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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 17, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: on trial. former minneapolis police officer kim potter takes the stand in her own defense in the trial over the killing of daunte wright. then, high stakes. the biden agenda faces an uncertain future as his pocy priorities suffer major setbacks in the senate. plus, the pandemic in africa. the omicron and delta variants of covid-19 plague the continent amid vaccine hesitancy and resistance to safety protocols. >> reporter: in cities across africa, business seems to go on as usual in the way it did before the pandemic. people have given up on masks, and in many places, there is virtually no social distancing.
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>> woodruff: and, it's friday. david brooks and jonathan capehart consider this busy week of news. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> fidelity wealth management.
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>> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a jury in minneapolis has gone home for the weekend, after a white former police officer recounted the fatal shooting of a black
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man, daunte wright. kim potter testified today at her manslaughter trial. john yang has our report. >> the defense calls kim potter to the stand. >> yang: today, former brooklyn center, minnesota police officer kim potter told jurors of the moment, eight months ago, when she shot and killed daunte wright during a traffic stop-- reaching for her taser, but pulling her gun-- seeing the look on another officer's face. >> and i can see sergeant johnson and the driver struggling over the gear shift, because i can see johnson's hand, and then i can see his face-- he had a look of fear on his face. it's nothing i'd seen before. >> what did you do? >> we were struggling; we were trying to keep him from driving away.
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it just, it just went... chaotic... and and then, i remember yelling "taser, taser, taser," and nothing happened. and then he told me i shot him. >> yang: during cross examination, prosecutor erin eldridge underscored potter's 26 years of police experience and training, including how not to confuse her taser and her gun. eldridge pressed her on whether she felt threatened by wright. >> never said "i'm going to kill you"? >> no. >> never said "i'm going to shoot you"? >> no. >> never said, "there's a gun in the car and i'm coming after you"? >> no. >> yang: the prosecutor also asked if potter did anything to help wright, after he'd been shot. >> you didn't run down the street and try to save daunte wright's life? did you? >> no. >> you were focused on what you had done. because you had just killed somebody. >> i'm sorry it happened.
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>> yang: the incident began as a traffic stop, but wright tried to flee after a struggle with officers who attempted to arrest him for an outstanding weapons warrant. >> holy ( bleep ), i just shot him. i shot the wrong ( bleep ) gun. >> yang: the defense argued that, mistake or not, deadly force was justified to stop wright. potter is charged with first and second degree manslaughter. if convicted, she'd face years in prison. closing arguments are set for monday. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, covid vaccine maker pfizer forecast the pandemic will last until 2024, now that the omicron variant has emerged. the company also said it is working on a three-dose vaccine for children two to 16; acknowledging its two-dose regimen is not as effective as hoped. and, the c.d.c. endorsed letting
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students stay in class if they are exposed to covid, but test negative. officials touted the policy over home quarantines. >> test-to-stay is an encouraging public health practice to keep our children in school, and c.d.c. is updating our materials to help schools and parents know how to best implement this promising and now proven practice. >> woodruff: meanwhile, covid outbreaks forced the national football league to delay three games. the national hockey league has shut down three teams through christmas. and, a number of pro and college basketball games have been called off. officials in western kentucky have confirmed two me deaths as a result of last friday's tornadoes. governor andy beshear announced the total has reached 77-- the most of any storm in the state's history. one person is still missing. russia published demands today that nato get out of central and eastern europe, and deny membership to ukraine.
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the u.s. and its allies have rejected those demands before. moscow raised them again, as it deploys thousands of troops to its border with ukraine. back in this country, the u.s. senate headed toward the holidays, with president biden's huge domestic spending bill in limbo. democratic majority leader chuck schumer cited the president's statement made last night, acknowledging they lack the votes to act by christmas. >> the president requested more time to continue his negotiations. and so, we will keep working with him, hand in hand, to bring this bill over the finish line and deliver on these much-needed provisions. >> woodruff: the president today talked up voting rights bills, in a commencement address at south carolina state university. those measures are also stalled in the senate, but mr. biden said the battle is not over. a florida man who attacked u.s. capitol police on january 6 was sentenced today to more than five years in prison.
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that is the toughest penalty yet for any of the rioters. and, trump ally roger stone refused to answer congressional questions on the assault. he invoked his right against self-incrimination. schools around the country were on edge today after shooting and bomb threats on the social media app tiktok. law enforcement agencies said the posts were not considered credible. even so, schools in at least half a dozen states called in extra police, and some canceled classes altogether. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average lost 532 points-- 1.5%-- to close at 35,365. the nasdaq fell ten points. the s&p 500 slipped 48-- 1%. still to come on the newshour: an exhaustive fact-check of the 2020 election dispels myths of widespread voter fraud. the economics behind why many
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toys are out of stock this holiday season. singer-songwriter brandi carlile reflects on her rise to stardom. plus, much more. >> woodruff: it was a week of setbacks for the biden agenda and democrats in control of congress. a key piece of immigration reform hit a wall in the senate, and voting rights bills have stalled. frustrated democrats today intensified talks of changing the 60-vote filibuster. lisa desjardins has been talking with some key figures involved, and she joins me now. so, hello, and i talkee last evening about immigration, where it stood, but then, shortly after that, we learned
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that the democratic hopes for immigration reform have hit a big wall. tell us about it. >> reporter: first a quick reminder that democrats have 50 votes in the senate, a senate which usually requires 60 votes to get past a filibuster which can block almost any piece of legislation. to get past that, they're trying to use a budget reconciliation process to pass many pieces of the bi bind agenda and one of tm is immigration reform. the plan is not going to pass muster for the budgetary process. let's remind people what the plan was. first of all, democrats were proposing parole, a status that could not lead to a path of citizenship but would give a legalized status to some six or seven million people in this country right now who are undocumented, and, you know, last night, we did play voices from interviews that our
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producer has done with some daca recipients and temporary protective status recipients. those voices are important, and they have been listening to the words, especially the senate parliamentarian. it is the senate parliamentarian who decided whether or not those proposals were going to fit this budgetary reconciliation muster -- do they have enough of a budgetary effect. here's what elizabeth mcdonough the parliamentarian wrote, according to email provided to me by some sources. she said, these are substantial policy changes with lasting effects just like those we previously considered from democrats, and those effects outweigh the budgetary impact. essentially they're saying this is more of a policy change, it's not a budgetary change. as you can imagine, democrats very distressed about this, upset, including some members of the congressional caucus. three members wrote saying democrats have to do everything they can to get to a path to
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citizenship for undocumented immigrants, even if that means disregarding the senate parliamentarian. so that leads to this question, can democrats overrule the parliamentarian? yes, judy, they can, but politically there is not the sense they'd do that, there is not 50 votes to do that. so this led us to talk to those daca recipients and others today for their reaction to this news, and i want to go to one of those folks that we talked to who told us what his reaction was today. >> as someone who has >> as someone who has daca and has been consistently been plagued with political football on my future to stay in this country, and with the impending fear of court-- or, court ruling over daca program, i think i wanted some permanency. and the fact that there is no relief gives me a lot of stress and anxiety for what's
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about to come. >> reporter: stress for him but relief for conseatives who were worried status for undocumented immigrants could make things at the border worse. >> woodruff: lisa, another big issue hanging in the balance, voting rights, lack of progress on this seems to be intensifying discussion around how to get around the senate rule of the filibuster. tell us where things stand on that. >> reporter: we'll talk about this more in the future, judy, but quickly i want to go over what proposals i know democrats are seriously considering to get around the filibuster. first the idea of enforcing the current rules that they have, especially forcing senators to actually talk during a filibuster limiting them to two speeches each, that could last daysweeks, months, but democrats say maybe we need to do that. the other option they're considering is switching the filibuster from 60 votes to end the filibuster to 41 in order to keep it going. these talks are very real
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including with senator joe manchin. >> woodruff: and we know you're going to continue to follow that even as congress is getting ready to go home for the holiday. lisa desjardins, we love the christmas tree. thank you. >> reporter: thank you. >> woodruff: we are just a week away from christmas, and for some parents, finding that specific toy their child wants has been a real challenge this season. that is due in part to the supply chain problems around the globe, and how it lands back here. special correspondent and "washington post" columnist catherine rampell has the story. ( laughter ) >> reporter: in years past, hot toys have run low, or run out. remember tickle-me-elmo? and the frenzy over furby? but this year, the out-of-stock signs popped up earlier-- not just for the trendy toys,
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whose sudden popularity is hard to predict, but some of the classics, too. >> i called the owner and i was like, "are you seriously telling me we're not going to have a wooden railway set for christmas?" you know, i was a little bit in denial. and he was like, "yes, i am telling you that train set is done for the yr." >> reporter: sharon gish has managed omaha's fat brain toys store for 14 holiday seasons. on the game wall? no arcade basketball; no pinball machines, says ann messbarger. >> right now, they're out of stock. we're unsure if we'll get more. >> reporter: the problem is surging consumer demand, plus supply chain issues. higher prices for raw materials, backed-up ports, and trucking shortages have made it more difficult for toy companies to stay stocked. take the fat brain toys distribution center-- on our recent visit, workers were busy filling orders. >> we definitely are starting to run out of stock on a few items. normally you wouldn't see gaps like this start to come up for another week or two. >> reporter: mark and
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karen carson are the company's founders. >> our goal would be that we're, you know, at our peak, by black friday, we'd have an in-stock rate of about 90%, would be the would be the goal. this year we're at about 65%. >> reporter: fulfilling orders for their hottest items, like the silicone push-and-pop toy dubbed “the dimpl,” has been a challenge. >> unfortunately, at the exact same time that, you know, the most demand was-- was out there for it, we could not-- >> fulfill. >> --fulfill, and it wasn't that we weren't placing the orders. just, we could not get them-- get them here. >> reporter: they're doing all they can to get stock in. are there still orders that you placed a long time ago, that you're waiting to arrive? >> we have 50-plus on the water that are-- that we just can't get our hands on. >> you know, 50 containers of product that is somewhere between here and-- and-- and-- on the water. >> reporter: and what does that mean, in terms of the value of the product you're waiting on? >> i said hundreds of thousands. and, what did you say? >> it's millions. ( laughs ) >> that kind of hurts. ( laughs ) >> reporter: whatever stock
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does come in, sometimes sells out immediately, especially since customers have been warned to shop early. >> i am shopping early, just because of what i've heard about all the ships sitting out in california waiting to unload and what have you. >> reporter: casey bailey said stocks were low at the stores she's visited. >> everything is so picked over, or the shelves are really empty. >> reporter: staff here are confident they can find the perfect toy for every child-- but if your heart is set on a“ spin-again,” you may be disappointed. has it been hard to keep these in stock? >> yes, it has been. we either have a mountain of them, or none of them. yes. >> people have cash in their wallets. they didn't spend it on all those experiences last year. >> reporter: juli lennett, toys industry analyst for the npd group. >> they're spending more, and we have the supply chain issues on top of it. so, the big winners this year for the holiday season are going to be the toys that are actually on the shelf. >> reporter: of course, many haven't been. >> there are a lot of sellouts
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right now. first and foremost, trading cards. magic mixies. i have not seen magic mixies on the shelf for about a month now. if you see it, buy it. >> reporter: the christmas tree still won't be bare, assuming kids are a little flexible. >> i think it's going to be pretty tough on parents if their child has a very specific list. if they say "i just want a barbie doll," you'll be able to find a barbie doll. if they ask for a very specific one, you might have a little bit of a harder time. >> reporter: bigger retailers found creative-- and costly-- ways to navigate the problems, says university of michigan professor ravi anupindi. >> wal-mart and target and costco, they chartered their own ships to bring stuff into the country. so, for them, the distribution problem will be less of a headache. >> reporter: meanwhile, smaller companies are struggling to navigate these rough seas. >> i think all i want for christmas is ocean bookings. so, if you see santa, ask him for some extra container space. >> reporter: josh loerzel's startup, sky castle toys, make“" let's glow studio.”
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kids use the special glowing stickers in tik-tok videos. the company launched last year. >> and, of course, 2021 was like, "hold my beer, 2020! you thought the pandemic was bad?" >> reporter: he was planning in the dark. >> so, typically we'd pay around $3,000 for a 40-foot container, you know, three to four, depending. the most recent containers we shipped were $25,000. so, you're looking at, like, a six-times increase. so it's been nuts. >> reporter: raw material costs have risen, too. >> a.b.s. plastic costs up 31%. e.v.a. foam, which, you know, foam toys-- is in a lot of toys. that's up 62%. >> reporter: reluctantly, he's had to raise his own prices. other small toy companies are also facing gher costs, and trying to limit how much they pass onto customers. "hey, buddy, hey, pal" makes holiday decorating kits, including for easter eggs. >> i am the chief financial egg-xpert. >> reporter: company co-founder curtis mcgill loves to crack
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those egg puns. >> my kids think they're g-xcruciating when i use them all the time, but... you're interviewing me from the egg-quarters. >> reporter: jokes aside, it's been a hard year. >> you could say you had a container and, three days later, they would say, sorry, we gave it to someone else. >> reporter: he adapted by cramming in more units each time he did book a shipping container. >> we made our packaging 30% smaller. so, that's not something you do lightly in this business. if you can imagine your package on a shelf with 100 other toys at your billboard, that's how you tell your story and set yourself apart. >> reporter: a few months ago, mcgill canceled entire shipments of his christmas product due to longer transit times. >> and we shifted gears to our easter product. so our egg-amazing egg is-- is our bread and butter. and we knew we had to have it here in time for easter. we left half of our-- our christmas items in china. >> reporter: these products are already made. they're already manufactured and ready to be sold. but they're in a warehouse somewhere in china.
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>> in china, right now. yes, ma'am. >> reporter: would you ever consider moving some of the production to the united states, or somewhere else closer by? would that make a difference? >> we actually set out to do that from the very beginning. in order for us to do that, our product would be almost three times more expensive, so we knew that wasn't an option. >> reporter: most toys are made in china. but even the few toys already manufactured in the u.s. have had disruptions, like these name puzzles carved at fat brain toys' distribution center. >> three different times this year, we've actually completely run out of wood. the mills have been shut down because of worker shortages. and then, once they did get fired back up, then they didn't have truck drivers to get it from portland all the way to omaha. >> reporter: fortunately for us, carson was eventually able to replenish those wood supplies. for the pbs newshour, i'm catherine rampell in nebraska.
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>> woodruff: as the omicron variant sends a fourth wave of patients to hospitals across southern africa, leaders there, and across the continent, are pointing fingers at wealthy nations. special correspondent michael baleke reports from uganda. >> reporter: it's approaching high season as the summer begins in the southern hemisphere. but, tourist spots in cape town are abandoned. the hotels and restaurants are empty, as south africa's hospitals begin to fill up, jammed with patients infected with both the omicron and delta coronavirus variants. joe phaala is the minister of health for south africa. >> the number of cases in the fourth wave have exceeded the peaks of the third, the second, and the first waves. >> reporter: the omicron variant was first detected in southern
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africa last month, and africa accounts for nearly half of all omicron cases reported across the globe. africa c.d.c.'s director, john nkengasong, says covid-19 infections are surging on the continent, and research is underway to see if omicron is fueling that surge. latest figures from the world health organization show, he the african continent has reported close to 298,000 new cases in just the last week. >> if you now look at the different regions where a lot of cases are coming from, 79% of the cases are coming from southern africa. >> reporter: the discovery of omicron triggered a cascade of reaction, with many countries closing their borders to south africans, and foreign tourists staying away. that's sparked a wave of outrage, and cries of betrayal across africa. ugandan healthcare activist sylvia nakasi says the decision to call out south africa was
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rushed. >> when you think back, you say, is it because it's an african country that has announced? because other variants have been found in india, and other countries like the u.k., but we didn't hear that rushed decision to travel bans. >> reporter: the tourist industry was set to rebound this holiday season after two years of the pandemic, and those who rely on tourists to make a living are worried about what's yet to come. patson makasa sells african art and fabric to tourists who come to cape town's world-famous beaches. >> ( translated ): i can't survive without tourism. you know, here in cape town, it is a tourism industry. >> reporter: survival, whether economic or health-related: that's the concern for millions of people across the continent. africa's attempts to fight the coronavirus have been undermined by a lack of vaccines, but also the slow uptake of the available
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doses, due to hesitancy among the population. there are also distribution challenges, like the lack of cold storage facilities, and poor road infrastructure, which has made it difficult to access communities in remote areas. while wealthy nations were buying up the lion's share of vaccines, african nations waited for months for the first vaccines to begin to trickle in. a mistrust of vaccines continues to haunt the continent, even in countries like ghana, that have enough vaccines to go around. >> ( translated ): i don't want to take the vaccine because i am scared i may suffer some side effects. i have not been infected with covid-19, so i don't see the need to take the jab. >> ( translated ): i think the vaccine is very dangerous, which has serious effects when we get it injected in our system. and i don't believe i will get coronavirus. >> reporter: in east africa,
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uganda has announced its first cases of omicron. health minister jane ruth aceng says the government is ramping up efforts to get vaccines into communities. >> the more covid-19 circulates around the communities, the more opportunities the virus has to change or mutate. it is therefore extremely important that we all work to reduce the circulation of covid-19 virus, to interrupt mutations. >> reporter: uganda has so far received more than 20 million doses of the covid-19 vaccines, from the u.s., the u.k., europe, and china. more than seven million of those doses have been administered to a population of about 47 million people. but in cities across africa, like in uganda's capital, kampala, business seems to go on as usual, in the way it did before the pandemic. people have given up on masks,
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and in many places, there is virtually no social distancing. a clear sign that africa's prospects for a full recovery any time soon are looking grimmer by the day. just over 10% of people in africa have received one dose of a vaccine, compared with more than 60% in north america and europe. africa believes it's bearing the brunt of panicked policies from the wealthy western countries which hoarded the vaccines, and cape town mayor geordin hill- lewis says they are making southern africa a covid pariah. >> the problem is that it's now embarrassing for those governments to go back on what they have done, so i think for political reasons i am afraid-- not for reasons of data or science-- it is difficult for them to reverse those travel bans. so, we are expecting that it will take some time, but we are not letting them rest. we are working very hard. our teams are speaking to those governments every day. >> reporter: ambassadors to
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washington from 16 southern african countries are calling on the white house to lift travel restrictions, claiming that they control stigmatize africa and devastate the tourism industry, pushing the hope of economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic even farther out of reach for much of the african continent. for the pbs newshour, i am michael baleke in kampala. >> woodruff: more than a year after president biden won the presidential election, former president trump and his allies insist-- without evidence-- that widespread voter fraud led to a stolen election. a new, exhaustive piece of reporting from the associated press shows that simply is not true. a.p. reporters went looking for cases of voter fraud in six states that trump has
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challenged, and found fewer than 475 potential instances out of more than 25 million votes cast. a number that would not have come close to changing the outcome. i spoke yesterday to christina cassidy, she's one of the reporters for the a.p. christina cassidy, thank you so much for joining us. this was a deep and wide-ranging effort that you and your colleagues made. what, there were you and ten other reporters? you talked to, what, 340 election officials across these states. what were you trying to find out? >> heading into the november 3 election, we were certainly aware about various statements being made about voter fraud. we were also aware that academic studies had shown that it was exceptionally rare. but once november 3rd happened and we saw everything that happened since, we decided at the a.p. that we wanted to go to the source.
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we wanted to look for the voter fraud, and we wanted to identify what voter fraud had occurred-- what potential voter fraud had occurred, in the november 3rd election. and so, we embarked on this reporting effort, that involved reporters in six states, the six states that were disputed by president trump and his allies. and we went to the local election officials, and we asked them to identify for us any potential instances of voter fraud that they had flagged during their post-election certification and canvassing work. >> woodruff: and what did you find? >> well, in the end, we found it was just shy of 475 potential cases of voter fraud in those six states, which would not have made a difference in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. >> woodruff: and this was out of millions of votes cast,
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if you add up all the votes in those states. christina, tell us, just give us a couple of examples of the-- of the-- the fraud that you did find, those individual cases. >> sure. i mean, they ran the gamut. you had individuals like a gentleman from wisconsin who was a felon, and he did not understand, or did not know, he said, that he-- he thought he was eligible to vote. and so, he-- he voted. and it turns out, you know, wisconsin is not one of those states that have loosened laws for felon voting. so, there was that instance. we had a woman in maricopa county who has been charged. authorities say that she submitted a ballot on behalf of her mother, who had died about a month before the election. and, you know, there were other
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instances of people who had submitted mail ballots-- either they had mailed them or dropped them off-- and those ballots showed up after they had voted in person, whether in early voting or on election day. >> woodruff: and we know that former president trump, the people who support him, continue to push this notion of massive voter fraud, despite all evidence to the contrary. and you spoke to the former president. what did he say? >> the president definitely spoke about his concerns about the pandemic-related changes, and how there were-- that there was such an increase in-- in mail ballots, and his belief that those are less secure. but speaking with election officials, they-- they stand by their protocols and their procedures in place. there are numerous procedures,
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protocols in place, guardrails to ensure that every ballot is accounted for. mail ballots that are sent out, they are logged. every mail ballot that is returned is logged. they go through various security checks in a number of states. they do-- they conduct signature verification. so, when those ballots come in, they're looking at the signatures. and every time a voter has had contact with their election office, whether it's signing a petition, requesting a ballot application, submitting a ballot, those signatures are on file, and they're kept on file. and so, when those ballots come in, they're reviewed. they look at those signatures, and if there's a discrepancy, they flag it. they contact the voters. they say, "hey, there is an issue here. you need to come in and prove that this is your ballot." and if that person doesn't come in, that ballot is discarded and is not counted.
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>> woodruff: so-- so, let me just ask you, there any possibility, based on what you found, that this election could have been counted erroneously? that the results could have turned out differently than they did? >> not based on voter fraud, no. >> woodruff: all right. christina cassidy. an exhaustive piece of reporting from the associated press. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and now, we turn to the analysis of brooks and capehart. that is "new york times" columnist david brooks, and jonathan capehart, columnist for the "washington post." >> woodruff: hello, gentlemen. very good to see both of you. let me just start right off the bat, jonathan. a.p., eleven report, they spent months working on this, they
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talked to 300 some-odd election officials, not even close to a chance that there would have been a change in the election result? >> right, and i love how she emphasized 475 potential cases of voter fraud, out of millions of votes cast, and what that says is that this is more evidence that the big lie is indeed the big lie. there was no massive voter fraud in the 2020 election, even the person who was in charge of election security in the trump administration said that the 2020 election was the safest in american history. and, so, whether this makes a difference, i don't know, but, in the short term, but i do know in the long term and for history's sakes it is good to have yet more evidence that there was no voter fraud. >> woodruff: and, david, as jonathan is saying, there's been one look after another investigation.
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the evidence is just not there. >> yeah, i don't think it will make much different. one thing we've learned, if you fact check people, they dig in and believe their wrong belief more strongly. that's the fundamental problem here. there's a brookings institute jonathan who said there's constitution of knowledge, we think of the u.s. constitution that's a set of laws. but we are in the media part of it, checking it out, experts, academy,o bay a certain set of rules that any hypothesis can e tested and we'll slowly build knowledge and that reporting is part of that constitution. lots of americans, millions and millions of americans have simply opted out of it. they don't trust the constitution of knowledge and are not part of building up the democratic regime. it's still important to do what the a.p. reporters did to keep the constitutional knowledge
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going and keep some intellectual or emotional shift to say, yes, those people are reliable. >> woodruff: and for historical purposes. as you were saying, in connection with this, to a degree, the house select committee looking into the january 6th attack on the capitol which was all about not believing the election results, jonathan, this week we had an interesting development, mark meadows, who was going to cooperate, then said i'm not going to cooperate. house then voted to say to find him in contempt of congress. in the process, he did turn over documents. we learned text messages showing members of congress, fox news anchors were urging president trump to do something to stop the mob. >> it seems as though mark meadows was trying to have it both ways, trying to cooperate but then, once his book earned the ire of the former president, tried to backtrack. by the time he backtracked he had handed over thousands of documents and that's how we know
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about these text messages, that's how we know about the urgent pleas for help from members of congress, from fox news personalities and so on. these are all things that had been reported at the time. we knew -- it's not like we are learning anything new, but what i caution people against is thinking, because, oh, we knew this already or this isn't anything new, to remember that to actually have a text message with a time stamp and a name attached to it, in a legal proceeding, is vital, it is paramount, and it goes from being a story that has, you know, an unnamed source to, no, this was a text message to mark meadows from fill in the blank member of congress, we need help, and it was sent at this time. i think that this thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle of the ocean that
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the january 6th select committee has been working on after the last two weeks, to me, it seems like we're at 980 of those pieces put in place. they know a whole lot more than we know, but what we found out last week, this particular -- this week in particular has been stunning and fascinating. >> woodruff: we do know some more. we don't know the whole story, david. how much difference is this going to make, you think? >> we do know some more. mearkdz was cited for con -- mark meadows was cited for contempt. he was a member of the house for eight years, they all know him, but it's unlikely that happens but it shows how seriously they're taking this. we learned the white house knew what was going on every second on january 6th and we know meadows was at the nexus of it all, all the messages. and he's playing an interesting role here as a character analysis. everyone at the was called upon to either stand up for democracy or not and mike pence, to his great credit, stood up for
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democracy. earlier, bill barr, stood up. mark meadows wa halfway. he said, yeah, i support the people who were outside, but seems in the rooms with trump he was more or less doing what the president told him to do. so he is sort of not leading put not stopping the insurrection, and history is full of people who took that root. >> woodruff: we'll see where he goes from here whether the justice department proceeds to try to charge him. so, now, i have to ask you about where congress is, as we get ready for the christmas holiday, jonathan, and lisa desjardins reporting on it earlier. democrats are about to go into next week with no build back better. big disappoint for them. should they have not promised it was going to get done in 2021? >> short answer, yes, they shouldn't have promised. but, again, as we talked about, around this table, for months, the reason why democrats have
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been pushing like crazy to get build back -- first bipartisan infrtructure then build back better done by end of calendar year 2021 is because everyone assumes by 2022 nothing will get done because of the midterm elections. congress is always making these deadlines for itself, artificial deadlines, and then when they blow past them, everyone is disappointed or people say that it's a failure. i think, you know, democrats, as long as the reconciliation authorization is still there and, from what i understand, it hangs in there through the fiscal near -- >> woodruff: the legislative framework. >> the legislative framework, that if this bleeds over into january, february, not ideal, but if they actually get it done, then that will be a victory. >> woodruff: can they do it? sure, i still sort of bet on them, but i'm beginning to have some doubts. we're going to get new inflation numbers in the middle of january or so that if it gets higher
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than now that will make it harder because joe manchin is concerned about inflation and federal spending boosting. in rin retrospect, i think there a lot of problems in the country and trying to address them. joe manchin has been consistent and said what he meant. if people would take him seriously, they would say, these are our constraints. we're not getting the new deal, how do we deal with plan b. they decided to keep every last aspect of the bill but shrink it down and keep it temporary. think it would have been smart to say we'll have a few things, childhood education community college, that's what the country needs now. i think manchin would have had a much easier time and the pulpit would have had an easier time saying this is what that's about, but decided we want to keep all or constituencies happy a little and made it harder to
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pass. >> woodruff: do you think that's what's going on here, do you think? >> yes, i'm hard pressed to disagree with david. bening, who is one of the moderates, that had been her argument from the beginning, do a few things well, and there are any number of things to choose from. if it bleeds over into 2022, may be that's the route they go in, but they have to get something done. >> woodruff: david raised child tax credits. the current tax credits expire at the end of december. a lot of people will be left without assistance that they desperately need. >> glad you brought that up because, sorry, i forget about that. if there is a forcing mechanism to get something done before the end of this calendar year, that could be it. but that means you're putting -- you're depending on the senate to actually do something, and, as we have seen, they don't do
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stuff when you want them to. >> woodruff: even if it passes, it still only gets extended another year, so they set to expire and they do that to keep the budget seem reasonable. their assumption is once it's in there the voters will demand you keep it forever. i love the child tax credit. it's not as popular as i think it should be. voters may decide they don't want that much spending. this december, next december, it may go away and be a tragedy because it is a very effective program. >> woodruff: what about democrats have said voting rights is a priority but he's saying no, kyrsten sinema, too. what about the role that he plays? >> well, okay, senator manchin is unbelievably frustrating when it comes to build back better. yes, he has been consistent but
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unbelievably frustrating. when it comes to voting right he has been a little less frustrating because at least he has been trying to shepherd the bill through. three times they have had a bite at the apple to try to get a vote to bring the bill to the floor for a debate and it's gone down, but that the because joe manchin has, you know, like, here's the bill, here's the proposal. the problem, though, is the filibuster, and correct me if i'm wrong, david, i thought there were signals this week from manchin that he might be amenable to some rule changes. the problem is not being joe manchin when it comes to voting rights, veernts veernts, senator from arizona who came out earlier this week and just said once again, no, i'm not interested in changing the filibuster, and if you don't do that in any form, voting rights isn't going anywhere where. >> woodruff: and what's at stake if it doesn't happen, david, in a minute? >> well, i mean, the worst scenario is state legislators
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around the country, republican ones, take over elections away from public servants, and then, as what we talked about last week, who knows what happens in 2024 if that process gets cyber politicized. so that's the nightmare scenario. will manchin budge? i sort of think not. there are a lot of signals and countersignals that never come out of his mouth. one thing he agrees to is if you're going to agree on officials you have to be on the floor taking and that would actually make it really a filibuster. so i would love to see him and sinema endorse that one. >> woodruff: we never have a filibuster here, that's for sure. david brooks, jonathan capehart, thank you both. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: when the grammy nominees were announced recently, there was brdi carlile with five nominations,
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including record and song of the year. heady stuff-- and now almost expected for this star of american roots and country music. but not so long ago, things were quite different. jeffrey brown met carlile in seattle, for our arts and culture series, "canvas." (♪ “right on time” ♪) >> brown: brandi carlile calls her new record, “in these silent days,” a "pandemic album"-- born from a time of isolation with family at her rural home an hour outside seattle. a time to stop and reflect on her climb to stardom and where it began, in places like seattle's paragon restaurant and bar. >> i remember coming in here, right around this time of day, when i knew i could talk to the manager, and it wouldn't be too busy. and i said, "hey, i've got a p.a. system and a guitar player. and if you give me, like, maybe we'll start at 6:00 p.m. on sunday nights, we'll do it for
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free for a month. and if, a month later, you've seen that you have an uptick on sunday nights, then you can start paying me, or feeding us, or..." >> brown: you might consider paying me! >> yeah, yeah. >> brown: gigs at local seattle spots were the norm for years, along with busking for tips at the famed pike place market. the hard-working life of a very hard-working musician trying to make it. >> i was really interested in things like printing and hanging posters, and busking and stopping people on the street and handing them a pamphlet and telling them about the show. it's a city that sort of rewards that, and values that. >> brown: i got in last night and i was taking a walk and i saw somebody hammering their poster into a-- >> you did? >> brown: yeah, i did. >> yeah! still got it! seattle's still got it! >> brown: and that was you, huh? >> that was absolutely me. (♪ “the joke” ♪) >> brown: her stunning 9 grammy's “the joke,” a ballad to those who feel marginalized, brought her national attention.
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now 40, carlile told her own coming-of-age story in a recent memoir, titled “broken horses,” about growing up poor in rural washington state, moving from place to place, her father's battles with alcoholism, her mother's aspirations to be a country singer. a self-described "misfit," carlile writes of being gay in a community with few role models and a church that didn't accept her. from the beginning, though, she was “addicted to performing.” >> it's easy to get addicted to performing, because it's quite an adrenaline rush, you know. i would say that it was something that i experienced so young that i just always wanted to do it. i wanted to do it! i wanted to feel understood and seen. >> brown: did you feel misunderstood and unseen? >> not for the most part, but i felt like i chose those moments to reveal myself.
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>> brown: her musical collaborators and soulmates: identical twins phil and tim hanseroth. phil on bass, and tim on guitar. they traveled for years in an old van, now permanently parked outside easy street records, another seattle music landmark, where carlile took us to browse the bins of her heroes-- some of whom have become close friends, like elton john. you wrote in your book about how you wanted nothing more in life than to be elton john, it sounds like, as a little girl. >> i fell in love with him when i was, like, 11 years old. and he was just such a magical beast to me. that i felt a kinship to him. >> brown: what's kind of cool, i imagine, is now you're right acoss from him. >> i know. actually, when you put it that way, it's utterly surreal. ( laughs ) i mean, these bins, these record store bins, that you come to as a young music fan, and you flip
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through, you dream about seeing yourself there. i thought it'd be cds! ( laughs ) but what did i know? ♪ ♪ ♪ >> brown: what she did somehow know for certain is that she would make it, even if that took longer than she'd hoped. she writes of being 15 years into her career before receiving a first grammy nomination. and only later did she come to see how gender and sexual orientation could be barriers to success. >> i definitely am still having to overcome it, and i definitely had to overcome it. i wasn't paying much attention because i was in a state for a long time of just euphoria, that these dreams would come true, and these things are happening in my life; not knowing that it could still have been bigger and better, and that it indeed was bigger and better for my male counterparts. >> brown: it's been particularly true, she says, in her world of country and american roots
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music. she points to another musici who would become a friend: tanya tucker. in 2019, carlile co-produced a critically-acclaimed comeback album with tucker-- decades after tucker had fallen from favor for an "outlaw" image for which her male counterparts in the 1970s were celebrated. >> it made me realize that there are just two very different lanes for women and men, particularly in roots music. now, forget bipoc or l.g.b.t.q.+ people-- there's not even a lane. and i knew i wanted to get involved in that, because it's really challenging, and it made me feel like i felt as a kid in church. like, i don't belong here, and that's why i'm going to stay, you know? it's an act of defiance. >> brown: seems to be changing a little, perhaps? what's your impression? >> yeah, it's changing in the tributaries. it's changing on the edges, in americana, folk, roots, bluegrass. there's still a giant metallic- steel door shut to country.
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but, we'll see. somebody's going to get that thing opened, and when they do, we're all going to come running in. (♪ "the mother" ♪) >> brown: today, carlile and her wife catherine are parents to two daughters. ♪ i am the mother of evangeline ♪ ♪ ♪ >> brown: she's part of a country supergroup called the highwomen, formed in 2019. and, she speaks up as she sees necessary, including with the recent grammy nominations: she expressed gratitude, but also wondered aloud why her so“" right on time” was shifted to a "pop performance" category, rather than "country" or "americana," where she sees herself. >> i think a lot of queer people are cognizant of, if not sensitive to being disenfranchised. and the thing that makes that poignant is that there's so many american roots people, there's so many rural people in this country.
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people that live in, not downtown seattle, that are so systemically rejected by the correlating culture. country music, roots music has a vortex, it has a culture. and there are country queers, and they need to see acceptance and an affirmation in those places, you know? ♪ ♪ ♪ >> brown: for now, brandi carlile awaits the grammy awards ceremony, and plans to take her pandemic-era album, “in these silent days,” on tour-- pandemic allowing-- in the spring of next year. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in seattle. >> woodruff: such terrific music.
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and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here on monday evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and have a good weekend. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
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and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're w
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