Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 5, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. in today's jobless report, private sector hiring increased by the most in six months, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, economists paul krugman and douglas holtz-eakin break down the latest numbers and look ahead to what the new congress can do to jumpstart the economy. >> lehrer: then, margaret warner gets a preview of president obama's ten-day asia trip. >> woodruff: from kashmir, john sparks of independent television news reports on the flare-up of deadly tensions in a land claimed by both india and pakistan.
6:01 pm
>> once famed for its beauty the kashmir valley is a joyless place of angry streets and automatic rifles. and parents who grieve for their children >> woodruff: ray suarez talks to national cancer institute director harold varmus about a screening test for the nation's biggest cancer killer. >> by going through this process we can prevent 20% of lung cancer deaths. >> woodruff: and mark shields and david brooks give their analysis of the week's news, including today's surprise announcement by speaker pelosi that she'll run for house democratic leader again. >> lehrer: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
6:02 pm
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
6:03 pm
this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: today's jobs report was better than forecast, with private sector hiring more than double what economists had expected. it wasn't enough to put a dent in the jobless rate, but it suggested businesses may be getting more confident. the gains came in several sectors, from retailers adding workers for the holidays to restaurants hiring more staff, and hospitals and schools expanding. overall, the labor department reported a net gain of 151,000 jobs, the first increase since may. private employers hired 159,000 workers, the best number since april, while government payrolls cut back by 8,000 positions.
6:04 pm
>> i think at both the high end and the low end, we've seen companies start hiring again. in fact, entry level is up almost 50% when you look year- over-year. >> woodruff: in addition, revised figures showed private employers added 103,000 more jobs in august and september than first reported. still, it wasn't enough to budge the unemployment rate from 9.6%, where it's been for three straight months. and with nearly 15 million americans out of work, economists say it would take at least 125,000 jobs a month to make a real dent in the jobless rate. before leaving today on a trip to asia, the president said the october news was encouraging, but "not good enough." >> the unemployment rate is still unacceptably high, and we've got a lot of work to do. e the jobs to
6:05 pm
meet the large need, we need to accelerate our economic growth so that we are producing jobs at a faster pace, because the fact is an encouraging jobs report doesn't make a difference if you're still one of the millions of people who are looking for work. >> woodruff: on the republican side, congressman john boehner, the man expected to be the next speaker of the house, called again for extending the bush-era tax cuts across the board to encourage more hiring. in a written statement, he said: "any job growth is a positive sign, but stagnant and stubbornly high unemployment makes clear why permanently stopping all the looming tax hikes should top washington's to-do list this month." congress returns to work on november 15. in the meantime, the federal reserve has already weighed in this week with a $600 billion effort to help cut interest rates and get companies to accelerate hiring plans. the jobs report did little to
6:06 pm
excite wall street after yesterday's big gains. the dow jones industrial average added nine more points to close at 11,444. the nasdaq rose one point to close near 2,579. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq gained nearly 3%. we get two takes now on unemployment and the broader economic picture just days after the midterm elections.ñi paul krugman is an economist at princeton university and a columnist for "the new york times." and douglas holtz-eakin is a former director of the congressional budget office. he's now president of the american action forum, a policy think tank. gentlemen, thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: so this is the first increase? jobs, private sector jobs in five months. better than was expected. paul krugman, how do you read it? >> there's not much news here. this is still a picture of a labor market going sideways.
6:07 pm
so if you believe one survey wer's adding jobs at a pace that if continued would bring us the full employment around the year 2030. if you believe the other survey things are getting a little bit worse because job growth isn't keeping up with population this is not progress. it's better than a big negative number but it's not good. >> woodruff: doug holtz-eakin, not progress. >> certainly a glass that is neither half full nor empty. i mean we saw top line job growth, that's good. we saw wages grow, that's good. we saw hours grow, that's good. but as paul pointed out, in the household survey we saw a quarter of a million people give up and quit looking for work, drop out of the labor force. we saw 330,000 jobs lost. and if you looked inside the places where employers reported adding payroll, it was largely concentrated in health and education. this isn't the kind of broad based job growth you need to declare victory. >> when you look inside the numbers, paul krugman, do you see the same thing.
6:08 pm
>> just the general point. we are very deep in the hole. we've lost more than $7 million since the previous peak. it takes alot of job growth to make up for that. if you look at the great boom during the clinton years we are adding 230,000 jobs a month for eight years runing are. and so one report of 150,000 jobs is nothing to celebrate. this is not a turning point. >> doug holtz-eakin, i read one economist today who said after reading this report he thinks the prospects for a double dip rescission are really out the window. what do you think? >> well, i have never been in the camp that thought a double dip was on the horizon. you certainly can't rule it out and a policy era might produce that. but i think the best interpretation of what is going on is that the united states economy has been growing for a year. but it's growing at an unacceptably anemic pace and that all of our attention being focused on takinged 6 million american employers
6:09 pm
and asking them what would it take for to you hire one more person that would take care of 6 million of the unemployed and huge progress. >> paul krugman why aren't businesses hiring? >> because they don't have enough sales. think about just in general. why would businesses expand. why would manufacturers add capacity, add workers when they're operating at about 72% of capacity right now. why would the service sector be expanding when they vacancy rates in office buildings and shopping malls are at near record levels. there just isn't that much demand out there. this is an economy where consumers are not spending. it's an economy where government spending never did go up, actually when all is said and done. and so there's no good reason for them to expend there is no mystery it is not as if there is great opportunities for expansion that businesses are mysteriously not taking advantage of. there just isn't enough demand out there. >> woodruff: but doug holtz-eakin a loft people are looking at wall street and they see the numbers
6:10 pm
climbing, booming for the last several days. today an exception. and they're wondering why isn't that translating on main street. >> well, there is often a disconnect between wall street and main street. and you know one of the great american economists of all time paul samuelsson famously quipped that the stock market had predicted nine of the past nine rescission-- recession. i think the household secretary kerr not spend its way out of the hole they are stretched by debt, diminished house values and their portfolios have been hurt. governments at all levels are bleeding red ink and can't spend in a way that drives this recovery. the business sector is financially set to do it. they have a trillion dollars of cash on their books and they are the one sector toward which our attention should be focused because they can produce that demand that paul was talking about. they can be the source of increased demand that provides the feedback that is-- recovery. i think we need strong growth policies directed on
6:11 pm
the business sector and a really unwaivering focus on growth over other priorities. >> woodruff: you did mention government. and i want to refer to what happened, what came out of these midterm elections on tuesday. voters were asked as they came out of their polling places and there is no doubt that the economy was number one, 612% of those who voted said the economy was number one. but when asked what the highest priority should be for the next congress, 19% said cut taxes but they were split on 39% said reduce the deficit. 37% said spend money to create jobs. paul krugman what does that tell you. >> i think it tells you that voters don't have clear ideas about macroeconomics. why with would you expect. they want to see results. people say they want to cut the deficit. they always say they want to cut the deficit it turns out. i have looked at the political science research on this that not only do people not actually reward politicians who cut the deficit, they don't even know what is happening to the deficit. in 1996 plurality of voters and a majority of
6:12 pm
republicans thought the deficit had gone up under bill clinton when in fact it was plunging like a stone. i think the voters are really conveying a message, give us results, give us jobs and i don't think they are telling politicians anything useful about how to do that. >> doug holtz-eakin, how does government create jobs or create an atmosphere in which jobs can be created? >> i would agree that you can't expect your average voter to be an economic policy expert but i do think the business community has been quite articulate and well informed on this issue and if we could have a sensible plan to control the growth of spending and brought future deficits down and stabilized the debt that would take off the table a great risk to the economy which is an interest rate spike in the future or rapidly higher taxes. the business community would find that comforting. i think they are already comforted by the fact that some of the overreach that was potential under unified democratic control has been taken off the table and that will improve their attitude about the future. certainly the voter said
6:13 pm
very clearly that they, 60% thought america was going in the wrong direction. of those 94% dislike the new health care law in part because it represented government overreach and it does. the business community complains a lot about the uncertainty about future taxes. they should be kept low it complains a lot about the burdens associated with that law. that is a danger from the economic policy point of view. you can stop doing some of those things and really do a lot of good for the business climat >> is that going to create jobs though, paul krugman. >> doug is, i call this believes in the confidence fairy. believing that if you say you are going to do good things about the long run future that somehow all of this private spending is going to come forth. and you know, private spending certainly business spending is no lower than you would expect given the depressed state of the economy. given the excess capacity. given how far we are below the economy's potential you with would not expect businesses to be spending more. so to say what we are going to do is promise, basically we're going to have continuation of the policies
6:14 pm
of 2007 and yet shower's going to have spend investment spending at levels that would be not at all consistent with the state of the economy makes no sense. this is an occasion. this is why during a highly depressed economy you really do need a combination of fiscal policies, spending, yes, spending by the government, and aggressive monetary policies to try and boot us out of this. the idea that by just going for more deregulation and promises of lower taxes without explaining how we are going to pay for that with lower spending is going to make, you know, is going it to make this explosion of business spending. that pure, wishful thinking. >> woodruff: brief last word doug holtz-eakin. >> there was no deregulation. it's not adding costs to businesses that are strapped. no tax cuts. it's just not raising taxes and you could do some proactive things that you wouldn't have to reverse. everything that paul is suggesting would you have to unwind at some point in the future. sign some trade agreements so we could sell our good as broad. cut the corporate rates so we are competitive
6:15 pm
internationally as part of a step towards tax reform where we raise the revenue that balances the budget in the future so there is a lot you can do. certainly you have to focus on the business sector and you can't be dismissive of their concerns. for two years the administration has been dimissive and this is where we are. >> woodruff: we are going to leave it there. we thank you both, doug holtz-eakin, paul krugman. >> lehrer: we have more on jobs coming up as president obama gives his asia trip an economic focus. plus the tensions in the himalayan land of kashmir; the scan that could cut lung cancer deaths; and shields and brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: outgoing speaker of the house nancy pelosi will try to stay on as democratic minority leader. she'd come under pressure after tuesday's sweeping losses that handed power to republicans. but in a statement today, pelosi wrote: "driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, wall street reform, and social security and medicare, i have decided to run."
6:16 pm
in addition, jim clyburn of south carolina said today he wants to remain party whip, which now becomes the number two post. it was unclear if steny hoyer of maryland, the current majority leader, will challenge clyburn. a suicide bomber killed at least 67 people at a mosque near peshawar, pakistan, today. the attack, just after midday prayers, left blood-stained wreckage and sent scores of wounded to local hospitals. tv reports said the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility, because some of the worshippers had supported the government and the military. five more pakistanis died later in a grenade attack on another mosque in the northwest. in neighboring afghanistan, a teenager blew himself up in a crowded bazaar killing at least nine people and wounding 30. police said the target there was the head of a local provincial council. also today, nato reported three coalition troops were killed by insurgents. hurricane tomas spared western haiti a direct hit today. but heavy rain from the storm brought new misery, and a new threat of disease, to survivors of january's earthquake. jon snow of independent
6:17 pm
television news has this report. >> the clouds, hurricane safely offshore. not another natural disaster but another day in haiti's evolving agony. so delicate is her ecological imbag-- imbalance here that even this ramps up the threat of something you cannot see. a mass life-threatening epidemic in a country that had not seen cholera in six decades. what has happened as a result of the tropical rains is the stoking of the highways by which cholera is spread. spontaneous water courses, cascading through refuse strewn waterfalls then to stand in roadways to be stirred by passing traffic. finally to swell the rivers, threatening productive farmland and worse, bearing at speed straight to the population with little other means of waste disposal. this is the construct of disease, vial polluted
6:18 pm
waters, filth on the riverbanks, working through t the drenched population beyond, and a aid to disease construction. the place of safety should be this. the deforested hills a united nations camp beyond port-au-prince. but it's being evacuated. >> all our beds are wet and things, and our property inside of the homes are wet. >> ten months on from the earthquake with no large scale house building yet, this is long-term housing. gardens are encouraged but these tents have been placend on a floodplain. >> 500 >> sreenivasan: 500 u.s. marines were standing by to help, once the storm passes. they're on the amphibious ship u.s.s. "iwo jima". scores of bodies were found today after the most explosive eruption yet from the mount merapi volcano. the death toll grew to 122. around midnight, a torrent of searing gas blasted down the
6:19 pm
mountain, leaving an entire village incinerated. in some places, the ash was more than a foot deep. scientists said it was merapi's biggest eruption since the 1870s. a cuban passenger plane crashed in central cuba late thursday, killing all 68 people on board. the aero-caribbean flight declared an emergency before losing contact with air traffic control. flaming wreckage was found in a remote mountainous area. the cause of the crash was under investigation. fort hood, texas, marked the first anniversary today of the shootings that killed 13 people and wounded dozens more. a private ceremony paid tribute to the victims. army leaders also honored those who helped the wounded, and the police who fought the gunman. >> today, november 10th will forever mourn in our army be a day of overwhelming sadness. and it's chapter in this army that no matter how many tears may fall will never, never be washed away. it is a part of our hearts,
6:20 pm
a part of our history forever >> sreenivasan: the accused killer, army psychiatrist major nidal hasan, is charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: the president travels overseas. margaret warner has our coverage of his ten-day trip. >> warner: hard on the heels of tuesday's election-day drubbing, the president embarked today on an extended trip to asia, whose fast-growing markets he hopes can help grow the u.s. economy and jobs. despite the trip's wide-ranging political, economic and security agenda, mr. obama this morning sought to link his travels directly to u.s. job creation. >> for every $1 billion we increase in exports, thousands of jobs are supported here at home. and i'm looking very much forward to help pry some markets open, help american businesses
6:21 pm
and put people back to work here at home during the course of this trip. >> warner: his itinerary takes him to four leading free-market democracies of asia: to mumbai and new delhi in india; jakarta, indonesia; seoul, south korea, for a g-20 economic summit; and yokohama, japan, for the asian- pacific economic cooperation forum. along the way, he'll meet with u.s. c.e.o.s of companies seeking to expand their business in asia. notably, mr. obama will not stop in china, whose increasingly assertive economic and military posture worries its neighbors and the u.s. he visited there last year, and will see chinese president hu at the g-20 in seoul. for more on president obama's trip to asia, we turn to: douglas paal, a national security council official in the reagan and first bush administrations. he's now at the carnegie endowment for international peace. and wendy sherman, former state department official in the clinton administration.
6:22 pm
she's now with the albright group, an international business consulting firm. welcome back to you both. >> thank you. >> warner: ever since the day after the election the president has been promoting this trip as being about exports and job creation overseas. is that, wendy sherman beginning with with you s that the way we should think of that, is this the major focus? >> i do think when with the president said the competition for americans isn't between democrats and republicans, it's with the rest of the world, there very much truth to that i think americans understood through this recession that our jobs, our economy is tied to everybody else's. and the fastest growing part of the world is in asia. that's where the most consumers are. that's where the most people are. that's where the growth is, and our security interests are tied up with what as well. >> and there is, in fact, also political security agenda here s there not? >> there is. the rise of china means that there is going to be a disequilibration pov we are in the region.
6:23 pm
and the u.s. has been away from southeast asia for a while. hasn't been really consistent in attending to asia. and we have got big important partners in india, japan, korea and indonesia. in trying to provide a stable atmosphere in which china's emergence or rerise takes place. >> let's look a little more closely at the economic jobs export picture. is there thing wendy sherman you think will come out of this trip of a concrete nature that would either expand u.s. markets overseas or make it easier for u.s. businesses to enter certain sectors of these economys? >> yes, i think starting in india there are a number of american businesses that are traveling over for this. the president is going to be meeting with them. we expect several contracts to be announced of major proportion that may supply upwards of 100,000 american jobs. >> boeing for example. >> boeing for example. >> cat pill certificate another, for instance. engines. and we hope as well that in
6:24 pm
the u.s. civil nuclear agreement with india that we can finally open up that space for building really the high-tech jobs of the future that were the vision of that agreement. >> and what about the other countries in terms of prying open either the markets or the business opportunities? >> well, indonesia we've got a good position. indonesia is a little bit off the message of the rest of the trip because the president is going to a place where he spent part of his youth and is going to be talking about democracy and the muslim majority in that reasonably successful country. in korea we have unfinished work to do. to finish a korean free-trade agreement this has tremendous potential to open up opportunities for american businesses in the korean market. and he's going to also be talking to the g-20 about rule setting and other things in the financial community but importantly about how to get rebalancing of the global economy so that our exports sell better
6:25 pm
and the surplus countries that have been mounting up these tremendous trade positive accounts will adjust those somehow this doesn't look as promising. >> and cents-- currency is part of that. >> currency is very much a part of that, secretary geithner tried to set a larger framework to get away from the neuralgia of the currency only issue. but there is no question the president will be pressing this currency agenda at every stop along the way in india, in indonesia, at the g-20 and at apec. >> now let's talk about the china factor. is there a new -- a renewed community of interest if you can put it that way between the u.s. and some of china's democratic neighbors? >> well, china embarked on it through the first part of this last decade where they tried to win friends throughout the region and had considerable success. they deployed a lot of assets, personnel, money. the u.s. was not paying that much attention to the region.
6:26 pm
now in this last year china has shown some muscle flexing which has made the neighbors uncomfortable and the charm offensive has turned into something more threatening. these countries are looking for the u.s. to get back in the game whether it is places visited by secretary clinton in the last ten days in southeast aisha and pacific or in the four important -- >> including vietnam. >> including vietnam. >> where, how would this play out. are we talking about trying to check china's rise pog we are or counterbalance it. >> which think we are trying to manage china's rise pog we are so it is positive. so they in fact are responsible world leader and player in the international community. these are four strong democracies as doug said between the president's trip and secretary clinton's trip which he is just finishing up. they will have touched virtually every country in asia and really sent a message that yes, china is important. china's critical. the president will have a bilateral with whu jintao. he is expected in the united states in january. but it's not all about china.
6:27 pm
in fact by 2030 india will be a larger country by population than china will be. >> now president obama embarks or arrives tomorrow in india with ballooning u.s. budget deficits. a sort of flagging u.s. economy or certainly not growing the way some of these asian economies are and having taking a beating at the polls. does that affect the way his ashean partners see him? >> they know all these things. they are concerned about the future economic course of america. but i think there is a resilient belief in the region that the united states does come back. our problem is we take a little while to come back and we're in that period where we haven't demonstrated the resumed strong growth and resumed political concensus-- consensus in this country. but there is a presumption in these countries that we will get through this. >> do you agree there is still a presumption america should be a major power and is. >> not only a presumption, these countries want america to be a major player in the
6:28 pm
region. they want our military might. they want our economic might. they want our political might and they want american leadership. president obama is very popular in the four countries that he is going to. and looking back over the past many years virtually every president who faced a tough mid-term election heads out on the road overwasheds. this was preplanned. apec was already scheduled. the g-20 was already scheduled but projecting power abroad in difficult times at home helps to strengthen the american economy and future. >> this is in the fine tradition of when presidents are faced with maybe limits at home with their congress. they turn their eye as broad. >> not really are. i think president goes abroad when they can. they have important meetings and affairs to attend to. president obama has been kept at home by the need to campaign for his candidates for the last year. and a lot of travel has been postponed until after the election. it's a natural feature. >> and of course for president obama to get this south korea free-trade agreement which i think you
6:29 pm
mentioned, wendy, will need congress anyway. >> absolutely. will need congress right now, the negotiators were both sides are trying to fix autos, fix beef, get at agreement to where it needs to be so the leaders when they meet at the g-20 can make a commitment to get this through and get it done. it's quite important. >> do the prospects actually improve with the republican congress. >> i think they do improve in terms of passage of legislation. the question is will we get the decision to go forward. this is a really important matter. we've got to get back into the game of free trade. >> doug paal and wendy sherman, thank you both. >> thank you. >> brown: and among other things. >> lehrer: president obama will be doing a balancing act between india and pakistan. a major source of the antagonism is the divided territory of kashmir. a new round of violence has erupted there. john sparks of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: once famed for its beauty, the kashmir valley is a joyless place of angry streets
6:30 pm
and automatic rifles and parents who grieve for the children. over the last four months, allegations of brutality by indian security forces have fueled a popular rebellion and calls for independence from local leaders. >> bullets to the people of kashmir. >> reporter: more than a 110 civilians have been killed since june. the loss of life has inflamed tensions. the authorities stand accused of using indiscriminate force. 's confrontation is brewing between indian police and
6:31 pm
the local population. >> what happened in this village. >> stone pelting, he says, and we watch policeman race down to a nearby bridge. they're equiped with guns and the authority to use them. a group of kashmiris were waiting for them. what are you doing ? what are you doing ? >> we are fighting for freedom. >> reporter: they're young and contemptuous, and radicalized by months of violence. they say they're fighting the "indian occupation." police are on one side of the bridge, the kids are on the other. the authority of the state is briefly challenged, but the young men scatter as the police move in. india's message is simple-- these lands belong to india. it's fought three wars against
6:32 pm
pakistan here, and battled militants in a bloody insurgency sponsored by pakistan in the 1980s and '90s. but indian military chiefs say the threat posed by their neighbor has significantly declined in recent years. yet the security forces are still here. you see them on every street corner in shrinigar. locals residents accuse them of intimidation, of beatings and window smashing. and special legislation gives police wide powers. frustrated and angry, young men have taken to the streets. they want the security forces to withdraw, and they want a vote on independence. the police have responded with force. we were told of a distressing story, that an eight-year-old boy called sameer ahmad had been beaten to death by the police. so we went to see his family in a part of the city under curfew. the ahmad family were
6:33 pm
distraught, but they wanted to share their story. despite a curfew on the third of august, mr. ahmad allowed sameer to go to his uncle's house nearby. >> ( translated ): he thought it was safe, but when he crossed the road, the paramilitary police grabbed him. can you imagine what that would be like for an eight-year-old boy? it would terrify an adult. what did this poor boy go through?" >> reporter: eyewitnesses say sameer was beaten to death by three paramilitary policemen. >> ( translated ): a stick was thrust into his mouth and his teeth were broken. they lifted up his body with the stick and carried him like that. he was thrown into the nettles. >> reporter: with paramilitary forces looking on, mr. ahmad walked us through the deserted streets to the site were his son was found.
6:34 pm
local residents told us they saw what happened. there was no trouble in the area, they say. the police just went for him. the paramilitary central reserve police force, or the c.r.p.f., give a different version of events. the boy was killed by a stampeding group of protestors. we have been told he was beaten by three or four c.r.p. officers. is that true? >> that is a totally baseless allegation. he was not beaten, because he was a part of the crowd, and when the crowd chased, when they were running away, the boy fell down and the whole of the crowd just ran over the boy. >> reporter: you are sure? >> yeah, yeah! >> reporter: many here refuse to accept such explanations. the death of sameer ahmad, and many others in the last few months, have fueled the pro- independence movement. the indian government told us that the eyewitness we spoke to are unreliable due to the passage of time. adding that it has now appointed
6:35 pm
three peace envoys in an attempt to calm the situation. they have much work to do. now, india is in conflict with the people they claim to be their own. >> woodruff: next, screening for lung cancer. ray suarez has that story. >> suarez: detecting cancer early can mean the difference between life and death. but there's never been an effective early screening test for lung cancer, the deadliest of all cancers. findings from a new study could change that. the national cancer institute trial found that screening by three-dimensional x-rays called spiral ct scans reduced deaths from lung cancer by 20% over just five years. the spiral ct scan provides
6:36 pm
detailed pictures of the lung at various angles, and can spot growths when they're about half the size that a regular chest x-ray can detect. the study tracked over 53,000 current and former smokers who had at least a pack a day habit. for every 300 people screened, one death was prevented. lung cancer currently strikes more than 196,000 americans a year, and kills more than 159,000-- more than breast, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers combined. today, i spoke with dr. harold varmus, who directs the national cancer institute, which funded the study. well, dr. varmus, welcome back to the newshour >> thank you. >> suarez: this is a long- established diagnostic tool and a very old disease. what's the significance about this finding?
6:37 pm
>> well, first of all, this is not a long-established diagnostic tool. the importance of the study is that, for the first time, we have a way to reduce the risk of dying of lung cancer, at least among high-risk individuals, people who've smoked for many years and are still smoking, or who have given it up in the last several years, and are in an older age group. and have shown through a large- scale study, if we use a specialized x-ray screening device called low dose, helical ct-- computerized tomography screening-- that we can reduce the mortality caused by lung cancer in that group by 20%. >> suarez: how many fewer people died in that group of high risk people? these were already people who were at high risk for lung cancer. >> they were high risk, but they were all healthy to begin with. they were between 55 and 74 years of age. they had smoked an average of at least a pack a day for 30 years. and in that group, when half the group was randomly assigned to receive a conventional chest x- ray, and that group was compared to the other group who received
6:38 pm
the helical ct scanning, there were roughly 500 deaths in the group screened by conventional chest x-ray, and about a hundred less in those who were screened by helical ct. it's very important that people who are listening understand that this is far from complete protection. the screening doesn't really prevent cancer, it detects it, presumably early, and prevents death for some people. but this is by no means a reason to retreat from our goal of getting people to stop smoking and keeping them from starting. >> suarez: we're talking about a
6:39 pm
fairly large number of americans aren't we? >> we are, exactly. and, of course, there are costs to this. we don't know exactly what the screening costs will be, but it's going to be in the range of a few hundred dollars. and one has to remember it's not just the simple screening that can cause cost. this is a very sensitive device, and it sees a lot of things that are not ultimately cancer. roughly a quarter of people who were in this study-- were screened with low dose helical ct screening-- had some sort of positive finding. but only a small minority of those people actually had cancer. >> suarez: so how do you put that into the mix-- the false positives, the added costs, the added stress of interventions for people who haven't developed lung cancer? >> well, you put it into the mix by saying, on the good side, by going through this process, we can prevent 20% of lung cancer deaths. that's a big advantage. the disadvantages are cost, emotional stress, the going through... there are sometimes complications of doing the biopsy or doing lung surgery, and one has to weigh those things, just as you do for mammography, for colonoscopy, for any other screening device. there are up sides and down sides, which makes this a very important public health problem.
6:40 pm
>> suarez: how do we factor in exposing that many more people to x-rays in order to find out whether they've developed a problem? >> yes. i'm glad you brought that up, because one of the downsides to this kind of procedure, as in mammography, is the high exposure to radiation. the dosage that is received from the initial screening test is relatively low. but if you have a positive finding, then you have to have a more intensive test or diagnostic ct scan, which is more radiation. and depending on how many screening procedures one undergoes in a lifetime, the risk of inducing a cancer because of radiation exposure has to be measured and weighed against the advantages of doing so. obviously, if you're at high risk of lung cancer, the advantages of being screened are more likely to outweigh the disadvantages of being exposed to radiation and having other factors weigh in. >> suarez: dr. harold varmus, thanks for talking with us.
6:41 pm
>> my pleasure. >> lehrer: finally tonight, the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields, "new york times" columnist david brooks. mark what do you make of nancy pelosi's announcement that she wants to continue to lead the democrats in the house. >> with its's a very human statement. i think that nancy pelosi by any measurement has been the most effective speaker, certainly of the past generations. and never would have been a (obama legislative program without her. there would not be a national health-care bill. and she became demonized in this campaign, there were millions spent against her. she became a like in many districts. and having been the architect of the democrats takeover of the house in the last two elections she became the pinata in this campaign. i don't think she wants to leave. i can understand it at a human level. you know, skulking off the
6:42 pm
stage, having been villified and demonized. and she would like this volatile era perhaps, it swings back in two years and sam rayburn did in 1946 to '48. he was knocked out. but you know, i think-- . >> lehrer: sam ray byrne stayed -- >> he did. that's unlike most since then who, newt gingrich left when he lost five seats. but she's always been a better inside player than an outside player. she is the inverse of gingrich, gingrich was great outside. gingrich was great at a lecture -- lech turn or tv show. he was terrible inside. he had a revote of his own members. the caucus more liberal than it was sadly before last tuesday's election because many of the losses were sustained by blue dog democrats, moderate to conservatives that she had recruited. but they lost. and so there is not a question in my mind that she will be re-elected if she
6:43 pm
wants to be. the question is should she be. and is it in her historical interests, reputation or is in the interest of the party. >> lehrer: how do you see it. >> maybe i understand her want to leave at the point of maximum defeat im don't think is in the party's interest. if you are a democrat running for the congress or the house in north carolina, ohio or indiana it is harder if nancy pelosi is the leader of your party in the house. she has a reputation. she from the liberal wing wft party it is harder. and it will be harder for her party to win back a majority if she is there and it is a sign, i think to me, that the party isn't ready to change and maybe it's early, it's just been a few days. but if i were house members i would want a new face. i would want at least a new face, maybe a slightly new direction. but that doesn't seem much in evidence. >> lehrer: did you expect her to just step down. >> uh-huh, yeah. >> lehrer: did you. >> yeah, i mean i think, you know, she can go if she left now, which she's not going to do. but she could say i passed major legislation this will be on the books for the rest
6:44 pm
of our lives. and she can say i accomplished this. we suffered a political setback but the good of the party means there has to be a different face, obviously, and it's obvious. she is a political liability. en what ever you think of her performance as a speaker. >> lehrer: dow agree with mark that if she can do it she can do it. >> she is extremely smart and an extremely good speaker tractically and legislative. i assume if she started off on this bid to win this minority leader job i assume she can count the votes and has them in the bag. >> lehrer: would you agree that she would never have made this announcement if she didn't already have the votes. >> no, she met with steny huher, has been the majority-- majority leader, his job has been abolished. there is no more leader on the side other than the minority leader. and she told him and he announced we not oppose her. >> lehrer: as minority leader. >> as minority leader. but no, i think you have to look at it in this
6:45 pm
perspective. (bam, harry reid, nancy pelosi. those have been the three leaders of the democratic party who has been the most effective in the past two years. i don't think anybody could argue. >> lehrer: from the democratic point of view. >> i agree with that. >> nancy pelosi. >> lehrer: you lost -- >> you lost 60 some odd seats so you go to the next election with harry reid, barack obama and nesnee pell osist. >> i think it is from a personal point of view i can understand it. i think david's argument is one that undoubtedly has been made or will be made to her. you know, it's going to be tough. some of the stuff used against her this year, i mean the point of her face being in a urinal on some of the tv spots and stuff t was really-- i never heard her complain about it. so she was quite-- manly and i don't understand why she has been demonized quite as much. i really don't. i know she's rich. i know she is from san francisco. she's a woman.
6:46 pm
i don't know what it is. she is a liberal. but you know. >> she's a rich san francisco liberal. if you are running for office in tennessee, that's the opponent you want to have. >> lehrer: let's move quickly to the tavern owner's son from ohio who i is-- who is going to replace. >> he's not rich. >> lehrer: replace nancy pelosi. what is the heavy lifting he is confronting at this moment, david. >> well, if he uses the word humility any more i am going to -- i don't know what i will do. he has used that word a the lot. i think is the right word to use. he has got a number of things to do. first to actually have an agenda and i still think they are searching. they certainly know the outlines of the agenda and it is going to be modest and inclemental and it will be every week coming up with some piece of legislation that will make it easier to hire or cut spending, just incremental things they will try to beat us down with one idea after another. but politically the problem is obviously unifying a group which frankly we don't really know what it is going
6:47 pm
to be like, and neither do they, these new membersment but also damping down expectations. >> lehrer: particularly the tea party people. >> right and i frankly don't think it will be a big deal. -- michelle bachman is going to run for a leadership post. i would be surprised if they did well. but nonetheless they've got expectations from people who voted for them that something big is going to change. and that's not going to happen. and so they've got to try to damp that down. they are moving in all sorts of directions. i think the key thing is this humility theme. and that's the right theme because there is not a lot they can do and people don't trust politicians so you better be pretty humble. >> lehrer: but then mitch mcconnell who is the republican leader in the senate has said his number one priority remains making sure that barack obama doesn't have a second term is that humility? i would ask david that question first.
6:48 pm
>> well, no, if i were mitch mcconnell would say it's not complicated. what are you try doing in washington. are you trying to create jobs and economic growth. that's all you talk about. those are your strategic goals. talk about that. do not talk about your tactical goals what politician you want to beat in order to get there. i would keep it nice and simple but he's chosen not to. and i think to remind people barack obama is still there we can't get a lot done. we still want to mobilize against him. but i think it's just unfortunate and self-destructive to talk that way. >> unfortunate is the understatement of the week. i mean give credit to major garrett, the national journal did the interview with him. he said the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. we had douglas holtzeakin and paul krugman talking about 15 million americans who don't have a job to go to this morning. will not have a job monday that is not as important as beating barack obama, finding work for these folks. we have 5800 americans,
6:49 pm
families without way father or a sister or a son or a daughter in afghanistan and iraq. that's not as important as beating barack obama. not the deficit, not national health care. i mean this is so far inside the beltway this is so far removed, and out of touch with the american people and their desires about how they want people to work together. i mean mitch mccon sell playing inside politics so deep on this, he himself endorsed tray grayson, the establishment candidate from kentucky. rand paul hum il yated him in his home state. he beat him. then he won the senate seat. he's coming as a national figure. he's got jim demeants de facto minority republican leader in the senate. so he's going to prove his tread by the one thing that unifys all these fractious elements in the republican party, anti-barack obama and making john boehner look like henry clay and thomas
6:50 pm
moore at the same time. john boehner looks terrific by contrast to mitch mcconnell. >> i more or less agree with that. i think is inside baseball. and i can understand why he is doing it. i asked some senators it was a slip of the tongue. and they said no, you be mitch mcconnell doesn't have a slip of the tongue. >> he really means it. >> and if i'm putting myself in my head managing it, he wants to show he is to the going native and wants o to remind people their expectations shouldn't get too high. but i agree with mark, focus on what people actually care about. one thing though about jim dement. there was an episode a couple weeks ago where he really wanted to take lisa murkowski and kick her off all her committees because she was running against a tea party candidate. and so it was interesting inside that meeting in the republican group, very few senators i think almost none supported jim dement on that and that is a sign that people like him or bachman have an outside gain but not
6:51 pm
a lot of inside presence and i'm not sure that is going to be a huge problem for mcconnell. >> lehrer: finally let's talk about the president. the republicans-- boehner and mcconnell among others that he has practiced denial about what happened on tuesday. how do you read his, we have had a few days now. now he has gone to asia. but how do you read how the president has handled what happened on tuesday. >> well, i think shellacing is the op rative word. he was a long time coming to it in that press conference. >> lehrer: but is he acting like a man who -- >> i think he's really adjusting to the reality, the new reality. and the diminished expectations of the next two years. i mean he always knew and the white house always knew that their big bite of the apple was goinging to be the first two years with the big majorities. but i think this has been a little bit of a shock. and i think the real test will be the state of the union and in a strange way
6:52 pm
this trip, this long postponed trip david and i kided earlier, that he is going to visit american jobs in india, but that he, it couldn't come at a better time for him because the republicans are going through this restiveness and restlessness right now. >> lehrer: david what about barack obama 2012, is there something there at risk here. >> absolutely. i think in the white house they vastly understatemen understatement-- underestimate the dangers they face here. partly because in ohio it's hard to win without winning ohio this reso far down i could beat barack obama in ohio. anybody could. >> lehrer: let's not get carried away. >> any plausible person could. anybody taller than me could. so they are in trouble. and it's hard to win the presidency without winning ohio or the entire midwest. and they don't quite, i don't think they register that. >> lehrer: so you think he is at risk. >> i do. i really do.
6:53 pm
the more you look at the results one way to read it is that the outlier was 2008. that what has happened now is it swung back and there is a republican coalition there. and that would make it hard for him to win though people-- those people back in 2012. >> lehrer: we have to leave it there. mark, david, thank you both very much. >> brooks for president, ohio? >> lehrer: you said it, i didn't. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the private sector added nearly 160,000 jobs in october, the most in six months, but the unemployment rate remained at 9.6%. and attacks on two mosques in pakistan killed more than 70 people. and to hari sreenivasan in our newsroom for what's on the newshour online. hari. >> sreenivasan: we talk to a reporter in indonesia about what it's like living in the shadow of an erupting volcano. we have answers to your questions about the latest jobs numbers from paul solman, and about the midterm elections from political editor david chalian. plus, on "art beat," jeffrey brown talks to jazz musician jason moran, winner of a macarthur "genius" award.
6:54 pm
all that and more is on our web site, judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at the oil spill commission's investigation into the causes of the b.p. disaster. i'm judy woodruff. >> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
6:55 pm
6:56 pm
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm