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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 18, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/18/16 05/18/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pbs chicago this is democracy now! >> if i don't go all the way and i don't win, i will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy, and money. amy: as donald trump moves closer to securing the republican nomination what will , it mean for the future of the gop? we speak to rick perlstein, author of "nixonland: the rise of a president and the fracturing of america." then will unelected superdelegates decide the democratic race? >> a lot of people out there, many of the pundits and
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politicians they say, bernie sanders, you dropout. the people of california should not have the right to determine who the next president will be. well, let me be as clear as i can be. i agree with you. we are in until the last ballot gets cast. amy: as bernie sanders wins in oregon and virtually ties hillary clinton in kentucky, we look at the secret history of superdelegates a new expose by , in these times here in chicago. then we speak to the journalist who exposed chicago's cover up of the police shooting death of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. vermont senator bernie sanders has won the democratic primaryan
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kentucky. with 99% of kentucky precincts reporting, clinton leads sanders by .5%. sanders thanked his supporters in both states. >> let me also take this opportunity to say a word of thanks to the people of kentucky. [cheers] somethingd primary -- i'm not all that and these asterisk -- enthusiastic about where independents are not allowed to vote -- [boos] defeatedretary clinton inack obama by 250,000 votes 2008, it appears tonight we are going to end up with about half of the delegates from kentucky. amy: meanwhile, donald trump has moved a step closer to cementing the republican nomination.
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he is projected to have won 70% of the vote in oregon, where ted cruz and john kasich appeared on the ballot, even though they have dropped out of the race. we'll have more on trump and the results later in the broadcast. bernie sanders' victory in oregon comes amid tensions with the democratic party after sanders' supporters erupted into protest saturday at the nevada convention. they say rules were abruptly changed and 64 sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. clinton ultimately won 20 pledged delegates to sanders' 15. the state party chair, roberta lange, said she received death threats while state party headquarters were vandalized. senate minority leader harry reid urged sanders to condemn the behavior of some of his supporters, saying he faced a test of leadership. in a statement, sanders rejected violence, and noted that during the nevada campaign, shots were fired into his campaign office in the state and his staff's housing complex was broken into
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and ransacked. he also accused nevada democratic leadership of uncle using -- "using its power to prevent a fair and transparent process" at the conventions on saturday. we'll have more on sanders later in the broadcast. in the iraqi capital baghdad, a wave of violence has killed more than 200 people over the past week. on tuesday, at least 70 people were killed in a series of bombings, including one that struck a marketplace in the mainly shia district of al-shaab. isis claimed responsibility for that attack. the senate has passed a bill that would let the families of september 11 victims sue saudi arabia for any role it played in the attacks. this comes as the obama administration faces renewed pressure to release 28 classified pages of the 9/11 report, which are said to contain details on the saudi role. saudi arabia has threatened to sell off up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other u.s. assets if the measure passes. white house spokesperson josh earnest opposed the bill.
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>> this legislation would change long-standing international law regarding sovereign immunity. and the president continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the united states honorable -- vulnerable and other court systems around the world. the white house has threatened to veto a military spending bill that protects the pentagon from budget cuts. the house draft of the latest national defense authorization act also includes barriers to closing guantanamo prison and measures the white house says enable discrimination against lgbt people. this comes as the senate has confirmed eric fanning as army secretary, making him the first openly gay leader of a u.s. military service. mexican president enrique pena nieto has proposed legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. it's currently legal only in
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certain states and mexico city. he made the remarks on the international day against homophobia. >> to recognize as a human right that people can get married without any discrimination, that is to say that marriage will be allowed without discrimination regardless of ethnicity, disabilities, social conditions, health conditions, religion, gender, or sexual preference. amy: this comes as mexican president pena nieto faces renewed pressure over the disappearance of 43 students in mexico in september 2014. multiple reports have pointed to a role by federal authorities and cast doubt on mexico's claim the students were killed by a drug gang. on monday, antonio tizapa, father of one of the missing students, broke down in tears as he testified before the u.n. permanent forum on indigenous issues.
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he called for a u.n. special rapporteur to visit mexico. >> 19 months demanding they be returned a live. 19 months seeking justice and we are waiting a visit to mexico by the united nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people to resolve the conflict of 43 families and to find peace, even though we know they are not just 43. they are thousands and thousands full. -- thousands and thousands. amy: in nigeria, a labor union representing millions of workers has launched a general strike. the nigeria labour congress announced the strike over the government's plan to raise gasoline prices. in france, as many as 220,000 people took to the streets across the country to protest labor reforms backed by president francois hollande. the measures would cut overtime pay for truck drivers and make it easier for companies to fire people. on tuesday, truck drivers blockaded roads, police fired tear gas and water cannons and 87 people were arrested. arlette perray joined the
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protests in paris. >> it is a disastrous law. we have not had anything like it for more than 20 years. it destroys all the rights of them leads and retired people in the future of young people. i am retired and my place is here with the workers and the youth. amy: a number of protesters were reportedly banned from participating in the labor protests under france's state of emergency, imposed after the paris attacks and ahead of the november paris climate summit. here in the united states, millions more workers could become eligible for overtime pay under new regulations being unveiled by the obama administration today. the rules allow full-time salaried employees to earn overtime if they make up to about $47 -- $47,000 a year. that is more than twice the current benchmark. about 35% of full-time salaried employees will be eligible to receive time and a half for extra hours, up from the 7% who qualify now.
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in chile, the supreme court has asked the united states to extradite three former agents who worked for the military dictatorship of augusto pinochet. he rose to power in a u.s.-backed military coup, ousting democratically elected president salvador allende, in 1973. the three former agents are accused of a role in the detention, torture and killing of spanish-chilean u.n. diplomat carmelo soria in 1976. in california, a company whose pipeline burst near santa barbara last year, spilling up to 143,000 gallons of crude oil, has been indicted on dozens of criminal counts, including four felony charges. plains all american pipleine could face up to $2.8 million in fines, a tiny fraction of the $43 billion in revenue it reported the year before the leak. an employee of the company faces three misdemeanor charges. and those are some of the headlines.
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this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. chicago,the road in broadcasting from wycc pbs chicago. donald trump has moved a step closer to securing enough delegates to win the republican nomination. he is projected to have won 70% of the vote in oregon on tuesday. although ted cruz and john kasich have suspended their campaigns both of their names , appeared on the oregon ballot. each one about 16% of the vote. on tuesday night fox aired a , special with trump being interviewed by megyn kelly. >> absolutely i have regrets. i don't think i want to discuss what they are, but i could have done certain things differently. i could have maybe used different language and a couple of instances. but overall, i have to be very happy with the outcome. i think if i did not conduct myself in the way i have done it, i don't think i would have been successful. if i were soft, if i were, you know, presidential, in a way it
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is a bad word because there's nothing wrong with being presidential but if i would not have fought back the way i fought back, i don't think i would have been successful. amy: donald trump and fox's megyn kelly have been feuding since the first republican debate last august when kelly questioned trump's history with describing some women as "dogs" and "fat pigs." trump later said of kelly's tough questioning of him, "there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her - wherever." on tuesday, hillary clinton's super pac, priorities usa action, aired a television ad targeting trump. the ad shows voters lip-syncing some of trump's remarks about women as they wear t-shirts bearing his image. >> you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her -- wherever. does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass? yes. if ivanka worked my daughter, i
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would be dating her. and you can tell them to go[bleep] themselves. >> does donald trump really speak for you? amy: as donald trump moves closer to securing the republican nomination we begin , today's show looking at trump is changing the gop. we are joined by rick perlstein, a chicago-based reporter and author who has extensively researched the conservative movement. his books include "nixonland: the rise of a president and the fracturing of america" and "the invisible bridge: the fall of nixon and the rise of reagan." it is great to have you with us. talk about the ascendancy of donald trump and what he represents. fort is a complicated thing the republicans. on the one hand he represents a continuation and almost apotheosis of decade-long pattern of playing to the reactionary rages of white middle class and lower middle class americans who feel
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dispossessed by changes in society. but he turns that dog whistle into a bullhorn. but on the other hand, he represents a break from how the republican party has handled that, which has always been with a certain kind of delicacy. you can think of george bush visiting a mosque the week after 9/11. donald trump isn't going to do that. but the other thing is, he really reeks havoc about the way republican elites think about economics. there is a decade-long project of creating a global trading regime. that outling to throw and risk a trade war, and that is very scary for the masters of the universe and the republican party. amy: so what are they doing? >> they are actually joining the bandwagon, mostly. they are writing a tiger and they see him as the person who has achieved power in their
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party and these are people who are students and followers of power and i guess they think they can control him. but in the clip with megyn kelly, we heard he equates the idea being presidential with the soft, which of course is the greatest sin in his litany. i think they might be in for a very dangerous year. amy: speaking in march 2012, republican presidential nominee and former massachusetts governor mitt romney delivered a scathing speech criticizing his -- donald trump. he focused especially on trump's economic policies. >> is proposed 35% terrorist-like penalties would instigate a trade war. and that would raise prices for consumers. it would kill our export jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee america. , and commendation with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending, would balloon
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the deficit and the national debt. successfully bringing jobs on requires serious reforms that make america a place america want to come, want to plant, and want to grow. you cannot punish business into doing what you want. amy: that was mitt romney. your response? revealing clip. most of the things that mitt romney criticized trump for in that speech he himself had done in 2012. he himself had baited obama for maybe not being born in america. he himself had played to the same kind of grievances. he really draws the distinction very hard at he is not treating business in the proper way with a popular -- trump knows that in fact, he is brought in stephen foundation,eritage
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the club for growth, to be his tax advisor. this is his attempt to mend fences with the traditional conservative republican elite. amy: sheldon adelson at first was not going to support trump. now looks like $100 million. >> pocket change. yeah, these people have decided that trump is the guy. it is trump or nothing. it is very much like in 1964 when the party elites realized very goldwater was on a glide path to the nomination and tries to stop him and it was far too late. in 1964, they had sort of the abandonlidity to goldwater. in trump's case, much more dangerous figure who basically post of his indifference to the constitution. they have completely soiled
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themselves by jumping on the bandwagon. amy: during the campaign, donald trump has repeatedly come under fire for fighting his supporters to violence and critics say trump himself is setting the tone. this is a sampling of what donald trump has said about protesters at some of his rallies. >> so if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them. seriously. i promise you, i will pay for the legal fees. i promise. throw them the hell out of here. to rip that whistle out of the mouth? i would rip -- should somebody do that? i love the old days, you know? you know what i hate? there is a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches. we are not allowed to punch back anymore. i love the old days. you know what these to do to guys like that in a place like this?
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they would be carried out on a stretcher, folks. amy: that was donald trump. talk about what he is doing here. >> this is horrifying stuff. like i say, previous republican you tapnderstood that into that kind of anger, but you certaindo so only to a point. this is very goldwater saying he would drop out of the campaign of his supporters began exploiting riots on his behalf. what is even scarier than setting his supporters against protesters is the idea of donald trump in charge of the levers of the american state and unleashing that attitude. one of the striking things i found him saying that got no attention at all was that one of his litmus test for supreme court nominee -- the first thing
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he mentioned -- was the willingness to go after hillary clinton on her e-mails. whatever you think of hillary clinton and her e-mails, a presidential nominee saying his litmus test is prejudging a case and basically a pledge on behalf of that supreme court nominee to basically join his vendetta isinst a political rival really beyond the pale. you're not even supposed to, if you are a presidential candidate, prejudging criminal case a local level. that here is a guy absolutely it is worse than some guy beating up a protester, as awful as that is. amy: talk about donald trump's father, fred trump. real was a very successful estate developer. in queens, and brooklyn, and sort of the outer boroughs of
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new york. when i learned about donald trump and fred trump a long time ago i thought, oh, fred trump was kind of cool. he was developing affordable housing for middle class folks and donald trump became this maniac who created luxury housing for the super rich. it turns out that fred trump was a very dangerous and frightening figure, too. in the 1920's, there was a klan march in queens. police arrested people come all of them in lan robes. it was reported fred trump was one of those arrested. donald trump has tried to scroll out of the more and more evidence seems to point out that fred was one of these guys. the group was in the pudding. we know about woody guthrie's song about fred trump's racism. amy: the song from the 1950's, woody guthrie singing "i suppose old man trump knows just how much racial hate he stirred up
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in the blood pot of human heart when he drawn that colored line here at his 1800 family project." >> sort of a big middle-class housing development in brooklyn or queens. this obviously was the case that this guy has a reputation as a racist. by the 1970's, the justice department goes after the trump organization by which time young donald is kind of studying at his father's knee for gross violations of the 1968 civil rights act. which guaranteed open housing for african-americans and minorities. they really build a very impressive case. it was covered very closely in "the new york times." the trump organization, fred trump, hired fred: as his lawyer, the legendary gut bucket puncher who had been joe mccarthy's lawyer and he came up with a sort of defense and
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talking point and that was pretty extraordinary in itself. he said, we are not trying to keep black people out of these apartments, we're trying to keep welfare recipients out of these apartments. this was his defense. this was the best case scenario. donald trump by that time was being interviewed and he told "the new york times" i believe it was, he never even heard of the 1968 civil rights act, which is the controlling legislation for anyone who wants to build housing. quite a stunning performance. really kind of sets the tone of a guy -- and talking about his son now -- who sees african-americans as predators, basically. polluters. so in february, donald trump came under criticism for wavering on whether or not he wanted the support of the former kkk leader david duke. speaking on cnn with jake
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tapper, trump refused to disavow duke's support or the support of other white supremacists. >> just so you understand, i don't know anything about david duke. i don't know anything about what you're talking about with the white supremacy or white supremacists. did he endorse me? i know nothing about david duke. i know nothing about white supremacists. when you're asking a question i'm supposed to be talking about people i know nothing about. >> the question from the anti-defamation league is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you, would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support ? >> well, i have to look at the group. i don't know what group you're talking about. you would not want me to condemn a group i know nothing about. if you would send me a list of the groups, i will do research on them and certainly, i would disavow if i thought there was something wrong.
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>> the ku klux klan? >> there may be groups who may be totally fine and it will be unfair. >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here but -- >> honestly, i don't know david duke. i don't believe i have ever met him. and because of that is donald trump being interviewed by jake tapper on cnn. >> he denounced david duke when he was flying with becoming a reform party's presidential candidate and i believe in 2000. that is another indication that he is kind of violating the bright lines that -- a party willing to play footsie with racism had maintained in the past. barry goldwater, you know, when ku klux klan member started endorsing him, was absolutely horrified, said he wanted to have nothing to do with it. of us, ronald reagan made the dog was on move, starting his campaign in philadelphia mississippi. but what donald trump is doing,
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i realize was very different. when i read an article last fall in "the new yorker" and he happened to be doing an article about white nationalist, which is the polite term for white said -- she, and he was kind of doing an article about trump when trump announced his candidacy and he heard him saying all of these warm things about them. when i read the article i said, this is really not something i've seen before in studying the republican right for 18, 19 years. because white supremacists have always considered both parties tweedledee and tweedledum. the idea they would consider a major republican party figure one of them is, you know, it is a discontinuity among white supremacists. the idea that donald trump would not immediately disavow them, whatever that means or says about what donald trump police
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or previous republican candidates believe, it is just a very different practice than what we have seen before. it is a watershed moment in the surrender of the american baseical party to the most kind of racism that we have seen in this country. amy: and do you see comparisons between donald trump and ronald reagan? >> there are some comparisons, but there are some discontinuities. there are things that might seem superficial. of tvf them were hosts shows. ronald reagan would have been familiar at the beginning of his political career in the 1960's to americans as the host of general electric theater, one of the most popular tv shows. theld trump was the star of tv show "the apprentice." not nearly as popular as donald trump claims it was, but a lot more popular than bill o'reilly
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or cnn. most americans don't him as someone who played a character. and the character was this omniscient superpowerful, master of the universe who had the answer to every question for whom charismatic and powerful people groveled before. that was donald trump in the minds of millions of americans by the time he entered politics this year. amy: we are to continue our discussion with you, rick, but we're also going to talk about superdelegates. rick perlstein is a chicago-based reporter, author of several books, including "nixonland: the rise of a president and the fracturing of america." he is the national correspondent for the washington spectator. his recent piece is headlined, "donald trump's avenging angels: how the orange-haired monster has rewritten the history of american conservatism." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "resurrect fred," by avery r. young, featuring sharieff muhammad. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in chicago to cc pbsadcasting from wy chicago. it's been an eventful few days for the democratic party, from the contested nevada state democratic convention on saturday to the split results tuesday night in primaries in
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both kentucky and oregon. former secretary of state or clinton declared victory against democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders in the primary on tuesday in kentucky, though it is razor thin margin. while sanders won a decisive victory in oregon. last night sanders spoke to about 12,000 supporters in carson, california, and directly addressing the democratic party leadership. >> in almost every case, whether it is a national whole or state poll, we do much better against trump then does secretary clinton. [cheers] the poll just came out, i think it was yesterday, the state of georgia, not a very good state for us, trump was beating secretary clinton by four points. we were beating him by five points. [cheers]
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>> bernie! bernie! bernie! wantsthe democratic party to be certain that donald trump is the fetid -- defeated, and that we must do, we'd together by the campaign to do that. amy: the relationship between the sanders campaign and the democratic party leadership has been challenging from the start of the primary race, when former secretary of state hillary clinton began with a more than 400 delegate lead by supporting -- gaining support by superdelegates -- the 712 congressmen, senators, governors and other elected officials who often represent the democratic party elite. well, a new article from in these times by bronco marchetic
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uncovers the secret history of super delegates, which were established by the hunt commission in 1982. jessica stites is executive editor of in these times and editor of the site's june cover story. still with us, rick perlstein, author of several books, including "nixonland." let's start with you, jessica. explain the superdelegates, which has really become such a critical issue right now. how they came into being. amy: our reporter actually went down to the national archives and that the transcripts of this entire commission that debated for months about democratic party rules reform and came up with the superdelegates as their answer. basically, what have prompted carterre the losses of and mcgovern and so the fear the democratic party wasn't
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nominating the electable, winnable candidates. and so party insiders said down and said, what do we do? their instinct was, we need to take control. we need to take control of the nominating process. we are worried if we let the people decide through primaries, they're going to pick the wrong person. and so they instituted the superdelegate who could act as a corrective, essentially, to the at the vote by -- convention casting votes for whomever they chose. and what really the sort of and inogy you saw there the transcripts, the fear of the activist or the outsider candidate that might disrupt the party, might not work with the democrats the way they want once the person comes to the presidency.
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and so the since the elites know best and we have a particular political acumen. amy: this was in response to -- mcgovern and carter. interestingly, they did not see governor -- carter as an insider but as this southern outsider who was mostly joined officials from his own local circles and he wasn't working with them in the ways they wanted to and they were afraid of someone like that. and they were afraid of a leftist activist, grassroots activist. so those were their two fears. and also they were reacting and large part to the spread of the primary system, which had really become much more central after put 1968 reforms that were
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into place. amy: i want to turn to a quote from geraldine ferraro, member of congress from new york and first female vice-presidential candidate, who was a member of the hunt commission. she said during a meeting of the commission in november 1981 -- "no one knows those people better than a member of congress. no one is better able to represent them at the convention than a member of congress, and no one is better able to get them to support a candidate, if they really try." explain, jessica. >> yes, so that was the sort of tortured logic you cap sing of the commission where they said, kind of the people vote in primaries can't represent the grassroots as well as congress members can because congress members were originally elected -- sort of this layer of representation that somehow is going to help represent the grassroots instead of letting people just vote for themselves. it is very on. amy: congress members are not
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elected by superdelegates. >> excellent point. to be fair, at the time, turn outs were low and it is still lower than the presidential election today, so that was their logic as well. we maybe got more votes than -- amy: let me turn to a quote from cleata deatherage, one of the members of the hunt commission. she expressed concern about the division that a system of superdelegates might create, saying -- "you raise the question of creating different castes of delegates potentially, delegates which are chosen essentially by voters' decisions for candidates in primaries or caucuses, and a different caste of delegates who in fact are exempt from that process and in fact carry on their own by a different set of standards. it gets you into a question of how those processes relate, and it gets to an essential question of legitimacy." >> yeah, she was really prissy and because that is exactly the
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criticism of superdelegates today. they are very unpopular and they -- there really is a movement rising up to say why should the democratic party have this sort instead deciding vote of listening to the will of the people. amy: talk about superdelegates in relation now to bernie sanders and hillary clinton. >> what is so interesting, and we are seeing this especially after the results this morning, neither of them are on track to a decisive victory based only on primaries and caucuses. they would need to get 2383 pledged delegates coming out of that process in order to adjust be the nominee. -- to just be that nominee. that means superdelegates will be the ones who ultimately tip someone over the edge. what we are seeing from sanders is this kind of fascinating event. he was initially very much
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against superdelegates because they had given hillary clinton this incredible momentum starting out in the race, which i think is the main criticism of superdelegates is they give someone a sort of unfair advantage by making it look like they are or were you head before the race begins. well, yous is saying, have this class of people who are supposed to bety has a winng candidate. that is the reason for their being and very much what we saw on the transcripts was if something should happen midstream and the candidate that is the front runner in the primaries and caucuses looks like they cannot win, maybe they have a scandal, we want to be able to correct that. so sanders is saying, well, something unexpected happened. donald trump is the nominee of the republican party. the democrats need to react to
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that, and i am pulling better than hillary clinton against donald trump thank you states. he was talking about georgia and that clip, but that is happening in ohio, which is an important state, and so that is his gaze to the superdelegates, well, if you have this weird system where you can trump the popular vote, isn't this the time to use it? amy: and the move to reform the superdelegate system? do you see this changing? >> no --that is a great question right now. sanders is no longer talking about that because he is trying to court the superdelegates. i don't think it is off the table at all. we had an op-ed run along with our cover story by larry cohen, the former president of the committee occasion workers of america and a senior advisor to the sanders campaign. fors calling very strongly
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-- at the convention for the democrats to abolish or reform the superdelegate system and i think there is a faction within the sanders campaign that wants that. amy: can you talk, rick perlstein, about how the democrats and their process compares to the republicans? >> they are similar. when the democrats reform their 1968 -- 1968 in 1972, it was seen as this is the direction history was going. so a system in both parties that have been kind of mostly caucuses and conventions and some primaries became mostly primaries and some caucuses and conventions. amy: what happened in nevada? , talku, jessica stites about what we just saw? there is a police line in front of the stage? >> yeah. amy: rick am a would you like to
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weigh in on that? >> we saw the footage. it was a very contested convention. the clinton folks say the sanders folks knew the rules in advance and they complained when the rules did not advantage them. the sanders folks say that basically we happen establishment that is trying to assert their powers. when i look back historically, i see the attempt to exacerbate these divisions as possibly a strategy of donald trump and the republicans. he has an ally named roger stone who was part of watergate. the whole strategy of watergate all through 1972 was to create divisions that were based in real division, but to exacerbate them. liket roger stone -- so roger stone type figure would write a letter accusing another democratic candidate of cheating, then get that out to the media.
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the idea is, if democrats cannot get back together in the general election, then the democrats cannot win. these divisions are real and the ther is real, but exportation of it is very similar to what the fbi did in cointelpro. they try to turn them into divisions that make it possible for people to work together. amy: roger stone is the source on the "national enquirer" stories about ted cruz. >> donald trump heartaches of a reactionary tradition within gossip politics, something like the "national enquirer" documented the longtime aide of ronald reagan try to pitch ronald reagan as a columnist in 1975. amy: your final observations, jessica stites, as you dug into the documents under reporter
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did? >> hunt was a former governor i think and he was chairing -- as that wrong? southerner. >> he was chairing the commission. i think superdelegates are not the only thing wrong with our electoral process. one of the great things about kind of opening the door to questioning superdelegates, which are pretty easy reform for the democratic party to make if they so choose, what else is wrong? why are so few americans voting? amy: we're talking about less than 80% -- no, more than 80% of people are not voting in the primaries and caucuses. >> and that is a real problem. there are things that can be done. rob richie i think has a great proposal which is have a one nation one primary on one day, one person, one vote, and that will decide the democratic
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candidate. there are things we can do, and this is just a party process. this does not require changing the constitution. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. of in thesees times, and rick perlstein, reports for the washington spectator. we will have a link to all of your reports at . this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we're going to look at what has been happening with police here in chicago and the mayor rahm emanuel. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "black girl soldier" by jamilah woods. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on the road in chicago, illinois, broadcasting from wycc chicago pbs. chicago, illinois, where there has been a development in the police shooting of 22-year-old african-american woman rekia boyd. in 2012, off-duty chicago police
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officer dante servin fired several shots over his shoulder into a group of people boyd was standing with near his home, striking her in the back of her head. he was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but was acquitted in 2015 on a technicality. well on tuesday, servin resigned from the chicago police department. just days before hearings were scheduled to begin into whether he should be fired. i resigning, he avoids testifying publicly about the shooting. this comes as chicago mayor rahm emanuel announced this week that he plans to disband the city's controversial police oversight agency. the independent police review authority was tasked with addressing excessive force allegations in police shootings, but has long been criticized for sluggish investigations that rarely resulted in disciplinary action. only 2% of claims against officers were reportedly ever upheld, and a large majority of complaints got stuck in a bureaucratic morass. mayor emanuel's announcement came after a task force he appointed found evidence of rampant racism within the chicago police department.
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it said the police department's own data "gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color." mayor emanuel is also facing calls to resign over a possible cover-up of the police killing of laquan mcdonald, who was shot 16 times in 2014. earlier this month, emanuel spoke to "chicago tribune" about the laquan mcdonald shooting. >> laquan mcdonald is a wake-up call to all of us. it is reminder there is a lot -- i am determined to fix things that have been broken throughout the system. when i say that, it is not just criminal justice. it is opportunity. it is a promise. i want to say opportunity, meaning the opportunity to get a job in a skill set, but the
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opportunity through mentoring -- to give young men a role model and a father figure they would not have. i see jobs as more than just getting a resume, it is also to be able to prove something to yourself and to others of what your potential is. and i am going to fix a breakdown of trust that exists in the criminal justice system. amy: well, for more, we're joined now by two guests here in chicago. jamie kalven, founder of the invisible institute and a freelance journalist who uncovered the autopsy report showing laquan mcdonald was shot 16 times and who first reported on the existence of the video of the shooting. in recent months, he has won a george polk award, an izzy, and a ridenhour courage prize for his reporting on chicago police misconduct. and we are joined by page may, a co-founder and organizer with assata's daughters. she was also a member of the we charge genocide delegation to the u.n. committee against torture. jamie kalven and page may, welcome to democracy now! let's talk about the latest on laquan mcdonald.
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>> so the case has had an amazing impact. i mean, in the wake of the laquan mcdonald revelations, as i think everybody knows, the entire political landscape in chicago has changed. and we have an opportunity that i never expected to see for really fundamental and enduring change. the question is how we create a path to get there. so there have been a number of recent developments. you mention the mayor's task force with this extraordinary language. this is a public body appointed by the mayor that came forth -- a long list of recommendations, but in a kind of prelude of findings, spoke to fundamental institutional racism entrenched in the police department and the history of the police department. inwe are beginning, at least
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the semantic realm, to have some diagnostic clarity about the nature of the problem. amy: page may, you are arrested the night the video was released of laquan mcdonald being shot and killed by a police officer jason van dyke. can you talk -- i mean, the fact that this video was released 400 days after laquan mcdonald was actually killed, and it was only on that day 400 days later that the police officer was charged with murder. the prosecutor ultimately taken down in an election as result of this. >> i think that reveals of the reality there is no justice in our justice system. it is one massive circus, one mass cover-up. it is only when we have predominately black people shutting things down and taking it to the streets that we're getting noticed. what i wonder about, wasn't that laquan mcdonald was killed or
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that he was killed with 16 bullets? that is part of the problem. i think part of the why this is blowing up so much is there was sorry a lot of anger and frustration and is absolutely to have to into the daily anger that young black people in the city experience, whether they are shot 16 times or stopped and searched 16 times in the course of a week. amy: can you talk about the disbanding of the civilian complaint review board of chicago? >> i knew this was coming. it has been one big stage that is used to create an illusion of accountability and process and it is going to be replaced with another similar allusion if we don't use this as a moment to build infrastructure that actually holds people accountable. we are in a moment of saying, what does justice look like for laquan? for the first time reporters are calling me and saying, clearly,
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it is not enough to arrest this one officer, something systematically has to happen. there's a lot more work to do. the chicago police get a 40% of the budget, and that does not include tons and bullets. every bullet that van dyke come into laquan mcdonald's body he paid for out of his personal pocket. this is way more about bad apples, this is about an institution that is never -- has blackin the history kept people say. we have to imagine what it is to keep people safe. amy: can you talk about the invisible institute your organization has released a 56,000 complaint records against what, 8500 chicago police, and what has happened with this information? >> this is information from the city, information the task force referenced that you quoted before. -- these aredes is
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the disciplinary histories of those officers and the outcomes of investigations by the independent police review authority. what it provides is a portrait of impunity. the odds of an officer being identified, vigorously investigated, receiving any kind of meaningful discipline are so small, so infinitesimal, that although officers with an abusive band may not know the exact statistics, they know that they have impunity. and people in the neighborhoods most affected by this kind of policing know as well. we have another project we do call the youth police project where we do extensive interviews with black teenagers on the south side about their experiences with the police. in the day-to-day interactions. not the worst things that happened, not laquan mcdonald, but the day-to-day. they say when we go to an account with police, we know two
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things going in. they have all of the power and if something happens, if they encounter -- the encounter goes wrong, we will not be believed. that is what the data shows. i think there is a danger when we talk about police accountability. we use that kind of abstract language, transparency, impunity. these are useful words. for conceptual purposes. but the underlying reality, every day in chicago are particular blows from particular hands against particular bodies. that is really what the data is. amy: do you have faith, page may , and the electoral process? you are and organizer with the campaign ousting cook county state's attorney anita alvarez who only brought the murder charges after the video was released, and also rahm emanuel. >> do i have faith in the electoral process? i have faith in our movement, a movement that it was able to
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kick out anita alvarez without endorsing another candidate, that was able to call it a question the usefulness necessity of having a state's attorney -- someone whose job is to prosecute people. it is a way of pushing people, ote,i believe m inlk's qu the only way to raise consciousness is through civil disobedience. it includes things like the electrode process. we were out there disrupting not only need out for us, but donald trump. story,is latest ostracized for reporting wrongdoing by fellow cops, city lawyers don't when jurisdiction the words "code of silence" uttered in the courtroom. two officers filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the department in 2012 well before mayor emanuel's knowledge
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the existence of a code of silence and the department in a speech to the city council last year. after the protest erupted. the significance of this? >> this is the next big chicago story. i've spent well over a year working on precisely that story with those officers and it is partially in view right now, the scope of it, but the account that they get of the actual operation of the code of silence, they have been subject to retaliation -- merciless, relentless retaliation within the department -- for uncovering massive corruption and brutality within the now disbanded public housing unit. so the most disenfranchised, marginalized revelation was under essentially a reign of terror by a group of officers. these officers uncovered it, undertook to investigate it undercover with the fbi and internal affairs, were out of
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within the department and they have become the focus of hostility within the department. amy: and rahm emanuel says, you cannot use this in your trial. are don't know what they thinking. amy: what does it say that it was you, totally independent reporter, who broke all of the stories, not the media in chicago? >> i think it says the code of silence extends to the media and our broader culture. amy: we will leave it there. i want to thank page may and jamie kalven. i will be speaking tonight around 7:00 in madison, wisconsin and then toronto, candidate thursday and friday. --urday, choi, new york. saturday, choi, new york. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to 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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