tv PBS News Hour PBS October 2, 2013 5:30pm-6:31pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: it's day two of the federal government shutdown. president obama summoned congressional leaders to the white house, as the economy started to take the hit. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also tonight, the rollout of the health care law. the appetite for the insurance plans is high, but there are some early glitches. >> ifill: and from india, fred de sam lazaro has the story of a marriage squeeze brought on by gender, dowries and poverty.
>> in some regions of the there are as few as 650 female births for every 1,000 males. that's led to a shortage of brides in a culture where everyone is expected to marry. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: that's health in numbers. united healthcare.
catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> 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. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight: the nation's political leaders convened for a late-day meeting at the white house, but there was no sign of a deal to get government operations back on track. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> reporter: with signs of the shutdown evident everywhere the president called in the house and senate leaders to talk over the stalemate. going in, republicans said they assume he's ready to negotiate. but, in an interview with cnbc--
before the meeting-- the president insisted that first, congress has to pass a bill to fund the government, with no strings attached. >> until we get that done, until we make sure that congress allows treasury to pay for things that congress itself already authorized. we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations. >> reporter: here at the other end of pennsylvania avenue, house republicans forged ahead with five spending bills designed to reopen parts of the government, despite warnings that senate democrats will reject them. the list included national parks, veterans' programs, the d.c. government, medical research and salaries for members of the national guard. outside the capitol, protesters greeted house g.o.p. leaders as they held a news conference. but majority leader eric cantor said they mean to keep up their strategy. >> we ought to be working as hard as we can to open up theñr
government in all the areas that we agree on. no one disagrees that these memorials should be open. no one disagrees that we shouldn't be funding the n.i.h. no one, no one disagrees that we should be helping our veterans and the kinds of services that they need. >> reporter: inside, on the house floor, democrats, including california's barbara lee, dismissed that approach. >> instead of working on a serious option to reopen the government, republicans latest strategy now and this is really cynical, that's to exploit our veterans and to exploit the people of the district of columbia by voting on piecemeal bills that will not end impacts of a shutdown that extend across the country. >> reporter: meanwhile, in the senate, democratic majority leader harry reid telephoned house speaker john boehner, appealing for a vote on a government funding bill, free of provisions aimed at the president's health care law. >> he's sitting on a bill that would reopen the government right now. this bill would pass in a matter
of minutes if he just let democrats and republicans vote. he doesn't even have to vote for it. let him vote against it, but let the house work its will. >> reporter: if that happens, reid promised, the senate will negotiate a long-term budget deal. a spokesman for boehner brushed aside the pitch, calling it "not much of an offer." amid the sparring, national parks and major monuments were shuttered for a second day, a number of social services also were cut off, including head start programs for low-income children. and nutritional food programs, such as wic for women with infant children. douglas greenaway is head of the national wic association, based in washington. >> with the government shutdown, there's a level of uncertainty that not only program administrators are experiencing, but certainly the women who participate in the program. >> reporter: the national institutes of health, meanwhile, turned away patients seeking to enroll in experimental treatments. and there were warnings at a senate hearing about national security, from james clapper,
director of national intelligence. >> i've been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. i'd never seen anything like that we're already taking, that this seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation and its citizens. >> reporter: with no end in sight, the odds also were growing that the shutdown stalemate will merge with an expected fight over raising the debt ceiling. leaders of major financial firms met with the president today to discuss the potential economic harm. as things stand, the federal government will default on its obligations unless congress lifts the borrowing limit by october 17. >> woodruff: we'll have more on all of this, after the news summary. >> ifill: wall street spent the day trying to figure out how long the government shutdown will last. defense company stocks, in particular, took a hit. overall, the dow jones industrial average lost 58 points to close at 15,133. the nasdaq fell about three points to close at 3,815. this was day two of enrollment for the new government-run health insurance exchanges created by the affordable care act.
yesterday's start was a rocky one, as websites and phone lines were overwhelmed by high demand. there was no word on how many people actually managed to sign up. more on this, later in the program. in iran, the parliament today endorsed president hassan rouhani's diplomatic outreach to the west. at the u.n. last week, rouhani signaled he's open to new dialogue on iran's disputed nuclear program. in a statement today, 230 out of 290 iranian lawmakers backed that effort. rouhani rejected sharp criticism from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who told the u.n. that iran is not to be trusted. >> (translated): the israelis, when they see that their sword has become blunt, when they see that lodge inand reason is dominating the world, they certainly get upset. this is absolutely normal. we shouldn't expect anything other than this of the israelis. i think netanyahu's comments
show us we are on the right and precise path. >> ifill: separately, diplomats reported little progress in the latest meetings between iran and the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog. there may have been fewer attackers involved in last month's kenyan mall massacre than first believed. a senior official said today, closed circuit television footage actually shows just four men carrying automatic weapons, not the ten to 15 authorities initially claimed. the somali militant group al- shabab claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 67 people. >> eight people died in an accident it shut down part of interstate chrysler is recalling an estimated 132,000 sport utility vehicles, mostly in the u.s. the company announced today that
its 2014 jeep grand cherokees may have a software problem that blacks out the dashboard display. chrysler said it has not received any reports of accidents related to the glitch. tom clancy, the author who virtually invented high-tech military thrillers, has died. he passed away yesterday, in baltimore. clancy first climbed to the top of the best-seller lists in 1984 with "the hunt for red october". that book and several others featuring c.i.a. hero jack ryan were later made into movies. tom clancy was 66 years old. we'll have more on him at the end of the program. >> ifill: also ahead, the price tag for the shutdown; the opening rush and snags for the health care law; the shortage of brides in india; a massive online drug bust. plus, what's changed and what hasn't for american women. >> woodruff: and we return to the shutdown of most of the federal government with a closer
look at the economic fallout. for that, we turn to a pair of economists who have been watching and writing on this. diane swonk of mesirow financial in chicago and mark zandi of moodysanalytics.com welcome to the program. mark zandi, do you first, is there an affect on the economy? we're only in the second day of this. >> yeah. federal employees aren't going to work. i was in d.c. today talking to a taxicab driver who said he had to work 14 hours yesterday and couldn't get the money he normally gets. tourist destinations are being affected. independence hall in philadelphia, my hometown, is shut down and that's affecting people. pretty soon it's going to be tougher to get an f.h.a. mortgage loan, a small business administration loan for a small business, student loans. it's more of a nuisance so far, but it's starting to have economic consequence. >> woodruff: diane swonk, who are you seeing in terms of impact so far? >> i agree mark. there's the near-term impact that's more of an inconvenience but is certainly still a cost to the economy. but as the shutdown gets longer
the costs of it tend to compound over time. they get more into the private sector, more spillover effects. we also don't know for sure whether or not these federal employees who are furloughed-- not by any choice of their own-- would be paid retroactively. that would be the first time they weren't paid retro actively but if they're not they'll be down that money that they could have been earning if they had been working and the government had been open. soz we start to see this effect cast cade and the important issue the spillover to the private sector-- cab drivers, restaurants-- i know about a case in kentucky where 4,000 i.r.s. agents didn't show up for work. usually people don't worry about the i.r.s. but they do now. the president of the chamber of commerce in that little town in kentucky said none of the restaurants, they were all dead and all of the retail establishments were all dead. and each week that this goes on you could see starting to shave real growth off of g.d.p. we could see as much as three tenths with a two-week is shutdown and up to a percent or more. i know mark has had similar
estimates as you go into a month of a shutdown. >> woodruff: exact sector by sector, mark? as you look at this, is there one sector in particular? we reported the defense industry has already taken a hit in investment. what do you look for? >> yeah, i think obviously defense sector is hit hard. the travel, tourism, leisure, hospitality industries are getting hit hard. people don't place much emphasis on this but these are a sector of the economy that creates a lot of jobs. if you look since the recovery began, this is the one sector that's added the most jobs to the economy. >> woodruff: you mean the -- >> so travel destinations, all of the restaurants, everything that caters to people who just go see the liberty bell or see the washington monument. >> woodruff: what other sectors, diane, would you look at? and geographically how would you look at this? one thinks of washington, we've mentioned that. what about military bases in the
area around those? >> absolutely. yes, we also see these workers, census workers all across the country, 85% of federal workers workout side of washington, d.c. so as bad as it is in washington, these are workers that vote all across the country which believe me it's having an impact. like i mentioned, the 4,000 workers in kentucky. we have workers here in illinois that clearly aren't working at this stage of the game. the roads are not as clogged and the retailers that get the fallout. but the auto industry is concerned. i've gotten several calls from detroit concerned about the uncertainty created by this, people not knowing what this means. as the events continue fall out as we approach the debt ceiling, that can rock financial markets and that causes hesitation. hesitation in an economy that's already weak is our greatest enemy. when consumers are uncertain they don't buy big ticket items or luxury items. they don't spend on the extra meal out. on the flip side, we also see more importantly businesses not willing to pull the trigger and hire, which is something mark was talking about.
we've seen the largest hiring in the leisure and hospitality industries but you won't see much of that at all, that pullback as we enter into the holiday season is really critical. >> woodruff: i think some of the people looking at this, mark zandi, are wondering what's the affect on ordinary people. and, again, this assumes this is a shutdown that continues and we have no way of knowing how long it will last. the effect on ordinary people versus the affect on markets, wall street, investors. >> well, you know, as this drags on it will affect people more directly in terms of getting loans, in terms of getting passports. but the key thing here is if this extends for another week the concerns about the debt limit are going to come into play and that's much more significant than the shutdown. the shutdown is no big deal if it's few days. but the we get to the debt limit, that's a huge issue. >> woodruff: now what sectors are we talking about then? where does the worry show up? >> it's everybody then. if we hit the debt limit what that means is that the treasury can only pay the bills for which it has enough cash. so it won't have enough cash to
pay all the bills and there are a lot of bills. now they're going to make their payments to the debt holders, the people owning treasury bonds, that leaves less for everyone else so that means medicare and medicaid recipients. if we don't settle this by november 1 social security recipients won't get their check on times. >> woodruff: diane, how do you distinguish about the worry about what might happens and what happens if the country actually does not meet the debt limit? >> if we don't raise the debt limit, you're talking about a self-inflicted financial disaster and we already had one five years ago and one may argue it was self-inflicted. however it was collateral damage that came from that, came from many areas of the country. this is purely self-inflicted by washington's own inability to act if we don't raise the debt limit and it has reverberations that go around the world. it's a shot that will be heard around the world again and again because we won't be able to value what many people see as a riskless asset, the risk-free asset which is the treasury bond. when you can't value that, you
can't value any other asset in the world. and that's destabilizing to global financial markets as well as the u.s. and we saw as in 2008 this was an unprecedented event. this would be another unprecedented event. i don't think we need to go there at this stage of the game. >> pelley: the cash shortfall is so significant. >> it is huge. >> and the bills that won't get paid are so large it will send our economy into immediate recession and investors will know this right away so stock prices are going to decline, interest rates will rise. that hurts everybody rapidly. >> woodruff: again, this assumes the debt limit is not raised. >> but this scenario is so dark that it's hard for me to imagine the policymakers won't come to terms before we actually hit this debt limit because it's catastrophic to the economy and you would though their own political futures that they would get this together. >> woodruff: you both have mentioned consumers but it's been pointed out to me that the country has now been in the last few years been through several of these blows where congress has come right up to the brink, has been through the kind of thing that we're going through now even though the government hasn't completely shut down.
does there come a point though, diane swonk, when consumers get used to it? is it possible they could get so accustomed to washington hitting one of these moments when we know it's going to take days or weeks to figure it out? >> well, you know, we've seen washington turn a deaf ear to capitol hill and they didn't really -- sorry, wall street already turned a deaf ear to capitol hill where they didn't react initial they much to the government shutdown. but i think mark's very correct. it's unimaginable what would happen because the recession would be immediate and you would feel it very quickly. and i don't think consumers can ignore it forever. i think there's an inconvenience and if you're in one of these places you feel it right away and those consumers are workers who feel it right away, as the cab driver mark mentioned at the beginning of the show. so i don't think it's something you can completely turn a deaf ear to. that said, we are getting wary of this and i think everyone sort of feels that washington's cried wolf too many times. >> look, you know, if all we're talking about is a government shutdown, this isn't going to
affect many consumers. but if we get to the debt limit they'll know it because everything will be going south pretty quickly and they'll be pulling back very rapidly because they'll be scared like everybody else. if they even sense that a social security payment is not going to be made on time, can you imagine the bedlam that will l create among people? they'll stop spending. so there's no doubt in my mind they will pull back. >> right. >> woodruff: we hear you both. mark zandi, diane swonk, thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: we have more about the impact of the shutdown online including patients who have been turned away at the national institutes of health. that's on our rundown blog. >> ifill: as the new healthcare exchanges began their second day in operation, interest remained high and the problems remained, too. officials say there were 4.7 million unique visitors to the federal website healthcare.gov in the first 24 hours. but there were still often long waits for those trying to get
information or to enroll. the opening rollout has generated talk from both sides about what that suggests about the scope and ambition of the law. we break some of that down now ourselves. sabrina corlette is with the center on health insurance reform at georgetown university. and joe antos is with the american enterprise institute. i'll start by asking both of you as you watched yesterday's launch, joe antos, what did you make of it? >> well, i know a lot of people are very interested in the exchanges. you saw millions of people trying to get on you. saw plenty of problems. some of those problems are, frankly, routine. the sorts of things that we all live with in our daily life. things that will eventually be fixed. hire a new programmer -- >> ifill: error messages, basically. >> yeah, error messages, that sort of thing. the crowding the first day, i think a lot of those people weren't looking for insurance, they wanted to see what was this thing anyway. they wanted to see how it worked. but there's other issues that are going to emerge that i think
are beginning to emerge that are more fundamental that are much harder to solve. >> ifill: let's get to those in a minute but let me ask sabrina corlette. was this a bigger set of glitches than we saw with medicare part "d", the prescription drug benefit when that rolled out? >> well, you're right, we did see a lot of glitches early on with medicare part "d" and i think what we saw back then is likely to be what we're going to see today which is the administration back then-- which was at that time the bush administration-- it was a big domestic policy priority for them and they had a rapid response team that when they found problems they reacted quickly, they built up more capacity, they added staff to the call center, they made sure that those glitches were fixed. and i think that's the same exact thing that we're seeing even just today. h.h.s. announced they've added more capacity to the web site. >> ifill: let's talk about the things we discovered for those able to get on to the site and able to see price tags for instance attached to what they were being asked to sign up for.
is -- has this plan this that's been rolled out, does it really make health care more affordable for most people? >> well, it makes it more accessible for a lot of people. the rules related to preexisting conditions. if you have an existing condition that requires medical treatment now you can't be refused and the coverage will also cover those treatments. so in that sense it's a little bit easier. the question is-- and don't have the answer to this-- is the price what people expect to pay? there was an awful lot of talk about how it was going to be almost free and, of course, it's not going to be almost free. but certainly for those people who most need insurance this is a real benefit. the question is: what about the people who don't feel they need insurance? will they buy it? will the young people buy this coverage? >> ifill: that's an interesting point because a lot
of the push and the p.r. has been around getting young people-- relatively healthy young people-- to sign up and carry the weight for those who are older and more ill. is that -- has that balanced been worked out yet, sabrina corlette? >> no one has a crystal ball so we don't know who will enroll in these exchanges and whether they will be older or younger. certainly for people who are trying to buy health insurance on the marketplace today or before these reforms go into effect they're going to get a better deal, a better value on these exchanges than they can possibly get in the individual market today. and that's because they'll be able to access subsidies and they'll be able toking a sense comprehensive coverage that covers things like maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health, hospitalizations, things that you can't know with confidence are covered in the individual market today. >> ifill: you don't agree with that? >> well, here's the problem: remember that it isn't just the premium and the premium subsidy. it's also the deductible and the copayments that you have to
make. and in particular my favorite example, 2-year-old guy, perfectly healthy-- or at least so he thinks-- not that interested in health insurance and if he's looking at something with, you know, tremendous subsidies, he's only paying $100 a month, but the deductible is $5,000, he's not going to break the $5,000. he's not going to get anything for it. and when he thinks about it, he's going to think twice about whether having a little bit of extra mental security is worth $1,200 a year to him. >> ifill: isn't that the decision people make everyday now the tradeoff. >> right. and now they're going to be faced with the option to actually make that tradeoff. but certainly the mandate is -- doesn't have any teeth in it. so there's no really effective penalty for not buying insurance and knowing that you can buy insurance next year in the next
open enroll. period the means that you're basically only making a bet this time only for nine months. >> ifill: is the mandate not tough enough, sabrina? >> well, the congressional budget office says if the mandate isn't put into place this year there will be 11 fewer -- 11 million fewer people getting health insurance coverage without the mandate. and so certainly most analysts who look at this question say that the mandate does have an impact. and it's a critically important piece of the law and it's sort of a -- like a three-legged stool and if you knock the mandate out the law will fall of its own weight. >> ifill: let many ask about another tradeoff. if you're a small business person and you have provided by insurance for your employees, is there a disincentive now to continue to do that if they can get it on their own on this exchange? >> for a small business, it may not even have made sense to have offered coverage. there just wasn't another alternative. so, in fact, i think we will see small businesses drop their
coverage because their employees will probably be able to get a better deal than they could get. i mean, if you're a shawl business, you're being charged a pretty high premium. >> ifill: what's that to -- what's to stop that from creeping up to larger businesses if that were to happen? >> well, look, health insurance has been a voluntary benefit employers have provided to their employees for generations because they want to attract and retain a healthy works for. that dynamic doesn't change because of the affordable care act but employers have been struggling for years against rising health care costs and one thing that has been true since the a.c.a. was passd is that those cost increases year to year have improved and have sort of started to flatten out because of some of the cost-containment measures in the bill. >> ifill: we only have a short period of time left so i want you to both give me a sense of when will you begin to measure, to gauge accurately whether this rollout is a success or not? how much time would you give it.
>> i think we're not going to know until february or march. partly because it's hard to get the data but partly because it's not just people signing up. it's also will people continue to pay the premiums once they experience the coverage? that doesn't start until january. and if they don't like the coverage, they're going to stop and drop out. >> ifill: what do you think about that? >> i'm taking the long view as well. i think we don't start to measure success until people start to access their benefits, seek health care and get the financial protection that insurance is supposed to provide. >> ifill: sabrina corlette and joe antos, thank you both very much. >> woodruff: next, to india, for a story about marriages, but not necessarily with a living happily ever after ending. with far more men than women, brides are in demand. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports as part of our agents for change series.
>> reporter: gudia and babitha are sisters and they share a lot more in common. each is a mother of two young sons, both live in the same extended family home and they're even married to brothers. with their husbands, they have far less in common: the young women come from hundreds of miles away, where dialect and diet are very different. how young? that's a sensitive question. >> ( translated ): i'm 28 and she is 25 or 26. >> reporter: neither woman went to school and may not know their actual age. but yudhvir singh, a phd student who has studied the growing number of marriages like theirs, says women's ages are exaggerated because it's illegal to marry before age 18. >> ( translated ): i would say in that case that both of them were under 18 at the time of marriage. and in such cases the husbands
are often twice, sometimes three times their age. >> reporter: their husbands told me they were 40 and 35. they're caught in what demographers call a marriage squeeze. "there are no local women to marry," they said, and those who are eligible are taken by people of more means. >> ( translated ): we have no steady work here and we don't own any land, so it is >> reporter: the northern farm so in the '80s when ultrasound scanners became available, many doctors-- even in rural areas-- invested in them. offering to tell peck tonight parents the sex of their fetus and if they were female to
terminate the pregnancy. these sex determination scans are illegal but hard to police. in some regions of the northern farm states of punjab there are as few as 650 female births for every one thousand males. a generation later that's lead to a shortage of brides in a culture where everyone is expected to marry says this sociologists. >> 98 to 99% of indian men and women do get married. so it is considered to be the socially honorable thing to do. it gives people social adulthood because there is no courting, there is no cohabiting before marriage and so how do you move on to the next stage of life? >> reporter: men like these lower on the socio-economic ladder find brides like babitha and gudia. for their part, these women say their own marital prospects were dim in eastern bihar state, where they grew up. marriage has, literally, been a
meal ticket, they say. >> ( translated ): i know he's much older but then we were so poor, there was not enough food, not enough for simple clothing. here we eat, we have lots of things in the house, like a fridge, television. >> reporter: but marriage is not always what women from other impoverished regions are led to believe. the northern farm states, where india's green revolution began in the '70s, have a reputation in other parts of the country for abundant food and prosperity. so 20-year-old beena says it was not hard to convince her parents to consent to a marriage that would take her a thousand miles away. >> ( translated ): they said it would be like life in a hindi film, big houses, things like that. >> reporter: and what did she find? "well, you can see for yourself," she said.
beena's parents also had a financial incentive: they didn't >> my parents received no money but they also gave nothing. the middleman got about 30,000 to 35,000 rupees and the groom's family paid for that. >> reporter: "life can be lonesome at times," says beena, who was married at 15 and now has two children. no one speaks her native bengali and it took her time to adjust to the local diet and customs but she says she become reconciled to it. >> ( translated ): i'm married now, this is the way it is. >> reporter: visit any village here in the eastern state of bengal and you'll hear stories of missing young women, many of them minors. >> (translated): i prayed for
my daughter in the mosque and i gave sacrificial offerings and i keep praying so i can find her. >> reporter: it's been ten years since saleha bibi heard from her daughter, manuara. she and husband mazlum momin were approached by a stranger proposing marriage to their daughter. they say she was 18 then. momin says the supposed groom quickly slipped away with their daughter and was never heard from again. >> ( translated ): i went to the police but they said they'd need to have a picture of the girl before they could launch any kind of search. and i didn't have any pictures of her. >> reporter: in any event, many people here say, the police are indifferent or worse in such cases. >> ( translated ): there's no use in going to the police, they would simply accuse us of selling our daughter. >> reporter: in fact some people, like jabani roy, here with her son bimal, admit the family received money.
2,000 rupees. that's about $40. it's been years, she says, and they've never heard from their daughter. >> ( translated ): if she would have returned at least once, we would feel better, that she was okay. >> reporter: kailash satyarti, one of india's best known anti- trafficking activists, says boys are typically forced into some form of servitude. as for girls, marriage is but one form of abuse they'll likely face. >> they are abducted, they are kidnapped, they are stolen, they are sold and resold and resold at different prices and eventually they end up as child prostitute, child slave, many of they are found being married to old man in punjab and haryana and sometimes in delhi. a 14-year-old girl could have been married to a 40 year old man. >> reporter: back in haryana, elders in the village we visited say the root cause of the so called imported bride
phenomenon, the illegal practice of sex selective abortion, continues >> ( translated ): it goes on underground. it continues to go on. in our society, the status of women is still low. it's in the mindset of people that needs to change, otherwise how do we sustain a society? >> reporter: sociologist kaur says everyone knows it's a problem for the larger society. the challenge is to bring change to individual families. >> they don't connect the dots. they're not seeing that you know eliminating their own daughters is leading to this bride shortage. so if, as long as they can get somebody from somewhere else, they think that's okay. >> reporter: but ironically, the young sons of gudia and babitha may well face less of a bride shortage. grad student yudhvir says it's for unlikely reasons. >> ( translated ): the reason is these wives who are brought in
from outside, they make them pregnant as quickly as possible and produce many children so that they won't run away. >> reporter: that means fewer abortions of female fetuses and more local girls to marry local boys. >> woodruff: a version of fred's story aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly". his reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. >> ifill: now to a very different kind of shutdown of a massive, anonymous, online marketplace for illegal drugs. ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: federal authorities closed down a website known as "silk road" today and arrested its alleged master mind, ross ulbricht of san francisco, who called himself dread pirate roberts. "independent television news" investigated the world of online drug sales recently. we begin with this account from correspondent cordelia lynch.
>> reporter: we decided to see just how easy it is to buy drugs on a site called silk road. well, on here i can see everything from heroin, crack, ecstasy pills. the heroin here goes from $225 u.s. dollars up to $5,000. you can even rate people. this is a system based on trust. here the seller says "two grams of the best afghan brown heroin. satisfaction guaranteed" it promises. we bought three and a half grams of m.d.m.a., a key ingredient in ecstasy and one gram of opium. well, the envelopes have arrived. it took just three days and now we're going to find out what's inside. we're at a government-licensed laboratory and they're going to test the contents for us. john ramsey is a toxicologist
who spent nearly three decades analyzing drugs for the police. >> so we've gotten a almost perfect match for crystal. >> reporter: next he tested the opium we ordered. >> so we've got one small package which could be opium. >> reporter: it, too, tested positive. are you surprised these things are so readily available on the internet? >> yes, i am. we know there's a ready market in legal highs but these are illegal compounds and i'm surprised that it's relatively straightforward to buy them over the internet. >> suarez: those transactions were among more than a million others. silk road brokered more than one billion dollars in sales and its site listed nearly 13,000 offerings of illegal drugs and services. those were paid for using a digital currency known as bitcoins. for more on silk road and today's bust, we turn to glenn chapman, technology correspondent for agence france- press.
how does the f.b.i. say silk road worked? >> well, silk road was essentially a speakeasy for the internet age combined with ebay. so you had to sort of be able to tap on the door and know the password, you'd get to the web site, it would be a blank page except for your password and user name. didn't even hint at what it was so you haded to nowhere you were going in order to get there. once you're inside it was anybody who visited ebay would know that that's what you were looking at once inside except what they were offering were, as you noted, illegal drugs, forged i.d.s, even ten countries supposedly had offerings of hit men. >> suarez: it's one thing to go on a web site and give your name and address and some information about how to charge you money to a place that wants to sell you shoes. it's all together a different thing to go on and tell people who want to sell you heroin or ecstasy where to find you. this stuff would come in the mail, wouldn't it?
>> but the beauty of this in the eyes of the dread pirate roberts was that the anonymity layers on it. it exploited two mechanisms out there that -- one of which was designed for online privacy and in this age of internet snooping that's become a very high priority for legitimate purposes. but it used tor networks which is an acronym for the onion router. because what it did was take data-- in this case, your transaction, whatever you're doing it on line-- wrap in the these encripped layers like an onion and bounce it off servers all over the world, volunteer servers and each server would pull back one little layer, just what it needed to throw it to the next server so by the time it got where it was going it was hard to figure out where it came from. so the silk road depended on that tor network. then the currency referred to earlier, bit coins is like an internet version of cash. you spend cash, you're hard to
trace. so that money spent at that web site-- unlike buying shoes-- you were probably harder to find if you bought heroin at silk road then if you went to a web site and bought shoes. >> suarez: now that this place has been raided, is it possible that the f.b.i. now has in its possession ways to find tens of thousands of people who were buying illegal drugs over the web? >> it is possible. investigatively it's possible. it just depends on a level of encryption that was being used. if you go to chat farms -- popular chat forums at prices lick reddit.com where they have a silk road foulout chat forum, some people are very, very worried. but they're relying on the fact that the silk road in their servers used heavy-duty encryption. silk road used a special bit of software. we talked about bit coins earlier. there are ways to track them. but it used something called a tumbler to jug that will around
so it was even harder to track the bit coins than if the original design. so the people are very worried out tr +*t there that they'll be tracked but they're also nervous because when the feds seized assets from silk road, they seized a big cache of these bit coin which is theoretically could be used to go out in the future and basically have agents posing as buyers or sellers and engage and do undercover operations. >> suarez: that caught my eye. how do you seize a virtual currency is? if it doesn't exist in any tangible physical way how do you seize in the a raid? >> well, bit coins -- if you think of cash as paper, you could think of a bit coin as like a string of code, right? and then those strings of code -- and you'd buy it. it's like currency if you were traveling to another country and you go to exchange and buy the local currency. there are exchanges for bit coins and you get that local internet currency. and then it's stored on something they call a bit coin
wallet and then to get to that wallet you do need the -- you do need access to the password. so they would seize physical servers, physical hard drives from silk road and they, along with these physical hard drives they would squeeze the other assets, they would either have to hack or convince mr. ulbricht to cooperate to get access to the bit coins. >> suarez: it seems kind of unbelievable that you could actually just go on the web and buy a certain amount of heroin or opium. but there must have been such confidence in this encryption technology that silk road felt it could hide in plain sight. people have known about the existence of this place for years, haven't they? >> they have. it's been -- it's -- the investigation started about january of 2011. it was described in the criminal complaint as the largest internet bazaar for illicit goods ever.
it does seem bizarre. silk road even put a buyer and seller guide offering advice on how not to get caught. if you -- when you're shipping your drugs put in the a sealed plastic container to avoid scent detection. they would advise sellers and buyers to enscript data. they gave user seller/buyer guides the same way a legitimate e-commerce site might to help you. and they added a stealth mode about a year ago for users who felt they were at high risk of law enforcement investigation. >> suarez: glenn, quickly before we go, tell us a little bit about the alleged mastermind of this whole thing, mr. ulbricht. what do we know about him? quick description. >> quick description, 29-year-old, studied undergraduate study in texas and then did some graduate work in engineering and materials over in pennsylvania. he atpraoerz posts that we found
at linked in and google plus he appears to have said he -- he describes what he was doing as this experiment that people can experience what it's like to live without being under the oppressive violent regime of a government control. so you can expect that as -- if this goes forward, if there's not a deal, if there is a prosecution, part of his defense will be he was just making this farm for freedom in a way. and much the way 4 chan made a farm for freedom of speech by offering absolute anonymity on line. >> suarez: glenn chapman, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, ray. >> woodruff: a big question to think about: are american women living up to their own expectations? jeffrey brown has our book conversation.
so rights debora spar in her new book "wonder women: sex, power and the quest for perfection." spar is the president of barnard college in new york and former professor at the harvard business school and welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: explain that quote i just read. what did you and others get wrong about feminism? >> i think women of my generation who were born right after the height of the feminist movement somehow thought that because the feminists had fought to give women these wonderful opportunities and possibilities that we could just kind of go out there and be whatever we wanted to be-- nuclear scientists, heads of corporations, and still still have the babies and the wonderful marriages and the clothes and the money. and i think we somehow forgot that -- or we lost sight of the fact that it was going to be much harder than we imagined it would be. >> brown: you describe yourself as someone who really
wasn't even particularly interested in feminism per say. didn't study it, didn't even think about it as a young person, even into adulthood. >> right. and i think maybe part of that is just me. but i think i wasn't totally atypical for women my age because feminism happened when i was sort of eight and ten and 12. >> brown: as a movement. >> it happened as a movement. and if you're a kid watching that, you don't get caught up in the struggle, it just becomes your reality. so rather than being politically involved i got feminism filtered through the media which was much more of this sort of myth of women having it all rather than actually understanding kind of the nitty-gritty that was going to be involved. >> pelley: you use that expression "having it all." so is is the argument now that women can't have it all and shouldn't even try? >> i think the argument is that having it all is a bad phrase. no one has it all. no woman has it all. no man has it all. >> brown: we've made a mistake to focus on that. >> exactly. if women set as a goal for
themselves having it all, by definition they're going to fail and i think what i'm seeing in women my age now is if they feel like they don't have it all they feel as if it's a personal failing on their part. and that's a real problem. >> brown: are you talking about -- you say up front that you're riding as someone -- you come from -- you're white, upper middle-class background. when you say "women" do you mean certain women? all women? >> well, it's a really good question and i'm trying to be very clear in the book that i am writing from my personal experience so i am who i am. but one of the things that's really struck she that i see women of all socioeconomic backgrounds, all races dealing with this problem of juggling and dealing with these feelings of guilt and frustration. and i think those are feelings that cut across socioeconomic category. although clearly the juggling that women -- that poor women, working-class women are doing is much more difficult than what i'm doing. >> brown: you go through in the book -- you're talking about
everywhere. you're talking about workplace, home life, young women and their attitudes about sexual practices. you see this everywhere? >> yeah. and the book follows the course of a woman's life. so i talk about how we raise girls and how girls think about bodies and body image and what i am arguing is that ironically and unfortunately women and girls today face a much higher set of expectations than their grandmothers did. and that wasn't the point of feminism. it certainly wasn't what the feminists were trying to do. but the effect of a lot of the well-intentioned social movements is that at every stage of a woman's life i think she feels really shackledded by expectations rather than liberated. >> brown: so you use this word and promote it "satisficing." explain what that means? >> well, it's a very interesting
economics term that plays a long role in negotiation theory. it's the idea that if you can't get your first best option maybe settle for your second-best. and i think it's a useful term to bring into these debates around women's or people's lives because we can't always get exactly what we want. and i want to make clear that satisficing isn't about giving up or failing. >> brown: so what is it? >> it's about maybe not getting everything but getting a lot of stuff. and i'm trying to argue that because no one can have it all, if women really want to have high-powered careers something will have to give on the home front. >> brown: well, so what? you say it's not about giving up but something's got to give. so what do you tell people? >> it's about realizing, you know, if you're going to be working a 50 or 60 hour a week job you're not going to make it to every one of your kids' flute recitals or basketball games and if you want to make it to every flute recital or basketball game you're probably not going to be able to work a 60 hour a week
job or your spouse is going to have to make career sacrifices or you'll have v to move in kwr w your in laws but something has to give. it's just the math of how many hours there are in a week. >> brown: you focus a lot on your own story. so let me ask you: have you given up -- you don't want to use that word. >> tradeoff. >> brown: you're a college president. you just wrote a book so you found the time to do that. you describe yourself -- you're a mother of three, a long-standing happy marriage. is that not having it all? what have you giving up? >> that's having a heck of a lot. if i look back at choices i've made i wasn't as involved in my kids' lives as i might have been. as my kids will be quick to tell you, i didn't serve on the p.t.a., i didn't sew their halloween costumes. i didn't spend as much time with friends as i might have. that was something particularly when my kids were little. i didn't have a social life. i didn't go to conferences. i turned down additional work assignments. certainly not sacrifices, but i
think it's important to underscore you have to make choices. the good news is that women now have this candy store of options, but the hard news is we can't have all the candy all the time. >> brown: we can't have all the candy. on that note let's stop and we'll continue this online, okay? for now, debora spar, the new book is "wonder women" thanks so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day: president obama met with congressional leaders late this afternoon, but there was no sign of a deal to end the two-day- old, partial government shutdown. and iranian president rouhani won support from his parliament for his diplomatic opening to the u.s. and other western powers. and before we go, an appreciation of best-selling author tom clancy, whose books about spies, terrorism, the cold war and the military sold more than 100 million copies and
spawned at least thee blockbuster movies. author and novelist alan cheuse joins us. he's an english professor at george mason university and a book commentator for npr. >> welcome. >> thanks. >> ifill: what was it about tom clancy that captured the poplar imagination? that's an amazing number of books to sell. >> i think he created a character-- particularly in jack ryan-- that people could associate themselves with. we were in this mess after the cold war. we're fighting small wars all around the world. and ryan is the kind of guy that people would like to think they might be if they were in those situations. >> ifill: except that he didn't just create a character. he took you inside. he was a military -- an intelligence expert but he was really just an insurance salesman. >> he has a wonderful imagination and he created a world that -- well, he brought together the old hero, the draw traditional hero, a good guy who wants to help make the world work better. he wants to set things right. and he also buy doing all this
research and becoming friends with all these technological wonders and military hardware people he made that old heroic world familiar and contemporary and showed an ancient hero fighting a new -- on a new front. >> ifill: a series of new threats. >> a series, yes. there's a jack ryan family saga. his son is now -- in the last novel that came out a couple years ago the son is fighting battles the father used to fight and the father's running for president again. >> ifill: so it seems like authenticity, however, having those details right, they were the coin of his realm. >> well, he didn't have a lot of critics-- as far as i know-- from inside these agencies. they loved his work. he made them known as much as they could be known because a lot of the work is secret.
>> ifill: what did his success do for the publishing industry? were there a lot of copycats? >> well, he did spawn a whole series of would be novelists like himself. some okay, some not so okay. he created a school like rembrandt within his own industry because he -- if he had written as much as the publishers wanted him to write he wouldn't be alive as long as he did live. he would have died. he would have been typing until midnight every night so he had people come in and work on books with him. >> ifill: kind of like the tom clancy factory? >> i think of it as a rembrandt studio. he's a wonderful artist in his own right. >> ifill: and imitation was the sincerest form of flattery in this case? >> and there's a new generation of writers, too, people who learned from him and learned that there's a tremendous public appeal to writing about military in a serious way. >> ifill: alan cheuse, thank you for filling us in. >> pleasure.
>> woodruff: online, how the long lifespans of naked mole rats may give us clues to living longer, healthier lives. read more about the tenacious rodents on our science page. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. >> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll examine the deadly consequences of addictive painkillers prescribed for veterans of the iraq and afghanistan wars. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. on behalf of all of us at the pbs "newshour," thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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