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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 13, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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01/13/16 01/13/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i will keep pushing for progress on the work i believe still needs to be done -- fixing broken immigration system. [applause] protecting our kids from gun violence. equal pay for equal work. paid leave. raising the minimum wage.
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amy: in his final state of the union, president obama defended his record while making implicit criticism of the republican candidates who seek to secede him. he also hailed his historic agreements with iran and cuba and called for the closing of guantanamo. >> i will keep working to shut down the prison at guantanamo. it is expensive, it is unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies. amy: south carolina governor nikki haley, whose parents immigrated from india, then used the official republican response to take aim at gop presidential front-runner donald trump. >> today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. during anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. we must resist that temptation. amy: and coulter took to twitter and wrote "trump should deport
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nikki haley." we will spend the hour with congresswoman and u.s. senate candidate donna edwards of maryland, public tv broadcaster and author tavis smiley, blacklivesmatter co-founder alicia garza, codepink founder medea benjamin and immigrant rights activist claudia palacios. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama delivered his seventh and final state of the union address tuesday night. he defended his record while making implicit criticism of the republican candidates who seek to secede him. while mostly avoiding specific policy proposals, obama spoke out against stigmatizing marginalized communities, including muslims. >> when politicians insult
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muslims, whether abroad or our , when a mosque is vandalized or a kid is called safer.it doesn't make us that's not telling it like it is . it is just wrong. it diminishes us in the eyes of the world. [applause] it makes it harder for us to achieve our goals. it betrays who we are as a country. amy: we'll have more on obama's state of the union address after headlines. iran has released two u.s. navy patrol boats carrying 10 crew members hours after detaining them for entering iranian waters. the obama administration said the boats drifted after experiencing mechanical problems. the detention came just days before a landmark nuclear deal between iran, the united states
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and other world powers is set to , be formally implemented. in pakistan, a suicide bomber attacked a u.n.-backed polio eradication center in quetta, killing 15 pakistani security forces and wounding 24 people. militants have targeted polio campaigns after it was revealed the cia used a fake vaccination program in its effort to locate osama bin laden. turkish authorities have blamed a suicide attack that killed at least 10 people tuesday in istanbul on the self-proclaimed islamic state. most of the attack but films -- victims were german tourists. in iraq, two journalists with the independent al-sharqiya tv station have been shot to death near baquba, the capital of diyala province. saif tallal and his cameraman hassan al-anbaki were reportedly killed while returning from a reporting trip. iraq is among the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. saudi arabia, a close u.s. ally, has arrested a leading human rights activist, marking what
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-- samar badawi is the sister of blogger raef badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and received 50 lashes in a public square last year. she also campaigned for women's rights and the release of her husband, attorney waleed abu al-khair, who is serving a 15-year sentence related to his activism. it is called "the latest example of saudi arabia's utter contempt for its human rights obligations." in what's being hailed as a historic victory for the global campaign to boycott and divest from israel over its treatment of the palestinian territories the pension board one of the , largest protestant denominations in the united states has blocked investment in five israeli banks. in a statement, a group within the united methodist church said it was the first time a major church pension fund has "acted to preclude investment in israeli banks that sustain israel's illegal occupation of palestinian land." the church still invests in other israeli companies. meanwhile in the latest from the , occupied territories, an israeli air raid today killed a
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palestinian in gaza and wounded three. israeli officials said the men were plotting an attack. on tuesday, israeli soldiers fatally shot three palestinians in the occupied west bank, including one accused of trying to stab a soldier. denmark is set to pass a law to confiscate refugees' possessions, in a move that has drawn comparisons to nazi germany and drawn condemnation from the united nations. the law would force refugees to surrender anything over about $1500 in valuables in order to pay for their stay as they apply for asylum. meanwhile, a new united nations analysis reveals the number of people migrating to foreign countries increased by 41% over the past 15 years to 244 million in 2015. of those people, the u.n. considers 20 million to be refugees. in france, residents of the calais refugee camp known as the jungle have vowed to peacefully resist authorities' efforts to evict them and bulldoze parts of the camp. thousands of refugees live in
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the makeshift tents as they seek to enter britain through the channel tunnel. but french authorities want to resettle about 1500 of them in storage containers which the refugees say resemble a prison and lack common areas, like the makeshift kitchens and places of worship in the camp. authorities have given the residents until tonight to move before they bulldoze a third of the camp on thursday. in a statement they wrote -- "we, the united people of the jungle, calais, respectfully decline the demands of the french government with regards to reducing the size of the jungle. we have decided to remain where we are and will peacefully resist the government's plans to destroy our homes." to see our report from the largest refugee camp in france go to democracynow.org. , the culture jamming prankster group "the yes men" have struck again. on tuesday, in the european parliament in brussels, a so-called defense and security consultant calling himself archibald schumpeter delivered a
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presentation describing the drone killings, mass surveillance and military action , at addressing terrorism. >> unfortunately, responses we've seen so far, have not been very intelligent. in fact, it has been pretty much stupid all the time. as far as terrorism is concerned, france's attack is like fighting fire with gasoline. it is generating more terrorists just as the u.s. attacks on iraqi have. for war to work against terrorists, you would have to kill everyone in the country. and as we know, that is just not possible. amy: the presenter was actually andy bichlbaum of the "yes men." after dismissing attempts to address terrorism through military action, he presented an industrial solution, an endura-sphere, he said would allow citizens to shelter inside a fully-defended orb to withstand any terrorist attack. a person inside with a costume
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appeared in parliament as he described the invention. bichlbaum said the prank was aimed at "highlighting that there really is no solution to terrorism within the defense and security paradigm." a new report reveals how the obama administration has been upgrading its nuclear arsenal to create smaller, more precise nuclear bombs. "the new york times" reports despite his advocacy for a nuclear-free world, president obama's administration has potentially increased the likelihood of a future president deploying a nuclear weapon by creating more precise warheads whose explosive force can be dialed up or down. a former top nuclear strategist for obama, general james cartwright, acknowledged "what going smaller does is to make the weapon more thinkable." the b61 bomb is part of a fleet of new warhead types planned under an effort that will cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. russia has called u.s. tests of the missile irresponsible and openly provocative. the u.s. is the only country to use a nuclear weapon in war. a new poll shows democratic presidential candidate and vermont senator bernie sanders leading by five points over
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rival hillary clinton in iowa. just weeks before the iowa caucuses, the survey from quinnipiac university found 49% of likely democratic caucus goers backing sanders versus 44% for hillary clinton. meanwhile, the latest new york times/cbs news poll shows clinton's lead over sanders nationally has virtually disappeared. and members of the progressive advocacy group moveon have voted to endorse sanders by the largest margin in the group's history. a record 78.6% of more than 340,000 moveon voters backed sanders. meanwhile, hillary clinton has taken aim at sanders' plan for single-payer healthcare, calling it risky. at a campaign event, clinton's daughter chelsea clinton claims sanders wants to dismantle obamacare. sanders attributed the attack to his surge in the polls. saying the clinton campaign is "in serious trouble." tuesday marked six years since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated haiti, killing an estimated 300,000 people. tens of thousands of haitians are still living in tents. here in new york city, a group
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of haitians gathered in front of the clinton foundation to protest former president bill clinton's role as head of the interim haiti recovery commission. activist dahoud andre was among them. 12th of january, 2016, 6 years after the earthquake. for us, it was important to be in front of the clinton foundation because bill clinton, i hrc wasf the ia responsible for the $6 billion that came in to his hands. he had unlimited control of this money. six years after the earthquake, not much has changed. as a matter of fact, haiti is in worst condition than it was in 2010 will stop only bill clinton can tell the world what happened with this money. amy: michigan governor rick snyder has deployed the national guard in flint amid a crisis over the lead in the city's water. the poisoning began after an unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder
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switched the city's water source to the long-polluted flint river in a bid to save money. residents have reported lasting health impacts, including cognitive impairment. the residents have called for governor snyder's resignation and arrest. los angeles police chief charlie beck has recommended criminal charges against an officer who fatally shot an unarmed african-american homeless man in the back last year. police say officer clifford proctor shot 29-year-old brendon glenn while glenn was on his stomach, trying to push himself back up. officer proctor is african-american. prosecutors have not said whether they will file charges against him. in pennsylvania, a state constable fatally shot a 12-year-old girl during an attempt to evict the girl's family from their home. police say the girl's father pointed a gun at pennsylvania state constable clarke steele, so he opened fire. the bullet hit the father's arm then struck 12-year-old ciara meyer, killing her.
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in oregon harney county judge , steve grasty says he will bill costefugee members for the to the public. he said shuttered schools and closed government offices as well as increased security are costing taxpayers will stop the militants have torn down a fence and said they been going through a government document at the national wildlife refuge. the occupy the refuge earlier this month in support of two ranchers to prison for setting fires that burned federal land. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. obama defended his record while making a pleasant criticism of the republican candidates who want to secede him while mostly
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avoiding specific policy proposals, obama spoke out against stigmatizing vulnerable communities including muslims, , immigrants, and lower-income americans. he defended his historic agreements with iran and cuba while touting the u.s. as the most powerful nation on earth. and he called for change in the u.s. political system to stop the outsize influence of wealthy donors. obama began his address by listing some of his presidency's remaining goals. >> i will keep pushing for progress on the work that i believe still needs to be done. , fixing a broken immigration system. protecting our kids from gun violence. equal pay for equal work. paid leave. raising the minimum wage. all of these things -- all of these things still matter to hard-working families.
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they're still the right thing to do, and i won't let up until they get done. juan: obama urged congress to take meaningful action on climate change including , stopping its denial. still wantsanybody to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. you will be pretty lonely. because you'll be debating our military, most of america's business leaders, the majority of the american people, almost the entire scientific community and 200 nations around the world who agree it is a problem and intend to solve it. amy: today we host a roundtable discussion on president obama's final state of the union. joining us are four guests. -- five guest. s. donna edwards, tavis smiley, andia garza, medea benjamin
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immigrants rights activists and military veteran claudia palacios. we welcome you all to democracy now! let's begin with one of our guests who are in the house last night in the congress as president obama delivered his last state of the union address, commerce woman donna edwards, welcome to democracy now! your thoughts on president obama's state of the union? >> good morning. i think the president really laid out a vision for america as he dealt with the political reality that not a lot of anything will be accomplished over this year given it is an election season, but i think he also cautioned us to remember where we started and to use that as a basis for moving forward to strengthen the economy come to grow jobs for the 21st century, and to invest in the american worker. i heard that message clearly. and i think his message was for republicans to stop being so
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divisive, to stop calling out those of us who share a different race, different faith, different background. i think that was important and optimistic message for united america. juan: in terms of the president being able to assert his a cobbler schmidt's or his legacy that this was billed as a speech that would do that, how successful do you think he was in that sense? >> i think the president was very clear in talking about the importance of an affordable care act that has delivered health care to 18 million people. i think he was really clear about seven news of economic growth, not the kind of growth that we need to see overall in the economy for working people who have had stagnant wages, but we're not losing 700,000 jobs every month. i think he pointed to an auto industry that republicans, frankly, would have let fail and
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that we revived as democrats. i think he was really clear about laying out what he accomplished, but also putting forward a vision for the united states that it is not one that is going to be achieved in his presidency, but one we should aspire to. amy: alicia garza, you're not used to being on the inside, you are usually outside protesting in the streets, cofounder of last lives matter, but night you were invited into the inner sanctum. you were there for the address, invited by congress member barbara lee. your thoughts, not only on the speech, but -- this isn't his first speech, it is president obama's last state of the union. it must be compared against his record. >> first and foremost, it was such an honor to be a guest of such an incredible visionary for working people, for women. i was so glad and honored to be there as a guest of congress
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woman barbara lee. the thing that i think was glaringly missing from the conversation last night was really the conversation around, not just gun violence broadly -- although, that is a major issue in our country -- but police violence as it relates to black communities. as i was sitting there last night, i could not help but rice, andt samari of the mothers who have lost their children, not just to gun violence broadly, but to the very people who are supposed to protect and serve us. and so to be quite frank, i think this message to president obama came in with eight years ago around hope and change is a message that i think people are still looking for. how are we going to accomplish that? i think lasty, night's speech was definitely a vision for where we think the country can go, but certainly, i think many people who have been involved in this movement certainly wanted to hear president obama, possibly the
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last black president in our countries history, really talk about what is going on in black communities specifically, really address the question of race, racism, and structural racism and structural violence. and certainly, to talk about what kinds of proposals are on the table to ensure that black people can live full lives in this country like everyone else. juan: i would like to ask tavis there here in the studio, were a lot of things that were not mentioned, including the president's failure to end the wars in afghanistan and iraq. but this whole issue of how he missed the opportunity to really make a final statement on the situation in black america. >> first of all, the president in history is going to be regarded and treated much more that he is -- then now, number one. you do get some things accomplished. we have to give him credit for the things he did. having said that, i think what
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historians want is to juxtapose how in the era of the first black president, maybe the last black president, but how in the era of barack obama to the bottom fall out the black america? blackhis underscores, america, we have lost ground and it pains me to say this, we lost ground in every major economic category over the last decade. not one, to come or three, but in every major economic category lacked folks have lost ground over the last 10 years. surely, these issues existed before he arrived, but we did not make any ground. and how do we redeem the time after he is gone? that is the part i think alicia is raising specifically with police brutality and misconduct, but so many other issues where we lost ground for the last 10 years. i think the historians are going to have an interesting time trying to juxtapose those two realities. amy: claudia palacios, you were arrested on friday in the
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streets of new york outside of immigration customs enforcement 2016.ting the dawn of with that, came these massive new raids, rounding up women, children, men to deport them. talk about your own experience. you are a marine, a military veteran. >> good morning, amy. first of all, we have to understand there hasn't been an increase in deportations or raids, really, an average of 200,000 deported migrants from the united states will stop though it is this spectacle that was created by the mainstream media in june 2014, images leaked of inhumane detention centers which allowed for the expansion of the attention centers and an increase of law enforcement. that was part of our demands as protesters on friday is that we need ice out of these
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communities. we need to stop criminalizing people of color. of activists, we understand we are part of the anti-graduation movement. because of that, it is what is destroying our families. not only the black communities, but the migrant communities, from all over the world, refugees. these nonprofit industries are literally profiting off of creating situations in other countries where we are forced to migrate, and we are displaced, then we are pushed -- funneled into industrial complexes, have it the myself the military-industrial complex or the prison industrial complex. one: yet the president had of the leaders in the dreamer's movement sitting in the gallery next to michelle obama. the actual speech had very little reference, other than saying we have to fix our broken immigration system, little reference to his own record or legacy in terms of immigration. >> right.
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it is a mockery to have him be a guest, and honored guest at the state of the union and then have not even initiate the conversation of immigration and how we're going to deal with this or how we're going to create sanctuary for people who are being targeted -- we're talking about women and children, not [indiscernible] activists, we are boots on the ground, willing to put our bodies on the ground to send the message across that we want ice out of our communities and also we want our folks to know, our people, that we are willing to fight, willing to be out there and put everything -- amy: which brings us to medea benjamin. towere sure if we are going have your the show today, medea, cofounder of code pink, whether you would be interrupting the state of the union address last night and then be in custody. you have been known to interrupt president obama, for example, when he spoke at national defense university laying out
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his drug program, you wrote a book on drones, protesting the people have been killed by drones. what was your assessment of president obama's last state of the union address? >> first, it is important to recognize the historic foreign policy a college months in terms of cuba and iran. and i think it is so important that he counter the islamophobia that is rising in this country, but his policies have really not been kind to muslims around the world. he has authorized the largest weapons sales to saudi arabia ever in history, $46 billion in his term. this is being used not only to repress people inside saudi arabia, but to kill people in yemen. he has increase the u.s. military aid to the repressive government of israel. he has opened up the u.s. military cooperation with the repressive egyptian government. he has used drones strikes to kill thousands of people in countries that where -- we're
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not even at war with. he talked last night about wanting to close guantánamo, and yet he is said that for seven years. while he could use his executive power to actually close guantánamo. i think if he really wanted to help muslims around the world, the best thing he could have done was to call for an arms embargo to the middle east. that would've been much more in line with the martin luther king call that he used for unarmed truth and unconditional love will stop juan: i wanted to ask you about his comments on climate change. i think some of the most pointed comments that he made in his speech. i think we have a floater were he is talking about the continued denial by many in congress of climate change. let's see if we can get that floater up there. >> look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. you will be pretty lonely because you'll be debating our
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military, most of america's business leaders, the majority of the american people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world to agree it is a problem and intend to solve it. [applause] that was the president on climate change. your assessment of his legacy in this area and of his challenge to the congress? >> well, there's positive things in that he listened to the grassroots to stop the keystone pipeline that the presence of the u.s. to try to come to some agreement in paris, and yet his government has continued the subsidies to big oil. he talks about changing the relationship to coal, but keeps supporting it. the tpp, thets transpacific partnership, which would be disastrous for the environment. and finally, we should recognize
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the u.s. military is a largest polluter in the world, and something that continues to grow under the obama administration. amy: commerce member edwards, you won't be able to stay the whole hour with us on what your response to a few things that were raised so far. on the issue of president obama youwar, the drone wars, can talk about, as you run for senate, what is your critique and also where do you think he has -- how do you assess his policy around, well, he inherited two wars but he is extended the longest war in u.s. history in afghanistan. >> i mean, i have long said, amy, that is a big question. i celebrate president obama in some anyways on a number of issues. on issues of the increased militarization, those are issues on which i and a handful of members of congress have
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disagreed with him. on the increased use of drones strategy, i think it is been very counterproductive to what we need to have happen in civilian communities and destroyed relationships with communities, people we actually need of we're going to have a stronger vision for peace in some of those very difficult regions. and i think the president was right last night in saying that to decide as a nation that we are going to go forward in this area of military expansion, then congress has responsibility to provide for a current authorization for the use of military force. now i'm not saying that i would agree with that kind of authorization, but i think it is ridiculous to continue military operations absent a new authorization or an updated
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authorization. i think the president has said that several times, and he put it back at the feet on congress again. i think it is high time we had oft debate in the congress the united states, and i'm convinced if we have a thorough debate, then the grassroots around this country are going to speak up and say that there has to be a limit in terms of what the united states and the role united states ought to play from a military perspective around the world. so that was missing, yes, but the calder congress to act when it comes to authorizing the use of military force with respect to isis, isil, i think that is important and we can't continue to run military operations -- significant military operations off of an authorization that the better part of 15 years, 10 to 15 years old now. amy: michelle obama sat next to an empty seat last night. that seat symbolizing the
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thousands of people who are missing in this country, killed because of gun violence. could that seat have also represented the number of people who have been deported, even some of president obama's closest allies in the latino community and latino organizations have called him the to porter in chief. >> i don't think it is my job as a member of commerce to call the president names, but what i will say is last week, i called out the president's policy when it comes to deportation, this sort of extreme enforcement and communities, and the congressional district that i represent is causing so much great fear in communities. children not going to school, people not going to work, being afraid to be seen in visible in their communities. i think it is a responsible -- in fact, just last week i had a pretty heated conversation with
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ice officials about their enforcement activities and my congressional district and across the country. placethere is another where the administration has discretion. and it can use that discretion to leave in peace families. go after felons. go after lawbreakers, but leave families alone. and in the absence of this republican congress refusing to engage in a serious way on copper he and's of immigration reform, i don't think it is the responsibility of the administration to cover that up by deporting families. amy: what did ice tell you? >> a good night here you. amy: what did ice tell you? how do they explain, as president obama says, congress is stopping congress of immigration reform, he is not stopping. he is not reforming, but actually moving forward in an
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acceleration we haven't seen before. a i don't think there is response, frankly, that i can give. i think their enforcement, the enforcement they are engaged now is an example. i have joined on a letter with over 100 members of congress to the administration to stop these deportations, these enforcement actions. some people have described them as raids. i think they're pretty routine enforcement actions will stop the problem is, the administration has discretion when it comes to making a decision about whether to engage in this heightened level of enforcement or not. and they are taking that action to the extreme. so i hope the administration, the president, are going to hear what we're calling for as members of congress to stop this kind of heightened enforcement in our communities and stop putting the fear into families and children afraid to go to
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school, people afraid to go to church because they are afraid of these enforcement actions. amy: commerce member edwards, thank you for being with us, compass member edwards is running for the u.s. senate from the state of maryland. we will continue with our other "the, tavis smiley, author of "the covenant with , black america -- ten years later." alicia garza is co-founder of black lives matter. she attended obama's state of the union address tuesday night as congress member barbara lee's guest. we're also joined by medea benjamin cofounder of codepink. ,we're also joined by claudia palacios, a military veteran and migrant justice activist and a arrested after trying to stop the migrant raids. 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. our guests for the hour are claudia palacios, a marine veteran, migrant rights activist who has a fascinating story herself, how she served this country and now her own birth certificate is being questioned afterwards. we also joined by alicia garza, cofounder of black lives matter, code pink cofounder medea benjamin, as well as pbs broadcaster and author tavis smiley. juan: as we continue to talk about president obama's state of hadunion and his legacy, we the discussion that i would like to talk to tavis about, the foreign policy aspect of the
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president speech. he devoted quite a bit of time to foreign policy and particularly at one point talked -- try towe cannot be take over and rebuild every country. than a year. america has led a coalition of more than 60 countries. to cut off isil plus financing, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters and stamp out their vicious ideology. ,ith nearly 10,000 air strikes we are taking other leadership, their oil, their training camps, their weapons. we're training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in iraq and syria. if this congress is serious about winning this war and wants to send a message to our troops in the world, authorize the use of military force against isil. take a vote.
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[applause] take a vote. but the american people should know that with or without congressional action, isil will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them. if you doubt america's commitment, or mine, to see that justice is done, just ask osama bin laden. juan: that was the president talking about the fight against terrorism, but increasing drone wars across the world, especially in the context of growing inequality at home, which has become a major subject of democratic presidential candidates, your sense of how the president has done in this area? >> a few thoughts. one, let's be clear, with all the respect to president obama, he is supported more people than george bush deported.
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he has used drones to kill more innocent women and children than george bush killed. we have a drone program on steroids. so we kind of dance around these things. let's come to the truth about the facts, that is the reality, he is killed more innocent women and children with drones than george bush did. having said that, it is also telling to me that while he got a nice applause line on the authorization issue, the republicans have had far less issue with this president on foreign-policy than they have on his domestic agenda. that ought to taste something, that republicans more often than not have been with him on his foreign-policy agenda than they have opposed him on his to mystic policy agenda. thirdly, what is fascinating for me, the last time i was here i think i was talking about my book on dr. king about the last year in his life and it is fascinating for me to watch this president civet in any speech -- pivot in any speech to a kingian
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notion, in this case, unarmed truth and unconditional love. so you pivot to quote martin on the one hand but what martin was talking about, as we all know, at the end of his life, that triple threat -- facing our democracy. king said, if we don't do with the triple threat, we're going to lose our democracy. what is the triple threat? racism, poverty, and militarism. for all that barack obama has in fact accomplished, and msa against a strong head wind, against a lot of obstruction, he got a lot done. but i judge this president does this is just me, my assessment. i judge this president and any other president by where they stand vis-à-vis relationship ticking closer see -- legacy in the triple threat. where did you stay in a what did you do on racism, poverty, and militarism? forhat is the scorecard
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this president, it is a very different conversation about what he has and hasn't gotten done. amy: talk about that. a few years ago, we were talking to i think ohio when you were on a poverty to her. you had written the book 10 years later, rooted in 2006. basically covers the obama presidency. --n: greater poverty percent percentage. party >> poverty is a matter of national security. these numbers are just not sustainable. poverty and militarism, the grade is not so good. you have alicia garza on the program. it is amazing that in this era of the first black president, black boys and black men are being shot dead in the streets and too many cops are getting away with that. in this era, black women are still dying disproportionately from preventable diseases. black children are still struggling to gain access to an
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equal and high-quality education. in this era, environmental racism abounds. the digital divide still exists. progress has been made, but it is troubling for me. and how the president's most loyal constituency over that period -- it is about where we are 10 years later, but it does point out most of his presidency. how does the president's most loyal constituency and upping the group that falsely farthest behind? i celebrate this, but look at what they've accomplished because they made demands. the environmentalists has something to celebrate because they made the man's. wall street always gets what it wants, but the president's most loyal constituency -- not much to celebrate. amy: black lives matter silly emerged during this period, alicia garza. the greatest progress you think you made an president obama is not at the end of his term, this is his last state of the union address he still has
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another year. what can the president do and what do you feel must be left to people in the streets? >> sure. first, let me talk about what i think we have accomplished. to be quite frank, even though president obama did not speak in the way that many would have wanted him to in the state of the union address about race and racism, the reality is, there is a conversation that is happening all over the world about race, state sanctioned violence, and racism that has not happened in this way in quite a long time. and i think that is a very significant, very, very significant advance. additionally, what i heard yesterday was that many people -- many of the congressional black caucus members, in particular, have been talking about various puzzles for criminal justice. and without rubberstamping any of those proposals, i think it is important as issue has come
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up and is being moved in a positive way. but to be really, really frank, i think the biggest thing that we have accomplished is pressure from the outside and to say, you know, we are not endorsing democrats or republicans -- both are equally culpable for the conditions that black folks are facing in this country and around the world. and so certainly, what my hope would be is there is an independent political force that is building in this country that will move a different type of agenda, that will prioritize people in the planet over profits. that is my hope. certainly, i think obama -- it is his last year and he still has time left. i think what we should be pushing him around, in particular, is to use his power of executive order. i mean, quite certainly, obama
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has really exquisitely talked about race only a handful of times in the eight years he has been president. and quite frankly, i think the sentiments that i have been hearing is that we can't wait any longer. again, when i was sitting in that chamber last night, all i could think about was sandra bland's family and how did sandra bland end up down -- dead in a jail cell that he should have been in the first place? >> all i could think about, when we're talking about implement rates dropping, i'm thinking, yes, for everybody but black women. when we are talking about gun violence i'm thinking of myself, what about violence that is also impacting the transgender community where we have a little more than 25 murders of trans people, tracy bold color, and most of them black trans people. and then i'm thinking about the rates that of it happening in the beginning of this year and i do think obama, while he kind of
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noted it is an election year and he was acknowledging "political reality" that might not move much this year, i think he can exercise more leadership and move things through his power as president through the tool of executive order. yes, that is when a make republicans angry, but quite frankly, i think that if anything is going to shift, we're going to need some leadership. i understand this notion of bipartisanism, but for many of our communities, we cannot wait for people to reach across the aisle and figure out how to compromise. there does have to be some leadership for progressive agenda that is centralizing the needs of our communities who are, quite frankly, under attack. amy: alicia garza, we have to take a break, cofounder of black lives matter, attended obama's state of the union address, pivotal also in the $15 and our, the push for the $15 and our minimum wage.
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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. we are spending the hour looking at the state of the union, not only the address, but the state of the union today. we're joined by pbs broadcaster, journalist tavis smiley, his "the covenant with black america -- ten years , later." we're also joined by medea benjamin, alicia garza, and claudia palacios. juan: claudia, about the only time last on the president got applause from everyone in the chama, democrats and republicans, was when he said we have the strongest military in the history of the world. you are a military veteran and could you talk about his legacy
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in terms of the military and also right now you're facing a situation where you don't even have a passport, even though you were born in the united states and you have served in the military. could you talk about your personal experience? >> of course. my family's indigenous wrong people. we were forced to migrate into the state sanctions -- the states, the united states. i was filed into the military industrial complex. when i joined, i presented my records. due to the fear of immigration communities of deportation, i was born through a midwife in the state of texas. that birth certificate was recognized by the military in order for me to join the service. once i was in active duty service member, i applied with state forment of the a passport and they failed to recognize my birth certificate. amy: you served in the military for five years. >> correct, okinawa, california, then countless countries. i was able to travel with the
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military, which i was then stripped from once my end of service, once i ended my service. so i am basically stateless because the u.s. does not recognize my birth certificate, so i can't leave my country will stop amy: yet something in common with obama when it comes to some people not recognizing his or certificate. what's the fact he brings this veteran as an honored guest, as it is a mockery because there is a community of deported veterans. this is not an isolated case. amy: but they have no work to do for you too. juan: are supposedly the people who served in the military, even though they're not citizens, even though you are since you were born here, eligible to be made citizens? >> how could i be naturalized when i'm stateless? i was born in the united states, but i can't naturalize myself if i do not come from anywhere else, correct? go ahead. are: in terms of when you
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seeing the situation of how the military is being deported around the world by not just as president but summit of presidents in the past, your concerns? >> is completely acceptable. military occupation in general. service members serving calais countries, like the sentiment and the climate is the same. local nationals do not want us there. we're destroying their lands, greeting hostile environments, and offer military presence, also the u.s. empire can have more control over countries and force policies that cause migrations, cause wars and migrant communities come your do so they can be criminalized and then be thrown in detention centers. it is a vicious cycle. amy: the question is, where we go from here? but look at the 2016 presidential race. tavis, i want to play a clip of
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you on sunday that is been making headlines this week. >> what troubles me, though, is that trump is still, to my mind unrepentant, religious and racial arsonist. we talk about how donald trump is rising in the polls. you can do that after the kind of campaign is running, the issues he is raising. pressed to say donald trump is rising the polls are not connected to the base message is putting out there -- amy: that is tavis smiley on "this week." donald trump responded on twitter saying -- "why does allow a hater & racist like tavis smiley to waste good airtime? abc can do much better than him!" tavis, your response? >> i'm laughing because my grandmother said many years ago, you may stoop so low that you can't get back up. then he said before answer that, this story just hits me.
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they're such a fine line between cynicism and skepticism. i think skepticism is healthy and cynicism is a bit unhealthy for me, but this is why people don't trust government, why so many americans are cynical that we could use the services of this young sister to fight and defend this country, but i mean, i'm sitting here and try to wrap my brain around this story that she just shared about the condition she is in and she is basically stateless. having said that, back to donald trump, again, this is why this is so scary. if donald trump were to have his way, not just this sister would be in trouble, but all the other folks that he wants to deport -- muslims he doesn't want to let in. i just hope is some point our consciences are pricked and we come to find a mentally address what kind of nation do we want to be? that is the question, what kind of people are we? who are we really? i think we're headed in such a
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dangerous direction when trump is rising in the polls. the point i was trying to make, it is not just about trump. i'm sick and tired of the media for giving him the past. he has been covered, but he has not been challenged. he is not being condemned. we just had a late. the mainstream media is so excited, and i get this part, so excited to have a race for the establishment is not in control of anything and this is making money, adding ratings, selling newspaper so trump is entertaining to a lot of people in this business, but there's a price to pay for that kind of xenophobia long-term. i want to challenge trump to not just stop the meant -- nonsense, but the media to be more inclusive. haley responding. talks with live in a time of threats like few other in recent memory. during anxious times, can become to follow the siren call of the and wrist voices.
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we must resist that temptation for some amy: her speech did not go over well. anne coulter took to twitter and wrote -- "trump should deport nikki haley." the figures are very interesting. by fiveanders leading points over rival hillary clinton in the latest polls. and i will, just weeks before the iowa caucuses, the survey 49% to 44%piac found for sanders. meanwhile, the new york times/cbs poll shows clinton friend over senators daschle has virtually disappeared. similarly appealing to young people. can you talk about the issues being raised now and our 2016 from republicans to democrats, this election is breaking down your typical divisions. >> yes, but amy, i want to say it is important we learn the lessons from this obama time
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that whether it is trump that whether it is traffic comes to office or the warlike hillary clinton or even bernie sanders, for that matter, we need the grassroots to be stronger. the black lives matter movement has been fantastic, the environmental amy: immigrant rights, but the antiwar movement has lost steam during these years. if we're going to ever shipped the money from the military to support expanded social security , addressing the environmental crisis, we're going to have to rebuild that movement and that is the appeal i want to make in his last moments that i have on your show. amy: tavis smiley, that issue of trump and sanders equivalency on either side of the spectrum? thatve been talking about all week. they're appealing to a particular group of people, but not for the same reasons and i'm tired of the media lumping them together. on donald trump, as you know, there are been calls in his behalf by weisel for mrs. group. donald trump immediately got on twitter to take me on, but
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unless something happened since i've been on your said this morning, he still hasn't got around to announcing this white supremacist group now doing rowboat calls on his behalf. this is what i mean when i say the media on asking the right questions of donald trump. amy: as far as i know, donald trump has not apologized to the muslim activists in rockville, south carolina, who quietly stood up with a t-shirt that peace" and was taken out by security. along with jewish immigration lawyer, activist, who also was wearing a yellow star, going back to world war ii, the jews identified by the nazis. juan: i would like to ask medea benjamin, we have less than a minute, but your sense of what the president could still do in his last year that he would like to see him accomplish? >> certainly, he could use his executive authority to close guantanamo. i think it is very important he
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do something about the critical stage in the korean peninsula, instead of sending the two bombers over north korea, to start a peace process with north korea that is been missing since 1953. and i think we need to stop the toxic relationship with saudi arabia, that is why we are organizing a summit in washington march 5-six and we hope your listeners will come to join us build a movement against the relationship of saudi arabia. amy: i want to leave it there, but we will continue to cover all of these issues. i want to thing medea benjamin, cofounder of code pink, thank you so much as well to tavis smiley, public tv and radio broadcaster, journalist. his new book is, "the covenant with black america -- ten years later." thank you to claudia palacios, racial and migrant justice activist and a u.s. marines veteran. as well to alicia garza, cofounder of black lives matter. special projects director for the national domestic workers alliance.
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that does it for our broadcast. we have job openings at democracy now!. democracy now! is hiring a director of finance and operations and a director of development. visit democracynow.org for more information. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning'm john cleese.
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now, have you ever wondered what makes sacred art really sacred? i mean, does the so-called creative spirit lie within the artist, or is it something channeled through the artist that comes from somewhere else entirely? in either case, prepare to be totally delighted by what follows: the first-time meeting of a tibetan lama and a navajo sculptress. so settle back, take a deep breath, and let your creative spirit float in the wind as we join our host, phil cousineau, with his esteemed guests for this colorful, art-drenched episode of global spirit, the first internal travel series. [percussive music]

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