PBS NewsHour full episode August 16, 2019


AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening. I’m Amna Nawaz. Judy Woodruff is away. On the “NewsHour” tonight: crackdown in Kashmir,
one of the world’s most contested pieces of land caught between two nuclear powers, India
and Pakistan, at a moment of crisis. Then: It’s Friday. Michael Gerson and Karen Tumulty are here
to examine the Democrats’ chances of taking back the Senate, Israel’s denial of entry
to two members of Congress, and rising fears of another recession. Plus: the music, the myth and what it all
meant — reflections on the Woodstock Festival 50 years later. DAVID CROSBY, Musician: For a minute, we were
not facing the Vietnam War. For a minute, we were not facing losing the
Kennedys. For a minute, Dr. King’s death wasn’t hanging
over us. For a minute, we were behaving like decent
human beings. AMNA NAWAZ: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Representative Rashida Tlaib now
says she won’t visit the West Bank to see her grandmother, hours after the Israeli government
granted her entry on humanitarian grounds. Israel initially barred both Tlaib and fellow
Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entry over their support of boycotts protesting
Israel’s policies and treatment of Palestinians. But Israel reversed its ban on Tlaib, on the
condition she promise not to promote the boycotts during her trip. Tlaib tweeted that she wouldn’t visit under
such — quote — “oppressive conditions.” North Korea, meanwhile, fired two projectiles
into the sea Friday, marking its sixth launch in three weeks. Those launches came after a government spokesman
for the North criticized South Korea for continuing planned joint military exercises with the
U.S. Pyongyang also rejected the South’s offer of peace talks. President Trump has shrugged off the tests
as — quote — “smaller.” In Hong Kong, pro-democracy protesters began
a weekend of demonstrations amid suspicion China may send in paramilitary forces. At night, thousands of demonstrators gathered
for a student-led rally against the ruling Communist Party in China. Earlier, in the Chinese border town of Shenzhen,
Chinese paramilitaries held exercises at a sports stadium. But police in Hong Kong insisted they’re in
control. YEUNG MAN-PUN, Hong Kong Police Superintendent:
We are confident that we have the capability to maintain law and order in Hong Kong. In general, from my personal contact with
my front-line troops, they are motivated, stable and maintain high morale, and we love
our place, and we want to contribute. AMNA NAWAZ: Major pro-democracy rallies are
planned for Saturday and Sunday in Hong Kong. Police in Zimbabwe today cracked down on opposition
demonstrators in the capital, as they enforced a ban on anti-government protests. Demonstrators were demanding President Emmerson
Mnangagwa address rampant inflation, water shortages and widespread power outages. Hundreds rallied in the streets of Central
Harare. Police then fired tear gas and beat some of
the protesters as crowds fled down side streets. WOMAN: We don’t have any food, no money, not
even anything. That’s why we came here. We want to solve our problem. But how can we solve our problem when they
hit us? They come and beat us. So what can I do for that? AMNA NAWAZ: Opposition leaders said seven
people were injured and 80 others were arrested. More than 500 migrants have died in the Americas
this year. That’s according to a new report out today
from the United Nations’ Migration Agency. The U.N. said those numbers mark a 33 percent
increase over last year; 259 deaths were due to drowning in shipwrecks or attempted river
crossings. The report does not include the 11 fatalities
inside U.S. migrant detention centers. Four states and the District of Columbia today
filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s new rules that disqualify immigrants from
earning green cards if they use public assistance. That includes Medicaid, food stamps, and some
public housing programs. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra
said the rules have led to — quote — “a chilling effect” on immigrant families. XAVIER BECERRA (D), California Attorney General:
The Trump rule wants to put the power to bar your path to become a citizen if your child
participates in something as basic as your neighborhood school lunch or nutrition program. This Trump rule weaponizes nutrition, health
care and housing. It acts like a ticking time bomb. AMNA NAWAZ: The new rules are set to go into
effect in October. Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration
Services Ken Cuccinelli announced the rule change on Monday. He said the administration welcomes immigrants
who are — quote — “self-sufficient.” The New York City medical examiner — examiner,
rather, has ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a suicide. The results of the autopsy released today
said Epstein hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell last Saturday. Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex
trafficking charges. The FBI and Justice Department are both investigating
Epstein’s death after — quote — “serious irregularities” were found at the jail. There are new revelations today about the
Air Force’s probe into sexual assault allegations made against President Trump’s pick for the
Pentagon’s second highest military post. Air Force investigators determined there was
insufficient evidence to prove Air Force General John Hyten had a — quote — “unprofessional
relationship” with his close aide Army Colonel Kathryn Spletstoser. Hyten’s polygraph test was also deemed to
be inconclusive. A separate report from the Defense Department’s
inspector general could be made public as early as next week. Hyten has denied the assault claim. He faces a full Senate confirmation vote next
month. Meanwhile, a new report from the State Department’s
inspector general has found politically motivated harassment at one of the department’s top
bureaus. Career staffers in the Bureau of International
Organization Affairs said they were mistreated and retaliated against by top Trump administration
appointees who thought they were — quote — “disloyal” to the president. The State Department vowed to provide a corrective
action plan within 60 days. In economic news, Wall Street ended this turbulent
week of trading on a positive note. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 306
points to close at 25886. The Nasdaq rose 129 points, and the S&P 500
added 41. Greenland said today it is not for sale, amid
reports that President Trump has expressed interest in the U.S. buying the semiautonomous
Danish territory. The Wall Street Journal was first to report
that a Trump ally said the president discussed the purchase, but wasn’t serious about it. One of Greenland’s two members of the Danish
Parliament insisted today her nation was off the market. AAJA CHEMNITZ LARSEN, Danish Parliament: Greenland
is not for sale. And if Greenland were for sale, it was up
to the peoples of Greenland. Greenland is an indigenous population. And in many ways, I think if Greenland was
for sale, I don’t think we would sell it to the U.S. I think what most people in Greenland
are concerned about is the fact that we’re being seen as something that you can just
trade. And it’s quite disrespectful. AMNA NAWAZ: President Trump is not the first
American president to pitch the idea. In 1946, President Harry Truman’s administration
offered to purchase Greenland from Denmark in exchange for $100 million in gold. And two lucky kayakers in Alaska survived
a close call while investigating cracks in a glacier. One of the kayakers posted this dramatic video
online showing an ice bridge collapsing and falling into the water below. A huge splash then washes over the two men
as they paddle away from the oncoming wake. Alaska has seen its lowest levels of sea ice
ever this summer, as record temperatures and wildfires have grown amid the climate crisis. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: flash point
in Kashmir — we get a view on the ground from this disputed territory; new reports
of the abuse faced by separated migrant children, this time in the u.s. foster care system;
mountain biking and cattle grazing, who gets priority on public lands; plus, much more. Hundreds of people protested the security
crackdown and clashed with police in Indian-controlled Kashmir today. At the same time, India’s government said
it was reviewing the situation there and would remove restrictions it had placed on the region
two weeks ago, sparking the protest when it removed Kashmir’s autonomous status. Life in Kashmir has been paralyzed. Stores remain closed, and traffic along normally
busy crossroads is thin. Under an unprecedented lockdown, nearly four
million people in the Indian-administered part of the territory have been confined to
their homes in a total communications blackout. BUSHEER AHMED, Kashmir (through translator):
As of now, everything is locked down. Whatever the government has done, it is not
good. Everyone is under house arrest. AMNA NAWAZ: Tensions in the region have escalated
since last week, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped the primarily Muslim
state of its semiautonomous status. Kashmir is now in its 13th day under this
crackdown, but authorities say they will soon allow schools and offices to reopen and phone
service to be restored. BVR SUBRAHMANYAM, Chief Secretary, Jammu and
Kashmir: Telecom connectivity, which has been a point of sore concern, will be gradually
eased and restored in a phased manner, keeping in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist
organizations in using mobile connectivity to organize terror actions. AMNA NAWAZ: Despite the measures to prevent
unrest, anger at India’s government for revoking Kashmir’s autonomy has fueled sporadic street
protests and sometimes violent confrontations. Control of Kashmir has been contested by India
and Pakistan since the 1947 post-colonial partition that separated the two countries. The nuclear-armed neighbors each administer
parts of the region separated by the line of control. The countries have already fought three times
over Kashmir. Now Prime Minister Modi has defended this
takeover as a national security decision to quell attacks from separatist militants in
Kashmir, which Pakistan has supported in the past. But, on Twitter today, Pakistani Prime Minister
Imran Khan called India’s actions — quote — “fascist tactics” that will not — quote
— “smother the Kashmiri liberation struggle.” Khan expressed his concerns with President
Trump over a telephone call this morning. Mr. Trump said he would soon hold talks with
Prime Minister Modi. Also today, at the request of Pakistan, the
U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss Kashmir for the first time in more
than 50 years. China’s U.N. envoy urged both countries to
avoid taking unilateral action over the region. ZHANG JUN, Chinese Ambassador to the United
Nations: The tension is already very tense and very dangerous. AMNA NAWAZ: But India’s ambassador to the
U.N. called the situation an internal matter. SYED AKBARUDDIN, Indian Ambassador to the
United Nations: We don’t need international busybodies to try and tell us how to run our
lives. AMNA NAWAZ: For more on what things are like
on the ground in Kashmir, we’re joined by Surabhi Tandon. She’s special correspondent for France 24,
who just returned from a five-day trip there. Surabhi, welcome to the “NewsHour.” Let’s start with what you saw and heard from
Kashmiris on the ground who are living through this lockdown. SURABHI TANDON, France 24: Well, I was in
Srinagar for about five days, and I tried to visit as many neighborhoods as possible. Of course, the security situation sort of
changed every day, in that the extent of the curfew-like situations were changing each
day that I was there. But, for the most part, people in Srinagar,
where I was, were under a fair amount of lockdown. Movement was restricted. In fact, if you didn’t have a curfew pass
or a reason to go to the hospital or chemist, something that was urgent, you weren’t really
allowed to move around between neighborhoods. This is for civilians. For journalists as well, we were guarded in
most areas we went to. There were some no-go zones. Of course, I was also there during the time
of Eid, which was this Monday. So, on Saturday, which was the 11th of August,
the government did ease up restrictions. They opened up some markets in parts of the
city. And that’s when you saw a fair amount of movement,
people coming out, buying things in preparation for the festival, but also buying things to
stock up, because nobody knows even at this point how long these curfew-like situations
are going to last. AMNA NAWAZ: So, Surabhi, what was the reaction
on the ground when India first made this move to revoke autonomy? A lot of people are wondering why we didn’t
see larger-scale protests. SURABHI TANDON: Well, I would say, first of
all, that’s because not possible at the moment with this military presence that is in the
valley. Now, Kashmir is already one of the world’s
most militarized zones. And before the fifth of August, 45,000 extra
troops were brought in. So that’s almost one military personnel for
10 civilians. So you see this military presence everywhere,
and especially in areas that have frequent protests. They were such no-go zones that even we weren’t
allowed. There were giant vans that blockaded the roads. People were barely allowed to walk through,
no cars, of course, no public transport going in. There was one large protest on Friday, the
day that I arrived, which has been reported by some media outlets, but the reason that
these were contained is because of the heavy military presence that surrounds these neighborhoods. Already, with these small protests, you had
the military throwing in tear gases, in fact, also using pellet guns. This is happening on the ground. AMNA NAWAZ: When we talk about the future
of Kashmir, we hear a lot from both leaders in India and Pakistan. You have been talking to people on the ground
on the Indian-administered side. What is it they say they want for their future? SURABHI TANDON: In Kashmir, when you say what
do people want in the future, well, first of all, they say — the people that I spoke
to say that they don’t agree with this decision, because they weren’t included in the decision. They feel that it’s another decision made
by the Indian state that has been forced on them. And as we have seen this resistance for many
years in Kashmir, this resistance will continue. And some, of course, said that now this resistance
perhaps might even become more extreme. The people in the middle, their argument to
stay in India, to be pro-India has suddenly become irrelevant. And so a lot of people now perhaps feel that
they are on one side, which is anti-being part of the Indian state. And what will happen, how this angle — and
how this angle will erupt is to be seen. AMNA NAWAZ: That is Surabhi Tandon, special
correspondent for France 24, reporting from New Delhi tonight. Thank you very much. We continue our coverage now of the separation
of migrant families at the border. A new investigation by the Associated Press
and PBS’ “Frontline” finds allegations of physical and sexual abuse of some. These are children who are moved into government-funded
foster care after being separated from their families. As Jeffrey Brown now tells us, the report
suggests there may be more allegations and lawsuits to come. JEFFREY BROWN: The AP looked at 38 legal claims
from families preparing to sue the federal government. In some cases, very young children were placed
with foster families, where they were allegedly molested by other children. The allegations, many of which have not been
public until now, raise questions about the government’s ability to house migrant children
in places beyond large shelters and crowded detention centers. One attorney told the AP that these cases
are — quote — “the tip of the iceberg.” Martha Mendoza is part of the reporting team
for the AP and joins me now from Mountain View, California. Thanks for joining us. What kind of abuses are we talking about that
are being claimed here and who are the victims? MARTHA MENDOZA, Associated Press: So, the
victims range from babies to teenagers. And the type of abuses range from sexual molesting,
to verbal abuse, or even just the dread and fear of being separated as a family, and not
knowing where their loved ones were. JEFFREY BROWN: Tell us a little bit more about
the situation of the children and their parents and the families. These are children who have been separated. MARTHA MENDOZA: Yes. So, under the administration’s zero tolerance
policy, when kids come into the country with their parents, they are separated. The parents go to detention, but the children
become wards of the Department of Health and Human Services, which has been working to
place them in residential shelters, sometimes in large detention camps. And the younger ones, they have tried to put
them into foster programs. And these programs are somewhat like you would
think of foster care, but they’re also a little different. For one thing, the kids are very far away
from their parents. Also, their parents don’t know where they
are. Many times, it can be weeks before they figure
out where their kids are. And then these can be a foster family that
maybe taking five or six kids at a time. They spend the night at a foster home, and,
by day, they go to a day center, where they have different types of programs. JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so it’s somewhat familiar
with what people are familiar with the standard foster care system, but different. So who’s overseeing it? Who’s in charge? MARTHA MENDOZA: Well, it’s federally funded. These are state-licensed foster agencies. And they are largely nonprofit. But it’s unclear how much federal oversight
there is checking in on how effective these and how safe these foster families are. JEFFREY BROWN: But the claims now are that
the government agencies are responsible. Is the claims that they are being neglectful
or purposeful in this? MARTHA MENDOZA: So the claims are that children
and their parents have been deeply harmed, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally,
by these separations and by these prolonged detentions that they have faced. And now they are starting to sue the federal
government over this damage. JEFFREY BROWN: And has there been a response
from the various government agencies involved? MARTHA MENDOZA: The departments of Justice
and Homeland Security, which are involved in the separations, did not respond to our
requests for comments. They also have not responded to repeated requests
from Congress about similar issues. Department of Health and Human Services, which
is responsible for the kids, got back to us and said that they make every effort to take
good care of their children when they have them in their custody. JEFFREY BROWN: And what about from the foster
care centers or families themselves? What kind of response did you get? MARTHA MENDOZA: Well, Cayuga Centers is the
largest federal provider of foster care. They’re based in New York. And they told us this morning that they are
very concerned about the allegations, and that they too are doing their very best to
provide a safe and secure situation for these children until they are reunited with their
parents or other sponsors. JEFFREY BROWN: Now, these, if I understand
right, are the first claims of their kind to be filed. Tell us how this is coming about, who’s bringing
them, who’s helping the alleged victims here, who’s working with them. MARTHA MENDOZA: Throughout, for the past year-and-a-half,
the immigrants have been supported by nonprofits, Southern Poverty Law Center, immigrant rights
groups, other advocates. But now these lawsuits are coming in partnership
with these nonprofits and some major for-profit law firms like Arnold & Porter. So these going to be some potentially powerful
litigants for the federal government to be up against. The way the claims work is that, in order
to sue the federal government, you first have to file a claim demanding a certain dollar
amount. And then, after six months, if the federal
government does not respond, then you can file a lawsuit. There is not a lot of precedent on this. This feels like the first financial consequence
to taxpayers for this policy that has been in place for some time now. JEFFREY BROWN: But you’re saying, as I quoted
one of the lawyers who said to you, this is the tip — could be the tip of an iceberg. You’re seeing potentially much wider implications,
certainly financial implications and even more. MARTHA MENDOZA: Right. So we saw 38 claims; 3,000 families have been
separated under these policies. And so even the attorneys involved in filing
them said they had many more in the works. JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Martha Mendoza of
the AP, thank you very much. MARTHA MENDOZA: Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: as over 20 Democrats
run for the presidency, a look at the party’s chances of retaking the Senate; Michael Gerson
and Karen Tumulty break down another packed week of political headlines; plus, reflections
on the Woodstock Festival at 50 — can the music from back then still move us today? It is a recurring conflict in the Western
U.S., where relaxing in the great outdoors bumps up against those who use the land as
their livelihood. From Iowa public TV’s market to market program,
Josh Buettner discovered a place where that conflict has been overpowered by coexistence. JOSH BUETTNER: Since its birth in the Old
West era, farming and ranching have been tied to Grand Junction’s economy. Now the largest metro area on Colorado’s Western
Slope, recent decades have seen the region’s picturesque landscapes attract a new wave
of stakeholders. JANIE VANWINKLE, VanWinkle Ranch: One of the
challenges in the West right now is finding common ground between livestock producers
and agriculturalists and outdoor recreation people. JOSH BUETTNER: Typically running over 500
head of cattle on 12,000 acres of land they lease from the city of Grand Junction, Janie
VanWinkle and her husband, Howard, are accustomed to sharing resources and dealing with adversity. Drought last year forced them to sell off
around 20 percent of their herd. This year, a downhill bike trail is looking
to break ground and eventually cut through their ranch. GEORGE GATSEOS, General Manager, Over the
Edge Sports: This particular part of Colorado has been a pretty underappreciated part of
the state for a long time. JOSH BUETTNER: George Gatseos is general manager
of Over the Edge Sports in nearby Fruita, which has become a mountain biking mecca. The area boasts hundreds of miles of single
track trails initially constructed on public land by volunteers, led by the Colorado Plateau
Mountain Bike Trail association, or COPMOBA. The 30-year-old nonprofit has five chapters
and roughly 500 members. In 2016, the group’s $1.6 million Palisade
Plunge trail proposal was given the go-ahead by state government, though no funds were
allocated. All manner of activity on Western public lands,
whether biking, grazing, hunting or mining, to name a few, fall under the purview of the
U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Of the more than 245 million acres overseen
by the federal agency, about 13 percent of the nation’s land, over eight million of those
acres are in Colorado. Grazing permits on public land are administered
by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service. Federal numbers reveal livestock foraging
activities generate almost $150 million annually in Colorado. COLLIN EWING, U.S. Bureau of Land Management:
You expect that you’re going to see livestock grazing in those same areas, and so I think
a lot of the bicyclists realize that a lot of their trails actually came from cattle
walking through this area. JOSH BUETTNER: Collin Ewing is a BLM national
conservation area manager in Western Colorado. COLLIN EWING: And somebody decided to ride
a bike on it. And, you know, eventually it became a big
sport, and the BLM adopted those trails. JOSH BUETTNER: Initial trail plans would have
sliced through the heart of the VanWinkles’ lease. The ranchers were concerned that excess trash,
trespassing and habitat disruption would be a problem. But the cyclists worked with the VanWinkles,
and agreed on a less disruptive route. JANIE VANWINKLE: They’re going to cut across
the corner of that property, and that’ll work for us. And they’re comfortable with it, too. GEORGE GATSEOS: We both love the land. We use it slightly differently. So that’s probably bound to bring some differences
of opinion too, so… JOSH BUETTNER: In nearby McInnis Canyons,
21 grazing allotments sit among the nearly 300 miles of trail and river access. COLLIN EWING: You’re seeing that a lot in
the West now, ranching and mining towns that are still ranching and mining towns, but also
are inviting tourism into their economy. JOSH BUETTNER: One of the Bureau of Land Management’s
biggest challenges is accommodating multiple uses of terrain owned by all Americans. COLLIN EWING: So this is a bicycle cattle
guard, so that the bicyclists don’t have to get off their bike to open the gate. And so the gates don’t get left open. So, the cow stays in the pasture and everybody
has a good time. JOSH BUETTNER: Many ranchers employ rotational
grazing practices to regenerate pasture, but say the effects of multiple users can lead
to frustration. JANIE VANWINKLE: We’re an easy target. But, in reality, it’s all of the uses, and
we have to figure out how we’re going to make that all work together. We were able to come up with a compromise,
and I think that’s really important, no matter what we’re talking about. Just understanding each other, that’s a really
important piece. JOSH BUETTNER: By navigating the convergence
of recreation and livelihood on public land, cyclists and ranchers hoped they have carved
a durable path toward collaboration in their community. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Josh Buettner
in Grand Junction, Colorado. AMNA NAWAZ: While nearly two dozen Democrats
are competing for the presidential nomination, the party’s strategy to win back the U.S.
Senate is facing serious trouble. One issue, some of the candidates that Democrats
say have the best chance of winning Senate seats are instead running for president. Lisa Desjardins breaks down the state of the
2020 Senate races. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), Former Colorado Governor:
Today, I’m ending my campaign for president. LISA DESJARDINS: A glimmer of hope this week
for Democrats’ battle to retake the Senate in 2020. Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
exited the presidential race, lost in a crowd of Democrats, leaving the door open for a
Senate run. JOHN HICKENLOOPER: So many Coloradans who
want me to run for the United States Senate, they remind me how much is at stake for our
country and our state. I intend to give that some serious thought. LISA DESJARDINS: Democratic leaders have serious
thoughts about it, too, because Hickenlooper may be their best shot at defeating Colorado’s
Republican Senator Cory Gardner. And that is one of Democrats’ best pickup
opportunities nationwide. Right now, Republicans hold 53 seats in the
Senate. For Democrats to take over, they need to flip
three or four of those, depending on which party wins the presidency and can break Senate
ties. Colorado is one of a handful of states with
that potential. Democrats are also targeting Susan Collins’
seat in Maine and Martha McSally’s in Arizona, where Democrats have recruited retired astronaut
Mark Kelly. Another possibility, Thom Tillis’ seat in
North Carolina. So far, Democrats have seen much of the party’s
star power tied up in the race for the White House, like Montana governor Steve Bullock. GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), Presidential Candidate:
And that’s how we win back the places that we lost. JUDY WOODRUFF: We don’t know whether you’re
going to be on the debate stage. LISA DESJARDINS: Earlier this month, Bullock
told “NewsHour”‘s Judy Woodruff he doesn’t plan on making a Senate bid. JUDY WOODRUFF: Are you ruling it out? GOV. STEVE BULLOCK: I’m ruling it out. LISA DESJARDINS: And then there’s Texas. Democrats are hoping yet another presidential
candidate, Beto O’Rourke, opts instead for a second Senate run in 2020. BETO O’ROURKE (D), Presidential Candidate:
Thank you, Texas. LISA DESJARDINS: After narrowly losing to
Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. BETO O’ROURKE: I’m running for president. And I’m taking this fight directly to Donald
Trump. LISA DESJARDINS: But just this week, O’Rourke
pushed back. BETO O’ROURKE: I will not, in any scenario,
run for the United States Senate. I’m running for president. I’m running for this country. LISA DESJARDINS: Part of the challenge for
Democrats is, they must also defend their own seats, and may be vulnerable in Alabama,
Michigan and New Hampshire. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
Corey Lewandowski loves your state, loves New Hampshire. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) LISA DESJARDINS: In New Hampshire last night,
President Trump talked up a potential Senate bid by his former campaign chairman, Corey
Lewandowski. COREY LEWANDOWSKI, Former Trump Campaign Manager:
This is Trump country! (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) LISA DESJARDINS: Lewandowski would face Democratic
Senator Jeanne Shaheen if he did enter the race, though the state’s Republican leaders
have largely balked at the suggestion. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins. AMNA NAWAZ: And that brings us to the analysis
of Gerson and Tumulty. That’s Michael Gerson and Karen Tumulty, both
of The Washington Post. Mark Shields and David Brooks are out. We are so grateful both of you are here. MICHAEL GERSON: Good to be here. AMNA NAWAZ: Karen, I want to ask. You have been writing about this. Let’s pick up where Lisa left off there. Why aren’t some of these high-profile Dems
running for the Senate? KAREN TUMULTY: Yes, it’s so interesting. It’s practically like these days running for
president has become your safety school. (LAUGHTER) KAREN TUMULTY: The fact is that the Chuck
Schumer has been left at the altar in a number of states, not just by, as Lisa said, Bullock
and Beto O’Rourke, but, in Georgia, he very much wanted Stacey Abrams to take on a Senate
race as well. And the stakes are really, really high, because
even if the Democrats can manage to get back the White House next year, if Mitch McConnell
is still the majority leader in the Senate, they are just not going to get a lot of things
done. And it’s — it is a — they have a path to
the majority, but it is a very, very narrow path. And their Senate candidates are not really
raising enough money right now, in part because the presidential race is taking up so much
oxygen. AMNA NAWAZ: Michael, what is that pitch like
to potential candidates, right, come join an incredibly gridlocked body? MICHAEL GERSON: Yes, that’s true. But it’s also a difficult election cycle for
Democrats. It shouldn’t be. There are a lot more Republican seats up. But they’re in red states. There are really only a couple of targets
of opportunity here. So one reason there aren’t more marquee Democrats,
I think, is because it’s a difficult circumstance. They have to win Colorado. That’s the only path they — their path to
a majority goes through Colorado. And I think Hickenlooper actually may be a
very good candidate. There wasn’t much appetite for a centrist,
practical centrism in the presidential race, but there really is in Colorado. And they like the fact that he’s a former
barkeep. So I think they view that as an honorable
path to power. AMNA NAWAZ: And there’s a timeline issue here,
too, right? They don’t have to make up their minds just
yet. MICHAEL GERSON: That’s true. And the states very, but it’s a couple of
months in both cases. So… AMNA NAWAZ: So, you see some of these folks,
you see some of them maybe potentially changing their mind or announcing that they end up
— they will end up running for these seats? KAREN TUMULTY: Well, I think there’s going
to be a lot of pressure on Bullock, especially if he doesn’t make the debate stage this next
month. So, yes. I mean, Chuck Schumer, the light is on in
the window. AMNA NAWAZ: I want to talk to you also about
another story we have been following this week. Obviously, it’s taken a lot of twists and
turns in the last 24 hours alone, but Israel’s denial of entry to two sitting members of
the U.S. Congress, Representatives Tlaib and Omar. I want to ask you really more about the U.S.
reaction, because this caught some people by surprise. Michael, you had their own colleagues in Congress,
in some cases, saying they supported the ban. I just want to show you one tweet from yesterday. This was from Representative Lee Zeldin, a
Republican from New York, who said: “It shouldn’t be shocking they’re unwelcome in a nation
they’re taking great pains to tear down.” What do you make of the reaction from some
of their own lawmaker colleagues? MICHAEL GERSON: Well, so much of this is unprecedented. Generally, this has been off-limits. And I think that now we’re seeing this has
become a partisan issue. Support for Israel — an organization like
AIPAC has tried to keep support for Israel from being a partisan issue for decades. They’re the one that reacted in very clear-eyed
way that said, we will welcome any Republican member. Even they — Israel should welcome any Republican
member of Congress or Democratic member of Congress. But I think the president and Netanyahu have
taken what shouldn’t be a partisan issue and made it into a partisan issue. And people are now coming down on various
sides of this partisan issue. That’s not good, by the way, for Israel or
for the long term of American relationship with Israel. AMNA NAWAZ: Karen, what do you make of the
way this has unfolded over the last couple of days? KAREN TUMULTY: Well, I think that, whatever
the forces were that went into Israel’s decisions here, what I think is even more astonishing
is President Trump’s behavior in this, in that Israel was ready to go ahead and let
them in, assuming that there’s — there’s an advantage to sort of keeping the dialogue
going, which is generally how other countries have treated members of Congress. But it was only after President Trump gets
into this publicly and puts pressure on Israel, and it was only that we saw them reverse that
decision. And it is really an extraordinary thing to
see a president of the United States putting pressure on a foreign power to essentially
punish his adversaries. MICHAEL GERSON: Yes, and using the federal
government as a method to score-settle with political opponents. I mean, that is not normal either for the
president of the United States. That’s — usually, foreign policy is not conducted
like it’s a reality TV show. But now, evidently, that’s how it is done. AMNA NAWAZ: Are you worried that sets a dangerous
precedent in some way? MICHAEL GERSON: Well, absolutely. I think that any of these relationships now
could be used by the president as a backdrop for his political ploys. And we have avoided that overseas for the
most part. And this, I think, is a new and worse era. AMNA NAWAZ: Karen, it’s worth pointing out,
of course, that our partnership with Israel is strong. And there’s a lot more to talk about. There’s economic partnership. There’s national security partnership. Can we even have those conversations now? Has it just become too politicized? KAREN TUMULTY: Well, I do think that is why
you see AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby, actually criticizing Netanyahu on this decision. This is something that almost never happens. But I think they are, in fact, looking at
the long game here. AMNA NAWAZ: Another thing that I wanted to
ask you about, of course, was the president last night often gets criticized for not talking
enough about the economy when it is going so well. He did talk about it last night, but he talked
about it in a very specific way. Take a listen to what President Trump had
to say at a New Hampshire rally last night. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
But you have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k)s down the tubes, everything’s
going to be down the tubes. So, whether you love me or hate me, you got
to vote for me. AMNA NAWAZ: Michael, people have to vote for
him, he says. It was a volatile week on the market. There’s been some predictions about a potential
recession looming. What do you make about how the president’s
talking about this right now? MICHAEL GERSON: Well, it’s an inherently odd
appeal for a presidential candidate to say, you may hate me, but you have to support me. But I think that’s what he’s going to present
some people with. If the Democratic Party is too far to the
left on economics, he’s going to paint them as socialists, and going to say, you may not
like the way I conduct myself, but this is the choice. This is a binary choice. And if you want the stock market to — and
the economy to grow, you need to support me. So I think it’s a preview of the argument
he’s actually going to make during the election. And a lot will depend, of course, on whether
the economy is doing badly or doing well. And we see some warning signs right now. They are more yellow lights than red lights. We’re not sure where this leads, but he’s
previewing his themes going into the election. AMNA NAWAZ: Well, so this is the question,
right? If the economy is not doing well, if some
of these concerns do come true, what does that mean for the president? KAREN TUMULTY: Well, the proof is in the performance. And whether it’s fair or not, presidents get
rewarded if the economy is performing well, and they get punished if the economy is doing
poorly. I think, this week, we all got to refresh
our memories on what an inverted yield curve is. AMNA NAWAZ: Would you care to explain for
those of us following along at home? KAREN TUMULTY: Sure. Sure. Usually, bondholders, who — the stock market
is not the economy. But the bond market is very much more of an
indicator of the economy. Usually, bondholders will demand higher interest
rates for tying up their money for a long time and lower ones for a short time. This inverted this week. And that has been something that has happened
as a — preceded from six of the last six recessions. So this is a real warning sign. We have heard Trump try to blame the Fed. We have heard Trump try to blame the media. We’re going to hear him trying to blame the
Democrats. But the fact is, his performance on the economy
is the only place where his approval numbers are above 50 percent. And if the economy tanks, he’s in a really
bad spot. MICHAEL GERSON: I would add, though, that
I think that a lot of his support is not on the economy. It’s actually on cultural issues, divisive
cultural issues. I don’t think, even with the recession, that
his base breaks. The change would be more on the margin. But presidential elections are often decided
on the margin. They are sometimes quite close. So it could make a very large difference. But this president could be a little different
than those previous examples, I think. I think a lot of his supporters would buy
the argument that the Fed and the media was at fault, and trust the president on these
— on these issues. But it can’t help him, obviously. AMNA NAWAZ: There was also his move, of course,
to delay some of those tariffs, right? He’s been rhetorically ramping up this trade
war with China. Do you think that he sort of said, OK, maybe
I need to pump the brakes a little bit, because I need the economy to remain strong? That is one of his strongest selling points. MICHAEL GERSON: Well, it was a form of concession
that somehow this was going to hurt people around Christmastime. He didn’t want to be the Grinch that took
away the affordable Christmas, OK? And I think — but what that indicates is
that these tariffs, they’re not hurting China necessarily, or at least not ultimately. They’re hurting American consumers. And I think he just conceded that by delaying
the tariff. KAREN TUMULTY: It was also interesting to
hear him say: I never said these tariffs with China would be an easy trade war. In fact, that was precisely what he had said. He said, trade wars are easy. And it is not turning out to be the case,
not just, by the way, in this country. But the — his tariff policies have also slowed
the growth in European countries as well. And so, normally, when we have the worldwide
economy slowing down, countries can get together and sort of come up with a coordinated strategy
to deal with it. Given President Trump’s policies, it is really
hard to see that sort of effort to kind of coalesce. MICHAEL GERSON: He’s actually threatening
German cars, Japanese cars at the same time we’re trying to have a united front. So, it’s — I agree with you. AMNA NAWAZ: Trade wars aren’t easy. Neither is purchasing semiautonomous territories
from other countries. I never thought I would get to say this, but
let’s talk about Greenland. (LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: What did you make of the story
that President Trump has floated the idea of purchasing the territory? MICHAEL GERSON: It’s a silly idea, but not
a silly topic. It’s like Africa in a certain way. The Chinese are there. They’re building infrastructure. They want to exploit resources. America has to have a response. But this is one that actually offends the
people of Greenland by essentially engaging in this dollar colonialism. They want independence from Denmark. They’re certainly not going to accept dependence
on the United States. AMNA NAWAZ: So, Karen, what do you make of
this? He is a real estate man. He’s looking to buy some property. Is that it? KAREN TUMULTY: I think it’s a gigantic distraction
from everything else that Donald Trump doesn’t want to be talking about right now. AMNA NAWAZ: Which would be? KAREN TUMULTY: Which would include the problems
with the economy, the situation at the border, the question of whether he can get any sort
of gun legislation through. What we have seen with this president is,
very often, when he’s in a spot like this, he will sort of throw something else out there
to get people talking about something else. AMNA NAWAZ: And so now we’re all talking about
Greenland. MICHAEL GERSON: Exactly. It worked. (LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: Karen Tumulty and Michael Gerson,
thanks so much to both of you. KAREN TUMULTY: Thank you. MICHAEL GERSON: Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: Tonight’s Brief But Spectacular
features painter Walton Ford, whose work examines our relationship to animals in the wild, who,
as he puts it, would rather be left alone. This episode is part of our ongoing arts and
culture series, Canvas. WALTON FORD, Painter: I make very large watercolors. Half the time you’re at the zoo, you’re saying,
oh, man, those things are a lot weirder-looking than I thought, or that’s a lot bigger than
I thought it was, or those are smaller than I remembered them. So I put them right in your face. And when you go to the show, you really do
feel that. Everybody gets a little overwhelmed when they’re
faced with one of these things. Growing up in the suburbs, I felt like everything
was manicured. I had a fantasy about being immersed in the
wild. And going to the Museum of Natural History,
I would lose myself in those dioramas. And I would bring a sketchbook, even when
I was a little kid, and draw the animals in the museum dioramas and just lose myself in
that. That’s the first stuff that I did. That’s the stuff that came out from inside
of me. That was my — that was what was there. Then I went to art school. It didn’t feel cool. It’s easy to have contempt for what you’re
really good at. And what I was really good at was drawing
and painting in a rather traditional way, and also thinking and relating to animals
in the natural world. The art world had no place for somebody who
was making work like this. After I got out of Rhode Island School of
Design, trying to be a sort of artist that I wasn’t, and I returned to the stuff that
I did when I was a kid, that’s actually when things started really going well for me. I look at my work as a sort of meditation
on the sort of cultural history of our relationship with animals, especially animals that would
rather be left alone. Because my subject matter can be grim, the
best paintings that I make have a sort of dark humor in them. Sir Richard Burton, the African explorer,
kept a collection of monkeys. He gave them all human roles, anthropomorphic
roles. I deliberately altered the behavior of the
monkey to accommodate Richard Burton’s twisted view of how he was training these monkeys
and learning their language. And so those paintings could be as heavy or
as light as you want them to be, because they are amusing to look at. Well, I have a series of paintings I have
been more working on for many years about a female black panther that escaped from the
Zurich Zoo in 1933. She was loose in the Swiss countryside in
the dead of winter for, like, 10 weeks. That’s the kind of thing I’m looking for. I’m looking for stories that are so much better
than stuff that I could make up. And then I’m making stuff up from that place. My name is Walton Ford, and this is my Brief
But Spectacular take on the imagined animal. AMNA NAWAZ: This week marks 50 years since
a dairy farm in New York state became the home for Woodstock and groundbreaking music
history. To many, the festival is still seen as a defining
symbol of 1960s counterculture, idealism and the anti-war movement. But did it have a lasting impact? Jeffrey Brown is back now with a look at that
weekend and what it means five decades later. It’s part of our arts and culture series,
Canvas. JEFFREY BROWN: In the summer of 1969, Richard
Nixon was in the White House, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the Vietnam War raged
on, and some 400,000 people made their way to a field outside the small town of Bethel,
New York, for a gathering that would become one of the defining moments of any era. Michael Lang was one of the organizers of
the Woodstock Festival. MICHAEL LANG, Co-Creator, Woodstock: It’s
always important to promote peace. And music is a great way to sort of bring
people together. A lot of the things that came out of the 60s,
coming through the civil rights movement, and women’s rights, and really the advent
of concern about the planet, which sort of grew out of that era, we were motivated, and
we felt we could really have an effect on the way things work in the world. JEFFREY BROWN: Idealism was still in the air
two years after the so-called Summer of Love. But says Todd Gitlin, author of “The Sixties,”
so was something else. TODD GITLIN, Author, “The Sixties”: It’s a
show of cheerful defiance. Let’s show that we can triumph over war, assassinations. Many people who were there thought of the
music as itself a feat of defiance. We are impervious. We are the real America. And what happened subsequently was that rebellion
became the dominant culture. JEFFREY BROWN: What began as a ticketed concert,
with promoters estimating 50,000 attendees, quickly evolved into something very different,
a free and freeform festival, with a mass of humanity, stoked by an incredible lineup
of some of the ’60s’ biggest rock stars, Janis Joplin, Santana, Sly & The Family Stone, and
many more, mostly helicoptered in after the roads were clogged and unpassable. They, too, got into the spirit. DAVID CROSBY, Musician: For a minute, we were
hopeful. For a minute, we were not facing the Vietnam
War. For a minute, we were not facing losing the
Kennedys. For a minute, Dr. King’s death wasn’t hanging
over us. For a minute, we were behaving like decent
human beings. HENRY DILTZ, Woodstock Photographer: I heard
a buzz in the air about this festival that was going to happen. JEFFREY BROWN: Photographer Henry Diltz was
there on stage capturing it. HENRY DILTZ: I spent a couple of weeks documenting
the building of the stage and the hog farm, camping grounds and all that. And suddenly all these people showed up, you
know? It was kind of photographed from all different
angles. Mine were mostly from on stage. And that sort of brings it all into the present
for everybody to remember. Photos are wonderful that way. JEFFREY BROWN: This past week, Diltz, Michael
Lang and others gathered at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City, and a line formed
around the block with people young and old to reminisce or to learn about an event that
has taken on the quality of myth. DAVID STRANGE, Artist: I’m really excited
to see what’s going on. A lot of spiritual awakening, a lot of pushing
of certain movements, cultural movements, that’s what I think of Woodstock. MR. MELODY, Woodstock Attendee: It was very joyous,
for the most part. It was a little bit tense at times, a little
tedious at times, but everybody, I think, had this shared feeling that something extremely
important was happening. JEFFREY BROWN: The food and water almost ran
out. People got sick. And torrential rains turned the grounds into
a mud bath. But, somehow, this instant city worked, amid
the high of music, drugs, and a feeling that maybe they really could change the world. One of Woodstock’s most famous performances,
by Jimi Hendrix, came early on its fourth morning. HENRY DILTZ: This is probably my favorite
photo, because it was my favorite moment, which happened to be the very ending of the
whole festival. Jimi Hendrix, the headliner, was supposed
to close the show Sunday night, but it was so backed up that he went on Monday morning,
so we were all a little bleary-eyed. And this band of gypsies came out with these
colorful bandanas. And it was quite an amazing show. And it was startling when he started playing
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” with all the sounds of war and everything. And we were so anti-war. Every single person in that half-a-million
crowd was against the war in Vietnam. JEFFREY BROWN: In the end, there was a field
of trash, soon enough cleaned up, and decades of wondering, what did it all mean? Just four months later, violence at the Altamont
Festival in California shattered any sense of peace and love tied to music. Attempts to recreate the Woodstock atmosphere
for 25th and 30th anniversaries were chaotic and marred by riots. And a 50th anniversary concert that Michael
Lang hoped to present this weekend failed to come together, amid denied permits and
financial problems. MICHAEL LANG: It was disappointing. I mean, the purpose behind it was really to
promote engagement, make sure people got out and voted this time, because I don’t think
things have ever been this critical in terms of what’s going on, on the planet. So, we hoped a festival would be kind of a
way to focus on that. But we’re going to do it without the festival. JEFFREY BROWN: For all the wonder of that
moment in the summer of ’69, for some, the Woodstock mystique belongs in a how we didn’t
change the world time capsule. TODD GITLIN: Woodstock is sort of protected
in history as a kind of moment of glory. I think it’s delusional for people to think
that you create that by simply packing hundreds of thousands of people into a field and celebrating. I mean, there’s politics to be done. Politics is in power. If people think that they can effervesce themselves
into salvation, then I think they’re being they’re being misled or misleading themselves. JEFFREY BROWN: These days, giant music festivals,
huge commercial affairs, have become the norm, and the country is once more hugely divided
socially and politically. But bringing it all together, as happened
in that field in Upstate New York 50 years ago? It’s hard to imagine we will ever see the
likes of Woodstock again. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown. AMNA NAWAZ: On the “NewsHour” online right
now: When we invited musician, actor and author Common to our studios for an interview, we
didn’t expect we’d also get an impromptu performance. Watch the full interview in the coming days,
but, for now, check out what happened when we asked Common to freestyle about facts. COMMON, Musician/Actor/Author: Let’s bring
truth to power. I came to do this at the “PBS NewsHour.” That’s ours. You know how it is. AMNA NAWAZ: That’s on our Web site now. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour. And late news before we go. Hollywood actor Peter Fonda has died in Los
Angeles. His family says he passed away after suffering
from lung cancer. Fonda was a member of a legendary multigenerational
acting family. His father was Harry (sic) Fonda. His sister is Jane Fonda. And his daughter is Bridget Fonda. He was perhaps best known for his role in
the 1969 film “Easy Rider.” Peter Fonda was 79 years old. Later this evening on “Washington Week,” Robert
Costa will discuss President Trump’s economic and political wars and what they mean for
the 2020 election. That’s coming up on “Washington Week.” And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Amna Nawaz. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” have
a great weekend.

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