Monday, November 25, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS - First to End Single-Family Zoning

"How Minneapolis became the first to end single-family zoning" PBS NewsHour 11/23/2019


SUMMARY:  To help address a housing shortage, Minneapolis became the first large American city to end single-family zoning, the rules that restrict certain neighborhoods to single-family homes.  Now, buildings with up to three units can be built on any residential lot.  Leaders hope this, and other plans, will add new units, create density and remedy segregation.  NewsHour Weekend's Megan Thompson reports.

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 11/22/2019

"Shields and Brooks on impeachment hearing revelations, Democratic debate takeaways" PBS NewsHour 11/22/2019


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including the biggest revelations and most compelling characters from impeachment hearings, whether they will change voters' minds about impeachment, how 2020 Democrats performed in their fifth debate and President Trump’s moves on military justice.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  Historic impeachment hearings and another debate for the Democrats running for President.  It was a very full week.  It has been, is a very full week for American politics.

And here to help us make sense of it all, as always, Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Hello to both of you.

Let's go straight to impeachment, Mark.

Five days of hearings now, three more this week, a lot of drama, a lot of attention on television.  What did you take away from it?

Mark Shields.  syndicated columnist:  I took away from it, Judy, a quote from Oscar Handlin, who was the great American historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning for his book "The Uprooted."

He said, I sought to write a book on American immigrants, the history of American immigrants, and I realized that immigrants are American history.

And that point was driven home so forcefully.  It was Ambassador Yovanovitch.  It was Colonel Vindman.  It was Fiona Hill.

And these are people who are Americans by choice, not by accident, like you and I.  And he and she, every one of them was reassuring.  And I have to say, for every cheap political ad that is run against nameless, faceless bureaucrats, these were people with names and with faces and who put their careers, their comfort, their peace of mind, their futures, in many cases, on the line to speak truth to power.

And I was humbled to watch them and to listen to them.

Judy Woodruff:  David?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Yes, I agree with that.  It was a good couple of weeks for Washington [DC] insiders, people who have been trained by the government to do things a certain way.

And that way — there's a right way and there's a wrong way.  And most of the people who have been trained by the Foreign Service understood quickly that this was the wrong way to go about things.  This was unethical.

I think Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, I don't think it ever occurred to them that this was unethical.  What strikes me — and this came out in Sondland's testimony — that everyone was in the loop, that this was not something they tried to hide.

This was just something they thought was the way politics gets done or foreign policy gets done, that there's no division between personal gain and public service.

And so I think that's the big takeaway for me out of these weeks, is that, when this started, you could have thought, oh, it was Trump just rambling on a phone call, because we had that transcript, if you remember.

Judy Woodruff:  Right.

David Brooks:  But now it's clear that everybody knew.  And some people reacted with shock and horror.  And some people said, well, this is just the crazy stuff we got to tolerate working for Donald Trump.

Judy Woodruff:  Is the case, Mark, now made stronger that the Democrats have been trying to make that they say is a slam dunk, that the President tried to get the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, in other words, to do the President a favor politically?

Mark Shields:  Yes, I think it is.

Yes, I think Ambassador Sondland was probably the least impressive, but the most damaging, of all the witnesses.  He was going to go down.  He was going to say, as David put it, in the loop were Secretary Pompeo, in the loop was Chief of Staff Mulvaney, in the loop was Ambassador Bolton, who, interestingly enough, we're going to find out if he has the same courage of his convictions, the same backbone as Fiona Hill, who worked for him did, or has a $2 million book sale advance bought his silence.

I would be interested to see if he's going to come forward and speak truth to power.

Judy Woodruff:  He tweeted today that he's going to speak.


But we don't know.

Mark Shields:  He got his Twitter back, is what I read in his tweets today.  And I'm just really reassured by that.


So, I just — I really think that the case is strong.

What I have underestimated — and I think David was right — is the fear that David — that Donald Trump exercises over Republicans.

I mean, people talked about Lyndon Johnson being a fearsome political leader.  They don't even approach.  I mean, he [Trump] strikes fear into the hearts of Republicans up and down the line.  And I think that is — that, to me, has been eye-opening in its dimensions.

Judy Woodruff:  So, the case — is the case stronger, David, or does it even matter?

David Brooks:  Well, the case is legally stronger, but it's not politically stronger.

We have had now a bunch of polls.  Nate Silver's Web site, FiveThirtyEight, has an agglomeration of them.  And it shows that the public support for impeachment has gone down very slightly over the last couple of weeks.  It's now about 45-45.  The nation is evenly divided.

In swing states, it's gone — impeachment has become less popular.  We don't have a lot of data.  But, in Wisconsin, only 40 percent of voters support impeachment.  Roughly 53 oppose it.

And I think we have seen there's a Politico poll where they asked independent voters, what do you think?  And independent voters don't like it at all, and by 61-23, they think that's the sort of thing that's more of interest to media people than it is to me.

And so I don't think — I don't think — I think everybody knows he's guilty.  They just don't think this is the issue that affects my life.  And why are they talking about all this stuff?

Judy Woodruff:  How do you — I mean, Mark, the Republicans keep saying, as we heard yesterday, it's a show trial, the Democrats have been out to get President Trump from day one.

Is that the argument that is winning people over?

Mark Shields:  It's an argument, Judy, but it's not a persuasive argument.  I mean, just as a political calculus, it was not — it didn't make sense.

I mean, there was no question, after the Mueller Report was botched, or however you want to put it, or the — Attorney General Barr stepped on it, Donald Trump felt liberated, and liberated enough to make that phone call.

And the reality is that there wasn't a Democrat who was not under indictment or detox who was thinking in terms of impeachment at that point.  It wasn't until the news of this came out, and it became so obvious.

I mean, not to act was an action itself that Democrats or anybody else in Congress or America would have to answer for.  I mean, if this is modus operandi, acceptable for an American President to do this, to extort basically another country that is dependent upon us, to get information, unflattering, unhelpful, damaging information the President's political opponent, and that is — that's, what, OK, acceptable, look the other way?

I mean, you have got a lot to answer for if you don't address it.

David Brooks:  Yes, I think that's a strong argument.  They had to do this just to uphold the standards of our country, and that I can't think of any President who has done anything as bad as this and didn't get impeached.

And so, I mean, that's basically true.  I think Democrats do have to acknowledge that it's not a political winner.  And some of them walked into this sort of knowing that.

Judy Woodruff:  Why not?  What do you mean, not a political winner?

David Brooks:  Well, I think if you're losing independents and you're losing swing states, and you're — it's very likely now that six of your Senate candidates will be sitting in Washington, D.C., through January during the Senate trial, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and the rest, then this is a kind of a disadvantage.

Judy Woodruff:  Right.

David Brooks:  And I think it is just — I think — my conversations with Trump supporters in red states, first of all, when I go out there, nobody talks about.  It's just not on the subject.  Then, if you ask, everyone I have spoken to says, yes, he did it, and he shouldn't have done, it was a stupid thing to do.

But this is — we're in the context of a long political and cultural war in this country.  And, finally, I have got a guy who hits back at the people who hate me.  And so I'm not going to abandon him.

And so they don't see it as a unique trial about one incident.  They see it as part of the longer political battle we have in this country, and they're not going to abandon him.  That's been my experience with people I have spoken with.

VAPING - Dangers and Addicted Kids

aka "The New Tobacco Wars"

"Why are so many kids addicted to vaping — and what will Trump do about it?" PBS NewsHour 11/22/2019


SUMMARY:  With thousands sickened and 47 dead from a mysterious lung illness linked to vaping, teenage use of electronic cigarettes is still surging.  As the health risks grow, pressure is building on President Trump to take action, with particular focus on limiting the flavored tobacco products that appeal to kids.  William Brangham reports and talks to Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

RETHINKING POVERTY - Solving Global Poverty

"How these 2 economists are using randomized trials to solve global poverty" PBS NewsHour 11/21/2019


SUMMARY:  More than 700 million people across the globe live on extremely low wages.  This year, a trio of economists won the Nobel Prize for their work on addressing global poverty, using randomized control trials to test and improve social policy.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman talks to two of those winners, husband-and-wife duo Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, about their work.

INDICTED - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Amid corruption charges, is Israel’s era of Netanyahu over?" PBS NewsHour 11/21/2019


SUMMARY:  On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became his country’s first sitting leader to be indicted.  The announcement came just a day after opposition leader Benny Gantz lost his mandate to form a unity government.  As a result, Israel is entering a new phase of political uncertainty.  William Brangham reports and talks to David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

NEWSHOUR SHARES - Detroit Nonprofit's Sweet Plan

"This nonprofit has a sweet plan for reclaiming vacant Detroit lots" PBS NewsHour 11/19/2019


SUMMARY:  Detroit is known for the rhythms of Motown and the hum of automobile manufacturing plants.  Now, one nonprofit is adding a new sound to this urban landscape: the buzzing of bees.  Special correspondent Mary Ellen Geist reports on the efforts of Detroit Hives to reclaim some of the city’s vacant spaces -- while also leveraging the nutritional benefits of honey.

MAKING THE GRADE - Oregon Teachers vs Nationalism

"How these Oregon teachers are fighting back against white nationalism" PBS NewsHour 11/19/2019


SUMMARY:  The FBI reports that hate crime violence in the U.S. is at a 16-year high.  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, meanwhile, says the highest percentage of hate incidents since the 2016 election occurred in elementary and secondary schools.  Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault takes a look at how this problem has manifest in northwest Oregon -- and what tool teachers are using to intervene.

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION - 'Migrant' vs 'Refugee'

In Trump's eyes there is no difference, they are all 'bad-actor' brown people.

"Is the distinction between migrant and refugee meaningful?" PBS NewsHour 11/18/2019


SUMMARY:  Under President Trump, American immigration policy has been in the spotlight.  While Trump may talk the most about stopping illegal entry into the U.S., he is also taking action to reduce the volume of legal migrants the country accepts as refugees.  But what makes one immigrant a refugee and another simply a migrant?  Writer Dina Nayeri offers her Humble Opinion questioning that distinction.

TRUMP - Impeachment Hearings 11/18 - 11/23

"How both sides are preparing for a packed week of impeachment hearings" PBS NewsHour 11/18/2019

HINT:  A person can be arrested, tried, convicted of ATTEMPTED robbery, which means the crime was not completed.  This applies to what Trump attempted.


SUMMARY:  President Trump says he will consider testifying on his own behalf in the impeachment inquiry.  Former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, career State Department official Jennifer Williams, departing National Security Council official Tim Morrison, and National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman are scheduled to appear Tuesday.  Yamiche Alcindor joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

"What we learned from public testimony of officials on Trump’s July 25 call" PBS NewsHour 11/19/2019


SUMMARY:  Tuesday marked a significant day in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, as officials on the July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy testified in open hearings for the first time.  Lisa Desjardins, Nick Schifrin and Yamiche Alcindor join Amna Nawaz to discuss the day’s highlights, including a personal attack on a witness in the middle of testifying.

"Rep. Mike Johnson on Vindman’s reputation, witness credibility and Trump’s frustration" PBS NewsHour 11/19/2019


SUMMARY:  The House Judiciary Committee is ultimately responsible for deciding if impeachment charges will be brought against President Trump.  Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana is a member of that committee, and he joins Amna Nawaz to discuss why he is frustrated with the impeachment inquiry proceedings so far and whether he thinks the President should answer questions about his Ukraine dealings.

"Rep. Jayapal on ‘damning’ impeachment evidence and what happens next" PBS NewsHour 11/19/2019


SUMMARY:  Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington [state] is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which will ultimately be responsible for deciding if impeachment charges are brought against President Trump.  Jayapal joins Amna Nawaz to discuss why she is disturbed by her Republican colleagues’ defense of Trump’s actions and the most “damning” evidence she has seen in the investigation so far.

"Why Gordon Sondland’s public testimony was ‘extraordinary’" PBS NewsHour 11/20/2019


SUMMARY:  Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, testified to the House Wednesday that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine and that he followed President Trump’s orders to work with Rudy Giuliani.  Sondland also implicated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence in a pressure campaign.  Nick Schifrin, Yamiche Alcindor and Lisa Desjardins join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

And from Trump's Propaganda Minister.....

"Kellyanne Conway says ‘there was no pressure applied’ to Ukraine" PBS NewsHour 11/20/2019


SUMMARY:  The Trump administration quickly pushed back on the claims of Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, among others, were aware of Sondland’s efforts to get Ukraine to open an investigation into the Bidens.  Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

"What Rep. Steve Cohen thinks about the evidence against Trump" PBS NewsHour 11/20/2019


SUMMARY:  The House Judiciary Committee would hold hearings on impeachment after the House Intelligence Committee concludes theirs.  Do those Democrats feel they have enough evidence to move forward with articles of impeachment for President Trump?  Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) is a member of that committee, and he joins Judy Woodruff to discuss what Ambassador Gordon Sondland said.

"How testimonies from Fiona Hill and David Holmes filled in Sondland’s ‘gaps’" PBS NewsHour 11/21/2019


SUMMARY:  In the week’s final day of public impeachment hearings, Dr. Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia, and David Holmes, the political affairs counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified to the House.  Lisa Desjardins, Yamiche Alcindor and Nick Schifrin join Judy Woodruff to discuss how the information they shared filled in the gaps.

"Leon Panetta and Bill McCollum on where the impeachment inquiry goes next" PBS NewsHour 11/21/2019


SUMMARY:  Let’s take a broader view of all the testimony in this week's public impeachment hearings.  Leon Panetta was chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton and later served as director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense under former President Obama.  Former Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla) served as one of the House managers for Clinton’s impeachment trial.  They join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

"What happens next in the impeachment inquiry" PBS NewsHour 11/22/2019


SUMMARY:  This week was a historic one for American government.  Over three days, the House Intelligence Committee held public hearings with nine more witnesses as part of an inquiry into whether President Trump should be impeached.  Lisa Desjardins joins Judy Woodruff to discuss when the Intelligence Committee might publish a report on its findings and the upcoming role of the Judiciary Committee.

"Impeachment inquiry is ‘only just beginning’ after testimony" PBS NewsHour 11/23/2019


SUMMARY:  As Congress takes a Thanksgiving break, Democratic and Republican staff members are drafting reports on the impeachment inquiry that will determine the next phases of the process.  Jami Floyd, a host and legal editor at WNYC New York Public Radio, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

TRUMP - How Not to be 'Commander and Chief'

COMMENT:  I am 22yr retired Navy and Viet Nam Vet so I speak from a first hand view.  I even served as a member of a Courts-Martial Board as a Chief.

Also, Under Article 15 of the Code [UCMJ] (Subchapter III), military commanders have the authority to exercise non-judicial punishment (NJP) over their subordinates for minor breaches of discipline. These punishments are carried out after a hearing before the commander, but without a judge or jury. Punishments are limited to reduction in rank, loss of pay, restrictions of privileges, extra-duty, reprimands, and, aboard ships, confinement. The accused has the option to go before to a Courts-Martial Board on the charge.  This is what happened in one of these cases.

Disciplinary matters, for all branches, are governed by "Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)" which specifies and governs all matters of behavior and disciplinary matters.  It is totally wrong for ANY President to interfere in this area.

"Trump’s intervention in military legal cases sparks debate" PBS NewsHour 11/18/2019


SUMMARY:  Last Friday, President Trump intervened in the legal cases of three U.S. service members accused of war crimes.  Against the advice of the Pentagon, Trump pardoned two of the men and reinstated the rank of the third.  The moves reignited a debate over justice in war and the military’s legal system.  Lt. Col. Rachel E. VanLandingham and Lt. Col. Colonel David Gurfein join William Brangham to discuss.

HONG KONG - Protests and Referendum

"How Beijing is likely to respond to escalating Hong Kong protest violence" PBS NewsHour 11/18/2019


SUMMARY:  Police in Hong Kong have tightened their siege on the campus of the Polytechnic University, where hundreds of protesters are trapped inside.  It’s the latest bout of violence in nearly six months of demonstrations -- one China is warning it won't let go too far.  Nick Schifrin reports and talks to Kurt Tong, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong, about the protesters’ strategy and U.S. response.

"After months of protest, Hong Kong’s interest in local elections soars" PBS NewsHour 11/22/2019


SUMMARY:  Hong Kong will face its first electoral test since anti-government protests began in June.  The District Council elections are usually focused on local community issues and will not change Hong Kong’s political system.  But more than half of Hong Kong’s population has registered to vote in what is seen as a timely referendum on support for the movement.  Special correspondent Divya Gopalan reports.

"Hong Kong’s local polls test support for ongoing protests" PBS NewsHour 11/24/2019


SUMMARY:  Hong Kong saw a high voter turnout in the local district council polls on Sunday in which 452 seats were at stake.  The election, which was peaceful, is being seen as a referendum on the conflict between the city’s administration and the ongoing pro-democracy movement that has gripped Hong Kong for over six months.  New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy joins Hari Sreenivasan for more.

Monday, November 18, 2019

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 11/15/2019

"Shields and Brooks on impeachment testimony, newest 2020 Democrats" PBS NewsHour 11/15/2019


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including whether public impeachment hearings are making President Trump more or less vulnerable, what stood out about the witnesses who testified so far, whether Trump’s Ukraine dealings are surprising or "in character" and the latest dynamics among 2020 Democrats.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  Now joining us to analyze this historic week in American politics are Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Hello to both of you.

So, David, I guess you could say it's the best of times and the worst of times for President Trump.  On the one hand, we just reported the financial markets today were off the charts, setting new records all over the place, but, meantime, there are impeachment hearings going on just down the street from the White House.

Look at this first couple of days of hearings.  Have the Democrats strengthened their argument, or where are we?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Yes, I think they have.

The case is very solid and airtight that there was the quid pro quo.  All the testimony points to that.  And, mostly, you see a contrast.

In the first two, the first two gentlemen that testified on the first day, they were just upstanding, solid public servants.  And I was like — I felt like I was looking back in time, because I was looking at two people who are not self-centered.  They, like, cared about the country.  They were serving.  They had not partisan axe to grind.  They were just honest men of integrity.

And I thought we saw that again today with Yovanovitch.  And in her case, the day was more emotional, because you got to see a case of bullying against a strong, upstanding woman.

And so I thought she expressed — like, the heavy moments of today where when she expressed her reaction to how badly she was treated.  And so that introduces an element of emotion and pathos into what shouldn't be just a legal proceeding.  It should be something where people see the contrast between good people and bad people.

Judy Woodruff:  What do you — how is it all adding up for you?

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  Well, the conventional wisdom, Judy, last Friday, was that it would be — the Democrats would impeach in the House and the Republicans would acquit in the Senate.

I think the conventional wisdom has been dealt a blow.  I think we have learned and reminded ourselves again that this is a not a static process.  It's a dynamic process.

Each testimony changes the narrative and changes the reality.  There's no question that the first two witnesses, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent, have inspired and encouraged and given spirit to other people to come forward, David Holmes today.

And Ambassador Yovanovitch, I agree with David.  After listening to Ambassador Taylor and Secretary Kent, you came away with a sense of respect and admiration.

Today, you were moved, not only at Ambassador Yovanovitch's own story, but there's a sense of outrage building.  This is a story of corruption, corruption not in Ukraine, corruption in the United States.

I mean, why?  Why did they go to such lengths to denigrate, to attack, to try and destroy and sabotage the career of a dedicated public servant, a person who had put her life on the line?  Why did they do it?  What was it, money?  Was it power?

Why was Rudy Giuliani doing it?  Why was the President involved?  I think there's a real narrative that's developing.

Judy Woodruff:  And you're saying that you think the Democrats are making the point…


Mark Shields:  I think the witnesses are making the point.

And, obviously, the President, today, by tweeting and attacking, I mean, he invariably punches down.  This is a man who doesn't punch up.  He never takes on somebody his own size or somebody bigger.  It's always somebody smaller.

The idea of witness intimidation, of just the worst of bullying, before God and man, as he did it, is just — it's unforgivable.

And I think, as Mike Rogers, a former Republican congressman from Michigan, put it very well, the only time he isn't shooting himself in the foot is when he's stopping to reload his gun.

Judy Woodruff:  So, David, I mean, the Republicans kept pushing back today, just saying the whole thing is a sham, is a waste of time, and worse.

What should we measure the success of these hearings by?

David Brooks:  Yes.

Judy Woodruff:  I mean, what…

David Brooks:  I mean, if this were a football game, it would be 42-3.

The Republicans, I don't blame them.  There's just not much of a case there.  What he is accused of clearly happened.  And it's so hard to — you can throw up some flares and do some defensive measures, which Republicans are doing.  And they're complaining about whether the process is fair.  But they don't have much to work with.

I do disagree that this is somehow changing minds.  I have seen no polling evidence that it's changing minds.  I don't think people are watching particularly out in the country.

Since this whole impeachment thing has started, I have probably been in 20 states.  I can't think of too many places where people have talked to me about this.  And I talk to — you go out and interview lots of people and people are talking about other stuff.

And so if it's changing minds, especially in Middle America or in the swing states, I see no evidence of that.  My newspaper did a big story this morning, interviewing a lot of people there.  There was no evidence of that.

So I do think the case is a very strong one.  I do think what he has done was appalling.  But Americans who like him like him.  And the economy is the economy.

And so I'm not sure I see the evidence that Mark sees.

Mark Shields:  Let me…

Judy Woodruff:  How do you — yes, sure.

Mark Shields:  Let me just make two quick points in response to David.

First, it's a legal constitutional case, which I think is building and was — certainly the witnesses buttressed this week.  But the other thing is — whether it's the diabolical plotting of Nancy Pelosi or whatever, there's a political case.

And it makes it more difficult to stand up for Donald Trump.  It's going to make it more difficult for Republicans to stand up.  You just say, oh, that's Donald Trump being Donald Trump.

What he did today to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I mean, is just unforgivable at a human level.  You can't say, gee, he's my kind of guy, I like this kind of guy.

The other thing is, Judy, the collateral story, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state…

Judy Woodruff:  State.

Mark Shields:  … the hollowing out of the department, this is a hollowed-out man.

In the Marine Corps, there's a simple rule every enlisted man learns.  And that is, officers eat last and that any officer worries first about feeding his or her privates and lieutenants before he even picks up a knife or a fork.

And Mike Pompeo is the antithesis of that.  He is missing in action.  He's absent without leave.  When his own people are under attack and under siege, he goes quiet.  He goes mute.  I mean, he is a disgrace to the United States military, the United States military academy, and is just a hollowed-out man.

David Brooks:  Well, Trump governs by fear.

But I think this only changes if we're surprised.  And if Trump had been a Boy Scout up until this week, we would all be shocked by this behavior.  But we have been sitting here three years angry and outraged week after week, throwing spittle around because of how upset and offended we are.

Judy Woodruff:  So, you're saying there's not that much new?

David Brooks:  There has to be a surprise for this to change.

And Trump's behavior today and over the course of this episode is totally in character.

Mark Shields:  Stay tuned, David.

David Brooks:  OK.

Mark Shields:  Stay tuned.

REBUILDING NOTRE DAME - Cracks in Response

"France united in grief over Notre Dame fire but divided in how to respond" PBS NewsHour 11/15/2019


SUMMARY:  In April, the world watched in horror as flames engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral, the beloved Gothic symbol of Paris dating to the Middle Ages.  Now, seven months later, a debate swirls over how to repair the structure, which lost its famous spire and roof in the fire.  As Jeffrey Brown reports from Paris, questions about environmental hazards, stability and aesthetics are all sources of heated debate.

LETTERS TO GWEN - Three Years Since Gwen Ifill's Death

"What these young journalists wish they could tell Gwen Ifill" PBS NewsHour 11/14/2019


SUMMARY:  It has been three years since the NewsHour family lost dear friend and colleague Gwen Ifill.  We think of her all the time, and her loss was felt acutely by young journalists in the NewsHour’s Student Reporting LabsFour graduates of that program who went on to be Gwen Ifill Fellows at their local PBS stations share the letters they wish they could have shared with Gwen.


"How these employers are adapting to the needs of an aging workforce" PBS NewsHour 11/14/2019


SUMMARY:  As the population ages and older workers are making up more and more of the labor force, some employers are taking notice and adjusting their own practices to retain valuable experience and skills.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman has the story.

ANTIBIOTICS - Stopping Superbugs

"Why overuse of antibiotics is a massive, ‘staggering’ problem in health care" PBS NewsHour 11/14/2019


SUMMARY:  A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that we are losing ground in the battle against so-called superbugs -- the harmful or deadly bacteria resistant to nearly all our antibiotic defenses.  William Brangham talks to Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, who works on infection control at the CDC and helped compile the report, about how we can prevent these dangerous infections.

GREED FILES - Steaming Wars

"Why more media companies want in on the expensive ‘streaming revolution’" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019

NOTE:  I don't stream anything, I don't play online games.  I want my TV totally separate from the internet.


SUMMARY:  Media companies are spending billions to try to lock in Americans’ entertainment dollars, and on Tuesday, the Walt Disney Company took its efforts to the next level with the launch of Disney+But with such a broad assortment of streaming services available, how can consumers decide on the best entertainment options for them?  NPR television critic Eric Deggans joins John Yang to discuss.

DIVIDING LINE - Meddle East War's Borders

"For Israelis along the Lebanon and Gaza borders, even a normal day is plagued with tension" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019


SUMMARY:  Attacks and reprisals between Israel and its enemies occur regularly, now and then exploding into all-out war.  In particular, Israeli security is threatened by militant groups like Hamas in the south and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to the north.  Ryan Chilcote reports from two Israeli border communities about how families there are seeking a normal life amid constant fear and uncertainty.

GUNS IN AMERICA - The Remington Lawsuit


"Why lawsuit against Remington could have a ripple effect for gun industry" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019


SUMMARY:  On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied an attempt by Remington Arms to block a lawsuit filed by families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, who argue the maker of the AR-15-style rifle should be held liable for its marketing of the military-style weapons.  Robert Spitzer, author of “Guns Across America,” joins William Brangham to discuss what the decision means for firearm manufacturers.

AMERICAN MILITARY - Veterans Day 2019

"Veterans Day observances from across the country" PBS NewsHour 11/11/2019


SUMMARY:  Across the country, Americans paid tribute on Monday to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, who put their own comfort and wellbeing at risk to defend their country.  Here are a selection of the commemorations and observances.


"After failed legislative attempts on DACA, fate of ‘Dreamers’ lies with Supreme Court" PBS NewsHour 11/11/2019


SUMMARY:  On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments that could decide the fate of some 700,000 “Dreamers,” members of a younger generation of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.  They are currently protected from deportation by an executive order that President Barack Obama put in place in 2012, but that President Donald Trump has sought to cancel.  Amna Nawaz reports.

"As Supreme Court takes up DACA, ‘Dreamers’ hope for another temporary reprieve" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019


SUMMARY:  The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on President Trump’s move to end protections for migrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.  The Obama-era program, known as DACA, currently blocks some 660,000 people from deportation.  National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle and Bipartisan Policy Center’s Theresa Cardinal Brown join Amna Nawaz to discuss the legal considerations and potential fallout.

TRUMP - Impeachment Week 11/11 to 11/17

"Mulvaney objected to 2017 Ukrainian aid package, says State Dept. official" PBS NewsHour 11/11/2019


SUMMARY:  Additional closed-door deposition transcripts from the impeachment inquiry were released Monday.  Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Defense, testified during her appearance that her colleagues questioned whether aid appropriated by Congress for Ukraine could legally be frozen by President Trump.  Yamiche Alcindor and Lisa Desjardins join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

"How Rudy Giuliani went from ‘America’s mayor’ to Ukraine business broker" PBS NewsHour 11/11/2019

aka "Rudy Giuliani, Trump MOB Consigliere"


SUMMARY:  Mentioned frequently in transcripts from closed-door testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, Rudy Giuliani stands at the center of the saga over President Trump’s Ukraine policy.  Giuliani is now the President’s personal lawyer, but he first entered the national spotlight as New York’s tough-on-crime mayor — and later, a consoling figure amid the grief of September 11th.  Yamiche Alcindor reports.

"What to expect as 4th impeachment process in U.S. history goes public" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019


SUMMARY:  The House impeachment inquiry will go public Wednesday, with its first open-door hearing on Capitol Hill.  Members of the House Intelligence Committee, both Democrats and Republicans, will have opportunities to question two key witnesses in the ongoing investigation around President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.  Nick Schifrin joins Judy Woodruff with an overview of each party’s messaging.

"How did we get here? A timeline of the Ukraine impeachment saga" PBS NewsHour 11/12/2019


SUMMARY:  The impeachment inquiry has moved quickly, with more than a dozen witnesses, nearly 2700 pages of testimony and, now, public hearings.  But how did we get here?  Lisa Desjardins and Yamiche Alcindor take a look back at key events in the Ukraine saga and the previously obscure U.S. officials who will play important roles in the upcoming hearings.

"What William Taylor and George Kent shared during public impeachment hearings" PBS NewsHour 11/13/2019


SUMMARY:  Wednesday marked the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which is looking at whether Trump violated his oath of office and jeopardized U.S. national security by pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations to benefit him politically.  Yamiche Alcindor, Lisa Desjardins, and Nick Schifrin join Judy Woodruff to review testimony from William Taylor and George Kent.

"Collins says he’s putting House Intelligence ‘on notice’ about rushing impeachment" PBS NewsHour 11/13/2019


SUMMARY:  Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) is the highest-ranking Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, which will play an important role in the impeachment process.  He joins Judy Woodruff to discuss his impressions from the inquiry’s first public hearing, including that there was “nothing new” shared by witnesses William Taylor and George Kent, and why Adam Schiff can’t “rubber stamp” impeachment.

"Experts analyze the testimonies of career diplomats William Taylor and George Kent" PBS NewsHour 11/13/2019


SUMMARY:  For a variety of reactions to the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Judy Woodruff speaks with Walter Dellinger, acting solicitor general under President Clinton; C. Boyden Gray, former U.S. ambassador to the European Union under President George W. Bush; Mieke Eoyang of Third Way National Security Program; and Michael Allen of Beacon Global Strategies.

"Some key witnesses expected to testify publicly this week" PBS NewsHour 11/17/2019


SUMMARY:  Eight high-ranking officials, some with first-hand knowledge of President Trump’s conversations about Ukraine, are expected to testify in public hearings this week before the House Intelligence Committee in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.  Emily Bazelon, staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, joins Karina Mitchell for more.

Monday, November 11, 2019

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 11/8/2019

"Shields and Brooks on public impeachment hearings, Kentucky election results" PBS NewsHour 11/8/2019


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s political news, including the impact of released impeachment inquiry transcripts, what we might learn from the upcoming public hearings, the possible entry of Michael Bloomberg into the 2020 Presidential race and results from state elections in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  As the impeachment inquiry continues to ramp up ahead of next week's public testimonies, the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination continues, and a former New York City mayor may throw his hat into the ring.

To help us make sense of it all are Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Hello to both of you.

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  Judy.

Judy Woodruff:  So, we had a quiet week.  You know better than that.  There's a lot going on.

Mark, I think Lisa Desjardins added it up, almost 2,700 pages released this week of transcripts, testimony of former — current and former administration officials in the impeachment inquiry.

Mark Shields:  Yes.

Judy Woodruff:  The President says it's a witch-hunt, it's corrupt, doesn't mean anything.  Others have different views.

What does it add up to for you?

Mark Shields:  It adds up to that the hoax charge that was leveled against the inquiry, I think, has been totally rebutted and refuted.

And I think that Republicans, quite frankly, on the committee didn't lay a glove on any of the witnesses.  And it shows, more than anything else, to me, what one person standing up, the whistle-blower, did.

It emboldened, inspired, energized people, and to his credit.  And the whistle-blower's initial statement has been fortified and ratified and certified by subsequent witnesses.

Judy Woodruff:  What does it add up to for you?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Even more guilty than last week.  New and improved guilt.

I mean, we're learning the same story over and over again, but we're learning it with more evidence, strength and more underlining, that the quid pro quo really was a quid pro quo.  It was not just a phone call.  It was not just a few meetings.  It was a concerted campaign.

The questions remaining to me are, where did it all start?  Did Donald Trump think of this conspiracy theory in his head?  Did somebody else direct it to him?  And so how did it get in his head?

Second, how clear a role did Giuliani play?  Will the Republicans try to throw Giuliani under the bridge — or under the bus, whatever you throw people under, and say, it wasn't Trump, it was Giuliani, and it was Giuliani serving his clients?

And so those are still remaining.  I think we have learned nothing dramatically new.  It just reinforced what we already knew.

Judy Woodruff:  And…

Mark Shields:  Yes, I would just add that we went from no quid pro quo to quid pro quo, but no felony.  And…

Judy Woodruff:  Because the White House is acknowledging now that there was a discussion.

Mark Shields:  Now that there was.

So, the Lindsey Grahams and others of the world who said there was no quid pro quo to begin with are now saying, well, I'm not going to pay any attention to anything involved.

There's no coherent or consistent Republican defense that has been mounted in any way, and in part because I don't think there is one.

David Brooks:  Yes.

And it's also become much more clear that there's tensions within the White House over how to handle this whole situation between Barr and Trump, between…

Judy Woodruff:  Attorney General.

David Brooks:  … Mulvaney and Trump.

So people with different attitudes, should we have released the transcripts?  Should we have a press conference clearing the President?  And Barr doesn't want to do that.

And so you're beginning to see some tensions within the White House, as people to begin to look over their shoulder and see who's really going to take the fall here.

Judy Woodruff:  We…

Mark Shields:  Just — one thing I would just add, Judy.

And that is, the people who have stood up, who have testified put their career at risk.  Let's be very frank about it.  And there have to be dozens of other people who are just as aware, just as informed, and just as alarmed who have remained silent.

And I think it's fascinating the people who have stood up, doing so at their own risk.  And it's a reminder that those who are not speaking, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those in a time of moral crisis who remain neutral.  And they have to be terribly, terribly uncomfortable tonight.

Judy Woodruff:  And we will see more next week about who is willing and who isn't to come forward.

But, David, we are going to have open public hearings starting next Wednesday.

How does that change the dynamic?  We have already seen, as you said, a lot of material.  How is that going to change things, do you think?

David Brooks:  Yes.  Well, this is more a public education campaign.  I would be very surprised if we learn much new.

The reason you have private hearings is so you can understand the case in front of you.  And then the public hearings are to educate the voters.

And is — have any of us talked to a Trump voter who seems inclined to change their mind about Donald Trump because of what's come out so far?  I certainly have not.

And so I do not expect this to change many minds.  People are locked in about this guy [Trump].  Nothing has changed their minds in three years.  I would be surprised if anything changed their minds next week.

Judy Woodruff:  If that's the case, Mark — I mean, do you agree with David?

Mark Shields:  No, I don't.  I like to agree with David, but I don't on this one.


I don't think you can understand the impact until you see the face and hear the voice of the people making this case and, as I say, putting their own careers, their own professional lives at risk to do so.

And these are people with very impressive credentials, resumes of long public service.  And I think I recall — David was too young.  I recall Watergate, which was 45 years ago, when, all of a sudden, there was a voice that said, yes, there is — Alexander Butterfield — there is a taping system in the White House, and the impact that had on people.

And when John Dean said, yes, the President [Nixon] — I told the President there's a cancer on the presidency.  And I just — I don't think you can overstate…


David Brooks:  Yes.  Yes.

The only thing I would say, is, when Watergate happened, if you asked Americans, do you trust the government to the right thing most of the time, 60 or 70 percent said yes.  And now it's 19 percent.

So, people don't have high views of what goes on in Washington and they are not likely to grant it legitimacy.  Secondly, when — Watergate, the Democrats and Republicans differed, but they did not seem to be in different universes.

Now they're in different universes.  And the cost of admitting your own party is wrong and potentially handing power to the other party seems ruinous.  And so people don't want to make that call.  That's why they stick to their party, because they think the cost of their party losing is the end of their own lives.  And that's a result of politicization.

CANVAS - The Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit

"Blockbuster da Vinci exhibition showcases the master’s ‘endless curiosity’" PBS NewsHour 11/8/2019


SUMMARY:  The blockbuster exhibit of the year celebrates Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years after his death.  People are flocking to the Louvre Museum in Paris to see the work of the master, who was born in Italy, died in France and personified the expression Renaissance man.  Jeffrey Brown went to see firsthand why da Vinci's art is drawing massive crowds.

BERLIN WALL - 30th Anniversary

"Why German divisions remain, 30 years after fall of the Berlin Wall" PBS NewsHour 11/8/2019


SUMMARY:  It's been 30 years since one of the 20th century's biggest historic events: the fall of the Berlin WallAlthough the East German dictatorship subsequently collapsed, cultural and political divisions remain, more than a generation after reunification.  Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports on the wall's legacy, the polarizing issue of immigration and the lingering stain of anti-Semitism.

TOXIC SKIES - Extreme Air Pollution in India

"What’s behind extreme air pollution in India" PBS NewsHour 11/7/2019


SUMMARY:  A toxic brew lingers in the skies over India, created by everything from agricultural burning to industrial pollution.  Cars are also a major contributor, with roughly 1400 vehicles added to the roads daily.  Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro examined this problem roughly two years ago and returns with this update on the cultural and economic challenges of making Indian air safer to breathe.