-the-sky to place classifications.

There are rules for classifying material, but they are very big, complex, and can change from day-to-day.  What is classified Secret today MAY NOT have been classified yesterday.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  On Friday, the FBI released two key documents from its investigation into the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state.  One file contains the FBI's notes from its interviews with Clinton; the other summarizes the agency's findings.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with NPR's Carrie Johnson about what new information these materials reveal and why their publication is controversial.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Today, the FBI released two key documents about its investigation into the private email server Hillary Clinton used when she was secretary of state.

One contains the agency's notes from Clinton's FBI interview, and the other is a 47-page summary of the FBI's findings.

NPR's Carrie Johnson is covering the story and joins me now.

So, what's new about the documents that were released today?

CARRIE JOHNSON, NPR:  There are several new details, including really a sense of what Hillary Clinton told FBI investigators in that three-and-a-half-hour interview at FBI headquarters on July 2.

Hari, she said she used this personal server as a matter of convenience.  She never had a concern that she or anybody close to her was mishandling classified information, and that she actually doesn't recall attending a security briefing or any kind of training about open records lawsuits or open records laws, which is interesting, because these materials only came out after a host of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests from news organizations and calls from Republicans in Congress.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  And there was — one of the emails — or at least one of the quotes that we have is about a drone program.  I think we can put that up.

It says, “Clinton stated” — this is the FBI saying:  “Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike didn't give her cause for concern regarding classification.”

Is this willful oversight, ignorance?  Was she too busy?  What were the reasons that they gave?

CARRIE JOHNSON:  Recall, Hari, that the FBI director, James Comey, has said that Hillary Clinton and closest aides were extremely careless with government secrets, but he didn't find enough evidence to prosecute anyone for wrongdoing.

That said, these new documents today include more information about what was going through her own email server, a lot of documents, a lot of emails about the drone program, one of the government's most secret tools in the national security space, to allow officials at the CIA and the Pentagon to engage in extrajudicial killing of terrorists or would-be terrorists overseas.

And what Hillary Clinton was asked about by the FBI were a number of emails about targeted killings about to happen, disputes between different government agencies about who should be targeted for those kinds of drone strikes and other things.

What Hillary Clinton said in response to FBI questions was mainly, listen, I relied on career State Department officials to make determinations about what should be classified and what shouldn't.

She also said that these programs were the subject of multiple debates in media, in newspapers, on television and the like.  And, often, her aides were passing around articles from newspapers about drone strikes.  So, she thought it was OK to write about that.

LOOKING BACK - Tornado in Joplin, Missouri, May 2011

"Tornado-stricken Joplin now thrives, but emotional scars linger" PBS NewsHour 9/2/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 was one of the most destructive in U.S. history.  Five years later, the city seems to be thriving -- possibly even better off than it was before.  One key to its success?  Getting residents to stay, says Jane Cage, chair of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team.  But the emotional trauma from that day still lingers.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Storms, hurricanes and natural disasters clearly test the fortitude of any area, as we're seeing this weekend with Hermine, and just recently with the rains and flooding in Louisiana.

We tend to focus on the immediate aftermath and relief, but the devastation can last for years.

We have the story of how one city leveled by a tornado has spent years rebuilding, and in some ways is better and stronger for the future.

The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011 was one of the most destructive ever in U.S. history; 161 people were killed, 1,000 were injured, and more than 7,000 homes were damaged.

When the “NewsHour” visited four months later, people were still literally picking up the pieces of their lives.

JANE CAGE, Chair, Citizens Advisory Recovery Team:  It is certainly clean, compared with what it used to be.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Jane Cage, a businesswoman who chaired the Citizens Advisory Council to rebuild Joplin, told us back then she was worried people wouldn't come back to the destroyed areas.

JANE CAGE:  In the beginning, I think everyone said, I want to rebuild my house.  And now I think people are faced with the reality that what they wanted, their neighborhood and their friends may not be in that same spot.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Five years later, Cage took us on a tour of the same neighborhood.

JANE CAGE:  I think this is, in some ways, one of the best recovered neighborhoods.  They're nicer houses and larger houses overall.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  She says one of the main things that Joplin got right in the aftermath was encouraging residents to stay.

JANE CAGE:  We concentrated on keeping our population in Joplin, because we saw what happened in other cities that experienced disasters.  And I think one of the first things that we did to make that happen was, our school superintendent made the promise that we would start school on time.

NEWSHOUR SHARES - Federal Research Vessel Tiglax

"Aboard a boat that ferries scientists to Alaskan wildlife" PBS NewsHour 9/2/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Every summer, the federal research vessel Tiglax travels along the chain of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, ferrying scientists to remote locations to study wildlife.  The Aleutian archipelago is 1600 miles in length and constitutes an ecosystem of stunning diversity.  Tiglax's captain talks about life aboard the boat, the animals he's seen, the passion of his passengers and why he's ‘hopeful.'

ON THE EDGE - Venezuela's Food Crisis

"A growing, catastrophic food crisis sows unrest in Venezuela" PBS NewsHour 9/1/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In Venezuela, hundreds of thousands came out in protest against President Nicolas Maduro, whose approval ratings have reached record lows.  The cause for discontent:  Food is now incredibly scarce and far too expensive to buy, and the hunger is leading to and caused by growing corruption.  Nathan Halverson of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting reports from Caracas.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  In Caracas, today, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans turned out to protest against President Nicolas Maduro's government and called for an end to his rule.

The country has been plagued by a deepening economic crisis, corruption, crime, all of which have contributed to a worsening food shortage.

Nathan Halverson of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting recently visited Caracas,.

NATHAN HALVERSON, Center for Investigative Reporting:  Well before sunrise, hungry Venezuelans are waiting outside grocery stores praying for food trucks to arrive.  By mid-morning, with streets crowded with anxious faces, there is little hope.

WOMAN (through translator):  There is only butter and oil.  We need them to send us more food.

QUESTION (through translator):  When did you get here?

WOMAN (through translator):  At 4:00 a.m.

MAN (through translator):  I got here at 8:00 p.m. last night.

As Venezuelans watch their country crumble and their desperation and hunger spill into the streets, their anger with President Nicolas Maduro and his party has become explosive.

WOMAN (through translator):  This is what's happening in Venezuela.  We're starving.  We're struggling, thanks to this government.  It's the Maduro diet.

NATHAN HALVERSON:  Police now guard grocery stores across the country, holding back the hungry and volatile mobs.

MAN (through translator):  Why are you taking me out of line? I was here early.  I also need food.

NATHAN HALVERSON:  Some 90 percent of Venezuelans now report that food has become too expensive to buy.  Hungry mobs are increasingly rioting and looting bakeries and food trucks.  This has forced everyday people to try and calm desperate crowds, like this grocery store manager.

BRIEF BUT SPECTACULAR - Lemony Snicket

"How Lemony Snicket channels his bewilderment into words" PBS NewsHour 9/1/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  You may not have heard of Daniel Handler, but you've probably heard of his pen name: Lemony Snicket.  Handler, author of the children's book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” says much of children's literature is about “enforced morality,” but he focuses on the bewildering nature of childhood.  Handler gives his Brief but Spectacular take on putting his bewilderment into words.

FACING HISTORY - Georgetown University

"Georgetown University tries to make amends for profiting from slavery" PBS NewsHour 9/1/2016

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Georgetown University is taking an unprecedented step to respond to and apologize for its ties to slavery.  The university will give special preference to applicants who are descendants of Georgetown's slaves, plans to rename a building in honor of one of the slaves and will create an institute to study slavery.  For greater context, Hari Sreenivasan speaks with the MIT's Craig Steven Wilder.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  In recent years, a number of prestigious colleges and universities have had to acknowledge their past ties and history to slavery in the U.S.

Today, Georgetown University became the latest to say it will apologize for its past and take new steps.  More than 200 years ago, the original Georgetown College operated plantations in Maryland that worked with slave labor.  Then, in 1838, facing deep debt, a pair of priests who each served as president of Georgetown sold 272 people to help pay the bills.  The slaves were sent to plantations in Louisiana.

To help atone for its past, the university announced it would give a special preference in admissions to applicants who are descendants of Georgetown's slaves.  It's also renaming a building in honor of one of the slaves, erecting a public memorial, and creating an institute to study slavery and its legacy.

University president John DeGioia spoke at a news conference today.

JOHN DEGIOIA, President, Georgetown University:  So many were surprised, even shocked, by the revelation of Jesuit slave-holding and the benefit we received from the 1830 sale.

As a community and as individuals, we cannot do our best work if we refuse to take ownership of such a critical part of our history.  We must acknowledge it.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  For a closer look at this, I'm joined from New York by Craig Steven Wilder.  He's a professor of American history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of “Ebony and Ivy:  Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities.”

Mr.  Wilder, put this in context for us.  How crucial was this transaction of people to keep Georgetown alive?

CRAIG STEVEN WILDER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  You know, in 1838, Georgetown sold — the president of Georgetown helped negotiate the sale of about 272 people to Louisiana.

And from what we understand, about 15 to 20 percent of the money, the proceeds, actually was used to pay down Georgetown's debts.  And so I think it's actually quite crucial to the continued survival of the university.

This is about the time that the university imposed tuition for the first time.  And so it was helping to meet a number of financial needs.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  What about your thoughts on the university's actions today?

CRAIG STEVEN WILDER:  I thought that the report was thorough and quite thoughtful, but the real meaning of the report — I'm cautiously optimistic — I think the real meaning of the report will get revealed over the next several years and decades, as we see Georgetown implement these promises.

And it will depend upon how fully those get institutionalized on the campus, and so that we can actually see them really get achieved.