tv The Big Picture RT July 28, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
and in the end you could never know your audience so much parking need for all the world's a stage all the world's a stage all the world's a stage and we are definitely a player. hello i'm tom hartman in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture as violent protests enter their fourth straight month is the trump administration plotting a coup in venezuela i'll ask mark rice brought in just a moment and thanks to an outpouring of activism and some last minute defections
obamacare repeal is death maybe even for good or publicans even capable at this point of governing our country brian pruitt and christian in tonight's rumble. with a controversy old vote to amend the country's constitution just days away the u.s. government has ordered american citizens to leave venezuela immediately the announcement comes as protests against democratically elected president nicolas maduro have stretched into their fourth straight month and as the trump of ministration has begun ramping up the talk of regime change for more on the situation in venezuela and how it could be resolved peacefully i'm joined now by mark weisbrot co-founder and co-director of the center for economic and policy research president of just foreign policy and author of several books including the most recent failed what the experts got wrong about the global economy marc welcome
back thanks how it's great to be here great always great having you with us so first of all can you provide some context for us the u.s. media tends to portray more duro as some evil communist toady. nation of chavez bloody bloody law and and the poor people are just trying to rise up against this crazed commie. what's the real story well or is that the real story no i think that's is the exaggeration you know that you see that the whole country is against them in it's actually still a very polarized country so when there is approval rating is twenty percent the economy is a wreck. actually twenty that that's an indicator right there because you know you go next door to brazil the president's approval rating of five ok where is venezuela's economy he's got had the worst contraction practically in latin american history it's got six hundred percent inflation shortages of food medicine how do twenty percent still say he's doing a good job well then really means doing
a good job there they're loyal to that party and there's millions more who. still believe that they're going to be better off under that political party and movement than they would under an opposition government they might even be persecuted by an opposition government as after the two thousand and two coup when the you know the right wing took over and dozens of people were killed within the first thirty six hours and government officials were rounded up and it was very clear they were you know getting rid of all democratic institutions now so there's not a democratic opposition there and it isn't just the people against this so-called dictator it really is still a polarized country despite the mess that it's in and that's why you really have to have a negotiated solution is not going to work if you if you know there's another coup you have over one hundred thousand people in the military you have hundreds of thousands of people in militias with guns you have heavily armed population kind of
like the u.s. where only people carry guns even more there. and so. you have to have some kind of negotiation. where there are guarantees for whoever loses the next presidential election that the winner is not going to use all three branches of government to persecute the losing side otherwise. you're not going to get to the election this early in the first place let's define terms. how would you characterize mentor on the political spectrum and and who are and how would you characterize the opposition well there as you know he was he was chosen by jarvis and he's part of that movement and so he's a left us yeah he's definitely leftists and very much i mean he's he's not there to you know make money there's no evidence actually been produced that he has put him
selfe stolen money or is corrupt know there's a lot of corruption as there is you know in all of south america and that's the whole i'm screwing with this country too. but. a lot of that is you know is inherited from the past lot of it's due to the exchange rate system they have where you know they give away the government gives away most of their. currency most of their dollars that the government gets from exports almost free and anybody can get that good access to that can make a lot of money but mineral himself i think believes in what he's doing it believes in the progress that they did have for a decade you know from two thousand and four well actually two thousand and three to two thousand and fourteen so what threw them into the second on the disaster well that's a very good question and you know nobody really asked because everybody has their own pet solution some people say it's social they don't realize that if the
majority of the jobs created over the charges era were in the private sector actually and the state isn't even that big it never was you know compared to europe as a percentage of g.d.p. yeah so yeah. it was a mixed economy but they did a lot they know in terms of education. pensions health care and now they've lost most of that in just the last few years the recession started in two thousand and fourteen when oil was still at one hundred dollars a barrel i think there were very serious economic mistakes were made here and the biggest one was the exchange rate system which i mentioned but if you have a currency if you're if you're going to have an overvalued fixed exchange rate and try to maintain that no matter what happens you will eventually run into balance of payments crises inflation kind of inflation depreciation spiral which they have where inflation keeps rising it's over six hundred percent because they just just
do away with the fixed exchange rates system and say you know our currency is now going to float over market yeah absolutely i think that would fix most of the problem that that would that would really start yeah they could you know they could actually begin to recover if they did that because once the exchange rate settled so right now nobody wants to hold the domestic currency right if you've got any money you put it into dollars so you know once that exchange rate settled money would actually come back into the country because everything would be so there are a short for short period and on a technical basis everybody in venezuela would get poorer because of the exchange rate changing but it will wouldn't be it would set the stage for a stable system that's right and they would even have to have the kind of adjustment that you know the i.m.f. we talk about or people even now you see people on t.v. say oh they're going to have to go through a terrible just with a fix that says no they don't they already reduced imports by eighty percent since two thousand and twelve so who is the opposition is this you know i mean we've got
right wing oligarchy here in the united states who who are you know constantly going against the left as it were is that is that what's going on in venezuela oh yeah the opposition is right wing there's no doubt about that and there's a. huge difference in race and class and his class and race are very correlated you can see that if you just look at the videos of these roads are actually white wealthy oligarchy well they're not all very right now you know it's different from two thousand and fourteen when it really was. a relatively narrow group of the upper middle classes there were in the streets and you could see i was there you know and there was a vast but now there's still a very big class difference between the people in the streets and the you know the people that are not and yeah they're much whiter and they come from the middle classes in the middle class are hurting now because the situation is that bad you
know it wasn't like that in two thousand and fourteen and it was kind of ironic that people were hurting the most were not in the streets they were supporting the government and now you have people though i mean you have people that voted against the government in the last elections in the parliamentary elections in two thousand and fifteen but the poor people they voted against them obviously because they got a sixty percent majority of the vote the opposition got that but they won't go in the streets against the government is they don't trust the opposition they don't think the opposition is necessarily going to make their lives better or they're just oligarchy looking out for themselves kind of thing are wealthy people looking yeah and also a lot of it's you know it's ideological and it is it is racial to you know because of that difference what is what is the role that the united states is playing in venezuela and what are the roles what roles or other regional powers plan in venezuela right now is anybody trying to play honest broker is anybody trying to make the situation worse yeah the short answer is there's both ok i mean there are
states has always been in the side of overthrowing the government for the last fifteen years i mean there were moments you know obama a couple times he tried to take a different course and never lasted more than a week sometimes not even a day. because he's got so much pushback from other parts of the state here. and so the u.s. has no real positive role to play right now unless something really changes within the trumpet ministration. and of course you have people like rubio in the whole florida. i saw a headline that marco rubio tends to sabotage venezuela what's this yeah they will they've they're there with the extremist part of the opposition and they really want to just overthrow the government they think that that's what they support the sanctions that trump wants that this has threatened because they just feel that they can they're looking at it like syria and libya and iraq which they got all wrong as well that you just have to get rid of this government then everything will
be fine and do away with violence you know or you can do it why any means necessary that's how they're kind of looking and now there are international actors that are trying to mediate you have former prime minister of spain somewhat terrell you have lain there for others for president american republic. and there's still some but i was there too and the pope and the vatican and they all have been pope's been calling for dialogue us media that he reported but he and then the vatican was in the mediation last fall which didn't get very far and the government right now at this moment they didn't really make any concessions either in the last attempt where the vatican tried to mediate you didn't have much concessions from both sides now you see the government willing to make some concessions they let their poll the lopez out of jail a couple weeks ago the opposition leader and into house arrest and they are
offering more but the opposition. partly because they know they have the u.s. supporting just a regime change strategy. they're not interested right now so that's i think opposition is obvious and compromise they're going to try if they feel that they can take down the government yeah well what i would say the whole office is there are some relative moderates in the opposition leader ship who would like to negotiate with the dominant force right now is just the regime change force and they've got rubio behind them and all of the a big part of the u.s. apparatus it's remarkable it's just remarkable so we need to keep an eye on this this and this could spread if this if this goes down well i think yeah it could be quite a mess i mean you know if they trump is proposed say he's threatened the country with sanctions if they go ahead with this vote on sunday and that would really destroy the economy and create enormous problems refugee crises everything mark
weisbrot as always great having you with us k. thanks so much for dropping by ok coming up from the backstabbing to the petty drama the trump presidency is starting to feel an awful lot like a reality show is that the plan all along brian prudent unchristian in tonight's rumble after the break. there's a real irony going. to be. still surveillance video you know them all meanwhile as you mentioned she's been in trouble it's use the social media and always has its garbage in real.
i think the average viewer just after watching a couple of segments understands that we're telling stories in our critics can't tell me you know why because their advertisers won't let them. in order to create change you have to be honest you have to tell the truth parties able to do that every story is built on going after the back story to what's really happening out there to the american what's happening when a corporation makes a pharmaceutical big chills people when a company in the environmental business ends up polluting a river that causes cancer and other illnesses they put all the health risk all the dangers out to the american public those are stories that we tell everyone we can you know want their working.
lives and institutions to. put themselves on the line they did accepted or rejected . so if you want to express and show. some want to listen. to you i guess that's what. you can't do that. i'm interested in the. question. obamacare repeal is dead whether it should die the idea that the modern republican party was ever a serious political party. well before that i had trouble our brian pruett contributor to red state and are
christian. political commentator thank you for both being here with us great having you guys so these seven year old long republican quest to repeal obamacare is dead thanks to some high profile defections from lisa murkowski susan collins and john mccain the senate rejected a so-called skinny repeal of obama fifty one to forty nine in the early hours of the morning that bill would have done away with obamacare is individual mandate repealed its employer mandate and defunded planned parenthood among other things it would also eliminate a tax on medical device manufacturers the lobbyists have been all over the g.o.p. about creating the cvo these so-called skinny repeal bill would have resulted in sixteen million americans losing their health insurance right away and cause premiums to rise twenty percent just next year so shouldn't those permanently kill the idea of the republican party as a serious political party they've been hijacked by the koch brothers and their network and the oligarchy and it's rendered them incapable in my opinion of
governing our country not at all this is the politics of personality let's not forget that someone from the president's administration threatened lisa murkowski and you have to she's not a wilting flower she won a write in candidacy for a senate seat that is in a state where women write it in if you misspell by one letter it doesn't doesn't it isn't close she is not a wilting flower and for the government for the administration to threaten her basically dares her to vote against the president which she did same thing with john mccain use it during the primary and constantly insult john mccain this is his you know kind of comeuppance you know i think he did it because he's a principled american you know i may not agree with his vote but i think he he did it because that's what he believes in religious leaders and i think. he remembered that he had been personally insulted and he waited until the moment was right too well he very much now meets the definition of somebody who has nothing last left to
lose. certainly he's not going to be running for political office again and i think there is a future for the republican party though you know i'm feeling like donald trump's almost about to create a third party of his own because he is at sea right now with himself and the people in the white house there aren't a lot of republicans on either the house or the senate side that are about to carry water for him and i'm wondering whether we're we may be on the cusp of not a libertarian third party but a more of a nationalist third party. the national front maybe they'll call it you know just just to finish that topic one of the things that really struck me that watching the coverage this morning and frankly even on t.v. last night was how john mccain was being lionized like you know he did it again he's a great maverick well you know most of his career he hasn't been the great maverick he's had a few moments that have been pretty extraordinary but what struck me was that it
really wasn't about john mccain i mean he was the last one to vote but he had nothing to lose this was not some great you know example of political courage on the part of john mccain on the other hand susan collins was threatened by two different house members one threaten her with physical violence and and lisa murkowski as you pointed out ran the interior secretary called her and called the other senator from alaska and threaten both of them you know basically what i'm saying nice little state you got there be a shame if anything happened to it so here's here's the here's the real where the rubber meets the road on this john mccain did not have trust that the president wouldn't try and force the speaker of the house to take up the senate bill this all turned on whether if they voted the senate bill you know up then all these republican senators trusted that it would go to a conference committee which i've spoken about you all ryan had said and maybe we'll just take it up well and that's where this breakdown in trust on capitol hill
is critical to. standing the next day i think i think that's absolutely true and absolutely right and way in the weeds but the point i was trying to make is it seems like the press completely ignored the fact that lisa murkowski really in my opinion was the hero here she was the one who had the most to lose she was the one who'd been threatened politically susan collins was second level hero although this was a very you know going against trump is an increasingly popular position in maine right now so you know but but you know i don't you know whether it's sexism in the press or whether it's this john mccain love affair that the president said for years and years and i got a very serious illness and so people are taking that well there's that too i mean there's a certain amount of compassion but still i think that the two women where they were the ones who did the heavy lifting will also put as we're going to be a chairman ship chairwoman she's going to get the last word with the i don't think he realized just in the boss when he got all that out and you know it's going to be
some serious all out is all next week i have all i know all these are all maybe way the next you know fifty we you know it's and you know the drama continued at the white house today as rense priebus resigned or was fired as chief of staff after just six months the president announced via twitter that he had named homeland secretary sekret security secretary general john kelly to take his place the announcement comes after days of very public infighting among the ins inner circle of the trump white house this infighting included white house communications director anthony scare mochi telling any yorker yesterday that runs priebus is an effing paranoid schizophrenic a paranoid so that new yorker piece obviously included some even more colorful quotes but do you guys think this this reality show is you know this whole approach to running the president number one do you think he's intentionally trying to run a reality show maybe because that's the only thing you know how to do he's been doing it for six months and number two whether he's trying to do it intentionally or not that's certainly what's going on is this good for the presidency is
a good for the united states or not it really is terrible for united states. one thing we need whether one of the side you're on is the functioning white house and he and kelly whether you know one with this ideology or not was basically doing the job now trump has pulled it out and all of a sudden oh you need to have a new confirmation hearing and as grassley is chuck grassley tweeted recently. we have no time for any more confirmation hearings although it was judiciary so that would be for a new attorney general so this would go before but for d.h. just to he would need and he would need to come would you regard most of the committee issued a good idea regardless that the confirmation hearing is going to be more drama for a new secretary i think the story here is that scar and she's in the days are numbered because first of all staff across washington d.c. everybody knows staff should never be the story but that's taken that's the
exponentially true when it comes to the president of the trump according to several reporters trump loves scarem which he's been doing and saying i think that's that's mixed the reporting on that is mixed he loves the combativeness but on very quickly very very quickly scare him it should be became the story similar to ban and become the it was ran it was on time magazine sadly the new banished to exactly so i think his days are numbered i think that i know that general kelly is not going to be taking the kinds of insults and and sort of daily back and forth with with staff that rents priebus unfortunately had to deal with and i think that the newly announced just this evening that scary move now has a diminished role and that's the word the exact word that was it was a diminished role you know not going to be doing on camera stuff at least for now who knows how long it'll rest but he's not he doesn't have a job yet i mean fee can't he can't take a paycheck and be official until he sells his company to this chinese firm which
we're. choir's the the the approval of the executive branch so general kelly is probably maybe finally the one person in the white house that can walk into the president and tell truth to power and if there's anything that comes out of this week that's good it's that. i agree with that entirely i mean basically he's surrounded himself with sycophants and family members and these people none of them are ever able to stand up and say no you know this is this is like a tin pot dictatorship and that's that's the kind of thing that you expect to see in someplace like syria where it's just any of fresh off the colossal failure of obamacare repealed donald trump spoke to law enforcement officers in long island this afternoon about gang violence the speech was one of the ugliest yet for trump and it included this indorsement of the kind of classic rough ride police brutality they killed freddie gray please don't be too nice like when you guys put somebody
in the car and you're protecting their head you know the way you put their hand over. like don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody don't hit their head i said you could take the hand away ok. trump's comments were bad enough but what's really disturbing about that clip is how the cops all cheered isn't the symptomatic of a police culture that more resembles something from a tinpot dictatorship than a democratic republic and why do we worship cops i mean taxi drivers have more dangerous jobs than police i disagree with your premise on this i think we need to focus one hundred percent on the president's speech i think when you're at a speech like that people tend to not be able to react appropriately the president's speech was obscene so you know them police may have been laughing out of embarrassment as an embarrassment or obligation or some sort of the president's here type of mentality this this speech was worse than the boy scouts and i didn't think it could get worse this week than the boy scouts it was the. the talking to
law enforcement about not recognizing people's civil rights is horrible and and i think i think we're going to have a response from these national police organizations that is similar to what the boy scouts how the boy scouts respond for the record the boy scouts the head of the boy scouts who is also the c.e.o. of a t. and t. who is desperately hoping that the trump administration will approve a merger. billion dollars what's honorable and rejected and rejected what trumps so that actually is honorable your thoughts well also it gets down to i mean there . may conflate support for the police with this idea that would support police brutality. a conservative doesn't support the reckless stripping of somebody's civil rights of beating somebody and i think you're going show that's astonishing
to me. you know you know what happened to the idea of innocent until proven guilty or that you treat humans with basic. when they're being detained you know which is that this is a that is truly the difference between the teapot you know the despots and america is that we treat people who are even being detained with with decent respect human dignity all that we could use a little improvement our prison system if you've seen michael moore's movie where to invade next to me saying that yeah i have not seen it oh god you've got you've got to watch that there's this piece in there about norway in their prison system as a. christian right and pruitt thank you both thank you. and that's the way it is tonight and don't forget democracy is not a spectator sport get out there get active tag your.
in case you're new to the game this is how it works the economy is built around. preparations from washington to washington. that. voters elected to run this country business equals power you must it's not business as usual it's business like it's never been done before. i. want. to know me. better than
a. little more hard to sell you on the idea that dropping bombs brings peace to the chicken hawks forced me to fight the battles but still. to do socks for the tell you that what we gossip the public by itself or. the box of advertising tell you on the cool enough to buy their product. all the hawks that we along the border will watch. as a real irony going. to lay a finger at a responsible choice new people and there's always someone i think it was always c.n.n. surrealistic new orleans either left the baltimore area now wholesale surveillance you feel you have all made wild as you mentioned these shows in the past and trump has used the social media site while i always our lead story goes it's garbage in real genuine.