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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 6, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/06/16 04/06/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i don't know if the audience here knows it, but it has been projected by i think all of the networks that we won in wisconsin. amy: it was a big night for underdogs as bernie sanders and ted cruz win decisive victories in the wisconsin primary. >> what an incredible victory tonight. and thank you for your tremendous -- to your tremendous governor, governor scott walker. amy: then we will go to iceland where the country's prime minister has resigned just days after the panama papers revealed he had benefited from offshore investment accounts in tax
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havens. and we will look at how puerto rico has stunned washington and wall street by voting to suspend all payments on its $72 billion public debt. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in the race for the white house, tuesday was a big night for the underdogs as democrat bernie sanders and republican ted cruz secured decisive victories in the wisconsin primary. sanders beat rival hillary clinton by winning over 56% of the vote. ted cruz easily defeated frontrunner donald trump by 13 percentage points. sanders spoke during a rally tuesday night in wyoming, which holds its democratic caucus on saturday. >> with our victory tonight in wisconsin, we have now won seven
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out of eight of the last caucuses and primaries. [cheers] almost all ofn them with overwhelming landslide numbers. amy: senator ted cruz celebrated his victory during a rally in milwaukee wisconsin. -- asa result of tonight a result of the people of wisconsin defying the media, defying the pundits, i am more and more convinced that our campaign is going to earn the 1237 delegates needed to win the republican nomination. amy: we will have more on the wisconsin results after headlines. meanwhile, donald trump has said he would force mexico to pay for a border wall by threatening to block immigrants living and working in the united states from sending money to their families back in mexico.
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that is unless the mexican government makes a one-time payment of $5 billion to $10 million for the wall. trump says he could cut off the flow of money, known as remittances, by changing a rule under the u.s. patriot act. experts disagree that trump would have the legal authority to block remittanc in this manner. experts have also cast doubt on the overall feasibility of trump's border wall. in mexico, the idea of blocking remittances was met with widespread ridicule and opposition, including from senator padierna luna. >> these remittances are private. there be migrants property. there is to authority to decommission them or to take them. it is theft. he will be stealing, which is something no one can accept. amy: iceland's prime minister has resigned, becoming the first major casualty of the panama papers revelations. leaked documents from the panama-based law firm mossack fonseca revealed that prime
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minister sigmundur david gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife which he failed to declare when he entered parliament. he is accused of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assets. gunnlaugsson's resignation followed the largest public demonstrations in iceland's history. reykjavik later the broadcast. meanwhile, president obama has spoken out about the panama papers while urging congress to close tax loopholes, known as "inversions," in which american corporations agree to be bought by a foreign company simply to avoid paying u.s. taxes. treasury department has unveiled new regulations to try to limit this process. on tuesday, obama said that many in the united states were taking advantage of legal loopholes to avoid u.s. taxes. >> we have had another reminder in this big dump of data coming out of panama that tax avoidance is a big global problem. it is not unique to other countries because, frankly,
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there are folks here in america who are taking advantage of the same stuff. a lot of it is legal, but that is exactly the problem. it is not that they're breaking the laws, it is the laws are so poorly designed, they allow people who have enough lawyers and accountants to whittle out of responsibilities that ordinary citizens are having to abide by. amy: also on tuesday, pharmaceutical giant pfizer reportedly decided to abandon plans to merge with the ireland-based drug maker allergan. that followed the unveiling of the treasury department's new rules. the deal would have allowed pfizer to allow -- to avoid billions in u.s. taxes, and would have been one of the largest corporate inversions in u.s. history. this comes as the panama papers have revealed at least 200 u.s. citizens who used the panama-based law firm mossack fonseca, the world's fourth-largest offshore law firm. the list includes robert miracle, of bellevue, washington, who is serving a
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13-year sentence for a multi-million-dollar ponzi scheme based on investments in indonesian oilfields, and benjamin wey, head of the private equity firm new york global group. wey was indicted last year on securities fraud. since the beginning of the publication of the panama papers on sunday, many have questioned why more u.s. citizens and companies have not been named in the articles analyzing the more than 11.5 million secret files. you can go to democracynow.org to see our full discussion about the panama papers yesterday. in europe, refugees continue to stage protests to demand countries reopen their borders. on tuesday, a group of refugees set up an encampment along the major highway e75 near the greece-macedonia border, blocking traffic for hours. this comes as the united nations refugee agency is raising new questions about whether greece is deporting refugees back to turkey before they have had a chance to apply for asylum. under the controversial european union plan, greece is supposed
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to process all refugees' asylum claims and only deport people if their claims are rejected. but the u.n. says greek police did not process the claims of at least 13 of the 202 refugees deported to turkey on monday -- the first day the deal was put into practice. meanwhile, the united states has deported 85 refugees from bangladesh, india, and nepal, who were seeking asylum after fleeing repression and violence in their home countries. on sunday, immigration advocates say they received a call from one of the men before the mass deportation, who said -- "my family has already been visited by the police in india, where they abused my family and threatened that they will 'teach me a lesson' when i am returned." after the deportation, bernie sanders issued a statement saying -- "deportation can be a death sentence to detained minors, parents and asylum seekers." , some of the men deported from arizona's florence correctional center on sunday night had participated in a series of hunger strikes last year to demand their release from the for-profit detention centers.
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the puerto rican senate and the house of representatives have both passed an emergency declaration authorizing the governor to suspend payments on $72 billion in public debt, setting up a dramatic showdown between the u.s. commonwealth and hedge funds amid the island's historic debt crisis. the bill authorizes puerto rican government -- governor to "protect the health, security and public welfare, using government funds first and foremost for public services." the dramatic move comes one day after a group of hedge funds sued to freeze the assets of puerto rico's government development bank in efforts to stop the bank from spending money on the island that the hedge funds want to go to upcoming debt payments. we'll have more on puerto rico later in the broadcast. in bahrain, protests broke out after the funeral of a teenager reportedly killed by police trying to arrest him for participating in protests. 17-year-old ali abdulghani died monday in the hospital, four days after officers raided his
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family's house. he was found lying in the street, bleeding from a head injury. witnesses said he was hit by a police vehicle. on tuesday, funeral-goers blocked a road as police threw tear gas at the crowd in the town of shahrakan. mississippi governor phil bryant has signed a sweeping anti-lgbt law, which will allow organizations and businesses to deny people an array of services based on religious objections. opponents say the new law, set to take effect in july, will legalize discrimination against lgbt people. american civil liberties union of mississippi head jennifer riley-collins said -- "this is a sad day for the state of mississippi and for the thousands of mississippians who can now be turned away from businesses, refused marriage licenses, or denied housing, essential services and needed care based on who they are." on tuesday, chad griffin of the human rights campaign campaign
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-- compare the launch of the anti-lgbt law recently passed in north carolina. >> is the city needs only to look as far as north carolina to see how damaging discrimination can be to a state's reputation and to a state's economy. amy: this comes as paypal has said it is abandoning plans to expand into north carolina, following the recent passage of another sweeping anti-lgbt law. known as the "bathroom bill," hb 2 bars north carolina cities and towns from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against lgbt people in public accommodations. paypal's president dan schulman said -- "becoming an employer in north carolina, where members of our teams will not have equal rights under the law, is simply untenable." more than 100 writers, including pulitzer prize winners junot diaz and alice walker, have called on the pen american center to reject sponsorship from the israeli embassy for pen's upcoming week-long world voices festival in new york city. the call is part of the cultural boycott campaign against israel, part of the global boycott,
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divestment, and sanctions movement. alice walker said -- "as a pen member, i want this organization that is supposed to be a champion of writers' rights to stand up for palestinian writers, academics, and students who are suffering under a repressive israeli regime that denies their right to freedom of expression." the global messenger application whatsapp has added end-to-end encryption for its more than one billion users. this comes a week after the fbi abandoned a high-profile legal battle against apple over the iphone's encryption, after saying the agency was able to crack the iphone without apple's help. and san francisco has become the first u.s. city to approve six weeks of fully paid parental leave. the new law, passed unanimously on tuesday, applies to all new parents, including same-sex couples and adoptive parents. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. in the race for the white house, tuesday was a big night for the underdogs as democrat bernie sanders and republican ted cruz secured decisive victories in the wisconsin primary. sanders beat rival hillary clinton by winning over 56% of the vote. ted cruz easily defeated frontrunner donald trump by 13 percentage points. sanders held a rally tuesday night in wyoming which holds its caucus on saturday. tonight in victory wisconsin, we have now won seven out of eight of the last caucuses and primaries. and we have won almost all of them with overwhelming landslide numbers. [cheers]
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am is it now -- momentum is about is a time in canterbury politics when every major candidate has a super pac, we have said no to super pacs, said note to the billionaires who fund so super pacs. amy: bernie sanders speaking in wyoming where he is projected to pick up another victory at the state's caucus on saturday. the focus of the race is a returning to new york which , votes on april 19. despite sanders' recent victories clinton still holds a lead of about 250 pledged delegates. she also maintains a huge lead among superdelegates, members of the democratic party establishment who could change their vote at any point. juan: in the republican race, ted cruz's victory over donald trump in wisconsin increases the chances frontrunner donald trump will fall short of winning
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enough delegates to secure the nomination before the convention in july. on cruz gave a victory speech in tuesday, milwaukee wisconsin. ,>> god bless the great state of wisconsin. [applause] what an incredible victory tonight. and thank you to your tremendous governor, governor scott walker. either before cleveland or inthe convention cleveland, together, we will win a majority of the delegates and together we will beat hillary clinton in november. [applause] tonight was a bad night for hillary clinton. night in the
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democratic primary, and it was an even worse night for her in the republican primary. [cheers] we are winning because we are uniting the republican party. amy: we are joined now by two guests. ruth conniff is editor in chief of the wisconsin-based magazine the progressive. van jones is the president and founder of the dream corps. he is the co-founder of #cut50, a national bipartisan initiative to reduce the u.s.'s incarcerated population by 50% over the next 10 years. van jones was president barack obama's green jobs adviser in and founded green for all. 2009 he is also a cnn political commentator we welcome you both to democracy now! what happenedut last night. a victory for the underdogs. >> absolutely. it was unprecedented.
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usually, wisconsin goes with the winner and the front runner in both the republican and the democratic primaries. this year, it was a big upset. on the republican side, i think what you saw was an anti-trump vote. i don't to get a summit to sell wisconsin republicans consolidate behind ted cruz as you saw them looking for an alternative to donald trump. there was a heavy push for him by scott walker, by the right wing radio talkers in the suburbs of milwaukee who really drive republican politics since the rise of walker here. you saw is push for anybody but trump. that anybody right now looks like ted cruz. there's a very strong evangelical vote. evangelical christians have also propelled the rise of scott walker. on the democratic side, he saw sanders win by a bigger margin than the polls show, including the market poll. he is a credible case that he is really on the run. progressive state.
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his message really resonated here. ofs is a state, the flight manufacturing jobs and so when he talks about corporate trade deals that it really hurt the middle class, he gets a lot of response from wisconsinites. there was a huge turnout, unprecedented since 1980. 40% in the spring primary is pretty amazing. a lot of students came out to vote and overcame the first go round of an incredibly ,estrictive voter id law registered to vote in huge numbers at the polls yesterday. in addition, had to go get a special id because you are student id does not work to vote and your proof of residency do not work to vote. students jumped through hoops and still came out in big numbers for bernie sanders, propelling his win here. juan: van jones, you see last night results making a significant change in either of the campaigns? >> absolutely for the republicans, it looks like the
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path to the nomination for donald trump has been cut off. it is very, very hard to see the math. he has to get 55% or more of all of the remaining delegates. he usually gets between 35 to 45. he will have to start doing much, much better and it looks like he is doing much, much worse. i do not want progressives to get too excited about the strikes in the stupidity on the right. we need to use this moment to accelerate the strategies on the left. one big problem we have had is that hillary clinton has been able to use african-americans and latinos to hold off bernie sanders. you can love hillary, love bernie, but it is very odd to me that the african-american community in particular has been used by the clintons, who obviously with welfare repeal, with the crime bill, with nafta, could arguably have done a great deal to hurt black folk. how are african-americans now
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being used to help the clintons and are heard a candidacy like bernie sanders? that show some weakness on the left we have to deal with. amy: what do you think it is? >> on the democratic party -- it is a related school. the corporate establishment wing that hillary clinton represents -- god bless her. you have the populist wing that elizabeth edwards, bernie sanders. there is a racial blind spot there all too often. it will change this year. amy: elizabeth warren. >> elizabeth warren, i'm sorry. for the longest time, osama's like we're supposed to have trickle-down justice. street, fixwall social security, racism will disappear. that did not go well with the third leg of the party, the racial justice wing. the racial justice wing has not had a dog in this fight, really. i think there has been a blind spot for the white populist but also a weakness on the racial justice left. we have either been anti-like
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twhirl or nonliteral for too long. when you put the weakness -- you have a hole and hillary clinton was able to drive through it. juan: what about that situation in wisconsin, ruth conniff? supportclinton space of was in milwaukee and african-american areas of your state. howdo you see this issue of african-americans and latinos have been responding to hillary clinton? >> well, i absolutely agree with van jones. hascally, i think sanders failed for a lot of the campaign to connect directly with african-american and latino voters, and talk about the particular concerns of those voters apart from this very general economic justice and inequality message he has. in wisconsin, this is particularly -- it was in the democratic debate in milwaukee, because the collapse of the
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black middle class and industrial areas of our state is directly tied to the outsourcing of jobs, manufacturing, the attack on unions which walker has led to stop unionized public employees, people with great middle-class jobs in manufacturing that have been on the decline are disproportionately african-americans. sanders has begun to turn that around. it was interesting to see him and rallies in wisconsin over this last period beginning to speak much more directly to people of color and to connect his message specifically of economic justice to that burden that has fallen disproportionally on people of color. he is also started to say, "i am listening." listening to the african-american and latino brothers and sisters. i think that was a direct response to this criticism of him that he was not speaking to agree to those voters. i think this idea of a more progressive set of policies being beneficial to voters of color, i think that has picked up a little bit and he has
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corrected a little bit. it is true a corporate democrat is not necessarily great, particularly one who talks about super predators in bringing people to heal, not the national -- natural candidate for those of color, but there is a world weakness for hillary. >> bernie sanders has been remarkable in his ability to improve. when he first started out, you had black lives matter snatching the microphone out of his hand. the challenges, the racial justice left has been anti-like twhirl or not elect world. twhirl orlike non--elect world. that bias is now causing israel problems. this is the moment for the black lives matter, the dreamers, the idle nomura, the racial justice we haveovement to say, an opportunity to determine who the president of the u.s. is going to be, with the next nominee will be here in new york city. that movement, that teach out
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was able to capture, the working families party. amy: who ran against governor cuomo. >> and took a modeling to the finish line. those good economic populist forces are not just the majority in the democratic party, we are a majority -- a governing majority, potentially, in the country, but we have to take this moment seriously. we can't just hope the republicans blow it. amy: i want to ask about this close primary. you have a lot of people who have gotten extremely excited about this primary after the primaries in the caucuses and when it looked like there was a real contest between bernie sanders and hillary clinton. chance to switch affiliation from independent, which is a big draw that bernie sanders has, to democrat was back in october before all of that started. is there a concern? >> definitely. all of these to former these deficiencies and our electoral
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system, usually come a by this time, wisconsin doesn't matter and new york doesn't matter, the whole thing is wrapped up. why isn't that the case in this moment? because the second sanders surge is a real thing. he is going to after victory. he was able to raise $43 million last month when he should have been out of the race by normal standards. amy: compared to hillary clinton's $29 million. >> 53% of her donors are already matched out. maxed out. they cannot give anymore. 3% of bernie's are. that gives you a sense of the broad base working-class families giving three dollars, $10, $30. because of the way this thing was structured, most of the races were in the south where hillary clinton was going to win, and you have these disparages of dissipation. this is a war to settle the score. new york city is a capital of the world.
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you have these two titanic forces inside the democratic party clashing on the world stage in new york city. every single progressive, every civil young person of color or people who care about these issues has a chance to do things that matters in the next two weeks. i don't think we should just assume that because hillary clinton, this is her third between home state arkansas and illinois, that bernie sanders and other progressive forces cannot be heard from here in a way that matters. juan: i want to ask about the trump phenomenon. and your sense of this enormous effort by the republican party to try to stop trump for the election. how do you see the strategy developing, and do they have any hope of doing so? >> two weeks ago i would have said trump was unstoppable. he was crunching through the village, stepping on former governors and senators. he has managed to hurt himself so badly by that abortion gaffe
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rehab the anti-choice and pro-choice people.com and him because he finally said in public that women should go to -- that have abortions should go to jail, that hurt him. but look at the so-called victory of the anti-trump forces. they were able to dig in for weeks in one state, threw everything at him and by the governor, the radio people. guess what? he was still able to get one third of the vote. those who voted against him, you look at that vote, 70% of all of the voters, the republicans, still say ban all the muslims, one third say deport every undocumented person. you still have in the so-called anti-trump moment, the endorsement of some of his worst policies by the people who voted against him. this is a very, very dangerous authoritarian right-wing party, and we need a much stronger more coordinator regressive movement to stop it. amy: i want to go to that night on super tuesday when you were on cnn as an analyst, debating
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jeffrey lord, a trump supporter, clashing over donald trump's klanng around the leader david dixon endorsement. >> he is pushing buttons that are frightening to me and a lot of people. number one, when he is playing funny with the klan, that is not cool. when he getsan passionate about terrorism. i know how he talks about terrorism. the klan is iteris organization -- you can put whatever label you want to on it. that is your game to play. we're not one of play that game. you need to take a serious look at the fact that this man has been playing fast and loose -- when you talk about terrorism coming he gets passionate. he says, no, this is wrong. when you talk about the klan, "i don't know."
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then you came on the air and said like when reverend wright was speaking. reverend wright never lynched anybody, never killed anybody. hold on a second. reverend wright never put anybody on a post. you guys play these word games and it is wrong to do in america. amy: van jones, you are debating jeffrey lord, the trump supporter on cnn all the time. what are you thinking about trump right now? >> this is the most dangerous development that i have seen in my lifetime. too many people say, oh, it is crazy. quit saying it is crazy. that makes it seem like it is funny. this is dangerous to have a right-wing authoritarian move went. no amount of racial violence he whipped up in his rallies slowed him down. none. no amount of racist hatred that he spewed slowed him down. in fact, it lifted him up. the reasoning is having trouble now is because the field whittled down a little bit, some
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withs foreign-policies nato our little erratic and then he made the abortion gaffe. that lets you know that we're sitting on a volcano of white rage. first of all, how come only white guys can be mad? i got 40 million black people, they can be mad will step 6 million muslims. then what you got? you got no country. stability is important because they gives you civilization. just because it is authentic doesn't mean it is all right. you have to have some boundaries. those boundaries have been blown through. we're adapting to absurdity, the idea of complete racial hostility. no dog whistles from a megaphones have been normalized. that is dangerous. we cannot rely as progressives on stupidity and strive the republican party to stop this. the next guy will be smarter. the next woman will be smarter. amy: what about ted cruz?
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>> for instance. the reason i'm here today, i am begging progressives to come off the sidelines. often, both parties are horrible, that can often be true. and there's a moment in our the character of the country is on the table come on the world stage, and too many progressives have been silent. amy: right now the race comes to new york, april 19. immediately, there was this "new york daily news" meeting. the transcript has been released. hillary clinton sent it to her supporters. in thed ryan grim write huffington post, a notion is rapidly crystallizing among national media, bernie sanders majorly boggled an interview with the editorial board. to just said several times interview, sanders expressed uncertainty over facts that he could not give a proper answer to question because he did not
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have all of the relevant information or simply stated, "i don't know." cnn said, sanders wasn't sure how he intended to break up the big angst, proposal that is been a centerpiece of his wall street reform agenda. has thison post" interview was pretty close to a disaster for bernie sanders. not everyone agrees. you are racing back to "the new york daily news" on friday to attend and question bernie sanders at this editorial board meeting. board is editorial notorious, especially our editorial page author arthur brown for his laserlike one question after another, and he bombarded, as several of us also asked questions. overall, i thought bernie sanders handled the exchange very well. i think there were a few places where he stumbled, but i was to carry his ability
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the questions thrown at him and to, basically, for instance, bluntly say when he was asked about the israeli-palestinian situation, that his real need to withdraw from the legal settlements in palestinian territories, which i was astounded he was quite frank and clear on his position while at do same time saying he would everything possible as president to negotiate peace and security for israel and an overall settlement. athink -- he did stumble little bit when he was pressed on how he would break up some of banks. big to fail he clearly did not have that down pat. amy: who would have the jurisdiction. juan: wright, who would have the jurisdiction. but overall, i was a's performance was excellent. >> new york city is the war to settle the score inside the democratic party. the clinton forces understand there is a rebellion in this
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party and under ordinary circumstances it would be over because the donors would take back the big checks. this is a people's movement. they're going to have to bury this movement and new york city and they know it. you will see a vetting a bernie sanders i give never seen. now there is blood in the water. they're going to go after him way beyond any candidate has had to address. he is going to have to step up his game. he has got to be able to answer those tough questions. but also, if you want for this democratic party to take progressive causes seriously, now is the time to speak out and get engaged. for african-americans in particular, i want to say something. we are the only part of the so-called obama coalition that has to give not 50% of our vote, now 60%, now 70%, not 80%, not 90%, but 92% of our vote in every presidential election in order for democrats to win. we are beyond a baseload.
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we are the decisive vote. if we get 85% of our vote to the democrats, t repubcans win. we deserve to have a full aring on all of the issues that affect us from -- and hear fromoth candidates, in all of the history, it is to be on the table to the vetted. amy: i went to the south bronx rally that bernie sanders had. first am a presidential candidate has in there and a very long time. it was electric. 20,000 people were there. raises money, he is speang directly to the camera or to the people in just saying, semi $3, when his averages $27. when hillary clinton raises money, she is to come off the campaign trail. last night, the big wisconsin primary, she was at a fundraiser. that is done behind closed doors. >> part of the opportunity that we have up until now, you could say to any candidate, why are you taking money from big
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people? "well, everybody does it. if i don't, i will be liberated." you now have an example of someone who didn't do it. , you're inonniff paul ryan territory in wisconsin. it is being discussed the possibility that he would be the candidate, the consensus candidate that would come out of a brokered are brokered convention, the congressman who is the house speaker. >> it is wild. i mean, i don't see other republicans could really go to the convention and make that case they need a candidate who did not even run. i think donald trump is right, they will have a real problem making that case. paul ryan is that he is not interested in being a candidate. of course, he said that before they made him house speaker. when you saw donald trump attacking paul ryan and attacking scott walker and getting a huge response, you really saw something about the crackup -- similar to the crackup van jones is describing
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on the democratic side where we actually have a candidate who represents the progressive end of the spectrum and speaking to people who have been heard by major parties. tapping into working-class republican voters who really ofe not been beneficiaries republican policies and are really noticing an angry. yes, the racism, the white nationalist groups that came in to campaign for trump are absolutely part of that package, but there is also a rebellion against people like paul ryan who had supported corporate trade deals in janesville, which is a rockville area, has seen the gm plant leave which he blamed on obama, although it happened before obama was in office, has really hurt his own constituents and thanks to redistricting has been able to hold onto his seat, even though he loses his hometown of janesville over and over. for paul ryan to be the alternative, that is a program corporate -- pro-corporate republican establishment during. there will be hell to pay.
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amy: we will leave it there. we want to think ruth conniff, editor-in-chief of the wisconsin-based magazine the progressive and van jones. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. the puerto rican senate and house of representatives have both passed an emergency declaration authorizing the governor suspend payments on $72 billion in public debt, setting up a dramatic showdown between puerto rico and hedge funds and is the island's historic that crisis. the bill authorizes the puerto rican governor to "protect the
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health security and public welfare using government funds first and foremost for public services." the move comes one day after a group of hedge funds sued to freeze the assets of puerto rico's government development bank and efforts to stop the bank from spending money on the island that the hedge funds once to go toward upcoming debt payments. juan, you write about this in your column in the "new york daily news." talk about the significance of what just took place this morning. juan: i had a column last night and the final result was not clear yet because on tuesday morning, the puerto rico senate at 2:30 in the morning approved a moratorium on debt declared in effect an emergency, public emergency and puerto rico, and auorize the governor under the constitution to suspend all debt payments until january of next year. then what happened, it was an all-day debate in the lower house, the house of representatives and puerto rico.
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the puerto rico bonds dropped through the lowest level on the markets in history and there was a huge press by lobbyist, financial industry lobbyists, to stop the house from voting. then around 1:00 this morning by the barest of majorities, i think 26 votes, which is the bare majority needed, the governor managed to get through a similar bill and house of representatives, not exactly the same as the senate bill, it doesn't create an immediate suspension of the payment, but authorizes the governor on a case-by-case basis to suspend any debt payment of the government of puerto rico or the public authorities of puerto rico. basically, it sets up a collision now between wall street on the one hand and also with washington, because there are two things that have spurred this. one, on monday, group of hedge funds went into court to try to basically freeze the assets of the government development bank
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because they are afraid the bank is using money that should be going to bondholders to help the government pay its debts -- i'm sorry, pay it services the public services, and two, last week, the republicans in the house finally revealed their proposal for puerto rico. which in essence, is a complete takeover of puerto rico. one former governor puerto rico called this control board that republicans would set up a dictatorial and colonial board. because it would allow the president to name five people tune oversight board and puerto rico, only one of them has to be a resident of puerto rico. the other four could live in the u.s., the residents of the united states. more and portly, unlike the d.c. bill, in 1995 when the government established a board over the district of columbia, the president named five members for the control board in
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consultation with congress. the president -- though clinton got to name them. this time, the proposing that four peopleama, would have to come from a list provided either by bigger ryan or by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. so four would be republicans and only one would be a democrat. it would be in essence a republican takeover of puerto rico, and that board would have the right to -- must approve all budgets, all laws that would be passed by -- amy: sounds like the city manager laws in michigan. juan: exactly. amy: that led to the poisoning of the water supply. juan: they would have to approve all contracts over $1 million, could create a sub minimum wage for young people, could privatize the electric company. basically, a complete financial dictatorship over puerto rico. the difference between the district of columbia and these financial management boards is
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that 60 years ago, the united states went to the united nations and declared that puerto rico was no longer a colony because it had self-government and precisely, etc. the united nations the president of the united states and the congress no longer a point any officials of the puerto rico government. this bill would do the opposite. it would create the most powerful officials in the puerto rican government, that it would control the entire economy of the island. it is a direct contradiction of what the united states justify to the united nations for removing puerto rico from the list of colonies. amy: you study hedge funds are concerned the money would go to public services. let's talk about this. this comes as puerto rican college students have been waging a series of demonstrations to protest austerity measures they say endanger the higher education system. last month, students voted to begin an indefinite strike while students at another cap is voted
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to begin a 72 hour strike. down thehave also shut campus. juan: in march, students held a protest outside the puerto rican treasury. some students had a chance to meet with the sub secretary of the puerto rican treasury. democracy now! was there and puerto rico and filed this report. >> the governor has always said the people are first and the bondholders last. he should stop lying because in may and june, he needs to make two bond payments. we know the governor meant of puerto rico will pay the bondholders first. they don't care about the university of puerto rico. in social'm a student work. december 2015, the government decided to pay the debt which put a freeze on funding.
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they took money from different -- corporations including the university of puerto rico. i am working on my thesis right now in the school does not have an up professors to supervise student theses. tanya.ame is the university has been illuminating professors and courses and classes that we need for professional development. the legislative scholarships that are assigned funding for graduate students have been reduced enormously. this means that graduate students have no financial support for their studies and many might not be able to finish their doctoral and masters programs. i am president of the student general counsel. what they told the professors and the students that they could not guarantee them anymore financial aid, for them to maybe do research or go to a
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-- so thator go to really jeopardizes our role, not just here in puerto rico, but also to compete against other universities in the world. we are organizing to keep the protests going while our colleagues are talking inside. we giving them one hour. representatives from all 11 campuses of the university of puerto rico met with the sub secretary of the puerto rican treasury locally inwn, to push for dialogue regards to the funding that belongs to the public university and the disbursement they have withheld. flores assured the treasury has not stopped giving payments to the university of puerto rico, but that the economy crisis of
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puerto rico forces them to pay less money. there is a clause in the constitution which needs to be invoked. that said, when the government of puerto rico does not have sufficient resources to meet its obligations, it needs to distribute money according to priorities and the constitutional puerto rico says the number one priority is paying for the servicing of the debt. what has been created as a crisis of human rights, crisis for the people. our country is collapsing. with the money being allocated to the university of puerto rico, we could not operate. the system is getting dismantled. >> the conversation we're trying to have is at you need to not pay the debt that we are in. ,ecause basic services education, security, health, those things have to be assured
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first. we can't aspire to get out of this crisis if we don't have a strong education system. this is where the ideas are going to come from to help our country move forward. our country is collapsing, and recently cannot let that happen anymore. there something larger at play here, and it is something that -- if we lose this, i think we're going to lose everything else in our country. >> we can't let them come with the excuse that there is a crisis. the crisis is not our fault. we're students and we will defend what is fair. that everybody has access to public education. amy: that report from puerto rico by democracy now! juan carl os. multiple campuses are currently
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on strike. when we come back, iceland, first the panama papers' casualty happened yesterday. the prime minister resigned. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juaniceland's prime minister resigned tuesday becoming the first major casualty of the panama papers revelations. leaked documents from the panama-based law firm mossack fonseca revealed that sigmundur david gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife which he failed to declare when , he entered parliament. he is accused of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assets. his resignation followed the
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largest public demonstrations in iceland's history, when as many as 20,000 protesters massed in reykjavik outside iceland's parliament on monday demanding the prime minister step down. >> i am protesting the corruption of the government that the prime minister has been hiding his money and lying about it, the financial minister has ,lso been lying about secret companies. everybody is fed up with this. amy: on tuesday evening protesters returned to the streets of reykjavik, contra fresh elections. to find out more about what is happening in iceland, we go to iceland to speak with birgitta jonsdottir, a member of the icelandic parliament. the party is seen a surge of report following the publication of the animal papers. we welcome you to democracy now! by video stream in reykjavik.
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place,out what has taken the resignation of your prime minister, why everyone -- why tens of thousands demanded he resign, and what the panama papers means to you. >> great to be on again post up thank you for having me, amy. actually, the strange twist of events is the prime minister has sent an e-mail to all of the mainstream media around the world declaring that he is stepping down. he is going to resume as the parliamentarian, and he might step in again unless something is happened again while i have been waiting to get on this stream. absolutelyin line not what the icelandic people are calling for.
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even if he designs to resign as the minister and not only have a temporary relief, that is something not enough because he is not the only minister that is mentioned in the panama papers. we also have two other ministers from the other coalition party, the independence party. one of them is the finance minister and the minister of taxes. obviously, people want him to leave. the other one is the interior thester, the minister for -- system and so forth. people are still very upset. there are plan protests i guess until the government leaves. we have prepared a new vote of no-confidence, the minority party in the parliament, that we will put forward in italy after a new government has been formed.
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juan: what do you attribute this huge outpouring into the street? these revelations have been spreading for several days. there is outrage in many countries, but people are not turning to the streets. i would like -- like they have in iceland. why is that? >> iceland, unfortunately, as a country in scandinavia and western europe, is the only ministers.t has 15 other countries may have former leaders, but iceland is daily country in western europe and scandinavia that has ministers that are actually in office now. i guess that is one of the reasons. of course we have a massive financial collapse in 2008 that really shook icelandic society, and many people simply woke up. and we have massive demonstrations that i was a part of back then, unlike some of the other icelanders, the protests
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two days ago were really unique because in icelandic, like in many other countries, it is very difficult to get people to come out to protest unless their livelihoods are threatened in one way or the other. so this was a protest against what people since with the ethical collapse that was the 1%d -- revealed by or's of iceland. percenters of iceland. i cannot tell you how i felt to see so many come forward and massive demonstrations, the biggest in our history, to show the rest of the world that not all icelanders are of the same nature as the leaders of iceland. amy: birgitta jonsdottir, you're a member of the icelandic parliament. your party, the pirate party, according to one poll, now has 43% support. is that right? could you become the next prime minister of iceland?
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>> well, we haven't really gone far in our thought process. yes, the -- a member of the pirate party could become the next prime minister. actually, it's very interesting to look at the polls for the last year. the pirate party has been going up in the polls on a steady level, and we have been somewhere with a measure between 35% to 42% in the last half a year. we have measured degrees -- bigger than both of the coalition parties that are in governance for half a year. so it is obviously government does not have the support of icelanders, and this was, you know, the drop that spilled over for the title of governors that we have been witnessing. it is important to note that one other minister, the former interior minister, was forced to resign a year ago or half a year
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ago because her assistant had leaked confidential information about a refugee and was found guilty. it wasn't until he was found guilty that he resign. but instead of actually showing that they have learned from it, they made her the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the parliament. -- wesly, these people represent the parties that their very low trust by the nation. juan: could you tell us how iceland has fared since the financial collapse, what is the state of your economy right now? >> we actually managed to do things right, and we were lucky enough to have a left-wing government that went through austerity measures in the wake of the crisis. we were the first western country to go through an imf program. we have had capital control.
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weclosed iceland off and published -- we took ownership of the collapse banks. we're doing quite well. we're in a really sensitive state. it is imperative that we have people that are lifting capital controls that the general public can trust and the rest of the world. amy: birgitta jonsdottir, we will do a post show with you to find out the platform of the pirate party and we will post it online at democracynow.org. birgitta jonsdottir, member of the icelandic parliament. with the current party. that does it for our show. our 100 city tour starts tonight at ithaca college. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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