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tv   Headline News  RT  October 8, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT

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coming up on our t.v. while the government shutdown continues congress remains in deadlock again today president obama said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling but harsh words for the republicans on capitol hill more of the shutdown coming up. also coming up the supreme court takes on a case that may change future u.s. elections republican party donors suing to have limits on campaign donations removed possibly opening the door to even more unlimited money in our elections the latest on this major case ahead and at the national mall many are gathering in a rally in support of immigration reform they demand for momentum on a reform bill that helps the nation's millions of immigrants we'll take you to the rally later in today show.
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it's tuesday october eighth five pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sachs and you're watching our team and we begin with the supreme court which is beginning its new term with a case that could further open the door to unlimited money in american elections the case is mccutcheon versus the federal elections commission with mccutcheon arguing that limits on how much an individual can spend in total donating to political goal campaigns every two years is a restriction on their first amendment rights to free speech or currently the f.e.c. regulates just how much money can be directly handed over to political candidates every two years you can only give most twenty six hundred dollars to any one political candidate and you can only give adam over thirty two thousand four hundred dollars to any one national party committee limits also exist on aggregate contributions limiting an individual from donating more than forty eight thousand six hundred dollars to the top. tally of candidates here she supports and seventy
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four thousand six hundred dollars to the totality of party committees that he or she supports that means the federal elections commission limits what an individual can spend every two years contributing directly to elections to one hundred twenty three thousand two hundred dollars now that's the important number and that's the issue that the supreme court is taking up as sean mccutcheon an alabama businessman and frequent republican party donor argues that he should be able to spend as much money as he likes donating to as many candidates as he likes during election season again mccutcheon isn't challenging the base limit it can give to one candidate which is a total of twenty six hundred dollars but the limit he can give to all candidates and all national committees of one hundred twenty three thousand two hundred dollars however the conservative supreme court justices in this case who've been growing more and more skeptical of any sort of limits on money in elections could
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rule on the case far more broadly and strike down that twenty six hundred dollar individual limit to that's because senate minority leader mitch mcconnell's lawyer is also making or a large oral arguments in front of the supreme court today they want to strike down all limits on all campaign contributions and as we saw in two thousand and ten citizens united decision the high court hasn't backed away from taking a narrow court case and issuing a much broader ruling with significant changes to current electoral law so how might all this shake out in what are the political implications of this mccutcheon case well earlier i was joined by liz kennedy counsel for de most and also the two thousand and twelve green party presidential candidate dr jill stein and i started out by asking liz where does this court case fit in with the series of election law court cases we've recently heard by the supreme court and what direction might the court be leaning here. well this is a very important issue for folks to understand but it is also somewhat complicated
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or can be the important thing to remember is that the supreme court has never struck down a federal contribution limit in fact the establishment of our current campaign finance jurisprudence the foundational case was buckley the last where in the court decided that spending limits put too much of a burden on core political speech and therefore spending limits and actual limit on an actual cap on how much anyone can spend in an election of their own money on their own independent speech they said that that could not be kept that was essentially the decision in the citizens united saying that where justice kennedy found that independent spending wasn't corrupting which is something that we can come back to but however they have never cast a doubt the importance of contribution limits guarding the financial relationships between big donors and their actual checks directly to candidates or their
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campaign committees or the political parties because the court does understand that those has understood that those kind of financial relationships are far more open to real corruption concerns moreover it is not the direct to political speech it is actually just association or speech or being able when you contribute to someone else's campaign or to give someone money so that they can then fund their own speech that is less of a core political speech question and therefore the government has more power to regulate within that sphere. but the interesting thing here is now the citizens united it struck down the limits on you can't do. it but you can spend unlimited amount of money campaigning on behalf of the candidate with t.v. and radio ads and so forth so what does it matter much at this point if you. and strike down the individual limits that you can directly hand money to a candidate it absolutely would and this is
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a question that was debated in the court this morning but justice kagan made a very strong point saying if the court is now thinking that suddenly independent spend a chair is actually can be corrupting then they should recognize that the that the government ought to have power to put in place commonsense rules to protect our politics and our government from being captured by private economic power i mean that's really what we're talking about here and that's what the court has always recognized even when they cut back on our ability to have these particular rules they've understood that regulating in this sphere is important because otherwise what you see is a throwback to the robber baron era or even the watergate era watergate itself was premised on campaign contributions quid pro quo political favors you know the milk industry easily very clearly it's in the record in the watergate legislature hearings you know gave money in order to get
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a price favor on subsidies so this is the kind of bad democracy that we don't want to go back to that exists too often elsewhere too much big money elsewhere but we need to maintain the kind of protections that we currently have so much i want to bring up these two charts here now and they kind of show the breakdown in the individuals who met the contribution limits here the first is to contributions to individual candidates in the second is contributions to party committees and in both cases the individuals primarily donated to the republican party dr stone i want to bring you in on this now you have run for elections in this post citizens united world you ran for president last year how difficult is it for parties and candidates who are known. just to compete now let alone if this mccutcheon case blows the doors off all contribution limits yeah.
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i think you know from the point of view of independent politics this makes it only much harder it goes from the frying pan into the fire. but that said you know it's it's it's very difficult right now it's been extremely difficult for a long time the key here is not so much what's happening to candidates i think is what's happening to the american people because as you know as alternative candidates are muzzled and silence and kept out of the media kept off the ballot and basically blocked by this big money system and its many manifestations you know it's not just the candidates but it's voters who are losing because what we have what we're left with are two parties that are just different around the edges people are are extremely. you know angry isn't the word for it not only with the supreme court and with congress and with this dismantling of the protections of our
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campaign system that was put in place after watergate and it's liz alluded to people want those protections kept in place they want them improved. you know and are very happy with everything very unhappy with everything from the stalemate on the budget the shutdown the threatened. debt debacle with the default on the debt look at for example the trans-pacific partnership which is being rammed through the congress right now this is the kind of policies that we get because money and politics has basically won the day the foxes are not just you know running the chicken coop they're devouring the chickens at the same time and the american people are paying the price one out of two in poverty thirty nine million. and that we saw the studies out of. recently out of i believe stanford or berkeley actually showing that ninety five
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percent of all economic increases all income benefits since the disaster of two thousand and seven have gone to the one percent let me say that again ninety five percent of all benefits have gone to the one percent and if you look at the economy as a whole the top one percent has commanded fifty percent of the wealth in the resources while the bottom fifty percent has access to one percent one's wrong with this picture money and the economic and political elite are basically ruling the day but the american people are not being fooled and i think that's what's hopeful is that we need to exert pressure on the supreme court on congress in our elections and out in the street you know fundamentally that's how we're going to get out of this mess gosh i think you brought up an interesting point there dr star you know i want to get your opinion here on this too is that
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the way the american people view money in politics in two thousand and eleven we saw the occupy movement highlight this problem money in politics we see growing distrust of politicians in the corrupting influences you just talked about dr stein and you know the supreme court appears to be going in the opposite direction we had citizens united and now the possibility possibilities in this mccutcheon case first you doctor sort of how do you explain this disconnect. yeah well i think they are logically responding to their masters and by they i mean particularly congress the white house you know who makes the appointments to the supreme court there's a plane court responds to them and also to public pressure and we've seen the supreme court turn around we saw it in brown versus board of education in the one nine hundred fifty s. where the supreme court reversed itself after supporting segregation for four decades of the supreme court suddenly began to support integration in the schools you know i think what we're seeing in the supreme court and in our elected
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officials are basically a reflection of the power of intensely concentrated economic and political power in the hands of the one percent which is why we've got to fight this in every way possible you know i think it's important for people to weigh in with the supreme court with their congressmen and women and with the president that this is unacceptable that we cannot dismantle these protections in the same way that it is unacceptable to be holding the budget and the full faith and credit of the united states of america hostage here and what's basically an extortion game being played by the top one percent which only burglars broke in on this issue but the between this disconnect between what the american people view money and politics now the supreme court seems to be ruling in these cases well sam i think that is a very good point and i really want to respond to the doctor sign and thank her for raising so many important points because we do see eight in ten americans saying
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that large campaign contributions are blocking important necessary progress on critical issues that we face in this country issues about upward mobility and more you know addressing our economic inequality issues such as addressing climate change or cutting health care costs and so the real issue here is the way in which the money in our elections actually plays out in our policy six in ten americans thinking that their elected represent. it is are more responsive to their big donors than devote her is or the public interest that is simply not a situation for a healthy democracy so what i would say is the supreme court obviously was pretty court's role is to you know interpret the constitution and to determine what applying various balancing tasks make sure that that constitutional rights are protected that's critically important the first amendment is a pillar of our you know structure of who we are as a people and yet it is currently actually being just beyond the beyond
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it's real true meaning is the what we would say about the current interpretation because what they're not understanding is the first amendment rights of the people who are being drowned out of the system that was list kennedy accountable for demas and also dr jill stein who stuck around to discuss this next topic here the government shutdown which is now in week two isn't any closer to reopening or finding a way to raise the debt limit in the next nine days this morning president obama called speaker of the house john boehner to according to banners office remind the speaker that he won't negotiate over raising the debt limit and also to the president face the media in a news conference really had this to say. people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs if you don't get a chance to call your bank and say i'm not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an x. box. if you're a negotiation is around buying somebody's house you don't get to say well let's
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talk about the fries i'm going to pay and if you don't give me the price then i'm going to burn down your house meanwhile c.n.n. has proposed a few different scenarios for ending this shutdown debate take a look. kicking the bums out or three in a steel cage death match ok so number three is a joke but immediately it's the most desired outcome because i'd pay to watch that now again i spoke earlier with dr jill stein from the green party who just last year ran for president obama's job and i asked dr stein what her take is on what's going on on capitol hill right now. you know this is like the run up to the fiscal cliff which created this you know incredible crisis and this sense of doom and gloom so that when congress and the president. settled that crisis by making the bush tax cuts permanent. and getting
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rid of the estate tax for example doing a whole lot of favors to the one percent you know it didn't look so bad because it looked like oh gee at least we didn't go over that cliff in a sense you know this is one can't help but suspect the suspect that that's what's going on now as well that this is the creation of a crisis atmosphere wall street and you know the one percent or corporate sponsors all of them they're not going to allow the meltdown of the international economy and the stock market and all the rest the financial infrastructure of the economy and their profits it's highly unlikely that they would allow that to take place in the same way they would not allow you know the the initial bailouts in two thousand and seven there was a big movement to stop them but wall street you know kicked then with a lobbying effort that had never been seen before and stopped at the odds are they
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will not allow that fiscal disaster to happen but it's very convenient because it creates a smokescreen in which to create fundamentally the you know the the bargain the grand bargain that the president has been talking about for at least the last four years whereby he makes he cuts a deal in which social security and medicare get taken down substantially and he looks like a hero because he averted this desperate. you know fiscal. meltdown with the with the budget fault right well i think well i think you're touching on something that's not getting as much attention in this debate between shutdowns and elements and that's austerity at this point it's all but guaranteed that any deal to reform the government will include austerity spending cuts the sequester the president talked about today have democrats have already caved on this issue why have both parties signed on to this economic agenda that's proving to be pretty
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harmful to working people in europe and on a state level across the country it's horrific and the academic basis for it which was a paper out of harvard. this reinhardt wrote off debate a paper that justified. drastic measures to shrink the budget deficit that was proven to be wrong it was a fallacious study that was shown by a graduate student at the university of massachusetts out in in am hers that looked at the numbers and found that there were major errors in the excel program that was calculating this so even that one study on which they were basing these drastic draconian cuts all over the world it was proven wrong but still they are just you know they're in lockstep they're committed to this dismantling of the remnants of the new deal and the great society and all that this is part of what happens what justice louis brandeis referred to when he talked about we have
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a choice between a democracy or vast concentrations of wealth and what i referred to before about the top one percent having fifty percent of all the wealth in the nation it's like you have one hundred people in the room and one hundred loaves of bread one person has fifty loaves of bread and the fifty scrawny asst most malnourished people in the room all get to share one loaf of bread that's what the economy looks like today in the united states and it's only getting worse the consequence. sins of that very. unfair economy is tremendous power of the economic elite which is in bed with the political elite in both of the political parties the two major political parties and they are silent alternative voices why because when the american people hear those alternative voices it's their own voices that they are hearing and they will support them we've seen that
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before so you know this is a completely logical system in which greed and. avarice are are just running wild running rampant over our economy and our political system it's altogether reflected in that case before the supreme court and with the changes around citizens united as well so it's really important for us to come together across many issues and stand up for people peace in the planet. i hear you say they were fresh out of time there dr jill stein the two thousand and twelve green party presidential candidate thank you so much great to be with you think and now on to the story of the c twenty seven jay spar an aircraft purchased by the air force in two thousand and seven sixteen of them have been building five more will be built by april twenty fourth team but they won't be flying missions in our war theaters around the world instead they reside in the desert in tucson thanks to the
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sequester the military is no use for these planes anymore and almost every single one of them is slated to be stored at a boneyard at the davis mall than air force base in tucson even the five new c. twenty seven j. planes scheduled to be built by next year they'll go right to the desert straight off the assembly line to now there's a chance some of these planes may find other uses like putting out for aspires and stuff but for now they'll just sit in the desert next to four thousand four hundred other unused aircraft from all branches of our military totaling more than thirty five billion dollars. so it's the latest example of waste in our defense budget and joining me now to talk more about it is michael shank director of foreign policy at f c n l michael thanks so much for joining me to be here the ironic thing is this is happening just as there is this dialogue about too much spending and too much waste in our government we know that the federal workers pentagon workers who are furloughed are now back on the job and now we have the story why is the pentagon
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immune from all these talks about too much spending and waste in our government for some reason we continue to allow the pentagon and the department of homeland security to agencies that have been audited the g.a.o. did a great report on this they have not been audited the pentagon says it won't be audited till twenty seventeen twenty teen they claim to care about you know waste fraud abuse ten c. is not great example on this show i talked about the m. raps in afghanistan being destroyed so we don't want to bring them home we don't want to get into the karzai government the cargo planes in arizona joining thirty four billion dollars worth of equipment that's not being used that's almost akin to what the house republicans cut in food stamps shows how disingenuous their cover their argument is about kind of small government cleaning up waste fraud abuse unfortunately that's ubiquitous through throughout industry i would say is largely responsible of defense industry lobbying generally since two thousand on two thousand two thousand and eight it was up as high as one hundred sixty million per year lobbying members of congress now it's about one hundred thirty half of which
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five companies the top companies spending lobbying congress well along side logging another reason might have some to do with the fact that it's become a jobs program a lot of pressure to build these these planes came from congress came from members who are in ohio and they know that building these planes and maintaining them equals jobs for their for their district so. is the military industrial complex perpetuated because it's become such a jobs program in the united states right so if we look at percent of g.d.p. pentagon claims is that you know four to five percent of g.d.p. has to spend it's actually more like ten percent if you count in department. and affairs for the homeland security department energy things like that but the problem with the jobs argument it's not a great return on investment if we're looking at a dollar spent on defense versus the dollars spent on education infrastructure and energy much higher returns there so the jobs argument is disingenuous but senator brown to your point got lobbied heavily by lockheed and l. three communications to make sure that that cargo plane which we don't need along
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with the global hawk drone and the abrams tank is built even though the pentagon is saying we don't want it you know it's kind of like if you put people to work building a bridge that bridge stays there it generates value for people to work building blades they exploded. you know i mentioned in the in the intro here that some of these planes might be used by other agencies maybe fighting forest fires things like that but we've recently heard these stories about the increasing use of military technology military vehicles by police departments. is that concerning in itself oh it's terribly concerning to d.h. as gives these terrorism grants to municipalities thirty four billion since two thousand and one they're buying the drones more dangerous examples this ten thirty three program in the defense department where essentially older equipment which we don't want anymore we pass on to cities so a small town in upstate new york as an example last week the county legislators voted eight to six to accept an m.r.i. up which is a minus distant ambush protected vehicle which we use in afghanistan but we don't
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really need it in watertown a town of one hundred twenty thousand so you're going to see a militarization of cities because we're dumping old equipment industries happy with that their hundred thirty million is well spent a lot in congress but they're going to get new equipment michael shank director foreign policy if say well thanks so much for trying to remain. there were earlier this year the senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform plan but it's going nowhere in the house and today with congress focused on shutdowns and debt limits immigration reform is want to make sure their cause the eleven million undocumented immigrants in america hasn't been forgotten that's why today they rallied on the national mall now just about an hour ago multiple lawmakers including congressman keith ellison and charlie rangle wrote will grow all the. were arrested at that rally party's making lopez was there earlier there's a report. but we are officially and weak. the government shutdown lawmakers just a little bit away from here on capitol hill are still arguing to get even a temporary spending bill passed and this is coming on a time when we're still very close to a default as
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a result of the debt limit we're supposed to reach that in just a few days here but in terms of the national mall every museum here is one of those as a result of that partial government shutdown however that doesn't mean that the mall is completely out of commission behind me is an immigration rally where thousands of people are supposed to be gathering today to tell congress that in the middle of this budget battle and in the middle of this debt crisis there is still an overarching issue that needs to be discussed and that is immigration reform for the eleven million undocumented people that are currently living in this country in this country is supposed to be about democracy we have eleven million people with no rights my rights are no different than their rights when their rights are under attack so are mine since it is being called a national day of dignity and respect for immigration reform over one hundred fifty cities are expecting to hear these some type of rally or crowd type going on to say what you see behind me and the fear is the physical manifestation of that need for
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immigration reform now i had a chance today to speak to a number of people here at the rally and they told me why they find this protest is different from all the other friends have to hold. rallies that we've seen in the past we have been waiting for the mediation before for a long time and nothing cup and the government always have some o. the priority days and i think that this time that we eleven million of people who seem. to need to be legally in this country on the one thing they do to be come see this is what they're like everybody else people are hoping the last bullying. we know this actually leads with tried to do it one more time rally organizers that special tens of thousands of people to show up a family ration rally today only a fraction of that actually did end up turning out about a thousand people i know but some members of congress did stop by including
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congresswoman nancy pelosi and also d.c. mayor vincent gray we strongly support immigration reform and we've tried to demonstrate that by our actions in the city. refusing to you know enforced and implemented what we call secure communities the immigration reform is good board for a lot of different reasons for me personally obviously my parents are immigrants it's something that i understand personally but we've got an issue here in our country about a broken immigration system for years we've got a lot of people here that came in here but now we have to resolve the issue to make sure that that we keep families together but also take appreciation for the fact that a lot of the work really hard especially in my part of the country so we are just a couple of blocks away from capitol hill and thousands of people once again are gathered to say the now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform it's not time to talk about it it's time to do it but it's up to the members in congress to decide how to go forward with immigration reform in washington meghan lopez r.t.
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now on the japan where the government is asking the rest of the world for help containing its nuclear crisis at fukushima and this appeal comes two and a half years after an earthquake and tsunami first triggered the crisis today the big picture is tom hartman interviewed japan's former prime minister naoto car on who had this to say about nuclear power in japan. i think i think that it is better to reduce dependency on a nuclear power and eventually graduate early and gradually we need we need to get rid of the nuclear power is a couple more into how former prime minister conor arrived at those conclusions about nuclear power turning tonight the big picture with thom hartmann at seven pm right here on our t.v. and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america and check out our web site r t v dot com slash usa you can follow
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me on twitter at sam sachs we'll see you right back here at eight pm. for the. technology innovation all the list of elements from around russia. the future of coverage. welcome to the kaiser report i'm max kaiser good news at.


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