PBS NewsHour full episode, Jan 2, 2020


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: Wildfires darken
the skies in Southeast Australia, burning millions of acres and forcing thousands to
flee. Then: the money trail — how Democratic presidential
candidates’ fund-raising stacks up one month before the Iowa caucuses. And losing their religion — why young Americans
are turning away from faith, and how religious leaders are trying to win them back. CORY MARQUEZ, Pastor, New Abbey: People want
something that actually matters for their lives. So, if the content is literally not
healing you, connecting you to something bigger, then you’re wasting your time. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Vast swathes of Australia are
still burning tonight, with forecasts of worse to come, and thousands of people ordered to
evacuate. A record summer fire season has charred 12 million acres, destroyed 1,400
homes, and left 17 people dead. New South Wales and Victoria states are hardest
hit, but fires are also burning across the rest of the country. Dan Rivers of Independent Television News
reports from New South Wales, where whole communities are in ashes. MAN: Look at that burn. DAN RIVERS: In Conjola Park on New Year’s
Eve, it felt like the world was ending, not just the year. The wildfire swept through
in minutes. Here, local resident Peter Ruetman films as
the fire approached his neighbor’s house. This is all that’s left. And Peter’s home
didn’t survive either. PETER RUETMAN, Fire Victim: I jumped in the
car. It was so hot. The heat — I can’t describe how hot it was, and the ferocity and the speed
of this fire. Anyone that thought they were going to beat this fire were really taking
life into their own hands. DAN RIVERS: Pascale Hegarty hasn’t experienced
fear like this since she escaped the war in Lebanon. PASCALE HEGARTY, Fire Victim: Unbelievable.
You could hear trees, gas bottles exploding. It was like a war zone. I have lived in war
zone, and that’s what it reminded me of, yes. DAN RIVERS: For those who have lost everything
they own, the only comfort is knowing family and friends survived. This is what happens when one of these firestorms
collides with a community. This is all that’s left of Conjola Park, where at least 89 homes
have been destroyed and one person killed. You can see it was literally hot enough to
melt cars. And what’s so worrying is, just a few miles
down the coast, there are other placing facing exactly the same prospect. The Princes Highway is the only way out, and,
right now, it’s closed, a 200-mile traffic jam as the clock ticks down to more searing
heat and fire risk this weekend. LUCY VU NGUYEN, Australia: I would like to
get home. I would like to not have to sleep in my car tonight. But I know there are probably
others who — who, sort of, don’t have food in the car and water with them. And the night
will be quite tough for them, I think. DAN RIVERS: The Australian navy have been
evacuating people from Mallacoota, where 4,000 people were stranded on the beach, exposed
to choking smoke, and doing what they can to protect vulnerable lungs as they leave. The town may be cut off for weeks. With water
supplies out, they’re being brought in by boat, as the smoke means it’s too dangerous
to fly. A state of emergency has been declared, as Australia’s prime minister fends off accusations
of failing to grip this crisis. In Cobargo, residents refused to shake his
hand, heckling him as he visited the devastated town. WOMAN: How come we only had four trucks to
defend our town? Because our town doesn’t have a lot of money. But we have hearts of
gold, Mr. Prime Minister. SCOTT MORRISON, Australian Prime Minister:
I think that the strength of the individuals, as we have just seen on display here, I think
that says everything about Australia, and the spirit that will get them through this
weekend, and the spirit will help them rebuild. DAN RIVERS: Some are already blaming climate
change for the three-year drought which has preceded this crisis, reeling from what they
have lost, but they know there may be more to come this weekend. JUDY WOODRUFF: That report from Dan Rivers
of Independent Television News. In the day’s other news: The Democratic presidential
primary field narrowed again, with Julian Castro dropping out. The former Obama housing
secretary had failed to make headway in the polls or in raising money. He was the only
Latino still in the race. We will return to the presidential campaign
with the latest fund-raising reports after the news summary. Top Democrats are stepping up demands for
full disclosure at a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. They said today that claims
by the online forum Just Security prove he is hiding something. The site reported that unredacted White House
e-mails show Mr. Trump directly ordered a hold on security funds to Ukraine and later
ordered their release. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is threatening
preemptive military strikes against Iran to prevent further attacks on Americans in the
Middle East. He pointed today to incidents, including Iraqi militiamen, backed by Iran,
storming the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. Esper predicted that Iran will try something
else, and said the U.S. cannot wait. MARK ESPER, U.S. Defense Secretary: We have
all the capabilities inherent in the United States military to either respond to further
attacks or to take preemptive action if additional attacks are being prepared. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Pentagon has already sent
more troops to the Middle East. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised
the alarm today about a new rush of Syrian refugees. He said thousands are fleeing from
Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold in Syria. The exodus began when Syrian and
Russian forces intensified their assault on Idlib. In Ankara today, Erdogan said Turkey is struggling
to manage. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): Right now, 200,000 to 250,000 people are moving towards our borders. Right
now, we are trying to prevent them with some reciprocal measures, but it’s not easy. It’s
difficult. They are humans, too. We cannot put barriers and barbed wire against humans,
like the West does. JUDY WOODRUFF: In Washington, the White House
said President Trump spoke with Erdogan today and joined in calling for the fighting to
de-escalate in Idlib province. The Trump administration today announced a
ban on most of the flavored e-cigarettes used by teenagers. The ban applies to cartridge-based
products, but it does exempt menthol and tobacco flavors. It also exempts large tank-type devices
that mostly cater to adult smokers. Thirty-nine of the 52 Republican U.S. senators
asked the Supreme Court today to overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s the decision that legalized
abortion. More than 160 House Republicans also signed the brief supporting a Louisiana
law. It requires that doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges within
30 miles. The court will hear arguments in March. North Carolina will have the largest coal
ash cleanup in U.S. history. The state said today that Duke Energy will dig up nearly
80 million tons of toxic ash at six sites and move it to lined landfills to prevent
leaking. A 2014 leak contaminated 70 miles of the Dan River. On Wall Street, major indexes surged to new
record closes after China’s Central Bank announced economic stimulus measures. The Dow Jones
industrial average gained 330 points to close at 28868. The Nasdaq rose 119 points, and
the S&P 500 added 27. 2019 was a year of dramatic changes and new
trends in campaign finance. Some presidential candidates spent big money wooing donors in
order to meet new Democratic Party debate criteria. Two billionaires bankrolled their own campaigns,
while other candidates struggled to raise enough money to keep their campaigns running. To talk about all this and more, I’m joined
by The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee, who covers money in politics. Michelle, good to see you. Thank you for joining
us again on the “NewsHour.” So, first of all, how does this year in fund-raising
generally compare to other election years? MICHELLE YE HEE LEE, The Washington Post:
There were some major new trends in the past year in political fund-raising, one of which
is the rise of small-dollar donors and the power of online giving that really had to
be harnessed by the Democratic candidates, especially because the Democratic National
Committee made a donor threshold one of the qualifications for making it onto a debate
stage. So we saw Democratic candidates, to varying
degrees of success, be able to build online donation programs, reaching out to donors,
grassroot supporters, just to even ask for a dollar or $5 at a time to help show momentum
for their candidacy. It’s been especially important because it
was such a wide field to begin with, and still is quite large, with so many competitive candidates,
that one or two or a handful, really, rise to the top by being able to tap into that
online donor momentum. JUDY WOODRUFF: Interesting, because we have
seen in the past some candidates raising big amounts of money through political action
committees, so-called super PACs, super political action committees. Those are still around, but they just don’t
function the way they used to. MICHELLE YE HEE LEE: They’re still around. But we have seen in the Democratic presidential
primary that there is almost a vilification of the participation of such donors and people
who have ties to special interests. Increasingly, Democrats have begun to distance themselves
from corporate PAC donations, fossil fuel money, you know, saying they won’t take money
from pharmaceutical executives. And so there have been almost these purity
tests that have been set on each other in terms of the type of money that you should
and can raise from. Some candidates still continue to raise money in these high-dollar
fund-raisers, private events that cater to more wealthy donors. JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. MICHELLE YE HEE LEE: But others are still
raising lots of money from a healthy small-dollar base. JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s look at sum of the numbers. We had the reporting period for the last quarter
just end. And look at these numbers. Of course, leading off, President Trump raised $46 million,
overshadowing any one of the other Democrats, but not so far behind him, Bernie Sanders,
34.5, Pete Buttigieg, 34.7. Joe Biden, just today, we learned he’s come
in third among the Democrats at 22.7. What do we learn about these numbers, Michelle? MICHELLE YE HEE LEE: Well, of course, these
are early looks at some of the most flattering figures. So, once the public filings are revealed,
we will get to see exactly how much money they have to spend going into the early states. But what these figures released now shows
is that there is a lot of donor energy that is forming on the left that a lot of strategists
hope will eventually coalesce around the nominee. Meanwhile, President Trump is just rolling
on forward with a very, very powerful reelection machine that raises a lot of money from both
small donors and wealthy donors. The top fund-raisers so far have pretty much
stayed in that place over the past — over the previous quarter too. And they’re the
top-polling candidates as well going into the early states. So, they really reflect
just how unsettled the Democratic primary field still is and could be for another few
weeks. JUDY WOODRUFF: But money has been something
that eliminated — that has eliminated some of these candidates. I mean, as we said, just today, Julian Castro
announced he is dropping out. He hasn’t been able to raise money, get his numbers up in
the polls. So, on the one hand, money matters. We know
it’s not the only thing that matters, but it clearly makes a difference for these candidates
at this point. MICHELLE YE HEE LEE: It can drive up a lot
of momentum. For example, the Sanders campaign, when they
came out with $34.5 million today, that was eye-popping. That’s not only the biggest quarterly
haul this year. It’s one of the top quarterly hauls in an off-year in a presidential election. And that was especially remarkable compared
to the previous quarter, when he was kind of stagnating in the polls. And then on the
first day of the fourth-quarter fund-raising period, he had a heart attack, and people
were asking how viable his candidacy was going to be, how this was going to affect him. But he really had a great revival and raised
a ton of money. And going into the next few weeks, especially before the nitty-gritty
details are made public about the money itself, this is going to help him generate a lot of
new donors and donations. JUDY WOODRUFF: A lot of interest in these
numbers. Still waiting to hear from Elizabeth Warren. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, thank you very much. MICHELLE YE HEE LEE: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: There are signs emerging of
a deepening rift among one of President Trump’s strongest voting blocs, white evangelical
Christians. As the president continues his reelection
effort, he will be in Miami tomorrow to kick off the Evangelicals for Trump Coalition. Correspondent Lisa Desjardins picks it up
from there. LISA DESJARDINS: A recent editorial published
in “Christianity Today,” an evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham, started a debate
during the height of the impeachment vote. It called for Trump to be removed from office,
saying the president’s actions in Ukraine were profoundly immoral. It added: “President
Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath.” To explore how the president’s support may
be shifting or not with evangelicals, I’m joined by Richard Land, president of the Southern
Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of “The Christian Post,” and Collin Hansen,
the editorial director for The Gospel Coalition, a network of evangelical churches. Thank you both for joining us. Dr. Land, let’s start with you. You wrote a response to the call for impeachment
in another publication, your “Christian Post,” defending the president and also his Christian
supporters. Tell us how you see this. RICHARD LAND, Executive Editor, “The Christian
Post”: Well, first of all, I think we’re this close to an election. We ought to let the
American people decide, through the next election, whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office. I think most evangelicals feel that the president,
despite misgivings they have about his language or some of his behavior, believe that he’s
the most pro-life president in the modern era, that he’s done more for religious liberty
through the appointment of conservative judges and through speaking out for religious liberty
around the world, for Muslims, for Christians, for Jews, his statements against anti-Semitism
and his actions against anti-Semitism, that he is, at the very least, at the very least,
the lesser of two evils against Mrs. Clinton and also against the current crop of Democratic
candidates. And so I find that most evangelicals still
support him. They don’t condone everything he does. He was my last choice in the primaries.
I know a lot of evangelicals that he was either their second, third, fourth, fifth or last
choice in the primaries, but once it became a binary choice between Mrs. Clinton and Mr.
Trump, we decided that Mr. Trump was the better choice. And most of us have been pleasantly surprised
that he’s done better than we thought he would. LISA DESJARDINS: Collin, why didn’t you vote
for President Trump? And why do you think he shouldn’t be president? Does he represent
Christian values? COLLIN HANSEN, The Gospel Coalition: Well,
he is our president, and I haven’t taken any position on the impeachment proceedings. I
think a number of people — I don’t think I’m really qualified to be able to speak into
that. What I have seen with President Trump is actually
something similar to what Dr. Land had just talked about. Many evangelicals, like myself,
who had been skeptical of him, actually saw — he’s actually turned out to be, in some
ways, better than we expected. And, at the same time, many of the things
that we’re discouraged by, some of his racially charged comments and some of his — well,
basically his constant Twitter presence, are things that were well known to everybody who
voted for him last time around. So, in that sense, things haven’t changed. So, I don’t oppose him in that regard. I think
the Bible very clearly calls us to vote — or excuse me — not to vote, but to pray for
those people in office, whoever they might be, and ultimately to trust them for the outcome. My main concern is the perception of what
evangelicals as a sort of partisan part of the Republican Party, essentially the Republican
Party at prayer. I think that’s a problem for the church going forward. LISA DESJARDINS: This is a president who doesn’t
talk about asking God for forgiveness. He’s not known as a churchgoer in general, hadn’t
been before this. And he’s someone who right now is accused
of using his political power for his own personal gain, which clearly is something that Jesus
was against. Jesus was the opposite. Use your power to help people. Richard, I want to ask you, then, how do you
justify this president, who some people question how he reflects Christian values or not? RICHARD LAND: Well, first of all, I would
share some of those concerns. And that’s why he was my last choice in the primaries. But when it comes to trying to save the lives
of the 1,150 babies a day that are being aborted in the United States, which I think is a moral
issue, Mr. Trump is on the right side of that moral issue. The Democratic Party is trying
to make abortion a sacrament. In public life, you have to make prudential
choices. And I believe that most evangelicals made a prudential choice, the vast majority
of them, and will again to vote for someone who is going to seek to protect them from
having their own government weaponized against them through the courts, and is going to continue
to put conservative, strict constructionist judges on the courts that are going to give
the American people the freedom to make their own choices, instead of having them imposed
by a judicial imperium, and to protect the unborn in this country. LISA DESJARDINS: Collin, is this the end justifying
the means here? Is that what evangelicals for Trump are accepting? COLLIN HANSEN: I was fairly surprised at the
outcome in 2016, not only, like everybody else, about President Trump winning, but by
the overwhelming support of evangelicals. I do think those — that 81 percent doesn’t
accurately count how many evangelicals sat home and didn’t make that same moral calculus
described right there. But I think I also underestimated the way
evangelicals, as basically all Americans do, see our elections, our presidential elections,
as a binary choice, as Dr. Land has said. We are not in a parliamentary system. If we
were, we would probably see many different options in terms of voting for parties and
voting according to their beliefs. But, ultimately, I think both political sides
make a number of compromises when it comes to the kind of person that they want to be
able to carry forward their views. And that’s kind of the nature of our two-party system,
for better or worse. LISA DESJARDINS: Why is it that so evangelical
leaders are talking about politics right now, not the ministry? How do you know that politicians
are not manipulating you and your voters for their gain? RICHARD LAND: Well, let me say, first of all,
that most evangelicals I know spend most of their time preaching, most of their time spreading
the Gospel, not talking about politics. They talk about politics more when they get
asked by the media about politics. They do talk about being pro-life. They do talk about
being pro-freedom. They do talk about the persecuted Christians and persecuted Muslims
overseas and those who are being persecuted by China and those who are being persecuted
by India. They talk about freedom of conscience. LISA DESJARDINS: Collin, I want to ask you,
is there a political risk on the other side of this? Some evangelicals might see their
goals forwarded by President Trump, but is it possible that politicians could be manipulated
by evangelicals or not? I don’t have an opinion. I’m just wondering. COLLIN HANSEN: Yes, there’s always that concern
that, ultimately, evangelicals may win temporary political battles, but ultimately lose the
culture war. I don’t — I have been very surprised the
last number of years just to see how eager both sides are for a cultural war, and how,
for as much as we want to talk about foreign policy or talk about economic policy, really,
so many of our issues really come down to, are you on this side or that side of this
sort of big political game? And I do think, insofar as evangelicals are
drawn into that kind of game, it does present a major problem in terms of our proclamation
of the Gospel long run. But I do agree with Dr. Land as well, though,
that there’s a lot of things that are happening all the time with evangelicals, caring for
their neighbors, even suffering, but giving God glory, and loving their neighbors with
joy, but those things don’t make the news. What makes the news is the 25 percent of evangelicals
who throw their weight around in politics every four years. LISA DESJARDINS: Well, thank you for this
conversation, not just about politics, but about faith. Richard Land and Collin Hansen. RICHARD LAND: God bless you. COLLIN HANSEN: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: While evangelicals remain an
important demographic group for politicians, the percent of Americans who identify with
any religion has been on the decline for decades. And a recent Pew Research Center study has
found the biggest generational drop-off is with millennials, young adults born between
1981 and 1996. Cat Wise reports from Southern California
on the young people who are changing their beliefs and the efforts by some faith communities
to bring them back. And a note: The Pew Research Center is a “NewsHour”
funder. MAN: We’re all together in this thing. CAT WISE: A Sunday service that is part therapy
session… MAN: Imagine how that would change the trajectory
of your life. CAT WISE: … part stand-up comedy routine,
and part live concert, all followed by a round of beers with your pastor in a rented CrossFit
gym? This is not your grandmother’s idea of church. BRITTANY BARRON, Co-Pastor, New Abbey: So,
we wanted everyone to be able to hear the good news. So, we had something right in the
back. Do you have good news? CAT WISE: Welcome to New Abbey, a Christian,
LGBTQ-affirming, progressive, family friendly church in Pasadena, California. It was started six years ago in the living
room of this guy: CORY MARQUEZ, Pastor, New Abbey: For all the
ways that we don’t believe that we’re human enough or good enough. CAT WISE: Cory Marquez is a 34-year-old ordained
pastor who left a larger evangelical congregation after he saw many of his own friends were
no longer interested in attending church. When you were talking to your friends about
why they didn’t go to church, what were you hearing from them? CORY MARQUEZ: This isn’t relevant for me.
Sexuality, that’s a big one, that the church is not honestly talking about sexuality. BRITTANY BARRON: You can ask my wife. CAT WISE: Sexuality is not a taboo topic here.
Marquez’s fellow pastor, Brittany Barron, speaks openly with the congregation about
being a lesbian, and many of those who attend are from the LGBTQ community. The congregation has grown from 20 to 400
over the last several years. CORY MARQUEZ: It’s less about form and more
about content, that people want something that actually matters for their lives. So, if the content is literally not healing
you, connecting you to something bigger, then you’re wasting your time. CAT WISE: New Abbey is one of a number of
new religious organizations popping up across the country trying to appeal to young people,
who are increasingly leaving the religions of their ancestors. According to an October report from the Pew
Research Center, 76 percent of the baby boomer generation describe themselves as Christians.
In contrast, only half of millennials identify as Christians. Four in 10 say they are religiously
unaffiliated, and one in 10 identify with non-Christian faiths. DIANE WINSTON, University of Southern California:
This is what interests me, like, if people say they feel nothing. CAT WISE: Diane Winston is a professor of
religion and media at the University of Southern California who has been studying religious
trends among young adults. DIANE WINSTON: Many religions just don’t feel
relevant to a lot of these young people. They don’t speak their language. And now there
are other ways you can make those connections. You can make them online. You can make them
at an interest group or an affinity group. CAT WISE: She also says many young people
have lost trust in religious institutions. DIANE WINSTON: Their scandals, the sexuality
improprieties, these problems of, you know, pedophilia, of sexism, of misogyny. Why would
you want to give your time and money to an institution that countenances or protects
people who do these kinds of things? CAT WISE: Some of those turned off by traditional
religions continue to seek fulfillment in other ways. According to Pew, three in 10 adults ages
18 to 49 now identify as spiritual, but not religious. One of those who has made the switch is Jaison
Perez. The 32-year-old from Los Angeles was raised Catholic and attended weekly services
with his family, but he says he never felt truly connected to the church and left in
his early 20s. JAISON PEREZ, Mostly Angels: As a queer person,
the Catholic Church is unsafe. I go to church, and I’m immediately sinful. It’s this feeling
of not being able to show up fully myself. CAT WISE: Now he works as a healer at Mostly
Angels, a store specializing in mystical services and products in Culver City. Perez says there’s
been a significant uptick in business over the last three to five years. JAISON PEREZ: We’re not sold on old fantasy
of what the church can provide you, what spirituality, structural spirituality can provide. CAT WISE: While New Age practices and beliefs
have been growing since the 1960s and ’70s, the Internet and social media have played
a big role in the spread among the younger generations. More than 60 percent of adults ages 18 to
49 have at least one New Age belief, according to Pew. And many are turning to new horoscope
apps and online astrologers for guidance. But some favor much more intimate ways to
spread the word. RABBI LORI SHAPIRO, Open Temple: In what ways
do we take on the challenge of wrestling with our shadow? CAT WISE: At the Open Temple in Venice, California,
Rabbi Lori Shapiro incorporates a variety of New Age practices, even a colorful bus,
to reach new people in the community. RABBI LORI SHAPIRO: There are a lot of reasons
why people have fallen away, I think the least of which is ideology. People are hungry for
these ideas. We just need to make them accessible again. CAT WISE: But many faith leaders aren’t rushing
to change long-held practices and beliefs in order to keep young people in the pews. Reverend Mary Minor is the pastor of Brookins-Kirkland
Community Church in Los Angeles’ Inglewood neighborhood. The church once had about 10,000
members. Today, there are about 300, and many are older adults. Do you feel that, in an effort to reach younger
people, that the church might need to change its views on certain issues, like gay marriage,
for example? REV. MARY MINOR, PASTOR, Brookins-Kirkland
Community AME Church: I don’t think the church needs to change that. My denomination doesn’t
believe in gay marriage. However, my denomination embraces those that are of the LGBTQ community. CAT WISE: According to Pew, black millennials
nationally tend to be less religious than older black adults, but they are considerably
more religious than their peers. Reverend Minor says she is concerned about
losing so many young people in her church, and worries they are missing out on an important
aspect of religion: community. REV. MARY MINOR: When you’re not assembled
with believers, then you feel like you’re on an island all by yourself. CAT WISE: Back at New Abbey, Pastor Cory Marquez
says a sense of community is what’s bringing people back Sunday after Sunday. And their
approach isn’t all that radical. CORY MARQUEZ: I have never opened a door in
Christian tradition where I found that I was the first person there. There have always
been people, monks and priests and nuns and theologians and philosophers, who have been
asking these questions for thousands of years. CAT WISE: Once the congregation finishes pondering
life’s most ancient and enduring questions, they get to celebrate with pizza and cold
beverages. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Cat Wise in Pasadena,
California. JUDY WOODRUFF: As the new year begins, Washington
is in a much different place than a year ago, when the government was in the middle of the
longest shutdown in history and Congress was crippled by disagreements on spending. Before leaving town for the holidays, lawmakers
came together on a huge spending bill. Nick Schifrin sat down with Lisa Desjardins
yesterday to learn where your tax dollars are going. NICK SCHIFRIN: Judy, this was a massive bill,
$1.4 trillion, money to research gun violence, money for the military. And it raised the
age to purchase tobacco to 21. But there’s a lot more, a whole lot more. And our Capitol Hill correspondent, Lisa Desjardins,
and the “NewsHour” team have been combing through 2,400 pages. And Lisa joins me now to examine the government’s
2020 priorities. Lisa, let’s start with a major issue, immigration,
the issue that shut down the government last year. This bill has huge immigration changes. LISA DESJARDINS: It actually does. And not
a lot of it is being talked about. We have talked before about the fact the president
got $1.3 billion to build new border barriers. That’s something that he wanted, a little
less than he wanted. But he got something else too. This bill has
fewer restrictions in where he can build it. And it also gives him more leeway in taking
money from other accounts to do that. There is something that remains the same,
however. It still limits the kind of barrier that can be built. Still can be only fencing,
steel slat fencing, no concrete wall, examples like you see right now, what’s already on
the border. Overall, though, Democrats, in exchange for
that border money, what did they get for the border barrier? Two new things that are notable.
A new ombudsman in charge of immigration detention to oversee the conditions for detainees, and
also millions of dollars to help detainees navigate the legal system and court work. Now, that’s interesting, because that legal
program for detainees is something that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wanted to stop
altogether. But, here, Democrats were able to expand that program. Thousands of more
detainees in the coming year will have the ability to get some counseling to try and
figure out their situation legally. NICK SCHIFRIN: So give and take, but some
fallout, especially on the Democratic side? LISA DESJARDINS: That’s the thing. In truth, the members of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus and many Democrats were not happy with this deal. Many of them voted against
it for this reason. They wanted this to cap the number of detention beds. They feel like
now the administration still has the ability to detain as many people as it wants. And there are no new requirements on exactly
what conditions the detainees will be under. I want to take you back to earlier this summer,
when members were touring those facilities. And here’s the chairperson of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus, Joaquin Castro, speaking at one of those facilities, talking about
how important changing those conditions was for them. REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): We came today,
and we saw that the system is still broken, that people’s human rights are still being
abused. We remain very concerned about the conditions
in which people are being kept. LISA DESJARDINS: For members of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus, this is a moral issue. And they’re concerned that this sort of detente
right now that we’re not talking about over immigration may actually be a normalization
of things that they find unacceptable. For Republicans, however, they want that normalization.
They want this wall to be a normal part of policy. NICK SCHIFRIN: All right, topic number two,
these spending bills do something new and headline-worthy on education. LISA DESJARDINS: Yes. This is something we hear people want to talk
about all the time. And here is a major change. Let’s start with the background, a big rift
over this. President Trump would like to cut education spending. In fact, he proposed a
10 percent cut this year. I want to take you back. Here’s what his education
secretary, Betsy DeVos, said to Congress earlier this year about why it should be cut. She
said there’s just not enough money. BETSY DEVOS, U.S. Education Secretary: That
it’s easier to keep spending, to keep saying yes, to keep saddling tomorrow’s generations
with today’s growing debt. But, as it’s been said, the government will run out of other
people’s money. LISA DESJARDINS: Now, so, she was proposing
a cut in her education funding. Democrats wanted an increase. Democrats won. And they
won very big. In fact, this bill has a record amount of
funding for education in it from the federal government. It includes more than $2 billion
of an increase, especially for early education and for K-12. And it’s interesting, Nick. Those K-12 dollars,
all of these dollars, specifically go to low-income communities. They’re through block grants
in part. And, also, we will see tens of thousands more openings for Head Starts, especially
in those low-income communities. Now, people know, education is still mainly
funded by the states, but, here, the federal government is adding more of its own role
to that. NICK SCHIFRIN: Lisa, this isn’t only about
dollars and dollars and a whole lot of dollars, right? This is about some policy shifts in
this bill as well, especially on coal miners. LISA DESJARDINS: It’s really a big shift.
This is something the federal government has never done before, permanently making up for
the gap in a private pension system, in this case of coal miners. Now, specifically, we have to tell the bigger
story here, which is we know coal mining has been on the decline overall. In fact, if you
look at the numbers, Nick, it’s rather astounding. Since 2008, between then and 2018, the coal
industry lost 32,000 jobs, or 37 percent of its jobs, largely to bankruptcies. Those companies could not pay the pensions,
including pensions of this man, Daymond Tucker, who we talked to in 2017, longtime coal miner,
depends on his pension. And here’s what he said at the time then,
when the pension was running out. DAYMOND TUCKER, Longtime Coal Miner: And it’s
not like we’re asking for a handout or anything either. It was hard sweat work that — benefits
that we negotiated. And all we want to is just what was promised to us. LISA DESJARDINS: Daymond Tucker is one of
100,000 miners in that same position, worried about his pension, running out, could have
been last week, could have been next year. Instead, the federal government is permanently
paying for his pension. I talked to him this week. He just retired last year. And he said,
without that pension, he and his wife would have been devastated. He said it was an enormous
relief to see this bill extend his pension. However, Nick, this is the only time the federal
government has ever done this, extending federal money to pay for private pensions for one
industry, the coal mining industry. NICK SCHIFRIN: So, let’s zoom out. How much spending is this? How much spending
are we actually talking about? And what does it do to the U.S.’ bottom line? LISA DESJARDINS: This is an ocean of red ink. All together, between this spending bill and
the bill that — the budget that was set earlier this year, $2.2 trillion of red ink has been
passed by this Congress and signed by this president this year. To give you some bigger perspective, the kind
of spending that Congress governs is called discretionary spending. Since 2017, under
President Trump, that kind of spending has seen an increase of about 15 percent in just
a couple of years, this from a president who has said he wants to actually rein in government
spanning. This has been one of the more dramatic increases
that we have seen really in generations. NICK SCHIFRIN: And remind us, Lisa, what’s
the takeaway here? Why does all this matter? LISA DESJARDINS: This matters, Nick, because,
honestly, especially in an age of gridlock, like we’re in right now, this is what government
does. Government spends money. It’s thing they can
agree on. This was a compromise from both sides to help each other by spending a vast
array of money. And we have hit some priorities here, but there are a lot of other big policies
in here. For example, this bill says the government will help Somalia restructure its debt. There’s
tremendous policy implications here. This really is what government does. Even
though it may not be the most dramatic headline, it may be one of the most important. NICK SCHIFRIN: Lisa Desjardins, following
the important headlines, thank you very much. LISA DESJARDINS: My pleasure. JUDY WOODRUFF: A man named Carlos Ghosn was
once in the driver’s seat of two of the world’s most iconic automakers, and was credited for
both — for saving both from insolvency. But he went from the heights of the corporate
world to criminal allegations, a record bail, and now his mysterious escape from Japan to
Lebanon. John Yang reports. JOHN YANG: Reporters huddled outside a Beirut
house this morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of ousted Nissan Motors chief Carlos Ghosn,
once a CEO, now an international fugitive. In Tokyo, prosecutors raided his home there,
searching for clues to how the high-profile businessman, facing trial for alleged financial
misconduct, mysteriously escaped house arrest and embarked on a flight to freedom. Ghosn was reportedly smuggled out of Japan
on his private jet. He stopped in Istanbul, before arriving on New Year’s Eve in Lebanon,
where he is a citizen. Today, Turkish officials arrested seven people, including pilots, for
allegedly taking part in the escape. And Lebanon received a notice from Interpol,
the international policing organization, calling for Ghosn’s arrest. Lebanon’s justice minister
said, even though Ghosn had entered the country legally, they would comply with the request. ALBERT SERHAN, Lebanese Justice Minister (through
translator): I suppose the general prosecution will fully implement the notice, and that
includes summoning him and listening to his testimony. And then, if there are measures
to be taken, then they will be taken. JOHN YANG: But Lebanon has no extradition
treaty with Japan. What’s more, Ghosn also holds Brazilian and French citizenship. French
officials have said, if Ghosn arrived in France, he would receive support. AGNES PANNIER-RUNACHER, French Secretary of
State for Economy and Finance (through translator): If a foreign citizen was fleeing the French
judicial system, we would be very angry. On the other hand, he is a Lebanese, Brazilian
and French citizen, and he benefits from consular support, like all French citizens. JOHN YANG: Before his ouster in November 2018,
the automotive titan oversaw both Nissan and the French carmaker Renault. He was credited
with rescuing both from near bankruptcy by closing plants and cutting thousands of jobs. But Japanese prosecutors say he also lavishly
enriched himself by under-reporting his income and funneling payments to car dealerships
he controlled in the Middle East. Ghosn posted a record $14 million bail last April, and
was confined to house arrest, under 24-hour surveillance. He reportedly decided to leave Japan after
learning that his trial would be delayed until April 2021. In a statement, Ghosn said he
had jumped bail to escape injustice and political persecution in Japan. Today, he discredited theories that his wife
had engineered his escape as inaccurate and false. Ghosn said he will speak to reporters
next week. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang. JUDY WOODRUFF: Young people some have labeled
Generation Z, those born from the mid-1990s to around 2010, are growing up in an increasingly
cashless society, which raises the question, how does that affect their relationship to
money and to finance? Our economics correspondent Paul Solman took
a group of kids on a field trip last winter to find out. This encore report is part of our weekly series
Making Sense. PAUL SOLMAN: So, anybody want some ice cream?
All right, it’s right over here. A chilly day in Manhattan, but for 10- and
11-year-olds, there are no unseasonable treats. But the excitement for the grownups, myself
and personal finance expert Beth Kobliner, this was a transaction with an unfamiliar
twist. This store doesn’t take cash, ever. Like a growing number of retail shops, it’s
plastic or mobile payment only. But cashless was no problem for the kids,
who, of course, weren’t paying. What are you going with? STUDENT: Cookies and cream. PAUL SOLMAN: Cookies and cream. STUDENT: With a sugar cone. BETH KOBLINER, Personal Finance Expert: Sugar
cone. PAUL SOLMAN: But they’re also growing up at
a time when only one in three purchases is made with cash. So, we wanted to know, does
an increasingly cashless economy keep kids from grasping the basics of price and value? How much do you think these things cost? STUDENT: It tastes so good, I think it would
be like anywhere from $3 to $7. PAUL SOLMAN: But the kids say expensive compared
to the ice cream truck. STUDENT: They only charge you $2.75. PAUL SOLMAN: OK, so they’re familiar with
relative prices. But can they calibrate value? If I said to you, I will give you $5.50, instead
of the ice cream cone, which would you choose, the cone or the money? STUDENT: The money. PAUL SOLMAN: You would? Why? STUDENT: Because I could get something else,
and I could maybe get a cheaper ice cream. STUDENT: You can get the same amount, a bigger
amount of ice cream, for $2.75 at Trader Joe’s, or $3.99 at Trader Joe’s, and then you can
have ice cream for a whole week. PAUL SOLMAN: All right, I know what I’m going
to do. I will offer $2. Who will still give me their ice cream for $2? What about a dollar?
A dollar. But, in the end, two of the kids actually
took my lowball $1 cash offer for half-eaten ice cream, whose allure was apparently melting
as fast as the foodstuff itself. This suggested not only the economic concept
of diminishing returns, but also that hard currency has the same cachet, or more, than
it did when Beth Kobliner and I were first lured into the sugar market. BETH KOBLINER: When I was little kid, about
10 or 11… PAUL SOLMAN: Yes. BETH KOBLINER: … I remember going to the
ice cream store, and my dad would give me a dollar. And ice cream then was 50 cents,
and the sprinkles were 5 cents. PAUL SOLMAN: In my day, a quarter, by the
way. An ice cream cone was a quarter. (LAUGHTER) BETH KOBLINER: And I would get change. And
the whole transaction was really about learning addition, subtraction, numeracy. Today, 70
percent of all our purchases are done online or with cards. PAUL SOLMAN: How many of you have smartphones?
Every one of you. Now about half of 10-to-12-year-olds have
smartphones, and 40 percent of teenagers have debit cards. So, is cash arithmetic a lost
art? How many quarters in $3? STUDENT: Twelve. STUDENT: Twelve. PAUL SOLMAN: How many quarters in $3.75? STUDENT: Fifteen. PAUL SOLMAN: Fifteen. Very good. So, kids can still count without burning much
cash. But aren’t they being suckered into spending by switching to a credit card? ISAAC SMITH LEWIS, Student: I don’t think
I would be responsible with one, because I would just want to go around spending, spending
it. And then all your money is wasted on stupid stuff sometimes. PAUL SOLMAN: Isaac Smith Lewis’ reluctance
was echoed by the others. ALICE RICHELSON, Student: I’m going to be
going on, like, shopping sprees and be, like, OK, everything is on me. DAWOOD ALSELMI, Student: I can’t use credit
cards, because then I will be, like, ooh, I will buy that, I’m going to buy that, I’m
going to buy that. AKEELAH STROY, STUDENT: Money doesn’t grow
off of trees. PAUL SOLMAN: When it comes to credit cards,
in fact, Gen Zers may be more penny-wise than their parents. Dawood’s mom, Huda Qatabi, for example. HUDA QATABI, Mother: Credit cards, especially
me, I just swipe, swipe, swipe. And then, at the end of the week, it’s like $500, $600,
and I don’t know what I did with it. Personally… PAUL SOLMAN: Really? So, you’re as bad as
they are? HUDA QATABI: I’m worse. (LAUGHTER) PAUL SOLMAN: Worse? So, are these Gen Zers safe with their or
their parents’ money? No. Take it one further removed, and to tech savvy marketers, they’re
sitting ducks. That’s because kids this age spend about six hours a day online, on average,
much of it playing video games, and spending on them. The industry’s new business model, selling
items within the game, like the outfits the characters wear, also known as skins, in the
game sensation “Fortnite.” ALICE RICHELSON: In-game purchases, I feel
like it’s just like, click, click. It’s just not real money. ISAAC SMITH LEWIS: Inside the game, it’s just
feels like you’re just using, like, game money. PAUL SOLMAN: These kids aren’t alone. Facebook
came under scrutiny earlier this year when documents revealed it made than $34 million
from in-app purchases made by minors. And, as Alice Richelson told us, these aren’t
always one-time charges. ALICE RICHELSON: I got a subscription on a
coloring app, and it just kept taking money from every month, and, finally, my dad found
out, and I got in trouble. JASON RICHELSON, Father: Yes. She somehow
signed up on iTunes for a bunch of — some games that kept charging over — every month.
And I didn’t get the receipts. It went to her e-mail. But I changed that now. And so
I didn’t know that was happening. So, I shut that off, yes. PAUL SOLMAN: But when it comes to other in-game
purchases, Jason Richelson said… JASON RICHELSON: I give in sometimes. PAUL SOLMAN: Why do you give in? JASON RICHELSON: Because they keep bothering
me. (LAUGHTER) PAUL SOLMAN: Impulsive kids, pestered parents,
all overmatched by online credit, cash-free, card-free. And that’s why the actual way we
finally purchased our ice cream gave me pause. You don’t accept cash? MAN: No, we do not, sir, card or Apple Pay. PAUL SOLMAN: Well, Apple Pay, I don’t have. A card… BETH KOBLINER: I could do it. I have Apple
Pay. PAUL SOLMAN: Kobliner uses mobile pay apps,
but she does have concerns about them. BETH KOBLINER: There is a study that looked
at mobile pay, and it turns out when you use your phone to buy things, you are more likely
to feel that you have got a good deal at that store, because it’s like that magic wand.
You’re getting something for nothing. You’re not giving up dollars. PAUL SOLMAN: Really? BETH KOBLINER: Yes. So, stores really have an incentive to not
let us use cash. PAUL SOLMAN: Even friendly cash-free stores
like this one, as if the magic spell of ice cream wasn’t troublesome enough. For the “PBS NewsHour,” economics correspondent
Paul Solman, reporting from Manhattan’s Lower East Side. JUDY WOODRUFF: Tonight’s Brief But Spectacular
essay features psycholinguist Jean Berko Gleason. She’s a professor emeritus at Boston University,
and is best known as the creator of a test that helped to transform what we know about
children’s language. JEAN BERKO GLEASON, Psycholinguist, Boston
University: I have an intolerance for certain things, yes, intolerance for rudeness, actually. I don’t like it when people make noises eating
things, and I never stay in the house if anybody is eating soft boiled eggs, because soft boiled
eggs are an abomination. Anybody who knows me knows that I really love
technology. I have streaming cameras in my house that I set up. I installed my own video
doorbell. I do all of those things. So I’m in my kitchen one day, and a woman rang the
doorbell, and she said she wanted to get ahold of the neighbor next door, if she could send
him a message. So I pulled my Pixel out of my pocket. And
this young woman turned to me and said: “Look at you with your smartphone.” And I was just appalled. I was just appalled
that she would talk to me that way. And I said: “What?” And she said: “Well, well, well, my mother
wouldn’t know how to use a smartphone.” And I said: “Well, I do have a Ph.D. from
Harvard.” And that shut her up. I was fascinated by language as a child, because
I was under the impression that whatever you said meant something in some language. My
brother Marty was 6 years older than me, and he had cerebral palsy. He was so smart that,
ultimately, he got a Ph.D. From Cornell. But when he was little, and even when he wasn’t
little, he had trouble speaking such that other people could understand him. I was the
person who always understood what he said. So I felt some closeness with language, as
well as with my brother. Other people didn’t appreciate the fact that
he was a sensitive, intelligent person. In fact, a lot of people with disabilities have
this problem. People see that they have trouble walking or talking, and they assume that they
have no intellectual capacity. He wasn’t treated with the respect he deserved,
and he felt that acutely. I didn’t start out to study psycholinguistics.
I started out to study a million languages, because I loved them. I do speak Norwegian,
French, Russian, bits and pieces of Arabic, German, enough Spanish to get dinner. OK, if we’re going to talk about this little
creature that’s on me, it’s called a Wug. It comes from a study I did a very long time
ago, called The Wug Test. Steve, why don’t you come over here, and we
will practice on you and see if you can pass The Wug Test? This is a man who knows how to bing, OK? He
is binging. He did the same thing yesterday. What did he do yesterday? Yesterday, he… MAN: Binged. JEAN BERKO GLEASON: That is a perfect child
answer, OK? Four-year-olds will say that. MAN: Great. JEAN BERKO GLEASON: I created The Wug Test
to try to find out if even young children have internal systems of grammar that allow
them to deal with words they have never heard before. I think that it’s very important that children
acquire language in a loving atmosphere. Kids need to have some kind of one-on-one relationship
with other people, so that they care. If we care to communicate with them, we want
them to care to communicate with us. My name is Jean Berko Gleason, and this is
my Brief But Spectacular take on language. JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you, Jean Berko Gleason. And you can find more Brief But Spectacular
essays on our Web site at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. And that is the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m
Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening
with analysis of the week’s political news with Mark Shields and David Brooks. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we will see you soon.

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