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tv   Washington Journal Thom Hartmann  CSPAN  June 28, 2022 11:33am-12:19pm EDT

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lower income students access to affordable internet so homework can just be homework. cox connect to compete. >> cox, along with these other providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. host: thom hartman joins us now. he is the author of the book the supreme court and the betrayal of america. in that book you argued in 2019 the supreme court had overreached past its powers. i wonder what this term of the supreme court has shown you on that basis? guest: thank you so much for having me on the program. it seems to be like the supreme court is continuing this process of essentially promoting an agenda that was organized by a bunch of very big dollar donors
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15 or 20 years ago with the creation of the federalist society and their organizations to basically rollback a series of rights americans have fought for for more than a century. rolling back the rights of people to be members of labor unions, for example. it is difficult now days to become a member of a labor union thanks to the supreme court rolling back the rights of women to get an abortion, rolling back -- they just did away with the miranda rights, for example. radically increasing police power if you have been unjustly accused of a crime. you do not even know the rights that you have. i am concerned about it. i do not think the court is representative of america from our values, and i think it is doing genuine damage to democracy in this country. host: rollback, you say.
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rollback to what or when? what do you think the agenda is trying to get back to? guest: it looks to me they are trying to be the reincarnation of the lochner court, that they are trying to take us to the 1920's. it was in the 1930's that we got the right to unionize without your employer killing you or generally not quite that bad. and of course abortion was illegal then and the right to vote was not well-established at that time. the supreme court rolled back the right to vote in the shelby county decision. i forget the name of the case, but in the case of ohio in 2018 they ruled that republican secretaries of state can just throw people off voting roles if they choose.
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substantial purges. we saw in georgia before the last election the stacey abrams election, that the governor was then the secretary of state and put several hundred thousand people off the voting roles and then several hundred thousand and won the election by 50,000 votes. this is why stacey abrams still refuses to knowledge the election. that was made possible in large part by decisions of the supreme court. the supreme court has empowered corporations to pollute our water and air. i am relatively certain this coming week we will see them got -- gut the epa further. the project of stacking the court was put together by a
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group of right-wing billionaires , many of them out of the oil industry and chemical industries. the major priorities were keep our taxes low, in other words help construct a political system where the party that will always keep taxes on billionaires low has power, and deregulate our industries, stop costing us money by forcing us to clean up our pollution. to bring along other voters and the republican party, the court has jumped in on issues like prayer and guns that i doubt anybody on the court gives very much consideration to. and the gop as well. they are really about doing the business of wealthy people and giant corporations, that they throughout this so-called
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culture war to bring in voters. host: let me get the phone numbers to bring in viewers. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. thom hartmann is the host with the thom hartmann program come up with us until 10:00 a.m. eastern. as folks start to dial in, as of yesterday, what is the line between separation of church and state in this country? guest: this is another example of how bizarre decisions have been. in this case, the court has ruled for a long time, back to the founding of the republic, that people who have the power of the state should not have also power to inflict religion on people who do not have the power of the state, and there
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was a ruling in the 1950's about school prayer. what was so -- this is a long-established principal. jefferson wrote about this. james madison, his first veto as president was a bill that would have given money to a church in washington, d.c. to pay for a courthouse. there is great danger if government ever goes money or power to a church acting as an agent of government. it must never happen. this was literally james madison, founder -- father of the constitution. in this decision, 13 times come and might be 14 times in his decision, he describes the prayer of the coach as being quiet. he talks about how people could make phone calls and be talking to their friends during it quit
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trying to minimize. in fact, it was not quiet. this guy was on the 50 yard line praying loudly, which jesus told us not to do in the sermon on the mount. that is only what hypocrites do. this guy was on the 50 yard line with a bunch of people around him and students felt pure pressure. you are not part of the team if you do not show up for the prayer. that is the power of the state. the fact that gorsuch felt he had to lie more than a dozen times in this ruling shows in my opinion how corrupt the court is and how willing they are to subordinate basic principles of democracy, that democracy is not based on anybody's religion. it is based on the rule of law and the fact that this court is willing to blow those things up just to satisfy wealthy donor
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bases and a minority of voters in the united states, is very troubling. host: you talked about the federalist society and its agenda. is there an equivalent for liberals? guest: i wish there was. there is not. there are a few progressive think tanks mostly that have to do with economics. but there are no major foundations. for example, i do a radio talkshow. for years, ken vogel wrote about this in politico. for years, the heritage foundation was pumping $1 million a year into sean hannity's show got $2 million a year into rush limbaugh's show.
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there is no equivalent on the left. there is nothing like that. you have 1500 right-wing radio stations around the country, several hundred of them now in spanish language pumping out right wing propaganda, and there is a tiny fraction of that on the left. and without the subsidies and enormous amounts of money. you have several of the richest people in the country funding these organizations, whether it is the federalist society trying to put right-wing judges on the court, whether it is troops funding individual politicians. the supreme court ruled in citizens united that corporations are persons, so they're entitled to first amendment rights of free speech. because a corporation does not have a mouth -- which demonstrates the absurdity of the decision -- because the corporation does not have a mouth the way it can speak is by pouring money down the throats
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of politicians. now we have a law -- they blew up hundreds of state and federal laws dating back to the 1800s, political bribery laws that made it a crime to bribe politicians. five republicans on the supreme court said we are not going to call that bribery anymore. we are going to call it free speech. and the result is you have politicians -- virtually the entire republican party unwilling to acknowledge science around climate change. many of these wealthy donors are deeply involved in the fossil fuel industry. you have republicans who for decades have been allowing themselves to be bribed by the tobacco industry and they are still denying tobacco causes cancer. a country cannot work -- no country can work when half its
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politicians are being aggressively and openly and legally bribed by special interest groups. that is what we have now as a result of the supreme court. host: for viewers who have not caught or show current work and they find it? guest: i am on commercial radio stations around the country. there is a life youtube stream of it. it is live on twitter and facebook. you can get it off the internet. we are on free speech tv. there are lots of ways to get the show. host: thom hartmann with us taking your calls and questions. kevin is up first. caller: good morning, mr. hartmann. i can understand your concern that the supreme court is going back to the original reading of the constitution. guest: they are not doing that.
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caller: let me finish. it has been about 100 years and coming. it is when the progressives took control of the supreme court during fdr and after fdr that they changed it where the federal government did have power. that they did not have before. guest: what? caller: i have been a union member. i have paid union dues for 23 years. i wonder how money times you have paid union dues, but -- guest: every year. caller: good. i would be interested to know which union. guest: sag aftra. caller: ok. so anyways, before fdr, we had no federal laws on unions. and yet samuel gompers, consider
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the grandfather of the labor movement, created the afl and it thrived before fdr. it was not until the federal government took control the labor unions that we have become where the labor union is the party, is the democratic party. that is what destroyed -- i know you guys like to complain about right to work laws, but you like to complain about money going into these political organizations, which the uaw has been doing for decades. host: let me pause there and give thom hartmann a chance. guest: i was curious what his question. it was not uncommon before the wagoner act was passed, the american labor relations act. it was not uncommon for strikers to be beaten, killed. police were used against
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strikers. there was no legal right to strike in the united states, no legal right to join a union. i would encourage you to google the ludlow massacre. people understood this in the 1920's and 1930's. gompers and others were leading a movement at great risk to themselves and their own lives and many others union leaders did lose their lives in those battles. so the fact that congress legalized workers having a union -- think about this for a minute. a corporation is a collection of people and money working together for their own purposes to make profits. why can't workers organize together for their own interests? this baffles me, why anybody would say workers should not be able. it should be one worker against a billion-dollar corporation and
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the people on its board of directors and 200 executives all working in concert to destroy that one person who is trying to establish their rights or get decent pay or decent benefits. so we have this extraordinary imbalance to begin with. then, what happened here, your caller is right that the democratic party was associated with unions for years and still is and it was unions that were the major funders of the democratic party until basically the early 1990's. what happened was in 1981, when ronald reagan came in, this was the reagan revolution. reagan came in and basically declared war on unions. he broke one of only two unions that had endorsed him. he broke his promise to them. at that time come about a third of americans had a good union
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job, which meant a third of americans had the equivalent of a good union job. two thirds of us had a good union job and the economy was strong. the american family was strong. a single person working a good union job could raise a family and buy a house, could put their kids through school, could take a vacation, had good benefits. that created, for the first time in the history of the world, a middle class that encompassed more than half of citizens in the country. reagan came into office, almost 60% of americans were what you would call middle-class today. as a consequence of reagan declaring war on unions, today it is about 44% of americans are middle-class. $50 trillion in wealth, from 1980 today, has been extracted from the middle-class and handed to the top 1%, which now have so
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much money spilling out that they are shooting themselves to the moon for fun. this is a real crisis for americans, for american democracy. we are getting pushback as a consequence of this, so my 1992, just 12 years after the beginning of the reagan revolution among unions have been so damaged they could no longer fund the democratic party. just before the reagan revolution, in 1976, the supreme court first said if a billionaire wants to give money to a politician that is not corruption or bribery. that is free speech. two years later, the supreme court said, that applies to corporations, too. corporations can now own politicians. that fueled the reagan revolution, so by 1992 we had
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had union density in the united states about cut in half. when bill clinton was running for president, he could not get enough money from unions to run. republicans had already said, ok, we will take your money. oil industry, tobacco industry, anybody who wants to give us money, we will take it. that powered the reagan revolution, famously. reagan, his inaugural ball was a celebration. so clinton found himself out in the wilderness. what did he have to do? he said, ok, we will start taking corporate money, but we will take it from the clean corporations, from tech and insurance and banking. the way that worked out with the democratic party got just as corrupted as the republican party, just by different industries. that started to change during the obama administration, when
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the democrats figured out that they could raise money from average people instead of having to go to giant institutions. now the democratic party is in the process of shedding itself of its corrupt members. but the republican party is fully embracing corporate and billionaire money. host: we have a lot of callers waiting for you and about 20 minutes left. john paul out of chapel hill, north carolina, democrat. good morning. >> quite an extensive library you have there. guest: 50 years of books. caller: an earlier caller -- this is something i would like to hear your comments on -- compared the coaches' prayers on the football field with a person doing a bake sale. i just thought that was kind of
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humorous because i wonder what would happen if a person wanting to conduct a bake sale thought they had the right to do it on the football field, where their worm thousands of people in the stands. guest: at a state-supported school. caller: right. just a ridiculous analogy in my opinion. so i thought that was funny and i would like to hear your comments on that. guest: i agree with you. the state-supported part is the important part. i have no problem if a catholic school in the united states wants to hold prayers during a football game on their property. that is up to them, but when our dollars, when my dollars, our dollars, are supporting a public institution, like a public
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school, and a member of that school, a person in power in that school come and coaches have tremendous power, a person power in that school says, i am a member of the church of satan and so we are all going to get together here on the 50 yard line and give a prayer to satan, that would upset me considerably. frankly, i'm expecting the church of satan to try something like this. this is now absurd -- this is how absurd the court has gotten and how far they have taken us in their promotion of this bizarre worldview they hold. host: new york, julie, independent. are you with us? you have to stick by your phone. we will go to barbara in jacksonville, florida. good morning. caller: how are you? host: doing well. guest: hope you are, too.
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caller: i have a couple things. mr. hartmann is definitely talking about how he is against everything that is american, i think. he is totally against the supreme court, who is a divider of the anger between all the political things. we have to have somebody that splits all the anger since the president into doing it. host: what do you mean by splitting the anger? caller: the republicans, the democrats, we are all fighting. somebody has to be able to separate the fighting. the praying, the abortion, we are all fighting against everything. he just said about the praying.
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the praying -- he said we are going to go to satan. what about the abortions? somebody's going to pay for it. why should i pay for somebody going to another state? guest: for any government money to be used for abortion, has been since 1978. caller: i am against abortion, so why should i pay? guest: you should not have to pay for somebody else's abortion and you do not. if you are opposed to abortion, do not get one. under roe v. wade, if you did not want an abortion, you did have to get one. now the government is going to use the power of police to force women to behave in the way that six justices on the supreme court have decided is the way women should behave. that seems problematic to me.
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host: would you agree with her that the supreme court is -- she said the divider or separator -- i think she was implying the supreme court was cooling passions between two sides fighting a lot. do you think they are inflaming passions or cooling passions in this country? guest: just look in the streets. i think barbara was making an important point, and i'm not sure she pulled it all together. that is that we are at each other's throats. that is a shame. that is not the country i grew up in. i am 71 years old. i have been around for a while. this really all began in the 1980's. those of us who are old enough can tell you from personal recollection. we used to have political disagreements, but we could work together and make things happen. it was not until a fairly substantial group of about 100
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billionaires and about 200 very slickly active corporations got together and said, we are going to take over the republican party and remake america in a way that will keep our taxes low , keep us richer then send and allow our companies to continue dumping pollution in the air and water. and we will do whatever we have to do to get suckers to come along with us, whether we have to talk about abortion even though we do not care about it, whether we have to talk about guns even though we live in mansions and do not have to worry about gun violence and things, this is what they did. i think that is when the horrible division of america began. and also with ronald reagan's inaugural speech on january 20 oh 1981 when he said government is not the solution to your problem. government is the problem. the republican party on that day declared war on the american government and have been trying
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to tear apart our government ever sense. the result has been this horrible division where people are at each other's throats. i do not like that and i do not want to see it continue. host: out of arizona, this is john, and independent. caller: hello, mr. hartmann. i have been a listener for years. i have tried to call in. the primary thing i'm asking about is ruth bader ginsburg almost predicted what the supreme court was going to do. my question is, because this is since 1974, why didn't congress make it a law?
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the supreme court does not make laws but interprets what has given to them. at the time in 1974, the supreme court was primarily a liberal institution versus today. now it is a conservative institution. ruth said this was going to happen. why didn't the democratic party pursue or codify it and make it a law? guest: make what a law? caller: make the roe v. wade. guest: oh, that is a good question. they should have. in my book, which was published two years ago, there is a whole chapter about roe v. wade and how in many ways with the
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supreme court decided this -- keep in mind it was in march of 1970 that new york state became the first state in the union to legalize abortion. by 1973, a handful of states had decriminalized abortion across the country and it was growing. birth control pills were legalized in 1961. in 1965, the supreme court legalized married couples having birth control on their own homes, which had been illegal in connecticut before that. this kicked off the women's movement in the late 60's and early 70's and women were coming into the workplace. 1972 it became legal for a woman to get a credit card or sign a mortgage or car contract without the signature of her father or husband. so in 1973 we were moving in the direction of most of the states in the united states legalizing abortion.
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the supreme court stepped in and said, we will take care of this. then congress never put this into law and they should have. it is the major failure of the democratic party and republican party. in 1973 when roe v. wade was passed, ronald reagan had just signed the second most liberal abortion bill and united states as governor of california. george herbert walker bush, his wife was an activist in planned parenthood and he was openly pro-choice. the republican party was essentially pro-choice. it did not change until the election of 1980, when reagan hired his vice president's son, george w. bush, as a liaison to the evangelical community, and jerry falwell, who just a year ago the southern baptist convention had voted to recognize roe v. wade. a year later they decided we can use this as a political wedge.
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we can use this to tear america apart and get people on our side. that was when reagan and bush both renounced their support for abortion rights for women. and started down this handmade road and here we are now. i agree with you. the democratic party should have done this a long time ago. the reality is it has been at least 25 years since the democratic party had a substantial majority that would happen able to pass it over a filibuster. it should have been done back in the 1970's, when there were a lot of pro-choice republicans. host: newton, new jersey, this is bill, and independent. caller: good morning, mr. hartmann. i have a question and comment. first, does this reversal of roe move us closer or further from a
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culture of death? no matter how you define life, your definition of life may be different than mine in terms of pregnancy. i believe this is a moral question. does this reversal move us further were closer to a culture of death? guest: in 1970, when al blumenthal stood up in the new york assembly when they were debating the first decriminalization of abortion in the united states, he pointed out over 300 women had dined from -- died from a legal abortion in the past years. these were documented by a medical examiner. i remember in high school in the 1960's -- i did not know her personally, but i knew who she was. there was a girl in my class who one day stop coming to school. we discovered she had tried to
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give herself an abortion with a knitting needle and had died. so i think providing women with the right to choose to have an abortion before a fetus is viable is saving lives and empowering women. i agree with pretty much everybody in america that after the six-month or perhaps for the month that it then becomes the interest of the state. i am astonished. yesterday i was listening to npr and they had one of these antiabortion group leaders on who said, democrats want abortion until the end of the ninth month. there is not one single democrat in america or in the history of america who has ever said that. nobody is saying that, and yet the lie persists?
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-- the lie persists. what the supreme court has done is going to lead to more deaths in the united states. host: in philadelphia, this is mark, a democrat. caller: this show, we love you guys on rt. my question is this. how do we fight back against these right wing zealots? how do we fight back within our confines of our democratic republic? guest: you do it by showing up. this is the way that we make, in theory political change in america. prior to the reagan revolution. the way that we made political change in america is not by bribing politicians. it is by showing up and voting. it is by sharing with your
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friends and neighbors were political opinions and rationales and understandings, having honest discussions about the issues of the day. and voting. we need to show up in massive numbers in november. host: to hank in south carolina. caller: i keep hearing you talk about these 200 republican billionaires. you have big conspiracy theories going. there are no democratic billionaires? how about hollywood and the media, the left-wing media? and why are you so down on reagan? he was elected twice and i thought he did a good job. you act like he was the worst president in the world. guest: i believe he was one of our worst presidents for a variety of reasons, his tax on the -- attacks on the medical
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class. when he came into office, we had a federal budget deficit of $800 billion. when we left, he had tripled the national debt. he was following a prescription laid out by a republican strategist. he called it the two santa claus theory. he said, for years democrats have been able to be santa claus. they got us medicare, workplace protections, all these things to all these benefits. so republicans have to force democrats to shoot santa and republicans have to become their own santa. so he said how it should work is when a republican becomes president cannot cut taxes like crazy. and spend money like crazy. spending that money will stimulate the economy so everyone will think the republican gives you a good economy, and cutting taxes will run up the national debt, so the democrat because president you can force that democrat to shoot
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the democratic santa. he was talking about social security and medicare, but radley let you can force that democrat to shoot santa clause by screaming about the debt. jimmy carter and bill clinton were the only two presidents in my lifetime who proposed balanced budgets, but all that we have can -- all the debt we have can be attributed to a series of republican presidents, among other things. that is just one issue, the debt. i have a problem with reagan. host: a reminder to our viewers that the january 6 committee, we found out yesterday they will be meeting today. you can watch here on c-span, the free c-span now video app. we know that it is when to be cassidy hutchinson expected to testify today, former special assistant to mark meadows.
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what are your expectations for today? guest: i am not sure. i am looking forward to it. probably what we are seeing with the investigation is what happens when a party sets aside its moral core. prior to the reagan revolution, the republican party were typically honest brokers. i remember dwight eisenhower. he was a good man. in his letter to his brother in 1956, he said any party that says they are going to overturn or destroy social security and end unions and things like that will never be heard from again. he said their numbers are small and they are stupid. he was referring to the hunt brothers, billionaires down in texas. he was warning his brother of billionaires taking over his own party. that is what happened. so what i think the january 6, the big picture here is we are
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looking at the corruption of an entire political party that has been 40 years in the making. trump was just the logical outcome. host: linda has been waiting in missouri. caller: i saw you several decades ago on crossfire with tucker crossan. i wondered what your feelings on tucker carlsen are now. guest: tucker is an entertainer. he said as much in court. he has every right to say what he says commit like i do. i respect that right. i do not agree with him on politics, but he is a competent fellow. he does a good job at what he does. host: what news do you watch? do you watch much? guest: we watch msnbc, cnn, and fox. host: what are you getting out of watching all three channels?
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guest: i think the major way our news is spun come as it were, is by choosing which stories to focus on rather than by direct commentary. during prime time, there is an enormous amount of direct commentary particularly on msnbc and fox. i think my kratz feel like they need to have a home. they are finding it at msnbc. republicans are finding it at fox. and people just looking for the news, more and more cnn is going to be just about the news. it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. i think it is important to check out all three, and i encourage my republican viewers to check out msnbc and i encourage democrats to check out fox. you need to know the other side
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is saying. host: marianne has been waiting in clarks grove, minnesota. caller: you redeemed yourself a little when you said that comment about eisenhower. before that you were pretty much trashing the party that i think does more good. i am calling because the roe v. wade, i recalled when it occurred and heard on the radio. i looked at my 18 month old and just started bawling. at 21, i knew the gravity of what that was going to be. it was predictable. the pendulum swung way too far and people just -- it was supposed to be safe and rare and it became, for some people, i have had seven or eight abortions. for me, this is not safe and rare. i believe the child is sacred, obviously, and i do not want
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women stoned or anything. i do not want anybody killed. guest: the rate of abortions has been going down for over 20 years. caller: 60 million babies? it is not going down. i get a real bang on what goes on in our country because we have people in toronto and california having a parade for pride and all these naked people running around in front of children and we are worried about some guy sitting on a football field silently praying? host: i am going to stop you there because i have about a minute left. guest: he was not silently praying. you may be offended by gay people walking around their chested. this is america. people have that right. whether we agree or disagree with how people behave in public cannot like people have the
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right to walk around with giant guns strapped to their backs like they have some sort of penis we have to respect that. that is what makes america strong. diversity of opinions, diversity of -- host: thom hartmann. remind viewers how they can find the thom hartmann. guest: >> the january 6 committee holds the next public hearing later today. it is reported that members will hear testimony from cassidy hutchinson.
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we will have live coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can watch on our free video app, c-span now, or online at c-span.org. ♪ >> c-span now is a free video app. keep up with today's events with hearings from u.s. congress, white house events, the courts, campaigns and more from the world of politics. all at your fingertips. stay current with the latest episodes of "washington journal" and find scheduling information. c-span now is available at the apple store and google play. download it for free today. c-span, your unfiltered view of washington. >> c-span is your unfiltered
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view of government, funded by these television companies and more. >> the world has changed. today, the fast, reliable internet connection is something people cannot live without. wow is therefore our customers. it all starts with great internet. wow. >> wow supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> tuesday morning, you can start calling in now. we are talking in this first hour about the case yesterday, kennedy v bremerton school district. here is how robert barnes put it yesterday after the justices handed down their decision. the supreme court ruled monday a school board in washington state
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-- justice neil gorsuch wrote the majority opinion sayg

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