Articles on this Page
- 02/26/13--03:56: _Obama Visits Virgin...
- 02/26/13--04:26: _The Daily Frame
- 02/26/13--04:38: _Ask The Headhunter:...
- 02/26/13--06:57: _Kenyans Prepare for...
- 02/26/13--07:00: _How To Lift Half th...
- 02/26/13--07:21: _Holmes Dixon Crosse...
- 02/26/13--07:21: _My Friend Who Made ...
- 02/26/13--08:36: _The Tuesday Cutline...
- 02/26/13--11:33: _Remembering the Vot...
- 02/26/13--12:00: _The Hidden Lives of...
- 02/26/13--13:02: _Fed Chair Bernanke ...
- 02/26/13--13:11: _News Wrap: Iran Nuc...
- 02/26/13--13:12: _Our Past Still Spea...
- 02/26/13--13:17: _Did Embattled Confi...
- 02/26/13--13:22: _Case on Police Coll...
- 02/26/13--13:31: _Memories of Violenc...
- 02/26/13--13:42: _Gloria Steinem: Wom...
- 02/28/13--08:45: _Poet David Ferry: '...
- 02/28/13--13:02: _Pope Benedict XVI E...
- 02/28/13--13:04: _Looking Ahead to Pa...
- 02/26/13--03:56: Obama Visits Virginia Shipyard to Put Sequester Squeeze on GOP
- 02/26/13--04:26: The Daily Frame
- 02/26/13--04:38: Ask The Headhunter: The Only Interview Question That Really Matters
- 02/26/13--06:57: Kenyans Prepare for Vote With Memories of Violence
- 02/26/13--07:00: How To Lift Half the World
- 02/26/13--07:21: Holmes Dixon Crossed the Altar, Busted Barriers
- 02/26/13--07:21: My Friend Who Made History
- 02/26/13--08:36: The Tuesday Cutline...a Winner!
- 02/26/13--11:33: Remembering the Voting Rights Act of 1965
- 02/26/13--12:00: The Hidden Lives of Wolves
- 02/26/13--13:11: News Wrap: Iran Nuclear Negotiations Get Reboot
- 02/26/13--13:12: Our Past Still Speaks: Re-examining the Voting Rights Act
- 02/26/13--13:22: Case on Police Collecting DNA From Criminals Reaches Supreme Court
- 02/26/13--13:31: Memories of Violence Haunt Upcoming Presidential Election in Kenya
- 02/26/13--13:42: Gloria Steinem: Women Can't 'Have It All' Until There's Equality
- 02/28/13--08:45: Poet David Ferry: 'A Special Kind of Thief'
- 02/28/13--13:02: Pope Benedict XVI Ends Reign Amidst 'Difficult Times'
President Obama will visit Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest manufacturing employer in Virginia, Tuesday. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Obama will visit a Virginia shipyard Tuesday to warn of the negative consequences from automatic spending cuts set to take effect later this week, in a bid to pressure congressional Republicans to accept a deal to replace the sequester that includes a mix of revenues and reductions.
The visit to Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest manufacturing employer in Virginia, is the latest in a series of public calls by the Obama administration to rally support behind what it has framed as a "balanced" approach to averting the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts.
But as of Monday, House Republicans remained unmoved by the effort. "The president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a Capitol Hill press availability. "Well, Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It's time to cut spending here in Washington."
Boehner also countered that job creation could be stifled if lawmakers fail to address the country's deficit. "If we don't solve this spending problem here in Washington, there will be tens of millions of jobs in the future that won't happen because of the debt load that's happening on the backs of our kids and grandkids. I came here to save the American dream for my kids and yours. This debt problem and the president's addition to spending is threatening their future."
House Republicans appeared set to move forward with a plan that would leave the sequester in place, but give the president greater flexibility to determine where the cuts are made.
The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear explain the strategy behind the GOP's move:
Seeking to shift responsibility for the cuts to Mr. Obama and to defang attacks by the White House, Republicans were expected to unveil legislation on Tuesday that they said would mitigate some of the biggest concerns. The measure would let agencies and departments cull programs that were long ago proved to be ineffective, and would make sure critical federal functions like air traffic control and meat inspection were spared.
But White House budget officials are leery. If Congress grants the White House the authority to protect air traffic controllers, Border Patrol agents and national parks, the administration's carefully devised high-pressure campaign that has been mounting for weeks could deflate. Moreover, the White House would take on the responsibility of deciding which programs to protect and which to expose -- and the political consequences that go with that.
But White House officials aren't alone in expressing skepticism about the House GOP's tactics.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called the approach "a complete cop-out" during an appearance Monday on CNN.
"We will criticize everything he does," Graham said. "We'll say it's to make it easier for you, but every decision he'll make we'll criticize. To me, this is a bipartisan problem."
Graham, who is scheduled to meet with the president at the White House on Tuesday to discuss immigration reform, said he hoped budget issues would also be on the agenda. "Now is the time to grow up. Both parties need to grow up. We need to find a chance to do the big deal. I'll challenge the president: Mr. President, let's do things that will straighten out the long-term indebtedness of the country. Stop talking about between March and October. Talk about the next 30 years."
But for Tuesday, at least, the president's focus will likely remain on the more immediate crisis, and using the Newport News stop to squeeze Republicans politically, even as he is joined by one member of the House GOP Conference, Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia. The shipyard sits in Rigell's home district.
A White House official said the large Virginia employer's plight "illustrates how these indiscriminate, across the board cuts would have potentially harmful effects industry wide, impacting jobs, economic demand and our military readiness" and highlighted the state-by-state details released over the weekend.
In Virginia alone, approximately 90,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed if the sequester was to hit, reducing gross pay by around $648.4 million in total.
As well, it would cancel the maintenance of 11 ships in Norfolk, defer four projects at Dahlgren, Oceana, and Norfolk, and delay other modernization and demolition projects.
The Washington Post curtain-raises the president's visit with a look at anxiety in shipyards across the region.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal labeled Mr. Obama's actions "political theater" and that the president is "trying to scare the American people," reports NewsHour's Kwame Holman, who was at the White House Monday as the nation's governors met with the president.
And as the president faces intensifiedGOP criticism for campaign-style events, the Rothenberg Political Report's Stu Rothenberg gets to the nitty gritty in his column for Roll Call: could it all about trying to win back the House for Democrats in 2014?
He writes that it's "far too early to know whether Democrats will have some, or even any, chance to win back the House next year; candidate recruitment has just begun, the number of retirements (and open seats) is uncertain and the president's popularity more than 20 months from now is an open question."
"Going back to the election of 1862, the only time the president's party gained as many as 10 seats was, well, never. Even in 1934, the best showing by the president's party in House elections since the Civil War, the president's party gained only nine seats," Rothenberg wrote.
On the NewsHour Monday, Ray Suarez and Judy Woodruff examined both the practical and political motives behind Mr. Obama's actions. Judy spoke with Weisman and Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News to get perspectives from both Congress and the White House.
Watch the segment here or below:Watch Video
The Daily Download segment exploring how the digital world affects not just politics, but the culture we live in, on Monday focused on the president circumventing the traditional press to speak directly to everyday citizens.
Christina Bellantoni discussed the phenomenon with Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn from Daily Download, and the trio walked through the White House usage of Google Plus to "hang out" with people and answer a range of questions journalists might not ask, or at least not in the same way.
Consider this stat superstar historian Michael Beschloss shared with us Monday: President Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats reached as many as 54 million people in one sitting, but he hosted just a handful of them per year.
Watch the segment here or below:Watch Video
And you can join our conversation. Did you watch the president's Google Hangout? What would you ask him if you were on the other side of the laptop camera? Weigh in here.
As of Monday evening, 75 "Republican officials and influential thinkers" had signed onto an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of striking down California's proposition 8.
Voters in Chicago head to the polls for primary elections Tuesday. 16 Democrats and four Republicans are vying for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat in the strongly Democratic 2nd congressional district in Illinois. The general election is set for April 9. Politics Production Assistant Allie Morris talked with Paris Schutz of WTTW to get the lay of the land. Listen here or below.
As mentioned above, Mr. Obama invited Graham and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to meet with him at the White House Tuesday about immigration reform.
Politico's Alexander Burns reports that the Obama aides behind Battleground Texas go live Tuesday with the new effort.
Roll Call's Steve Dennis has a handy guide dubbed "15 things you need to know about the sequester."
The Daily Caller finds an escort who says Sen. Bob Menendez paid her for sex.
National Review reports that actress Ashley Judd, who's considering a bid for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, hasn't voted in every election. And the Daily Caller rounds up Judd's previous "bizzare" comments that could haunt her during a bid.
Progressives are running this gun control-focused spot against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
Christian National Leaders have written a pastoral letter to Mr. Obama and Congress asking for the budget debate to be framed in moral rather than economic terms. They asked both parties to replace poverty with opportunity.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not be speaking at CPAC.
The 10 biggest government contractors, which collectlively spent $115 million on campaigning and lobbying in 2012, could lose $13.6 billion in government contracts because of the sequester, according to the Sunlight Foundation's calculations.
In his posthumously published memoir, Robert Bork writes that President Richard Nixon promised him the next Supreme Court vacancy after Bork complied with Nixon's order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973, the Associated Press reports.
Hundreds from Alabama and other states are expected to converge on Capitol Hill Wednesday to participate in a rally outside the Supreme Court as it hears arguments challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is organizing "freedom riders" who will depart from the Supreme Court Wednesday and hold press conferences at federal courthouses in seven southern cities Wednesday through Friday. The riders will begin a march from Selma to Montgomery on March 3, ending with a rally at the Alabama State Capitol on March 8.
Nine Inch Nails is getting back together.
Judy waded into the cost of health care with Steven Brill, who penned Time Magazine's longest-ever cover story on the topic.
Margaret Warner interviewed Jason Horowitz from Vatican City about the pope's final days of service and the search for the man to replace him.
Ray talked with Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., about his recent visit to Cuba and what the country could be like post-Castro.
Also on the NewsHour website, the Council on Foreign Relations provides a background report on the effects on the sequester on national security, exmaining U.S. defense spending over time and in comparison to other countries' defense budgets.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court will examine a constitutional challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The landmark case asks whether the act is still necessary and whether voters still risk disenfranchisement in certain parts of the country. The NewsHour will examine in depth the questions this case raises. And we'd like your help as we go even deeper. Get details about our Oral History project here. You can record your memory now using the button below, or call (703) 594-6PBS to share your story.
Today is 20th anniversary of 1st attack on World Trade Center. How 9/11 museum connects the dots: nyti.ms/ZFoDUW— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 26, 2013
Firefighters union airing pro-Hagel ad, just caught it on MSNBCl— Beth Reinhard (@bethreinhard) February 26, 2013
Hard to see this Christie-CPAC no-invite lasting...— maggie haberman (@maggiepolitico) February 26, 2013
I'm honored to join the amazing staff @buzzfeed. I'll be covering the WH and sharing a bureau with a team that's really making moves.— e mcmorris-santoro (@evanmc_s) February 25, 2013
Desk Assistants Simone Pathe and Sarah McHaney and Cassie M. Chew contributed to this report.
For more political coverage, visit our politics page.
Sign up here to receive the Morning Line in your inbox every morning.
Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.
Follow the politics team on Twitter:Follow @burlijiFollow @kpolantzFollow @elizsummersFollow @indiefilmfanFollow @tiffanymullonFollow @dePeystahFollow @meenaganesan
Click to enlarge.
Members of the group Fighters perform at Battle Four by Four, a competition of breakdancers on Sunday at Fine Arts theater in Guatemala City. Photo by Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images.
Photo by Altrendo/Getty Images.
In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees -- just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.
Question: When I interview people to work in the department I manage, I use a collection of questions that my personnel department insists we ask, and a few of my personal favorites. So I'd like to know: What's your favorite interview question and why?
Nick Corcodilos: Several years ago, Fast Company magazine produced a special edition of advice "for the perplexed exec." It was a collection of questions and answers designed to help managers succeed. They asked me to answer the question you've raised.
I'll get to my answer in a bit. But first, here's another response to your question from a recent LinkedIn posting by Lou Adler, another headhunter who also teaches recruiting and job-hunting techniques. According to Lou, "The Most Important Interview Question of All Time" is this:
"What single project or task would you consider the most significant accomplishment in your career, so far?"
What's useful about Lou's suggestion is that the sub-questions it spawns stimulate wonderful discussion between an applicant and a manager. But much as I respect Lou, I totally disagree that asking a job candidate about his or her most significant accomplishment is so important.
In fact, I think it's a distraction. It makes it harder for you (the manager) to really assess what an applicant will do for your business. Don't worry what the job candidate has done. You can ask about that later. Like every investment prospectus says, past performance is no guarantee of future results. What matters is what a person will do next, if hired, to make your business more profitable.
In a friendly spirit of "I don't think so ..." I'm going to challenge Lou Adler's advice and offer a better interview question to ask every applicant, before you talk about anything else:
"What's your business plan for doing this job profitably?"
Any job applicant can walk into an interview and rehash past accomplishments on a moment's notice. A dog with a note in its mouth can do that. The person in Lou's scenario could be visiting any company, talking with any manager, about any job. In other words, Lou's applicant can be totally unprepared and you'd never know it.
But the truly prepared job candidate has researched your company's business in detail and is ready to deliver a "mini business plan" about how to do the job you need done, showing why he or she would be your most profitable hire. There is no way to fake it. This is the only interview question that really matters because if the applicant's answer isn't a good one, then there's no reason to waste time talking about anything else.
I think this approach is more important today than it's ever been, because while many employers enjoy hefty profits, they nonetheless hesitate to hire. Why should they fill a position and increase their overhead, when they have no idea if the new hire can deliver profitable work?
Of course, if you're going to expect a job applicant to deliver plans, you need to give all applicants a heads up. Call each one at least a week before the interview. Tell them you expect a brief, defensible plan for doing the job. Tell them what to study and give them useful material to read.
If you've selected your candidates carefully, it's worth letting them talk to members of your team prior to the interview. That's right. Coach them to win the job! Help them prepare a thoughtful, custom presentation, so you can see their best performance. (Isn't that what you do for your own employees, to help them succeed?)
The added benefit of this approach is that most applicants you talk to will never show up for the interview, and you'll save a lot of valuable time. Most job hunters can't be bothered. They don't want to invest the time and energy to get to know your business. They're too busy applying for a job, any job.
The very few who come to meet you are truly motivated and really want to work for you. They're ready to prove it. They will accept your challenge and show up ready to demonstrate how they will do the job. So, "Open the Door" and welcome your most motivated candidates.
As an employer, you can ask a job applicant for virtually anything you want. So, why ask for a dopey resume about their history? Why assess them indirectly by asking about their "most significant accomplishment" when you can directly assess how they'd do this job now? Your most profitable hire will jump at the chance to produce a plan to do the work. The rest aren't worth talking to.
A few final notes: First, the purpose of this approach is to gauge a job candidate's ability to do the work -- not to use an interview to get free work or project plans out of interviewees! Be reasonable, and be respectful. Second, I like a lot of Lou Adler's advice about recruiting and job hunting. Just not this piece of it.
I also don't want to leave job applicants' interests out of this column. Here's an article on my website with my suggestion about how job applicants can and should go about answering the only interview question that really matters: "The Single Best Interview Question... And The Best Answer."
And finally, a request to our Making Sense readers:
If you were applying for a job and you were told in advance that you'd be asked my question, how would you handle it? Please post your comments below.
Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth "how to" PDF books are available for sale on his website: "How to Work With Headhunters...and how to make headhunters work for you," "How Can I Change Careers?" and "Keep Your Salary Under Wraps."
Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!
Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask The Headhunter® is a registered trademark.
Kenya's presidential and parliamentary elections are March 4. Leading up to the vote, Kenyans rallied for their candidates and held mock elections to avoid the chaos-driven violence that followed elections in 2007.
A woman sells vegetables surrounded by campaign posters for Sen. Margaret Wanjiru in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Feb. 22. Kenya holds presidential and parliamentary elections March 4. Photo: Feisal Omar/Reuters
Women carry chairs along the Kenya-Uganda railway line near Kibera slum, home to over 1 million people in Kenya's capital Nairobi, on Feb. 25. Kenya's landlocked neighbors, including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, reportedly are stocking up on fuel and food to prevent the kind of disruption they suffered after being cut off from the port of Mombasa by angry rioters following a disputed election in Kenya in 2007. Photo: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
A voter waits to participate in a mock election at Mahiga Primary School in Nairobi on Feb. 24. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission held a one-day countrywide mock elections exercise in an effort to educate voters on how to mark ballots for the scheduled March 4 general election in Kenya. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
A polling clerk marks the finger of a "voter" during a mock election at Mahiga Primary School in Nairobi on Feb. 24. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
Supporters of Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the presidential candidate of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, cheer during a campaign rally at the Tononoka Ground in the coastal city of Mombasa on Feb. 24. Photo: Joseph Okanga/Reuters
Ready to Run
Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta gets the all-clear from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to run for president in the March 4 vote, in this Jan. 30 file photo taken in Kenya's capital Nairobi. Kenyatta is accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity during the violent aftermath of the 2007 elections. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
The eight Kenyan presidential contenders Mohammed Dida, James Ole Kiyiapi, Uhuru Kenyatta, Peter Kenneth, Musalia Mudavadi, Martha Karua, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Paul Muite (left to right) face off in the first ever presidential debate at Brookhouse School in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Feb. 11. Photo: Stringer/Reuters
A worker sweeps past the campaign bus of a parliamentarian candidate in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Feb. 22. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
Kenya's Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga (right) poses with former cabinet minister and presidential candidate William Ruto at peace prayers at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Feb. 24. Odinga has accused the head of the civil service of recruiting officials to back his main rival, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, as part of a wider plan to rig the election on March 4. Photo: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
A supporter cheers as Kenya's Deputy Prime Minister and presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta addresses Muslim leaders during a campaign meeting in the capital Nairobi on Feb. 22. Photo: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
People wave white cloths during peace prayers at the Uhuru Park grounds in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Feb. 24. Kenyan prophet David Owuor led the prayers calling for the avoidance of the violence seen after the 2007 elections which left more than 1,200 people dead and damaged the image of East Africa's biggest economy. Photo: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
Walking to School
A woman carries water in plastic cans as children walk to school during the early morning in the Kibera slums in Kenya's capital Nairobi on Feb. 15. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
The Teachers Union announced a countrywide strike by teachers over unpaid allowances, just days before the March 4 elections, the local daily newspapers reported. Photo: Noor Khamis/Reuters
In the past few weeks and months, I've mentioned women on my nightly contributions to the NewsHour programs—at times in their struggles for equality, despite the atrocities they endure. There is the story of Malala Yousafzai recovering after the Taliban shot her in the head for being an advocate for girls education, the Billion Rising movement on Valentine's day that found new energy in India after the tragic gang rape in Delhi, or more recently, the spotlight on violence against women in South Africa in the wake of the tragic murder of Reeva Steenkamp. When the set lights go dark, and I'm taking my microphone off, I am often perplexed that half the population on the planet still has to fight to be heard, to be treated with dignity, to get a fair shot.
Perhaps I'm at times dumbfounded because in my first and second grade class in India, in a room of more than 70 students, I was competing with everything I had for the No. 1 ranking with a young woman named Uma. Maybe it is in that competition where I assumed naively that girls and women would always be my equal competitors.
It did not take long for me growing up in India to recognize how lopsidedly unequal situations were for women outside that classroom. While my worldview may have shifted by immigrating to the U.S., I've become aware of the gender inequities of the developing world as well, and often glanced to my motherland to see women rising and leading masses and movements in a culture which is very slowly beginning to accept the reality. Rather than picking a particular woman, I'd like to highlight what I'd say are classes of inspirational activists.
Medha Patkar crossed my radar in the 90s when she was working furiously to stop dams on the Narmada River. She lobbied for the hundreds of thousands of people living upstream who would be flooded out of their homes. While the occasional celebrity activist has joined her cause, her efforts have continued for decades and she has survived arrests and hunger strikes as she continued to become a voice for so many who had no chance to be heard. What was considered her radicalism has now become a countervailing voice thanks in part through prestigious international awards and recognition. But there are legions more who have less recognition and are still doing stellar work.
Run through the archives at the NewsHour and through Fred De Sam Lazaro's pieces and you’ll find the story of Sunita Krishnan, a tireless activist who along with her non-profit Prajwala fights the realities of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking in India. Check out a powerful TED talk by Krishnan where she details the lives of some of the victims and pleads with the audience not for our pity but for our acceptance of these victims as fellow humans. Given the recent report by Human Rights Watch on child sexual abuse in India, Krishnan's work will not end soon. A decade ago Fred also profiled Dr. Suniti Solomon, a doctor who was part of the team that documented the first cases of HIV in India and who is still working to help destigmatize being HIV positive. Dr. Solomon was profiled in a recent film about a culture of intermarriage between HIV positive individuals in India.
There are quieter tiers of activists who are incredibly effective in their own focused corners. In 2003 I visited the Banyan, a woman-run non-profit in Chennai India that focuses on helping homeless and mentally ill women (mostly) get off the streets. The patients are castaways from families who don't want them or can't care for them, and they endure abuse of almost every kind on the streets, but somehow this agency manages to reach out, care for, and often stabilize women through medical and psychological treatment. I was also inspired by the Sylvia Wright Trust whose namesake has been tirelessly working in rural South India for more than three decades. She started with a medical van and now has built schools for deaf and disabled children who were often times castaways and one of the highest caliber hospitals in the area. This former nurse from Leeds has even built a nursing college which will continue her legacy.
The stories of the Sylvia Wrights, the Banyans, and any of these change agents would not be heard were it not for what I consider the amplifying class of activist. I'm inspired by the engagement techniques and campaigns spearheaded by Mallika Dutt and her organization Breakthrough. From Facebook Games to promise campaigns, she is helping "ring the bell" and raise awareness of gender violence, women's human rights and immigration. Documentary journalists like Sharmeed Obaid Chinoy tell powerful stories and sometimes are rewarded with widespread accolades as she was with her Oscar last year. Did the recognition stop the practice of Acid attacks? No—but do a billion more people on the planet at least know that the atrocity exists? Yes. There are also grassroots enablers like Jessica Mayberry of Video Volunteers who are capitalizing on the falling prices for cameras and digital storytelling tools, and are enabling and empowering women, the poor and the disenfranchised to begin telling their own stories.
I also wonder whether we are at the beginning of a more significant groundswell of awareness of women's issues. The same forces which fuel all of the campaigns that comprise the marketplace of ideas are enabling stories of gender violence and inequality to spread farther and faster. From social media calls to action to non-profit campaigns to educate women and girls, they are all competing for our most valuable diminishing resource—time. The difference I'm noticing is that in the past couple of years, it seems these campaigns are winning more of my attention. I wonder whether this conversation goes "viral" and infects the consciousness of us all, more powerfully than the gun debate or climate change or education, or any number of issues. Because If I can reframe thinking of inequality as a gender-centric set of conditions, lift it out of a box I may have placed it in within my own head, and perhaps begin seeing it as something that affects half the population who will help tackle gun violence, and climate change and education and everything else, perhaps I would feel more urgency to act. Working toward that paradigm shift is why the women I've mentioned and so many others inspire me.
Since I’m now in my mid-50s, I can really say I’ve grown up right along with the women’s movement. As a reporter, I’ve had a front seat as women have fought to attain the place in society that was always their due.
One place you might think of as different from the corporate boardroom, the anchor desk or a presidential debate, is the altar. In my lifetime I’ve watched as women moved from one side of the altar, kneeling to receive communion or demurely waiting to kiss the groom, to take their place on the other side, as clerics, just as empowered to preach and teach as their brothers, husbands, fathers and sons.
So it was with sadness and shock that I heard of the passing of Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon early on Christmas morning. She was the second bishop in the Episcopal Church of the United States, the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The news that women would be allowed ordination rocked the Episcopal Church when I was a teenager. Holmes Dixon, in her early 40s at the time, headed to seminary to become one of the first women priests in the American church. At a time when many Episcopalians were not sure they could accept a woman presiding at Communion, baptizing babies or running congregations, she plunged right in. She was, by all accounts, a success as a pastor.
I have been lucky to live in an era of outstanding, barrier-busting women. There is no shortage of women my daughters can look to, and see a possible version of their future selves. When Holmes Dixon became a bishop she had to clear many of the same hurdles she faced as a parish priest, but in a magnified way. Would the people of her diocese -- men and women -- accept a woman wearing the mitre and carrying the crozier of a bishop?
Some conservative parishes openly rebelled. Even decades after women became priests there were many who had a hard time watching a woman in procession down the center aisles of their churches carrying the authority of a bishop. In business, in politics, in many walks of life, women getting ahead was fine in the abstract but tougher for some to handle in real life.
Aware that her own behavior was watched far beyond the borders of the Diocese of Washington, Bishop Jane did not back down. Her authority was not hers alone, but represented an important threshold question for the future of women in the church.
It certainly helped that she was a good teacher, a strong preacher, great with kids, approachable and warm. In her life and work she was one of a generation of women who shattered the association of so many jobs with “men’s work.” As my own daughter heads off to seminary to begin training for the priesthood, I am thankful for the life of Jane Holmes Dixon.
On January 9, 1961, an 18 year old from Atlanta did what everyone who wanted to register for classes at the University of Georgia that spring semester did. She and former classmate, Hamilton Holmes, showed up on the Athens campus. But their experience was different: they were met with ugly shouts and racial epithets from what had been until then an all-white student body.
The young woman was Charlayne Hunter, a high school academic star, who had been approached by black civic leaders in Atlanta who were looking to challenge segregation in the state’s colleges. A couple days later, Hunter and Holmes were forced to return to their homes in Atlanta after an angry mob gathered outside her dormitory and threw bottles and bricks through the windows. But the two soon returned, with the help of a federal court order; both stuck it out and went on to graduate a few years later.
While all this was happening in Athens, just 95 miles to the east, in Augusta, Ga., a 14 year old was mainly focused on her junior high school studies and life, with still unclear dreams about which college or career lie ahead. She heard little or nothing of the commotion taking place at the state’s premier public university. But she would eventually be aware that the old South was changing, whether it wanted to or not, and that change would make the whole country a better place.
Twenty-two years later, when that second young woman joined the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour team as they were about to launch the first hour-long newscast on broadcast television, one of her -- my -- new colleagues would be the woman who had made history integrating the University of Georgia. She was by now Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a prize-winning journalist and former writer for the New Yorker.
Charlayne would become my good friend, someone I admired enormously for the courage she showed at such a young age, only to be deepened by the years she spent reporting on, and writing about, inequality in America, and later, South Africa, where she lived for two decades.
She would win many journalism honors and would continue, as she still does today, to write and speak with a clear, forceful voice about some of the most important stories of our time. She appeared on the NewsHour the other day, reporting on the shamefully high incidence of domestic abuse in South Africa. I never stop marveling at the uncommon qualities she brought to a hostile college campus so many years ago, making her a central figure in the Civil Rights movement and in American history.
Did you do a double take at last week's bus-riding panda photo? Don't even pretend that you didn't have to verify that you were actually looking at person wearing a costume. Before we get to this week's winner, here's the original caption for STR/AFP/Getty Images' photo:
"This picture from January 26, 2013, the first day of Spring Festival travel season, shows a lady wearing a panda costume sits in her train back to Cangzhou in Hefei from Beijing. The lady, together with other three female friends, said she would like to feel the special atmosphere of the Spring Festival traveling in this way."
We received some terrific captions this week. A few cleverly referred to a "Panda Express" style of transportation and several suggested that the obvious snack of choice for a road trip like this would be bamboo. But our favorite caption played to our pun-loving side. Congrats to Danielle Abramson for your winning caption:
"And you thought your commute was unbearable..."
Thank you all for playing along. Join us next week for another Tuesday Cutline.
About the Tuesday Cutline: Every other Tuesday, we post a photo. You compose a witty, creative caption, submit it by Friday at 5 p.m. ET in the comments section or on the NewsHour's or Art Beat's Facebook pages. The following Tuesday we pick one winner. Everyone celebrates.
The Supreme Court's attention on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 allows PBS NewsHour to look back in history, too. We asked viewers to share memories surrounding the passage of the law and the civil rights era. We received nearly 70 calls from 26 states.
From 1990 to 1996, Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived in a tented camp on the edge of Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness, where they observed and studied the behavior and social hierarchy of a pack of gray wolves, known as the Sawtooth Pack. Their new book, “The Hidden Life of Wolves documents that experience.
Accompanied by Jim Dutcher’s photography, the book strives to dispel the myth of wolves as violent creatures and introduces a new perception: wolves as social animals.
Earlier this month, Hari Sreenivasan caught up with the Dutchers and talked to them about their adventure living with the wolves, their unprecedented access to the animals and their efforts to bring awareness to wolf hunting. Watch the conversation in the video above.
And watch more in this video on the Dutchers by National Geographic.
For more on the story of the gray wolf, Miles O’Brien reported on the debate over wolf hunting in Montana in September 2011 after gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list. He interviewed cattle ranchers, hunters, conservationists and scientists about the animal. You can watch that here:Watch Video
Jenny Marder contributed to this report.
GWEN IFILL: The federal government moved another day closer today to $85 billion in automatic spending cuts. And as political charges and countercharges flew, Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke raised new fears about the potential economic fallout.
The Fed chairman told a Senate committee that forcing across-the-board spending cuts could slice half-a-percentage point off economic growth.
BEN BERNANKE, Federal Reserve Chairman: I think an appropriate balance would be to introduce these cuts more gradually and to compensate with larger and more sustained cuts in the longer run to address our long-run fiscal issues.
GWEN IFILL: Bernanke said the sequester was supposed to be a doomsday weapon designed to spur compromise.
BEN BERNANKE: It was done to be sort of like "Dr. Strangelove," you know, the bomb that goes off. So, obviously, if you can find a way to, you know -- in a bipartisan way to make it more effective and better prioritized, that would be a good thing.
GWEN IFILL: Instead, the spending cuts could begin to take effect at week's end.
President Obama, speaking at a shipyard in Newport News, Va., delivered fresh warnings today that the spending cuts would result in painful, self-inflicted wounds.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Because of these automatic cuts, about 90,000 Virginians who work for the Department of Defense would be forced to take unpaid leave from their jobs. So that's money out of their pockets, money out of their paychecks. And then that means there's going to be a ripple effect on thousands of other jobs and businesses and services throughout the commonwealth.
GWEN IFILL: The president pressed for a compromise that combines targeted spending cuts with increased tax revenue.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are too many Republicans in Congress right now who refuse to compromise even an inch when it comes to closing tax loopholes and special interest tax breaks. And that's what's holding things up right now.
GWEN IFILL: The administration announced today another response to the impending cuts, the release of hundreds of detainees held at immigration detention centers. Republicans called it a ploy.
And back at the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner said Mr. Obama cannot be trusted.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-Ohio, Speaker of the House: Now, the American people know the president gets more money, they're just going to spend it. And the fact is, is that he's gotten his tax hikes. It's time to focus on the real problem here in Washington, and that is spending.
GWEN IFILL: Boehner complained that the president is busy holding campaign rallies while Senate Democrats do nothing. In the last Congress, the Republican-controlled House passed two alternatives.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER: We shouldn't have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
GWEN IFILL: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shot back.
SEN. HARRY REID, D-Nev., Majority Leader: I think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior. We're doing our best here to pass something. And the reason he's not bringing up something over there is because he can't pass it. He can't get his caucus to agree on anything.
GWEN IFILL: But Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said Democrats have to face facts.
SEN. ROY BLUNT, R-Missouri: The spending cuts are going to happen. And the option now for the president is, do you want to work for a different way for these same savings to be achieved? And that's very doable.
GWEN IFILL: And Friday's is not the last deadline. Another one looms in late March, when government funding runs out.
Now, for more on whether political paralysis in Washington is spilling over onto the economy, we turn to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS, a research and forecasting firm.
We have heard, Mr. Behravesh, in the last couple of days, weeks surveys, polls that show that a lot of Americans to the extent they're following this story do think there's a problem here with this so-called sequester, but they don't necessarily think it's going to affect them. Are they right?
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH, Chief Economist, IHS Global Insight: Well, I think it will affect some Americans, but it's not going to have a broad impact. It will affect certain industries, for example, those that are suppliers to the defense industry.
It might affect the airlines if there are problems with air traffic control delays or canceled flights and so on. But it will not have a broad-based effect. It will be very targeted, at least the way it's currently being proposed on some key industries, defense in particular.
GWEN IFILL: When Ben Bernanke says it will have a half-percentage -- will apply a half-percentage point drag on the economy, measure what that means for us. What does that mean?
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: Well, I think the good news here is that the U.S. economy is actually growing at probably about a 2 percent rate. So if the full sequester goes in and stays in place for the full year between now and the end of the year, then it's essentially what Mr. Bernanke is saying is growth will be 1.5 percent, instead of 2 percent.
I doubt very much that's the way it's going to pan out. Eventually some kind of compromise will be worked out. But again the good news is that the U.S. consumers, U.S. businesses, are beginning to spend, are beginning to hire in the case of businesses, and that momentum seems to actually be picking up a little bit. So even in the worst-case scenario, we're not talking a recession. We're talking slower growth, which isn't good, but it's better than recession.
GWEN IFILL: Which is not good at a time when you're recovering.
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: Right.
GWEN IFILL: So when people look at this debate that's going on now, how do we look at it? Do we look at it long-term, short-term? Do we look at the reality or the possibility? What is the greatest, most damaging part of this?
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: Well, I think the damaging part of it is that, you know, this is a very, very bad way to run a government.
But the other reality is we have racked up a lot of debts. We do have very big deficits. We have to start cutting them. And so we -- and we can't keep postponing the cuts or the tax increases, however we decide we're going to do this. It's going to hurt growth. This notion that only spending cuts hurt growth and tax increases don't is a bit of a false dichotomy here.
However we cut the deficit, it will hurt growth. So the question is, when should we start doing it? And I think so far we have kind of postponed things. At some point the international financial market is going to lose patience with the U.S. and will punish us, basically, by raising interest rates or demanding higher interest rates.
So, we can't keep postponing it. So, the question is, is 2013 the right time to be doing this, or should we wait another year or two? And I suspect markets will start to get impatient with the U.S. if we don't have a credible plan in place very soon.
GWEN IFILL: Well, let's talk about that credible plan. Whether there's one in place or not, certainly that is looking less and less likely by Friday, whether there's one in place at some point, what effect does it have on consumer confidence? How much does consumers’ and businesses’ worry about the uncertainty here become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: You know, that's an excellent question.
I think the good news, bad news, however you want to say it, is that consumers and businesses are beginning to shrug this off. They're beginning to shrug off the dysfunctionality in Washington. We have been through two of these episodes already. This is the third one.
And I will give you two interesting tidbits of information. The first is today consumer confidence bounced right back after having dropped two months in a row. And those two drops were having to do with the fiscal cliff and the increase in payroll taxes. So basically consumers are shrugging this off. Maybe they shouldn't, but they are.
The other is that the pace of hiring between the third and fourth quarter accelerated, even though U.S. businesses were worried about the fiscal cliff. So I suspect this next round, in terms of the sequester, a lot of businesses again will sort of say, oh, there's Washington at it again. So the good news is right now at least, it doesn't seem to be affecting business and consumer confidence that much.
GWEN IFILL: So, you're saying when we look at these serial showdowns, whether it's the threat of a government showdown or a fiscal cliff or this sequester or another round at the end of this month, people are shrugging it off, rather than saying -- getting hopelessly paralyzed by it themselves, that is, the individuals and the private business?
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: Well, undoubtedly, some businesses, those that are in the crosshairs, if you will, of the sequester, and, you know, people who are worried about losing their jobs are paralyzed or are taking actions. I'm not saying nobody is.
But if you look at the economy as a whole, the evidence is that, as each of these showdowns, as you call them, sort of passes and nothing horrible happens, there's a tendency on the part of businesses and consumers to say, you know, here we go again. Oh, well.
I mean, again, I know I'm being a little facetious, but I think that's what we're seeing right now.
GWEN IFILL: Nariman Behravesh of IHS, thank you so much for helping us out.
NARIMAN BEHRAVESH: Thank you.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Wall Street bounced back today. Stocks rose after news that new home sales in January were the best since July of 2008. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 116 points to close at 13,900. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to close at 3,129.
J.P. Morgan Chase will cut some 4,000 jobs this year, about 1.5 percent of its work force. The bank's announcement today said the reductions will come mainly through attrition, but there will be layoffs as well. Meanwhile, profits at U.S. banks grew 37 percent from October through December, compared to a year ago. It was the best fourth-quarter showing in six years.
The second blizzard in a week paralyzed parts of the country from Oklahoma to the Great Lakes today. More than 100,000 homes and businesses lost power, and Kansas City declared an emergency. The storm had already battered the Texas Panhandle. Winds there reached hurricane-force, and piled drifts more than two feet high in some places.
Negotiations on Iran's nuclear program restarted today for the first time in eight months. The two-day talks opened in Kazakhstan. The U.S. and other world powers offered to ease some international sanctions, if Iran will limit activities that could lead to nuclear weapons. .
MICHAEL MANN, Spokesman, European Union: The offer addresses international concerns on the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, but it's also responsive to Iranian ideas. And we hope very much that Iran will seize this opportunity and come to the talks with flexibility and a commitment to make concrete progress towards a confidence-building step.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In response, Iran said it will make a counteroffer during the talks.
In Egypt, at least 19 people were killed in one of the deadliest ballooning accidents ever. A hot air balloon carrying tourists caught fire over the ancient city of Luxor and crashed in a field. The dead were from Europe and Asia. In addition, the Egyptian pilot and one British man were hospitalized with burns.
Italy's politicians searched for a way forward today after an election that left a political stalemate. That, in turn, generated new fears of economic fallout.
We have a report from Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News.
JONATHAN RUGMAN: The news from Rome has sent shockwaves across Europe, a rebellion against austerity, a rebellion, too, against their fossilized politicians.
This man has upturned the old order: Beppe Grillo, a comedian, pitching a 20-hour working week, tax cuts and a referendum on the euro. a clown-turned-potential-kingmaker here, after polling 25 percent of Italy's vote. This taxi driver backed him. "It was a protest vote," he told me. "Grillo might be a comedian, but he can't be worse than what we have got."
The extraordinary success of Beppe Grillo's grassroots movement has taken Italy by complete surprise. And if you're looking for a party headquarters for him here in Rome, well, you won't find one. All there is, is this staff room in the basement of a Rome hotel.
And if its politicians won't do the job, Italy is at risk of becoming ungovernable. The Milan stock market tumbled almost 5 percent today and any halt to economic reform here endangers the rest of the Eurozone. Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, now urging Italy to form a stable, functioning government and to do it quick.
The center-left leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, says he will try to do that. He won the lower house of parliament. But whether he can now form a grand coalition to run the country is anyone's guess. And it could be political suicide to strike a deal with Silvio Berlusconi, who staged a political comeback from the dead last night and who today hinted at compromises for the sake of Italy.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Google and the government of Spain went before Europe's highest court in a privacy fight that could have far-reaching implications. The case involves whether Google can be forced to erase search results that people feel violate their privacy. The company says it shouldn't have to delete lawful content which it didn't create. A ruling is expected by the end of the year.
President Lyndon Johnson discusses the Voting Rights Act with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, the year it was signed into law. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Let me begin this discussion of the landmark Voting Rights Act and its less-than-secure future with a couple of propositions, the way a geometry problem starts with givens:
In the century after the Civil War, black political aspirations were thwarted and stunted through a variety of techniques ranging from murderous criminality to white-collar dirty tricks.
In the 1960s, minority political representation was a faint echo of minority population numbers, meaning a hundred years of suppression had worked.
1960s-era civil rights legislation assumed that white Americans were less likely to vote for a black or Latino candidate for local and federal office -- even a nominee of their own party -- than they were for a white nominee, so minority- heavy districts needed to be mapped to insure elected representation.
While the United States had plenty to live down in its history of race relations, the most severe, systematic and consistent trampling of minority rights were found in many of the states of the Confederacy.
In those four unremarkable propositions lived much of the power of the Voting Rights Act. When President Johnson spoke to a joint session of congress after the passage of the Act, he reminded his audience, "This Act flows from a clear and simple wrong. The only purpose of this Act is to right that wrong." Among those supporting the law it was assumed that more black representation was a goal, that more was better than less, and that the states covered in the law were places that could not be trusted to do the right things themselves, that is, without federal oversight.
The decades that followed meant that the ebb and flow of local lawmaking, boundary drawing and elections would be different in the states covered by the Voting Rights Act. With the life and death struggles of the civil rights movement still fresh in American memory, people well understood what Washington was overseeing, even if they could not always bring themselves to drop the pose of disingenuousness that came with all the talk of "tradition" and "way of life."
The Voting Rights Act tore down the rotten framework of literacy and civics tests, tricky voter qualification, lines that split minority neighborhoods into five different districts, at-large elections to dilute minority voting power, refusal to supply bilingual voting materials, and all the other techniques that kept minority voters out of polling booths and out of power.
In his historic address President Johnson told congress that the histories of Americans and black Americans had flowed "through the centuries along divided channels." The milestones of the early United States meant little to black Americans, Johnson said, until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, when "an American victory was also a Negro victory."
Think about this: in the years after the Second World War, there were two black members of congress. Two. William Dawson from Chicago's South Side, and Harlem's Adam Clayton Powell were the black congressional caucus! Today there are more than 40 black members of congress, including two U.S. senators. Behind them are mayors, county commissioners, state senators and state representatives, sheriffs, aldermen, committeewomen, and on and on. Black Americans are full participants in American political life and their votes sought by politicians of all colors.
The changes in American politics in the decades since the Voting Rights Act have emboldened the states living under its strictures to wonder out loud whether the law is now a 20th-century relic, unnecessary in a continent-sized country of more than 300 million people led by a black president. Across the South, and in Arizona, Alaska and scattered areas across the country (including my own home town of Brooklyn, N.Y.), federal oversight is required for elections and electoral maps. Increasingly, states like Texas are bridling under the requirements imposed by the Act as it approaches its 50th anniversary.
Black mayors have run many of the biggest cities in the states still regulated by the Voting Rights Act: Charlotte, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston. South Carolina has a black U.S. Senator. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina is one of the most powerful men in the House. Mission accomplished, right?
Yes ... and no. File under "unintended consequences" -- the way forming minority "supermajority" districts helped the Republican Party march toward dominating the South by concentrating minority voters in districts that knit together towns dozens of miles apart. Rep. Mel Watt's old North Carolina district marched across a hundred miles of the state, grouping black voters together into a district a black politician could win, and at the same time diluting the Democratic vote in surrounding districts. It can be argued, and many have, that the house members who ran in districts emptied of black voters no longer had to spend much time worrying about college access, economic opportunity, and progress for black Americans.
While they've quietly taken advantage of Voting Rights Acts era mapping, Republican politicians have also complained about the continued imposition of the Act as Washington interference in local affairs. Even in 2013, it's never too late to bang the States Rights drum. Black and Latino politicians across the South and the Southwest insist that the Act is still necessary. The gross, violent oppression of Mexican-American and black voters is no longer a central part of our politics. On that much, all sides agree. But the lines that snake through polling places and stretch out the door and into the parking lot, the new laws that minority advocates say make it harder to vote, speak to continued tension over race and political power. After Texas' huge increase in Latino population garnered four new congressional seats since the 2010 census, voting rights advocates wondered how many new districts the state would create where Latinos could win ... four? Two? One? Texas tried none. Finally, the Texas congressional candidates ran under a map drawn by a federal court.
And another thing: the belief that minority supermajority districts are necessary to elect minority legislators rests on the belief that white voters won't vote for minority candidates. Unless these special districts are created, the logic runs, minority candidates won't win even in areas where most voters are from their own party. If that's true, is it still as true as it was in 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was passed? Would veteran black and brown legislators running inside less race-conscious district lines all lose? How much representation should minority voters be willing to lose?
Whether or not you support the continued renewal of the Voting Rights Act, these are all questions worth pondering because the answers are not binary -- yes/no, black/white, stop/go. This is a better country than it was in 1965. This is a country where plenty has changed in race relations since 1965. If the requirements of the Act were suddenly lifted, would majority populations in state after state be prepared to use the naked power of numbers to wipe out minority representation in state houses, on county boards, in the U.S. Congress?
The states willing to be rid of the Voting Rights Act are right, the Civil War is over. Minority voters are right when they insist the vestiges of Jim Crow still play some role in shaping daily life in America. Our past still speaks. Now it's up to the Supreme Court to decide how loudly.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The United States Senate ended a contentious fight over a key presidential nomination today, and confirmed former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense.
SEN. HARRY REID, D-Nev., Majority Leader: Twelve days later, nothing, nothing has changed. Twelve days later, Senator Hagel's exemplary record of service to his country remains untarnished.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In short, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, Chuck Hagel should have been confirmed before the President's Day recess. At the time, the Senate's 55 Democrats could not get the 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster against fellow Republican Hagel. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois condemned the GOP opposition today.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN, D-Ill., Majority Whip: There's no question that there are some who bear some negative feelings toward Chuck Hagel because of his independence and some of his votes in the past, even his support of President Obama in the last presidential election. But this has been taken to a level that I never expected.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Still, Mississippi's Roger Wicker and other Republicans charged again that Hagel is too willing to compromise with Iran and too willing to criticize Israel.
SEN. ROGER WICKER, R-Miss.: Either we should disregard everything that the senator has said and stood for as merely hyperbole, or this is a nominee with a very unsettling and naive world view. You can't have it both ways.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Just five days ago, 15 Republican senators wrote to President Obama, asking him to withdraw the Hagel nomination. But on Sunday, Arizona Senator John McCain said President Obama's choice deserved an up-or-down vote.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: I do not believe that Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense. But I do believe that elections have consequences.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Today, 18 GOP senators joined with Democrats to end the filibuster. Hours later, the Senate confirmed Hagel 58-41, mainly along party lines.
For more, we turn to Mark Thompson, Time magazine's national security reporter.
Welcome back to the program.
So, after all the storm and the fury from Republicans, enough of them voted to let this -- this confirmation takes place. What was this all about?
MARK THOMPSON, Deputy Bureau Chief and Pentagon Correspondent, TIME: Well, basically, it was on Valentine's Day that the Senate wouldn't let this proceed to an up-or-down vote.
And, instead, basically, the Republicans were looking for something to derail the nomination, so for 12 days the nation waited, essentially. Leon Panetta was running over to NATO and back to his walnut farm. We really didn't have a true secretary of defense, other than this lame duck.
Today, finally, the Republicans decided, hey, we have waited this long. We can't wait any longer. The president does deserve an up-or-down vote on his candidate to run the Pentagon, and so they let it proceed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, meantime, they sent a message.
MARK THOMPSON: Yes, I mean, it is a disconcerting message.
We had the Republican and the Democratic whips talking about vote counts, but, you know, foreign nations and people in the Pentagon can count votes too. We have never had a defense secretary with this many opposing votes. Now, this is something he can shake off, but it's going to take some time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That's right.
I mean, he has the fewest confirming votes of any defense secretary since the job was created. Mark Thompson, how does that affect his ability to do his job?
MARK THOMPSON: Well, it will depend.
It will affect it in a big way if he acts as he did at his confirmation hearing, which by all accounts he didn't do well. Conversely, I talked to people in the Pentagon. And the lower in ranks you go, the more they like this guy, the more they like the sense that an enlisted man is going to run the building.
And if he can use that as a springboard, he's facing immense challenges from sequestration to Afghanistan to a nuclear Iran, but it's an opportunity for him to seize the moment. And if he does, people will forget this pretty quickly, I think.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What about, though, the sour relations or whatever lingering effect there is from this loud vote of no confidence from Republicans in the Senate? Does that affect his ability to do his job?
MARK THOMPSON: Yes, I think the important thing for people to realize is it's a perceptions game. And if he lets it bother him, it will. But, conversely, if he doesn't and if he moves on out, I mean, senators today were talking -- some were saying, this will wound him, like Sen. Graham of South Carolina.
And others like the chairman of the committee, Sen. Levin, said, no, it won't. We're all about tomorrow. We don't focus that much on the past. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. It will affect him. But if he achieves escape velocity, it will be because of his own efforts.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, from talking to folks in the Pentagon, and you were just telling me he's had a -- been working out of an office there, which is typical for folks who are nominated for that position. Is there an early sense of how they think he's prepared to handle this job?
MARK THOMPSON: I think, just like the lawmakers, no one knows, because we have had defense secretaries who have come from the Hill who have done very well, Dick Cheney being the most recent example, Leon Panetta.
And then we have had folks like Les Aspin, who came from the Hill, who people thought would do real well and who really didn't. You can't tell. It takes about six months before you realize whether or not this person has got the moxie for the job.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And when you say do well, what's the measuring stick here?
MARK THOMPSON: The measuring is grappling with the cuts that are coming this Friday.
The question is, how smoothly can we withdraw from Afghanistan without being bit on our way out, and dealing with Iran. I think those are the three big issues he's facing today.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Thompson, national security reporter for Time, thank you very much.
MARK THOMPSON: Thank you, Judy.
GWEN IFILL: Now: a Supreme Court case involving genetic data and privacy rights.
Ray Suarez has the story.
RAY SUAREZ: A man was arrested. The police swabbed his cheek for DNA and connected him to another crime. But did the police cross a line? The state of Maryland argued in court today against Alonzo Jay King Jr. in a case about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution that bars unreasonable search and seizure.
Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal was in the courtroom this morning for the arguments, and joins us now.
So, they take their suspect. They give him a cheek swab, as required by Maryland law, submit that to a federal database. How does it end up in front of the Supreme Court?
MARCIA COYLE, The National Law Journal: Well, Mr. King was ultimately convicted of the crime that that swab revealed, a six-year-old unsolved rape crime. And he was indicted, convicted.
He initially at trial moved to suppress the evidence of the first swab because he said it violated the Fourth Amendment. The trial court didn't agree. But Maryland's highest court did agree with him and reversed. It was Maryland then that brought the case to the Supreme Court.
RAY SUAREZ: So, they didn't have a warrant to take the DNA.
MARCIA COYLE: Right.
RAY SUAREZ: And they didn't consider him a suspect in that six-year-old rape. Were those key questions in today's arguments?
MARCIA COYLE: Well, yes. Obviously, Ray, we say that the Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.
And the main way that protection is enforced is through a warrant. Well, today, Maryland was arguing that the DNA swab here is not very intrusive. It's very comparable to fingerprinting, which has been around for almost a century, and also that an arrestee has a reduced expectation of privacy, which is one of the things that the court balances.
It looks at whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy in the things searched vs. what interest is served for the government in doing this particular search.
RAY SUAREZ: So, if you have been arrested, there's a difference between taking your DNA and, for instance, locking down a whole block and taking a sample from every man in there?
MARCIA COYLE: Well, Maryland would say yes, because Maryland law has limits on how that DNA is to be used. Maryland argued that it's used primarily for identification purposes, but it also serves an interest in giving judges more information to make bail decisions. And, yes, it does help solve unsolved crimes.
So, the justices were pushing back a bit at Maryland. Justice Sotomayor did ask, what makes an arrestee a special category that should be exempt from the warrant, that police don't have to have a warrant? And the United States also had an attorney arguing today. And he said that an arrestee is at the gateway to the criminal justice system. An arrestee is not a free citizen. The arrestee has a reduced expectation of privacy.
And they're also repeat offenders. The only information at stake, he argued, is the identity of the arrestee. That, of course, didn't satisfy Mr. King's attorney, who said that, first of all, DNA sampling is not fingerprinting. Fingerprinting, there's no intrusion into the body.
And, also with fingerprinting, we really don't have a legitimate expectation of privacy in our fingerprints. They're everywhere. He argued that Maryland's primary purpose here is to solve unsolved crimes.
RAY SUAREZ: What does Maryland do with that evidence if a person is not convicted? Do they keep it on file forever?
MARCIA COYLE: No, they don't. Maryland law requires that if the person is found innocent, that the DNA sample is destroyed.
RAY SUAREZ: And is that an important distinction in the arguing over this case?
MARCIA COYLE: I think it is important in terms of limits here, but it really didn't play largely in the arguments.
I mean, the justices were really concerned about how much information could be analyzed from the DNA sample. Chief Justice Roberts brought that up as well. The government's argument, that it's limited to identification purposes only, Mr. King's attorney called that the "trust us" argument, because a lot of information is revealed from a DNA sample.
The chief justice then countered by saying, well, a lot of intimate information is left on a glass from which we drink water. But, still, Mr. King's attorney said, even though we leave DNA on a glass of water, that still would be a search if the police used that glass in order to test our DNA.
RAY SUAREZ: Instead of being an abstract question about the right to privacy and bodily intrusion and interesting back corners of the Fourth Amendment, this DNA did connect this man to an unsolved rape.
Did that weigh heavily on the arguments that both the state was making for the legitimacy of its policy and his own attorney was making about the admissibility of that evidence?
MARCIA COYLE: Well, it did, in the sense that the police didn't have any reasonable suspicion or probable cause before they took that first swipe of Mr. King's mouth.
And that is what we expect under the Fourth Amendment, that they do have reasonable suspicion, probable cause, in order to do the search. But ultimately the justices were looking again for boundaries here to what's going to be done, how much testing. Some of the justices raised questions that, if you follow the state and the federal government's argument to its logical end, you may end up testing people -- that the police may end up testing people who are stopped on the highway because they want to solve an unsolved crime, so they will take everybody's DNA.
Justice Sotomayor mentioned that you may even end up testing school children some day. So, really, they were very concerned about limits, about what kind of expectation of privacy we have in our DNA, and how that information is going to be used.
RAY SUAREZ: Are there a lot of states that are looking on with interest because they have laws on the books that are similar to Maryland's?
MARCIA COYLE: Oh, absolutely, Ray.
There are 28 states that have laws similar to Maryland. And in this particular case, Maryland drew support not just from those 28 states, but every state in the country. Every other state joined in an amicus brief. The federal government has a law similar to Maryland, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. So it drew a lot of support from state governments.
It also drew support obviously from law enforcement agencies. Mr. King drew support from some privacy organizations concerned about the long-term implications of collecting DNA information this way, as well as criminal defense organizations.
RAY SUAREZ: This is still a pretty new area of science and law. Has this question ever been tested before the court before?
MARCIA COYLE: I don't believe, in the Fourth Amendment context, it has.
And, also, Ray, there is a very interesting dynamic across the bench during the arguments. You had, for example, Justice Alito, a very conservative justice, who seems to have no problem with what the police are doing here. In fact, he called DNA collection the 21st century fingerprinting. And you had Justice Scalia, his conservative colleague, saying that sometimes the Fourth Amendment has to stand in the way of what police do.
RAY SUAREZ: Marcia Coyle, thanks a lot.
MARCIA COYLE: My pleasure, Ray.
GWEN IFILL: Next: to the East African nation of Kenya. It's a close ally of the United States in a very unstable region, a partner in the war on terror and an economic ray of hope on the continent.
Kenyans go to the polls Monday to elect a new president for the first time since 2007, and it's an election that will be watched far beyond the nation's borders.
Special correspondent Kira Kay was in Kenya recently and filed this report.
KIRA KAY: Near Eldoret, Kenya, there is a cemetery that is small in size, but large in meaning. Mary and Haron Macharia have come to visit the grave of their daughter Joyce.
MARY MACHARIA, (through translator): I feel weak when I remember my child. It is easier to forget when I am far away from here.
KIRA KAY: On New Year's Day 2008, Mary, two-year-old Joyce, and hundreds of others fled to the church that once stood here, as an angry mob descended on them.
MARY MACHARIA (through translator): They stabbed us with spears and threw stones at us. We scrambled into the church, but they lit it on fire.
KIRA KAY: The Eldoret church burning was the worst case of the violence that spread across Kenya following disputed presidential elections in December 2007. Neighbors of different tribal ethnicities turned on each other, and this nation of 42 million people plunged into chaos.
Mary survived, but was burned over much of her body. Joyce and 35 other children and adults died inside the church.
HARON MACHARIA: This is the place where my daughter burned. The white particles are the bones of my daughter.
MAINA KIAI, Human Rights Lawyer: That violence was massive for this country. We talk about 1,300 people dead. I think, if you count it over time and those we don't know, it's probably around 2,000.
KIRA KAY: Maina Kiai is a human rights lawyer who collected testimony from victims.
MAINA KIAI: And then there was about 600,000 people who were internally displaced from their homes, massive, huge chaos. We were on the brink of civil war.
KIRA KAY: Two months after the violence began, international mediators brokered a power-sharing deal between the political rivals, Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, and Raila Odinga, a Luo.
Now, five years later, it is election season in Kenya once again. Odinga is staging a second bid for the presidency. He is in a very close race against Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president.
UHURU KENYATTA, Kenyan Presidential Candidate: All of us have a responsibility to ensure that the track of reform that we have established is maintained.
KIRA KAY: There is hope things will be different this time. In 2010, voters peacefully approved a new constitution meant to address many of the root causes of the violence.
COMFORT ERO, Africa Director, International Crisis Group: In many ways, it takes politics away from the center, from central government and gives politics to the local people.
KIRA KAY: Comfort Ero is Africa director for the International Crisis Group.
COMFORT ERO: And what you will see in the new elections will be elections for governor, senator and local assembly. And the idea is that politics resource and administration will also be managed in these various counties.
KIRA KAY: There is a reformed judiciary to arbitrate political disputes that in 2007 played out violently on the streets and a new elections commission. Ero says the old one had badly bungled the 2007 vote.
COMFORT ERO: It was seen as compromised. It was seen as lacking independence, particularly because the president under the old constitution was able to unilaterally appoint commissioners.
What we have seen in the last five years is the creation of a new body. And today there's a sense in which the commissioners are more independent, neutral.
KIRA KAY: These changes give voters some optimism.
MAN: If we got guys who can deliver on the new constitution that has its basic on policies, rather than individuals and the personalities, then we will -- it will deliver.
KIRA KAY: Much of the damage from the election violence has been rebuilt. The streets of the capital, Nairobi, bustle with the middle-class office workers that signal Africa's rise in the global economy.
The government has resettled many of the people displaced by the fighting and given them money and housing to restart their lives. But, in the Rift Valley, the epicenter of the violence, small desolate camps of displaced people still dot the countryside.
Within these tents, you begin to hear about the remaining fractures in Kenyan society that will take more than one election cycle to repair.
Advocate Keffa Mugenyi warns that many Kenyans like those in these camps and others who have sheltered with relatives are stuck in limbo.
Why then was it too dangerous for these people to go home if others could?
KEFFA MUGENYI: It depends with where you came from. There's quite a number of them who have been able to go back, but those who were along the boundaries between inter-communities, the majority of them even up to now, even some of the houses which have been reconstructed by the government, people have not gone back.
And, secondly, also, there has been the whole problem of lack of psychosocial support.
KIRA KAY: While some families living at this camp are still on the resettlement list, others pooled their government payouts to buy the land under their shacks.
Three of Joyce Muhito's eight children have died of illness here. Still, she says she would rather live in this camp environment than risk returning to her old village.
JOYCE MUHITO (through translator): I like this place. It's peaceful. I rest well here. I can't go back.
MAINA KIAI: Kenyans are making sure they're not victims again by separating from the others, by being only among your own, so you feel safer there.
KIRA KAY: Maina Kiai says these fears are driven by political manipulation based on ethnicity.
MAINA KIAI: Ethnicity messes everything up, because it gives leaders an easy tool to mobilize people. So, we basically believe that if our person, if somebody with from my ethnic group is elected as president, then we will benefit. Actually, you can see benefits to an ethnic group when the president has come from that group. So, that's a very real thing.
KIRA KAY: Tirop Kitur, who works with Maina Kiai, brought me to the Tegea, where historic grievances over landownership are stoked in a frustrating election-related cycle.
TIROP KITUR: The first year, people are doing reconciliation. The second year, things are OK, the third year. By the fourth year, the elections are coming, so there's a lot of talk of one community leaving in this place and so on. Then, the fifth year, there is violence.
KIRA KAY: Why?
TIROP KITUR: Because that is the time the politicians have a fertile ground to incite one group against the other.
KIRA KAY: After the last elections, ethnic Kikuyu and Kisii farmers were violently evicted. Many fled the area entirely, while others grouped together for safety in numbers.
Tegea town swelled to three times its population.
TABITHA KWAMBOKA (through translator): We would like to rebuild our houses back where we came from, but we need security first.
KIRA KAY: Tabitha Kwamboka's woman's home was torched. She saw women raped and a neighbor decapitated.
TABITHA KWAMBOKA (through translator): The kind of life I'm leading now is so different from the life I led before the elections. As we approach another election, we're afraid, especially we women, who are targeted.
TIROP KITUR: These communities have stayed together for a long time. Both of them have rights to be here. So they shouldn't be fighting. They're equally rich or equally poor. So, it's unfortunate. It's the leadership that is playing out these differences.
KIRA KAY: Maina Kiai says tensions between communities also remain high because there has been very little effort to bring perpetrators of the violence to justice.
Only four cases of election-related murder have been tried in local courts. One was for the killing of Mary Macharia's daughter and the others in the Eldoret church attack. Four men were charged, but they were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Mary and Haron have started a new life in a new town with their young daughter, Mercy. But they still struggle with the past.
MARY MACHARIA (through translator): I have not seen any justice, and I have not seen any culprit being punished to serve as a lesson and to deter people from engaging in such immoral acts again.
KIRA KAY: Because Kenya didn't make good on its promise to create a domestic tribunal for the election violence, the International Criminal Court stepped in. Four men have been indicted for crimes against humanity, including presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto. The indictments have become an ethnic rallying call.
MAINA KIAI: These two gentlemen especially did a fabulous job of politicizing and turning this indictment by the International Criminal Court into a positive. And now they have begun playing victim. They began saying it's the international community against my tribe.
KIRA KAY: But 54 percent of Kenyans support the ICC trials. Some, like Joseph Ndege, worry about international backlash.
JOSEPH NDEGE: We have been told, immediately, we vote criminals. We are going to be discriminated. The country will lose everything. Even donors will suspend aid. So, we're very careful. We want to watch out what we're going to do.
KIRA KAY: As another election approaches, some groups in Kenya are working to keep ethnic divides from again spiraling into violence. The Kibera slum in Nairobi saw some of the worst fighting five years ago.
Local resident Jane Anyango says rumors are flying of an uptick in the sale of machetes.
JANE ANYANGO: The reports that we are hearing is that people are scared and people are strategizing, like let me equip myself, so that, in case it happens, then this is what I'm going to do.
KIRA KAY: But in a small community hall, Jane and her neighbors of varying ethnicity have gathered to share information and strategize about ways to keep their streets calm.
WOMAN: And if possible, find a way to have these youths who have these firearms surrender them.
JANE ANYANGO: We are trying to normalize the fact that I'm from my community and you are from your community, but we must learn to coexist, to accept that all these political parties exist, but at the end of the day, we are Kenyans and we must protect Kenya.
KIRA KAY: The election on March 4 may be too soon for Kenya to leave behind ethnic politics, but it will be a test for a new constitution and, if violence-free, may offer a new start for a country trying to escape its recent difficult history.
GWEN IFILL: Kira's story was produced in partnership with the Bureau for International Reporting.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, we look at the role of the moderate women's movement in shaping our country. That's the focus of a new documentary, "MAKERS: Women Who Make America," airing on PBS tonight.
We begin with an excerpt where the film begins, the story of Kathrine Switzer and the marathon that changed her life.
ANNOUNCER: A record field of 601 starters braved chilly winds and a steady drizzle in the 71st Boston Marathon.
NARRATOR: The 1967 Boston Marathon was run in some of the worst conditions in race history. While most of the crowd was focused on the front of the pack, another runner was making a stir far behind.
KATHRINE SWITZER, Distance Runner: The idea of running long distance was always considered very questionable for women, because, you know, an arduous activity would mean that you're going to get big legs and grow a moustache and hair on your chest and your uterus was going to fall out.
NARRATOR: In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was a junior at Syracuse University. Because Syracuse had no women's track team, she began training with the manager of the men's team, a part-time mailman named Arnie Briggs.
KATHRINE SWITZER: It was Arnie who told me about the greatest day in his life every year, which was the Boston Marathon. And we were out running. And Arnie began telling me another Boston Marathon story. And I said, oh, Arnie, why don't you just quit talking about the darned marathon and run it?
And my dream then became to prove that I could run 26 miles, 385 yards.
NARRATOR: For 70 years, the Boston Marathon had excluded women. But Switzer entered using just her initials.
KATHRINE SWITZER: We walked to the start and the gun went off. And down the street we went. So there we were, Arnie Briggs, the 50-year-old mailman, and me, the 20-year-old college student and my boyfriend, Tom Miller, the ex-All American Football player.
When other runners would come by, they would say, oh, it's a girl. And they were so excited. And all of a sudden, the press truck is in front of us. And they're taking, you know, pictures of us. On this truck was the race director, feisty guy by the name of Jock Semple. He just stopped the bus, jumped off and ran after me. And he just grabbed me and screamed at me, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers."
He had the fiercest face of any guy I had ever seen. And all of a sudden, big Tom, my boyfriend, came with a streak and gave Jock the most incredible cross-body block and sent Jock flying right through the air and landed on the curb.
And all of this happened in front of the press truck. Journalists got very energetic. What are you trying to prove? Are you a suffragette? Are you a crusader, whatever that is, you know? And I said, what? I'm just trying to run.
Then it got very quiet. Snow's coming down. Nobody is saying anything. And I turned to Arnie. And I said, Arnie, I'm going to finish this race on my hands and my knees if I have to. If I don't finish this race, then everybody is going to believe women can't do it. I have got to finish this race.
I finished that race in four hours 20 minutes. It wasn't until we stopped on the throughway to get an ice cream and some coffee that we see the newspapers and the coverage front and back of all the different editions with the pictures. And I realized that now this was very, very important. And this was going to change my life. And it was probably going to change women's sports.
There is an expression in a marathon that you do go through sort of a lifetime of experience. And I often say that I started the Boston Marathon as a girl and I finished the Boston Marathon as a grown woman.
JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the most compelling voices featured in "Makers" is that of Gloria Steinem. A writer, an activist and co-founder of Ms. Magazine, she's been a leader of the women's movement for more than four decades.
Gloria Steinem joins me now from New York.
Welcome to the program.
And I have to say, as somebody who grew up alongside the women's movement, this is a really impressive film. Why did you decide to get behind it to support it?
GLORIA STEINEM, Author and Feminist Activist: Well, we have only been getting a fraction of history, as you and I understand.
So I thought it was super important that people understand the incredible number and diversity of the women who composed the women's movement. It's not just three or four people. It's not about stars. It's about neighborhoods, and, as you just saw, a woman running in a way that has allowed thousands, perhaps millions of women to enter races ever since.
So you will meet all kinds of incredible heroines here that I inform us about history, and most of us all, I hope, inspire us to keep going.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, as you say, the film does feature some well-known women. You are certainly featured, Gloria Steinem. You're very much a part of the film, Betty Friedan, the Supreme Court justices, Hillary Clinton.
But there are also ordinary women who are heroines, heroes of this film, a woman who was working for a telephone company in Atlanta who challenged her employer, a woman who worked for a mining company. Where did those women get that courage that they displayed?
GLORIA STEINEM: Well, I think we get it from each other. And that's why it's so important to see this film, because we do what we see, not what we're told.
And in my textbook, when I was in college, there was one sentence that said women were given the vote. And that was it. So, we were left thinking that, you know, we got privileges from on high, which just isn't the way it works.
And to see the coal miner and to see a great woman in history like Aileen Hernandez, who was on the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and who was a president of NOW, who played a huge role certainly at least as much as me, more, and yet people don't know her. So this is a real mix of totally unknown, should be well known, a few who are well known.
It's real life. And it is, to me, in a way the beginning of history, because it's remedial history. So, one day, we will have human history.
JUDY WOODRUFF: At the end of the film, it's clear that for all the effort that has been put into the women's movement, many of today's young women don't really identify with it.
There's Marissa Mayer, who is the CEO of Yahoo!, 37 years old, and she's quoted as saying -- she said she doesn't have that militancy or that chip on her shoulder.
Is that militancy no longer necessary?
GLORIA STEINEM: Well, not everybody in this film is a heroine either.
And she just eliminated the ability to work at home for all of her employees. I mean, it's trying to be realistic about where we really are, but also remember that we're just halfway into a century. I mean, the suffragist abolitionist wave lasted a century in order to achieve a legal identity, because women of all races and men of color were literally ownable until then as chattel.
And that took a century. So, now we're striving for equality. That will no doubt take another century. So, really, this is the beginning of a more whole history and at least 50 more years.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, given that, let me ask you, one of the big debates raging right now, at least if you read what the media is writing about, is this question about whether women can have it all. We're still asking that question.
GLORIA STEINEM: You know, it's a ridiculous question.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what's your answer when people ask you, can women have it all?
GLORIA STEINEM: No, of course, women can't have it all as long as we have to do it all, until -- I mean, we have realized -- and the majority of Americans fully agree -- that women can do what men can do. But we haven't yet realized that men can do what women do.
So women are supposed to do two jobs, one inside the home and one out. And that is simply impossible. And also this country is the worst in the developed democratic world for having no child care, for having obsessive work patterns that are now even more obsessed than Japanese work patterns, for not even having paid sick days.
And all of these are problems for women even more than men, because we have more than half the responsibility for children, as well as lower-wage jobs. But we have come -- I don't want to be discouraging, because we have come a huge, huge distance. I mean, before this wave of the women's movement, the whole idea was that women were working for pin money. They didn't really need the money.
And women were, you know, help wanted female and help wanted male segregated ads, and were totally unwelcome in a lot of professions. So, I hope that this documentary makes clear we have made huge progress and we're going to have a lot of fun and excitement continuing.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what -- I mean, just finally, Gloria Steinem, what is standing in the way of the women's movement realizing what it ultimately is asking for? Now, you're saying it's going to take, did I hear you say another 50 years?
GLORIA STEINEM: Yes. Well, by historical precedent, it will take another 50 years.
Well, what is standing in the way is that we have had, not for all of human history, but for the last 5 percent of it, a hierarchical view of human beings that was based on sex and race and class. And that became, you know -- since the good news is we're adaptable, but the bad news is we're adaptable, that became normal, and many people profited from it.
And with women, the key is that the desire of the hierarchical system to control reproduction and therefore to control the bodies of women. So this is not -- you know, this is really a transformation we're talking about to get to societies in which once again, as we once were, we are linked, not ranked, in which the paradigm of culture is the circle, not the pyramid, in which we understand that each individual is unique and could never have happened before or again, and is also part of the human community, and we stop looking at each other in groups.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Gloria Steinem, one of the leading voices in this documentary that airs tonight on PBS, we thank you for being with us.
GLORIA STEINEM: No, thank you.
"What am I doing in this old man's body?" David Ferry asks at the start of a poem in the appropriately titled collection "Bewilderment." In fact, the poet is working at a pace that belies his 88 years. In addition to publishing two collections last year, he's in the midst of translating the 12 books of Virgil's "Aeneid." He's also been busy scooping up major prizes, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement and last year's National Book Award for poetry.
Ferry is well known for his work as a translator. He's done acclaimed versions of the Babylonian epic "Gilgamesh" and Latin texts by Horace and Virgil. Lines from those works often appear in his own verse. In "Bewilderment," for example, he translates a passage from "The Aeneid" about ferrying people to the underworld. It is followed by his own poem, "That Now Are Wild and Do Not Remember," which deals with the death of his wife Anne.
Ferry is clearly a man obsessed with connections and links to classic literature. One reviewer called Ferry "a special kind of thief" for the way he borrows from ancient works. Jeffrey Brown recently traveled to Boston to talk with him about those "ancestral lines" that haunt his poetry. That story will air on the NewsHour and be posted here soon.
Above, Ferry reads selections from "Bewilderment." You can read the poems after the jump.
Virgil, Aeneid VI Lines 297-329 From here there is a road which leads to where The waters of Tartarean Acheron are, Where a bottomless whirlpool thick with muck Heaves and seethes and vomits mire into The river Cocytos. Here is the dreadful boatman Who keeps these waters, frightful in his squalor, Charon, the gray hairs of his unkempt beard Depending from his chin, his glaring eyes On fire, his filthy mangle hanging by A loose knot from his shoulders. All by himself He manages the sails and with his pole Conveys the dead across in his dark boat-- He's old, but, being a god, old age is young. A vast crowd, so many, rushed to the riverbank, Women and men, famous great-hearted heroes, The life in their hero bodies now defunct, Unmarried boys and girls, sons whom their fathers Had had to watch being placed on the funeral pyre: As many as the leaves of the forest that, When autumn's first chill comes, fall from the branches; As many as the birds that flock in to the land From the great deep when, the season, turning cold, Has driven them over the seas to seek the sun, They stood beseeching on the riverbank, Yearning to be the first to be carried across, Stretching their hands out toward the farther shore. But the stern ferryman, taking only this one Or this other one, pushes the rest away. Aeneas cries out, excited by the tumult, "O virgin, why are they crowding at the river? What is it that the spirits want? What is it That decides why some of them are pushed away And others sweep across the livid waters?" The aged priestess thus: "Anchise's son, True scion of the gods, these are the pools Of the river Cocytos and this the Stygian marsh, Whose power it is to make the gods afraid Not to keep their word. All in this crowd are helpless Because their bodies have not been covered over. The boatman that you see is Charon. Those Who are being carried across with him are they Who have been buried. It is forbidden To take any with him across the echoing waters That flow between these terrible riverbanks Who have not found a resting-place for their bones. Restlessly to and fro along these shores They wander waiting for a hundred years. Not until after that, the longed-for crossing." That Now Are Wild and Do Not Remember Where did you go to, when you went away? It is as if you step by step were going Someplace elsewhere into some other range Of speaking, that I had no gift for speaking, Knowing nothing of the language of that place To which you went with naked foot at night Into the wilderness there elsewhere in the bed, Elsewhere somewhere in the house beyond my seeking. I have been so dislanguaged by what happened I cannot speak the words that somewhere you Maybe were speaking to others where you went. Maybe they talk together where they are, Restlessly wandering, along the shore, Waiting for the way to cross the river. Soul What am I doing inside this old man's body? I feel like I'm the insides of a lobster, All thought, and all digestion, and pornographic Inquiry, and getting about, and bewilderment, And fear, avoidance of trouble, belief in what, God knows, vague memories of friends, and what They said last night, and seeing, outside of myself, From here inside myself, my waving claws Inconsequential, wavering, and my feelers Preternatural, trembling, with their amazing Troubling sensitivity to threat; And I'm aware of and embarrassed by my ways Of getting around, and my protective shell. Where is it that she I loved has gone to, as This cold sea water's washing over my back? Ancestral Lines It's as when following the others' lines, Which are the tracks of somebody gone before, Leaving me mischievous clues, telling me who They were and who it was they weren't, And who it is I am because of them, Or, just for the moment, reading them, I am: Although the next moment I'm back in myself and lost. My father at the piano saying to me, "Listen to this, he called the piece Warum?" And the nearest my father could come to saying what He made of that was lamely to say he didn't, Schumann didn't, my father didn't, know why. "What's in a dog's heart"? I once asked in a poem, And Christopher Ricks when he read it said "Search me." He wasn't just being funny, of course; he was right. You can't tell anything much about who you are By exercising on the Romantic bars. What are the wild waves saying? I don't know. And Shelley didn't know, and knew he didn't. In his great poem, "Ode to the West Wind." he Said that the leaves of his pages were blowing away, Dead leaves, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.
JEFFREY BROWN: The papacy of Benedict XVI officially ended today, as he became the first pontiff in modern times to resign. On his last day, he spoke with the cardinals who will now turn to choosing his successor, amid continuing scandals and tensions within the Vatican and wider church.
We begin with our coverage with this report from James Mates of Independent Television News.
JAMES MATES: Looking a little frail, weary almost under the burdens of a tumultuous eight years in the Holy See, Pope Benedict met his cardinals for a final time.
In the magnificent surroundings of the Vatican's Clementine room, he thanked them and recognized that one of those now applauding will soon be in his place.
"Among you," he said, "there is the future pope to whom already today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience." He said a personal farewell to each cardinal, among them Peter Turkson of Ghana, who many believe may be the first black pope in more than 1,000 years. But Pope Benedict's speech yesterday, his hints at trouble within the Vatican itself, has spelled out the task faced by his successor.
REV. VINCENT NICHOLS, Archbishop of Westminster: It was a very un-papal address. I would think it's probably one of the most remarkable papal addresses ever given, certainly that I have ever heard.
JAMES MATES: Was he hinting at a real power struggle going on in there?
VINCENT NICHOLS: It would seem to be the popular opinion that there have been difficult times around him in his administration, and that has certainly been spoken of openly as a challenge for next pope.
JAMES MATES: That is what he is leaving behind, the Papal Swiss guard overseeing his final departure from office, as he headed for a helicopter and retirement.
And so for first time in almost 600 years, a living pope takes his leave from the Vatican. He has promised to spend his remaining days in reflection and prayer. It is possible we will never hear from him again.
A final view of Rome and the Coliseum in the evening sunshine, and then to the Castel Gandolfo in the hills south of the city where he will officially take leave of his office.
JEFFREY BROWN: A short time ago, I talked to John Allen near St. Peter's Square. He's an analyst for CNN and a correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter.
So, John, as we watched the pope fly away today, is his future role as emeritus pope clear? It's a new position, after all.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN/ The National Catholic Reporter: It is.
What Benedict XVI has told us is he is going to be hidden from the world, which means that we are not going to be, publicly at any rate, hearing from him, seeing him. He's not going to hit the lecture circuit or give interviews.
We presume he will continue to receive people in private, but the Vatican will not be issuing news bulletins about those encounters, so for all intents and purposes, he's had his swan song on the public stage. That much seems clear.
What is less clear are two points, one, if he is going to continue to have any sort of behind-the-scenes role of the next pope, whether the next pope will seek his counsel, whether there will be conversations, and, secondly, how the role of a retired pope will play out in terms of the broader court of opinion in the church.
One of the fears about having a retired pope has always been that it risks what in Catholic barter we talk about as schism, that is, division, that there might be one camp in the church loyal to the new pope, another camp loyal to the old one, and creating the risk of sort of internal paralysis.
Now, the Vatican has said it has no fear of that. Certainly, one presumes Pope Benedict XVI will not be seeking that. But in terms of what the reality on the ground is going to be, I would say we simply have to wait to see how this is going to play out.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, you mentioned behind the scenes. And I want to go back to that speech he made yesterday that got so much attention where he referred to the great weight of the office, the moments that weren't easy.
Is that being read as direct references to behind-the-scenes troubles, to various scandals, and perhaps behind-the-scenes jockeying for what happens next?
JOHN ALLEN: Oh, I think certainly in part it's being read that way.
It is no secret that Benedict's papacy has been dogged by a series of meltdowns and controversies and crises from the very beginning. One can think about the 2006 speech he gave in Regensburg that ignited a firestorm of protests across the Islamic, to the cause célèbre in 2009 over the lifting of the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying traditionalist bishop, to the Vatileaks mess, to even in recent days sensational allegations in Roman papers of the gay lobby inside the Vatican, and of course cardinals participating in this conclave who have been linked in one way or another to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
All of that certainly is part of the picture. Now, I don't think that's all that Benedict meant in terms of the difficulties and the struggles and the burdens of the office. Let me put it this way. On a pope's best day, this an impossible job. We expect popes to be living saints and intellectual giants and political titans and Fortune 500 CEOs.
But you fold into that the cumulative effect of the peculiar difficulties Benedict has faced, some of them crashing in from the outside, and some of them frankly self-inflicted, I think all of that is what he meant by the weight of the office.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, John, what does happen next? How much is known about the conclave, and how much is known at this point about what's going on behind the scenes in terms of jockeying for power or position?
JOHN ALLEN: Well, I'm not sure jockeying is quite the right word.
I will tell you from personal experience, having interviewed a substantial majority of the cardinals who will participate in this conclave over the years, that it is a rare cardinal who actually wants to be pope. That's in part because they take seriously that this office is the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth. They have a hard time seeing themselves in that role, and also because everyone knows the papacy is a bone-crushing burden.
If you want proof of that, look at the toll it took on John Paul II and how his final months played out. Look at the fact that Benedict XVI has frankly confessed to the world that it was simply too much for him to go on.
That said, there certainly are tensions among the cardinals about what the core issues are facing the church and who the right man would be to lead the church forward. There are different currents, different schools of thought and the clash between those currents is playing out in ways large and small. You can see this in the interviews, for example, cardinals are giving in these days.
Some of them are saying somewhat contrasting things. Some are talking about the need for a missionary pope who can be a salesman for the church. Others are talking about the need for a stronger governor. Some are talking about the desirability of a pope from the developing world. Others are talking about the need to make sure you have someone who can engage secularism in the West. So it's playing out in that arena.
Even more and in a fashion that's even more frank and direct and blunt, it is playing out as cardinals gather in twos and threes and tens and 20s in various private venues in Rome to begin doing the heavy lifting of sorting out who the next pope of the Catholic Church is going to be.
JEFFREY BROWN: John, let me just ask you finally and briefly, if you could, you have written of Pope Benedict's mixed legacy, but I also saw you wrote today I think about how that might be impacted favorably by the way -- the way he's leaving.
JOHN ALLEN: Yes, I think the first draft of history on Benedict XVI is that this was a magnificent teaching pope, but a mixed bag as a business manager, obviously a controversial pope in some ways.
The liberal wing of the Catholic Church was disappointed in many elements of this pontificate. Victims of sex abuse believe that the ball was dropped or that at least Benedict didn't finish the business of reforming the church and so on.
But I think, in some ways, without making those substantive debates go away, his choice to resign and the very frank and honest and human way in which he explained that choice to the world in his final general audience on Wednesday has created a new, if you like, sort of optic of generosity with which people are looking at this pope.
That is to say, they may still have their issues with the papacy, but I think the humility and the courage in many ways that he has shown in the way he is stepping off the stage has created a situation in which more people are inclined to think fondly of the pope, even if they might have objections to the papacy.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, John Allen from Rome, thanks so much.
JOHN ALLEN: You're welcome.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Online, we have the step-by-step guide to electing a new pope, plus a slide show of photographs from the last days of Benedict's papacy.