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- 04/11/16--15:35: _How widespread corr...
- 04/11/16--15:40: _Will delegate detai...
- 04/11/16--15:45: _News Wrap: David Ca...
- 04/11/16--15:50: _War over delegates ...
- 04/12/16--06:48: _Sanders lags in del...
- 04/12/16--07:30: _Obama designates na...
- 04/12/16--08:36: _Stephen Hawking and...
- 04/12/16--09:13: _Missouri certifies ...
- 04/12/16--09:34: _7 things you didn’t...
- 04/12/16--09:53: _WATCH LIVE: Ryan ma...
- 04/12/16--10:14: _Clinton, NYC mayor ...
- 04/12/16--10:55: _Ask the Headhunter:...
- 04/12/16--11:10: _America’s increase ...
- 04/12/16--11:29: _Boko Haram is using...
- 04/12/16--12:30: _New steps help peop...
- 04/12/16--15:25: _NYC community colle...
- 04/12/16--15:30: _Does Denmark live u...
- 04/12/16--15:35: _Is Dodd-Frank missi...
- 04/12/16--15:40: _What happens if the...
- 04/12/16--15:45: _News Wrap: NC gover...
- 04/11/16--15:35: How widespread corruption is hurting Kenya
- 04/11/16--15:40: Will delegate details undo Trump’s nomination hopes?
- 04/11/16--15:45: News Wrap: David Cameron defends family’s finances
- 04/11/16--15:50: War over delegates ramps up as White House race tightens
- 04/12/16--06:48: Sanders lags in delegates, but leads in likability
- 04/12/16--07:30: Obama designates national monument to honor women’s equality
- 04/12/16--09:13: Missouri certifies wins for Trump, Clinton in close primary
- 04/12/16--09:34: 7 things you didn’t know about Beverly Cleary
- 04/12/16--09:53: WATCH LIVE: Ryan makes statement ruling out president bid
- 04/12/16--10:14: Clinton, NYC mayor taking heat over ‘CP time’ joke
- 04/12/16--10:55: Ask the Headhunter: Women don’t cause the pay gap. Employers do
- Have kids.
- Interrupt their careers for their families.
- Don’t have the right education (e.g., math and science), so they can’t get good jobs.
- Are nurturing, so they don’t negotiate hard for equal pay.
- Don’t like to argue.
- Lack confidence.
- Let their men (who are also managers) get away without doing household chores — so those men don’t know they should pay women fairly.
- Employers pay women less to do the same work that men do.
- 04/12/16--11:29: Boko Haram is using more child suicide bombers than ever
- 04/12/16--12:30: New steps help people with disabilities pay student loans
- 04/12/16--15:25: NYC community colleges invest in student support to boost grad rates
- 04/12/16--15:30: Does Denmark live up to its title as the happiest nation?
- 04/12/16--15:35: Is Dodd-Frank missing some vital regulatory firewalls?
- 04/12/16--15:40: What happens if there’s no clear GOP nominee
- 04/12/16--15:45: News Wrap: NC governor moves to alter new LGBT law
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now we continue our series Inside Kenya.
The World Bank says Kenya is growing faster than any other sub-Saharan African country. But there is one major impediment to the country’s continued growth.
Tonight, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin examine the reality of Kenyan corruption.
NICK SCHIFRIN: In Kenya, even the world’s fastest men can’t outrun corruption.
The Rift Valley is known as the Valley of Champions. The best marathon runners are born here and train here.
Mind if I join you?
Hillary Kiplimo runs three times a day. He is tireless and fast. He averages about 4.5 minutes a mile. It’s tough to keep up.
Whoa. He’s good. And that’s slow for him.
After years of training, he finally broke through. He finished third in last year’s Nairobi Marathon.
HILLARY KIPLIMO, Marathon Runner: This is for position.
NICK SCHIFRIN: So, it says number three, because you came in third.
HILLARY KIPLIMO: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: He and his wife thought he’d finally fulfilled his dream of running his way out of poverty. But his dream’s been denied.
So, you got your medal, you got this number three, you got the jersey and you got this, but you never got a cent.
HILLARY KIPLIMO: I never got a cent.
NICK SCHIFRIN: On the results Web site, his name was replaced. And his $3,500 winnings vanished.
So, where’s the money going?
HILLARY KIPLIMO: I think those people, they kept the money.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Athletics Kenya, the race organizers.
HILLARY KIPLIMO: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Last November, dozens of runners protested at Athletics Kenya. The group has exclusive oversight of all Kenyan athletes.
Kenyans hold records in nearly every distance. They say, as they run faster, Athletics Kenya steals more. Athletics Kenya didn’t respond to a half-dozen e-mails from “PBS NewsHour.” Hillary suspects there’s only way to get their attention.
HILLARY KIPLIMO: When you go to explain, they ask you for something.
NICK SCHIFRIN: They’re asking you to give them some money?
HILLARY KIPLIMO: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The problem extends far beyond athletics. There’s a saying here: Kenya is the homeland of the bribe. And in the mostly Muslim neighborhood of Eastleigh, Nairobi, the victims of those bribes point their finger at one perpetrator.
ABDULLAHI MOHAMED, Kenya: If you look at the police who are meant to protect them, they just arrest them to extort cash.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Abdullahi Mohamed and most of this community are Ethnic Somali. He says police come here not to patrol, but to get rich.
ABDULLAHI MOHAMED: You see cars from all police stations in Nairobi converging here.
NICK SCHIFRIN: They refer to this neighborhood as what?
ABDULLAHI MOHAMED: ATM machine.
NICK SCHIFRIN: An ATM machine, because they take so much money.
ABDULLAHI MOHAMED: They take so much money.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Police officers, when promised anonymity, admit they’re more focused on keeping the cash than keeping the peace.
How were police officers extorting people in Eastleigh?
MAN: The little amount that you are paid as salary cannot get up for you and your family. So, if somebody gives you some amount somewhere, you have to take the money and then you forget about work.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Is this corruption being practiced by so many police officers in so many different areas?
MAN: Of course, of course. It’s right from the junior officer to the higher-most.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And the problem is, when the police are for sale, criminals buy their freedom.
MAN: A criminal can come, do anything that they want, they go free. You will pay and you go free.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And while police let criminals free, they arrest anti-corruption campaigners like 32-year-old Boniface Mwangi. In a country where activist is a dirty word, Mwangi is a fearless, relentless firebrand.
BONIFACE MWANGI, Activist: The corruption in this country starts from the presidency to the judiciary to the legislature. So, all arms of the government are rotten.
We are here today because the people we elected are thieves.
NICK SCHIFRIN: He is a former journalist whose political activism is often a performance. He covered pigs with fake blood outside Parliament.
BONIFACE MWANGI: Pigs are selfish. And our members of Parliament are like pigs. If you steal a lot of money, you go into politics and you buy yourself immunity. You can get away with anything in this country, provided you have the money to buy your way off.
Every sector in this section is affected by corruption.
NICK SCHIFRIN: He might be considered over the top, except what he’s fighting is so outrageous. Last year, schoolkids protested when a landowner confiscated their playground to build a parking lot.
BONIFACE MWANGI: They tear-gassed innocent kids who only wanted to access their playground. Other countries have mafia. In Kenya, the mafia have a country.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The wealth gap here makes the corruption more egregious. According to one study, Kenyans pay on average 16 bribes every month. And in a city where the bus fare is less than a dollar a ride, members of Parliament here makes 188 times the average salary, which is the equivalent of a member of the U.S. Congress making $8.5 million every year.
JOHN GITHONGO, Activist: The moral authority of this regime to do anything about corruption is zero. We have never had that before.
NICK SCHIFRIN: What do people know you as?
JOHN GITHONGO: The anti-corruption guy.
NICK SCHIFRIN: John Githongo knows better than anyone how a government becomes corrupt. He was the former government’s anti-corruption czar who became a whistle-blower. He says today’s corruption is getting worse.
JOHN GITHONGO: The corruption we have now poses an existential risk to Kenya. Before, we stole from ourselves. Now, with the Eurobond, we are mortgaging the futures of our children.
WOMAN: The alleged missing Eurobond funds.
MAN: The Eurobond money had been misused.
MAN: We are in the middle of a great con game.
NICK SCHIFRIN: What’s missing?
ALEX OWINO, Whistle-Blower: Nine hundred and ninety-nine U.S. dollars.
NICK SCHIFRIN: So, $999 million are missing?
ALEX OWINO: I would prefer the word unaccounted for.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Alex Owino used to work at the national treasury. Last year, he blew the whistle on Eurobond. He calls it a scheme to steal a billion dollars.
A billion dollars goes missing. I mean, how is that even possible?
ALEX OWINO: It’s almost brazen. If you look at it, it’s almost like a smash-and-grab heist.
NICK SCHIFRIN: In 2014, the Kenyan government issued a bond on the Irish Stock Exchange known as a Eurobond, $2.85 billion invested by J.P. Morgan Chase and Citibank.
PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA, Kenya: By accessing these external funds, we will spur economic growth, and provide more employment opportunities to our people.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Was the pitch a lie?
ALEX OWINO: As it turned out now, the pitch and what exactly transpired are very different.
NICK SCHIFRIN: What transpired were violent protests, because the treasury was so empty, the government couldn’t issue student loans or pay teachers’ salaries.
ALEX OWINO: If you just borrowed $2 billion, why are we in this problem?
NICK SCHIFRIN: Late last year, the treasury released documents it called proof the money arrived in Kenya, according to Kenya’s top anti-corruption officer, Halakhe Waqo.
HALAKHE WAQO, Kenyan Anti-Corruption Official: All the money that was intended to be brought to Kenya has been brought back to Kenya.
NICK SCHIFRIN: But Owino says those documents are fake. The invoice numbers seem falsified.
ALEX OWINO: For instance, start at number 25. The second one is going the wrong way and the third one is number 25, which is the same as the first one.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And another document is redacted, hiding the recipient of the money.
ALEX OWINO: It definitely casts doubt immediately on whether they’re authentic or not.
NICK SCHIFRIN: How do you investigate the government when it is the government that is allowing you to keep your job and that is funding this organization?
HALAKHE WAQO: Thank you very much.
We are investigating government projects on a daily basis. It is our responsibility to investigate the government.
NICK SCHIFRIN: President Uhuru Kenyatta has denied wrongdoing. And he threatens anyone who a accuses him of corruption without proof.
UHURU KENYATTA: If you make accusations, and fail to prove them, you too will also be held accountable.
MAN: Thank you very much.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The threats are effective. When average Kenyans stand up to corruption, they often lose everything.
What happens to people in Kenya who try and fight corruption?
DANIEL MWIRIGI, Kenya: You will be targeted, and you will be very unfairly treated.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Fifteen years ago, Daniel Mwirigi investigated fraud at a Kenya’s Postbank. He discovered bank officers were stealing Western Union transactions. But when he reported the crime, he says his bosses colluded to frame him with the very crimes he had exposed.
DANIEL MWIRIGI: The fraudsters were within.
NICK SCHIFRIN: You found these fraudulent transactions?
DANIEL MWIRIGI: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And you investigated them.
DANIEL MWIRIGI: I investigated them.
NICK SCHIFRIN: And, eventually, they would charge you.
DANIEL MWIRIGI: With the same.
NICK SCHIFRIN: With the same exact things.
DANIEL MWIRIGI: Yes.
NICK SCHIFRIN: It took him nearly two years to clear his name. By then, he’d lost his job, health, and reputation for good.
DANIEL MWIRIGI: My father was alive that time. He has died thinking that I am a thief. My mother was alive. She has died thinking that I’m a thief. There’s no point of doing a good job in this country. The future generations are doomed.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Kenyans refer to stealing as eating. Today, Kenyans say they watch the rich and the powerful get fat, while the people starve.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Nick Schifrin in Nairobi, Kenya.
JUDY WOODRUFF: With eight days to go until vote-rich New York weighs in on the high-stakes contests for the Republican and Democratic nominations for president, candidates stepped up their criticisms of each other and made their best cases for more delegates today, the perfect moment to turn to Politics Monday with Tamara Keith of NPR, and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.
And we welcome both of you.
So, as we said, no voting this week, but delegate selection goes on. And we’re hearing a lot of complaining, Amy, from Donald Trump. We just heard him saying the process is crooked.
What is Ted Cruz doing Donald Trump isn’t?
AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Right.
There is a process, and it involves rules, and Donald Trump seems to have forgotten that rules actually have been set a long time ago. But here’s the two. There are two ways to win the nomination as a Republican. You either come into the convention with 1,237 delegates — that is where Trump is ahead and where he could — there is still a conceivable path for him to do this by the time we hit June, tough, but conceivable.
Then there is winning the convention at the floor, winning by what we’re calling a contested convention. That’s where Ted Cruz is doing better. What Ted Cruz is doing is, he understands the rules and the nuances of how the game is played. And that is, when you win a state, you win more than just the votes, you win actual human beings, delegates that go and vote on the floor.
They are bound to voting for who won that state on the first round. But once you get into the second and third rounds of voting, most of them are free agents. Ted Cruz is making sure as many of his supporters are getting picked at these places like Colorado and in some other states, North Dakota, et cetera, to make sure, even in South Carolina, as he mentioned, that when we get to that second and third ballot, they’re going to vote for Ted Cruz and not Donald Trump.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Tamara, if it’s a process that’s been written about, it’s been in the books for some time, why has it taken so long for Donald Trump to focus on it?
TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Because he was focused on winning.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But this is all about winning.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, yes, this is a different kind of winning and this is sort of the more complicated, procedural, rule-type winning.
And, you know, at this convention in Colorado, Donald Trump showed up with a gloss glossy flyer that said here’s my slate of delegates, vote for them. It included a number of people that were not on the ballot for people to vote.
It was — my colleagues showed me a copy of his slate that he had taken notes on, and three-quarters of the people on there, you couldn’t vote for them in the way that Trump’s people said to vote for them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Amy, is it too late for Trump to catch up? He has hired this veteran political operative, Paul Manafort. He’s done some interviews. We have seen him out over the weekend. He is saying, oh, yes, we are going to catch up. Is it — can they catch up?
AMY WALTER: They may be able to, but it’s really a question about, you know, they have already lost in so many of these places and it’s hard to catch up.
What we’re hearing in state after state is that the Cruz campaign has been there for months, they have been doing the groundwork, and they have the people there who are able to go and get on these ballots or make sure that they pick the right people to get on these ballots.
The one thing I want to mention is, here’s the difficult part about all this as we’re predicting and projecting what’s going to happen; 2,500 people or so are delegates. They’re all individual human beings that all are going to feel incredible pressure. There are rules that they have to follow, but once the ballot opens, once the voting opens and they’re no longer bound by the rules, they’re going to get pressures from the candidates.
They’re going to get pressures from their families, from their colleagues, and these people have to go home after this convention and go explain their vote to their friends and family, and that is going to be something none of us can predict.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, clearly, Tamara, it sounds like Donald Trump’s best hope is to get to 1,237 before they go to Cleveland.
TAMARA KEITH: Absolutely. Absolutely.
That is — by far, if he can have this done in one ballot, that is a much better solution.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s mathematically possible.
TAMARA KEITH: It is mathematically possible. By our calculation at this point, he would need to get about 58 percent of the remaining unbound delegates. There are bound delegates and there are unbound delegates, and so it’s somewhere between 58 percent and 70 percent of the remaining delegates that he needs to get.
It’s possible. There are a bunch of winner-take-all contests. But here’s an indication of the challenge that he faces. In New York, his children cannot vote for him because they missed the deadline to register as Republicans to vote.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Which was last fall, or was it more recently?
TAMARA KEITH: No, it like three weeks ago, I think.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Oh, OK.
TAMARA KEITH: So there are all kinds of small details, and Trump has been working on the bigger stuff, on the big message, on getting this tidal wave of support.
And that is different from what happens at a convention, which is why Donald Trump really wants to win before a convention.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Amy, just quickly on this, when he says it’s crooked and his delegate hunter says they’re using gestapo-like tactics, is there anything…
AMY WALTER: There’s one thing that we have seen about this.
Look, this is still is something of a Wild West. There are not really any rules about what you can and can’t do to woo a delegate. Theoretically, you can’t give them actual cash, right? There are bribery statutes. But some people are arguing, Well, as long as they’re not an elected official, I don’t know if it’s considered a bribe to give them, I don’t know, maybe a trip on a nice airplane with the name Trump on the side of it.
TAMARA KEITH: Gold-plated seat belts on that plane?
AMY WALTER: Maybe.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s quickly move over to the Democrats,, because, Tamara, yes, does — the words of war between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders does seem to have cooled down a little bit. But, as we heard, they’re still taking shots at…
TAMARA KEITH: I don’t know if it really cooled down or not.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Maybe it hasn’t.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But where does it stand? She’s ahead in the polls in New York, but he is saying, I have won the last umpteen contests here.
TAMARA KEITH: Right. And he has won the last umpteen contests, and he has momentum.
One interesting thing, though, about that momentum is, in Wyoming, which held its caucuses over the weekend, he won, and he won fairly significantly, but, in the end, the delegates were a tie. They both got seven delegates, seven pledged delegates, which means that he didn’t eat into her delegate lead any at all.
And he still needs to win about 57.5 percent of the remaining delegates. Totally possible. Not easy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And here, quickly, Amy, delegates’ numbers, very different from the Republicans, where you have got the so-called superdelegates, and she, Hillary Clinton, way ahead…
AMY WALTER: Well, way ahead with the superdelegates, but also she is significantly ahead with delegates, even further ahead today than Barack Obama was ahead of her at this point in 2008.
So, her argument is, what she would like to see is, I want to switch now, this race is basically mathematically over, I want to get to the general election. But you know what? Primary voters aren’t there yet. They want to see this contest continue. And she has got to be able to do. She has got to be able to show graciousness as the front-runner and the likely nominee, while also being able to be a general election candidate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And pivot to Donald Trump, which she’s started to do. She is running ads on him.
At the same time, she’s having to beat off the criticisms from Sanders.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, and what she said today is that she can walk and chew gum at the same time. She can fight Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump at the same time.
Sanders is out with an ad about fracking, which is an issue that is going to be more of an issue in Pennsylvania. And he’s getting that out there, I think, in hopes of it coming up at the debate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, there is so much. And we love having both of you.
Tamara Keith, Amy Walter, thank you both.
TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.
AMY WALTER: Thank you, Judy.
The post Will delegate details undo Trump’s nomination hopes? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. Gwen Ifill is away this week.
On the “NewsHour” tonight: Presidential contenders try to make it in New York, as Bernie Sanders wins his seventh straight matchup over Hillary Clinton.
Then: inside Kenya and the country’s rampant corruption, where police bribe, instead of patrol, and nearly a billion dollars of government money goes missing.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The wealth gap here makes the corruption more egregious. According to one study, Kenyans pay on average 16 bribes every month.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And the legacy of Jackie Robinson. A new Ken Burns PBS documentary tracks the icon’s journey from baseball hero to civil rights champion.
All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: British prime Minister David Cameron rejected criticism of his family’s finances and offshore holdings. He’s come under fire after the Panama Papers leak detailed his late father’s investments.
But in Parliament today, Cameron said his father’s investment fund was designed to help investors, not to dodge taxes.
DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: We should differentiate between schemes designed to artificially reduce tax and those that are encouraging investment. Mr. Speaker, this is a government and this should be a country that believes in aspiration and wealth creation.
So we should — we should defend the right of every British citizen to make money lawfully. Aspiration and wealth creation are not somehow dirty words.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cameron initially refused to say if he had a stake in his father’s business, but he now acknowledges selling his shares before his election as prime minister in 2010.
In Syria, a surge in fighting now threatens to derail a month-old cease-fire. It’s focused around Aleppo, the country’s largest city. Half of it is held by rebels. Syrian army video showed artillery firing on rebel positions on Sunday. There’s also word that government reinforcements are moving in to counter a buildup of Islamist militants linked to al-Qaida.
A fragile truce also hung in the balance in Yemen today, amid sporadic violations. The cease-fire took hold last night between Shiite rebels and a Saudi-led coalition that backs the government. The year-long conflict has killed more than 9,000 people, and forced nearly 2.5 million to flee.
Investigators in Southern India are hunting suspects after an illegal fireworks display sets off a deadly fire. At least 110 people died and another 380 were hurt in Sunday’s blaze at a Hindu temple. Amateur video captured explosions that rocked the village of Paravoor, as revelers celebrated the Hindu new year. Thousands of people were packed inside the complex.
John Kerry became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Hiroshima, Japan, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb in 1945. Kerry toured the Hiroshima Peace Museum and Memorial as he attended a seven-nation conference. He spoke to reporters afterward.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: It is a gut-wrenching display. It tugs at all of your sensibilities as a human being. It reminds everybody of the extraordinary complexity of choices in war, and of what war does to people, to communities, to countries, to the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Kerry didn’t say whether President Obama will visit Hiroshima when he travels to Japan in late May.
A sign today that the flow of migrants from Turkey into Greece is finally slowing. Greek officials say only 18 people landed on outlying islands in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, thousands remain in camps near the border with Macedonia. A tense calm returned there today, after police tear-gassed crowds trying to storm a crossing on Sunday.
And Wall Street started off with a rally, but could not hold on. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 20 points to close at 17556. The Nasdaq fell 17 points, and the S&P 500 slipped five.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: a closer look at the candidates’ scramble for votes in New York; how corruption hurts a country’s citizen — we go inside Kenya; the paper trail that connects Syria’s president to torture; and much more.
The post News Wrap: David Cameron defends family’s finances appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This is a rare week without any primary voting anywhere, in the 2016 presidential race, but the campaigning grinds on. And, as the day’s developments show, the talk is getting testier, especially over the all-important delegate numbers game.
John Yang has our report.
JOHN YANG: For the two Democratic contenders and the three Republicans, the campaign is now dominated by delegate wars. GOP front-runner Donald Trump leads by about 200 delegates. But he phoned into FOX News this morning to complain that his lead should be even bigger.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: As an example, South Carolina, I won it by a landslide, like a massive landslide. And now they’re trying to pick off those delegates one by one. That’s not the way democracy is supposed to work. What kind of a system is this? Now, I’m an outsider, and I came into the system, and I’m winning the votes by millions of votes. But the system is rigged. It’s crooked.
JOHN YANG: Adding to Trump’s frustration, rival Ted Cruz’s sweep of Colorado’s 34 delegates over the weekend. Today, the Texas senator turned to California. Its June 7 primary is suddenly vital in the race, offering the single biggest delegate prize for Republicans: 172.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Republican Presidential Candidate: California is going to decide the Republican nomination for president. And if we continue to unite, we will win the general election, beat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JOHN YANG: Tensions are also rising on the Democratic side, now that Bernie Sanders has won seven of the last eight contests.
In Binghamton, New York today, he went after Hillary Clinton on oil and gas drilling.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: On this issue of fracking, Secretary Clinton and I have some very strong differences of opinion. If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking, not only in New York and Vermont, but all over this country.
JOHN YANG: People in the Sanders crowd booed the mention of Clinton’s name. She took her own shots at a stop in Queens.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny of New York, Senator Sanders has had trouble answering questions. He’s had trouble answering questions about his core issue, namely, dealing with the banks. He’s had trouble answering foreign policy questions.
JOHN YANG: Clinton still enjoys a wide lead in delegates, but Sanders insists he can narrow the gap.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.
The post War over delegates ramps up as White House race tightens appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is still behind when it comes to delegates and votes, but he has one clear advantage over his Democratic and Republican presidential rivals — a lot of people actually like him.
By 48 percent to 39 percent, more Americans have a favorable than an unfavorable opinion of Sanders, giving him the best net-positive rating in the field, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Unlike the other candidates, Sanders also is doing better as more Americans get to know him: His favorable rating is up from an earlier AP-GfK poll.
The numbers speak to Sanders’ rapid rise from a relatively unknown Vermont senator to a celebrated voice proclaiming political revolution. They also reflect just how unpopular the rest of the field is.
But the growing popularity may be coming too late for Sanders, who lags behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, with time running out in the primary campaign.
After winning the Democratic caucuses in Wyoming on Saturday, Sanders has now won seven of the past eight state contests. Still, to win the Democratic nomination, he must take 68 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates, which would require a sudden burst of blowout victories.
“I just like everything that he talks about and that he wants to do,” said Brian Cane, 54, of Spokane, Washington. “I think Hillary, she’s too mainstream government. Bernie Sanders is fresh and new and the Republicans are freaking idiots.”
Still, Cane echoed the sentiments of many Democrats, saying that if Clinton wins the primary, “Yeah, I’ll vote for her.”
The poll was conducted March 31-April 4, before the debate between Sanders and Clinton over who was best qualified to be president grew more intense.
Sanders’ popularity stands in contrast to the rest of the remaining candidates. Clinton gets unfavorable ratings from 55 percent of Americans, while just 40 percent have a favorable opinion. A whopping 69 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Republican leader Donald Trump, and just 26 percent have a favorable opinion.
“I’ve grown to like him more. The exposure that he’s getting, there’s a bit of a snowball effect with his campaign,” said Les Blackmore, 60, of Washington, D.C., who is leaning toward Sanders.
Twenty-three percent of Republicans and 38 percent of independents have a favorable view of Sanders, while 67 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of independents give him negative ratings. Just 7 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of independents rate Clinton positively.
About 61 percent of registered voters say they’d at least consider voting for Sanders in a general election, while 38 percent said they would definitely not. The percentage saying they would not vote for him is the lowest in the entire field. Fifty-one percent say they wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, though she still does better than any of the Republican candidates on that measure. Sixty-three percent say they wouldn’t vote for Trump.
Sanders is the only candidate remaining in the field on either side who’s viewed as at least somewhat honest, compassionate, civil and likable by a majority of Americans.
Fifty-eight percent say he’s at least somewhat civil, compared with 48 percent for Clinton and just 15 percent for Trump. Likewise, 58 percent call him at least somewhat compassionate, compared with 42 percent for Clinton and 17 percent for Trump.
“I do like both of them,” said Tami Cinquemani, 55, of Apopka, Florida, who voted for Clinton. “I feel like Hillary is more qualified. … I like Bernie. Honestly I wouldn’t be disappointed either way.”
Though Sanders is more popular, Clinton remains the candidate viewed by the most Americans as able to win a general election, with 82 percent saying she could capture the White House. Just 6 in 10 say that of Sanders or Trump.
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,076 adults was conducted online March 31-April 4, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.
Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Emily Swanson wrote this report.
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Obama designated the Sewall-Belmont House, which played a role in the U.S. women’s suffrage movement, as a national monument Tuesday. Video by PBS NewsHour
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and other Democrats on Tuesday seized on Equal Pay Day — a symbolic event dramatizing how much longer it takes a woman to earn as much as a man — to court women voters and call out Republicans for inaction on the issue.
Obama dedicated a new national monument to women’s equality and pushed Congress to pass legislation. He suggested he’s encouraged by movement toward full gender equality in many arenas — including corporate boardrooms, professional sports and presidential politics.
“If we truly value fairness then America should be a level playing field,” the president said, as he joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other Democrats at the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in D.C., the onetime home of the National Women’s Party now designated as Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. Alva Belmont and Alice Paul were figures in the women’s rights and suffrage movements.
The Democrats’ focus on Equal Pay comes amid a presidential campaign where the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, has alienated female voters in droves, leading to GOP fears he could diminish the party’s standing with that key constituency for years to come. Yet once again this year, Obama and Democratic lawmakers trumpet their equal pay proposals at news conferences and briefings, Republicans have little to offer in return.
“We feel we shouldn’t be playing identity politics, we should be working together to strengthen families,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which advocates for pragmatic, center-right policies.
Democrats support legislation requiring employers to show pay disparity is not based on gender, among other steps. The bill, which passed the House when it was under Democratic control but was blocked by Senate Republicans, builds on the first law Obama signed as president, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, aimed at making it easier for women to sue over wage discrimination.
For their part, the Republicans who control the House and Senate have announced no plans to act on legislation addressing pay inequity, even though a few GOP lawmakers are pushing bills on the issue. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said she is hoping for Democratic support for her narrowly focused bill allowing employees to share wage information. GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she is working with House Republicans to get on board with her broader bill, modeled on one that passed in her home state of New Hampshire.
“To say that Republicans don’t care about equal pay, that’s just ludicrous that anybody even says that,” Fischer said. “Everybody cares about equal pay. That’s a value that we all share.”
Republican women dispute the notion that “women’s issues” are separate from any other issues, noting that women care strongly about national security, the drug epidemic and other matters not specifically related to their gender. With the GOP presidential primary season veering chaotically toward a contested convention, most Capitol Hill Republicans are also avoiding taking any steps that could connect them to the mess, including the perception that they are acting in response to Trump.
“I just put these in the context of good government and the right thing to do. I don’t put it in the context of anything else,” Ayotte said. “I mean I’ve been working on this well before this presidential race.”
Yet the result is that the one group arguably best positioned to act as a counterweight to Trump with women voters — female Republican elected officials — has been largely silent, allowing his controversial statements on women to go unanswered even as Democrats look likely to elevate the first major-party female presidential nominee in Hillary Clinton.
On Tuesday, Obama hinted he views Clinton’s campaign as historic progress — although he has not formally endorsed her bid.
He said he hoped visitors to the museum will someday be astonished that there was ever a time when women could not vote.
“I want them to be astonished that there was ever a time when women earned less than men for doing the same work. I want them to be astonished that there was ever a time when women were vastly outnumbered in the boardroom or in Congress, or there was ever a time when a woman had never sat in the Oval Office,” he said. “I don’t know how long it will take to get there, but I know we’re getting closer to that day.”
Chamberlain spent months traveling the country with female GOP members of Congress, meeting with women voters to hear their concerns. Although women still make on average 79 cents for every dollar men are paid, equal pay didn’t make the list when her group released its policy agenda in January. Drug addiction and mental health topped women voters’ concerns, Chamberlain said, and lawmakers involved with her group are pushing legislation on those issues and others, including workplace flexibility for new moms and caregivers.
“Equal pay doesn’t come up, I’m not saying it’s not an issue but it doesn’t come up,” Chamberlain said. As for Democrats’ focus on the topic, Chamberlain said: “I think it’s identity politics, I really do.”
Clinton herself is participating in a round table discussion on the issue in New York City Tuesday, hosted by job website Glassdoor. Members of the U.S. women’s soccer team recently filed a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer, and actress Jennifer Lawrence has spoken out about making less than her male co-stars, drawing more attention to the issue than it has had in the past.
“These were not always major issues in presidential campaigns but they are major issues today,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who is hosting a briefing on pay equity Tuesday with actress Patricia Arquette. Of Trump, who had to recant after suggesting women should be punished for having abortions, Maloney added: “I think that he is in the Middle Ages.”
Trump himself was questioned by a voter at a rally last fall who asked if she would make as much as a man if Trump were elected president. “I respect women and I’m going to take care of women,” said Trump. “You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job.”
Associated Press writer Erica Werner wrote this report. AP writers Darlene Superville and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
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Russian-born tech mogul Yuri Milner and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking are charting a course to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system outside our Solar System, and they just launched a $100 million project to get there. Starshot, a new branch of their Breakthrough Initiatives program, will develop the technology to build a light-powered, sail-based ship that can travel 1,000 times faster than quickest spaceship currently available — or 100 million miles per hour.
“What makes human beings unique? There are many theories,” said Hawking at the announcement ceremony at One World Observatory in New York City. “Some say it’s language or tools; others say it’s logical reasoning…they obviously haven’t met many humans. I believe what makes us unique is transcending our limits.”
Last summer, Milner and Hawking launched the Breakthrough Initiatives, a two-project mission geared toward interacting with extraterrestrial life. One part focuses on detecting alien messages by purchasing time at two of the largest radio telescopes on the planet. The goal of the second objective was to design a message that could be delivered into space.
Today, Milner, Hawking and a panel of space experts expanded the Breakthrough Initiatives to include sending a futuristic spacecraft to Alpha Centauri. Located more than 25 trillion miles (four light years) away, Alpha Centauri consists of three stars. For perspective, the New Horizons probe, one of the fastest spacecrafts in history, would take nearly 80,000 years to reach this stellar triad.
Plus, the fuel required for the trip would weigh more than all of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy, according to Milner. He proposes an alternative:
“It’s very simple. Leave the fuel behind.”
Starshot wants to cut the travel time by engineering a nanocraft, a small spaceship propelled by a lightsail. But rather than catch sunbeams, the nanocraft’s sail would be pushed by beams emitted by a field of lasers planted on Earth.
Another key component is a so-called “starchip” — a computer chip about the size of a postage stamp that carries cameras, photon thrusters, power supply, navigation and communication equipment. During the ceremony, Milner displayed a prototype of the starchip, designed by Zac Manchester, a rocket scientist at Harvard University.
“This is the Silicon Valley approach to space. It can be held with two fingers and mass produced at the cost of an iPhone,” Milner said.
The light sail would require innovations in nanotechnology in order to fabricate material that is no more than a few hundred atoms thick with a mass of a handful of grams. The sheet would then need to be large enough to catch the array of laser beams — up to 100 million — being shot from Earth toward the tiny satellite. Philip Lubin, a physicist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, is part of the team developing this beam technology.
If successful, Milner expects the resulting nanocraft to travel at 20 percent of lightspeed. Breakthrough Starshot is an open-source project, and Milner called for researchers across the globe to contribute. All innovations will live in the public domain, he said, and be accessible to anyone who wants to use them. Milner expects the cost of the project to rival CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which had a construction price tag of nearly $5 billion.
“The limit that confronts us now is the great void between us and the stars,” Hawking said. “But now, we can transcend it with light beams, light sails and the lightest spacecraft ever built. We can launch a mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.”
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Republican businessman Donald Trump and former Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were certified Tuesday as the winners of Missouri’s presidential primaries, though a recount remains a possibility.
The official results of the March 15 primaries show that Trump and Clinton both prevailed over their challengers by a mere fraction of a percent.
Trump led Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 1,965 votes out of more than 939,000 cast in the Republican primary — a margin of about one-fifth of a percentage point.
Clinton led Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 1,574 votes out of more than 629,000 cast in the Democratic primary — a margin of one-quarter of a percentage point.
Under Missouri law, candidates who lose by less than one-half of a percentage point can request a recount at state expense. They have seven days to do so.
Sanders previously said that he won’t seek a recount, because it’s unlikely to significantly affect the number of delegates each candidate receives to the Democratic National Convention under the proportional allocation system used by the party.
The Associated Press has not declared Trump the winner because Cruz has not ruled out a recount.
“I think they’ll take a look at it,” Carl Bearden, a Missouri co-chairman of the Cruz campaign, said Tuesday. But “I’ve never seen a recount make a difference (in a statewide Missouri election), and I think they’ll take that into consideration.”
Tuesday’s certified vote takes into account provisional ballots and absentee ballots cast by overseas voters that came in after election day. Trump and Clinton both increased their lead in the certified vote — Trump’s margin grew by 239 votes and Clinton’s by 43 votes — compared to the election night tally.
Of Missouri’s 52 delegates to the Republican National Convention, 12 go to the top statewide vote-getter. The rest are awarded in chunks of five to the winners in each of the state’s congressional districts. Trump carried five congressional districts and Cruz three, according to the certified results.
Missouri’s 71 Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally based on the votes candidates received statewide and in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. Sanders carried six congressional districts and Clinton two, but several had close margins.
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Children’s literature trailblazer Beverly Cleary turns 100 today. Born in rural Oregon in 1916, Cleary has penned more than 40 books including the beloved Ramona and Henry Huggins series, inspiring fans that range from fellow children’s authors Judy Blume and Kate DiCamillo to Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Cleary has been awarded numerous honors throughout her life, including the Library of Congress “Living Legend” award, which she received in 2000, and sold more than 85 million copies of her books, leaving an indelible mark on children’s literature.
Now, take a closer look at the life of the author who made us laugh with Henry Huggins, Ramona Quinby and Ralph S. Mouse.
1. Growing up, she had no access to a public library.
Prior to attending school, Cleary spent time on her family’s farm in Yamhill, Oregon, a rural town that lacked a library. Cleary’s mother contacted the state library and ordered books to Yamhill. With those books, she established a makeshift library above a bank and acted as its librarian.
2. Cleary started out as a poor reader.
Cleary moved to Portland to start grade school, but “city life was a shock,” she told the Washington Post. She almost flunked out of the first grade, where her teacher would punish her for daydreaming. She thought, “My mother always read to me, so why should I learn to read?” With the encouragement of a local librarian, Cleary improved her reading skills and was bumped up from the lowest reading bracket in third grade.
3. While in school, she worked as a seamstress and chambermaid.
Cleary began her college career at Chaffey Junior College, which had free tuition, during the Great Depression. She would go on to continue her studies at the University of California-Berkeley, eventually receiving a Masters in Library Sciences from the University of Washington. In order to pay for her education after junior college, Cleary worked a number of odd jobs including as a seamstress and chambermaid.
4. She wrote “Henry Huggins” for a young boy in Yakima, Washington.
Cleary worked as a librarian in a number of places, including Yakima, Washington, where a student complained to her that he couldn’t find any stories that related to his everyday life. “Authors back then thought their characters needed to go to sea or have big adventures. Well, most kids don’t have adventures, but they still lead interesting lives,” she told Publisher’s Weekly. “Finally, when I sat down to write, I thought about that little boy.”
Her publisher initially rejected the book, then titled “Henry Huggins and Spareribs,” but accepted it after Cleary changed “Spareribs” to “Ribsy” and added the characters Beezus and Ramona.
5. She created her most famous character by accident.
Originally, Cleary wrote Ramona as a little sister to one of her main characters. As she was writing, she overheard a neighbor call out the name “Ramona” nearby and inserted it into the book. She based the character off a young neighbor who “was considered rather impossible,” she told PBS.
6. Cleary used plots from her fan letters.
Cleary featured her readers’ life experiences in her books. Drop Everything and Read, a yearly educational event that schools celebrate on the author’s birthday, appeared in the Ramona series after Cleary received a fan letter from a young student who enjoyed the program. After receiving a letter from two boys who asked her to write about divorce, Cleary penned “Dear Mr. Henshaw,” which went on to win the Newbery Medal in 1984.
7. Ramona’s flaws were Cleary’s favorite thing about her.
Cleary was exasperated by children’s books that aimed to teach children obedience. In contrast, she wrote Ramona as a character who “does not learn to be a better girl,” she told PBS.
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan is definitively ruling out a bid for president this year, amid persistent speculation that he could emerge as the GOP nominee from a contested Republican convention.
The Wisconsin Republican scheduled a mid-afternoon statement Tuesday at the Republican National Committee to disavow any interest in the presidency in 2016.
Earlier in the day, Ryan said in an interview on WISN radio in Milwaukee that there was no scenario under which he would seek the Republican nomination. Ryan said he called the news conference to “categorically” rule himself out as a candidate.
“I will not allow my name to be placed in nomination,” Ryan said. “And it will not be me. I don’t know how I can be clearer than that. … It should be someone who actually wants to be president or is running for president.”
He laughed when asked if he was working behind the scenes to “steal the GOP nomination away from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.”
“No, I am not,” Ryan said. “This is just amazing. It is just amazing how these things keep going. I am going to try again today to put this to bed. The answer is no, and my strong opinion is if it goes to an open convention … the delegates should pick among the people who actually ran for president this year.”
Ryan’s comments come as a contested convention looks likelier by the day. Ryan and his aides have continually denied the speaker has presidential ambitions this year, but their statements have not put the issue to rest. That’s partly because Ryan also denied he wanted to be speaker last fall after then-Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation, but ended up with the job anyway.
Tuesday’s appearance will be an attempt to shut down the speculation once and for all. Yet it may not be enough to quiet the talk about Ryan, given the unpredictable twists of the GOP presidential primary.
Front-runner Trump looks unlikely to accumulate the necessary delegates to clinch the nomination ahead of the July Republican convention in Cleveland. That would allow his lead challenger, Cruz, to make a play for the job.
But if neither candidate can get the delegate votes necessary as balloting progresses in the convention, chaos could result and along with it the potential for some other Republican who’s not currently running to emerge. As a young and charismatic conservative, popular with donors and with some conservative activists, Ryan’s name has been at the top of that list for months.
Ryan was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012 and is seen as a possible candidate in 2020. Early in the campaign season he announced he would not be making a run in 2016.
Removing the presidential speculation puts Ryan’s focus squarely on his day job as the leader of the House, and he faces several key tests soon.
In a long-brewing embarrassment, it’s become plain that Ryan has all but given up hope of passing a budget for the upcoming budget year. Ryan orchestrated four budget efforts as chairman of the Budget Committee over 2011-2014 but now can’t produce as speaker. Boehner, his predecessor, presided over five successful budgets
Under the government’s arcane budget law, the House is supposed to produce a budget by April 15. But a tea party revolt over Ryan’s embrace of last year’s bipartisan deal with President Barack Obama to increase spending by the Pentagon and domestic agencies has left him well short of the votes he needs.
Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor in Washington and Scott Bauer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.
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Video by NYC Mayor’s Office
NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under fire over a comedy skit that some people feel was racially insensitive.
Clinton, just days before the crucial New York primary, was a surprise guest during the mayor’s performance at the annual Inner Circle show in Manhattan on Saturday night, a black-tie charity gala that is the city’s answer to the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, took the stage and, in a scripted scene, teased de Blasio, a fellow Democrat who managed her 2000 Senate campaign, for taking so long to endorse her presidential bid.
“Sorry Hillary,” de Blasio replied, “I was running on ‘CP time.'”
At first, that seemed to be a reference to a racial stereotype, “colored people time.” Leslie Odom Jr., a black actor who plays Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash “Hamilton” was also on the stage and pretended to be offended.
“I don’t like jokes like that, Bill,” Odom said.
But then Clinton interjected: “‘Cautious politician time,'” she said. “I’ve been there.”
Many in the room where it happened, which was filled with New York politicians, power brokers and reporters, laughed at the joke. But it soon made its way around social media and drew some scornful media coverage.
The New York Daily News blared “Skit for Brains” on its Tuesday front page. Salon called the skit “cringe worthy.” And New York magazine made reference to the mayor’s African-American spouse asking, “Does your wife, Chirlane, know about this joke?”
De Blasio, whose two multiracial children identify as black, downplayed the controversy.
“It was clearly a staged event,” he told CNN on Monday. “I think people are missing the point here.” Mayoral aides added that the skit was not meant to offend and pointed out that it was far from the only risque joke during a night in which reporters put on a show to roast politicians and then the mayor returns the favor.
A spokesman for Clinton echoed the point, saying the campaign “agreed with the mayor.”
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest deflected questions about the propriety of the joke, saying he hadn’t seen it and therefore was “very reluctant to wade into this very far.” But he praised both Clinton and de Blasio.
“So I can’t speak to any misguided attempts at humor. I can only speak to their commitment that they’ve shown over the course of their career to justice and civil rights,” Earnest said.
The flap comes at a poor time for Clinton, who has enjoyed deep support from black voters during the previous primaries and is banking on their support again in New York’s April 19 primary to ward off a challenge from Bernie Sanders. A loss for Clinton in her home state could upend the Democratic race, though she would still have a significant delegate lead.
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In this special Making Sen$e 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.
Too often women get paid less for doing the same jobs as men. And the reason is not what you’re told. Although it seems to elude the media, the experts, pundits and even some women themselves, the real reason is obvious to any forthright business person: Employers pay women less, because they can get away with it.
Worse, the same pundits tell women that it’s their problem and that they must change their behavior if they want to be paid fairly for doing the same work as men. But the experts, researchers, advocates and apologists are all wrong. There is no prescription for underpaid women to get paid more, because it isn’t women’s behavior that’s the problem.
There is only one thing a woman should have to do to get paid as much as a man: her job.
When doing the job doesn’t pay off, women of all ages should be aware of what younger women today are doing to fight back. According to a recent study by the International Consortium for Executive Development Research, some women have figured it out. Millennial women don’t need instructions to change their negotiating, child rearing, educational or any other behavior to impress errant employers. They know to quit and move on. It’s going to be the new trend.
The myths about women causing their own pay problem
Let’s look at what women are supposedly doing to abuse themselves financially.
We can refer to umpteen surveys and studies about gender pay disparity — and to some that suggest there is no disparity. But a recent Time analysis summarizes the data from the U.S. Census and other sources: “Women earn less than men at every age range: 15% less at ages 22 to 25 and a staggering 38% less at ages 51 to 64.”
This has become favorite fodder for the media — and for armchair economists, gender researchers and pundits looking to bang out a blog column. But I think most of the explanations about pay disparity and the prescriptions for how to get equal pay for equal work are bunk.
Depending on what you read, women get paid less because they:
It’s all speculation and myth, but the message is always the same: If women would just change some or all of those behaviors, they can shrink the pay gap.
I say bunk. Women don’t cause the pay gap. Employers do. So employers should change their behavior.
I’ve been a headhunter for a long time. I’ve seen more job offers and observed more salary negotiations than you’ll see in a lifetime. I’ve observed more employers decide what salaries or wages to pay than I can count. And I am convinced the media and the experts are full of baloney about the pay gap between men and women. They are so caught up in producing eye-popping news that they’re doing women a disservice — and confusing speculation with facts.
Here are the facts:
Well, there’s just one fact, and that’s it.
Women don’t make themselves job offers, do their own payroll or sign their own paychecks. The gender pay disparity is all — all — on employers, because we start with a simple assumption: A job is worth x dollars to do it right, no matter who does it. It’s all about getting the work done. And the employer decides whom to hire and how much to pay.
Here’s the hard part for economists and experts to understand: Employers decide to pay women less, simply because they can get away with it. The law of parsimony instantly leads us to the obvious explanation: Paying less saves companies money. Everything else is speculative claptrap.
A review of the bunk
Let’s look at some of the “analysis” about why women are paid less than men. Look closely: It all delivers one absurd message: Women are the problem, so women should change their behavior.
Glassdoor, the oft-reviled “employer review” website, reports that overt discrimination may be part of the cause of gender pay discrepancies. But, claims Glassdoor’s economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, “occupation and industry sorting of men and women into systematically different jobs is the main cause.”
“Sorting?” Armchair apologist Chamberlain is saying women apply for jobs that pay less, and men apply for jobs that pay more. While this may sometimes be true, what he fails to note is that when a man and a woman do the same job in the same industry, one is paid less because the employer pays her less. The absurd prescription for women: This will change if only women will change their behavior.
Then there’s this Huffington Post interview, in which Wharton researcher Bobbi Thomason says that to fix the gender pay gap, “We need to have men getting involved at home with childcare and other domestic responsibilities.”
Gimme a break. Women, when you get men to wash dishes, you’ll change how boss men pay female employees. The prescription: It’s all up to you. Change your behavior at home.
The Exponent, reporting on Purdue University’s Equal Pay Day event on April 12, says that the wage gap is “largely based on the fact that, generally, women don’t negotiate their salary once they get into their career field.” Those women. Dopes. They’re doing the wrong thing — that’s why they get paid less! Change your behavior!
Kris Tupas, treasurer of the American Association of University Women chapter at Purdue, explains that employers pay women less “because our culture teaches women to be polite and accept what they’re given.” Again the prescription is for women: Change your behavior!
Linda Babcock, professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote a book that explains women’s fundamental problem: “Women Don’t Ask.” Says Babcock’s book blurb:
It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don’t know that change is possible — they don’t know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. And sometimes they don’t ask because they’ve learned that society can react badly to women asserting their own needs and desires.
Women get paid less, because they don’t ask. Gimme another break. The prescription: Women — you have to ask. Change your behavior!
Fox News’ Star Hughes-Gorup tells women how they can fix the pay gap: “Get educated.” If you want to make as much as the guy in the next cubicle who’s doing the same job, hey, get more schooling after the fact to impress your employer.
Next, says Hughes-Gorup, “Embrace asking for help.” Yep — if you learn how to ask properly, you can “start the conversation” about money. In time, you’ll be worth more. She sums it up: “I believe true progress will be made when we acknowledge that the real issue deterring women from talking about money is not confidence, but self-imposed limitations in our thinking.”
The prescription: Women: If you stop limiting your thinking, you’ll get paid more. So, get with it! Change your behavior and your thinking!
Millennial women have the solution
Why do all those articles prescribe how women must change their behavior to get paid more when it’s the employers making the decision to pay them less? Should women appease employers, or should they respond to unfair pay some other way?
Surveys over the years show that the top reasons people quit their jobs include 1) dissatisfaction with the boss and 2) work-life balance. Money is not the main reason.
But something has changed — especially for millennial women. Lauren Noel, co-author of a report from the International Consortium for Executive Development Research, says that, “Our research shows that the top reasons why [millennial] women leave are not due to family issues. The top reasons are due to pay and career advancement.”
The report itself quotes women under 30 saying that the number one reason they quit is: “I have found a job that pays more elsewhere.”
What’s interesting is that the HR executives Noel surveyed didn’t get it — HR thinks “that the top reason why women leave is family reasons.” Is it any wonder employers attribute lower pay to the “choices” women supposedly make?
Millennial women are the generation of female workers that has figured out they’re not the problem. Unlike their older peers, they’ve figured out that when they’re not getting paid what they want, they quit and go work for an employer who will pay them more.
As a headhunter, I know firsthand that quitting is the surest way to take control when you’re underpaid and your employer will not countenance paying you fairly.
Kudos to millennial women who take the initiative and who don’t blame themselves or alter their own behavior when an employer’s behavior is the problem. I wonder how many employers have taken notice. Do they realize the generation of female workers that’s coming up the ranks isn’t going to tolerate financial abuse — they’re just going to walk?
Do we need a law?
I’m not a fan of creating laws to dictate what people should be paid. But I’m not averse to regulations about transparency and disclosure.
With some simple disclosure regulations, I think more women can start getting paid as much as men do for the same jobs. Companies want our resumes; let’s have theirs too — a standard “salary resume” provided to all job applicants, comparing pay for women and men at a company. Employers would be free to pay men twice what they pay women if they want. And upon checking the salary disclosure, job seekers would be free to walk away and join a competitor who pays fairly for work done by anyone.
Let’s get over it: Women who do the same work as men aren’t the problem. Employers who pay unfairly are, and let’s face what’s obvious: They do it because they can get away with it. (For a story about an employer with integrity, see “Smart Hiring: How a savvy manager finds great hires.”)
If we’re going to analyze behavior, let’s analyze employers’ underhanded behaviors — not women’s personalities, cognitive styles or biological characteristics. There is only one thing a woman should have to do to get paid as much as a man: her job.
Employers who don’t pay fairly will stop getting away with it when they’re required to tattoo their salary statistics on their foreheads — so job applicants can run to their competitors. Or more likely — since new laws aren’t likely — employers will change their errant behavior when a new generation of women just up and quits. That would be quite a news story.
Maybe then the media and the experts will stop blaming women for the gender pay gap.
Dear Readers: Are you paid fairly for your work? If not, what’s your recourse? Do we need to fix women’s behavior or employers’? Or, will a new generation of women change it all anyway?
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 on his website: “How to Work With Headhunters…and how to make headhunters work for you,” “Keep Your Salary Under Wraps,” “How Can I Change Careers?” and “Fearless Job Hunting.”
Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!
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The rate by which Americans are earning two-and-four year degrees continues to lag stubbornly behind what’s needed to meet national goals, and declining college and university enrollments threaten to make things worse, according to a new report.
But a change in the way the figure is being calculated has caused a one-time leap in in the percentage of adults considered to have higher educations.
The proportion of people with two- or four-year degrees eked up slightly, from 40 percent in 2013 to 40.4 percent in 2014, the most recent period available, the Lumina Foundation reported.
That’s compared to about 38 percent in 2008, when a coalition of policymakers set a goal of reaching 60 percent by 2025.
For the first time since it has been issuing its annual progress reports, however, Lumina included the proportion of Americans with certificates—credentials received for taking courses connected to specific jobs, and often conferred by community colleges.
Since 4.9 percent of people have certificates of some kind that are relevant to the jobs they hold, this boosts the share of people with post-secondary education in the United States to 45.3 percent.
Still, the country has fallen from first in the world by this measure to 13th, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, behind Korea, Japan, Canada, and other economic rivals.
And even with certificates added, it’s so far behind schedule to meet its 60 percent goal that, at this pace, it will fall short by nearly 11 million degree-holders, the report said.
Lumina also raised warnings about the impact of declining college and university enrollment. Enrollment nationwide has dropped for eight semesters in a row, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, further complicating efforts to meet the 2025 target. (The Lumina Foundation is among the funders of The Hechinger Report, which produced this story.)
Success rates also vary widely by race. Sixty-one percent of Asians have post-secondary educations, compared to about half of whites, 34 percent of blacks, and 27 percent of Hispanics.
This creates still more challenges, considering that the college-aged population is increasingly comprised of ethnic and racial minorities and children of parents who do not have higher educations themselves.
Lumina said doing a better job of preparing students like these for college could eventually add 3.7 million more graduates with degrees. Encouraging more people to go back to school who are older than 24 could produce another 3.9 million.
Lumina and others argue that increasing the percentage of degree-holders is essential for the nation to compete. The number of jobs held by workers with a high school diploma or less fell by 6.3 million during the economic recession, while the number of jobs requiring some post-secondary education has grown by 700,000.
Twenty-six states have now adopted their own goals for degree attainment—15 of them in the last year.
The best-educated are Massachusetts, 55 percent of whose population has post-secondary educations; Colorado, 54 percent; and Connecticut and Minnesota, 53 percent each.
The most educated metropolitan areas are Washington, D.C., where 56 percent of residents hold degrees and certificates; Boston, with 55 percent; and San Francisco (54 percent).
The states with the lowest proportion of people who have post-secondary educations: West Virginia (33 percent), Nevada (35 percent), Mississippi (36 percent), Alabama (37 percent), and Idaho (38 percent).
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The extremist group Boko Haram has sharply increased its use of children as suicide bombers over the past year, according to a UNICEF report released Tuesday.
UNICEF recorded that 44 children were involved in Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria, in 2015, up from four in 2014. The increase means nearly one out of every five Boko Haram suicide bombers is a child. In addition to a rise in suicide attacks involving children, the total number of suicide bombings increased from 32 in 2014 to 151 last year.
The organization indicates more than 75 percent of the children in the attacks were girls.
The report comes nearly two years after 270 female students were abducted in northeast Nigeria, sparking the global campaign #BringBackOurGirls. The students are still missing.[Watch Video]
Manuel Fontaine, the UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said in a statement the trend will have long-term consequences for the African nations. He said when children are forced to act as bombers, communities begin to see them as a threat.
“This suspicion towards children can have destructive consequences,” Fontaine said. “How can a community rebuild itself when it is casting out its own sisters, daughters and mothers?”
Countries in the region have recently formed a coalition to make gains against Boko Haram. But as the terror group has suffered setbacks, it has increased its use of extreme measures, including suicide attacks.
In addition to suicide bombings, UNICEF noted that Boko Haram is forcing boys to attack their own families as a demonstration of their loyalty. Many of the girls captured by the group are sexually assaulted and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters.
The report estimates Boko Haram has displaced 2.3 million people since May 2013. Approximately 1,800 schools have been closed due to the conflict, and more than 5,000 children have been separated from their parents.
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is taking steps to help people with disabilities who are struggling to repay their student loans.
The Education Department has streamlined the process for applying for an existing federal loan forgiveness program for people who are permanently disabled.
Letters will be sent next week to about 387,000 people the agency has identified as eligible. Those borrowers hold loans totaling about $7.8 billion.
Under the program, eligible borrowers will have their student loan debt erased. Ted Mitchell, undersecretary of education, says too few borrowers have been taking advantage of the program because they may not know about it or because applying was too complicated.
Borrowers whose loans are forgiven then would not be at risk of having their Social Security income or disability payments seized.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The Obama administration has long touted efforts to boost college completion. But graduation rates haven’t budged. That’s why states across the country are watching an effort in New York City that promises to more than double graduation rates at community colleges.
Hari Sreenivasan went to the Bronx to see how the city’s community colleges plan to do it.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Karla Ayala is in her last semester at Bronx Community College. If everything goes as planned, she will earn her associate’s degree from the City University of New York campus in five semesters, or about two years.
Only 20 percent of community college students complete a degree or certificate within three years of enrollment. Ayala has done it despite having the types of responsibilities that derail hundreds of thousands of students every year.
KARLA AYALA, Student, Bronx Community College: College is stressful, and then on top of it having an outside life, I have kids, I’m married, I don’t have a full-time job, but yet I have a responsibility part-time at school.
HARI SREENIVASAN: She’s stayed on track with the help of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or ASAP, The City University of New York created the wrap-around support program for full-time students on some of its seven community college campuses in 2007.
KARLA AYALA: I did a semester without being in ASAP, and it was a little hard, because I was — in a sense, I was lost.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Ayala is up at 6:00 to get the kids ready for school and out the door by 7:30, when her husband is already at work. ASAP pays for any tuition not covered by scholarships, which meant $2,600 a semester for Ayala.
Students also get a stipend for textbooks. Commuting costs in a city like New York can add up and become a hurdle. ASAP provides free monthly MetroCards for city buses and trains, which normally cost $116. Class schedules that change every semester can derail students who have to work or care for family. ASAP students take blocks of classes that bring them to campus at the same time every day. That means Ayala knows she can get home to pick the kids up from school.
But the most important support has come from her adviser.
KARLA AYALA: We have established a relationship where she knows, like, OK, Karla, what’s going on with this class? And I had a class where I was struggling, and she definitely, you know, gave me the pep talk. She’s like, you got to do it. I’m not going to take you out of the class. You’re going to have to work hard in your tutoring.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The data points to success stories beyond Ayala. Only 17 percent of CUNY’s full-time community college students get a degree in three years. For ASAP students, the rate is 57 percent. In the fall, New York City leaders pledged an additional $42 million to expand the program from 7,500 students this year to 25,000 by 2018.
The goal is to raise the system wide graduation rate to 50 percent or higher for full-time students.
JAMES MILLIKEN, Chancellor, The City University of New York: At community colleges, and particularly at urban community colleges across the country, the three-year graduation rate is about 16 percent right now. And so you could call that a crisis.
HARI SREENIVASAN: CUNY’s chancellor James Milliken:
JAMES MILLIKEN: The issue’s not all about access. It’s a big part of it. We have to be focused on the success of our students, getting them a degree.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Ayala’s adviser, Melanie Robles, says turning the numbers around takes more than pointing students to the right classes.
MELANIE ROBLES, ASAP Advisor: I can work with a student on their academics, right? That’s typical. But then you also have that moment where you’re working with a student that is having difficulty at home, so you’re coaching them on maybe how to have a conversation with a parent that maybe doesn’t want to assist them any longer to take care of their child for them.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Javier Legasa oversees ASAP on the Bronx campus. He says this intensive support is possible because ASAP advisers only work with 150 students each semester, compared to 500 students for each adviser outside the program.
JAVIER LEGASA, ASAP Assistant Dean, Bronx Community College: Students need to feel that they belong, that this is their place, that we welcome them. And so having the sense of connection with staff members, with the other students as well, and the faculty who will be teaching them in class, this is a key element.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And they’re tracking students’ progress closely.
JAVIER LEGASA: Sometimes, it can be, OK, you may have to withdraw from one of the classes so you can concentrate in others. But, in other cases, we will be just, you know, do some tutoring work, for example.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Somebody’s going to say, listen, this is a ton of money. Why don’t you just hand these people the keys to a four-year private institution if you’re going to invest $80 million in 25,000 students?
JAMES MILLIKEN: The cost that’s invested in a community college student may be about $15,000. And we’re talking about now a cost of an additional $3,700 for the ASAP program today.
Now, by the time we scale up to 25,000, it may be $3,200. It may be lower. The cost per degree goes down. But if you look at a lot of the research that’s been done on educational attainment levels, there are a whole lot of other social benefits, lower demand on criminal justice system, on social welfare systems, divorce rates.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Karla Ayala is playing her own part in the ASAP expansion. In her part-time job as a peer mentor, she runs information sessions like the one that exposed her to ASAP two years ago.
KARLA AYALA: So, it’s like you have this group with the same mentality, and you’re bound to be successful.
HARI SREENIVASAN: By 2018, CUNY plans to enroll nearly all 7,000 full-time students at the Bronx campus in ASAP.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan in New York.
PBS NewsHour education coverage is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first: Universal health care, free university education, and generous unemployment benefits, are these the keys to happiness? They are all offered in Denmark, the Nordic country Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says the United States should look to as a model.
Once again this year, Denmark tops a United Nations poll as the happiest nation on earth. But is this really true?
From Copenhagen, special correspondent Malcolm Brabant investigates.
MALCOLM BRABANT: A happy accident of geography: being born in a country whose safety net offers protection from cradle to grave.
SARAH EGESKOV, Attorney: On a day like this, it’s obvious we are gathered with our friends and family to celebrate this little baby, so it’s a wonderful day. And in the bigger picture, we live in a great society with a health care system and free education.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Christening their daughter Kaya (ph), attorney Sarah Egeskov and her partner, Claes, hope their state of bliss will leap a generation.
CLAES RASMUSSEN, Financial Adviser: We try to give her some of the same values that we have today and hope for her that she will have the same freedom of speech and freedom of beliefs.
SARAH EGESKOV: And a safe childhood.
CLAES RASMUSSEN: Yes.
SARAH EGESKOV: I don’t think we thought about anything evil or threatening through our childhoods, and I hope we can give the same to our daughters.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Pastor Pernille Oestrem’s church is in Copenhagen’s most racially diverse district. She worries that some of her immigrant parishioners do not enjoy the same level of happiness as ethnic Danes, and she regards it as her mission to try to spread the joy.
PERNILLE OESTREM, Pastor, St. Stefan Church: We don’t have any wars and the crime is low. And we can let our children walk to school in the morning by themselves when they’re quite young. We don’t have to drive them because of drive-by shootings or something like that. That means a lot, that we think we’re going to be 90 and have great-great-great-grandchildren.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Danes pay more income tax than any other nationality, earn over $55,000, and the tax rate hits more than 60 percent, but, according to happiness expert Meik Wiking, Danes don’t mind.
MEIK WIKING, CEO, The Happiness Research Institute: Just take free access to health care, free access to university education, quite generous benefits if you lose your job. Just those three things mean that a lot of people around the world, if they don’t have access to them, will experience unhappiness. And since the welfare state takes care of that, we increase the bottom.
MALCOLM BRABANT: What about the high levels of taxes that people have to pay?
MEIK WIKING: Well it’s true, it’s really high levels. But I think what’s more interesting is that the really high level of support for the for high taxes. If you ask Danes, are you happily paying your taxes, nine out of 10 will say yes.
MALCOLM BRABANT: It’s just after 2:00 in the afternoon and some of Copenhagen’s bicycling commuters are already heading home. The average Dane only works a 35-hour week, and enjoys five weeks annual paid leave, on top of public holidays, not to mention generous maternity and paternity leave.
According to yet another survey, it has the best work-life balance in the developed world, which is a source of pride for union leader Nana Hojlund.
NANA HOJLUND, VP, Danish Confederation of Trade Unions: Work-life balance means a lot to the Danish people when it comes to happiness, because it’s a way that you can both have a really good job, and you can spend hours on your job, and you can also have a family.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Not everyone swallows the concept of perfect little Denmark. British author Michael Booth has lived here for 15 years, and his book debunking the Scandinavian myths is a bestseller.
MICHAEL BOOTH, Author, The Almost Nearly Perfect People: I know the institutes and the researchers like to use that word because it grabs headlines around the world. I don’t think the Danes are happy. I think they’re more satisfied. They’re a pretty somber, dour people. They complain quite a lot.
But when you ask them, are you happy, what they really mean is, well, we’re content. Things function here. It’s safe. We have a safety net. We don’t worry that much. And the difference between the rich and the poor means that you don’t have this kind of society of envy that you might have elsewhere in the world.
MALCOLM BRABANT: According to the United Nations, Burundi is the unhappiest country on the planet, followed closely by Syria. The United States is in 13th in the happiness league, just behind Israel and Austria.
Now, according to Bernie Sanders, the U.S. would be a much better place if it emulated cycle-crazy Denmark. But the center-right Danish prime minister has rejected suggestions that this is some sort of socialist utopia, but he’s happy that Denmark’s welfare system is being looked at as something to aim for.
According to Danish experts, Scandinavians have a genetic predisposition towards happiness. Americans with Scandinavian heritage share those particular traits. Could the Danish model be transported across the Atlantic if the U.S. chose to change the guard?
MEIK WIKING: The same things that drive happiness in Scandinavia are the same things that drive happiness in the U.S. So I think there are some things we could export.
MALCOLM BRABANT: So what would you have to export?
MEIK WIKING: I think what I would do would be to focus on the bottom half of the population to increase the bottom by installing a welfare system inspired by the Nordic countries.
MALCOLM BRABANT: One uniquely Scandinavian social phenomenon that would be difficult to export is what’s called the Jantelov, an unwritten code of conformity that decries displays of ostentation or wealth and people who try to rise above their allotted station in life.
MICHAEL BOOTH: How does that sit with Americans and the American dream? Not so well. There’s no simple template that could be imposed on America. It doesn’t take much to make a happy Dane. Light a fire, light some candles, open a bottle of red wine, and you have got a happy Dane.
I think Americans are a little more demanding when it comes to their happiness. It’s enshrined, you know, in the Constitution. They’re entitled to it. But they have much bigger ideas of what constitutes happiness. So, can you take it? Will Americans pay 56 percent income tax? I doubt it.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Pastor Pernille Oestrem believes a lack of realism enables the Danes to be so upbeat. But she is acutely aware that, along with the rest of Europe, Denmark is a potential target for Islamic State. So how does she manage to maintain happiness in a time of terror?
PERNILLE OESTREM: Maybe the children that I baptize during this time are actually inheriting a society that looks a lot like the society when I was young. There was a nuclear scare. I didn’t know if tomorrow was going to come, but we still went out to play and had our fights and got home to have dinner.
MALCOLM BRABANT: So, there’s the perfect advice. Keep calm and carry on. It’s just easier if you’re Danish. It’s in their genes.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Malcolm Brabant in Copenhagen.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to our occasional series of conversations about whether some banks and firms are too big to fail, and whether they pose a risk to the country’s financial health.
John Yang has our latest installment.
JOHN YANG: Eight years after the housing bubble exploded, investment bank Goldman Sachs this week became the last big institution to settle with the government for its role in selling bundles of bad loans to investors, which led to the financial crisis.
In this election year, there is a lot of talk about whether too many firms remain too big to fail and whether the Dodd-Frank law is working.
Lynn Stout is a Cornell University law professor who now serves on the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee. She has been very critical of Dodd-Frank, and she joins us now from Ithaca, New York.
Professor Stout, thanks for being with us.
Let’s start off with that Goldman Sachs settlement this week. They have agreed to pay as much as $5 billion in this settlement with the government. What does this say about accountability now among the big financial institutions after the financial crisis?
LYNN STOUT, Cornell University: I’m afraid the settlement confirms something that we have suspected for quite a long time, which is that it looks like fraudulent practices were hard-baked into the banking sector during 2008.
And, unfortunately, although $5 billion sounds like a lot of money, the settlement is actually relatively small. It’s certainly small compared to the damage that was done by these fraudulent practices, and it’s relatively small compared to some of the settlements by some of the other banks, by Citibank and by Bank of America.
So, as large as the figure may seem, I’m afraid it creates the risk that this could be business as usual, that, at the end of the day, Goldman Sachs may have found these sorts of fraudulent practices to overall profitable, even in light of the fines.
JOHN YANG: Business as usual, you say.
Now, Dodd-Frank was supposed to address all this. It was the response to all of this, the financial crisis and what brought it on. You say Dodd-Frank isn’t working. Why not? What about it isn’t working?
LYNN STOUT: The basic problem with Dodd-Frank is that it created the appearance of Congress doing something, without that appearance being backed up by reality.
What the Dodd-Frank Act did mostly was direct various regulators at the Federal Reserve, the FTC, the CFTC to draft regulations that were supposed to rein in the banks. But Dodd-Frank itself doesn’t impose many hard and fast rules, and what’s happened in all the years since is that the financial industry, through lobbying, campaign contributions, behind-the-scene actions, HAS been very effective at stymying regulators from doing anything that really crimps their style and reins them in.
JOHN YANG: Well, the banks say that they are, they are being reined in. The banks say that their profits are down, that Dodd-Frank has changed the way they do business. They’re holding more capital, they say. They’re being more closely regulated. There are things they can and they can’t do.
And, as I say, it’s cutting into their profits, they say. What do you say to that?
LYNN STOUT: Well, it’s true that bank profits are down, but I think we need to be realistic.
One of the primary reasons is that the banks basically lost the faith of their customers. They damaged their own reputations and destroyed much of their own customer base. Now, some regulation does play a role. And right now, regulators are watching the banks pretty closely, but the rules are still pretty flexible.
And we have to be concerned that in years that are coming in the future, the regulators are going to take their eye off the ball and we will be back to some of the same problems in terms of concentrations of risk and highly speculative activity that led to the 2008 collapse in the first place.
JOHN YANG: What do you think should be done?
LYNN STOUT: It’s actually very straightforward.
Up until around the year 2000, we had a bunch of banking regulations in place, including Glass-Steagall and rules against speculative derivatives trading that had proven time-tested at keeping banks from taking on excessive risks and had been very effective at keeping the financial sector stable and sound.
And most of those laws were eliminated in a — what’s turned out to be a very misbegotten profit of so-called deregulation. I think that if we put those rules back in place, experience and history suggest there’s no reason why we can’t have a safe, sound banking sector.
It’s just very hard without some of the original regulatory firewalls we used to have.
JOHN YANG: Glass-Steagall came out of the Depression and said you couldn’t — you couldn’t — had to separate commercial banking and investment banking.
The critics of that, of your assessment, say that a lot of what happened in the financial crisis had nothing to do with that. It had to do with a pure investment bank like Goldman Sachs. It had to do not with the mixing of the two. What’s your response?
LYNN STOUT: Oh, that’s true, to some extent, but Glass-Steagall wasn’t the only rule that was changed.
We also legalized over-the-counter derivatives for the first time, and we even gave a derivatives contracts priority in bankruptcy. There were lots and lots of financial rules that were changed in favor of the financial industry through a steady process of the application of campaign contributions and lobbying power.
And if we’re going to have a stable system, I think we need to find a way to get past this problem of lack of a political will to effectively regulate financial institutions.
JOHN YANG: We had Barney Frank on in one of our conversations about this, the Barney Frank of Dodd-Frank.
And he said that even if an institution were to get into trouble, that the way the law is now, there would be no government bailout, no propping up of an institution, it would have to fail, and that whatever government funds would be spent would be spent on letting it dissolve in an orderly fashion, so it wouldn’t cause a big financial problem to the rest of the economy, and that any money the government spent would have to be recovered.
LYNN STOUT: I think that’s, shall we say, an extremely optimistic view.
And I think history has shown that the ties between the big financial institutions and Washington are so tight that the financial institutions are very good at engineering taxpayer-financed bailouts.
JOHN YANG: Lynn Stout, thanks for joining us. Thank you very much.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: And we begin with politics tonight.
As we just heard, the race for the White House is partly a battle for delegates, and neither party has a candidate with enough delegates yet to clinch the nomination. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are within a few hundred pledged delegates of one another. But add in superdelegates, and she has a commanding lead.
For Republicans, Donald Trump leads the delegate count, with Ted Cruz a few hundred behind, and John Kasich well back. The GOP still has contests too come in 16 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and California.
For more on the Republican delegate dance, we’re joined by Ben Ginsberg. He’s a partner in the law firm Jones Day, an NBC/MSNBC political analyst, and he served as general counsel on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.
And, Ben Ginsberg, welcome to the “NewsHour.”
BENJAMIN GINSBERG, Partner, Jones Day: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, let’s remind everybody first that this delegate process has two different steps to it.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: It does.
The first is the primaries that we have all been following on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons, where candidates vie to get percentages of the vote. And the second part is the delegate selection process, which is now going on in state conventions and before state executive committees around the country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what’s happening now is that, after the number of delegates is chosen based on how well these candidates do, decisions have to be made about who the people are that fill those slots. And you were telling us earlier it is different in virtually every state in how that’s done.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: It is.
Republicans practice a fierce federalism, which allows each state to do it the way that state wants to, and you have a variety of mechanisms for selecting who will be the actual people on the floor in Cleveland.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And how are those decisions made? A lot of it is personal relationships, you were saying. Some of it is who is already in the party hierarchy in a particular state.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Yes.
If it’s a state convention, then it’s a matter of the candidates getting enough of their supporters there to win their slate of delegates. There are other states where a state executive committee, in other words, the leaders of the state, will determine who the delegates are.
That’s an instance of taking care of your political supporters and maybe your friends and family. There are a few states about 10 percent of the delegates are chosen directly by the candidates, but in most instances, the delegates are not chosen directly by the candidates.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And right now, as we have reported, Donald Trump is a couple hundred delegates ahead, but Ted Cruz seems to be picking off delegates here and there. What is he doing that Mr. Trump isn’t?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, the very granular process of winning state conventions is what he seems to have concentrated a great deal on.
So, the way Republicans do it is that there are often county conventions and then district conventions and then a state convention. And so it’s a process of getting your supporters in each one of those, and, ultimately, that’s how you get people in Cleveland.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, the ideal solution for any candidate is to get to the magic number 1,237 before Cleveland. Donald Trump still has a chance to do that, right?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Yes. Yes. If he wins about 60 percent of the delegates who are remaining, perhaps 66 percent of the delegates who will be bound to a particular candidate, he can do that on the first ballot.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But if he doesn’t, what are the options then?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, the options are about 70 percent of the delegates will become unbound for a second ballot. So, it’s…
JUDY WOODRUFF: So they’re no longer committed to voting.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: To either Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz or Mr. Kasich or Mr. Rubio or Bush or Carson or any of the candidates, correct.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that means that it then goes on to several — to ballots after that, and what could happen?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, a number of things can happen.
The convention can come to a decision on one of the candidates, Mr. Trump or Mr. Cruz. It is possible that additional individuals can get their names put in nomination further down the road. There is a process for doing that. Much of this will actually be determined, these rules of the road, by the convention rules committee meeting on probably the Friday before the convention starts.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So for us to be talking about it now, can we really know right now what’s going to happen?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: No, I don’t think so.
On June 8, the day after the last primaries, there will be a pretty set way to know what the first ballot vote will be like. And then there will be rules decisions made by delegates who have not yet even been selected that will impact the way the proceedings of the convention go.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What a lot of people are talking about, Ben Ginsberg, is if Donald Trump is close, but not there, if he’s say at 1,100, rather than 1,237, what happens in that situation?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, there are a number of delegates who are unbound, somewhere between 160 and 200 probably, who are not bound to a candidate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: At any point? You mean going into the convention.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: At any point. At any point.
Their states follow specific rules. So there will be 40 days of wooing as those unbound delegates get entreaties from many a candidate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Entreaties, meaning?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, they will have conversations about how the candidates are best qualified to do it. There might be some sightseeing around the country.
Gerald Ford in 1976 took people on rides on Air Force One. So there are any number of ways to develop a relationship with those delegates.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But if you’re a delegate right now who is not bound to anybody, you’re a pretty popular guy or girl.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: I think you’re very popular, and your popularity may only increase.
You’re either going to have a lot of currency on June 8 to July 18, or you will you will be, gee, it was so close.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Prediction, Ben Ginsberg, on how much suspense there is going to be going into this convention?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Well, again, we will know that on June the 8th, after the June 7 primaries are done.
I think there will be a lot of maneuvering. This will be an historically close delegate count, one way or another, and the rules fights in the week before the convention can actually have a determining effect on the outcome the following week.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All eyes on Cleveland.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Yes, indeed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: No doubt about it.
Ben, Ben Ginsberg, it’s great to see you. Thank you.
BENJAMIN GINSBERG: Thanks, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: North Carolina’s governor moved to ease or change parts of a new law on gay, lesbian and transgender rights. Pat McCrory ordered protections for state employees based on sexual orientation and gender. And he asked North Carolina lawmakers to restore the right to sue over discrimination. He said it shows he’s listening.
GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), North Carolina: There is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, passion and, frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina. But, based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.
JUDY WOODRUFF: McCrory still supports a ban on letting transgender people select public bathrooms based on gender identity. The law has led to several major corporations canceling expansion plans in the state.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban launched a spring offensive, and warned of large-scale suicide bombings and assassinations. Hours earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued an emergency warning to Americans. It cited a plot to attack a major hotel in the capital.
Police in Belgium have charged two more men in connection with the Brussels bombings. They allegedly helped rent an apartment for one of the attackers who killed 32 people last month. Prosecutors also announced three new arrests linked to November’s attacks in Paris.
A new warning today about the world economy. In Washington, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for growth this year again, the new target, 3.2 percent.
MAURICE OBSTFELD, Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund: Global growth continues, but at an increasingly disappointing pace that leaves the world economy more exposed to negative risks. Growth has been too slow for too long.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Despite that report, Wall Street surged higher, as a jump in oil prices lifted energy stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 165 points to close at 17721. The Nasdaq rose 38 points, and the S&P 500 added 19.
A measure of help may be on the way for the nation’s bees. Garden care giant Ortho announced today it will stop using chemicals known as neonicotinoids by 2021. They attack insects’ nervous system, but it’s widely believed they have also helped to cause a dramatic decline in the bee population. Other companies are considering ending their use as well.
And Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner pledged $100 million today to send tiny spaceships to the stars. The goal is to hunt for life in the Alpha Centauri. That’s the star system closest to our solar system. Each probe will have a so-called light sail. They will capture energy from lasers on Earth and could travel at one-fifth the speed of light, far faster than any current craft.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the possibilities around a contested Republican Convention; the last of the big banks settles over the financial crisis — is it still too big to fail?; a trip to the happiest nation on earth; and much more.
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