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In Defense of Democratic Socialism, Bernie Sanders Attacks "Casino Capitalism"

Democracy Now - Wed 06 56 AM

During the debate, Senator Bernie Sanders defended democratic socialism and declared he was not a capitalist. "Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?” Sanders said. "No, I don’t." Hillary Clinton responded by saying the country needs to "save capitalism from itself."

Is Snowden a Hero or Traitor? Democrats Debate Whether NSA Whistleblower Should Face Jail Term

Democracy Now - Wed 06 51 AM

Democratic candidates sparred on Tuesday about what should happen to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. "He stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands," said Hillary Clinton. "So I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music." Lincoln Chafee praised Snowden’s actions: "What Snowden did showed that the American government was acting illegally per the Fourth Amendment. So I would bring him home."

Sanders Calls Iraq Worst Foreign Policy Blunder in U.S. History as Clinton Backs Militaristic Views

Democracy Now - Wed 06 45 AM

On the foreign policy front, the candidates debated the U.S. invasion of Iraq as well as a possible no-fly zone in Syria. "I will do everything that I can to make sure that the United States does not get involved in another quagmire like we did in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country," Sanders said. Clinton backs a no-fly zone in Syria, a move opposed by Sanders and O’Malley.

Has Bernie Sanders Been Tough Enough on Guns? Hillary Clinton Says No

Democracy Now - Wed 06 38 AM

Arguably the most contentious moment of the night was the presidential candidates’ debate over gun control, which has become a major campaign issue in the wake of deadly school shootings in Oregon and beyond. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley both criticized Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ track record on gun control, which they said was not tough enough.

Hillary Clinton & Martin O'Malley Spar over Immigration Reform

Democracy Now - Wed 06 33 AM

Another topic of debate during the first Democratic presidential debate was the issue of immigration reform and whether undocumented immigrants should have access to Obamacare. Clinton said she would support states who open up access to Obamacare to undocumented people, while O’Malley called for everyone to have access to the program and pledged to go "even further than President Obama" on the issue of immigration. Neither candidate, however, raised concerns about the unprecedented rise in deportations under the Obama administration. For more, we’re joined by Zaid Jilani, staff writer at AlterNet, in Atlanta.

O'Malley's Baltimore Policing Record Criticized as Candidates Address Whether #BlackLivesMatter

Democracy Now - Wed 06 26 AM

Unlike during the first two Republican presidential debates, one of the key issues in the first Democratic debate was racial inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Candidate Martin O’Malley came under fire early in the night for his record of ramping up policing in Baltimore while he was mayor. CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed O’Malley on statistics showing that during at least one year, there were more than 100,000 arrests in a city of 640,000 residents. O’Malley contended that the police crackdown was in order to protect black lives. "Martin O’Malley’s love for African Americans surprised me," said D. Watkins, who grew up in Baltimore while O’Malley was mayor. "I didn’t feel that."

Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Take Center Stage at First Democratic Debate of 2016 Race

Democracy Now - Wed 06 11 AM

In the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, five contenders squared off last night in Las Vegas: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. It was the first of only six debates scheduled for the Democrats this election cycle. The debate covered contentious topics from gun control to climate change to the 2003 vote to invade Iraq. Throughout the night, Senator Bernie Sanders focused much of his message on inequality and the economy. In one of the most tweeted-about moments of the night, Sanders also criticized the media for focusing too much on the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state. We speak to Jill Stein, the 2016 presidential candidate for the Green Party; Les Payne, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former editor at Newsday; and D. Watkins, columnist for Salon and author of the new book, "The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America."

The Rise of America's Secret Government: The Deadly Legacy of Ex-CIA Director Allen Dulles

Democracy Now - Tue 06 49 AM

It’s been more than 50 years since Allen Dulles resigned as director of the CIA, but his legacy lives on. Between 1953 and 1961, under his watch, the CIA overthrew the governments of Iran and Guatemala, invaded Cuba, and was tied to the killing of Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected leader. We speak with David Talbot, author of "The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government," about how Dulles’ time at the CIA helped shape the current national security state.

Outsourcing a Refugee Crisis: U.S. Paid Mexico Millions to Target Central Americans Fleeing Violence

Democracy Now - Tue 06 25 AM

As immigration has become a key issue on the campaign trail, we look at a startling new report that finds "the United States has outsourced a refugee problem to Mexico that is similar to the refugee crisis now roiling Europe." In her New York Times opinion piece, "The Refugees at Our Door," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario describes how the Obama administration is paying the Mexican government to keep people from reaching the U.S. border—people who often have legitimate asylum claims. We speak to Nazario about the harrowing stories she heard from Central American refugees in shelters in southern Mexico.

An Undemocratic Party? Ahead of First Debate, Criticism Grows over DNC’s Move to Control Process

Democracy Now - Tue 06 12 AM

Five Democratic presidential candidates will square off tonight in Las Vegas for the first of six debates in the 2016 campaign. The participants are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. Hawaii Congressmember and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard will not be attending the debate, and says she was disinvited after publicly calling for more than six debates. We get a preview of the debate with Bill Curry, Salon.com political columnist, former White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut.

Gyasi Ross: Why I Support Bernie Sanders & the #BlackLivesMatter Protesters Who Interrupted Him

Democracy Now - Mon 06 53 AM

As Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Bernie Sanders prepare for the first debate Tuesday, we talk to Gyasi Ross about his recent piece on TheStranger.com, "I Support Bernie Sanders for President and I Also Support the Black Lives Matter Takeover in Seattle." Ross was in attendance when Black Lives Matters activists disrupted a Sanders appearance in Seattle.

From Million Man March to Columbus Day: Challenging White Supremacy & "Doctrine of Discovery"

Democracy Now - Mon 06 43 AM

Tens of thousands from across the country gathered on the National Mall in Washington Saturday for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. The rally commemorated the 1995 event, when Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan called African-American men to the nation’s capital for a "day of atonement." This year’s rally, themed "Justice or Else," called for an end to police brutality and demanded justice for communities of color, women and the poor, and was more inclusive than the first. Among this year’s crowd were women and other people of color, including Native Americans who are calling for a renaming of Columbus Day, the federal holiday that commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the so-called New World in 1492. The holiday has long evoked sadness and anger among Native Americans who object to honoring the man who opened the land to European colonization and the exploitation of native peoples. We speak with Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, who was at the first Million Man March in 1995 and also attended the 20th anniversary march, and Gyasi Ross, author, speaker, lawyer and member of the Blackfeet Nation.

Shock & Panic in Turkey: Deadliest Terrorist Attack in Country’s History Leaves as Many as 128 Dead

Democracy Now - Mon 06 12 AM

As many as 128 people died in Turkey Saturday when nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through a pro-peace rally in the country’s capital of Ankara. More than 245 people were injured. The bombs went off just as Kurdish groups, trade unions and leftist organizations were preparing to begin a march protesting the resumption of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. Earlier today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed ISIL for carrying out the attack. But march organizers accused the government of failing to prevent it. Saturday’s bombing occurred three weeks before Turkey’s snap parliamentary elections. Tensions in Turkey have escalated since June, when the ruling AKP party lost its parliamentary majority in a major defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The opposition HDP party won 13 percent of the vote, securing seats in Parliament for the first time. Since the elections, hostilities between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants have sharply escalated. We speak to Turkish parliamentarian Hisyar Özsoy and UCLA professor Asli Ü. Bâli.

First Latino US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on Migrant Farmworkers, the Border and Ayotzinapa

Democracy Now - Fri 06 46 AM

We speak with Juan Felipe Herrera, who has begun his term as the 21st poet laureate of the United States. A son of Mexican migrant farmworkers, Herrera is the first Latino poet laureate of the United States. Written in both English and Spanish, his work has been celebrated over the past four decades for its energy, humor, emotion and ability to capture the consciousness of a cross-section of America. In announcing Herrera’s appointment, Library of Congress Director James H. Billington said, “I see in Herrera’s poems the work of an American original—work that takes the sublimity and largesse of 'Leaves of Grass' and expands upon it. His poems … champion voices and traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity." Herrera is the author of 28 books, including "187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border" and, mostly recently, "Notes on the Assemblage." He is a past winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award. Herrera discusses the role of poets in social movements, and reads his poem "Ayotzinapa," about the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, Mexico.

Making Money from Misery? Disaster Capitalism from the Migrant Crisis to Afghanistan and Haiti

Democracy Now - Fri 06 26 AM

When disaster strikes, who profits? That’s the question asked by journalist Antony Loewenstein in his new book, “Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing out of Catastrophe.” Traveling across the globe, Loewenstein examines how companies such as G4S, Serco and Halliburton are cashing in on calamity, and describes how they are deploying for-profit private contractors to war zones and building for-profit private detention facilities to warehouse refugees, prisoners and asylum seekers. Recently, Loewenstein teamed up with filmmaker Thor Neureiter for a documentary by the same name that chronicles how international aid and investment has impacted communities in Haiti, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Nobel Peace Prize to Tunisian Civil Society Groups for Democratization Efforts After Arab Spring

Democracy Now - Fri 06 10 AM

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a coalition of civil society organizations known as the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The move comes nearly five years after a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire, sparking the Arab Spring that included the ouster of Tunisia’s longtime, U.S.-backed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. "The quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war," said Kaci Kullmann Five, Norwegian Nobel Committee chair. The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet is composed of four organizations: the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. The committee said it hopes its recognition of the quartet’s achievements will "serve as an example that will be followed by other countries." We speak with Sarah Chayes, senior associate of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She writes about Tunisia in her recent book, "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security."