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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 8, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/08/19 05/08/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. trump: there is no law. as you know, i got elected last time with this same issue. and while i am under audit, i won't do it. if i'm not under audit, i would do it. i have no problem with it. amy: "the new york times" reports trump's taxes for a decade in the 1980's and 1990's show he lost more than $1
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billion, more than any u.s. taxpayer. we'll speak with pulitzer prize-winning investigative repoporter david cay johnsnston. ththen supermamajority. >> wenen arehe m majity of ericanan majority ofe vorsrs. >> we are the marity of grasoots volteerers d dono. folks our gornment should lo likes.s. together we are notusust th majority. >> we arsusuper joririty and we are unstoppable. amy: wder whercecile richardshe formehead o plandarenthoocecille ?ichar has gonnow g than it will write some of them 36 years later. >> the united states constitution, the world's oldest constitution, is also the only major written constitution in the world that blacks provision
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declaring that men and women are equal. and now is the chance to correct that omission. amy: as congress holds the first hearings on the e.r.a. and more than three decades, we will speak with carol jenkins a jessica neuwirth. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and resume high-level enrichment of uranium in 60 days if other signatories of the deal do not take action to shield iran's oil and banking sectors from u.s. sanctions. this comes a year after the trump administration pulled out of the nuclear deal. in a speech earlier today, iranian president hassan rouhani
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said iran wants to stay in the nuclear deal, but that it is rolling back its commitments due to washington's actions. in the short term, rouhani said iran would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water from its nuclear program. >> the joint comprehensive plan of action, the jcpoa, is here and it remains in place, but today we have shown the flip side of the jcpoa coin. this is the same nuclear deal that states the other parties are failing to meet obligations, then we can also reduce our obligations to the deal. today we're announcing a reduction under the deal. we are not leaving the nuclear deal. amy: russia responded by blaming the united states for provoking iran into rolling back the terms of the nuclear deal. the iranian-american author hasa parsi said trump crated a chain reaction of will make america and the world less safe. iran's announcement comes just daysys after the trump
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administration moved to o deploa cacaier strike group and a bomber task fofoe to the region claiaiming there w was a "credie threat by y iranian regigime forces."." on tuesday, u.s. officials announced four b-52 bombers would be part of the deployment. meanwhile, secretary of state mike pompeo made a surprise vivisit to iraq on tuesday to mt iraq's prime mininister a and discususs iran's presence in ir. this comes as a high-ranking united nations official is openly criticizing the united states for imposing unilateral sanctions on iran, cuba, and venezuela that could lead to mass starvation. u.n. special rapporteur idriss jazairy said, "real concerns and serious political differences between governments must never be resolved by precipitating economic and humanitarian disasters, making ordinary people pawns and hostatages thereof." a recent report by the center for economic and policy research anand economist jeffrey sachs estimates 40,000 people may have died in venezuela since 2017
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because of u.s. sanctions. visit to see our recent interview with economist sachs. in colorado, an 18-year-old student was killed and eight were injured on tuesday in a school shooting at the stem school highlands ranch south of denver. authorities have taken two students into custody. douglas county sheriff tony spurlock spoke to reporters outside the school. >> two individuals walked into the stem school, got deep inside the schooool, and engaged studes in two separatate locations. we do have eight students that are in area hospitals right now. several of them are in critical condition. both of the suspects we believe our students of the stem school. they are not injured. amy: the stem school highlands
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ridge school is located just seven miles from columbine high schoolwork 12 students and a teacher were shot dead 20 years ago on april 20, 1999. also about 20 miles from aurora, colorado, where a gunman killed 20 people at a movie theater in 2012. tuesday shooting in colorado came a week after two students were killed and four were injured in a mass shooting at the university of north carolina charlotte. "the new york times" has obtained tax information on donald trump showing that his businesses lost more than $1 billion from 1985 to 1994.4. while trump contininues to refue to release his tax returns, "the times" o obtained prinuts from his official irs tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994. in multiple years during that stretch, trump appears to have lost more money than any other individual taxpayer in the
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united states. in 1990 and 1991, trump lost more than $250 million each -- more than double any other individual u.s. taxpayer according to irs dococuments. in eight of the 10 years, trump paid no federal income taxes. we will have more on this story after headlines with fillets s e prprize-winning journalist davik john -- pulitzer prize winning journalist david k johnston. in news from washington, tension continues to escalate between congressional democrats and the trump administration. the house judiciary committee is preparing to vote today on whether to hold attorney general william barr in contempt of congress for failing to provide lawmakers with an unredacted copy of the mueller report. the justice department is now advising trump to invoke executive privilege over the entire unredacted report and underlying evidence. in related news, the white house has directed former counsel don mcgahn not to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over documents related to the russia probe. meanwhile, fbi director christopher wray appears to have directly contradicted attorney general william barr on whether federal authorities spied on the trump campaign in 201616.
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last month, barr said, "spying did occur." on tuesday, wray says he has not seen any evidence of illegal surveillance. georgia's republican governor brian kemp has signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. the law bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected which often occurs at around six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even realize they are pregnant. the new law goes into effect on january 1. the american civil liberties union, planned parenthood southeast, and the center for reproductive rights have announced plans to challenge the abortion ban. reproductive rights groups are also challenging fetal heartbeat bills that were recently passed in mississippi and kentucky. we will speak with former planned parenthood head cecille richards. in labor n news, uber and d lyft drivers are planning to strike today in o over a dozen cities ahead ofof uber's debut onon thw york stock excxchange. while uber is expectcted to be valued as high as $90 billion,
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the drivers s say they have not benefited from uber's success citing low wages and no benefits. uber driver esterphanie st. juste is taking part in the strike in los angeles. >> at first, it was good. probably ito make over $1000 aily week and still have two days off . sense ofmed to make the time. well, now i have not had a day off january because i can't afford to have a day off. amy: in other labor news, tens of thousands of teachers in oregon are planning to walk out of classes today forcing at least 23 school districts to preemptively cancel school. the teachers are calling for legislators to increase school funding and reduce large class sizes. the family of sandra bland is calling for authorities to reopen its investigation into her death.
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the 28-year-old african american woman died in a texas jail cell in 2015, three days after she was arrested for allegedly failing toto signal l a lane ch. authorities have claimed sandra bland commititted suicide whilin jailil by hangnging hersrself wa garbage bag, but her family has long rejected this claim. on monday, the dallas tv station wfaa aired cell phone video filmed by bland capturing the moment when she was pulleded ov. in the 39 second video, you can see the officer, brian encinia, drawing his stun gun and saying, "i will light you up." >> get out of the car now. >> why am i being apprehended? >> get out of the car. >> you just open my car door. you threatening to drag me out of my own car? >> get out of the car. i will light you up.
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get out of the car. >> you are doing all of this for failure to signal? let's take this to court. let's do it. for failure to signal. i have a right to record. this is my property. sir? >> put your phone down right now. amy: attorneys for the bland family say the cell phone video proves the officer lied when he had claimed he felt his safety was in jeopardy when he pulled over sandra bland. the actress pamela anderson visited wikileaks founder julian assange at the high-security belmarsh prison in london on tuesday. assange is serving a 50-week prison sentence for skipping bail in britain and faces possible extradition to e unitited states toto face chargs relalated to the c chelsea manng leaks. pamela anderson spoke outside the prison after seeing him. >> it has been very difficult to
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see julian here and to make our way through the prison to get to him was quite shocking and difficult. he does not deserve to be in a super max prison. he has never committed a violent act. he is an innocent person. he has a five so much to bring -- he has sacrificed so much to bring the truth out. we deserve the truth. that is all i can say. i feel sick. i feel nauseous. amy: pamela anderson was wearing a cloak covered with references to the history of free speech in britain as well as prisons, tyranny, and the levellers. president trump has pardoned a former u.s. soldier who was found guilty of unpremeditated murder for killing an unarmed iraqi prisoner in 2008. the soldier, first lt. michael is behenna, drove an unarmed iraqi prisoner into the desert for an interrogation. he then stripped the prisoner naked, interrogated him at
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gunpoint, and then shot himim in the head and chest. behenna was initially sentenced to 25 years in 2009. he was released on parole in 2014. hina shamsi of the american civil liberties union criticized trump's move. she said, "this pardon is a presidential endorsement of a murder that violated the military's own code of justice." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in a major expose, "the new york times" has obtained tax information on donald trump that shows that his businesses lost morere thahan from 1985 to 1994. $1 bilillion while t trump conts to refustoto releaseis t tax returns, "the times" obtained printouts from his official irs tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994. in multiple years during that stretch, trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the united states. in both 1990 and 1991, trump lost more than $250 million --
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more than double any other individual u.s. taxpayer according to irs documents. in eight of the 10 years, trumup paid no federal income taxes. to unpack these revelations, we are joined in rochester, new york, by david cay johnston, the twice pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter formally with "the new york times," now founder and editor of he has been reporting on donald trump since the 1980's. his most recent book is titled "it's even worse than you think: what the trump administration is doing to america." he has just published a piece in the daily beast headlined "trump's tax week potential fraud investigation." david k johnston, welcome back to democracy now! what were you momost surprised y in this "new york times" expose
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and explain exactly what they got a hold of. it wasn't the actual tax returns of donald trump from the 1980's to 1990's. what was it? >> "the times" got from a source who properly had them what are called tax transcripts. the irs takes information from your tax return and puts it into a summary that tax agents work from. so it is the official numbers. "the times" has some of fred trump's tax returns. the numbers line up perfectly for those areas where they would need to bebe consistent. so we can rely this is highly accurate data on what trump told the tax returns. amy: who would have access to this information? >> a lot of people. if you have taken out a mortgage, you signed a form saying you would summit having or tax information given to your lender. when trump was raising money on wall street, he might've had to supply this.
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litigants may have gotten. of course, his own family and staff and advisers would have this information. so there are numerous copies out there of this and other trump tax information, just as with the 2005 trumump tax return that was mailed to my home here in rochester. amy: so talk about exactly what has been exposed. he lost more than $1 billion, more than any u.s. tax payer? >> yes. almost two cents of every dollar byorted as losses one year everyone in the unit states were reported by donald trump. what this shows is sometething i've been saying and writing about trump for 30 years, he is a terrible businessman. to get this model is not an enterprise, to nurture it, to grow it, to make it more profitable over time. this business model is the same as a mob bust out.
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get your hands on a enterprise, squeeze all of the cash out of it, don't pay your vendors, try to cheat as best you can your employees, don't pay the bankers.s. trump once had, i borrowed money knowing i would not pay it back. the leave the carcass in go on to the next deal. that is why the art of the deal is so significant in all of this because trump's is this s models to rip off one person after another who gets involved with him thinking he will make them wealthy while he is destroying theieir wealthth. donald, after bernie made off, arguably is the greatest wealth destroyer in american history. amy: president trump tweeted at 4:00 a.m. this morning eastern time, a local real estate developers in the 1980's and 1990's, m more than 30 years ag, were entitled to massive write-offs andnd appreciation which would come if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in all most all cases. much was nonmonetary. sometimes considered tax
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shelter. you would get a by building or even buying. you always wanted to show losses for tax purposes. almost all real estate developers did." trump tweeted that at 4:00 this morning. your responsnse, david cay johnston? >> buildings are depreciated by owners and many big real estate developers reaching the report losses on their tax returns. by donald did not have anywhere near the value in the buildings he controlled to take the kind of losses you are seeing. and he doesn't mention things lilike he bought thehe old usedn airline shuttle with its broken down, aging, gas guzzling jets and lost $7 million a month and it numerous other business deals worth you lost money left and right. so he hahas taken a little elemt a major -- if you're real estate family, you probably don't pay income taxes -- and try to make that cover all of
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this other stuff in terms of losses that are way out of proportion. more i iortantly, donald trumpmp held himselflf out as this great dealmaker, this genius businessman. he pushed himself into the front of the pantheon of the economic heroes who were lionized in the 1980's for making money without any regard to o how they made i, when he did not belong in their league at all. for those of us who have been covering him closely and not buying at the service what he says but checking the facts, the broad street here is the size of the losses is stupendous. much larger than i ever imagined. amy: who was backing him? talk about the banks. there seems to be some unexplained large sum of money that he got at that time, $52529 million. >> trump reported one year a list $53 million o of intereres. over $660 million
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of treasury bonds. if it were junk bonds, more than $350 million. we know from other things that trump has disclosed that he did not have a portfolio anything like that. the question is, did he report some income that was from some other source he was trying to hide as interest? and in the question would be, was it nefarious? i would say this was right after the period when we know that donald trump was very deeply entangled with the internatitiol cocaine trafficker joseph walks along. wexelbaum. listening, suere me if you think you can prove what i just said is not true. the backers of trump were banks up until 1990 when he could not pay his bills as they came due.
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donald and i had a conversation where i said, how mumuch are yo? $3 billion. i said i don't believe e you. he was agitateted. i said, i'm a reporter, journalist. i can pay my bills. you had $3 billion in me would find a way to pay your bills. later that day, he told another reporter he was worth $5 billion, which tells you he just makes this up. he is a con artist. he's a criminal. he is a fraud. once the banks realize that they had been had, nobody would loan money to the many more. deutsche bank is the preferred for russian oligarchs, the wonder their money. written that congress shohould investigate that what we know trump -- trump was faking his wealth and may have been vulnerable to foreign espionage.
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you also say the new reporting by "the times goes quick hints at what may be more trump tax fraud in which there is no statute of limitations when it is criminal rather than civil. what does that mean, criminal? enforcen't seriously the criminal tax laws in this country. there are over 150 million tax returns filed this year and there will be maybe 800 prosecutions and many of those will be connected to either drug trafficking or bribing politicians. it is one of the major shortcomings in our law. donald trump had two civil tax fraud trials and he lost both of them. his own account, also his father's tax lawyer and accountant, testified under oath "that's my signature on the tax return but neither i nor my firm prepared that tax return." that is criminal tax fraud.
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that donald trump was not prosecuted at the time goes to how he has been very effective at hiring lawyers to intimidate journalists, persuade governments he is not worth the time to go after, and cheat the system. gets its hands on his tax returns, and i'm confident they will and if not they will get his returns from new york state -- which are virtually identical -- i am sure they will show that donald trump, like richard nixon, is a criminal tax cheat. richard nixon's lawyer went to prison. the only reason richard nixon did not go to prison was he was pardoned by gerryry ford. amy: you want to thank you for being with us. a small correction, said trump tweeted a 4:00 a.m., it was actually at 7:00 a.m. are only have one bullets -- pulitzer prize, amy. amy: two corrections. david cay johnston, pulitzer prize-winning investigative
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reporter previously with "the new york times," now founder and editor of he has been reporting on donald trump for decades. his latest book is "it's even worse than you think: what the trump administration is doing to america." when we come back, a new organization has been formed. it is called super. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman. as the 2020 election seasonn heats up, we turn now to the launch of a new political action group by three prominent women's rights activisists. it's called supermajority, and its goal is to train a new generation of women activists to take on grgrassroots campaigns a electoral policscs. >> women arehe majory of americans. >>e are the majority voters >> we e the marity of grassroots donors. >> our government shou l look
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lilikehis. our leadershohould ght t fo us. >> t t only way we can make th hahapp is s by standing shoulder to shodeder. >> w witwomen n o believ us. >> maybe far forhahange r dedes.s. >> demanding equalitinin you hos andd workplace you from urur govnmenent. >> maybe you're just gettin started. >> le's rk t togher. >> sup majority is a n orgazazationor w wom who w wt to build our collecte power and usit to chan the coury for good. >> because one o ucould be dismsesed. two of us can be ignored. it together, we're not just the majotyty. we a are supererajority. >> and we are ststoppae. let's make sure the entire country knows it. amy: that is the promotional video for supermajority. the nenew political action group was founded by black lives matter co-founder alicia garza, ai-jen poo, the executive director of the national domestic workers alliance, and former planned parenthood president cecile richards.
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she joins us now in our studio. welcome back to democracy now! first time in this position as one of the heads up super majority. >> one of the founders. there are 70 women now coming out of the woodwork to do this work. amy: explain what you're doing. >> i spent 12 years at planned around reproductive health and health care access. my colleagues have been n doing the same work with different groups of women. we r realize there a are millios more women we have not organized , particularly since this election, raising her hand and saying, "i want to do more. i've never been politically involved." we s spent thehe last few months traveling across the country listening to women. they want to be activists. as you saw on the video, there were thee that women majority voters, 54% of women were voters last election were
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women. we are the volunteers. we are increasingly the donors and the candidates, and itit is time for political equity. that is the idea behind super majority. we want to build a multiracial, toergeneratational movement increase women's power, political power and civil engagement. amy: you talk about a new deal for women. >> that is what i think. women do most of the work around political campaigns and candidates and yet the issues that women talk to us about on the lack of affordable childcare in the united states, the fact that mortality rates are at academic levels, the fact that it will take its a lot of lip service but we don't make progress -- these are issues we believe need to be frontnt and center of any political campaign . although i'm so grateful there are so many womemen running for president raising these issues, they need to be raised by anybody who was to be president of the united states.
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amy: how did you come up with the title super majority? >> women aren't just the majorityty, i think they have superpowers. they have been showing that. i think i it has kind of caught on. in fact, we launched i guess a week ago and we have now had more than 80,000 folks sign up. that is before w we even reallyy begin to get on the road. i feel like there's a real need and interest in the country, particularly along -- among women who are to become effective activists. amy: i want to turn to alicia garza. she is away so we were not able to bring her on with you today, cofounder of black lives matter. in 2017, she spoke on democracy now! about how women of color must be included in political organizingng, especially against sexual assault and harassment. >> women of color, immigrant women, black womomen who are lolow-wage workers are extremely
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vulnerable to this kind of abuse and violence. frankly, because of the lack of protections ththat existst comer to be honest, the mamarginalization ththese communities already experience in our society and our economy and in our democracy, , there really is not only not coconversation about their prevalence in which this is happening to women of color anad immigrant women in the service industry, but there is also not a lot of conversation about what do the solutions look like outside of criminalizing the perpetrators or the survivors themselves. that is very important. and that is black lives matter co-founder alicia garza, who is one of the cofounders of this new organization with sza richards and ai-jen poo called super majority. thisw do you organize multiracial coalition?
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in 2016,ame to voting wasn't it something like 62% of white women voted for president trump? >> i don't think that is the nunumber, but definitely a plurality of white women voted for president trump. look, i think this is work that women want to do not only to learn how to be better activists, to work across issues, but also work across race lines. i think there was a real recognition among a lot of white women, that we cannot continue to rely on women of color to sort of save this country or save us from ourselves. and it is important we do this work as well and intentionally and in a multiracial way. ivan and organizer my whole life. to me this is a very important and exciting moment where i'm seeing women across the country come into rooms with women that never met before and say, this is the most exciting thing i've ever been able to do, meet with
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women who also care passionately about the same issues i do and we need to do this work together. i'm so glad you had a clip from alicia. i think she is one of the most phenomenal leaders in this country. as well. there are thousands more and ththat is what we're seeking too , make sure these women's voices are being lifted up, that theyey are feeling empowereded and supported. amy: what would be the role of unions? the leadership committee includes mary kay henry of seiu. how will you reach into unions? >> i came out of the labor movement, so i have enormous respect for the work not only the labor movement but the teachers movement. there hahad been strikes by teachers, overwhelmingly who are women, across the country. amy: oregon teachers are striking today. >> it should not be on the
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public school teachers of this countryy to save the educatition system but this is where we see over and over again women taking action where government is failing them. absolutely the teachers, the labor unions -- they also, the majority of these organizations, are women, and they want to work across issue lines as well. i am really grateful to america a for being an important -- mary kay for understanding we can build the powerer of women acros this country. amy: i want as good about a comment of the new head of the nra, carolyn meadows. she is there because oliver north was just ousted. she apologized after coming under fire for attacking fellow georgian democratic freshman commerce member lucy mcbath, who lost her son to gun violence of years ago, jordan davis, in florida. he was a teenager who was shot dead when he was sitting in a car in a gas station parking lot. lucyw said, the reason
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mcbath one is not because she was anti-gun, but because she was a minority female. your thoughts? >> that was one of the worst -- there's so many things about this -- obviously -- let me go back. lucy mcbath is a national hero. the fact that a woman who went through what she did, lost her child and then committed herself to addressing the criminal justice system in this country is phenomenal. the fact she is in congress is so fantastic. she was elected in a majority anglo district. she was not elected because she was a woman of color, but frankly despite the fact she was a woman of color. i think it is a norm is testament to her and her candidacy, during leadership and also a testitimony to the important role that stacey abrams is playing and has played in the state of georgia to of alle participation people that particularly people of color.
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because you open a topic of georgia, which i hope we will talk about in a minute because this outrageous bill that has been signed by the governor -- i spent time in georgia with stacy . if every person in that state have been allowed to vote and if it have been counted, stacey abrams would be governor today and would be serving as well is having lucy mcbath in congress. amy: let's talk about what happened in georgia. the republican governor, brian kemp, who was secretary of state -- forey abrams has sued the republican governor brian kemp has signed into law a six-week abortion ban, or so-called fetal heartbeat law. it bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, somethining that typicalally has just six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women realizee they're p pregnant. this is kemppepeaking at t the signing of the bill on tuesday. >> it is very simple but also very powerful, a declaration
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that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all .ife is worthy of protection i understand, like the others have said, that some oppose this legislation. i realize that some a challenge it in the court of law. but our job is to do what is right, not what is easy. we are called to be strong and courageous. and we will not back down. we will always continue to fight for life. amy: that is georgia's republican governor brian kemp, the latest in a series of attacks on the productive rights across the u.s. last month ohio governor also signed into law a a six-weeeek's abortion ban. legislation does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. more than two dozen other states are e considering legislation no ban or restrict abortion in various ways. among the slew of strategies are trigger bans to make abortion completely illegal in a state
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should roe v. wade be overturned, as well as six-week abortion bans. >> obviously, the hypocrisy of this -- of just that clip you played is underscored by the fact that in fact, there is a crisis in this country and it is maternal mortality rates, which are the highest in the developed world. i think georgia has the second-highest of maternal deaths related to pregnancy of any state. so if there is a medical crisis in georgia, it is about women dying as a result of complications s from childbirth. that is on the one side. if governor cap wanted to do something about a real problem, that is something they could address. cololor,her for women of i think three times for black women than white women. this bill, not only is it unconstitutional and i believe willll be declared so, but one f
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the things he does not mention is it likely criminalizes women as well. it doesn't just make abortion illegal. it basically would allow women to be convicted and either sentenced to death or to life imprisonment in georgia. we are now going from not only making abortion illegal, but criminalizing women who make this decision that has been constitutional now for more than 40 years in the united states of america. i think that directly relates back to the work we talked earlier about, the super majority. i think women are tired of asically being seen as special interest, as a side issue. these are issues that affect every single woman in this country. amy: so what exactly are you going to be doing? you talked about mobilizing women.n. women? registering >> eventually as we get into next year. right now women are saying they want to be trained. we just did a call yesterday
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with about 1500 women. the first folks who signed up. they want to be trained in activism. they want to know how to affect legislation. they are going to be part of designing a new deal for women so in this all-important presidential election, amy, as well as the otherr elections tht will be going on, that candidates and anyone who wants to be elected has to respond to the issues that women care about. that will be a lot of the organizing work we're doing both online and off-line in the coming months. amy: carter democratic women have announced their plans to run for president will step -- four democratic women have announced a place to run for president. >> there's no way to overstate the importance of women running for president. i am thrilled they are in their raising issues that have long been needed to be raised. i think it is disturbing to see what i believe is a real double standard and how they are being treated versus the many, many
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men running for president. two thirds of political reporting is still done by men. both from super majority, through other folks that follow the media, we can actually be liftfting up the important work these w women hae done. these are women who in large part have never lost a political race. when people talk about women being unelectable, it is important look at their record because it stands up in contrast to what -- a lot of the men who are in the race right now. amy: today to house ways and means committee is holding its first-ever hearing unpaid family and medical leave. what do you want to see come out of this hearing? >> one, it is incredibly important you are reporting that. we are the only developed country with no nationally mandated family leave policy. this is an issue that every person in the country i talked to raises come the difficulty of taking care of their family,
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their children, their loved ones, their parents. we can lift up what is happening in congress so anyone in the u.s. senate is held accountntabe abouout where they vote on this issue. this should be and could be the first thing a new president signs into law. amy: a correction, what i said earlier, you question 52% of white women voters for president trump in 2016, although pew put it at something like 47% of what women voted for donald trump according to the pew research center. they found 45% voted for hillary clinton. >> there have been different numbmbers. definitely a plurality of white women. but one thing i think is also this lasting at is in election in 2018 were we elected a record number of women to congress and of color to congress, for the first time in years, white women split their votes evenly between democratic and republican candidates.
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that is not true across the board. it depends on the state, but i do think there is a growing recognition that their opportunity to talk to women about the important issues they care about and how the candidates stand on those. amy: how is it that though there is a clear pro-choice majority in this country, most states are imposing some kind of abortion ban. >> because if you look at -- look at my own state of texas were we of had the most gerrymandered districts for years and have in fighting in courts forever. i would say the state legislatures in a lot of the states, including texas, are not representative of the majority of people. know,le on that, as we the restrictions on voting for people in this country -- , many statess -- we don'tt have aa representative democracy. we need democracacy reform. i know that is something that
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stacey abrams is fighting. everybody needs to vote in every vote is counted. amy: how much does your mother, ann richards, former governor of -- her legacyce influence what you're doing today, moving from planned parenthood to super majority? >> i would like to think that ann richards would be one of the for supers to sign up majority. she believed in the importance for family and democracy of representing all people, not only women, but women of color and people who have been underrepresented. i believe that is what most people in this country believe. i'm grateful to mom and the centuries of women, women of acor who fougught to make this stronger democracy. now it is on thehe rest of us to keep that going. amy: cecille richards, thank you for joining us, cofounder of supermajority, former president
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of the planned parenthood federation of america and the planned parenthood action fund. when we come back, congress holds the first hearings on the e.r.a., the equal rights amendment, and more than three decades. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman. "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on account of sex." those are the words of the equal rights amendment, which may be heading toward ratification decades after it was first considered by the american public following a powerful hearing on capitol hill last week. activists and lawmakers testified before a house judiciary subcommittee in the first congressional hearings on the e.r.a. in more than 35 years. the constitutional amendment was approved by congress in 1972, and was ratified by 35 states over the next decade, three states short of the required total needed by a 1982 deadline. nevada and illinois have since ratified the amendment. a bill by congressmember jackie spear would eliminate the 1982
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deadline, leaving the e.r.a. just one state away from becoming a part of the u.s. constitution. this is actor and activist patricia arquette speaking at the hearing. >> what it women achieve equality in 1787 or 1982? because the country was not ready? i hope you are ready now because women have been waiting 232 years for equality in this country and it has failed them. legislatorors have blocked the passage ofof the eququal rights amamendment for decades. we are done waiting. amy: for more, we're joined by the copresidents and ceos of the e.r.a. coalition/fund for women's equality carol jenkins anand jessica neuwirth. jessica neuwirth is also the author of the book "equal means equal: why the time for an equal rights amendment is now." carol jenkins and jessica neuwirth, we welcome you to democracy now! what is it you could see happening now that has not
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happened in u.s. history? >> two things. the coalition is now working on two ways f forward to the e.r.a. being ratified. one is we need 38 states. we think we're close to that. we got as far as 37.5 states. virginia senate passed it, the house denied it. we call that getting as close as you can get without getting there. we think virginia will be the next possibility for us as well. there is an election in november. if they manage to turn the state blue, they could take up the e.r.a. again in january. we're just that close. the other 13 states, we are working for that. the reason we were in the judiciary committee last week billo get jackie spepear's marked up and voted on. that would be the removal of the deadline completely, which is a barrier to the conversation -- not necessarily a barrier to ratification, but to the
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conversation about the equal rights amendment. amy: jessica neuwirth, you have been organizing and writing about this for decades. explain the history of the equal rights amendment, especially for young people who may have no idea what this is about. when thein college 1982 deadline passed, so i was not an active part of the first wave of the younger a activism in the 1970's -- e.r.a. activism in the 1970's. they goes back to 1923 when women got the right to vote in 1920 and alice paul and others drafted the equal rights amendment, introduced in 1923, finally passed in 1972. there's a long history of movement and it came so close, even in 1982. if you talk to people who were active then, it was just a handful of votes in a couple of states that made the difference. now with the power of social media and all of these new young women and men who have grown up
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really in a different culture is it athink not only no-brainer, it is absurd to them we don't have constitutional equality -- which is alslso true around the world. i think people look at us and they don't understand why we would not have this basic provision in our constitution. to the let me go testimony, the hearing that took place last week. i want to go to the house judiciary committee hearing. in her opening remarks, kathleen sullivan said the u.s. constitution is exceptional in not t including a gender equaliy clause. >> the united states constitution, the world oldest written constitution, is also the only major written constitution in the world that lacks a provision declaring that men and women are equal. and now is the chance to correct that omission, that stain, that
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embarrassment about our constitution were ratification by just one more state of the 1972 amendment. just to give some examples, the french constitution provides that the law guarantees to the women in all spheres, men equal to women. in germany, men and w women have equal rights and that nobody shall be prejudice or favored because of theheir sex. ththe constitution of india provides that the state shall not discriminate against any citizen based on sex. every written constitution promulgated since one or two contains a sex equality provision. roe or two contains a sex equality provision. amy: how is it possible that it has not been passed? talk about that history and what holes do have showing how many americans, the percentage support this? americans of every
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color, political persuasion, age must support equality, constitutional equality for women. the problem is 80% of those people think we are ready have it. they cannot believe that in the united states, we do not have this in our constitution. so i think it has been a long journey, almost 100 years, since alice paul introduced it in 1923, that we have been on this march toward equality. amy: what states are you focusing on, if it is just one state away? >> we're looking at a virginia if it is just one state away. louisiana has a possibility. arizona. they all say -- we put it in the terms of their is the math and it is the magic. the map in many instances is just against us by a little or a lot. it magically, what could happen if a person who is as not support of e.r.a. suddenly wakes up and says, it is time for this to happen, it is unconscionable
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the constitution of the u.s. does n not include women. amy: can you talk about intersectionality and the e.r.a., the importance of african-american leadership around the e.r.a.? >> we're at this moment because of black women. pat spearman in 2017 magically got nevada to ratify the e.r.a. those of us who have been working on this for years looked at each other and we said, does this count in our -- and our legal people said it does come. the next thing, it was extraordinary. the lieutenant governor was a powerful voice in the illinois house to make sure that the e.r.a. got that passed. and now a virginia, we have several black women in the forefront, including jennifer mcclellan in the senate, jennifer -- the chief sponsor and the house of delegates, and
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remember we came so close that was shockingly close, one vote away from that you are a amy: jessica neuwirth, how to the e.r.a. address transgender discrimination? -- right now the supreme court has a case and will decide e what the word meas and whether it includes transgender. amy: let me go back to 19 76. this is "good morning america" hosting a debate between phyllis schlafly and betty friedan on the equal rights amendment. this is conservative activist schlafly who was, at the time, the chairwoman of the "stop era" campaign. >> the e.r.a. is a big attack on the rights of the homemaker. the laws of every state make it the obligation of the husband to support his wife, to provide her with a home, to support their minor children. the woman in the home country also security benefits based on
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her husband's earnings, even though she is been a home acre all her life. all of these things will be lost when you apply a rule that says everything must be equal. now until you can make it equal for men to have a baby just like women, then it is a double burden to the women to say the rules for family support should be equal on the husband and thee wifefe. e.r.a. ends up in taking away the right of the wife to be supported by her husband. amy: that is phyllis schlafly. the conservative activist. but that is what someone is going to have to say if they're going to say no to it today. talk about why you feel it is critical today and even talk about your own story. you were a famous newscaster him you are a journalist. .he lack of pay equity >> precisely. when people say to us, why would you need the equal rights amendment? i say, look at our country. look at the poor people in our
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country. it is the women. families h headed by women who cannot feed their children, cannnnot find homes. they are impoverished. corporations m make billions and billions of dollars by paying women less than they payment. it is a good business strategy, but a very poor strategy for equality in this country. so we cannot go on diminishing the rights of women in the united states. how many years have we done this? pay equity day. it is so infuriating. it does not change. amy: explain the equity day. >> it is the amount -- the data in which the next year a woman or woman of color, a black woman, latina woman, would equalize what a white man made the year before. the latina women, it is november. that is almost a full year of working before she matches that income. it is a disgrace.
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we think pay equity, eligibility to recourse in n sexual and domestic abuse, pregnancy discrimination -- these are all things that would be affected by the e.r.a. amy: jessica neuwirth, how are you moving forward on this right now? what is the actual organizing going on on the ground? and what would change? carol is describing pay disparity. what would it mean to have this amendment in the constitution? >> just one example, phyllis schlafly talked about women who are in the home. more and more women are in the workforce and some women could never afford to be in the home. one of the many reasons we need the e.r.a. is discrimination. there are women getting fired every day because they're taking too many bathroom breaks while pregnant. they have no effective legal recourse. i i think the e.r.a. would g gie women in years like pregnancy discrimination, gender violence, the recourse they have been
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denied in many, many cases and continue to be denied. at the same time, i think it is important for us at a higher level to put in the foundational document of our country, and the bedrock of laws, that women are equal and to finally send out the message we're no longer going to be treated as second-class citizens. in terms of organizing, it has been an explosion across the country. what we see is thihis groundswe. amy: what has to happen first? to do aed the committee markup and a vote. we need the house and the senate to remove the deadline. amy: if it were not republican, would they approve it? >> we think we are two votes away from a majority in the senate, which is whahat we need. two more republicans. i think we will get there. senator cardin and lisa murkowski are sponsoring the bill to remove the deadline of the senate. susan collins just signed on. we're working on republican bipartisan issue.
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amy: we will continue to follow this, carol jenkins con jessica neuwirth, copresidents of the era coalition/fund for women's equality. jessica neuwirth also author of "equal means equal: why the time for an equal rights amendment is now." that does it for our broadcast. [captioning g made possiblble by
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