October 29, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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October 29, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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10/29/2021 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
October 29, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
Judy Woodruff is away.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: Biden abroad.
The president kicks off an overseas trip, meeting with key world leaders, as the fate of his domestic agenda remains uncertain.
Then: It's Friday.
David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart break down the Democratic battle over the president's spending bill and growing distrust between some progressives and moderates.
And resisting the vaccine -- why a vaccination mandate in New York City is generating fierce opposition from its police officers.
CHUCK WEXLER, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum: If they were getting shot or stabbed on the streets of America at the rate they're dying of COVID, there would be outrage.
But, instead, somehow, this issue has become politicized.
AMNA NAWAZ: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
(BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Well, tonight, President Biden is in Rome, after a day of high-profile meetings with a pope and a president.
Nick Schifrin has our report.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Today, in the Eternal City, the U.S. sought to make sure its oldest alliance would endure.
President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron tried to mend a relationship that's been strained since the U.S. excluded France from a deal to provide Australia nuclear submarines.
Today, President Biden delivered a mea culpa.
JOE BIDEN, President of the United States: What happened was, to use an English phrase, what we did was clumsy.
It was not done with a lot of grace.
France is an extremely, extremely valued partner.
NICK SCHIFRIN: President Macron seemed ready to move on.
EMMANUEL MACRON, French President: For me, what's important is that we built during the past weeks some very concrete actions in order to strengthen the partnership.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Those actions include additional U.S. drones and other military support for French troops fighting militants in Western Africa and endorsing increased European military capacity and industry.
JOE BIDEN: You are the most significant warrior for peace I have ever met.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Earlier in the day, two of the world's most prominent Catholics discussed climate change, poverty, and COVID.
President Biden and Pope Francis exchanged gifts, including a coin that President Biden said his late son, Beau, would have wanted the pope to have.
In public, the two emphasize their agreements and avoid discussing the ongoing debate inside the church over abortion.
President Biden supports abortion rights.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops says that should exclude the president from receiving communion.
After meeting Italy's prime minister, President Biden claimed the pope provided his blessing.
QUESTION: Mr. President, did the issue of abortion come up at all?
JOE BIDEN: No, it didn't.
It came up.
We just talked about the fact that he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Tomorrow, President Biden begins the first of two major international summits, including on climate change.
Away from all the pleasantries, palm-pressing, and photo-ops, back home, the president's climate agenda and much of his international clout along with it hangs in the balance.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nick Schifrin.
AMNA NAWAZ: In the day's other news: The Food and Drug Administration formally recommended Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for young children.
The CDC makes the final decision next week on the lower-dose shots for 5-to 11-year-olds.
Meanwhile, thousands of New York City's police officers, firefighters, and others refused to comply with today's deadline to get vaccinated.
They will be put on unpaid leave starting on Monday.
We will return to this later in the program.
There is yet more evidence of inflation heating up in this pandemic era.
A key barometer of prices is up nearly 4.5 percent from a year ago.
That's the most in 30 years.
And wages and salaries jumped a record 1.5 percent in the third quarter, as employers paid more to attract workers.
Protesters turned out around the world today ahead of a U.N. climate summit that starts Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.
In London, activists rallied in the financial district to protest fossil fuel investments.
Demonstrators also gathered in Tel Aviv, Paris, and other cities.
And, in Rome, the U.N. secretary-general warned that the summit may fall short.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General: There is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver.
Several recent climate announcements might leave the impression of a rosier picture.
Unfortunately, this is an illusion.
We are still careening towards climate catastrophe.
AMNA NAWAZ: President Biden travels to Glasgow on Monday.
He has called for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
That would be from 2005 levels.
In another development, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to consider whether the federal government can curb carbon emissions from power plants.
Southern Australia, meanwhile, is trying to recover from some of the strongest winds in at least a decade.
A low-pressure system roared across Melbourne and the surrounding state of Victoria overnight, causing severe damage.
Wind gusts topped 100 miles an hour in places, peeling back roofs, downing trees and knocking out power to more than 450,000 homes.
Back in this country, the Biden administration will try again to stop making asylum seekers wait in Mexico.
The homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said today that the Trump era policy did cut border crossings, but he also said migrants faced major violence in Mexican cities.
Separately, it was widely reported that the Justice Department is in talks to pay up to $450,000 per person to families separated at the border during the Trump administration.
A U.S. military jury today sentenced the first high-value detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Majid Khan got 26 years for murder and terrorism charges.
But he could be released in February because he's cooperated with U.S. authorities.
On Thursday, Khan testified publicly about being tortured at secret CIA prisons after 9/11.
He's been at Guantanamo since 2006.
The sheriff in Albany County, New York, says there is overwhelming evidence for a sex crimes complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
It charges him with groping a woman last year, and it's a misdemeanor under state law.
Sheriff Craig Apple acknowledged today there was confusion over Thursday's filing of the complaint, but he said that doesn't change the facts.
CRAIG APPLE, Albany County, New York, Sheriff: The way it went down has nothing to do with the case.
The case is a very solid case.
We have great information that was obtained.
We have made -- we met our burden as far as probable cause.
And we have filed.
AMNA NAWAZ: Cuomo resigned in August, after a state attorney general's report accused him of harassing multiple women.
Today, Attorney General Letitia James announced she will run for governor.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois announced today he won't seek reelection next year.
The five-term congressman has been a vocal critic of former President Trump.
He's also one of only two Republicans on the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
His announcement came hours after Democrats in the Illinois legislature approved new congressional districts.
They put Kinzinger in the same district with a pro-Trump Republican.
Federal wildlife officials are proposing new protections for the Mexican gray wolf, an endangered species in the Southwest.
The changes would remove wolf population limits and restrict legal killing if they prey on livestock, elk or deer.
Environmental groups say the changes will help the species to recover.
Ranchers say wolf numbers and livestock losses are already growing.
And, on Wall Street, stocks wrapped up a big month.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89 points to close at 35819.
The Nasdaq rose 50 points.
The S&P 500 added nine.
Overall, the Nasdaq and the S&P were up 7 percent or more in October, the most in a year.
The Dow added nearly 6 percent, its best since March.
And Merriam-Webster dictionary is out with this year's crop of 455 newly-added words.
They range from TBH, an abbreviation for to be honest, to super-spreader, to fluffernutter, the sandwich of peanut butter and marshmallow creme.
And for fathers who eat too many fluffernutters, there's dad bod, referring to a less-than-fit body type.
Dads, you look great.
Don't let anyone tell you different.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": Taliban takeover - - facing economic collapse and looming famine, Afghanistan's already dire needs continue to grow; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart analyze the debate over President Biden's scaled-back spending bill; filmmaker Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick team up to tell the quarterback's coming-of-age story; and much more.
It's been 2.5 months since the Afghan government's collapse and the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.
The U.S. withdrew days later, and, since, the economy has cratered, and a major humanitarian crisis is now under way.
The threat of famine looms, and the hard Afghan winter is on its way.
Our Jane Ferguson was in Kabul for the chaotic U.S. withdrawal.
She's back there now.
And she joins us tonight.
Jane, it's good to see you.
Thanks for being there.
I have to ask.
This is your first time back in Kabul since the fall of the Kabul government, the Taliban retaking over.
What's it like?
What do you notice?
JANE FERGUSON: So far, Amna, it has been an eerily quiet situation in the streets.
You can see that commerce is vastly down.
There's the usual traffic jams and bustling markets are really rapidly disappearing.
The first thing I noticed coming out of the airport, other than the truckloads of Taliban fighters everywhere, was the complete lack of women in the street, almost none seen at all in public spheres.
But what was also striking since we have arrived has been the sense that, although the Taliban technically control this city, there isn't a sense that they have taken over a government.
There doesn't appear to be a robust administration.
Checkpoints are scattered and rather haphazard.
There's a feeling in the city that it's occupied by a militia, but not necessarily run by one.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jane, back here in the States, there's a new report out from the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction detailing the cost of the final months of the war for the U.S. and also more details about what equipment was left behind and what was destroyed.
What did we learn from that?
JANE FERGUSON: It is a real reminder of just how expensive this war has been for the United States.
We know it's been over a trillion dollars throughout the 20 years.
But SIGAR, the special investigator, has been putting out reports throughout over 10 years now throughout the war, about the cost, and they're really looking into corruption or any issues surrounding accountability.
So, this most recent report has been laying out things like the fact that aircraft had to be destroyed at Kabul Airport before it could be abandoned to make sure that the Taliban couldn't take over, that all aircraft and armored vehicles had to be sabotaged on the way out, those that couldn't be couldn't be flown out of the country.
About 25 percent of the Afghan air force planes themselves were flown out by pilots who were midair during the takeover of the country.
And in a country that's facing famine, you really do feel the starkness of where money has been going here.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, Jane, there's another detail from that special inspector general, a man named John Sopko.
He had some very strong words in his speech directed at the Department of Defense and the Department of State.
He said that they unnecessarily classified his group's reports after the Kabul government fell.
Take a listen to what he had to say.
JOHN SOPKO, Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction: That information almost certainly would have benefited Congress and the public in assessing whether progress was being made in Afghanistan, and, more importantly, whether we should have ended our efforts there earlier.
Yet SIGAR was forced to relegate all of this information into classified annexes.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jane, what do we know about what was classified and why?
JANE FERGUSON: One clue, Amna, could be the end-of-2019 Washington Post report that was called "The Afghanistan Papers," where they had to take the SIGAR to court under the Freedom of Information Act to get that very information that had been classified.
Much of it was based around interviews with senior figures in the war, who had actually given much more pessimistic views, much more pessimistic outlooks as to how the war was going, compared with the statements that were being made by the Department of Defense and the Pentagon.
So, the point was that, basically, behind the scenes, SIGAR was gathering information that showed that there were there was a lot of dissent as to how this war was going.
That's an indicator.
But we have also heard from SIGAR within this speech that essentially they're calling on that they have heard from the State Department even after the fall of Kabul for them to pull down information from online that's available to the public.
So this is an ongoing row about what should be made public and what shouldn't.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jane, you mentioned the economic crisis, the looming famine, as the winter approaches.
What is needed on the ground?
Is there any chance that aid will make its way in?
JANE FERGUSON: What we're seeing, Amna, is that some aid is coming in and being distributed to people, but it's extremely complicated, and it's patchy.
Don't forget, this is a government now that is technically seen by the United States and various governments around the world as a terrorist organization.
So, getting aid to civilians and avoiding giving any of it to the government is actually causing even more difficulty.
And on top of the dire economic collapse and the complex situation of getting aid into the country throughout in Afghanistan, that has massively impacted agriculture.
Wheat production, the harvest of this year is down a third.
Now, that, of course, is going to push up prices.
And any authorities that exist in Afghanistan right now will be struggling to buy wheat from outside the country because many of their assets, $9.5 billion internationally, have been frozen.
So this will mean that there's going to be a huge shortage of wheat, basically, bread that would have been keeping millions alive.
Now the WFP says upwards of 14 million Afghans face starvation if they don't get aid or jobs this winter.
AMNA NAWAZ: That is Jane Ferguson back on the ground in Kabul, Afghanistan, reporting for us tonight.
Jane, good to see you.
Please stay safe.
JANE FERGUSON: Thank you.
AMNA NAWAZ: In New York, this afternoon was the deadline for all city workers to get at least one vaccine dose, or go on unpaid leave.
It could mean several thousand officers may be on leave as early as Monday.
As John Yang reports, in New York and other cities around the country, some of the loudest opposition voices belong to police union officials.
PROTESTERS: The people will not comply!
JOHN YANG: Carrying signs reading "My Body, My Choice" and "No Vaccine Mandate," thousands of people, including New York police and firefighters, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge this week to protest the city's directive.
PROTESTERS: Hold the line!
Hold the line!
MAN: Today is a day in which we, the workers of this great city, stand up to unreasonable mandates.
JOHN YANG: The mandate is one of the most aggressive in the nation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: BILL DE BLASIO (D), Mayor of New York: If you're a city worker, you need to be vaccinated.
We are here to keep you safe, so you can keep everyone else safe.
We need you to keep everyone around you in the workplace safe.
We need you to make sure that people who you encounter, the people of this city, the residents of this city are safe.
JOHN YANG: Most New York City municipal workers are getting vaccinated, with the pace picking up as today's deadline neared.
Today, officials said 71 percent of fire department workers and 80 percent of police employees have gotten at least one dose.
But the city's biggest police union continues to resist, and is in court to try to block the mandate, calling it coercive and the threat of unpaid leave for not complying arbitrary and capricious.
It prefers an earlier plan calling for weekly testing.
City and state officials are making contingency plans for possible staffing shortfalls on Monday, the first day the leaves would take effect.
In cities like Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles, police unions have urged members to resist vaccine requirements, even though COVID has killed about 500 law enforcement officers nationwide since the pandemic began.
That's more than all other causes of death combined.
CHUCK WEXLER, Executive Director, Police Executive Research Forum: We have a way to prevent those cops from dying.
And it's been tested.
JOHN YANG: Former Boston police official Chuck Wexler is executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policy development group.
CHUCK WEXLER: Look, if they were getting shot or stabbed on the streets of America at the rate they're dying of COVID, there would be outrage.
But, instead, somehow, this issue has become politicized.
JOHN YANG: The clash over vaccine mandates comes as police are under increasing scrutiny, with a nationwide spike in the murder rate and incidents like the death of George Floyd.
In many big cities, that's led to tense relations between elected leaders and police unions.
PROTESTERS: Hold the line!
Hold the line!
JOHN YANG: In few places is it as bitter as it is in Chicago, where the mayor and the police union president have long been at odds.
In August, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, elected on a pledge of police reform, ordered all city workers to report their vaccination status by October 15 or go on unpaid leave.
JOHN CATANZARA, President, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police: We're going to keep fighting this mandate and this dictatorship.
JOHN YANG: Police Union President John Catanzara took to social media to urge disobedience.
JOHN CATANZARA: Do not comply with any direct order to fill out the portal, period.
It is illegal.
They cannot do it.
JOHN YANG: The mayor called the positioning foolish.
LORI LIGHTFOOT, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois: Unfortunately, that's in keeping with the leadership of this Fraternal Order of Police.
JOHN YANG: By the deadline, almost a third of the city's more than 12,000 officers had not complied.
ELIZABETH ALANIZA, Chicago Police Officer: For the first time in my 21-year career, I disobeyed a direct order.
This is very stressful for these officers, for myself.
And it seems that the city doesn't care.
JOHN YANG: But as union protesters gathered at City Hall this week, the city is giving most of them another chance.
Only 27 officers have been placed on unpaid leave.
The union president warns of the possibility of scores of police off the job.
JOHN CATANZARA: I don't know how the mayor in good conscience can force this to go forward and risk sending half the police department home and subjecting the citizens of this city to that.
LORI LIGHTFOOT: What I have concerns about is seeing more officers die needlessly of COVID-19.
Again, you're all aware we had four officers who passed away in 2020, every single one of them from COVID-19.
JOHN YANG: Catanzara says the issue isn't vaccines.
It's what job requirements should be determined by negotiations.
That puts officers in the middle, says Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum.
CHUCK WEXLER: Labor is saying, wait a second, not so fast.
We have collective bargaining agreements.
You want us to get vaccinated, fine.
Let's sit down and bargain for it.
JOHN YANG: And some say it could be putting public health in jeopardy.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.
AMNA NAWAZ: Voters in Minneapolis will head to the polls next week for the first city election since the police officer killing of George Floyd in a race that could be the most expensive in the city's history.
And, as special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports, it's dividing the community over the issue of public safety.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: On a recent afternoon in Minneapolis, a small, but spirited crowd withstood a gusty fall day to send a message: PROTESTERS: Yes on 2!
Yes on 2!
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: 2 is Question 2 on the ballot in the election here.
It's an initiative that could dramatically reshape policing and public safety in the city where George Floyd was murdered a year-and-a-half ago.
The proposal has drawn support from Minnesota Democrats, like state Attorney General Keith Ellison and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): We're voting yes because there is a vision we can collectively create as a city on what public safety should look like for us.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The plan would amend the Minneapolis charter, removing the police department and the city's requirement to fund a minimum number of officers.
There would instead be a Department of Public Safety that takes a - - quote -- "comprehensive public health approach," including police officers, if necessary.
The department would report not just to the mayor, but also the City Council.
And it would likely include social workers, housing experts, and mental health specialists.
Minneapolis resident Mercedes Stevenson welcomes the amendment.
She's a survivor of domestic violence.
MERCEDES STEVENSON, Minneapolis Resident: It's about expanding public safety.
We as a community need more trained individuals to help with mental health and emotional health crises.
I myself suffer from PTSD, and I know that my trauma response wouldn't be the same as anybody else's response.
And so having someone trained and knows my language, and that would be comforting to me.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: But the amendment is far from universally supported.
Teto Wilson lives and owns a barbershop in the majority-Black North Minneapolis.
TETO WILSON, Owner, Wilson's Image Barbers & Stylists: People feel frustrated, and they don't feel safe.
They feel like, if crime happens, and we don't have the proper amount of police to deal with it, what are we going to do?
I don't feel like there's enough about it that has been explained for me to feel comfortable voting for a Department of Public Safety.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The North Side has borne the brunt of the city's sharp increase in shootings and homicides this year.
Memorials to children killed by gun violence dot the neighborhood.
TETO WILSON: Do police harm us in our communities?
They most certainly have.
But the number of African American men, boys, little girls, women that get killed in our communities by us by far outweighs what the police do.
And so we still need to have a deterrent, people that are employed to keep our communities safe.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Critics say the amendment's language leaves the door open to defunding or abolishing police.
The yes campaign insists that there will still be officers, partially because state law requires them to respond in certain kinds of cases.
MERCEDES STEVENSON: I feel like there's some miscommunication and some misconceptions about the police being taken away from the whole situation.
And that's not the truth.
We will have these well-trained individuals who will be in the same office as the police.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Even as the city debates its future, the Minneapolis Police Department continues to make headlines almost daily.
About 300 officers more, a third of the force, have left the department since George Floyd's killing.
There have been allegations of intentional slowdowns in service.
And body camera video published this month shed light on the department's response to protests after Floyd's death.
MAN: You guys are out hunting people now.
And it's just a nice change of tempo.
MAN: Yes, agreed.
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) these people.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Police Chief Medaria Arradondo defended the department this week.
He held a news conference that yes supporters said violated a city policy forbidding employees from engaging in political activity.
MEDARIA ARRADONDO, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Police Chief: As your chief of police, I would not be in favor of this ballot amendment.
That does not have to do whether you have an R or a D or an I behind your political affiliations.
That is based, again, on the realities on the ground that I see and that our men and women are experiencing every day, including the victims of crime in our city.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The issue of public safety has dominated an election in which all 13 seats on the City Council are up for grabs, as is the mayor's office.
WOMAN: There are 17 candidates on the Minneapolis mayoral ballot.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The incumbent, Jacob Frey, is voting no on Question 2.
JACOB FREY (D), Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota: Question 2 has nothing in it about accountability or reform.
It is not responsive to those specific issues that people are experiencing every single day within our department.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The winner will be picked by ranked-choice voting, and some of Frey's main opponents support the public safety amendment.
KATE KNUTH, Minneapolis Mayor Candidate: I have been clear since day one of my campaign that I support a Department of Public Safety and a charter amendment to create it.
SHEILA NEZHAD, Minneapolis Mayor Candidate: We have been just talking about, how can we change police, what are we going to do about police?
But we're in a public safety crisis in Minneapolis.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The split on public safety mirrors a political divide in this overwhelmingly Democratic city, says Hamline University's David Schultz.
DAVID SCHULTZ, Hamline University: We have this group which is more progressive who are behind an initiative to reform police.
At the same time, then, we also have what we're going to call, let's say, the more centrist Democrats.
They appear to be opposed to changes in police funding, thinking that, without changing the charter, some reforms are possible.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: So, while Omar and Ellison say they will vote for the amendment, fellow Minnesota Democrats like Governor Tim Walz and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith oppose it.
But the divisions aren't just political.
DAVID SCHULTZ: This is an election about fear, fear of police, fear of not having police.
It's almost primordial, in the sense that people are just worried about, am I going to be safe walking the streets, whether I'm white or a person of color?
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: According to the most recent polls, white residents of Minneapolis - - and they make up a majority -- generally support the public safety amendment.
And even though race and policing are at the heart of the debate, most Black voters oppose it.
Teto Wilson says the numbers may reflect white allies sensitized to the fact that Minneapolis has some of the worst racial inequality in the nation.
TETO WILSON: They may think, hey, yes, we're going to side with African Americans.
We're going to say we don't want policing either.
That's not helping us.
They're thinking that it's helping us because they witnessed George Floyd being murdered, the same way we did.
They may be thinking that, hey, you know what?
Let's un-guilt ourselves.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: But the yes campaigners insist they are a multi-racial coalition with strong Black leadership.
MAN: We have to make sure this passes for our children, for our elders.
We have to make this step forward, so we have something sustainable.
DAVID SCHULTZ: So, Minneapolis has become, in some sense, the epicenter for race and policing in America.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Hamline's David Schultz says the election will have wider implications.
DAVID SCHULTZ: If the ballot initiative were to pass, this is going to be a central issue between the Democrats and Republicans as they fight for control of Congress.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: In what normally would be a mundane municipal election, city officials say, with several days to go, early voting tallies have already exceeded turnout from four years ago.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Fred de Sam Lazaro in Minneapolis.
AMNA NAWAZ: And Fred's reporting is a partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
While the president travels overseas, lawmakers at home consider his Build Back Better framework, and Virginians cast their vote for governor.
There's a lot to unpack in this week's analysis of Brooks and Capehart.
That is New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Jonathan Capehart, columnist for The Washington Post.
Welcome to you both.
Good to see you.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Great to see you, too, Amna.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.
AMNA NAWAZ: So, this week, we got the framework for what is now the White House's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan.
I have said that so many times now.
Quick reminder for folks at home who are still following along.
Here's what we believe to be in the framework now, we understand, just ticking through, universal pre-K, child care, an extension of the child tax credit, climate change investments, strengthening the ACA.
How they're paying for it, tax increases on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
David, you got to give a little to get a little.
Notably, paid leave is now totally out.
What do you make of how this shook out?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, it's not as good.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: I liked it better when it was $3.5 trillion, actually, and for a couple of reasons.
The core problem all the way along is the Democrats' unwillingness and inability to prioritize.
What's this about?
In the original proposal, there was a little family leave.
There were some electrical chargers.
There was health care or vision care for seniors.
It was like a grab bag.
And they had to cut it back to make Joe Manchin happy.
And instead of just saying, let's pick up what really we need to do for this country, and let's do it well, they just cut everything back a little.
And so, to me, the problem is there's so much stuff that's sunsetted, that is going to end in a couple years.
To me, the most valuable single proposal in there was the child tax credit.
It lifts kids out of poverty.
But it not only does that.
When you're not growing up in poverty, you do a lot better in school.
And so it's a big education reform.
That's extended for a paltry year now.
The ACA subsidies, the health care subsidies, that's five years.
The pre-K, that's only six years.
So, future Congresses could easily get rid of all this.
And if that's the case, then there will be no lasting impact.
Now, I don't want to down-sell this.
There's still good stuff in there, the corporate taxes and all that stuff and the subsidies for the health care.
But it's not what it was because they can't pass it if they drop anything.
So, they just shrunk it down.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan, it's not what it was.
The president says, though, that nobody gets everything they want, right?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Right.
But it's not that they shrunk.
You talked about paid family -- you talked about paid family leave went from 12 weeks, to four weeks, to no weeks.
So there are things that were in the bill that are no longer there.
But I'm going to be the sunny optimist for once here.
(LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: OK. JONATHAN CAPEHART: Even though it's not $3.5 trillion, it's $1.75 trillion, still more than has ever been spent on anything in the history of the country.
And everything that's in that framework is something that is beneficial to the American people and beneficial to the country going forward.
I understand your pessimism about the child tax credit only being extended for a year, but we know how Washington works.
Yes, future Congresses could wipe it out.
But once something is in law, it's kind of - - it's harder to take it out than it is to get it in there in the first place.
So the fact that it's survived this framework, I think, is a very good thing.
Pleasing Manchin and pleasing Sinema is something that I'm still trying to figure out how they do it.
But if I could be in a room with both of them, I would say, listen to David Brooks.
Pass the thing.
Just take yes for an answer.
And let's move on.
AMNA NAWAZ: I want to come to Manchin and Sinema in a moment.
But just to follow up on that for a second, paid leave, just as an example, that was a signature issue, right?
For it not to be in there at all, what kind of message does that said, that the president couldn't get that done?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, it says that he compromised.
He wants to get something done.
Something had to go by the wayside.
No matter what it was, family leave or something else, it would have been really bad.
I think that the president is hoping that - - let's not forget he's still in year one of a four-year term, that maybe they can come back, especially if Democrats hold the House and hold the Senate, fingers crossed, that they could do it.
But that's what compromise is.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, David, what about the president overseas right now?
Does this, the fact that it's still a little bit uncertain back home, that he couldn't get these things done at home, does that complicate the case he's making overseas?
DAVID BROOKS: I don't think so.
I mean, I think it's going to pass.
I'm impressed, or struck, I should say, by how flexible and regressive it's been on all this.
Like, way back when this all started, Bernie Sanders was talking about $6 trillion.
Joe Manchin was talking about 1.5.
We ended up at 1.7.
So guess who won that?
Joe Manchin played tough.
He endured a lot of criticism, but he sort of got the overall top-line number he wanted.
We will see if he likes the guts of it.
But the fact that the progressives really said, OK, better than nothing, or made the case that Jonathan just made, that there's a lot of good stuff still in here, that shows me it's going to be passed.
They're not going to walk away.
I doubt Manchin would walk away at this point, after having sort of won.
And so I expected that, after what has been a pretty depressing few weeks of over how slow it's been, but, in a month, nobody will remember that.
They will just remember the thing got passed.
AMNA NAWAZ: Let's talk about the Virginia governor's race, obviously something we're all following very closely, the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
It has tightened.
When you take a look at the state of the race, the latest numbers from the Washington Post poll show 49 percent from McAuliffe, 48 for Youngkin.
Jonathan, this is a state Biden won by 10 points in 2020.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
AMNA NAWAZ: They haven't -- Democrats haven't a lost statewide race since 2009 in the commonwealth.
Why is it as tight as it is?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: One, because this isn't Ken Cuccinelli, who Terry McAuliffe ran against when he ran for governor in 2013.
This is someone who has been able to sort of embrace Trump without embracing Donald Trump.
I'm talking about Glenn Youngkin.
People are making a lot about the fact that 10 out of the 11 gubernatorial races, the person who won is from the opposite party of the president in the White House.
The one exception?
What people don't talk about beyond that is, Terry McAuliffe won by three points.
It was a turnout election.
And what made that election an anomaly by Virginia standards is that they had presidential-level turnout in an off-year election.
And this race has always been a turnout race.
If Terry McAuliffe is to win the Democratic coalition, particularly African-American voters, need to come out at the levels that they did last year for Joe Biden.
AMNA NAWAZ: There's clearly concern in the Democratic Party, though.
DAVID BROOKS: Sure.
AMNA NAWAZ: They are calling out the big guns to stump for McAuliffe.
Take a look.
Recently, they had both President Biden and former President Obama.
Here's just a bit of what President Obama had to say.
BARACK OBAMA, Former President of the United States: But, with Terry, you don't have to wonder what he's going to be like as governor, because you have seen it.
He walked the walk, didn't just talk the talk.
AMNA NAWAZ: Glenn Youngkin, meanwhile, has been campaigning with officials who've repeated the lie of mass election fraud.
He's been leveraging parental anger over Critical Race Theory, which is not being taught in schools.
Here's just a clip of one of his recent ads.
GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate: When it comes to the economy, Virginia has a choice.
My day one game plan will lower taxes, eliminate the grocery tax, and save Virginians nearly $1, 500, year one.
AMNA NAWAZ: David, there has been a lot of early turnout already.
Do you dare to make a prediction in what happens here?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, the last week has been pretty good for Youngkin, so the early turnout would probably be a little more McAuliffe side.
I think it's close because the economy has suffered because of the Delta variant, and because of cultural issues.
I think the swing in the last week can only be the culture issues, the school board issues.
There's a case of - - it's more complicated than Republicans are making it out to seem, but sexual assault in a girl's bathroom with a fluid-gender guy as the -- as the alleged perpetrator.
And so that's suddenly turned into a big thing.
And so it's a question is -- are people from outside, are certain teacher or education, schools imposing values that we don't agree with on us and imposing them on our kids?
And that has made a lot of people angry.
And I think that's the issue of the last week that has really seized people.
And how the Democrats let themselves get on the wrong side of that issue is a bit of a mystery to me.
It's a no-brainer that people have very diverse views on gender and all this stuff.
And you got to show you have room for all kinds of views in your party on that and you're not some tool of the left.
AMNA NAWAZ: So, if Democrats lose this, though, what does that say?
What's the message?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, the first message is, you can't defeat every Republican just by talking about Donald Trump a lot.
And so that will send shockwaves through the Democratic Party.
If they lose this in a plus-10 Democratic state, it will be a bit of panic time for Democrats, I would think.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan?
(CROSSTALK) JONATHAN CAPEHART: It would show that fear and anger win the day.
The fact that we're having a conversation about Critical Race Theory that is not taught in public schools in Virginia, it just goes to show how Republicans have decided that picking at white grievance and tap-dancing with white supremacy is their way back into power.
And if Glenn Youngkin wins, yes, the Democrats should be afraid, because fear works.
And I like to say, whiteness is a hell of a drug.
And going into the midterm elections, we will see just how successful it can be.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, that is Virginia.
Let's broaden it out just a little bit, because last night was something called the Sammies.
It's an award from the Partnership for Public Service honoring government workers and their accomplishments.
It's really lovely.
They honored everyone from people who led the COVID response, doctors and health officials who ramped up testing and ran vaccine trials, to a HUD team that -- for their foster program work.
They basically help to support kids who age out of the system.
Wonderful, extraordinary work being done by the government.
And yet, and yet, when you look at the latest numbers from Pew, public trust in the government is down to 24 percent.
Even this number, a new poll from Georgetown's Institute of Politics and Public Service, 63 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction.
David, what's going on here?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, first, I occasionally - - we get to sit in off the record on government agency meetings, say, at HUD.
I remember a HUD meeting I was at several years ago.
And I was amazed at the quality of the civil servants.
And I'm always struck by that.
These are people not paid a lot of money, lots of advanced degrees, vastly overqualified for some of this work, but they believe in it.
They're not particularly ideological, by the way.
They believe maybe in housing policy, education policy, transportation, but it's not like they're flaming ideologues of left or right.
They just want to do the job.
And so I have really come -- living in the swamp here in D.C., I guess, I have come to really respect civil servants, because just because I have gotten to know and watched them operate.
As for the trust, to me, it's the number one statistic if you want to understand politics in this country.
If you ask people from, say, 1940 to 1967, say, do you trust government to do the right thing most of the time, you got 75 percent answers, yes, I do.
Then Vietnam comes along, then Watergate comes along, and it plummets in the '70s.
It ticks up a little under Clinton, a little under Reagan, a little under Obama.
But it's been pretty much low 20s.
And it dumped down to 19.
And when no trusts government to do the right thing, it's just hard to rally people to want to use government to do the right thing, because they just don't trust it.
And so that's just a fundamental problem with our country, which is not universal.
In countries all across the West, they don't see levels of distrust the way we have.
Distrust just leads people to pull inward, to fear, to believe conspiracies, not want to get vaccinated.
It leads to problem after problem after problem.
And how we rebuild trust in this country is just a major challenge.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan, we have got about a minute left.
What do you think when you look at these numbers?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, when I look at these numbers, it just goes to show that, when you ask people generally, do you trust the government, for a lot of people, the government is a faceless, malevolent blob that is harming their lives in some way or not getting anything done.
But if you were to ask those same people their opinion of the folks who won the Sammies, I bet their approval rating would be through the roof.
When you put a face on government, when you show the people who were doing the really hard work -- and David just talked about, yes, they're bureaucrats, they're overqualified, but they do this because they love the work.
And they could be making more money in the private sector, and yet they want to serve their country.
They want to do good.
And I think, in the end, that is what I think the American people -- that's what they trust.
It's just too bad they don't see enough of it.
AMNA NAWAZ: Some wonderful work being done.
And we're grateful for it.
We're out of time.
I didn't get to ask you what your Halloween costumes are, but I will let people on Twitter guess, and you can tell them if they're right or not.
(LAUGHTER) AMNA NAWAZ: How's that?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Sure.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan Capehart, David Brooks, always good to see you.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to see you.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Great to see you, Amna.
AMNA NAWAZ: Well, the acclaimed film director Ava DuVernay, who's behind projects including "The 13th," "When They See Us," and "Selma," is now the force behind a powerful new series.
It's called "Colin in Black & White," available today on Netflix.
And it tells the coming-of-age story of a young Colin Kaepernick, years before he became a quarterback in the NFL and a leader in the fight for racial justice.
I sat down with DuVernay and the show's young star this week to discuss what the series teaches us about Kaepernick and what it reveals about us as a society for our arts and culture series, Canvas.
COLIN KAEPERNICK, Former National Football League Player: Since the day I was born, my passion, my love was being in a quarterback.
AMNA NAWAZ: It's the story of a young Colin Kaepernick in his own words, the years before he went on to quarterback the University of Nevada team, before he led the San Francisco 49ers for six seasons, and before his historic sideline protests against racial injustice.
The real Kaepernick narrates looking back at young Colin, played by 18-year-old actor Jaden Michael.
COLIN KAEPERNICK: What you start out as is not necessarily what you become.
AMNA NAWAZ: The idea to focus on his early years, and serve as guide of his own story, was Kaepernick's himself, DuVernay told me when we met up at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this week.
2017, Colin Kaepernick comes to you and says, I want to tell my origin story.
I want to tell the story of my adolescent years, of how I became to be the person I am today.
What does he say to you?
AVA DUVERNAY, Director/Screenwriter: It was a conversation amongst people who felt connected by certain issues that we both are in agreement with, issues of justice and dignity for all.
And so, really, I think what he was saying was that he wanted to express himself in a way that allowed people to enter into his story without -- outside the sphere of politics.
Maybe the most innocent entry point is that of young people.
And so I thought that was wise.
At the moment, I wasn't sure what he was trying to do, and I wasn't sure if I was the right person for it.
AMNA NAWAZ: Yet, as he told her about his early life, being a biracial kid who was adopted by two white parents... ACTOR: You two good?
NICK OFFERMAN, Actor: Fine, thanks.
JADEN MICHAEL, Actor: Yes, I'm good too.
AMNA NAWAZ: ... growing up in a primarily white town, and struggling with a place that didn't regard him as black, she decided: AVA DUVERNAY: All those things became really interesting to me as a springboard into larger conversations about race, identity, respectability, privilege.
So that's what we did.
AMNA NAWAZ: The unusual blend of documentary, narrative, a graphic sensibility was her call.
AVA DUVERNAY: The opportunity was to take the story and kind of scramble it up using different formats, different styles to activate something new.
AMNA NAWAZ: Part of that something new was taking a chance on casting Jaden Michael, unknown to most of the audience.
NICK OFFERMAN: Mom said your baseball coach called.
JADEN MICHAEL: About what?
NICK OFFERMAN: They want you to cut your hair.
(LAUGHTER) JADEN MICHAEL: What?
NICK OFFERMAN: You have to cut your hair if you're going to stay on the team.
JADEN MICHAEL: You're joking, right?
MARY-LOUISE PARKER, Actress: It's a team rule, Colin.
JADEN MICHAEL: A team rule.
NICK OFFERMAN: It makes sense.
Truth be told, you do look unprofessional.
JADEN MICHAEL: Unprofessional?
Why am I supposed to look professional?
I'm a kid.
AMNA NAWAZ: Why him?
What was it about him that spoke to you?
AVA DUVERNAY: We needed someone who could be in every single scene of the series and have the chops to be able to hold the center of the frame.
And that's a tall order, a kid, three sports, and can act his patootie off.
It was tough to find.
And we got this tape from this kid in New York.
Not just casting for talent here.
We had cast him for spirit, gumption, some kind of gusto, something that the kid has that goes beyond a child actor just doing his job, but someone who's really going to immerse themselves in the characters, like an adult actor.
AMNA NAWAZ: Six auditions and self-tapes later and with his mom serving as his reader of the other characters' lines in the script, Michael dove into the part.
JADEN MICHAEL: I had a callback via Zoom with Ava DuVernay, and they're on my laptop in my living room.
It was... AMNA NAWAZ: What is that like?
JADEN MICHAEL: Oh, my God.
I screamed into my pillow as soon as I finished it.
I'm like, oh, my God.
Ava DuVernay was on my computer.
AMNA NAWAZ: Michael got the gig and, with it, the chance to help tell the story of a sport superstar who changed the conversation on America's history and legacy of racism.
Was that intimidating in any way?
JADEN MICHAEL: It was intimidating in a lot of facets.
For me, it was intimidating from a creative perspective, because I knew, if you get him wrong, all of your mistakes are going to be highlighted, because not only is it a real person, but the real person is sharing the screen with you.
The polarizing issue here is right in your face.
It's in the title.
It was scary at first.
I was afraid of what my family, what my friends, what the people around me might think of me, or -- but I realized, like, hey no, that's that's the reason why we should make this project.
It's so that we can have this conversation, and so that we can -- if I feel afraid to be who I am around the people around me, in my society, then I need to make this show.
That lady downstairs, she just rolls up on me and jabs me in the back.
And for what?
MARY-LOUISE PARKER: You're talking about the manager.
NICK OFFERMAN: She thought you were a vagrant.
MARY-LOUISE PARKER: Is that really what's bothering you?
JADEN MICHAEL: I don't know.
Sometimes, I just feel uncomfortable?
MARY-LOUISE PARKER: I don't think anyone is trying to make you feel that way.
AMNA NAWAZ: Do you remember hearing about him protesting and what you thought about it at the time?
JADEN MICHAEL: Oh, yes.
I was watching it on TV.
I felt that how polarizing the subject was.
I felt the feud amongst people in the streets and people in my family or the people around me.
There was something really powerful about risking your career for someone else that I found deeply respectable.
I kind of fell in love with him from that day forward.
I'd known about his NFL career, because my family's huge sports people.
It takes a lot of bravery to stand up for someone else and use your platform for change.
AMNA NAWAZ: One of the final scenes leaves young Colin behind and brings the audience to now.
COLIN KAEPERNICK: Growing up with white parents, I moved through life with their audacity of whiteness.
I assumed their privilege was mine.
I was in for a rude awakening.
MAN: The backlash is growing against Colin Kaepernick after the 49ers quarterback refused to stand during the national anthem at a game played last Friday.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX News: Who knows what Kaepernick thinks, or why, or why he's so unhappy.
MAN: Colin, here's my salute to you.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Not standing up for "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the wrong way to protest.
DONALD TRUMP, Former President of the United States: Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) TUCKER CARLSON: This is an attack on the country.
WOMAN: He's un-American, and he doesn't deserve to be in our country.
MAN: All lives matter.
AMNA NAWAZ: He clearly loves to be a quarterback.
He even has this -- a few lines when he says, I was born to do this.
And yet, there is this sport that is not allowing him a place.
And I guess I wonder if you think we will ever see Colin Kaepernick in the NFL again.
AVA DUVERNAY: Oh, it's up to the NFL.
This is a diseased, racist institution that has blackballed him.
So the decision rests with them.
There's no other assumptions or conversation that's really formative or constructive.
AMNA NAWAZ: The series is dedicated to -- quote - - "the underestimated, the overlooked, and the outcast.
Trust your power."
COLIN KAEPERNICK: I couldn't rebel because I didn't know how.
AMNA NAWAZ: On Monday, we heard from our Student Reporting Labs about the TikTok trend Devious Licks, videos of students stealing or vandalizing school bathrooms or other property.
Now a counter-response has emerged.
It's called Angelic Yields.
And, in these TikTok videos, students replace stolen items or do kind acts to improve their school.
Here's more from our Student Reporting Labs.
DAMYA THORNTON, Student: Some girls are putting inspirational, inspiring quotes on the doors and on the walls, as well as putting emergency kits in the bathrooms with sanitary items, combs, and hair ties.
KYLE JEROME, Student: They're leaving scented hand soap on the sinks in the bathrooms, or, like, they will put toilet paper, stuff like that.
JACOB JAMES, Student: I have seen people going as far as taking couches and TVs in them and putting candles to just leaving soap and maybe a little bit of money in there.
NICOLAS DELACRUZ, Student: I think those are funnier, in my opinion, because it's like - - there's one where they put Clorox wipes on every sink, and then they had -- they refilled the soap, and they had a table and they were playing checkers, and they had like classical music with candles.
CHRISTOPHER TINEO, Student: It makes me feel happy that kids are actually returning stolen goods and helping other kids or, like, helping out the school.
KASSANDRA RENO, Student: Now that I have heard about this Angelic Yields thing, I will, of course, within the next week be participating.
AMNA NAWAZ: And the kids are all right.
On the "NewsHour" online, meanwhile: Why do so many great movie villains have an evil laugh?
We break down the psychology and the power behind a classic cackle.
That is on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.
And don't forget to watch "Washington Week" tonight, as moderator Yamiche Alcindor and her panel analyze the latest from Capitol Hill and discuss President Biden's European trip.
That's tonight on PBS.
On "PBS NewsHour Weekend," meanwhile, how a guaranteed income program is changing lives in Gary, Indiana.
That's on Saturday.
On Sunday, a look at Britain's big investment in planting new forests to help slow global warming.
And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
Join us online and again here Monday evening.
For all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thanks for joining us, have a great night and a wonderful Halloween weekend.