Feed aggregator

Do Black Lives Matter to GOP? Christie Slams Obama for Backing Movement Against Police Bias

Democracy Now - Thu 06 55 AM

At Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seized on comments by FBI Director James Comey that added scrutiny and criticism of police officers has fueled an increase in crime. Christie also criticized President Obama for his comments last week in support of Black Lives Matter. "We need to make it so that this country — Americans, police, the government — values black lives but also realizes that black people aren’t saying that only our lives matter, but that our lives matter, as well," says Imani Gandy, senior legal analyst at RH Reality Check and co-host of the podcast This Week in Blackness.

John Nichols on Paul Ryan: The GOP's Best Actor Since Ronald Reagan

Democracy Now - Thu 06 49 AM

Republican Congressmember Paul Ryan is set to become House speaker after winning his party’s backing. Ryan replaces John Boehner, who announced his resignation last month after a lengthy dispute with far-right members of his own party. The tea party "Freedom Caucus" had threatened to hold a no-confidence vote amid disagreements with Boehner over negotiating with Democrats and how to use the Republicans’ House majority. Boehner was pressured to take a more confrontational approach with the White House and congressional Democrats over issues including government spending, immigration reform, Obamacare and abortion. Ryan is known for crafting sweeping budget proposals that target public spending, cut taxes for the wealthy and impose deep budget cuts. We speak to journalists David Cay Johnston and John Nichols.

"Donald Creates His Own Reality": David Cay Johnston on Trump Rewriting History at 3rd GOP Debate

Democracy Now - Thu 06 47 AM

At Wednesday’s Republican debate in Boulder, Donald Trump denied making several statements only to be shown the source of the claims came from his website. "You have to understand Donald creates his own reality," says Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston. "Whatever Donald says at the moment is, to Donald, the truth."

Is Jeb Bush Finished? Establishment-Backed Dynasty Candidate Might Not Overcome Family Ties

Democracy Now - Thu 06 38 AM

Initially viewed as a GOP front-runner and backed by over $130 million from wealthy donors, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is struggling in fourth place. Highlighting his fading chances, Bush spoke less than any other candidate at Wednesday’s debate and failed to seize opportunities to revive his campaign. "I think Donald Trump has very possibly finished off Jeb Bush by wrapping George W. Bush around him," says John Nichols, political writer for The Nation.

Flat Taxes, Ending Medicare-Medicaid, Banning All Abortions: Meet New GOP Front-Runner Ben Carson

Democracy Now - Thu 06 26 AM

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has surpassed Donald Trump in most polls to become the new Republican front-runner. Carson’s proposals include a 10 percent flat tax, replacing Medicare and Medicaid with private health savings accounts, and banning abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. We assess Carson’s background and policy platform with New Republic editor Jamil Smith, Imani Gandy of RH Reality Check and This Week in Blackness, and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston.

"We're on the Verge of Picking Someone Who Can't Do the Job": Fraying GOP Holds 3rd Primary Debate

Democracy Now - Thu 06 12 AM

With the campaign at roughly the halfway point between its opening summer debate and the Iowa caucus next year, Wednesday’s Republican debate was the first with business mogul Donald Trump no longer leading the polls. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has surpassed Trump in recent days, though the two are still way ahead in the crowded Republican field. The surge of these two relative outsiders has thrown the Republican Party into turmoil. The more established political candidates are scrambling to gain ground as party leaders grapple with Trump and Carson’s outlandish views—and the potential that one of them might end up the nominee. We assess the debate and the state of the GOP field with four guests: John Nichols of The Nation, New Republic editor Jamil Smith, Imani Gandy of RH Reality Check and This Week in Blackness, and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston.

The Armor of Light: New Documentary Makes the Evangelical Case for Gun Control

Democracy Now - Wed 06 45 AM

A new documentary opening this week focuses on two individuals who form an unlikely alliance to address gun violence in the United States. "The Armor of Light,” by Abigail Disney, follows the evangelical minister Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical known for his anti-choice activism, and Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, the African-American teenager who was shot to death by a middle-aged white man in a gas station parking lot in 2012 after a dispute over loud music. The shooter, Michael Dunn, was later sentenced to life without parole. Schenck describes how McBath inspired him to begin speaking out about gun violence. "It was her passion in the wake of that pain and horror of losing a son to murder that was really what pulled me across the threshold of decision to start speaking to this, even though for me it is at great personal risk," Schenck says. "In our community, when you break with a kind of orthodoxy on social issues — guns being one of them — you are seen as a renegade or as a defector."

Criminalizing the Classroom: Inside the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Democracy Now - Wed 06 30 AM

New York City has more than 5,000 police officers patrolling the city’s schools—that’s more than the combined number of school guidance counselors and social workers. Nationwide, more than 17,000 officers work in the school. What happens when students are arrested in the classroom? We look at what many experts call the "school-to-prison pipeline."

Texas Student Spent 52 Days in Coma After Being Tased by Police at School

Democracy Now - Wed 06 24 AM

In one of the most shocking cases of police brutality inside a school, 17-year-old Noe Niño de Rivera spent 52 days in a medically induced coma after police tased him at school in November 2013. He was permanently brain injured. Last year Bastrop County in Texas settled a federal lawsuit for $775,000 with his family. We speak to his attorney, Adam Loewy.

Cops in the Classroom: South Carolina Incident Highlights Growing Police Presence in Schools

Democracy Now - Wed 06 10 AM

We turn now to shocking new videos that have surfaced from inside a South Carolina high school where a police officer has been caught on camera slamming a teenage girl to the ground and dragging the student out of the classroom. The videos, which went viral on Monday, appear to show Deputy Sheriff Ben Fields approaching the student, who is seated at her desk, then wrapping his arm around her neck and flipping her and her desk to the ground. He then appears to drag her out of the classroom. The student was arrested. Another student who filmed the assault was also arrested and held on a $1,000 bail. The incident reportedly began when the student refused to give her teacher her phone. The incident is the latest in a series of cases of police officers in schools using excessive force against students.

Update: South Carolina authorities have announced the officer, Ben Fields, has been fired from his position.

In Student Victory, U. of Mississippi Removes State Flag with Confederate Emblem

Democracy Now - Tue 06 55 AM

Early Monday morning, three campus police officers at the University of Mississippi removed the state flag with its Confederate emblem from the grounds of the school’s campus in Oxford. The move comes after the student government voted to remove the flag. Mississippi’s flag is the latest Confederate symbol to be targeted for removal from a public space since a white supremacist killed nine African-American worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina, four months ago. We speak to Dominique Scott, an undergraduate at the University of Mississippi and the secretary of the university’s chapter of the NAACP.

Joseph Stiglitz: Under TPP, Polluters Could Sue U.S. for Setting Carbon Emissions Limits

Democracy Now - Tue 06 52 AM

Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz warns about the dangers of the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "We know we’re going to need regulations to restrict the emissions of carbon," Stiglitz said. "But under these provisions, corporations can sue the government, including the American government, by the way, so it’s all the governments in the TPP can be sued for the loss of profits as a result of the regulations that restrict their ability to emit carbon emissions that lead to global warming."

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz on "Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy"

Democracy Now - Tue 06 38 AM

As presidential candidates spar over economic policies and Congress debates the TPP, one of the nation’s leading economists is calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. economy. Nobel Prize-winning economist and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz has just published a new book called "Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity."

With Military Backing, TV Comedian Wins in Guatemala in First Vote Since Jailing of Ex-President

Democracy Now - Tue 06 27 AM

In Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, a right-leaning former television comedian with no government experience, won the presidency after less than half of eligible voters cast ballots on Sunday. Morales received 67 percent of the votes — more than double the votes cast for his contender, ex-first lady Sandra Torres. The election comes after massive popular protests ousted former President Otto Pérez Molina in September. Pérez Molina is now in jail facing corruption charges. President-elect Jimmy Morales is well known for his starring role in a long-running sketch comedy show, which often featured lewd sketches that some have criticized as being homophobic and sexist. But little is known about Morales’ political platform, although he has unveiled a handful of eccentric proposals, such as tagging teachers with GPS trackers to ensure they attend classes. We speak to journalist and activist Allan Nairn in Guatemala City.

Massive Indonesian Plantation Fires Create Environmental Catastrophe Spewing Haze & Carbon Emissions

Democracy Now - Tue 06 22 AM

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has decided to cut his U.S. trip short due to raging fires that have resulted in haze and toxic fumes covering much of the country as well as parts of Malaysia and Singapore. Many of the fires were illegally set in order to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations. The fires have been described as one of the biggest environmental crimes of the 21st century. According to the World Resource Institute, since September the fires have generated more carbon emissions than the entire U.S. economy.

Despite Military Crackdown in Papua & Other Rights Abuses, Obama Hosts Indonesian President in D.C.

Democracy Now - Tue 06 10 AM

On Monday, President Obama met Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, at the White House to discuss climate change, trade and strengthening U.S.-Indonesian ties. President Obama described Indonesia as one of the world’s largest democracies, but human rights groups paint a different story, citing the military’s ongoing repression in West Papua as well as discriminatory laws restricting the rights of religious minorities and women. Indonesia has also been criticized for attempting to silence any discussion about the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indonesian genocide that left more than 1 million people dead. We speak to John Sifton of Human Rights Watch and journalist Allan Nairn, who has covered Indonesia for decades.