tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 13, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> this case is about the widening corruption of elite colleges, to the study application of wealth combined with fraud. there can be no separate college omission system for the wealthy and they will not be a separate criminal justice system either -- and there will not be a separate criminal justice system
either. -- for taking part in a scheme where wealthy families paid exorbitant bribes to secure response for their children in elite colleges including yale, stanford, georgetown, ucla, usc and wake forest. we will get the latest. former vice president joe brydon -- joe biden launches more hints -- drops more hihints that he will soon launch a bid for the white house. >> i appreciate e the enerergy you showed when n i got appear. save it a a little longer.r. i might need it in a few weeks. amy:y: we will speak to andrew cockburn about his latest headline, no joe. first we look at the growing calls for the -- growing calls for the faa to ground the boeing 737 max flights following sunday's crash in
ethiopia that killed all 157 people on board. we will spin to long-term consumer advocate and faa critic ralph nader. his grandniece died in the flight. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.n. 50 people were charged tuesday, including hollywood stars felicity huffman and lori loughlin, 13 college coaches, and powerful ceos, for taking part in a scheme where wealthy papants paid exorbitant sums to secure spots for their unqualified children in elite schools including yale, stanford, georgetown, ucla, usc and wake forest. parents reportedly paid up to $6.5 million to gain access to o the schools. this is u.s. attorney andrew lelling anannouncing the charges. >> these parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. based on the charges today,
all of them knowingly conspired with singer and others to help their children either achieve -- either cheat on the sat or a buy their entry to schools. amy: at the center of the scheme is newport beach california man rick singer, who promised parents he could get their children into the schools for a hefty fee. singer pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. he also bribed school coaches to give his clients admission slots reserved for student athletes in sports including crew and sumter -- and soccer. he went so far as to digitally placed the faces of his clients onto images found on line of athletes. prosecutors also accuse rick singer of helping students cheat on their college entrance exams. we'll have more on this story later in the broadcast. european aviation regulators
joined a growing list of countries and airlines that are grounding boeing 737 max 8 aircrafts, 3 days after the deadly ethiopian airlines disaster, which killed all 157 people on board. regulatotors in china, inindonesia, singagapore, hong kong, vivietnam, new zealandnd, lebanon, germany, the united kingdom and australia have also barred the plane from flying in their airspace. the u.s.s. has so far resisted mounting pressure to do the same. on tuesday, the chief executive of boeing reportedly spoke to president trump and assured him the aircraft is safe. the wall street journal is reporting a fix to the flight control software has been planned but was delayed for five weeks due to the recent government shutdown. we'll have more on this story after headlines. california governor gavin newsom is expected to sign
an executive order today putting a moratorium on the death penalty in california. over 700 prisoners are currently on death row in california, although the state has not performed any executions in over a decade because of legal challenges to the state's lethal injection procedure. prepared remarks by governor newsom cite racial discrimination and wrongful convictions, as well as the high cost to taxpayers. the order does not abolish the death penalty in california, but would temporarily ban the practice during newsom's tenure as governor. democratic lawmakers introduced the dam and prome act tuesdaday,n imgrgratiopropopos that aims to prove e a pa to citizenshifofor upo 2.2.5 million immianants. the legislioion buds o on the existi d dreamct a and would benefit those with deferred action for childhood arrivals, or daca status, as well as individuals with temporary immigration protections known as tps. the bill is expected to pass in the house but its fate in
the republican-controlled senate is unclear. diana pliego of the national immigration law center said in a statement "after , several failed cycles of congress tethering dreamer protections to the white house's demands for harmful, hate-filled policies, the dream and promise act rejects trump's extortionist tactics and takes a far better approach, ending the untenable status quo with an eye toward inclusivity and what will benefit all of us in the long term." in brazil, police have arrested 2 former police officers suspected of murdering human rights activist and city councilmember marielle franco lasast marcrch. the drive-by shooting in downtown rio de janeiro also killed her driver anderson pedro gomes. ronnie lessa is believed to have shot franco and her co-passengers, w while elclcio vieira d de queiroroz drove e te papair's gewaway car. after news broke of the arrest, a photo appearing to
show brazilian president jairir bolsonaro with queiroz circulated on social media. franco, who was black and a vocal member of the lgbt community, was a longtime critic of brazil's police, who've been linked to hundreds of killings and thousands of incidents of brutality in rio's impoverished favela neighborhoods. mass demonstrations are planned for thursday, marking the first anniversary of franco's death. in news from venezuela, the u.s. is withdrawing remaining diplomatic staff from its embassy in caracas says -- caracas and says it will soon impose new sanctions against the government of nicolas maduro. in a statement, secretary of state mike pompeo said, "diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on u.s. policy, raising questions about -- a constraint on u.s. policy," raising questions about whether the u.s. is coming closer to a military
intervention in venezuela. meanwhile venezuela's top prosecutor has called for the supreme court to investigate whether opposition leader and self-declared interim president juan guaido was involved in the sabotage of the power grid, which has plunged venezuela into a nearly week-long blackout. members of the opposition say at least 21 people have died since the power outage started. in britain, lawmakers voted against an amended brexit deal tuesday in the latest blow to prime minister theresa may. the vote comes just 2 and half weeks before the united kingdom is scheduled to depart the european union. members of parliament will vote later today on whether to back a dreaded no-deal brexit. if that option is rejected, lawmakers could vote nexext to extend the current deadlinee of march 29, provided the european union agrees. some british citizens and members of parliament have been calling for a new referendum on brexit which the opposition labour party indicated last month it may support. australian cardinal george pell has been sentenced to six years in jail for
sexually assaulting underage boys. pell was convicted last month after he was found guilty of multiple sexual crimes and the abuse of two choir boys in 1996. he served as the vatican's chief financial officer and is the highest-ranking member of the catholic church to be convicted of a sexual crime. crowds gathered outside the courthouse reacted to the verdict. laws, i current think it reflected a issue that this -- stronger message that this will not be tolerated anymore. amy: in the occupied west bank, israeli forces shot and killed 2 palestinian men in 2 separate incidents tuesday. 23-yeaear-old mohammad shaheen was shot during a raid in the city of salfit, while at least 40 others were injured. in the city of hebron, israeli soldiers killed yasser fawzi shawki near an illegal israeli settlement, after an alllleged knife attack.
the united nations reports at least 535 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced in western congo over a 3-day period in december in what could amount to crimes against humanity. u.n. investigators say the chiefs of opposing factions helped plan and carry out the violence in response to an alleged territorial dispute, and local authorities failed to intervene to protect residents. the un warns that more acts of violence are likely unless the government acts to ease tensions between rivaval factions. 2 2 weeks of talks between us -- u.s. and taliban officials ended without an agreement tuesday but with negotiators saying they've made progress on two key issues.. the u.s. said the 2 parties have reached a draft plan for a future withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan, as well as a commitment from the taliban to cut ties with al qaeda and other terrorist groups. talks are expected to resume later this month. back in the u.s. a new study
, a finds that latinx and black americans suffer the most from the effefects of pollution, despite white americans disproportionately creating more emissions. the report published in the proceedings of the national academy of sciences says that latino and black americans are exposed to over 50% more fine particulate matter than is directly caused by their consumption habits, while white people are exposed to 17% less pollution than they are responsible for. particulate matter comes from industrial pollution, coal-fired power plants, agriculture, and vehicular pollution. the wall street journal is reporting that a growing number of counties across the country are joining the so-called second amendment sanctuary movement. county sheriffs and prosecutors in rural areas of blue states are resisting new gun control proposals by declaring they will not enforce any new laws. in new mexico, as democratic lawmakers recently passed legislation requiring background checks, 30 of 33 county sheriffs have reportedly vowed to disobey new requirements.
russell shafer, a new mexico sheriffs, told the journal quote if a state or city can become a sanctuary for illegal immigration, then we can become a sanctuary for second amendment rights. other states where county officials have adopted or are considering second amendment sanctuary resolutions include illinois, washington state, and colorado. on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers grilled wells fargo ceo timothy sloan tuesday over the bank's practices of predatory lending, misleading and defrauding customers, and its relationship to the nra, private prisons s and the fofossil fuel industry. cacalifornia congressmember and financial services chair maxine waters called wells fargo a recidivist financial institution. after the hearing, she told reporters she would call a vote o on a bill to o break up gaga banksouound liable fofor repeated consumer violations. this is nenew york congressmember a alexandria ocasio-cortez questioning sloan over the bank's role in climate change and its financial backcking of the
dakota access pipeline, which she noted has leaked at least 5 times since it started transporting oil in 2017. >> should wells fargo be held responsible due to the financing of fossil fuels and these projects? >> i don't know how you would calculate that. >> safe from spills are we have to reinvest in infrastructure, building seawalls from the erosion of infrastructurere or wildfires, etc.. >> relelated to that pipeline, i don't think there has been any of what you haveve described. >> how about the cleleanup from the leaks of the dakota access pipeline. >> i am not familiar with the weeks. amy: that is timothy sloan beginning questioned. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org and the war
and peace report. calls are growing for the united states to ground all boeing 737 max eight planes in the wake of a devastating plane crash in ethiopia sunday that left 157 people dead. news a relatively aircraft. an indonesian flight of the same plane type crash last october, killing 189 people. in response, two thirds of the 737 max eight have been pulled from service. countries have grounded their fleets of the aircrafaft until a thorough safety reviewew is conducted. the european union aviation safety agency has joined the unitited kingdom, france and germany and suspending g use ofof the aircrcraft model. despite the inteternationanal error court -- despite the
international outcry, the ununited states anand canada are continuing business as usual. three airlines, sosouthwest, amamerican, and d air canada,, have resisted mounting pressure to temporarily halt boeing 737 flights. the former transportation , a republican who served under president obama, urged the trump and administration to ground all boeing 737 max planes, saying they needed to be inspected by the faa. tuesday, the boeing chief executive reportedly spoke to president trump and assured him that the boeing 737 max aircraft was safe. the conversation came shortly after trump tweeted that planes are becoming quote, far too complex to plot -- to fly. boeing began working extensive change to the flight system. --er the indonesia clash
crash in october, the journal reports the key change was delayed by five weeks due to the government shutdown. u.s. regulators are expected to mandate the change by the end of april. for more, we're joined on the phone by ralph nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate. his great niece, samya stumo, died on ethiopian airlines flight 302. nader is the author of many books including "collision course, the truth about airline safety." he just wrote an open letter to boeing titled "passengers first, ground the 737 max 8 now." and in new haven, connecticucut we're joined by wiwilliam mcgee, aviation adviser for consumer reports. he is the author of "attention all passengers, the airlines' dangerous descent." we welcome you both to democracy now! ralph nader, let's begin with you.
our condolences to you and your family. when did you last see your niece -- your grandniece? ralph: we had dinner together on friday. she had leadership, compassion and vigor all over her. it is the kind of leadership we expect from the younger generation going into the next decades. her commitment was to global andth and prevention not just diagnosis and treatment. she was very rigorous about what works and what does not work in underdeveloped countries, regarding infectious diseases and other ailments and environmental safety. she really had it all. i think she learned a lot at
the university of copenhagen where she got her masters of health. this is a terrible tragedy, not just for her but all the people on the plane. workers,e many aid people working in food, drinking water, environment, helping people in need. it is a tragedy for all of those people in the future who will not be saved by her good work. she went to the university of massachusetts amherst and was homeschooled before that. now working for an organization called think well in africa. ralph: that is correct. it was her first trip under her new job. very enthusiastic. she boarded this killer max eight.737
that is the harbinger for the future. they're going to use more and more artificial intelligence. in this case, this is a plain whose misguided software overpowered its own pilots. that is why people like stephen hawking and elon musk warned a few years ago in an open letter to the woworld that if we don't control artificial intelligence, it is going to destroy us. and you sent a letter to the folks at boeing. your you talk about reaction when you heard what had happened to your grandniece and your sense of what boeing is or is not doing right now. ralph: boeing is used to getting its way wiwith the patsy faa. this time it is really in hot water.
if it continues today dig its heels in, it is going to expose itself and its executives to potential criminal prosecution because they are now on notice with two crashes, indonesia and ethiopia. probably a lot more to come out in terms of technhnical dissent in what was called heated discussions about the plane software between the faa, the pilots union, boeing, and you cannot suppppress technicical dissent foforever. calling for the release of all relevant information and while that happens, the planes must be grounded. they are on notice. this is the future of passenger business for boeing. they have orders for over 3000 planes from all over .he world
--is taking its heels in digging its heels in and so is american airlines and air canada. boeing is not going to get away with this because this is not some old dc-9 about to be phased out. this is their future strategic plan and they .etter own up the most important people -- the most important thing pepeople can do isis not fly this plane. ask the airline when you book the flight, whether it is that plane. the airline should not dairy -- not dare charge you for
reservation. i'm am calling for a boycott of that plane. if several hundred passengers boycott that planane and there w were more empty y seats, that will do morere to bring gogoing around thenen the path th faa and the ratherer serene congress which gets all kinds of freees from th airlines that ordinary people donon't get.t. we sent a survey twice last year to every member of congress asking them to disclose all of these freebies and we did not get one answer and that helps account overer the years for the total reluctance e of members of congress, e even to t tocuc thingngs -- even dealing with such ththings such aseed size and convenience, nevermind the .ety of the aircraft don't fly the 737 max eieight or nine.e. make sure u are informed
about it. -- a stalwart member of the faa advisory commimittee and that i is where you get up to date information. fliersrights.org. juan: we're also joined by william mcgee, the aviation advisor for consumer reports. can you give us your perspective on what has happened here and also could you expand on what ralph nader was talking about, the use of artificial intelligence in ththese planes? william: absolutely. there are so many unanswered questions here but many of them are focused on the time between the first crash inn late october with lion air and the crash on sunday with ethiopia. perspective, we are not
talkining about old aircraft, this has only beenen in service sie e 2017. the 737 max eight, a recent derivative of the 737. in that time, that the aircraft that crashed in october, it was two months old. the one that crashed on sunday was four months old. this is unprecedented in all the years i have been in this industry. we don't see brand-new airplalanes crash on takeoeoff like this under similar circumstances. obviously there are a lot of -- there are questions that have to be answered by investigators but the impetus is clear that in the united states, a american and southwest should be grounding g these planes and if they are not going to do , the faa needs to step in. it has the authority and is not using it. amy: ralph nader, you spoke yesterday to the former
transportation secretary under presidident obama. he has called for the grounding of these flights. first it would be up to the faa had who is an acting head. president trump is not nominated someone that would be approved by the senate. he wanted to nominate his own pilot and now wants to apparently in the last days it has been reported he was going to nominate a delta executive but that has not been done so it is an acting head of the faa. even if he does not call for the grounding, can't the current trends -- the currenent transportation secretary overrule the faa? thene chao not only transportation secretary but the life of the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell. ralph: she is a notorious
non-regulator in her government career. she is not going to be looking out for the airline passengers. donald trump is directctly involved. when the government shutdown occurred, i made comments that this is going to cost lives. they were shutting down life-saving -- lifesaving agencies. trump wanted to cut the faa budget over a year ago. he shuts down the government for five weeks and this relation of software upgrades between boeing and the faa was put on hold. donald trump is directly involved in this. he should be called to a congressional hearing and required to testify under oath. it is hard to make him go to capitol hill, but he has to growow up. he is a person who has no sense of consequence. he is more than just a big
it and endure narcissistic, but he has no sense of consequence whatsoever. he does not have nearly the maturity of the post he was selected for by the electoral college. i think we need to go right to the top. the head of boeing has got to testify. we have had quite enough of this. -- the airlines as the aircraft is safe but needs more upgrades. the faa has had a tombstone mentality. it reacts after crashes, it does not anticipate. that hasasot to stop. it will only stop when consnsumers boycott t that plane. if s somebody outt there listening could setup a network where that boycott could acceleratete, what i is going to tn n goin aroround and ththe airlines have used it, what is going to turn that around is empty seats
on the boeing 737 max eight and max nine. juan: william mcgee, you are the author of "attention all passengers, the airlines' dangerous descent." could you talk about some of the broader issues that are affecting the american airline industry right now that this points up to some of the problems, but give us a broader context? william: absolutely. this goes back many years. ralph mentioned that the faa is known throughout the industry as the tombstone agency. that phrase comes from the fact that the faa has shown time and time again that it is reluctant to ask -- to act unless there is a tragedy and unless there are fatalities. we have seen this as recently as last year when you may recall over philadelphia, a southwest 737 had a major engine
malfunction that punctured a hole in the fuselage and killed a woman who was nearly sucked out of the aircraft. whatat was not as well reported was that two years prior, that same engine type on that same plane on that same airline also had an uncontained engine failure but in 2016, there were no fatalities. instead of the faa stepping in and saying we need to have all of these engine blades inspected on this engine type on all the carriers operating it, the faa asked the industry what would you like to do, how long wouldld you like to t te and the industry d dragged its heels and said we need more time. two years laterer, there wawas a fatalility and then two days after that, last april, two days after that woman was killed, the faa issued an airworthiness directive. that is what should have been issued in 2016 so that death would not have happened. we see this time and again.
you mentioned my book. about a third of f it is devoted to the issue of the faa oversight of airline maintenance. we could talk about it for two or three moree days but the bottom line is that the entire model of how the airline industry works in the e united states hahas been changed draramatically in the last 15 years or so. all airlines in the united states outsource some or most or just about all of their maintenance, what they call heavy maintenance. much of it is done outside the united states. el salvador, brazil, china, singapore. although the faa on paper says there is one standard for maintenance of u.s. airlines, reality is there is not. there are waivers given all the time so that when work is done outside the united states, there are waivers so that there are no ground security checks, no alcohol
or drug screening programs , in someet, many cases momost of the technicians cannot en n be calllled mechanics because they are not licensed. they are not licensed as they are required to be in the u.s. you have two sets of rules. is for in-house airline employees and another for the outsourced employees and this leads back to the faa. i have sat in a room with faa senior officials and ask them about this. they say they don't think this is a problem. juan: what impact has the , , the concept of mergers of airlines, we have a handful of airlines now. what has that had on this gretchen meyer william: going back as far as 2001, theree w were four or five majojor carriers that we don't have any morore. what we have now is
efeffectivively an oligopoly. ralph was talking about boycotts and it is an excellent t idea, but it is more challenging than it would have been a few years ago. there might have been more pressure on southwest and american, 10 or 15 years ago when consumers had more choices. now it is getting harder and harder for consumers to express displeasure. we saw this after the incident w where thatt passenger was dragged d off of uniteded. in t t long-termrm, it didid night affect united's bookends -- it did not affect united's bookends. they are locked in and do not have a lot of choice on carriers. amy: ralph nader, i wanted to get your response to this news that they were working on a fix. they know there is a software glitch that somehow win on automatic pilot, when the plane is taking off, it
takes this precipitous dive and the way to deal with it is to take it off of automatic and put it on manual. deeps been doing a dive into the database of pilots complaining over and over about this problem and saying they have to quickly switch to manual to prevent the plane from nosediving into thehe ground. this latest news from the wall street journal is that while they're talking about this glitch being fixed in the next five weeks or so, five weeks lost in january were because of the government shutdown. ralph: that is what paul hudson wrote in his press release of flyers rights. the focus has to be on inaccurate or not existing information and boeing's trainingng mananls are inadeqequate. they sold d this plane on the basis of having larger engines.
they are supposed to be 10% more fuel-efficient but they sold on the grounds that you don't really have to train your pilots. this is r really just a s small modification of the reliable 737. the question comes down to cost-cutting. they tantalize the airlines by saying this is not really a new plane. it is very easy to fly if you can fly and 737, and that turned out to be quite false. they had to translate these training manuals into 30 different languages. they had no control over the degree of training for this plane on the part of the pilots by the airlines. they took their time. bowling is in deep trouble here. i'm trying to convey to boeing's executives that they will be exposed to criminal prosecution if
heaven forbid there is a crash in this country. they are on public notice and just from their own theyrcial advantage, should ground these planes or tererribly the -- or tell the airlines to ground these planes right away. amy: ralph nader, we thank you for being with us. a longtime consumer advocate and f former presidential candidate -- candidate. our condolences on the death of your grandniece. we send our condolences. and william magee, thank you so much for being with us, aviation advisor for consumer reports. your book "attention all , passengers, the airlines' dangerous descent." the we come back, college testing and entrance scandal. at least 50 people have been indicted. stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!. juan: we turn now to operation varsity blues, that is the name of a sweeping federal probe into what the justice department calls the biggest college admissions scam the agency has ever uncovered. on tuesday, 50 people were arrested, including 13 college coaches for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents paid exorbitant sums to secure spots fofor their unqualified children in elite schools including yale, stanford, georgetown, ucla, usc and wake forest. prosecutors have charged 33 parents including hollywood stars alyssa a huffman and lori laughlin. at the center of the scheme was a man in newport beach, california named rick singer who ran a fraudulent company
called the edge college and career network. he promised parents he could get their children into these elite schools for a hefty fee. on tuesday, singer pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering, money laundering and obstruction of justice. amy: in one case, a family tod him $1.2 million secure a spot for their daughter on the yield soccer team even though their daughter had never played competitive soccer. to do this, singer and his cohorts fabricated the student's bio, fake photos and sent a $400,000 bribe to the head coach of the women's soccer team. the student was accepted to gail as a recruited soccer player. she never played. the yield coach -- the gail coach- yale resigned in november. singer is also accused of helping students cheat on entry to exams -- entrance
exams. arranging for a florida man in his 30's to take the test for the students. in another case, a family reportedly paid $6.5 million to get their child into college. the u.s. attorney from massachusetts who announced the charges -- on tuesday. charged 33 have parents nationwide with hiring singers group to defraud testing companies and various universities. these parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege. they include ceos of private and public companies, --cessful security securities and investors, two well-known actresses, a famous design -- famous designer and based on the charges unsealed today, all of them knowingly consume -- conspired with singer and
others to help their children either cheat on the -- or acg -- act singers clients paid him anywhere between 100000 and six point -- $100,000 and $6.5 million. this case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. there can n be no separate college admission n system for the wealthy, and i will add ththere will not be a separatete criminal justice systetem either. amy: for more we're joined by ivory toldson, professor of counseling psychology at howard university and the president of quality education for minorities. he is the editor-in-chief of the journal of negro education and the former executive director at white house initiative on historically black colleges and universities.
his new book, "no bs: black people need people who believe in black people enough not to believe every bad thing they hear about black people." welcome to democracy now! professor, can you respond largest education scandal that continues to unfold? prof. toldson: i am very happy to be on democracy now! this is my first time on the network but i really admire the work. whennvery disappointed i heard what was going on, but i was not surprised. we see at every level of education from to theartners various types of ways wealthy people manipulate those outcomes.
we have seen time and time again, people using their money and influence to create an unfair advantage for their children. i am happy that has come to light. subtle things have been happening for quite some time. i think if you don't buy into the notion that rich people are disproportionately smarter than the average person, then there are a lot of things that you would consider pretty fishy when you look at some of the high schools like georgetown prep where brett kavanaugh went. just aboute how every student going to one of these elite schools, we know that statistically, it is improbable that they would just cluster all at that school. with a private school like that, we have very little information. they are not held to the same standards as public schools.
it is a very clandestine system at some of these elite schools that land all atthese wealthy children some of what our nation would -- at what someone would consider our nation's top universities. juan: what seemed a to me was this because it seems a rigged system in terms of the poor people and people of color, in terms of the advantages that middle-class and upper-class students have. here you have a situation where there were in mrs. -- there were admissions officers and coaches who are participating in a openly corrupt scam, allegedly because they still have to go to trial, but that seememed to me most surprising abouout this. there are an: lot of surprising aspects and when i look at the statements from the universities involved, they
position themselves as victims of this system but i think they need to look at the culture and their environment. they need to look at the way appreciateded the type of wealth that came to their universities and undervalued diversity. i think there is a lot of soul-searching that needs to be had. we need to look well beyond the 49 people who were arrested and look at the entire system. fbi i want to go to an special agent talking at tuesday's news conference. >> the fbi uncovered what we believe is a rigged system, robbing students all over the country of their right at a fair shot to getting in some of the most elite universities in this country such as yale, stanford and georgetown. we believe everyone charged here today had a role in fostering a culture of
corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for students trying to get into the schools the right way, through hard work, good grades and community service. unfortunately what many studentsts did not know was that the yacht -- the odds had artie been stacked against them by corrupt practices including but not limited to bribery, falsification of athletic profiles and near-perfect sat and act scores that were fraudulently obtained on behalf of other students when in reality they were far from perfect. amy: that was the fbi special agent talking about this scandal. no actual schools were charged, though people .ithin the schools you have these pictures sent in of athletes with their heads photoshop to be a student who did not even play a particular game.
in cases like water polo. what message does this scandal send to black and brown children, to white non-wealthy children, who believe that higher education is a meritocracy? what do you say to them? prof. toldson: i hope this is a wake-up call for people who have bought into the system that people become wealthy because they have worked hard. deception that is pervasive in our society. among the wealthy, their objectctive is passive income. they talk actively about making money without working. that is what they talk about in theirir own social networks , yet when they are talking to people who may work for them, they tried to o make itt seem like it is all about working hard. in reality, it should be abouout working harard. everybody should work hard
for what they have, but there are people in this country who would rather manipulate the system so that some people work hard to get enough and other people work not at all and get more. it also does a disservice to their children because their children will grow up feeling a false sense of entitlement, believing in unearned privilege, believing inherited wealth and all of the things that will lead to certain types of predatory behaviors, whether it be predatory lending, manipulating markets, ,redatory landlords different aspects of society we have all grown to load. all this has cultivated in these types of environments. juan: speaking of entitlements, this news has brought renewed attention to
president trump's friend law jared kushner whose father is a new jersey real estate developer who pledged $2.5 million to a college before his son went. -- interviewed a former administrator who said there was no way anyone he -- anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would go on and get into mark -- get into harvard. his sat scores did not warrant it. we thought there was no way this was going to happen and in low, he was accepted. it was a bit disappointing because there were other kids we thought to really on their merit -- should get in on their merits and they did not. prof. toldson: if i am not mistaken, jared kushner went on to graduate from harvard with honors. in fact, and i don't know
the precise numbers on it, but there was an extraordinary amount who graduated from harvard with honors. there has been a lot of talk about grade inflation at some of these so-called elite schools. when we look at the complicity in this, we look at all the players involved, you have schools like harvard and yale who don't just want the smartest students but they also want the wealthiest students. they are rewarding the students by giving them academic experiences that is not just about rigor but about positioning them into a certain social network. we do have to look at this entire system. amy: and then you look at the whole battle over affirmative action and you see what is the real affirmative action here. prof. toldson: yes. out are quick to point
any non-merit-based s system that i given -- giving advantage to somebody who truly has some barriers and hurdles to overcome, whether schools,ism, poor a lack of resources to get certain things. there are certain people in society who deseserve a certain advantage because of things that were unfairly taken away from them. a lot of times, that occupies so much of our attention that we miss certain things that are j just withntly going wrong, unearned privileges and people who are using money systemr to falsify a or make their child look like something they are not. amy: we will end with actress lori loughlin and fashion designer mossimo
giannulli's kid on video. they are the parents charged with fraud in the college admissions scandal. according to the complaint, they paid bribeses totaling half $1 million in having their daughter olivia jade and her younger sister designated as recruits to the usc crew team, despite the fact that they did not participate in crew. the complaint reveals both olivia jade and her sister both posed for pictures on an ergometer to fake an action shot. olivia is a social media influencer with more than two million youtube subscribers and a million followers on instagram. she has posted ads featuring her status as a college student. in a august, olivia posted a video on youtube answering questions about starting college. >> i am going, living in a dorm with a roommate who is so sweet. work is going to be hard.
i will be in new york a bunch this year for work and traveling to a different country, creating logistics with this country. i don't know how mucuch of schohool i'm going toto attttend but i will go in and t talk to my dean and hope that i can balance it all. i do want the experience of game days, partying. i don't t really care aboutt schoolol as you know. amy: olivia jade and her sister both got into usc. her parents paid half $1 million. this is democracy now!. toldson, thank you so much for being with us. when we come back, we look at the possible presidential run of joe biden in 30 seconds.
amy: this is democracy now!. juan: speculation is mounting that former vice president joe biden will soon enter the race for the democratic presidential nomination. he addressed the internrnational associciation of firefighters in washington, d.c. >> i appreciate the energy you s showed when i gotot up hehere. say thatat a little longer, i might need it in a few weeks -- save that a little longer, i might need it in a few weeks. the careful what you wish for. juan: to talk more about biden, we speak to washington editor for harper's magazine andrew cockburn.
his latest piece for harper's is headlined "no joe: joe biden's disastrous legislative legacy." welcome back to democracy now!. -- welcome back to democracy now! talk to us about his legacy. andrew: as the subtitle of my piece, it is pretty disastrorous. going back to the beginning, he really is most active when h he got intoto the senate in the 1970's and was to be a fierce opponent of the effort to integratee schools. the main effort to integrate schools acroross the u.s.. introduced legislation to weweaken it and he said he made it comfortable for it.rals to oppose he went on and has patches next major initiative are and was being
tough on crime. he would argue fiercely for tougher sentences and he --med up with strong strong thurmond who was this ardent segregationist who ran on a dixiecrat ticket in 1948. with this racist, he thought to increase sentences for everything, particularly he introduced or trying to introduce 51 new categories and the penalty, notorious disparity between crack cocacaine as used by black consumers and powdered cocaine used by white people
, shocking sentence disparity. he was right behind bill clinton for the 1994 crime which basically incarcerated a whole generation of young black and if we discuss his electability, people will remember that. it has been shocking all the way down. amy: can you talk about anita hill? a long litany of disasters, but as the one peoplele tend toto remember and thetly so -- that is one people tend to remember and rightly so. anita hill came toto talk about clarence thomas -- clarence carter's report. joe refused to call witnesses that would have backed up her testimony. it was clear he was more concerned with his own
reputation. we werere saddled with clarence thomas as long as he wanted to serve. and his role on preventing students from declaring bankruptcy to get -- made ithe impossible for students to get out of crushing student debt through bankruptcy. he -- hisuptcy, major role has been is the errand boy for the banks and , whichcard companies have been major donors throughout his career. he represents delaware, the onshore version of the cayman islands is ruled by the financial industry and interesting of course that although he has done them such faithful service over the years, he tends not to talk about that much.
elizabeth moore in time ago, pointed out that he did not talk about his relationship. not much h to read about his relationship with credit card companies. amy: we have 30 seconds. how would you evaluate his role under president obama? andrew: very disappointing. for example, he did absolutely nothing. feed -- - people werere out rate -- outraged that the perpetrators of the 2000 a crash got off better than scot-free. his replacement in the senate trying to introduce a bill to break up the banks and got no support from joe biden. his record on foreign policy under biden was equally disastrous. causeically helped the installation or maintained a government in viciously was