Monday, June 20, 2022

WEEKEND SPOTLIGHT - Singer Bonnie Raitt

"Singer Bonnie Raitt discusses her new album and enduring careerPBS NewsHour 6/18/2022

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SUMMARY:  Music legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt is out with her twenty-first album called "Just Like That."[link]  It's her first new release in more than six years, and has landed at No. 1 on six different Billboard charts since its release.  Geoff Bennett sat down with Raitt to discuss her dynamic 50-year career and what she's learned about herself along the way.



OPINION - Capehart and Gerson 6/17/2022

"Capehart and Gerson on the Jan. 6 hearings, gun legislation, the importance of Juneteenth" PBS NewsHour 6/17/2022

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SUMMARY:  Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart and Washington Post opinion columnist Michael Gerson join Amna Nawaz to discuss the week in politics, including new revelations after the third public hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and a framework for gun regulations is beginning to splinter as senators try to turn broad agreements into law.

Amna Nawaz (NewsHour):  As new revelations are reverberating across the political landscape after the third public hearing on the January 6 Capitol attack, meanwhile, a framework for new gun regulations is beginning to splinter, as senators try to turn their broad agreement into a detailed plan.

That brings us to the analysis of Capehart and Gerson.  That is Jonathan Capehart, associate editor for The Washington Post, and his colleague at The Post opinion columnist Michael Gerson.  David Brooks is away.

Welcome to you both.  Nice to see you.

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post:  Hi, Amna.

Michael Gerson, Washington Post:  Thank you.

Jonathan Capehart:  Great to see you.

Amna Nawaz:  So let's start with those talks in the Senate.

A bipartisan group of senators, we know, have been close.  They say they have a framework when it comes to gun violence prevention.  Those are led by Chris Murphy of Connecticut, of course, John Cornyn of Texas.

But, just yesterday, just yesterday, John Cornyn walked out of those talks saying this as he walked out.  He said: "It's fish or cut bait.  I don't know what they," meaning Democrats, "have in mind.  But I'm through talking."

So, Jonathan, could the talks fall apart once again?

Jonathan Capehart:  Yes.  Yes, they can.

How many weeks have I sat here on Friday saying I'm happy they're talking, it's great that they're talking, but I will believe it when I see it, when we get — when we go from talks to press conference to passage of the bill to signing?

The fact that Senator Cornyn has walked away from the table is the least surprising thing.  The announcement of the framework on Sunday was really hopeful.  And, in fact, there were a lot of things on there that Democrats thought, wow, we didn't think that they — we could get this as part of the framework.

But the fact that Senator Cornyn is saying he's done talking and it's time to fish or cut bait, well, what's the issue?  I mean, does he have a problem with the boyfriend loophole, which is what a lot of the reporting is?  Well, what's your proposal?

We have to keep in mind that it's not like Democrats haven't compromised.  If Democrats put forth all the stuff they wanted, an assault weapons ban would be in it.  So many other things would be in the framework.  But Democrats have made it clear, we need to do something.  The fact that Senator Cornyn is walking away from the table, quite sadly, more of the same.

Amna Nawaz:  So, Michael, this — Jonathan's right.  The reporting is that it's this boyfriend — closing the boyfriend loophole, keeping guns away from abusive partners, that's the sticking point for Republicans and John Cornyn.

There's a lot of stuff in here.  There's funding for school safety and mental health, background checks for states to pass and bolster red flag laws.  So what does Cornyn walking away do?

Michael Gerson:  Well, I agree with Jonathan.  This is an incremental bill.  That's the way it was designed.

And, in fact, what's in there, my fear is that it would not do enough to kind of address these issues, and then you would still have some difficult problems.

But it does matter that Mitch McConnell has at least provisionally endorsed an approach like this.  And that gives kind of permission to a group of senators, I think, who are in more purple states, and some of them running for reelection, that they may want to have something to say about, a problem, a huge moral problem.

We need to remember the context here, which is just the murder of children.

Amna Nawaz:  Right.

Michael Gerson:  And I think that Cornyn looks bad, because he's ignoring essentially the moral imperatives of our moment.

Amna Nawaz:  But Cornyn also got booed, we should say.

Today, he was speaking at a Republican convention in TexasHe brought this up, that this deal is in the works, and he got booed.  What does that tell you?

Michael Gerson:  Well, this was a pretty hardcore audience, I assume, of Texas Republicans.

But it's — there is some risk in any deal.  My concern, though, is that we were — we were moving towards a deal on criminal justice reform, for example, and it fell apart.  And I'm afraid that may happen in this case, although I think there are some — not yet.

Amna Nawaz:  All right, I want to move on to the January 6 Committee hearings, of course, because it was another big week with two more hearings, public hearings, on the books.  They now have three hearings behind them, three more, we believe, to go.

Each of you actually shared with us moments that stood out to you.  And there was a lot of information in those hearings.  I want to play for you those moments and get you to react.

Jonathan, you remembered this moment from former federal appellate Judge Michael Luttig.  He'd been advising Vice President Mike Pence that Pence couldn't do what Trump wanted him to do, which was throw out the election results.

Here's just part of what Luttig said.

J. Michael Luttig, Former Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge:  I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the Vice President overturn the 2020 election on the basis of that historical precedent.

Amna Nawaz:  That is Judge Michael Luttig.  I apologized.  I mispronounced his name.

Why did that moment stand out to you?

Jonathan Capehart:  Judge Luttig is a giant.  He is a giant among conservative lawyers.

His reputation is sort of — I'm trying to think of the liberal equivalent.  You don't get more senior and more revered than that.  The fact that he said he would have thrown himself in the — in Vice President Pence's way to stop him from doing that was pretty incredible.

But the other thing he says that we did not show was that he had a warning, that Donald Trump and the folks who follow him present a quote, clear and present danger to our American democracy.  This is no liberal Democrat who's talking.  This is no just rank-and-file Democrat talking.

This is a tried-and-true, dyed-in-the-wool conservative jurist who is saying — ringing the alarm about this scheme that Eastman had come up with that they were trying to get Vice President Pence to go along with, and who is also saying, they're not done.  This scheme is not done.

January 6 — and he didn't say this part, but I'm saying this part.  January 6 was a rehearsal for what we could see in 2024.

Amna Nawaz:  Michael, I found it interesting.  Most of the folks who testified, most of the people we heard from more Republicans.

And you recalled this one moment that stood out to you where we heard from chief counsel to the vice president Greg Jacob.  We learned a lot about what Mike Pence was doing on January 6, how he was down in a secure location continuing to work, even as rioters outside were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence."

Here's a moment in which Greg Jacob was talking about what happened then.

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA):  Does it surprise you to see how close the mob was to the evacuation route that you took?  Forty feet is a distance from me to you, roughly.

Greg Jacob, Former Counsel to Vice President Mike Pence:  I could hear the din of the rioters in the building while we moved.  But I don't think I was aware that they were as close as that.

Rep. Pete Aguilar:  Make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger.

Amna Nawaz:  Why did that moment stick with you?

Michael Gerson:  Because it's something we shouldn't get used to.

I mean, we had a moment with a mob intent on harm, fed and pushed by the sitting President of the United States against his most loyal lieutenant, and it was a near-run thing.  This could have been the murder of the Vice President.  I mean, how would that — how would American politics have responded to such a thing?

And one thing that came out in the hearing is that, during this, as it was happening, President Trump was tweeting pressure tweets attacking the Vice President for lacking courage, as this was happening.  And that indicates to me a reckless regard for not just his political future, but his life.

This is a President — I think we learned again, but it's the most dramatic example.  This is not just a corrupt politician.  This is an evil man, an amoral man.  And that, I think, is important as we come around to the next election, where he's the Republican front-runner.  That is a dire situation for the republic.

Amna Nawaz:  Jonathan, there was another moment that stood out to me, when we heard from communications between Trump's lawyer John Eastman sending messages — he's the one who's recommending sort of a plan for how to do this, to overturn the election results.

And the committee basically shared that he e-mailed, saying:  "I have decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works."

What was your reaction when you heard that?

Jonathan Capehart:  Well, I mean, my mouth was agape.

You only ask for a pardon if you know or feel that you have done something wrong.  I would never ask for a pardon, right?  Why?

Amna Nawaz:  You can say that…

(CROSSTALK)

Jonathan Capehart:  What have I done?

But Eastman knew.  He knew.  The committee showed that he knew from the beginning that what he was proposing was — this is public television.  I almost went there — was not right, was not right.

And so he pushed it, pushed it, pushed it.  And then, after January 6, he sees what happened and then says:  I want to have — give me a pardon?

It's…

Amna Nawaz:  We still have — we still have three more hearings to go, I should say.  And there's already been so much evidence laid out by the committee.

But, Michael, do you see — do you see a world in which they end the hearings, they wrap all this up, and there's no action from the Department of Justice?  Is that a possibility?

Michael Gerson:  It's a definite possibility, although the Department of Justice made some noise this week, essentially, saying, we'd like those transcripts, the ones that you have of these witnesses, because there is a parallel investigation going on with the committee and the Justice Department, and they have started stepping on another's feet a little bit.

But that does show that the DOJ is looking closely at what's happening in these hearings, which I regard as a good sign.  There's going to be tremendous pressure on Garland to do this.  But I think it's going to be a very tough choice for them, because it would set a precedent of pursuing criminal charges against former presidents that we have never really had before.

We will see.

Amna Nawaz:  Do you also think Mike Pence should testify?  We haven't heard from him.

Michael Gerson:  I would have loved to have heard him about all this.

Amna Nawaz:  Yes.

Michael Gerson:  And — but he has tried to get as far away from his actions, his own actions, as he possibly could, because he still sees a path to the presidency that doesn't exist.

Amna Nawaz:  We will see.  Three more hearings, as I say, to go.

Before we let you go, Jonathan, I do want to get your thoughts on this, because ahead this weekend, Sunday is Juneteenth.

Jonathan Capehart:  Right.

Amna Nawaz:  It is just the second time in our country's history we are marking this day as a federal holiday.

And I just wanted to ask, as the country notes this day, as we mark it together, how are you reflecting on what it means this year?

Jonathan Capehart:  Well, I'm reflecting on the fact that there are school districts and states that would make it difficult to even teach what Juneteenth is about, simply because some parents offended that the word slavery is used, that people were enslaved and worked for free and were tortured and all sorts of other things in the creation and the building of this country.

We just saw in Buffalo African-Americans targeted by someone who was a believer in the Great Replacement conspiracy.  Juneteenth gives us an opportunity to talk about this nation's foundational wound that we still refuse to talk about, that we still refuse to confront.

And so we're in a moment in this country where Juneteenth, if a lot of these folks get their way, very well just might be a marker on the calendar with no explanation about what it means and why it's important that we commemorate that holiday.

Amna Nawaz:  Let's hope we don't waste that opportunity.

Thank you for that.

Jonathan Capehart.  Michael Gerson, thank you so much for being here.  Good to see you.

Jonathan Capehart:  Thanks, Amna.



EUROPEAN UNION - Membership of Ukraine

"What European Union membership would mean for war-torn UkrainePBS NewsHour 6/17/2022

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SUMMARY:  The European Union's executive arm on Friday recommended putting Ukraine on a path to membership.  This comes as the U.S. and Europe pledged earlier this week to support Ukraine militarily.  Jeremy Shapiro, research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations who was on the State Department's policy planning staff during the Obama administration, joins John Yang to discuss.



CLIMATE CHANGE - Record Heat Wave in U.S.

"Record heat wave in the U.S. raises public health concernsPBS NewsHour 6/17/2022

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SUMMARY:  More than 100 million Americans this week were under some sort of heat advisory, and were warned to stay indoors if possible.  From Texas to California, a massive heat wave has set record temperatures, raising concerns about how hot is too hot.  W. Larry Kenney, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Penn State, joins William Brangham for more on how extreme temperatures impact the body.



2022 NBA PLAYOFFS - Golden State Warriors

"How the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry built a dynastyPBS NewsHour 6/17/2022

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SUMMARY:  After a two-year absence from the playoffs the Golden State Warriors are back on top of the NBA.  With their fourth title in the last eight years, they are staking a new claim on the reach and influence of their dynasty.  They were led once again by Step Curry, widely considered the best pure shooter ever seen in the league.  NBA writer Michael Lee of The Washington Post joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.



MARCH TO THEOCRACY - Anti-Abortion Terrorists Laid the Groundwork

"theocracy (noun)" government or political rule by priests or clergy as representatives of God - Merriam-Webster Unabridged

"How anti-abortion activists laid the groundwork for rollback of Roe v WadePBS NewsHour 6/16/2022

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SUMMARY:  Last month, a leaked draft opinion showed that the Supreme Court may soon overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 case that provided a right to abortion across the country.  That decision is not yet final, but as special correspondent Cat Wise reports, the work by abortion-rights opponents to arrive at this moment has been decades in the making.



JOURNALISTS - Murder of Indigenous Activist

"‘Outrage and heartbreak’ after murder of journalist, Indigenous activist in the AmazonPBS NewsHour 6/16/2022

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SUMMARY:  The desperate search for an Indigenous rights advocate and renowned journalist in a remote area of the Amazon in Brazil has apparently come to a grim conclusion.  Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips disappeared 10 days ago, and now there are murder suspects in custody.  Stephanie Sy reports, and speaks to journalist Andrew Downie to discuss.



LOUISIANA - Post Hurricane Ida

"Coastal Louisiana struggles with housing crisis after Hurricane IdaPBS NewsHour 6/15/2022

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SUMMARY:  The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1, but people in southeast Louisiana are still recovering after being hit last year by one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the state.  Communities correspondent Roby Chavez went back to visit the rural, coastal areas where Hurricane Ida’s 150 mile-per-hour winds left behind a housing crisis.



UK and ASYLUM SEEKERS - Rwandan Seekers

The UK made the wrong choice.

"UK tries to press ahead with controversial plan to deport asylum seekers to RwandaPBS NewsHour 6/15/2022

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SUMMARY:  In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party is facing criticism for its new migration deal with Rwanda.  As part of a new resettlement scheme, migrants who arrive illegally on British shores would be flown 4,000 miles away to Rwanda for resettling.  Zoe Gardner of the Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants, an organization among those representing deportees, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.



PBS CANVAS - Transformation of a Sculptor

"How a sculptor transformed his life’s work after accidentPBS NewsHour 6/14/2022

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SUMMARY:  What happens to an artist when one of the very tools he uses -- his hands -- are changed in an instant?  Jeffrey Brown visited a sculptor in New York's Hudson Valley, who has had to pivot on how he does his art and the art itself.  The story is part of our coverage of the intersection of medicine and arts, and our ongoing arts and culture series, "CANVAS."



FAR-RIGHT PHOBIA - Targeting LGBTQ Community

IMHO:  It's ye old 'I might like it' syndrome.

"Why far-right groups are increasingly targeting the LGBTQ communityPBS NewsHour 6/14/2022

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SUMMARY:  There have been several recent incidents where far-right, white supremacist groups have targeted LGBTQ people, including last weekend at a pride event in Idaho and a during a drag story hour at a library in California.  J.M. Berger, a writer and researcher who focuses on extremist ideologies and has written four books on the topic, joins William Brangham to discuss.



U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE - Ukraine, Biden in Saudi Arabia, China

"Secretary of State Blinken on the war in Ukraine, Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia and China’s aggressionPBS NewsHour 6/14/2022

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SUMMARY:  The challenges for U.S. foreign policy at this fraught moment in history are many, from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and energy production and human rights in the Middle East to competition with China and Iran's nuclear program.  All of those issues are being tackled by America's top diplomat at the State Department.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken joins Judy Woodruff to discuss in more detail.



THE LIGHTS ON BROADWAY - 75th Tony Awards

"Broadway honors its best at the 75th Tony AwardsPBS NewsHour 6/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  Broadway attempted to stage a big comeback during Sunday’s 75th annual Tony Award, with some very familiar works being honored as well as innovations showcasing inclusion.  Nicole Ellis has a look for our arts and culture series, "CANVAS."



SNAIL-PACE GUN CONTROL - The Continued Opposition to Gun Control

Do not expect the GOP to allow ANY menaingful action on Gun Control, they are a paid and brain-washed subsiduary of the NRA.   #StandAgainstNRA

"Congress moves forward on gun safety legislation with a focus on mental healthPBS NewsHour 6/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  After weeks of mounting pressure to see action on guns, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have come to an agreement on a framework for gun legislation.  NewsHour's political correspondent Lisa Desjardins has the details.

 

 

"‘Teachers are not okay’ after school shootingsPBS NewsHour 6/14/2022

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SUMMARY:  Teachers from around the country told our team of producers they have long been frustrated with the larger public response to shootings and school safety and many have been particularly angry about the way this has long played out in Washington [DC] and state capitals.  Tragically, the shooting in Uvalde reinforced and exacerbated many of these concerns.  Here's what some of them had to say.

 

 

"What the nation’s largest teachers union thinks about gun violence in schoolsPBS NewsHour 6/14/2022

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SUMMARY:  If Congress approves a bipartisan agreement on guns and school safety, it would provide new resources to try and prevent shootings like the massacre in Uvalde.  That would likely mean new money for mental health care, violence prevention and training for educators.  But many educators want to see more action.  Becky Pringle, National Education Association president, joins Stephanie Sy to discuss.



JANUARY 6th HEARINGS - Insurrection Hearing Updates 06/13/2022

"Testimony of Trump aides sheds light on former president’s false voter fraud claimsPBS NewsHour 6/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  For nearly a year, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has worked mostly behind closed doors, gathering more than 140,000 documents and talking to more than 1,000 witnesses.  On Monday, the committee shared new details from some of former President Trump's inner circle about the spread of the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.  Amna Nawaz reports.

 

 

"What stands out from Day 2 of Jan. 6 committee hearingsPBS NewsHour 6/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  With the second day of Jan. 6 committee hearings complete, we get two perspectives on the day's events.  Ben Ginsberg one of Monday's witnesses and a longtime Republican elections attorney who has worked with the RNC and multiple presidential campaigns, and Cynthia Miller-Idriss who runs American University's Polarization and Extremism Research Innovation Lab, join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

 

 

"Jan. 6 committee examines how Trump pressured Pence to overturn the 2020 electionPBS NewsHour 6/16/2022

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SUMMARY:  The Jan. 6 committee held its third public hearing Thursday afternoon.  The focus was on the role of former Vice President Mike Pence during the counting of the Electoral College votes, and public and private efforts led by former President Trump and his allies to pressure Pence to throw out the results.  NewsHour's Lisa Desjardins and Laura Barrón-López join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

 

 

"Rep. Adam Schiff on Trump’s role in the Capitol insurrection, Ginni Thomas testimonyPBS NewsHour 6/16/2022

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SUMMARY:  The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday spelled out how former President Trump repeatedly pushed Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election.  Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is one of seven Democrats on the committee investigating the insurrection, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

 

 

"What we learned on Day 3 of the Jan. 6 committee hearingsPBS NewsHour 6/16/2022

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SUMMARY:  The Jan. 6 committee heard a third day of testimony Thursday as it sought to link former President Trump to the Capitol attack and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.  Garrett Graff author of "Watergate: A New History," and Ned Foley who directs Ohio State University's election law program, join Judy Woodruff to discuss.



AMERICAN ECONOMY - Markets and Fed Response

"Markets plunge amid fears of sharply higher interest ratesPBS NewsHour 6/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  Wall Street has gone into meltdown mode over inflation fears and the possibility that higher interest rates are imminent.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ and the S&P 500 all fell significantly.  It is now officially a bear market, down more than 20 percent from its January high.  Julia Coronado, MacroPolicy Perspectives president and former Fed economist, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

 

 

"Federal Reserve implements highest interest rate hike in decades to combat inflationPBS NewsHour 6/15/2022

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SUMMARY:  The Federal Reserve on Wednesday ramped up its efforts to fight inflation with a notable interest rate hike.  Officials voted to raise rates by three-quarters of a point, a jump higher than expected just a week ago.  Fed chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the ongoing rate hikes might slow growth later this year, as the Fed projected unemployment would rise to 4 percent by 2024.  Paul Solman reports.



Monday, May 16, 2022

OPINION - Capehart and Abernathy 5/13/2022

"Capehart and Abernathy on COVID deaths, pandemic funding and Jan. 6 subpoenasPBS NewsHour 5/13/2022

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SUMMARY:  Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart and Washington Post columnist Gary Abernathy join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including the U.S. marks a million deaths from COVID-19, Congress reached an impasse on pandemic funding, and the Jan. 6 committee issued subpoenas for five Republican lawmakers.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  As the United States marks one million deaths from the pandemic, President Biden has asked Congress to approve new money to fight future coronavirus variants.  That spending has been stalled for weeks.

Meanwhile, Congress' January 6 Committee issued subpoenas to five Republican lawmakers.

And that brings us to the analysis of Capehart and Abernathy.  That is Jonathan Capehart, associate editor for The Washington Post, and Gary Abernathy, a Washington Post columnist.  David Brooks is away tonight.

Hello to both of you on this Friday night.

Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post):  Judy.

Gary Abernathy (Washington Post):  Hi, Judy.

Judy Woodruff:  Very good to see you.

The subject is grim, you won't be surprised to know.

But I want — I do want to start, Jonathan, by asking you about where we are on COVID.  Here we are at a million deaths.  We are all incredibly sobered by that.  We're hearing from the experts that there could be another, what, 100 million infections — or — I'm sorry — yes, 100 million infections coming.

And the administration is saying, we need between $10 million and $20 million — billion dollars — to deal with COVID.  Are there good arguments against that?

Jonathan Capehart:  No.  No.

Can we just pause for a moment and understand we have lost one million Americans?  I don't know what the particular folks on Capitol Hill, what other evidence they need to see for why that funding needs to be — needs to be passed.  Think about just how much pain and death and agony the American people have suffered, not just the one million people who died, but their families and loved ones and colleagues.

There's going to be another variant.  For the United States not to be — to do everything possible to be prepared for that moment, to do everything possible to forestall another 100 million infections, that's — that would be dereliction of duty.

In March 2020, we had no vaccines.  We didn't know what this was.  Everything was shut down just to try to stop this virus, this thing from spreading around.  We know so much more two years later.  We have got vaccines.  We have got boosters.

Why on earth would we not do everything possible to ensure that we don't go back to those to those horrible days two years ago?

Judy Woodruff:  Gary, what is the argument?  Republicans are resisting this funding.  What are the good arguments not to give it?

Gary Abernathy:  Well, it's hard to come up with good arguments not to offer a lifesaving vaccine.

But when you talk about what happened two years ago and how it happened, you have got to remember, we took a one-size-fits-all approach to fighting this thing nationwide.  And I know communities that got a tremendous influx of COVID money and couldn't find out — couldn't figure out how to spend it all.

I mean, it was kind of a, let's just throw a lot of money out there.  And this is not a Republican or Democrat criticism.  Donald Trump was a part of this.  Donald Trump was approving these things too.  Republicans and Democrats did this.

And now some people are kind of starting to say, well, wait a minute, where's our priority list?  Where's this on President Biden's list of priorities?  Is it — is it above Ukraine?  Is it above helping more — with more money for Ukraine?  Is it more important than the Build Back Better program?  Is it more important than forgiving student loans?

Maybe.  To me, I think providing these vaccines is.  But, at some point, we get to a point where this money doesn't exist.  We don't have this money to spend really.  And so I think people are asking — are asking the President, hey, come up with priorities.  And I think he does have a plan that says, OK, now we're going to prioritize people.

We're going to provide vaccines maybe to just the most at-risk people, people 60 and over, people with immune issues.

Judy Woodruff:  What about the argument, Jonathan, that some of this money was spent, and it's not clear where it went, or it went in other directions?

Jonathan Capehart:  Sure.  Sure.

But that's not an argument to do nothing.  You do better the next time.  But the idea that, because some money went somewhere it shouldn't — it shouldn't have gone, that we shouldn't prepare and protect against a future variant, I think, is ridiculous.

Also, this idea of more money for Ukraine, I wrote down politics, because folks are playing politics with money for Ukraine.  And it's clear why that money is needed.  Again, it's for Ukraine, but it's really for the fight for democracy.  So the same firefight — some of the same folks who are who are complaining about the COVID money are some of the same people who are complaining or stalling funding for Ukraine.

This — when — to bring it back to COVID funding, the administration and basically Washington [DC] cannot not do anything, cannot not prepare for what's to come.

Judy Woodruff:  Gary, how much of this is politics, and how much of it is based on a real, legitimate argument?

Gary Abernathy:  In Washington, there's politics?

Judy Woodruff:  Hello.

(LAUGHTER)

Judy Woodruff:  I know.  I know.  What kind of a question…

Gary Abernathy:  Yes, right.  All of it.

But even on Ukraine, the Associated Press a couple of weeks ago — and PBS highlighted it, I think — talked about there comes — there's coming a point where, how much can we — how much can we give?  I mean, everybody wants to help Ukraine.  It's the most worthy cause, but we're depleting our own resources.

There's real questions now about our ability to defend ourselves against a North Korea or an Iran if something were to happen, because there's only a limited supply of these things.  So, people are starting to now take a look and say, look, we'd love to do it all, but we have to start prioritizing and figuring out, because, really, this is money that just doesn't exist.

Judy Woodruff:  And, of course, Ukraine, we don't know how long that's going to go.

Gary Abernathy:  Right.

Judy Woodruff:  I mean, the predictions are, it could be months, even years, is what we were hearing this week.

The January 6 Committee, they have issued more subpoenas, Jonathan, this time to five House Republicans.  One of them is the minority leader, Kevin McCarthy.  He's indicated he's not particularly excited about going.

(LAUGHTER)

Judy Woodruff:  But what does this lead to, I mean, these high-profile — well, asking for their own membership to come and testify?

Jonathan Capehart:  So, let's keep something in mind here.  When someone is subpoenaed, that's an extraordinary step.  And when that person is a sitting member of Congress in an investigation into an attack on the Capitol, an attack on American democracy, that is a serious step.

But it's not the first step.  The first step was asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and some of the others to come in voluntarily and do their duty as a member of Congress, but also as a patriot, to come in and talk about what they know, and to help fill in the gaps, to help that committee and the American people, by extension, to understand what happened on that day as a means of trying to prevent it from happening again.

They refused.  And so the fact that they're being subpoenaed, yes, it's an extraordinary step.  I think it 100 percent should have been done.  It needs to be done.  The attack on the Capitol was an attack on the American people, an attack on our democracy.  And we need answers.

Judy Woodruff:  How do you look on these subpoenas?

Gary Abernathy:  Yes, I agree 100 percent that we need answers, that what happened on January 6 was one of the most horrible things in our nation's history.

And I think we have already had a lot of answers.  I think answers are coming in many ways, including through law enforcement with the people who are charged.  One thing that I know a lot of people are worried about is conflating the peaceful rally that day with the riot.

In other words, there's a lot of talk about, well, who did — did you know, did you help plan this rally?  Did you help?  And planning the rally was perfectly fine, OK?  It's the 100 — a few hundred that broke off and actually invaded the Capitol that are being prosecuted.

But I think the committee does risk some partisan suspicions if it doesn't — it depends on what it finds.  I think that people have already made up their mind about whether this committee is going to uncover anything, without a bombshell revelation.

If this committee comes up with and says, you know what, here's a bombshell revelation about what was really behind this and what the intent was, and it kind of rocks the whole world, both sides of the aisle, that's going to be one thing.

But, short of that, I think people have kind of already settled on their talking points and what they're going to come out with at the end of the day, when this thing eventually wraps up.

Judy Woodruff:  Well, you do have committee members saying there is eye-popping, big information to come from what they have discovered.

Jonathan Capehart:  And I hope it's eye-popping.

But I also hope that the information, even if it's stuff that we already know, even if it's stuff that we have read about, that we have listened to with some of these — these audio — the audio recordings that we have listened to, that we not become numb to the seriousness of the information that we're getting, and that it is important that an investigative body with subpoena power and the ability to write a report, to put on hearings for the American people to see, to bring in witnesses, to show them what people were doing, what people were saying, how this thing got planned.

And, yes, we need to know how the rally got organized, and then how all — how some of these people went to the Capitol and ransacked the Capitol and tried to attack our democracy.  I don't want us to lose sight of the fact that, even if we have read some of this stuff on the front page of The Washington Post, or we have watched news reports here at "PBS NewsHour," that it's not important.

Judy Woodruff:  The fact that it's almost a year and — a year-and-a-half later.

Jonathan Capehart:  Yes.

Gary Abernathy:  Well, here's what we do know.

The rally happened.  And what we know is bad enough.  Donald Trump stood up at a rally and said, if you don't fight for your country, you're not going to have a country, and basically pointed them to the Capitol, where his own vice President was overseeing the count of electoral votes in a constitutional process to certify this election for Joe Biden.

I mean, that's bad enough.  How much more do we need to — how much more bad things do we need to come out to say — for enough people to say, Trump's responsible for what happened?

Jonathan Capehart:  It would be helpful if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would tell the American people what he told the President in those moments.

It would be helpful if Jim Jordan, who wants to become the next — I think Judiciary Committee chair in the House, what he said to the President when he talked to him probably multiple times that day.  That's important for us to know.

This is not a partisan issue.  This should be a patriotism issue.  Our country was under attack.  And it could happen again, which is why that commission, that select committee is in place to do this report.

Judy Woodruff:  And his point is that there's maybe culpability on the part of some of these members.

Gary Abernathy:  Yes.

And, again, there's a fine line.  And, again, you're talking about your fellow members of Congress.  There's a fine line between saying things to try to — we know a lot of those conversations that were happening, through what's been leaked, were to try to get Trump to take action to calm things down, to put an end to this thing.

And who knows what they said to try to appeal to him and his ego to make that happen.  But would it be interesting?  Yes.  I just think that a lot of it's being found out in other ways.  And the committee just needs to be careful when it comes to subpoenaing members of Congress.

Republicans are going to control Congress, very likely, very likely, after November.  And what goes around comes around.  And you just got to be careful how you treat your fellow members of Congress.

Jonathan Capehart:  They have already said that, if they come into power in the House, that there are going to be investigations galore.

Gary Abernathy:  Yes.

Jonathan Capehart:  The White House is already preparing for that moment.

Gary Abernathy:  And that's not — we need to back off from those vendettas.

(LAUGHTER)

Jonathan Capehart:  Gary.

Judy Woodruff:  On this Friday night, all right, we thank you both.

Gary Abernathy:  Yes.

Judy Woodruff:  Jonathan Capehart, Gary Abernathy, thank you very much, both of you.

Jonathan Capehart:  Thanks, Judy.  Thank you.



THE SHORTAGE - Baby Formula

"Parents nationwide struggle with a critical baby formula shortagePBS NewsHour 5/13/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A baby formula shortage has become a major problem for parents around the U.S., one without quick solutions.  About 40 percent of formula is out of stock nationwide due to supply chain disruptions, inflation and a recall by one of the biggest producers.  Meanwhile, the White House announced steps to address the shortage.  Brian Dittmeier, of the National WIC Association, joins Ali Rogin to discuss.



AMERICAN POLITICS - Extreme Political Polarization

"Examining the crisis in America’s democracy and the polarization of its politicsPBS NewsHour 5/12/2022

aka Republican anything goes to win politics.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Nearly 250 years ago, America's founders declared that everyone has "unalienable rights."  What those rights are has been debated ever since.  As the Supreme Court weighs the future of abortion rights the nation's divide has come into sharper focus, as growing political polarization plays out in the midterms.  University of Virginia politics professor Sidney Milkis joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.



PANDEMIC - Views From Dr. Fauci and Americans

"Dr. Fauci on the state of the pandemic as the U.S. marks 1 million COVID-19 deathsPBS NewsHour 5/12/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Biden on Thursday marked the U.S. nearing one million lives lost due to the pandemic and called on Congress to pass funding for more COVID relief.  The pandemic has claimed more than 6 million lives worldwide, though WHO estimates the real toll tops 15 million deaths tied to the virus.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

 

 

"Americans reflect on hardship and loss from the pandemicPBS NewsHour 5/12/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As we approach the tragic milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. we wanted to bring you reflections from some of the people we’ve met over the past two years of this pandemic.  A paramedic, a nurse, a single mom, a sister, a daughter, a student -- all facing their own challenges and carrying their own hopes for what comes next.

 

 

"‘Faces Of COVID’ memorializes Americans who have died during the pandemicPBS NewsHour 5/14/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Each day the Twitter thread “Faces Of COVID” posts the names, images and a short remembrance of Americans who have died from COVID-19.  The project was started by Boston-based communications consultant Alex Goldstein, who has posted more than 7,000 remembrances since starting the feed in March 2020.  Geoff Bennett recently spoke with Goldstein to learn more.



BRIEF BUT SPECTACULAR - Lucy Walker

"A Brief But Spectacular take on the power of documentary filmmakingPBS NewsHour 5/11/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As wildfires continue to rage in the western United States, we look at how these increasingly common events are affecting the people in the midst of them.  Lucy Walker is a documentary filmmaker whose most recent work, "Bring Your Own Brigade," follows residents after the disastrous Camp Fire in California.  She offers her Brief But Spectacular take on the power of documentary filmmaking.



DRUGS IN AMERICA - Record Overdose Deaths

"Overdose deaths in the U.S. reached record levels in 2021PBS NewsHour 5/11/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  New CDC data released Wednesday indicates that deaths from drug overdoses in the U.S. reached a record-high last year.  More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, the highest annual death toll ever recorded.  Deaths from fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine rose sharply.  Dr. Nora Volkow, the National Institute On Drug Abuse director, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss.



JOURNALIST - West Bank Killing

"Al Jazeera journalist killed in West Bank raidPBS NewsHour 5/11/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Israeli troops on Wednesday reportedly shot dead Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh during a West Bank raid.  The 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist was a household name across the Middle East for her coverage of the conflict.  Josef Federman, Associated Press news director for Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, joins John Yang to discuss.



AMERICAN POLITICS - U.S. Senate On Record, Abortion Stance

COMMENT:  Make the anti-women's rights Senators pay in next election!  Hay, hay they must go!

"U.S. senators go on the record with their stance on abortionPBS NewsHour 5/11/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked efforts on Wednesday to enshrine abortion rights into federal law.  Democrats fell well short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster on codifying abortion access, with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin joining all Republicans in voting against the Women’s Health Protection Act.  Lisa Desjardins joins Judy Woodruff from the U.S. Capitol with more.



INDIGENOUS CULTURE - Colorado College

"Colorado college reckons with a troubling legacy of erasing Indigenous culturePBS NewsHour 5/10/2022

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Over the course of more than 100 years beginning in the 1800s, hundreds of thousands of Native American children in the U.S. were removed from their families, placed in federal boarding schools and forced to abandon their Native languages and culture.  One college in Colorado is now reckoning with that history.  Hari Sreenivasan reports for our "Rethinking College" series.